See also: Phoenix Nero (Netflix Series)
Phoenix Ikki (鳳凰星座の一輝, Fenikkusu no Ikki; Literally meaning "Gleam") is the bronze saint of Phoenix. Although he was introduced later than the other four main Bronze Saints, Ikki's role in the story is quite significant. He serves as the first antagonist in the series that the other Saints must defeat, as well as a powerful ally later in the series.
"Ikki" (一輝) can be translated to as "One/Singular Brilliance" or "Greatest Shine", which denotes the character's lone wolf attitude as well as his above-average, fiery power.
CharacteristicsWhile Ikki is officially recognized as a Bronze Saint, his base power easily places him well above most Silver Saints, and his reputation as a powerhouse is common knowledge among his peers and fellow Bronze Saints. Even as a child, Ikki was known as the toughest kid of the 100 orphans, and would often defend his then delicate younger brother Shun from the other children. He could easily be recognized as the strongest Bronze Saint when it comes to raw power.
Ikki's personality is drastically different from his fellow Saints. He is almost the opposite of his younger brother—Shun is calm, soft, caring and very emotional, whereas Ikki is harsh, cold, aggressive, and very much of a loner. Fellow Saint Wolf Nachi once pointed out that it was very hard to believe Ikki and Shun were related due to the extreme difference in their personalities.
As noted by Kanon in the Poseidon arc and by Pandora in the Hades chapter, Ikki's Cosmo is unique to him—it is full of hatred, anger, incredible aggression and power, but it was still guided by his deep love and loyalty for his younger brother, his friends and loyalty to Athena. Although he dislikes teamwork, he comes to battle whenever Athena's Saints need his help, and is often seen coming in the nick of time to save his younger brother and friends from certain death. This tactic has always been exploited to their advantage, since the enemies are caught by surprise upon meeting/fighting him. He is a noble, complex and mature character, who does not doubt whenever it's necessary to sacrifice his life for his friends.
Saint Seiya (1986), chapter I: the Sanctuary
In order to take revenge, Ikki stole the parts of the Sagittarius Cloth and challenged the other Bronze Saints to a battle for it.
Lizard Misty, a silver saint sent from Sanctuary to assassinate the bronze saints, made his presence known when he had the mountain collapse, burying Ikki in the process. Mu and Kiki teleported the Bronze Saints and the Black 4 out of the mountain, whilst Ikki chose not to ride the teleport.
In order to remove Shaka from the other bronze saints' path to the Pope, Ikki decided to sacrifice his body and cosmos when he attempted to eject both himself and Shaka to an other plane.
In the manga, Ikki was defeated by Saga's second Galaxian Explosion, with the others left wondering if he was dead or alive. In the anime, Saga didn't use his Galaxian Explosion until the third film. In fact, Kanon was the first to use it against Ikki in the anime.
After the Sanctuary Chapter in the manga, Ikki only resurfaced to take revenge on Lymnades Kayza, one of Poseidon's generals, who had humiliated Seiya, Hyoga, and Shun through mental and physical torture.
Non-canon anime episodes
In the anime, it is the giant Docrates who accomplished this feat, rather than Lizard Misty. Ikki would return soon after to aid Saori Kido and Seiya when the two found themselves ambushed by various silver saints.
In the anime, before battling Poseidon and his Marine Generals, Ikki and his fellow bronze saints would travel to Asgard to confront the fabled God Warriors.
Ikki was forced to abandon his cloth in order to break free from God Warrior Mimé's final attack. Seeing Ikki unarmed, Mime himself removed his God Robe and challenged the Phoenix Saint to one last hand-to-hand duel. After a dramatic final exchange of fists, both men fell to the ground -- with Mime failing to survive the exchange. Ikki would return again to fight Bud.
Saint Seiya (1986), chapter II: Poseidon
In the Poseidon arc, Ikki aids the bronze saints by defeating Lyumnades Kayza and immediately battling Sea Dragon Kanon afterwards. Although he was unable to beat Kanon, Ikki was crucial in extracting valuable information from the Marina General that led to Athena's victory against Poseidon.
Saint Seiya (1986), chapter III: Hades
Ikki does not appear in the Hades chapter until the Saints are well in their way in the Underworld. He managed to defeat Garuda Aiacos and then confronted Hades himself, who had gained possession of his younger brother's body. Ikki unsuccessfully attempted to rip the Greek deity out of Shun's body, and was punished for it with death. Ikki's body was then sent to Cocytus, the 8th prison of Tartarus, where men who rose their fist at the gods suffered eternal punishment. The Phoenix's body was dropped off by the spectre, Harpy Valentine. Seiya was there with other inactive Saints: Mu, Aiolia, and Milo.
