The self-titled first season of the anime is a derivative of the light novel’s first three volumes. Slayers NEXT was adapted from the events of volumes 4-8, whereas Slayers TRY is an original story. A fourth season, Slayers AGAIN, was rumored following the success of TRY, but early scheduling conflicts caused interest in the project to dissipate. A fourth anime series, Slayers Revolution, premiered in Japan on July 2, 2008. Megumi Hayashibara performed both the opening and ending theme songs. The new plot is told across two 13-episode arcs and follows an original storyline that has subplots based on events in the novels, with series director Takashi Watanabe and production studio J.C.Staff reprising their duties from the three original TV series. A fifth Slayers series titled Slayers Evolution-R is the second 13-episode arc of Slayers Revolution and was aired on AT-X starting on January 12, 2009 in Japan.
- The first OVA series, Slayers Special, consists of three individual episodes directed by Hiroshi Watanabe. The first episode was released in Japan on July 25, 1996 by Kadokowa Shoten and J.C.Staff, approximately 10 months following broadcast of the final episode of the original anime series.
- A second three-episode OVA series, Slayers Excellent followed in 1998, also directed by Wantabe and produced by J.C.Staff.
- Slayers The Motion Picture, also known as Slayers Perfect (or Slayers the Movie: Perfect Edition) and originally released in Japan simply as Slayers, is a 1995 film written by Kazuo Yamazaki, based on an original story by Hajime Kanzaka, and directed by Yamazaki and Hiroshi Watanabe.
- Slayers Return, also known as Slayers Movie 2 – The Return, is a 1996 film written by Kanzaka and directed by Kunihiko Yuyama and Hiroshi Watanabe.
- Slayers Great is a 1997 film written by Kanzaka and directed by Kunihiko Yuyama, Hiroshi Watanabe and Yoshimatsu Takahiro.
- Slayers Gorgeous is a 1998 film written by Kanzaka and directed by Hiroshi Watanabe.
- Slayers Premium is a 2001 short film written and directed by Junichi Satō.
All films were produced by J.C.Staff and licensed for home video release in North America by ADV Films. Slayers Return was adapted into a manga version.
Zelgadis Greywords is a sorcerer who begins as a retainer for his ancestor Rezo, an enemy of Lina. He is a chimera made of rock, golem, “brau” (English “blow”) demon, and human. Zelgadis specializes in Shamanistic magic, which pulls its power from the astral, or spiritual, plane. His elemental spells, including Stone Spiker and the mighty Ra-Tilt, are formidable. Since he is part blow demon, he is unable to cast black magic, as doing so would require him to call upon the power of another demonic being——which, in the Slayers universe, is akin to willing oneself out of existence. Though he is not as learned in the art as Lina, Zelgadis’ even combination of physical force and magical finesse render him among the most fearsome warriors.
Zelgadis is an enigma to his comrades, due to his quiet and asocial nature. Despite traveling with Lina and her friends, he considers himself separate from them and even a little bit evil, as “the heartless mystical swordsman” of the group. When he was a teenager, Rezo transformed him into a three-part chimera. He travels with the Slayers to find a spell that can change him back into a human. Despite the incredible abilities bestowed upon him by the transformation, he dislikes his appearance; his skin is stone hard, tinged blue-grey with pebbles scattered across its surface, and his hair is as stiff as steel wire. During Slayers Evolution-R, Rezo informs Zelgadis that he knows of no cure to return him to human. It is unclear whether this means that Zelgadis will forever remain a chimera, or if Rezo’s knowledge was simply limited in that respect; but Hajime Kanzaka, the author of the series, has stated in past interviews that Zelgadis would probably eventually find his cure.
Out of everyone in the group, Zelgadis seems closest to Amelia. This becomes more clear in Slayers NEXT, as he becomes upset whenever she is hurt, and almost sacrifices his own life protecting her from Gaav. In later seasons, they become quite close and he opens up to her. When they part at the end of the last episode of Slayers TRY, the third season of the anime, she apparently gives him “The Lady’s Favour” in the form of one of the pink bracelets from her standard costume.
Amelia Wil Tesla Seyruun is a young priestess and the princess of Seyruun. She longs to be a “hero of justice” and quixotically pursues her quest for justice by following Lina and fighting those who appear to be villains. Amelia’s naïve tendency to believe whatever she is told sometimes leads her to mistake friend and foe. In the novels, Amelia is the same age as Lina, but in the anime and manga franchise, Amelia is a year younger than Lina and smaller (though very busty, much to Lina’s annoyance). Her perspective on good and evil matures significantly as the series progresses. Although Lina is often annoyed with Amelia for her naïveté, her desire to learn the Dragon Slave, and her larger bust size, eventually Lina comes to accept her as a friend and treats her like a little sister.
