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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Slayers Next
Volume 1


Starring (voice): Hikaru Midorikawa, Masami Suzuki, Megumi Hayashibara and Yasunori Matsumoto
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 12
Available 11 May 2009

Lina Inverse is your average sorceress and bane of bandits, putting them down wherever 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 Next: Vol 1 sees The Slayers franchise move onto its second season with another generous disc holding the first six episodes. If you want to know some of the back story, then you're best off checking out the previous reviews, here is not the place to start collecting The Slayers. So when we last saw our intrepid comic adventurers they had just bested Zangulus, Eris and Rezo and the gang has increased to include Gourry, the idiot sword wielding would-be hero, and Lina.

Given that we’ve moved onto a new series the makers have continued the numbering system on from the last disc, so this disc opens up with episode twenty-seven and not episode one. I’m sure that there is logic there somewhere. This single disc presentation contains:

Eps 27 - The Terror! Of the Monstrous Zoamelguster.
Eps 28 - The Roguish Priest! His Name is Xellos!
Eps 29 - A Wonderful Business! Being a Bodyguard isn't Easy!
Eps 30 - An Ancient Pledge! One Who Seeks Immortality!
Eps 31 - Staying Behind For the Sake of Love!
Eps 32 - The Return of the Obsessive Martina!

The season sees the return of popular villains, Zelgadis and Amelia, whilst adding new quests and threats. While the stories span more than a single episode this season seems less focused than the first season - sure the gang go after the book of Xoana, meet a mysterious priest, have a run in with Mr Tarimu and finally go off in search of Pledge Stone - but it seems to have lost some of the feeling which existed in the first seasons overall arc.

Still I might be jumping the gun and great things are in store, after all, for fans of the show, it spawned just about every other type of media possible, so a lot of people must have liked it. Personally it left me a bit cold. With a lack of drama, relating to the overall story arc, the comedic elements are starting to feel a little repetitious.

The disc does come with a few extras, but given the generosity of the number of episodes the paucity of extras can be forgiven. So, first up you have a Sketch Gallery with twenty-five picture, this is augmented with an Image Gallery with an impressive seventy-one images, but none that can be used as wallpaper. I often think that this use of the pictures would enhance the discs. The disc is rounded off with two trailers and the DVD credits.

Audio for the discs is between an English and Japanese stereo mix with optional subtitles. The animation remains bright but, in style, more reminiscent of a seventies Saturday morning show, which may come as a surprise for those brought up on the starker vistas of CGI animation.


Charles Packer

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