A Study in Pink - Lina Inverse

Lina Inverse

Lina Inverse is the main protagonist of the Slayers anime series, and the link between the Slayers TV series and the Slayers movies and OAVs. Lina IS Slayers.

Standard Notes: This is my opinion of this character. Very little of this is fact; this is my analysis of Lina Inverse based on what I have seen of her, which, at this time, is all of Slayers TV (First Season), most of NEXT, the first movie (Slayers: the Motion Picture, aka Slayers Perfect), and the first OAV (released in America as the tapes Slayers: Dragon Slave and Slayers: Explosion Array). I have done quite a bit of Internet research though, so my knowledge base is a bit wider than that.

Lina Inverse is 15 when we first meet her in the TV series. She's spent a good deal of time on the road, blowing up bandits and stealing their stolen loot from them. This involves a little twisted logic: it's not stealing if it's already stolen. And it's teaching the bandits a lesson.

This is rationalization. Lina's spell casting capability being so large, and her knowledge of magic being even larger, this was an easy way for her to make money. To say nothing of suiting her temperament.

Lina does this "bandit-punishing" to show off how powerful she is. In Lina's mind, her magic is her only asset.

Now wait a minute, you say. What about this huge ego of Lina's? She's always talking about how beautiful she is and such...

True, she is always talking about her beauty. Lina, however, is a teenager, and she suffers from the usual teen anxiety of feeling physically awkward. In episode one of the first TV season, she comments (I'm quoting from the dub, forgive me), "So what if I'm a little short for my age? And a little underdeveloped too. DAMN! Why do they always find the things you're SENSITIVE about?"

Lina really doesn't think she's all that beautiful but she wants others to think she is. She's hoping to convince them (and possibly herself) that she really is more than just a "cute little girl".

With her power capability, it's easy for her to show off her magic. She really is Very Powerful, and this she knows she excels at. As it's her "one talent" in her mind, she shows it off a lot. In the episode when she's hoping to meet the Crown Prince of Seyruun (before discovering what exactly lay in store for her there), she says (again, dub quote) "Any prince I meet will be so terrified of my powers...ooo...uh....so captivated by my beauty that he'll propose to me on the spot..." Yes, it's comedy, but of course, the first and only asset in Lina's mind is her power.

I myself have known people who talked loudly about how great they were, when inside they were convinced they were no one. Lina is like that. She trails behind her older sister, Luna, in everything (or so she thinks) and she has to get out from her sister's shadow. The beginning of TRY, the third TV season, is evidence enough of that. The fact that Lina is undoubtedly the more famous of the two sisters escapes her, and she always seems flattered by the fact that people know her wherever she goes.

Lina is always questing for more power, more money and more food. The food and money are secondary (more money to buy food and to survive with. And more food because she's a growing girl...and I would guess spell-casting would take a lot of energy), but she is always ready to find more magical trinkets, more spells, more of anything that will increase her One Asset. She wears clothes clearly marking her as a sorceress, and flaunts her fame.

Lina also has her innocent side. Underneath it all, she's still just a little girl, growing up. The merest mention of romance, or especially of anything even remotely sexual in nature, makes her blush, fidget, and (quite often) blow up the person who brought it up.

Lina, I think, likes girly things, like dresses. Not to extremes, but she likes dressing up once in a while. However, her need to flaunt her power gets her stuck with the label "Tomboy" quite a bit. This is quite a bit sexist, however; only men have true power?? (Notice that almost all of Lina's direct, face-to-face adversaries are male (Rezo, Garv, Phibrizio, Valgarv...even Shabranigdo is considered male). Zellas Metallium, Greater Beast, Beast Master, whatever you want to call her, is a hidden adversary, but one more constantly dealt with (via yet another male adversary: Xellos) and never really gotten rid of.)

So Lina showcases her talent for spell-casting as her One Talent, when really she has quite a few assets besides that. Her magic lore, as well as her knowledge of folk tales and legends, is astounding; she's very resourceful, intelligent, and a good, if somewhat unorthodox, leader in battle.

What's more, despite her greed for power and money, she is a good friend. She looks for the Claire Bible for Zelgadis; she seeks to help her friends when they are in trouble; she even lets herself be mortally wounded in order to spare the life of one of her friends (thank the gods for Healing Spells!!).

At the same time, she seems to think that letting people know you care about them is awkward. As a teenager, she's coming across whole new emotions and she doesn't want to give people the wrong idea. Also, it's possible that letting others know you care about them or someone else is a weakness in her mind.

What I'm thinking is that Lina has this image in her mind of Who She Wants to Be: Independent, Beautiful, Strong, Dependent on No One. Other people have hurt her with their teasing cruelty for so long that she doesn't want to admit that she can still care about others. But she can. She has a naturally big heart, even if she does have a short temper. She knows she needs people. She doesn't want to be worshipped from a distance, just admired and respected close up.

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