10. Slayers: Slayers was my first foray into anime that wasn’t available on cable. I picked it up at my local video store and gobbled up the first two seasons, loving the interaction between the fierce and ever strong sorcerer Lina Inverse and her lovably dopey sidekick Gourry Gabriev. Slayers starting me on a never ending spiral of VHS watching, consuming everything my video store had to offer (highlights being Tenchi Muyo, Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Movie, and Maze).
Slayers first started out as a Dungeons and Dragons spoof, but became more as the series evolved. Characters like Zelgadis, a cursed sorcerer who was turned into a chimera; Amelia, the spoiled brat from the kingdom of Seyruun; and Xellos, the sly and mischievous trickster priest, gave the show spunk and limitless gags to work from. The chemistry between Lina, Gourry, Zelgadis, and Amelia is what truly makes Slayers work.
Not everyone will like Slayers. The anime is dated, and the fourth and fifth series lags a bit when they introduce new characters, trying to revive the franchise. Even with the new DVD repackaging (that contains Slayers, Slayers NEXT, and Slayers TRY), Slayers shows its age with grainy animation. But the jokes and heart in Slayers is still relevant, especially for anime fantasy fans.
Voice acting wise, the dub and sub are both really good, but that might be my childhood fondness speaking about the dub. There are a few voice actor changes throughout the series (Zelgadis being the most notable) in the dub, but that is a minor quibble as it doesn’t detract from the overall quality of the anime.
Nostalgia and a good laugh is what keeps’ me coming back to the Slayers. New fans of anime might be deterred from watching the show because of age and the amount of episodes to watch (104), but I think the Slayers still stands on its own two feet, even after 16 years of never ending food and flat chest jokes.
KDW’s embarrassing side note: In grade 8 I had pictures of Zelgadis around my room and hated Amelia with a fierce passion since she had a crush on him. I also had a pic of him in my binder. Oh the sadness of youth.