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Why can't we pick who we fall in love with? It would be so much easier...

–Naoko Kamikishiro

Naoko Kamikishiro (紙木城 直子, Kamikishiro Naoko) is a character from Boogiepop and Others. She is a student at Shinyo Academy, a friend of Nagi Kirima, Keiji Takeda and Kei Niitoki[1], the girlfriend of both Shirou Tanaka and Akio Kimura[2] and a victim of the Manticore [3] who is known to have saved the world by showing compassion to the wounded Echoes.[4]

Appearance

Naoko is a young girl with shoulder-length, wavy blonde hair and brown eyes. She is shown wearing the white Shinyo Academy female sailor uniform.

In the anime, Naoko has shoulder-length, wavy, light brown hair and brown eyes. She is shown wearing the Shinyo Academy school uniform, consisting of a blue blazer worn over a white shirt with a red tie around the collar, and a pale blue short skirt.

Personality

Naoko is a happy-go-lucky and cheerful girl. Despite her outgoing and nice personality, Naoko was also heavily ostracized by her peers for dating multiple boys, in spite of the strict school rules prohibiting romantic relationships between members of the opposite sex. Even so, she never seemed to mind what others thought of her, making the most of her school life. She was known to be the only friend of the infamous Fire Witch, Nagi Kirima, who even decided to hunt the Manticore and help Echoes purely because of Naoko's request. He was also friends with Keiji Takeda, whom she bonded with over the fact that both of them had illicit relationships with other students, therefore violating the school's rules. Naoko is also fond of singing the romantic ballad Life is Brief.[1]

Naoko is a very romantic individual, falling for Shirou Tanaka, even though he was younger than her, and it was considered strange for girls to date younger boys. Although Shirou initially rejected the girl (more out of nervousness than any dislike for her), Naoko continued to pursue him until he eventually agreed to date her. At the same time, Naoko also started going out with Akio Kimura. Although their relationship is quite physical and occasionally sexual, neither Akio nor Naoko called it a romantic one, as both of them had other partners (although, in hindsight, Akio later admitted that Naoko was his only true love).[2]

Naoko is a very kind and deeply compassionate person at heart, who does her best to help the people around her. This was most apparent in how she treated the wounded Echoes when she encountered him. She seemed to have a telepathic connection with Echoes, as she could perfectly understand him, despite the alien's inability to speak with any words he hadn't previously heard. Naoko herself didn't even seem to realize she could read Echoes' thoughts until later.[5] Once, while talking with Akio about Echoes, she called the alien an "angel" that came to "judge humanity".[2] Because of her kindness to Echoes, he judged that humans are worth to let live, and so Naoko is referred to as the savior of humanity, although she sadly didn't survive the incident, having been murdered by the Manticore.[4]

Background

Naoko has been friends with Nagi Kirima ever since junior high.[4]

Sometime during Shirou Tanaka's first year in high-school, Naoko approached him and confessed his love. Akio Kimura, while smoking a cigarette behind the school, unintentionally witnessed the confession. After Shirou rejected Naoko before she could even say anything, and ran away. Afterwards, Naoko called out to the hiding Akio, and asked him to give her a cigarette too. That's how the two's relationship started, and later Naoko managed to also get into a relationship with Shirou.[2]

While the wounded alien Echoes was wondering around, looking for the Manticore, he also met Naoko. She offered to treat his wounds, and so she became involved with the Manticore Shock.[5]

Story

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Boogiepop and Others

Chapter One: Romantic Warrior

The next day, on his way to school, Keiji Takeda runs into Naoko, who questions him about the previous day's date. Keiji dodges the question, and then the two meet Kei Niitoki at the school gate. After a short conversation, Keiji and Naoko move on, and the boy tells his schoolmate about what he saw the previous day.

