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The Slayers Group Watch Thread

Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
If I had any complaints with Next specifically as a season, it’s that even though Gaav is meant to be a fake-out, he really isn’t an interesting enough villain to make the fact that he isn’t the seasons last boss a surprise. He just makes the season feel a little underwhelming in the bad guy department.

Seigram is *much* more prominent and visually interesting, if nothing else
 

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
Yeah Next really suffers for a lack of sufficiently memorable and frequent antagonists. Zangulus and Dilgear actually wind up doing a lot of work between them; Xellos is too unassuming and Martina too goofy to really fill the same roles.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
SHOWDOWN: And so the truth comes out. The obvious, obvious truth that Xellos isn't the happy go lucky mysterious priest he has been presenting himself to be, but he is in fact a rather high ranking Monster. I suppose the fact that he's such a big deal is something of a surprise, but it's hard to appreciate without really understanding the hierarchy in Monsterland.

No one outside of Shabranigdo's five lieutenants has been granted power like Xellos has. Said lieutenants are Hellmaster Phibrizzo, Beastmaster Zelas Metallium, Deep Sea Dolphin (seriously), Dynast Grausherra, and of course Demon Dragon King Gaav. It won't really be touched on this season, beyond a casual mention I don't think, but Xellos works directly for Zelas Metallium and is just currently 'on loan' to Hellmaster. It's a bit odd that Gaav also refers too Xellos as 'Beastmaster' when that's his boss's title, maybe it's a title he has due to being her subordinate?

(fun fact, Zelas Metallium is the main baddie and final boss of the Slayers SNES RPG, and Xellos even acts as the penultimate boss, and that's not even getting into the postgame dungeon where the finalfinal boss is one of the awakened pieces of Shabranigdo, though that whole game isn't canono)

Anyway, Gaav just casually drops that the reason that he's hunting Lina is because Hellmaster currently has his sights on her, for reasons unknown, and since Gaav has a beef with Hellmaster he just decided to kill Lina to mess with his plans. Lina, uncharacteristically, reacts rather appropriately upon learning that two of the most powerful monsters left in the world have their sights on her. It's probably the first time we've seen her at a loss for words.

Then there's some pew pew fighting as Xellos keeps Gaav at bay while Seygram fights the party. Lina almost gets the better of the mummy mask but Seygram is a dirty cheater who got a buff from his boss. But never fear! Martina is here!

Gaav just sitting in the sand and letting Martina ramble on and on is probably the most amusing thing you'll ever see Gaav do.

Auntie Aqua teleports the party to safety upon revealing she's the remaining memory of Aqualord Ragradia, the Water Dragon King. The party then sets off too Dragon's Peak, minus one Martina who reacted... poorly to Xellos's identity.

TRAVELS: This episode has one of my favorite 'Gourry is a dope' jokes. Despite correctly guessing Xellos was a monster all along, as he pointed out last time, he still fails to put two and two together and just thinks Xellos is a really really old man due to his participation in a war 1200 years ago.

A fairly plotty-plot-plot episode with the gang heading towards the temple housing the original Claire Bible, name-dropping the War of the Monster's Fall, meeting an actual dragon that doesn't try to kill them (so, was that dragon way back in the first episode also intelligent?), and not much action until Seygram shows up again at the very end.

Most surprisingly, Xellos seemed weirdly concerned about that random kid's safety. Such a considerate Monster, that Xellos!
 

John

(he/him)
I meant to comment on the "Beast Master" & "Hell Master" titles. Now we just need to meet someone who's REALLY into automatons to introduce themselves as "Bots Master".
 

Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
You can set your watch by this thread!

The Treacherous Demon Dragon King
The End of the Demon Dragon King


Oh I bet I can guess who’s going to get his 15 minutes of fame!

Let’s go with VILLAIN! and UNSTOPPABLE!
 

Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
VILLAIN is kind of in a weird spot where it's KIND OF a recap episode, but it's recapping things the characters already know, to the characters, who act surprised by it. Turns out the Clair Bible is a weird glow-y ball you see briefly in the OP. Meanwhile, while Lina is being mansplained by a ball, the rest of the party has to deal with a more overtly antagonistic ball while Xellos has an off-screen Dragonball fight against Seigram.

The fight is very difficult until Lina is done learning all the stuff she already knew and then suggests just hitting both balls at once; it's beena while since I saw this episode so I was kind of hoping and expecting there'd be something like the Dance Fight from NGE to deal with the Balls, but apparently not. Amelia proves her worth to the party by turning into Iron Fist, and shoving all her magic into her hands so she can just punch the hell out of stuff *really* hard.

Then actual plot happens in the last couple minutes as Lina finally gets a chance to kill Seigram with a full power Ragna Blade (after he attacks and nearly kills Amelia with a back-attack), and then Gaav shows up again and slices Xellos in half; which is the only time in the entire series he loses his composure.

UNSTOPPABLE is just a straight up boss fight against Gaav, where that dragon guy keeps trying to heal up everyone who was just nearly murdered while Zel and Gourry try to fight off a upper-middle tier God by taking whacks at him. Kind of feel like the animation budget was flagging a bit here, as this episode really doesn't look as nice as some of the preceding ones. Gaav may have sliced Xellos in half, and broken Linas arms when she tried another Ragna Blade, but the most damaging thing he did was point out to Amelia that since Hellmaster wants to save Lina for something, that means she must be instrumental for evil to flourish, so by befriending her that means Amelia must be a villain too.

Then that nameless kid pops in again, one-shots Gaav, kidnaps Gourry and steals the Sword of Light because it turns out HE was Hellmaster all along.

TWIST!

The episodes also reveal the one most interesting aspect of Gaav, which really would have made him a more compelling villain if it wasn't treated so incidentally; the reason he's trying to overthrow the rest of the Monsters is because he was trapped, and reincarnated in a human form so many times over the last thousand years that he wound up identifying as a human and sharing a mortals inherent hatred of Monsters and desire to survive.
 

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
The fight is very difficult until Lina is done learning all the stuff she already knew

Yeah it’s really weird how Lina gets access to the source of ultimate knowledge and gives up after asking it a bunch of questions she already knows the answer to. I swear Lina explained that the lord of nightmares is primordial chaos before she went and Giga Slaved Shabywabby. Sure we need to be reminded of it after two dozen episodes but there must have been a better way to do that. She clearly learns something that helps her master Ragna Blade - maybe the Lord of Nightmares’ essence in ways that aren’t communicated in words?

Overall I’d say Next is simply not a very ambitious show, especially after seeing how much Slayers did with what seemed like a relatively modest budget. The animation is generally prettier but lacking in framing or context, the action is much more “the casters spam pretty light show”, the story essentially doesn’t matter save the final five episodes, and even the villains are relatively pedestrian compared to Rezo. It’s still good but it’s a definite step down.
 

Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
The show definitely held up better in my memories. But that’s also at least partly because the first season was a lot stronger than I remembered.

But it also has the highest amount of Xellos (who is possibly my favourite character) and Martina (who ain’t no slouch in that department either.
 

John

(he/him)
VILLAIN! - Too bad Martina didn't get stuck in the Claire Bible Dimension, I bet she would've made the most of it. Found a nice Monster to pal around with, maybe settle down and have a couple kids, all while the blur effect slowly drives them insane.

The Seigram balls were weird. He goes off to another dimension to presumably fight it out with Xellos for some reason, but leaves behind a couple maybe sentient magic balls to do the job? And the solution to beating them is to just fight better, even when the balls sorta merge properties. Not a lot of logic, just something for the party to futz with while they waited for Lina to come back with the source of all knowledge.

