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The Slayers Group Watch Thread

John

(he/him)
KILLING STRIKE: Team Rocket's at it again, breaking all the rules (or just making up new ones to suit the plot). Reddy can shift the party into Sub-Con in defiance of the city's protection runes, but only because the monster crew installed a special monster amplifier statue in the building? Or did they just imbue an existing statue with the right properties to suit their needs? I need to see the white paper behind the physics.

Phil was super subdued in this one, no pacifist strikes at all. And he allowed himself to be captured at the end? Lame Phil, lame.

Oh yeah, Lina found the Claire Bible, but was stymied by a crayon. And she didn't seem to mind too much that the book burst into flames before she could fully decipher it, even though that's one of her main tasks. Well, maybe a sub-task, since her main one was to get her magic back, and that's only half done. She also should've been looking for info to help Zelgadis on his goals too, if she was a good friend. If...

Spoony, I just read your comment on Xellos helping/not helping Lina. I thought that she was the one to chop down the tree, probably with her little dagger. Just don't think about HOW she actually did that in the timeframe with such a small tool. I just say "a wizard did it" which is technically correct.
 
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Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
Pretty sure that the statue was a Konzel/Mazenda original, since it’s staff was a pentagram instead of a Star of David like the rest of the holy symbols.

Which I’m now kind of thinking about I I can only assume that Judaism is a major religion in the Red World.

Also, I learned that Mazendas Japanese name is “Magenta” which makes sense given that that’s what colour she is, but it feels less like a name and more like a vague description.
 

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
Pretty sure that the statue was a Konzel/Mazenda original, since it’s staff was a pentagram instead of a Star of David like the rest of the holy symbols.

That was what I assumed; they'd either substituted or modified the statue to be able to sneak their powers through Seyruun's wards.

I really liked the trick Lina and Gourry used against Mazenda in The Shocking Truth. Most of the fights this season have been surprisingly boring! But that was actually fun.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
I'm a bit late here, but also first? Gosh was everyone waiting on me?

MERCILESS: Kanzel proves rather quickly why he wasn't too concerned after Mazenda's death, turns out he could have soloed the entire party whenever he wanted. The party unloads their heavy hitters, Gourry's Sword of Light, the Ra Tilt, Elemekia Lances, but none of it so much as scratches him. (hey remember at the end of the first season when you powered up the Sword of Light WITH a Ra Tilt? Maybe that's worth trying here? No?)

But things take a dark turn when Kanzel knocks Lina off the edge of the floating continent, and without her magic she can't fly to safety. A rather unceremonious end for our main character. Episode over!

Or it would be if it wasn't painfully obvious that Lina's powers returned once Mazenda died. Turns out she was acting like she was powerless since then in order to get the drop on Kanzel with a Dragon Slave. Despite the fact that he sees this coming and has expertly dodged every other spell thus far he just stands there for some reason and takes it. Oh well! Day is saved! Episode over!

Or not because there's still half an episode left, so Kanzel survives and decides to fight for (really) real! He goes all DBZ on the party and starts Zwee Fighting, making an admittedly clever use of his powers (though, again, no reason why he couldn't have been doing this all along aside from needing to raise stakes). He proves to be untouchable while phasing in and out of reality and backs the party into a corner, so Lina decides to try that new spell she recently learned that supposedly 'cuts through anything' and hits him with a full power Ragna Blade. And THIS time, he's dead for real. Episode over!

Ooooorrrrr not, because Kanzel was a literal load-bearing boss and the floating continent he raised up, and which was at that point flying over Seyruun, has no magic powering its flight anymore and starts to plummet. But after a panicky planning session Xellos reminds Lina that with her powers back, and with those Magic+ talismans she now has, a single Dragon Slave should take care of the falling island, which it does, and instead of destroying all of Seyruun Lina instead only destroys like 10%. It's fine, the civilians evacuated right? Day is saved for real! Episode over!

....Yes, for real this time. Well there's some somber reflection at Alfred's grave about whether or not the Monsters tempted him or if he was always a greedy jerk, and Lina knows now that one of the higher ranking monsters out there, Demon Dragon King Gaav, is after her specifically. Bad times coming up. After the next round of filler episodes, anyway!

Oh and I would be remiss if I didn't point out what is my absolute favorite Prince Phil moment in the entire series. His Paternal Love Smashing Burst Jump is a sight to behold, even if it doesn't work (though it does succeed in taking any drama that might have existed around Lina falling off the continent since Phil survives his fall, but whatevs, it's Phil).

NUMBER: Ok first off, wow, there were some... unfortunate character designs in this one. Maybe just, uh, ignore the character that looks like a witch doctor and the monster that's a giant tiki mask.

