Slayers OAVs (Book of Spells) box cover

Info

Available on VHS and DVD from A.D. Vision.
OAV Series: 3 episodes on 2 VHS tapes or 1 DVD
30 minutes per episode
Fantasy/Comedy
Version I Watched: English dubbed & Subtitled in English
Objectionable Content: Silly violence

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Slayers OAVs (Book of Spells)

Having watched the Slayers TV series and movie, I was looking forward to checking out these OAVs. My expectations weren't highly inflated, but I still expected something entertaining.

My initial impression was "Wow". The visual quality of this series far surpasses the TV series, and is just as good as the movie. Lush artwork, bright colors and fluid animation had my eyes spellbound. The rich orchestral score which accompanied the visuals was also excellent. The production quality of this series is pretty high.

Too bad there's nothing else to recommend.

Now, don't get me wrong. Lina Inverse and Nahga are two of my favorite anime females. Unfortunately, even their presence can't save this anime from its convoluted plot lines. The first two episodes seemed like a mish-mash of 30 seconds scenes, thrown together without any regard for coherent story-telling. The third episode was slightly better composed, but still lacked proper pacing and structure.

So what about the good 'ol Slayers charm? You know, magic and humor? Well, there are a fair amount of powerful spells tossed around, but even these are redundant. If you've seen one "Explosion Array" you've seen 'em all. The humor tended to become very repetitive as well. I did laugh during a few instances, but most of the jokes were simply a few tired gags that got old after about five seconds. And to top it off, there wasn't even one reference to Lina's diminutive figure.

One other thing: avoid the dubbed version. Nahga's English voice actor did a good job conveying her charm (and laugh), but Lina... Ugh. Megumi Hayashibara simply can't be replaced, and Lina's English voice, while not awful, didn't properly capture her flaming personality.

I am disappointed. No, make that *very* disappointed. How the wonderful character that is Lina Inverse could ever be part of such mediocrity is beyond me. But that's just the way it is.

The Verdict: * * (poor)