Yagami Kazuma was originally part of the Kannagi family, a respected family of fire users who have an affinity to fire; however, after being easily defeated by his cousin Ayano and having no talent whatsoever in fire magic, Kazuma is banished and cast out from his family. Four years later, Kazuma finally returns to Japan, this time as an exceptionally powerful wind user. For the first arc, a series of murders of Kannagi family members have occurred with his arrival. While most of the family, including Ayano, is convinced Kazuma is the culprit, he claims he isn't. These events begin an all-out war against the Kannagi family, with Kazuma and Ayano right in the middle of it.
Kaze no Stigma has been brought up by me several times as one of my most despised anime, but I've never really had a chance to say why, partly because it came out during a time when light novel adaptations were considered good and any that actually weren't were purged from the collective hive mind that is anime fandom - barring the occasional fanboy who still tries to claim that Kazuma is someone that protagonists should look up to. I saw it during a time when Bakemonogatari was airing, so you can imagine it took a lot to make me hate something when I was still buying Kanon and Shana DVDs unironically. I don't remember how I found out about the show beyond random Youtube searches back when you could actually watch anime there, but I remember thinking it seemed like a cool urban fantasy and instead got "why why why WHYYYYYY?!"
Whilst Sword Art Online and Mahouka are now considered the poster-boys for "Gary-Stu fanfiction/wish-fulfillment LN crap that's not even well-animated", Kaze no Stigma was doing everything it did back in 2007 aka "the golden year of anime that wasn't actually so golden when you look at it closely" and whilst I'd hesitate to determine if it's worse than either, it's the one that I hate the most largely because of the "shock". You know what I mean. The "shock" when you're a newbie who's optimistic about everything, unaware of what the dark side is truly capable of, and when you go in without any preparation you get backlashed so hard to the point that you can actually press charges against the creators. This is why I go into practically every anime with no expectations whatsoever. Because quite frankly, the "shock" is something I can do without for the rest of my already miserable life.
The story is centered on Kazuma, a kid who was banished from his family because his female cousin was able to wield magic without setting herself on fire and burning all her clothes off - which isn't nearly as positive as it sounds - and thus goes away for a few years only to return as a stock cocky douche who wields wind magic like Jesus on steroids. His reunion coincides with another wind user killing off his family and rather than do much to clear his name, he arrogantly takes them on, including his cousin (Ayano) who has grown into a beautiful sword-wielding babe so you know what's going to happen to her before the first half of the premiere even concludes. Other characters include Kazuma's brother (Ren), who sounds like a prepubescent kid who smoked too many marlboros, and his dad (don't remember the name and don't care to look it up), who gets hospitalized very early on due to father/son differences that I refuse to describe because I don't want to spend much more effort into hating this show than the creators did in its overall quality.
This admittedly is difficult to do because the main problem with this show, along with the reason I hate it so much, is that it's completely unimaginative in every single way imaginable (no pun intended). The anime was made by Gonzo post-Welcome to the NHK and that's pretty much all you need to know regarding the production values as well as the overall quality. But even if Kenji Nakamura was set to direct this show, you'd need a complete overhaul of the original source material to make up for writing this phenomenally bad. That story premise I mentioned above gets resolved within the first four episodes and then succumbs to light novel syndrome of padding out the time with lower quality story arcs, and considering how awful the first story arc, that's saying a whole lot. Now I never actually finished this show - get your mouse cursor away from that "x-mark" - but I have had some exposure to what I never gave a proper chance and my god it's like the writer wasn't even trying to make the very premise of their story interesting.
One story arc is centered on a girl wanting to kill Kazuma to the point that she'd sell her own soul to darkness, which made her the most sympathetic character on the show until her redemption at the end because she was nice to Kazuma as a kid and he even confirms himself that yes, that little thing was all she needed to do for him to care about her. Another one focuses on Jun trying to protect a girl he fell in love with after a five-minute at best playground romp only to discover she's an artificial human with limited time, leading to another vomit-inducing conclusion. There's even an arc where an American chick comes and falls for Kazuma because she's under the impression he has a nine-inch cock when in reality, it's (censored, but I assure you it's a small number) inches long. If mediocrity was an Olympic event, it'd get unanimous tens all across the board.
There's even an arc where Kazuma has to suppress a super powered dark side, which is meant to be the overlying plot that connects the various stories together, that has no weight to it because A) it actually makes him weaker, so I dunno why he has it to begin with B) he's so much of a hypocritical asshole as is that there's practically no contrast. Literally every second he's on-screen is a second that I want to steal his powers and go all Texas Chainsaw Massacre with them on his face, because the writer just can't seem to write his "loner with a heart of gold who gets all the ladies, seems to always know what's going on, and never gets so much as a scratch on him throughout the entire show" character consistently and decide whether his facade is an act or not. Not that the other characters are much better, being shallow stock stereotypes who wear the same outfit to the point that Ayano had to decide between four identical school uniforms to wear to a date, but at least they're straight-forward and actually get dirt on their faces (which says a lot about the show's quality when that's the best you have to say for them).
And of course it wouldn't be a wish-fulfillment Gary Stu story without awful action scenes that looked like they were conceived and choreographed by interns for the janitor position. They use the same stock footage of Ayano summoning her sword almost every single episode and it doesn't even work on the bad guys 95% of the time, which makes her even less competent than Asuna or Miyuki and ain't that a sad truth? Kazuma's wind powers are so cheap both in practice and in a visual sense that he doesn't even have to move in order to use them, which is pretty much the triple-threat of boring action right there.
