Lina Inverse as she appears in the Slayers TV series
|First appearance||Slayers novel series (1989)|
|Created by||Hajime Kanzaka|
|Relatives||Luna Inverse (older sister)|
Lina Inverse (リナ・インバース Rina Inbāsu?) is a fictional character and the primary protagonist and the only character that appears in all incarnations of the comic fantasy themed light novel, manga and anime series Slayers, where she is a young adventurer and very powerful sorceress travelling the world. In the original Japanese version of the series, Lina has been consistently voiced by Megumi Hayashibara. In the English version of the TV series produced by Central Park Media and Funimation Entertainment, Lina has been voiced by Lisa Ortiz. In the English version of the films and OVAs produced by ADV Films, Lina has been voiced by Cynthia Martinez.
Lina was born in the fictional village of Zephilia. Her older sister, the Knight of Cepheid Luna Inverse, was the darling of both her parents and the town, excelling in martial studies and quickly beginning to make a name for herself. Although Lina has faced down dragons, monsters, and even dark lords with little fear, the mere mention of Luna's name sends her into terrified hysterics. When Lina was a child, she sold pictures of Luna naked in order to earn money and, in turn, Luna punished Lina so severely that Lina has feared her ever since. Lina has many different nicknames, including "Bandit Killer" and "Dragon Spooker," neither of which she likes. To her, her most embarrassing nickname is "Lina the Pink", which is her official title amongst the sorcerer's guild. In the prequel stories, Lina meets a self-proclaimed rival sorceress known as Naga the Serpent, whom she travels with. During that time, Lina earns her reputation of someone who tracks bandits and thieves and steals their ill-gotten gains for their own use.
At the beginning of the main series, Lina meets a swordsman named Gourry Gabriev and a chimera named Zelgadis Greywords. Lina encounters and destroys a part of the Mazoku Lord Shabranigdo with her Giga Slave technique. She later befriends a princess named Amelia Wil Tesla Seyruun and the priestess Sylphiel Nels Lahda. She later meets a mysterious priest Xellos and gets caught between Chaos Dragon Gaav and Hellmaster Phibrizzo. In the anime-exclusive series Slayers TRY, Lina is recruited by the dragoness Filia Ul Copt to save the world. In Slayers REVOLUTION, Lina gets arrested on false pretense which later comes leading her on a journey against another incarnation of the Demon Beast Zannafar. She also meets an odd little creature named Pokota, who also has the ability to use the Dragon Slave.
Although she is an adolescent, she is an extremely powerful sorceress, with a great love for money, treasure (especially the magical sort), and food. In the anime and manga (but not the light novel), Lina recklessly (but comically) uses overly destructive magic, often with little provocation. She is reputed to be an evil, powerful, destructive, diminutive sorceress. Lina's accomplishments include the destruction of a piece of Shabranigdo and having a hand in the destruction of Flaredragon Gaav and Hellmaster Phibrizzo, as well as kicking out Darkstar from their world. Due to these accomplishments, she is increasingly piquing the interest of the Mazoku race and has become a frequent target.
Lina and Gourry have traveled with each other ever since, and they have been featured in every form of Slayers media that takes place in the timeline after they meet. Lina appears to fall in love with Gourry, once even risking the destruction of the universe in order to save him. There is a distinct lack of romantic development in the series, even after it is affirmed that Lina and Gourry love each other. Hajime Kanzaka, the creator of the original novels, addressed this by jokingly stating that he is not adept in writing romantic scenes. The final climax of Slayers NEXT, the second season of the Slayers TV series, the two characters share a kiss, though they cannot later recall the incident. However, both Gourry and Lina remember that something important had happened between them. In any media taking place after the two met, they have been featured together and should they ever get separated, are never apart for too long.
Several different versions of Lina populate the Slayers world itself, due to various plots. In one story in the manga, Lina and Naga are exposed to a mirror that creates an exact opposite of whoever looks in it. The user expects this to produce an evil and violent version of the two that would be only too happy to work for him and destroy the originals. However, what comes out of the mirror are a Lina and Naga that are sweet, kind, generous, and extremely concerned about the feelings of each other and everyone around them. Lina and Naga state that the mirror's true power must be to dissuade people "with sheer disgust". In their attempts to break the spell (and the mirror), the two actually wind up creating dozens of similar copies of themselves, which go on to found an entire village full of philanthropic Lina and Naga doppelgängers. A slightly adapted version of this story, which resulted in the mirror being destroyed without creating more than the initial doppelgängers, was used for one of the Slayers Special OAV, commonly titled "Explosion Array" (after one translation of a spell in Lina's arsenal).
In the Slayers TV series, Gourry and Lina are both the subject of an attempt at cloning, which spawns a number of miniature, super deformed versions of them both. The super deformed clones fight to humorous effect, and after the mini Linas win, they all disintegrate. Even more, in this case mostly lifelike clones of Lina were created by Xellos' master, Zellas Metallium in the Slayers role-playing video game.
Lina Inverse has become a popular character both in Japan and overseas; writing in 1999, Dave Halverson called Lina and Naga "two of anime [medium]'s brightest stars in both Japan and the U.S." In 2000, Lina won the "Best of Dragon Magazine" popular vote in two categories, including first place in best female hero. According to Ben Leary from Mania.com, Lina "takes the comic's role, and plays it to the hilt". Serdar Yegulalp from About.com ranked her #13 on the list of "Best Anime Heroines" and commented that "few characters walk such a fine line between being both insufferable and inexplicably charismatic."
The character's popularity led to several cameo appearances in various media, including the video game Shadow Warrior, where Lina is featured in an in-game poster, and in the first episode of the anime series Full Metal Panic!, where she is shown on the cover of Dragon Magazine. A Slayers-inspired hero character is part of the Dota franchise: in the Warcraft III mod Defense of the Ancients, she shares the name of "Lina Inverse", while simply going by "Lina" in Dota 2. In both games, her spells' names reference these in Slayers: "Dragon Slave", "Light Strike Array" (Explosion Array), and "Laguna Blade" (Ragna Blade).
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- Slayers NEXT, episode 26.
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- Leary, Ben (February 21, 2008). "Slayers Season 1 Set". Mania. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- Yegulalp, Serdar. "Best Anime Heroines". About.com. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- "Saturday Crapshoot: Shadow Warrior | Crap Shoot, Features". PC Gamer. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- "Slayer - DotA Hero Details". Playdota.com. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- "Dota 2: Lina image". Media.steampowered.com. Retrieved 2012-11-20.