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Natsuki Kuga

is a fictional character from the My-HiME and My-Otome anime and manga series. Her name is in the My-Otome series. She is voiced by Saeko Chiba in Japanese and Cheryl McMaster in English.

Common characteristics

Natsuki is typically portrayed as a serious, rational blue-haired female, as a foil to the lighthearted Mai Tokiha. Natsuki's beauty is the target of several jokes, usually involving her becoming embarrassed in a situation. She usually has Shizuru Fujino as a close friend. Natsuki always uses some type of gun as her weapon and she is usually associated with wolves, silver and the element ice. She also has a habit of flicking her hair with her right hand. Running gags include her hobby of collecting lingerie, her fondness of mayonnaise, and her tendency to become irritated easily.

In both anime, she has been 'exposed' (meaning, left half-naked) to some characters. In My-HiME, the wind blows up her skirt which 'exposed' her as she did not have any lingerie on. In My-Otome, to be more specific, the 8th Omake-The Legend of the Fire String Ruby, a similar situation was faced. She proceeded to hit Mai with a fan but instead hit Miyu. Miyu, interpreting this as a challenge directed at her, activates the anti-materialising sword that was also used in My-HiME and attacks Natsuki. Natsuki managed to evade the attack. Unfortunately, her towel did not. Hence, the towel split into two and once again, Natsuki is 'exposed'.

My-HiME anime

Natsuki Kuga
Character Information
Age: 17
DOB: August 15
Height: 160 cm (5'3")
Weight: 47 kg (103.4 lbs)
Blood type: B
B/W/H: 81/57/83

Natsuki Kuga is a strong-willed and forceful individual known for being a truant, she rides a fictional Ducati model sportsbike called Ducati DRIII. Her only friend at the start of the series is Shizuru Fujino; she prefers to work alone, but over the course of the series warms up to Mai Tokiha. Natsuki also works with Kaiji Sakomizu and Yamada to carry out her missions during the course of the series. Although in the same level as Mai, she explains that she is in fact a year older because she stayed away from school for a year after accident, making her 17 at the end of the series.

Actions

Natsuki makes her first appearance in episode 1 as a mysterious figure chasing after Mikoto Minagi, who is picked up by a ferry that Mai Tokiha is riding. After a battle, Natsuki warns Mikoto and Mai against going to the academy, though her warning goes unheeded.

Initially, Natsuki doesn't want to work with Mikoto or Mai, but the tension between them is broken in episode 4 when Mai helps Natsuki with her lingerie crisis. As the series progresses and the three fight off the various Orphans at the academy, they become friends. However, she takes an immediate disliking to Nao Yuuki when the two meet in episode 7.

Natsuki's purpose for fighting is revealed in episode 9 when the three girls investigate an old First District lab. Natsuki tells the others that she wants revenge on the First District for causing the death of her mother, a researcher for the First District.

Natsuki rescues Akane Higurashi from a privately controlled hospital in episode 13; Akane later reveals to Natsuki in episode 17 the link between a Child and the HiME's most important person. Natsuki and Nao become the first HiMEs to fight each other in episode 18.

In episode 20, Natsuki learns from John Smith that her mother actually attempted to sell her to the Searrs Foundation, rather than attempting to protect her. This sends Natsuki into depression, preventing her from summoning her Element or Child and allowing her to be caught by Nao.

Natsuki is saved by Shizuru and later finds out that Shizuru is actually in love with her. Surprised, Natsuki rejects her in episode 23, causing Shizuru to go temporarily insane. Natsuki later confronts Shizuru in an emotional battle in episode 25, that end's with Natsuki kissing Shizuru, and telling her she can't have the feeling that Shizuru wished she had but was happy that Shizuru loved her. She then orders Duran to fire, destroying himself and Shizuru's Child, Kiyohime, which results with their deaths. They are later revived in episode 26 with the other HiME and destroy the HiME Star. The official guidebook suggests that Natsuki's relationship with Shizuru becomes deeper as time goes on. The novel "Natsuki Prelude" (also in the artbooks vol 1, 2) has Natsuki's backstory and states that after sending Takeda a rejection note (thanking him and apologizing for not returning his feelings), she told herself that there was someone else whose feelings she wanted to accept (Shizuru's). (This took place following the conversation with Sakomizu-sensei, on the cliff she was standing on in episode 25).

