"Where monsters rampage, I'm there to take them down! Where treasure glitters, I'm there to claim it! Where an enemy rises to face me, victory will be mine!"Slayers
(marketed as The Slayers
in the U.S.) started as a serialized novel in the Japanese Dragon
Magazine (no relation to the American one of the same name). Originally it was supposed to follow the adventures of the Cephied Knight, a champion for good named Luna Inverse. However, when filling out her background the writer found her little sister Lina far more interesting.A series of sword-and-sorcery light novels with equal parts comedy and drama that was adapted into an anime series. Has five TV seasons, six OVAs
, five movies, six video games and a whole lot of manga made. Became extremely popular in the West, in part because of its quirk of having a female as the lead in a Shonen
Lina is a young and very powerful sorceress. She wanders the world looking for treasure to steal and magic to learn. Unfortunately (from her point of view), she tends to end up in situations where she's got to save the world instead of just make a fast buck. She will attempt to wring money out of most situations, such as once extorting gold from a town that was actively being ravaged by a dragon. She's also got an amazing temper, having destroyed both the dragon and the town she was protecting with one spell because the dragon embarrassed her by not
stepping on her. She still expected to get paid, too. She has earned the titles "Bandit Slayer" (it's not stealing if they've already stolen it!), "Dragon Spooker
", and "Enemy Of All That Live" in a few short years.
Much to Lina's chagrin, she ends up with a group of people
following her around, usually because they're all trying not to get killed by something. In the OVAs
, set before the TV show, this is the deranged sorceress Naga, who believes
Lina is following her
around as her rival
. In the TV series, this is the dumb-as-a-jellyfish swordsman Gourry Gabriev, the justice-obsessed princess Amelia, the taciturn chimera Zelgadis, the self-proclaimed "mysterious priest" Xellos, and occasionally the shrine maiden Sylphiel.
She eventually comes to like them, and is beginning to fall for Gourry by the end of Next
. She'll deny it if asked, and insists she's only after Gourry's sword
The series alternates between serious fights and quests to save the world and silly slapstick humor. There is one Cross Dressing
episode per season, and they will sometimes take breaks in the middle of serious story arcs or fights for semi-plot-related silliness
. It manages to find a nice balance, and is one of the must-see series for Medieval European Fantasy
This show has the first two seasons up legally on hulu
and Funimation's video portal
(though Hulu and Funimation's site can't stream these outside the US). All five seasons are currently available on DVD. The English translations of the first eight novels are out of print, but still relatively easy to find used. Fan translations for most of volumes 9 through 11 can be found here
and a project to translate the rest is ongoing here
The manga are slightly harder to come by outside of Japan: while seven volumes of the manga following the main TV series arc were translated, they've been largely neglected, although fan translations have covered a lot of ground on the various manga miniseries, including Knight Of Aqua Lord
and Hourglass of Falces
. Lastly, the SNES
Slayers game patch can be found here
Not to be confused with the band Slayer
or Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Has a Character Sheet
Slayers provides examples of the following tropes:
- Above Good and Evil: The Golden Lord/Lord of Nightmares was the original creator of both the Mazoku and the Gods, but seems to side with neither. When a powerful Mazoku gets the bright idea to use her power for his particular purpose (destroying the world), she just blasts him into nothingness. After making world-destroyers and world-protectors, she's mostly absent, but sometimes meddles anyway. If she has an agenda besides just sitting back and watching what happens, we never find out what it is.
- The Abridged Series: projectshadow99's The Slayers Abridged.
- Absolute Cleavage: Naga, Martina, Eris, Mazenda.
- Achievements in Ignorance: In the finale of Next, when The Lord of Nightmares is floating away in Lina's body, Gourry goes after her in an attempt to get Lina back. Exactly what Gourry intended to do when he caught up with her is a mystery, as he can't exactly stab the creator of all things out of Lina. Fortunately, the Lord of Nightmares decides to give Lina back after witnessing this.
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: The Blast Sword, from the second arc of the novels, is so sharp that it can actually cut through astral beings like Mazoku, who can't ordinarily be harmed by physical attacks.
- Action Girl: Lina, Amelia and several others.
- A-Cup Angst: Lina's not exactly flat as a board, but spending so much time with Naga and Amelia has made her rather sensitive about the fact that she lacks large breasts.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: There's a bit of it across each form of media, but both Rezo and Zelgadis transitioning from novels to anime (and Zelgadis again in the Hourglass of Falces manga) is the biggest change.
- Adaptation Dye-Job:
- Lina's hair color has shifted over the years: she began as a brunette (older novels), transitioning to a coppery red color (older anime seasons and later main novels), and finally to bright red (newer anime and Special novels).
- Amelia and Xellos both have black hair in the novels which are stylized purple, while both of their hair is straight-up purple in the anime. Also, Amelia's tunic is light yellow in the novels and white in both the anime and video games, and the Slayers Royal games, oddly enough, give her purple leggings in lieu of her pants.
- Finally, Zelgadis' skin in the older books is a greenish color, his hair is silver, and his eyes are purple. In the anime, his eyes and skin are blue and his hair is purple. Art Evolution in the novels now has his novel design more resemble his anime design. His one unique trait in the novels, however, is a bridge of stone stuck between his left eyelids. Also, his white tunic becomes a deep tan in the anime and games.
- Aerith and Bob: For example, Philionel and his brother, Randy.
- Affably Evil: Rezo is a bishonen who is unsettlingly calm and polite. He's not exactly ''evil'', however.
- Xellos, particularly the anime incarnation, is generally polite, well-mannered and charming... until he decides to remind the viewers that he's part of a race of Chaotic Evil Omnicidal Maniacs.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: appears to be standard issue among Gold Dragons and Ancient Dragons, who can convincingly take human forms. Among the Mazoku, however, only the most powerful are masters of this ability; the middle-level Mazoku tend to have Red Right Hands when pretending to be humans, and ones lesser still are limited to their true, monstrous forms.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Eris and her creation Copy Rezo, especially in the anime.
- Real Rezo. Particularly after Evolution-R, where his real goal is to be killed for good, before the Shabranigdu fragment takes control again and blows up the world.
- All Love Is Unrequited:
- Novels only: Luke, a former assassin, is in love with his partner (and the one who convinced him to change his ways) Milina; Milina does not acknowledge his feelings at all. In the Hourglass of Falces manga (in which both of them are regular members of the group), however, it's shown that she somewhat reciporacates them.
- Eris and Ozzel to Rezo.
- Sylphiel to Gourry.
- All-Natural Gem Polish: Averted in the first novel and an early episode of the anime. Lina lifts a load of treasure from bandits, but finds that most of the gems are flawed and not worth much. She then enchants them into protection amulets to up their sale value.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Chimeras, all whom are frowned upon for their appearances (which, in turn, tends to make them emotionally unstable). Beastmen also gain some flak, but not as much. On the other hand, Dragons tend to look down on all of the other races, save maybe the Elves, due to their...nature.
- All There in the Manual: Interviews with the author of the novels are found in the back of every Slayers novel. They're one of the few sources of info in regards to how the world works, because most of the media do not elaborate about how magic works, character backgrounds, and overarching stories (such as both the war between Shabranigdo and Ciefeed and the Mazoku war that made the Inner World barrier) beyond some basic facts. For example, almost everything about Gourry's backstory is in interviews only, save for one story released in a novel detailing an incident he got involved in a few weeks before meeting Lina. There are several guidebooks out now as well, but they're hardly elaborate - one of them has profiles for Satellite Characters Luke and Millina, but they have no established backgrounds given.
- Aloof Big Sister: Luna Inverse hasn't even actually appeared in the series, yet just the implication of her is enough to strike mortal terror in Lina. In all fairness, she brought it on herself.
