Mirage of Blaze is a light novel series written by Mizuna Kuwabara. It was adapted into a thirteen episode anime season in 2002. A three part OVA titled Rebels of the River Edge was released in 2004. The translation of the light novels can be found hereOugi Takaya is a seventeen year old high school student whose life changes drastically when he is attacked by a man with supernatural powers, a confrontation which awakens the same abilities in him. The man identifies himself as Naoe Nobutsuna and claims Takaya is Lord Kagetora, adopted son of Uesugi Kenshin whom he has sworn to serve. He reveals that the source of their powers stems from the fact that they are Possessors, souls who have been possessing human bodies for over four hundred years.With Kagetora as their leader, the Possessors have been fighting the Feudal Underworld, an army of vengeful spirits of samurai who fell during the Warring States era. Some of these spirits are also able to possess bodies and do so in order to restart the wars, this time to end them in their favor. Takaya has no memory of this however and and refuess to believe he is Kagetora. As he begins to remember however, he becomes increasingly distraught and begins to draw on Naoe for support, but Naoe is neither the mentor nor the convenient protector Takaya thinks he is.One of the main themes that make Mirage of Blaze stand out is the complicatedrelationship of Kagetora and Naoe.
Black and Grey Morality: The spirits the protagonists are fighting against have entirely selfish aims at conquering the modern world, but as the series goes on, we find our main characters have some major skeletons in their closet as well.
Bodyguard Crush: Naoe has been madly in love with Kagetora for over four hundred years.
Only some inversions Kagetora/Takaya attempts suicide in volume 20 when the mental and emotional tolls of everything he'd dealt with reaches a breaking point, but Naoe saves him. Also, Naoe had attempted suicide in the past but he'd kept this hidden from Kagetora.
Downer Ending: In order to stop Yami Sengoku, Kagetora is forced to use the last of his soul life. Not only does this kill Kagetora/Takaya, but this prevents him from ever reincarnating again. He lives long enough to finally confess his love to Naoe before he dies in the latter's arms.
Hufflepuff House: The Oda clan. They play a fairly significant role in the backstory of the series are implied to an extremely powerful faction, with Kagetora having died in a previous battle against them, and in the Rebels of the Rivers Edge OVA, it's stated that numerous other clans formed a coalition against them, but we never actually anybody from the Oda clan in the series. Likewise, the coalition against Oda doesn't get much focus.
Intimate Healing: Naoe right before ending the spell that was keeping Kagetora's soulless body alive, used what looked like a farewell kiss to pass Kagetora another Protective Charm, effectively saving him.
Intimate Psychotherapy: When Naoe and Kagetora finally consummate their relationship in volume 20, it's in the aftermath of Kagetora being horribly betrayed, receiving a death curse on his eye, and a suicide attempt. The sex allows Kagetora to see the toll Naoe's love has had on his own body—from a hideous scar on his chest from having protected Kagetora, to seeing scars of Naoe's own suicide attempts over his love for Kagetora.
Jidai Geki: The many flashbacks of the Possessors' past lives.
Parental Abandonment: Kagetora who got sent off as a hostage by his father during the Warring States era, and in the present his father abandons him again, preparing to sacrifice his soul for the "greater good".
Redemption Equals Death: Houjou Ujiteru turning on Ujimasa and allowing himself to be exorcized by Kagetora to save him.
Reincarnation Romance: Naoe and Kagetora, and also Haruie who is looking for his long-lost lover, thought it's not technically reincarnation as they escape the cycle of rebirth by by possessing bodies.
Sarcastic Devotee: Naoe who mocks Kagetora's weakness, Haruie, and Nagahide who's borderline insubordinate.
Unresolved Sexual Tension: Four hundred years of it too, no wonder Naoe has reached his breaking point. Still he initially manages to mask his feelings for Kagetora perfectly, but when Kagetora dreams of his lover's death, Naoe realizes he will soon remember everything and drops the act. Naoe eventually snaps and forces himself on Kagetora, the event triggering Kagetora's memory of how he was raped while a hostage. It serves as a wake-up call for Naoe, who goes into shock mode when he realizes what he almost did.