Slayers The Motion Picture
|Slayers – The Motion Picture|
|Directed by||Kazuo Yamazaki
|Produced by||Tōru Suzuki|
|Screenplay by||Kazuo Yamazaki|
by Hajime Kanzaka and Rui Araizumi
|Music by||Takayuki Hattori|
|Distributed by||Toei Company|
|Running time||62 minutes|
Slayers – The Motion Picture, also known as Slayers Perfect (or Slayers the Movie: Perfect Edition) and originally released in Japan simply as Slayers (スレイヤーズ), is a 1995 Japanese comic fantasy adventure anime film written by Kazuo Yamazaki, based on an original story by Hajime Kanzaka, and directed by Yamazaki and Hiroshi Watanabe.
This first film entry in the Slayers media franchise was praised by anime critics. Its soundtrack was released that same year and the first sequel Slayers Return followed in 1996, along with the OVA series Slayers Special. Its chronological prequel Slayers Excellent was released in 1998.
In the film, the protagonist sorceresses Lina Inverse and Naga the Serpent reunite to go on a vacation to the magical island of Mipross. Soon, however, Lina and Naga find that things on Mipross are not quite what they seem and there might be a mighty evil force behind it.
The powerful teen sorceress Lina Inverse and her traveling companion and self-styled archrival Naga the Serpent, having reunited after Naga was (once again) hired against Lina, obtain two discounted tickets for a tour to the fabled hot springs of Mipross Island. However, they discover almost immediately that those hot springs are fake and the island is controlled by a group of bandits. The two heroines clean up the island from them but learn they have been sent by someone called "the Great Master".
Meanwhile, Lina is repeatedly visited during sleep by an old insistent man that narrates about the love between a heroic boy Rowdy and a young elf girl Meliroon, tragically interrupted by the appearance of a mazoku (demon) named Joyrock that destroyed the city of elves and killed Meliroon. In another dream, between an event and another, Lina discovers that the old storyteller is the young hero himself and he gained the power of elves, with the ability of seeing the future, and that he was the owner of the legendary Sword of Light.
Lina and Naga deliver the most dangerous bandits to the king, who asks Lina to take action against Joyrock. He and the queen were contacted by the old sage Rowdy in dream and he told them the demon came back again to Mipross and is wreaking havoc in the northern part of the island, blocking the natural flux of hot spring's water, so the girl named Lina Inverse is the only able to beat him. Lina is initially reluctant, but in exchange of a reward (and Rowdy's promise to reveal the secret location of a hot spring that make things growing up) she and Naga decide to take action against the demon.
Joyrock shows himself in the form of a frog, then turns into a reptile-like creature and reveals to be the Great Master who pulled the strings of the events that took place on the island. Lina attempts to slay him with her destructive Dragon Slave spell, but he disappears and reappears from the astral plane and injures the sorceress, who luckily is rescued by Naga and Rowdy. The old sage heals Lina and tells them he could use use his magic to get back in time and change history, but the two sorceress must help him defeating the Joyrock from the past. At the same time he casts the spell, the demon appears and kills Rowdy. Luckily, Lina manages to travel in the void of time (Naga is missing at this moment), she meets the young Rowdy and, with the help of the Sword of Light combined with Dragon Slave, they finally destroy the demon. Along with coincidentally rescued Naga, they return to present time.
Before going back to the mainland, Lina remembers she has to visit the hidden hot spring promised by Rowdy, but there she discovers it is a magical water that makes things like vegetables growing older, and not growing bigger as she hoped for her breasts. Shouting angrily to the ghost of Rowdy, Lina runs away in shame, followed by Naga, and they keep on running until late night. During the end credits, it is shown that the inhabitants of Mipross have erected a statue in honor of the two heroes of the island: the young Rowdy and Lina Inverse.
