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The television series encompasses 52 episodes that are generally divided into two arcs. This article summarizes the 1st half.
The prime focus of the Suzaku arc is the assembling of the Suzaku Seven. Ordinary schoolgirl, Yuuki Miaka, finds herself lured into the mysterious Universe of the Four Gods book in the National Library, in Tokyo, on an innocent trip with her best friend Yui after school. After a brief sojourn in the same book world also, Yui spends the first eight or so episodes watching and reading about Miaka's experiences inside the book, finally realising that her friend is the Suzaku No Miko that she's reading about. Tamahome, the first warrior, turns up right away when both Miaka and Yui are attacked by bandits. When searching for Yui after her friend has been transported home, Miaka encounters Tamahome a second time, when he saves her life again. For his trouble, he and Miaka are both imprisoned in the Imperial jail - where they later discover that the Emperor, Saihitei, is actually Hotohori, the second of the Suzaku Seven.
Hotohori explains the legend of Suzaku to Miaka, and asks her to help assemble the other warriors, though for a lot of the series Miaka is distracted by her own concerns and she does not actually manage this feat until right at the end of the series, when all seems to be lost. Consequently, Suzaku is unable to be summoned in the Suzaku arc.
One by one, the warriors appear in the series - Nuriko makes his entrance in the third episode, Chichiri upon Miaka's return to the book world, Tasuki in episode 13 or 14 when on Mt. Reikaku, Mitsukake in episode 15 and 16, at the strange town of Choukou, and finally, Chiriko at the end of episode 25 .
Yui's role as innocent observer to antagonist occurs after Miaka's return to the book world, when she realises her friend was also sucked inside. After believing she was raped by bandits, Yui is bitter towards Miaka for not coming to her rescue, and falls under the persuading charm of Nakago, one of the Seiryuu warrior with sinister ambitions of his own. Nakago is the only one of the Seiryuu Seishi to have a consistent role in the Suzaku arc as himself.
The series ends with trauma and grief - after Amiboshi almost kills the Suzaku warriors and Miaka, he is interrupted by the real Chiriko and flees, but falls into the river and despite Miaka's attempts to save him, he releases his grip on his flute, choosing, apparently, death . The Suzaku Seishi have been unable to summon Suzaku because of his deception, and Taiitsukun is forced to explain to them an alternative way of achieving their goal - travelling to Hokkan to retrieve the Shinzaho left by the Genbu no Miko generations before. Consequently the warriors begin to make preparations to travel to Hokkan by sea.
The arc ends with Tamahome, Nuriko and Miaka visiting the village that Tamahome grew up in, and the discovery of his slaughtered father, brothers and sisters.