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The Slayers Group Watch Thread

Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
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.
I think this is explained in some of the supplementary materials, but the short version is he didn't know how; knowledge of the Giga Slave is extremely rare and few people in the world know it even exists, and only Lina ever learned how to cast it

Also, I'm assuming that the rules for magic works differently for Monsters than it does for humans, so maybe he straight up could not
 

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
I’m pretty sure Monsters aren’t capable of casting magic yeah. They explained back in season 1 that Black Magic involves borrowing the power of Monsters who’ve essentially put some of themselves out to freelance on the theory that humans having access to destructive weapons will further the cause of Monster-kind. I think Monsters are a lot more restricted when borrowing power from each other. But why bother when their innate powers massively outclass all but the most absurdly strong humans?

My interpretation of the Next finale is also that the Lord of Nightmares totally put the Giga Slave out there in hopes that some human would destroy the world with it. She has no interest in enabling a Monster to do the same - or even to coerce a human into doing the same, which is why Lina was able to use it successfully against both Shabranigdo and Phibrizzo.
 

Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
Let’s get ready for Slayers Try!


Hoist Sales for the Journey

A Letter from Home


Let’s go with ADVENTURE and BERTH
 

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
Back when I first got into anime CW among the locals was that Next was the good Slayers, the original was okay, and Try didn’t have much going for it.

From this rewatch so far that was absolutely wrong.

The first two episodes of Try feel a lot more like Slayers than Next. Even when the characters are talking we get scene framing that isn’t just head close-ups or sitting around a table at an inn, and the action feels like it happens somewhere. Both fights (Filia and the bandits) are fun and dynamic. The stakes get made clear basically immediately, instead of Next’s vague “huh someone wants to kill Lina or … something?” The gags are more restrained but still funny, and it makes the truly over the top stuff - like Lina entombing herself rather than risk angering her sister - funnier.

Maybe it’s not going to keep up this level of quality but …
 

Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
Sylphiel doesn’t show up in this series, but a very similar character with a very similar name and very similar outfit does; and she’s around for the long haul. To my recollection she doesn’t have the low-key weirdo personality that made me like Sylph a lot more on this rewatch.

Also, as opposed to the dragons in the first two seasons, which were straight up DND monsters, Filias dragon form looks like a Pokémon; just straight up a Latios with a blond wig. This is not the last time a Pokémon will join the party
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
So, TRY. It was always my least favorite of the original three series, though being my least favorite compared to the first two is still not exactly a mark against it. It is a very nicely animated season, it takes the designs from NEXT and refines them and improves animation elsewhere as well. It is still quite funny, and all the new music is aces. Seriously guys. Breeze.
(neither this version nore the other I tried seem to be displaying in the thread? Youtuuuuuuuuuube!)

I still prefer Give a Reason for its more typical JPop style, but goddamn that spanish guitar though. It's a great tune.

However, my memories of TRY overall are mixed, with all that good going for it I remember this season feeling just kind of unnecessary? Probably doesn't help that, as I understand it, this season was created whole cloth for the anime, so it just has this overall sense of filler. With Filia.

Filleria.

But I guess we'll see how it holds up!

ADVENTURE: We join our heroes an undetermined amount of time after NEXT, long enough for most people to notice 'hey, that big magical barrier that always existed is gone now, maybe let's look into that?', and also long enough for the party to split up again. Thankfully, like NEXT, it doesn't take longer than an episode for them to all reunite.

We also get a rather swift introduction to our new 5th party member, Sylphiel! I mean, Sylphilia! I mean Filleria. I mean

Filia.

She's a Mysterious Priest(ess) who wants to hire Lina and friends for somethingorother, but before she can divulge any details Gourry goes and does a hentai, and is summilarily punished like most hentai protags: via being punted into the stratosphere.

I'm sticking with subs, but Crispin Freeman's delivery regarding looking up girls skirts is aces.

Anyway there's more to Filia than meets the eye but before they can get any answers from her they run into Amelia who tries desperately to keep Lina away from official royal business (haha when has that ever worked) and somethingsomething Dragon attack, somethingsomething carnage, somethingsomething DRAGON SLAVE.

Somethingsomething Tsunami.

(Amelia and Zel quickly putting on sunglasses right before the magic nuke is fired is a nice visual gag, as is Zel holding up arrows so Gourry knows which way to spin the wheel)

So after decimating the port city, Lina and co decide to set sail to the new world to avoid any consequences discover a new adventure! What could possibly go wrong?

