Story by Hajime Kanzaka
Illustrated by Rui Araizumi
Translated by Elizabeth Ellis
Edited by Megan Denton
Slayers Volume 6 continues the crazy adventures that readers expect from the series. Lina and the gang are lured to the city of Vezendi by their old foe Zuma, but little do they know that they aren’t the assassin’s only target. Zuma has also set his sights on Venzendi’s wealthy merchant Laddok Lanzard, and it’s up to Lina’s group to defend against the looming danger.
While the general premise of this volume isn’t foreign to Slayers, what makes it stand out is its approach to the conflict. Early on, Lina quickly becomes suspicious of Zuma’s true intentions, as his approach to assassinating Lina feels drastically different than his previous attempts. This is also coupled with the sudden return of Seigram and his demon companions, adding another obstacle to the situation. It’s a nice change of pace to have this volume focus on Lina’s previous enemies, as it not only brings back characters that are familiar to the reader, but also provides the story with a greater sense of tension. Zuma and Seigram both have clear grudges against Lina, and their mysterious and simultaneous return ramps up the tension more effectively than a new set of enemies.
The other important figure in this volume is Zuma’s second target Laddok. At first glance, Laddok appears to be your usual snobby Slayers character, but his behavior contradicts his positive reputation among the Vezendi citizens. This makes his harsh treatment towards Lina’s group and his lack of connection to Zuma feel even more strange. You can argue this makes the eventual reveal of Laddok’s true identity feel predictable, but it’s also interesting because of his lifestyle. Laddok hid his true nature from those around him, slowly losing his humanity in the process. Laddok’s actions also make his final moments particularly compelling, choosing to accept his fading human identity over a growing demonic one. Slayers has had its fair share of sympathetic antagonists, but Laddok still stands out among them.
One of the most significant moments of this volume is in the epilogue, which reveals the identity of the mysterious Xellos and his plans for Lina. While none of it is too surprising, it establishes that Kanzaka has a clear direction for the story moving forward. It’s an indication that the series is slowly shifting away from its more self-contained storylines in order to craft a larger narrative, which is refreshing to see.
Slayers Volume 6 continues the solid momentum of the series, by pitting its amazing main cast against their old foes. This installment has everything you’d expect from the series by now, making it an entertaining read from start to finish. Here’s to another adventure with our favorite fantasy gang!