Welcome back to a two-part review. What’s that, you missed the first part? Well that won’t do. You should probably check out the review for The Slayers Revolution before reading the review for the sequel series The Slayers Evolution-R (you see what the creators did with the title there. Those kooky animators, what will they think of next). So I’ll just sit here for a moment while you read the first review. All caught up? Good, we can now begin.
Lina’s crew now joined by the diminutive Pokota are on the trail of the Hellmaster’s Jar, a ceramic pot with magical properties that can house the incorporeal spirit of a person for the purpose of (a) moving someone’s soul from one body to another and (b) keeping them alive indefinitely. Two examples of an ‘a’ type are Pokota himself and a living suit of armour that accompanies the party for about half of the adventure. The ‘b’ example is the McGuffin of the series, because the powerful sorcerer Red Priest Rezo (the man responsible for turning the kingdom of Toforashia into its current lifeless state) has his soul trapped in the Jar. In order for Pokota to return Toforashia to a thriving country again he has to track down the Jar and perform the ritual that will return the Red Priest to life.
But do they really want to do that? The Red Priest has a sordid history of experimenting upon people in attempts to further his quest to restore his eyesight. Will returning the Red Priest even be a good thing for the world? The story takes a very dark turn compared to its predecessor, so while Slayers Revolution might be family friendly I can’t really say the same for Evolution-R. A lot of supporting characters from the first part are dropped and never brought up again and some of the humour is left behind, although you do get an episode centred on Merfish that is soap opera-tastic.
Animation for both series is handled well and feels consistent enough that you should probably consider this one complete series split into two, like Black Lagoon and its sister series Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage. Music was fine — nothing in particular that springs to mind right now as being really good or atrociously bad — just music that fit well and didn’t attract much attention to itself.
So, my conclusion is that if you liked Revolution you will probably like Evolution-R if you are ready for a darker turn in the story and bit less humour. Perhaps the latter is to be expected when one of your major supporting characters is an assassin out to kill your lead characters and there’s some ambiguity as to whether your intended goal is a good thing or not. Just don’t do what I did and watch Evolution-R first. It’s confusing and kind of an abrupt way to start. You’re much better off watching Revolution first because it makes more sense overall, and because the first episode involves Line Inverse rescuing beautiful maidens (depends on your definition of ‘beautiful’ and ‘maiden’, of course) from salty pirates (ARRH!)