I finished watching another animé series on my smartphone: Slayers NEXT. It’s the second season of the Slayers series first released back in April 1996.
This installment has improved from the first season in that there is a more solid character identity and better story development. In this series, Lina Inverse exposes her vulnerable side, courtesy of discovering how she feels for her traveling companion, Gourry Gabriev. We also see a developing romantic angle between Zelgadis Greywords and Amelia Wil Tesla Seyruun, although theirs is not explored in-depth.
Unlike in the first season, Slayers NEXT has only one adversary: Hellmaster Phibrizzo. However, this villain takes on the role of a puppet-master in that he sends out various monsters to go against Lina and her gang. He also tricks Gaav the Demon Dragon King, another monster of equal power, to pursue the heroes. Still, having only one nemesis throughout the entire season is better than having two (as in the first season) to ensure plot continuity.
In this season, we are introduced to a new character who would make regular appearance in later seasons: Xellos. Accordingly, he is known as “the roguish priest,” but actually, he is a monster possessing incredible power and magical ability. He is actually at par with Lina’s abilities. This roguish priest, more often than not, puts the whole gang in trouble; however, his antics are the root of hilarious moments in the series. Because of his anti-hero or rogue|hero status, he’s become a personal favorite animé character.
All in all, Slayers NEXT is truly an enjoyable comical sword-and-sorcery animé. It’s these kinds of animé that I truly miss nowadays. No doubt, the 1990s were the height of animé and cartoons!