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Literature / Sorcerer Stabber Orphen
aka: Sorcerous Stabber Orphen

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Slayers' more serious foil in classic anime fantasies. Well, barring the second season.

Krylancelo Finrandi and his best friend Azalie Caith Sith are two orphans who are taken in by the people in a prestigious magic school, The Tower of Fang. Azalie, however, has some connection with the beastly dragon, the Bloody August. To uphold the magic school's reputation, the dragon must be destroyed— but Krylancelo isn't about to let that happen so easily, for this beastly dragon is Azalie: she had been transformed due to tampering with something with which she shouldn't have tampered, in her quest for power fueled by a despair she held for years inside her heart.

Krylancelo abandons the Tower of Fangs and takes up the name of Orphen, furious with the fact that they want to destroy his best friend. Afterwards, people who Orphen thought were his friends suddenly seem as though they are enemies in the race to get to Azalie first. Meanwhile, Orphen himself sets out on a journey to find and save her with his apprentice Majic Lin, and a young girl named Claiomh Everlasting who holds one of the key items Orphen needs in her house. Along the way, two bumbling Troll siblings, Volkan and Dortin, tend to make things worse no matter what.


It had a PlayStation 2 video game named Orphen: Scion of Sorcery, but was unrelated to the plot. Fairly unique, and it had a tendency to repeat plot elements. This was, shockingly, NOT the result of bad writing, and allowed it to pull off twists other games couldn't even attempt. It also had its moments of good voice acting, which more often than not carried the script. The combat was good, despite having to fight the same boss several times, and it had a solid Framing Device that culminated in a Fully Absorbed Finale.

The series originated from a 20-volume Light Novel series written by Yoshinobu Akita, Majutsushi Orphen Haguretabi, that began in 1994. Haguretabi had the same mood and elements from the first anime series, but had a plot that went much further than the small piece the show provided. Two years later, It spawned a 13-volume spin-off Light Novel series, Majutsushi Orphen Mubouhen, that embraced the more comedic elements of the series. Both series finished in 2003.


Beginning around Fall 2011, Yoshinobu Akita began publishing a new series of Orphen light novels.

A reboot TV series lauched in January 2020.

Sorcerer Stabber Orphen shows examples of:

