Slayers: The Mystic Sword of Bezeld

By Hajime Kanzaka and Rui Araizumi. Released in Japan by Fujimi Fantasia Bunko. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Elizabeth Ellis.

At long last, we are reading Slayers novels that are new to North America… though honestly, sales for the Tokyopop version of later novels in the series were pretty tiny, so I suspect it was new stuff for a lot of readers. This arc also was not adapted into an anime, as they did their own anime-original arc with Slayers Try, a decision not loved by the author, who hated the relationship between Xeloss and golden dragon Filia in particular. Instead, here we see Lina and Gourry, now a twosome again, trying to find a replacement for the late Sword of Light. Sadly, swords like that cannot be found just lying around, and so they’re reduced to chasing after rumors. This leads them to the titular sword, and also to a young girl being menaced by two mercs, two assassins, and seemingly the narrative. Will the sword turn out to be real? Will the sword turn out to be a trap? Will Sean once again spin out 500 words on super short novels that are fun to read but hard to review?

As noted, Lina and Gourry are by themselves at the start of this arc. That said, somehow Amelia and Zelgadis manage to get the biggest laugh in the book, as Gourry’s seeming inability to remember them leads to the illustrator drawing a spectral version of the duo stomping on his head. Instead we’re introduced to two mercenaries who, while they part ways with our heroes at the end of this book, one suspects we’ll be seeing them again soon, if only as they take up far more space on the cover than the supposed victim being attacked. Luke is, to put it bluntly, an asshole, but his heart seems to be in the right place, and honestly, snarking at Lina, the Queen of snark, is something that she could probably use. Mileena is a mage who seems somewhat stoic and mostly is there to be the sensible one and to shoot down Luke’s romantic overtures, though there’s implication that it’s not a complete lost cause.

As for the plot itself, boy, the average life expectancy of anyone in Slayers who is not a main character must be insanely low, and even if you live, you usually end up being homeless, villageless, or cityless. There’s a lot of wholesale destruction here, with villages set on fire, innocent assassins (erm, well, semi-innocent) getting possessed by mystic swords, and a monstrous demon with insane regenerative ability and also the ability to kill folks and keep them in a sort of perpetual zombie state. Good thing Lina has Dragon Slave… which is not good enough this time. And there’s also Gaav Flare, which… no longer works without Gaav, who was killed off in the last volume. Whoops. That said, the way that they do get rid of the big bad at the end is the second funniest part of the book, and also oh so very Lina Inverse.

So yeah, the usual Slayers novel. Good fights, good laughs, lotsa death, super short. Can’t wait for the next one.

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