This is about the character of the Classic "Saint Seiya" series. For Bennu Kagaho in "Lost Canvas", click here. For info on the Phoenix constellation, click here. For info on the Phoenix Bronze Cloth, click here.
- Occupation: Bronze Saint of Athena
- Constellation: Phoenix
- Armour: Phoenix Bronze Cloth, Leo Gold Cloth
- Age: 15
- Birthday: August 15th
- Birthplace: Japan
- Trained at: Death Queen Island
- Trained by: Guilty
- Height: 175cm
- Weight: 62kg
- Blood type: AB
- Related characters: Shun (younger brother), Esmeralda (love interest), Guilty (mentor), Mitsumasa Kido (father)
- Seiyuu: Hideyuki Hori (original - Hades: Sanctuary, Tenkai-Hen), Katsuyuki Konishi (Hades: Inferno)
Phoenix Ikki (鳳凰星座の一輝) is a character from the manga/anime, Saint Seiya. Although he was introduced later than the other four main bronze saints, Ikki's role in the story is quite significant -- he serves as the first antagonist in the series that the other bronze saints must defeat, as well as a powerful ally later in the series.
It's All In The Name
"Ikki" (一輝) can be translated to as "One/Singular Brilliance" or "Greatest Shine", which denotes the character's lone wolf attitude as well as his above-average, fiery power.
The Saint of Phoenix
While Ikki is officially recognized as a bronze saint, his base power easily rivals most silver saints, and his reputation as a powerhouse is common knowledge among his peers. Even as a child, Ikki was known as the toughest kid of the 100 orphans, and would often defend his wimpy younger brother Shun from the other children.
Ikki's personality is drastically different than his fellow bronze saints. He is very unlike his younger brother - who is almost the opposite of him: Shun is calm, soft, caring and very emotional, whereas Ikki is harsh, cold, aggressive, and very much of a loner. Fellow bronze saint Wolf Nachi once pointed out that it was very hard to believe Ikki and Shun were related due to the extreme difference in their personalities.
As noted by Kanon in the Poseidon arc and by Pandora in the Hades chapter, Ikki's cosmos is very unique to him -- it is a cosmos full of hate, anger, and incredible aggression. He also dislikes working in groups, and only comes to battle whenever Athena's saints need his help.
As a saint, Ikki uses two techniques to dispose of his enemies: "Hou Yoku Ten Sho," and "Phoenix Genma Ken."
"Hou Yoku Ten Sho"
"The Phoenix's greatest fist"; an attack that manifests Ikki's cosmo as a storm of fire and wind, unleashing a massive, open-handed blow capable of decimating multiple opponents. Later in the anime, the technique was frequently misrepresented as a closed-fist punch with one hand.
"Phoenix Genma Ken"
Infamous for destroying the minds of its victims -- the technique is dealt from either a single fist or a finger, and sends various nightmare illusions to the opponent's brain. The opponent is then trapped within an illusion that is almost indistinguishable from reality. Ikki's "Genma Ken" usually spells doom for the victim, unless he/she has an unusually powerful mind or cosmos. To date, Ikki has used the "Genma Ken" to defeat the likes of bronze saint Cygnus Hyoga, silver saint Auriga Capella, gold saint Pisces Aphrodite (this battle not considered canon, however), and Garuda Aiacos (in the spectre's case, the genma ken severely weakened him to the point where Ikki no longer had trouble putting him away).
In the manga, Ikki and gold saint Gemini Saga were forced into a draw when Saga attempted to use his "Demon Emperor Fist" to counter Ikki's "Phoenix Genma Ken". Both saints unleashed their respective attacks at the same time, and the immediate result was Ikki being overwhelmed. As the technique gave Saga control over his opponent, the gold saint quickly commanded Ikki to pierce the muscle in his upper left arm. With the "Demon Emperor Fist" in full control, Ikki could not help but follow through. Taunting his victory over the Phoenix, Saga then insisted that Ikki decapitate an unconscious Seiya. Ikki, again, could not resist and complied with the order. As Saga celebrated over Seiya's death, suddenly, the scenario reverted to normal and he realized that Seiya's form was still intact. Ikki explained that Saga had just become a victim to the illusional powers of the "Phoenix Genma Ken" -- although, the gold saint's own "Demon Emperor Fist" hadn't failed either. If Saga had initially instructed that Ikki decapitate Seiya instead of injuring his own arm, Ikki would have done it without question. The bloody wound on his left arm was proof of this.
The Immortal Phoenix Cloth
Ikki is connected to his cloth and constellation in more ways than one. The Phoenix cloth has the uncanny ability to reform from atoms if pulverized -- an ability that not even gold cloths have. Ikki himself can never truly die for good; while he can be killed, the constellation of the Phoenix grants him resurrection power. It is implied in the series that Ikki also receives a boost in strength from every revival.
