Anime Spotlight: Kaze no Stigma

Kaze no Stigma is an anime based on a light novel series by Takahiro Yamato. The series was produced by Gonzo, and was directed by Junichi Sakata. Kaze no Stigma aired on Japanese television from April 11-September 20, 2007.

As of this writing, FUNimation Entertainment holds the North American distribution license for Kaze no Stigma.

Kazuma Kannagi, the main character of Kaze no Stigma, was seen as useless by his family because he could not use the power to control flames that has been passed down through the generations. Four years prior to the start of the anime, Kazuma was defeated by his relative, Ayano Kannagi, in a bout to decide the family heir. At that time, Kazuma’s father, Genma, banished him.

At the start of the series, Kazuma returns, but is now going under the name Kazuma Yagami; while he was away, Kazuma learned how to control the wind. When Kazuma’s family learned of his new talent, they were ashamed; the family that can control the wind have been subservient to the Kannagi family.

While he was away, Kazuma entered into a contract with Kaze no Seirei-Ou, the Wind Spirit Lord,which enables him to draw upon all the wind spirits in the atmosphere; by doing this, Kazuma can amplify his powers. After Kazuma’s return, members of the Kannagi family are murdered, and it is determined that the murderer is someone who can control the wind. Kazuma must prove to his family that he is not the murderer.

Ayano Kannagi is the heir of the Kannagi family. She has the power of the Crimson Flame (Kouen), and also has Enraiha, the Kannagi family’s sacred sword. Ayano is arrogant and irrational, and tends to take action on her own, even if it means not following orders. Ayano is also a reckless fighter. During the series, Ayano claims to hate Kazuma, but she ends up developing a crush on him.

Jugo Kannagi is Ayano’s father and the current head of the Kannagi family. He has been trying to stop the discrimination against those who can control the wind. He also regrets Kazuma’s banishment, and believes that Kazuma is essential to the Kannagi family. During the series, Jugo creates situations so Ayano and Kazuma can form a relationship.

Overall, I thought the series itself was actually quite good. My favorite part of the series is the interactions between Kazuma and Ayano, and how their relationship progresses over the course of the series. My one main complaint is the fact that the ending does feel a little rushed; however, the buildup to the ending is worth going through.

I also appreciated how Kazuma’s younger brother, Ren, was treated as much as a main character as Kazuma and Ayano. Typically in anime, the “cute” younger siblings are relegated to supporting roles, so it was nice to see Ren break that stereotype.

Kaze no Stigma is a series that should have an appeal to anime viewers who enjoy stories about magic users who can manipulate the elements, as well as enjoy watching the interactions and relationships that develop between the main magic users.

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