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Manga / Hana no Kishi

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"I swore it to my brother. I will find the person who attacked Sei-sama and killed my brother without fail, and punish him. And... And then more importantly... I will continue... protecting Sei-sama as her knight."
Ran Kurono

Hana no Kishi is a 2010 Shōjo manga series by Mai Nishikata.

The Ohtori family is a wealthy and prestigious family that for generations has always been protected by their twelve knights, subordinate families who serve and defend the Ohtori family and its heir Sei Ohtori. The First Knight who defends them is of the Kurono family—specifically Ran Kurono, who following her older brother Rei's death has taken it upon herself to succeed him and strive as the next First Knight, keeping her gender as a woman a secret in order to do so. However, things will not be easy for Ran and Sei in Saint Rogress Academy, where they will be tested among those that would threaten the Ohtori family and Sei.

As fellow knights seek to challenge Ran for her title for their own ulterior motives of using the Ohtori family's authority, Sei is being tested as the future head of the Ohtori family, and Sei's arranged fiance Ibara Tennou discovers Ran's secret, Ran and Sei struggle to overcome their trials.


This series contains the following tropes:

  • Alliterative Name: Saiki Souda and Shuuya Shizuka.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Ibara's older brother and Rei as "Midori."
  • Alpha Bitch: Karen Asakura, who dislikes Sei for her beauty and popularity and is furious when she mistakenly believes that Houjou is interested in Sei.
  • Always Someone Better:
    • Houjou admits to Ran that her older brother Rei was the only person to ever surpass him in everything and that he will only join Ran and her side of the knights that defend Sei only if she can surpass him in something. Ran surpasses Houjou by having friends that she can trust in.
    • When Houjou finds out that Rei is alive as Midori, Sen Kashiwazaki's "First Knight," he is desperate to fight him and demands that Sei allow him to fight instead of Ran, but both Sei and Ibara make it clear that Sei's First Knight is Ran.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love:
    • Momokawa confesses to Sei, knowing full well that he'll be rejected because Sei has feelings for someone else. Sei does reject Momokawa, but merely because she puts her duty over her love and own desires.
    • Rin confesses to Ran, but his feelings are unrequited.
    • Ibara confesses to Ran, and while Ran feels mutually, she decides to stay by Sei's side as a "man." Ibara agrees to wait for Ran until she completes her goal and is able to step down from her black uniform and being a knight.
  • Arranged Marriage: Between Ibara and Sei.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap:
    • Sei slaps Houjou after he steals a kiss from Ran.
    • Ran slaps Ibara after he asks her to return to being a girl and tries to kiss her in Chapter 25.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Ran. Ran's father doesn't look too shabby either.
  • Battle Butler: Ran all the way.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Ran quickly grows to idolize Souda for tutoring her in math and for being kind to her.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Between Ibara and Ran.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Ran's buttons are pushed if someone so much as suggests she looks feminine or if anyone insults or tries to harm Sei.
    • Ibara, Souda, and even Sei—of all people—are pissed when Houjou kisses Ran, publically humiliating her.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Sei. She is kindhearted and trusts anyone and everyone to a fault, but do not in any way insult Ran in front of her.
    • Takeru Momokawa. After getting rejected by Sei, he decides to try and be by Sei's side whatever it takes, even by challenging Ran to a duel.
  • Big Brother Instinct: This is why Souda got into a fight with several upperclassmen.
  • Bishounen: Ibara, Souda, Houjou, and Midori.
  • Bittersweet Ending/Earn Your Happy Ending: Kashiwazaki is defeated, Rei recovers from his injury in the hospital but flees, and Ibara has confessed to Ran, who feels mutually but decides to stay by Sei's side as her knight as long as the latter needs her while Ibara decides to wait for Ran until that day comes. Several years pass, and Sei succeeds in disbanding the Ohtori family, Ran returns to Ibara, and it is implied that Rei returns to Sei.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal:
    • If the majority of knights betray the future head of the Ohtori family in favor of someone else, that person will have more than enough requirements to be head of the Ohtori family while the future head that was betrayed will be unqualified. Following this past betrayal, Jin's older brother Gen died due to the inner turmoil. Also, currently, half of the knights have denounced Sei as the right heir to the Ohtori family.
