WARNING: Unmarked spoilers ahead, please self-advise. Various tropes here contain major plot spoilers!
- Note: In the Taiwanese Hokkien language broadcasts, all male characters are voiced by Huang Huei-Fung
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"I will strike down Betsu Ten Gai to avenge my brother, and retrieve the hilt of the Tengyouken as well!"
Chinese Name: 丹翡 Dān Fěi / Vermillion Kingfisher (EN)
Weapon Name: 翠輝劍 Suikiken (JA) / Cuì Huī Jiàn (ZH) / Jade Bright Sword (EN)
Date of Birth: June 1.
—"Adhering to the values of the Dān, I bear my fate: traveling the earth, seeking honor and revenge. Stripping away my meekness as a woman, I shall battle the heartless at the price of my hopes and dreams."
One of the Seal Guardians hailing from the Sword Forging Shrine in charge of guarding the Tengyouken. Tan Hi takes pride in her heritage as a Seal Guardian, which makes her quite stubborn and tense when it comes to issues regarding her clan; but she's also shown to be fairly naive due to being inexperienced with the world outside of her shrine.
- Action Girl: Even with her meek and innocent manner, she won't hesitate to stand her ground.
- All-Loving Hero: Tan Hi genuinely trusts all members who aid her on her quest, including Setsu Mu Syou, Kei Gai, and especially Lin Setsu A.
- All Just a Dream: In the manga, after Tan Hi passes out after being tortured by Chou Mei, she dreams of reuniting with her brother at the shrine. It is both heartwarming and tragic knowing that it's a impossible dream that would never happen again.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: In the manga, despite of what Ken said about her children should have a sturdy body, she truly cares for him deeply especially as she protected him from Kei Gai's attack, saved him from being killed by his former brother, and she even grieved for him as she thought he died protecting her.
- Back for the Finale: In Season 2 she appears and talks with the surviving characters, as well as making sure Ken behaves himself.
- Badass Adorable: Word of God intentionally aimed to gave her a Moe design to appeal to the Japanese audience, and she can hold off for herself quite well to boot.
- Battle Couple: With Ken San Un later on.
- Berserker Tears: In the manga, Tan Hi charges at Un Syou after he injured Ken.
- Bridal Carry: In the manga, after Lin and Syou left to go to the Seven Sin Tower with Demon birds they took from the Mooks, Tan Hi got captured earlier by the Black Demon Sect. She was seen being carried unconscious by Chou Mei.
- Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: Butterflies are symbolic of change, joy, and new life. It's implied how her fate changed after meeting Syou, Lin and Ken, and gave her new meaning and a reason to live on rather than self sacrifice. Not to mention that a lot of death and destruction lay in her waking up to, and including her brother.
- Broken Bird: In episode 9, after finding out one of her allies turns out to be a phantom thief, having a guard of the Tengyouken taken from her, and her allies abandon her and Syou, she becomes depressed and ashamed by her actions that brings her into tears.
- In the manga, it's much worse. After being tortured by the Black Demon Sect and becoming traumatized about how she rediscovers her elder brother, she is reduced to an Empty Shell of her former self.
- Broken Tears: She shed tears uncontrollably, after she discovers her brother's head in the manga. She didn't take it very well.
- The Bus Came Back: Tan Hi returns in the season 2 finale.
- Clothing Damage: Twice. In the manga, her dress gets torn open from behind, exposing her back completely by Chou Mei when she was held prisoner and before he starts the process of carving her back. The other is the Otome Genyuuki manga where the back of her dress and sleeves are torn when she was held captive by a demon.
- Cool, But Inefficient: The scabbard to her sword doesn't cover the entire blade and the bottom one-fifth is exposed when sheathed. While cool looking, the exposed blade is susceptible to environmental hazards or accidentally impaling something.
- Damsel in Distress:
- She was captured by the Black Demon Sect and was tortured by Chou Mei without neither Syou or Lin noticing or able to save her in the manga.
- In the Otome Genyuuki manga, she was also captured by a male demon until Syou, Rin, Kei Gai, and San save her.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Despite her brother dying, her inability to get revenge on his behalf, and the majority of her party having sinister agendas behind her back, she leaves the narrative with a new purpose for her clan in protecting the sword Syou Fu Kan uses to banish You Ja Rei, and finds love and a family with Ken San Un.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: In the final chapter of the manga, she now wears her hair tied in a neat bun with a butterfly hair ornament.
- Fighting Your Friend: The manga plays it differently than the show does; Tan Hi attacks Ken thinking he was an enemy and traitor after he abandons her and Syou. She even refused to trust him, presumably because she hasn't recovered from her depression and has rightfully deserved trust issues, until Ken lets her injure him and explains to her that he left his former sworn brother to be by her side.
- Flower Motifs: Prunus mume is chinese name for plum blossom. It symbolizes perseverance and hope, but also beauty, purity, and the transitory nature of life.
- Foot Focus: In the intro of the show, her feet are briefly shown during her dance in her segment. Oddly enough, in the main show, she's never seen barefooted.
- Friend or Idol Decision: In episode 11, Tan Hi was forced into a situation where she has to choose to between saving her Tengyouken guard, or the life of Ken San Un. She chose to protect Ken San Un.
- Heroic BSoD:
- When she found out that the guard of the Tengyouken was taken away from her, she breaks down crying in shame. When she found out who Lin Setsu A really was, which he only introduced himself to her under his alias, she cries even more.
- In the manga it's very much worse. She received a permanent scar on her back from Chou Mei, gets horribly traumatized when she sees her brother's severed head right in front of her and the guard to the Tenyouken (although it's a fake) in enemy's hands, leaving her in a broken and depressed state.
- Incompletely Trained: In a rather interesting variation, Ken San Un points out her family's swordsmanship was specifically developed for men. If she adjusted the fighting stance and movements for someone with shorter arm reach and less body weight, she'd significantly improve. Case in point: the kata he observed her perform would not have hit her opponent unless she took a few steps forward, but adding more steps to the technique would disrupt its flow.
- The Ingenue: Her sheltered, innocent nature makes it easy for her to accept help from everyone who gets recruited for their quest. She welcomes a demonic necromancer into their number with open arms, and assumes that Lin Setsu A offered his head to Setsu Mu Syou because he wants to make peace with the assassin before it gets to the point where he would have to pay up.
- Jabba Table Manners: Tan Hi is shown to be a messy eater when it comes to Shao Bings in episode 10. Granted she was hungry though.
- Lady of War: Despite the fact that she was chased by the Black Demon Sect in the first episode, she can hold her own, especially when using several sword techniques and magic spells. She even fights against Betsu Ten Gai when she reaches the tower, but unfortunately, she's tricked into fighting Syou Fu Kan by Lin Setsu A.
- Leitmotif: "tanh1"
- Magical Girl Warrior: Complete with extensive Frills of Justice.
- Multicolored Hair: In her puppet form, if you look closely, she has black hair with dark blue streaks.
- Naïve Newcomer: She's the only one who really believes that the group was formed to help her out. Syou's in it to help her, probably, but it's certain that everyone else is there for their own agendas ... especially the group's leader, whose true objective was to steal the Tengyouken for himself.
- Near-Death Experience: In the manga, Tan Hi was almost killed by Betsu Ten Gai from behind. Luckily for her, Syou managed to save her and blocked his attack.
- Negated Moment of Awesome: When she has the opportunity to take Betsu Ten Gai's head, she goes and takes it, trying to put him on the edge with strong techniques and keeping him on the defensive. In reality, she was actually fighting Fu Kan, who she mistook for Betsu Ten Gai because of Lin Setsu A's illusion magic, so her impressive display is still downplayed compared to what it could have been.
- Pet the Dog: Though kind of a dick move by Lin Setsu A, he points out that she'd be fighting a battle she would definitely not win had she been against the real Betsu Ten Gai, so she was better off with this outcome.
- Nice Hat: She wears a large one with blossoming flowers and butterfly wings. In the show it never falls off, even when she falls or faints.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Lin Setsu A points out her desire to see the man who killed her brother defeated, is the reason she failed. Instead of seeking to destroy the Black Demon Sect, she should have left Dong-Li. If they could never find her part of the sword, the family's sacred duty (never allowing the sword to be reunited) would have been maintained.
- Official Couple: With Ken after the final episode, and they are also Happily Married.
- Peek-a-Bangs: The left eye of her puppet form is slightly covered by her bangs due to her voluminous haircut.
- Perspective Flip: The Otome Genyuuki manga is the story told entirely from her point of view.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Wears the attire of a noblewoman, displaying frills and ruffles everywhere.
- Platonic Life-Partners: With Syou Fu Kan. Although she only see him as a friend or ally, but in the manga, she sometimes blushed when Syou says something nice and comforting to her. It maybe a hinted that she had feeling for him. If it's truth, then it would be impossible for them to be together since they have different roles. This also makes Ken San Un her second love interest.
