Evolve and revolutionize your Slayers power

The last time we saw Lina Inverse and her band of merry spellfilchers in an actual TV series, it was before the turn of the millennium. It took over ten years for them to bring the series back and in 2008, Slayers Revolution began airing in Japan. The new series would be followed by Slayers Evolution-R in 2009. Both 13-episode series are part of the same story arc, which is a bit more in tandem with Slayers earlier 26-episode offerings. While the latest run goes completely to formula as far as Slayers goes, I can’t say that’s a bad thing at all.

Lina Inverse and Gourry Gabriev continue their ongoing quest of ridding the world of evil bandits by pilfering the stolen treasure for themselves. Through a set of circumstances, Lina and Gourry find themselves among the company of old friends Zelgadis and Amelia as they chase after a mysterious creature named Pokota who, for some reason, is capable of casting the powerful Dragon Slave spell. Turns out, Pokota is the prince of a kingdom long under an eternal sleeping spell. The only person who can break the spell is the Legendary Great Sage, Rezo the Red Priest. Unfortunately for Pokota, Lina and her buddies off’d the mad priest some 50 episodes ago back in the first series. According to Lina, however, the sleeping spell should have dispelled upon Rezo’s death, leaving everyone to wonder just what is happening with the Great Sage.

Darkness beyond twilight ...

Little has changed in the Slayers universe. Lina is both feared and reviled by good and bad alike and she’s always getting herself into situations where the only real solution is to fire off a Dragon Slave that somehow levels nearby mountain ranges. It’s good to see that some things never change. Slayers’ comedy is also back in full force, with newcomer Pokota taking the spotlight for most of the series. Strangely enough, Gourry is probably the least seen of the main cast, which is surprising given his preferential treatment in past series.

The plot itself proceeds well. I was very surprised that it didn’t feel padded in the slightest. It covers quite a bit of ground in only 26 episodes and ends just as abruptly. But it wraps up pretty well, so I won’t complain there. By the end, the cast is ready for more action if another story arc is looming on the horizon. My only reservation is that the second half of the series places too much emphasis on the legacy of past characters and not introducing new content (which the first half of the series seems to do with reckless abandon).

A majority of the original cast returns as well, with the most notable being Hayashibara Megumi, the premier seiyuu of the 1990s. Lina never sounded better, whether she’s worried, rude or just plain irate. Hearing her recite the first words to the Dragon Slave incantation after such a long time gave me the shivers. Another fistpump moment came in the last episode. During the climax, the music cuts to Give a Reason, the opening to Slayers NEXT and arguably one of the best anime OPs of all time. I was inwardly cheering in my seat when the intro music began playing.

If you liked Slayers, then Revolution and Evolution-R are a must-watch. It’s more of the same but in widescreen. Some of the lesser cast gets drowned out by Pokota, Lina and otaku heartthrob Xellos, but I’d wager that most Slayers fans are just fine with that. This definitely isn’t much of an evolution and definitely doesn’t revolutionize the magic-action genre, but Slayers Revolution / Evolution-R bullseyes its target audience, and hits it hard.

—–

Slayers Revolution / Evolution-R – Character Ranking

  1. Lina Inverse
  2. Xellos
  3. Amelia Wil Tesla Seyruun
  4. Zelgadis Greywords
  5. “Nama”
  6. Pokota
  7. Gourry Gabriev
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