    • As it turns out, Rei tried to attack Sei when they were children, but fled after Ran protected her. In the hospital, due to psychological trauma, Ran didn't remember who it was that attacked them, so Sei lied and told Ran that Rei tried to defeat the ruffian but was killed. Subverted in that attacking Sei was Rei's own way of trying to protecting both Ran and Sei and stopping Sei from becoming the next head of the Ohtori family.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Rei and Sei.
  • Bridal Carry:
    • Ibara carries Sei to the nurse's office after someone pushes Sei down the stairs and later carries Ran when she falls ill and collapses after a duel.
    • Ran carries Sei in the cover of Chapter 18.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Ibara, much to Ran's shock. He scored first on the entrance exams—ahead of both Sei and Ran, who scored second and third on the entrance exams respectively—but he would rather eat noodles and lounge on the roof reading manga rather than attending class.
  • Brutal Honesty: Souda always speaks what's on his mind.
  • Bifauxnen: Ran.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Ran plans on never conveying her feelings for Ibara, as she is Sei's knight, Ibara is Sei's fiance, and she wants to protect both of them.
  • Celibate Heroine: Ran rejects anyone who confesses to her as she is solely devoted to Sei. Then things become complicated when Ibara comes in...
  • The Champion: Ran is this towards Sei.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Ibara steals Kei Tohya's white gloves and learns that there has been someone who has been stealing white gloves. Jin later warns Ran and Sei not to do this, as a knight will be revoked if their rights if they lose their white gloves.
    • Ran and Rin are noted for having a Strong Family Resemblance. Rin later disguises himself as Ran to accept Shizuka's challenge for the title as First Knight, as he knows that Shizuka probably won't play fair (which he didn't) and does not want Ran getting hurt.
  • Chekhov's Skill: When Ibara and Rin are fighting over Ran, Rin throws sand in Ibara's eyes. Ibara later uses the same tactic on Shizuka for revenge against Shizuka injuring Rin in an unfair fight on one-against-three to the extent that he has to be hospitalized and to use Shizuka's same dirty tactic against him.
  • Childhood Friends: Ran and Sei, Rei and Sei, and Rei and Houjou.
  • Completely Missing the Point: Several times between Ran and Ibara. When Ibara thanks Ran for cheering him up over his situation with his older brother, Ran is confused and mistakes Ibara's thanks for her having to help him find clothing that would compliment Sei's for the dance. Later, Ran misreads Ibara again when she assumes him mentioning the color red meant that she should have chosen a red dress for Sei instead of a sakura-colored dress. Ibara explains that he meant a red dress would suit Ran.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: After Souda challenges Ran to a duel, she is initially conflicted with her duty out of her new found friendship with him. They both get better.
  • Death Glare: Ran's initial reaction to Ibara and his antics. Shizuka has a pretty scary glare too since it even shuts up Houjou.
  • Declaration of Protection:
    • Ran will protect Sei. Always. Ibara, Souda, Momokawa, Rin, and Houjou soon join her in this and to protect both Ran and Sei.
    • Rei's reason for attacking Sei in their childhood turns out to be so he can protect her from becoming the next head of the Ohtori family.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship: Houjou joins Sei's knights in allegiance to her once Ran surpasses him in something.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Ran, who gradually warms up to others after making friends with Ibara and Souda.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Ibara towards Ran, and Momokawa towards Sei. Ran is a gender-flipped version towards Ibara.
  • El Cid Ploy: Rin disguises himself as Ran to accept Shizuka's duel, deciding to defend the person he loves the only way he can.
  • Et Tu, Brute?:
    • According to Jin, he had heard his older brother Gen had died out of inner turmoil following Jin, Shidou, and the knights betraying him and the guardian of Rogress deeming that Gen was "unqualified" to be the next head of the Ohtori family because of this.
