“What are we gonna do? …what’s gonna happen to us?” – Kaori’s fear after she and Nobuyuki escape from Asmodia
Kaori Funaki is a second-year student at Dai Tenshi High School and serves as a secondary protagonist of Soul Embrace, making her first appearance in The Fires Rise.
Kaori stands at 167 cm, or about 5’5″. She has shoulder length black hair that she prefers to let hang loose, and dresses as modestly as she can whenever she goes out in public despite her sister’s protests.
The polar opposite to her more assertive sister, Kaori is very shy and stutters quite frequently when she is in the presence of someone she isn’t familiar with. Nevertheless, she remains as warm and kind as she can, and is quite easy to befriend. Needless to say, the arrival of Shinkokira shook her to her core, especially once she was caught up in the whole ordeal.
As conflicts continue to happen, however, Kaori steadily becomes more willing to stand up and fight, though only when there is no other way out of a bad situation.
Kaori is one of two daughters born to Michiko Nakamura and Susumu Funaki, the other being her twin sister Kasume. They were born in Osaka, moving to Rengoku when they were about six years old and residing there ever since.
About the time the twins entered middle school, their parents informed them that they were receiving a new member of their family. Tsukune Matsuda, a boy they knew from school, had just lost his parents in a horrible car accident, and in their everlasting kindness, the Fuanki family offered to take him in. Though Tsukune for the first few days in his new home did nothing more than sit in one place contemplating to himself, Kaori still offered him as much comfort as she could, growing to care very deeply for him as she felt the pain of his terrible loss.
The Fires Rise
The arrival of Shinkokira led to many students of Dai Tenshi fearing for their lives if they so much as took a single wrong turn in their daily routine, and Kaori (now sixteen years of age) was no exception. She decided the best course of action (at least for her) was to lay low and stay out of trouble.
However, there came one day where she fell ill and was unable to attend school, and that was when Hell found itself a new victim. The archdemon Asmodia visited Kaori in her dreams, sexually assaulting her and in general mentally scarring her until she was rescued by Nobuyuki Honda. The two fought the foul being off, and once they’d communicated and knew that the situation would only get worse from there, they both decided to band together and perhaps discover what was going on.
Continued history under construction…
Though Kaori is actually older than her twin sister by a few minutes, she looks up to her on several levels. She does occasionally see Kasume as something akin to a bully and rightfully calls her out on it, but still counts on her when it’s warranted. Kasume in turn fears for Kaori’s well-being constantly, stating that she’d be heartbroken if anything ever happened to her.
Like many other second-year students at Dai Tenshi, Kaori idolizes Nobuyuki, calling him “Senpai” until he asks her to call him by his given name instead. She is marveled by his strength and tenacity, ten-fold after he saved her from Asmodia and swore that he’d do everything in his power to protect her while he looked into and eventually hunted down Shinkokira.
Though they are technically brother and sister, Kaori harbours very strong feelings for Tsukune that she’d prefer to keep private. Even when he was emotionally drained shortly after the death of his parents, she did everything she could to make him feel better. While it’s debatable how effective that consolation was, Tsukune at least appreciated the gesture enough to start treating both Kaori and Kasume like his true sisters.
Prior to Shinkokira’s arrival in Rengoku, Kaori had no combat experience whatsoever, focusing most of her time on her studies and seeing enough violence with Nobuyuki and Ryuuji Hasashi‘s frequent brawls.
Once she devoted herself to ridding the city of the cult, however, she began to at the very least strengthen herself both physically and mentally, knowing she’d need to be ready for anything that might happen from there. Later on, Ryuuji gives her a metal baseball bat to defend herself with. Though a crude weapon, she uses it as effectively as she can and manages decent results out of it, though still prefers to pair up with an ally to take an enemy down rather than do it on her own.
- Kasume has caught Kaori watching Bible Black several times throughout her teenage years. Kaori insists that she thought it was an episode of Death Note, but her continued viewings of it prove otherwise.
- Kaori, like Delilah, does not like Attack on Titan because she considers it too scary for her to watch.