Andy has been writing for UK Anime since 2006, and was the site's editor-in-chief until August 2017. Contrary to popular belief, Andy is not actually a robot.
Slayers Try Vol. 2
Another month means that it's time for another does of The Slayers courtesy of MVM. "Lina's the drug I'm thinking of" isn't what Roxy Music sang, but perhaps they might have if Bryan Ferry were a fan of this particular anime franchise.
The end of the last volume of Slayers Try brought us to a bittersweet point in Lina Inverse and company's latest journey, as they reach the Temple of the Fire Dragon Kings in record time, albeit managing to demolish rather a large portion of it in the process in typical Slayers fashion. Still, this soon becomes the least of their worries, as Valgaav and Almayce both appear on the scene in their continued quest to wrest the Sword of Light from Gourry's hands. Matters aren't actually helped by the Golden Dragons who have summoned the gang in the first place either, as they seem more than happy to have Gourry hand over the Sword of Light simply to make sure that their own land isn't affected by Almayce's plans - A classic case of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) Syndrome if ever we saw one.
This state of affairs leads to a convoluted set of circumstances where friends become enemies, enemies become friends, but in the ensuing chaos relative normality is eventually restored, with Lina finally agreeing to follow through as the "chosen one" to fight against the doom-laden prophecy which they fear. So, with Almayce's seemingly evil plans at least somewhat clear, the crew set out to thwart his attempts to collect various weapons of importance, before once again the lines between friend and foe are redrawn as the series progresses to its seemingly cataclysmic half-way point.
After a first volume that could best be described as "nothing to see here, move along" for those already very intimate with the Slayers universe, this second volume at least shakes things up a little bit thanks to the shifting sands of allegiances on show here. While this progression to the main plot gets things moving along nicely, so the accompanying storylines also dig up more fertile ground for the show's usual blend of knowing humour, making Slayers Try amusing again where it previously looked at risk of becoming overly repetitive. These episodes also give us a welcome chance to experience a slightly more warts and all look at some of the major characters, from Amelia's sulking at one stage through to Xellos' willingness to sell out his travelling companions if his own interests require it - Moments `which add to both the interest and charm of the wider series as a whole.
As with our discussion of the last volume of Slayers Try, I would imagine we're preaching to the converted by this point as you'll either have been following the release of these various Slayers DVD releases or you haven't. That said, the seven episodes (yes, this disc is packed to the rafters with episodes, in lieu of any extras) on show here are a definite improvement over the first volume as the story beds in and gets to grips with its narrative, and that in itself is good news indeed. On the technical side of things, video quality is as good as you'd expect from this series (if perhaps a little less sharp than volume one's master if I'm being really picky) and the volume's subtitles all appear to be complete and correct while the dub is also respectable if that's your preference in terms of viewing experience. Obviously, this isn't really the right DVD to introduce yourself to the Slayers franchise, but if you're a fan already then you'll be glad to hear it's one of the better volumes in terms of the episodes it offers.
English and Japanese 2.0 audio, English subtitles
Slayers Try gets back into the swing things, proving to be far more enjoyable after that tepid opening volume.