- Lina is capable of defeating gods, and even summoning the creator of all things. Yet when a servant of the gods comes looking for someone to save the world, they contact Luna first. Think about that for a moment.
- Alternate Continuity: Numerous. It should be noted that all mediums have shared events and similar plot progressions (if involving different details and in different orders) up to the Hellmaster Fibrizzo arc, after which they all split into completely different directions.
- The main series of novels (Slayers) serves as the first. It is split into two arcs (1-8, 9-15), with the former storyline also existing in anime and manga form.
- The anime (Slayers, Next, Try, Revolution, Evolution-R, as well as the Premium movie), serves as the second, based on the first arc of the novels. Directly contradicts the novels in places (and also itself).
- The Knight of the Aqua Lord manga is officially recognized as a third continuity (splitting from the novel verse after volume 8), and exists as another alternate second arc, standing alongside novels 9-15 and Try as an original story directly following the first arc.
- The Lina and Naga adventures (the Special novels, Special and Excellent OVAs, and first four movies) are canon back story to all three.
- Additionally, manga counterparts exist for the first two anime seasons, Revolution, and Evolution-R, as well as two other manga series, Slayers: Light-Magic and Neo-Slayers: The Hourglass of Falces, with Hourglass of Falces as possibly the first entry in a new ongoing fourth continuity.
- Additionally additionally, five video games, two named just Slayers, then Royal, Royal 2 for PlayStation, and Wonderful for the PlayStation, none of which are considered canon.
- Always Chaotic Evil: The Mazoku/Monsters.
: The power of the Monster race flows from [...] terror, anger, sorrow, despair.
- Always Save the Girl: In this case it's Always Save The Boy. Lina uses a spell that might well destroy the world if cast incorrectly, simply because there's no other way to save Gourry.
- Anachronism Stew: Quite a few, all Played for Laughs. The most prominent would be clothing, ranging from typical fantasy armors and robes, to modern-looking sun dresses and t-shirt/pants combos. Zelgadis wears a hooded sweatshirt of all things in an episode of Revolution.
- There's the odd serious example from time to time, too. Episode 25 of the first series has Sylphiel trying to revive a fallen Lina with modern CPR, including chest compressions.
- Ancient Keeper: Auntie Aqua in Slayers Next.
- And I Must Scream: The original fate of Daymia in the novels is... not pretty.
- Animated Adaptation: Originally a serialized set of novels.
- Animated Armor: Nama and the Dullahan.
- Anime Theme Song, sung by Megumi Hayashibara. And not just one; all 14 of the anime theme songs have been sung by her.
- The Spell "Flow Break" dispels everything but White Magic and causes animation spells (such as armor and Golem) to stop working.
- There was a Magitek train in Try, the power source of which absorbed all magic, making attack spells about as useful as throwing toy squibs.
- Apocalypse How: Across three of the five seasons of the anime and in a few novels, the Big Bad usually shoots for Class X (obliteration of the planet), regardless of their reasons why.
- Ars Goetia: The series borrows the symbols in the Ars Goetia for use to symbolize the higher level Mazoku: http://kanzaka.wikia.com/wiki/Ars_Goetia
- Art Evolution: It's obvious there would be some of this, considering that the first anime season aired in 1995 and the most recent came out in 2009, but even watching the third season (Try) and going back to the first is pretty jarring. Gourry and Lina's character designs in particular have changed quite a bit over the years, to the point that Lina's hair has even changed color from reddish-brown to bright red over time.
- This also occurs in the original novels' artwork. Older drawings of the characters and the first five novels or so are much more detailed in regards to the characters' clothing and the backgrounds, and the eyes and faces of the females are very rounded. Later novels and art overall are less detailed, the eyes (such as Lina's, Gourry's, and Amelia's) are sharper, and faces are a bit more deformed. Gourry in particular looks much, much different in the early years of the franchise, and in the final novel he almost looks like a different person.
- It's also worth nothing that, when the covers of the novels were re-drawn, Rui Araizumi drew Zelgadis a bit more in the likeness of his anime design, even making his skin blue (originally in the novels, his skin is greenish).
- And the art of the ''Super Explosive Demon Story'' manga starts off similar to the novels (highly detailed, fluid poses, rounded figures) and deteriorates overtime (stiff poses, no conservation of detail, etc.).
- Ascended Extra: Technically Amelia and Zelgadis, considering the fact that they do not appear in the second arc of the novels at all, whereas they are major characters in the anime and most of the manga and games.
- By contrast, Luke and Milina, Lina and Gourry's two other party members from the second arc, only appear outside the novels in the Hourglass of Falces manga, where they are part of a six-man band instead.
- Xellos only appears in five of the novels (cameoing in the last one), so technically he could be this, especially considering his role and given relationship with Filia in TRY.
- And because of his role in the fourth and fifth seasons, Rezo also qualifies.
- Audible Sharpness: Most of the swordsmen, especially Gourry and Zangulus.
- Audio Adaptation: Ten, all of them made well after the three early anime seasons aired. Among them is a crossover with the cast of the Sorcerous Stabber Orphen series.
- Autobots, Rock Out!: The whole cast in the end of Evolution-R fighting to the tune of "Give a Reason".
- Avenging the Villain: Eris, Valgaav, Jillas.
- Badass Adorable: Amelia and Pokota.
- Badass Cape: All the main characters have these, along with most other fighters and magicians.
- Badass Longcoat: Gaav.
- Badass Normal: Gourry, helped slightly by a legendary magical sword.
- Bedtime Brainwashing: In The Slayers Perfect (Slayers the Motion Picture), it's played for laughs as Lina awakens and sees the King and the Queen chanting too loudly at her. The laughs are made even more potent by the fact that Lina already has mysterious dreams, but this one turns to be a fake.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Brought to you by Ship Tease courtesy of Filia and Xellos.
- Berserk Button: Lina has lots of these. Particularly involving interrupting (or stealing) her meals, her appearance, her 1,001 nicknames, or her status as a Pettanko.
- Filia herself has a Xellos-shaped berserk button. Well justified since Xellos has murdered thousands of other dragons.
- Zelgadis has a much more subtle one and it's not played for laughs most of the time: his chimeric body. The only times he ever loses his cool is when he thinks he's found a way to be human again then finds out he's wrong.
- Beta Baddie: Copy Rezo.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Amelia's normally a sweet girl, but if you endanger someone she cares about, watch out!
- Beyond the Impossible: The magic of the series is theurgic magic (meaning it draws from faith in Gods or Demons). Martina uses a curse, on raw willpower, drawing from the energy of a spirit that doesn't exist, since she made it up. Granted, it isn't nearly as impressive as the magic others but that she can use this at all, even for minor curses or dowsing, is insane. For the long explaination, click the note note
- Big Damn Heroes: Prince Phil does this at the end of the first season to help Lina and the others. It leads to the rest of them having to save him.
- Big Eater: Part of the world's background details is that magic burns up calories when cast and so mages need to eat more than usual. It's most prominently exemplified by Lina, mainly because she is a very powerful sorceress and casts potent spells at the slightest excuse. Gourry, despite (or perhaps because of) being a Badass Normal, regularly eats just as much as she does. Amelia also frequently eats just like Lina does when travelling with her, partially for the same reasons as Lina, partially for the funny in seeing a princess wolfing down tons of food like an animal. Zelgadis, on the other hand, is rarely seen eating and certainly not in the same fevered manner, possibly because of his chimera nature.
- Filia the dragon priestess is seen gulping down an entire cauldron's worth of hotpot as a once off gag about halfway through the TRY season.
- Big Little Man: The first episode doesn't give any way of determining Lina's height until she meets up with Gourry.