- Pursued Protagonist: She holds the guard part of the holy sword Tengyouken, which the Black Demon Sect wants to obtain.
- Rape Discretion Shot: In the manga Chou Mei tortures her until she passes out from the pain. When she revives, Chou Mei reveals he found the hilt she hid on her body and taunted that he thoroughly searched her, "most precious spots," prompting Tan to fall into further despair. This all occurred while she was in a coma and away from view.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: She has long beautiful black hair that reached almost rear length and fair skin.
- Scars Are Forever: In the manga, Tan Hi receives a scar from Chou Mei when he carved the Black Demon Sect's emblem on her back with a dagger.
- Ship Tease: With Ken San Un. Upgraded at the end of the first season.
- Skilled, but Naïve: Tan Hi is a master of the Tan Clan's martial arts and an expert swordswoman. Unfortunately, her lack of real-world fighting experience puts her at the lowest end of the group's power rankings. This becomes apparent when Ken of all people points out a critical flaw in her fighting style: the Tan techniques were designed for the reach of a man, so many of her attacks will come up short even if the forms are executed perfectly.
- Sole Survivor: With the death of her brother, she's the last of her clan.
- Stupid Good: Unfortunately a sheltered life has made this apply to her. However when she finally realizes it and loses hope, Syou states that trying to do the right thing, even when it fails and causes regrets, is better than not doing the right thing at all. Good might be stupid, but at least it's still good.
- Trauma Button: In the manga, after being tortured by Chou Mei, she becomes so traumatized of him. Especially when she unexpectedly encounter him again, she breaks down in tears when he asks her if she wants to be torture again. However it currently unknown if she got over her fear of him after Syou kills him.
- Tsundere: Type B, she's often sweet but in the manga, she has several moments of comically lashing out towards Ken San Un when he says something that embarrasses her.
- Yamato Nadeshiko: The closest one can come as a wuxia character. She's incredibly devoted to the practices of her clan, kind, and graceful, but she holds a certain stubbornness inside of her that never truly goes away, and she's more than capable of holding her own.
- You Killed My Brother: In the first Episode, Tan Hi's elder brother was slain by Betsu Ten Gai as they were running off with the sword piece. This makes her journey to get the remaining parts a little bit more personal as well.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: In Episode 9, while Tan Hi cries after the revelations in Episode 9, Syou Fu Kan tells her that "You can regret being deceived, but don't regret trying to do the right thing".
Syu Un Syou
"If you think people can choose how they die, you're gravely mistaken...You dogs don't realize that your place of dying has been chosen for you."
Chinese Name: 狩雲霄 Shòu Yún Xiāo / Shu Un Shou (JA) / Sky Hunter (EN)
Art Name: 鋭眼穿楊 Eigan Sen'you (JA) / Ruì Yǎn Chuān Yáng (ZH) / Sharp-Eyed Impaler (EN)note
Discipline / Position: The Archer
Weapon of Choice: Bow and Arrow
Weapon Name: 銀牙 Ginga (JA) / Yín Yá (ZH) / Silver Fang (EN)
—"As there are those who see nothing with both eyes, there are those who can see vast distances with one. My gaze is the path of an arrow, piercing those who fail to turn away."
An old acquaintance of Lin Setsu A. Syu Un Syou is an archer who made a name for himself for his exceptional marksmanship. He regards Ken San Un as his sworn younger brother. He joins the quest of retrieving the hilt of the Tengyouken at Lin Setsu A's request.
- Badass Beard: He has a short black beard on his chin.
- Barbarian Longhair: His puppet form is this, but his 2D concept is much more groomed.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He at first appears to be an honorable man, but episode 9 reveals he knew about Lin Setsu A's plan all along and is perfectly willing to be dishonorable, just as long as it doesn't affect his reputation.
- Blood Brothers: With Ken San Un. Until Episode 10.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: In the manga, after he was killed by Kei Gai, Syu Un Syou was cut in half horizontally, and she uses his blood as a another method to reawaken You Ja Rei.
- Not as bad there, but in the show proper he gets hung by Kei Gai's ribbons and gets thrown into the pit where You Ja Rei resides in just as he learns of her true intentions.
- Death by Irony: After warning Lin Setsu A that Kei Gai was not to be trusted, he teamed up with her to betray the group to Betsu Ten Gai for profit, only for Kei Gai to stab him in the back.
- Doppelgänger Spin: He can pull shadow clones of himself to throw his targets off his real self in order to pierce them.
- FaceHeel Turn: Secretly sided with Betsu Ten Gai to receive the guard for the Tengyouken in exchange for money.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He'll sell out his companions, shoot his student in the eye, and mislead the public into thinking he is a great hero, but even HE knows better than to allow a sealed demon god to awaken!
- Eyepatch of Power: Fitting that the One-Eyed Impaler is missing his right eye and wearing an eye patch over it.
- Hunk: More prominent in his 2D depiction and manga adaption.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Kei Gai slices his body horizontally after killing him.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: As if his Art Name is not a giveaway. Shu's skills are first demonstrated by sniping minions through a dense forest from several acres away.
- It's All About Me: He tells Ken that to be famous, you will have to sacrifice many things to do so without a hint of regret.
- Leitmotif: "from either way" (first half.)
- Multishot: Shu is more than capable of firing near handfuls of arrows at once with the same deadly accuracy as a single arrow.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Upon realizing the true intent of the Tengyouken (a demon was sealed underneath), he tries to convince Betsu Ten Gai to seal the demon with it. However, Kei Gai decides to kill him.
- Near-Death Experience: Shu was nearly killed by one of his arrows that was meant for Setsu Mu Syou. Luckily, he manage to save himself by catching it in a split second.
- Old Soldier: Syu Un Syou has lived a long life as a soldier and made a name for himself in this regard.
- Only in It for the Money: He is willing to side with Betsu Ten Gai to retrieve the true Tengyouken guard from Tan Hi in order to have a good sum of reward.
- Unlike Kei Gai and Setsu Mu Syou, he doesn't appear to have been a victim of Lin Setsu A. In fact he's worked with him in the past (unknowingly to Setsu), and after a sincere reunion mentions his new apprentice, Ken San Un, would be an excellent asset for Lin's schemes.
- Tareme Eyes: His puppet form.
- Trap Master: Shu's preferred trap for fighting close ranged opponents is to shoot an arrow into the sky, then use specific attacks to force the enemy into the position where the arrow will land and pierce them.
Ken San Un
"The warrior whose name is known throughout the East! I am called the Frozen Wonder! Ken San Un and his spear have arrived!"
Chinese Name: 捲殘雲 Juǎn Cán Yún / To Furl Scattered Clouds (EN)
Art Name: 寒赫 Han Kaku (JA) / Hán Hè (ZH) / Frozen Wonder (EN)note
Discipline / Position: Spear Wielder, Seal Guardian
Weapon Name: 騰雷槍 Touraisou (JA) / Téng Léi Qiāng (ZH) / Soaring Thunder Spear (EN)
Date of Birth: June 25.
—"People may ridicule my noble ideals as fantasy and naïve, but with determination and effort I shall reach my soaring ambitions. I will have no regrets disdaining fleeting glory even when my hour comes."
The sworn brother of Syu Un Syou, and a skilled spear wielder. Ken San Un looks up to Syu Un Syou with admiration, and works hard to attain a reputation for himself using his skills. He tagged along with Un Syou on the quest to retrieve the hilt of the Tengyouken.
- Battle Couple: With Tan Hi.
- Berserk Button:
- Don't ever threaten or attempt to kill his sworn brother. Until Episode 9 after he find out his true colors.
- In the manga, after he finds out that Chou Mei was responsible of torturing Tan Hi and gave her a scar on her back, Ken was so pissed off that he attempted to kill him. It implied that he truly loves and cares for Tan Hi deeply.
- Blade on a Stick: Ken's spear is his primary weapon, capable of powerful shock-wave attacks.
- Blood Brothers: With Syu Un Syou. Though after seeing how Shu really is, he refuses to associate with him anymore.
- Broken Pedestal: He's a bit disillusioned after learning his big brother is kind of a jerk.
- The Bus Came Back: He reappears in the second season as a Seal Guardian.
- Calling Your Attacks: The Finishing Move of his spear style, Dragon Current Strike.
- Once Tan Hi begins instructing him in the Tan swordsmanship style, he demonstrates the ability to use Tan Blade Technique: Yang Sunrise. However he can only summon one projectile instead of a Magic Missile Storm since he's still a novice.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Holding a conversation about having babies in your first attempt in courtship is definitely not the best impression for a conservative girl like Tan Hi.
- Distressed Dude: Tan Hi saved his life from the arrows of Un Syou in episode 11.
