Mai Kawasumi is a major character in the visual novel and later anime Kanon. Mai was girl from an unspecified city in Japan, who possessed mysterious healing powers. As a child, Mai spent time with her mother, who was hospitalized with an unspecified disease, praying for her recovery and at one point crying on her hand. Mysteriously, Mai's mother recovered, and in so doing, Mai discovered the her tears in particular have mysterious healing powers.
During her teenage years, Mai was feared by most of her classmates as mysterious accidents seemed to occur around her, specifically damage to school property. Because of this, Mai has a quiet, shy personality and has few friends, except for her best friend Sayuri Kurata and protagonist Yuichi Aizawa. In truth, Mai is involved in the damage to school property, namely, she spends her nights at the school fighting mysterious formless "demons" in the building, armed with a longsword, though it is not clear where she got a hold of the weapon. Mai always keeps the sword somewhere where she can easily access it, feeling weak without it.
These "demon" attacks become more intense when Mai meets Yuichi Aizawa in the school building after hours, and observes her fighting the demons. During the course of the series, Mai is invited to school dance by Yuichi, which results in an attack by at least one "demon", which Mai is forced to fight, resulting in severe damage to the gymnasium. Mai only narrowly escapes expulsion for this, and later Sayuri Kurata is attacked by one of the "demons", with Mai finding her unconcious in a school bathroom. Around the same time, mysterious black marks start appearing on Mai's body, and Mai starts to feel pain after killing a "demon".
Mai fights a final climactic battle with the "demons", in which Yuichi attempts to aid her armed with a bokken, but ends up only being attacked by a "demon". Mai successfully defeats a group of demons, but the "black marks" keep growing on her body. Mai and Yuichi are then confronted by another demon, and Yuichi finally realizes it is in fact a "dark side" to her powers. The reason Mai feels pain after slaying a demon is because she is literally killing part of herself. At this point, Mai attempts to commit suicide by stabbing herself with her sword. Mai is saved, however, by a manifestation of healing powers, which save her life. At this point Yuichi remembers that he had met Mai before during their childhood ten years earlier. Yuichi and Mai used to play in an empty lot, until the high school Mai and Yuichi would attend was constructed on the site of the field. Mai made up story of demons, actually construction machinery, destroying the field, and phoned Yuichi to come help "battle the demons", but Yuichi replied that he was moving that day, and Mai never saw him again until they met ten years later. Because this, which Mai viewed as something of a destruction of her childhood memories, the "demons" manifested in her school years later. Mai is shown to be a lover of nature and animals, and wishes to be a veterinarian.
Battle vs. Saeko Busujima (by SPARTAN 119)Edit
Mai Kawasumi patrolled the area outside her school, longsword in hand, stained with the blood of countless zombies. Her high school had become a familiar battle ground for Mai, first the against the "demons" and then against the hordes of mindless killing machines created by a viral outbreak. Now, Mai had only one objective: find her friend, Sayuri Kurata.
Mai Kawasumi sliced through a group of several more zombies, when suddenly, her blade met something with a clanging sound- Mai's longsword collided with a katana wielded by Saeko Busujima, who had been slashing through the same undead horde. Neither girl had noticed the other.
Saeko was now in a psychotic bloodlust, and attempted a second slash at Mai, aiming downward at her head, which Mai blocked with her sword. "I'm not one of them!", Mai said, surprisingly calmly for someone who had just been attacked. However, Saeko's attack continued. In her bloodlust, she could not tell that Mai was an ally.
Realizing the girl was still attacking her, Mai blocked Saeko's second attack, and counterattacked, making a horizontal slash at Saeko, which Saeko evaded by jumping backwards.
Mai pushed forward her offensive, making a rapid thrusting attack, which Saeko dodged by sidestepping in spinning motion, getting behind Mai and aiming a slash at her neck that would have decapitated her were it not for Mai ducking the blow while turning on the spot, slashing at Saeko's legs.
Saeko lowered her katana in time to block Mai's low strike, but Mai managed to keep her sword in place as got back to her feet. Mai then jumped backwards, onto a ledge about four feet tall. Using the higher plane and her almost superhuman agility, Mai jumped several feet into the air, and came down in a jumping slash. Saeko prepared to block, holding her sword with one hand on the hand and one on the flat side of the blade, the flat of the sword facing towards Mai.
Mai's sword impacted in a shower of sparks as steel ground against steel. Saeko retaliated with several wild slashes, with Mai dodged by jumping backwards. Mai then ran forwards and pushed off the wall of the school, launching herself over Saeko's head and landing on her feet several meters from Saeko. Mai then turned around and charged at Saeko, blade raised.
