I will be reviewing this one very differently compare to my other reviews so far.
Slayers is a series that was adapted from a series of light novels in 1995 spawning two seasons Slayers and Slayers next while Slayers Try is an original story in the Slayers universe. They also adapted the Movie and OVA series after Slayers Try expect for Slayers the motion picture which that film was released the same time where the first season of Slayers was airing. Then 14 years later Slayers was brought back to fame in 2009 which they released Slayers Revolution and Slayers Evolution-R.
For this review I will be reviewing Slayers, Slayers Next and Slayers Try and I don’t be touching Slayers Revolution and Evolution-R because I personally have mixed thoughts towards them.
Also this series of reviews will be split into three parts where I cover each season individually.
The first season of Slayers was directed by Takashi Watanabe and it consists of 26 episodes airing from April 7th 1995 to September 29 1995.
Now with that out the way let’s start with the first season of Slayers.
Our story begins with Lina Inverse a wonder soucsers who goes around town defeating bandits stealing rare treasures from them and selling those rare treasures for an exchange of gold where Lina can just eat all day in various restaurants that she goes to. One day Lina meets a swordsman called Gorry while in a fight with a bunch a bandits. After that Lina and Gorry begin an adventure where they fight enemies like Rezo as well as make new allies with Zelios and Ameila.
You see Slayers is the anime equivalent to Dungeons and Dragons. And not just because of the high fantasy art style, but in every aspect.
Now I found the humour of slayers to be hilarious because the jokes and humour for the most part are great and it brings life to the world of slayers. But it times the jokes can be redundant and may be annoying for some but I personally have no complements with the jokes and humour because I them to be fresh and unique.
One of the few things that I don’t like about this is the pacing for the first half and trust me it can get really slow at times. This can ultimately ruined this season for some viewer but personally I didn’t mind the pacing that to be honest.
Now let’s talk about world building of Slayers.
The world of Slayers is a very familiar to people who played games like Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest where they in a group of fighters with they selected classed fight against monster sometimes other human that are also in parties and boss as well as travel around the world doing mission, side quest, learning new skills like magic, sword techniques and all of the good RPG stuff.
Slayers manages to keep most of those RPG in tack and it’s just wonderful to see many of these stuff that you will see in JRPG games animated in Slayers.
Also the locations of Slayers are just really good and very detailed for 90s because all of the locations are very memorable like the Seyruum Kingdom Atlas City, Zelgadis’ hideout and may more.
All and all the story and world building of Slayers is great.
Lina Inverse is our main female lead and to be honest with you she’s actually one of the best female leads in anime and as well as being one of the best written tsuderes period.
Lina despite her being money hungry and being short-tempered she does display that she can be quite the admirable heroine when she needs to be.
When she joins forces with Gorrry it was only temporarily alliance(because mainly Lina wants’ Gorry sword so she can sell it for gold) but as this season progresses Lina forms a bond with Gorry and completely forgets about the taking stealing Gorry Sword.
Now unlike most other Tsuderes like Shana (Shakagun No Shana) for example she’s bearable and at the same lovable because unlike Taiga where in the first half she was an unbearable but with Lina she has funny and at the same time a badass and a good-looking at that.
Overall she is just an adorable character to me and she’s easily my female character in anime period and also I found her to be underrated.;
Gorry is a wonder swordsman who tends to follow Lina as her bodyguard.
He is known as the idiot but very powerful swordsman. His swordsman skills are A class and he has this sword of light were it cut.
Now this has to be said. Out of all the main characters in slayers he is by far my least favourite. This is mainly because I just couldn’t relate to him and him being a idiot got repetitive. I know in Slayers Next he becomes more likable but here I just couldn’t relate to him whatsoever.
Overall I still like Gorry but not as much as the rest.
Zelgadis Greywords is the first former villain for the first 6 episodes the season or to break it up the first 6 episodes of Slayers.
However this all changes where he unties Lina from a hanging rope and decides to join Lina and Gorry in the quest of defeating Rezo as well as having his own goal of gaining his human body back.
I personally liked him because I like the way he changes from a temporary Vivian to a friendlier member of the slayers.
Overall Zelgadis is a great character.
Lastly we have Amelia Wil Tesla Sailune who is the princess of the Kingdom Of Saillune.
Am just going to say this right now up to recently I wrote her off as a guilty pleasure because I use to find her to be annoying due to her justice act. But a re-watching the series again in 2015 I started to like her more because I found her to quite a loveable character because she is one hell of a funny ass character that always make laugh every time she does something funny.