- Disney Death: In the manga, Ken San Un sacrifices himself protecting Tan Hi from being crushed by a boulder when she fell into deep despair after finding out You Ja Rei was sealed underneath the shrine. Luckily, thanks to Syou Fu Kan confirming that he's not dead, he just passed out from his injuries.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Despite learning his sworn brother's true colors and losing his right eye to him, that doesn't stop him as he found a new purpose in life by protecting the sword Syou Fu Kan uses to banish You Ja Rei, and to start a family with his beloved wife, Tan Hi.
- Establishing Character Moment: Every other character to be introduced with a traditional chinese poem describing their character has had it read out by a bodiless deep-voiced narrator. Ken recites his own, excitedly, in the story itself. It's not quite fourth-wall-breaking, but he firmly establishes the sort of person he is by beating the narrator to his own poem and posing wildly the whole time.
- 9 episodes later, when Ken is faced with his own teacher opposing him and Tan Hi, his true soliloquy is revealed in dramatic, earnest fashion, as Ken finally establishes who he wants to be, rather than whom he was trying to be all along.
- Eyepatch of Power: Ken San Un dons an eyepatch similar to Syu Un Syou's by the final episode of Season One.
- Eyescream: Syu Un Syou impaled Ken San Un's right eye with an arrow attack, leaving Ken San Un impaired for the rest of his fight in episode 11. Ironically, Syu Un Syou is also blind on his right eye.
- Fantastic Racism: He's vocally against bringing Kei Gai into the party solely because she's a demon. He also frequently comments on her race, earning him a rebuke from Tan Hi of all people.
- The Fettered: Between the pack with his brother, and his code to uphold a good morality, he chose the latter; and vows to side, and protect Tan Hi no matter what happens.
- Jerkass Has a Point: While he's not a jerk per se, his treatment of Kei Gai falls into jerk territory. And he is absolutely right to distrust her.
- Genki Guy: The most energetic character of the group.
- Glory Hound: A heroic example. As he's rather young, he doesn't want to live his life a nobody and is very willing to make a name for himself. Though episode 9 shows he's very conflicted over the idea of being evil to do so.
- Exploited when Setsu Mu Syou uses his glory-seeking as an opportunity to get him to start clearing a path for the rest of the crew.
- Hair Flip: He often flip or fixed his hair before or during the battle.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: He has short blond hair that symbolized his being good-willed, kind and loyal. Unlike his former sworn brother and the others, he's the only one beside Syou Fu Kan and Tan Hi who refused to abandon his friends/allies and disliked the idea of becoming a fake hero rather than earning the title to become one.
- Happily Married: He marries into the Tan line and will be disciplined by Tan Hi of the Tan Sword Techniques to continue her line of Seal Guardians to protect the new divine weapon Syou Fu Kan entrusted them: the Goukouken.
- Hero-Worshipper: Episode 10 reveals he looked up to Syu Un Syou as a hero. Sadly he was rather disgusted by his philosophy.
- Hotblooded: He's rather fired up for a guy with an Art Name of "Coldness."
- Innocent Blue Eyes: He has sky blue eyes and it symbolized youth, naïveté, inexperience, and purity of soul. Ken San Un is the only character with blue eyes and unconditionally stays as Tan Hi's ally.
- Keet: This guy just can't stop yapping, can he?
- Leitmotif: "from either way" (2nd half.)
- Love at First Sight: His heart literally flew out of the window the moment he met Tan Hi for the first time.
- Mukokuseki: His 2D art has him sport more of a European appearance, due to having a more square shaped jawline and generally having short blond hair in contrast of a cast that mostly has dark Rapunzel Hair. His puppet and manga appearance however has him have more of a leaner facial structure. Despite all this, his heritage has never been addressed within the story.
- Near-Death Experience: In chapter 13 of the manga, Ken was almost being killed by Setsu Mu Syou if Kei Gai haven't intervene.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: His plan to leave Demon Spine Mountain with Tan Hi and get to the Tengyouken's guard before everyone else backfires horrible as Syu Un Syou and Kei Gai predicted their strategy and stole the piece from them.
- The Nicknamer: Ken is the one who gives Syou Fu Kan his Art Name "Edgeless Blade". He originally intended to ridicule Syou Fu Kan with this name, but Syou Fu Kan in turn actually likes it.
- No Sense of Personal Space: To Syou Fu Kan in the first season.
- Plucky Comic Relief: As the youngest and most brash of the team, he's naturally prone to sass and getting in situations for comedy's sake.
- Ship Tease: To Tan Hi. By episode 13, they became the Official Couple.
- Smarter Than You Look: Tan Hi has this reaction when he reveals he created marks to navigate through the Labyrinth of Darkness. He's also very critical of Tan Hi's swordsmanship, pointing out the flaws in using such a style with her small frame.
- Suicidal Overconfidence: He honestly believes that he can beat the Screaming Phoenix Killer.
- Subverted in Season 2, where he actively tells Syou his hiding of the Sword scroll won't last forever.
- Tears of Remorse: In the manga, Ken apologizes to Tan Hi for losing the Tengyouken's guard to Un Syou and Kei Gai. Despite of it,even though they fail, but she was glad that she was able save his life, he cries in his remaining eye behind her a while she comforts him.
- Token Good Teammate: Out of the allies, he is the only one that didn't know Lin Setsu A's true plan and is very uncomfortable with idea of stealing the Tengyouken. With that, he chooses to betray Syu Un Syou and Kei Gai and side with Tan Hi after initially being forced to abandon the latter.
- Undying Loyalty: To Tan Hi, especially after episode 10.
- In the manga, his loyalty towards Tan Hi is tested as he let Tan Hi injured him in order to regain her trust after he forcefully abandoned her and Syou Fu Kan when he was with Syu Un Syou and the others. Another hinted is that he never fight or harm her when Tan Hi thinks he was enemy and a traitor.
- Unwitting Pawn: Ken San Un is airheaded to the point where Setsu Mu Syou can just casually lure him to charge into a full army of Black Demon Sect just by himself without him even knowing it. He's also the only one besides Syou Fu Kan and Tan Hi who are unaware of the true nature of Lin Setsu A.
- Walk on Water: The running variant. He isn't happy when Setsu Mu Syou saved himself the upper hand of using Meteor Walk to surpass him.
- What You Are in the Dark: As Syu Un Syou states in episode 9, he could have easily left Tan Hi to die and gotten the Tengyouken without anyone the wiser. But instead he decides to do the right thing and left Shu and Kei Gai to save Tan Hi.
- Younger Than They Look: His actual age has never been stated within the show or manga, but it presumably he's a lot younger then he looks since the members of Black Demon Sect refer him as young one or a child. He may be younger or similar age to Tan Hi.
- Cool Sword: He begins to train the way of the sword using a sword that looks very similar to Tai Kou's main weapon in Episode 13 of Season 1 and Episode 11 of Season 2. It's possible since he's married into the Tan Clan, Tan Hi passed down her deceased brother's sword to him.
- Henpecked Husband: Tan Hi has him becoming one. He's taken her family name (since she's higher birth), has given up the adventurer's life to become a shrine guardian, being forced to learn the Tan's style of ancestral swordsmanship, and facing a future of Babies Ever After to rebuild her family's lineage.
- I Am Not Left-Handed: Though he admits not being talented at using a sword, for the sake of his wife and the Tan bloodline he's dedicated himself to learn her family's swordsmanship. However anyone who ridicules Ken San Un for being an average swordsman will have a rude surprise when he picks up a spear.
- Man in White: Since the final chapter of the manga and Season 2, he wears the Tan Clan Seal Guardian robe after marrying Tan Hi.
- Multi-Melee Master: Tan Hi is forcing him to become one, since he has to master her family's ancestral swordsmanship. He was already an expert at an original spear style and complained about needing to learn another weapon technique.
- The Only One I Trust: When Syou Fu Kan fears he could be possessed by Seven Blasphemous Deaths and become the next Big Bad, he gives the Sorcerous Sword Index to Ken San Un as its next guardian. Ken accepts the responsibility, but tells Syou he cannot guarantee the Sorcerous Sword Index will remain hidden for more than a week. Someone is bound to notice his unusual journey and detect he's hiding something important. He makes Syou promise to return alive and tell stories of his adventures to Tan Hi.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: He's surprised to see Syou so worn out and panicked in Season 2 (Even refusing to let him see Tan Hi until he's cheered up a little), so reckons he must be in some really serious trouble.Ken San Un: So once you take care of your troubles, and can start making jokes about what's happened, be sure to come back.
- Storm of Blades: As a Seal Guardian, his technique is not a strong as Tan Kou since he still in training and he can only produce one when he use this on Syou Fu Kan.
- Took a Level in Badass: Season 2 shows him learning Tan Hi's family's swordsmanship as well an overall growth in character. He's less cocky, more intuitive and less naive than in Season 1.
"Damn you, Enigmatic Gale! You ignore my warning and disrupt my refuge in these woods?! Unforgivable...I swear you will pay for this!"
