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. 3
It seems that a volume of Slayers on DVD rarely goes past without Lina Inverse having to worry about the summoning of some evil demon and overlord or other to her world, and come the end of Slayers Try's second volume she found herself once again facing this exact predicament, as Valgaav goes rogue, betraying his master and running off to summon the suitably evil sounding Darkstar in the hope said entity destroys the world.
While this sounds like the kind of hugely important set piece that could easily make up an entire volume's worth of episodes in one go, surprisingly this crisis is averted in a single instalment and in a fashion that screams deus ex machina, although thankfully this is later revealed to be nothing more than a temporary reprieve. However, it's hard to get over the disappointment of this abrupt ending to what was promising to be a nail-biting sequence of events, and this disappointment is only magnified by what the handful of episodes which follow have to offer up.
Essentially, the four episodes that follow the opener to this third volume of Slayers Try are classic filler material, deliberately splitting up the major characters and allowing them a few episodes to regroup and find one another again. While this has been done before by the franchise without doing it too much damage, somehow it feels altogether more contrived on this occasion - It's almost as though the writers and animators were trying too hard, from rather psychedelic Alice in Wonderland-esque tales through to a love story between a human and fish person. Indeed, the only episode from this batch of efforts to come out with its dignity anything approaching intact is the occasionally downright funny story of some decidedly out of shape and decrepit "Heroes of Justice", who end up being assisted by Amelia and Gourry with inevitably amusing results. To give some credit to the series, these filler episodes end with numerous knowing references to the self-confessed nonsense and rubbish that has gone before, but that's a scant consolation for the time wasted watching those particular instalments.
Thankfully, with seven (ageing but just about acceptable in picture quality terms) episodes packing out this volume to the brim, that still leaves us two episodes to return to the real crux of Slayers Try, as the danger that is the possibility of Darkstar entering and destroying the world looms large again - Needless to say this means more shifting allegiances and action sprinkled with that typical Slayers humour, although whether that will be enough to draw the viewer back into the series after that unnecessarily surreal forced break remains to be seen as the series enters its final DVD volume.
English and Japanese 2.0 audio, English subtitles.
Sub-par filler sees Slayers Try lose its way for much of this third volume.