Most of Amelia’s lessons in justice and heroism came from her father Prince Philionel of Seyruun, the “ultimate pacifist”. After the murder of her mother, Amelia vowed never to use blades, though she once used the Sword of Light to channel the Ra-Tilt. Naga the Serpent is Amelia’s long-lost older sister, the crown princess Gracia. This is played to comedic effect in Slayers Evolution-R, with the amnesiac character “Nama” ironically alluding to the relation. Amelia becomes close friends with everyone in the group, but it is clear that early on she starts to develop feelings for Zelgadis. Their first meeting was not a very good one, but they become quite close as they tend to be paired during missions. Amelia teases him playing chess, or angrily beats him over his maltreatment of innocent forest animals, and gets away without so much as an angry glare.
Gourry Gabriev is a wandering swordsman who meets Lina at the beginning of the series, and accompanies her from then on as a self-appointed bodyguard. A characterization of Gourry from his manga profile is “as loyal as man’s best friend, but not quite as smart”. Gourry is somewhat less than scholarly and appears to have memory deficiencies. However, his skills as a swordsman are unmatched throughout the franchise, especially when armed with his family’s magic blade, the Sword of Light, also known as Gorun Nova. He has a high magic capacity and the potential to cast spells that rival Lina’s power, but because of his faulty memory and disinterest, he cannot remember spells well enough to ever use them. His kindness, absolute loyalty to Lina, and consideration for others are his best traits. Gourry eventually falls in love with Lina, which he expresses through his promise that he will guard her for the rest of his life. He is not as shy about his feelings as Lina is, and unlike her he won’t violently deny it when asked. He doesn’t act on them, though, and he seems content with merely watching out for Lina’s well-being. They do share a kiss in the final episode of Slayers NEXT, the second series of the anime, though neither remembers it.
I love Slayers so much that I want to do individual posts about the main characters! So here’s the first one.
Lina Inverse is the primary protagonist of the series and the central figure of the Slayers franchise. Although still a teenager, she is a powerful sorceress with a great love of money, treasure, and food. In the anime and manga, she is known to comically overuse immensely destructive spells. Her specialty is black magic, a destructive magic that calls upon the power of a demon or monster. Her signature spell, the Dragon Slave, comes from the power of the Demon King Shabranigdo, while the Ragna Blade and her most powerful spell the Giga Slave call upon the Lord of Nightmares. During the series, Lina and the Slayers face down and defeat many powerful demons, including a fragment of Shabranigdo, Hellmaster Phibrizzo, and Darkstar. Gourry has been Lina’s constant companion since the opening of the series, and never leaves her for very long. Lina once risks the destruction of the world by casting the unpredictable Giga Slave in order to save Gourry’s life. Although the two appear to be in love with each other, and even share a forgotten kiss at the end of Slayers NEXT, there is no romantic development between them.
Slayers is a Japanese light novel series written by Hajime Kanzaka and illustrated by Rui Araizumi. The novels had been serialized in Dragon Magazine, and were later adapted into several manga titles, anime television series, anime films, OVA series, role-playing video games, and other media. Slayers follows the adventures of teenage sorceress Lina Inverse and her companions as they journey through their world. Using powerful magic and swordsmanship they battle overreaching wizards, demons seeking to destroy the world, and an occasional hapless gang of bandits. The anime series is considered to be one of the most popular of the 1990s.
- Slayers (one volume, illustrated by Rui Araizumi, original story, published in 1995, reedited in 2001, also known as Slayers Medieval Mayhem)
- Chōbaku Mahōden Slayers (eight volumes, illustrated by Shoko Yoshinaka, adapted from Slayers main novels volumes 1-8, fourth volume adapted from Slayers Return movie, 1995–2001, also known as Super Explosive Demon Story Slayers)
- Slayers Special (four volumes, illustrated by Tommy Ohtsuka and Yoshimiro Kamada, adapted from Slayers Special novels, 2000–2001)
- Slayers Premium (one volume, illustrated by Tommy Ohtsuka, adapted from the movie of the same name, 2002)
- Slayers Knight of the Aqualord (six volumes, illustrated by Tommy Ohtsuka and Yoshimiro Kamada, original storyline, 2003–2005)
- Slayers Revolution (one volume, illustrated by Issei Hyouji, adapted from the anime series of the same name, 2008)
- Shin Slayers: Falces no Sunadokei (three volumes, illustrated by Asashi, 2008)
- Slayers Legend (two-volume compilation from old Slayers manga, with chapters from Slayers and Chōbaku Mahōden Slayers)
- Slayers Evolution-R (one volume, published in Monthly Dragon Age, illustrated by Issei Hyouji, adapted from the anime series of the same name, 2009)
Between July 26, 2008 and March 2009, a new manga series entitled Slayers Light Magic was serialised in Kadokawa Shoten’s Kerokero Ace. The series was written by Yoshijirō Muramatsu and illustrated Shin Sasaki, and set in a technological world instead of a fantasy world.