13.7.4.3 SET NAMES Syntax

SET NAMES {'charset_name'
    [COLLATE 'collation_name'] | DEFAULT}

This statement sets the three session system variables character_set_client, character_set_connection, and character_set_results to the given character set. Setting character_set_connection to charset_name also sets collation_connection to the default collation for charset_name. The optional COLLATE clause may be used to specify a collation explicitly. See Section 10.1.4, “Connection Character Sets and Collations”.

The default mapping can be restored by using a value of DEFAULT. The default depends on the server configuration.

ucs2 cannot be used as a client character set, which means that it does not work for SET NAMES.