    • Ran is briefly shocked after learning that her older brother Rei is alive and that Sei had lied to her about it all along, but after a talk with Ibara, Ran's resolve to defend Sei as her First Knight returns.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Ran and Sei.
  • Everybody Hates Mathematics: Ran does poorly on her math exam and must be tutored by Souda. Though, it is indicated that the partial reason for Ran's grade has to do with her getting distracted over recent attacks on Sei's life.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • Houjou can be considered one to Ibara. Both find Ran and Sei amusing and interesting, but Houjou is solely interested in either those who are better than him or those of interest to him and treats everyone like toys.
    • Midori can also be considered one to Ran, as they differ on how to protect the person that is important to them—specifically, Sei.
  • Facefault: Ran in Chapter 10, which is lampshaded by Sei.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Half of the knights denounce Sei as the "true" future head of the Ohtori family and vow to oppose Sei, Ran, and the rest of her knights. Rei tried to attack Sei when they were children, but his reason behind it was to really protect Sei and stop her from becoming the next head of the Ohtori family.
  • Fanboy: Akasora-sensei claims that he is a fan of Ran's and is rooting for her to protect Sei.
  • First-Name Basis: Between Ran refers to Sei, Ibara, and Rin on first name basis. After getting to knowing Ran, Souda allows her to call him by his first name, "Saiki." Hilariously, Souda declines to call Ran by her first name, as it's difficult for him to say.
  • Flower Motifs
  • Forceful Kiss:
    • Houjou steals a kiss from Ran in Chapter 8.
    • Ibara tries to kiss Ran, but she stops it in Chapter 25.
  • Generation Xerox:
    • Ran defends Sei with her life, much like her brother Rei did before her and how her father Shidou protects Sei's father Jin too.
    • In Chapter 18, Sei is being opposed by traitorous knights who proclaim that denounce that she is the "true" head of the Ohtori family. As it turns out, in the past, this is what happened to one of the heads of the Ohtori family, Jin's older brother Gen (except he was destructive and violent), and this is what allowed Shidou, Jin, and several knights to betray him, thus making Gen "unqualified" to be the next head and it was passed on to Jin.
  • Green-Eyed Monster:
    • Ibara is so furious when Houjou kisses Ran that he has to pick random fights to vent out his frustration. Later on, he is clearly unnerved and jealous by Souda checking Ran's temperature via Headbutt Thermometer and quickly separates them and does the same thing to Ran's cousin Rin when the latter transfers to Ran's school and greets her by hugging her.
    • Sei admits to Ibara that she is envious that Ibara and Souda were the ones who helped Ran open up when she, Ran's childhood friend, could not. Ibara replies that he's envious of the bond that Sei shares with Ran.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: Ibara during the dance.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Though Rei's plans originally stemmed from his desire to protect Sei, he ends up attacking her and going against her wishes.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Though Rin wasn't much of a baddie to begin with, he eventually decides to follow Ibara's words and to allow Ran to stay as Sei's First Knight and follow her no matter which path that she chooses out of his love for her.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Ran and many of the twelve knights use swords. Ibara, however, prefers using his fists instead.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Inverted. It is Ibara who is in love with Ran. Then played straight when Ran starts developing feelings for Ibara.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Ran and Sei. Shidou and Jin. Houjou and Shizuka appeared to be this early into the series.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Though Ibara is introduced as a delinquent and a slacker who often ditches class and would read manga, he's shown to be quite perceptive of others, has fast reflexes, and is genuinely concerned for the roles that Ran and Sei must play as the First Knight and future head of the Ohtori family.
    • Akasora-sensei. He turns out to be the guardian of Rogress.
    • Rei attacked Sei in their childhood in his way of protecting her and stopping her from becoming the next head of the Ohtori family, a position that would end up getting herself killed.
  • Honor Before Reason: No matter how many times she risks her life or nearly gets herself killed because of the knight system imposed upon by the Ohtori family, Ran will always protect Sei.
