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Kurenai vol 01.jpg
Cover of Kure-nai volume 1 as published by Shueisha featuring Shinkurō Kurenai (center) and Murasaki Kuhōin (right)
Light novel
Written byKentarō Katayama
Illustrated byYamato Yamamoto
Published byShueisha
ImprintSuper Dash Bunko
Original runDecember 2005April 2008
Written byKentarō Katayama
Illustrated byYamato Yamamoto
Published byShueisha
MagazineJump Square
Original runNovember 2, 2007June 4, 2012
Anime television series
Directed byKō Matsuo
Produced byMakoto Ooyoshi
Masashi Takatori
Masaya Shinozaki
Shinichi Ikeda
Written byKō Matsuo
Music byKen Muramatsu
StudioBrain's Base
Licensed by
Original networkCTC, tvk, TV Saitama, TVO, TV Aichi
Original run April 3, 2008 June 19, 2008
Episodes12 (List of episodes)
Original video animation
Directed byKō Matsuo
Written byKō Matsuo
Music byKen Muramatsu
StudioBrain's Base
Released July 2, 2010 December 3, 2010
Runtime29 minutes
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

Kure-nai (Japanese: , "Crimson") is a Japanese light novel series by Kentarō Katayama, with illustrations by Yamato Yamamoto. A manga adaptation started serialization in the first issue of Jump Square magazine and had its last chapter published in the June 2012 issue.[1] An anime adaptation by Brain's Base aired in Japan from April 3, 2008 to June 19, 2008.


Sixteen-year-old Shinkurō Kurenai, a specialist in settling squabbles between people, is one day approached by his employer with the daughter of a powerful plutocratic family asking him to be her bodyguard.


