Weiß Kreuz (ヴァイスクロイツ Vaisu Kuroitsu?, literally German for "White Cross", accurately "weißes Kreuz" in German) is an anime about four assassins that work in a flower shop called "The House of Kittens", a reference to their feline codenames. The assassins are members of a group called Weiß (white), which is run by Persia of the mysterious Kritiker organization.
In addition to the two seasons of anime and one OVA series, the Weiß Kreuz franchise also includes a light novel, two manga series, and several drama CDs. Media Blasters released the anime in the North America as Knight Hunters: Weiß Kreuz.
An assassin group that is under the order of Kritiker ("critic" in German). Kritiker is a secret organization that falls under the Japanese police force.
- Ran Fujimiya (藤宮 蘭 Fujimiya Ran?)
- Codename: Abyssinian
- Voiced by: Takehito Koyasu (Japanese), Paul Juhn (English)
- He is known as Aya (アヤ?), the name that belongs to his sister who is in a mysterious coma. His parents were killed and his sister run over by Reiji Takatori, and thus he joins Weiß seeking only revenge. As a constant reminder of the purpose behind his actions, he takes on his sister's name and wears one of her earrings, which were actually a gift from him to her. Because of his past tragedy and current resolve, he is terse and seems very cold. Although Omi is the official leader of Weiß, Aya takes a great deal of influence over the team during their missions. His real name is Ran Fujimiya. He carries a katana and is very skilled with the sword. After Weiß's last mission, Ran continues to work as an assassin of the corrupt until he himself is stabbed on the street by a kid and staggers away bleeding without trying to get help.
- Omi Tsukiyono (月夜野 臣 Tsukiyono Omi?)
- Codename: Bombay (Weiß Kreuz), Persia (Weiß Kreuz Glühen)
- Voiced by: Hiro Yuuki (Japanese), Jamie McGonnigal (English)
- Due to his computer skills, Omi (オミ?) is in charge of gathering information and planning Weiß's missions. He doesn't remember his life before Kritiker (the underground crime-fighting organization Weiß is commissioned by) at the start of the series, but as the action unfolds he discovers he is in fact Mamoru Takatori, son of Reiji Takatori - head of the Takatori family, who are in some way related to almost all the missions the boys have to take. He has a tough time trying to figure out where his loyalty should lie, but in the end realizes that what he truly desires is to stop the corruption his biological family spreads. Later, in the Dramatic Precious drama CDs, he finds out that he is really Shuichi Takatori's biological son, and this is the reason he assumes the position "Persia" in Glühen. Omi was kidnapped as child, but his father refused to pay ransom. Before he was killed by the kidnappers, Omi escaped thanks to Persia. Omi's weapons consist of darts and a crossbow. Omi usually provides long range support for the more direct fighters as well as mission planning and research. After their last mission, Omi takes a position as head of the Takatori family and starts the creation of the next generation of Weiß.
- Ken Hidaka (飛鷹 健 Hidaka Ken?)
- Codename: Siberian
- Voiced by: Tomokazu Seki (Japanese), Brian Morey (English)
- Ken (ケン?) was once a talented professional soccer goalie in the J-League, but he was forced to quit due to a gambling scandal, despite the fact that he was completely innocent. It turns out his best friend, Koichiro Kase, drugged him so he would throw a game in favor of the gamblers. Ken doesn't know this, however, and is beaten up and left for dead in a burning warehouse when Kase tells him he found the leader of the gambling ring who set Ken up in the first place. Ken doesn't discover Kase's lies, believing him long gone, until he meets Kase some years later, attempting to figure out why his best friend is one of Weiß's targets. In the end, Kase, who is working very closely under a man whom Weiß needs to kill, sets Ken up once more, giving him a false lead and then shooting at Ken himself. When Kase sees him one last time, Ken doesn't grant him any mercy, although he is tormented by his actions later. Ken's weapon of choice is a glove with spring loaded claws that extend when he forms a fist, known as a bagh nakh. After Weiß's final mission, Omi uses his contacts to have Ken placed in prison, where he starts to teach the inmates how to play soccer.
- Yohji Kudou (工藤 耀爾 Kudō Yōji?)
