Teito Klein is a former slave sent to attend the Barsburg Empire's military academy due to his ability to use Zaiphon, a type of supernatural power. The ability is rare, and thus highly prized. Teito is an amnesiac and doesn't remember anything of his origins—what he does learn of his past comes from his recurring and often traumatizing dreams.
After a year at the academy, Teito takes the graduation exam; it is notoriously difficult, with a pass rate of one in twenty-five. Teito and his best (and only) friend, Mikage, pass easily. That night, in their shared dorm room, they each promise to help the other at any cost. The next day, Teito is delivering papers to a professor when he overhears his name. He stops to listen and realizes that the speaker, a man named Ayanami, is the man who killed his father in his dreams. Teito is found eavesdropping and tries to attack his father's murderer, but is quickly brought down by one of Ayanami's subordinates and sent to prison. Mikage comes to help him escape, only to find that Teito has managed to fight past the guards by himself. The two flee the building, but are cornered on a balcony. Teito pretends to hold Mikage hostage, threatening to kill him; and tries to escape when Ayanami sends a Zaiphon attack after him, which Teito manages to partly deflect. A Bishop in the nearby 7th District brings the injured Teito to the church to recuperate. Since Teito is still in chains, the Bishop, Frau, mistakes him for a slave and comments that if Teito had been a soldier in the Imperial army, he would have killed him immediately. Because of the law of "sanctuary", Teito may stay in the church without fear of the Empire or Ayanami.
Teito carries the Eye of Michael, the powerful artifact that his home country, the Raggs Kingdom, was ransacked for. The tragic death of a loved one catapults him into his quest for revenge against the Barsburg Empire and knowledge about his past, while he becomes entangled with the Gods, Verloren, and the 7 Ghosts.
His best friend's fate spurs Teito into trying to master the Bascule—a powerful weapon that can harness and focus his innate power. Friends become enemies and rivals become allies as Teito begins to fulfill his destiny, and protect his fallen country from the minions of his former masters.
07 Ghost takes place in a fantasy world with many different laws, kingdoms, gods, and magic. Common forms of transportation, for example, are hawkziles, winged motorcycles that are actually live birds. There are also many different creatures, such as the Fyulong dragons. There are 7 districts in the land, each with their own cities, rulers and culture. Each district also has a House of God that is protected by an 07 Ghost; one Ghost for each of the seven districts. The food is also quite unique; common dishes at the church include eyeball fish and edible flowers.
Zaiphon is the "magic" of 07-Ghosts's world; Zaiphon is the ability to convert a life source into various forms of energy. It is mainly controlled by writing words in the air with the hands, though people may use weapons to channel Zaiphon. Those who have the ability to use Zaiphon are rare and thought of as blessed by God. Every user's capabilities are different, and in many cases, reflect their nature. Zaiphon is generally categorized into three types:
* Healing Zaiphon: People with this type of Zaiphon are able to heal wounds and share their Zaiphon with others or transfer their Zaiphon to others. A character who primarily uses this Zaiphon is Labrador. Another character who uses healing Zaiphon is Assistant Archbishop Bastien.
* Offensive Zaiphon: Those with this kind of Zaiphon have the ability to attack their enemies and protect themselves from attacks directed to them. Teito and Frau are examples of characters who primarily use the offensive branch.
* Manipulation Zaiphon: This type is particularly special and rare. Those with Manipulation Zaiphon are able to move things at will. A character who uses this is Castor.
There is also a variety of weapons used to manipulate Zaiphon, the most commonly known being the bascule. With the bascule, people may attack Kor. However, the healing branch cannot directly attack a Kor, but it can restrict and remove it from a person. The offensive branch is different and attacks a Kor outright. According to Castor, people may learn how to use the different branches of Zaiphon.
07-Ghosts and Verloren
According to a centuries-old myth, the God of Death Verloren committed a crime in the heavens and was forced to escape to the earth. As a result, the hearts of people were invaded by this evil god and they slipped into despair. Lamenting over their suffering, the Chief of the Heavens dispatched seven heavenly lights in order to punish the evil Verloren. Called "The Seven Ghosts", they are said to have sealed the detestable Verloren on this earth and are the guardians of the Empire. Mothers tell their children that if they're naughty, the Seven Ghosts will come to take them away.