Overall I really like Amelia.
Now the rest of the characters can be hit or miss depending on your tastes.
To be honest besides from Rezo, Zangalus and Sylphiel I found the rest of the characters in Season 1 to be one note.
Overall this is a fairly great character cast.
Slayers was done by J.C Staff that also gave us. Raildex, Toradora, Kare Kano, Shougeki No Souma, Shangan No Shana and Prison School.
The art in self least in season 1 has aged surprisingly really well for an anime that came out in 1995. The colours are bright and bold especially with the backgrounds and scenery which brings life to the setting of Slayers.
However unlike it’s squeals being Slayers Next and Slayers Try the art at times can be dated escapcally with the some of the character models looking too washed up. I know it’s a 90s anime but compare to its squeals and other 90s anime like Outlaw Star, Cowboy Bebop and Evangelion this one feels flat at times.
The character deigns of Slayers are great and very memorable from the wonderful designed iconic Lina, the mysterious wonder half human and half golem Zelgadis to the creative enemies like fishes with arms and legs.
The animation itself is good but not the best because unlike Outlaw Star, Cowboy Bebop and the first half of Evangelion it was obsessive that Slayers didn’t have the best animation.
It’s also has that dragon ball feel to it because the way some of the characters use the magic spells.
If you’re used to newer animation you may not like the animation here.
Besides the few problem that I had. I think the art and animation has aged quite well.
The OST for this season is great for the most part with great and memorable tracks like Oh What Lovely Lina, I want this world, heroic action and many more. But the OST can be repetitive at times and I know it’s the first season but it can be annoying for some viewers.
It also has that fantasy feel into it and it fits the world of Slayers perfectly.
Now for Sub vs Dub debit for Slayers.
Am just going to flat honest with you guys I have only seen the first 7 episodes of Slayers subbed. Why? Because I mainly watched all the seasons dubbed and let me tell you this. I wasn’t a fan of the subbed at all not saying is an original audio is bad or annoying like watching ghost stories in original audio but I it just doesn’t feel the same show.
So is the dub of the first seasons of Slayers perfect. No in fact the first thirteen episodes the dub is kind of off not Escaflowne and Evangelion bad but it had a few audio issues like the first dubs actors of Amelia and Zelgadis and it clearly shows. Thankfully the dub becomes much better around the second half where we voice actors of Amelia and Zelgadis got replace with good actors as well as the dub lip syncing has improved and everything in the sound department just improves. The dub can still get cheesy at times but least it’s better than the first half.
I think Lisa Ortiz as Lina Inverse was the best role because she’s was just so consistent with Lina and She made Slayers more enjoyable.
Now which is one is better reyou may ask?
I know a lot of people will say subbed but am going to honest with you guys I rather pick the DUB.
I really had a blast with one.
All of the fights in my opinion were well planned and executed. The humour never got trying for me being it always made me laugh when the crew does a good joke. Also I loved how the dub improved as this season progressed because not many anime that I seen has a dub that starts off bad but improves overtime. Slayers is one of the series that has dub that starts off bad but later on it becomes a great dub in my opinion.
I liked the old art-style of this season sure at times it can be a bit washed out but for what it is it looked good in my opinion.
One more thing that I like to point out is the OST for slayers is just fantastic. It’s easily one of my favourite anime OST period.
Overall Slayers is a fantastic 90’s anime that should not missed by anyone.
It’s has a great story, well written characters memorable OST, art may be outdated to some but still looks good and has that nostalgic feel on it.
The only few problems that I had with the season is the pacing can get really slow at times and the dub for the first 13 episodes were kinda off in the audio department with only two characters sounding terrible during these episodes
I highly recommend you go check out this anime because I think is an anime classic and it definitely holds up with other classic animes like Neon Genesis Evangelion, Cowboy Bebop, Samurai X and Outlaw Star.
I give Slayers Season 1 a 9/10 ( A must watch)
Slayers is available on DVD from Funimation Entertainment in the US while in the UK is available from MVM Entertainment.
At this time of the review I don’t own the first season of DVD but I will be buying sometime soon.
Grimgar Of Fantasy And Ash
Yona Of The Dawn
Oda Nobuna No Yabou
The Sacred Blacksmith
Grimgar Of Fantasy And Ash
Stay tune for part 2 where I review Slayers Next.