|Character||Japanese voice actor||English voice actor|
|Lina Inverse||Megumi Hayashibara||Cynthia Martinez|
|Naga the Serpent||Maria Kawamura||Kelly Manison|
|Rowdy||Osamu Saka||Phil Ross|
|Joyrock||Tessho Genda||Tristan MacAvery|
|Young Rowdy||Minami Takayama||David Bell|
|Meliroon||Yuri Shiratori||Jessica Calvello|
|King of Mipross||Mahito Tsujimura||Paul Sidello|
|Queen of Mipross||Miyuki Ichijou||Angela Lorio|
|Lagos||Norio Wakamoto||Bryan Bounds|
Slayers: The Motion Picture was created during the peak of the franchise's popularity, and was produced by J.C.Staff in co-production with Kadokawa Bunko. Unlike the later films in the series, this one was not directly written by the Sayers creator Hajime Kanzaka. According to Helen McCarthy, "in order not to disturb the continuity of the ongoing TV series, writer/director Kazuo Yamazaki opted for a story from a spinoff continuity, the Slayers Special tales set two years before Lina's first meeting with Gourry." The movie makes a passing reference to manga/anime Dragon Half.
When ADV Films first acquired the rights to the film, they originally had contacted Lisa Ortiz, who had been the Eglish voice of Lina Inverse in the Slayers TV series, to reprise her role in the film. But at the last second, Lisa had to turn down the part because of scheduling conflicts; and ADV Films was forced to open up a last minute casting call for Lina, and cast Cynthia Martinez, who made her acting debut as Lina in the film. In the English dub, the voice actor playing Joyrock makes several references to Looney Toones characters. References to Dragon Half and Dragon Ball are also made in the dubbed version, which was written, directed and produced by Matt Greenfield, based on a translation by Dan Kanemitsu.
The film was released in Japan on July 29, 1995, distributed by Toei Company. It premiered at Kadokawa Anime Festival 95, screened as a double feature together with Legend of Crystania. A 98-page companion guide book (released also in the low-budget "miniartbook" version) was published by Fujimi Shobō in the Dragon Magazine Collection in 1996. The book is divided between a color part with illustrations about the film and its main characters, and the black-and-white part with about the making of the movie. Bandai Visual's home version of the film was released on the VHS and LaserDisc in February 1996, and re-released on the DVD as part of the EMOTION the Best Slayers Movie Edition DVD-BOX (EMOTION the Best スレイヤーズ 劇場版 DVD-BOX) collection of all Slayers films in 2010.
Slayers: The Motion Picture was released on the VHS and LaserDisc in North America by A.D. Vision on November 11, 1998, followed by the DVD version on May 25, 1999. The VHS version was made available in either dubbed or subbed formats, and both the LaserDisc and DVD versions were bilingual. Another DVD release was compiled later by ADV Films on September 28, 2004 in a remastered disc individually in the "Essential Anime" collection, later released as part of a "Movie Box" set on September 20, 2005 and a "Movies & OVAs" collection box set on October 28, 2008 The film was presented in anamorphic widescreen for the re-releases and an audio commentary by Cynthia Martinez, Kelly Manison (Naga) and Matt Greenfield was also included on the DVDs as a special feature. All DVD releases are now out-of-print as ADV Films has gone out of business and their license has lapsed. The film was also broadcast in the English version by ADV's Anime Network, and was released in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment, in France by Déclic Images, in Italy by Yamato Video (dubbed to Italian by DEA Digital Editing Audio), and in Germany by ACOG and OVA Films (dubbed to German by Circle of Arts).
A soundtrack CD for Slayers: The Motion Picture was composed by Takayuki Hattori and released in Japan by King Records in 1995, and in North America by A.D. Vision (ADV Music) in 2003. The film's theme song "Midnight Blue" was released as a single CD (KIDA-108) by Starchild Records on July 21, 1995, and included in Megumi Hayashibara's 1996 album bertemu. The songs were also later included in the CD collection The Best of Slayers Vol. 2 (From OVA, Movie & Game).
