Slayers – The Motion Picture, also known as Slayers Perfect and originally released in Japan simply as Slayers (スレイヤーズ), is a 1995 Japanese comic fantasy adventure anime film written by Kazuo Yamazaki based on an original story by Hajime Kanzaka, and directed by Yamazaki and Hiroshi Watanabe. The movie was the first film in the Slayers saga and was well received by critics.
In the film, the powerful teenage sorceress Lina Inverse and her traveling companion and self-styled archrival Naga the Serpent reunite to go to the magical disappearing island of Mipross so they can enjoy its fabled hot springs. Soon, however, Lina and Naga find that things on Mipross are not quite what they seem and there might be a powerful evil force behind it.
|Character||Japanese voice actor||English voice actor|
|Lina Inverse||Megumi Hayashibara||Cynthia Martinez|
|Naga the Serpent||Maria Kawamura||Kelly Manison|
|Rowdy||Osamu Saka||Phil Ross|
|Joyrock||Tessho Genda||Tristan MacAvery|
|Young Rowdy||Minami Takayama||David Bell|
|Queen of Mipross||Miyuki Ichijou||Angela Lorio|
|King of Mipross||Mahito Tsujimura||Paul Sidello|
|Bandit 1||Chafurin||Rob Mungle|
|Bandit 2||Daisuke Gouri||Brett Weaver|
|Bandit 3||Keiji Fujiwara||Michael Zargarov|
|Lagos||Norio Wakamoto||Bryan Bounds|
Slayers: The Motion Picture was produced by J.C.Staff in co-production with Kadokawa Bunko. Unlike the later films in the series, this one was not directly written by the Sayers creator Hajime Kanzaka. The movie makes a passing reference to manga/anime Dragon Half: at one point in the film, Naga encounters a group of slime-halves and tells them to go play with some dragon-halves; there are apparent similarities between Naga and Princess Vina (who is a slime-half in the Dragon Half manga) and between Lina and Mink (the eponymous dragon-half).
When ADV Films first acquired the rights to the film, they originally had contacted Lisa Ortiz, who had been the Eglish voice of Lina Inverse in the Slayers TV series, to reprise her role in the film. But at the last second, Lisa had to turn down the part because of scheduling conflicts; and ADV Films was forced to open up a last minute casting call for Lina, and cast Cynthia Martinez, who made her acting debut as Lina in the film. In the English dub, the voice actor playing Joyrock makes several references to Looney Toones characters. The dubbed version was written, directed and produced by Matt Greenfield, based on a translation by Dan Kanemitsu.
The film was released in Japan on July 29, 1995, distributed by Toei Company. It premiered at Kadokawa Anime Festival 95, screened as a double feature together with Legend of Crystania. A 98-page companion guide book was released by Fujimi Shobō in the Dragon Magazine Collection in 1996.
It was released on the VHS and LaserDisc in North America by A.D. Vision in 1998, followed by the DVD version on May 25, 1999. The VHS version was made available in either dubbed or subbed formats, and the LD version is bilingual. Another DVD release was compiled later by ADV Films on September 28, 2004 in a remastered disc individually in the "Essential Anime" collection, later included as part of the "Movie Box" set in 2005 and as part of the "Movies & OVAs" box set in 2008. The film was presented in anamorphic widescreen for this release and an audio commentary by Cynthia Martinez, Kelly Manison (Naga) and Matt Greenfield was included on the DVD as a special feature.
- Main article: Slayers: The Motion Picture (soundtrack)
A soundtrack CD for Slayers: The Motion Picture was released in Japan by King Records in 1995 and in North America by A.D. Vision (ADV Music) in 2003. The film's theme song "Midnight Blue" was released as a single CD (KIDA-108) by Starchild Records on July 21, 1995 and included in Megumi Hayashibara's 1996 album bertemu. The songs were also later included in the CD collection The Best of Slayers Vol. 2 (From OVA, Movie & Game).
Slayers The Motion Picture was met with a very positive critical reception, athrough sometimes with reservations regarding some of the film's aspects. DVD Talk's Chris Tribbey "definitely recommended" this "great title from a well-loved ranchise," adding that "when ADV gives one of its titles Essential Anime status, they do it for a reason." Mania.com's Chris Beveridge gave this "very recommended" film a near-perfect score of A-. Mania.com's Luis Cruz offered a more moderate praise, giving it a score of B and writing, "Slayers is certainly a franchise worthy of the 'Essential' moniker. The first motion picture provides a good introduction to the main character of the series and to the humor and action you will find in it." Megan Lavey from that same website gave it a B+. Adam "OMEGA" Arnold from ANIMEfringe also rated it a B+, writing that "great characters and fun situations make for an unforgettable viewing experience."
AAW's Marc 'Makosuke' Marshall gave it three-and-half stars out of five, writing that "although the mix of weirdness and relatively serious fantasy isn't for everybody, it's quality entertainment if you're in the right mood." The Anime Review graded it B, stating: "TMP is not going to cause any brain cramps, but it is still fun and is a little above some of the fluff out there. Go into it with that expectation, and I think you'll find it an enjoyable introduction." According to Sandra Dozier of DVD Verdict, the first film is "one of the more laugh-out-loud installments" of the Slayers anime series and "a great introduction" to it, that "definitely earns the 'Essential' label. It's very tongue-in-cheek and goofy, and if you are okay with that, you'll probably have a good time." DVD Verdict's review of The Slayers Movie Box by Brett Cullum recommended it for both the Slayers fans and "the newbies" alike as "a sound investment for anime fans who groove on comedy adventure."
- ↑ Such as introducing himself as Joyrock, Michagin J. in his frog for (a reference to a frog of a similar name), and saying a line from Sylvester and Daffy Duck ("sufferin' succotash").
- ↑ Slayers: The Motion Picture (DVD). Anime News Network (2013-09-18). Retrieved on 2013-09-22.
- ↑ Slayers-The Motion Picture - Essential Anime (DVD). Anime News Network (2013-09-18). Retrieved on 2013-09-22.
- ↑ Slayers - Movie Box (DVD). Anime News Network (2013-09-18). Retrieved on 2013-09-22.
- ↑ Slayers - Movies & OVAs (DVD). Anime News Network (2013-09-18). Retrieved on 2013-09-22.
- ↑ Stephen reviews: Slayers: the Motion Picture (1995) « Silver Emulsion Film Reviews. Silveremulsion.com (2012-05-02). Retrieved on 2013-09-22.
- ↑ Slayers:Motion Picture : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video. Dvdtalk.com. Retrieved on 2013-09-22.
- ↑ Slayers: The Motion Picture. Mania.com. Retrieved on 2013-09-22.
- ↑ Slayers: The Motion Picture Essential Anime. Mania.com. Retrieved on 2013-09-22.
- ↑ Slayers: Movie Box (Thinpak). Mania.com. Retrieved on 2013-09-22.
- ↑ Reviews - Slayers: The Motion Picture. ANIMEfringe. Retrieved on 2013-09-25.
- ↑ Slayers: The Motion Picture : Anime Reviews : AAW. Animeworld.com (2000-10-10). Retrieved on 2013-09-22.
- ↑ Slayers: The Motion Picture. The Anime Review. Retrieved on 2013-09-25.
- ↑ DVD Verdict Review - Anime Essentials: Slayers The Motion Picture. Dvdverdict.com. Retrieved on 2013-09-22.
- ↑ DVD Verdict Review - Slayers Movie Box. Dvdverdict.com. Retrieved on 2013-09-22.
- Official website (Madman Entertainment's Slayers Movie Collection)
- Slayers The Motion Picture at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Slayers The Motion Picture at the Internet Movie Database