Story by Hajime Kanzaka
Illustrations by Rui Araizumi
Translated by Elizabeth Ellis
Edited by Megan Denton
Lina and the gang’s crazy adventures continue with Slayers Volume 5. After Lina’s magic is sealed away, she is forced to investigate a mysterious cult that worships Shabranigdu. In usual Slayers fashion, accomplishing Lina’s goal is easier said than done.
Lina is a powerhouse in the Slayers universe. While she has certainly come across her fair share of challenges, her skills as a sorceress have usually been able to save her from the toughest binds. Having Lina’s magic sealed for the majority of this volume provides a nice spin to the usual format of the story, forcing Lina to rely on her teammates’ skills. This also allows Amelia, Gourry, and Zelgadis to be spotlighted more frequently during the action and prove that they aren’t pushovers themselves. The cast of Slayers is awesome, and they don’t need Lina to be plowing through enemies to prove it.
This volume also introduces the popular Slayers character Xellos. Despite his relaxed demeanor, Xellos is a powerful priest that is determined to seek out the Clair Bible manuscripts. What makes Xellos especially interesting is his moral ambiguity. He has no strong animosity towards anyone, but he also has no qualms eliminating any obstacles towards his goals. That said, Xellos’ true goals aren’t exactly clear, and while Lina and gang’s efforts may occasionally benefit him, he doesn’t consider anyone to be his ally. Xellos represents an unpredictable third faction in Lina’s conflict against the Shabranigdu cult, and it’s likely one that they shouldn’t trifle with.
For those who have seen Slayers NEXT, you may recall that this volume was condensed and loosely adapted into a single episode. While there aren’t any huge revelations in this book, it’s a shame that most of this content was omitted. Volume 5 dives into the broader aspects of the Slayers universe, explaining the intricacies of the magic system, Shabranigdu’s faction, and the history of the world. This is given further weight by having Zanaffar play a central role in the main conflict, connecting to the legends of the Claire Bible and the Sword of Light. Zanaffar had been alluded to in previous volumes, which allows for its involvement in the story to feel like an appropriate obstacle. The Shabranigdu cult and Zanaffar aren’t the most difficult foes that Lina and the gang have faced, but the context they provide keeps you invested in the story the entire way through.
Slayers continues to be a fantastic series, and this volume has further expanded the scope of the story. Xellos and the Claire Bible manuscripts foreshadow a greater threat to Lina and her friends, and it will be interesting to see how they overcome it. Until next time, keep your Ragna Blade ready and venture forth!