Without further ado, let's talk about our bizarre cast of characters.
Lina Inverse is the show's primary heroine, albeit the term must be used loosely to accommodate her. Lina is a talented sorceress, specializing in black magic but capable with a wide array of spells. Her great magical skills are surpassed by her intense self-interest, which includes gluttony and a profound love of money. She is persuaded to do heroic deeds knowing that her own survival and future may rest on them, but she can be genuinely kind and compassionate, particularly to children. The only thing that can make Lina truly quiver in her boots is mention of her dear sister Luna, and the thought of Big Sister's disapproval can incite abject terror in an otherwise bold and assertive character. Three of Lina's spells comprise her trademark arsenal: the Dragon Slave draws upon Dark Lord Shabranigdu's power and is a textbook example of a Fantastic Nuke. Few sorcerers dare to wield even that spell, yet Lina can call upon the power of the Lord of Nightmares, creator of the Slayers world, to cast two profoundly unique spells—Ragna Blade brings forth a sword of pure black magic, but it pales in comparison to the Giga Slave. One cast of that ultimate spell can destroy even the most powerful enemies, provided one is prepared for the possible cost—bringing the Lord of Nightmares to the terrestrial plane in possession of the caster's body to do as She sees fit. For this reason, the Giga Slave is used only in the most dire circumstances (circumstances the clever among you have probably already guessed might come about). Nevertheless, Lina is an absurdly powerful magic user, and in the hands of someone who'll lash out at people for insulting her figure, you know she'll use it at the drop of a hat.
To keep Lina's tendencies (somewhat) in check is Gourry Gabriev, blond-haired swordsman whose family were long keepers of the powerful Sword of Light. The blade that can cut through even the most powerful defenses, the Sword of Light has been lost for some time (namely, a few seasons of anime), and so Gourry travels with Lina, searching for a sword that can stand up to his substantial strength. Alas, Gourry has a reputation for being a bit dim and forgetful, to the point that he may misremember events that should be utterly clear in his mind. In this respect, he can serve as a device to remind the audience what's happened or provide a moment of truly absurd comic relief. And as for why Gourry puts up with someone so irrational as Lina Inverse, that's a question for shippers to decide.
Joining Lina and Gourry are two traveling companions whose roles have been expanded compared to the novels the series was adapted from. Amelia Wil Tesla Saillune is princess to the Kingdom of Saillune, and—in contrast to Lina—is composed of incorruptible moral fiber, considering herself an utmost champion of justice. Amelia is a practitioner of white magic primarily, in keeping with her pursuit of healing and punishing evildoers wherever they may be. Where Lina is snarky and clever, Amelia is almost totally genre blind and is a character almost more at home in a Magical Girl story than this slapstick fantasy. Even so, Amelia's endless courage and drive almost always serves to center the group on what they should be doing, even if it's not what they want.
The final member of the main group that we're acquainted with is Zelgadiss Graywords, a chimaera of sorts who has largely human shape and appearance but discolored skin and the benefits of rocky flesh to bolster his strength. Zelgadiss was transformed by Rezo, the Red Priest, who experimented on Zelgadiss in and effort to gain sight in his blind eyes. In fact, Rezo was one of several individuals imbued with a fragment of the Dark Lord Shabranigdu, and it was the seal on the demon lord's soul that kept Rezo blind. Rezo has since passed on by Lina's hand, and to the present, Zelgadiss has searched the world far and wide for a cure that will restore him to full humanity. In the meantime, he uses the benefits of his unusual body to wield fantastic strength and is proficient with both the sword and spells.
We'll be watching the Funimation blu-ray releases of both seasons, with English subtitles and Japanese audio. Minus the resolution, these are freely (and legally!) available on Youtube and other outlets. The subtitles can be a bit hard to read on the blu-ray release, as the lettering is somewhat thin. In addition, some of the script is taken almost word-for-word from the English dub's, giving word choices that may not entirely fit. For those who prefer English audio, the dub is perfectly watchable.
Now, onwards to Revolution episode 1: "Amazing! The Astonishing Dragon Slave?!"