Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Slayers Movie 2: Slayers Return

Genre: Comedy / Fantasy
General Audience
1996 Hajime Kanzaka and Rei Araizumi (creators). SoftX. TV Tokyo.

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Skysenshi's Description:
Lina Inverse and Naga the Serpent were spending one fine morning arguing about their meal for the day-as usual-when a girl in crutches seeks them out for help. Bandits have lain siege to her village and it seems that only someone as powerful as Lina can defeat them.

A legendary Elven treasure lies in the heart of Biatz village. Now this is enough to get Lina's "compassion" going and she decides to help wrest the villagers off bandit attacks.

A tad better than the first movie... >>> by skysenshi
Like the first movie and the OAVs, Slayers Return is a prequel to the TV series. So again, if you're looking for Gourry, Zelgadis, Xellos, and Filia, you will not find them here. Naga, that irksome Lina-wannabe replaces these lovable characters and plays the role of Lina's sidekick. Then again, while I cannot stress enough how much I really detest Naga, I must say that Slayers Return is considerably better than the first movie that was released. The story, though dreary, is a little more solid and focused. There are no side quests that digress from the actual plot and there are no meaningless battles - only meaningless characters whose laughable skills add enough comic relief to this little package.

In addition, you have here a bunch of thugs that look like they were designed by Go Nagai (see Abashiri Family or Cutey Honey). There is little character development for both our heroines and the villains as character focus have been spread too thinly. Nevertheless, they manage to spice up the show's usual hilarity as they show off their fighting skills and spoof just about every anime stereotype ever created.

The battles are quite interesting as we are shown some new magic and moves from Naga and Lina. Naga, in particular, has noticeably improved a bit, too, since she seems to have actually started using her brains. That maniacal laughter is still there, but perhaps that has become bearable.

Art, animation and voice acting are well done. Other features to see are giant fighting machines and cute mecha-like golems, plus loads of humor and action.

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 8; Story 7; Characters 7; Sounds 8

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