Name: Nakago (心宿)
Real Name: Gi Ayuru
Age: Twenty Five
Family: Mother Matuta, Father Gi Koyuu(both deceased)
Place of Birth: Hin settlement, Kutou
Power: Tremendous psychic, psychokinetic power.
Seiyuu (Japanese): Furisawa Touru(Anime) Okiayu Ryoutarou (Drama CDs)
Voice Artist (English):
A survivor of the Hin tribe who settled in land annexed by Kutou, Nakago experienced hate and derision at an early age, for his tribe were reviled by the people of Kutou. (The Hin are said to come from the far west, which means his people's origins may well be Sairou, even though Nakago himself was born in Kutou). Though Nakago is the only survivor of his settlement, it is unclear whether other Hin may exist (in slavery, or for example, in the far West).
When just a boy, he witnessed his mother being raped in the midst of his settlement being ransacked, and the sight is enough to draw his Seiryuu power out of him for the first time. Unable to control his immense psychic potential, he obliterated not only the surrounding Kutou guards but also his mother in the blast, and then sank into a dazed state, in which he was conveyed to Kutou's capital and Emperor. Throughout his childhood and early adulthood, Nakago was sexually abused by Kutou's Emperor and forced to accept not only the death of his mother but also his failure to save his best friend from Kutou's cruelty. As he grew older, he was trained as a soldier and eventually became Shogun to the Emperor of Kutou.
Nakago's wounds run deep, and for most of the time his loyalty is still to his dead people, for whom he wants to one day take his revenge. For this reason he is waiting, biding his time until the arrival of the Seiryuu no Miko so he can realise his plans and absolve his memories once and for all. Nakago's father is revealed in his novel as Gi Koyuu - the former Shogun of Kutou whom he both killed and displaced to take his current position of power. Nakago discovered too late that Koyuu was in fact his father and this killed the last shred of hope inside of him that perhaps one day he wouldn't be alone.
On account of his mixed blood, he does not seem to have been fully accepted by either Hin or native Kutou-jin, and even his fellow Hin are wary of him, with the exception of his friend Taria and his mother. For this reason he turns to Tenkou for support and to fire his thirst for revenge.
It is probably true that Soi is the only character who really understands Nakago, although she is unable to protect him from himself.
Above all things, Nakago is, to me, his own harshest critic. One thing that is highlighted in his Gaiden, SeiranDen, is that despite the tragedies in his life, he actively refuses to kill himself although this is what he wants to do. In a sense, his life is categorised into two clear themes. Revenge against all of those who hurt him and his people...and revenge against himself for letting his powers destroy his mother and betray his closest friend. Suffice it to say, Nakago was not always a monster. In fact, once, he was a quiet, unassuming, normal little boy. It just goes to show what years of abuse and self-hate can do to a man, doesn't it?
Nakago's powers are all spiritual, in the same vein as Chichiri's but much, much more powerful. He has intense mental powers (which you might consider as a contributing factor towards his ruthless, dangerous behaviour later on - surely so much power can not be good for such a young brain). These are only drawn out of him for the first time on the attack of his people and the rape of his mother. If you remember his gentle, quieter self before his powers awakened inside of him - to have to deal with something like the obliteration of your own mother must have hurt him horribly inside. His resolution to train, control and learn about his powers really mirrors his attitude to his emotions - to control, train and use those to the best of his ability. However, in order to do both, he rather turns his back on others and on proper, normal human emotion.
Nakago is a very dangerous rival/foe for the Suzaku for the simple reason that he does not care who or what he damages along his path to revenge. In some respects, you almost feel he's happy when he's destroying things, or when he's hurting someone else. It's almost as if he's justifying his own existance by impacting on theirs - but because he's actively worked towards shutting his heart and his feelings out of his life, he's able to stoop to some pretty disgusting levels to get what he wants. He has no compunction about sacrificing Ashitare's life in Hokkan, simply because he's a beast and because he's served his purpose. He's slightly irked, but not particularly gutted when Tomo is killed by Suboshi, and Suboshi isn't punished, because Nakago still has use for him. When Amiboshi dies, he seems to be annoyed by it rather than really grieved - because it is an outcome he had not anticipated, yet he calls Amiboshi a fool, and has little sympathy for Suboshi's tears. He takes advantage of Yui's belief she was raped, saving her life but making sure she falls under his influence and although he bides his time for a long while pretending to follow her commands and do her bidding, in reality he is manipulating her as much as the rest to gain the power and influence he desires to truly wreak vengeance on the world he lives in. He invades Kounan and seeks to kill Hotohori (which he eventually does) not because he really cares about Kounan, although he does admit that uniting the four lands is an attractive prospect. He merely seeks to take the forces that follow him away from protecting Kutou's emperor - so that he can go back and exact bloody vengeance on the cruel man that abused him and ordered the slaughter of his people.
