Slayers is based on a series of light novels, and, like many anime based on those quick genre prose works, it has an extensively developed setting.
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There are wizards, shamans, swordsmen, ect. It's definitively unoriginal in that regard. Where Slayers does establish itself is in its cosmology.
Like various other Japanese fantasy, Slayers works with the concept of mazoku. Slayers has a demon overlord named Ruby-Eye Shabranigdo, one of four corresponding to four alternate dimensions another of these alt was showcased in infamous Lost Universe. In the anime and especially in the novels, pieces of Shabranigdo get resurrected frequently And there's a demiurge known as the Lord of Nightmares beyond those overlords. These convolutions are utilized to great effect as they spin off exotic adversaries for the leads.
Slayers TV series will always come to involved the mazoku, but protecting the world is not really high on the agenda of Slayers' protagonists. Their MO is to hunt down bandits and take the criminals' gold for themselves. These crooks often anger the less than even tempered Lina, and she responds to that by unleashing devastating magical attacks that destroy the neighboring landscape, most notoriously via the spell Dragon Slave.
With the doubly ill-gotten gain, the pair proceed to find eateries, order giant meals and fight over the food. Slayers has two modes. There's the mode in which Lina and company save the world, and in that mindset, the anime mixes consternation over the threat with some of the humor that might be hoped for from a fantasy action comedy.
And, then there's the full goof mode; one-off episodes in which Lina and friends chase booty and chow under outlandish circumstances. Generally anime fans refer to this as "filler," less consequential entries that fill out the episode count of an anime. Neither aspect has a perfect track record, as both have managed effective and groan inducing episodes. However, in contrast to the majority of anime, you'll find plenty of fans weighing in favor of the episodes in which Lina fights for hedonism rather than world preservation.
The mazoku flow chart might be nicely organized, but Slayers is more winning when it revels in its physical comedy and exaggerated mannerism of the characters, offset against a world that affords all manner of zany creatures and societies. For better or worse, Slayers has never met a running gag it didn't like. From fishpeople to the episode naming scheme, Slayers Revolution continues the franchise tradition of being abound in call-backs.
A bit off the effectiveness of what wasn't Slayers' strong suit to begin with isn't going to fundamentally damage the anime. Irritable Lina and thick Gourry might as well be a sand-up comedy pair. They're basically the tsukkomi and boke of manzai duo. So, while you might not know how Gourry lost his sword of light, even if Slayers re-juggles some bits into the routine, the danger is that a franchise fan might tire of the latest iteration of Lina and Gourry fencing forks over the last bit of food and not that the gag is inaccessible.
The synopsis of Slayers Revolution effectively captures the franchise's wackiness. Lina had expected that the world would always have bandits "like cockroaches. Having managed to bulldoze most of the bandits, Revolution finds Lina leaving that resource fallow. Instead, she and Gourry are on the high seas, lobbing fire balls at Jack Sparrow and his kind.
While terrorizing a pirate fleet, a navel armada shows up. Though these are ostensibly her people, they manage to bring an end to her pirate hunting adventures, partially because the navy destroys Lina's ship, but also because Amelia and Zelgadis bring Inspector Wizer with them.
Unbeknownst to Lina's allies, this self satisfied lawmen, one of Revolution's new characters, is tasked with arresting Lina Inverse for the crime of being Lina Inverse. Turns out that someone or something has been using Lina's trademark tactics to destroy his patron's magic tank advanced weapons systems. Handcuffs or even platoons of armored knights aren't the kind of measures to present much of a challenge to Lina, but Wizer and the forces at his disposal do manage the not particularly difficult task of driving Lina into an acute state of annoyance.
Slayers, particularly before they get into their final, existence threatening battle, constructs cabals of odd antagonists. In Revolution's case, there's a gowned and frill collared marquess whose crimes include profiteering on tragedy and getting a little too enthusiastic in who sword dueling, a tiger beastman, an incongruously present maid, a dog person roundhead and his cat person companion, and black clad, spikey haired assassin this last character didn't original in Revolution, and it's not universally an issue, but he is an example of how the anime features some instances of dull, unappealing character design.
And, Xellos the popular trickster priest from Slayers Next and Try is present to make matters more difficult for all involved. Revolution brings back all that could be hope for from a Slayers revival.
