Kaze no Stigma A Potentially Interesting Anime
While watching Kaze no Stigma (Stigma of the Wind) there was this sense of confusion that was in the back of my mind throughout the show. Every episode felt like another blow to the back of my skull trying to figure out what was going on and what the point was. Even by the end of the last episode, I still didn’t feel like I fully grasped what I watched for 24 episodes. But I wasn’t disappointed while watching the show; I enjoyed it, but I still thought it was mediocre.
The plot for the show is unique in an unexpected way, it stars the three main characters Kazuma, Ayano, and Ren who go on journeys of self-exploration to harness the power that they’ve been given and to understand what it means to be alive. Some people will look at this explanation and immediately think it’s boring, and I don’t blame you. When I was first recommended the show, I initially held off on watching it because it seemed like a typical battle shounen that was going to ultimately bore me into dropping it. But then I was introduced to the next part, the magic.
By magic, I meant the magic that characters wield. It was very surprising to me when I first watched it that it was not just a typical overpowered character anime. The main characters will get beat up several times, and sometimes can only beat the villains or monsters they face while working together or with help from a third party. The most surprising part was when learning about the contractor, a person who makes a pact/deals with the god of an element who can use as much power as they’re physically and spiritually able to wield. That was also one of the major downfalls of the show.
The bad in this show is the amount of unexplained mystery. When I said I was confused throughout the show, it was because nothing was explained, it was just accepted. Why was Kazuma not able to wield fire? Why was Kazuma chosen as the wind contractor? How did Kazuma survive after he was abandoned? If there are pixies in this world, doesn’t that mean other spiritual people/animals exist? How does the public not know anything about magic? How does the rest of the world play into this? These are just some of the most prevalent questions that appeared in the back of my mind while watching. It made me wonder what could have been if there was more world-building and the plot better explained.
Overall, I think that Kaze no Stigma had the building blocks for a terrific anime that was arguably flawed by the lack of the plot being explained due to the production removing key elements, which is not unlike anime from the early 2000s. If you’re looking for a turn your brain off battle shounen then I would recommend Kaze no Stigma but if you’re looking for an intriguing story with very well-written characters, it’s best to look for another anime.
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