Thursday, July 22, 2004

Slayers: The Motion Picture

"Slayers: The Motion Picture" is set some time before Lina hooks up with Gourry and the other characters from the three seasons of the "Slayers" television series. She is a little younger--but still feared as a short-tempered and powerful spellcaster-- and she is the reluctant partner of Naga, a lanky sorceress whose bust size is in direct inverse proportion to her IQ. The pair travel to a distant island where they become embroiled in a mystery surrounding the butchering of an elf village before recorded history.

This was a so-so effort that is something that is great for the kids and presented all the basics of the "Slayers" series in a fairly concise package. Still, I don't think the package was concise enough. One of the things I've liked about as much of the 'Slayers' series I've seen so far is that the episodes are all swiftly paced and tightly plotted. Gag follows upon gag upon fight scene... there's hardly ever a quiet moment. There were almost too many quiet moments in "The Motion Picture."

The movie also failed to capitilize on some of the cooler elements that were introduced; wouldn't a bit more time spent in the past have been more interesting than beating up local thugs on the pier? I for one would have liked to learned more about the elves and the kid who appeared to be an ancestor of Gourry.

Despite my complaints, I think this is a worthwhile animated film. Fans of fantasy, fans of quality animation (as one might expect from a theatrical release, the animation in "Slayers: The Motion Picture" is gorgeous), and fans of Japanese cartoons in general will find much to enjoy here. It might also serve as a fine way to introduce your friends to "The Slayers" franchise, even if I think the TV series is vastly superior to this film.