Chinese Name: 刑亥 Xíng Hài / Final Punishment (EN)note
Art Name: 泣宵 Kyuu Shou (JA) / Qì Xiāo (ZH) / Night's Lament (EN)note
Discipline / Position: Necromancer
Weapon Name: 弔命棘 Choumeikyoku (JA) / Diào Mìng Jí (ZH) / Mourning Life Thorn (EN)
Date of Birth: September 24.
—"The song of the demon is like poisonous honey, soothing the souls of the night and seducing the bodies of eternal sleep. Just as the living dance with delight, so too do the undead sway with grace. For those who live within the exquisiteness of the netherworld, none can grasp the language of humans, only that of the moonlight."
A powerful demon necromancer who dwells in the Night Devil Forest, and someone Lin Setsu A wishes to recruit to best the first obstacle of the Demon Spine Mountains. The other party members are wary of her because she is a demon, but Lin Setsu A assures them she can be trusted. However, Kei Gai is shown to be hostile towards Lin Setsu A for unknown reasons.
- Absolute Cleavage: Her 2D concept is obvious, and her puppet form does have them as well...it's just not that obvious.
- Adaptational Badass: She was able to steal Syou Fu Kan's sword and grab Syu Un Syou's arrows during their first encounter in the manga. She even attempts to strangle Lin to death through neck lift.
- Ambiguously Bi: Although she does sometimes flirt with Lin Setsu A or Syu Un Syou, but in the manga, she has some Les Yay moments with Tan Hi and appears to be very infatuated towards You Ja Rei. Although it is unknown if she's straight or bisexual due to You Ja Rei's unknown gender.
- Author Tract: a minor example, but Kei Gai's view of humans (and thus, the assumed viewpoint of most demons) is that humans are illogical and place too much value in things like friendship, love, and justice... All of which are things that show writer and director Gen Urobuchi has a history of questioning and deconstructing.
- Barefoot Poverty: Although she is rarely seen without shoes except in Episode 6, but in the manga adaption, she doesn't wear shoes at all.
- The Bus Came Back: As Kasei Meikou are scheming to invade Dong-Li, Kei Gai appears out of no where to provide her assistance in the fight against Syou Fu Kan and Lin Setsu A.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Even worse than Lin Setsu A!
- Evil All Along: Actually wanted to retrieve the Tengyouken from the start, as she was trying to resurrect a demon god sealed underneath.
- FaceHeel Turn: Secretly sided with Betsu Ten Gai to receive the guard for the Tengyouken in exchange for money. It worked for her agenda perfectly, as she actually wanted to resurrect a demon god..
- Fantastic Racism: According to Lin Setsu A, Kei Gai has been enduring this due to her being from a demonic race. Syu Un Syou and Ken San Un are noticeably prejudiced towards her.
- HeelFace Turn: Averted. In the novel she was originally scheming methods to restore the demon gods. However she began to like the mortal realm after finding a home, becoming Heterosexual Life-Partners with Ren Jou Shi, and falling in love with Lin Setsu A. Yet just when she began to reconsider destruction of the world to live a quieter (though still evil) lifestyle: Lin destroys her home, kills her best friend, and breaks her heart. Thus the only thing she had left was restoring the demon gods.
- Hellish Pupils: Another trait of being a demon in both manga adaptions.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Ren Jou Shi in the novel.
- Horned Humanoid: She has a pair of long horns reaching up from her head, a visual sign of her demonic nature.
- The manga adaptation seems to suggest that the horns are actually magically disguised parts of her hair, as she does not have them when she lets her hair down to go to sleep.
- The puppet design makes this more clear, as you can see her hair held up in the horn-shaped hair ornaments.
- The manga adaptation seems to suggest that the horns are actually magically disguised parts of her hair, as she does not have them when she lets her hair down to go to sleep.
- Karma Houdini: She is the only villain who, in the end, does not get their comeuppance. Indeed, after she revives You Ja Rei, we don't see her again.
- In the manga, her fate wasn't confirmed as she was last seen being buried alive from the piles of rock boulders.
- In the Story of Syou Fu Kan portion of the movie Thunderbolt Fantasy: The Sword of Life and Death which takes place one month after Betsu Ten Gai's death and the re-sealing of You Ja Rei, the remnant Black Demon Sect mooks say they learned a magic spell that turns their blood into acid and explodes their bodies if they are killed. Kei Gai mentions knowing the exact same spell before Setsu Mu Syou joins the party, as they were not sure how to obtain the Soul Echo Flute from him.
- Her fate was revealed in the season 2 finale after credit that she survived You Ja Rei's rampage from the previous season.
- Lady of Black Magic: A demon sorceress dressed in an ornate black and red robe with necromantic powers.
- Leitmotif: "Kguy & kill don't 生kiLL" (first half.)
- Magic Dance: When animating fresh corpses into her zombie thralls, Kei Gai performs a sensual dance to activate her talismans.
- Meaningful Name: Her name "Kei Gai" implanted her true mission of being the "last" of her demon race tasked to awaken the You Ja Rei (and or perhaps, all sealed demons) to give humanity their ultimate "execution."
- Mind over Matter: She has this ability in the manga adaption when she was seen making talismans.
- Multicolored Hair: In her puppet form, she has black hair with red streaks.
- Necromancer: Her demonic arts give her command over the dead. Most if not all of Kei Gai's magic requires corpses to use and she is instrumental in safely passing the Valley of the Dead.
- The Nose Knows: In the manga, she can smell blood from the far distance when she and others arrive at the Limitless Temple.
- No Sense of Personal Space: In the manga, she gets really intimate with Tan Hi, such as cuddling next to her when the group stays at an inn.
- Only in It for the Money: She's on the same boat as Syu Un Syou in teaming up with Betsu Ten Gai. Plus this is more beneficial for her anyway.
- Averted when we learn she's really trying to "resurrect" You Ja Rei
- Our Demons Are Different: Specifically she is one of the few, if only, demons to remain in the mortal realm after the war.
- Pimped-Out Dress: The attire of her puppet design has long ruffles and elaborate embroidery. Averted on her concept illustration, which is much more conservative.
- Pointy Ears: Another trait of being a demon.
- Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: In the novel, it was revealed that she had fallen in love with Lin Setsu A, unaware that it was all part of his plan to steal her pride. In the end, he breaks her heart, tricks her into killing her best friend/"business" partner, and burns down her home. Now we know why she wants him dead.
- She's Got Legs: While dancing to animate the dead, attention is drawn to her mostly bare legs during the performance multiple times.
- Shameless Fanservice Girl: The manga shows the ritual to rouse You Ja Rei from its slumber in a different manner than the TV series, as after she kills Syu Un Syou she removes her furred cape leaving only a sheer white dress beneath.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Kei Gai wants nothing to do with the party and even less with the party's ringleader, but as a demon she is particularly at risk should the Tengyouken be made whole again and so is willing to help.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: In the manga, after she kills Syu Un Syou by hanging him from a rafter with her whip, she mutilates his body by slicing him in half so she can use his blood as a another method to revive You Ja Rei.
- Token Minority: As to how Lin Setsu A defends her, she's a demon who resides in the human world with no evil intentions. Supposedly.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Her fate after the You Ja Rei resurrection remains unknown. She was last seen completing the ritual to awaken it and became engulfed in the massive explosion that followed. Circumstantial evidence of her death can be summarized from not being present when Syou Fu Kan fought the demon god. However the story emphasizes when a demon is subject to Never Found the Body, they aren't dead. Powerful demons are also able to resurrect themselves after a period of time: it's unknown if she's such a candidate, so even if she did die, she might return again.
- In the manga, her fate wasn't confirmed as she was last seen being buried alive in piles of boulders when the demon she revived begun to wreck havoc around the surrounding area.
- A throwaway line from the TV series about a spell she knows to turn corpses into acid bombs matches up with the spell the remnant Black Demon Sect members use in The Movie against Syou Fu Kan.
- It is confirmed in the season 2 finale after credit that she's alive.
- We Will Meet Again: When Betsu Ten Gai loves the idea of an Eldritch Abomination destroying the world, he says that he'll destroy the demon and be regarded as a savior otherwise. Kei Gai states that when they meet again, they'll be enemies at that moment.
- Who Needs Enemies?: Probably the person that Tan Hi should've watched more carefully. She sided with Betsu Ten Gai only so she could resurrect a demon god.
- Woman Scorned: Her dialog and mannerisms towards Lin Setsu A gives the impression of being one. Whatever he did to her: it was violent enough to want his death and explain she lost everything because of his betrayal.
- Her reason for hating Lin is explained in the novel. Where Lin Setsu A stole her heart, her home, and her best friend.
- You Didn't Ask: She rages and rants about Lin Setsu A's wrongdoing and her refusal to aid the party, without ever confirming what Lin Setsu A needed her help for. As it turns out, a legendary holy blade that could possibly kill her definitely trumps her feud with the man.
