Last year, I finally bit the bullet and bought a pair of Slayers laserdiscs, after having been hesitant of potentially starting a collection of the oversized movie discs for years. Because I knew if I got one, I’d want to get more. I told myself to stick to just the North American releases of Slayers, which is thankfully just six volumes; just the first half of the first season. They didn’t bother releasing the second half on laserdisc after the localization break, I guess. I had gotten Vol. 1 and 3, which was a nice start. And now recently, I was able to add Vol. 2 and 4 to the set. I don’t have a laserdisc player and I’m not sure if I ever will get one, but they’re still a really cool thing to have. I didn’t even know there were Slayers laserdiscs in North America until a couple of years ago. Now I just have to track down Vol. 5 and 6 and my set will be complete.
Of course, I would be lying if I said it was going to end there, hah. I love Slayers enough that I want all of the Japanese laserdics, too, although I told myself to only get box sets for the TV seasons and OVA sets, to make it more special. Although the movies never had a box set from what I can tell, and Slayers Gorgeous was the last one to get a laserdisc release. (No Premium, but that’s fine. I don’t really care for that one, anyway.)
The real problem, however, is telling myself to stop at just Slayers laserdiscs! I’ve opened Pandora’s Box with this one. I don’t know if I should just collect laserdiscs of anime series I really enjoy, or limit myself to North American releases. It’s conflicting because I love the covers of the Lodoss War and Rayearth Japanese laserdiscs, but ugh, there are so many of them. Limiting myself to North American laserdiscs for anime series I like would at least have a much smaller cap on how many I ultimately end up with. I don’t feel too guilty if I end up doing both, though. Yeah, laserdiscs are huge, but they’re also extremely thin. It’s really not much different than having a collection of vinyl records. Just that one has made a comeback and the other hasn’t. And, understandably, probably never will!
On a somewhat related topic; I’ve had a set of Slayers NEXT VHS tapes since I was 15. That is to say, a long time ago. I remember buying the second box set on eBay and getting it in the mail the day my friend was staying over. We were super excited to watch them, only to find out when we got to the final volume that the tape was broken. The seller had packaged it poorly and that corner of the box got bumped in transit, which ended up literally breaking the tape. Not just the outer casing, but the film itself. It was totally ruined. I remember leaving neutral feedback (not negative!), noting that because of the poor packaging, one of the tapes broke in transit. Their rebuttal was that it was “brand new, so there was no way it could be broken.” Uh huh, sure. Tell that to the flimsy bubble mailer you put a set of four VHS tapes in. I’m amazed there wasn’t more damage to it, all things considered. (No, I’m not still slightly bitter after all these years, what are you talking about?)
Anyway, recently I’ve been wanting to rewatch Slayers. Now, I love the dub, but I get this feeling that when I eventually introduce my boyfriend to it, he’ll probably want to watch it subbed. Which is fine! I like both. But I still want to watch the dub again, so I thought about watching it on VHS since all my tapes are dubbed. But then I remembered that broken Vol. 8 of Slayers NEXT. I really didn’t want to buy a new one, since then what would I do with the original? I wouldn’t be able to just throw that in the trash without feeling some bit of guilt. So last night, after I finished rewinding a bunch of anime tapes so that they keep better on the shelves, I decided to crack open said Slayers NEXT tape and see what I could do to potentially fix it. I have never once in my life opened a VHS tape, so I didn’t know what to expect, but it was pretty straightforward. After a brief internet search, I found out you could “fix” broken film by cutting off any parts that were crumpled or creased, then gently taping them together again by placing tape on the underside. I did exactly that, sealed the tape back up and… it worked! The part that I had to cut film off of was just blackness from before the FBI warning at the very beginning, so literally nothing of importance was lost. I felt accomplished, and now I can do my Slayers VHS binging without worry!