Sunday, December 23, 2012

MISC. MANGA, *Slayers Special

With the original Slayers manga and light novels being a huge success, creator Hajime Kanzaka decided to go back and cover some of the earlier days of explosive sorceress Lina Inverse before she met up with Gourry, Amelia, and Zelgadis. Prior to that, Lina began on her journeys usually being plagued by the busty bikini-clad loudmouth known as Naga the White Serpent, a skilled-enough sorceress in her own right, but constantly trying to outdo Lina as both a rival and sometimes ally. This portion of the "Young Lina Inverse Chronicles" was first done in a spinoff prequel manga titled Slayers Special. Several of these chapters became the basis for some of the Slayers anime movies and OVA episodes, as well as tie-ins to some of the video games. But this 4-volume manga was the main take on Lina and Naga's whirlwind tour.

Several of the adventures with Lina have Naga tagging along somewhere in each chapter, and sometimes at the beginning of one, but each one is all over the map. From either gratuitous trips to the beach, the search for the perfect cuisine, or being hired to watch over wannabe squires, helping necromancers getting over their fear of zombies, the possibilities seem endless. Some of them later get adapted into OVAs where Lina and Naga are confronted with the true horror of their exact mirror opposites.

There are a few stories that get stretched out for more than one chapter though. Lina and the young soreceress Shia have to protect a dark crystal from a demonic Vegita-looking creep with intentions on taking over the world. Another where our heroines disguise themselves as maids to uncover a plot by some nefarious bandits is a real kneeslapper. Alot of them have Lina being more involved with the Magic Guild and going on various missions for them. Some stories act as callbacks to later chapters, like where Lina has to deal with more than one outlaw using her name which eventually has none other than an early appearance by Ameila searching to being her to justice. There's even an earlier meeting between Lina and Amelia's father, Prince Phil, which is pretty much how it was done in the TV series minus Gourry.

CPM Manga did the adaptation of this, which has some "Americanized" lines thrown in for mostly no reason, and they also sort of broke theire tradition with the first two volumes printed in left-to-right, and then the next two in right-to-left. It's worth getting all four volumes, even though they aren't numbered. Definitely a choice pic for fans of D&D and Asterix.

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