Maya Natsume (棗 真夜, Natsume Maya) is one of the main protagonists in the manga and anime series, Tenjou Tenge. She is the captain of the Juken Club, the younger sister of the late Shin Natsume & the elder sister of Aya Natsume.
Maya is the captain of the Juken club and high level martial artist. Maya is not shy about her body, she usually wears revealing clothing and has no problem with her underwear showing.
She usually stays in her childhood form preventing herself from releasing too much chi.
She has a long standing relationship with Mitsuomi Takayanagi and may still be in love with him despite their bloody and violent history. Souichiro Nagi is in love with her, but her actual feelings towards him are unclear, romantic-wise, but she does take a very active interest in his continuing development.
Maya tends to do things in an indirect way, such as starving Souichiro to move his power to his gut enabling him to learn Reverse Striking technique faster. When Aya and Souichiro go to Kyushu against her orders (she knew they would go anyway) she says she was kicking them out of the group. It was actually for the purpose of freeing them of their obligations so they could handle the issue there more effectively. She fights Tetsuhito Kagiroi despite Makiko Nagi telling her she could not beat him, and kills him by activating Reiki even though it drains her of her ki and essentially kills her. She has Bob Makihara doing intense physical training (mainly running) which, as Mitsuomi points out, is pointless as Bob is already one of the physically strongest in school. The training saves his life while fighting Madoka Mawari.
Since childhood, her brother developed an unhealthy attachment to her as his only anchor to sanity, going so far as to murder their parents to prevent being separated. The events of the past are catalyzed by Maya's slowly awakening separation from her brother, she loved him but was also trapped by him. She blames Mitsuomi for her brother's death and believes he has been corrupted by his power, she has set the Juken club in opposition to him as a result.
Maya is a young girl with a curvy body and thigh-length silver hair (light purple hair in the anime) that she later cuts to shoulder-length with two hair strands sticking up in the middle and blue eyes.
Anime and OVAs
Story Setup Arc
After Maya saves several students from Bob and Souichiro, and their subsequent defeat by Tsutomu Ryuuzaki. They show up and join the Juken club in order to get revenge on the executive council. While playing at a bowling alley, the executive council mounts an attack on the Juken club, and Maya is forced to fight Emi Isuzu in the women's rest room. In the process of this fight Maya's hair gets cut short, and her shoulder is dislocated. After defeating Emi, Maya finds Souichiro and they go to find her younger sister, Aya together. The attack at the bowling alley
inspires Bob and Souichiro to find out about the relationship between Maya and the executive council.
Maya visits Shin in the underground dungeon. Maya was selected of to be the guardian of the Reiki by her father. Unfortunately she did not realize the seriousness of her duty and let her brother, Shin, touch it. This caused Shin's power of the Dragon's Eyes to awaken, which allowed him to see past, present, possible futures as well as hear the thoughts of the living and the dead. It was far to much for a young boy to handle so their father locked him in an underground dungeon. Slowly his power started to make Shin more and more insane. Maya was the only one who could keep him focused, so Shin became very attached to her. Even Shin's girlfriend Mana Kuzunoha stated that Maya and Shin seemed more like lovers than siblings. When Shin learned that his father plan to send him away thus separating the two, Shin went crazy and killed their parents with Reiki.
By high school, Maya was starting to be annoyed by her brothers constant interference in her fights, so she started to take away his "power" by taking out the members of Shin's gang, KATANA. As more and more worry about the "KATANA hunter" grew, Shin grew increasingly violent, he even attacked his own friends. Maya also started to develop a relationship with Mitsuomi, a member of KATANA, Shin wasn't pleased with this. Mitsuomi's father purposely let Shin's insanity continue so Mitsuomi would have an evil to fight, thus helping Mitsuomi become the perfect warrior. He even had Fu Chi'en attack Maya to drive Shin over the edge, when Shin refused to take back the Reiki. Maya was easily defeated by Fu Chi'en and her clothes were stripped off. When Shin entered the scene, he saw a naked and humiliated Maya and flew into a rage, instantly dismembering Fu Chi'En and gravely injuring the rest of his men. Maya called out to Shin reverting him to normal, just then Mitsuomi rushed in to help, Maya also called out to him to stop. Jealous, Shin lost it again and blasted Mitsuomi with a large quantity of ki. As a result of this, Mitsuomi's heart received a lot of power, his heart beats at a rate beyond what any drug could do. With the oxygen flow in his body improved, Mitsuomi gained a better metabolism, more vitalized muscles and improved brain function. The catch is that fighting causes his heart rate to rise to 200 beats per minute, if he fights for longer than 3 minutes his heart could rupture, killing him. Regardless it shortened Mitsuomi's life span dramatically. As Shin's insanity grew, he planned to kill anyone close to Maya. Shin used his Dragon's Eyes to predict who could be even a minor threat to Maya and killed them. Mitsuomi planned to end this insanity, eventually challenging Shin and nearly killing him. Saved by his Dragon's Eyes, Shin pummels Mitsuomi and beat everyone else in the room (including Bunshichi) and later kills himself with his girlfriend Mana.
