Thursday, September 27, 2012

Case Study No. 0550: Kou Shouka

What I've Done: Kou Shouka (Saiunkoku Monogatari)
Shouka is really terrifyingly awesome as a character. You'd never believe that the guy who sits in the library most of the time and who can't make tea to save his life has killed more people than probably Seiran and Ensei put together...

Shuurei really needs to watch who she's living with. She's surrounded by people-slayers o.o
Tags: Kou Shouka Saiunkoku Monogatari Tale of Saiunkoku
Added: 2 years ago
From: etherella
Views: 2,910


"The Story of Saiunkoku" ("Saiunkoku Monogatari", lit. "Tale of the Land of Colored Clouds") is a series of Japanese light novels written by Sai Yukino and illustrated by Kairi Yura. As of July 2011, the eighteenth and final volume was released, concluding the series.

The anime adaptation series, produced by Madhouse Studios, is directed by Jun Shishido, and broadcast on the Japanese television network NHK on Saturday mornings. The first season began airing on April 8, 2006, and completed its run on February 24, 2007, airing a total of 39 episodes.

Set in the fictional empire of Saiunkoku, the story centers on Shurei Hong, a descendant of a noble family that has fallen on hard times. Her father works as a librarian in the Imperial palace, a post which offers prestige and respect, but little compensation. Shurei teaches in the temple school and works odd jobs to make ends meet, but her dream is to pass the imperial examinations and take a post in government, a path forbidden to women.

Shurei's plans come to an abrupt halt when the Emperor's Grand Advisor makes a startling offer for her to join the imperial household for six months as the young Emperor's consort and teach the Emperor to be a responsible ruler. If she succeeds, a reward of 500 gold coins will be granted.

The story details Shurei's growing relationship with the Emperor and other members of the court, the intrigues of imperial politics, and her commitment to better herself and her country.



Kou Shouka is Shurei's father, Seiran's adoptive father and the eldest son of the Kou clan. After declining the offer to lead the clan, he was expelled from the main estates. He then moved to the capital where his younger brother, Reishin, assigned to him a respectable but low-paying job as the head of the Royal Archives. The young prince Ryuuki often visited the palace library, where Shouka was one of the few people who were kind to him.

On the surface, Shouka simply seems to be a gentle librarian who brews awful tea. But he is also a deadly fighter known as The Black Wolf, although the latter identity is secret from everyone, including Shurei, except for Grand Advisor Sho, Shusui, and Reishin. In the service of the previous Emperor, he once led the Wolves of the Wind, a group of expert assassins, but has since disbanded them. He inherited the role of Black Wolf after the previous assassin died. Shouka first met his wife when sent to kill her, but fell in love with her instead; he was also assigned to secretly protect Shi Seien in exile.

Shouka's past is rather dark and moribund. At the age of four, he was described by his aunt as a boy who had lost all innocence in watching the Kou clan struggle for power. A gifted biwa player, Shouka later sets out and leaves his family after being kicked out by his father, who thinks of him as a good-for-nothing son. He later learns the arts of an assassin under the previous Black Wolf. Shouka looked up to the previous Black Wolf with admiration and love and is devastated when she dies. Shouka later murders the aunt he had so admired after ordered by Senka. He, before killing her, says that if she were to be allowed to continue to rule the clan like that the whole Kou clan would be in ruins. Although he does bring a sword, he pours a pouch of poison in his Aunt's tea and tells her to drink it. His aunt then drinks the poison and tells Shouka to play the biwa before she dies.

Shouka, along with Reishin, is recalled to the Kou province after the entire clan and its officials set up an embargo in protest. He then makes Reishing resign as the Kou clan head and takes up the position himself. When he returns to Kiyou, his eyes are open and he is wearing the impressive attire of the clan head, shocking everyone. Shouka pledges to Ryuuki the loyalty of the Kou clan and offers its help.

The Ran Clan triplets seem to adore Shouka as he served as their tutor when they were very young and wanted him to become their brother. This earns the permanent hatred of Reishin and the four of them have not had a friendly relationship ever since. It is said that if Shouka were to get involved in politics again, the Ran clan would return along with its officials.

He is voiced by Ikeda Shuuichi in the anime.

No comments:

Post a Comment