- Codename: Balinese
- Voiced by: Shinichiro Miki (Japanese), Marc Diraison (English)
- Yohji (ヨージ?) is a ladies' man and a former private detective. It is discovered by way of some painful flashbacks and explanations on Yohji's part that he once ran a Private Investigator Agency with his first love, a young woman with sunglasses and a distinctive beauty mark named Asuka Murase. Asuka, however, was shot and killed while investigating the members-only Liott club, which hides a prostitution ring. He joined Weiß to protect all the other women of the world because he couldn't protect his love and partner, and this explains his insensitive-seeming practice of only accepting missions that have to do with women of legal age. He commonly strangles his victims to death using wires contained in his watch. Yohji gets injured during the last mission and when he comes to, he has amnesia. He is found by a woman who looks identical to Asuka and they live happily together.
- Persia (ペルシャ Perusha?)
- Voiced by: Jūrōta Kosugi (Japanese), Christopher Yates (English)
- The head officer of the police force by day and head of Kritiker, an underground organization fighting for justice, by night. His real name is Shuichi Takatori and he is Reiji Takatori's brother and Omi's biological father (with Reiji's wife; that is the reason why Reiji did not pay the ransom for Omi when he was kidnapped). He uses the codename "Marigold" in the Endless Rain drama CD and "King" in the Crashers: Knight and Ran drama CDs.
- Manx (マンクス Mankusu?)
- Voiced by: Mami Horikoshi (Japanese), Sue Gilad (English)
- Persia's red-headed secretary, whom Yoji always flirts with but never gets anywhere with. She has feelings for Shuichi Takatori, but does not act on them due to their professional relationship and his remaining love for his brother's late wife. Manx is a cold and calculating woman who doesn't let the personal feelings of Weiß members influence her decisions. She uses the codename "Erika" in the Dramatic Precious drama CDs.
- Birman (バーマン Baman?)
- Voiced by: Kikuko Inoue
- Along with Manx, Birman serves as a liaison between Weiß and Persia, bringing them their missions and information from Kritiker.
- Botan (牡丹 Botan?)
- Voiced by: Fumihiko Tachiki
- A Kritiker agent who assists Birman in guiding Weiß, and takes a particular interest in Aya due to his own personal reasons for joining the organization. He later dies in episode 17 from being shot, put on fire, and thus burned to death.
- Aya Fujimiya (藤宮 彩 Fujimiya Aya?)
- Voiced by: Yui Horie (Japanese), Rachael Lillis (English)
- The younger sister of Ran who was run over by the car of Reiji Takatori on her sixteenth birthday. She has been comatose ever since. Despite the fact that she is now eighteen years old, her body has not physically aged at all. As a result, she becomes a target of Schwarz. Aya is commonly referred to as Aya-chan to differentiate her from her older brother.
- Sakura Tomoe (巴 さくら Tomoe Sakura?)
- Voiced by: Hiroko Kasahara (Japanese), Katie Adams (English)
- A girl with a striking resemblance to Aya's younger sister. She becomes quite close to Aya, who pushes her away because he fears she will be in danger if she comes to know him, and somewhat because her resemblance to his sister brings him pain. She uses her physical resemblance to Aya's sister in order to protect Aya-chan from Schwarz later on. In the Dramatic Precious drama CDs she eventually goes abroad to study in Paris, France, acknowledging her feelings for Aya have been fading.
- Ouka Sakaki (榊 凰花 Sakaki Ōka?)
- Voiced by: Minato Ayase (Japanese), Alissa Gordon (English)
- A frequent patron of the flower shop, Ouka is a privileged schoolgirl who is especially fond of Omi. Unfortunately for both of them, she is also Reiji Takatori's illegitimate daughter, which results in her being caught up in Weiß's struggles against Schwarz and the Takatori family; the consequences, described in both the anime and the CD dramas, are especially gruesome; in the anime, she is accidentally killed by Schwarz, and in the Dramatic Precious drama CDs it is revealed that her body, along with her older brothers', has been preserved.
- Ms. Momoe (百恵さん Momoe-san?)
- Voiced by: Rachael Lillis
- The kindly owner of The House of Kittens, the flower shop where the members of Weiß work. Her lazy white cat always sleeps on her lap, occasionally looking up when interesting things happen in the shop. Generally, however, neither Ms. Momoe nor the cat see any action.
The main enemies in the series are another group of assassins called Schwarz ("Black" in German), all of whom have supernatural powers. Schwarz begrudgingly work as bodyguards for the Takatori family, and this is how they meet Weiß. Later in the series, Schwarz is seen assisting a mysterious group known as "Eszett" (the name of the German alphabetic character ß) in resurrecting their deceased leader. Weiß is to Kritiker what Schwarz is to Eszett.
