Magic Knight Rayearth

Spoiler Alert!

This is so high up!

It’s great that the school chose Tokyo Tower for today’s field trip!

Your classmates don’t seem all that thrilled…but never mind!

AAAHHH!

Your time on the binoculars ran out!

Let’s see now…where’s your coin purse?

Huh?

“Please take this with my compliments. I enjoyed watching you having fun.”

Who was that?

One of your classmates says, “Isn’t that uniform from that private school for geniuses?”

You should thank her properly!

You try walking to her, but a group of schoolgirls suddenly gets in your way!

Hmm? Aren’t these girls from a snobby, all-girls school for rich families?

Is today field trip day for every school in Tokyo?

Suddenly, a blinding light from the tower windows envelops you.

As you blink, you see a little girl with long, blonde hair in a white dress.

“Please save our world, Legendary Magic Knights!”

Huh? WhaaaaAAAAH?!

There’s no floor?!?

Seconds later, you make a soft landing on…something.

Looking around, you see the girl with glasses who gave you some money and one of the rich girls who got in your way a minute ago!

You’re also standing on…a giant, flying fish?!

What’s going on?!?

What IS this place??

Eventually, the fish comes to a stop and you all tumble off.

As the rich girl gets up, she says, “Where are we? What happened?”

“This isn’t Tokyo.” you say.

“Obviously!”

“We should introduce ourselves first.” says the glasses girl. “I’ll go first. I am Fuu Hououji, middle school second-year.”

The rich girl sighs and says, “My name is Umi Ryuuzaki, middle school second-year.”

Right, your turn!

“I’m Hikaru Shidou, also in middle school second-year!”

“WHAAAT?”

“You’re the same age as me?! You look like you’re eleven!” says Umi.

“Sorry, I thought you were in grade school.” says Fuu.

Rrgh…why does everyone think you’re a kid?!

“Alright, that’s enough!”

Who said that?

Turning around, you see a boy wearing voluminous white robes.

“So you’re the Legendary Magic Knights…”

Magic Knight Rayearth (魔法騎士(マジックナイト)レイアース, Majikku Naito Reiāsu) is a manga and anime written by CLAMP (クランプ, Kuranpu), an all-female group of manga artists consisting of Nanase Ohkawa (大川 七瀬, Ōkawa Nanase), Mokona (もこな, Mokona), Tsubaki Nekoi (猫井 椿, Nekoi Tsubaki) and Satsuki Igarashi (いがらし 寒月, Igarashi Satsuki). Other works by CLAMP include Cardcaptor Sakura (カードキャプターさくら , Kādokyaputā Sakura) and xxxHolic. The Magic Knight Rayearth anime is one of several anime series integrated into the story of Super Robot Wars T, a tactical RPG video game playable on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.

Mokona guides the way…

In 1994, three eighth-grade girls from different schools arrive at Tokyo Tower on field trips: Hikaru Shidou, Umi Ryuuzaki and Fuu Hououji. After witnessing a vision of a young girl with long, blonde hair, they are suddenly transported to an unfamiliar, fantastical land. As they introduce themselves to each other and try to get their bearings, the girls are greeted by a boy who introduces himself as Master Mage Clef. He tells the girls that they are now on the world of Cephiro, the harmony of which is maintained through prayer by a chosen Pillar. The girls must become the Legendary Magic Knights and rescue the current Pillar, Princess Emeraude (the girl from their vision), from her captor, High Priest Zagato.

Zagato, piloting his own Rune God, fights off the Magic Knights’ Rune Gods

Accompanied and guided by the little, mysterious creature Mokona, the newly-minted Magic Knights set off on a quest to gradually build their magic power and awaken the three Rune Gods (魔神, Mashin), mecha-like creatures that the Knights can pilot. After they defeat Zagato in a fierce Rune God battle, the girls learn the horrible truth: Emeraude allowed herself to be imprisoned and summoned them to kill her, since no native of Cephiro may harm the Pillar. This was because she fell in love with Zagato, hindering her ability to selflessly pray for Cephiro’s well-being. With this, Emeraude’s despair overwhelms her and she summons her own Rune God, intent on avenging her lost love. After much hesitation, the Knights finally kill the Pillar and are transported back to Tokyo, as though they never left.

