a.k.a. Slayers: The Motion Picture
Two years before her chance encounter with Gourry Gabriev, Lina Inverse is a younger (but just as deadly!) sorceress with a reputation for stealing from the rich and giving to herself. After relieving a group of bandits of their hard-stolen earnings, she runs across a sometimes comrade, sometimes nemesis: Naga. One is unparalleled in wizardry but is lacking in anatomy. The other other is, eh, well-endowed but could use some help with her incantations. This unlikely Odd Couple sets off for Mipross Island for a little fun in the sun… and perhaps walking off with some poor sap’s treasure!
summary by Kain
Highs: Naga’s fashion sense
Lows: Worth only a few chuckles; vapid bad guys
The whole Slayers franchise has been successful for two reasons: off-the-wall characters and a steady diet of mocking fantasy story stereotypes. The producers had pretty much got it down pat with three series under their collective belts (Slayers, Slayers NEXT and Slayers Try), so it’s safe to assume they would continue down the same, lucrative road. So what exactly went wrong?
For starters, what happened to all the great comedic moments? Oh, there were a couple of moments where I might have chuckled aloud, but not once was I forced into a drool-inducing guffaw. I suppose the bad guys offered a chortle here and there (“I am the tenth strongest man on this island!” “I am the eighth strongest!”), but they were soon vanquished by Lina’s DBZ–esque spells that seem capable of taking down entire galaxies but are instead used to scorch two or three men. The only characters with any type of discernible personalities are Lina and Naga, but even here they don’t incite any type of enthusiasm. In fact, just about every aspect of this movie is one-dimensional.
Then again, the animation here is vastly improved on the television series; but again, the visuals are neither 1) on par with what movie animation should be and 2) never about looks for this type of anime. Music made itself peculiarly absent until the very end with the excellent Midnight Blue.
Lina Inverse and Naga just don’t seem to carry the comedic weight that the gang did in the television series. Perhaps it’s Naga’s annoying laugh or the fact that Lina looks older here though she’s supposed to be younger, but I just can’t get all hyped up for this movie.