- She was only interested in the quest because she surmised the true nature of the Tengyouken was not to have killed You Ja Rei, but simply sealed him up with the possibility that he could be revived.
Setsu Mu Syou
"Now...which of you would like to die first? If you can't decide...Allow me to make it simultaneous for you."
Chinese Name: 殺無生 Shā Wú Shēng / Setsu Mu Shou (JA) / Eradicator of Life (EN)
Art Name: 鳴鳳決殺 Meihou Kessatsu (JA) / Míng Fèng Jué Shā (ZH) / Screaming Phoenix Killer (EN)note
Discipline / Position: Assassin
Weapon Name: 鳳啼雙聲 Houtei Sousei (JA) / Fèng Tí Shuāng Shēng (ZH) / Phoenix Cries Twice (EN)
—"Although ravens now bring news of life and death, people still persist uncertainly; since none can truly fathom fate, I shall end it with one strike of my blade."
A notorious, heartless killer, but also a swordsman whose skills are unparalleled. Due to some old enmity, he sets his eye on Lin Setsu A for revenge, and is obsessed with chasing Lin Setsu A down. When met with a strong opponent, he cannot help but step forward in challenge. Setsu Mu Syou thinks very highly of himself.
- Absolute Cleavage: Male example.
- Animal Motifs: Even though it's mythological, he has the motif of the Phoenix, along with Ravens and birds according to his soliloquy and skill set. Also, the animation director confirms via bonus interview within the Taiwanese ver. of episode 12, Urobuchi explicitly stated to the animation staff that the dragon within the opening theme is Setsu Mu Syou himself.◊This been confirmed by Urobuchi that it actually based off Setsu Mu Syou's design and it does not involved within the story itself.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: His response to a man's murder is "I have his flute and I am the Screaming Phoenix Killer."
- Ax-Crazy: He states that anytime he sees promise in anyone he wants to kill them.
- Backstory: Urobuchi revealed via TBF's Character Design Art Book indicating Setsu Mu Syou isn't the typical hitman in terms of being hired to target a person to kill discreetly, but he is actually a hitman hired to discontinue entire sword styles. Setsu Mu Syou was originally a ordinary swordsman who invested effort in pursuing higher levels of sword mastery to the point where he's capable of destroying schools after schools with little effort, which was a threat to all sword masters of their country and their sword styles' survival. In order to fix this, the sword masters developed a rotten system to place bids to Setsu Mu Syou as in whoever places the highest bid to him, that sword master/school can name whichever school to be destroyed by him.
- Batman Gambit: When faced with an army waiting for them across the river, Setsu Mu Syou quips that anyone who could get past the horde and kill the two generals before he got there would surely be renowned as the warrior who bested the Screaming Phoenix Killer. Naturally this spurred Ken into action and dive head first into the enemies.
- Black Knight / Blood Knight: Setsu Mu Syou is a unique blend of these two knight tropes, where in order to seek revenge towards Lin Setsu A, he used a full year strengthening his skills, turns himself cold-hearted in slaughtering anyone who has potential relations to Lin Setsu A to grasp his whereabouts, then realized his strength to be too strong for the world and losing opponents to challenge; which ultimately drives him psychotically lusting for sword fights whenever he encounters a Worthy Opponent while remaining outwardly calm and cold-hearted in pursuing Lin Setsu A.
- Calling Your Attacks: When performing a Finishing Move of his swordsmanship style.
- Killer Strike: Nocturnal Dark-Winged Cry was used to kill Ryou Mi.
- Silencing of the Gods was used against Tekkisen.
- Cool Mask: Setsu Mu Syou wears an elegantly-crafted wire mask over his left eye.
- Death Seeker: Implied. Lin Setsu A states he's been looking for someone stronger than him for a while. And despite predicating that Betsu Ten Gai would kill him, he happily attacked. Just to get a taste of what "defeat" feels like. Lin Setsu A's comments in the last episode of the season imply that this is also the real reason Setsu Mu Syou was hunting him.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: His 2D concept has a fairly pale skin complexion already, but his puppet form takes the term "cold-blooded" down to a whole new level.
- Elegant Classical Musician: Setsu Mu Syou is shown to be cultured in musical instruments, as he was seen playing the Soul Echo Flute and reviewed its timbre as not being good enough for its kind. Lin Setsu A decided to have Setsu Mu Syou be the flute performer in place of Ren Ki for their mission; since the action of taking the Soul Echo Flute from Setsu Mu Syou is deemed too dangerous for Lin Setsu A's team formation, and by having Setsu Mu Syou on board to protect the well being of Syu Un Syou and Kei Gai will be hell of a lot more beneficial for the team.
- Even Evil Has Standards: In the manga, even though he hates Lin for what he did to him in the past, but he refuses Lin to commit suicide after he rejected his offer to join him. His reason for this is because Setsu Mu Syou wants to kill him by his own hands and nobody else.
- Expy: Given his character archetype and voice actor, savvy fans can easily guess he's based on Hiei from YuYu Hakusho; or at least an interpretation of him if he never encountered any comrades who could influence him in a positive light. He's also surprisingly chatty in spite of his cold demeanor, even his own actor, who understood his character was an expy, is hilariously shocked by this:Hiyama: "He talks a TON for an antisocial character!"
- Female Gaze / Mr. Fanservice: Thanks to his Absolute Cleavage, he has leagues of fangirls swooning over him in the masses. Even T.M.Revolution of all people, is not immune to his charm:Hiyama: "I still believe my character is the coolest of them all."
- First-Name Basis: Of the entire team, he is the only person who Lin Setsu A refers by his given name: "Musho" on a normal basis.
- Flash Step: He used this to assist Ken and fighting the Black Demon Sect.
- In the manga, he used this on Ryou Mi from behind and killed her in a instant.
- Go Out with a Smile: In the manga, he died smiling after he is killed by Betsu Ten Gai.
- Implacable Man: His hatred with Lin Setsu A seeps down within him so much, he is willing to pierce anyone in his way to off Lin Setsu A's head.
- Jerkass: What do you expect, he's a psychopathic killer. Of all the people, he usually picks on Ken, as Ken's the one who wants to confront him the most.
- Knight of Cerebus: Hiroyuki Sawano gave his Leitmotif the most chillingly angry piece of bass electro of the entire soundtrack. Only one word can describe it: Terror.
- Leitmotif: "Kguy & kill don't 生kiLL" (2nd half,) and "kill don't 生kill-FUe" (his flute piece.)
- Long Haired Prettyboy: He has a same length hair as Lin Setsu A.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: His name literally means "To kill until no one lives." And his Art Name doesn't show people any mercy either: he's the "Roaring Phoenix who finishes you off;" even when you interpret his name in another way: he's "The person who can kill off a Roaring Phoenix" —You hear us, just run for your damn life!
- Nightmare Face: In the manga depict him a much more unpleasant and sinister when he's prepare or ready to kill his prey.
- One-Man Army: The Black Demon Sect mooks are no match for him, he doesn't even need to bat an eyelid to slaughter them off.
- Peek-a-Bangs: His bangs cover his left eye.
- Pet the Dog:
- Not Musho himself, but Urobuchi on the audience as if he foresaw the audience breaking down over Setsu Mu Syou's exit, and gave him one extra minute of encore time the next episode via Syou Fu Kan's point-of-view Flashback.
- He is also received his own prequel film based off the gaiden novel about his past.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Only if his eyes aren't glowing when staring at you. If he does, you're fate has already been sealed.
- Sacrificial Lion: As much as the audience were prepared for the "Urobutchering" of characters, nobody foresaw this happening to this guy.
- See You in Hell: Just before he dies, he tells Lin Setsu A he'll be waiting to ambush in him in the afterlife.
- Sexy Whatever Outfit: His outfit is outright flamboyant for an assassin.
- Scry vs. Scry: The entire time Syou Fu Kan is drinking with him, Setsu Mu Syou is a heartbeat away from pulling one of his swords and killing him. But he doesn't, because every time he gets ready to do so, his mental simulations of the fight end with Syou evading his blade; something that galls him and compels him to learn more about the man.
- His battle with Betsu Ten Gai began and ended with both predicting that it would last nine moves.
- Slasher Smile: Since in the show doesn't show facial expression, but in the manga portrays him as an unpleasant and violent infamous assassin every time he enjoys killing his enemies.
- Sour Outside, Sad Inside: The reason for his immense popularity amongst the audience was by how tragic his character was developed. Because in all actually, the sadness part of the trope is inverted for him as Setsu Mu Syou is a person who really wanted to be a good guy and do good with his skills, but his simple ambition for sword mastery became the corrupt trade amongst the sword-fighting circle (see his backstory trope), and unfortunately falls victim to Lin Setsu A's scheme in his past. Making him an infamous assassin where he never intended to be one in the first place. A hint of Setsu Mu Syou's true colors were showed through episode 5, where his presence within the inn he was staying scared off the rest of its customers; therefore he not only pays the owners for the economic damage he's caused and booked the entire building for the night, he also, despite knowing the risk to be deceived again, swiftly agreed to Lin Setsu A's proposal to make sure he does not further stay in the area to cause trouble for the public.
