Both Umi and Clef have strong individual personalities. In the beginning, Umi was headstrong and comes off as a bit selfish at first, which is understandable since she was thrown in the quest of saving Cephiro with Hikaru and Fuu. Clef was also insistent from his side, as he was very much duty-bound and wanted to see through with his responsibilities to guide the three of them in their quest. As a result, the two of them clashed head-on and almost seemed like rivals.

When Umi gradually comes to accept the quest and grows genuinely concerned for Cephiro, she faithfully follows the guidance of Clef until the very end, when it was too late to change course upon learning the truth. Their relationship is more evident in the second series. It is definite that Umi showed a fair amount of concern for Clef, probably knowing that Emeraude's death was a heavy blow to him. In addition, the two also develop a deeper relationship in the second series. The most evident part is probably when each Magic Knight could not sleep and they found their way to another person. In Umi's case, she went to Clef.

People speculate that this scene reveals hidden feelings, or not. In any case, Umi confessed that she was sorry for her behaviour at the beginning and Clef also apologised for hiding the truth. The scene ends with Clef holding her hand, before going off to help with her insomnia and Umi saying 'Thank you' to most likely, an absent Clef. There is probably no doubt though, that the two of them come to a closer understanding of each other as they both finally confessed what was heavily weighing on their hearts.

The manga was ambiguous about whether the relationship was friendship or something more. There was even a scene when Umi declared that she did not have anyone in mind whom she reckoned as a boyfriend. Perhaps they do not truly understand the depth of their feelings. However, both Umi and Clef do treat each other as someone important.

The anime adds more obvious hints on Umi's part. When Caldina teased Umi about liking Clef, Umi was somewhat flustered. Adding to that, near the end of the second season, Umi goes up to Clef (as if wanting to confess). But she only manages an 'I lo-' in the end. In response, Clef smiles and thanks her. The anime definitely appeals more to the fans here, with Umi's feelings being pretty much out in the open. As for Clef, he probably understood what she wanted to convey. Whether he returns them too is another question.

The OAV reveals a completely different story, and of course a new take on their relationship. One obvious change is Clef's appearance. He held a child-like appearance previously, but keep in mind that the people in Cephiro can change things with their will, including their looks. Hence, perhaps his grown-up looks should not come as much of a surprise. But the fact that such a distinct change was made to him alone, could appeal more to fans. Alongside with the darker setting of the OAV, the three Magic Knights seem to be more mature and take on their duty to protect their own world more readily. Once more, Clef is the one acting as a guide for them, though there seemed to be more obvious interactions between him and Umi. Though nothing specific was mentioned about their feelings, their actions of concerns may speak louder instead.

But to be frank, Umi and Clef are not the only people that think of each other as important, and have a certain chemistry between them. There are other people in Cephiro they interact with and think of as important. I highly welcome all sorts of opinions, and thank you to those who took the time to send me yours! :D

Voices [+]
Piecing the Fuller Picture[+]
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