- Brad Crawford (ブラッド·クロフォード Buraddo Kurofōdo?)
- Voiced by: Ryoutarou Okiayu (Japanese), Michael Tremain (English)
- Crawford is the leader of Schwarz. Though Crawford seems to follow commands without so much as a question, he is not someone to be trusted. He is very focused, although what drives him is unknown. Crawford has the ability to see bits and pieces of the future. Because of this, he has shown to be quite difficult to deal with on more than one occasion.
- Schuldig (シュルディッヒ Shurudihhi?)
- Voiced by: Hikaru Midorikawa (Japanese), Jeff Swarthout (English)
- Both sadistic and masochistic to an extent, Schuldig enjoys messing with people's heads, which is all too easy given his power of telepathy. He claims that people's minds taste like honey; however, he also complains that at times he can't tell which thoughts are his. Schuldig means "guilty" in German and Dutch.
- Nagi Naoe (直江 那岐 Naoe Nagi?)
- Voiced by: Nozomu Sasaki (Japanese), Chris Fuller (English)
- Nagi was shunned as a child by the people around him because of his telekinetic powers. He was living on the streets for quite a long time, then taken in by a nurse, who lead an orphanage. Due to the fact, that the nurse actually was using the children living in the orphanage to commit crimes, Weiss was ordered to kill the nurse. Ken, who knew a girl from the orphanage and thereby got to know Nagi as well, was the one to kill the nurse. Nagi witnessed the murder and as a result he made the church collapse by using his telekinetic powers - and from there on hated Ken in specific. He ran off and found shelter at Crawfords, who then took him in. Then he started to work with and for Schwarz to get revenge on both Ken and the world for the way everybody treated him when he was a child. He is very solemn and embittered towards the world.
- Jei Farfarello (ファルファレロ Farufarero?)
- Voiced by: Ryuusei Nakao (Japanese), Rick Mann (English)
- Called demented by most, as his multitude of scars and ability to grin at insane acts of violence toward others and himself makes this accusation seem true. When he learned as a child that his real mother was Ruth, the nun who had been his teacher, Jei snapped and murdered his adoptive parents and sister, then blocked out the memory, developing a vendetta against God and Christians. In the Dramatic Image albums III and IV, he and Schwarz meets a young woman named Sally Schumars while on the run. She is a timid witch who is trying to escape from Rosenkreuz, a group of people with special gifts similar to Schwarz's, and Schwarz has a complicated history with the Rosenkreuz organization. Farfarello and Sally fall in love, one of the main reasons being given is that she makes him feel again. At the end of the fourth Dramatic Image album, he and Sally part from Schwarz with Schwarz's sort of "blessing." Farfarello's name comes from one of the demons in Dante's Inferno.
A group of four female assassins employed and cared for by the scientist Masafumi Takatori. They are fiercely loyal to him and one another. "Schreiend" is the German word for "screaming."
- Hell (ヘル Heru?)
- Voiced by: Masako Katsuki (Japanese), Stacey Williams (voice actress) (English)
- She is the leader of Schreient, carrying out her lover's will. She was once a member of the Japanese Self Defense Force. She is normally level-headed, but can be moved to great anger. Hell means "bright" in German, and her real name is Chizuru Aoi.
- Schön (シェーン Shien?)
- Voiced by: Miki Itou (Japanese), Shannon Conley (English)
- She was once a model, and has more than a healthy appreciation for her own beauty: it is a scratch to the face that angers her the most in one battle. While she seems very self-absorbed, she does not put herself before the rest of Schreient. Schön means "beautiful" in German, and her real name is Karen Kitaura.
- Neu (ノイ Noi?)
- Voiced by: Kotono Mitsuishi (Japanese), Kaitlin O'Neal (English)
- A strike to her face in one battle breaks her visor and reveals to Yoji the eyes of someone he believed dead: his ex-lover and partner, Asuka. The anime never conclusively states whether she is or is not, however, and she seems to have no memory of Yoji. In episode sixteen, she uses the name "Kyoko" when she tries to seduce (and then kill) Yoji. Neu means "new" in German.
- Tot (トート Toto?)
