Yanagi Sakoshita (佐古下柳, Sakoshita Yanagi) is a fictional character from the manga and anime series, Flame of Recca. She has the innate ability to heal any physical injuries, and is referred to by Recca Hanabishi as his "hime" (princess).
In the manga and the video games, Yanagi has light brown hair and green eyes. Although she retained her hair color in the anime, her eye color was changed to brown. She is almost identical to Mifuyu Mikagami in appearance.
Up until the Sealed Lands arc, Yanagi wore her school uniform. During the Sealed Lands arc, she wore a white turtleneck top underneath a sleeveless dress. After being kidnapped by Aoi, she wears an off-white dress in SODOM.
PersonalityYanagi Sakoshita is described as good girl by other characters such as Domon and the principal in the Hoikuen where Yanagi works, where the principal told Recca that the kids love her. She loves making picture story books such as the "Adventures of Firestar Flame Man by Rose Yanagi (her pen name), but described by Fuko and Domon as boring so Recca gets furious with them, so they pretend that her work is wonderful. She is seen as innocent and naive. Her dream is to become an picture book author / children's book writer. While the other characters often uses offensive words or curses in the manga, she is not seen to use this harsh words.
Yanagi first appears in the series when she heals Recca after he saves her from a boy attempting to force her to go on a date with him. Recca then begins referring to her as his "hime" (princess), and vows to serve and protect her as her loyal ninja.
Yanagi is enrolled as a freshman in Nashikiri High School, the same school as the Recca, Fūko Kirisawa, Domon Ishijima, and Tokiya Mikagami. Yanagi is also seen to be the object of Recca Hanabishi, Tokiya Mikagami and Kaouru Koganei's affection although she prefers Recca.
Part in Story
Yanagi is the reincarnation of Sakura-hime (Princess Sakura) , the daughter Oyakata and princess of Sawaki clan, who lived over 400-years before the series' actual storyline. In the year 1568, Masakane Jyūgorō Takasugi, the leader of a powerful clan, asked for Sakura's hand in marriage in exchange for a promise not to attack the Oyakata clan. Sakura refused, for she was in love with a vassal of the Sawaki clan named Takamitsu Koheita Shimizu (whom she refers to as Koheita).
Knowing that Koheita and Sakura are in love with each other, Oyakata authorizes Koheita's plans of having Takasugi assassinated through the use of the Hokage ninja clan. Koheita speaks to Ōka (the leader of the Hokage at that time), who in turn speaks to Oyakata regarding the matter. Ōka holds off his decision regarding the job request, saying that he would first like to speak to Sakura to know if she was worth helping. It is during this meeting that Ōka and Sakura show each other their special abilities (the former's ability to manipulate fire and the latter's ability to heal wounds). Because of Sakura's enthusiasm and desire to manipulate fire, Ōka lends her the Nisebi; a madōgu that gives its user the ability to control fire. As Sakura attempts to use it, the Nisebi breaks, and Ōka assumes that this is because of Sakura's powers of healing.
The attempt to assassinate Takasugi ends in failure, and the enraged Takasugi wages war against the Sawaki clan. Sakura expends most of her energy healing the wounded, and when Koheita is brought in with severe injuries, she is unable to save him. Her father Oyakata also falls in battle, heralding the end for the Sawaki clan. Sakura then decides to kill herself, and makes one final request to Ōka: to set the mansion ablaze and not let anyone near it. She also tells him that if she were to have a second chance at life with the one she loves, she wishes for happiness.
In the series' main storyline, Yanagi's healing powers prove to be something of interest to a man named Mori Kōran, whose only wish is to find a way to obtain eternal life. He believes that Yanagi's powers will somehow help him fulfill this wish.
Mori Mansion Arc
Yanagi is kidnapped by Mori's henchmen while she, Recca, Fūko, and Domon are visiting their professor's home. Numerous experiments are performed on her while she is held captive at Mori's mansion, but Recca and the others (now along with Tokiya) save her.
Ura Butou Satsujin Arc
Months after the incident at the mansion, Recca and his friends receive an invitation to the Ura Butou Satsujin, a tournament wherein participants fight one another and the losers give up their madōgu to the winners. Apart from this, the losing team must also give up an offering to the sponsor of the tournament. Yanagi agrees to this despite Recca's objections, because she wants to do something for the team as well. Throughout the tournament, Yanagi serves as their team's healer and as their drive/inspiration to win.
Sealed Lands Arc
Mori's pursuit of eternal life did not stop with the end of the tournament. He seeks out the madōgu called Tendō Jigoku, which had been said to make its user immortal. Recca and his friends try to stop him, but Mori manages to take the madōgu, and it merges with him. Kaima (the man who created the Tendō Jigoku) had trapped his soul within the madougu in the past, and thus his soul is also merged with Mori Kōran. They eventually have Yanagi kidnapped, believing that if they (the combination of Mori, Kaima, and the Tendō Jigoku itself) absorb her powers, they will become immortal. Aoi, a member of Mori's Ura Uruha (formed to protect him against Kurei and his Uruha Hokage and the Hokage team), is the one tasked to kidnap Yanagi and erase her memories using the madōgu Shinryo Shikō. Yanagi's memories had to be erased in order to rob her of her consciousness so that her healing powers would not repel the Tendō Jigoku (recall that Sakura-hime's healing powers destroyed the madōgu Ōka had lent to her) and enable it to absorb her soul and her powers.
At a complex/area called SODOM, Mori, Kaima, and their henchmen await the emergence of Tendō Jigoku's final form from its cocoon. The Hokage team, along with Kagerō, fight their way to the tower wherein the Tendō Jigoku is housed in order to destroy it and save Yanagi. They manage to take Yanagi before she is devoured by Tendō Jigoku, and Aoi attempts to restore her consciousness and her memories. Unfortunately, Tendō Jigoku manages to grab Yanagi before Aoi is finished, and the Shinryo Shikō breaks. The Hokage team resort to speaking to Yanagi to encourage her to wake up before the Tendō Jigoku manages to absorb her completely. Yanagi regains her memories and consciousness and is pulled away from Tendō Jigoku by Recca, but she dies because her soul had been successfully taken away by Tendō Jigoku.
As a last resort, Recca summons the eighth Flame Dragon, Resshin, and uses his power to absorb Yanagi's soul and merge it with his flame. Yanagi emerges looking as she did before she died, only with feathered wings much like Kurenai's after Kurei used his power to absorb her soul. Her healing powers merged with Recca's flame, producing golden fire that healed all the wounds of everyone in the area when she unleashed her flames. Her powers had an opposite on the Tendō Jigoku, however, as she "healed" all the souls that Tendō Jigoku had previously absorbed to maintain its form and powers. All the madōgu were destroyed by Yanagi's golden flame, putting an end to the Hokage once and for all.
Due to this, Recca loses his own powers as the Flame Dragons' souls are freed from their curse, and Yanagi is brought back to life when her own soul returns to her body.
At the end of everything, Yanagi and her friends return to their normal lives. As they were preparing to launch fireworks while waiting for their friends to arrive, she tells Recca to stop calling her "hime" and start referring to her by her first name.
Healing: Yanagi possesses the ability to heal any physical injury from simple cuts and scraps to broken bones and large holes. As a flame spirit her healing ability carried over allowing her flames to heal injuries, it was also capable of healing souls, allowing them to pass on.
- She is known as Anna Yanagi in the Filipino version of the anime as her name becomes her surname.
- In the Filipino version, she and Ganko are voiced by the same voice actress.