The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Slayers Next

Title: Slayers Next
Genre: Action/Comedy
Company: TV Tokyo/J.C. Staff/SoftX
Format: 26 episodes
Date: 5 Apr 1996 – 27 Sep 1996

Synopsis: Lina, Gourry, Zelgadis and Amelia are back, and this time they are on a quest for the Clair Bible, an ancient manuscript rumored to contain all the knowledge in the world. On their adventures, they encounter the Mysterious Priest Xelloss, who befriends them, but is quite unpredictable when it comes to helping the group. What exactly is Xelloss up to? Could his actions have anything to do with the sudden activities of the Monster race?

The Highlights
Characters: Everyone’s back and as funny as ever.
Plot: Mediocre, it has its moments, but is often clichéd.
Artwork: Low quality.

As the kings of Fantasy/Comedy, the Slayers anime need no introduction with most fans. The character antics and running gags are the stuff of legend in the anime community, and unlike most Fantasy/Comedy anime, Slayers is known for having a decent plot along with all the character-based humor. In spite of this reputation, Slayers Next fails to become more than the sum of its parts, although it makes for an entertaining and often very, very funny watch.

The character antics of Slayers Next are pure gold. No matter how many times I hear jokes about Lina’s chest size, or see Gourry dressed in drag I will always find it funny. The filler episodes are the most priceless parts of the show, and some of them are some of the single funniest episodes of anime I have ever seen. There is little in the way of character development, but when your laughing this hard at the characters why should they change? One change I did not care for was Zelgadis being delegated to the back seat, although Xelloss is a great addition to the series and more than makes up for Zel’s loss of screen time.

Despite being solid in the character department, Slayers Next has an iffy plot. Not only do the filler episodes break up the plot, it is also very formulaic and somewhat predictable. The basic idea that gets used over and over again is that Lina learns some new, more powerful spell, beats the current enemy with it only to encounter a tougher enemy later. Gee, where have I seen this before? The ending, while not totally unimpressive, was quite clichéd as well. The only thing that saves this plot from being horrible is a few pretty good twists.

Though the plot was saved, there is no justification for the bad artwork. I could excuse some of the art and the slightly lackluster character designs if Slayers Next was made in, oh say 1990, but for being made in 1996 it is just unacceptable. The lack of sharp color and lines is disturbing, and so are the simply drawn spell explosions.

Slayers Next is a must see for Slayers fans and comedy lovers who have seen the original anime. The comedy alone is enough to sell this anime despite the plot, and will keep you laughing for hours. With the hilarious comedy, having a better plot would have made a one-two punch similar to Trigun, but even so the Slayers anime set the bar for other Fantasy/Comedy to live up to. As for why the producers didn’t make Slayers Next greater than the sum of its parts, Xelloss’ trademark line says it best: “That is a Secret.”

The Rating: 6

Reviewed by: Kuma

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