Slayers: The Motion Picture (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, February 18, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, February 08, 2000
Slayers: The Motion Picture has been a VERY long time coming. When ADV first announced it was going to DVD, this was one of the titles announced. It's been a long wait for Lina Inverse fans for her first appearance on DVD. Is it as good as they'd hoped? I'd say so.
The Video on this disc is presented in widescreen, but encoded in a 1.33:1 ratio video stream on the disc, meaning it's not anamorphic. This should only cause a problem to widescreen TV viewers, though, because it's the subtitles being in the widescreen area that are the only detriment to this method of presentation (besides the slightly lower quality due to absence of extra lines of resolution). The reason for this has been covered already by Chris, so I won't go into it, but I'll just say I'm not complaining about the formatting. The video is interlaced, but there were only a few times I noticed it during both of my viewings of the disc. It does look really good, no buts about it! Excellent color levels and sharpness.
The Audio tracks are both Dolby Digital Stereo mixes, and sound pretty darn good for a 2 channel mix. While I didn't notice outright a lot of activity going on in terms of panning, the sound was crisp and clear. Nothing to complain about here except that they didn't remix it into a DD5.1 mix, but that probably would've added another 2 months to its already delayed release date.
The Packaging looks very good on the outside. The picture on the cover is pretty cool looking (the sight of Nahga will probably attract a lot buyers) and there's a pretty good summary on the back. The funniest thing is the catch phrase on the back. I couldn't stop laughing after I read it, so I'm not gonna ruin it here, but let's just say it's concise, but hilariously funny! The only problem is getting the disc out of the clip. I really hate the cases like this where you have to hold down the center and then put your finger under the disc at the top of the case to lift it out. This hurts my fingers, and I much prefer the little push-n-pop mechanisms on cases.
The movie itself is a lot of fun. I watched it through twice (once on dub, once on dub, which I'll mention in a bit) and enjoyed it a lot both times. I'll probably end up showing this at my Anime club after we finish Iria: Zeraim the Animation. There are lots of funny moments which will make you laugh out loud, and there are some sweet moments as well. Having never seen any more than bits and pieces of Slayers, I bought the disc on the reputation of the series, and the movie does a good job of not putting jokes or lines in that would confuse people who have never seen the series. The characters are introduced well (although the only 2 that are in the other series are the two main characters, Lina and Nahga) and you can easily get into the plot, although there isn't a whole lot of it, but that's not the main purpose of the movie.
Now I'd like to mention the dub of this disc - it's fantastic! This has to be one of the best dubbing jobs I've seen done on a movie. They managed to keep all the jokes in, to have consistency between the English and Japanese scripts, but also keep the dialog from sounding like it's a verbatim translation. The voice actors also do a great job of putting feeling into their characters and acting appropriately. Kudos to ADV for a great dub on this disc - it's one of the few dubs that not only can I stand sitting through it, but also enjoy it!
If you like Slayers, this disc is a must-have. If you've never seen Slayers, but enjoy other comedy/fantasy shows (MKR or Tenchi Muyo, maybe) then this disc is for you. If you're an Anime fan in general, you should at least check this disc out. I'm very happy with my purchase, and I'm glad to see this disc finally see the light of day. And unlike other delayed releases (*cough* Project A-Ko *cough*) they really did do a bang up job at getting the disc right.
DVD-ROM Drive with a RealMagic Hollywood+ MPEG2 Decoder Card and the
Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Theater 5.1 DTT2500 Speaker System.
Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: A
Video Rating: A
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: 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