Lina Inverse as she appears in the Slayers TV series
|First appearance||Slayers novel series (1989)|
|Relatives||Luna Inverse (older sister)|
Lina Inverse (リナ・インバース Rina Inbāsu?) is a fictional character and the primary protagonist from 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, 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. However, Lina set up a magical device that projected an image over the entire town of her sister while she was in the bath. Lina quickly left from the town and has been terrified of even the mention of her sister ever since. (In an episode of Slayers Try, Lina built an entire pyramid complete with tunnels and a sarcophagus to hide from a letter sent by Luna.) While attending a magic academy, Lina was completely embarrassed by the color she was awarded, and attempts to keep it a closely guarded secret that her entire title is actually "Lina the Pink" Lina meets a sorceress named Naga the Serpent, whom she travels with. During that time, Lina earns her reputation and nicknames such as "Bandit Killer" and "Dragon Spooker"; someone who tracks bandits and thieves and steals their ill-gotten gains for their own use.
In 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 Shabranigdu with her Giga Slave technique. She later befriends a princess named Amelia Wil Tesla Seyruun and the priestess Sylphiel Nels Lahda. She later meets Xellos, who is looking for the Claire Bible (Japanese: 異界黙示録クレア・バイブル; Kanji translation: Spirit World Book of Revelations; Romaji: Kurea baiburu), but 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.
It is heavily implied to the point of outright statement that Lina and Gourry fall in love in Slayers Next, and in the original novel series. Other characters like Zelgadis and Amelia even take this for granted beforehand, and seem surprised by Lina's bad reaction when the notion is alluded to. There is a distinct lack of romantic development in the series, even after it is affirmed that Lina and Gourry love each other. In the Japanese publication Dragon Magazine, 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 for the Super Famicom console.
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).
- Slayers Revolution, episode 8.
- "Doubtful? A Letter from Home!". Slayers Try. Episode 2. April 11, 1997. 17:45 minutes in.
- Slayers The Ruby Eye by Hajime Kanzaka, chapter 2
- Animerica 7 (5): 34–35. May 1999.
- Slayers NEXT, episode 26.
- "Slayers Release Information for SNES". GameFAQs. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
- Gamers' Republic issue 7, page 120.
- Dragon Magazine January 2001.
- 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.