- Big Screwed-Up Family: Word of God states that Gourry came from one, and this is why he became a lone mercenary in the first place. His entire family screwed itself over in who would possess the Sword of Light, and it's implied that most of his immediate family is dead because of it.
- The Seirune royal family is almost just as bad, as there seems to be a lot of conniving and backstabbing over the throne. Prince Phil has faced two assassination attempts now, one by his own brother and the other by his nephew!
- Bilingual Bonus/Meaningful Name: In Spanish, Rezo's name means "prayer." In the Latin American dub, Lina is known as Rina. Her name is similar to rińa, which means "quarrel."
- Bishounen: This show may actually beat out Yu-Gi-Oh for the sheer amount of girly-looking men in it. Gourry, Xellos, Zangulus, Rezo, the list goes on.
- Prince Phil is the only exception, and jokes are made about him NOT being Bishounen. Apparently in the Slayers universe, being strong and not bishounen makes you a bandit.
- Gaav is an exception as well. The only bishounen thing about him is his hair.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Lina, despite her cute and petite appearance, qualifies for this so much.
- Bittersweet Ending: As of the ending of Evolution-R Pokota has got his kingdom and father back, but he's still stuck as a stuffed toy, his real body destroyed in the fight against Shabranigdu.
- Black and Gray Morality: The villains are more villainous than the heroes are heroic.
- Black Comedy Rape:
- Only in the Japanese version of the first light novel, in regards to Noonsa and the "mating joke"; Zolf suggested raping Lina when Zelgadis captures her in that version. When it was translated by Tokyopop, the kiss joke was inserted instead; the Japanese version of the anime carried the "kiss" notion as well. In the Super Explosive Demon Story manga adaptation, Zolf again suggests rape (and this is also censored when it was translated)
- Happens again in the third light novel when Lina and Gourry are incarcerated by guards near Sairaag. One of them eggs the idea of rape again, until Gourry intervenes by making a highly inappropriate joke about Lina being sick "in certain places." Lina is not amused in the least.
- Black Magic: Actually used by name, refers to any spell that draws its powers from Mazoku.
- Black Mage: Any wizard who specialises in casting Black Magic or the Fire, Ice, Lightning spells from Shamanism can be considered this, though the in-universe terminology seems to be "sorcerer". Lina Inverse is a black mage by both definitions.
- Blinding Bangs: Luna.
- Blood from the Mouth: Happens during the rougher battles regularly, but it happens to Zelgadis the most. Reasonably, it notifies when his invulnerability is waning, thus signifying that shit will hit the fan.
- It randomly happens to him in The Reveal of episode 10 of Evolution-R when Rezo tells him that he cannot become a human again; of course, it's presumably symbolic.
- Bloodless Carnage: In all of the anime adaptations, this is played straight until roughly the final third of each season, when the plot finally sets into its climax and the battles become more intense.
- Bodyguard Crush: Gourry towards Lina, at first only in the anime but then eventually in all mediums despite Kanzaka's original intent of no romance.
- Also Jillas towards Filia at the end of Try, though it seems to be less romantic then simple devotion for her kindness.
- Body Horror: The Ragunut Rushavna spell, only seen in the novels, turns the victim into a fleshy piece of meat that is repeatedly eaten by snakes for eternity; the victim suffers from this pain endlessly until the caster - usually a Monster - is destroyed. Daymia, a minor character, suffers this fate in the novels (whereas in the anime, he was merely turned to stone).
- Book Ends: Rezo-Shabranigdu is the first major enemy that Lina and her crew battle in the first season and he comes back as the final villain at the end of Evolution-R.
- Boring Invincible Hero: Regularly quite averted when things get serious. Multiple times Lina and co. have defeated their massively more potent adversaries purely through sheer luck. To make a list, Shabranigdo was killed the first time using a spell that had an equal chance of ending the entire world as it did just being the ultimate offensive spell, and Lina wasn't even sure if the spell would work in the first place, and even then she only had the time to do it because Rezo held back his defenses. Gaarv was heavily wounded by Lina's Ragna Blade, but it STILL wasn't enough to kill them and would have slaughtered them if Fibrizio hadn't intervened. Fibrizio obviously massively outclassed the group when he demonstrated that he could kill them at will without any real effort on his part while effortlessly shrugging off all of their attacks, and only won because L-sama didn't really give much of a toss about what was going on either way. So far the only Big Bad's in the series that Lina has killed without casting an incredibly risky spell that has a fifty percent chance of ending reality are Copy Rezo and Dark Star Dugradigdu. At the end of Evolution-R, Lina casts successful Giga Slave for exactly the second time ever to kill Shabranigdo yet again, and though he was massively weakened from the form she encountered originally, the team STILL couldn't really kill him without Pokota's act of self-sacrifice doing the same thing Rezo did the first time.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Pokota definitely had his moments of this.
- Breath Weapon: Most dragons seem to have one. Golden Dragons in particular have laser breath, which they're shown to be able to use even in human form — Filia's tendency to use hers when she's aggravated with Xellos is frequently played for comedic effect.
- Broken Pedestal: Zelgadis once fought on Rezo's behalf, believing he was the generous healer most people believe (and also because Rezo is his guardian and great-grandfather). This all changed when he found out how far Rezo was willing to go to cure his blindness, including experimenting on Zelgadis, and worse, willing to risk the destruction of the entire world.
- Butt Monkey:
- Noonsa the Fishman
- Luke the swordsman, who gets shafted by Millina frequently.
- Zelgadis in the anime, namely during filler episodes where he's either being used (Lina using him as a boat anchor in Next comes to mind) or is teased for his Grumpy Bear attitude when everyone else dives headfirst into embarrassing situations.
- Amelia during earlier seasons of the anime and a lot of manga adaptations. Taken Up to Eleven in the Slayers Premium movie, where she spends the first half ranting, nearly gets murdered by demonized octopi, and winds up abandoned on an island unable to speak by the end of the movie.
- Gourry becomes this when he either falls into traps or is forced to cross-dress.
- Naga the Serpent, occasionally.
- Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Literally, with Amelia in Evolution-R breaking her arm trying to hold back one of the Big Bad's attacks with her bare fists.
- Calling Your Attacks:
- Every magic spell. Justified in non-anime material — mastery of magic in the Slayers setting is accomplished by skill with "Chaos Words", the incantations. The more powerful a sorcerer is, the less words they need; simply invoking the name is all the good wizards actually need to cast a spell. And if they use more Chaos Words than they actually need, the power of the spell is amplified further. This also means that only the very best wizards in the world can actually cast a spell without even speaking its name.
- Also exploited: Lina once called Fireball, causing her opponents to flee in terror, but cast only a simple Light spell.
- Amelia's dad Phil also likes doing this ("Pacifist Crush!", "Kindness to All Creatures Kick!", "Good Will Towards Men Smash!", "Joyful Reunion Bearhug!", "Benevolent Giant Swing!", "Brothers Unite Hand Slap!").
- Camp Gay: The dragon in Episode 17 (first season). Yes, dragon.
- Canon Foreigner: Any of the original characters from the video games, which are officially non-canon.
- Care Bear Stare: In one episode of Try, Amelia, Gourry and Zelgadis incapacitated Xellos by singing songs of love and joy.
- Catch Phrase: Xellos's "Sore wa himitsu desu" or "That... is a secret".
- Cerebus Syndrome: By roughly the eighteenth episode of all of the anime seasons, the battles suddenly get more violent, with the plot reaching its height and bloodier battles creating a rather scary twist. The most jarring example may be by the 20th episode and beyond of NEXT, when, after nearly three episodes of hilarious slapstick, a mazoku nearly kills Amelia, Zelgadis is severely wounded (for the first time) protecting Amelia from the Mazoku Lord Gaav, and Gourry is kidnapped and brainwashed to kill Lina and the others.
