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Slayers Try Vol. 4
Date 04 Jan 2010
After twelve DVD volumes and seventy-eight episodes, the 1990s era Slayers TV anime franchise lovingly released by MVM finally comes to a close via this fourth and final volume of Slayers Try which, as is par for the course with this series, sees us looking upon a situation where worlds are in peril while leaving it up to Lina Inverse and her band of friends to step in and save the day.
After the last volume drifted off rather aimlessly into territory which we can only describe as filler, the final six episodes contained here naturally return to the real meat of Slayers Try's story, with the search for the final weapon required to either entomb or destroy the evil lord Darkstar the first objective of importance. The hunt for this mythical weapon takes Lina and company into a snowy wasteland and a dragon temple sealed long ago in order to hide its secrets, which have far-reaching consequences throughout the remainder of the series.
Of course, it isn't just Lina Inverse who is after this particularly important weapon, leading to an almighty stand-off which involves the representatives of gods, monsters, dragons and humans arguing it out (brutally so in some cases) as to who (if anyone) should take hold of it and why. The shifting and changing circumstances on the part of these various races, and the uneasy truces that spring up as a result of Darkstar's ever-more real threat make up much of the remainder of the volume, with proverbial bridges built up and broken faster than even the series ability to fire out amusing quips and gags during otherwise serious moments.
This leads us into the final two episodes which make the most of their focus on the final battle with Darkstar himself, and despite its slightly aged 1990s roots Slayers Try actually excels itself here in pulling off a relatively spectacular climax to the series with a visually appealing ending that also carries itself well as an end to an era of Slayers on Japanese television. It might not drop jaws like a modern, computer graphics infused anime series, but as endings go it's probably the best Slayers has brought us yet, proving to be genuinely enjoyable in its own right.
After that largely disappointing third volume, thankfully this finale to Slayers Try is actually a pretty good example of the franchise at its best - the plot and machinations between various characters and factions are complex, but not enough so to be confusing, the humour is well timed and used sparingly enough to bring about some genuine smiles if not laughs without becoming tiresome, and the action if focused enough to be entertaining. By this juncture I would imagine it's a little late to start talking about introducing new viewers to the franchise, so you'll either be sold on Slayers Try already or not, but regardless of that I'd count this as one of the better volumes of the show in terms of both content and a half-decent DVD transfer (taking into account the relative age of the series). Certainly, you couldn't ask for a much better way to say au revoir to the Slayers gang until we get to see its 21st century iteration hit our DVD shelves as 2010 progresses.
English and Japanese 2.0 audio, English subtitles.
The 1990s TV era of Slayers signs off with arguably its best DVD volume of the bunch.