The Gold Cloth of Leo
Being born in the month of Leo, Ikki is allowed a bit of power from that constellation. As a result, when the bronze saints are faced with a threat that requires the aid of a gold cloth, Ikki is given the option to don the Leo armor. This is seen when the gold cloth assembled itself on him during the fight with Thanatos, the God of Death.
Notable People & Events
The Bronze Saints
Ikki's only true family is his brother Andromeda Shun, with whom he shares the same father and mother with. Unlike Ikki, however, Shun was a weak, nimble child who often required the aid of his older brother to defend him from harm. Even as a saint, Shun would end up in predicaments that demanded Ikki's attention.
Ikki is also one of the first orphans to discover the true identity of his father -- Mitsumasa Kido (Cygnus Hyoga was another) -- the same man who had stolen him, his brother, and 98 other orphans from their otherwise happy homes to be served as puppets for the Graude Foundation's project. Ikki and the other orphans have hated Kido for as long as they could remember, and when he was told of the truth, he promptly decided to go on a suicide mission to kill off every last trace of Kido. This began the war between Ikki and the bronze saints when he attacked his former friends at the Galaxian Wars. The dispute was only settled when Pegasus Seiya, Dragon Shiryu, Cygnus Hyoga, and his own brother Andromeda Shun combined enough power to knock the bitterness out of him. After his defeat, Ikki revealed to Seiya that he, too, was the son of Mitsumasa Kido. Hyoga later confirmed this fact.
When the true antagonist of the story, Pope Ares, finally decided to make his presence known, Ikki found himself aligning with the bronze saints in an effort to defeat the villain. It is at this point that Ikki returns to being the compassionate older brother that Shun admired as a child.
In Next Dimension, Ikki made his return to save Shun from a critical moment at the hands of Raskmoon, a high ranking soldier of Artemis' team known as Satellites. After dispatching the threat, Ikki returned to the shadows to keep watch over his brother and his goddess on their journey to the past. He would eventually opt to follow them into the Holy War of the 1700's, where he would be challenged by Aries Shion and Garuda Suikyou.
Ikki's sensei during his stay at Death Queen Island. He is a large man with formidable skills. Guilty is extremely unique from any of the instructors in the series, and his methods of instilling discipline is much more crueler. Whereas other teachers condition their students to become warriors advocating peace, Guilty's only goal for Ikki was to unleash utter chaos through the wrath of hatred. As a testament to his own insanity, the only way Guilty allowed Ikki to pass the final exam and earn his bronze cloth was if the young man stripped himself of his humanity and kill him.
Esmeralda was Ikki's original romantic interest, and bared a striking resemblance to Shun. She was a pretty girl he met during his training days in Death Queen Island, and, in his own words, the only thing that kept him away from insanity. Esmeralda was also the daughter of his master Guilty, and in a sad twist of fate, would eventually die by an accidental blow from her father. To Ikki's disgust, Guilty felt nonchalant about killing the young girl in cold-blood, and even endorsed his mistake because she "had gotten too close to the training grounds." Esmeralda's death, along with Guilty's uneffected attitude, was the spark that finally drove Ikki to become deranged enough to kill his master -- and obtain the Bronze Cloth of Phoenix.
Shaka of Virgo
In the manga, Ikki initially encounters the Gold Saint of Virgo days after killing his master and taking over command of Death Queen Island. While Ikki was powerful at the time, he was no match for the power of a gold saint -- a fact that Shaka made him realize all too well. Fortunately, Shaka decided to spare Ikki's life when he sensed that there was good suppressed within him. He erased the memory of the encounter from Ikki's mind, and declared that pieces of this event shall forever remain hidden -- as long as they do not meet again as enemies.
Even though the encounter was erased, Ikki was left with the lasting impression that gold cloths grant immense power to its wearer -- this served as one of the reasons why he sought after the Sagittarius armor when he later invaded the Galaxian Wars.
A reunion between Ikki and Shaka was inevitable, and it took place when the bronze saint's comrades found themselves outmatched against Shaka -- even after combining all of their efforts. Luckily, Ikki was able to make the save before Shaka could end Shun's life. Upon recognizing the intruder, Shaka remarked that Ikki had grown stronger, and immediately unlocked the memory of their first meeting. Upon rediscovering the strength of a gold saint, Ikki became hesitant of the fight -- but by then, he had no choice in the matter, as Shaka unleashed one of his attacks.
The battle was a constant struggle for the Phoenix, as he had never before truly engage with a foe as powerful as the gold saint. While Ikki's cosmos had matured since their last encounter, he was still overwhelmed by the Virgo, and had to resort to his resurrection abilities in order to continue. At one point, Shaka completely removed all five of Ikki's senses, which allowed the bronze saint the opportunity to tap into his 7th sense unhindered. Even then, the Phoenix could not fully defeat Shaka, but immobilize him by removing both himself and the Virgo out of the battlefield.