- Token Evil Teammate: Of everyone in the main crew, he somehow joins them, but with the promise of killing Lin Setsu A afterwards.
- Too Powerful to Live: See Backstory, Black Knight / Blood Knight, and the Death Seeker tropes above for the reasons why he's this.
- World's Best Warrior: Betsu Ten Gai appraises his swordsmanship after dueling with him:Betsu Ten Gai: "I can see why he would be known as a peerless master to the world at large."
- Worthy Opponent: He sees Syou Fu Kan as this. While Betsu Ten Gai considered Setsu Mu Syou as his worthy opponent.
- Would Hit a Girl: He doesn't mind killing Ryou Mi which it was seen in both adaptions.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: His puppet form wears his hair in magenta.
Chinese Name: 廉耆 Lián Qí / Honorable Sage (EN)
Weapon Name: 破竹 Hachiku (JA) / Pò Zhú (ZH) / Breaking Bamboo (EN)
Voiced by: Kazuhiro Yamaji (JA)
Master of Lin Setsu A, and the owner of the Soul Echo Flute.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: In his concept art, Ren Ki's eye are lime green, but his puppet form, it's dark brown.
- Badass Beard: A long white beard denoting his age.
- Badass Grandpa: Visibly the oldest character in the series, and his brief sword demonstration shows he's still vastly powerful.
- Chekhov's Skill: It might have seemed strange to viewers that the master of a Phantom Thief would be a swordsman but anyone who remembers this encounter will not be so surprised at what Lin pulls in episode 12.
- Foreshadowing: He mutters that he's going to have to clean up after his disciple before fighting Setsu Mu Syou. While he loses, when you have an Old Master implying that Lin can take care of himself, you best believe it.
- Friend to All Children: It was revealed in the manga of chapter 11 that he gets along with kids very well.
- Old Master: An expert swordsman and crafter of enchanted items. He trained Lin Setsu A in the later and it's he who made the Soul Echo Flute.
- Rugged Scar: Ren Ki has what looks like a fresh scar over his left eye.
- Too Cool to Live: His first and only fight shown has him perform some really, REALLY cool sword tricks before being Impaled with Extreme Prejudice by Setsu Mu Syou.
- Unorthodox Sheathing: He draws his sword by blasting it out of its sheath with pure force, ricocheting the sword off a boulder, and catching in mid flight.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Dies in his very first appearance.
"My duty carries more weight than my own life...If I fail in it, there's no difference between life and death!"
Chinese Name: 丹衡 Dān Héng / Vermillion Balance (EN)
Weapon Name: 穆輝劍 Mokukiken (JA) / Mù Huī Jiàn (ZH) / Solemn Bright Sword (EN)
The elder brother of Tan Hi, he is also a Seal Guardian who guards the Tengyouken along with his sister. Tan Kou is responsible for guarding the hilt of the Tengyouken, while Tan Hi protects the crossguard of the sword.
- All There in the Manual: Despite of his name was revealed in the main website, his name was never mentioned within the show nor the manga adaption. He is only refered to as "Brother" by Tan Hi.
- Subverted in the season 2 since he was mentioned by Lin Setsu A and Haku You Kou.
- Attack Reflector: A technique of the Tan swordsmanship style.
- Barrier Warrior: Generated one to slow the villains from capturing his sister.
- Beam Spam: The ultimate technique of the Tan swordsmanship style.
- Big Brother Instinct: To his sister, Tan Hi.
- Calling Your Attacks: When performing a Finishing Move of his swordsmanship style.
- Heroic Sacrifice / Sacrificial Lamb: He sacrifice himself to buy time for his sister to escape.
- Long Haired Prettyboy: He has very long black hair that reached to his feet.
- Man in White: His appearance as Seal Guardian.
- Multicolored Hair: In his puppet form, like his sister, he has black hair with dark blue streaks.
- No Body Left Behind: Tan Kou was killed by Betsu Ten Gai and his remains has been destroyed completely.
- Subverted. In the manga, his body has been destroyed except for his head, which was later used in chapter 21 by Chou Mei to show Tan Hi his horrible demise.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: His sister wasn't wrong in proudly proclaiming he was the best practitioner of the family's swordsmanship style. Thanks to various Attack Reflector, Beam Spam, and Deflector Shields; it took four attacks from Betsu Ten Gai to finally kill him. Not bad for someone fighting one of the most powerful warriors on the continent.
- Pursued Protagonist: He holds the grip part of the holy sword Tengyouken, in which the Black Demon Sect wants to obtain. Unfortunately, his half has been taken upon his death.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Like his sister, he has very long black hair and perfect skin.
- Storm of Blades: His special attack is composed like this. His storm of blades can even target its enemies.
- Sword Beam: His basic attack.
- You Shall Not Pass!: He used his body to shield his sister from enemy attacks and created a barrier to hold time for her to flee. His barrier was so strong, all Mooks who charged at him shredded to dust.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Dies in the very first scene of the series.
The Black Demon Sect
Chinese Name: 玄鬼宗 Xuán Guǐ Zōng / Genkishū (JA)
Betsu Ten Gai
Chinese Name: 蔑天骸 Miè Tiān Hái / Skeleton Who Scorns the Heavens (EN)
Art Name: 森羅枯骨 Shinra Kokotsu (JA) / Sēn Luó Kū Gǔ (ZH) / Bones of Creation (EN)note
Weapon Name: 瀆世 Tokusei (JA) / Dú Shì (ZH) / Blasphemous Era (EN)
—"All life is a prelude to death. To serve me until you are a corpse, or to be cut down and become one. You have only two options before my blade."
Leader of the Black Demon Sect, he is a skilled swordsman, and possesses necromantic powers. In order to seize the Tengyouken (Heaven's Retribution Sword) protected by the Tan siblings, he will use every means possible to invade the Tan Clan's sacred grounds.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: In his concept art, puppet form and in other medias depict him with teal eyes. However, in the manga, his eyes are grey.
- Adaptational Villainy: He's made much more unpleasant in the manga version.
- Animal Motifs: Although it wasn't stated or shown in the show, but in the manga since his final battle and use his ultimate move against Lin was cut and tone down replacing with a dragon behind instead, it implied that might be motif.
- Always Someone Better: His philosophy in life, being that person who is always better than everyone else. It also becomes his downfall. Betsu Ten Gai believes that skill and experience reigns supreme: that anyone can learn anything if they are devoted towards it enough, and those most focused will become the greatest. Lin taunts back that no matter how much skill or experience someone has, there are always those who are naturally talented and will always reign above those who are not, doing so with much less effort than those not gifted. Betsu Ten Gai has greater desire and devotion to swordsmanship, yet is bested by a man with lesser aspiration and desire to become the greatest swordsman, but already is.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: One of the greatest swordsmen in the world, and the boss of the Black Demon Sect.
- Benevolent Boss: Contrary to his big bad archetype, he's shown to be a very good leader.
- He personally trains his team, and made sure they are well fed and lives comfortably under his roof. Compared to the 7 Ragtag Bunch of Misfits that are envading his castle, his team is shown to be loyal and unified.
- He holds himself to the same standards as his subordinates. When they are defeated, he expects them to die with honor or kill themselves if spared. When the same happens to him, he takes his own life.
- Big Bad: The main antagonist of the first season.
- Calling Your Attacks: When performing a Finishing Move of his swordsmanship style.
- Demonic War Force: Total Annihilation was used against Tan Kou.
- Demonic War Force: Hellborn Rebellion was used against Lin Setsu A.
- Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Why he hasn't killed Lin Setsu A despite knowing of his reputation and intent. Lin Setsu A has hidden away the Tengyouken's guard.
- Collector of the Strange: He has a collection of human skulls in his throne room seen in the manga of chapter 7.
- Cool Mask: Wears one when outside of the tower.
- Dark Is Evil: Wears all black and is definitely evil.
- Evil Is Petty: He breaks the Tengyouken and kills himself in the process just to deny Lin Setsu A his prize, laughing all the while.
- Evil Overlord: Lives in a castle, surrounded by henchmen, a Golem, and the undead.
- Exotic Eye Designs: In the manga adaption, where he has no pupils on his eyes and instead has two thin rings on his irises. Giving him a more sinister and malevolent look.
- Flaming Sword: His sword flames up whenever he draws his sword.
- Flying Weapon: His primary fighting style which can be combined with multiple swords
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Lin Setsu A claims he was once a Mook soldier to a powerful necromancer. Somewhere along the line he pulled a Klingon Promotion and became the terrifying overlord everyone now knows.
- In the manga, Betsu Ten Gai stabbed himself with Tengyouken in the chest a while destroying it.
