about slayers

Slayers first debuted in the September 1989 issue of Dragon Magazine, written by Kanzaka Hajime and illustrated by Araizumi Rui. These short stories were published later as full novels and serve as the basis of all Slayers-related media. The original series, Slayers, had fifteen volumes with the last being published in May, 2000. However, another series, Slayers Special, continues to be published to this day with 25 volumes published and a 26th volume on its way in April 2006.

The story of Slayers follows the adventures of sorceress Lina Inverse, who meets up with a gallant swordsman Gourry Gabriev. Gourry, being bluntly dim as ever, mistakes Lina for a lost girl and decides to protect her until she reaches her destination of the nearest big city. However, he soon learns that Lina's no little girl as the two of them are pulled into a plot to resurrect the evil dark lord, Ruby Eye Shabranigdu. Along their travels, they meet up with a number of interesting characters and get their fair share of deadly battles to deal with.

Slayers Special deals more with Lina in her travels with Naga the Serpent, which take place before she meets up with Gourry. There is no real on-going plot like there is in the Slayers series but it usually deals with the various tasks that Lina and Naga both get pulled into along their journey.

In April 1995, Slayers was brought to the small screen in the form of a 26-episode series that aired until September 1995. It was so successful that two more seasons were animated and aired over the following two years. The anime follows the plot of the original novel series until the third season, in which it takes a completely different turn. In addition to an anime series, Slayers also made its way onto the big screen in the form of feature-length movies based off of the Slayers Special series. The first movie was released in the summer of 1995, with three more movies being released around the same time for three more years. There were also two OAVs (original animation videos) released, also based around the Slayers Special series and a fifth movie was released in January 2002 with a completely original plot featuring Lina, Gourry, Zelgadiss, Amelia and Xelloss.

When the first season of the anime began airing, Slayers was also being published as a manga done by Yoshinaka Shoko. With eight volumes in all, the manga tells its own version of the story that takes place in the first eight volumes of the Slayers novels and the first two seasons of the Slayers anime. There was also a four-volume series based on the Slayers Special novels, done by Ohtsuka Tommy, who also later did a one-volume manga adaptaion for Slayers Premium.

As of 2003, Kanzaka Hajime worked with Ohtsuka Tommy to create Knight of the Aqualord, a six-volume manga series that acts as an alternative to the events that take place in volumes 9 through 15 of the Slayers novels. The plot is completely original, in which Lina and Gourry end up in a new land where they end up having to face off against Deep Sea Dolphin and her priest and general. This series ended its run when the last volume of the series was published in February 2005.

To this date, the first six volumes of the Slayers novels, all three seasons of the anime, all five movies, both OAVs, the first seven volumes of the Yoshinaka Shoko manga and the entire Slayers Special manga are available in English, with plans from FUNimation to release a remastered version of the original three TV seasons! After its modest beginnings in 1989, it's nice to know that the series is still going strong not only in Japan but in North America too!