In the manga, Pandora helped Ikki out of the Ice Hell but in the anime, Ikki got out all by himself to kill the last of the Specters.
Saint Seiya: Next Dimension (official sequel and prequel)Appears in time to save an unconscious Shun of the arrow on the Scoumoune, a satellite of Artemis, and restoring its own attack. Then moves on leaving his brother behind. Appears later with Hecate, who reveals that he sent Athena to Chronos past as a baby. Given the situation Hecate Ikki guide to the primeval god. Upon arrival, you notice that Chronos is not there. Suddenly observed trace chains and Saori Shun flowers near a red dimension, so that dimension Ikki jumps 243 years into the past coming right towards the entrance of the Temple of Aries, where Shion of Aries and Garuda Suikyou were struggling. Shion resists that will not let go.
After a conversation, the judge volandole Ikki faces his helmet, so it responds by destroying part of his helmet and his armor at a rate not expected Ikki. After several failed coups Ikki falls unconscious to the ground, but not before having beaten his enemy with Diabolic Illusion.
Ikki eventually awakens and Shion explains how the ken that dealt him to Suikyou, but this only worked half, saying only remember something from his past. Upon arriving at the Temple of Taurus, seen as the body of Ox of Taurus continued defending his temple, even after he died in a battle against Suikyou. At Gemini, Ikki Cain observed after arguing with his brother Abel. Abel Ikki tells him there and starts attacking Cain. After a flurry of punches which clearly exceeded the Phoenix, Cain apparently supposed Gemini Gold Saint is the strongest of the time. Ikki eventually rises to counterattack with the Phoenix Wings. While the gold saint the third house responds with the Galaxian Explosion, which, however, does not kill Phoenix as he had seen in the future this technique in combat and Saga and Kanon. The deadly blow, however, reduces dying; Cain at this point recognizes Phoenix as an ally and the side of right, and decides to save it on him using the technique of healing Kishikaisei, but suddenly appears that wants to prevent his brother Abel to do so. Faced with Phoenix, Abel and Cain appear and disappear exchanging the place several times, making it difficult for the rider to understand things of the Phoenix is really happening to this mysterious knight gold. Disappears at the end of Abel, Cain and heals Phoenix, which then continues on his way past the third house. The bronze saint realizes that Cain and Abel are similar to Saga and Kanon, but at the same time they hide a secret very different. Now in its fourth house Ikki meets DeathToll of Cancer, and the two together saint fight in Yomutsu Hirasaka, is defeat numerous spectra, including Griffon Veermer(one of the three Judges of Hell) ...
☀Ikki is proclaimed as the future gold saint of the lion, from gold saint of the past Kaiser Lion.
Main Article: Phoenix Ikki (Omega)
List of opponents
In the original manga, Ikki won 63% of his battles, i.e. 10 battles out of 16 (battles labeled as "unfair" are not considered).
|Before donning the armor|
|Black Pegasus and Black Dragon||Victory||Double victory!|
|As the Saint of Phoenix|
|Pegasus Seiya + Dragon Shiryu + Cygnus Hyoga + Andromeda Shun||Unfair||4 against 1: Phoenix was defeated, but he managed to knock out Dragon, Cygnus and Andromeda.|
|Cerberus Dante||Draw||Phoenix had the advantage, but he left the opponent to Andromeda.|
|Virgo Shaka||Draw||Phoenix used a suicidal attack to win. Later, Aries Mu saved both.|
|Sea Dragon Kanon||Draw||Phoenix left the battle as a sign of despise towards Sea Dragon.|
|Poseidon||Unfair||6 against 1: Sagittarius Seiya + Aquarius Hyoga + Libra Shiryu + Ophiuchus + Andromeda + Phoenix VS. Poseidon. Phoenix was anyway knocked out.|
|Hades||Defeat||Phoenix was captured alive and imprisoned.|
|As the Saint of God-Phoenix|
|Hades||Draw||Athena interrupted the battle.|
Techniques and abilities
Ikki is a powerful Bronze Saint as is often confronted with the strongest enemies. His energy level also places it well above all the saints of silver. As the myth of the Phoenix, the power of Ikki increases every time he is killed and resurrected. In his battle with Virgo Shaka, Ikki was able to awaken his seventh sense, which placed him in the ranks of Gold Saints and Hades judges in terms of power and skill. This is demonstrated when he easily defeated Garuda Aiacos during his nick to save time Kanon. In "Saint Seiya Omega", Ikki has the same sé level not exceeding Aegaeon of the four first-class Pallasites. Which also makes him the strongest among the saints in bronze was Omega. Ikki also aroused the eighth direction. As a saint, Ikki uses two techniques to dispose of his enemies; a physical damage, and the other destroys the mind of your enemy.
