Death Battle part 1: Lina Inverse Analysis

Old School vs. New School. It’s a concept as old as time itself. It’s often called into question, as it’s name implies, when a respected old tradition becomes threatened by a new idea. It’s been used so many times in regards to religion, music, and sports that it’s pretty much become more of a cliche than anything else. But it’s considered just as strong of an issue in anime. Like, is bleach really better than Dragonball Z? Is cell-based animation really better than computer based animation? Has the pokemon series really gotten crappier and crappier over the years?

In spirit of this idea, I’ve decided to pit two of the most awesome female powerhouses against each other, for the first ever fanfic-based Death Battle. It’s going to be Lina Inverse, star of the long running Slayers franchise, against Misaka Mikoto, co-star of the relatively new series A Certain Magical Index, and star of the spin-off A Certain Scientific Railgun. And before we get to that fated battle, it’s going to be my job to analyze their strengths, weaknesses, abilities, and more in order to determine who would survive the encounter.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Analysis~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Slayers may not be the oldest adventure fantasy anime in existence, having begun it’s original televised run in 1995, but it’s considered by today’s standards to be a true classic. And a large part of it’s success can be attributed to it’s main character, a spunky travelling sorceress by the name of Lina Inverse.

It’s implied in the OVAs that Lina’s been training as a sorceress since the age of about 4, inspired by the strong sense of inferiority that she felt in comparison to her older sister. After graduating from magic academy, she left home to explore the world, and it wasn’t long at all before she took to the life of a mercenary. Taking odd jobs in exchange for cash and food, Lina’s extraordinarily powerful magical abilities came in handy for her at nearly every turn. And if that source of sustenance wasn’t enough, her other hobby of attacking bandits and thieves for the sake of stealing their loot for her own good quickly earned her a frightening reputation, as well as the moniker “Lina the Bandit Killer.”

Lina Inverse, of course, is not your typical anime heroine. In fact, at first glance, you’d be hard pressed to even call her an anti-hero. She’s often more concerned with her own personal goals than with justice, reasoning, and the safety of her friends. Frequently, people who are just meeting her react with fear, thinking of her as a psychopathic villain, despite the fact that she’s saved the world from certain destruction on several occasions. Of course, the desire to save the world from certain destruction actually CAN be considered a matter of personal interest.

Whatever the case, the fear these people have of her is definitely justified. She uses a mixture of powerful black magic, which can do insurmountable damage in her capable hands, as well as shamanistic magic, which draws it’s power from the astral plane. Certain Shamanistic attacks like Elmekia Lance are borderline useless against human enemies, but don’t worry, she has a lot of others.

The foundation of her offensive abilities are two of her smaller spells, Fireball and Flare Arrow. They’re pretty much exactly what they sound like, a fireball and an arrow made completely out of flame, both of which she can frequently fire at the enemy without chanting any incantations, and without draining any noticeable amount of energy. And despite the low cost to her, they can cause immense damage to most targets, living or otherwise. She can also use Freeze Arrow, which in addition to being Flare Arrow’s ice counterpart, can partially freeze an enemy to restrict their movements.

Diem Wing is one of her most useful attacks, forming a compression of strong air in front of her. It can be used to suppress a rushing attack, or just to defend herself from projectile attacks. It’s so easy to use that she can use it even when fleeing from an enemy. She can also float in the air with her Levitation spell, and for the most part, it doesn’t take away from her ability to use other spells. Ray Wing, on the other hand, the spell she uses to fly, requires a great deal of concentration to use, so Lina can’t use any spells unless she stops flying and goes back to just levitating.

Explosion is an attack which causes a small explosion under the target, knocking them into the air in order to stun them or knock them out. A much more powerful version of this, named Mega Brand, causes an explosion that’s several times stronger, and when used right, it can easily be a fatal move. As a matter of fact, it just may be the most powerful move in her arsenal that doesn’t require any incantation.

Which brings us to the spells that DO require incantations.

Lina’s favorite spell by far is the Dragon Slave. It’s the spell she’s most famous for using, and rightly so, as she uses it as a solution to most problems, both serious and trivial. This spell, despite requiring a 15-20 second incantation, doesn’t cause any sort of excessive energy drain to her, so she can use it several times in one encounter without being tired out. It’s leveled cities, turned entire villages into craters, and driven fear into the hearts of her enemies… And yet, despite the amount of times she’s used it, it’s body count has been remarkably small. Most humans who face this attack pull themselves out of the rubble minorly injured, or at the very lest, lightly dazed.

Ragna Blade is a spell she learned out of necessity. When fighting an enemy that could slip into a dimensional void to survive her attacks, she was forced to learn a move that could slice into even the dimensional planes. Granted, it’s difficult to aim and control, and she can only use it once a day or so, but it’s still a force to be reckoned with. Like the Dragon Slave, this attack requires a 15-20 second incantation.

Which brings us to her most powerful move, which she actually invented herself… The Giga Slave. It’s her end-all move, so powerful that it’s practically a cheat code. If we were to compare her to Goku, for the sake of analysis, the difference between the Dragon Slave and the Giga Slave is even more vast than the difference between a Kamehameha and a Spirit Bomb. She only uses this move in desperate situations, when there’s no other choice, for several distinct reasons. First of all, it requires a 30-40 second incantation. Second of all, it drains all of her magic for several days if she uses it even once. And as if that wasn’t enough, if she was to miscast it even the slightest bit, it could easily bring about the end of the world.

She has a myriad of other spells, like illumination, summoning golems, paralyzing shadows, but she barely ever uses them as her base attacks normally do the job just fine.  But her deadliest attacks by far are;  Blast Ash, a black magic spell that creates a black void which turns any living targets into A\ash, providing the caster can see them clearly, and Blast Bomb, the most powerful shamanic spell, which temporarily creates a fiery hell around the caster.  She rarely uses these on the show, but in a Death Battle, all bets are off.

And with the Magic Amplification gems that she purchased from her frenemy Xellos, her attacks become more powerful, easier to call, and she’s less drained after using them.

Behind her magic, Lina’s no pushover. She has a very high tolerance for pain, to the point where she’s been shown successfully casting a Dragon Slave spell while being electrocuted. She has a few decent kick attacks, and she can perform various professional wrestling moves, but since she’s only ever seen using them on her allies, it’s hard to say whether or not they’d be useful in serious combat. She’s also a competent leader amongst her friends, analyzing situations in order to make split second strategy based decisions in the middle of battle.

While difficult to fool, Lina is also quick to anger, and can easily become overconfident. This can lead to her being distracted, which can cloud her judgment, causing her to overlook or forget small details that wouldn’t otherwise escape her. She can also make reckless decisions when she’s like that. In addition to this, she’s really no expert in hand-to-hand combat, and despite her threshold for pain, she still suffers from the usual human weaknesses. She’s been knocked unconscious in the show from a knee to the gut, and she’s been mortally wounded on more than one occasion. Still, it’s nothing a little white magic can’t fix.

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