In 2007, the Japanese animation studio Gonzo developed ‘Kaze No Stigma,’ an anime adaption of a series of light novels by Takahiro Yamato and illustrated by Hanamaru Nanto. It ran for twenty-four episodes and was licensed by Funimation for a North American release.
Kazuma Yagami (Robert McCollum) returns home to Japan after several years abroad. He was presumed to be the heir of the Kannagi clan, who protect the world from magical threats with fire threats. After losing to Ayano Kannagi (Cherami Leigh), he was rejected by the clan, but become a “contractor” for the spirit of the wind. Reunited with his brother Ren (Josh Grelle), Ayano’s father and clan head Jūgo Kannagi (R. Bruce Elliott) hires Kazuma to be his daughter’s bodyguard, much to her frustration. As they battle strange supernatural threats, they realize that a computer game called Pandemonium is infecting humans with demon energy and allowing them to be given powers. Working with police detective Kirika Tachibana (Colleen Clinkenbeard), Kazuma learns that an old foe and an old love could be back, forcing him to cross a line and forcing his friends to stop him before he wreaks havoc across Japan.
As far as “urban fantasy,” it is a cut above. The story is very interesting, though it does veer off at times, I found it incredibly gripping. The tension between Kazuma and Ayano makes for some pretty funny moments, but also moments where you can see their depth. I did get frustrated with some of the side characters, as they were just there to provide retrospection for the protagonist. Now, I did like Ren. I felt he was there at times to give thoughts audiences members were thinking.
I also enjoyed the voice acting and the animation. The show is very well cast and even for its time, I found it well animated. Gonzo certainly wanted it to be entertaining and they did it excellently. It is a shame that it is so short because I think it would get more recognition even if it had just eight more episodes or so. If you get a chance to see it, certainly take it.
Check out the trailer below:
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Fantasy violence, Minor language, Suggestive humor
This review is based on the dub.
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This article has been updated from a previous version.