It was interesting that Lina was fairly antagonistic towards Xellos when she came back. Maybe she took to heart that little thing of him slaughtering hundreds of dragons with a single swipe? That's a bit more than the "Seven at one blow" Grimm tale, they should probably start taking him a bit more seriously... except that he's maybe missing an arm now? Looks like he's down for the count, and will never be a frenemy again.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
VILLAIN!: Oops! Looks like lovable ol' Xellos once done a genocide. That goof! All water under the bridge now, right Milgasia?

I find the exposition here to be less repeating what the characters already know and more clarifying some details Lina may have been suspicious of, but not totally clear on. Back when she fought Shabracadabra she referred to the power behind the Giga Slave as 'a more powerful dark lord', and while Sylphiel's warnings that casting it could destroy everything did stay her hand in using it until now she was thinking of the Giga Slave more with caution than fear. The Claire Bible, however, spells out the truth that the Lord of Nightmares is more than just a really powerful monster, it's the mother of all of them (and possibly, all things?) and evidently wants nothing more than to return everything to nothing.

So I guess instead of just rolling a natural 20 using it when fighting Shabby, it was actually a roll at disadvantage and Lina had the miraculous luck to roll double twenties.

Martina doesn't really accomplish much inside the blurry photoshop space but be a nuisence. I had this memory of her contributing... I dunno, SOMETHING inside of there, but nope. Martina's gonna Martina.

Oh and Gaav... might not be a bad guy? At least as far as the world at large is concerned, anyway. He certainly wants to kill our heroes, so he's still the villain, but he's more or less just an obscenely powerful human now instead of a monster so he no longer has that appetite for blind destruction. So instead of causing devestation because he needs to, he only does it when he WANTS to. So... still a bit of a bad guy I guess.

Oh, and Xellos helps defeat Saygram when Lina hits him with a perfected Ragna Blade, but then is rather shockingly one-shotted by Gaav. This is like those moments in DBZ where Piccolo or Vegeta get casually one-shot by the big bad to build them up as a big threat. This is a bit more effective, though, because while Piccolo and Vegeta get one-shot like that so often it's kind of a meme, this is the first of very very few instances where Xellos gets got like that.

UNSTOPPABLE: Hope everyone didn't get too attached to Gaav as the big bad. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Lina wants to use the Ragna Blade on Gaav, but it turns out even while perfected it empties her MP pool and also eats into her HP, so she needs Milgasia to restore her while the rest of the party fends off the ferocious demi-god until she can use it again.

It, uh, it doesn't go super great.

Pretty much everyone in the party gets wrecked in this fight as it's clear they're all punching well above their weight. But eventually Lina is back in the game and lands a hit on Gaav with the Ragna Blade.

It, uh, it doesn't go super great.

Gaav resists it long enough to break Lina's arms in the process and while she does finish the strike, he apparently just shrugs it off, so Gourry is forced to come up with the first good idea he's ever had in his entire life: RUN AWAY.

Discretion is the better part of valor, after all.

But shocker, the unnamed street rat that has been tagging along for the past few episodes is actually Hellmaster Phibrizzo! He Thanos-snaps Gaav out of existence (who has a rather blood-curdling scream as it happens, yeeesh). Phibrizzle is basically another DBZ trope of an even stronger bad guy swatting aside the other bad guy the party was having so much trouble with.

So his big plan all along was to try and force Lina into a no-win situation against Gaav so she'll use the Giga Slave and hopefully destroy the world. But since Gaav couldn't deliver he forces her hand a different way, by kidnapping the lovable blonde doofus and inviting the party back to Sairaag.


Next is still my favorite season, though the first was quite a bit better than my recollection of it on the re-watch. Next does suffer a bit since the truly big plot moments are all crammed in the last, like, six episodes, but to anyone who hasn't seen it yet: We're in for a ride in the last four.
 

John

(he/him)
Oh yeah, in Villain I forgot the Sylphiel name drop when Amelia is hurt bad. Time to remind the viewers that the other sometimes party member still exists, somewhere. We have had a guest NPC in the fifth slot for a while, but it’s reopened, and Martina’s not gonna fill it.
 

