Jan 9, 2015
Cryptic-senpai (All reviews)
The Slayers Special OVAs were released between July of 1996 and May of 1997. Three episodes were made in total. Overall, they are unrelated, short snippets into the lives and adventures of Lina Inverse and Naga the Serpent. Being a prequel to the previously released movie, Slayers Perfect, it is assumed the events disclosed occur, well, prior to the movie. An exact timeline is anyone's guess.

The first episode starts off with Lina discussing a rather pressing matter with a sorcerer named Diol – specifically, turning Lina into a chimera. For unknown reasons, it seems that Lina breached the subject in the first place, but now that she's seen what the man plans to do, she wants out. Naga enters the picture, and things grow a bit more complicated. Will Diol succeed in turning Lina into a chimera? Well, obviously not, but it's still amusing to see the events leading up to Lina being rescued by Naga, even if she did manage to completely misunderstand the situation.

The second OVA concerns Lina and Naga taking on the task of assisting Jeffrey Mailstar with “becoming a man”. No, not in the way you might think, thanks to Naga's rather questionable choice of dress, but to help him become a full-fledged knight. This naturally entails defeating heinous enemies. The catch is that Jeffrey makes a very ineffectual knight; indeed, he's the sort that you probably shouldn't trust to carry a plate, given how clumsy and absentminded he is. How on earth will our favourite sorceresses succeed in completing this task? It may very well be as daunting as saving the world.

The third and final episode introduces us to the legend of Shazal Rugandy, a magic user who supposedly created a mirror called the Shadow Reflector. Capable of making exact copies of anyone reflected in it, with the exception that they will have the opposite personality of the person replicated, Shazal sealed the mirror away, never to be found. Until recently, when clue of its whereabouts was discovered. A thief has stolen the information, however, and it is up to Lina and Naga to stop him from taking over the world with shadow copies – and they'll get a reward in the process.

Lina and Naga are, once again, the protagonists. Lina is much the same Lina we've come to know and love: feisty, cunning, and exasperated by her rival's antics. Despite first appearances, we actually do get some more depth from Naga, mostly due to increased screen time. I managed to grow attached to her over the course of watching the specials and I would definitely not be averse to learning more about her. As Naga herself puts it, she holds “a supreme sense of superiority and extreme self-confidence”, and those aspects make her rather endearing.

Any side characters that dwell within the OVAs are memorable if only for their absurdity and hilarity. Most are defined by single, shallow character traits and used for laughs, whether they're getting their derrières proverbially handed to them by Lina or Naga or wreaking havoc all on their own.

Like the movie, the Slayers OVAs are animated by J.C. Staff. Unlike the movie, though, the OVAs use brighter and more pleasant palettes. The animation also seems to be just a bit more fluid and graceful.

As per usual, the ending theme is sung by Hayashibara Megumi, and it is called Kagirinai Yokubou no Naka Ni. It's a good tune that I wound up listening to all the way through for all three episodes. The third special has not only one, but two insert songs. The first one is called Run All The Way! and the second one is called Touch Yourself. Both are performed by Hayashibara Megumi, and once again, they are both great songs.

I'm not exaggerating when I say I don't really remember the rest of the soundtrack – I don't. Truly, the only saving grace Slayers' music has is Megumi herself. Again, she does a great job of voicing Lina. I really loved Kawamura Maria's role as Naga – she's oddly endearing and hysterical all at once. Her laugh is nothing to sneeze at and I can certainly see why she would have trouble breathing after recording certain parts of the first OVA.

If you stumble upon Slayers with the hopes of getting some mind blowing revelations about human nature or something of the like, I'm sorry to say that you'll be quite disappointed. The Slayers franchise is primarily comedic, and that's exactly what you will get. The first and second episodes are especially reliant on repeating gags, although they never get boring or seem out of place. As a final note, while the stories in these OVAs are self-contained and bear no connection to one another, it is still advisable you watch Slayers Perfect/Slayers: The Motion Picture beforehand. Overall, the Slayers Special OVAs are a welcome addition to the franchise and well worth the time of fans or newcomers to Slayers.