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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Slayers
Volume 2


Starring (voice): Megumi Hayashibara, Yasunori Matsumoto and Bin Shimada
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: PG
Available 02 February 2009

Lina Inverse is your average sorceress and bane of bandits, putting them down where ever she finds them. Okay, so she keeps a little of the loot rather than returning it - a girl’s got to make a living. On one particular sortie against bandits, a small, seemingly innocuous, statue comes into her possession which will change her world forever and place her on a path that may save the planet...

The Slayers: Volume 2 (1995) takes up the story where Volume 1 left off. If you haven’t seen the show before it’s a sub dungeons and dragons (D&D) set up with our heroine, Lina, on a quest for fame and fortune - meeting stock characters along the way and working through stock plots. What the show lacks in originality it makes up with its own self deprecation.

The characters are supposedly based around a typical group playing D&D, which allows the story to subvert the genre. Often characters will openly complain about the stock fights, with underdeveloped villains that they are forced to fight. The show also sports a number of running jokes, mostly around the size of Lina’s breasts. If this all sounds a little infantile, keep in mind that the target audience was twelve year old males and that should give you some idea of the level you’re dealing with.

So this volume contains episodes seven to thirteen and, as is their wont on anime shows, the titles are as long as they are unwieldy, with the requisite overkill exclamation marks.

7. GIVE UP! But, the Sure Kill Sword Appears!
8. HELP! Shabranigdo is Reborn!
9. IMPACT! The eve of the Menacing Battle!
10. JACKPOT! The Great Life or Death Gamble!
11. KNOCKOUT! The Seyruun Family feud!
12. LOVELY! Amelia’s Magic Training!
13. MONEY! Crush Those Bounty Hunters!

Like most long running ninja/fight show, it’s not long before the whole thing degenerates into ‘fight of the week’ format and The Slayers is no different in this respect. What does pull it back from the precipice of mediocrity is its knowing humour and in-jokes, but it’s difficult to know just how long this sliver of interest can be kept going.

The first two episode deal with Rezo’s plans to resurrect Shabringdo, not surprisingly he succeeds. Episodes nine and ten are the usual boss fight, which they obviously win as the show goes ever on. We start a new story arc with episode eleven which introduces us to a new character, Amelia, as the slowly expanding group find themselves fight as the good guys only to find their picture on wanted posters.

The disc comes with either an English or Japanese, with subs, audio track, but no extra. You get the feeling, in these hard times, that MVM are trying to squeeze as much value out of their franchises. Volume 1 was actually titled Volume A, with Volume 2 titled Volume B. Me thinks that the set has been spilt to gain more of your dwindling recourses. Possibly in order to further save costs the disc comes with no extras. On the plus side you do, of course, get a generous seven episodes.

Overall it’s shallow, but fun. The 4:3 picture is clear, even if the animation style is starting to show its age, ultimately its passable Saturday morning fare.


Charles Packer

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