- Leitmotif: "蔑、guy"
- Mind Rape: In the manga of chapter 7, he use this on Ryou Mi for disgracing the Black Demon Sect and failing to kill Syou Fu Kan so he forced her to relive the scene where it would happen if she was unable to escaped to be torture and killed by Syu Un Syou until her mind is broken.
- My Kung-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: Chooses to duel against Setsu Mu Syou.
- Narcissist: After overhearing the expositions of episode 12, Lin Setsu A concluded Betsu Ten Gai's ultimate form of Pride is this; as Betsu Ten Gai is full of himself, proud of his sword skills, wanting the best swords that fits him, and even plotting to be "the savior" of their world via Kei Gai's release of the You Ja Rei. Therefore, Lin Setsu A decides to take away Betsu Ten Gai's pride through a straight-forward sword fight against him.
- Noble Demon: Worth noting he offered both Tan siblings the opportunity to surrender the sword parts to him and sincerely would have left them unharmed if they did. It was also Lin who double crossed their trade agreement, and he had no problem peacefully negotiating with Kei Gai. Had Syou Fu Kan been able to speak with him about the misunderstanding from Episode 1, before Lin and Tan got him further involved, he might have been successful in letting bygones be bygones.
- "Pop!" Goes the Human: He blew up Tan Kou just with his hand.
- Sore Loser: After losing to Lin Setsu A, he decides to break the Tengyouken and doom the world out of anger.
- The Southpaw: He is one of few characters who are actually left-handed in both adaptions.
- Sword Beam: His critical attack is made of one fully loaded sword energy ball.
- Teleport Spam: Tries this on Lin Setsu A, but was unsuccessful.
- Unorthodox Sheathing: He draws his sword by brushing it with the back of his hand, where it flies out his sheath, spins, and locks itself into his hand.
- Victorious Loser: To Lin Setsu A.
- Villain Teleportation: First seen on his fight against Tan Kou. On later episodes his teleportation is shown to have black and smokey particle effects.
- Worthy Opponent: Towards Setsu Mu Syou. He tells his men to cremate his body as a sign of respect after killing him.
- Considering that Betsu Ten Gai is a necromancer, this is actually a huge deal. He's essentially promising that he'll never desecrate and disrespect his foe's body by reanimating the corpse.
- In the manga, he even catches Setsu Mu Syou's body from falling into the ground after he killed him.
- Would Hit a Girl: Although he appears not to be interest fighting Tan Hi because she was born a woman, but in the manga, he doesn't mind and attempt to kill her as he only want the remaining piece of Tengyouken.
- Would Hurt a Child: Heavily implied in the manga adaption of Chapter 4, where after killing the village chief, he slain an innocent young boy out of boredom.
Chinese Name: 殘凶 Cán Xiōng / Vicious (EN)
Discipline: Dual Wielding
Weapon Name: 貪狼刀 Tonroutou (JA) / Tān Láng Dāo (ZH) / Greedy Wolf Sword (EN)
Subordinate of Betsu Ten Gai. He's a master sabre wielder who was assigned to hunt down Tan Hi upon her escape.
- Ambiguously Brown: His 2D concept makes him ambiguously black.
- Better to Die than Be Killed: He self-served in beheading himself in the most epic way possible.
- The Brute: The most direct and aggressive of Betsu Ten Gai's men.
- Calling Your Attacks: The Finishing Move of his swordsmanship style, Dry Bones: Blood Slash.
- Dual Wielding: After stealing Tan Hi's sword, he uses it along with his own until it's stolen back.
- Evil Laugh: Once he learns Syou Fu Kan's name, he starts laughing maniacally to inform Syou that he's been marked for death.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Zan Kyou has a prominent scar across the bridge of his nose.
- Off with His Head!: Beheads himself after learning the true name of the heroes so that his master can read his severed head's memories.
- Starter Villain: The first villain that the heroes fight (and ultimately gets them involved with taking on the Black Demon Sect).
- Would Hit a Girl: He steal Tan Hi's weapon and slash her with it.
- In the manga, he punched her and steal her weapon.
- Wrecked Weapon: In the final blow to end the fight, Syou Fu Kan also destroys Zan Kyou's sword in the process.
Chinese Name: 獵魅 Liè Mèi / Charming Huntress (EN)
Weapon Name: 魅月弧 Migetsuko (JA) / Mèi Yuè Hú (ZH) / Charming Moon Arc (EN)
Subordinate of Betsu Ten Gai.
- All Love Is Unrequited: To Betsu Ten Gai. It is hinted in episode 2 and the manga. Presumably that she just wants him to notice her more as she is greatly infatuated toward him or just worships him greatly.
- Bare Your Midriff: In manga, she starts fully exposed her stomach only showing her strapless bra after being mentally torture by Betsu Ten Gai.
- Broken Bird: After being mentally torture by Betsu Ten Gai, her personality drastically changed as she become cold, almost emotionless, and determine to get revenge on Syu Un Syou in the manga adaption.
- Calling Your Attacks: The Finishing Move of her blade style, Withering Bone Organs.
- Combat Stilettos: Wears a pair ... and of all the characters in the show, is the only one wearing some form of heels.
- Dark Chick: The only woman amongst the Black Demon Sect.
- Eyescream: Her left eye was impaled by Syu Un Syou with a arrow attack.
- Averted. As what she experiences would happen if she wasn't able escaped from Syu Un Syou was actually hallucination created by Betsu Ten Gai as punishment.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: After she being torture and disrespect the Black Demon Sect, she started to tied her hair into ponytail on the right with one of her flower clip rather than two. Knowing that how much she changed drastically after her defeat seen in the manga.
- Faux Action Girl: She talks a big game, but in her first major appearance, Syu Un Syou easily makes a fool of her until she's forced to withdraw. In her second fight scene, she tries to take on Setsu Mu Syou and is slain in one move.
- Flower in Her Hair: She wears two flower hair clips on both sides.
- Half the Woman She Used to Be: This plays out a much darker than the show as Ryou Mi was cut down in half vertically by Setsu Mu Syou in manga adaption.
- Kick Chick: Ryou Mi is the only character in the series to regularly include kicks into her attacks.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: She has red eyes and a hint that she very dangerous and skilled member of Black Demon Sect.
- She's Got Legs: Partially on her 2D concept artwork and fully exposed in the manga adaption.
- The Movie makes sure extra attention is given to her legs in the impostor Syou Fu Kan's recollection of the events of season 1.
- Single Tear: After she was killed by Setsu Mu Syou, she cried out her master before she dies.
- Weapon of Choice: Interestingly her Mandarin duck blades are known to be associated with lovers.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Her hair is violet in color.
Chinese Name: 凋命 Diāo Mìng / Withered Life (EN)
Weapon Name: 寒獠鉤 Kanryoukou (JA) / Hán Liáo Gōu (ZH) / Cold Hunting Scythe (EN)
Subordinate of Betsu Ten Gai.
- Adaptational Villainy: In the manga, he's much more cruel and is an overall sadist. He's the one who is in charge of the torture chamber that Tan Hi was imprisoned in.
- Blatant Lies: In the manga, He lied to Tan Hi that he's cutting off her damage hair after she fainted on her way to the Seven Sin Tower and he carried her the rest of the way. It obvious that Tan Hi isn't buying to his lies.
- Black Bead Eyes: In his puppet form, close to Eyes Always Shut variant. Chou Mei's eye color are actually green, but since his eye size are small (smallest of the entire cast, actually) they look beady once the camera pulls away from his close-up.
- Body Horror: In a show with some nasty deaths, his is particularly gruesome. Syou Fu Kan essentially explodes a "ki bomb" inside Chou Mei's chest, causing his rib-cage to explode outwards...through his back.
- Calling Your Attacks: The Finishing Move of his swordsmanship style, Festering Bone Heart.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: See Body Horror above the reason why his death was unusual.
- The Dragon: He appears to be the most favored and senior member of Betsu Ten Gai's lieutenant trio.
- Dual Wielding: He wields a pair of shuang gou swords.
- Empty Eyes: Starting from chapter 19 of the manga, which only make him look much more heartless, uncaring, and creepy. Which was foreshadowing when he's plans to do with Tan Hi.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Despite being cruel in the manga, Chou Mei was very disturbed by how Betsu Ten Gai mentally tortured Ryou Mi after she disgraced the Black Demon Sect.
- Finger-Lickin' Evil: A rare male example. He licks one of his two fingers after Tan Hi bite his fingers for attempt to seduce her.
- Hooks and Crooks: His tiger hook swords.
- Irony: As the person who bares the name "Withered Life," he is the last one standing of all Betsu Ten Gai's close subordinates.
- Kick the Dog: He throws one of his comrades as a distraction at Syou Fu Kan in order for him to drop his guard and injure him in the manga.