John

(he/him)
UNSTOPPABLE! - I spoiled myself on the reveal by googling Hellmaster to make the Bots Master joke earlier, so the switch wasn't all that shocking. I don't think it was telegraphed at all though, only a brief cutaway in this episode where Phib's looking sinister. I did notice he's in the intro in an equally brief dark profile, but it could be argued that he's someone else there.

Gaav was doing some Evangelion fight bullshit with Lina, his arm mostly chopped off but he's still able to use it to throw Lina around. She still hit the magic spot, at least enough to trigger his true form, an even bigger trenchcoat. His animation here was even worse than usual, in one "walking" scene it looked like they literally just zoomed in and moved one cell up and down to simulate bobbing. It must have taken a ton of budget to get those eyebrows *just so*, didn't have time to do little things like movement. It reminded me of a Golden Book animated special I had of a He-Man book that was 90% static pictures.
 

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
But it also has the highest amount of Xellos (who is possibly my favourite character) and Martina (who ain’t no slouch in that department either.

Yeah Xellos does a lot of heavy lifting and more or less makes up for all the other shortcomings, even going so far as to provide some justification or other to elevate the most pedestrian gag episodes. I liked Martina way more the first time through; having watched a lot more anime since then she comes off as more of a hackneyed stereotype, though I think she’s got a few solid scenes coming up.

I spoiled myself on the reveal by googling Hellmaster to make the Bots Master joke earlier

Well the entire planet is in a jam. It’s the diabolical plan of only one man…

(I actually did the same because I was like “wait is hellmaster an actual character or just a name drop… OH RIGHT that’s the twist)
 

Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
Didn’t mention it at the time, but Unstoppable also had one of the few times the events of Try are ever mentioned outside of that series; with Gaav referring to the Sword of Light as “Gorum Nova”

ANYWAY, this week we’ve got
Menacing Swordsman: A Journey of Reunion
Sinister Trap: City of Ghosts


Which well call Warrior and X-Tinction

I’m also just now realizing I swapped two names around last week.
 

John

(he/him)
Oh No, I also followed your lead and mislabeled my posts. Everyone must have been so confused, I'm sure it'll never happen again.

X-Tinc - er - Warrior - At the beginning I thought they were going to do something both cliche and interesting, by having Lina's ponderings about Gourry lead into an It was all a Dream sequence. The last episode ended on a cliffhanger, so starting again in a nice clean hotel was a bit jarring. But no, it was just Lina searching her feelings, finding them to be true. Ah well.

Lina just name-dropped Sylphiel a few episodes ago, and now they just happen to run into her on the road? That's serendipity for ya, small world and all that. She's not gonna be happy that Dear Gourry's off missing.

And now Fibby is bringing Kain to battle? Or is it Griffith from Berserk? Who's to say, it can't possibly be someone that we know, even with that brief highlight of blonde hair through the eye slot. Nobody at all. Unless...

Mind controlled Gourry really does know how to use that sword, much better than real Gourry. The party can't fight their own, so let's just bring back another long-time enemy to battle. Zangelus hasn't been around since last season, right, since he was palling with Copy Rezo. Let's say he was always there this whole season, just out of frame.
 

John

(he/him)
X-Tinction - Now Sylphiel's purpose comes into being, just as a reference to the horrible event that happened to her because she was in the vicinity of Lina et al. This was a pretty slow build-up episode, I guess meant to show how powerful Phibrizzo is by resurrecting the memory of a city? It didn't have a lot of purpose other than name dropping a location that the party's been to before. Oh, and to make Sylphiel sad again.

As far as episodes go, this was one of the weakest I've seen so far. Hope they are just saving the goods for the finale?
 

Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
Warrior almost felt like an apology for how lacklustre the Gaav parts were; the animation is just an absolute cut above, and the fight against Bad Gourry is one of the better choreographed fights in the season, and pretty high up there for the whole series.