The one thing that does seem to affect Nakago's cold, calculating demeanour is the death of Soi. A lot of people have speculated whether or not he has feelings for Soi, for although they have a sexual relationship, this is generally a practical method for him to strengthen himself using Soi's own particular divine gifts. That Soi is besotted with Nakago is beyond question, since she sacrifices her life for him without a second thought. And though Nakago cruelly tells her that only one woman can be of use to him (Yui and her Seiryuu wishes) and Soi isn't it, after she is killed by Tasuki's sword Nakago does carry her body with him. It's not clear exactly why he does this, but for the remainder of the battle, he keeps Soi's corpse close to him. When he returns to Kutou, he sets her body aside only long enough to slay the Emperor, but then he takes her up in his arms once again. Perhaps, despite his hardened soul, he does genuinely have affection for her deep down that he does not recognise until after she is dead. Maybe it's a reminder of his dead friend Taria, who he saw killed in front of him because he was afraid that using his powers might destroy her along with the guards holding her down (Source: Nakago's novel). Or maybe it's Soi's own powers of bewitchment, that they can truly reach through and touch even Nakago's heart. It's unclear, but I'm of the opinion that of all the Seiryuu Seishi, he has a genuine regard for Soi. In the manga, it is Soi who is waiting for him at the gates of the next world, along with his mother (a figure for whom his affection is pretty undisputed). Nakago also saved Soi's life from abusive traders when she was only a girl of twelve (inspiring her adoration of him) which acts at odds a little with the kind of man Nakago grew to become. It is a moment of fleeting compassion for another person victimised like the Hin were - and one of those faint hints that he's not quite as cold and dead inside as he'd like people to believe.
There is one other instance when this comes through. When he sets up, with Tomo, the plot to snare and rape Miaka to prevent her from summoning Seiryuu, Nakago is prevented from carrying out the deed by a red barrier of Suzaku's making. However, having seen how easily he breaks down other Suzaku barriers, and how he is a match even for the combined powers of Suzaku's seven Seishi and the Priestess en masse, it seems unlikely to me that he could not have broken through Miaka's barrier using his Seishi powers. In the manga, Tomo actually calls him on it - he suggests that Nakago does not rape Miaka not because of the barrier, but because it's stepping too close to his own childhood experiences. Just as he saw himself in Soi, when he came to her rescue, he cannot bring himself to rape Miaka because of the way his mother was assaulted and also because of the way he himself was abused by the Kutou Emperor. Even though Miaka is the enemy and is in his way, he still cannot bring himself to commit on a woman the same act as the Kutou soldiers committed on his mother the day he first discovered his Seishi power.
Macabre as it sounds, Nakago seems to almost want to die. Certainly, he doesn't fear it. When Tamahome slays him, he doesn't seem to fight back as hard as he could do. Even when Suzaku's power was sealed, the Suzaku Shichi Seishi fought tooth and nail, some to the death, to defend their cause. But with the sealing of Seiryuu, Nakago essentially gives up. In the manga, he shares his memories with Tamahome of his own volition - in the anime, he takes Tamahome to task for peering into his past and reading his true thoughts. Either way, at his death, his thoughts are on the destruction of his tribe and perhaps, in a way, the fact that he has finally been stopped. It's almost like one of these serial criminals who can't stop hurting people and doing destructive things because of some trauma deep inside of them - I would see Nakago as one of those, and that it's Tamahome's fist (and the sealing of Seiryuu) which finally brings Nakago true peace. I said before that he wanted to die after his mother's death, but would not let himself because he felt that what he did could not be forgiven. Seeing her and Soi awaiting him probably gave him more comfort than anything else, I imagine - even despite all the suffering he caused, in essence, most if not all of it could have been prevented had he not been so abused in his youth.
