Mafias of magic users? Sounds like a war waiting to happen…only it wasn’t. Kaze no Stigma (Stigma of the Wind) is an alright anime. Kazuma Kannagi was a useless heir to the fire family considering he, well, couldn’t use fire magic. He left the family be become a Contractor, a person who makes a contract with a spirit being in return to being able to use magic. Kazuma contracts with the Wind Spirit King to gain the use of wind magic. Granted, wind is considered the wimpiest of magics. Better than nothing right?
Only Kazuma returns to the family where he prompts beats his father’s ass in a duel (to use Kazuma’s words). Mind you, his father was considered the strongest fire magic user, and fire magic is the strongest of all magics. So much for wind being wimpy.
Kazuma’s return fans the flames (pun intended) of Ayano, a distant relative and current family heir. Ayano is a painfully stereotypical red head. Anyway, the story continues with the head of the Kannagi family trying to hook up Kazuma and high schooler Ayano and events of Kazuma’s exile returning to haunt him and the family. Ayano and Kazuma’s antics…well mainly Ayano being angry at Kazuma…is the main source of humor in the anime. It got old quickly and was often placed at inappropriate times.
Kazuma and his father, Genma, has a strained relationship (to put it mildly). Genma is often torn between his sense of duty to the family and toward his son.
Kaze no Stigma’s characters felt flat to me. Ayano is a tsundere that feels more bipolar than tsundere. She spends most of the show angry only to flip to affection abruptly. Kazuma is a loner and supremely arrogant. There are times when Kazuma develops a feel similar to Death Note’s Light. Kazuma’s younger brother, Ren, is one of the most likable characters of the bunch.
This being a shonen anime, the fight scenes are decent if predictable. They have the feel of a battle in an MMORPG. In fact, the story even plays with that a little toward the end.
Animation wise, Kaze no Stigma isn’t stellar, but it is solid. Gonzo has better works out there. Colors are saturated and vibrant. Ayano summoning Enraiha, the Kannagi family’s sword, was recycled far too many times.
There isn’t much more to say about Kaze no Stigma. It isn’t a terrible anime, but it isn’t all the great either. It had amusing moments and some interesting action scenes. The seriousness of the story didn’t work well with the antics of the characters. Kaze no Stigma would be better if it darkened the story similar to Death Note and dropped the annoying firebrand Ayano.
Kaze no Stigma isn’t an anime to go out of the way to watch, but it also isn’t one to avoid.