It was pretty clear for the audience that the knight was actually Gourry right from the jump, but the fact that he’s incredibly serious and silent really sells that it’s not *really* him.

X-Tinction works well to establish that not only is Phibrizzo incredibly powerful, he’s also sadistic in a way few other monsters can pull off; resurrecting Sairaag and all its inhabitants as puppets who are *aware* of that fact, and none of the party can really bring them to defend themselves despite that is just some next level Bad Guy behaviour. I also like the touch that the Holy Tree that killed Zanifar just by being nearby is itself killed by proximity to Phibrizzo; just further evidence that he’s a Pretty Big Deal re: Monsters.

Trwding Gourry and Xellos for Zangulus and Slyphiel is a real liability for party composition. Luckily Zangulus at least seems to have been level grinding off camera and can still hang with the main party.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
WARRIOR: Gotta second the comments on the fight choreography, the battle with Darth Gourry was really well done and the way he just kept brushing off the party's attacks, including a danged Dragon Slave, was downright chilling.

Otherwise, this was a good episode for setting the stage for the final battle. I love that Sylphiel is reintroduced via Lina mistakenly blowing her up. It's very true to the character in that she just cannot catch a break.

Also Martina seems to, finally, be fully on team Good Guy, more or less. Yeah she says she wants revenge but gosh darnit she also wants to help rescue that Jellyfish Brained lug. Though who knows what she could possibly contribute in a fight against Phibrizzo, maybe the party can use her as a decoy against one of his attacks?

Oh and I love Amelia's twisted logic when it comes to Phibrizzo's reasoning. Looks like what Gaav said to her last time stuck and she doesn't want to know if helping Lina means doing something technically evil so she just wants that topic dropped. She wants to help Lina so she'd rather stay ignorant.

X-TINCTION: Did you think the series was done dunking on Sylphiel? Haha, nope. Now she has to face a magically rebuilt Sairaag with citizens in some sort of horrific living death state entirely in the thrall of Phibrizzo, including her own father! Phibrizzo supposedly created this scenario to mess with Lina, but Sylphiel seems to be the only one really hurt by it.

Haw, Martina has a crush on Zangbang. Oh that Martina, whoever will she fall for next?

Overall though this episode was a bit slow for being third-last. The episode in this position from the first season ended with Lina getting mortally wounded by Copy Rezo, this one doesn't end on quite the same punch. It wasn't totally flat, though, I was honestly momentarily shocked at the moment when Lina unintentionally stabs a frickin' child. They don't brush it off, either, Lina damn near breaks down if not for Sylphiel reminding her that the child has already been dead for some time. Geez, Sylphiel is the one most affected by Phibrizzo's meddling in Sairaag, and she's able to be a stabilizing presence for Lina, I guess the main reason she hasn't been around this season until now is because she would've thrown the balance of the party out of whack.
 

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
Warrior and X-tinction feel the most like season 1 episodes of any Next episode so far. Though comparing them to season 1, there’s still a lot of standing around explaining why things are going to be a problem instead of just showing that they’re a problem… But there’s less than there has been. Hellmaster casually paving over the deus ex machina from the end of season 1 so he can taunt Lina is also pretty effective at showing how he’s on a different level.

I don’t so much mind Sylphiel being shoehorned back into the party because I think she’s a much more effective foil for Lina than anyone else in the usual crew.
 

Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
Time to put season 2 to bed, folks;

The Souls of the Dead: Linas Final Decision
Go To Next And Then Again


Let’s go with… Yearn and Zenith
 

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
Damn I forgot how incredible the finale of Next is. It’s just two whole episodes of nonstop greatness. HELLMASTER gets his dramatic comeuppance, Gourry gets to be kinda cool, Zelgadis is horrified and fascinated by the cosmological implications, Sylphiel actually gets to be badass, and there’s even some jokes while all that’s happening. And the BGM is outstanding!