Saeko turned around as she heard Mai's footfalls on the concrete sidewalk. As Mai prepared to slash, Saeko grabbed her by the wrist and threw her over her head judo-style, using Mai's own momentum against her.
Mai felt pain all through her body as she landed on her back on the hard concrete. The good news was at the fall had done any permanent damage. The bad new was that Saeko was now standing over her, her katana readied for a downward thrust into Mai's head.
Mai rolled out of the way as Saeko prepared to strike, but that proved be unnecessary. From behind her, someone grabbed her by the waist, with one hand, and held back her sword hand with the other.
"Saeko-san!", a boy about Saeko's age said as he knocked the sword out of Saeko's hand, as he turned her to face him. "Snap out of it!", the boy said, gave Saeko a sharp slap across the face.
Saeko moved her hand up to pinkish mark where the boy had struck her. "Takashi....", Saeko said.... "I knew it... I snapped... I'm too dangerous to you... I can't be allowed to stay with you"
As she spoke, Saeko picked up her katana and held it towards her stomach, as though about to commit seppeku.
"SAEKO, NO!" Takashi said.
It happened in a flash of steel. Saeko's sword flew out of her hand. Mai Kawasumi stood next to Saeko, holding her longsword, having blocked Saeko's suicide attempt.
"I was once troubled as you were, thought suicide was the only way out...", Mai said in her quiet, almost monotone voice, "But there is nothing to be gained by throwing your life away. If you you do, then your demons have won."
"Arigato", Saeko said simply, taking Mai's hand and getting back on her feet, "I'm sorry for the way I acted, I got... carried away..."
"It's OK... We all have our own demons we must battle... But no one has to face them alone."
After a long pause, Mai asked, "Your name, it was Saeko, right"
"Hai", Saeko replied, "Saeko Busujima".
"Mai Kawasumi", Mai responded.
Shortly afterwards, the boy introduced himself as "Takashi Komuro".
The second after Takashi introduced himself, several gunshots rang out. Behind them, Saeko, Mai, and Takashi heard three zombies crash to the floor, just feet from them, having approached as they were talking, attracted by the noise of the fight. Several feet from the zombies stood a girl with light brown hair in a the same school uniform, armed with a Glock pistol, with the slide in a back position, noting that she had expended the entire magazine. Mai recognized the girl immediately as her best friend, Sayuri Kurata.
"Mai!", the girl said, "Sayuri was so worried".
Mai ran to Sayuri and hugged her.
As Mai and Sayuri broke apart, Mai said "Nice shooting. Where'd you get the gun?"
To be honest, Mai impressed that Sayuri was able to kill those three zombies- Sayuri was very clumsy, the one time she tried practicing using a bokken with Mai, she slipped as she tried to strike. Admitted, she had expended and entire magazine on three zombies.
"Sayuri found it off off a dead police officer", Sayuri said simply, "But Sayuri could only find one more clip, she was mostly hiding from them. Sayuri was so scared".
Takashi wondered why Sayuri referred to herself in third person, but that would have to wait for another time. A group of about twenty of "them" was making its way over the group of survivors, attracted by the gunshots.
"Sayuri-san", Takashi said, "Can you reload that gun?".
"Yes", Sayuri replied, somewhat taken aback at being addressed by Takashi, "Sayuri figured it out when she was hiding."
"All right, reload and keep the gun ready."
Sayuri released the spent magazine and reloaded her weapon.
"All right, everyone stay in a group", Takashi said as he picked up an Ithaca 37 shotgun, "And Sayuri, Don't fire unless they get really close, Saeko, Mai, and I will keep them off you. If you have to shoot, go for the headshot. You ready?"
Saeko and Mai charged forth into the zombie horde, Mai splitting the skull of a zombie with a downward jumping slice and Saeko decapitated a zombie with her sword. Within minutes, the two swordswomen had sliced apart the horde, save for a couple which Takashi bludgeoned with his shotgun butt. Sayuri was impressed with how well Saeko handled her sword, she was every bit as good as Mai, and Takashi was clearly an experienced "zombie fighter" as well. The three of them made quick work of the undead horde, clearing a path back to the amphibiuous vehicle.
A day later, Tayagi Mansion
Saeko and Takashi walked into foyer of the Takagi mansion, being almost immediately greeted by Rei and Saya.
The two girls both expressed concern for their comrades, but Saya also berated them for their recklessness. Seconds later, they noticed the two other girls.
"Mai Kawasumi", Mai said, "and this is my friend Sayuri Kurata".
"Rei Miyamoto", Rei responded, as "Saya Tayagi" introduced herself.