- Chased Off into the Sunset: Lina and Gourry in the first episode.
- Chef of Iron: There's such thing as Dragon Cuisine.
- The Chessmaster: Hureika from Knight of the Aqua Lord fancies herself one of these, even treating the entire thing as her "game."
- Hellmaster Phibrizzo definitely qualifies as one of these too, manipulating almost the entire list of events of season two, be it through Xellos or directly.
- Chick Magnet: Gourry, so very much. He attracts Lina, Sylphiel, Martina, Nama a.k.a. Naga, Kuppi, Gioconda, and almost every main female character in the show.
- The Chosen One: Lina's sister Luna is the Knight of Ciefeed and is able to wield his strength; alledgedly it can rival that of high-level Mazoku such as Xellos. Lei Magnus, Rezo, and Luke are the known holders of the seven split pieces of Shabranigdo (the other four are unknown). And in the third season of the anime, Lina is chosen by Filia to take on Dark Star Dugradigdu; it is revealed by the final episode that she was an ideal choice over Luna because of her ability to wield the Lord of Nightmares' power, and, unlike Luna, who is affiliated with the gods,(mainly specializing in White/Holy power), Lina has affiliation with neither side, and could easily combine Black and Holy magic to create the magical power needed to defeat Dugradigdu.
- Cloning Blues: Vrumugun, Copy Rezo.
- Close-Call Haircut: Lina gets a magic suppressing circlet latched onto her head. Gourry throws a surprised Lina up into the air and slashes at her face with his sword. A small piece of hair falls off, but the circlet is successfully sliced off her head. She repays him by bashing him over the head with her own SWEATDROP for doing something so dangerous.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Gourry, Amelia, and Nama.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Lampshaded; Amelia thinks things really works this way.
"Everyone knows the bad guy always wears black!"
- Comedic Sociopathy: One of Lina's major traits.
- Comically Serious: Zelgadis, poor guy.
- Conspicuous CGI: Slayers Premium (the jars the octopi carry and the water) and both Slayers Revolution and Evolution-R (some spells, water, and structures in the opening sequences).
- Continuity Lockout: The belated Revolution and Evolution-R seasons of the anime attempted to avoid this by conveniently not mention the fact that the four leads had defeated an incarnation of Zanaffar before. It would've worked, had it not been for the fact that both seasons played this painfully straight in the first place - absolutely no prior establishment of what had happened before both seasons - and the end result was most of the viewers being those who had seen the first three seasons from eleven years back. Along with the issue with Zanaffar, there is also the fact that why Lina and Gourry are seeking a new sword (and the importance of the Sword of Light), and they also don't mention directly that Zelgadis and Rezo are related by blood, getting rid of some of the depth that Zelgadis' emotional turmoil against Rezo.
- This is also a massive problem with the Slayers Special/Smash novels. There are over fifty of those versus the fifteen "main" novels. Mind you, those fifty are supposed to serve as a prequel to the fifteen, and they're still going, whereas the last of the main books came out in 2000. It also doesn't help that both series began around the same time, in the early 90's.
- Continuity Nod: The ending for Revolution features the plane chart that notes the hierarchy of the five Mazoku generals, the four Dark Lords, and the Lord of Nightmares suspended in the background. The two spots on the chart reserved for Fibrizzo and Gaav are destroyed (as they were Killed Off for Real in Slayers NEXT).
- Meanwhile, the spot on the hierarchy representing Dark Star Dugradigdu is unblemished, despite the fact that he was destroyed in Try; it seems to be a Discontinuity Nod due to the fact that Kanzaka has officially proclaimed he does not like or consider canon the events of Try, except for the fact that the opening Evolution-R acknowledges Valgaav, the final eyecatch for the series (one of them serving as the page image) features characters from all the seasons, including Try, the army of Saillune has cannons made by Jillas (both the character and the technology is from the Outer World), and Gourry having lost the Sword of Light and needing a replacement only makes sense if "Try" happened.
- In an odd meta-version of this, it is revealed that Gourry's Sword of Light's true name is "Gorun Nova" which in the Lost Universe series takes the form of one of the Five Lost Ships created by the ubervillain of that world, Dark Star Dugradigdu. In the Slayers part of the multiverse (which only exists in the series, and not the Slayers novels) DarkStar Dugradigdu's five generals became the Weapons of Light instead of spaceships.
- Vurumugun (the real one) is in attendance at Zangulus's wedding at the end of NEXT.
- Converging Stream Weapon: The Dark Star Weapons in Slayers Try. At the end of the season, all five weapons are combined with a Yin-Yang Bomb into a Wave Motion Gun.
- Conveniently an Orphan: Word of God states that both Zelgadis and Gourry also lack parental figures.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: Zolf's ideas of torture are...really strange.
- Cool Big Sis: Averted with Luna Inverse who scares Lina more than anything else in the world, but played straight with Martina who unknowingly looks after the child form of Hellmaster Fibrizzo while Lina and the others fight Gaav.
- Also averted with Naga, who is actually Amelia's sister; her time with the group as "Nama" proves it so. Also, when they did actually meet (in a radio drama taking place after Slayers Premium, Naga disguised herself in front of Amelia and claimed she was a friend of Lina's.
- Cool Helmet: Filia wears a helmet (more of a circlet, really) with gigantic Christmas ornaments stuck to the sides.
- Cool Old Lady: Auntie Aqua.
- Cool Sword: Gourry's Sword of Light. At first, it appears as a regular old sword, but once the blade is removed, Gourry can summon forth a blade of pure monster-slaying light. Lina's Ragna Blade also qualifies, being a blade of raw magical energy that draws its power from the Lord of Nightmares, the creator of the world.
- Creepy Child: Hellmaster Fibrizzo in Slayers Next, and Rezo-Shabranigdu in Pokota's human body in Evolution-R. Technically, neither of them are really children at all, but the fact that they take the forms of same makes everything they do that much creepier.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Gourry. Normally he comes across as dimwitted and scatterbrained, sometimes to the point of seeming completely incompetent (although he was more competent in the novels, to be fair, and underwent more Flanderization in the anime than any other character did), and his memory is so bad that he frequently can't remember past enemies they've fought or even what happened a few days ago. However, when he senses a threat, his fighting skills push Badass Normal about as far as it can go in this series.
- Crystal Prison: One of Fibrizzo's abilities is to create a crystal gem around a person to slowly drain their life energy.
- Cultural Cross-Reference: One bandit dresses up as Colonel Sanders while trying to lure Lina with chicken.
- Curse Cut Short: Episode 11 of Slayers TRY — Just as Amelia was about to say "piece of shit" (referring to a dropping-shaped mountain they were about to scale), Lina cuts her off, noting how improper it is for royalty to swear.
- Cursed with Awesome: Zelgadis is part golem due to Rezo, meaning that some attacks can't phase him (most apparent when trying to choke him) and on rare occasion will beaming him with a rock work. It was also because of this transformation that Zelgadis became a great sorcerer, but even with all the positives, Zelgadis wants to be fully human again.
- Curtains Match the Window: Xellos, who has purple hair, also has purple eyes.
- Lina has red eyes and red hair.
- Cute Little Fang: Lina sometimes has one. It was permanent by Revolution.
- Daddy's Girl: Amelia adores her father.
- Dangerous Forbidden Technique: The Giga Slave, if miscast, destroys the entire universe. Several episodes are devoted solely to Lina attempting to find ways to NOT cast the Giga Slave, because it's basically the worst solution to any problem. Unlike many series, however, the Giga Slave is successfully avoided on a number of occasions. In the third season, for example, it's use is repeatedly mentioned as a last resort, but it is never actually used.