  • Adaptation Distillation: The first season of the 1998 anime. A lot of details and plot threads from the original novels were either simplified or taken out all together, particularly back-story revolving around Orphen himself, in order to make a stand-alone story that could last for 24 episodes.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Both Azalea and Childman have brown hair in the original novels (and the manga), which in the anime became purple and green(ish?), respectively.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: In the first anime, Orphen's devotion to Azalie was absolute and no matter what evidence to the contrary was presented, he overlooked all of Azalie's flaws and went out of his way to save her and try to help her to the very end. In the 2020 anime, while Orphen still cares about Azalie and tries to help her, he most notably does not overlook or make excuses for her being a shady Jerkass, eventually confronting her and delivering the Adaptational Karma to her that she never received in the first anime.
  • Adjective Noun Fred: The title itself. However, thee original Japanese title, Majutsushi Orphen, directly translates to "Orphen the Sorcerer"
  • All Trolls Are Different: Volkan and Dortin are explicitly described as trolls but don't seem to bear any of the monstrous/gigantic traits associated with mythological trolls. In fact, if they weren't given the label of being trolls, one would more likely assume they were dwarves or a pair of naughty children who get into trouble constantly.
  • Almighty Janitor: Orphen's a pretty high level spellcaster who can exchange both physical and magical blows with high level sorcerers, take down plenty of dangerous magical creatures, and is talented enough to be considered one of thirteen candidates to become Court Sorcerer... but at the end of the day, he's still a dropout who never graduated and left the Tower of Fangs to focus on finding and curing Azalie.
  • Artifact of Death: The Sword of Baltanders, when complete, kills any sorcerer who uses it pretty much instantly. Orphen, who somehow finds a way to not get killed by it is an exception.
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: Dortin and Volkan get this constantly.
  • Babies Ever After: Invoked in the anime ending through Orphen's solution to rescuing both Azalie and Childman's souls after Azalie in Childman's body destroys said body reverting Childman in Azalie's body back into a human form, leaving one body but two souls. He places Azalie's soul in her body, then places Childman's soul in her womb, leaving her pregnant with Childman's reincarnation. This is a happy enough ending for her, even though she hasn't given birth (or is really starting to show) by the time the series ends. Might instead be an example of Someone to Remember Him By.
    • Orphen and Cleo have three daughters after the end of the first novel series. Leticia also has a son as well.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Childman was this to Orphen and Hartia, until Orphen left. Orphen can be seen as this towards Majik.
  • Black Magic: Destructive powers based on the elements of Earth, Fire, Light, Ice and Wind.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Lycoris
  • Book Ends: The first series.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Majic, towards the end of season 2
  • Broken Bird: Esperanza from Season 2. Claiomh lampshades the trope by telling her during their fight, that she wouldn't be able to harm her since she was gentle towards birds and other living things.
    • Azalie mixes this with Magnificent Bitch. Her mental/emotional state went downhill when she thought Childman only liked her for being a powerful mage, and when she thought that he wanted to kill her rather than help her when she became Bloody August... oh boy.
  • Broken Pedestal: Childman and Azalie, for Orphen.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Hartia, Orphen's best friend, is an excellent sorcerer... and a Heroic Wannabe who actually prefers to disguise himself as his childhood hero, the Black Tiger. Hilarity Ensues every time he does so.
  • The Caligula: Flamesoul
  • Calling Your Attacks: Any time when anyone casts a magical spell. Sword of Light is a popular one. Justified due to the fact that the magic human sorcerers wield is powered by their voice.
    • Averted in the English dub of the anime, where the attack names are typically replaced by banter between the combatants.
  • The Conscience: Dortin is this to the duo of himself and Volkan, albeit an ineffective one. He's much more conscientious than his brother and knows if they're doing something wrong, even trying to warn his brother many times. The problem is that Volkan never listens to him and Dortin is pretty much dragged into his schemes anyways.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Orphen and Azalie lived in an orphanage before they were taken in by the Tower of Fangs.
  • Cool Big Sis: Mariabelle, Claiomh's sister. Claiomh herself, to Lycoris. Azalie used to be this for Orphen, until things went downhill. Stephanie also is this, to a degree. Leticia in the 2020 series takes on more of this role for Orphen as Azalie herself spends just as much time riling Orphen up as she does caring for him.
