The InvincibleOh yes, the final king; the first and last -- first ranking, last appearing. They say that when waging war, never begin with your strongest bet; send out a weaker one and let the enemy underestimate you. That's probably why Kunzite was restricted to the shadows for so long.
That's where he made his debut, of course, in shadow, only his glowing eyes clearly visible, as he stroked the hair of his fellow king, soothing and advising as Zoisite sobbed into his lap. This was episode twenty-two, right after Queen Beryl had given Nephrite permission to seek the ginzuishou.
Kunzite was around during the reign of two kings that came before him; he openly encouraged Zoisite to take action against Nephrite, and he was there during Zoisite's quest for the nijizuishou. After Zoisite recovered the yellow crystal and had to get the final two from Tuxedo Kamen, Kunzite stepped in. Zoisite eagerly relinquished control to his superior king, and indeed the pair gave the heroes a definite run for their money, ending up beaten only because of circumstances they could not possibly have foreseen.
Also there for Zoisite's final confrontation, Kunzite instructs the (assumably) younger man and tries to lead him down the safe path, acting as the wild card in the battle between the ponytailed king and the tuxedoed hero. However, he is unable to stop Zoisite from making his fatal mistake. Realizing that things were not going right when the nijizuishou flew away from him and hoping to act as a middleman between his lover and his queen, he teleports Tuxedo Kamen away and escapes with Zoisite.
His actions didn't help; he pleaded for Zoisite to no avail, eventually witnessing the death of the person he loved. Kunzite never said right out that he loved Zoisite; that was more the fiery younger man's style. Instead he proved his affection in the tender way he eased Zoisite's agony in flowers and gentle arms, the way he begged forgiveness to no one afterward.
But Kunzite was a devoted king, and he continued to work as the main commander minutes later. The senshi still had the ginzuishou, after all, and the Kingdom wanted it.
All of his efforts to come met with complete failure; he never obtained the silver crystal. This was partially due to the fact that he had to work with the brainwashed Tuxedo Kamen, the dark prince Endymion, who continued to save the girls while he was supposedly working against them, and partially due to the fact that many of them were very dumb plans. Very dumb plans. My least favorite episode of the season is one of his: number thirty-seven, the princess manners school one. The entire idea is stupid and the animation is atrocious, especially in the members of the Dark Kingdom. It seemed almost impossible for a guy as handsome as Kunzite to look so bad, but he did.
I do forgive Kunzite his mistakes. Zoisite's death obviously hurt him more than he let on. In the skiing episode, when Endymion so nastily mentioned the deceased king, and then Kunzite picked up the picture and looked at his lover's image with tearful eyes, I nearly cried as well.
His job as first king was limited: he tried to get the ginzuishou, and he babysat Endymion, who stole far too much of Kunzite's spotlight.
He did get center stage at the end, though, shared with neither youma nor Endymion. He met the senshi at the entrance to the Dark Kingdom and attacked them, invulnerable as ever.
Then he got the bright idea to send them into a gate of random time, into, as my fansub puts it, the "Multi-Dimensional Realm of Chaos". As luck (or possibly the ginzuishou) would have it, the gate sent them to the moon, where they regained their memories and a new resolve to fight. He pulled out all the stops in fighting them when they returned, and no matter what they did, he stopped them. The energy boomerangs/knives he was using were quite powerful.
I mean, knocking down all the senshi while they were using their powers combined in one of their little "the power of our friendship can do anything" bits that so often makes them invincible is pretty good, no?
To be completely truthful, the mighty Kunzaito-sama was kickin' ass.
But up stepped Sailormoon with her ginzuishou, and everything changed.
I'm sure he recognized what it could do to him, but he still let loose with a throw of his boomerang. And it came back to him and impaled him in the chest.
He died, screaming up at the sky to Zoisite, begging his lover to take him to wherever his spirit was. He seemed to be in disbelief that Sailormoon could deflect his own weapon back at him, but I think that it was the only kind of suicide that he would allow himself -- an honorable battle-death that can hide the melodrama and the inner pain that he was feeling.
The thing that made me wonder, after all, was how darned quickly he went from "Impossible! My own weapon..." to screaming at the sky for "Zoisite... the place where your spirit resides... take me there!". It was clear that Zoisite was at the forefront of his mind, even over the physical pain. C'mon, let's face it -- he's got a laser-knife-boomerang-thing sticking out of his chest; that's got to hurt! And yet, rather than screaming in agony... he screams for Zoisite. And It didn't look like he tried to dodge the weapon too hard, either, which was suspicious; he had no problem dodging Sailorjupiter's Supreme Thunder at the episode's beginning, which had a similar speed and trajectory.
Or maybe that's just the romantic in me.So… about Kunzite. He has a cape -- a very nice cape, in two of my favorite colors. (yes, I consider white a color!) He has hair that no one can quite say what color it is. I say white, but that's my opinion. It does vary, though. Darned inconsistent animators. But to me, it seems like they're just struggling with how to shade the white, and that's where we get the varying shades of blue, green, and silver.
Is he gay? Well, he's in love -- or whatever you want to call it -- with Zoisite, so, yes, it is pretty definite that he digs guys. Is he bisexual? I don't know. He does make comments about the beauty of women... But I think he says them teasingly, just to rile Zoisite a little.
Well, his sexuality doesn't really matter, right? He's both unavailable, and, most importantly, not real. (*sobs*) Sorry.
Currently, I think he's bi, though I've been known to play with either idea from time to time. After all, the first time I wrote this shrine I thought he was completely gay. Ask me next week and you'll probably get a different answer.
