Slayers: The Motion Picture (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, February 18, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, February 08, 2000
Overall Rating: 4.8
(on a scale of 1-5)
Acting: Japanese: 5
Hello again. I'm back to dish out more of my opinion as weird and disturbing as it may be. This time we will tackle the ADV release of Slayers the Motion Picture. I saw this on tape about a year ago and thought it was O.K. But I decided to take a chance and buy it on DVD. I figured it would be fun to watch again. Was I right? Well read on and find out.
ADV hits it's stride with this release. The movie has great sound and audio. There were no problems that I could see. The picture was nice and sharp, it blew away the VHS copy I saw. I was able to see Naga jiggle even more now (didn't remember that much jiggle the first time... hmmmm). And with the clear sound... I could hear it too! But enough about jiggling (more about that later), let's talk menus. This is something that ADV has done right from the beginning. Lots of magical motion and sound. These are fun menus and they work nice and smooth too, gotta love them. The presentation would have gotten a 5 as well if the box had some more information on it. We don't know how many audio tracks we got, what regions it will play or if it's anamorphic or not. The goodies are also top notch. You get character bios, Slayers Trailers, a slide show, and more ADV trailers (yes I'm a trailer fiend... god save me.) All in all, we've got a great DVD from ADV. But how's the show?
For those of you who don't know, Slayers the Motion Picture is based on the Slayers TV show. Actually these movies happen before the TV show and act as a prelude of sorts. In both the movies and TV show we follow the adventures of Lina Inverse. She is the female adventurer with some powerful spells up her sleeve and a short temper (don't comment on her height or her bust size!) Basically Lina gets into all kinds of adventures and blows lots of stuff up. But Slayers is also a satire of the fantasy genre. There are lots of inside jokes and just plain tongue in cheek humor dealing with everything from demons to dungeons. So if you like fantasy and don't mind watching it made fun of, Slayers is right up your ally. Now if you liked Record of Lodoss War to death and are expecting more the same... Well this isn't quite what you are looking for.
In this adventure Lina meets up with her old "friend" or "rival" (depending on who you talk to, and what's going on), Nahga the Serpent. Now Nahga is the opposite of Lina, she's tall, busty and scatterbrained. She has a few magical powers that most villains will shudder at, but most of all Nahga jiggles. I'm just warning you tender eyed viewers out there, Nahga is all over the place... chest-wise that
Now our two heroines, through a series of wacky and goofy adventures, go the island of Mipross (isn't that where Balki from Perfect Strangers was from). Mipross is in need of some heroes, and these two will have to do. What follows can only be described as wacky chaos. Spells are slung, bad guys are toasted, swords are wielded and Nahga is jiggled.
It's a ton of no brain fun and you'll have a few laughs in there too. Did I mention the crazy frog!? He is too cool for words. Watch for him near the end of the show. When he starts laughing... it's one of the funniest things in the movie. And then there's the old guy named Rowdy. I won't say any more for fear of spoiling the fun.
The animation is very good in this film. Yes it's a theatrical movie and it's in widescreen so you get to see all the action. There is lots of fun design and the spells are really cool (Nagha's stone dragon is something else). The motion is fluid and looks great on DVD. I must make an observation though, what is with the lightsabre-esque weapons in anime. Heck most of them even make the same sound as the ones from Star Wars. Well this movie's got one too (must have stolen it from Tenchi ;-) )
The sound and music are work very well with the movie. The spells especially have great use of sound design. There is a scene near the beginning involving jellyfish and sea cucumbers (don't ask). I didn't know those animals made sounds, and if they did that is exactly what I think they would sound like. The music is good, nice and heroic at times, and plain goofy at all the appropriate moments. The end theme is great and you won't mind listening to it twice (once for the Japanese credits and once for the English cast and crew).
The acting is great on both sides. Everyone seems to be having lots of fun in their parts. Now, some people didn't like the English version of Lina (they got used to the TV voice actress I suspect). But I think she was very good. That squeaky laugh is so cute. One note for first time viewers. Nahga has one of those crazy anime-girl laughs (think Urd from Oh My Goddess or Kodachi from Ranma). Some people hate this and so they hate Nahga. It doesn't bother me, it makes me laugh right along with them. Of course Jinnai from El Hazard has the same effect on me. Maybe one day I can perfect my anime laugh... then I will rule the world!!!!
But I digress.
The plot is fairly standard for a fantasy story. You got the heroes fighting the forces of evil, who will survive. The big difference here is the goofy antics that accompany the adventure and the comments made by our cast, often mocking their situation. This anime doesn't take itself seriously and neither should you.
So all in all, I recommend Slayers. I had lots of fun watching it this time. But I knew what to expect and that helped. If you are still unsure if you would like it, remember you can always rent it first and see if you would want to add it to your collection. I know I'll be watching this one at least once a year, and that makes it worth the purchase. This is just a fun movie to watch when you wanna kick back and laugh a bit. (not to mention the jiggling... I mentioned that didn't I?). So even if you've never seen the show before, don't worry about it. Just pop it in sit back and have fun.
P.S. I like Nahga, heh heh heh (drools)
(At which point LadyCat comes out and hits him with the hentai hammer. Again. The scary part is, I don't think he minds it all that much anymore . . . . .
"Hit me! Hit me again! Do it!"
Uh oh. I think we should all be very scared.)
Hitachi GD-2000 DVD ROM, Cinemaster QI DVD Player (application), Dell Model UltraScan D1025HTX Color Monitor, ACS295 Atltec Lansing Speakers (right, left, Subwoofer)
Mania Grade: NA
Audio Rating: N/A
Video Rating: N/A
Packaging Rating: N/A
Menus Rating: N/A
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
Running time: 75
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2