I have no idea how many people are aware of the tragedy that is the story of Kaze No Stigma. I have no idea if people even remember or care about this series. All I know is that today, I’m going to be talking about it.
I’m in quite the forlorn mood as I write this article because Kaze No Stigma is a series that has had a very large impact on my tastes in manga and light novels.
For people that don’t know, Kaze No Stigma was a light novel series by author Takahiro Yamato. The series is infamous for being left incomplete at six volumes, while having a pretty good story, due to the death of the author in July of 2009.
The story revolves around Kazuma Kannagi, the main protagonist, who is a descendant of the Kannagi family, a family who practices flame arts and who are blessed by the flame deity.
Contrary to expectations, Kazuma is horrible with flame arts and leaves the family in shame, banished by his own father, heading over to Shanghai or something(I don’t exactly remember, I read this LN almost nine years ago). He returns a few years later, now a supremely powerful wind practitioner, who has formed a contract with the wind deity and serves as his contractor.
Upon his return, he is treated with hostility by other members of the family, however, the head of the family probably feels guilty about Kazuma’s prior circumstances and welcomes him with open arms, even hoping that Kazuma and his daughter, Ayano, who is Kazuma’s second cousin, would end up falling in love with each other. He’s basically the easygoing, wise, old guy archetype.
Now you know why I don’t mind cousins/ step-siblings getting it on.
Ayano herself is basically your typical headstrong shounen protagonist, naive and full of those things called ideals, with a strong moral code. She has some deep emotional maturation type arcs later on in the LN, but the author died before she turned into a proper full-fledged character. She is also the inheritor of Enraiha, a bad ass flame sword bestowed by the flame deity to the head of the Kannagi family.
It was his loss in a ritual battle with twelve year old Ayano when he was sixteen, over the ownership of Enraiha, in which he was forced to participate, that led to his banishment by his father.
Kazuma himself is a bit of an enigma. For most of the series, we don’t know how he ended up becoming a wind contractor and even when hints are given, they’re not plentiful in their information. All we know is that during his years in Shanghai, he befriended/fell in love with a girl named Tsui-Ling, who if I recall correctly, was the daughter of the owner of the restaurant where Kazuma worked at.
Tsui-Ling was sacrificed by the head of Armagest, the main antagonist of the series, Erwin Lesszar, who had someone coalesce her remaining essence into a being which looked like her called Lapis.
The entire series, Tsui-Ling’s death has been the greatest motivator for Kazuma. Revenge for Tsui-Ling, his dead lover, is the only reason Kazuma ended up becoming as strong as he did and it pains me to an unbelievable extent that we were not able to see the conclusion of this series, where Kazuma and Tsui-Ling’s story would have undoubtedly been resolved.
Kazuma also has a younger brother called Ren. who is a genius in his own right, and who ends up developing a special blue flame which is (obviously)stronger than your regular-ass red flame.
There is also an entire sub-plot which extends throughout the series about Ren’s highschool life, and a girl whose into Ren following him and getting caught up in supernatural problems, only to be saved by Ren. It’s a fun sub-plot, which occasionally plays into the main plot, but is separated from it at most times. This sub-plot also shows off Ren’s individual investigative skills, as well as his interpersonal relations outside of the supernatural world, a rarity in such novels.
From the six volumes we got, all of which are translated on Baka-Tsuki(you can find it here), I saw a lot of potential in this series. The world-building is amazing. The characters, while being somewhat cliched at points(this is quite an old LN series at this point), are refreshing, because while they do embody common archetypes like the bad ass MC and headstrong female lead, all characters have their own quirks and unique traits which make them all the more endearing.
The story and execution is also very good. The story keeps on flowing naturally, and doesn’t have a contrived feeling at any point. There isn’t any part of the LN which is boring to read, despite the vast amount of world building done and lore that is told to us.
The lore of the series is also really interesting. The elemental deity based families which are like the royalty of the mortal supernatural world, the artifacts bestowed by those deities, the various other practitioners, magics and curses we see along with the exposure of the influence Armagest possesses is extremely interesting.
There are certain LNs which captivate the reader with the story alone, and Kaze No Stigma is one such LN, along with possessing all the other accolades it possesses. There are so many questions left unanswered, so many plot threads that needed to be tied, so many ways the story could have ended, it’s actually a humongous shame that we never got to see the end of it.
The name of the series is Kaze No Stigma, Stigma Of The Wind, and it’s representative of the stigma Kazuma faces due to his inability to save Tsui-Ling. If looked at from this stand point, the entire story revolves not around solving the stigma of the wind, but the wind learning to live with it’s stigma, and the finale of a story which embodies such a concept would surely have been grand.
If it had been completed, Kaze No Stigma would probably have ten to twelve volumes.
I firmly remember Kaze No Stigma being among the first three LNs I read, the other two being Highschool DxD and Akuryou(Evil Spirits), and it really has shaped the way I like my LNs. Kaze No Stigma is where I get my love of over-powered, bad ass MCs, my love of supernatural action type media, my love of incomprehensible love plots, my partiality towards the fantasy and super natural aspect of LNs and manga(although Highschool DxD has played a big part in most of this as well) and finally, it’s where I get my putrid fear of a manga or LN or book series I love being left incomplete, either due to the author’s death or any other reason.
I do not fear many things in life. Of the very few things I fear, not being able to read manga, LNs and books is at the top while this fear, of a series remaining eternally incomplete, is second.
In an ideal world, the death of an author shouldn’t mean an eternally incomplete series. As an example, I present to you on of my more favored isekai, Mondaiji Tachi, whose author died halfway through the series, but it was still completed my the author’s disciples, and even has a sequel now called Last Embryo. You can see an obvious change in quality from volume 6 to 7, but it does get better, and by the end, is quite satisfying(though they should have totally shown Black Rabbit and Izayoi kissing and stuff, it’s very annoying they don’t give a satisfactory Izayoi X Black Rabbit ship)
Let’s wrap this up now, I personally recommend Kaze No Stigma to anybody that would want to try it, it’s a pretty good LN with it’s only downside being that it might seem a bit dated at points to modern audiences(and the fact that it’s incomplete). If you can’t handle a good series that you know you will never know the end of, I would recommend still trying Kaze No Stigma just to see how much potential it had and potentially being inspired by certain elements of it’s story.
There’s also an anime which covers upto volume three I think.
Farewell for now my dear readers, we shall meet again soon enough.
Funny story, I’ve actually been trying to write this post for about a week, but I kept putting it off and probably wouldn’t have written it today if not for the hard disk on my laptop dying, leaving me with nothing to do but think about this post while I tried to salvage what I could from the drive, which was absolutely nothing. Now I have to fill in two weeks worth of manga updates and stuff in my last backed up copy on drive.
Remember to back up important documents everyday kids! Kami out!