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Slayers - Evolution-R: Lina Inverse & Co.

It may come as some surprise to the more casual fans of anime, that a franchise that is well into 15 years can sustain such a determined momentum as Slayers, in fact, for some of the more hard-core fans, it seems unusual that a title that has just hit its fifth season has the devotion of the fan-base the way that it does.

But despite the fact that Lina and Friends have been around for so long, and have survived the Anime Dark ages, is a real testament to this shows staying power. I'll admit that I was one of the more skeptical fans, the first time I dropped down my hard earned cash for a re-vamped title that looked like it had been sifted from the before time of anime. At the time, all I kept thinking to myself, was that at least it was cheap. So if it came down to me shelving the title forever on the one shelf that is the doomed wasteland of my collection, I wouldn't have to reach for my box of tissues to dry my eyes from crying over the loss.

Somewhere around episode 5, I realized that I was really hooked on this thing, and that I really had to see more. And of course, me being me, once I start a collection, I am hell-bent on finishing it. So I made it a quest of mine, to own every Slayers episode, movie, OVA available.

Now that my collection is complete, I can sit back, and take a breath of fresh air. But not before we cover some of the things that may or may not make this latest season of the adventures of Lina Inverse & co. a huge success.

One thing is for sure, this Lina Inverse has a bit more curve to her features; and no, I am not talking hips and bust. Her breast size is still as small as ever, and is still a firm foundation for many jokes and puns throughout this season as well as its predecessors. What I'm referring to, is that this Lina's animated self is a bit more modern, her looks aren't as rough-cut, and her nose no longer looks like it was the victim of a deranged plastic surgeon.

JC Staff has taken its concept of Lina from the OVAs and films, and re-introduced her into the modern era of anime with a more comfortable look and feel. And it isn't just her, there are improvements through out the anime, where the art and animation has made several leaps, since closing the several years long gap between Slayer TRY and Slayers REVOLUTION, which in essence, this is more or less a conclusion to.

At first I thought the improved art style was a bit off putting, but then remembered that I didn't have any problem with the new look that shows like Gunslinger Girl - Il Teatrino received. I also loved the fact that the original cast returned to voice this season, and not only the original Japanese cast, but FUNimation Entertainment managed to work a miracle and get the original New York cast to reprise their roles as the main group of heroes. With the greatest exception being David Moo, who was replaced by Michael Sinterniklaas -- not that we really liked the character of Xellos all that much anyway.

So I'm gonna assume that those of you reading this blog post, have at least some working knowledge of the show, else I'll be forced to let loose my furious Angry Chibi Otaku to bite at your ankles, so that I don't have to bring you much up to speed.

Season 5 or oddly enough the play on the word Revolution (switch the R to the end add hyphen), takes place mere days after that of season 4. So really it could have been a 26 episode series instead of two 13 episode series, but what ever. It picks up right after a terrible fight, and leaves the group of adventurers no closer to finding a cure for Pokota's people, and now trying to locate the legendary Hellmaster's Jar.

Yeah, I thought that name could have used some work. I mean in the past, there were some really cool sounding names for things, like "Lord of Nightmares", or "Dark Star", and even Hellmaster itself is a cool sounding name. But "Jar"? Why not call it the Hellmaster's Cauldron, or even the Hellmaster's Box (if it were a box), but calling it the jar, is like calling it the Hellmaster's Sock.

Now another small let down is the fact that there was an abundance of "Dragon Slave" uses. You know, that super powerful spell that can annihilate a small town, or blast a chunk out of the side of a mountain? Yeah, it got really over used in season 4, and with the help of Pokota tossing a few of those around, it sort of made it
seem a bit commonplace.

Fortunately, there as a good reason for their uses in season 5, and by the end, it becomes apparent that one just isn't nowhere near enough (no spoilers).

I liked everything that I saw about Slayers - Evolution-R, but then I am also I giant
nerd, and a huge fan of almost everything Slayers; so I'm gonna like it regardless.

The season 5 box-set is set to hit the street June 1st 2010, and I know at least a few fans that will be dang near chomping their fingers off until they get it.

Not only is this latest season entertaining, it is funny, and still something original. A real blast to watch, and a real joy to see.