TV Recommendation: Slayers


Amazon: (only the first three seasons, there are five in total; the last two are available in a separate package)

Anime News Network:

Variably spelled with a “The”, Slayers is a long-running anime spanning the 90s and early 2000s. It actually began life as a book series, which as far as I can tell have been translated and released in North America, though I’m not sure about their availability.

I’d say Slayers is an influence on Realmgard, at least in being a very successful demonstration of how to do a funny Fantasy world. Despite what you might imagine from its name Slayers is primarily a comedy and very rarely takes itself too seriously, though several of the major bad guys are depicted fairly seriously, which can be pretty jarring against the overall tone of the series.

The best part of Slayers are the heroes who are the centre of the series. We have Lina, a young sorceress who tends to solve her problems by blowing them up, Gourry, a swordsman with an IQ of approximately -12, Zelgadis, the serious one, and Amelia, a princess who desires above all to be a great hero of justice. The characters have such bombastic personalities that the show would still be funny if it were just them standing in front of a brick wall every episode, but the humour of their personalities is magnified by the fact that such over-the-top personalities are constantly interacting with each other.

For the most part, the violence in Slayers functions as slapstick comedy, with very little of the fight scenes actually causing any meaningful harm to the characters though as previously mentioned, the boss fights, so to speak, are played pretty seriously. Overall, though, Slayers never really rises to a level of violence or scariness beyond something comparable to a Disney movie or Star Wars (which is technically also a Disney movie, now that I think about it). TvTropes as it categorised as a Shonen anime, which means it’s targeted at teenagers (boys specifically, but given that two of the main characters are female, I can certainly see it as getting the attention of girls, too).

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