Kaze no Stigma

Author: Sporadic


When the Kannagi family, a family blessed by the spirits of fire and able to wield this element as magic, learns that a former member, cast out for his inability to control flame, has returned to town, it is cause for some speculation. Kazuma was a failure at fire magic, but it seems that he has not only renamed himself (Kazuma Yagami), but has also learned to control wind magic (something no Kannagi can do naturally). When several of the family members are killed using wind magic, Kazuma is immediately suspected. Ayano Kannagi, the hotheaded next family leader, volunteers to face her former cousin in battle, but it seems she’s bitten off more than she can chew. Kazuma plans to find out who is using wind magic to kill, even if it might help his former relatives in the process.

"Some series have all of the elements required for greatness but never quite manage to put them together. And then there are series like Kaze no Stigma, which have all of the elements necessary for mediocrity and struggle even to achieve that much."

There were a lot of things that initially bothered me about this show. The biggest of all would be the writing in general. The writing almost always consistently fails to provide anything enthralling. Very little of the story could actually be considered interesting or original. Over all the story's writing just seemed half assed. The show screamed bad Shakugan no Shana rip off from the beginning. Shana and Ayano both wield a sword and have fire powers which they use to take care of supernatural creatures. They both look strangely similar and even have almost the same hair cut.

The show has terrible pacing and a lot of things are too drawn out. It seems very repetitive and little is actually accomplished in each episode. There's nothing that particularly stands out much story wise and the bad pacing just adds to making it even worse. There was very little fan service, if you could even call a momentary breeze lifting up Ayano's skirt in the middle of a battle fan service. And it seemed like they could never make up their mind which genre they wanted this anime to be. They throw around action, mystery, paranormal and slight hints of romance. There are so many tones being thrown around that it never settles on one and doesn’t handle any of them very well. Bad writing and over bearing characterizations turn the anime into a complete waste of time and ruin all of its potential.

The series does do a couple things right though. The girl Ren falls for, her predicament and the nature of her situation were actually nice. Probably the best few episode I enjoyed were those. The fighting scenes were probably the only other good aspect of the show. The art is average but the character rendering did seem to improve a bit when they entered a fighting scene, which was definitely an improvement from this shows typical deformed renderings.

Ayano's character had some typical personality quirks. She's temperamental, easily offended, very opinionated, eager, hot tempered and just plain overbearing. That mixed with Kazuma's arrogance proves to have some comedic scenes which they tend to play on as much as they can. Kazuma's "cool guy bravado" got annoying really quick as did his seemingly invincible nature. It's nice to see a protagonist who's well adept to fighting or using magical abilities where they don't have to drag out character development in that aspect for 15+ episodes, but Kazuma seemed too untouchable for there to be any real excitement in his fights, which in turn virtually removed all tension in what was going to happen next, and that got boring about 6 episodes in. By that point its pretty apparent that Kazuma will god mode through this entire series, unscathed. And actually, Ayano and Ren's fights seem more interesting just because they're not untouchable and they do have something to lose if they get beat.

Art wasn't bad, inside of an action scene. Outside of it, it seemed like shortcuts were taken everywhere. Characters lost detail, varied in definition and in some instances became slightly deformed. The show definitely emphasized on art in action scenes over everything else.

The music wasn't anything good either. Certain scenes tried building up a tone to get you more wrapped into what was going on and the bad writing seemed to overshadow what musical score was present each time. And the opening and ending song doesn't really fit with the show all too well.

If this was a series I actually enjoyed I would have put more effort into writing this. I give this show a 4/10. If you wanna watch something better check out Shakugan no Shana.