His physical attack is Phoenix's Wings Rise (鳳翼天翔, Hōyoku Tenshō), which gathers forces of wind and heat into a concentrated point, unleashing them in a single blow. This attack covers a wide range of distance and it's Ikki's signature move. It may also be used on multiple enemies at the same time. In the manga, the attack is performed strictly with his palms only; in the anime, it is revised to include his fists, although the Phoenix Saint has utilized the original manga form of the technique on several occasions.
His other attack is Phoenix Illusion Demon Fist (鳳凰幻魔拳, Hōō Genmaken), is infamous for destroying the minds of its victims—the technique is dealt from either a single fist or a finger. Concentrating his Cosmo into his fist to literally destroy his opponent's mind. Once used, it sends various nightmare illusions directly created by the opponent's brain; he or she is trapped within an illusion that is almost indistinguishable from reality. It also considerably weakens control of the Cosmo and depth of perception of reality. Ikki's Phoenix Illusion Demon Fist usually spells doom for the one in the receiving end—unless he has an unusually powerful mind.
In addition to weakening and trapping an enemy in a powerful illusion (followed by instant death) this attack also serves to dwelve deep into an enemy's mind - as was the case when this attack was used on Gemini Kanon during his reign in the Poseidon story arc and many other characters in the anime-only Asgard chapter.
In some battles, Ikki first uses the Phoenix Illusion Demon Fist to paralyze his rival, and then deals the Phoenix's Wings Rise to finish him off.
"Phoenix Feathers"-Even if it's not mentioned as one of his techniques, it should be. First he used it to stop Virgo Shaka from killing Andromeda, and wounded his hand. He used it a second time to stop Gemini Saga from killing Pegasus Seiya and even managed to pierce his hand through the Gemini gold cloth. The third time he used it to stop Mime in the Asgard Saga from killing Andromeda Shun. The fourth time he used it against Minos in the underworld, to cut trough his technique "Cosmic Marionette" against Gemini Kanon.
Ikki's only true family is his brother Andromeda Shun, with whom he shares the same father and mother with.
As children, Shun was shown to be very reluctant about their situation with the Graude Foundation, whereas Ikki accepted that they both needed to become stronger in order to survive. Because of Shun's timid, pacifist nature, he was often targeted by Tatsumi and other characters, which typically resulted in Ikki running to Shun's rescue.
Shun was originally meant to go to Death Queen Island, but this was stopped by Ikki who demanded that he be sent in his place. The two brothers parted with promises that they would get stronger and return with their bronze cloths to Japan one day. However, the events that unfold at Death Queen Island push Ikki to take vengeance against all those involved in sending him there, and he turns against Shun up until later coming to his senses after being defeated by Seiya.
Once allied with the bronze saints again, Ikki returns to being Shun's older brother. He is often seen coming to Shun's aid in battle, and even sacrifices himself in order to protect Shun and the others in his battle against Virgo Shaka.
During the Hades arc, Ikki is confronted with the fact that Shun is the vessel of Hades. Though he initially refuses to believe it, past memories of Pandora attempting to steal Shun resurface and force him to come to terms with the truth. He realizes that Shun is planning to sacrifice himself in order to stop Hades, and is even begged by Shun later on to assist in this plan by killing him. Ikki finds himself unable to kill his brother. The two later reunite in Elysium after Shun regains control of his body.
In Next Dimension, Ikki openly comments that Shun is an incredibly strong warrior.
Seiya, Hyoga and Shiryu
In the manga, Ikki is one of the first orphans to discover the true identity of his father -- Mitsumasa Kido (Cygnus Hyoga was another) -- the same man who had stolen him, his brother, and 98 other orphans from their otherwise happy homes to serve as puppets for the Graude Foundation's project. Ikki and the other orphans have hated Kido for as long as they could remember, and when he was told of the truth, he promptly decided to go on a suicide mission to kill off every last trace of Mitsumasa Kido. This began the war between Ikki and the bronze saints when he attacked his former friends at the Galaxian Wars. The dispute was only settled when Pegasus Seiya, Dragon Shiryu, Cygnus Hyoga, and his own brother Andromeda Shun combined enough power to knock the bitterness out of him. After his defeat, Ikki revealed to Seiya that he, too, was the son of Mitsumasa Kido. Hyoga later confirmed this fact.
