The battle for the Capital City of Kyo rages as warring political factions vie for power against hereditary rulers. After the murder of her parents at the hands of her seditious uncle, a young girl named Kintoki flees to the mountains to lead a harsh life; she is named Kai Doh Maru by the local villagers. Rescued by Raiko, the Captain of "The Four Knights"-honorable defenders who protect the peace of the city, she is raised within their group as a boy. Living among the Knights, she learns the practices of martial arts and develops into a skillful samurai, becoming a permanent member of the team. Now, as a young woman of seventeen, she begins to discover new feelings of passion and love for Raiko...but she also discovers that these new emotions cause a storm of jealousy and rage in another woman linked to her past. Set in feudal Japan's Heian Era (794 to 1185 AD), the animation team created a unique color scheme reminiscent of Japanese artwork from the period focusing on the seasons, virtues, and elements of the Earth as they related to spirits of nature. Kai Doh Maru mysteriously opens in stark black & white, then resolves into a breathtaking and skillfully produced watercolor palate of luminous and soft pastel imagery.