Kū Fei (古 菲, Kū Fei; Gǔ Fēi), is a fictional character from the manga series Negima!: Magister Negi Magi, created by Ken Akamatsu. The 12th student in Japanese alphabetical order of class 2/3-A, she is the silly, fun-loving Chinese warrior girl of the class. Although she can appear to be to be an idiot who uses her fists rather than her mind, Kū's fighting skills are top-notch making her one of the more dangerous students in the class. Becoming an early trusted ally of Negi Springfield (as well as a member of his "Baka Rangers"), she also teaches him Kung Fu in order to help him progress in his own training. She is also infamous for her appetite and her obsession with nikuman from fellow "Chinese" classmate Chao Lingshen.
Background and Personality
Kū is the energetic and joyful kung fu fighting Chinese girl of class 3-A. In her initial appearance, she was identified as a foreigner by fellow classmate Chisame. However unlike many of her fellow classmates, Kū is one of the few who is open about this, as her background is apparently mundane. The most obviously foreign part of her appearance is her darker than average skin; although not as dark as Mana's and Zazie's, her skin is slightly darker than most of the other girls in the class. This dark skin is not natural to the typical Han Chinese (such as Chao), implying that she is from another part of the country.
Kū's native language is Chinese, and her knowledge of Japanese is comparatively poor. She lacks the genius intelligence or long exposure to Japanese of her classmates. It is this language barrier that holds her back from succeeding in class. This problem has made Kū "Baka Yellow" of the "Baka Rangers" (or Dummy Force in the FUNimation dub) study group, since she can't concentrate much on her studies as she is still learning Japanese. Although Akamatsu does depict Kū as knowing the basics of the language, she does add the ending of "aru" (アル) in katakana to the end of her sentences to address her depiction of the language.
Outside her foreign heritage and poor schoolwork, Kū is known as one of the most powerful fighters in the school. Within 3-A itself, she is identified as the fourth strongest after Setsuna Sakurazaki, Mana Tatsumiya and Kaede Nagase. While she is extremely skilled and knowledgeable about Chinese kenpo style martial arts, Kū lacks knowledge and control of magic, a significant weakness. Whereas Setsuna, Mana and even Kaede know magical skills and combine them with fighting ability, Kū's strength comes merely from her own ki control and skill. Despite this, Kū is a highly skilled warrior both unarmed and armed. She has been seen using knives, swords and Chinese war hammers.
While Kū is merely the fourth strongest in 3-A, she still stands way above many of the other fighters at Mahora Academy. In the year prior to the start of the series, she won the martial arts tournament at the academy. Because of this, she is challenged day after day by many powerful students attempting to prove their own strength. She is always victorious in these contests. Kū's athleticism and skill does not only extend to the battlefield; when challenged in a bowling match without ever playing the game before, she scored a perfect 300 on her first try. It is this skill and ability that attracted the attention of her teacher Negi Springfield when he wanted to learn to fight. Mana described her that "as a normal human, Kū Fei is without a doubt the strongest".
Outside of class, Kū Fei works at the Chao Bao Zi Chinese restaurant cart run by her friend and fellow "Chinese" student Chao Lingshen. Besides working as a waitress at the restaurant, Kū has a voracious appetite for the food served there, particularly Chao's specialty nikuman dumplings that she even eats during class. Due to their similarities, Kū and Chao are great friends. Unfortunately their friendship only goes so far; whenever Chao or her assistant Satomi need a guinea pig for their new inventions, Kū finds herself stuck as their "volunteer".
When designing the class for Negi to teach in, it was obvious that not every member of the class were going to be normal Japanese girls. In addition to the supernatural members of the class, some of the students were merely going to be strange due to coming from a completely different culture. When Ken Akamatsu developed Kū Fei, he chose to go with a familiar stock character with some adjustments to make her more individual. Kū comes from the common tradition of placing a Chinese character in a class of Japanese; due to the proximity between China and Japan, the two cultures are consistently feeding off each other in both their similarities and differences. The usage of a Chinese student also allowed Akamatsu to include a Chinese martial arts user in his class, adding in the variety of skills possessed.