Nakago's desire to seek the power of a God in order to be able to create and destroy at will seems counter to this concept of self-destructiveness, but I'm not sure it is. If you consider that Nakago is still punishing himself for the death of his mother and his friend, then eternal life is, essentially, an eternal punishment. But there's more to it than that - aside from the hot desire for vengeance that still burns inside of him, Nakago wants to justify his existance by becoming all powerful. If he has that kind of influence, then maybe he will finally find a way to fill whatever the void is inside of him.
Nakago is very handsome, and not afraid to use this to his advantage. Despite his coldness, he has an appeal for those around him - even Miaka considers him good looking, on first seeing his face! (Perhaps this is partly as a foil for Hotohori, since the two of them do come to blows in the end, one beauty against another, perhaps? Oddly enough, this is the first time in the story that Hotohori and Nakago actually meet face to face - the moment when Nakago kills Hotohori and ventures into Miaka's world). Aside from Soi's devoted affection for him, Tomo is also in love with Nakago, to the point where there's a vague rivalry between him and Soi for Nakago's affection. (It must be said that Soi would win that battle - although I wouldn't say there was much 'affection' going around.) Tomo is even willing to rape Miaka himself (even though he prefers men and NOT women at all) to help Nakago. Tomo is somewhat sadistic, however, in his leanings, and I'm sure in Nakago's eyes, far too much like the Emperor who abused him all those years.
I suppose in the end, Nakago can be called patient, careful, manipulative. He is somewhat arrogant about his plans, but then, they usually do come off. His concept of other people's feelings is not entirely lacking, which makes what he does perhaps more abhorrant in the end. He is unable to fully believe Tamahome could break the kodoku spell through love alone, and this indicates he hasn't any real concept of that depth of emotion, or the strength of friendship that brings the Suzaku dead back as spirits (unsurprisingly, considering his past). That people are tools to him on a chessboard probably best describes his attitude and his nature. A very dangerous opponant, and yet, I still think that he probably hates himself more than anyone else hates him.
After his death, Nakago does not figure in the way that the Suzaku Seishi do, and although he has a cameo in the animated first OVA, he's no longer interested in the things he was interested in during life. However, at one point in the manga/ova 2 when Yui is under attack, a blue barrier flares out around her to protect her. In the manga this is indicated to have been caused by Nakago's blue earring, which did not disappear when he died. The implication is that Nakago is still protecting Yui in some regard, although how or why is unclear and never really explained. Perhaps, in the end, Nakago did have some kind of regret or fondness for the Priestess he manipulated so cleverly...or some sense of responsibility as one of Seiryuu's chosen.
The best definition of Nakago's character I've found so far is the song, Houkou...it seems to sum him up so much better than anything else I've found. It talks about soldiers not needing anything but to win, and that losing is essentially death, that soldiers don't need love and that life without victory is nothing. This echoes his behaviour at the end of the TV series very well indeed - and seems, in my view, a more than fitting epitaph to a very troubled soul.
It's well known that Nakago is Yuu Watase's favourite character from Fushigi Yuugi (although this didn't stop her killing him off!) and this is mentioned in a joking sense in the omake from OVA 1. In the manga, it's also said that, though Nakago isn't homosexual, he wouldn't let sexuality interfere in attraction. Which explains why he derives amusement from kissing Tamahome (what is it with men wanting to kiss Tamahome, anyway...??)
It's also curious that Nakago's seishi symbol 心 "Shin" (or "Kokoro") means "heart" as well as "spirit", considering how little genuine emotion for anything or anyone Nakago ever seems to show.
It might be me, but it's also interesting (even given the several Kanji characters which have the reading "Shin") that Tomo's shell device is also named this...and Tomo is, of course, in love with Nakago...
I can't hate him any more than Yui does, for all the things he's done. He's one of the more tragic characters from Fushigi Yuugi in some respects...driven to extremes by the pain of his youth and the intense power that lives within him.