Sunday, October 13, 2002

Slayers Try

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

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Cover Description:
In search of fame, fortune, and foreign food, Lina Inverse sets sail on a collision course for the new world! What she finds there are vengeful enemies, a bunch of high-and-mighty dragon lords, and a new quest to save the world from destruction. What's a girl gotta do for a little vacation?

(26 episodes)

It's easy to diss this season... >>> by skysenshi
...especially when you've been used to the usual hilarity of Slayers and Slayers: NEXT. After all, the supporting characters, apart from your usual gang, couldn't seem to make their minds on whether they want to be good, or evil, or badass, or just stupid. The regular characters, on the other hand, seem to be exceptionally AU*. The core of Slayers: TRY, which resides on the existence of 5 legendary weapons, is in shambles. Not because the weapons were destroyed, but because the people who want to get hold of these artifacts can't get their objectives straight. To me it's something like, "Ah...I'll be noble. Ah, you'll be noble too? In that case...I'll mess up my original plot so we don't have to fight for the same side." If that isn't enough to spoil your enjoyment, I can assure you that despite the humor in this installment, I nearly found myself in a coma out of sheer ennui. If I was able to do a one-day marathon for both Slayers and Slayers: NEXT, it took me three days to finish this one off. There's something about the overall atmosphere -- the way the scenes progress -- that placed my brain cells in lethargy.

HOWEVER -- and that is stated with a capital "H" -- Slayers: TRY is not as evil as many die-hard fans have professed it to be. In fact, this season seem to have the most solid concept and the most innovative ideas for a plot. More so than the previous two seasons. It expounds on the glaringly obvious schism between black, white and gray areas. Of ironies that spoke of the inhumane nature of gods and the well of compassion that evil beings can accommodate. Of an age-old war that has blurred the original essence of competition. Sadly, the execution of what could have been a potentially prolific storyline is what leaves so much to be desired. Is this because the team that did the memorable Slayers: NEXT were already working on Lost Universe and had to hand this particular Slayers project to another team? Probably.

Still, we shouldn't discount the fact that Slayers: TRY does have its own merits. The characters, for instance, have ceased to become one-dimensional. The mischievous and ever so unruffled Xellos, who first appeared in NEXT, loses most of his composure here. This could be considered a good thing, especially if you notice that he has to share an effective chemistry with the new character, Filia. Very subtle, but unique. Proving that you don't have to pepper anime with sexual tension to provide spice all the time. Zelgadis, on the other hand, shows a little more of his human side even as he tends to forget his mission of reverting back to his original form. He can be cute, peace loving and not as detached to his emotions as he usually portrays. Other figures that are worth mentioning are the bomb specialist, Jiras and Valgaav (Vargaav?), the surviving child of a dark and grim past.

What gives TRY a chance at view-worthiness is that it ends with a SailorSaturn-y (death and rebirth) turn of events that leaves one with a good feeling. It is capped nicely, while still providing more room for future installations.

*AU = Alternate Universe

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 7; Story 4; Characters 9; Sounds 8

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