The Slayers Revolution-R
Studio: J.C. Staff
Format: Blu-ray/DVD (reviewed) Combo Pack
Release Date: December 26, 2011
Price: $69.98 – Available Here
Whenever an anime has multiple seasons, usually those seasons are produced at most, a year or two apart from one another to help keep fans interested and continue the momentum of the series. However while this may be true for most series, The Slayers has broken that standard formula and is back again from FUNimation with the final two seasons of The Slayers combined into one final package.
While FUNimation may have released Slayers Revolution and Slayers Evolution-R separately back in 2010, this is the first time the two have been bundled together for simple and easy purchase. Now fans of The Slayers may remember that the last time we saw a full Slayers series released in North America back at the turn of the millennia. Does this continuation of The Slayers story keep the same fantasy action we all know and love?
Despite being gone for so many years, Slayers Revolution picks up a story without taking a single backstep. We join the pair of Lina and Gourry as they sail across the ocean seas, because after making bandits on the land an endangered species it only makes sense that the pair take to hunting pirates instead.
While in the midst of a battle against a group of pirates, two familiar faces appear as Princess Amelia and Zelgadis blow the pirate ship (and Lina) to pieces with their superior vessels. Once the group lands at the nearest port it turns out that the reason Amelia and Zelgadis are there is because they have someone with them who is looking for Lina. The only problem is this man is Inspector Wizer who is only looking for Lina so he can arrest her for the crime of simply being Lina Inverse.
Now while this may sound like extreme measures, it turns out that even her friends have trouble believing her innocence. Still, the group quickly goes on the lookout for a culprit who has been destroying the county’s recently developed magical tanks by using Lina’s signature spell the Dragon Slave. However upon doing so they encounter a much deeper plot where not only is Lina’s good name at risk, but the entire world as new enemies appear, foes from the past and even a demon capable of destroying the world.
After being gone for so many years the whole cast comes back as great as we remember them. All of their various antics, whether it be Lina’s overkill abilities and anger over her flat chest, Gourry’s sword breaking all the time, Zelgadis’ calm exterior broken by references to his form or Amelia’s sense of justice are just as funny and charming as they were many years ago. There are a handful of new characters introduced this time around, including the diminutive Pokota who drives the story forward and serves as a perfect match against Lina in an insult battle.
Being that there are two anime seasons combined here for this package, The Slayers Revolution and The Slayers Evolution-R the series flows together perfectly with very little time passage between the two series. In fact the average viewer will barely notice the change between the two seasons minus the different opening and ending sessions.
As a whole The Slayers Revolution continues the humorous and enjoyable adventure of The Slayers. The story may not stray far from the same format used by all the past Slayers seasons but it is certainly one of the best adventure anime you will ever find. The story brings itself to a satisfying close which leaves plenty of availability for a sequel, despite there being no sign of such a continuation.
The Slayers series has quite a pedigree for itself, with multiple seasons over the course of many years. However one negative about this is that those series are nearly all from pre-2000 which means quite a lot of the design will still follow those old standards. Despite that however the standards are still quite good and remain consistent throughout, although there are a number of areas where characters may look a little odd in the face or body department.
As far as the animation and coloration go however, this is probably the best way you could ever watch a Slayers anime as a number of improvements have greatly improved the series from what it was so many years ago. The artwork is nearly always crisp, the environments are very detailed and the magical effects and explosions are a treat for the eyes. While this is a high-point for the series as a whole, it still does not really make its way to today’s standard expectations for art style.
When some viewers begin watching the English dub of The Slayers Revolution they may be a bit put off by Lisa Ortiz’s performance of Lina Inverse. However one quick switch to the Japanese dub will reveal that the voice of the Japanese voice actress is extremely similar in both pitch and style which means that Lisa Ortiz actually has adapted a difficult character in the best way possible. You may remember Lisa from her past works as Lina Inverse and it is true with much of the entire supporting cast from past seasons as nearly all of the English voice actors have returned to reprise their roles in the show and deliver probably the best dub a Slayers series has seen over its many releases.
On the musical side of things, the background music is not the greatest and doesn’t venture far from your standard fantasy adventure audio theme but the music does shine whenever the Opening and the Ending song rolls. The Opening and Ending for both The Slayers seasons in this set are sung by the Japanese voice actress for Lina Inverse, Hayashibara Megumi.
The Slayers Revolution opening is named “Plenty of Grit” and is not only enjoyable to listen to it also happens to work perfectly for the animation and the series as a whole. This is similar with the ending “Revolution” though the song could have also worked for a satisfying opening accompaniment rather than an ending. Slayers Evolution-R’s opening “Front Breaking” and “Sunadokei” follow a similar format however they do not surpass the initial songs in terms of quality.
Unfortunately, despite the last two seasons of The Slayers anime, Slayers Revolution and Slayers Evolution-R being bundled together in this release there are no extra bonuses included in this package.
Both the Blu-ray and DVD boxes contain a clean textless opening and ending for both Slayers Revolution and Slayers Evolution-R which are nice to watch as the opening and ending animations for both seasons is visually pleasing so the loss of text is a nice plus. Besides that there are also trailers for both upcoming and past FUNimation releases and that is all. This is quite a disappointment as some extra special features would certainly have benefitted this collection.
The Slayers have been MIA for quite a long time but they have come back with a vengeance. The two season pack of The Slayers Revolution and The Slayers Evolution-R is the best way for a long time fan to come back and re-join the adventures of Lina and the gang. However it does suffer from not only having no real extra content to speak of, but the series is also not very welcoming to newcomers as very little is reintroduced and a number of enemies and characters return from the past seasons with little to no explanation.
Despite all of this, The Slayers Revolution-R is still an amazing adventure anime and would be truly a loss for any fan of the genre to miss out on. Some of the best action and showdowns of the entire series happen within these two disks and although it may not be very welcoming, newcomers will still love the adventure for what it is. A hilarious good time full of magic, swords and explosions.