However, even excluding Kū's character, there still exist some differences to the standard depiction. Kū's skin color is not a pure white similar to that idealized by the Han Chinese. Her darker skin tone increases the visual diversity in the class while going with the typical Chinese stereotype. However, the fact that Kū is a hyperactive dark-skinned foreigner has noticeable similarity with Akamatsu's previous manga series Love Hina, particularly the character Kaolla Su. Many of Su's traits are shared by Kū, yet she is sufficiently different to make her own character. Most noticeably, she is a strong fighter rather than a scientific genius.
Ku Fei states in the manga that her first kiss can only be given to person that defeats her (Negi in this case) in some form of challenge.
Part in the Story
Kū Fei's role in the story starts early on with her membership of the infamous "Baka Rangers" group as "Baka Yellow", although her poor academic performance is mostly due to her poor Japanese. She assists Negi through the Library Island arc. Always trying to stay in the limelight, Kū does show her enthusiasm for her teacher whenever he's around, helping her out or not.
Although initially not a part of the magical world, during the class trip to Kyoto, she soon starts to get involved. She takes part in the "Kiss Negi" contest run by Kazumi, hoping to get her first kiss out of it. While she does get a kiss, it is from one of Negi's paper clones leading to a "bad Pactio" card. She learns Negi's secret when she, Mana, and Kaede came to the help of Negi, Asuna, and Setsuna to rescue Konoka. Although she easily defeated many of the summoned monsters, they were much weaker than the opponents defeated by her classmates. After the Kyoto trip, she becomes Negi's martial arts instructor at the latter's request. Taking on the silly guise of
"wise master" Kū Rōshi (wearing a more traditional outfit as well as a white beard), she teaches Negi the basics of ki and technique to allow him to pass Evangeline's test in order to study magical combat under the powerful vampire.
During the Wilhelm incident, Kū Fei was one of many girls who were initially kidnapped by Wilhelm and the Slime sisters, only for them to escape and assist Negi in the battle, with her rescuing Chizuru from the watery cell that she was being held in.
Although assisting her class during the Mahora festival, her main concern was repeating her victory in the Mahora Martial Arts tournament, this year organised by her friend Chao (as part of her own plans). Facing Mana in combat, she is forced to use all her skill to barely defeating her. But the victory came at a cost; she broke her left arm while fighting against Mana and was forced to drop out. Her arm was later healed by Colonel Sanders (alter ego of Albireo Imma).
Even though Kū was Chao's best friend in the entire class, Chao concealed her plans to changing the future from her. She was the first to be told that Chao was leaving the school and at her farewell party she gave her the most honorable words of goodbye in the class. She was one of the girls trapped in the future with Negi after Chao had succeeded in revealing magic to the world. During the battle of Mahora, along with Haruna, she stayed behind to fight the Chachamaru clone and two other robots, while Negi went after Chao. After the battle was finally over, despite being her friend's opponent during the entire incident, Chao did give a tearful farewell to Kū as she departed back to her home for the final time.
She is a member of Negi's White Wing and accompanied him to England and to the Magical World, where they were attacked by Fate and his comrades. Kū Fei manages to fight effectively during the assault, even managing to nearly blind side Fate with a powerful Ki beam. However, despite the efforts of her and the other fighting members of the White Wing, Fate manages to destroy the magical gateway, scattering her and the rest of the group all across the magical world. She has recently been found by Negi's group, having survived by working as a bodyguard for hire, and, like many of the other members of the White Wing, she has apparently used the opportunities presented by the Magical World to improve her skills. She was found practicing her techniques by breaking tall pillars of rock.
She had gone to the ruins along with Kaede to find the portal gate there, and since the two were searching for the gate, they were unable to aid Negi in his negotiations with Fate. She attended the ball, where she challenged Negi to an arm wrestling match, during which it is revealed that she has become a well known bodyguard and taken down an underworld organization. Since she lost the match, she has made a Pactio with Negi. Later during the ball, she used her newly acquired Pactio item to burst into the room where Negi was meeting Godel, allowing him and the girls that accompanied him into the room the chance to escape and meet up with the rest of the White Wing group.
Once the group invaded Gravekeeper's palace they came into a full confontation with Dynamis and fate's girls. Later once Negi's battle with Fate began, Ku Fei and everyone else present attempted to rescue Asuna. They were ultimately defeated by Shirabe.
During the sports festival, she confessed her love to Negi.
