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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Slayers - Excellent
Slayers - Excellent
ADV Films // Unrated // March 30, 2004
List Price: $24.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Don Houston | posted May 22, 2004 | E-mail the Author
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Movie: Anime is a genre full of quirky little features and series that run the gamut from low key to over the top. One of the series that has always been able to make me smile has been the Slayers series, which consists of a number of movies as well as a few seasons on television. The story is set in a fantasy world where magic is the norm and medieval trappings are common. The two principle characters are Lina Inverse, a short but perky magician, and her rival/friend, Naga the Serpent, a tall and busty magician, who thinks she's superior in every way to her dwarfish associate. The latest release of these two wacky gals is Slayers Excellent, a show with all the humor of previous volumes. This was a bit of a different from Slayers Great and Slayers Gorgeous, focusing on the first time the two met (although this was made in 1998-well after some of the other shows). The show this time consisted of three episodes, each with their own flair:

Episode One: Labyrinth:
Naga destroys a tavern where Lina was staying as part of a challenge. After a magic duel, the townspeople force the two to fight a creature in a labyrinth that has been the cause of a number of missing villagers. After fighting some zombies, they meet the king of the labyrinth, Steindorf, an evil vampire. As the three fight it out, the hijinks ensue and the gals prevail in their usual fumbling manner.

Episode Two: A Frightening Future:
Lina hires on as a bodyguard for a rich royal gal, Serena. The woman turns out to be as irritating as Naga, who soon shows up to mess with her rival, Lina. Lina gets an idea to allow some bandits to kidnap her and after a series of mishaps, an evil sorcerer ends up with Serena in his custody. Lina decides enough is enough, though she mostly wants to get the other half of her pay, and attempts to "rescue" the rich gal from her captor.

Episode Three: Lina-Chan's Lovely Makeover Operation:
In what amounts to a fashion war between a couple of clothes designers, Lina and Naga end up on opposite sides of the battle (imagine that!). The tempers flared as the ladies employed all sorts of magic and tricks in order to see their viewpoints prevail. In typical Slayers fashion (excuse the pun), the gals destroy everything around them and no one truly wins in the end.

If you enjoy the usual antics of Lina and Naga, with all their usual sexual innuendos and rivalries, you'll enjoy these three short stories as well. They didn't exactly provide anything materially different from earlier volumes but I think that's part of their appeal. I'm going to rate this one as Recommended for any fans of the characters, noting that most fans of anime either love or hate these two, with little middle ground to speak of.

Picture: The picture was presented in full frame 1.33:1 ratio as originally shot. The colors were on the dark side, befitting the subject matter here, and there was some grain with video noise but not enough to cause me to avoid this DVD. I saw no compression artifacts or print scratches.

Sound: The audio was presented with a choice of 2.0 Dolby Digital stereo tracks in the original Japanese with English subtitles or a dubbed English language track. I think the original audio track was superior this time although the sound effects and music were about the same in each. There was enough difference on the subtitles compared to the dubbed track that I wouldn't call them dub-titles.

Extras: The extras were pretty good this time, starting off with a couple of interviews; one each with the cute Cynthia Martinez (voice of Lina and possessor of Naga-sized breasts) and Kelly Manison (voice of Naga and possessor of Lina-sized breasts). There was also the usual set of trailers and a paper insert but the show was longer than usual so it wasn't a bad deal.

Final Thoughts: The technical limitations of the show aside, it was a fun romp that provided more of the same antics fans seem to appreciate wholeheartedly. If you're looking for something where you can set your brain on autopilot, you'll probably find this DVD endearing and it was kind of cool seeing the two English language leads (Cynthia's really a cutie) as they discussed their roles in the interview section of the extras.

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