- Darker and Edgier: The novels in general to the anime (though in a different way).
- Slayers Try to the earlier series. It really pushes the Grey and Gray Morality to the maximum, featuring, among other things, a clan of Shinzoku (which are Physical Gods in the shape of dragons and which are devoted to the Forced of Light) who are willing to let some other world be destroyed if it assures the protection of their own and who committed genocide against another tribe of Shinzoku because they envied their power, and the revelation that the Creator Deity basically started the battle between good and evil simply to amuse "herself", a fact that pushed the Mazoku Lord Dark Star Dugradigdu and his Shinzoku Lord counterpart Night Dragon Volpheed over the Despair Event Horizon and convinced them to fuse into a single creature in hopes of destroying the world and remaking it on their terms, beyond the interference of the Lord of Nightmares.
- A Day in the Limelight: Three of the prequel light novels each have one-shot stories featuring Amelia (set before the series proper, where she takes down a shady drug dealer and his gang), Zelgadis (a story of him fighting against a fellow chimera with the same sense of pessimism he has), and Gourry (more or less a backstory of what he did before he met Lina). All three stories were eventually compiled into one novel later on.
- Death by Adaptation: The anime, in spite of its lighter tone, tends to be a lot more bloodthirsty than the novels where side characters are concerned. Noonsa and Dilgear on the comical side; Rubia and Abel on the less so; to name a few. Duclis from Revolution inverts this precedent.
- Deal with the Devil: Played with on Rezo towards Shabranigdu; as he planned to kill Shabranigdu after having his blindness cured.
- Deus ex Machina: The Blessed Blade at the end of the first series. It comes out of nowhere with very little explanation behind it in the second to last episode, and can somehow hurt the merged Copy Rezo/Zanaffar, which contradicts what we've heard several times about Gourry's Sword of Light being able to hurt it. This is further made strange when in Slayers Evolution and Evolution R it is shown that the Sword of Light CAN destroy it as a major plot point.
- Destructive Saviour: Lina will blow up your village in the process of saving it.
- Devil in Plain Sight: Xellos, and it was designated-idiot Gourry who noticed; he didn't say anything because he thought it was so obvious.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Lina is slowly murdering her way up the Mazoku hierarchy and she started with Shabranigdu himself.
- Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: Xellos, as a monster, wants to destroy all things, and has in the past, committed several acts of genocide. This doesn't stop him from adventuring with Lina... though, granted, this wasn't revealed until near the end of NEXT where it showed him wiping out a whole clan of dragons with a flick of a wrist. To be fair, it's just as much Lina accepting that she can't get rid of him (As Xellos is for most intents and purposes a god), than her actually wanting him around.
- Disc One Final Boss: Rezo and Shabranigdo, Gaav.
- Also, if you count Revolution and Evolution-R as the same season due to each only having 13 episodes, Zanaffar.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Lina's most famous example may be in the first episode, where she blows up a town she was trying to save while attempting to kill a dragon... because it had deliberately stepped over her rather then crushing her.
- Happened once over sausages, of all things.
Gourry: You were just staring off into space, so I figured you didn't want any.
Lina: Well, I did! So if you can take my food, I can take yours! (Eats about five) And I hope that taught you a lesson.
Gourry: Yeah, that you eat more than me.
- Dissonant Serenity: Rezo (but not his replica) and most Mazoku are quite calm or even mildly amused when fighting. Shabranigdo even explained to the party why and how much Resistance Is Futile and almost rolled his eyes seeing how they just don't get it.
- Xellos almost never gets angry, even when reminding the audience that he is a monster. When his cool does dissipate, it's downright disturbing.
- Distracted by the Sexy: In the video games, Gourry actually meets Naga. This happens to him with her a few times, especially in the Slayers Wonderful game, where he actually gets a Nosebleed.
- The Ditz: Gourry.
- Naga as Nama, mostly due to memory loss... though, to be fair, she was pretty ditzy in the movies and OAVs too.
- Amelia in earlier seasons of the anime.
- Divine Conflict: It is explained that countless millenia ago, the universe was nearly destroyed in a war between the forces of Flare Dragon Cifeed and Lord Shabranigdo. Cifeed just barely managed to defeat Shabranigdo, and save what was left of the universe in the process.
- Dope Slap: It's pretty common in this series.
- Lina gives Gourry these on a normal basis.
- Zelgadis gave one to Amelia after she said that all villains have to wear black.
- Gourry gave one to Zelgadis after he mentioned Amelia's lost sister and upset her.
- Lina once slapped Zelgadis, but immediately regretted it.
- Double Entendre: Lots of jokes about the townsfolk's balls in Revolution episode 6, which involves a town festival dedicated to rolling a giant stone sphere up a mountain.
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: This is exactly how Lina and Gourry's relationship works a lot of the time.
- Dragged into Drag/Cross Dresser: Once per season, sans (R)evolution-R, (and always in episode 17) the party ends up needing to be in a disguise for some reason or another. Lina and Amelia happily dress up the male members of the cast as pretty girls.
- Only NEXT shows Zelgadis and Xellos doing it, but poor Gourry is always involved when it happens. Xelloss has the time of his life.
- Dumbass No More: In Evolution-R, Gourry is still an idiot, but he's much more alert, intuitive, and all around competent than he is in most of the previous anime seasons (the first being the only exception) when it comes to non-combat situations. He even manages to correctly assert most situations, much to Lina's surprise and praise.
- Dying as Yourself: Played with for Rezo's first death in the anime—it is implied that, however desperate he was to find a way to open his eyes, in the end even he did not want to truly destroy the world and that his whole gambit was actually encouraged if not outright caused by Shabranigdo possessing him; during the final battle he is able to hold back enough of his power (and by extension Shabrangido's) to give Lina a chance to win with the Giga Slave, implying that when he dies, he does so as himself. However, events in later seasons cast doubt on what Rezo's character was truly like, and it is also likely it was the Lord of Nightmares, not Rezo himself, holding back his power so the Giga Slave would work, since her presence had surely been summoned just as it had when she possessed Lina in the second season finale. Played a little more straight for Duclis in Revolution, since it's implied by Zanaffar's taunts when he is dying and in danger of turning into a second Zanaffar that much of his actions, or at least his increasingly insane and obsessive search for Revenge, had been caused or influenced by Zanaffar working through his armor; he certainly seems more like his old self in that moment. Ends up being subverted however, since he doesn't actually die thanks to Pokota—but it is still his ability to resist Zanaffar and remain himself that gives Lina the distraction she needs to win, and later allows him to have his life spared.
- Early Installment Weirdness
- Most of the novels tend to be very episodic in narrative, moreso in the Slayers Special novels. While the second arc of the main novels was like this, the first arc is one long narrative.
- The series as a whole began as a self-aware parody of High Fantasy and various Tabletop RPG tropes, albeit with a dogma of its own - the novels and manga, for example, poke fun at various stereotypes, like greasy, dumb bandits, and the anime broke the fourth wall quite a bit. As Cerebus Syndrome kicked in, moreso in the anime, the self-awareness angle was dropped, and the fourth wall was no longer addressed.
- In the older anime series, the characters were far more cooperative than they were later on. Also, one nice novelty from older episodes that were dropped later on was that new magic or world-related trivia were given an explanation for the viewer; new seasons dropped this.
- Eldritch Abomination: Darkstar has the look and feel of one, as does Shabranigdo in the flashback story in the first season where Lina explains his origins, but the best example is the Lord of Nightmares, who is extremely alien, even by mazoku standards.
- Elemental Powers: Shamanism calls upon the powers of elemental spirits and the Astral Plane. This makes it a good all-rounder lore, as it can mimic the effects of black and white magic, as well as having spells unique to it, with its only weakness being that it's really not very good at facing off against Mazoku.
