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New Slayers Season: Should We Care?

10 March 2008

fatestaysmart_avatarANN reported on this a while back, but seeing as how I’m trying to get back into the groove of talking more intelligently about the anime I know and fawn over, I decided to bring it up here at Atama Ga Warui.

In case you didn’t know, J.C.Staff, the animation studio that handled the three original Slayers television series is back on board. Not to mention, they are also grabbing Takashi Watanabe, the director of those same three seasons, to make sure this title soars like it did in the past. However, one has to ask the question: after around 10 years without Slayers — a series that lived in an age where the process of fandubbing onto a video tape was a long and arduous task — will the new school anime fans care as much as old school fans might?

slayers-anime-logo.jpg

A user from Toonzone.net graciously posted a valuable link to a translated snippet of Dragon Magazine’s April 2008 issue, the original source that generated all the commotion. As is typical with the Japanese way, there is a lot of forced hype in the loosely translated dialogue presented to help generate some support for this new “anime-exclusive” rendition that came out of nowhere. Regardless of how legitimate the hype may be, I want to particularly draw attention to the seiyuu choice, which, to my relief, was a key factor in all of this:

“(I think it’s okay to reveal this information) They are now working hard to make the five voice actors and actresses to do the voice of the same main five characters, namely, I as Lina Inverse, Yasunori Matsumoto as Gourry, Masami Suzuki as Amelia, Hikaru Midorikawa as Zelgadiss, and Akira Ishida as Xelloss.” — from Megumi Hayashibara

So let’s review. We have:

      1) The entire original staff and main seiyuu cast from the original series and the historical success of Slayers as a secure foundation for quality among “old school” fans.
      2) The “new school” anime fans who probably know very little about Slayers, but know all there is to know about characters like Shana, and write it off as “something they’ve seen done better.”
      3) The concern of Slayers not measuring up in this day and age of anime saturation and digital fansubs, though based solely on key archetypes that worked back in the day (e.g. hot-headed, yet self-conscious red-headed sorceress [Lina]; goofy, yet capable, good-looking swordsman [Gourry]; irritating, cute supporting character that gets in the way [Amelia]; antagonist who can’t quite measure up [Zelgadis]).

Well, who is to say that this new season of Slayers won’t be as fun as it was when anime was still young among Westerners? Only the fans can come to a conclusion, but I predict a clear-cut divide between of visual culture otaku who will care, and those who won’t. One fact is certain: the existence of this 4th season will not go under the radar, and will, without a doubt, be licensed before it concludes in Japan.

Do you care? Tell us why or why not!

Image taken from Slayers wiki

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. 10 March 2008 20:22:22

    I care.

    I totally dig the entire animated Slayers universe (TV series, OVAs, movie) and welcome a fourth season. Whether new anime fans will care or not will depend on the story.

    Much has changed in anime, and if the old group of Slayers script writers re-hash the “same-old-same-old”, then the series will die with new fans. It’ll fail. Plus, JC Staff had better pull out the stops and lift the animation production quality.

    A fourth season of Slayers could be a smash if they do it right. If it smells like they’re trying to milk a franchise, then it fails.

    =^.^=

  2. Della permalink
    11 March 2008 5:22:33

    I motherfucking care.

    I don’t care about the new boys who might think that Lina is just another tsundere Shana clone or whatnot. Back then, “tsundere” wasn’t even a word.

    I hope they won’t try to “revamp” slayers for the new kids at the expense of the old fans.

    After more than 12 years, Slayers still has a considerably active fandom. If JC manages to appease them while still making something that even a first-timer can like, they’ll be golden.

  3. 24 March 2008 22:22:05

    Personally I have to agree with Della.
    Slayers wouldn’t be slayers if they decide to change it on us. For what? to live up to the new trend?

    It’s pathetic, Slayers was unique in many ways because if was different from other animes, when it came to damsel in distress, they don’t cry over it like what other animes would. They’d laugh their asses off instead.

    if they were to change things now, not only would it disappoint a lot of fans, but it would also take away what made that anime so unique.

  4. Sigh permalink
    23 November 2010 0:29:43

    I like how all the hubbub about new people not liking this series is tantamount to assuming Street Fighter II Super Turbo is a worse game than all the new fighters because it’s old. It’s not.

    Slayers just has a more direct and shameless method of characterization, and it benefits from it.

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