My original, not-very-good post about the series here.
Slayers was, to the best of my recollection, one of the first recommendations I did on this blog. I’ve done a whole bunch since then, and in that time, I’ve had some revelations:
And developed a much better writing style for these recommendations than just “here’s a bunch of words”.
All of which is to say, here’s a re-recommendation — a “re-commendation”, get it? — of one of my favourite animes. And, I’d just like to point out, in light of the whole “I should do more books” thing, that Slayers was originally a series of light novels before it was adapted into anything else. And, as far as my (very) preliminary research leads me to believe, they are available in English. So, technically, this is a book recommendation.
Good job, J.B. Norman.
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. And it’s certainly similar to Realmgard in the general concept of “not-necessarily-a-comedy-but-still-funny” Fantasy stories. It’s maybe not quite as close as something like Rune Soldier, if only because it never leans quite as far into the deliberate goofiness of Rune Soldier. It’s never quite as goofy as Rune Soldier, though it never becomes as self-serious or grim as Lodoss War.
Though, full disclosure, I’m pretty sure I had the idea for Realmgard in its earliest forms before I ever watched Slayers.
So, it’s more of a retroactive influence than anything else, but, like I said, Slayers is a very good example how to balance Funny with Adventure. It’s definitely been an influence in that regard.
Despite what you might imagine from its violent-sounding name Slayers is primarily a comedy and very rarely takes itself too seriously.
Slayers is carried by its cast of characters and the interactions between them. 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 whose boundless desires above all to be a great hero of justice is matched only by her general ineptitude.
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 only reaches the level of slapstick comedy, with very little of the fight scenes actually causing any meaningful harm to the characters.
There’s a very Looney Tunes-esque quality to much of the recurring humour in the show centring around the characters hurting themselves in novel ways. Lina, for example, leaping after one of the bad guys and face-planting into a tree.
However, the boss fights, so to speak, with the major villains are played pretty seriously. Most of the show’s villains are goofy and ineffectual — though the major, most story-relevant villains, up to an including the world’s god of evil, usually mean business and pose legitimate threats to heroes.
It’s probably at the level of violence and grimness of a Disney movie — overall, it’s light and straightforward, usually funny, but the bad guys mean business, the good guys face hardship and occasionally defeat, characters do get killed off, albeit not with much regularity. Again, it’s more serious than Rune Soldier, but not ever quite as serious as Lodoss War.
And, heck, you’re probably more likely to end up deeply traumutised by Sailor Moon, of all things — which, as you’ll recall, culminated its first season by brutally murdering all the Sailors.
So, basically, Slayers is great. It’s very Realmgard-esque in a lot of ways. And, now, I’ve written a much better recommendation for it. A good day all around.