Setsuna Sakurazaki, is a fictional character from the manga series Negima!: Magister Negi Magi, created by Ken Akamatsu. The 15th student in Japanese alphabetical order of class 2/3-A, she is a half-demon hanyo from Kyoto, sent to Mahora Academy to be the guardian of Konoka Konoe, the daughter of the Kansai Magic Association's leader. Although friends with Konoka from a young age, she ends up distancing herself from her due to a childhood accident, but is forced to come to terms and protect her as Konoka's dormant magical abilities makes her a target for other mages. A master of Shinmei-ryū swordsmanship, her abilities and skills makes her ally with Negi Springfield, developing another crucial friendship and allying her as a major member of his developing magical forces.
Background and PersonalityEdit
She is a kendo expert of the Kyoto Shinmei-ryūof fighting and has some knowledge of onmyō-jutsu. She wields a nodachi passed down to her from Eishun Konoe named "Yūnagi" (although it should be noted that the size does vary from time to time) A native of Kyoto, she is a childhood friend of Konoka and serves as her guardian. At that time she would often call Konoka both 'Kono-chan' and 'Ojō-sama' interchangably. Initially merely a guardian of Konoka when they were children, she stopped speaking to her after an incident where her ojōsama accidentally fell into a river and she could not save her. Punishing herself even with Konoka choosing to ignore the failure, she chose merely to protect her without speaking a word to her, even as both of them eventually end up in the same class at Mahora Academy. Some of the characters believe that she has romantic feelings for Konoka because of various hints, but this is subtext, while Yue herself thinks of it as nothing more than a mere misunderstanding by everyone. Although extremely devoted to Konoka, Setsuna feels unworthy of protecting her, and tries to maintain an atmosphere of impersonality. Eventually, as Setsuna starts to open up more, she becomes close friends with Asuna Kagurazaka, teaching her kendo and promising that she will protect Negi together with her.
Setsuna is a winged hanyō: the daughter of a human and a Crow Demon. She has white wings, even though the wings of the bird tribe are black. It is hinted that this is because she suffers from albinism, as Evangeline has alluded to Setsuna that she is using colored contacts and hair dye. Viewed as a bad omen because of the white color of her wings, Setsuna was forced into exile from her tribe. She was picked up by Eishun Konoe, who brought her to his home in Japan.
Setsuna's character is a natural evolution of ability and traits brought over from Ken Akamatsu's previous manga Love Hina, particularly in this case regarding fellow Shinmei-ryu warrior Motoko Aoyama. Motoko's character is, on the surface, a serious warrior who cares about fighting and honor, but in reality holds deep feelings within for main character Keitaro and is willing to protect him if need be. Setsuna's development within the story can be seen likewise: initially a mysterious, serious warrior, she comes to join in Negi's battles while slowly opening up her own feelings. Akamatsu states that she was created primarily as a warrior partner for Asuna as she begins to come into her own abilities as one of Negi's partners.
Although she could merely be seen as a Motoko clone, Setsuna has various attributes that differentiate her position in the story. Part of this is in regards to her hanyo heritage, making her both an outcast as well as a bridge between human and demon. Although her human side is explored by her attempts to open up towards Negi and her other allies, her demon side is a very touchy subject, particularly as Evangeline mocks her half-blood during the Mahora Tournament. Another key factor connected to Setsuna is her relation with ojōsama Konoka. While desiring to be her protector, she is also seen as conflicted by her feelings and emotions around her, leading to awkward comedic moments between the two of them.
Part in the StoryEdit
At the start of Negi's term teaching, Setsuna merely blends in to the background as another student in the class. However, as the class begins their trip to Kyoto in search of clues for his father, Setsuna begins to gain prominence in the plot 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 ojōsama and fighting against rival shinmeiryū 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 (partially due to an injury suffered by Setsuna in the midst of protecting her from the eastern mages).
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 hanyō-self to be able to rescue Konoka from Chigusa. 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 hanyō-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 and Negi, as well as her continued growth in the series (akin to Motoko Aoyama's change throughout the Love Hina series). Setsuna was almost forced to transform into her hanyō-form again during the Mahora Festival's final day, when they were falling from high up the sky after traveling back from the alternate future that Chao made. Before she is forced to bring about her wings, Negi stopped her so that the other girls, excluding Asuna and Konoka, would not know of Setsuna's true nature. Eventually, the rest of Negi's group (more specifically, Kaede, Ku Fei, and the Library Trio) would find out about Setsuna's wings during their training in preparation for the trip to Wales.
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. It is through her protection of Negi at the start of the Mahora Festival that allows her to be one of the first to discover the power of the Casseopeia 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's motives towards her kind gesture and her connection towards the festival. During the Mahora Fighting Tournament, she sends a mini-scout alongside Takamichi 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's mind games in the quarterfinals, and even Negi himself in the semi-finals, where she finally falls.