- Voiced by: Yuko Mizutani (Japanese), Rachael Lillis (English)
- This seventeen-year-old girl acts much, much younger than she is, talking to her stuffed rabbit and referring to herself in third person, although a definitive reason is never given. It is implied that she was abused by her father, as she says that he was a "very bad man," and that Schreient actually rescued her from him. She is involved in a short, sweet love affair with Schwarz's Nagi before her apparent death at the hands of Farfarello. It is revealed in episode twenty-five that Nagi was able to save her from death, using his telekinetic powers to re-start her stopped heart. Tot means "dead" in German, and her real name is Nanami Kyouno.
The Takatori Family
A family that seems to be involved in all the crimes Weiß deal with.
- Reiji Takatori (鷹取 玲司 Takatori Reiji?)
- Voiced by: Norio Wakamoto (Japanese), Mike Pollock (English)
- The head of the family. Once thought to be Omi's father. He killed Aya's parents to cover up the fact that he'd been embezzling from the bank where Aya's father worked, leaving Mr. Fujimiya to take the blame, and ran Aya-chan down with his limousine when she escaped the explosion he had set off in their home to cover his crime.
- Hirofumi Takatori (鷹取 弘史 Takatori Hirofumi?)
- Voiced by: Masaki Aizawa (Japanese), Patrick Lanczki (English)
- Reiji's eldest son, the one who reveals to Omi who he truly is. Hirofumi supports Reiji's ambitions and carries favor with potential political allies by doing things like staging hunts where they can chase down and kill human prey. In the flashbacks that Omi has, it is revealed that he was the kinder of Omi's two brothers, but was corrupted by his father.
- Masafumi Takatori (鷹取 雅史 Takatori Masafumi?)
- Voiced by: Keiji Fujiwara (Japanese), Kevin T. Collins (English)
- Reiji's second eldest son and the scientist who backs Schreient. Masafumi's goal is to create a chemical formula which will make him immortal and godlike, and to accomplish that goal he performs illegal experiments on unwilling victims. He seems to have a thing for pretty girls and boys, and at the beginning, he will only experiment on young children who are "pretty."
A light novel entitled Weiß - Forever White was serialized from July 1997 to December 1997 in the anime and manga magazine Animage, published by Tokuma Shoten. It was written by Keni'ichi Kanemaki and illustrated by Kyoko Tsuchiya.
Weiß - An Assassin and White Shaman
Weiß - An Assassin and White Shaman, illustrated by Kyoko Tsuchiya and story by voice actor Takehito Koyasu, was serialized in the shōjo manga magazine Wings, published by Shinshokan. The chapters were collected into two tankōbon, and the first one includes thirty-two color pages, and the second one includes twenty color pages. It takes place before Forever White and explains how Aya first joined Weiß. Due to the differences between the manga version and the anime version of Aya's back story, Weiß - An Assassin and White Shaman is not a prequel to the anime. Weiß - An Assassin and White Shaman is published in German by Egmont Manga & Anime.
Weiß Side B
Weiß Side B, illustrated by Shoko Ohmine, takes place after the events of Weiß Kreuz Glühen. It is published by Ichijinsha; the first thirty-one chapters were serialized in Monthly Comic Zero Sum and chapters thirty-two through thirty-seven were serialized in the quarterly magazine Zero Sum WARD. Weiß Side B ended with the publication of chapter thirty-seven in the Summer 2007 issue of Zero Sum WARD. The final chapters have yet to be collected in tankōbon format. Weiß Side B is also published in German by Egmont Manga & Anime.
Initially, the series was supposed to end with Weiß Kreuz Glühen, as Aya died in the final episode, and Koyasu originally wanted Ohmine to do a manga adaptation of Weiß Kreuz Glühen, but then he decided it would be boring to tell the same story twice, so Weiß Side B ended up being a sequel and Aya was brought "back from hell."
Weiß Kreuz is the first of the Weiß anime series. It runs twenty-five episodes and follows Weiß in its mission to "defeat the dark beasts" that haunt Tokyo. The beginning episodes lend some back story to Aya, Ken, and Yoji, and show their motivations for being in Weiß. Omi's history becomes part of the storyline and is delved into halfway through. Weiß Kreuz introduces Kritiker, Schwarz, Eszett, and Schreient.
Weiß Kreuz uses the character designs created by Kyoko Tsuchiya, and features the lowest quality of animation of the three Weiß Kreuz anime series.
