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The Slayers Group Watch Thread

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
It’s a Naga joke, yeah. There’s also a couple of gags in these episodes about Lina’s entire family being terrifyingly powerful.
 

John

(he/him)
You're all pretty derisive towards the movies/OVAs, so I take it I'm not missing anything by not seeing those. I don't see them on any of the streaming services I've got, so I'd have to pirate/look for old releases.

FIXATION: I really like Martina, in a Team Rocket toothless villain sort of way. Would be nice if she had pants, but at least she's not overtly sexualized, just passively like anime characters do. This was a good comedy episode, boobs aside. I would've thought Martina could overlook a little thing like Gourry being clueless, but turns out she does have some standards. Really gross of Xellos to contribute to groping as a joke, but Wacky 90's Anime. I liked the gag that the Curse Battle was just so epic that they couldn't show it, and not because they didn't have the budget/want to fit it in.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Full disclosure, I'm basing these episode titles off what the DVD menu says, so you can blame all the errors on formatting problems.

Anyway, this is what Friday is going to look like;

Follow the Phantom Dragon
Be Eternal! The Day Prince Phil Died


Oh nooooooooo
Let’s go with GOURMET! And HEAVENLY!
 

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
You're all pretty derisive towards the movies/OVAs, so I take it I'm not missing anything by not seeing those. I don't see them on any of the streaming services I've got, so I'd have to pirate/look for old releases.

Google "slayers naga" and you'll get a pretty good idea of the kind of humor they aim for.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
To be fair, when Naga eventually joins up with the TV cast (sorta), they don't go down that road and she winds up being one of my favorite supporting characters
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
The movies and OVAs aren't very good except for some occasional morsels of sakuga and that Naga, who is delightful, is in them. I don't mean what they do with her is funny, because that's something Slayers very rarely manages for me; I just like the character a lot. Barring that, there's not much there.
 

Purple

(She/Her)
It's kinda like: Imagine if Gourry's player still did the complete idiot thing, but decided to go all in on slutty evil bimbo sorceress. You get an entertaining character out of it, but like, what do you even do with her?
 

John

(he/him)
I started to watch GOURMET! this morning before my body said exercising wasn't happening today. I laughed that this is the third episode where the first act's just them finding a restaurant to eat at. FYI the dub title also prepends Sudden Cooking! to the title. I see that most of the Next episodes have a two-part naming convention, but I like the alphabetical one much better.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
GOURMET: I said back in the second episode that Zel had nearly completed his inevitable march towards shedding his remaining dignity, and I think this is the episode that finishes it off. I don't think there's another episode where he gets it worse, and it's incredible.

This is top and bottom a filler episode, but it was my opinion back in the day (and still is) that this is hands down the best filler episode in the series. So many great sight gags, vocal performances, reactions, and setups. Every part of this scenario is absurd in a way only this series can be when it just wants to be silly and it all comes together in one of the densest jokey episodes there is.

It's hard to pick a favorite gag, I might have to barely hand it to Zel being dragged face-first along the lake bottom by a panicked Gourry. But there's a lot of good stuff.

I also love Xellos just hanging out in a tree and watching the absurdity unfold and doing nothing to help.

HEAVENLY: Y'know, I'm not even gonna bury the lede here. If you actually thought Phil had died (offscreen no less!) in this series then you haven't been paying attention. Of course he's not dead. Of course the mysterious superhero who looks just like him is actually him. Of course there's another Seyruun royal plot, but this time it won't be confined to just one episode!

The flashback showing Phil as a caring, though irresponsible, (seriously those heights were no place for a child, Phil!) father to Amelia were sweet, but it was hard to take them seriously when he was so obviously not dead.

Anyway, the gang goes to investigate the scene of the supposed crime, they're ambushed by the same monster who tried to kill Phil, Phil shows up in his X-Guy costume and shows off a bunch of new moves he learned between seasons, and apparently he can fly???? I mean, of course he can't, it was just a gag so they could show him looking like he was flying through the air with his superhero cape flapping behind him, but honestly I'd believe that he'd figured out how to fly through some sort of absurd Pacifist-adjacent reasoning.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Gourmet is the benchmark for how to do a filler episode properly, and it’s also the best Monster Hunter adaptation. So It has that going for it too. Xellos makes no illusion about being along for the show, and I love him for it.

Haevenly I thought we had to wait a bit longer before the next plot arc kicked up, but I guess the show had as little respect for Halciform as I did and didn’t want to waste a precious Msin Villain spot on him. Spiky Demon Guy has one of the cooler Monster designs overall, so that’s so,etching. Kind of surprised it’s Seygrim that shows up in the OP, considering. Animation team just really likes wizard mummies, I guess. Can’t blame them
 

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
I utterly adore Phil’s mysterious masked alter-ego. Especially how the animation in his first few appearances is hinting he’s lost his memory or turned evil or something. Nope! He’s just Phil! I also adore how Amelia regularly turns into a muppet - she’ll develop sphere-hands and truly enormous eyes while all the other characters are totally normal.