BERTH: Oh. Right. The scurvy.

The gang very nearly dies at sea, but stumble upon land right when they need to. They charge into a poor unsuspecting town only to find it besieged by baddies, baddies with names and personalities so we will probably be seeing more of them going forward. They have some crazy new weapons too, like 'gunpowder' and 'explosives', and they also ride around on birds.

Wait, a magic-less land developing a reliance on technology to take its place and everyone rides around on birds? Did the gang travel to Final Fantasy VI?

The battle that follows is pretty good, Gourry's brief time spent as a dried out husk leads to some funny moments, but he's fine again after eating a mouthful of bomb. I guess he can get nourishment from literally anything, even explosions. Meanwhile Zel seems to be getting more comfortable embracing his inherent silliness, but maybe over-reaches a bit when he tries to headbutt a cannonball. Still, nice try Zel, good hustle.

After filling their bellies the gang meet up again with Filleria who eventually fill them in on what's going on after an unnecessary tea party. Lina is quite cheesed to learn she's merely the BACK UP to represent humanity, but quickly falls in line when she is told who the first choice was and when said first choice has some words for her.

I think this is the only time Lina's sister has any actual bearing on the plot. Lina frantically constructing a pyramid and burying herself alive to hide from even the thought of her sister is a heck of an image.

Meanwhile we see a more villainous character skulking about and taking orders from The Big Giant Head. This new guy has it out for Lina for some reason (doesn't everybody?), and his name is apparently Valgaav.

Hm. Valgaav. Valgaav. Valgaaaaaaaaaav. That name.......

Likely doesn't mean anything. Whatevs. Man, where is Xellos anyway?
 
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John

(he/him)
ADVENTURE! - Once again we have another time jump, enough for Sylphiel to decide she really didn't need to be third wheel to Gourry-Dear and Miss Sorceress. Was that her in the intro, with a gag sign saying "only in the intro"?

The golden dragon design reminded me much more of Pokemon than of Slayers, though looking at the dates, those were contemporaries, so just something that was in the water at the time.

I like that Amelia had enough time away from the party that she got some sense to know that wherever Lina goes, trouble will follow, so it's best to just leave her alone. She got snared by her Overwhelming Love of Justice, hoisted on her petard. Well, I guess it serves her for all the times Justice got the party in trouble over the past two years.

I liked the flamenco guitar style mixed with some electronic dance in the opening. It's not as good as the Next opening, but I think I like it better than the original season opener. The closer was nice too, I never watched the closer for Next, also because Funimation didn't have the "Next On" tease. They do have it for Try, but at least for the first episode, the dub didn't have music, just Lina doing a voice-over.

Good premier, familiar themes, nothing surprising but not offensive or boring.
 

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
Once again we have another time jump, enough for Sylphiel to decide she really didn't need to be third wheel to Gourry-Dear and Miss Sorceress. Was that her in the intro, with a gag sign saying "only in the intro"?

That’s Luna, Lina’s big sister. She’s been in every opening so far and got a commercial eyecatch near the end of Next.
 

Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
Episode 2 brings in Gillis; who is perhaps my favorite non-Xellos antagonist.

...possibly favorite antagonist overall, since Xellos is more of a *technical* antagonist
 

John

(he/him)
BERTH! - I liked Gourry's desiccated mummy look, wonder if the magical people in the party were psychically feeding off of him. The rest of the episode, sure, here's some setup and some new baddies talking menacingly in darkness. Oh, and the Dragon was actually the nice lady, which the party's surprised about for some reason. And there's another Sister reference to the movies that I haven't seen. Maybe one of these days I'll check that out, if it's easily found on some streaming service. They're not on the ones I currently have, which means I'd probably have to go off on the lawless seas.
 

Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
Amelia’s sister shows up in the movies (and technically season 4, sorta); Linas sister is relegated to incredibly brief snippets in the intros, and knowledge that she’s the only thing on the planet capable of intimidating Lina
 

John

(he/him)
It looks like the dub version of the first movie is on YouTube, probably because whoever has the rights doesn’t care anymore. I may check it out, unless we’re thinking of adding the movies into the watch rotation, either between seasons or at the end?
 

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
Iirc Luna has a larger - though still not large - role in the LNs. She’s incredibly powerful and also utterly uninterested in fantasy adventures. I believe she winds up adopting Dilgear?
 

