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[ a parent's guide to anime ]

[ rated pg ] Slayers

A Parent's Guide to Anime
Rated: PG
Parental Guidance Advised

Reviewed by Daniel Huddleston:

Slayers is a popular, D&D-ish fantasy series that mixes its magic and adventure with a healthy dose of comedy.

The story concerns a young sorceress named Lina Inverse. Lina lives by the time-honored philosophy that says you can get away with anything so long as you're cute about it. At the beginning of the series, she wipes out an army of bandits, and steals their treasure ("But they're bad guys, so that makes it okay"). Later, the remaining bandits track her down, but just as she's about to finish them off, a handsome swordsman named Gourry appears. Ever conscious of the social conventions of the genre, she immediately breaks off her final attack and begins KYAAAA-ing for help. Gourry wipes out the bandits, then introduces himself to Lina, angering her when he assumes she's a little girl (Lina is rather short and flat-chested, possibly another jab the conventions of fantasy adventure, where sorceresses are generally 6- foot Barbie dolls who define "armor" as pasting a few metal scales to one's bikini). But Lina takes a liking to Gourry, and they begin travelling together ("Though it's not like we're going out or anything"). Unfortunately, Lina's stolen treasure contains an artifact of great magical power. Powerful forces who want it begin to pursue her.

[ 24kb ]

Slayers is a fun, junk-food-for-the-brain kinda show. Lina, in her actions and conversation (Megumi Hayashibara supplied her wonderful Japanese voice) is as cute as a button, and her interactions with the rather dim-witted Gourry are fun to watch in and of themselves. In addition, there's just enough of a continuing plot to keep one's interest through the first couple of tapes.

On the first (subtitled) tape in the series, the only objectionable thing is the language. Gourry notes that Lina is somewhat "underdeveloped," and he never lets us forget it as the series progresses (Angering Lina with rude comments about her small breasts becomes a running gag). Cursing is mild. God's name is used profanely/euphemistically in a few places. Also, we learn that sorceresses lose their magic when it's "that time of the month." While there is some fighting with magic and with swords, all wounds are completely bloodless, and the violence isn't scary in the least. Tapes 2 and 3 get a bit more graphic with the violence (red, glowing cuts), though nothing really gory is shown. No gore at all on tape 4.

Slayers is at its best when Lina and Gourry are together between the fights, eating, talking, and trying to make a quick buck. I found that when the Big Plot finally kicked into gear on tape 3, the series seemed to come to a screeching halt. That is to say, the material is so hackneyed that it's only interesting when it's making fun of itself.

Tape 4 begins a new story arc, and introduces Amelia, a sorceress-in-training who is obsessed with heroic behavior, such as stopping criminals and posing from the tops of trees as she delivers corny speeches. In attitude (if nothing else) she reminds me somewhat of Ben Edlund's character, the Tick. There's a funny scene where Amelia tries to convince Lina to teach her the deadliest attack spell known to man, the Dragon Slave, and Gourry has a brief fantasy of what she might do with it (a man picks up a coin he finds on the street, an act which Amelia considers stealing and which prompts her to blast him (and the surrounding village as well) to kingdom come).

Not all of the jokes are necessarily funny, but they come so fast that you're bound to get a few laughs on each tape. Enjoy!

Additional review by Andrian Harsono:

This series is more or less like what has been described in the first preview, the story of a hyper-powerful sorceress by the name of Lina Inverse going around eliminating evil and deriving a lot of joy kicking the bandits and many other bad guys.

Generally a very watchable series for those absolutely in love with wizardry. Together with the ancient costumes, adorable plots and creative magic, viewers never seem to get tired of Lina Iverse and Gourry.

The movies I have watched were all the subtitled versions, but I can safely say that there is little violence here except for occassional spell-casting which results in explosions and perhaps houses burning. There are a number of sword-swinging by Gourry but on the whole, violence-wise there is nothing to worry about. There is hardly any vulgarity as well other than a few nasty comments hurled back and forth between Lina and Gourry, most of the time seeming to hint at the fact that she's a bit "underdeveloped".

Highly recommended for comedy-lovers desperate for a good laugh.

warning: I thought what I should mention about the series is the appearance some time of another sorceress by the name of Naga, claiming herself to be Lina's arch-rival. Being recognised most of the time by her trademark laugh, something else most viewers would notice would be her out-of-proportion chest which seems to be bouncing about whenever she takes a walk, clearly a form of sexual exploitation of a woman's anatomy. Along the streets men would be staring...

Additional review by Matt Corcoran:

Slayers is a comedy/action series that stars Lina Inverse, a young, and very powerful sorceress. The Slayers series is broken into two different universes. The OAVs/movies and regular series. OAVs star Lina and her companion Nahga. The series takes place after the OAVs and there are a whole host of characters that join Lina, such as Gourry, Amelia, Zelgadis and more.

Parent's Guide Rating:

yellow (parental guidance advised)

Violence: In the series, there is little serious violence until the final episodes of a saga. Then there can be some blood and violence. Such as when Eris is shot through the chest, and blood spurts from her chest. And she then lies on the ground covered in blood. Or one character known as Hellmaster is literally nearly ripped to shreads when he dies, but there is no blood on him. The OAVs usually have violence, but none is bloody (more cartoonish). The OAV movies also have some violence and blood.
Overall the violence in the series and the movies will be too much for anyone below teens.

Nudity: There is no nudity in the series, except for maybe a few scenes in which arms cover the chest. There are no sexual scenes either. But there is one scene in an OAV in where there is a fountain of naked boy urinating. Also only in the OAV, there is Nahga who has an over-sized chest, that bounces, and sometimes makes bouncing noises.
Thus, there is no nudity, but it may not be appropriate for children.

Language: There is no strong language. The language is usually kept to a mild few casual swear words, that most people will find on regular TV. But the word breasts is thrown around a lot in OAV, and a few times in the series. Referring to Lina's small chest.
The language is minimal, and ok for most audiences.

Overall: This title is most likely for teenagers and up. So younger children may want to stay away from this. M.C.

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