One day, Naoko stops coming to school. Keiji asks her classmates for details, but all of them are convinced she just ran away, and don't feel any concern for her. Keiji is uneasy about her disappearance, but ultimately does not know anything about the situation.[1]

Interlude

Echoes, having escaped from the police thanks to Boogiepop, wanders through a desolate back alley, and then collapses on the ground once more, not crying this time, thanks to the shinigami's encouraging words. As he confirms his determination to eliminate the Manticore in his mind, a girl, Naoko, sees and approaches him, worried for his well being. Despite the alien man being unable to speak using words that he didn't already hear, Naoko somehow perfectly understood all of his thoughts. She decided to guide him to the school, wanting to give him a place to live. Then, she called Nagi, asking her for help.[5]

Chapter Three: No One Lives Forever

Naoko walks in the gym storage room, calling out to Echoes. Masami Saotome tries to stop it, but the Manticore lunges at her and murders her instantly. Masami yells at it, asking it why she killed the girl, but the Manticore shows extreme fear, having heard the name of her original. Masami tries to calm it down, and then, realizing the body belongs to Nagi Kirima's friend, assures the shaken Manticore that the advantage is on their side. Then, they take Naoko's body to the basement, where it is consumed. During this, the lyrics of a song called "No One Lives Forever" flash through Masami's mind.[3]

Chapter Four: I Wish You Heaven

While out smoking a cigarette behind the school, Akio Kimura overhears Naoko confessing to a younger boy named Shirou Tanaka, who suspects Naoko of tricking him, due to the unusual nature of a third year student asking a first year one out. As Shirou waits for Naoko to say what she had to say, he eventually shrieks that he "can't do this" and runs away, leaving a disappointed Naoko behind. Then, she turns toward Akio (whom she'd noticed since the beginning), and joins him for a smoke. Akio, noticing the tear tracks on her face, concludes that she was serious about her confession. Akio tries to console her, but Naoko tells him not to be nice to her, or else she may fall for him as well. Then, the two skip class to continue hanging out. After this, the two make it a habit to go on various dates.

Eventually, Naoko manages to convince Shirou to go out with her as well, with Akio often commenting that he doesn't know what she sees in the boy. While on a Ferris wheel at an amusement park, Naoko and Akio discuss Shirou, with Naoko expressing her reason for liking him, and the first time she saw him at an archery competition, predicting that he is meant for bigger things. Then she says that she prefers playing around with Akio because he's a mess, just like her, saying that Shirou doesn't understand her at all. Then, Naoko leans in to kiss Akio. Upon being asked whether he does that with Shirou too, she bluntly denies the claim. Akio then thinks that she finds her most attractive when she's being herself, not deliberately trying to act cute or appealing.

One day, Naoko asks Akio if he thinks that human existence is justified, to which Akio responds that he doesn't think so. Then, Naoko tells him about how she met a man from outer space, and how he was sent to Earth by some large consciousness. She explains that he tried to mimick a human, but didn't get it exactly right, and ended up over-evolved, which put him under some corporation's attention, who cloned him, and ended up making a man-eating monster, who escaped from the research facility. Therefore, Echoes went after it, to try and stop it from taking over the world with its abilities. Upon hearing this, Akio asks why Echoes would care about what happens to the human race, and Naoko responds that he's just nice. When Akio asks where Echoes is now, Naoko says he's at the school, and makes Akio promise that he won't tell anyone (a promise which he keeps, leading to his suspension). While still not sure what Naoko's story about Echoes means, Akio tells her that if she just opens up her heart to him, he'll definitely learn to like humanity. Then, the two part ways. That was the last time Akio ever saw Naoko.[2]

Boogiepop at Dawn

Boogiepop Phantom

Abilities

  • Psychological Link: Unbeknownst to everyone, including herself, Naoko possesses an MPLS ability which allows her to hear Echoes' thoughts.[5] The exact details of her evolution are unknown.

Etymology

  • The name Naoko means "straight" (直) (nao) and "child" (子) (ko).
  • Naoko's surname Kamikishiro means "paper" (紙) (kami), "tree, wood" (木) (ki) and "castle" (城) (shiro).

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Boogiepop and Others, Chapter 1
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Boogiepop and Others, Chapter 4
  3. 3.0 3.1 Boogiepop and Others, Chapter 3
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Boogiepop and Others, Chapter 5
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Boogiepop and Others, Second Interlude
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