Kunzite is very powerful; his rank as the highest king is as much obvious in the way his power completely dominates the senshi, making them helpless against him, as in the way he wears both the epaulettes and the cape. His open jacket most likely has nothing to do with his rank. He probably just likes it that way, for reasons unknown. Hey, I like it that way. It is interesting, though, that someone as fastidious as he would leave his uniform in a state of casual disarray.He is a fascinating character in his own right, one who gets his development from other sources than any outward emotional breakthroughs or breakdowns.
Sometimes cold and stoic, occasionally sarcastic and cruel, he is almost frustratingly calm and deep when he lectures and helps Zoisite, offering good advice when possibly all Zoisite wants is a sympathetic word and a comforting touch. After Zoisite's death, Kunzite does not show any obvious despair, which tells volumes about his character and his inability to show emotions. The way he slowly falls to pieces afterward -- nothing seen outwardly, but quite visible in his foolish plans and the way he becomes more and more easily agitated -- tells even more about this man.
His lack of emotion demonstrates not a lack of character development (one of Jadeite's problems) but a very talented handling of it. Kunzite gains depth from hiding his personality rather than baring it. He clearly believes himself to be a very superior type of person, and he works very hard to maintain his dignity as such, no matter his situation.
The exception to his hiding of character, of course, is when when Zoisite is still alive and they are together in private. These are the times when Kunzite teases, when he flirts, when he smiles and chuckles in a way that's soft and gentle rather than gloatingly evil. These are the times when he takes a moment to admire beautiful things, the times when he comes up with plans that are brilliant rather than harebrained, the times when he gives off an impression of being even remotely relaxed.
His emotions toward his lover are still guarded, yes; he doesn't wear his heart on his sleeve like Zoisite does, but there still is a definite difference between the pre- and post-Zoi Kunzite.
Basically, Kunzite's a happier, more intelligent guy when he's getting laid.
...I'm kidding! And I apologize. That was crude.
But still, it can't be denied that Kunzite encounters a lot of personal problems after Zoisite is dead...
Another problem for Kunzite is Endymion, whose presence in the Kingdom contributes to this king's character-coldness. Kunzite seems a very secluded person, one who voluntarily cuts himself off from social contact. Forcing him to work with someone who he absolutely abhors and blames in part for the death of his lover would not be something that would make him a happy boy.
A lack of a gregarious nature does not mean he lacks in leadership ability, though. Kunzite led the Shitennou and the armies on the attack on the Moon Kingdom in the Silver Millennium, and always was there in the present to instruct and guide his youma.
He also trained and led Zoisite, but he was at ease with him. I don't think he would have suggested to anyone else to dress up as Sailormoon for the purpose of an intricate trap -- it seemed like a very private plan, made just between the two of them.
Kunzite is a strong character, too. In many ways. He has an incredible magical power, making him basically invulnerable to all attack and giving him the ability to do many things. It took his own weapon to destroy him. He also is strong physically -- his muscled chest is visible through his gaping jacket, and his solid legs can be seen especially in his last episode, number forty-four, when he being pushed back by the force of the ginzuishou. I'm sure all of the kings are tough, living in the world they do... but Kunzite kind of flaunts it. And he is strong psychically and mentally, letting all the hurt and insult injure him only slightly and to no visible degree, where it could have destroyed a different type of character.
There is something about Kunzite that makes him a very engaging person to me. He is my second favorite king, right behind his Zoisite.
Maybe it's his looks. I find him the most interesting in design of the Shitennou. I think it's the hair... I am fond of white/silver/pale blonde guys in anime. Or maybe it's his lovely narrow eyes, with their color that, like the color of his hair, refuse to be defined -- I usually call them silver-blue. Or it could be the way he wears his uniform just a bit differently than the others, what with the cape, the epaulettes, the open jacket, the boots not tucked into his pants... I don't know.
It could also be the fact that I like his attitude. Yes, I want to smack him sometimes for being an insensitive idiot or an over-macho fool, but generally his icy bastard persona is really -- pardon the pun -- cool. I do like the stoic types, I do. And while his voice acting isn't my favorite, or even my second favorite (Zoisite's and Jadeite's claim those prizes, in that order, mostly because Kunzite's can be a smidge too deep for my tastes at times), it suits him well and fits the image.
And, a somewhat-little-known fact that I think is absolutely adorable is that Kunzite, like Zoisite, attacks shouting the first syllable of his name. This was not carried over to the English dub, which makes sense, I suppose, being that Kunzite also got a name change, so a "Ku!" (which, incidentally, kind of sounds like a choke... there is a recording of it on the sounds page) would sound awfully odd coming out of a Malachite.
To me, this is evidence that Zoisite and Kunzite share some sort of background, be it teacher/student or other form of upbringing. It's a thought, at least... and it's really, really cute.
Whatever his charm comes from, Kunzite creates a force to be reckoned with. A good way to end the parade of Shitennou that march through the first season, the remaining two episodes definitely lacked something. There was a pretty spiffy set of youma, Endymion, Beryl, and Metallia to contend with, but any show without a king seemed weak and empty.
Kunzite was a great king to have around. His existence known for the longest period of time: he may not have physically appeared in as many episodes as his lover, but he had twenty-two episodes spanning his first appearance and his last, whereas Zoisite only had twenty-one. Once the last king fell, so too did the Dark Kingdom, in a matter of two episodes -- that states a lot about the importance of the Shitennou.
The importance of the Shitennou?
What about the importance of Kunzite, hmm?
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