How does Gourry solve the problem? By grappling primordial chaos!
 

Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
You can really tell that the animators were excited to finally just go absolutely ham on the sequence where the Giga Slave runs wild and annihilates Sairagg.

Also; Phibrizzo not only gets a TPK on the party, but he does it *twice* because it didn't have its desired effect of convincing Lina to cast the Giga Slave yet.

Martina also tries her hand at killing Hellmaster and hey... it doens't work at all. Good for her.

Then Lina and Gourry forget about confessing their love for each other, but their respective rivals who barely interacted together get married.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
I'll spoilerpop most of my comments, partly for spoilers but also because big.

YEARN:
These last two episodes, man. Geez. I don't even know if I can keep my thoughts for each separate but I'll try my best, and save an overall commentary for the end.

So our episode starts with the party split up (for no good reason besides Phibrizaga wanting as few distractions as possible) and eventually they stumble upon a really climactic-looking gigantic crystal setpiece, which just so happens too be made up of all the souls of Sairaag's dead. Did Phibrizzo hoover them up right when Copy Rezo threw his tantrum? Did he pluck them out of the afterlife some time after the fact? Why stop with Sairaag? None of those answers matter.

So Zangabangarangalang tries, in futility, to sword-blast the big bad (for all his bravado at being a swordsman he sure does rely on his enchanted weapon and just kind of stands in place shooting energy blasts), and keeps trying maybe a bit longer than necessary. Well, good on ya Zangman, at least you're trying something.

Oh and don't blink or you'll miss the coolest thing Sylphiel will probably ever do: Dual Cast a Dragon Slave with Lina. I guess even if you're a white mage you can still learn the most powerful black magic spell if you hyper-specialize. We also learn that this possibly could have killed Phibrizzo if he didn't escape at the last moment, so I guess that puts a cap at his power level: Two Dragons Slave.

But then he summons the rest of the party here to push Lina over the edge, and oooooh man. I friggin' love this finale. I love it to death. The drama and the performances (seriously if you've been watching dubbed, give sub a try here, Amelia's scream is honestly kind of chilling) and the music and all of the protagonists just dropping like flies (yes it's obvious they'll get better but), Slayers Next was one of my earliest anime series I got into so while a lot of this might seem rote by now it made one hell of an impression on me.

And, honestly, the moment when Martina reluctantly takes up Zangalus's sword and starts flailing at Phibrizzo in a desperate attempt to snap Lina out of her shock is one of my top five favorite anime moments of all time. I'm not even kidding. One of my favorite tropes is when a weaker comic relief character, or a comedic-inclined character, gets in way over their head but nevertheless show uncharacteristic courage to help save the day.

Anyway, Lina is pushed into casting the Giga Slave, Phibrizzo is a little cheat and kills her just as the spell finishes in the hopes causing it to go haywire, and everything is consumed by darkness.

Oh hi Lina, why are you Super Saiyan now and calling yourself the Lord of Nightmares?

ZENITH:
Oh Phibrizzo done fucked up.

So it turns out using the Giga Slave straight up summons the Lord of Nightmares, not just draw its power. Not only that, but Phibrizzo rather crucially does not fully understand her or her desires, and instead of the LoN wanting to end all things like Phibrizzo wants and believes all Monsters are for, she instead seems perfectly content to just end his little smug ass.

Has there ever been such an absolute critical failure on the part of a villain like this? He planned and planned to engineer a situation where Lina would be forced to cast the Giga Slave with the understanding that the out of control LoN's power would destroy the world because it's what she desires, but instead just succeeded in summoning the only being that could effortlessly wipe him out with a blink and gives her absolutely no reason not to.

Even revealing his true form and turning into a giant rorschach test isn't enough to save himself, the LoN kills the hell out of him, and the party wakes up to everything being solved and fixed forever!

