- "I am averse to fighting, but not out of fear. It is painful to send my people to a meaningless death."
Hotohori (星宿), imperial name Emperor Cai Pi (彩賁帝 Saihitei), and real name Xing-shu (星宿 Seishuku, Xīngxiù), is a major character in the original Fushigi Yûgi manga and anime as well as the light novel Suzaku Hi Den. He also makes appearances during the 1st OVA, the 2nd OVA, and the 3rd OVA. Born with the character marking "star" (星 Sei).
Hotohori is the second Suzaku warrior Miaka meets and the 4th emperor of Kounan, reigning from the capital city of Eiyou. He is unquestionably beautiful and is a narcissist. He has one brother (Shu Tendou), three half brothers (Ougi, Bogyoku, Kotsuki) and two half sisters. Lord Ougi is the only one who lives and his sisters are never discussed at all.
This emperor is commonly mistaken as a woman at first sight because of his feminine beauty, he has a slender and lean build, and stands around 6 feet. His features comprise mainly of waist-length dark green hair that is worn in a loose ponytail when he is not wearing his crown. He has soft golden eyes and a decently fair skin complexion. When he is partaking in his duties as emperor in the Kounan Palace, his hair is tied up in a bun style underneath his royal crowns and he wears various formal emperor robes. When he accompanies Miaka in the search for the warriors, he wears a less formal and more simple crimson robe attire with gold linings that flow down until his knees, and underneath it he wears a white long-sleeve shorter robe with purple trimmings. His pants are brown and he wears boots as opposed the curved, slipper-like footwear he wears with his imperial robes. His attire changes in the 2nd OVA, but is somewhat similar to his traveling attire in the main series. It is deep crimson in colour, with touches of gold and a white robe beneath.
His "star" Celestial Warrior marking appears on the left side of his throat, usually when he is using his warrior related abilities. He is able to manifest it at will however. Like all Suzaku Warriors, it is crimson in colour. The design changes to a more "cursive" style later in the series when the warrior's abilities become "powered up".
He seems like the type that hides his feelings, but he is actually a warm and gentle man. As the ruler of his kingdom, he was raised surrounded by adults, so it is no wonder he looks old for his age. He looks cold and harsh when he is sitting on the throne because of his isolated and lonely upbringing. He never had any real love from his parents, the previous Emperor and Empress, so he is very attracted to Miaka's warmth. When he is around her, he turns into a normal young man. The worst part (or best part) about him is that he's a total narcissist. Hotohori is very proud of his beauty, and is always displaying his regal bearing and good looks. He loves looking at himself in the mirror and definitely likes when others compliment him. He does this in good humor, though - he is not a selfish person or someone who would cut others down. Rather, he is generous with his beauty, loving himself but also others along with him.
Due to his sheltered background, he does not know much about the world. Hotohori is the fourth Emperor of Kounan, and from a young age, he was raised among adults to be responsible and take care of political affairs. Hotohori is naturally a gentle, peace-loving man, who is rather isolated and quiet but also very good to and caring of others. Hotohori is serious, kind, and noble to the people he rules over. In fact, he will often put the affairs of Kounan ahead of taking care of himself, so that he is so busy looking after the people and ruling the country that he forgets about his own life and needs. Since he was raised among adults such as advisors and ambassadors, he acts older than his age. As Emperor, he is trained to be cool and majestic, but his warm heart shines through his reserved exterior.
Miaka and Houki
Hotohori, when he was younger, was told the legend of the Priestess of Suzaku. Believing her to be the one that would save him from his loneliness, he automatically fell in love with someone that he had never met. He protected Miaka with his life when he could, and prayed for her when he could not be by her side. Hotohori thought that he would be able to make Miaka love him, but when he saw how much she loved Tamahome, and would sacrifice her own life just to be by his side, he relented, and gave Miaka up, although he never stopped loving her. He never had any love from his parents, and that is why he is attracted to her warmth, and how cheerful she is.
Hotohori's future empress, Houki, had a close childhood friend who lived in the same village named Shu Tendou whom she cared for like a brother. However, when she saw Hotohori's selfless devotion to Miaka she vowed to love him and never abandon him. Houki's childhood friend, Tendou, later confronted her, revealing his identity and asking if she would have married him had he been emperor. Hotohori later fought his brother who had been possessed by the evil Gentokuin, who killed Tendou in the end. Hotohori and Houki were both deeply saddened. After the event, Hotohori realised that he was truly in love with Houki, and that she had shown him that he had never been alone, that he had never been truly lonely. He would not forget Miaka, and a part of him would always love her. However, he was able to let Miaka go, and finally love someone that would save him from his loneliness.
- "The Priestess of Suzaku... A girl from another world who will appear. She might save me from this loneliness. Maybe she'll even love me... She will... I know she will!"
- —Hotohori (Manga Vol. 6 flashback)
Entrusted with the crown
At the tender age of 14, Hotohori was entrusted with the crown of Kounan.The land and all of its people were now his responsibility, being he was the one to take the throne after his father passed away. His mother was there by his side having a part in every decision that the young emperor was faced with. Being emperor is not a grand ideal role for someone so young. The seriousness of the tasks at hand can make one feel lonely and set apart from the rest of the world. And to make matters worse the young emperor had been born with the mark of Suzaku, he is one of the Suzaku Seven, and even more different from the general populace than before. Some despise their fate as warriors, but Hotohori can only look forward to the day the priestess arrives, despite what is said about her only coming when the country is on the verge of collapse. Away he dreams alone in his grand palace. Dreaming of his true love; the one who will save him from the loneliness that fills his heart. Forever waiting for his priestess to arrive. Early in his reign his mother passes away, leaving Hotohori to tend the country on his own. Such a young and fragile boy with no one but his hundreds of governments officials and attendants around him. The Emperor feels no one truly understands his and he becomes lonelier than ever.