I feel like the first few episodes of Next have been working through the transformation from a mostly serious fantasy series with some gags to a mostly comedy series with occasional serious fantasy plots. Gourmet is the first episode that really nails the new formula, and it’s really outstanding. The finale is note perfect, going from Lina’s dismay over the absurd recipes to Xellos’ reveal that no, the chef was not just a delusional old man.
 

John

(he/him)
Finished up GOURMET, a fun romp to brutally kill and dismember a giant creature who's not hurting anyone, just so the party can have a taste of the exotic. They showed earlier that Sea Dragons have intelligence, but didn't show much about the Lake Dragons, so maybe it's less of a moralistic issue?

Tons of sight gags and dumping on Zelgadis & a little Gourry. I liked when Gourry was the fishing lure, and his scream of air bubbles made the shape for the "wa" hiragana. I don't quite know why Zel is putting up with being the butt monkey of the team. He really doesn't need the others, but maybe feels that being teased means he's part of the group? You're better than this, Zel!

Also, was the initial dish they were served composed of Whale and Orca meat, or Whale and Orc meat? That vowel makes a big difference! I get that the former two are still served in Japan (at least whale, and probably orca on the DL like they do for dolphin), but if it was Orc meat, that's a whole other ethical conundrum. I think the team should just stick to food markets and maybe go veg for a bit, especially to clear out the dragon toxins that Lina consumed by trying for some lake lizard sashimi.
 

John

(he/him)
HEAVENLY: A little Phil goes a long way, and this was the right amount. I thought that Lina's advice when consoling Amelia was especially bad. Lina'll do the Revenge thing, which will make everything all better. Stop all that mourning over your dad dying, the one person in the world that you loved more than anything, because your Kingdom needs you! The same Kingdom that you've been avoiding for a season and a half, ever since you ran into Lina in the first place.

I like that Phil's upgraded his collection of Pacifist Non-Attacks. The Joyful Reunion Bear Hug sounds delightful. Did he have a special superhero name for himself? I don't remember, aside from being dressed as an X Man.

I wonder if the jig is up, or if they'll try to keep the ruse going to see which of his brothers is in cahoots with the Monster. We didn't get a good look at the baddy much, but it did remind me of the Death Note evil god characters, or something from SMT.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Better get last weeks episodes watched while you can because on Friday we have;

Hidden Ambition! The Shocking Confession
Take Back the Magic Power!


Which I will designate INSIDIOUS and JOURNEY.

I haven’t watched that second one yet, so I hope that title is accurate.
 

Purple

(She/Her)
Oof I'm behind.

Gourmet is the one episode of Next I remembered most clearly out of the lot, but I somehow forgot the parting shot with the reveal that everyone actually DID totally resemble his various tragically dead family members and that really is just absolutely hilarious. I also really appreciate Amelia calling Xellos over to hang out but him being all "nah nah, I'm good over here in the audience seat."

Heavenly honestly does a pretty good job of taking itself seriously with the fake out dead Phil thing despite that being such an absurd notion, and then once we finally drop that we get more Phil, so, you know, that's great.

And since I waited so long to watch those two and the date rolled over...

Insidious has us actually continuing this because we are getting close to the mid season serious spike and need to start turning some heat up. I love how this pair is so off model from how people should look it's obvious what their deal is, and we don't pretend otherwise for even one second. Also someone should really run a dead Mazoku counter for this season because they kinda pile up don't they. Also the night-lighting color scheme giving Lina green hair here really bugs me, mostly because this RED hair stays red.

and wrapping up with Journey, we're still in pretty silly mode. Most of the party sticks around with Phil, while Lina heads off with party members 5 and 6 to see a perfectly competent child about a curse, we have more of Martina's explicitly BS fake dark god magic somehow managing to work because it's funnier when it does (or IS that why?) and then since Lina has no magic temporarily, Xellos has to save the day with some... very good aligned purifying priestly white magic. As he uses. Because that's his deal. Oh and then there's something about some book or something.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
INSIDIOUS: I appreciate that the show doesn't even try to hide the fact that the mysterious and sinister green haired man and red haired woman are actually the green haired and red haired Monsters. They come in, dripping with malice, and later in the episode when the lady Monster is fighting the group we see her partner refer to her by her human alias, without even any fanfare.

Everyone seems to take Phil's return well, what with all the kingdom in mourning and the upheaval and the solid gold statue of Phil we saw in the last episode. But everyone's cool about it, they all just like Phil that much. Of course they still have to figure out who is behind this dastardly plot! It is a mystery!

But after the Monsters attack we are brought to a recurring plot element each season: Lina losing her magic. Back in season 1 it was due to some unfortunate connection to biology, but this time it's just a straight up curse. Though if Monsters can do this whenever they want then it's a wonder why it's not the first thing they try when they go up against someone like Lina. Not the best strategists, I guess!

JOURNEY: Oh hey this word actually appears in the real episode title, that's cool!

So upon being cursed Lina does the most logical thing and set off on her own to find an old sage she's only heard stories about. Look, I understand wanting to keep the heavy hitters around Phil to protect him, but like, send a few royal guards or something! Or else Lina will be forced to team up with the first idiots she trips over.