She, like the rest of the class, assists Negi in saving Nagi and defeating the Mage of the Beginning. Thought the streets of Mahora are small, she opened a hall to gather fine disciples, while she contiunes to obtain total victory at the Mahora Martial Arts Competition, which increases in scale every year. Her attitude is always one of humility. The eternal training partner Nagase Kaede. Her challenging Negi to a match every New Year´s Day has become a tradition.
- Pactio: Pugilatum Exercens (literally, "Martial Practitioner"): Ku Fei's artifact is known as Shinchintetsu Jizaikon. She can make this weapon extend and increase/decrease it's size at will. She formed pactio with Nagi in Chapter 261. In Chapter 273, her Pactio artifact is revealed to be a copy of the Ruyi Jingu Bang, the legendary staff wielded by the Monkey King, a character in the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West.
- Expert Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Despite being master of Chinese Martial Arts, her rank does not reflect her fighting abilities, which can rival Chao Lingshen.
- Master Swordsmanship Specialist: Despite being master of Chinese Martial Arts, her rank does not reflect her fighting abilities. She uses a fighting style that is noted at being rough but powerful alongside the use of complex movements that allows her to lunge with her staff from the left and defend with her sheath at the right, though she is ambidextrous and can easily switch between the two techniques. She uses misdirection in her attacks and even though doing so allows for holes in her defense she is more then capable of making it up with surprise attacks.
- Physical Capabilities
Mati Bung Chuen
Bakuretsu Sun Kei (Exploding Impact Wave)
Bakuretsu Rasenkei ( Exploding Helix)
Kū in Other Media
Mahō Sensei Negima (1st Anime)
Kū exhibits her typical wild, stupid and powerful side in this anime, showing herself from the beginning as using her abilities during class even when it has no meaning or reason for doing so, if only to show off. Although mostly working on her own in the midst of things, she does interact with other members of the class when needed: she is a temporary member of Asuna's Chupacabra club, a part of the infamous Baka Rangers who fights before really thinking and a foil for the flighty actions of Ayaka in her Negi pursuits. Also like the manga, she does show some interaction with her friend Chao, including an omake where their fighting skills and Chao's inventive genius collide in an unexpected manner.
Although Kū Fei is one of the few girls that attempts a Pactio from the mass group, her first attempt is messed up when she kicks Negi during the ceremony. Due to this, Negi accidentally pulls her Suka form to assist: a tiger. While initially seen as a useless Suka form, the invocation of Kū's tiger form during the "Suka incident" shows she still keeps the same strength, skill and ki control as she holds as a human. During the Final Pactio Invocation, she becomes an intoxicated drunken fist master who takes advantage of the sake in her artifact, a gourd, even though she is too young to drink in the first place, at least in Japan. Kū chooses to remain drunk with this as opposed to using it for any good to the class.
Like the manga, Kū takes on the guise of the wise Kū Rōshi whenever she needs to take a more perspective situation on the world. However, she does express that she is at peace with herself without any troubles, making her lack of mental usage more of an annoyance to everyone around her.
- Popularity: 13 >> 12 >> 25 >> 25 >> 13 >> 19 >> 16 >> 12
- The depiction of Kū's speech is hard to translate into other languages accurately. While early English renditions of the Del Rey English manga had Kū speak more naturally, later volumes have depicted Kū Fei's Chinese accent as "pidgin" English. This decision was made by Negima's adaptor Trish Ledoux, notable for doing similar to Chinese character Shampoo in Ranma ½..
- According to official information, if Setsuna, Kaede, Mana and Ku Fei (i.e. the "members" of the 3A Martial Arts Elite Four) fight without holding back, Ku Fei is actually the weakest among the four. However, this is strictly due to her inability to use magic to augment her skills, as opposed to the other three members who have varying affinities for it. Mana's passing comment to Chao about Ku Fei being the strongest "as a normal human" may also imply that Ku Fei surpasses Mana, Setsuna and Kaede in both skills and brute stength as well, and that they might well lose in a normal, non-magical fight against her.
- Baka Yellow of the Baka Rangers, her bad results was mainly because she can't speak Japanese properly yet
- Her specialties are Xingyi Quan and Bagua Zhang, she knows a little of Baji Quan and Xinyi Liuhe Zhang as well.
- Ku Fei is the second student voiced by two voice actresses, as Hazuki is retired from voice acting for study and marriage, now it's replaced by Kana Asumi. The first student to have voice actress changed is Chao.