Since Verloren has been sealed away, his messengers, the Kor, find and contact humans to bring them under his influence. If a contract is made, a mark appears on the person's chest. This is known as Verloren's curse, and indicates one's heart being eaten by darkness. The 07-Ghosts work is to fight against Verloren and his curse and try to stop contracts from being fulfilled. Only the Bishops can remove Verloren's curse, in a complicated ceremony.
Kor that grant 3 wishes become "Wars", people who can control them are called Warsfields.
The 07-Ghosts are humans with such extraordinary Zaiphon abilities that they are considered to be blessed by God. Each of the 07-Ghosts has died. Frau, Castor, Labrador, Fia Kruez, and Lance have been revealed to be Ghosts thus far; all should have the mark of their Ghost on their hand. The Ghosts' names are Zehel, Fest, Profe, Landokalche, Rilect, Ea, and Vertrag. Each of the Ghosts has a specific power; Zehel cuts a persons ties with misfortune, Fest binds souls together, Profe is capable of foresight, and so on. Their names, when written with kanji, give clues to this power.
Even though Verloren had been sealed away in Pandora's Box for over 9000 years, he is freed and once again begins to invade the hearts of men.
When a person is given a life from the Chief of the Heavens, they are told that over the course of their lifetime, they will have three dreams to complete. When all of the dreams are granted, their souls will be called back to the Chief and be reincarnated. However, when people are born they don't remember the dreams they chose, and finding out the dreams is supposedly the joy of life.
There are evil beings that want to interfere with this process; among them are the Kor, who steal the dreams and drag humans into darkness. When a human comes under a Kor's power, the first dream is granted, but the person's heart becomes unstable and unable to be satisfied no matter what one does. When the second is started, the person falls into a state of starvation, or addiction. When the third dream is granted by the Kor, the soul has indulged in too much darkness and will forever be unable to go back to the Chief of the Heavens. The Kor then takes the body to increase its number of comrades waiting for their master Verloren's return. A possessed body with all three dreams fulfilled by the Kor is called a Wars.
It is the duty of the church to protect people from the Kor; because addiction isn't easily removed, there is a correction center where people are helped to overcome themselves. There are cases when a Kor may grant a wish that is not one of the three dreams, but it upsets the equilibrium and the Kor may be punished for it.
Eyes of Michael and Raphael
A set of stones embedded into a person's hand, they allow the Gods Michael and Raphael to descend into their host's body for a limited time. The eyes are undetectable until the God possesses their host's body, in which case the host's eye colour usually changes and he or she has godlike prowess with Zaiphon. The royal family of the Kingdom of Raggs held the Eye of Michael and the Barsburg Empire held the Eye of Raphael. A pact was established between both countries never to search for the other's eye, though it was broken by the Empire ten years prior to the story's beginning.
The overall style for 07 Ghost fits into the fantasy genre of manga. Although the plot is serious and the characters wield dangerous weapons, there is a lot of comic relief so that story maintains a lighthearted tone. The characters are all complex, varied and entertaining, and the story is also extremely emotional. It is often disputed as to whether it is a shounen or shojo manga, since it has qualities that appeal to both demographics. 07 Ghost has lots of action while it focuses heavily on character development.
Character designs tend towards the bishounen type. Even within our circle of bishops, [there's] the naughty rebel, the eyeglass character, and the lolishouta type. Despite the angst filled and mysterious storyline, the manga also includes quite a bit of humor from Teito's and Mikage's horseplay and our three bishops' quirks, and chibis and deformed expressions are used for these scenes."
* Kor translates as 'familiar' (as in a 'familiar' to a mage) - Serves Verloren and grants humans their wishes in exchange for their souls.
* Verloren is a German/Dutch word, meaning 'lost' or 'missing'.
* Wars translates as 'darkness' - A Kor that gains a human soul from granting three wishes.
* Warsfeil translates as 'black magician' - Someone who can control Wars.
* Begleiter translates as 'attendant' - Attendant to a higher officer.
* Klein translates as 'small'.
* Frau translates as 'woman' or 'Mrs'.
* Kreuz translates as 'Cross'.
* Castor translates as 'beaver'.
* Baculus translates to 'staff', and is used by bishops to face Kor. It can be used to wield the power of light and darkness equally, as seen in Chapter 16; all that's required is to say the scriptures in reverse as an incantation. Incidentally if someone using a Wars or black magic touches a baculus, it will become tainted, and will turn black.