When the true antagonist of the story, Pope Ares, finally decided to make his presence known, Ikki found himself aligning with the bronze saints in an effort to defeat the villain. It is at this point that Ikki returns to being the compassionate older brother that Shun admired as a child.
Ikki and the other bronze saints being the children of Mistumasa Kido was changed for the anime, however, and is largely omitted from the series outside of the manga. Seiya, Shiryu, and Hyoga remain friends and comrades to Ikki instead, though their ideals tend to clash from time to time (typically resulting in Ikki going off on his own when a fight is ready to break out).
During the Poseidon arc, Ikki scoffed at Seiya and Hyoga for allowing Lyumnades Caça to take advantage of their emotions and deceive them with illusions of those they held dearly in their hearts. This appears to relate to the mindset he was subjected to on Death Queen Island. However, Ikki is repeatedly shown coming to the aid of the others when they need it, and often speaks of how they helped save him from his previous state as an antagonist.
Esmeralda was a young girl Ikki met during his training days in Death Queen Island, and, in his own words, the only thing that kept him sane. Ikki was drawn to her due to her apperance, which bore a striking resemblance to Shun. Esmeralda was also the daughter of his master Guilty (in the anime version only; in the manga, she is instead a herdsman's slave on the island), and in a sad twist of fate, would eventually die by an accidental blow from her father. To Ikki's disgust, Guilty felt nonchalant about killing his daughter, and even endorsed his mistake because she "had gotten too close to the training grounds" and went as far as blaming Ikki. Esmeralda's death, along with Guilty's unaffected attitude, was the spark that finally drove Ikki to become enraged enough to kill his master and obtain the Phoenix Cloth.
In the manga, Ikki initially encounters the Gold Saint of Virgo days after killing his master and taking command of Death Queen Island. While Ikki was powerful at the time, he was no match for the power of a gold saint -- a fact that Shaka made him realize all too well. Fortunately, Shaka decided to spare Ikki's life when he sensed that there was good suppressed within him. He erased the memory of the encounter from Ikki's mind, and declared that pieces of this event shall forever remain hidden -- as long as they do not meet again as enemies.
Even though the encounter was erased, Ikki was left with the lasting impression that Gold Cloths grant immense power to its wearer -- this served as one of the reasons why he sought the Sagittarius armor when he later disrupted the Galaxian Wars.
A reunion between Ikki and Shaka was inevitable, and it took place when the bronze saint's comrades found themselves outmatched against Shaka -- even after combining all of their efforts. Luckily, Ikki was able to make the save before Shaka could end Shun's life. Upon recognizing the intruder, Shaka remarked that Ikki had grown stronger, and immediately unlocked the memory of their first meeting. Upon rediscovering the strength of a gold saint, Ikki became hesitant of the fight -- but by then, he had no choice in the matter, as Shaka unleashed one of his attacks.
The battle was a constant struggle for the Phoenix, as he had never truly engaged with a foe as powerful as the gold saint before. While Ikki's cosmos had matured since their last encounter, he was still overwhelmed by Shaka, and had to resort to his resurrection abilities in order to continue.
At one point, Shaka completely removed all six of Ikki's senses, which allowed the bronze saint the opportunity to tap into his 7th sense unhindered. Even then, Phoenix could not fully defeat Shaka, but immobilized him by removing both himself and Shaka from the battlefield.
Not soon after, Shaka would bring Ikki back from their spectral realm with the help of Aries Mu's psychic abilities. During their battle, Ikki's determination forced the gold saint to begin doubting his beliefs, and Shaka became curious about the invaders' motivation -- there was a chance that Saori Kido was, in fact, Sanctuary's missing goddess, Athena. No longer opposing Ikki and the bronze saints, Shaka allowed the Phoenix to pass through his temple.
Saori Kido and Ikki share a somewhat interesting relationship. While he does not dispute the fact that she is the current reincarnation of Athena, he has been shown to readily reject her commands. At one point, the Phoenix Saint even decided to separate himself from his peers in order to pursue Pope Ares on his own. However, Ikki never directly challenges her position, aside from the initial skirmish he and the Black Saints had against the Graude Foundation and the Bronze Saints early in the series. In any case, Saori and the other bronze saints have come to learn that Ikki is a lone wolf, and does not bode well with others.
Ikki met Pandora when Shun was a baby, and he was still a young orphan. A young Pandora mysteriously appeared and chased after the would-be Phoenix Saint, demanding that he hand over Shun on the claim that he was actually her little brother. Young Ikki became confused and furious, and Pandora explained that fate had chosen Shun to be the next avatar of Hades.