Prior to Miaka's arrival, the emperor's mother, Moutaikou, and his other brothers are revealed to be all dead: assassinated, poisoned, or hit accidentally, all except one, by the name of Shu Tendo. Through this discovery the brothers compete for a peasant woman named You Houki after she has been admitted to the harem. Later in the novel, Hotohori invites his elder brother to a banquet but unbeknownst to him, Tendou has returned the favor by bringing an army to the capital. There is a confrontation and at the Last-minute and sword-point to the emperor, none other but Houki stops the both by putting the sword at her own throat. Gentokuin, unimpressed by this, slashes down Tendou by himself, leaving Hotohori the only member present in the royal family.
Hotohori defended his country with his holy sword in the war between Kounan and Kutou until he attempted to defeat Nakago. He managed to stab the Seiryuu Warrior, gravely injuring him, but the shield that Nakago had made with his life force almost took his life. As he lay on the ground, without Mitsukake, Hotohori did not survive. Before his death, he was still able to say few words, he hears Miaka calling him from the other world and tells how happy he was for meeting the Suzaku Seven, and he tells Miaka to be happy.
His body is being seen on the palace on a bed by the counselors, and his wife, Empress Houki. The counselors thank the remaining Suzaku warriors for making him happy, because when he was a child, he has never received proper love and did not know true happiness.
In Fushigi Yuugi Eikouden ( 3rd OVA and the 7th & 8th Novels), Hotohori is reincarnated as a young peasant boy named Shu Eian who often visits the local cemetary of the village in which he has been reborn.
Yūki Miaka - Hotohori is in love with Miaka from the moment he suspects that she may be the priestess of Suzaku - and he's been in love with the idea of the priestess since childhood. Though this love is obviously more of a decision than anything else it soon becomes true adoration and Hotohori gets to know the cheerful Miaka. He selflessly cares for her and protects her. Though he does make several serious attempts to win her affections for himself, he eventually gives up on such pursuits for the sake of her happiness.
Because they are both in love with Miaka, Hotohori and Tamahome become rivals. However, they also share a deep respect and friendship. Hotohori is willing to battle and kill Tamahome to save Miaka when the latter is under Nakago's control, but he is the quickest to forgive and welcome him back once Tamahome is himself again.
You Houki - Houki is the empress of Kounan and the beloved wife of Hotohori. She is first seen in the later half of the manga and toward the end of the anime series. She features mainly in Volume 15 of the manga and the 2nd OVA. The novel Suzaku Hi Den gives further details on her life and her meeting and marriage to Hotohori.
Boushin/Reizeitei - Boushin is his and Houki's cherished son who later became the emperor of Konan 10 years after Hotohori died.
Hotohori is a gifted swordsman who had the finest instuctors since childhood. The gift Taiitsukun gives to him from Suzaku after the Summoning Ceremony is a holy sword which appears to be capable of absorbing magical abilities and deflecting them back at the attacker. (As can be seen when Miaka uses it to reflect Seiryuu Warrior Soi's lightning back at her during the voyage to Hokkan.) He is also experienced in general martial arts from the expert training he received as a child.
(Koyasu Takehito as TV series)
- Sadame no Hoshi
- Boku no Uchū ni Kimi ga Iru
- YES - Koko ni Eien ga Aru -
- Mecha Hajikete GATTSU Tobashite (as THTC, with Taka Sukunami and Tasuki and Chichiri)
(Matsumoto Yasunori as CD Book)
- Lovin' You
Quotes - Main Series
- I'm so beautiful, it scares me!
- My eyes are more open, the bridge of my nose is more pronounced, and my body is much more sexy... Fix this at once!
- It is my duty as an emperor to improve this village.
- Even though you're poor you still say nice things.
- I don't care what happens to me! Suzaku, give me strength!
- I will never let you lay a finger on Miaka again!
- Miaka, I was so happy to have met you all......And when I met you- I was......so-...Be happy...Miaka....
Quotes - Suzaku Hi Den
- "Your Highness, the world is a very large place. If we search, surely we can find a girl more beautiful than you."
- —Prime Minister Haku
- "What?! More beautiful than I…?"
- "N-no, oh no, oh no. I meant a girl beautiful enough to be able to stand by your side and not be invisible."
- "Ohh. If only such a girl existed."
- One of Hotohori's hobby is reading, and his interest is fashion.
- His Blood type is A, his birthday is on April 2 and his starsign is Aries.
- His constellation is Hydra
- Hotohori is practically absent throughout the "Seiryuu Arc" of the manga (episodes 27-52). Although Hotohori's novel "Suzaku Hi Den" covers the time when he remained in Kounan while the other warriors and Miaka are away in Hokkan, it is said to be one of the "weaker" Light Novels since it spends more time focusing on Houki and Nuriko than it does on Hotohori.