Towards the end of the Festival arc, 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. Setsuna "performed" in the Mahora "Mars vs. Mages" battle as a "Hero Unit", allowing her to use her full abilities openly in fighting Chao's robot army.
She plans to accompany Konoka as she will be traveling with Negi to Wales. Her badge is never targeted in the Badge collection game, though she felt uneasy to wear the badge since the "new" club name written on the badge is none other than "white wing" in Latin.
Setsuna and the rest of the White Wing accompanied Negi to his hometown. She and the rest of the White Wing club enter the portal to the Magic World, only to wind up in battle with Fate himself. She barely saved Konoka in time from being turned into stone, by protecting her with her wings. However, she and the others could not stop Fate from destroying the magical gateway, causing a massive explosion of displacement magic which scattered her and all the members of the White Wing across the magical world. Her current whereabouts are unknown, but she is confirmed to be accompanied by Asuna. The two saw Negi and Kotaro's stadium battles and were able to send word to Negi that they are alright, promising to meet up with them at a place called Ostia. The two of them reunited with Negi in Ostia. Later, she and Kaede were challenged by a bounty hunters group known as the "Black Hounds", who had laid a trap for them in the form of a lightning mine, which was diverted by Asuna. Currently, Setsuna is with the rest of the found Ala Alba members (save for Chisame) at the site of the Black Hounds fight, with the group about to return to Ostia. At this time, Tsukuyomi has confronted her and she fights with her.
- Pactio: Sica Shishikushiro: 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
- Shinmei-ryū: Setsuna's fighting style, Shinmei-ryū, is the same as Motoko Aoyama from Love Hina, and she can execute techniques familiar to those who read LH, like Zanganken, Zankūsen, and Hyakka Ryōran.
- Chi (Ki) Abilities: 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 Mini-Setsuna. As a hanyō, she also possesses angelic wings which she can use to fly.
Setsuna in other MediaEdit
Mahō Sensei Negima! (1st Series)Edit
Initially in this interpretation of the Negima story, Setsuna mostly remained in the background, spending more time alongside Mana in defensive maneuvers and commentary about the class as opposed to the interactions made by the other students. While she still has her fears and worries in regards to Konoka, she does not face them until Kyoto, which remains mostly unchanged from the manga interpretation. After traveling to assist Negi in saving Asuna alongside the other students of the class, she joined in the mass Pactio (as opposed to getting a separate Pactio, let alone one prior to Konoka as it occurred in the manga), where her ability remains unchanged but was not used in the final battle.
Compared to other renditions, the troubles that initially appear between Konoka and Setsuna do not exist in this series. Setsuna protects and guards her ojōsama from the beginning as well as spends most of her time alongside her and making sure of her well-being. Even at moments when she is away from Konoka (considering Konoka lives with Asuna), she is always trying to find ways to keep connected, including the usage of a primitive cup telephone she and Kaede created for her mistress.
Because of her feelings and consistent desire to be near Konoka, Setsuna is usually used as part of several yuriesque jokes questioning the nature of her relations and feelings, usually used as the fodder for jokes. While Konoka's innocent mind can suggest one thing, Setsuna can end up misinterpreting her feelings or comments into something more emotional (including one moment where Konoka making a comment regarding a Pactio being like "an indirect kiss with her", Setsuna imagines a scene where she and Konoka nearly embrace one another). Since these feelings or ideas are locked within Setsuna's mind, Konoka ends up being oblivious towards them and merely laughs off her guardian's thoughts.
Like the manga, she gains one of the first four Neo-Pactio made with Negi in the series (she and Konoka switch places between the interpretations). Due to an early contract, she is one of the few to use all three forms within the entire run. Her Armor form transforms Setsuna into her hanyo-form, allowing her to enhance her shinmei-ryū strength alongside the affects of flowers (this is the only means Setsuna can transform into her white-winged hanyo form in this anime and it is not suggested otherwise outside this Neo-Pactio ability). In Cosplay form, she transforms into a more formal Shinsengumi-like warrior outfit with a naginata as her weapon. While in Suka form, she turns into a crane, and notably, she calls Konoka "Kono-chan," which is Setsuna's private pet name for Konoka instead of her usual title for her of "Ojou-sama," likely because of the Suka form's side effect of regressing the minds of the Ministra Magi to that of a child's.
As an added bonus in this series, the bad drawing style of Setsuna's seiyu (Yu Kobayashi) is made fun of. In particular, a badly-drawn Setsuna cameos in this series at a moment to comment on Konoka after Konoka decides to start wearing one of Asuna's chupacabra T-shirts after Setsuna vows not to wear one and not to let Konoka don one, which Konoka did. Yu Kobayashi eventually draws "bad renditions" of the entire class as part of the Negi-pa fan book series, usually as part of the preview for the next issue.
Recently, Setsuna has become the first character from the franchise to be played by two actresses in the live-action adaptation of the manga. The original actress, Haruki Ichikawa resigned herself from the show mid-production due to illness. Aina Nishiaki would play Setsuna for the remainder of that series.
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