Kaze no Stigma Volume 2 – Fire (A J!-Ent Anime DVD Review)
December 20, 2009 by Michelle Tymon
“Kaze no Stigma Volume 2-Fire is the second half of a fantastic action-packed series with a great cast of characters and humor. A must-see!”
Image courtesy of © Takahiro Yamato/Hanamaru Nanto/FUJIMI SHORO-Stigma of the Wind Partners. All Rights Reserved.
DVD TITLE: Kaze no Stigma Volume 2 – Fire
DURATION: 288 Minutes
DVD INFORMATION: 16:9 WIDESCREEN, ENGLISH 5.1 DOLBY DIGITAL SURROUND SOUND, JAPANESE STEREO
COMPANY: GONZO/FUNimation Entertainment
Release Date: Sept 1st, 2009
Originated by Takahiro Yamato/Hanamaru Nanto
Directed by Junichi Sakata
Music by Yutaka Fukuoka
Music Direction by Youta Tsuruoka
Art Direction by Yasutada Kato
Character Design by Yasunari Nitta
Produced by Takashi Tachizaki/Hidemasa Arai/Tsuneo Takechi
Featuring the following voice talent:
Daisuke Ono/ Robert McCollum as Kazuma Yagami
Ayumi Fujimura/ Cherami Leigh as Ayano Kannagi
Rika Morinaga/ Josh Grelle as Ren Kannagi
Sayaka Ohara/ Colleen Clinkenbeard as Kirika Tachibana
Masaki Terasoma/ R. Bruce Elliott as Jugo Kannagi
Rikiya Koyama/ Mark Stoddard as Genma Kannagi
Yuka Inokuchi/ Kate Oxley as Yukari Shinomiya
Shizuka Ito/ Brina Palencia as Nanase Kudo
Chiaki Takahashi/ Caitlin Glass as Catherine McDonald
Yui Makino/ Leah Clark as Tsui-Ling
Kenyu Horiuchi/ John Swasey as Bernhardt Rhodes
The only person with a chance to melt Kazuma’s chilly exterior is the same red-hot firebrand who incinerated his chances of a happy home life. Ayano is the smoldering redhead who issued a royal beat-down to her cousin and staked her claim to the Kannagi Clan’s sacred sword. This stubborn flame thrower is a prodigy when it comes to making things explode, but she fights with an enraged, reckless abandon that could get her burned. Put her in the same room as Kazuma, and there’s bound to be fireworks. Trouble looms on the horizon, and a pairing of Wind and Fire is Tokyo’s best bet to survive the night and see the light of day – provided it can take the heat.
“Kaze no Stigma” centers around Kazuma Yagami, a former member of the Kannagi family that was banished by his father from the clan after he was defeated by Ayano Kannagi for the title of successor of the Enraiha, which is the family’s sacred sword. The reason he lost was due to the fact that he isn’t able to use En-jutsu, the art of controlling fire. He returns after four years and is able to use Fu-jutsu, the art of controlling wind. Kazuma proved to be an amazing Fu-jutsushi, being able to manipulate wind to the point that he can make blades of wind and even fly. He is reunited with Ayano as well as his younger brother, Ren who can also control fire. He came back to Japan much stronger and rather cold because of his experiences and training over the last four years but it seems that Ayano is the only one that can get through to him. Ayano on the otherhand is very hot headed and is rather reckless, especially when it comes to fighting. Together they fight youma and other threats that appear before them.
This particular volume, “Kaze no Stigma Volume 2-Fire” contains the last 12 episodes of the first season of “Kaze no Stigma”.
“Kaze no Stigma” focuses on the following main characters:
Kazuma Yagami – Is the main character in the series along with Ayano. Kazuma is currently a very powerful Fu-jutsushi, but that came as a result of him being banished from his own family of En-jutsushi. He is a “Contractor”, meaning he got his powers of the wind from the Spirit King of the Wind. When he was sixteen, he lost against his cousin Ayano in the ceremony to decide the successor of his family and because of that, he was banished. After being banished, he spent four years training and ended up being a skilled Fu-jutsushi when he reappeared in front of everyone after four years. He can be rather cold, but he is very caring when it comes to his younger brother, Ren and even though he wouldn’t admit it, he cares about Ayano as well. Along with Ayano, they protect the city from youma and other threats that come their way.
Ayano Kannagi – Ayano is the hot-headed cousin of Kazuma and Ren and is the current successor of the Kannagi family. She was the one that defeated Kazuma years back and became the rightful owner of Enraiha. She is a skilled En-jutsushi but she is rather reckless and has a tendency to act before thinking which gets her in trouble. Despite fighting with Kazuma all the time, her true feelings for him are rather different and despite her realizing it or not, those around it can see it.
Ren Kannagi – Ren is the younger brother of Kazuma and is also an En-jutsushi. He looks up to Ayano and Kazuma very much. He may not be as powerful as either of them, but he is still rather strong and he is also very kind hearted. His power of the golden flame has purification powers.
Kirika Tachibana – Kirika is a young detective that works for the Tokyo MPD but works with the supernatural. She occasionally works with Kazuma and the others.