  • Cosmic Horror Reveal: In the PlayStation 2 video game, it is revealed that a machine is using its creations to steal live people and put them in their own stories. The machine records these souls and feeds on them. Hence, "characters" are reused several times, cycling through roles, and screwing with the viewer and Orphen's head.
  • Creepy Child: Escalenna.
  • Crossover: With Slayers, in the form of a light novel released in 2005.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Lycoris
  • Cut Short: The first manga adaptation of the novels.
  • Dark Magical Girl: Esperanza and Azalie, again.
  • Dating Catwoman: Esperanza seemed to be slightly attracted to Orphen, or at least be genuinely intrigued by him. She once even kisses him on the lips at some point. And then it's surbverted: she did have him in good regards, but her priority was protectin Lycoris.
  • Deal with the Devil: Marco Reika and Escalenna
    • Also Stephanie, who's forced into this to save her hometown... via killing Orphen. He actually realizes this and helps her to get free.
  • Defector from Decadence: Orphen.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The opening of Battle of Kimluck, "Light of Justice", is sung by Showtaro Morikubo, the voice of Orphen.
  • Driven to Suicide: Lycoris, upon painfully finding out she was Dead All Along. Sorta.. She later tries it again to stop her family and her friends from fighting to the death.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: Though the dub is generally quite good, the fact that the spell name calling has been replace with more conventional battle dialogue causes a bit of a plot hole in the episode where Orphen gets a toothpick stuck in his throat, as it's explained that human magic in this world is powered by the sound of one's voice.
  • Dub Name Change: In the game, Scion of Sorcery. Majik has his name changed to Magnus.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Flamesoul loves his mother Shastanasi to Oedipus Complex extremes. So does his twin younger brother, Flameheart
  • Evil Plan: Azalie's vengeance against the Tower of Fangs, which she starts when she switches bodies with Childman and infiltrates it. In the second season, Marco Reika and Esperanza's plan to keep Lycoris alive and fill their Deal with the Devil with Escalenna
  • Fake Memories: In the second season, Escalenna erases Lycoris's memories of her family to use her as an Unwitting Pawn in her and Marco Reika's plans. As she guides Orphen towards Escalenna's lair, Lycoris is unaware of her own role and thinks she's an orphan girl taken in by the Royal Cavalry and assigned with taking Orphen to its headquarters. Later, however, she starts to remember...
  • Femme Fatale: Esperanza
  • Gender Bender: Stephanie is a transgender woman who was originally a male-bodied magic user named Stephan. After being gravely injured, she asked the local healers to give her a female physical body. They complied, and Stephan became Stephanie. Claiomh and Majik are surprised, but Orphen seems to not care.
  • Good All Along: In every introduction, Childman Powderfield comes across as an antagonist who's there to get in Orphen's way and kill Azalie but after a while, it turns out that he deeply cares about Azalie and wants to save her. It just so happens that he has a really bad case of Poor Communication Kills, leaving Orphen in the dark about his true intentions and by the time Orphen finds out about his true nature, it's already too late to help him.
  • Grand Theft Me: Azalie/Bloody August uses this to switch bodies with Childman
  • He Knows Too Much: Lai finds out about Azalie's Grand Theft Me and is encased in ice (He gets better later). Hartia finds out about both Lai and Azalie and is almost killed by her but manages to escape and reach Orphen, telling him the truth.
  • Heroic BSoD: Orphen, when Hartia tells him about Azalie's Grand Theft Me. Lycoris, when Esperanza is painfully and cruelly killed by Escalenna
  • Hey, You!: Claiomh almost never calls Hartia by his given name but by her nickname for him, "Shrimp Man". Except when he properly introduces himself to her, and when she talks to Orphen after Hartia almost dies.
  • Hot Springs Episode: Most notably the first and second episodes of season 2. Turns out the place wasn't really a hot springs to begin with.
  • I Have Your Wife: Stephanie is blackmailed into luring Orphen into a trap, or her hometown will be destroyed. Orphen isn't fooled by her cover and decides to help her get out of said deal.
  • "I Know You Are in There Somewhere" Fight: Subverted: Eris tries it on Majic, but fails and is knocked out. Played straight: Orphen tries again and is succesful.
  • Important Haircut: Azalie gives herself one when she starts studying magic for real.
  • Knight Templar Big Sister: Esperanza, towards Lycoris. Orphen confronts her on it when he finds out she might be The Dragon, but goes outta her way to protect Lycoris without being seen
  • Kung-Fu Wizard: While this did not apply to Orphen in the first anime, the 2020 incarnation of Orphen is especially notable for being able to combine devastating magic with equally potent hand-to-hand fighting abilities, as Hydrant, Uoar Curlaine, and multiple sorcerers working under under Childman to subdue Azalie found out the hard way.