It's a spirited fantasy that discernibly enjoys its boisterous characters. While set in a world rigorously defined by a system of magic that could have been brought from or brought to a game, it delights in launching into ideas that really don't make a ton of sense, such as serial pet-knappers or putting the characters into a cruise ship who-done-it.
The belligerent, red headed female is another Hayashibara role and isn't too far divorced from Lina. Anime has far fewer fiery leading ladies, with a bit of a fang and temper than it did when Megumi Hayashibara was voicing the majority of them. Or, rather it does, but now the point is to see those character softened, generally by a male lead.
As such, it's fun to see eternally selfish, uncompromising Lina back in the mix. Yet, I'm not quite sure that Revolution treats Lina as well as previous Slayers incarnations did. I do remember that something like the second episode ever of the anime featured the character tied up and force-kissed by a fishman because she temporarily lost the ability to cast spell due to the onset of her period.
While she is her dominant and willfully dominating self, she seems to need assistance more in this outing than she did in earlier Slayers. There is a Slayers Revolution-R that follows up on the 13 episode Revolution, and maybe Lina gets her mojo back there. Here, she seems to be thanking her companions for the save more often than I remember. Factor in Revolution's failure to use the tools afforded by digital animation to add some spark to its magic effects, and Slayers has lost a slight chip of its identity while not using the trends in anime that could've complemented Slayers' style.
As a stage for spectacle, fantasy anime has largely lost its place to games and movies over the last decade, but comedy is a niche that it is capable of filling.
Slayers Revolution might not be ready to blast its way into a position of prominence in current landscape, but Slayers faithful will like it. Newcomers will like it too. It features fun characters of a variety in which anime reveled in the 90's and is still able to exalt in. This might not be the force needed to overcome the inertia of the better part of a decade of inactivity and the counter-currents of trends are going against it, but, it does get some mileage out of these comfortable old shoes.
Manga Spotlight: Princess Resurrection Volumes 6 and 7 by Yasunori Mitsunaga Released by Del Rey As anime and manga have increasingly become the domain of long time fan creators speaking to long time fan consumers, the dependence on reference has increased in kind. Comedies base their humor on recognition.
Action shows rely on the viewer knowing the template to feed their anticipation. In no configuration is this reliance more acute than male oriented relationship stories. There's an established language of character types and relationships in which the majority of these works communicate.
And, Princess Resurrection is a native speaker. It's point of view is a dull guy, with little going for him other than being explicitly the hero his name is Hiro of these circumstances and, despite being dull, magnetically attractive to virtually every female character. There's a female lead who literally goes by "Princess," Hime whose iciness towards the lead melts away - tsundere character - to quote Galbraith's Otaku Encyclopedia "combining onomatopoeia tsun tsun which suggests turning your head away in disgust with dere dere to turn all lovely dovey A social queen bee These relationship stories need a specific tone or gimmick.
In the case of Princess Resurrection, this identity is found in black and lace. Yasunori Mitsunaga applies solid black ink and nice curves to the loligoth attired Princess of the monster realm. The porcelain young woman in a gown raises a hapless, regular guy from the dead and uses him as a protective vanguard As each volume's cover illustrates, with a saber or rapier, sledge hammer or chainsaw, this Hime is willing to get her hands bloody, if not necessarily dirty. Upper echelon horror enthusiasm is being applied here.
Princess Resurrection features the obvious. Cute girls mixed with the Universal monster types are in the forefront. The vampire girl, complete with black sailor uniform, with plenty of panty shots as she hovers in the night sky; the werewolf girl, complete with large, fluffy mitt claws. The Frankenstein's monster girl I imagine that Mitsunaga has a stack of international horror DVDs, because what's brought into Princess Resurrection hardly ends with this mandatory set. Hime and Hiro are the core of one of a network of monster cadres in which members of the royal family of the demonic realm and their entourages vy for the thrown.
Along with assorted free agents and beasties the manga corrals a diverse host of horror figures. Previous volumes included triffids, the Fly, a little mermaid of the dark, pre-Disney variety, bag headed slashers, and so on. Princess Resurrection has impressed in this regard in the past, and this set of volumes nicely carries the torch.