Not soon after, Shaka would bring Ikki back from their spectral realm with the help of Aries Mu's psychic abilities. During their battle, Ikki's determination forced the gold saint to begin doubting his beliefs in the Supreme Pontiff, and Shaka became curious about the invaders' motivation -- there was a chance that Saori Kido was, in fact, Sanctuary's missing goddess, Athena. No longer openly opposing Ikki and the bronze saints, Shaka allowed the Phoenix to pass through his temple.
Saori Kido and Ikki share a somewhat interesting relationship. While he does not dispute the fact that she is the current reincarnation of Athena, he has been shown to readily reject her commands. At one point, the Phoenix Saint even decided to separate himself from his peers in order to pursue Pope Ares on his own. However, Ikki never directly challenges her position, aside from the initial skirmish he and the Black Saints had against the Graude Foundation and the Bronze Saints early in the series. In any case, Saori and the other bronze saints have come to learn that Ikki is a lone wolf, and does not bode well with others.
Ikki met Pandora when Shun was a baby, and he himself was still a young orphan. A young Pandora mysteriously appeared and chased after the would-be Phoenix Saint, demanding that he hand over Shun on the claim that he was actually her little brother. Young Ikki became confused and furious, and Pandora explained that fate had chosen Shun to be the next avatar of Hades.
Of course, Ikki would have none of it, and held onto baby Shun with dear life as Pandora struggled to separate the two. Ikki's will refused to give up, and a mysterious cosmos intervened. With no other option, Pandora decided to temporarily leave Shun in Ikki's care, and left a pendant on the baby as a mark for Hades. Before Pandora left, she sealed away most of the memories of this event from Ikki's mind, and would not restore it until the two met again years later.
It is speculated that Pandora might have had romantic feelings towards Ikki. After he was defeated by Hades, she is shown to be tenderly touching a stab wound she had inflicted upon him. Later on, as the bronze saints prepared to invade Elysium, it is Pandora who would free Ikki from, the icy 8th prison.
Rise from the Ashes
Message From Sanctuary
The battle between Ikki and the other bronze saints took place on a nearby mountain. Lacerta Misty, a silver saint sent from Sanctuary to assassinate the bronze saints, made his presence known when he collapsed the mountain, buring Ikki in the process. Mu and Kiki teleported the Bronze Saints and the Black 4 out of the mountain. Ikki chose not to ride the teleport.
In the anime, it is the giant Docrates who would accomplish this feat. Ikki would return soon after to aid Saori Kido and Seiya when the two found themselves ambushed by various silver saints.
Kamikaze with Shaka
In order to remove Virgo Shaka from the other bronze saints' path to the Pope, Ikki decided to sacrifice his body and cosmos when he attempted to eject both himself and Shaka to another plane. Mu brought Ikki back after Shaka requested his services.
Galaxian Dust Particles
In the manga, Ikki was completely obliterated after Saga's second "Galaxian Explosion", leaving the other characters to ponder about his fate. The Phoenix did not meet this fate in the anime - in fact, it was Saga's twin Kanon who served the Bronze Saint his very first "Galaxian Explosion".
After the Sanctuary Chapter, Ikki resurfaced to take revenge on Lymnades Caa, one of Poseidon's Generals who had humiliated Seiya, Hyoga, and Shun with mental and physical torture.
A Match with Mimé
In the anime, before battling Poseidon and his Marine Generals, Ikki and his fellow bronze saints would travel to Asgard to confront the fabled God Warriors.
Ikki was forced to abandon his cloth in order to break free from God Warrior Mimé's final attack. Seeing Ikki become unarmed, Mimé himself removed his God Robe and challenged the Phoenix Saint to one last hand-to-hand duel. After a dramatic final exchange of fists, both men fell to the ground -- with Mimé failing to survive the exchange. Ikki would return again to fight Bud.
Judgment of Hades
Hades took it upon himself to finish off the bronze saint after he had attempted to defeat the deity. Ikki's body was then sent to Coctyus, the 8th prison of Tartarus, where men who rose their fist at the gods suffered eternal punishment. The Phoenix's body was dropped off in a rather impertinent by the spectre, Harpy Valentine. Seiya was there see other alive inactive Saints: Mu, Aiolia, Milo.
In the manga, Pandora helped Ikki out of the Ice Hell but in the anime, Ikki got out all by himself to kill the last of the Specters.
Evolution of the Phoenix Cloth
Unlike every other cloths that require a massive amount of blood to repair, the Phoenix cloth can regenerate as many times as it is destroyed without the need of outside aid. But just as the other bronze cloths had, the phoenix cloth, too, would come to evolve its design with each regeneration:
- When Shaka reforms it from dust after bringing Ikki back from an alternative plane.
