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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: C+
  • Extras Rating: D
  • Age Rating: All
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: ADV Films UK
  • MSRP: �19.99
  • Running time: 60
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Slayers

Slayers Gorgeous

By Dani Moure     November 04, 2004
Release Date: September 20, 2004


Slayers Gorgeous
© ADV Films UK


What They Say
Its' dark legacy began a thousand years ago. An evil creature was unleashed in the midst of a demonic war. The mighty warrior Culvert sealed the beast within the land, never suspecting it would return for revenge.

When Lina Inverse and her sidekick Naga the Serpent enter a kingdom that has been usurped by Marlene, Mistress of the Dragons, they have no idea of the terror awaiting them....

The Review!
Slayers continues in its final movie outing that proves to be quite a lot of fun.

Audio:
I listened to the Japanese stereo track for my main review, and noticed no dropouts or distortions, and the track itself was a solid sounding stereo mix, with a bit of directionality. I also spot-checked the English dub, and noticed no problems. Again the dub sounded like a lot of fun from the portions I listened to, with Cynthia Martinez and Kelly Manison doing a great Lina and Naga respectively, though I still love the Japanese track, especially for Maria Kawamura's Naga.

Video:
The video is mostly a solid transfer that does its job but isn't going to blow anyone away. This movie is back to being done in widescreen letterbox, but suffers from the same small issues as the last movies. The print is mostly free from nicks and dirt, and the black splodges didn't seem quite as prevalent as in the last movie. There's still quite a bit of grain present though, which is quite noticeable. The transfer is also not quite as sharp and clear as some more recent shows, which is probably to be expected, but it leaves it with a bit of a disappointing washed out look. It's not bad, just not great.

Subtitles are the standard ADV (older-style) font, in yellow with a black border; they're nice and easy to read. This time around I noticed no problems at all with them.

Packaging:
The front cover follows the style of the past movie releases, with the same font used for the logo and the rest of the cover taken up by a nice piece of artwork featuring Lina and Naga. It's a nice picture, but unfortunately none of the rest of the cast appear this time. The back has the blurb for the show (with another funny tagline - "Dragons and divas and doom " Oh yeah!"), with a couple of screenshots. The bottom half is dominated by production credits, and ADV UK's standard bars of technical information. I really like this cover.

Menu:
The menus are nothing particularly exciting, and really there's not much to say about them. The main menu is static with an image of Lina and Naga taking the right side of the picture, and the various selections on the left, with the theme tune playing. Sub menus are all static, too, with a different piece of music playing on each. Given how basic they are, access times are naturally nice and fast.

Extras:
The only extras once again on this release are trailers for the four ADV Slayers releases due this year. Unfortunately, like a few of ADV's older shows that are only just being released, this disc is just lacking extras-wise, which is a shame as it could've been an area to add a bit of meat to the disc (which wouldn't normally bother me, but does a little given the price and the runtime of the movie).

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With a bit of disappointment in the plot of the last movie, Slayers Gorgeous does an about face and goes for a more serious slant in most respects to the story, which works out surprisingly well. It's not completely devoid of comedy, far from it (after all, it is Slayers), but the ridiculousness isn't quite so high, and it's all the better for it.

The focus is, as with all the movies, on Lina and Naga, as they continue their travels. With the movie once again opening with the pair eating, the rest of the townspeople suddenly abandon them, running to their homes because Marlene's dragons have come to town to cause havoc. Naturally the two aren't happy at having their meal interrupted, and do the only thing they can by defeating Marlene, for now. Lina ends up in the home of the King, where she finds out that Marlene is actually his daughter. Thanks to the family's ability to communicate with dragons, Marlene has been gathering an army of dragons to attack the city. Her reason? She wants an increased allowance. Yes, it may have a more serious plot overall than some Slayers stuff, but the reasons are as ridiculous as ever. It's all part of the fun, though, as Marlene also has the King's guard as her follower, for equally amusing reasons.

While the King enlists Lina's help to stop his daughter, Marlene naturally gets Naga on her side, with the help of a but of cash, after Naga is left unimpressed by Marlene's evil laugh. With the two once again opposing each other, there's time for plenty of face-offs and showdowns. Amusingly though, much to Marlene's disappointment, the dragons are all petrified of Lina and run away from her (and their reactions are priceless, complete with sweat drops!). But more sinister forces are at work that threaten both sides, and the entire kingdom.

There's a lot in Gorgeous that is standard fare for the Slayers movies so far. Lina and Naga end up on opposing sides, Naga laughs a lot, Lina generally gets the upper hand, and the battle within the kingdom is very trivial, but it has a little twist. Regardless of that, though, it's still a lot of fun. Both sides of the fight are fleshed out quite well. The King lets his daughter get away with what she's doing because he thinks she's just in a rebellious phase, while Marlene is purely out for an extra bit of allowance. It's silly but the numerous fights are a lot of fun, especially the battle when the dragons first run from Lina. The Knight's face when he turns around to see massive dragons running from Lina Inverse is really quite funny, and the reactions of the dragons themselves are timed brilliantly for the maximum comedic effect.

The big twist at the end is a bit unexpected from a story standpoint, but there was always something else that had to happen to bring Lina and Naga back together on the same side, and it provides for a lot of laughs when it actually happens. Again here, the main dragons reactions are amusing, and Lina and Naga get some excellent interplay as they outwit their opponent, while the King and Marlene take a bit of a backseat to the final action.

Lina and Naga are really fun as leads, as they both have their quirks and both bring some great comedy to the table. Naga's meetings with Marlene are funny, especially how she keeps doing her laugh to show Marlene how much better hers are, while Lina is amusing in how pathetic she finds the whole thing but ends up helping anyway just by having the King say her name. There's always great chemistry between the two leads and it's more than apparent here, with the intense rivalry but sense of camaraderie always present and always allowing for plenty of hilarious situations. The supporting cast turns out to be a lot of fun too, both with their stupid reasons for doing everything and in how they go about doing things.

With the story this time holding up a bit better than last time, we don't get quite such ridiculousness throughout. The motivations and certain aspects of the story are silly, as you'd expect, but the plot holds up far better and this time they don't hold on the same thing for the whole last half of the movie. Instead the creative team let the movie play out at quite a fast pace, so it moves through the initial story quite quickly and it comes to its natural conclusion without dragging on, before thrusting into the final 20 minutes or so when things change and the more sinister plot takes over. Of course, that's "sinister" in the Slayers sense, where even the most sinister evils are filled with comedy.

The animation is as good as ever, with a lot of motion and well-animated fight scenes, and not much reliance on stills or pans at all. The music is very fitting with the onscreen action, and plays out in the background, never overpowering the ons-screen action but working as a nice accompaniment.

In Summary:
While Slayers Gorgeous is far from the best thing ever, the characters get some great interactions here and the story is really enjoyable. It maintains a fats pace so it never ends up meandering and boring, giving a wholesome hour of enjoyment. As a package it's a little disappointing, as it's a bit pricey for a shorter movie, which has no attempt at added value, but still it's another fun outing in the Slayers universe. Gorgeous is a good fantasy-comedy that isn't going to move any mountains, but it will give a lot of laughs and entertainment.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Slayers trailers

Review Equipment
Philips 28" Pure Flat Widescreen TV, Pioneer DV-464 code free DVD player, JVC gold-plated RGB SCART cable, standard stereo sound.

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