- Emotion Eater: All Mazoku are said to be this, feeding off the negative emotions of other beings.
- Shinzoku/Gods feed off positive emotions.
- Empty Eyes: The Mazoku, as well as any humans affiliated with them, have flat eyes devoid of shine or reflections.
- Enemy Civil War: Chaos Dragon vs. Hellmaster is the most obvious example. It's not like Gaav just allied with mortals, while Fibrizo plainly wants The End of the World as We Know It. It also seems to be the main reason behind the actions of Xellos.
- The minor one happens at the end of the second arc of the novels. Luke-Shabranigdo wants to face Lina and Gourry (the two people who can possibly kill him) while another part of Shabranigdo who is imprisoned does not wish to see that (and would have Luke-Shabranigdo free him). This causes the Mazoku to divide into two factions.
- Evil Counterpart: Zangulus and Vrumugun. They even have elementally opposing magics and weapons; witness The Sword of Darkness vs the Sword of Light, both legendary weapons wielded by mercenary swordsman with Peek-a-Bangs to drive the point home.
- Evil Minions: Inverted. Zelgadis's henchmen Zolf and Rodimus are actually good guys, as is Zel himself. Villain with Good Publicity Rezo misleads Lina into thinking they're evil.
- Evil Plan: The entirety of the Knight of the Aqua Lord manga is an extremely intricate (but not unreasonable) scenario planned by Hureika.
- Put as simply as possible: getting Deep Sea Dolphin to lead an army against the gods specifically for the purpose of driving Lina to obtain the Wind Lord's power to use against it, thus destabilizing Lyos's power allowing her to take control, in effect becoming a Mazoku with the power of the gods. And it worked. Chessmaster, indeed.
- Evil Redhead: Gaav.
- Excalibur in the Rust: Gourry wields a normal-looking sword that suits him just fine. However, the blade on the sword is actually just attached to the hilt of the Sword of Light.
- Expy: Amelia for Naga in the novels (only at first), according to Word of God.
- Eyes Always Shut:
- Xellos in his friendly mode.
- Rezo, the blind priest, who can't open his eyes due to the shard of the greatest evil in the world sealed in them.
- Eye Catch: The second and third seasons feature these with the characters in pairs, and there are also a few special ones for the final episodes. The fourth and fifth seasons had a different eye catch for each episode, and it often correlated with whatever was happening in the episode. Strangely, the first season had no eyecatches at all.
- Face Fault
- Failure Gambit: While his defeat in the first season was not necessarily intentional or foreseen, in Slayers Evolution-R, the Red Priest Rezo reveals that he intentionally set up a situation in which he would be defeated by Lina and the evil lord Shabranigdo sealed inside of him would be released. In true Heroic Sacrifice style, he realized that this was the only way for the mighty demon lord to be erased from existence once and for all, making Rezo less of a villain at the end of the day.
- Fairytale Wedding Dress: Martina's dress at the end of Next.
- Fantasy Gun Control: Played straight and justified, sort of. In short, the backstory of the setting is that the peninsula where the story mostly takes place was the sight of a great battle against the Mazoku long ago, a war that drew magically gifted individuals from all over the continent; when the war ended, one of the Demon Lords And Arch Devils, Hellmaster Phibrizzo, cast a spell that sealed the entire peninsula away from the outside world. As a result, magic remained strong, even flourished inside the barrier, but outside magical skill and lore was lost, forcing them to turn to technology instead. This causes an issue when the gunner Jillas appears in Try, as he seemingly uses muskets, but all of their bullets are non-fatal.
- The beginning of Revolution shows that Outer World technology is at least being exported to the Old, as a ship in the first episode and Saillune's army in the twelfth both use cannons.
- Fantastic Nuke: The Dragon Slave.
- Also Jillas build an ICBM that was "as powerful as a dragonslave" from barrels and blackpowder, and much like the dragon slave wrecked a whole town but also made the surroundings visibily into a wasteland.
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink
- Fantasy Pantheon: The gods and dragons vs the demons and Mazoku. Somewhat tweaked by the fact that there is a power above those two factions.
- Fiery Redhead: Lina Inverse has the personality down pat, even though it takes until about Slayers TRY for her to get the hair color right (it starts off as more of a coppery brown).
- Filler: This series is noteworthy for pulling it off beautifully. The filler episodes were stand-alone comedies that never got in the way of the main plot and always managed to be entertaining in their own right.
- Five-Bad Band: The Mazoku Lords:
- Flanderization: All the characters have suffered from a little of it over the years but it's gotten pretty bad for Lina and Gourry, especially in Slayers Revolution.
- Lina's vindictiveness and temper have been played up to the point that she's on a hair trigger (although it has to be granted that Pokota really does push all the wrong buttons with her) whereas in the first ever episode a comment about her bust only elicited a scowl.
- Nowadays, Gourry tends to act like such an Idiot Savant that you wonder how on earth he puts his armor on in the morning or remembers who Lina is (as opposed to the fairly competent, if rather tactless and sometimes absent-minded, swordsman we see in the first episode) - and if it's at all possible the English dubs take it even further. This is finally somewhat reversed come Evolution-R, where he appears to have been given back shades of his former competency.
- Amelia was flanderized from the novels to the anime in general; her justice-loving ways were more of a quirk in the novels, but in the anime, they became a defining trait. By the end of Revolution, her flaunting is toned down.
- Zelgadis is far more of a Jerk Ass in the novels than in the anime. The same can be said for Xellos, who is far more malevolent in the books.
- Xellos is just as malevolent in either media (He DOES want to destroy the world, remember), it's just that in the anime he comes off as goofier and mildly annoying when not actively engaging in atrocities.
- Flashback Nightmare: Zelgadis has one about being turned into a demon/golem chimera. Which helped his Heel-Face Turn.
- Flying Brick: Zelgadis. Not his only powers.
- Forgets to Eat: In Slayers Try, Lina and the group decide to immediately set sail for adventure... only to remember later, after they're stranded at sea, that they forgot to bring food. Cue them pretending to be dead so they can catch seagulls.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: The Lord of Nightmares usually appears as a slender woman with golden blond hair and a long black dress.
- Four Philosophy Ensemble: Zelgadis is the Cynic, Amelia is the Optimist, Gourry is the Apathetic, and Lina is the Realist, but shows shades of the Apathetic herself. As for their secondary allies, Pokota is also an Optimist, while Sylphiel, Martina, and Filia are all the Conflicted.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Zelgadis is Melancholic, Amelia is Sanguine, Gourry is Phlegmatic, and Lina is most certainly Choleric. Xellos, meanwhile, is Supine.
- Freakiness Shame: Not even stone-studded green-blue skin can deter Amelia's (nor the fangirls') interest in Zelgadis.
- Freaky Is Cool: The reaction of Amelia, and most of his fans, to Zelgadis's appearance. That it comes with Super Strength, Super Speed, and being Nigh Invulnerable just adds to the coolness.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: Used in the form of subliminal frames in the earlier seasons of the anime: a gag frame, usually of a super-deformed version of a character, would appear as someone gets hit. There are some nifty sight gags as well, such as when Gourry rips off the dress he's forced to wear in the first season, the viewer can spot a stuffed bra full of fruit and what appears to be a Zelgadis plush doll.
- Full-Name Basis: Several villains always call Lina Inverse by her full name. Amelia also introduces herself with her full (and ridiculously long) name when she wants to wow someone.
- Also averted with Zelgadis, as outside of one mention by Filia in episode one of TRY, Zel's last name (Graywords) is NEVER said at any point in the anime.
- Functional Magic
- Gag Boobs: Naga, queen of Gainaxing! Literally in one of the movies; as she and Lina are edging along a narrow ledge halfway up a cliff, faces (and other things) to the rock, they go 'bwoing' and push her off.