Also I guess the mafia exists in the Slayers universe? And they even have resorts with actual pools? Whatever, don't think too hard about it.

Anyway said mafia boss tries to pressure Lina into buying an unproven treasure map for 100k Whatever-Currency-They-Use-There, and we all know why that was a bad idea. Lina blows them all up for the thread, and pays only 10k, so of course the mafia swears revenge.

But that's not all, while trying to find this supposed treasure, a holy spell of divine protection, the party runs into some twins who look like they wandered in from a completely different series entirely. I mean, that hair style with that hair color makes them almost copyright infringing. But the twins are also after the treasure, and the episode becomes part dungeon-dive, part race.

I quite like some of the gags in the dungeon, as the party continuously bungles various traps by not waiting for Lina to finish reading. The party is also threatened by the aforementioned tiki mask monster (who also has hilarious Bugs Bunny feet, his whole design is kind of a mess) and some mercs working for the mob, and eventually all parties converge in the treasure chamber

Turns out the treasure is a song that Lina and Amelia have to sing, while wearing some embarrassing clothes. The entire rehearsal attempt is cringy no matter the language, but with some excellent reactions from the peanut gallery (yet another comment on Lina's chest notwithstanding) and I do like that even the Monster is watching this unfold with no idea what to do.

But the best part of this is if you're watching it dubbed, because right before the actual song starts they evidently just give up and switch to the Japanese audio track, which Lina herself introduces. It's such a bizarre decision but I kind of love it.


Anyway turns out the 'spell' is actually just a festival ritual, the only magic it summons are some sakura petals upon finishing. So Lina does what you would expect her to do after that critical failure, blow up literally everyone. Even Zel and Gourry are buried in the rubble afterward!

But somehow or another Martina and Xellos witnessed the act (and escaped the blast???) so the episode ends with yet another Dragon Slave, just for Martina. But she took one to the face in the first episode of the season, she's fine. Sturdy, those comic relief characters.
 

John

(he/him)
I'm a bit late here, but also first? Gosh was everyone waiting on me?
I was waiting on my back to feel up to exercising after I pulled a muscle from sitting on a riding lawn mower too long. This isn't as silly as other times I've hurt my back, including: standing up, sleeping, taking off a shirt, and taking a shower. Being in your 40's is fun!

Finished up last week's episode this morning though: LEGACY - or will the real baddy please stand up? Kind of an ignoble end to Alfred, but that's what dealing with Monsters gets you. Raising up a whole island's worth of land when they could just move to subspace again, since they're outside of the city runes, is just being flashy. They must know it's horribly inefficient, but it does show off some impressive power.

Good fights, fun outcomes, just a nice light episode with some ominous Xellos actions that everyone just accepts as altruism. What a nice guy!
 

Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
Merciless is pure Monster Fight and is honestly really fun to watch, and perhaps makes Konzel perhaps the toughest enemy besides Shabby so far; particularly liked him just randomly teleporting random body parts to attack individually;

Number, like you said, requires you to overlook some… pretty Ill considered character designs, but we’re firmly back in Goofy Filler Episode territory and Zel hates it so much. And a lot of the humour not based around the tiki-mask monster and the “witch Doctor” gangster work really well.
More medieval fantasy worlds need mafia-run beachfront resorts.
 

John

(he/him)
MERCILESS: Agree with all counts, this was a fun fight episode. I liked Gourry showing genuine emotion to Lina's apparent death yet again, and Amelia taking it far to the extreme. I'm pretty sure Gourry's only love is food, but Lina's more than just a traveling companion now, which is nice.

The dropping island was the most predictable thing out of all the predictable things. The Slayers planet must have really thick air, because the team was on the ground for quite a while just watching the big hunk of rock slowly descend. I'm sure it gave everyone plenty of time to get out of the way, and not be incinerated by the giant explosion that occurred. Sure.
 

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
Next seems to be shipping Gourry/Lina super hard; even before Lina’s apparent death there’s been a ton of “look at these two crazy kids” moments. Doesn’t Lina get really pissed off when Gourry gets grabbed by the life-energy-draining puddle in the Atlas City lab too?

Dragon Slave is one of the things that makes Copy Rezo detonating Sairaag so weird. Like, Lina regularly detonates mass destruction spells in populated areas! She fired a Dragon Slave at a dude standing right next to her allies earlier this episode! The only reasonable conclusion is that the Dragon Slave has some crazy selective targeting and Lina usually sets it to “target my enemies, structures, and scenery; exempt civilians and my allies” for chuckles.
 

