- "Even if I’m to lose my life, I shall protect you!"
- —Setsuna Sakurazaki
Setsuna Sakurazaki (桜咲 刹那, Sakurazaki Setsuna) is a character from the series Negima!: Magister Negi Magi by Ken Akamatsu and a primary protagonist in Kuro Arashi: The Black Storm. She is the 15th student in class 3-A of Mahora Academy. She is a half-demon thrown out of her tribe due to her pure-white wings.
She becomes very close to Konoka Konoe, who she promises to protect. After being unable to save Konoka from almost drowning as a young child, she distances herself personally, while still protecting her. She generally refers to Konoka as "ojō-sama," a deferential term used for the daughter of an important figure. After joining with Negi Springfield's group to stop Chigusa's plan in Kyoto, she resumes her personal relationship with Konoka, and learns that her friends do not care that she is a half-demon.
Setsuna is a kendo expert of the Kyoto Shinmeiryu style of fighting. She wields a nodachi passed down to her from Eishun Konoe named Yūnagi. She can grow wings, which are a part of her crow demon heritage, though they are white, which is a bad omen in that tribe. Besides her fighting skills, Setsuna also has some ability to manipulate magic, such as using paper dolls to create doppelgangers of other people, and creating a miniature version of herself, so that she can be in two places at once.
The exact location and circumstances of her birth remain unknown, even whether she was born in the magic world or the old world, but it is known that she was regarded poorly by the crow tribe both for being half-human, and due to being albino, which the crow demons consider a bad omen. It is assumed that she and her human mother were banished from the tribe, where Setsuna was later discovered and taken in by Eishun Konoe, suggesting that between the banishment and Eishun's discovery, her mother had died. Eishun brought her to the Shinmeiryu dojo in Kyoto, where she was adopted into the Aoyama family and trained in the arts of the school. Her dual-heritage was widely known at the school, and stemming from the Shinmeiryu mission of slaying demons, she was met with prejudice unilaterally, the sole exceptions being that of her new adopted sisters, Tsuruko Aoyama and Motoko Aoyama and her future brother-in-law, Seno Nakakami.
As part of her training, she was assigned as a 'bodyguard' to Eishun's daughter, Konoka Konoe, though it was less a true bodyguard assignment and more meant to give the lonely young princess a playmate, and they became extremely close, as Setsuna was Konoka's first friend that was her age. Setsuna promised to protect her, but after being unable to save Konoka from almost drowning as a young child, she distanced herself emotionally, and threw herself with renewed vigor into her training. This continued even after she followed Konoka to Mahora, until the Kyoto incident. She generally refers to Konoka as "ojō-sama," a deferential term used for the daughter of an important figure, though Konoka prefers that she use the more intimate nickname from their childhood, "Kono-chan".
- Main article: Class 3-A
At the start of Negi's term teaching, Setsuna merely blends in to the background as another student in the class.
Kyoto Field TripEdit
However, as the class begins their trip to Kyoto in search of clues for Negi's father, Nagi Springfield, Setsuna begins to gain prominence in the events unfolding both in being from Kyoto and from her connection towards Konoka. Initially mistrusting of her true nature, Negi and Setsuna are forced to team up as their fellow student becomes targeted by a mercenary squad of eastern mages, with Setsuna's main actions being both protecting her ojō-sama and fighting against rival Shinmeiryu student Tsukuyomi. While Setsuna's feelings towards Konoka are emphasized, she tries to avoid them initially in order to merely protect her, yet slowly gets in her good graces once again due to her intervention and the slow awakening of Konoka's own powers
She became the third person to form a probationary contract with Negi, in order to give her and Asuna a better chance at fighting off a horde of demons while Negi attempted to reach Konoka. During the battle against Great Demon God "Ryoumen Sukuna no Kami" she was forced to transform into her hanyou-self to be able to rescue Konoka from Chigusa Amagasaki. Forced is the word used because she tried to keep it a secret from Konoka since childhood (Setsuna was afraid that she might be rejected by the person that she wishes to protect). However, the law of her clan also states that when their hanyou-form has been seen by others, they are mandated to leave those who have seen their true form. It is only thanks to Negi's insistence that Setsuna stay around that she was prevented from running away right before the end of the Kyoto Field Trip arc.
This resulted in a further blossoming of her relationship with Konoka, and a friendship with Asuna Kagurazaka and Negi, as well as her continued growth.