Element and Child

Natsuki's Elements are a pair of small pistols, with the spheres on the pistols providing it with unlimited ammunition. She also displays knowledge of hand-to-hand fighting techniques. Natsuki's HiME mark is located on her lower left back, an area said to be governed by Leo, her zodiac sign.

Natsuki's Child is Duran, a silver wolflike creature named after her deceased pet dog. It has a pair of cannons on its back, and in its hind legs are several different types of projectiles: Silver Cartridges create icicles, Chrome Cartridges are conventional explosive charges, and Flash Cartridges produce a blinding light. Duran is also capable of close-combat fighting, and it can transform into a hoverbike that Natsuki can ride. Natsuki's most important person is Shizuru, but the former does not realize this until fairly late in the series; the latter even later. "Duran" as explained in Natsuki's Prelude, comes from her dog who died.

Manga Version

Natsuki remains the same in the manga except she appears able to control ice to some extent erecting an ice wall in Chapter 15 to protect Tate. She, along with Mai, still has her HiME mark on her lower-left back.

Natsuki's Child is Duran, similar to the anime version but named after the doll her mother gave her. It has the same cartridges as the anime version, although Silver Cartridges actually encase the target in ice. The Duran used by Natsuki's mother used a new type of Cartridge called 'Plutonium Cartridge' - highly explosive shells much more powerful than the Chrome Cartridges. Natsuki's Duran had one more transformation to go through and it became Golden Duran. It also became able to fire Diamond Cartridges, which freeze the molecules of their target with 'absolute zero' temperatures. This is the form that Natsuki used to defeat QUEEN Mai and a Dark Kagutsuchi in a one-on-one battle. Natsuki's Key is Yuuichi Tate in the manga version.

My-HiME manga

In the My-HiME manga, Natsuki Kuga is a typical tsundere character involved in a love triangle with Mai Tokiha and Yuuichi Tate, the latter being the Key for both girls. Natsuki shows a rivalry with Mai in the first chapter, indicating the two were fighting since before Yuuichi appeared. Natsuki's inability to do housework and her fondness of mayonnaise is more emphasized in the manga than in the anime.

Actions

Natsuki is first shown in chapter 1, fighting Mai in front of Fuka Academy. She is the first to realize that Yuuichi is a Key - more specifically, her Key - but is surprised when he turns out to be Mai's Key as well. In chapter 5, Natsuki reveals her reason for fighting: to avenge her mother, who died at the hands of a HiME. Later in that chapter, events force Natsuki to move in with Mai, Mikoto Minagi, and Yuuichi.

In chapter 7, Natsuki joins the Ori-HiME Team; it is shown later in chapter 12 that this was only to get information on every HiME on campus, which Shizuru gives to her. She rejoins the Anti-Orphan Squad at the end of chapter 14, helping to defeat Haruka Suzushiro and Yukino Kikukawa.

Natsuki loses the ability to summon Duran when the relationship between Mai and Yuuichi is revealed in chapter 24. In the following chapter, she meets her mother, who is revealed to be alive and working for the Searrs Foundation, and her sister, Alyssa Searrs. She refuses to work with her mother, leading to a battle with her sister in chapter 29. Natsuki frees Mashiro Kazahana, who holds off Alyssa and allows Natsuki to confront her mother at the gate of the HiME Star. During the ensuing battle, Natsuki regains the power to summon Duran in chapter 34 and subsequently defeats her mother.

In chapter 38, Yuuichi and Natsuki break into the Obsidian Palace where they encounter QUEEN Mai. After Natsuki defeats QUEEN Mai and a Dark Kagutsuchi in a one-on-one battle whith her powered up Duran(Golden Duran),Yuuichi convinces Mai to help stop her brother.The three fight Takumi Tokiha, and in chapter 43 use the Sword of Kagutsuchi to defeat the HiME Star's Child and saved Takumi. In the final chapter, Natsuki is now living with her mother, sister, and Miyu Greer and still fights Mai over Yuuichi.