Jugo Kannagi – The current head of the Kannagi household and the father of Ayano. He worries bout his headstrong daughter and is always coming up with schemes to try to get Ayano and Kazuma together. He is always hoping they make some kind of “mistake”…
Genma Kannagi – Genma is the very strict father of Kazuma and Ren and is the one responsible for banishing Kazuma. He and Kazuma share a very love/hate(probably more hate) relationship and whenever they meet, they usually end up physically fighting each other.
Yukari Shinomiya – One of Ayano’s best friends. She is very loyal and seems to be in the know with everything going on in school, and even outside of school. She also carries around a taser…
Nanase Kudo – The second of Ayano’s best friends. Just like Yukari, she is very loyal. She is a talented athlete and is in a lot of athletic clubs.
Catherine McDonald – Catherine is a fire magic user that comes from America from the prestigious McDonald family, the most powerful family of magic users in America. She comes to Japan to duel Ayano for the title of the most powerful fire user in the world. She also ends up being a rival to Ayano involving something else… Kazuma.
Tsui-Ling – Tsui-Ling is a mysterious young woman that is somehow involved in Kazuma’s past while he was away from Japan…
Bernhardt Rhodes – The main antagonist of the second half of the series. He is tied to Kazuma’s past and is out to get revenge against him.
“Kaze no Stigma” features a total of 12 episodes on two DVDs. Here is a spoiler-less summary of each episode:
- EPISODE 13- Let’s go to the Amusement Park – Kazuma, Ayano and Ren go to the amusement park for a day of relaxation, meanwhile Ayano’s father has other ideas for this specific date at the amusement park.
- EPISODE 14- Another Ayano Disaster – Kazuma and Ayano go on a “date” at a fancy restaurant, but are interrupted by a visitor from America.
- EPISODE 15- Catherine Returns – Catherine seeks a rematch with Ayano and gets herself an unlikely coach… Kazuma.
- EPISODE 16- Father and Son – Yukari and Nanase once again help out in Jugo’s plot to get Ayano and Kazuma togeher, this time having them go to a hot spring.
- EPISODE 17- How To Defeat a Magic User – Nanase’s friends in the tennis club are being cursed one by one after they punish a peeping tom that they caught taking questionable pictures of them.
- EPISODE 18- Tokyo RPG – Nerds all around Tokyo seem to be living out their RPG fantasies… in real life.
- EPISODE 19- Pandemonium – Ren disappears so Kazuma and Ayano go to find him and meanwhile try to figure out the mystery of the RPG called “Pandemonium”.
- EPISODE 20- The Remnant of the Emerald – We get to see a glimpse of Kazuma’s four years away from his family and his connection to Tsui-Ling.
- EPISODE 21- The Raging Wind Mage – An enraged Kazuma starts to show darker powers than his usual.
- EPISODE 22- Determination and Hesiation – Kazuma continues to try to find Pandemonium, no matter what it takes.
- EPISODE 23- The Crimson Flame – Kazuma and Ayano duel once more and Ayano is determined to do whatever it takes to get Kazuma back.
- EPISODE 24- Protectors of the Wind – The final battle against Bernhardt and Kazuma’s past begins.
VIDEO & AUDIO
“Kaze no Stigma” is presented in 16:9. Because this series was done by GONZO, the animation and character designs are gorgeous.
For audio, you have the option of either Japanese or English.
There are only English subtitles available.
There are textless opening and ending, trailers, and a section called Ayano’s House Call: All-You-Can-Eat Cakes Parts 4-6 where some of the seiyuu get together for little talks about various things including a chance to “reflect on their errors”.
“Kaze no Stigma” is a action-packed anime series with humor mixed in that I think many people will enjoy. The characters in this series are fantastic and they have great chemistry with each other. The relationship between Kazuma and Ayano is thoroughly entertaining throughout the series. Another great relationship in this series is that of Kazuma and Ren.
Despite being complete opposites when it comes to personalities, Kazuma is always there for Ren despite usually being rather cold and Ren is very loyal and caring toward his older brother. The general story of the series is exciting and keeps the audience wanting to find out more. This volume has its serious moments, but for the most part stays rather light-hearted while being action-packed. This combination is one of my favorite anime genres to watch.
This volume is the second half of the series and as good as it is on its own, I would recommend watching the first half of the series as well. Although this series is easy enough to understand after reading a synopsis of the story and is amusing enough on its own as well.
I believe that this series would appeal to a very broad audience. This series has action, comedy, and even a bit of romance. There is also a tiny bit of fan service for the guys involving Ayano and I’m sure girls will love Kazuma and the cute little Ren. The fan service isn’t overwhelming though.
A few of the things I enjoyed most in this half of the series was the relationship between Ayano and Kazuma and the fighting between Kazuma and his father. In ways, the combination of action and humor in this series reminds me of Yu Yu Hakusho, and One Piece, both amazing series. Another great character that shows up in the second half of the season is Catherine McDonald.
Her lack of understanding of Japanese a times is quite amusing and leads to funny situations. There are some very dark moments in the second half of the season as well, especially in episode 21, but once again everything seems to balance out very well in the series.
The art is great and voice work on both the Japanese and English sides are fantastic. GONZO always does a great job and never disappoints.
I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys a funny action packed series that doesn’t drag on for episodes. “Kaze no Stigma” won’t disappoint.
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