Except Lina's body is still possessed by an old god and according to Xellos there's likely no way to get her back. So the LoN peaces out to the sea of chaos (space, the sea of chaos is space, magic space) but Gourry is having none of that and decides the best way to get Lina back is to punch outer space.

It works, and everyone lives happily ever after. Especially Martina who marries Zangulus because they hit it off in the last five minutes of the season. You're the real MVP of Next, Martina.

Oh and Sylphiel rather hilariously assumes she's coming with them this time. Haha oh Sylphiel. No. No you're not.


So, Slayers Next. Watching the first season and then this back to back with the benefit of hindsight I can see newcomers preferring the first season, but I still love this one more.

I think the first season has a better villain overall, even Copy Rezo's petulant 'I wanna be The Guy Real Rezo!' is more compelling than Phibrizzo's 'end all of existence because rofl', especially where he only shows up for the last four episodes. But Lina herself is much better served by Next's finale. She is nearly killed by Copy Rezo, true, but aside from some brief waffling on whether or not to cast the Giga Slave, there's no real tension between her and Copy Rezo and in the end she just impales him on a tree with some sword she found. Say what you will about Phibrizzo's plan, it rather crucially revolves around Lina, and thus so does the finale, and to me these last two episodes more than make up for the larger plot of Next kind of meandering in the second half.

I honestly hate that I can't seem to find the OST for most of Next on Youtube. Slayers Next had three OSTs to the first season's two, and the third one was 90% music from these last two episodes. I was able to find a few incidental pieces, like Phibrizzo's theme, or the music from when Lina casts the Giga Slave and the bits following it (the title here is probably not right, the one I have is 'Darkness, Emptiness, or Chaos'), or Gourry's heroic gambit, but sadly, not all of it. Ah well.

Anyway, Slayers Next! One of my favorite seasons of anime ever! Five Stars! Ten outta Ten! Two Thumbs Up! Would Rewatch Again.
 

Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
On rewatch I'll give the nod to season 1 overall, but it's a MUCH closer race than I had suspected when this thread started; the dub is just *astronomically* improved in Next; deason 1 was, y'know... fine as far as mid-90s dubs are concerned, but the performances in Next are just top-tier all around.

Xellos' english voice was a bit grating at first, granted, but it grew on me by the end.

Anyway; excited to get into Try next week
 

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
I think I’d summarize my take so far as:

- both Slayers and Next are way better than their reputations
- Slayers is absolutely the better series overall…
- … But the last four episodes of Next are the best episodes out of both series.
 

John

(he/him)
I watched both of these in one session, which was the right decision, since they were two halves of the same episode.

YEARN!: I still think baby Hellmaster is a weak villain, but I liked him slowly picking off Lina's pals one by one, until she had no other recourse than to cast the superbad spell.

ZENITH! Lina gets to cast the superbad spell again, and gets possessed by the big big bad mamma Monster. Having Sylphiel be the first one to wake up after Phib was mostly taken out was a nice touch. Her father's soul's finally free, and she knows it. Lina and Gourry finally get the kiss that the fans want, but if they don't remember it, did it really happen? Nah, the world's reset yet again (except for Martina & Zangulus getting hitched for some reason. At least that completes her plot arc, and we don't have to keep asking "Where's Martina?" whenever Martina's not on screen).

I don't quite know why Phibrizzo couldn't just cast the Giga Slave himself and save the party the trouble, aside from throwing a wrench in the whole TV show plotting. I was expecting Xellos to have more of a role in the ending instead of just the other Deus Ex Machina, but that leaves him open for sequel shows/movies.

This probably won't happen, but I wish that post-possession, Lina still had a bit of the Lord of Nightmares left inside her psyche, and was just a little changed. I'm just wanting Slayers to merge a bit with Book of the Long Sun, which I'm rereading at the moment.

Overall, a good season, fun show. I'm enjoying it outside of just an excuse to exercise. It's not my favorite show ever, but I'm happy to keep going.
 
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