Of course, Ikki would have none of it, and held onto baby Shun for dear life as Pandora struggled to separate the two. Ikki's will refused to give up, and a mysterious cosmos intervened. With no other option, Pandora decided to temporarily leave Shun in Ikki's care, and left a pendant on the baby as a mark for Hades. Before Pandora left, she sealed away most of the memories of this event from Ikki's mind. Although Ikki almost recalled these repressing memories when fighting Shaka, Pandora told Ikki and restored these memories when they met again in the underworld years later.
Later on, as the bronze saints prepared to invade Elysium, it was Pandora who would give Ikki her bracelet, which would allow him to go onward to Elysium despite having a cloth that had not been blessed by Athena's blood.
Constellation and the immortal Phoenix Cloth
Main article: Phoenix Cloth The Phoenix Cloth represents the constellation of Phoenix, which is associated to the immortal bird that is reborn from its ashes, found in folklore and mythologies of diverse cultures.
Ikki is connected to his Cloth and constellation in more ways than one. The Phoenix Cloth has the uncanny ability to reform from atoms if pulverized—an ability that not even Gold Cloths have. Ikki himself can never truly die for good; while he can be killed, the constellation of the Phoenix grants him the power of resurrection. It is implied in the series that Ikki also receives a boost in strength from every revival, as sometimes the Cloth evolves.
The Gold Cloth of Leo
Being born under the sign of Leo, Ikki is allowed a fraction of power from that constellation. As a result, when the Bronze Saints are faced with a threat that requires the aid of a Gold Cloth, Ikki is given the gift of donning the Leo Gold Cloth. This is seen when the Gold Cloth assembled itself on him during the fight with Thanatos, the god of Death.
In the section Right Turn Only! from Anime News Network, writer Liann Cooper noted that the fight between Ikki and Shun was a plot twist "skirmish". Mania Entertainment's Mark Thomas found Ikki to be one of the most interesting characters from the series having liked his early role as an antagonist and his subsequently appearances as a partner for the Bronze Saints. His powers were also praised by Thomas who noted "he is far too good for the Bronze Cloth", but was saddened with how he disappeared during his fight against Virgo Shaka.
Notes & Trivia
- Most fans originally assumed that Ikki was actually working for the Pope when he attacked the bronze saints, although this is untrue.
- In the manga version of the Hades arc, Ikki does not appear until the saints are battling spectres in Hell (upon reintroduction, he was seen wearing the third version of his cloth). In the anime, he makes an early appearance at the Sanctuary, debating with Shiryu about rather or not the bronze saints should join the gold saints in the war against Hades. An interesting thing to note is that Ikki here sports the second version of his Phoenix Cloth, but he was seen in the third version of his cloth in the intro song, placing flowers over Esmeralda's grave. When the anime finally adapted the chapter from the manga in 2005-2006's Saint Seiya: Hades - Chapter Inferno OVAs, Ikki is shown with the "correct" version of his armor.
- Ikki has a theme song titled "You're Phoenix".
- When all the bronze saints first fought Thanatos, the God of Death, he commented that Ikki is "more capable" than the rest of the bronze saints.
- The Phoenix Cloth is originally completely orange in the manga, but it is multicolored in the anime.
- As is common practice in the anime media, characters with black hair in the original manga receive dark blue hair in the anime adaptation to avoid palette problems with the character's head outline, as confusion with the backgrounds could occur. Ikki is one more of many manga characters that have received this treatment in the anime adaptation.
- In the anime, Phoenix Illusion Demon Punch has the same name with the difference that the word Phoenix it is mentioned in romaji instead of kanji occasionally, but also the original name of the manga was used. (Also, this technique refers to a female phoenix as phoenix is written with another "ō").
- ↑ Cooper, Liann (May 27, 2004)."RIGHT TURN ONLY!!Assorted Candies". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 25, 2009
- ↑ Thomas, Mark (October 14, 2009)."Saint Seiya Collection 2". Mania Entertainment. Retrieved October 14, 2009.
- Saint Seiya, Volume 13
|Types||Bronze Saints • Silver Saints • Gold Saints • Steel Saints • Black Saints • Caraib Ghost Saints • Corona Saints • Pegasus Saints • Resurrected Saints • Saintias • Unknown Saints|
|Leaders||Jango • Phoenix Ikki|
|Black Four||Black Swan • Black Pegasus • Black Andromeda • Black Dragon|
|Others||Guilty • Esmeralda • Black Dragon's Brother • Black Phoenix Ritahoa|
|Locations||Death Queen Island|
|Geist Saints||Dolphin Saint • Sea Serpent Saint • Jellyfish Saint|