Having fought and defeated monsters aplenty come the end of Slayers Next, you'd have thought Lina Inverse and her band of intrepid followers were long overdue a break, wouldn't you? Well, you can forget that idea, as MVM have opted to keep Lina et al hard at work by moving straight on to another new series of Slayers in the form of Slayers Try. Before you ask - no, this isn't the one where Lina takes up rugby.
While there might have been a year between original broadcast dates of Slayers Next and Try, this latter series throws us back into this particular universe a mere few months after the climax to Slayers Next, with Lina's victory over Gaav making for some huge geographical changes to the world - In short, the monster-created barrier set up by Hellmaster is no more, allowing all and sundry free passage to the previously inaccessible outside world. Meanwhile, Lina herself is called into action via a letter from a mysterious woman named Filia; a woman with a very interesting secret hidden beneath her skirt. Now now, get your minds out of the gutter...
Anyhow, as Filia looks to test Lina's powers, so she finds herself reunited one by one with all of the usual suspects - Gourry, Zelgadis, Amelia and so on. It's fair to say that this test ends with a slightly awkward result for Lina, leaving her with little choice but to head off on journey of discovery into that outer world... which just so happens to be exactly where Filia needs her.
This journey brings us into some fresh new territory for the Slayers franchise - A part of the world where powerful sorcery is basically non-existent, with a preference towards conventional weaponry and not-so-conventional characters. That doesn't mean that everything about this particular adventure is new however, as time proves that many of the dangers and bad guys facing our heroes now are closely tied into the fallout of Lina's ultimate victory in Slayers Next.
If you've been reading all of our reviews (or watching these DVDs for yourself) then you should be well-versed in the Slayers formula by now, and Slayers Try is no different in this respect - It wastes no time before throwing the major characters into the thick of the action, while the irreverent humour which is so beloved of the franchise is present, and arguably even more overblown that ever. Indeed, the gags even run into this series opening titles, with a note to apologise for a character which only appears in the opening credits and not the body of the anime itself.
In a sense, this continuity is both Slayers Try's greatest strength and its biggest weakness this time around - If you were a fan of the first two series (and there was plenty to like, I grant you), then everything you enjoyed is present again here, but by that very token you might be starting to tire of the same old antics by this juncture. Certainly, there isn't really anything new to make Try stand out from the previous series, with the storyline and characters both reprising very similar roles to those seen in Next.
Technically speaking, this first volume of Slayers Try is probably the best yet - The DVD transfer of these episodes are far superior to the first two series efforts (no doubt due to better source material), and we even get a more comprehensive selection of bonus material for a change. The show's dub is also pretty decent, with the same set of US voice actors reprising their roles for the sake of consistency.
Generally speaking then, the best question to ask when considering Slayers Try as a DVD purchase is "Am I bored of Slayers yet?". If you're starting to tire of the same old antics of the Slayers gang, then you might be best served by a break from the franchise, but if you still find your love for all things Slayers insatiable then Slayers Try will continue to fill the hole that you need it to.
English and Japanese 2.0 audio, English subtitles, behind the scenes with the US voice actors, bonus footage, image gallery, production sketches.