The Slayers (Sureiyāzu) is an animated Japanese movie, also called an anime, that first started as a series of light-hearted novels by Hajime Kanzaka. The novels were then turned into a manga series, and were picked up in 1995 to become one of the most popular fantasy anime’s that has come out of Japan. Kanzaka has written over 42 manga episodes of The Slayers crew and shows no sign, yet, of stopping.
The Slayers focuses on a teenaged sorceress named Lina Inverse. Lina is a small-statured sorceress that has a love of food, glory, and gold . Most especially gold. Lina has skills that hundreds of other wizards would kill to possess, but because of her small physique is often mistaken as not dangerous. It is, in fact, this very reason that she befriends the love of her life in the very beginning of the series.
The episodes start with Lina attacking a large group of thieves called The Dragon Fangs. During this attack she humiliates them and walks away with their treasure. A short time later, some of the Dragon Fangs find her. Before Linda can unleash her magic on them, a studly hero jumps out from the bushes. He is Gourry Gabriev, a hero extraordinaire. He flashes a pose, throws down a witty line (“I’d give you my name, but you’d only get it dirty”), and proceeds to beat the thieves senseless. Lina, no fool, pretends to be helpless in order to get Gourry to fall for her, but Gourry believes that she is only a “little girl” because of her small breasts (a running joke throughout the series). It takes awhile, but Lina finally convinces Gourry of her amazing abilities, but, much to Lina’s annoyance, the small breast jokes do not stop.
The Slayers series always start out very light-hearted, as the original novels were, yet Lina and Gourry always end up, somehow, having to save the world. Along the way they find friends that travel with them, such as Amelia, a young princess and sorceress who is exceedingly niave, but always tries to be helpful, Zalgadis, a chimera who joins Lina’s group as a last ditch effort to try to become human again, and Naga the Serpant, a large-breasted sorceress that is Lina’s part-time friend, and part-time annoyance.
In the first season, after Lina, and Gourry have become acquainted, the crew has to go up against Shabranigdo, a dark lord who has the powers of a god. It takes awhile to get to the final battle, but between Lina’s magic and Gourry’s sword-arm, the duo manages to defeat the dark lord. It is then that they realize that they are a great team together. Although the two are slowly falling in love, neither seems to realize it, and both act on it differently, which is part of the charm of their relationship.
Rights to The Slayers was purchased, at one point, by Fox Kids. They decided against airing it, however, because the series is aimed more at adults, which was not what they were looking for. They have since let their rights expire.