Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu are the “Three Girls From Another World” destined to become the Magic Knights who will save Cephiro. The series is named after Hikaru’s mashin (rune god/mecha). A running in-joke is that many of the characters are named for car models.
These profiles describe the characters primarily as they appear in the anime.
Hikaru Shidou (獅堂 光)
- Name: Hikaru means “light” and her full name means “Light of the Lion Temple”
- Voiced By: Hekiru SHIINA
- Mashin (rune god/mecha): Fire God Rayearth (炎神 レイアース Enjin Reiaasu)
- Attacks: Hikaru is the first to learn to control the magic which chose her, Fire Magic. Her attacks are Honoo no Ya (Fire Arrow), Akai Inazuma (Scarlet Lightning).
- Family: father, 3 brothers, pet dog/wolf Hikari
- Image Songs: Hikari no Tsubasa (Wings of Light), Ashita e no Yuuki (The Courage Leading To Tomorrow), Taiyou Yori Atsui Kimochi (Hot Feelings from the Sun), Dakishimechau! (Embrace).
Hikaru is a short, tomboyish girl who wields the Power of Fire and leads the Magic Knights. She is the same age as Umi and Fuu, but her physical height and youthful exuberance for the simple joys of life often make her appear childlike. But when it comes to bravery and taking control of a situation, battling tremendous and fearful enemies like the ominous Zagato, she handles the responsibility maturely and competently.
It is Hikaru who holds the Magic Knights together. After their first battle with a mud monster in Presea’s home, Fuu confides in Umi that she believes it will be more difficult to follow Clef’s instructions than she initially thought, and Umi is worried when Fuu suggests that the future monsters they will encounter will likely be even stronger. They find comfort in Hikaru’s courage and ability to handle the situation earlier. If it were not for her accepting each battle and challenge without reservation, always pledging to do her best to save Cephiro, one has to wonder what Umi and Fuu might have done if left to themselves.
Hikaru’s sword becomes the most elaborate throughout its transformations (although Fuu’s is bigger), and when she whips it out of her glove in a stream of flame and takes her stance, the determined look on her face is a sign that she will permit nothing to stand in the way of protecting her friends and fulfilling her quest.
Umi Ryuuzaki (龍咲 海)
- Name: Umi means sea or ocean and her full name means “Ocean of the Blooming Dragon”
- Voiced by: Konami YOSHIDA
- Mashin (rune god/mecha): Sea God Selece (海神 セレス Kaijin Seresu)
- Attacks: Mizu no Ryu (Water Dragon) and Aoi Tatsumaki (Blue/Sapphire Waterspout)
- Family: mother, father
- Image Songs: Itsuka Tenshi ni Nareru (Someday, Become an Angel), Setsunakute (Because I’m Lonely), Watashi to no Yakusoku (A Promise with Me), Yumeiro no Tsubasa (Wings of Colored Dreams), Tomodachi Desho (We’re Friends, Right).
Umi is the wielder of the Power of Water and her weapon is a thin but powerful fencing sword. She is the tall, blue-haired girl whom Hikaru first thought looked like a pop idol. Her cool demeanor at Tokyo Tower masked a strong personality who is unwilling to accept calmly some of the more irrational phenomenon of Cephiro, such as the bewildering Fountain of Eterna and the at-times frustrating behavior of Mokona. While Hikaru and Fuu seem to accept their unbelievable trip to Cephiro and the bizarre occurances and characters they meet with little question, Umi reacts less like a fictional character and more like we would: she finds it all just a little too crazy and ridiculous!
Umi and Fuu look on Hikaru as a little sister, and Umi is the “big sister” who protects them all. While Hikaru throws herself wholeheartedly and sometimes a little recklessly into battle, Umi is more calculated and controlled. Although she initially complains about being stranded in Cephiro and is always ready to rant about the absurdities of the foreign world (“Weirdo Fountain of Eterna”), her strong loyalty to her friends and determination to succeed make her a fierce adversary in battle.
Fuu Hououji (鳳凰寺 風)
- Name: Fuu means wind and her full name means “Wind of the Phoenix Shrine”
- Voice Actress: Hiroko KASAHARA
- Mashin (rune god/mecha): Sky God Windam (空神 ウィンダム Kuujin Uindamu)
- Attacks: Iyashi no Kaze (Healing Wind) and Midori no Shippu (Green Storm/Jade Gale).
- Family: mother, father, sister
- Image Songs: Yokan no Kaze (Winds of Premonition), Soyokaze no Sonachine (Sonatine of the Breeze), Zutto (Always), Awai Kaze (Faint Breeze), From Me to You.
Fuu is less inclined to take the leader’s role in group situations, but she will do whatever is necessary when called upon. She is perhaps the most mature of the three, always ready with advice and a plan. She is also a capable fighter, and her Healing Wind restores lives when fighting skills have failed. It is often said of her that she cares deeply about her fellow Magic Knights, which is true, but they all care for each other a great deal. While Hikaru will endanger herself while fighting for the cause, and Umi will conpromise her own safety to save others, Fuu’s compassion and calm determination see the group through hazardous situations.