John

(he/him)
NUMBER: Not going to touch the character designs, but the dub did make some choices on voice acting. The island mafiosos had stereotypically Italian accents, and one of the Chun-Li Twins had a light Valley Girl inflection, which didn't quite match the designs. Neither did the set designs of the presumably Island Hideaway of the mobsters, where the team traveled into our world to swim in a modern pool with contemporary bathing suits.
Anyway said mafia boss tries to pressure Lina into buying an unproven treasure map for 100k Whatever-Currency-They-Use-There, and we all know why that was a bad idea. Lina blows them all up for the thread, and pays only 10k, so of course the mafia swears revenge.
The localization downgraded all these numbers by a factor of 10, making the map a dirt cheap 1K. The Twins paid 5K for theirs, which pissed Lina off because they were able to presumably barter their price down successfully while she had to resort to violence/outright stealing for hers. The numbers are funny, because I think the first episode had Lina making artifacts to sell that were worth millions, so one thousand should just be a cup of coffee.

The idol karaoke show was fun, also because they switched to Japanese to do the music video portion. I think this was the only time in the dub so far they've used the original track? Wonder if it was just easier to do so, if it fit better with the tone, or if the voice actors just weren't working well as actual singers?

Fun ending, but they've really diminished the power of the Dragon Slave over time, haven't they? It's now just a major fireball instead of a world ending event, only causes people to get a little ashy instead of burnt to a crisp, though it still does a number on infrastructure.
 

Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
The idol karaoke show was fun, also because they switched to Japanese to do the music video portion. I think this was the only time in the dub so far they've used the original track? Wonder if it was just easier to do so, if it fit better with the tone, or if the voice actors just weren't working well as actual singers?
If I remember a featurette with the voice cast I watched once many years ago, it was all three, plus it making for a better punch-line
 

Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
Tomorrow we have
A Big Crash! Battle at Artemay Tower
Bitter Curve Balls! Gutsy Fast Balls


Let’s say Obstacle and Professional
 

John

(he/him)
OBSTACLE: Appropriate for October, this one reminded me of a Tales From the Crypt episode, complete with the Doll being the true Monster all along. I thought it was weird that Martina was turned into a doll in the first challenge along with Xellos, since she didn't do anything. Was that Xellos redirecting the spell, since it wouldn't work on him for Unknown Plot Reasons?

After they met up with the supposed puppetmaster and went on the game show, I was expecting them to ditch the costumes, but liked that they kept them on, as ridiculous as they were.

I don't know if I buy that Lina getting a cheek peck is enough to totally render her out of commission and stop grilling Xellos, but it certainly was a convenient way to wrap up the story in 22 minutes!
 

Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
One of my chief memories of Next as a whole was Lina getting frustrated and just skipping the entire Dragon Slave incantation in a horse costume.

It’s the little things that stick with you
 

Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
Also Professionals is, up and down, perhaps the least plot-relevant goofy filler episode of the entire franchise; to the extent that the only thing that even gave the impression made it even remotely relevant was a misdirect. And, as usual, the show is really good at delivering goofy antics. And Zel still hates being the comic relief and being involved in Goofy Filler Episodes.

I'm sorry I rejoice in your suffering so much, Mr. Zelgadis.

In the dub, the rival tennis pro is the same VA as Gourry so that was intensely distracting. Otherwise, it's kind of incredible how much the dub has improved from the beginning; even Lisa Ortiz who was the one bright spot from early on, has only improved.
 

John

(he/him)
PROFESSIONAL: I’m glad this show’s tournament arc only lasted a single episode, not a dozen like a Dragon Ball. I don’t know if it was genius or laziness to just take an existing sport and just say they play the magic version.

Zelgadis went with the makeup for a drag gag instead of just asking a woman to be his partner? I'm sure Amelia would've jumped to it, just like when Xellos asked. Or does everyone really secretly hate Zel and just hopes he goes away.

I’m not quite sure how Xellos & Amelia were declared the winners, since he admitted to sabotaging Lina’s finals match. The final four were disqualified because… reasons? There’s nothing in the rulebook that says dragon slaves can’t play magic tennis.
 

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
The character development in Slayers Next is pretty good! Over the course of the series so far:

- Xellos has gone from being mysterious and threatening to being a barmy grandpa, misreading campfire scary stories and sports magazines.
- Zelgadis has grown from a brooding loner into swinging wildly between “calmly appreciating coffee” and “instant 110% madcap schemes”
- Amelia is now the calm, responsible one
- Gourry 🦑 (there’s no jellyfish emoji)
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
OBSTACLE: Shame this episode's placement wasn't switched with the next one, it probably would have been easier to name.