Not that he moves during the non-action scenes either. I recall one episode where he, Ayano, and a bunch of her friends explore the school late at night and make the girls perform lame comedic routines whilst he just smiles without revealing the truth because we needed the plot to go on for an entire episode because we have two cours to fill and we don't have the brains to fill them with anything more meaningful.
Well I refuse to be the kettle that calls this show black, Gonzo, so I'm ending this review of your uninspired mess right now before my own imagination is sucked dry from this black hole (I don't see myself as a kettle, so I feel no hypocrisy in calling Kaze no Stigma that) of banal story, characters, animation, music, and even author existence - the writer of the original light novels passed away before he could finish the series - that in retrospect, I shouldn't have rediscovered in the first place.read more
Kaze no Stigma is a fun anime if you're interested into this genre. Battles, magic, comedy, kick-ass moments, KnS has it all.
The story is fair, not really impressive since for me it was predictable towards the end. The "main" plot starts later in the series as the first 3/4 is filled with random missions and somewhat fillers like hotspring episodes and so on. Even though the lack of main plot overall disappointed me, I found the story overall satisfying.
The characters are very nicely drawn, you can clearly see this is a 2007 anime. Effects are good, from flames to wind and other unleashed powers; plus the characters are drawn good enough for any fan to enjoy the art. Even though it's no better than other 2007 animes, it clearly has it's own attractiveness for me.
Not much to comment on this area, the sound is fair enough, soundtrack fits the mood all of the time and the opening song is quite catchy once you listen to it. I liked the idea of two ending songs/sequences since it changed with the atmosphere of the episode. Overall it was fine with me.
The characters were great, I loved them. KnS has it all: the tsundere, the athlete, the rich lady (from America, though speaks English like hell), the lolita and so on. To my surprise, the guys have cool personalities as well, the main lead taking the title of one of the most kick-ass characters, you're gonna like his style. Nothing else to say here, the characters are probably the strong point of this anime.
Well, as I said, unless you're into magic, combat and ecchi shots from time to time, you're probably not gonna find anything interesting. However, if you like magic battles you'll find this anime cool, plus the characters and some of the situations make the 24 episodes worth the time. I really enjoyed this anime.
Overall I rounded up to around 8. I think it was pretty great and I don't regret seeing it. The main lead remains one of my favorite characters. It's a good thing they have an open end so I really hope for a sequel. That's about it.read more
One of the most generic, predictable anime I've seen. Kaze no Stigma uses the slightly underused approach of magic users and ninja clans in modern times, but, surprisingly, it's not meant to be wacky or childish like other anime of its genre. This gave me high hopes, and I remember catching myself thinking, during the first few episodes "this will really have to take a turn for the worse to prevent me from finishing it".
After sitting through cliché episode after cliché episode, I finally dropped it. While I like the main hero, Yagami Kazuma, the heroin, Kannagi Ayano is what ruined the series for me. Not only does her Japanese voice actress kinda suck in this role, her 'burn run time transformation-esque' summoning of Enraiha against every little thing really pissed me off. She never fights using just fire magic, and, despite an early youma kill that was supposed to display her adept fighting abilities, she spends 90% of her time being a decoy, getting defeated, getting caught, and, like any romantic comedy anime, blaming the male lead for her shortcomings. She's childish, weak, poor-sounding, but well drawn.
The animation is up to par, but everything else could have been done so much better; Kaze no Stigma is a testament to the old saying "All that glitters is not gold".read more
I started this thinking "alas, another predictable action anime which I may end up dropping" but it had me sucked in to the very end. The reasons? I'll try to explain:
Most action fans would see the storyline as very cliched and predictable, having seen it all played out before. It's storyline does lack, with some filler episodes (such as amusement park visits and hot bath days), and random bad guys which pop up, get defeated, and so moves on to another scenario. However, even though it does lack originality, it's done well and to a good enough standard to enjoy watching it all unravel.
In one angle, the characters are done well, as your average anime. Not brilliant, but not too bad either. However, sometimes the backgrounds (such as on a busy street) are at a stand-still which is noticeable.
Again, your average action themes running though it, which aren't brilliant, but not too bad either. At the very least they don't get annoying or anything, and stay well positioned in the background.
At this point, you're probably thinking why the heck you should watch this anime. Well the secret to it all, which sets it apart from others and keeps you watching, is the characters. The characters themselves are likeable and fit in with the general mood of the anime (some-what cute comedy moments but gets serious when they need to). In one angle they do seem a bit cliched, the average stubborn bad-tempered in-denial girl with the cheeky cold-yet-nice guy but has a dark past, plus the extra nice-but-serious-when-needs-to-be little guy. But the development of the characters, and the development of the romance between the two main protagonists is what really sets it apart. You are kept glued to the screen and get awarded appropriately in the little delightful developments in every episode, and you grow to love every minute. Not to mention the various twists and turns as well, (with added drama) which keep you on the edge of your seat.
Sure it's all been done before, sure it's not mind-blowingly good, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It was a secure anime to watch and enjoy ~ having everything from love triangles, nice friendships, happy-happy-days-of-fun, comedy moments, love; but also drama, action: all balanced perfectly.
Overall, it was a good watch, and those who are into romance/action types will surely enjoy this.read more
Hot, hot, hot! There's simply no other way of describing these characters. These insanely hot anime fire users can ignite certain feelings in us with their amazing fire control (and their figurative hotness).