Anime Greats: The Slayers

Welcome! This will be the sixth (and possibly final) post in a series of posts I call “Anime Greats”. There’s a few anime that sit in a weird place in my life; while they’re popular, I’ve met very few fellow fans of the series or none at all. That being said, I’ll do my public duty and give it a bit of exposure.

The 90’s were an excellent time for anime, providing us with excellent series like YuYu Hakusho, Sailor Moon and the majority of Dragon Ball Z. Among them was a fantasy series known as The Slayers, which retains a moderate, but loyal fanbase to this day. The Slayers is a series of light novels by Hajime Kanzaka, which became an anime in 1995.  The Slayers has slowed down in terms of new material these days, but it hasn’t lost it’s charm.

The series follows a teenage sorceress named Lina Inverse, who has immense talent but possessed a short temper and body image issues. She’s often “protected” by a warrior named Gourry, who’s a competent warrior in his own right but a bit of an idiot. They’re often accompanied by others in the misadventures which often culminated into a large scale climax towards the end of an arc. Lina’s major spells are chanted in poetically pleasing structures, which add a touch of uniqueness to the series.

The fantasy aspect of the series is a fine blend of a 90’s JRPG and a Dungeons and Dragons theme. The characters generally gain power by acquiring new spells or equipment versus training sessions of typical shounen anime. Some of the strongest creatures in the series are the monsters, a race of beings from the astral world who can occasionally project their image to the physical plane with enough power. Only specific forms of magic and certain weaponry can harm them, as well as inflicting psychological warfare in some cases.

The Slayers may not take itself as seriously as some of the other fantasy themed anime today, but it’s retained a loyal fan base long after it’s heyday for a reason. It’s always nice to go back to the glory of 90’s theme music and art style, and this series captures both perfectly.

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