Shinkurō Kurenai (紅 真九郎, Kurenai Shinkurō)
Voiced by: Miyuki Sawashiro (Japanese)
Voiced by: Max Mittelman (English)
The main protagonist of the series. Despite his looks and easygoing personality, he is a capable and strong worker who works for Benika as a dispute mediator. When he was young, he lost his family in a terrorist attack. As a result, he became withdrawn from the world until he met Benika. He wished to be as strong as her so he could live on. Benika decided to leave him at the Hōzuki household. It was there that he trained his body extensively and learned Hōzuki-style martial arts.
His kind demeanor attracts considerable attention from the opposite gender, though he is completely oblivious. In emergencies, he is able to produce a large 'horn' out of his right elbow which classes him as "Type 1 Class 2 Fighting Demon". This special weapon was designed for the purpose of assassination. Calling out the weapon allows him display supernatural feats of strength in combat, but at the cost of shortening his lifespan. When he is forced to fight, his personality changes to a more aggressive one.
Between the anime and the manga, there are differences in the way Shinkurō is depicted. In the anime, Shinkurō is not as confident and appears to have less control over the Hozuki horn.
Murasaki Kuhōin (九鳳院 紫, Kuhōin Murasaki)
Voiced by: Aoi Yūki (Japanese)
Voiced by: Candi Milo (English)
Murasaki is the daughter of Souju and Renjo Kuhōin. The Kuhōin family maintains a tradition that their offspring must be of pure blood. As a result, women in the Kuhōin family are in a completely submissive role and considered objects only for the purpose of breeding. They are confined in a remote area known as the Inner Sanctuary. As her dying wish, Souju pleaded to Benika to one day fulfill a wish for Murasaki. When Murasaki became seven years old, she wished to fall in love just as her mother did. She understood that her mother endured in the Inner Sanctuary because of her love for Renjo. To keep her promise to Souju, Benika help Murasaki escaped from Inner Sanctuary and entrusted her to Shinkurō.
Although she was stubborn and snobbish, Shinkurō is quick to scold her if she did anything wrong. As a result, Murasaki quickly learned how to behave as a "commoner" and begins to trust Shinkurō. She also makes friends with the other residents at May Rain. However, after a while, Murasaki is kidnapped and taken back to Inner Sanctuary. After hearing from Benika the truth behind Inner Sanctuary, Shinkurō vows to meet Murasaki again to hear her true feelings. When confronted by Shinkurō, Murasaki reveals that she does not wish to live in Inner Sanctuary and Shinkurō proceeds to save Murasaki from her fate in the Kuhōin family.
Murasaki grows very attached to Shinkurō. Despite being only seven years old, she gets jealous when Shinkurō gets close to other girls. She has expressed her desire to marry Shinkurō. However, because she is still young, she wants to wait until she is older before she confesses her love for Shinkurō.
In the anime, Murasaki remains in Kuhoin Mansion on the condition that the entire system changes and she be given the choice to choose her partner.
Benika Jūzawa (柔沢 紅香, Jūzawa Benika)
Voiced by: Sawa Ishige (Japanese)
Voiced by: Wendee Lee (English)
She is also a mediator and Shinkurō's employer who was responsible for helping Shinkurō get back on his feet after he lost his family. For that, Shinkurō respects and looks up to Benika. She is a calm and collected person who goes with her intuition. She used to work for the Kuhōin family, taking the opportunity to gather contacts and information using the family's influence before striking out on her own. On behalf of Murasaki's mother's last wish, she took Murasaki out of the Inner Sanctuary and placed her in the care of Shinkurō who she believes is similar to her. Benika has a son, whose identity and location is kept secret though she also seems to consider Shinkurō as another adopted son. As a mediator Benika is very strong, relying on firearms which she wields with deadly accuracy even with fully automatic weapons and is infamous because of her strength.
Though still an excellent fighter, Benika is somewhat weaker in the anime. In the manga, her strength is so great as to be considered supernatural. Another difference between the anime and manga is Benika's expressions. In the anime, Benika's expressions are noticeably kinder.
Yayoi Inuzuka (犬塚 弥生, Inuzuka Yayoi)
Voiced by: Aiko Ōkubo (Japanese)
Voiced by: Michelle Ruff (English)
She works for Benika as one of her subordinates and has a tendency to overstep her bounds with complaints about Shinkurō. She believes that an important job like protecting Murasaki would better be left in more capable and experienced hands.
Ginko Murakami (村上 銀子, Murakami Ginko)
Voiced by: Nozomi Masu (Japanese)
Voiced by: Stephanie Sheh (English)
A girl with a taciturn personality who works as an information broker, following in her grandfather's footsteps. Her sources allow her to find information of all kinds, including new jobs for Shinkurō to help his livelihood. She has been Shinkurō's friend since childhood. After he lost his family, she tried, without success, to cheer him up. When Shinkurō was about to be killed, Ginko tried desperately to save him.
Although she often seems cold, Ginko does have a softer side. This is exhibited around her dog, Ginkurou (named after herself and Shinkurou, who considered themselves its parents), a stray cat, and Murasaki. From this, it can be concluded that, while she is blunt, Ginko rarely intends to actually hurt anyone's feelings.
Because Shinkurō's job as a mediator leaves him covered in wounds, Ginko constantly offers him a job at her family's ramen shop where she works part-time. She hopes that Shinkurō will quit his job as a mediator and come work (and live) with her. Ginko also likes Shinkurō, but isn't as open with her feelings as other female characters. Even so, Ginko notably gets irritated whenever other girls, especially Yūno, flock around Shinkurō.
Yūno Hōzuki (崩月 夕乃, Hōzuki Yūno)
Voiced by: Ryoko Shintani (Japanese)
Voiced by: Erica Lindbeck (English)