She starts out with a bow and arrows as her first weapon, as suits her Power of Wind, but when the Knights receive their true weapons she becomes the owner of the largest sword of all, a massive thing which is incredibly heavy when the others attempt to lift it, but light as a feather when wielded by the warrior for whom it was designed.
Cephiro is the world the three girls are summoned to and at times it seems to be a character in itself. Its landscape and the behavior of its inhabitants change to reflect the state of its Pillar. Cephiro is a mystical, otherworldly realm, not a parallel universe or imaginary dimension, but a real world with its own physical laws. It’s hard to tell whether the “country” of Cephiro is a planet revolving around a star or a sort of asteroid body floating in space. Cephiro is a utopian land which the Magic Knights are there to save, but it is not always their ally. The monsters of Cephiro, born out of its inhabitants’ fears, must be defeated or won over by the three girls.
In the second season there are three other worlds, sometimes referred to as “countries”, whose inhabitants visit Cephiro: Autozam the technological, Japanese-like land (green color scheme), Fahren the Chinese-like land (red color scheme), and Chizeta the Arabian-like land (orange color scheme). During the second season there are many shots of Cephiro from space that would suggest it is a planet. In any case, Cephiro is a dynamic realm that responds to the will of its inhabitants through its climate, landscape, and even its natural – or unnatural – creatures.
Mokona is the inhabitant best known to the Magic Knights, their link with the foreign land. It’s hard to tell what exactly Mokona is, and the three girls never refer to it by a gender. In any case, the girls were directed to Mokona by Guru Clef, the first Cephiran they encountered. Mokona hardly seems capable of being their guide: when they first encounter it, Mokona is wrecking havok in the dwelling of the chief artisan/weapons crafter, Presea. Hikaru and Mokona soon take a liking to each other, but Umi is impatient with its enigmatic behavior. Mokona does seem to enjoy popping up unexpectedly and teasing both she and Primera (MKR2), who are both easy to annoy. But Mokona really does love Umi, as well as Fuu and Hikaru.
Mokona is definitely more powerful than it appears at first glance: it can provide them with food, shelter, direction, and more by way of a magical beam that emanantes from the jewel on its forehead. Mokona can also help provide them with powers by putting them in contact with Guru Clef while they are on their journey, and it appears to know a lot more about Cephiro and their situation than it lets on. Not that Mokona can really tell them anything; all it says is Puu! Puu! Or when they’re in danger, it narrows its eyes and barks PUUU!
Princess Emeraude is both the sovereign ruler of Cephiro and a goddess-like figure whom the inhabitants pray to for protection. She was chosen to be Cephiro’s Center or Pillar, the person whose strong will maintains peace by continuously praying for Cephiro’s well being. She must stay generally focused on this task, but appears that she does not sit twenty-four hours a day praying, as she has been seen walking about the palace and sitting on her throne talking to her subjects, and presumably she sleeps like any ordinary Cephiran.
Little is known about the day to day life of the Pillar, or whether she was born into a royal family or chosen to be the Princess because of her strong will. She seems to have been chosen for the position early in life, or perhaps she was destined since birth, but since the Creator (who remains a mysterious figure until late in the second season) chooses the Pillar, it does not appear to be a hereditary position. There is no queen or king; she comprises the entire ruling body. As a sign of her strength of heart and goodness, Princess Emeraude appears young and innocent, unchanged since the day she became the Pillar. I often wonder who was the previous Pillar. Emeraude seems to have been the around for as long as any of the common folk can remember.
Title: Guru (manga) / Madoushi (anime)
Clef is the Master Sorceror (Guru Clef in the manga, Madoushi Clef in the anime) who is also centuries old, 745 years to be exact. But when the Knights first landed – literally – in Cephiro, they mistook him for a little boy. No surprise, considering his appearance! As Umi is fond of noting, he’s quite short. He’s not the most tactful, as he finds himself being called ecchi (“pervert”) for tugging at Hikaru’s skirt to check its durability. Umi promptly bit his head off, and he responded by whacking her on the head with his huge staff ^_^ He was simply checking their “armor”, which is what he thought their strange clothes were.
Like Princess Emeraude, Clef has willed himself to appear very young, but apparently a youthful appearance is not always a guarantee of a kind and gentle nature. While Clef is devoted to Cephiro and the Princess, he has a short temper and a nasty habit of waving that staff around when he’s peeved. Fortunately Hikaru seems to get along with him quite well, but it takes a while for him to get over being called a “squirt” by Umi ^_-
Clef has been assigned by Princess Emeraude to outfit and train the fledgling Magic Knights so that they might awaken the Mashin and save Cephiro, but he has no sooner apprised them of their situation and helped Hikaru find her magic when he is attacked by one of Zagato’s minions. Despite being turned to stone near the beginning of the first season, Clef continues to help the Magic Knights along their journey by communicating through Mokona. Of course, he gets “unfrozen” eventually. He has the ability to summon beasts from the spirit realm.
Clef is voiced by SASAKI Nozomu.