And then she runs into Martina and Xellos.

Martina's infatuation with Xellos is one of my favorite parts of her weird, weird character arc. The two of them are weirdly good together, in a dysfunctional way. Of course, it's not enough to keep her from messing with Lina, but this episode is more or less Martina's last hurrah as a directly antagonistic force and this is where she and Lina start to turn from enemies to frenemies.

And, ok, I need to go on a tangent. Way back early in Season 1 when I was trying the dub out I mentioned that side characters with brief appearances tend to get the worst dub performances, and I specifically mentioned there was a character in Season 2 that was just absolutely godawful. And here she is.

Runan. The sage. Technically Runan's granddaughter, but whatevs. I have absolutely no idea how this performance was accepted. I'm not even sure what her voice actor is trying to go for. Every line, every delivery, every word is atrocious. In the sub she does sound like a very young child, so maybe they were trying to make her sound childlike and naive, but they're using a voice that's like 10 years too old for the role and also the voice can't act. I came into this episode knowing this performance was bad and I was still dumbfounded by it. It's so bad as to be baffling.

The Monster of the week in this episode isn't a whole lot better, in fact if it wasn't appearing in the same episode as Runan it would be an easy contender for worst performance, but he's almost competent by comparison.

Anyway. Dub gripes aside, Runan tries to cure Lina, Martina effs it all up, they all get in way over their head, and Xellos actually has to do a thing. (oh god speaking of dubs, all of Xellos's english line deliveries here are also bad, but they also sound so much better next to Runan's. THAT PERFORMANCE IS SO BAD IT MAKES DUB XELLOS SEEM GOOD!) We get a pretty cool badass moment from Xellos as he saves the day, but rather than be concerned about why this Monster seemed to know Xellos or at how powerful he is, Lina just demands he sell her his +20 MAG PWR accessories to compensate for her curse debuff.

Oh and Martina pulls some book out of an old cauldron but that's not important.
 

John

(he/him)
INSIDIOUS: Lina's Razor strikes again, in that the most obvious thing that could happen, is what's happening. I really liked the left turn of having the party split up, and then the ladies getting Lost in Time and Space (or maybe The Dreamlands. Subspace could definitely be pulled straight from Arkham Horror, though). Chameleon badass monster shoulda had more screen time, but that would mean animation, and that's 'spensive.

This show needs more weirdness, instead of just pulling from the same show bible from the beginning. Less D&D, more Nyarlathotep.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
The big cool monsters always get the least animation; Shabby never moved anything but his mouth, the Chamelon just stood there, Zanifar was a loud shadow, Darkstar, Gaav and Hellmaster look impressive at first, but are just regular looking guys, with Evolution/Revolution the animation costs must have gone down because the big cool monsters there are all over the place.

Not only did the kid have a weird staccato delivery of every line, but I’m also 95% sure it was just Martina again and she’s all over this episode anyway. It’s buckwild and I love it.

Konzel and Mizenda have great designs and I wish them the best of luck. I also really liked the snake-scythe demon guy, but if his name was mentioned, I forgot it.

Speaking of, not only was that another instance of a Monster seeing Xellos and being *terrified*, but while he made a big show of making a big magical explosion, he beat the Monster by just hitting it in the stomach; which the series has always been pretty clear on being a completely useless way to deal with them.

I wonder if this Mysterious Priest has something he’s hiding…
 

John

(he/him)
JOURNEY: I do appreciate they've been writing scenarios for splitting everyone up, so you get some 1/1 time (or in this case, 1/1/1). You'd think that Phil could've spared SOMEBODY to go with Lina on the trip to the one place they know of to get cured. At least this time, the reason she can't use her magic is related to Uncle Phil, and not Aunt Flo.

I do wish that Xellos's catchphrase was "That would be telling" so it could tie back into The Prisoner. He's definitely one of the Number Two's who wasn't able to get information out of Number Six.

So, was this Monster #2 or 3 that are involved with Seiroon? There's the Team Rocket red haired lady and the green haired dude, and we mostly saw the red one last time. Is this Skeletor with teeth from the Big Book of British Smiles the green one, or a different one entirely?
 

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
The two sorcerers working for Amelia’s uncle are the monster we saw while we thought Phil was dead and the monster who sealed Lina’s powers. You can tell because the guy has the same jagged teeth pattern on his clothes and the girl has red hair in both forms. The monster who attacks Lina on the mountain and gets blown up by Xellos is a third monster.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Also; since it was mentioned earlier; here’s our list so far of Monsters; (kinda guessing at the spelling here)

Zorem (Zolom?)- Green robed old man/spectral multi armed giant
Shabranigdo - Creepy Wizard / Crabsatan
Tibo - Small chicken man/large eagle man
Seigram - Scaly Masked Mummy
Konzel - Blue Skinned wizard / Spiky blue demon with disconnected torso and three eyes
Mazenda - Jessie from Team Rocket / Purple Skinned Demon with no mouth and no visible legs
??? - Sone kinda snake skeleton with a scythe arm

Not really sure if Copy Rezo/Zanifar count as a Monster; kind of an edge case
 
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