  • Hot-Blooded: Ran certainly has a bit of a temper.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Two interesting variants—both Ibara and Rin, at different times, would rather Ran live the life as a girl than to constantly fight battle after battle and risking her life, and Rei would rather Sei live life as an ordinary girl so her hands would be washed clean of the filthy, bloody world of the Ohtori family. Ran and Sei themselves, on the other hand, want no part in either of this.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Ran plans on never confessing her feelings for Ibara because she is Sei's knight (and will live her life perpetually as a man), Ibara is Sei's fiance, and Ran believes that Sei is in love with Ibara.
  • I'll Kill You!: Ran threatens to "dispose" of Ibara if he doesn't straighten up as his behavior threatens Sei's chances at being the head of the Ohtori family.
  • In-Series Nickname: Ibara often refers to Sei and Ran as "the princess and her knight."
  • Imaginary Love Triangle: During the dance, Karen mistakenly believes that Houjou is interested in Sei, unaware that Houjou is really interested in Ran, and tries to humiliate Sei out of jealousy by throwing water on her. Ran stops it.
  • In the Back: After Rei accepts defeat against Ran, Sen Kashiwazaki stabs him in the back.
  • The Ingenue: Sei.
  • Kissing Cousins: Rin reveals to Ran that the reason why he is asking her to give up being a First Knight—and thus putting herself in dangerous situations one after another—is because he's in love with her.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: The Ohtori family's twelve knights are supposed to represent this, but some of them desire to become the First Knight and use the First Knight's privileges of having some of the Ohtori family's power at their disposal. However, the current First Knight, Ran, embodies this trope.
  • Lady and Knight: Naturally, Sei and Ran.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Ran was oblivious to Rin's feelings until he confessed to her is because they were raised like siblings when they were children.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Houjou.
  • Long Lost Sibling: It turns out that Rei is indeed alive and is working under Sen Kashiwazaki as his "First Knight," Midori.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Sort of. Momokawa has a crush on Sei, who may or may not have feelings for Ibara, who is in love with Ran, who feels the same way. Rin also likes Ran, and Houjou has shown an interest in Ran as well. And then there's that joke about Sei loving Ran (whether it's platonic or romantically is left up to debate), as well as the subtext between Rei and Sei...
  • Love Epiphany: After Momokawa asks Ran for help on confessing to Sei and proclaims how much his heart pounds when he sees her, Ran begins realizing she has developed feelings for Ibara after her heart pounds after sharing his shirt to cover both of them in the rain in Chapter 9.
  • Loved I Not Honor More:
    • Sei admits to Ran that she is in love with someone, which is implied to be Ran's older brother Rei, but she will not put love over her duty.
    • Double subverted in Chapter 29. Ibara confesses to Ran, who returns his feelings, but chooses to stay by Sei's side. By the end of the chapter, following the time skip, they eventually become the Official Couple.
  • Malicious Slander: Students fear Souda out of rumors that he was held back a year for getting into a fight with several upperclassmen. It turns out that he got into the fight because the upperclassmen were insulting Souda's ill younger brother.
  • Meaningful Echo:
    • Ibara telling Ran that she would look good in a red dress, the same exact thing that her brother told her in the past.
    • Ran reassures Momokawa, who wants to confess to Sei, that his feelings for her—whether he gets rejected by her or not—are not foolish, which are the same exact words that Sei told Ran when she told Sei that she wanted to become a knight.
    • Ran tells Houjou that the one thing she surpasses him in is having friends that she can place her trust in, the exact words her older brother Rei told Houjou.
      • Ibara tells Shizuka that the reason why Ran will defeat Midori is because while Ran places her trust in her friends, Midori does not place his trust in his "friends," mirroring the above words of both Ran and Rei, who turns out to be Midori.
  • Meaningful Name: Hana no Kishi means "Knight of Flower" in Japanese.
  • Megane: Akasora-sensei and Shizuka.
  • Missing Mom: Both Ran's and Sei's mothers are nowhere to be seen.