A single castle untouched by Cephiro’s devastation

One year later, the three girls meet each other again at the Tokyo Tower, still overcome with distress and guilt. Once again, they are transported to Cephiro, which has become a devastated, near-lifeless landscape with only a single castle of crystal left standing. There, Clef tells them that this is the result of Cephiro without a Pillar to pray for it and a new Pillar must be found before the world tears itself apart. In addition, three other planets, Autozam, Chizeta and Fahren, have sent their forces to conquer the now-weakened Cephiro. As the girls defend the castle from all hostile forces, they come to the conclusion that Cephiro’s fate shouldn’t be the responsibility of only one person. Once another Pillar is chosen, the vicious cycle of failing to pray solely for Cephiro’s well-being, summoning Magic Knights and dooming Cephiro could occur all over again…

Main Characters

Hikaru Shidou (獅堂 光, Shidō Hikaru), a 14-year old middle school student and Magic Knight. A brave, exuberant and straightforward tomboy, she is the most determined and loyal of the Knights. Hikaru is also rather innocent and is able to relate well to animals, from her family dog Hikari to several of Cephiro’s fantastical beasts. The youngest child and the only girl among four siblings, she comes from a family that runs a kendo (劍道, kendo, lit. “sword way”) training hall. It is said that Hikaru’s talent for kendo was such that she defeated her father in a duel at 5 years old, resulting in him going on a training journey from which he has yet to return. As a Magic Knight, she can use fire magic such as Arrow of Fire and Ruby Lightning. She also carries a longsword made of Escudo, crafted by Master Artisan Presea. Weapons made from Escudo ore have the unique ability to magically evolve along with their owners and are usable only by their chosen owner.

Hikaru fighting Lafarga, Emeraude’s Captain of the Guard

Umi Ryuuzaki (龍咲 海, Ryūzaki Umi), a 14-year old middle school student and Magic Knight. Caring, impulsive and optimistic, she is the most grounded of the Knights. The only child of a wealthy couple and a fencing champion, Umi seems somewhat selfish and spoiled at first, but beneath this is a sensitive girl who cares deeply for those close to her. Her quick temper and her tendency to speak her mind are the source of much of the story’s comedy, from fretting over Cephiro’s defiance of common logic to getting annoyed by Mokona’s antics. In battle, Umi becomes calm, focused and fiercely determined to win. As a Magic Knight, she can use water and ice magic such as Water Dragon, Azure Hurricane and Icicle Blades. Her weapon is a thin, rapier-like Escudo sword.

Fuu Hououji (鳳凰寺 風, Hōōji Fū), a 14-year old middle school student and Magic Knight. Calm, observant, polite and reserved, she is the most intelligent of the Knights. A natural strategist, Fuu sometimes suffers from self-doubt but her faith in herself and her friends allows her to pull through in the end. The younger of two daughters, she is a member of her school’s archery club and she enjoys reading and playing RPG video games. As a Magic Knight, Fuu can use wind magic with a variety of effects such as Winds of Healing, Winds of Protection and Emerald Typhoon. Early in the story, she uses a magical bow loaned to her by Presea, but later gains a large, two-handed Escudo broadsword that is almost weightless to her.

Fuu confronts Pajero, a monster that hunts by means of sound

Personal Thoughts

One of the most popular works of CLAMP and a classic, but poignant, lesson about friendship.

While much of this story is optimistic in nature with occasional comedy, there are a few dark moments, of which the twist of actually killing a princess is the most notable. For the main characters, the overall objective was personal empathic growth as people, symbolized by how their weapons and armor grew in power as they themselves matured in personality. Hikaru’s and Umi’s character development was especially profound. The formerly innocent and idealistic Hikaru gradually came to terms with killing Emeraude while retaining her inherent selfless nature. Meanwhile, Umi became less selfish and more willing to fight for those she cares for. It’s basically an example of how teenagers eventually learn that reality won’t always be kind to them and that circumstances won’t always allow them to make the choices they want, but they still have the choice to be happy. Life is often about making the best of what we have.

A tragic twist for the heroes and the princess…

There are several life lessons throughout the story, but the most important one here is how friendship and working together can ease the burdens of responsibility and tragedy. When Princess Emeraude became the Pillar of Cephiro, she shouldered the enormous responsibility of protecting an entire world by herself while being forbidden from pursuing her own happiness. When she fell in love with Zagato, she also felt guilt and shame for her own need for happiness, believing she had failed her responsibilities. Unable and unwilling to share her burden and grief, Emeraude was overwhelmed by stress and later believed that death was her only salvation.

On the other hand, the Magic Knights gradually built their friendship during their time together and learned to believe in each other even when hope seemed lost. Through their shared bond of friendship, they endured tragedies and work towards a better future.

Moral

Having a friend who understands you can help ease your sadness and anger. By working with friends and family, you can live life with more happiness and purpose.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: