Lina and Gourry and puns, oh my! After numerous movies and television series, Slayers Premium (aka Slayers Movie 5) was slated to be the last journey of the loveable and bumbling cast - that is, until an announcement in 2008 confirmed that a new television series was on the way. Regardless, with a hilarious story and varied cast of old favorites, Slayers Premium is easily one of the most entertaining and accessible titles in the franchise that I've had the pleasure of seeing.
Story-wise, Slayers Premium is admittedly nothing special. It follows Lina and one of her cohorts (Gourry, in this case) as they use their wits and magic to battle a less-than-nefarious foe. Sure, it's standard fare for a lighthearted fantasy anime, but what helps Slayers Premium rise above the rest is its exceptionally comedic slapstick humor. Most Slayers titles are filled with slapstick aplenty, but this incarnation in particular managed to make me laugh out loud on many occasions. For example, Gourry (and the rest of the villagers) suffers from an affliction that causes him to speak in the octopus language; normal words come out, but their choice doesn't make logical sense. At certain times, Gourry shouts out "flat-chested!" (one of the oldest running gags of Slayers, aimed at poor Lina) which, in the octopus language, translates to "oh my god!"
Furthermore, while other reviewers have chastised Slayers Premium as being inaccessible to newcomers, I'd heartily disagree. Indeed, its characters will not be familiar to new fans of the franchise - but any fan of random comedy will eat up the puns and gags with a spoon.
Humor aside, long time Slayers fans will also appreciate the numerous friendly faces that grace the screen. Amelia and Zelgaldis arrive on the scene in full regalia, and even Xellos makes a quick appearance. For an anime meant to close off the series with a bang, Slayers Premium delivers plenty of nostalgic content to enjoy.
By default, the animation in any Slayers title is acceptable, but not outstanding. The character designs are reminiscent of any-other-90s-anime, and the colors used are varied and muted. Bucking the trend, however, is Slayers Premium: it incorporates a decent amount of CG, looks great, and thus raises the animation score accordingly.
Slayers Premium's audio fits the bill, but is nothing special. Filled with typical synths and comedic melodies, the soundtrack easily melds into the background. Effective and unobtrusive, but still forgettable.
Like a double-edged sword, Slayers Premium's characters are either its weakest or strongest draw. Weakest if you are a newcomer, as the characters have strong, pre-existing personalities and are given no introductions; strongest if you are an old-time fan, as seeing the familiar faces together again is quite nostalgic.
Little more can be said of the characters; they fit their stereotypes perfectly and help keep the comedy level high.
Slayers Premium is a comedic, fun look at the Slayers franchise, and is (or was) a successful send-off to the gang's adventures. It's hilarious, has more effective slapstick humor than usual, and (in my opinion) would be enjoyed by both new and old fans alike.
Lina and Gourry have traveled to a seaside town where the local specialty is octopus – but there’s a catch! Consuming the octopus has an unfortunate side effect: after eating the delicacy, you lose all language skills and are only able to speak the octopus tongue! Gourry soon comes down with the affliction, and none other than Lina herself is forced to save the day. Joining their ranks are Xellos, Zelgaldis and Amelia – who happen to wander into town at the same time – and a concerned local townsperson. Together, the gang will try to put a stop to the local malevolent octopus clan and restore the power of speech to the masses!
My fav genres include sci fi and horror, but you'll find a lot of obscure reviews from me too, given I watch a ton to add to the database. My new reviews are written a lot better than my old ones, so when in doubt, sort by date! ^_^ Enjoy, and I welcome any and all feedback.