A girl with whom Shinkurō lived when he was young and also his sparring partner. In the manga she appears as an curvaceous and attractive girl. Her soft demeanor (albeit with yandere tendencies, triggered by other girls approaching Shinkurō) hides the fact that she is a strong fighter, whom Shinkurō acknowledges to be much stronger than himself, despite her being older by just one year. She possesses absurd supernatural strength obtained through her family martial arts; able to crush concrete with her bare hands and smash a huge hole in the wall even at a young age. Yūno is upset that Shinkurō has not realized he was her first love. She has feelings for Shinkurō, always finding excuses to spend time with him, such as cooking meals for him. However, her advances tend to be very threatening (most likely because Shinkurō always has another girl with him) and scare him into just letting her hear what she wants. Yūno resents the decision Shinkurō made in deciding to move out her household to live on his own and fears he will change into a hooligan. She has made it very clear that she wants him back in the Hōzuki household. Yūno has a younger sister named Chizuru, who is five. Even though the Hōzuki family are no longer assassins, their grandfather expects Yūno and Chizuru to carry on the Hōzuki family martial arts.
In the anime, Yūno is much more assertive in her advances towards Shinkurō and does not appear to have the yandere tendencies. Her body figure is also toned down to more average levels.
Tamaki Mutō (武藤 環, Mutō Tamaki)
Voiced by: Asami Sanada (Japanese)
Voiced by: Erica Mendez (English)
She is a university student who lives in the same building as Shinkurō. She can be described as a very flirtatious person and her advances are noticeably more aggressive with Shinkurō. She says she is very knowledgeable in the ways of love but doesn't include her own experiences as she has a hard time keeping a boyfriend. She has grown fond of Murasaki and teaches her all kinds of perverted terms, much to Shinkurō's dismay and objections. Tamaki is an instructor at a karate dojo, and is very formidable at fighting, with notable feats such as stopping a punch with just two fingers and standing on par with Yūno at full strength.
In the anime, she is just a normal university student looking for love and does not possess fighting skills.
Yamie (闇絵, Yamie)
Voiced by: Haruka Kimura (Japanese)
Voiced by: Jennifer Hale (English)
A mysterious woman, she is another tenant of the building Shinkuro lives in. She always wears black and calls herself a very sinful woman. She likes cats and usually keeps to herself except when it comes to Shinkurō and Tamaki. Her attitude can be considered sarcastic most times.
She seems to have history with Benika.
Renjō Kuhōin (九鳳院 蓮丈, Kuhōin Renjō)
Voiced by: Takaya Kuroda (Japanese)
Voiced by: Richard Epcar (English)
He is Murasaki's father who has a frightening appearance. He seems to have a history with Benika, as she calls him "General of the Kuhōin". As expected of the head of the Kuhōin family, Renjō wields enormous power and his decisions are absolute. When Shinkurō stood up to him along with Murasaki, who pleaded for permission to leave the Inner Sanctuary, he granted her wish because he was too busy to deal with such trivial matters.
In the anime, Renjō is a different character (with a different appearance, too). In order to protect the secrets of Inner Sanctuary, Renjō marries an outsider named Kazuko. Kazuko pretended to be Murasaki's mother and Souju, Murasaki's birth mother, was given the duty of a caretaker. Despite being married to Kazuko, Renjō was actually in love with Souju. Kazuko was well aware of this and took out her frustration by physically abusing Souju. Before long, Souju, disappointed that Renjō would not protect her own daughter, committed suicide. At the end of the anime, Renjō finally realizes that the Kuhōin family system is wrong and vows to change it in order to protect everyone.
Ryuuji Kuhōin (九鳳院 竜士, Kuhōin Ryuuji)
Voiced by: Nobuhiko Okamoto (Japanese)
Voiced by: Zach Aguilar (English)
One of Renjō's sons and Murasaki's older brother, intended for her to be the one to carry his child in the future. In the anime, he is shown as someone loyal to the Kuhōin tradition, much more than his father, that he would do everything to get Murasaki back in the Inner Sanctuary. He also revealed at the end of the anime that he used to be one of Benika's pupils, that's why he was able to block out most of Benika's attacks.
Kirihiko Kirishima (斬島 切彦, Kirishima Kirihiko)
Voiced by: Mikako Takahashi (Japanese)
Voiced by: Kira Buckland (English)
A fourteen-year-old girl with sleepy-looking eyes and a large scarf that Shinkurō "saves". She is actually a reputable hitman from the Akuu Company known as "Guillotine". Though she is just fourteen, she unintentionally has perverted reactions to events, such as assuming Shinkurō wanted a threesome in the back alley with her and Murasaki. As if pressing his hand against her chest wasn't proof enough that she was a girl, she even offered to show him an upskirt. She seems to be weak to the cold and heat. After encountering Shinkurō a couple more times, she develops a crush on him and steals a kiss from him. Now, she is trying her best to understand the concept of friends as she slowly makes the effort to make other friends within their circle.
Even though she's an introvert, her personality dramatically changes whenever she wields any knife-type weapon in her hand. She appears to have supernatural strength, being able to carve pavement and metal railings into pieces with just one stroke using a butter knife. Much like Yūno Hōzuki, her family, Kirishima, is also part of the thirteen Inner Families, descendants of assassins. Her male name indicates she is the direct descendant of the head family.
Kirihiko does not appear in the TV anime adaptation, though she appears in all other media, including the OAD episodes.
Lin Cheng-Shin (リン・チェンシン, Lin Chenshin)
Voiced by: Kana Ueda (Japanese)
Voiced by: Colleen Villard (English)
A female imperial guard of the Kuhōin family, Lin is the newest bodyguard of Murasaki, replacing her former guard, Kiba, due to female convenience. Armed with a pair of katana, her fighting skills are formidable, though not at the level of Yayoi Inuzuka. Although she disapproves of Shinkurō, nevertheless, she accepts him as Murasaki's companion, and frowns heavily on all the attention Shinkurō receives from other girls (even if he is unaware of it). Lin takes Murasaki's wishes literally, including attempting to get Shinkurō and Murasaki wedded to each other, despite not having permission from either party (or their families, for that matter). Under Murasaki's care, Lin is slowly learning about normal life, albeit with some difficulty.
Lin is a completely different character in the anime. She has no interest in the Kuhōin family matters and only works for them because she desires strong opponents to defeat.
Lucy May (ルーシー・メイ, Rūshī Mei)
Voiced by: Akira Tomisaka (Japanese)
Voiced by: Debi Mae West (English)
A woman who works as the middleman for the Akuu Company, a secret mercenary group of assassin and skilled individuals.
Zena Hoshigami (星噛 絶奈, Hoshigami Zena)
A woman working for the Akuu Company and whose family is also part of the thirteen Inner Families. Her body is so tough that knives, bullets or even falling from a great height can't kill her.


