Slayers Gorgeous (of 1) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, February 10, 2004
Release Date: Tuesday, February 17, 2004
What They Say
Lina Inverse and her sidekick Naga the Serpent are happily enjoying lunch when the entire town ducks under cover before an invasion of Marlene Culvert and her legion of bloodthirsty dragons. The cause of the invasion? Marlene is in a feud with her father, the king, over her allowance.
Lina leaps into action to defend the village against Marlene, her tetrad knights and her dragons, but her dependable Dragon Slave spell fails her. Right when she thinks she has won, the real battle has just begun.
The latest Slayers epic continues to prove that there is no well run and balanced leader of any kingdom in this world.
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. Having listened to the bulk of Slayers this way in the past, it feels only natural to continue to do so. The audio mix here is decent if not terribly dynamic, with the bulk of sounds coming through the center channel while the music mix makes up the majority of the stereo sounds. Dialogue is nice and clear throughout and we had no issues with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally released in 1998, Slayers Gorgeous is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 in its letterbox format. The transfer for the most part is decent, though the opening shows a fair bit of edge enhancement along the characters and some aliasing during the panning sequences. The show in general has something of a "dirty" feel to it that's well represented in the transfer. Overall, there aren't a lot of vibrant colors are really stellar looking scenes, but it's a solid piece with no real troubles to it.
Going for sex appeal, the cover provides a really sexy shot of Naga upright, bosom protruding proudly, while Lina is kneeling next to her ready to shoot off a fireball or something equally destructive. On first glance, it almost looks like Lina is wrapped around Naga's legs. The artwork looks really good here and I always like a good Naga shot. The back cover provides a few shots from the show, though they make the episode look heavily cartoonish, and a brief summary of the premise. The rest of the cover is made up of the usual production information and the great info grid at the bottom. The insert is a logo-less version of the front cover while the reverse side lists the chapter stops and basic features of the disc.
The menu layout is similar to other Slayers releases with a static image of Lina and Naga in action while the strip of menu selections comes down through the center left of the screen. A bit of music with vocals plays along as well, but overall this is a straightforward and simple menu as there's little here beyond the show and trailers, both for other shows and for the Slayers related shows. Access times are very fast with this disc and everything loaded quickly and accurately.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Slayers Gorgeous plays out similarly to previous Slayers movies and while there's something against using the same formula over and over again, there's something about the Slayers franchise that allows it to be gotten away with. Gorgeous plays up the usual theme, starting with our lovely ladies entering some new kingdom, chowing down and then ending up in the middle of some event that they have no interest in. Before you know it, both Lina and Naga are on opposing sides and trying to one-up the other by proving who the better sorceress is. As well as who is more endowed. Roll credits.
Gorgeous takes our leading ladies to a new kingdom where the king there is dealing with his daughter Marlene and her coming of age problems. These are a little different than normal since the family line of Culvert's goes back centuries to when one of their ancestors seal away the power of the dragons. Since then, the kingdom has flourished and each new generation of Culvert's are able to keep things in line due to their ability to talk to dragons. But now the King's daughter has been secretly rebuilding an old villa outside of the kingdom and has brought in a horde of dragons under her influence. Daily, she attacks the city and is often fended off by the knights there. She returns to the villa where she stays up all night, sleeps most of the day and then gets bored and attacks the kingdom again.
This routine has been going on for a while, but with the arrival of Lina and Naga, it takes a turn. During an attack by the dragon, Lina freezes its mouth shut and gets ready to take it down entirely. The knights stop her and bring her to the king, who brings her on with promises of gold to help take down her daughter's awful reign of terror. Naga on the other hand slips into the villa where she chides Marlene for having such a poor manical laugh and offers to train her and join her Tetrad Knights to fight against the kingdom. The promise of money goes a long way with Naga.
And so the fates are set to bring the two sides against each other several times and the battle rages. All over the fact that Marlene doesn't get a big enough allowance and her father lets her get away with it because she's in a rebellious phase. The typical wacky nature of the Slayers universe is in full effect here with the comedy, particularly the moments when the dragons realize they're fighting Lina and all run off as fast as possible. Marlene's Tetrad Knights are pretty comical in and of themselves, though there's more than meets the eye to give the show a grander feel, but all told the people in this kingdom are the same kind of rubes we've seen in all the other kingdoms. They serve the story well though.
Slayers Gorgeous is a fast moving show with its sixty-minute runtime but it doesn't really slow up once the sides are set up. Each side gets plenty of screen time to push their angle and each of them come off as goofy as possible. The action sequences are really nicely done, particularly between Lina and Naga, especially Naga's trip over the waterfall. The duo continue to be a fun pair together and even though their adventures do come across as formulaic, I find them to be a lot of fun and a great break from a lot of the other series I'm watching. Slayers fans won't want to pass up this release.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.
Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 15 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
Running time: 60
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2