Anime DVD Review: The Slayers: The First Three Seasons

The Slayers: The First Three Seasons is a 12-disc DVD set that contains the first three seasons of The Slayers: The Slayers, Slayers Next, and Slayers Try. Each season is broken up over four discs, and each season consists of 26 episodes.

The Slayers: The First Three Seasons
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: DVD
Release Date: August 4, 2009

The main character of The Slayers is a 16-year-old sorceress named Lina Inverse. She loves money, treasure and food, and uses her magic in a reckless, yet comedic manner. She has a reputation for being evil, powerful, destructive, and diminutive. Lina has also acquired the nicknames of “Bandit Killer” and “Dragon Spooker”; however, she doesn’t like either of these nicknames.

At the beginning of the series, Lina destroys a gang of bandits called the Dragon Fangs and takes some of their treasure.  As she heads for the nearest town, Lina is ambushed by the remaining members of the gang.  Lina ends up being rescued by Gourry Gabriev, a wandering swordsman who carries the Sword of Light. While Gourry may be skillful with a sword, he isn’t exactly the sharpest tool in the shed.  After meeting Lina, he decides to serve as the “little girl’s” unpaid bodyguard. Gourry is kind, loyal, and considerate of others.  However, he makes it pretty clear that he feels Lina’s physical attributes are a little underdeveloped for her age.

During the journey, the meet Zelgadis Greywords, who is a mixture of human, golem and demon; he wants to be returned to his original human form. They also meet Princess Amelia, the princess of the Seyruun Kingdom who is a self-proclaimed Lady of Justice. Gourry also has a reunion with his friend Sylphiel, who appears to be in love with Gourry. Together, the group travels together and has adventures.

The main villain in the first series is Rezo the Red Priest, and he is scheming to resurrect the Dark Lord Shabranigdo. Lina and the others make a trip to Sairaag, where they have a final confrontation with Rezo and his cronies.

Slayers Next sees Zelgadis on a quest to find the Claire Bible. The series introduces a couple of new characters: an evil princess named Martina and a priest named Xellos. While it’s obvious that Martina’s evil, Xellos’ motivations are a lot more ambiguous. Xellos’ catchphrase is, “It’s a secret.” During their quest for the Claire Bible, they keep running into the dragon lord, Gaav.

In Slayers Try, Lina receives a letter from someone named Filia who wants to meet her and offers her money. Lina and Gourry are reunited with Zelgadis and Amelia. When they meet Filia, they discover she’s actually a dragon. She tells them the world is going to end and that it’s up to Lina to save it. At first, Lina refuses; however, after Filia gives Lina a letter from her sister Luna, she changes her mind. They have to head to the temple of the Fire Dragon King. Along the way, they encounter Xellos, and Filia and Xellos do not get along. As expected, the series reaches its climax when Lina and her party reach their destination and have to fight a final battle in order to save the world.

Of the three seasons that appear in this set, the first season is my favorite, and the one I’m most likely to rewatch. While Slayers Next wasn’t quite as good as the first season, it’s still a season I enjoy watching. Slayers Try isn’t necessarily bad, but to me, it was the weakest season in the set. To me, Filia wasn’t as interesting of a character, and the overall story of the season wasn’t nearly as strong as the story in the first two seasons.

When it comes to the DVD set itself, the special features appear on discs four, eight, and 12. Disc four contains a feature labeled “Episode 1 Edit.”  This feature runs for about nine minutes, and it is made up of two scenes from the first episode (which are when Lina meets Gourry and when Lina defeats the dragon). This feature is available in the following languages: English, Japanese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish, and Italian.

Disc four also contains textless songs, which are the opening and closing credits for the first season. While there may not be any credit text included on this feature, the subtitles for the song’s lyrics are still on the screen. There are also trailers for other properties FUNimation was promoting at the time this DVD set was released.

The first special feature on disc eight is labeled as “Animated Music Videos.” This feature runs for 12 minutes, and it contains five different versions of the same music video for “Maiden’s Prayer,” the song that appeared in episode 40. The five versions of the video are the original version, an instrumental version, only Lina’s vocal and the music, only Amelia’s vocal and the music, and a version with Japanese subtitles instead of English subtitles. This particular feature became annoying rather quickly. I became rather tired of seeing the same visuals, and only having small tweaks made to each version of the video.

There is only a textless version of the opening song on disc eight. Just like the textless songs on disc four, there is no longer any credit text, but there are still subtitles on the screen. A feature labeled as “Japanese TV Spots” runs for roughly two-and-a-half minutes; there are no subtitles for this feature. There are a total of seven television spots included, and they seemed to be for various Slayers recordings and games that were released.  There are also trailers for other properties FUNimation was promoting at the time this DVD set was released.

Disc 12 didn’t contain much in the way of special features. There are textless versions of the opening and closing songs; unfortunately, this feature did not include a textless version of the song that appeared for the ending credits of the final episode of Slayers Try. For the songs that appear on here, the credit text is gone, but the subtitles still remain. There are also trailers other properties FUNimation was promoting at the time this DVD set was released.

This set is an economical way for fans of The Slayers to acquire the first three seasons of the series on DVD in order to have them in their home video collection. As far as I can tell, the first three seasons are not available on Blu-ray, and DVD sets for the individual seasons are no longer available, so this is basically the only release that can still be easily acquired that includes this material.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of The Slayers: The First Three Seasons that my husband purchased for me as a gift.

Additional posts about Slayers:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.