Slayers Try - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: N/A
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Central Park Media
  • MSRP: 129.99
  • Running time: 600
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Slayers

Slayers Try

By Chris Beveridge     April 10, 2001
Release Date: April 10, 2001



What They Say
It was a time of Great Good. It was a time of Great Evil. But let's not dwell on the small stuff…

In search of fame, fortune, and foreign food, Lina Inverse sets sail on a collision course for the new world! What she finds there are vengeful enemies, a bunch of high-and-mighty dragon lords, and a new quest to save the world from destruction. What's a girl gotta do for a little vacation?

The Review!
Slayers Try represents the third (and final?) season of Slayers TV that's been produced. Instead of more romping around in their own backyard, the creative team has done the smart thing and move the gang to some new territory, bringing some new material into play, whereas the second season felt like a repeat of the first season.

Audio:
For our primary reviewing session, we watched this show in its original language of Japanese. Throughout the series, we didn't notice any problems with the audio in the form of dropouts or distortions. Dialogue was clean and clear, and with it being a fairly simple TV series, most of the audio is directed through the center channel outside of the music and a few special moments here and there. No surprises in the audio department at all.

Video:
Watching this show on our progressive scan deck, things look quite good. Colors are pretty solid, line noise is very minimal and there's not much in the way of color banding. The only thing that bothered us throughout was the persistent rainbows along the edges of characters. Some of the episodes are a fair bit more grainy than others, but these seemed to be primarily with the more "filler" oriented episodes. There's a few episode where it looks like some of the animation was either outsourced or the colorist changed, but the transfer itself looks pretty decent otherwise. Slayers isn't intended to be an animation spectacle to begin with.

Packaging:
This box set definitely looks better than the first two. The general art style used for the backgrounds alone make it look a fair bit better. The cover art for the individual volumes is nice, with a variety of colors and character shots, while the back covers give a rundown of the episodes as well as the episode #'s contained within. The only downside is that the keepcases are black, negating the usefulness of the reverse covers. Which means its time to order more clear keepcases.

Menus:
If there's one thing you have to acknowledge in CPM's favor, if they find something they like, they stick with it. Nothing is more true for this than their menus, which are essentially the same design as the previous Slayers box sets and their overall design layout for all their discs. It works well again here, with solid access times and a intuitive layout.

Extras:
I'll be honest and say that I had little interest at all in checking out the extras once I finished the show, having just been glad to have finished the show itself.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
If there's one main running gag with my site, it's my distaste for Slayers. As well as my fun in prodding some Slayers fans with my distaste for the show. The first two seasons left me pretty uninterested in the series, especially its repetitive nature. And as could be guessed, I wasn't all that much in a hurry to watch Slayers Try.

On the plus side for Slayers Try, I had seen the first episode at a convention a couple of years ago, and had quite enjoyed it. So in the back of my mind, I knew there was an ever so slight chance that I might get a chuckle or two out of this season, but would likely still be subjected to the same repetitiveness. You know what I mean, half a dozen episodes of plot with a conclusion, a dozen episodes of filler, and then the final plot arc. And with most episodes having something to do with food as well, which is a Slayers running gag.

Well, color me surprised.

Slayers Try manages to pull off nearly fifteen episodes of straight plot related episodes in a row. And then goes off in a few well played out filler episodes that actually work in the overall plot. And then it pushes forward with the final part of the overall arc, bringing things to a nice conclusion.

And with a serious reduction in the food gags as well!

The setup is simple, and all Lina's fault at the same time. After the results of the Slayers Next series, the magic that had kept the land mass where Lina and company traveled isolated from the rest of the world found itself being lifted. Various kingdoms had decided to band together to launch one unified group of emissaries out to the world they've been denied access to for so long to re-establish relations and to see what's out there.

Lina and friends find themselves in the port city where this is happening, and end up enjoying the scenery and the good food. They also find themselves being watched by a young woman named Filia, but they give her the slip and go on to check out the ships. It's here that Filia is revealed to actually be a dragon whose looking for a group of people for a task on her homeland outside of where the barrier was.

Chaos ensues. Ships blow up, massive sections of the city are destroyed. And only one seaworthy ship remains. It's all Lina's fault of course, so they take advantage of having a ship and head off to the new land, to experience new food and adventures. As they begin to explore the new port city they arrive in, Filia ends up back in their company again and tries to plead her case. Xellos ends up appearing and travels with the group as well, bringing the count up to Lina, Gourry, Zelgadis, Amelia and Filia.

Filia tells them of a prophecy of destruction that they've been chosen to fight against, providing the elder priests at the temple of the Fire Dragon finds them worthy. This leads them on a journey to get there, while opposing forces pursue them and try to stop them.

Who are the opposing forces? The initial big bad guy is Valgaav, whose seeking revenge after his master had been killed in previous seasons. He's working for an Overworlder, a rather tall fellow, by the name of Almayce. Almayce's plans focuses on acquiring the five weapons that are in the world that can summon Darkstar, an ancient and powerful force. It's even learned that Gourry's Sword of Light is one of these weapons (and apparently the weakest of them all as well).

This then leads on to several encounters of increasingly powerful battles using magic and weapons not used often. And betrayals begin to enter into play as well, with revelations about the Fire Dragon temple keepers, Almayce himself and a new look into Valgaav and his past. The history of the War of the Monster's Fall is gone into some detail, as well as various other ancient battles.

Frankly, there's a decent amount of backstory being told here and a good plot, even if it does once again focus on the end of the world by mysterious powerful beings who are mostly off-screen for the entire series. The introduction of Filia works well, especially since she's really the only character who grows significantly throughout the season. She brings a new level of tension to the group, with her race and Xellos' monster background being such mortal enemies... and Xellos himself being considered a main offender of their race.

While the animation for this season isn't leaps and bounds beyond what we saw before, there's definitely an increase in the colors used as well as detail the the backgrounds and character animation. There are a few episodes, again notably in the filler section, where things are weaker, as well as a few episode into the final arc. But for the majority of the show, there's some decent looking animation here and some great coloring at times.

Slayers Try definitely went over much better than the previous seasons, with a more coherent and detailed plot, and one that ran through for more episodes than the plot for either of the first two seasons. The characters are definitely very comfortable with each other at this point, and the camaraderie works very well with the group, even with the darker Xellos that's seen throughout this season. We definitely enjoyed this season more, watching more episodes at a time and getting through it much faster once we really got into it.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Behind the Scene Video (The Making of the English Dub; Interviews with U.S. Voice Actors & Director),Character Sketches,Bonus Footage,Meet the Characters,Comics

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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