Because the last two episodes were shown as an hour-long special in Japan, the first season is sometimes considered a 24-episode series. Media Blasters' US release considered it to be 25 episodes. For release in English, Media Blasters renamed the series Knight Hunters, and for release in German by Anime-Virtual, the title was unchanged.
Weiß Kreuz OVA: Verbrechen & Strafe
The second Weiß Kreuz series, Verbrechen & Strafe ("Crime & Punishment" in German), is a two-episode OVA that takes place a short time after the end of the anime, and before the events detailed in the last set of Drama CDs. In hiding, Aya, Ken, Yoji and Omi work out of a mobile home, using their flower-selling business as a cover. Their location is never specified, but it is possibly in the area of Yokota Air Base or Camp Zama, which are both American military bases near Tokyo. Their first mission involves a target by the name of Col. Nichol who evidently has his own enemies in a later target for Weiß and a young man named Akira. However, Ken and Omi decide to decline the mission to kill Akira after they hear Akira's (and his younger sister Kaori's) story. They only want revenge on Nichol for killing their parents several years before. Kaori was also a classmate of Omi's and the only surviving member of her group of friends, all supposedly killed by Nichol. Kritiker doesn't take to Ken and Omi's defection, and amends the mission. Yoji and Aya are instructed to target their teammates as well.
The OVA is notable because of the darker, bloodier storyline and the higher quality of animation compared to the first series.
Weiß Kreuz Glühen
The third series, called Weiß Kreuz Glühen, ("white cross glowing" in German) is a thirteen-episode series which is set after the OVA. Several of the original Weiß members are not immediately visible; two new ones are introduced in the first episode: namely Sena Izumi and Kyou Aguri. Also, Omi has assumed the position of Persia left by his father. Glühen takes place at Koua Academy, where Weiß are investigating a series of unusual suicides. The animation quality is far higher than the original series. However, the character design is vastly different due to legal disputes with the original character designer, Kyoko Tsuchiya. Schwarz also appears in Glühen; they also have changed appearances due to the lawsuit. For release in English, Media Blasters renamed the series Knight Hunters Eternity, and for release in German by Anime-Virtual, the title was unchanged.
A large number of drama CDs based on Weiß Kreuz have also been released. Some take place before the series, and others detail the events that take place in between Weiß Kreuz and Weiß Kreuz Glühen, and a few are related to the Glühen season. One example is Crashers: Knight and Ran, which covers the time that Aya spent with Crashers (another four-person group that is also under Persia) before he joined Weiß. Crashers also appears in Weiß Kreuz Glühen.
List of Weiß Kreuz drama CDs
- Crashers: Knight and Ran I
- Crashers: Knight and Ran II
- Weiß Kreuz Dramatic Image Album I
- Weiß Kreuz Dramatic Image Album II
- Weiß Kreuz Dramatic Image Album III Schwarz Ein I
- Weiß Kreuz Dramatic Image Album IV Schwarz Zwei II
- Weiß Kreuz Dramatic Collection I The Holy Children
- Weiß Kreuz Dramatic Collection II ENDLESS RAIN
- Weiß Kreuz Dramatic Collection III Kaleidoscope Memory
- Weiß Kreuz Dramatic Precious 1st Stage SLEEPLESS NIGHT
- Weiß Kreuz Dramatic Precious 2nd Stage TEARLESS DOLLS
- Weiß Kreuz Dramatic Precious 3rd Stage HOPELESS ZONE
- Weiß Kreuz Dramatic Precious Final Stage DREAMLESS LIFE
- Weiß Kreuz Wish A Dream Collection I~Flower of Spring~
- Weiß Kreuz Wish A Dream Collection II~A four-leaf Clover~
- Weiß Kreuz Wish A Dream Collection III~THE ORCHID under THE SUN~
- Weiß Kreuz Wish A Dream Collection IV~FIRST MISSON~
- Weiß Kreuz Glühen I Fight Fire With Fire
- Weiß Kreuz Glühen II Theater Of Pain
- Weiß Kreuz Glühen Dramatic Soundtracks I
- Weiß Kreuz Glühen Dramatic Soundtracks II
- Marine Entertainment's official Weiß Kreuz page (Japanese)
- Marine Entertainment's official Weiß Kreuz Glühen page (Japanese)
- Weiß Kreuz (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Weiß Kreuz Side B (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopediait:Weiß kreuzru:Weiß Kreuz