Light novels[edit]

No.TitleRelease date ISBN
December 20, 2005[2]ISBN 4-08-630272-1
02Kure-nai ~Guillotine~
紅 ~ギロチン~
July 25, 2006[3]ISBN 4-08-630290-X
03Kure-nai ~Shuuakusai~ (Part 1)
紅 ~醜悪祭~(上)
November 22, 2007[4]ISBN 978-4-08-630342-2
04Kure-nai ~Shuuakusai~ (Part 2)
紅 ~醜悪祭~(下)
25 April 2008[5]ISBN 978-4-08-630416-0


A manga adaption is running in Jump Square magazine, with art by Yamato Yamamoto, the original illustrator of the novels. As of August 2012, ten manga volumes have been released.

No.Release date ISBN
1 June 4, 2008[6]ISBN 978-4-08-874509-1
2 November 4, 2008[7]ISBN 978-4-08-874598-5
3 May 1, 2009[8]ISBN 978-4-08-874671-5
4 December 4, 2009[9]ISBN 978-4-08-874771-2
5 July 2, 2010[10]ISBN 978-4-08-870040-3
6 December 3, 2010[11]ISBN 978-4-08-870155-4
7 June 3, 2011[12]ISBN 978-4-08-870242-1
8 November 4, 2011[13]ISBN 978-4-08-870338-1
9 March 2, 2012[14]ISBN 978-4-08-870393-0
10 August 3, 2012[15]ISBN 978-4-08-870486-9


An anime adaption was broadcast in Japan from April 3, 2008 to June 19, 2008. It is written and directed by Kō Matsuo. The anime version is different from the novel and manga in that the anime takes a more dramatic approach with a slice of life feel. The anime has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks, who will release the series on subtitled-only DVD.[16]


A half-hour original animated DVD with three short stories was released together with the fifth volume manga on July 2, 2010. It is directed by Kō Matsuo. The designs of the characters as well as plot are based on the original novel and manga continuity (following the character designs from Yamato Yamamoto) rather than the anime adaption. A second OAD was released together with the sixth volume manga on December 3, 2010, with three more short stories based from the original novel and manga.[17]


  1. ^ "Kure-nai Manga Ends as Artist & Itsu-ten Creator Start New Manga". Anime News Network. 2012-06-02. Retrieved 2012-06-04.
  2. ^ "Kure-nai" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
  3. ^ "Kure-nai ~Guillotine~" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
  4. ^ "Kure-nai ~Shuuakusai~ (Part 1)" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
  5. ^ "Kure-nai ~Shuuakusai~ (Part 2)" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
  6. ^ "Kure-nai 1" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
  7. ^ "Kure-nai 2" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
  8. ^ "Kure-nai 3" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
  9. ^ "Kure-nai 4" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
  10. ^ "Kure-nai 5" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
  11. ^ "Kure-nai 6" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  12. ^ "Kure-nai 7" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved June 3, 2011.
  13. ^ "Kure-nai 8" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved January 2, 2012.
  14. ^ "Kure-nai 9" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  15. ^ "Kure-nai 10" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  16. ^ "Sentai Filmworks Licenses Kure-nai TV Anime". Anime News Network. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  17. ^ "Kure-nai Manga's 6th Volume to Bundle Anime in December - News". Anime News Network. 2010-07-05. Retrieved 2012-06-04.

External links[edit]