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Gourry

Gourry as he appears in the anime

Gourry Gabriev is a fictional character from the Japanese anime and light novels Slayers. He is tall (most sources list him as being 6'3"), muscular like an acrobat, possesses long blonde hair and blue eyes, and is somewhat lacking in intelligence.

BiographyEdit

Very little is known about Gourry's family and past, except that he mentioned a brother and a grandmother. Gourry is on bad terms with his brother. He stole the Sword of Light and ran away from home when he was 17 to stop the fighting over the sword. He was a mercenary for the next five years and nearly threw away the Sword of Light when he grew frustrated with the weapon. A short story, "The Things that He Sees Beyond the Point of His Sword" that was published in the 21st Slayers Special novel, details his inner struggle and his change of heart. Gourry is stopped by a traveling fisherman, who convinces Gourry to do something worthwhile with the sword. This man, unknown to Gourry, is Lina Inverse's father. Days later, he meets Lina herself.

First Appearance Edit

Gourry is first seen when Lina is having a conflict with the surviving members of the Dragon's Fangs (she had previously decimated most of their band, killing their leader, and took a fair chunk of their treasure for herself). Believing Lina to be a "babe, a luscious damsel in distress", Gourry steps in and warns the bandits to leave her alone or else they'll have to deal with him in what Lina calls a "battle of the cliché men" (in the original Japanese language version). The bandits decide to attack him instead and a violent fight breaks loose, with Gourry demolishing the bandits and sending one running away without any clothes on. When Gourry discovers that Lina is not the beautiful maiden he had thought but merely a small, under developed teenager - he actually thinks she's a little girl - he displays a vain, shallow streak of disappointment, much to the embarrassment and humiliation of Lina, who wasn't even in any danger, given her powers as a sorceress. This superficiality is a stark contrast to the behavior Gourry displays throughout the rest of the series, in which he is basically a nice guy, albeit a ridiculously dense one. Assuming that Lina is a lost little girl, he offers to escort her home when her real objective is to get to Atlas City, but she plays along with his misconception and, upon hearing that her goal is to reach Atlas City, he vows to escort her there at any cost. Along the way Gourry shifts gears into the more familiar nice guy mode that would define him for the remainder of the series.

Development Edit

Gourry remains Lina's closest, most consistent companion throughout the series, traveling with her even when their other two friends, Zelgadis and Amelia, are off somewhere else, though Lina claims she only lets him tag along because she wants his family heirloom, the legendary Sword of Light. Despite her frustrations with Gourry's lack of mental agility, his habit of bluntly reminding her of her small breasts, among his other blunt observations, as well as his tendency to try to eat more food than her, which she often expresses quite violently, usually smacking him in the head or shooting him with a nasty but not permanently damaging spell, Lina eventually falls in love with him, and he apparently falls in love with her, though the relationship never blossoms fully within either the manga, light novels or the anime. They shared a kiss at the end of Slayers Next when he came to rescue her from the Lord of Nightmares, but they didn't remember it afterwards. Also, in Evolution-R, the fish man, Toppi, says "You love Lina, don't you?" out loud to Gourry. While Lina stumbles through a denial in embarrassment, Gourry doesn't vocalize a denial at all--the closest to a confession present in the anime to date. However this lack of a developing relationship is partly because Lina, as a zesty, whimsical but not fully emotionally matured teenager, is not adept at expressing tender, affectionate feelings. Though, at the end of the original novel series, Lina asks Gourry to accompany her home to Zephilia.