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
He could do worse.

Or possibly the opposite

Phibrizzo: I know what I’ll do, I’ll force the most powerful human mage to cast Giga Slave!

Xellos: 😬 frantic chopping motions

Phibrizzo: I’ll… force the second most powerful human mage to cast Giga Slave?

Xellos: lots of nodding
 

Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
Where Did that Arrogant Guy Go
He’s Out for Revenge!


These two titles sound like a super violent Italian western when put together. Let’s go with CREEPING! and DRAGON!
 

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
My, Xellos, that's quite the tic you've developed. I'm starting to see why monsters and dragons don't get along.

Creeping! Really feels like it drags on way too long with very little payoff, and while it's nice to see Amelia and Zelgadis get some action, we didn't need that much time spent establishing that the residents of the outer world are ignorant of magic.

Dragon is much better; a nice fight with Valgaav that the heroes turn around cleverly. In another marked departure from prior series, Try treats gag props with substance, as Filia manifests a chocobo out of nowhere and rides it around for a bit. Bom di wind gets a workout here, and the ping-pong gag continues to amuse.

Apparently Gourry is actually important? Weird!
 

John

(he/him)
CREEPING! - I like that everyone intentionally blew off Dragon Lady's quest to follow their own base interests. Lina & Gourry need dessert, Zelgadis needs to track down leads for a cure by blowing up shrines all over town, and Amelia becomes a prophet for Truth and Justice. I could see her amassing a giant army of followers, leading a jihad against all who would oppose, bringing more pain and anguish to the world than what was there to begin with. Just give her some spice and a sandworm, and we've got a crossover!

In between the team's selfish exploits, you have the baddies (led by Piccolo with a Scanner implant) torturing a small Jawa village trying to find the One True Sword that they already found a few episodes ago. And now Green-Haired Hornboy shows up to show everyone that he's a disciple of the last big bad, which is a little anticlimactic. They (or actually, Xellos I think) took him out already, so why's his minion gonna be stronger than him? I guess we'll have to ask Xellos once he stops being creepy and introduces himself again.
 

Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
Valgaav is the only villain in the series who I deem “looks stupid”. I dislike your dumb pistachio haircut, Valgaav! Try harder next time!

Spiky Blue Guy (Omnus?) looks cool though; pretty generic JRPG Fakeout Final Boss look to him, perhaps, but he rocks that beetle-man armor.

Art style is a lot more consistent than in Next; and everything seems to be a few shades lighter than before too; it’s a good look for the show
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
This was moving weekend for me and while I got the episodes watched I can't devote the time to a detailed review. I'll just say that while I'm kind of meh on Filia as a character overall, she's a lesser Sylphiel, I do absolutely love the animosity between her and Xellos. She's probably the only character to ever truly crack his facade and get under his skin.
 

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
CREEPING! - I like that everyone intentionally blew off Dragon Lady's quest to follow their own base interests.

I can just picture the GM sitting there pulling at their hair. “But… You spent all of Next complaining that Phibrizzo’s plan makes no sense and you had no idea what to do next. Here’s Filia. She’s telling you where to go. And you’re… Going to look for local specialities? Fine! There are no local specialties! You get a selection of fresh fruit!”
 

John

(he/him)
DRAGON! - Holy Exposition, Batman! Time for some more backstory into the machinations of Monsters, both in battle and in the wrap up show. Xellos was being as open as he's ever been, and the party didn't care one whit. Does he not have feelings? Kinda harsh.

Amelia gets her Sandworm of Justice briefly, only to turn it to stone by resetting the magic sword. That's not how you start a Crusade!

Poor Jawas, they're even misidentified in the show as Sand People. Maybe George Lucas was thinking of this when he had Anakin blow off some steam in Attack of the Clones.

I liked Filia's Chocobo drop, I guess it can be a little conspicuous if you're constantly changing into a dragon all the time. At the moment she's mostly wet blankets for the story. It's hard being the audience insert/plot flag!

And nobody really talked about the super big bad who was possibly summoned by crossing the sword streams, the same thing that Egon explicitly warned Valgaav not to do. He might not be a Monster, since they were surprised that magic didn't work on him. Or that he just wasn't in this dimension fully? Who's to say, we're still early in the season to drop all the secrets.

And what's with Valgaav's name? Kinda Handmaid's Tale-ish, naming yourself after your boss. That's some implications I don't really want to think about.
 
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