- And Amelia is catching up rather quickly in Hourglass of Falces
- Gainaxing: See Gag Boobs. While Naga is the usual suspect of this, Amelia isn't, surprisingly, with the exception of the Slayers Premium movie (it's also a part of how she's The Chew Toy in that film...)
- Game Master:
- The Lord of Nightmares. Fibrizo tries arguing with her and she bitchslaps him out of existence.
- It's implied that the reason Dark Star and Volfeed merged in Try is because they are aware of her game to pit the two against each other and are absolutely sick of it.
- Genius Ditz: Despite his stupidity, Gourry is still quite a formidable swordsman
- Genki Girl: Amelia.
- Genre Blindness: Amelia seems to actively cultivate it in the first season.
- Genre-Busting: Have fun listing it as a single genre of anime. Set in a fantasy world, it includes Comedy, action, and large amounts of drama...often into a single episode!
- Ghostly Glide: Copy Rezo begins exhibiting eerie symptoms, including this trope. Later melds with Power Floats when its revealed he merged himself with Zanaffar's spirit.
- Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: Amelia does this a lot, and gets called on it several times in the final episode of the first series.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Being a fantasy series, you'd expect a lot of these.
- Godzilla Threshold: Anything that justifies asking Lina Inverse for help has to be something that poses a risk of absolute annihilation, otherwise... just let bandits and/or rampaging dragon do whatever they want, they're liable to cause significantly less of a mess.
- Go-Karting with Bowser: At least once a season Lina is usually forced into participating in some tedious competition either with or against someone who's spent much of the season trying to kill her. Also, Lina goes on whole adventures with Xellos, who could, at any moment, turn around and kill her without a word... And she's okay with that.
- In episode 14 of the original anime series, Lina and Gourry are lured by the smell of freshly cooked chicken prepared by a bounty hunter whose disguise looked an awful lot like◊ a certain fast-food mascot...
- Pokota is apparently a Pokémon parody, but he looks more like a Digimon (namely Terriermon).
- In Evolution-R, the relationship between Amelia and Nama/Naga brings to mind Fullmetal Alchemist.
- Sherra, the second general of Dynast Grausherra, in the Slayers novels looks like Ranma's female form, from Ranma ˝, this probably isn't a coincidence since Rui Araizumi also drew Ranma Hentai Doujinshi.
- One two-episode arc in TRY has a virtually identical plot to the Silly Symphony "Music Land," even to the point of musical Theme Naming for the two feuding kingdoms.
- Signature Move: "Dragon Slaaaaave!"
- Simple Yet Opulent: In the first season, Lina wears a grand, simple dress in an Imagine Spot.
- Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Averted in that the first Big Bad was a fragment of Shabranigdu, the most powerful of the mazoku, and no villain until Dark Star (the most powerful mazoku of another world, as powerful as the whole Shabranigdu) ever came even near his level of power.
- Soul Jar: In Next, the sorcerer Halcyform makes a pledge to the Mazoku (Monster Race) which makes him unkillable while the pledge stone is intact.
- Taken literally in Revolution and Evolution-R — Rezo's getting another sequel by having his soul in an actual jar.
- Also from Evolution-R, Naga got her soul literally trapped in a jar at some point while adventuring solo, then it somehow got stuck in a suit of armour and became "Nama".
- An episode of Try has a ghost ship captained by the spirit of Captain Jarlov, a drowned pottery fanatic whose spirit has been sealed inside a jar until someone breaks the curse keeping him from going to the afterlife.
- Mazoku in a pot in Slayers Premium.
- Sphere of Destruction: A lot of the most destructive spells in the series, including the Dragon Slave, work like this. The Giga Slave is powerful enough to potentially absorb the Universe.
- Spike Shooter: Noonsa shoots her spines.
- Spirited Competitor: Zangulus followed Gourry just to test who's the best swordsman.
- Stealth Parody: Lina's group is rumored to be based on D&D campaigns; Zelgadis being a 'serious' role-player whose epic backstory and angst is somewhat made silly by the antics of the rest of the group, Amelia an overdone Lawful Good type, Gourry is the guy playing for a good time who's only half playing attention, and Lina is the min-maxing spellcaster, and Xellos is the annoying, completely unkillable, and most definitely the overpowered GMPC who largely exists to re-rail the plot when the rest of the party derails it.
- Stepford Smiler: Amelia - noted more often in the novels, but the few times it's shown, her family's constant death threats and arguments have had their emotional toll on her. It also explains why she's so close to her father. In this case, she always tries to keep her head up.
- Also, by Word of God, Gourry. His family's more or less dead because of the Sword of Light, save a grandmother and a brother who he hates. Combine this with having gone through wars and mercenary jobs, and you have one embittered individual. If it weren't for Lina's father telling him to find a purpose in life, he'd probably be a Byronic Hero.
- Stern Chase: Chasers — Zangulus and Vrumugun in season 1, Gaav and his minions in Next.
- Stone Wall: Zelgadis, to a literal extent.
- Stripperiffic: Naga's outfit has a remarkable gap-to-fabric ratio.
- According to Amelia in Slayers: The Hourglass of Falces, their mother made it a tradition that the women of the royal family "are expected to wear a sort of dress that evokes a 'bondage' image when they reach a certain age." Therefore, she abandoned her regulation pants for a very-mini-skirt, so she would be used to that sort of exposure when the time came. Word of God states that Naga found her Iconic Outfit in their mother's closet after her funeral.
- Stupid Sexy Flanders: Zelgadis and Gourry when Lina and Amelia have access to surplus women's clothing.
- Super-Deformed: In some of the No Fourth Wall segments of the manga, and the mini-Gourrys and mini-Linas the cloning machine made in the anime.
- Sword and Sorcerer
- Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Wizer Freyon pursues Lina throughout the better part of Revolution for all of the destructive acts she's committed in the past. At some point in the series, he obviously realizes she's innocent and just keeps playing up the chase as Obfuscating Stupidity to use Lina to catch the real criminals, but it's not clear exactly when that point is.
- Take Our Word for It: Considering all the things Lina has faced, her sister Luna would have to be pretty tough to intimidate her. It helps that Luna is The Chosen One.
- Talking Animal: There's a ton of these throughout the show, although most are just one-liners.
- Noonsa and Dilgear in season one.
- Jillas in Try.
- Pokota and Duclis in Revolution.
- The Sweat Drop: In one memorable episode, Lina becomes more exasperated than usual with Gourry's antics and actually takes her sweatdrop and beats him with it.
- The Team Normal: Gourry.
- Team Shot
- Technical Pacifist: Amelia and Prince Phil; especially Phil.
- Teen Genius: Zelgadis displays a good deal of scientific knowledge and both quick-paced analytical and mathematical skills in the anime and a few of the games; while he does show some high intelligence in the novels, Lina's narration makes it less prominent.
- Theme Naming/Punny Name: Rowdy Gabriev, Gourry Gabriev.
- They Fight Crime: Parodied. If you have a bandit problem, Lina will solve it. Eventually bandits become endangered, so Lina switches to pirates.
- Those Two Bad Guys: Gravos and Jillas.
- Through His Stomach: Sylphiel is quite happy to hear "Gourry dear" really likes her cooking. Though, being Gourry, he fails to notice her demure but obvious advances.
- Time Travel: The first movie.
- Title Drop: In the very last episode of Evolution-R, Xellos comments after the latest bout of Serial Escalation that the heroes truly are "Slayers", having just offed a god for the second time.
