One of the secrets to a happy life is in uncovering the big mystery of the universe: women.
Luckily for us, Kaze no Stigma offers us plenty of women to study as an example. In this article, we’ll concentrate on Kannagi’s house once again.
In the article “The mystery of Tsui Ling” we’ve shown how Ayano becomes a worthy partner in life and support for the main character.
However, as we look closer into her character, her worth turns out not to be obvious at all. She is not very bright in general, and powerless in many fights. Ayano also has a hot temper, snapping over things easily. Yet, she receives compliments and appreciation not only from Kazuma but from both their fathers, who trust her to save Kazuma at the end of the series.
“You will pay, Kazuma… FOR ALL MY MEALS!”
Starting from episode 9, Ayano makes sure that all the money Kazuma earns when working with her are spent on her in the nearest restaurant. A move that would make anyone a bit confused. Even Catherine McDonald mistakes Ayano’s move for the lack of appreciation of Kazuma.
However, after Misao is out of the picture, Ayano makes sure that Kazuma’s “business gigs”, that he takes for the Kannagi’s are not being done for money, for only for herself.
Think about it: if Kazuma spends a day of work and earns nothing as a result, it’s a financial loss. The same can be assumed if he earns very little, considering the value of his time. So Ayano acts what seemed to be very selfish, but also weird: she demands to be dragged into the best restaurants in the city after every job and without choosing, orders the most expensive meal.
That way, if Kazuma isn’t serious about her, he can always refuse to take her out, as any other girl (and there is a line of them) would be much less troublesome. Another way to do it without hurting Ayano but with the same result would be not to take any more “weird jobs” from Jugo. Since Kazuma doesn’t get out of the idiotic situation, that only means he’s enjoying Ayano’s company a lot and is willing to take expenses.
It looks like Ayano goes out of her way to be the most unbearable and expensive woman as if doing everything driving Kazuma away. In reality, she checks if he knows her actual worth over a long line of other women interested in him. And he proves over and over, that he does.
That brings forward a question: what is so extremely worthy about Ayano, that makes her arrogance worth withstanding? And why isn’t that worth a self-delusion, as it gets acknowledged by everyone else?
Alright, let’s put Jugo aside, as he has a personal interest to marry Kazuma into the family by all means necessary. Yet, Kazuma and his father both agree with Ayano’s still being a “fine woman”, despite all of her flaws.
The upside-down concept.
The truth about life starts with the concept of upside-down reality. No, this isn’t an “Australia joke”, but the rule that works on every single continent. People who suffer hide it behind the smile, people who are full of hatred cover it with love. And people who love, cover it with hatred.
Humans are made impossible to be straightforward with their feelings. Rare individuals can overcome that rule.
Because if you show exactly who you are to others, you become an “open book”. Everybody knows exactly who you are, how to play on your weaknesses, and that makes for a dangerous situation. Throughout childhood, people learn to conceal their true identity through constantly being punished by life for being straightforward.
A good and easy example can be found in Misao Ookami, a woman from Kannagi’s branch family. After her brother’s death, she decided to kill the one remaining alive person attached to the incident. So, she put on a smile and tried to seduce Kazuma multiple times. Hatred is covered by affection. Desire to apply loads of power to another person, as it’s always required to take another’s life is being covered by… total submission.
Kazuma, who’s been once married to a woman with the same intense hatred covered by love, recognizes it this time. The lesson in China with Tsui Ling taught Kazuma the upside-down lesson.
Tsundere — a woman who doesn’t hate you.
Women by nature are slightly more emotional people. That means that they harvest more emotions within themselves. Judging by that, it is slightly hard to find a woman who would “love a little” or “hate a little”. Emotions grow very easily without watering unless stopped by a hard logical process. But barely anyone ever resorts to the “cold-truth-thinking” and stops the growth of emotions.
(And yet, here’s a couple of examples…)
Ever since the beginning of the “Kaze no Stigma” anime, Ayano expresses so much visible hatred, that she attempts to kill Kazuma several times. Obviously, the upside-down rule must be applied here. We see that Ayano falls in love, but not after meeting Kazuma, not even after hearing about him and what he’s done. No.
In the first episode, we see that Kazuma arrives in the city and the wind rushes through Ayano and her classmates. Ayano had an absolutely calm conversation, however, right after the wind passes by, she snaps and screams about hatred.
In other words, Ayano’s intuition is so sharp, that she fell in love simply by sensing Kazuma’s presence nearby!
Without ever knowing who it was, or any other details. Psychological studies found out, that a woman has a powerful scanner. Seeing a person for the first time in her life, it only takes her about 50 seconds of looking to know everything about him — his general qualities, character, whether she likes him, comparability, etc… Everything needed to make a decision about their life together.
Ayano’s senses are so sharp, she doesn’t need a single second. One of the strongest feelings of instant love. Not even from the fight sight.
For the rest of the series, we see that Ayano covers all of her actions with hatred. In episode 10, Kazuma asks her if she “holds a grudge on him or something” because she orders the most expensive food without even checking if she likes it, Ayano happily replies:
“What made you think I didn’t?”
Ayano never truly explains where her hatred comes from, but she always looks annoyed and angry.
Every choice has a price.
After the experience with Tsui Ling, Kazuma knows of the upside-down rule. He sees hatred through Misao’s unreasonable admiration and he surely can see love through Ayano’s unreasonable hatred.
After all, once in his life, Kazuma’s already made the mistake of falling for a woman who made the loving face. And with her last thoughts, she wished he was dead…