But it's another goofy filler episode, basically an entire RPG sidequest condensed into an episode, complete with story setup, dungeon dive, and boss fight. I could totally see this tower being one of many that dot the countryside in a Dragon Quest game, with its own self-contained scenario.

Poor Zel gets it pretty bad this time around. He even ends the episode off muttering to himself as he has something of a personal crisis, realizing his true place in life. Sorry Zel! But you are forever meant to be Lina's lackey, at best!

Not much to be said about Gourry's costume choice, he's finally realizing his own place in life. Good for him.

Y'know, for part of the episode I had forgotten how this one went, and for some reason was thinking the party was actually being transported away with a doll being left in their place. That false memory lasted until the moment where we see Amelia rather clearly transform into a doll.

Anyway, despite being dollified Xellos gets better just in time to save Lina after Joe breaks her arm, which just raises even more questions about just how mysterious this mysterious priest is. We see another modular-strength Dragon Slave (forget collateral damage, Lina was at the top of the tower herself, how was SHE unscathed by it???) and the episode ends with Xellos dodging legitimate questions yet again. What a character!

PROFESSIONAL: Hey it's that one thief character from the NAVIGATION episode last season. Or his design, at least. (the teeth, it's mostly the teeth, but I wouldn't be surprised if he had the same VA)

More anachronisms abound as the Slayers head to fantasy Wimbledon. This is primarily a Lina vs Martina episode (possibly the last one?) and is for the most part just a vehicle for absurdity. Not that there's anything wrong with that. There's some fun absurdity here.

My favorite part is Xellos sabotaging Lina's performance for no other reason than it being more entertaining that way. Oh Xellos, the original internet troll. At least this time, finally, Zelgadis lands a well-deserved hit on him. He's had that coming since the second episode!
 

Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
Crap! Forgot to name them ahead of time this week;

They’re Talking About a Girl Named Zelgadis?
The Temple of Sand: The Secret of the Giga Slave

QUEENDOM
and REVELATION feel right
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
QUEENDOM: Funny coincidence that both crossdressing episodes of the first two seasons fall into the 'Q' slot. I'd have gone with 'QUERY' but this certainly works.

This episode fares so much better than the season 1 episode. There's still some tired jokes but nothing to the level of sea monster from QUESTION. And to this episode's benefit, there's not one, not two, but three male characters who have to go along with the gag. And wouldn't you know it, Zelgadis makes the best girl. At least according to the cast. Honestly I'd give it to Xellos. He really gets into the role, and if you're listening to the Japanese track he shifts into the typical feminine way of speaking seamlessly.

Anyway, for this last filler episode there is yet another Claire Bible red herring, this time in the girls-only kingdom of (sigh) Femille, where being a man is ILLEGAL. It is the feminist future all gamers dread!

After lots of dead ends and misunderstandings (and what I am pretty sure is an Utena reference in one character design) the gang learns that the big secret of Femille has nothing to do with the Claire Bible because this is a filler episode so of course it doesn't.

Oh and a Monster attacks, but he's rather ingeniously dispatched by Zel, who remembers his body is immune to fire and uses that oft-forgotten fact to cast a point-blank Megido Flare. Of course this incinerates his clothes and blows his cover, but it's alright. Miwan has been a man all along, as well as like most of the entire population.

Come on, Femille, you have like ONE LAW and you couldn't even enforce it.

REVELATION: The plot returns from its nap and we're finally, finally introduced to the supposed big bad of the season: Demon Dragon King Gaav, who is 90% red hair by volume and wears a distractingly out of place yet nevertheless frickin awesome yellow trenchcoat.

But before Gaav can be properly introduced, Xellos just casually informs the group that 'oh there's a totally complete copy of the Claire Bible in some random mountain shrine in their neighborhood', just like, nbd. The gang is a bit ticked at him keeping such a bombshell of a revelation from them, but it turns out he actually had a good reason. As good a reason as Xellos ever has for anything, anyway. The copy is complete, but it's stored in the most inconvenient way possible: An endless landscape of stone tablets carved with an indecipherable code. As a librarian, I am simultaneously impressed and horrified. Though it does make for one of the more visually memorable set pieces in the series.

Thankfully there's a convenient index to reference, a living breathing one named 'Auntie Aqua', whose name may sound odd but will make more sense later on. She agrees to take Lina to the tablet that will allow her to defeat any high level monster, but it's a three-day walk away in the temple's desert pocket dimension.

Weirdly, at no point does Zelgadis ask "Hey Auntie, could you also point me to the tablet that can turn me back into a human?", feels like kind of a massive missed opportunity there, Zel. Don't tell me you actually don't care about being human and just LIKE hanging around the gang?