My-Otome anime

In the My-Otome anime series, Natsuki Kruger is the headmistress of Garderobe, as well as #2 of the Five Columns. She has a calm, reserved, neutral, and calculating personality, often only appearing in episodes to comment on the political situation and making decisions for Garderobe based on it. Her closest friend and partner, in a personal as well as organizational sense, is Shizuru; who she served as roommate and nursed a crush for (which matured into their current romantic relationship).

Actions

Natsuki first appears in the middle of episode 1 in her office at Garderobe, talking to Shizuru about the current political situation. At the end of episode 1, she welcomes Arika Yumemiya to Garderobe, and is the first to recognize the Blue Sky Sapphire. In the following episode during the Garderobe council, she supports Arika's induction into Garderobe, and gives Arika of her knowledge and guidance wherever and whenever possible. As she watches the learning progress and rivalry between Arika and Nina Wáng, she makes the comparison between the past and present rivalries of Mai and herself, Shizuru and Haruka Armitage, and Arika and Nina. She hopes that her faith upon them will not let her down, which is supported by later events.

In the following episodes, she makes appearances either commenting on the escalating political conflicts or acting as the head of Garderobe. She does not battle until episode 17, when she and Shizuru team up against Aswad. However, she loses her Robe due to Schwartz's meddling, and becomes unconscious due to the explosion caused by Arika's and Nina's battle.

Natsuki is taken outside of Windbloom territory by Juliet Nao Zhang and Yamada. Nao and Natsuki travel to Aries in episode 19 and to Cardair in episode 22 to seek help in reclaiming Garderobe. In episode 23, the two end up in the Black Valley, reunited with Arika, Mai, and Masahiro.

Natsuki and Nao return to Garderobe to assist with the coup. Natsuki succeeds in regaining her Robe in episode 25, but her subsequent attack against Fuka Castle is deflected and she loses her Robe. She is reunited with Shizuru, but they are powerless against Schwartz's intravenous wave jamming. Regaining her Robe again at the beginning of episode 26, she joins the other Columns in taking back Fuka Castle, and is the one to destroy the Harmonium. She returns in My-Otome Zwei to oversee the Meteor Destruction Operation alongside Yukino Chrysant then backed up Arika and Mai in the Black Valley before being forced to return to Garderobe and later with Arika interrogating Nagi. She is currently holding the SOLT (Strategic Otome Limiting Treaty) with other nation leaders in Artai while awaiting investigations from Nao and Yoko. On Episode 4 of My-Otome Zwei, She later directs the Otome teams to take down Yuna in the form of Fumi Himeno and her spawed childs, and gives Arika and Nina to successfully distroy Yuna once and for all.

Gem

Natsuki's GEM is the , and her master is Fumi Himeno. She requires no certification, though her ability to use a Robe is dependent on the status of Fumi. Her Element is a massive cannon capable of executing an energy attack called the Howling Silver Wolf.

My-Otome manga

The headmistress

In the My-Otome manga, Natsuki Kruger is the headmistress of Garderobe. She is also the daughter of Aries' current president, Saeko Kruger, and the sister of Alyssa Kruger. Natsuki's main role in the story is running the Academy and making sure Mashiro Blan de Windbloom stays in line.

Natsuki's GEM and Robe are the same as in the anime, with minor cosmetic differences. Her master is initially Fumi Himeno and later Lena Sayers (when the title of source passes from one to the other).

The HiME

In the resurrected HiME Natsuki Kuga's first appearance in chapter 35, she declares herself to be the true most beautiful woman in the universe. She mocks Natsuki Kruger by calling her a middle-aged woman. They also have this slight conflict; one accuses the other of stuffing her bra. Also, when Natsuki Kuga saw the size of Erstin's breasts, she showed her dissatisfaction by saying that Erstin's breasts made her sick. This could be why she has to stuff her bra. However, it is not stated whether Kuga stuffs her bra, Kruger, or both. Her main differences from her My-HiME manga incarnation are her vanity and her congenial relationship with Nao Yuuki.

In addition to her powers in My-HiME, Natsuki can also combine her Child with Nao's.

References

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