Slayers The Motion Picture was met with mostly very positive critical reception, although sometimes with reservations regarding some of the film's aspects. Polish fantasy writer Aleksandra Janusz, writing for the magazine Kawaii, opined it is plotwise the best of all Slayers films, also featuring "splendid" animation, and can be well treated as a separate entity. DVD Talk's Chris Tribbey "definitely recommended" this "great title from a well-loved franchise," adding that "when ADV gives one of its titles 'Essential Anime' status, they do it for a reason." Chris Beveridge of Mania.com gave this "very recommended" film a near-perfect score of A-, while Mania.com's Justin Emerson scored it a full A, and Megan Lavey from the same website gave it a B+.
According to Sandra Dozier of DVD Verdict, the first film is "one of the more laugh-out-loud installments" of the Slayers anime series and "a great introduction" to it, that "definitely earns the 'Essential' label. It's very tongue-in-cheek and goofy, and if you are okay with that, you'll probably have a good time." Adam Arnold from Animefringe rated it a B+, opining that "great characters and fun situations make for an unforgettable viewing experience." Mania.com's Luis Cruz offered a more moderate praise and a score of B, writing: "Slayers is certainly a franchise worthy of the 'Essential' moniker. The first motion picture provides a good introduction to the main character of the series and to the humor and action you will find in it." The Anime Review too graded it a B. In a more cautious review, Marc Marshall of AAW gave it three-and-half stars out of five, stating that "although the mix of weirdness and relatively serious fantasy isn't for everybody, it's quality entertainment if you're in the right mood."
References and notes
- Aleksandra Janusz (Ina, Błękitna Czarodziejka), "Slayers nie tylko w TV: Filmy kinowe oraz serie OAV." Kawaii 40 (October–November 2002), p. 12-15.
- Helen McCarthy, The Anime Encyclopedia: A Guide to Japanese Animation Since 1917, p.591.
- At one point in the film, Naga encounters a group of slime-halves and tells them to go play with some dragon-halves; there are apparent similarities between Naga and Princess Vina (who is a slime-half in the Dragon Half manga) and between Lina and Mink (the eponymous dragon-half).
- Such as introducing himself as Joyrock, Michagin J. in his frog for (a reference to a frog of a similar name), and saying a line from Sylvester and Daffy Duck ("sufferin' succotash").
- When Naga runs through the hallway to enter the springs, she says "Last one in is a rotten dragon ball", a reference to Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball series.
- Darek Styrna, "Exclusive Manga Club: Slayers - Miniartbook", Kawaii 34 (October–November 2001), page 20.
- Darek Styrna, "Exclusive Manga Club: Slayers The Motion Picture (artbook i filmbook)", Kawaii 31 (April–May 2001), page 71.
- "劇場版 スレイヤーズ 完全無欠版・DVD・中古・通販ショップの駿河屋". Suruga-ya.jp. 1996-02-25. Retrieved 2013-12-16.
- "劇場版 スレイヤーズ 完全無欠版・DVD・中古・通販ショップの駿河屋". Suruga-ya.jp. 1996-02-25. Retrieved 2013-12-16.
- "EMOTION the Best スレイヤーズ 劇場版 DVD-BOX". Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
- "Stephen reviews: Slayers: the Motion Picture (1995) « Silver Emulsion Film Reviews". Silveremulsion.com. 2012-05-02. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
- "Slayers:Motion Picture : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video". Dvdtalk.com. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
- "Slayers: The Motion Picture (Chris Beveridge's review)". Mania.com. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
- "Slayers: The Motion Picture (Justin Emerson's review)". Mania.com. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
- "Slayers: Movie Box (Thinpak)". Mania.com. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
- "DVD Verdict Review - Anime Essentials: Slayers The Motion Picture". Dvdverdict.com. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
- "Reviews - Slayers: The Motion Picture". ANIMEfringe. Retrieved 2013-09-25.
- "Slayers: The Motion Picture Essential Anime". Mania.com. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
- "Slayers: The Motion Picture". The Anime Review. Retrieved 2013-09-25.
- "Slayers: The Motion Picture : Anime Reviews : AAW". Animeworld.com. 2000-10-10. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
- Official website (Madman Entertainment's Slayers Movie Collection)
- Slayers The Motion Picture at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Slayers The Motion Picture at the Internet Movie Database