  • Jerkass: Volkan, the troll, is this to a tea, perhaps mixed with elements of Small Name, Big Ego. Even his own sibling, Dortin, describes him as a liar, thief, backstabber and all-around pain-in-the-ass. Obsessed with his own ego and wealth in roughly equal measures, to the extent the subbing has him constantly referring to himself as "My Magnificence", he also has a serious grudge against Orphen that just gives him a reason to stir up trouble against him... not that he really seems to need it, given how frequently they cross paths in ways that has Volkan make life extra difficult.
  • Left Hanging: The prematurely-ended manga adaption of Haguretabi, which ended with a cliffhanger.
  • Lethal Chef: Claiomh. She even makes a soup called Stone Cold Killer Stew.
  • Lighter and Softer: Most of the second season, if not all. Until the Awful Truth is learned.
  • The Load: The trolls Volkan and Dortin cause far more trouble for Orphen and his companions than they do anything to help. Not even Dortin being The Conscience of the duo does all that much to mitigate this since he's pretty much forced to go along with his brother's trouble-making schemes that stirs up endless headaches for Orphen.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Azalie's Freudian Excuse was how she turned towards studies and intellectual/magical achievements to an obsessive degree, after Childman rejected her love declaration. Also, if we count familiar love, Marco Reika and Esperanza from the second season fit to a T, as all that they have done was to save Lycoris's life.
  • Monster of the Week: Primarily in Season 2.
  • Official Couple: Orphen and Claiomh.
  • The Ojou: Claiomh and Mariabella
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: Claiomh's Sword of Baltanders, which Orphen wants to use to bring Azalie back, is actually her last keepsake from her Disappeared Dad. Also, Lycoris's headband, to a degree
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Two of them, Volcan and Dorchin.
  • Plucky Girl: Claiomh will NOT let anything get in her way.
  • Poor Communication Kills: If only Azalie had known that Childman did care for her (and maybe was in love with her) and did want to save her in time, there would've been lotsa less drama. Same goes to Orphen, who horribly misjudged Hartia at some point and thought of him as a traitor... though that was actually a part of Azalie's Batman Gambit.
  • Proper Lady: Mariabella belle fits quite well.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Majik and Orphen are the most blatant example. Orphen and Hartia, as well as Lai and Hartia, might also qualify to a degree.
    • Even Dorchin and Volcan follow, though they might be a parody of the trope.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Volkan
  • Smug Snake: Shastanasi, Flamesoul, Flameheart
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Majic and the priestess Fienna, Childman and Azalie
  • Superpowerful Genetics: You have to be born with the ability in order to learn magic. The manga elaborates on why this is the case.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Orphen repeatedly utters this sentence (and variants) in the manga of the same name. You can't really blame him, though, since he is surrounded by nothing but loads and millstones.
  • Take a Third Option: Parodied with Hartia using his "Tiger" alterego to aid Orphen in his quests without having the Fang Tower on his back. Played straight by Orphen in the season 1 finale - see Babies Ever After to learn how he pulled it.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Orphen, to a degree Childman.
  • Team Mom: Claiomh tries to be this, but it doesn't always work.
  • Team Pet: Leki, though he's also more powerful than usual.
  • Teen Genius: Azalie was the most powerful witch in training of her generation.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: Orphen, Majic, and Cleo. At least for the first season.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Esperanza was the girl who really died. Not Lycoris. Only Escalena and Marco Reika knew.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Claiomh Everlasting is the Tomboy of two different duets. The first one is with Mariabella, the other is with Lycoris Nielsen.
  • Tragic Keepsake: The Tower of Fangs pendant that Orphen carries around. It actually belongs to Azalie and not to him. It turns out Lycoris's headband was this, and she couldn't remember it.
  • Tsundere: Claiomh and Eris. Both are Type A.
  • Warrior Therapist: Orphen shows some traits when he combines an "I Know You Are in There Somewhere" Fight speech with beating the crap out of the Brainwashed and Crazy Majic, in the second season
  • White Magic: There are some spells that allow the user to enter the spirit world and control it; these may be used for healing and body switching
  • Wizarding School: The Tower of Fang.
    • Orphen opens his own in the new series called the Swedenbrory School of Sorcery.
  • Word Salad Title: If you've only watched the anime, the title doesn't really make sense. The novels, and in turn the manga, explain just what a "sorcerer stabber" is.
    • The official English title used in Japan is actually Sorcerous Stabber Orphen. Small difference, but it actually makes much more sense when it is explained that a "stabber" is a magic-using assassin especially trained by the Tower for this purpose.

Alternative Title(s): Orphen, Sorcerous Stabber Orphen