  • Motif: The series uses recurring Arthurian Legend themes, such as the dueling arena for the First Knight challenges being called "The Round Table of Avalon," "Arondight"—the name of Lancelot's sword—is proclaimed before every duel, and the head of the Ohtori family marking its heir's twelfth birthday by following the pattern of King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table and choosing twelve knights to defend the Ohtori family, and the superior of the twelve is chosen as the First Knight.
  • My Sibling Will Live Through Me: A part of the reason why Ran becomes the First Knight of the Ohtori family was to replace her late older brother Rei, who was originally supposed to be Sei's First Knight prior to his death.
  • New Transfer Student: Shuuya Shizuka and Ran's cousin Rin Kurono.
  • Not So Different:
    • Ran feels like she understands Ibara after she learns that the latter wants to reconcile with his older brother, which hits a little close to home for Ran and her missing her late older brother.
    • When Ran learns that Houjou felt that her brother Rei was better at him in everything, Ran comes to the conclusion that Houjou must have been lonely following the death of her brother, much like she was.
  • Numerological Motif
  • Oblivious to Love: Inexperienced with love, Ran is unaware that Ibara and her cousin Rin have feelings until they confess.
  • Official Couple: Ibara/Ran and Rei/Sei.
  • Ojou: Sei.
  • Only Sane Man: Ibara, who can't understand why Ran and Sei are going through such lengths due to the Ohtori family's traditions. Rin acts this way towards Ran, as he initially does not see why Ran would be willing to risk her live for Sei since she is a girl. Even Sei is aware that the Ohtori family's knight system is ridiculous and plans to put an end to the Ohtori family.
  • Poisonous Friend:
    • Rin asks Ibara to join him in exposing Ran as a girl so she can stop being Sei's knight and just be a normal girl. Ibara pretty much rejects the idea and calls Rin out on doing something that goes against what Ran wants for herself.
    • Shizuka is willing to go against the wishes of Midori and strike Ran directly as he feels that he is doing what is best for him.
    • Rei goes against Sei's wishes and the life she has chosen by trying to stop her from becoming the next head of the Ohtori family.
  • The Power of Friendship: This is the one thing Ran and Rei can surpass Houjou in, having friends that they place their trust in entirely. And this is how Ran defeats Midori/Rei, as while Ran has found someone important to defend, Rei does not have a precious person because he left Ran and Sei behind.
  • The Promise:
    • Ran vows to protect Sei and see her become head of the Ohtori family.
    • Souda made his younger brother two promises—to become a doctor and to become the First Knight.
  • Protectorate: Sei is naturally this towards her First Knight, Ran, and previously Sei was also this towards Ran's older brother Rei, who was originally supposed to be her First Knight. Ran and Sei are pretty much both seen as this to Ibara, Souda, Momokawa, Rin, and Houjou.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Ran flat-out tells Rei that if he really wanted to protect Sei, then he should have stayed by her side and followed her way of life no matter what instead of going against her wishes, and that the reason why he was defeated by Ran is because Rei didn't personally have a special person to protect until the very end.
  • The Resenter: Ibara's older brother resents him for being chosen as the Tennou family's successor in spite of being the second born child.
  • Revenge: Ran seeks to find the person who attacked Sei and killed her brother.
  • The Rival: Rin towards Ibara for Ran's affections. Ibara and Rin both later see Houjou as this as well, though it's Played for Laughs.
  • Samaritan Relationship Starter: Ran initially treats Sei's arranged fiance Ibara with disdain for his unruly behavior, but once she notices that there's more to Ibara than being a lazy slacker and that he's actually a strong and kind person, Ran eventually begins developing feelings for him.
  • Scars Are Forever: Sei has a scar from when she cut herself on her chest following the death of Ran's older brother Rei. This was so Sei could share Ran's suffering and wound in their loss of Rei.
  • School Idol: Ran, Sei, and Houjou.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Sei plans to disband the Ohtori family once she becomes the head of the Ohtori family, knowing full well that this would be suicide choice, putting her life, as well as those around her, in danger.