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Gourry as he appears in the manga opposite Lina Inverse

Personality and controversiesEdit

One of the biggest areas of dispute regarding Gourry's ancestry centers around the original Slayers motion picture. In the movie, Rowdy Gabriev is established as Gourry's ancestor - most likely his grandfather, ascending to his Russian heritage. This has led fans to believe that the elf princess Meiroon, who Rowdy has a crush on, is Gourry's grandmother. Hajime Kanzaka has struck down this notion, saying in the BLASTER! fan magazine that by the time Rowdy was old enough to marry and have children that Meiroon would had still been a child herself. So Rowdy married a human causing his grandson, Gourry, to be fully human instead of part-elf as commonly believed in fandom. [1]

While Gourry is basically a nice guy, with a calm, mellow demeanor that serves as a foil to Lina's fiery temper tantrums, he is also characterized by his lack of intelligence and his tendency to put things bluntly without any tact, occasionally hurting the feelings of others or humiliating his friends, namely Lina, without meaning to. He is also, arguably, the least developed of the Slayers characters, serving more as comic relief even within a series that is already primarily a comedy to begin with.

Though his intelligence in most every day things is severely lacking, he is an incredible swordsman, performing extremely well against both regular and supernatural foes in the heat of battle. He also often shows excellent skills of observation, intuition, and is a good judge of character, though sometimes it comes a bit late to be of any good. While Gourry may not be the smartest of characters, his ignorance is purposefully beneficial to helping the audience understand what is going on. The other three main characters are well educated and have knowledge regarding the cosmology and history of the world which is assumed everyone in the world would know. Since Gourry, however, does not know or remember these facts, it forces the other three to verbalize these facts, which allows for the audience to learn what is assumed to be well known.

To his credit, Gourry is extremely loyal to his friends and allies and has displayed a great deal of patience with Lina and her tantrums. The only time his own patience is questioned is when he doesn't have access to food, much like Lina, as they both share a great passion for fine cooking. Another notable occasion where his temperament was strained is when he was led to believe that Lina was dead in order to deceive the enemy; for which, for the first time ever in the series he whacks Lina in the head in way of admonishment for worrying him (in which Lina, bashfully and uncharacteristically, apologizes). He is one of the few characters in the series capable of eating as much as Lina, though Gourry is considerably larger than she is.

SkillsEdit

On occasion he has displayed limited degrees of superhuman strength/stamina and a great deal of acrobatic prowess, in stark contrast to his companions, Lina Inverse, Zelgadis Greywords and Amelia Wil Tesla Seyruun, who rely more on their magic while Gourry himself is not a magic user. Due to his constant exposure and sometimes being the receiving end of many of Lina's, Zel's, and sometimes Amelia's spells, Gourry has developed a rather high toleration to magical attacks and damage in general. Hajime Kanzaka also revealed in an interview that Gourry possesses a magical capacity that rivals Lina's. However, he further explained that Gourry would be incapable of utilizing spells due to his inadequate memory.

While he is handy with any blunt object, Gourry's biggest contribution to a fight is his swordsmanship. Not only does Gourry reveal himself to be a nearly invincible swordsman, he reveals himself to be the owner of the Sword of Light, a legendary weapon which, when not possessing a metal blade, produces a blade of pure energy, which Gourry and others can summon by shouting "Light come forth!". The energy blade, which functions very much like a lightsaber from the Star Wars series, can cut through almost anything and even absorb then release magic spells against his enemies, though some spells, such as the Ragna Blade, are too powerful even for the Sword of Light to absorb. When Phibrizzo released the seal on Sword of Light that withheld its full power, it was capable of firing beams of pure energy as well. His swordsmanship is downplayed as the series progresses in favor of the magic, but one occasion when he was placed under a spell and turned against his comrades he proved to be nigh unbeatable.

It is explained that the Sword of Light channels and amplifies the willpower of the wielder to create the blade, which would explain his enhanced power when under mind control as his will would have been reinforced by the one controlling him. The sword was later revealed to be not a weapon of light, but a weapon more closely associated with the Mazoku, specifically the Dark Lord DarkStar.

In the novels series, he later procures a new sword called the Blast Sword, which absorbs the magical energies around the immediate area to sharpen the edge of its blade. It was even powerful enough to wound the astral body of the Dark Lord, Ruby-Eye Shabranigdo.

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