Return to MahoraEdit
After the Kyoto trip ended, Setsuna became more open towards her other allies in the class, particularly as a partner for Negi and for Konoka. Konoka in particular insisted that "Set-chan" call her "Kono-chan" again, like she used to. For Setsuna though, calling Konoka only "ojō-sama" is now a force of habit, and Konoka appears to have relented in this. However, she still remained more a protector within the class as opposed to being more open about her feelings.
- Main article: Mahorafest
Early in the first day of the festival, Setsuna participated in a kendo demonstration that she requested Motoko and Seno spectate. Due to her specific training in Shinmeiryu, she easily bested the other students at the demonstration in practice spars, but things went sideways when Hiroyuki Murakami, from the rival sojutsu school, arrived and challenged Setsuna to a duel. Under any other circumstances, she would have refused the disrespectful intrusion, but as Motoko, Seno, and Konoka were in the audience, she wished to impress them and accepted the challenge. Unfortunately, her more traditional fighting style was outmatched by Hiroyuki's unconventional style, and he had drawn blood before Motoko brought the "spar" to a halt and called the boy out on his disrespectful attitude.
Following this event, Motoko and Seno conveyed her to the nurse's office, where she met up with Negi, who was suffereing from sleep deprivation. Due to this, she was one of the first to discover the power of the Cassiopeia and allow for a little bit of time for her to "let her hair down" and have fun instead of consistently remaining in guardian mode. However, she is one of the first to question Chao Lingshen's motives towards her kind gesture and her connection towards the festival.
Later in the day, after several jaunts with Negi back to replay the events of the first day, she and Konoka went to the Chao Bao Zi along with the other members of what would become Ala Alba at lunch time to have a sort of meet-and-greet with the members of the Kuro crew. While she and Konoka were waiting in line to get food, Hiroyuki approached her, offering his apologies for the way he had acted earlier and expressing that he wished to make amends by paying for their meal. Nonplussed by the continual way that he acted like a vagabond, Setsuna accepted his apology, satisfied with the knowledge that doing so would make Motoko proud of her.
During the Mahora Fighting Tournament, she sends a mini-scout alongside Takamichi Takahata to investigate Chao while she herself takes part in the battles on the surface. Unfortunately none of Setsuna's battles turned out to be easy for her, being forced to face Asuna in the first round, the anger and torment of Evangeline A.K. McDowell's mind games in the quarterfinals, and even Negi himself in the semi-finals, where she finally falls.
Towards the end of the Festival, she and several other girls became trapped with Negi in the future after Chao had revealed the existence of magic to the world. After a long and hard battle, they finally manage to escape that future and head back to the past. When Negi let his companions in on his plan to combat Chao's plan, Setsuna recognized immediately that Chao may have had contingency plans in place to prepare for the eventuality of Negi and his team, and to ensure they still had an ace in the hole, she called Seno to ask for the assistance of the Kuro crew in the battle.
She, Konoka, and Chamo went to a McDonald's restaurant near the World Tree to meet with Seno and Motoko, where she and Chamo explained the details of Negi's plan. Motoko agreed to support the plan, and expressed her confidence that the other members of the crew would assist as well, if for no other reason than having something interesting to do.
Mages vs. MarsEdit
- Main article: Mages vs. Mars
Shortly before the event began, Setsuna was paired with Chamo to keep watch in the World Tree area and report in when Chao made her move. Owing to the highly-visible nature of her and the others' role as "Hero Units", she chose to wear a modified costume that combined her heritage both as a crow demon and as a member of Shinmeiryu: a men's dark blue hakama, a standard gi with the sleeves cut off and shortened. The sleeves she attached to golden circlets worn around her upper arms, and her forearms, wrists, and hands were protected by golden bracers that had once belonged to her crow demon father.
While waiting, she discussed with Chamo the different ways Chao might respond to the by now very obvious counter-plan to her operation. First she considered that Chao might delay her plan, but Chamo responded that the large-scale spell she was planning relied on precise timing to perform to plan. Logically, she next posited what might happen if Chao struck early. When Chamo couldn't come up with a response, they moved to warn the others. Unfortunately, attempting to reach anyone by either cell phone or the telepathic abilities of the pactio cards failed, due to the electronics jamming that Chao had activated. Both knew that they had predicted Chao's response, and the battle was about to begin.
