Slayers Light Novels Set to Return, According to Creator Hajime Kanzaka
In the ’90s, one of the most popular anime series was Slayers, based upon the Japanese light novel series published in Dragon Magazine, written by Hajime Kanzaka and illustrated by Rui Araizumi. Due to its popularity, the series was adapted into several manga titles, multiple anime television series, anime films, OVA series, role-playing video games, and pretty much anything else you can think of. Now the light book series is returning for a third arc.
I first became aware of the Slayers franchise by watching it on Anime Network, where it would usually have five episodes at a time. The series tells the story of Lina Inverse, a teenage sorceress whose greatest loves are eating and making money. Throughout the series, she and her companions find themselves accidentally pushed into heroism even though they would rather be doing anything but. In addition to the loud and destructive Lina, there is the swordsman Gourry Gabriev; Zelgadis Greywords, a chimera boy; and Amelia, a princess who longs to be a “hero of justice.”
It’s really enjoyable and silly, with a lot of elements of the “sword and sorcery” genre. Take the wackiest elements of your D&D campaigns, but also throw in some anime shenanigans—a less serious Record of Lodoss War. Yet there are still really dark moments, especially in Slayers NEXT, with its big bad Hellmaster Phibrizzo, who lives up to that first part of his name.
More than anything, I love the series for Lina, because she’s just a mess. She’s this tiny, super-powerful chaos magic user who’s more antihero than anything else but grows throughout the series into a (slightly) more altruistic person. She still wants to get paid for her good deeds, because she’s a savvy businesswoman. I love that the show has no problem letting her be silly and morally ambiguous, and makes fun of her as equally as it does everyone else. It’s a series that holds a special place in my anime-loving heart, and I’m excited to see it return in any incarnation.
Slayers’ five seasons are currently up on Hulu in the United States, so if you have never checked out the anime before, I’d highly recommend it—especially if you’re looking for something that can excel at both action scenes and well-set-up slapstick humor. The light novels are slightly harder to find, but worth the effort because Hajime Kanzaka is a fun writer. Plus, more book material now may mean more anime material, and I will accept it gladly. Also, the music is awesome. There’s really nothing like an early ’90s/2000s anime score.
Fun fact: All the anime openings and endings throughout the 5 seasons were sung by Lina Inverse’s Japanese voice actress, Megumi Hayashibara.
(via Kotaku East, image: Funimation Channel/ TV Tokyo)
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