Magic Knight Rayearth

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TOKYOPOP's release of Magic Knight Rayearth I Volume 1

Magic Knight Rayearth (魔法騎士レイアース Majikku Naito Reiāsu) is a manga series created by Clamp, a mangaka team made up by Satsuki Igarashi, Ageha Ohkawa, Tsubaki Nekoi and Mokona. Rayearth combines elements from the magical girl and mecha anime genres with parallel world fantasy.

The manga was adapted into an anime series in 1994 and a OVA in 1997.

Plot

Hikaru Shidou, Umi Ryuuzaki, Fuu Hououji are on a field trip to the Tokyo Tower with their respective schools. The girls are blinded by a flash of light and hear a voice calling for the Legendary Magic Knights to save Cephiro. They fall through the sky into another world, Cephiro. Once there, they meet Master Mage Clef. Clef explains, "[In Cephiro], one's will has the ability to change reality for better or worse. The dark fears in people's hearts become monsters, while a well-intended wish can do miracles. One person, the Pillar, whose will is stronger than anyone else's, is responsible for maintaining through her prayers the well-being of Cephiro."

In the first story arc, the current Pillar, Princess Emeraude, has been captured by her high priest, Zagato. The three girls are charged with the task of saving the Princess by activating the three (Rune-Gods 魔神 Mashin). They are given a bizarre creature named Mokona to guide them on their journey. When the girls finally reach Emeraude, they learn that she had fallen in love with Zagato, hindering her ability to pray solely for Cephiro's well-being, and had summoned the Magic Knights to kill her since no one on Cephiro could harm the Pillar.

The second story arc deals with the complications caused by the first season's climax: three warring planets have begun their attempts to conquer Cephiro and a new Pillar must be chosen before the whole planet is destroyed. Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu are once again summoned to Cephiro. In the manga it is later discovered that the mysterious Mokona is responsible for their being summoned back to Cephiro, and he is, in fact, the creator of both the Earth and Cephiro. In the anime they return to Cephiro because of their (especially Hikaru's) strong desire to do so.

Eventually, Hikaru is chosen to become the new Pillar. However, she rebels against the Pillar system, deciding that the fate of the planet should not be the responsibility of only one person, effectively preventing that person from ever being able to live and love freely.

Publication

The manga was originally serialized in Kodansha's Nakayoshi magazine between November 1993 and April 1996. Since then, the manga has also been released in the United States in English by TOKYOPOP (initially named Mixx) in six volumes, with three volumes in each series. The English version of the manga was at first issued in a flipped left to right format, but was re-released in the original right to left format.

External links