Anyway after Auntie Aqua spends some time shipping Lina and Gourry, and the two very nearly have what qualifies as a romantic moment, Lina is taken to a tablet that shows her what happens when the Giga Slave does what Sylphiel warned about last season: It doesn't just endanger the world, it outright obliterates it. Lina basically rolled the dice when fighting Shabranigdo and the world is damn lucky she got a 20.

But before she can process this shocking-not-so-shocking revelation Seygram attacks, and shrugs off Xellos's threats since this time he got backup: his boss Gaav, and his aforementioned amazing hair and coat.

This season is ending every second episode on cliffhangers more often than the first, isn't it?
 

John

(he/him)
QUEENDOM: I agree with Spoony, this one seemed a fair shade better than the dress-up episode last season. Xellos does pull off the slit evening gown much better than any of the girls could. Shock, enforcing gender norms ends poorly for the ruling class, who also break their own rules when it suits them (to no real punishment).

REVELATION: We finally get to meet the other guy from the intro, the one who's introduced next to Xellos. And it turns out he's evil! How can that be, when Xellos is a good guy?

All this time, I thought the big baddy that they've been teasing was named GOB, as in Arrested Development. You'll still be GOB in my heart, Mr. Eyebrows.

Fun trek through the desert, luckily there's oases everywhere. I'm sure there's no significance to the old lady being named Auntie Aqua and residing over a desert dimension.
 

John

(he/him)
Oh yeah, one thing I noticed in the Queendom dub was the Monster had a potty mouth. He straight up called one of the party a capital B Bitch, maybe femme Gourry. From a nominally G to PG show, it stood out.
 

Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
Oh yeah, the shows been stingy with hells and damns so far, squishy guy just went for a full on cuss.

i Was apprehensive about Queendom before sitting down to watch it, after the last seasons similar episode, and was happily surprised at what an improvement it was. Not… really sure why Lina, Amelia and Martina needed costumes, not like they had any particular reason to hide their identities.

Revelations brought in the seasons big villain, finally and yup… He’s a Tall Guy With Red Hair. And that’s about all we Get of him.
 

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
Weirdly, at no point does Zelgadis ask "Hey Auntie, could you also point me to the tablet that can turn me back into a human?", feels like kind of a massive missed opportunity there, Zel. Don't tell me you actually don't care about being human and just LIKE hanging around the gang?

Zel has, at some point between being used as dragon bait and being used as ablative armor against a monster's puppet powers, realized that Amelia is, apparently, into the spiky ultra-hard-body thing.
 

Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
Our final story arc for season 2 continues with
Disclosure At Last! Xellos’ True Form!
Set Course for Dragon Valley


which I will call Showdown! And Travels
 

John

(he/him)
SHOWDOWN! - And some of Xellos's backstory comes out. Ancient Monster, kinda figured. Has a hidden agenda, well who doesn't? Works for a Monster called "Hellmaster"? Now you're just making stuff up.

Red Eyebrows is actually a three headed red dragon, but chooses to just be in angular human form, when a big dragon could chomp up three people at once. I'm sure there's Plot reasons why he doesn't do that and not just animation budget related ones.

I liked that Auntie Aqua was just a memory of a demon/monster that died a thousand years ago, presumably in the big battle with Shabranigdo since the timeline fits. She's Auron, just hanging around long enough to help the team move along to the next plot point.
 

Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
You know, if Xellos wasn’t looking sinister like a major villain in the opening of every episode, the subtle way the show spoonfeeds you hints that he’s a monster would have been really effective.

That being said, that nobody (except Martina and Amelia) is particularly surprised or concerned by the revelation, and Gourry just assumed it all along is one of my favourite parts of Xellos’ character.

Being upset with Xellos wouldn’t help anything, he’s on their side (apparently) and they couldn’t possibly do anything to stop him if he wasn’t, so why bother stressing over it?
 

John

(he/him)
TRAVELS: This episode felt very Hobbitty for me, meeting up with talking dragons, taking hidden paths through mountain passes. Or maybe closer to Lodoss War, at least my vague memories of something I haven't revisited in 25 years. Either way, it's good, and the type of fantasy adventure I really like.

I don't know why Martina's still trailing along, I guess her ire at Lina trumps her embarrassment at falling for a Monster? It would be a fitting end to her character if she got lost in the labyrinth just because she hated Lina so much.

We're getting to the last 3 weeks of this season, and Sylphiel's still out of commission, even though she's in the intro. I think she was in the opener, but went her own way. Time to bring her back in, maybe to replace her doppelganger Xellos? That's why she hasn't been in, Xellos is using up all the purple and blue paint.
 
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