  • Secret Keeper: Sei and Rin know of Ran's true gender as a girl due to their personal relations to her, Ibara accidentally stumbled upon her secret, and Houjou knew it all along because he was old friends with Ran's older brother Rei. Ran later willingly reveals her gender to Souda and Momokawa as well.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Plenty between Ran and Ibara. Then there's a bit of teasing between Ran and Sei.
    • And some flashbacks seem to indicate that Sei and Rei were close to each other. It turns out that Sei is in love with Rei.
  • Shōjo Demographic
  • Shrinking Violet: Momokawa.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Ran is drawn to Ibara because he is a "strong and kind" person. Sei also describes the person that she is in love with as "strong and kind" too and someone that Ran knows well, which causes Ran to believe that Sei is in love with Ibara. In Chapter 28, Ran later deduces that the person Sei is in love with is Rei.
  • Slice of Life
  • The So-Called Coward: Momokawa is kind, shy, and timid, but he will do whatever it takes to stay by Sei's side and protect her.
  • Start of Darkness: Rei betrayed the Ohtori family and was exiled for trying to attack Sei, and later becomes Sen Kashiwazaki's "First Knight" to help him become the head of the Ohtori family instead of Sei, but Rei really did all of these things in an attempt to protect Sei and stop her from becoming the head of the Ohtori family, as her plan to disband the Ohtori family would get herself, and those around her, killed.
  • The Stoic:
    • Ran, Sei, and Souda, though Ran sometimes has trouble maintaining it.
    • Shuuya Shizuka and Midori, the latter of whom turns out to be Ran's older brother Rei.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Ran and her cousin Rin look very much alike that even their parents weren't able to tell them apart as children. Rin uses his similar appearance as Ran to his advantage by disguising himself as her to accept a duel on his behalf.
  • Student Council President: Houjou.
  • Succession Crisis: The chosen heir to the head of the Ohtori family can be challenged if there are knights following that person. It turns out that Shizuka and the rest of the traitorous knights have chosen Sen Kashiwazaki, Gen Ohtori's only son, as their heir to the Ohtori family.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Ran.
  • Supreme Chef: Ran.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Ran has disguised herself as a male so she can become the First Knight of the Ohtori family, protect Sei, and find her brother's murderer.
  • Terms of Endangerment: Houjou at one point calls Ran, "Ran-chan."
  • Theme Naming: Ran, Rei, and Rin Kurono all have their first names start with the letter R.
  • Throwing Down the Gauntlet: This is how knights challenge Ran to a duel for the title as the Ohtori family's First Knight. Ran must always accept the duel.
  • Time Skip: Chapter 29.
  • Tranquil Fury: Ran. Sei turns out to withhold her feelings as well. She must permit the duels Ran must duel as it is her family's tradition, but her clenched hand makes Ibara realize that even Sei does not Ran to have to suffer through duels as well.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Rei's betrayal in attacking Sei was so traumatic for Ran that she repressed the memory and could not remember who it was that attacked Sei. Because of this, Sei lied and told Ran that a ruffian tried to attack her, but Rei died protecting her.
  • Treacherous Advisor: Akasora-sensei appears like this at first, but he turns out to be the guardian of Rogress.
  • True Companions: Ran, Sei, Ibara, Souda, Momokawa, Rin, and Houjou.
  • Tsundere: Ibara is quite the tsundere towards Ran.
  • Undying Loyalty: Ran and the rest of Sei's knights towards Sei.
  • Unknown Rival: Karen appears to be this to Sei.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Rin.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Between Ibara and Ran.
  • Unwanted Harem: Ran and Sei both have their share of this, though Sei takes in good grace more than Ran.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Rei.
  • Wham Line:
    Ran: [to Midori] Bro... ther...?
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Ran.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Spiders?: Ran does not like spiders.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Ibara and Ran. They do.
  • Worthy Opponent: Ran and Rei are this towards Houjou.
  • You Remind Me of X: Ran notices that Sen Kashiwazaki's "First Knight" strongly resembles her late older brother Rei and is certain that it must be him because of their matching dark eyes. It is him.


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