Title: Pharle (manga) / Soushi (anime)
Presea, shown here laughing in delight at catching the mischievous Mokona in her trap, is the chief weapons creator in Cephiro. In the manga she is called the chief Pharle, and Soushi in the anime. Both mean Creator, and she is the Master Creator or Artisan (a swordsmith) of Cephiro. She has a playful streak which confuses the Magic Knights when they first meet her, as she is eager to devise a suitable “punishment” for them. But she is also a very caring and competent weapons crafter, and as the Master Creator she is the only one who can sculpt the greatest weapons of all, evolving weapons melded from the legendary mineral Escudo.
The previous Creator had passed onto her the legend of the Magic Knights who would come when Cephiro faced a crisis. As Master Creator she would be the one to supply them with the special weapons. This is something neither she nor her predecessor had ever done before, but had to be prepared for as part of their role. When the Knights brought her the Escudo she put her heart and soul into creating the best weapons possible for her new friends.
Presea is voiced by SHINOHARA Emi.
Ferio – neither a wielder of magic nor a fiercesome enemy, Ferio is an travelling swordsman whom the Knights meet in the Forest of Silence. He seems awfully young to be on his own, but he swings a mean sword and knows his way around the land. His cheek scar and earings look rather cute on a young boy, giving him a swashbuckling and carefree appearance. His adventurous and occasionally chivalrous nature certainly catches Fuu’s attention, although she and Umi were cautious when they first met him.
So taken was he by Fuu’s shrewdness and courage (and cuteness!), that he gave her a small gift to remember him by, and an offhand remark that he loved her, to Fuu’s blushing surprise.
Ferio is voiced by YAMAZAKI Takumi.
Title: Sol – “priest”
Zagato is Emeraude’s high priest and guard. His official title is “Sol Zagato”. It was his duty to protect Emeraude so that she could focus her prayers on keeping Cephiro safe. When the story starts, Zagato has abandoned his post and made a prisoner of Emeraude in a magical bubble. However his motives are not as straight-forward as initially believed.
Zagato has a number of former members of the castle elite who are loyal to him, including Alcyone (a powerful sorceror), Lafarga (a member of the castle guard), Inouva, and Ascot. He sends them to stop the Magic Knights from awakening their full powers. Zagato is voiced by KOSUGI Juurouta.
Title: Yil (manga) / Masoushi (anime) – “sorceror”
Alcyone is a powerful sorceror whose magic is second only to Clef, her former teacher. Her name can be spelled either Alcyone or Alcione [pronounced “al-see-own-ay”], however I use Alcyone on this site because of her name’s origin in Greek mythology. Alcyone is the first antagonist the Magic Knights encounter, as she has been ordered by Zagato to destroy the three girls from another world so that the legend of the Magic Knights never comes true. She is a powerful adversary whose attacks and spells are ice-based. She has the ability to summon beasts from the spirit realm. Alcyone is the most loyal and arguably strongest of Zagato’s followers, because she is motivated by love. However Zagato does not return her feelings and uses her loyalty rather heartlessly. In the second season of the anime, Alcyone returns under mysterious circumstances. Alcyone is voiced by AMANO Yuri.
Title: Ral (manga) / Genwakushi (anime) – “illusionist”
Caldina is an illusionist who enchants others thru her hypnotic dance. She can even cause two friends to fight each other against their will, thru her magic. Her spells cause quite a bit of grief for the Magic Knights when they first encounter her. However she is only providing her services to Zagato for the money he is paying her, and she has no desire to risk her life for him. Caldina is quickly impressed by the loyalty that Fuu and the others show each other in the face of her illusions. In the second season we learn that she is from Chizeta, a small and apparently poor country, which is why she came to Cephiro to make a better life for herself. Although she comes from a foreign country, Caldina speaks in an Osakan accent (!) which is translated rather amusingly in the English dub. Caldina is also very proud of her physical attractiveness, which is a source of amusement because she talks about her “sexy body” in what are often serious, stressful situations! Caldina is voiced by NAGASHIMA Yuko.
Title: Bal (manga) / Shoukanshi (anime) – “summoner”
Like everyone working for Zagato, Ascot has his own unique reason for fighting against the Magic Knights. In the English translation of the manga he is called a “Palu”/summoner. He can summon beasts from the spirit realm, who are just as friendly as Clef’s spirit beasts, but whom the inhabitants of Cephiro think are “monsters”. Zagato protected Ascot’s “friends” and that is why Ascot fights for him. He seems to be a lonely kid. Umi is the first to recognize that Ascot and his beast friends aren’t evil, just misunderstood. Ascot is voiced by TAKAYAMA Minami.
Title: Dal (manga) / Kentoushi (anime) – Fighter / Swordsman
Lafarga is the chief Dal, captain of Emeraude’s Inner Guard. He was Emeraude’s bodyguard before Zagato abducted her. Why someone so close to Emeraude is now fighting against the Magic Knights bewilders them. He is a very tough opponent, despite not being a magic user.
Inouva was created by CLAMP to be Zagato’s right-hand man in the anime, and does not appear in the manga. He doesn’t seem to do much when we see him conversing with Zagato, but he is the only one who really knows Zagato’s goals. He has some hidden abilities which are revealed in the last few episodes of the first season.