"We found these two near a school", Takashi said.
"Mai, she's really good with her sword, probably as good as me", Saeko said, choosing to leave out the details on how she found out just how skilled Mai was.
"Anyway", Takashi interjected, "Where are Kouta and Shizuka-sensei?"
"Shizuka-sensei is upstairs resting at the moment", Saya said, "and Kouta's out back playing around with his guns."
"Sayuri-san", Takashi said, "There's someone I'd like you to meet".
Sayuri look surprised, but followed him out towards the back nonetheless.
"Anyway", Takashi asked as they walked, "I know this might be a touchy subject, but why..."
"Why does Sayuri refer to herself in third person?", Sayuri asked, "It's OK, Sayuri doesn't mind you asking... It's just, Sayuri lost her little brother... when she was only a child. It really effected Sayuri... from then on, she felt like she was and outside observer, watching herself."
"I'm sorry...", Takashi said
"Don't worry, it's OK", Sayuri repeated, but Takashi dropped the subject until they reached a garage-turned armory in the backyard, where Kouta was busy cleaning his AR-10T marksman rifle.
"Kouta", Takashi said.
Kouta looked up the workbench at Takashi.
"Oh, hi Takashi", he said, "I'm assuming Saeko's in the house".
"Yeah", Takashi replied.
"I was sure you two would make it back OK. Saya and Rei were worried sick, though", Kouta replied, before continuing, "Who's the other girl?".
"This is Sayuri Kurata", Takashi said, "Met her and one of her friends near a school."
"Kouta Hirano", Kouta said as he shook Sayuri's hand. The second he let go, he said noticed the weapon sticking out of her back pocket."
"That's a Glock, Austrian handgun made mostly of high-impact plastics, there are a number of different versions. Mind if I take a look at it?"
Sayuri looked at Kouta, not sure what to make of him.
"He's a bit... OK more than a bit of gun otaku", Takashi said, "He's actually a pretty nice guy.. not to mention he's the best shot I've ever seen. I figure if it weren't for him and Saeko, we'd all be dead."
Kouta swelled with pride at Takashi's pronouncement, but quickly turned his attention to the weapon Sayuri had just handed her. "A Glock 19 to be precise", Kouta said examining the pistol, "It's a smaller version of Glock 17, firing the same 9mm caliber rounds as the 17. This one has a 15 round magazine, but other magazine sizes are avai....".
"Kouta", Takashi interrupted him, "I was wondering if you could teach Sayuri to shoot it".
"Sayuri is not a very good shot, it took her a whole clip to kill three zombies, and she has only one clip left."
Most people would notice Sayuri's odd use of third person, but Kouta was not most people. Instead, he responded to her sentence by saying, "Technically, its a magazine, not a clip- a magazine is a container that stores ammunition in a firearm, which may or may not be detachable, while a clip is simply a device to hold several rounds of ammunition together, typically for insertion into and non-detachable mag...".
Kouta ended his when Sayuri gave him a look like she'd never seen anything like him.
"Oh, sorry about that, I get carried away sometimes", Kouta said, "But your in luck, the guards of the place have set up a little firing range of on the east side of the grounds, and Tayagi-san has allowed me to use it for target practice. They're saving most of the ammo for actual combat use, they have some set aside for target practice, Kouta said as Kouta grabbed several magazines for a Glock and walked over to he firing range with Sayuri and Takashi.
The range consisted of a backstop crudely created using a bulldozer and several improvised targets- plywood cut outs and a few aluminum cans on stacks of bricks.
Kouta set Sayuri up on the firing line and began instructing her on proper firing stance.
"Keep your legs apart and and your arm straight. Focus on the front sight", Kouta said as he corrected Sayuri's posture.
"Like this?", Sayuri asked.
"Just like that, now squeeze the trigger slowly, don't pull it to fast, try to fire as you exhale."
Sayuri squeezed the trigger, and blow a soda can off the top of a stack of bricks, looking rather pleased with herself.
"I'll leave her to you", Takashi said.
"She'll be a an crack shot in a few days", Kouta said.
Takashi figured Kouta was exaggerating a bit, but with proper technique, Sayuri was doing better- she shot another can as Takashi left. Between the gunshots, Takashi heard them talking. Looks like Kouta had finally gotten around to asking Sayuri about her speaking in third person.
WINNER: Saeko Busujima
Saeko won this battle because of her superior training and swordsmanship, being skilled enough to overcome Mai's superior agility and slight regeneration abilities. Overall, for the purposes of this match- combat between two unarmored individuals, the two swords were generally similar enough to be considered even.