*warning: spoilers follow
Aside from running for five seasons, Slayers also spawned five animated films, the second of which is Slayers Return. Unlike the anime series, none of the movies (except for the last one) feature Gourry, Amelia, Zelgadis, or most of the characters Lina meets during the show. Instead, Lina teams up with another sorceress named Naga the Serpent (who DOES have a connection to the show but I won’t spoil how). Naga is…interesting. Like Martina in Slayers NEXT, Naga dresses in incredibly revealing outfits (she’s very confident in herself) and has a laugh that is memorable for being nightmare-inducing for Lina and other characters because it can literally come out of nowhere. That being said, I LOVE Naga and her constant bickering with Lina is a joy to watch.
Now, on to the movie. In Slayers Return, after getting into yet ANOTHER fight over food (because how dare Naga take the last piece of Lina’s steak??) the two sorceresses find themselves hired to save the village of Biaz from an evil organization. Lina only agrees because she remembers that this village is supposedly the sight of a legendary treasure (and Lina will do just about anything if treasure is involved) and Naga tags along because she suspects that Lina is after said treasure (and if so she wants her fair share). One thing I love about watching Lina and Naga is that they will argue over anything (but particularly about food and treasure), and when these two argue, inevitably things get blown up (which always makes me laugh for some reason).
From this point on, most of the movie’s humor comes from subverted expectations. For example, we are led to believe that this Zein Organization that has enslaved Biaz is this huge group ensconced in some hidden fortress. But the truth is…there’s only two members in the group, their leader is a third-rate magician (and I suspect also a con artist) and they operate out of a run-down shack in the woods. What makes it even funnier is that Galev (Zein’s would be leader) maintains this “pompous evil lord” attitude even after he’s mostly exposed as a fraud. It’s almost disappointing that the supposed villain of this story is a dud, but the humor pretty much makes up for it. And it turns out the story does have a proper villain (sort of) after all.
Remember the “treasure” that Lina was hoping to collect? Well…it turns out it wasn’t so much a treasure as it was a giant golem capable of destroying everything in its path that’s incapable of being controlled. And oh yes, Naga just happens to be wearing a bracelet that acts as a homing beacon for the golem (and it can’t be taken off). The remainder of the film is devoted to an extended chase as everyone flees from the golem while trying to figure out how to stop it. The dialogue between Lina and Naga is hysterically funny, as is the comeuppance that Galev receives at the end of the film. I should mention that this is one ugly golem: it looks like a giant chicken crossed with a turtle, with extended claws coming out of its back (and it says “Yo!” all the time).
If you enjoy the Slayers anime, you will love Slayers Return. It is a little jarring at first to not have Lisa Ortiz voicing Lina, but Cynthia Martinez does a great job. The animation is on point, though I should also point out the spells are a little different than what you see in the regular anime (in particular, Lina’s incantation for Dragon Slave is noticeably different). It’s really a fun movie to watch and I hope you get the chance to check it out.
Let me know what you think about Slayers Return in the comments below and have a great day!
My Thoughts on: Slayers (season 1) (1995)
My Thoughts on: Slayers NEXT (Season 2) (1996)
My Thoughts on: Slayers TRY (season 3) (1997)
My Thoughts on: Slayers Great (1997)
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