Maya blames Mitsuomi for her brother's death. When Mitsuomi becomes the head of the executive council at Toudou academy, Maya opposes him even though she still has feelings for him.
There are 12 founding families that have historically supported the Takayangi family, as represented in the family crest the rising Phoenix. The 12 consist of Red Feathers (which are families with supernatural powers), and White Feathers (families with ties to established martial arts). Natsume is one of the Red Feather families, and after her brother's death Maya became the head of the family. A new alliance of the heads of the White Feather families formed supposedly under Mitsuomi and call themselves "F".
Despite Mitsuomi's order to wait for the election tournament, F attacks the Juken club anyway. It is later revealed they don't follow Mitsuomi, but Souichiro's estranged father, Sohaku Kago. Sohaku did help Mitsuomi in his coup to take over his family but after he reveals he knows Sohaku is trying to manipulate him and is behind F. Mitsuomi agrees to team with Maya to rescue Nagi who has been kidnapped by his father, and kill Sohaku. On their way to fight Sohaku, Maya fights Tetsuhito. She nearly dies in this fight, but Aya was projecting herself outside her body and activates Reiki for her, as Maya doesn't have any special powers. Despite this she still can't cut Tetsuhito whose body is like iron. The outer shell of Reiki shatters revealing its true power. Maya then easily cuts Tetsuhito and kills him.
Even though Tetsuhito Kagiroi is one of the strongest Red Feathers fighters, Maya said that even she can take on a worm like him.
Right after Maya appears dead but does get up, Mitsuomi assists her after beheading Sohaku but she still doesn't seem to be in good condition. She is later seen being treated in the hospital by the Hotaru family.
After 8 days Maya is still hospitalized. All of her body's internal injures have been healed by the Hotaru family, but it is considered to be an empty shell because Reiki drained her of every bit of her KI for its true activation. According to Mrs. Hotaru she is essentially dead. Aya states that she can see Maya's ki residing within the sword, and Mrs. Hotaru indicates that only Sohaku could return her to normal.
After the first round is over, members of the Hotaru clan reveal that while washing Maya they discovered the symbol of the Amaterasu Dragon's Gate on Maya's chest. Bunshichi arrives then forcibly takes Maya for a ride on his newly repaired motorcycle. He seems to have taken her to the Takayanagi family estate, given her a front row seat for his plan to pummel Mitsuomi.
Her spirit appears after Mitsuomi apparently defeats Bunshichi with one blow, and revives Bunshichi. Maya appears wearing a hanya mask, expressing a desire to carry her own burdens.
Makiko ultimately sacrifices herself to revive Maya, in an attempt to neutralize the powers harnessed by Souichiro. Maya's power of Amaterasu appears to be taking affect, however the battle wages on. During the rest of the tournament, Maya has taken a backseat, as the other members of the club have each defeated an entire team on their own. In the last chapter, Maya and Aya go into Souichiro's mind in order to find a way to stop him. When Souichiro tries to attack his father, Maya is forced to step in. Souichiro fist destroys the Amaterasu Dragon's Gate in her chest, causing Maya to disappear.
Techniques & Abilities
The Looping Blue Wood Dragon
It is revealed that Maya's Dragon's Gate is associated with the element wood, allowing anything made of wood to become a weapon for her. She even uses this power to make her necktie into a wooden blade.
Amaterasu Dragon's Gate
Recently Maya had the symbol for the Amaterasu Dragon's Gate appear on her chest. The gate has the ability to neutralize all special powers, in the past Sohaku found a way to reverse the gate's power to actually awaken Red Feather powers worldwide. Bunshichi even suggests this Gate is why only she could help Shin keep control. A person with the Amaterasu Gate is only born once every thousand years, the last being Senhime four-hundred years ago.