With the battle joined, Setsuna did not immediately take part in the battle. It can be inferred that she physically went to warn the others and get what assistance she could before returning to the World Tree. When she arrived with Asuna, thirty minutes into the battle, they found the defenders pressed back and on the ropes despite the leadership capabilities and tactics of their classmate, Yuuna Akashi. The two chose that moment to leap into the battle, demolishing the mixed armor and infantry force threatening their friends. Setsuna's battle style stood in stark contrast to Asuna's; where Asuna fought with brutal, overpowering strikes and wielded her overlarge sword like a cudgel, Setsuna fought with grace and agility, never expending more energy than absolutely necessary in her attacks to eliminate her targets, and not bothering to waste ki in using Shinmeiryu maneuvers against the droids where simple swordplay would suffice.
As the battle progressed into its second stage, with the droids switching over to the temporal ammunition and the activation of the demon gods, Setsuna and Asuna drifted through the combat zone, eventually arriving at the University where Takahata and a number of other mage teachers were preparing to take down one of the demons. Unbeknownst to them, their classmate Mana Tatsumiya had been employed by Chao to take the mage teachers out of the picture. Mana began to snipe her assigned targets, sending the others fleeing to cover. In the midst of the confusion, Mana chose to eliminate Asuna as a target of opportunity, but Setsuna's heightened awareness allowed her to detect the incoming shot and knock Asuna out of the way before it could strike her.
Chao herself then engaged the group, throwing them off-balance by calmly querying the location of Negi, making it sound as though she were looking to remove him from the equation. Asuna stepped forward to challenge Chao in order to protect Negi, but she was defeated in a single strike without having a prayer thanks to the power of Chao's Cassiopeia. As Takahata--Chao's true target at the time--prepared to engage, Setsuna attacked next, but Chao easily evaded the strike, questioned her willingness to take a human life, and then shot her in the back with four of her flying lasers. When Chao next turned her attention to Takahata, Misora--not even regarded as a threat by Chao--took advantage of the opportunity to ferry Setsuna and Asuna away.
The Unsung WarEdit
During the Human-Covenant war, Evangeline kept a magic resort modeled in the image of Mahora to train her ODSTs to become mages. Each member of 3-A, Ala Alba, and Kuro Arashi had a magical replica in the resort used to train the ODSTs. Setsuna's replica, a complete copy of her personality and abilities at the prime of her life, was responsible for training in swordsmanship and the Shinmeiryu style.
Notable of this depiction of Setsuna is that her shame at her mixed heritage seems to have been overcome, as she no longer dyed her hair or wore colored contacts at the time the replica was formed. She was also much more confident in herself and her abilities than demonstrated through much of Negima, while still able to have fun when not instructing.
When her descendant, Akio Sakurazaki, spoke poorly of her relationship with Konoka, she exacted retribution by striking him with Shinmeiryu's most powerful ability, Shin Raikouken, when he stepped into the resort. Throughout his training, she did not spare him one iota of difficulty or pain, and it was stated that many of their training sessions would have resulted in his death were it not for Konoka's prodigious healing talent. Eventually, he decided to focus his negative attitude and energy on the Covenant, and came to terms with his ancestry. When the training of 3/A-6 was completed, Setsuna proudly presented Akio with his new Mage Knight armor.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Ki Ability: Besides her fighting skills, Setsuna also has some ability to manipulate magic as part of her combat training; for example, she can use paper dolls to create doppelgangers of other people. She can also transfer part of her ki or life force into a paper doll, resulting in a super deformed version of herself called Chibi-Setsuna.
- Hanyou: As a hanyou (in her case, half-crow demon), she possesses albino crow wings which she can use to fly.
- Pactio: Gladiaria Alata (lit. Winged Swordswoman): The name of Setsuna's artifact is Sica Shishikushiro (lit. Sixteen Shortswords) and it is from Setsuna's pactio with Negi. A complementary shōtō, or, wakizashi, is Setsuna's pactio item. In addition to being an extra blade, it is able to multiply into 16 copies and attack the target like a swarm of wasps.
- Shika Shishikuro (lit. 16 Knives Spinal Split): Setsuna uses her artifact full force by creating and using all 16 blades at once.
- Inatsurubi no Katama (lit. Cage of Entwined Lighting): Setsuna uses all 16 blades and creates a lighting force around the target that traps them and stops them from moving, block outside attacks and attacks the target with overwhelming force.
- Shinmeiryu: Having been formally trained in the Shinmeiryuu sword style most of her life, she is shown to be quite skilled, as evidenced by her class rank of number one of the "martial arts quartet" alongside Ku Fei, Mana Tatsumiya, and Kaede Nagase. She primarily wields a nodachi passed down to her from Eishun Konoe.