- When Ikki reappears in Hell to battle Garuda Aiacos during the Hades arc.
- When Ikki accidentally touched Athena's blood in the Elysium Fields, and along with Ikki's already heightened cosmos, prompted the cloth to evolve into the Phoenix God Cloth.
The Phoenix has changed form twice in the anime so far:
- When Ikki attacked Zeta Syd in the beginning of the Asgard chapter, his Phoenix Cloth took a new form enpowered by the blood of Virgo Shaka.
- When Ikki rescued Gemini Kanon from the hands of the three Judges, Wyvern Rhadamanthys, Gryphon Minos, and Garuda Aiacos in Saint Seiya Hades: Chapter Inferno.
Note: In the anime, the Phoenix cloth was reborn with the blood of gold saint Virgo Shaka, thus enabling it to become golden with the trigger of Ikki's 7th sense. In the manga, the cloth does not have this ability as it was resurrected without Shaka's blood.
Beyond the Classic
In Shiori Teshigori's manga, it is shown that Ikki's past reincarnation was Bennu Kagaho, a powerful spectre who serves under the star of the Egyptian Phoenix. While he is an official spectre, his loyalty given to no one but himself and Alone, Hades' chosen avatar of the era. He would do battle with Taurus Aldebaran and Libra Dohko, with the latter being his final opponent.
In the canon sequel to the classic manga, Ikki would follow Shun and Athena to various locales such as the goddess Artemis' lunar palace as well as the last Holy War to serve as back up in times of need. In the 17th century, he found himself entangled in battles with the previous gold saints Gemini Abel, Gemini Cain, Cancer Deathtoll, and spectres Garuda Suikyō and Gryphon Vermeer.
Saint Seiya Omega
In the anime sequel that takes place years after the original series, Ikki returned to the front lines after a long, conspicuous absence. While Sanctuary dealt with the war against Mars and his Martian army during the events of the show, Ikki was focused on another greater threat - the deity Saturn and the Four Heavenly Kings. At an unspecified point in time, the Phoenix Saint would manage to track down one of the four kings, Aegaeon, and challenge him to a battle that ended in a draw. While the Legendary Saint could not defeat him then, he was able to damage Aegaeon's holy weapon, the Gravitron Lightning Slash Sword, said to be capable of unfathomable destruction. The two would eventually meet and a rematch ensued. This time, Ikki, being more familiar with Aegaeon's techniques, was able to destroy the Gravitron Lightning Slash Sword and put the Heavenly King down for the count. However, the battle was not without its price, as the Phoenix Saint could not take out Aegaeon without sacrificing himself for the endgame.
Prior to finding Aegaeon again, Ikki also made an appearance challenging the Pallasite Miller to an impromptu battle. Miller, who had previously collected and damaged various Cloths from fallen saints, was an excellent match for Ikki and his imperishable Phoenix Bronze Cloth. Miller marveled at the Phoenix Cloth's beauty and vowed to destroy it - which the Pallasite succeeds at. However, Ikki's power and experience easily placed him above the Miller, and the Phoenix Cloth resurrected itself. Ikki overpowered the Pallasite, but before the match could end decisively, Miller was ordered to withdraw himself by a fellow Pallasite Europa for another mission.
Notes & Trivia
- Most fans originally assumed that Ikki was actually working for the Pope when he attacked the bronze saints, although this is untrue. In fact, in the manga, Hyoga was the one that Sanctuary had originally sent to assassinate the saints. Interestingly, in the anime, Gigas would declare Ikki a traitor after he refused to lend aid after resurrecting for the first time against the Fire Saint.
- In the manga version of the Hades arc, Ikki does not appear until the saints are battling spectres in Hell (upon reintroduction, he was seen wearing the third version of his cloth). In the anime, he makes an early appearance at the Sanctuary, debating with Shiryu about rather or not the bronze saints should join the gold saints in the war against Hades. An interesting thing to note is that the Ikki here sports the second version of his Phoenix Cloth, but he was seen in the third version of his cloth in the intro song, placing flowers over Esmeralda's grave. When the anime finally adapted the chapter from the manga in 2005-2006's Saint Seiya: Hades - Chapter Inferno OVAs, Ikki is shown with the "correct" version of his armor.
- In the manga contrary to the anime, Ikki's cloth is completely orange.
- Ikki has a theme song titled "You're Phoenix".
- When all of the bronze saints first fought Thanatos, the God of Death, he commented that Ikki is "more capable" than the rest of the bronze saints.
- In Saint Seiya Omega, the Phoenix Bronze Cloth appears to change back and forth between its classic Hades arc form and its Clothstone form. In the flashback of the initial war against Mars, Ikki is seen wearing the Clothstone form of the Phoenix Cloth. However, in his true debut in the anime's second season, the Phoenix Cloth has reverted back to its Hades arc form.
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