This 'gate' is extremely special in that it possesses the desired qualities that Souhaku needs in order to bring about his 'ultimate plan' of awakening those with any sort of extraordinary powers across the lands. While nearly everyone's energy flows in a clockwise pattern, the holder of the Amaterasu Dragon's Gate is opposite - their power flows counter-clockwise. Maya's interactions with the Reiki (which gets its power from Himiko Amaterasu imbuing it with her power) and her eventual attempt to give her life to it in turn imbued Maya with the Amaterasu Dragon's Gate 600 years earlier than it should have appeared. Bunshichi speculates that Maya's gradual assimilation of the Amaterasu Dragon's Gate from the Reiki is why she was able to calm Shin down so easily by subtly nullifying his power.
Maya fights using a style invented by her family, Natsume Goushin-Ryū.
- Uraate (裏当て; lit. "Backing", CMX Translation: "Reverse Striking"): This is fulcrum-based transference skill, an example of KI transmission that teaches one to shift the point and force of impact by striking the dead center of an object. At expert-levels, a practitioner can transmit the force of impact wherever they please, as long as a medium exists to transmit their power through. This technique forms the basis for most KI-based techniques used throughout the series.
- Natsume-Style Form Refinement: A body manipulation technique. It allows Maya to take the shape of an 8 year old girl to conserve her KI. Her ancient ancestor (with the same name as her sister), the feudal era Aya Natsume used a similar technique to have the opposite effect of allowing her to appear as an adult despite only being 9 years old.
- Natsume Goushin-Ryū Kongou Hasshiki: Taizan Hougou (CMX translation: Natsume-Style Advanced Exercise, 8th Degree: Mt. Tai Demolishing Roar): A technique which uses "reverse striking" transference through a stiff-shoulder charge to shift the force and impact of the blow over a distant, demolishing most anything upon impact with its pressure wave.
- Natsume Goushin-Ryū Kongou Hasshiki: Renkan Tenpen Tetsukageki (CMX translation: Natsume-Style, Advanced Exercise, 8th Degree: Linking Heavenly Iron Attack): This move is a set of precise, bone-crushing blows.
- Natsume Goushin-Ryū: Radotenko (棗剛真流 羅どう天靠, CMX translation: Natsume-Style: Eye-connecting Heavenly Twist): A technique combining a fierce shoulder charge with an immediate release of KI upon impact that sends the opponent flying backwards.
- Natsume Goushin-Ryu: Tsuba Otoshi (棗剛真流鍔落とし, CMX translation: The Natsume Sword Handle Drop): A sword-technique that puts emphasis on the handle while dealing an overhead swing, upping the cutting force of the blade. However, when facing the Iron Skin of the Kagiroi family, this technique proves utterly ineffective.
- Tetsushikō (Iron Finger): Known to be a particularly lethal technique. Using one finger, the user punches through the muscle and directly striking the internal organs, particularly the liver.
- Ryukei Qigong Tashinkō (龍形気功鍛針功; lit. "Dragon Qi, Forged Iron Needle") The Takayanagi family's greatest secret technique, one of the technique of the so-called Hatsukei, or "power release". Utilizing the skill "Uraate", the user can transmit their power through the air itself. The first step is collecting the constantly accelerating rotational force that begins from the feet on up, until it is forged into a needle using their KI. Next, this honed, atmospheric force is redirected from the circular motion to a straight line (via punch), and sent barreling into the target. Mitsuomi taught this technique to her, during their blossoming relationship.
- Ryukei Qigong Tashikou: Shiryū Enretsu Sen (龍形氣功鍛針功•四龍炎裂孅, CMX translation: Dragon-Ki Qigong Forged Needle: Four Flaming Raging Dragons' Massacre): A Triple Forged Needle combi-attack, which incorporates her Forged Needle with Souichiro's in addition to Mitsuomi's Twin King Dragon Flame Strike, producing an all-consuming, four-headed dragon of KI.
At a young age, Maya was entrusted by her father to function as a guard/sheath for Reiki, an evil ceremonial nodachi that is the family's heirloom. She was told by both of her parents to never allow anyone to touch it, particularly her older brother Shin. She was picked as Reiki's guardian since she can't activate it, or be driven insane by it.
Given that Maya can't activate it, Reiki is nothing more than a long katana for her. With the assistance of her sister she was able to activate it temporarily. As the casing over the blade has shattered, revealing it's "true blade", Reiki became an even more deadly weapon even though it was wielded by someone who can not activate it. Maya is fairly skilled in swordsmanship, although not as good as Madoka Mawari. Maya is still better than her sister, so she is definitely a formidable enemy with Reiki.
- The name Maya means "real, genuine" (真) (ma) and "night" (夜) (ya), which literally means "midnight" (真夜) altogether.
- Maya's surname Natsume means "jujube" (棗).
- Ziziphus jujuba, commonly called jujube, red date, Chinese date, is a species of Ziziphus in the buckthorn family.