by Zac Bertschy,

Slayers Premium


Slayers Premium
The infamous uber-powerful sorceress Lina Inverse and her incompetent sidekick Gourry Gabriev are back (along with the rest of the Slayers cast) in this short film that premiered with the DiGi Charat movie. Lina and Gourry stumble across a town famous for its fried octopus, but wind up foiling a plot devised by the embittered octopi to destroy the human race for consuming so many of their brethren.
We all thought it was over after Slayers Excellent, the most recent Slayers OVA, but the folks at Bandai couldn't leave well enough alone. Slayers Premium is the last in a long line of Slayers movies, OVAs and TV series, and it's a fitting finale to a series beloved by so many fans. The characters have all been slightly redesigned and they use the same music they've been using for the past 4 films and 6 OVA episodes. It's fluff, sure, but it's entertaining fluff, and it's fun to see so many characters return to the screen after a long hiatus.

The premise is extremely simple, as it is with most Slayers incarnations. Lina and Gourry travel to a port city to sample the seafood cuisine the town is famous for. As it turns out, the city's being taken over by octopi hell-bent on revenge for years of genocide. They've learned how to use magic, and are forcing the town's citizens to speak “Takogo”, or the language of the octopus, so their magic-users can't cast spells or stop the octopi from resurrecting an ancient evil that promises to wipe out the human race. Lina and Gourry eat a lot, Lina casts the Dragon Slave a few times, and things get blown up. It's all pretty predictable.

Then again, what did we expect? This franchise was built on recycling the same 5 or 6 gags over and over again. Every single movie, OVA and TV series has followed the exact same formula. If you're a Slayers fan, you know what to expect, and this movie was clearly designed to please the fans. Having once been a fairly hardcore Slayers fan myself, I was pleased as punch to see Xellos show up, if only for a few moments, just to deliver his one line (“Sore wa himitsu desu!”). There was no reason for Xellos to be in this film, except to make people like me happy. Clearly, that's what they were aiming for. Hell, even Naga the White Serpent shows up randomly at the end of the film, only to get blown up shortly afterwards and laugh. They aren't even trying to hide the fact that all they're aiming to do is make Slayers fans happy and get a few more dollars out of them.

That having been said, anyone who isn't familiar with the Slayers series won't get a whole lot of enjoyment out of this film. If you aren't watching it just for the sake of seeing favorite characters interact with each other, the entire thing is a fairly pedestrian, humorless affair. The jokes aren't original and the plotline is completely recycled. It doesn't have the standalone quality of some of the earlier Slayers movies, since it requires you to be familiar with the secondary cast members who show up throughout the rest of the film. When Amelia and Zelgadiss show up, their presence is not explained and the uninitiated audience member will have no clue who these people are or why they're around. I honestly can't recommend this movie to anyone but hardcore Slayers fans. Said fans will really enjoy this movie, though, since it's lightyears better than the last dismal incarnation in the Slayers series, Slayers Excellent.

Suuposedly, this is the last animated Slayers production ever. The final title card says "SO IT ENDS", and it all seemed pretty final to me. Let's hope Bandai knows when to say when. This was an entertaining little piece of fan-pleasing animation, but more is certainly not necessary.
Production Info:

+ It's fun to see beloved characters Lina, Gourry, Amelia, Zelgadiss, Xellos and Naga in action again.
This movie has very little to redeem itself with people who aren't Slayers fans.

Director: Junichi Sato
Script: Junichi Sato
Unit Director: Yuu Kou
Music: Takayuki Hattori
Original story: Hajime Kanzaka
Character Design:
Tetsuya Kumagai
Tetsuya Kumagaya
Art Director: Junichiro Nishikawa
Animation Director: Tetsuya Kumagai
Character Conceptual Design: Rui Araizumi
Sound Director: Junichi Sato
Director of Photography: Kouichi Shimomura
Executive producer: Toshimichi Ootsuki
Koji Asano
Seiichi Hachiya
Tomoko Kawasaki
Seiji Koezuka

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Slayers Premium (movie)

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