- Never Trust an Opening: The intro of the show usually shows fights that happen, including Syu Un Syou's battle against Ryou Mi and such, but it shows Ken fighting against Chou Mei. Chou Mei never fought directly until Episode 12, and even then, Ken was too weak to battle and Syou Fu Kan finished Chou Mei off with a ki bomb.
- Although this might be slightly averted as Ken was fighting him in the manga adaption, but only to told not to interfere by Ken.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Implied. It presumably he has a habit of collecting hair, eyeball, teeth, toenails or fingernails, and skins of his victims before he processing of torturing them.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Sometimes. However in later chapters of the manga and other media, his bangs cover his right eye.
- Sadist: He is far more cruel and violence in the manga adaption.
- He carved a emblem of the Black Demon Sect with a dagger on Tan Hi's back after she refused to submit, he enjoys making his victims suffer and break them completely as he brought Tan Hi's brother severed head to her.
- He even takes drastic measure by searching Tan Hi's entire body to search for the second half of the Tengyouken after she fainted.
- Short Hair with Tail: Averted. He has grey hair in the front, but the rest is tied in a long braid from the back underside that nearly reaches rear.
- Torture Cellar: He has one inside of the Seven Sins Tower seen in the manga adaption.
- Torture Technician: In the manga, he appears to be an expert of torturing his victims.
- Undying Loyalty: To Betsu Ten Gai.
- In the manga, he is shown to be very protective toward him as he doesn't want anyone to touch him and he is shown to dislike when people speak ill of his master. However, in his final moments before being killed by Syou Fu Kan, it is revealed that he is secretly afraid of him.
- Villainous Breakdown: He has a major breakdown in the manga, where after he witnesses Syou Fu Kan's true fighting style, he begins to panic as if he retreats from a battle, he would be killed by Betsu Ten Gai for his failure and disgracing the Black Demon Sect. He attempts to attack Syou knowing it would be impossible to defeat him and ends up being killed as the result.
- Villainous Crush: Downplayed towards Tan Hi in the manga adaption. Although it wasn't been stated, it seems he takes an interest in her after he captured her. However, he only said those flattering words to her so that she would submit and surrender the second half of Tenyouken.
- Although, he looks delighted after he saw Tan Hi's body and her "hidden parts".
- Who Are You?: Asked word for word upon witnessing Syou Fu Kan unleash his true fighting style and Curb-Stomp Battle his elite minions with ease.
- Would Hit a Girl: He threatened to kill an unconscious Tan Hi if Syou Fu Kan doesn't drop his weapon. In chapter 6, he hit Ryou Mi for going on her own to search for Syou Fu Kan.
- Conspicuous CG: Despite the medium of puppetry, all of the monsters in season 1 are 3D computer graphics.
Chinese Name: 魑翼 Chī Yì / Miyoku (JA)
Massive skeletal birds that make their home in the Demon Spine Mountains. The Black Demon Sect uses them for transportation and to attack enemies.
- All Flyers Are Birds: The original Chinese/Japanese name simply means "Demon Wings", but Crunchyroll's translation made them into "Demon Birds".
- Cutting the Knot: Lin Setsu A, Syou Fu Kan, and Tan Hi observe the Black Demon Sect members luring out the Demon Birds to bypass the labyrinth that they would have needed the Soul Echo Flute for to get to Seven Sin Tower. The three decide to subdue a Black Demon Sect member, steal his summoning whistle, and fly straight to Betsu Ten Gai's castle.
- Dem Bones: They appear to be living skeletons of giant birds that fly.
- Just Whistle: The Black Demon Sect uses "whistles" to summon up Demon Birds. But make sure that the whistle isn't damaged before using it.
- Summon a Ride: The Black Demon Sect uses the Demon Birds for transport mostly.
Chinese Name: 巨石傀儡 Jùshí Kuǐlěi / Kyoseki Kugutsu (JA)The guardian of the Valley of the Doll. It has a weakpoint on the nape of its neck.
- Attack Its Weak Point: The magic that controls the Stone Doll collects at a point in its neck. Attacking here would disrupt the connection and render the Doll inert, which is the job of the One-Eyed Impailer.
- Expy: Of these guys.
- Golem: A much more fitting name for the giant rock monster than calling it a "stone doll".
- Living Motion Detector: The doll will only activate when it senses the motion of intruders. It only attacked Syou Fu Kan because he was the only one moving towards it.
- Our Giants Are Bigger: The Stone Doll is a colossus that towers over everyone.
- We Need a Distraction: Syou Fu Kan's method of fighting him.
You Ja Rei
Chinese Name: 妖荼黎 Yāo Tú Lí / The Dark and Cruel Demon (EN)
Voiced by: Atsuko Tanaka (JA) (Min-Nan)
One of the strongest demons from the time of the War of Fading Dusk, legend says it has been defeated by the Tengyouken. Betsu Ten Gai believes it was the only demon god slain, as the rest of the demons were believed to retreat back into their realm when defeated by other divine weapons. Its gender is unknown due to the Japanese and Taiwanese voice over cast actors of each gender.
- Adaptational Villainy: It appears to be more terrifying and dangerous in the manga compared to it live-action counterpart. It can destroy an entire village and can shoot beams from it scythes. It even overpowers Syou Fu Kan during their final battle.
- Ambiguous Gender: Most of the characters refer You Ja Rei as a male or they, but after being sealed again, Syou Fu Kan calls it a she.
- Complete Immortality: It's impossible to kill a demon because they never die, the only way to stop it is to seal them.
- Dark Is Evil: Is shrouded in darkness for its reveal.
- Eldritch Abomination: Compared to the rest of the characters, this demon is definitely one.
- Fate Worse than Death: Syou Fu Kan banishes her into the void of space between the galaxies, where she'll be alone forever in the cold and silent emptiness of nothing for all eternity. Since demons cannot die, and the Universe is infinite, she'll have till the end of existence to ponder her mistake.
- Multipurpose Tongue: Tries to attack Syou Fu Kan with multiple tongues sticking from its mouth shaped crown.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: In Episode 12, we find that this was his ultimate fate after the War of Fading Dusk. The true purpose of Tan Hi and Tan Kou wasn't to protect the Tengyouken for the sword's sake, but to keep You Ja Rei in his prison.
- It was eventually sealed again by Syou Fu Kan using one of the divine weapons in his possession: the Goukouken. Unlike other sealing swords that send demons back to their own realm, any victim sealed by the Goukouken will be sent to the endless void of space. Even if the seal is broken, the chances of coming back are slim.
- Talking Is a Free Action: She just stood there and watched Syou Fu Kan for a full minute without attacking him, as he decided upon which Infinity +1 Sword should be used to kill her. Perhaps averted since she asked, "how do you plan to defeat me?"
- The Voiceless: In the manga, You Ja Rei doesn't speak a single word and is completely silent. It only growls and screams.
- Worf Had the Flu: When trying to negotiate with her to peacefully leave, Syou Fu Kan proclaims she isn't at full strength as a reason why she shouldn't fight him.
Thunderbolt Fantasy Gaiden
Ren Jou Shi
Chinese Name: 孌娘子 Luán Niángzi / Lady Beautiful (EN)
A character from the Thunderbolt Fantasy Gaiden novel and who is part of Kei Gai's past with Lin Setsu A.
- Animal Motifs: Peacocks are symbolic of beauty, grace and nobility.
- Beauty Mark: She has one below her left eye.
- Death by Irony: She seduces and kills men to bring body parts to Kei Gai who in turn pays her with an elixir of youth. She gets manipulated by Lin Setsu A, reverting her to her own greatly advanced age, and is ultimately killed by one of her own men.
- Dude Magnet: She loves to seduce men, and doesn't mind if they are already married. However, she does this because she kills them and gives Kei Gai the butchered bodies to make dolls, puppets, and corpses she summons in exchange for youth elixirs.
- Greed: All she wanted was to stay young and beautiful forever.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Kei Gai in the novel.
- I Just Want to Be Beautiful: She wanted to stay beautiful and youthful woman without aging. This is why she is willing to do Kei Gai's dirty work by killing men, and butchering them in exchange for youth elixirs.
- Immortality Seeker: In the novel, she wanted to stay young forever to look beautiful and seduce men forever.
- Karmic Death: She seduced and killed men for Kei Gai in exchange for youth elixir to stop aging. Ren Jou Shi ends up get killed by one of her men after she turn into an old woman by drank reserve elixir, unintentionally.
- Long Hair Is Feminine: She has long black hair that reach to her knees.
- Older Than They Look: Ren Jo Shi has been taking youth elixirs given by Kei Gai, it uncertain what's her actually age. However, after unintentionally drank reverse elixir, it's possible she revert back to her true age or just a side effect.
- Rapid Aging: Lin Setsu A tricks Ren Jou Shi into drinking an elixir that reverses the effect of the anti-aging elixirs Kei Gai had been giving her, turning Ren Jou Shi into an old hag.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: She has long beautiful black hair and fair skin.
- Stripperific: Her outfit is very revealing.