- Token Evil Teammate: If ordered to, Xellos would gladly kill Lina and her friends, but he still likes hanging around them because 1) they're endlessly amusing, and 2) Lina is a Person of Mass Destruction and bloody mayhem is like crack to Mazoku. Besides, he's not a glutton and is satisfied with suffering humans cause to themselves, what with his fancy for sports, pranks, and Martina.
- Jillas at the end of Slayers Try.
- Too Dumb to Fool: Gourry, regarding Xellos' nature.
- Training The Gift Of Magic: The magical gift comes in two measurable parts: "bucket capacity" and "pool capacity". High levels of either attribute are an in-born gift, but if you have those, you also need to study and learn magical lore. Gourry Gabriev, for example, has magical gifts but lacks the intelligence and memory to learn magical skill.
- Trickster: Who else but Xellos?
- Trope Trigger: Gourry Gabriev allows Lina Inverse to be Mr. Exposition just by being an average person.
- Tsundere: Lina is a tsun-tsun subtype, but she definitely has a few dere-dere moments. The reverse is Filia, ignorance-based holier-than-thou attitude aside, with her Berserk Button (which Xellos has a talent for finding and pushing).
- Unbuilt Trope: Both older and current critics of the show argue that Amelia is a Trope Codifier of the Moe character archaetype, alongside Rei Ayanami of Neon Genesis Evangelion; Amelia has the energetic and innocent aspects of the character, complete with a short yet bodacious body, whereas Rei has the more demure and shy aspects (ironically, Rei was meant to be a Creepy Child).
- Un-Cancelled: The third season of the TV series (Try) aired in 1997, the fourth (Revolution) in 2008. A fourth season was originally going to air right after TRY (AGAIN) in 1998, but production issues and various commitments the cast had made it dissipate.
- Underwear of Power: Lina wears what looks like yellow bra and panties over her tunic and leggings. Martina also wears a thong over leggings.
- Unholy Nuke: Lina's Dragon Slave spell (when it is not Played for Laughs). Just listen to the incantation.
- Unknown Rival: Naga thinks Lina is her rival. Lina tries her best to forget Naga exists.
- Vanilla Edition: FUNimation's digitially-remastered re-release of the series lacks all of the outtakes, commentary, and other extras that Central Park Media's DVDs had. Stranger still, when the first three seasons were released in one box set, the washed-out video quality from CPM's release was used instead of the restored version.
- Villain Teleportation
- Villain with Good Publicity: Red Priest Rezo, of course! Justified, as Rezo genuinely strived to help people... when he was not busy with increasingly extreme and amoral forms of magical research, meant to find the way of curing his blindness.
- Visible Sigh: Lina and Zelgadis do this most often, but Amelia, Filia, and even Gourry have been known to occasionally.
- Vocal Dissonance: Alfred was mistranslated as Amelia's uncle when he's actually her cousin. This resulted in him sounding much older than he actually is in the dub.
- Vocal Evolution: Lina's voice is noticeably deeper now than it was when the anime began.
- Zelgadis also has gone quite a bit lower, while Gourry and Amelia's voices may have actually become a bit higher.
- The Wall Around the World: The magical barrier in seasons one and two.
- Walking the Earth
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Valgaav in Try is allergic to shirts. Lyos much, much more so in Knight of The Aqua Lord.
- The Watson: Gourry.
- Weddings in Japan
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Valgaav from Slayers Try, after he merged with Darkstar (and apparently Vorfeed), wants to remake the world into a peaceful place where no one will get hurt or feel pain ever again. The problem is of course, that first everyone and everything has to be destroyed...
- What the Hell, Hero?: Lina's actions sometimes go overboard in the eyes of one or more other characters.
- In episode 26 of Try, it's Lina's turn to call someone out; specifically, Filia for being indecisive as to whether or not to kill Valgaav when they all know full well he's on the verge of bringing about The End of the World as We Know It.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Miwan, a one-shot character from the crossdressing episode of Next, is forced to dress like this due to him being born to the royal family of a strictly-run Lady Land. Humorously, Zelgadis winds up falling for "her" until he reveals himself as a man.
- A lesser known one is a character from Zelgadis' side story in one of the Slayers Special novels: a female named Miranda who dresses as a man in order to bounty hunt.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Amelia, and to a lesser degree, Filia.
- Widely Spaced Jail Bars: In Slayers: Revolution, Zelgadis caught Pokota in a cage with bars so far apart, the little guy had to spread his arms in order to hold onto two bars at once. But he still couldn't get out.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Lina is terrified of her sister. And slugs, because of her sister.
- Whole Episode Flashback: A noteworthy aversion, given that many shonen series have at least one. The closest one we get is Episode 10 of Evolution-R, which expands a little on Zelgadis' time as a human, following up to his transformation.
- Wild Card: Xellos. He switches from helpful to bullying and from saving the heroes butts to crossing them and back without as much as blinking, when it advances his plans. He's also loyal only to his creator and instrumental in the demise of two other Dark Lords, without participating directly.
- World of Buxom: Many, many females in the series are quite stacked, minus Lina.
- The World Tree: Holy Flagoon, which is Zanafar's prison.
- Worthy Opponent: Zangulus and Gourry.
- Would Hit a Girl: Zelgadis has no problems hitting Lina when they first met as enemies, and he even gave Amelia a Dope Slap when she said that all villains wear black.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Gourry is hesitant about fighting Gioconda in Slayers Revolution because he says he wouldn't feel right about striking down a woman.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Amelia, the self-proclaimed hero of justice in a show full of otherwise morally ambiguous characters. She's usually convinced her group are the good guys, even when they're clearly only in it to turn a profit, and often marks others as villains simply because they oppose her. In one episode, she can't decide which side are the heroes: either Lina, or a pair of bounty hunters out to arrest her. Confused about who to help, she sits on the sidelines of the battle agonizing over it until she has an epiphany: "Of course! Justice always triumphs! So whoever loses will be the bad guy!" She then attacks BOTH groups at once, figuring whoever crawls out of the rubble was the hero.
- Xanatos Gambit: Hellmaster traps Lina with one during NEXT. He wants to force her to use Giga Slave because it can destroy the world, which he thinks is the purpose of the Mazoku race. To do this he sets her against Chaos Dragon Gaav, who has rebelled against the Mazoku race. If Lina uses the Giga Slave, he wins. If she uses some other spell, such as the Ragna Blade, he can goad her himself. If Gaav survives the attack, then he finishes off Gaav. Since he's the Hellmaster, he can control her death to prevent her from dying until then. All outcomes work for him. Lina does eventually cast the Giga Slave and summons the Lord of Nightmares, but the latter "politely refuses" to cooperate with Hellmaster's plan.
- You and What Army?: In the first episode of Revolution, Wizer brings a small army along to help him arrest Lina. It's not enough.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Xellos, Phibrizo, Amelia, Naga, Rezo, and Sylphiel all have dark purple hair, and Zelgadis' hair is a light lavender color. Pokota has pinkish-purple hair. Many minor characters also have purple hair.
- If you count it as canon, Luna Inverse is shown to have purplish hair in her cameos, although one manga makes it a more crimson red color.
- For more variety: Martina and Valgaav have light teal hair, and a minor character from NEXT, Miwan, has dark green hair.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Eris created Copy Rezo so that they could kill Lina and her group in revenge for Rezo's death. Once Eris unleashed Rezo's Legacy, the Demon Beast Zanifar, she laughs believing she has won, but then gets shot from behind by Copy Rezo, who says that now that he has the power of Zanifar backing him, he no longer needs Eris. She dies pitifully.
- You Look Familiar: In Slayers Evolution-R, the characters meet an enchanted armor whose looks and voice reminds Lina of someone she met before and she's right: the enchanted armor is Naga!
- You Shall Not Pass: Amelia says this to Shabranigdo while punching him! "I won't let you! You shall not go one step further!"