Naminé is the Nobody of Kairi, and wields the power to manipulate the memories of Sora and those close to him. Her first appearance is in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. She also plays a minor role in Kingdom Hearts II. Naminé was born when Sora stabbed himself with Ansem's artificial Keyblade in order to return Kairi's heart to her body. This made Naminé a very odd Nobody, born from Kairi's heart and Sora's body and soul. Kairi's own body never became a Nobody because her heart lacked darkness (since she was one of the Princesses of Heart), so her body and soul were never able to leave the Realm of Light and thus made it seem like Kairi was in a comatose state until she regained her heart. However, this means that Naminé was also born without Kairi's memories, only furthering her status as an unusual entity. Yet she and Kairi are incomplete without each other, similar to Sora and Roxas. Due to the fact that Naminé is formed from Sora's body, she has the power to manipulate his memories as well as the memories of those who are connected to him, prompting several others, even herself, to call her a "witch". Ansem the Wise stated in his ninth Secret Ansem Report that Naminé is a highly unusual Nobody, due to possessing neither the body nor the memories that a Nobody is usually made from.
The first part of her name, nami means "ocean wave" in Japanese, similar to Kairi's name, which is derived from the word for "sea". Her name can also be translated to "sound of the wave" in Japanese, since the character 音 (oto) can be pronounced as "ne". Alternatively, her name can mean "born from the wave", because of the French "né" at the end of her name ("né" is the past participle of the verb "naître", which means "to be born") as a reference to her birth from Kairi and Sora, as a wave can come from air and sea. However, this may have just been added in the English releases to ensure that her name was pronounced the same way it was intended in the Japanese original.
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
A captive of the Organization, Naminé resides in the upper floors of Castle Oblivion. When Sora comes into the castle, Naminé is forced by Marluxia and Larxene to manipulate Sora's memories, slowly causing Sora and his companions to forget many important friends and events. At the same time, he believes that Naminé herself is a very important friend that he has forgotten, though in truth they never met before. Marluxia forces Sora to undergo this manipulation so that Sora becomes a puppet under Naminé's control, allowing Marluxia to overthrow the Superior, Xemnas.
Naminé replaces Kairi with herself in Sora's memories, and the promise made between Sora and Kairi and her lucky charm now take on new forms to reflect the replacement. Motivated by these false memories, Sora continues to ascend Castle Oblivion where he realizes that Naminé is being held against her will by Organization XIII. Since the Kairi in Sora's memories had someone who cared very deeply for her, while Naminé was all alone in the world, this motivates her to replace Kairi with herself in Sora's heart.
Meanwhile, Naminé is also forced to implant false memories into the Riku Replica, so that he thinks he is the real Riku. However, like Sora, he believes that Naminé is his long lost friend, and that he made the same promise to Naminé that Sora made to Kairi. Replica Riku even has an identical lucky charm (though this one is only a transformed card). Naminé's conscience eventually helps her overcome her loneliness and fears, and she reveals herself to Sora after being released by Axel. She appears to Sora in the memory version of Destiny Islands as he is conversing with the memory version of herself. She tells him that she had never been in his heart, despite what his memories show him, and to look for a faint glimmer of light in the deepest regions of his heart, for that light is the person truly special to him.
Back in the halls of Castle Oblivion, Sora confronts Naminé, realizing that she is not the special person. Just then, the Riku Replica arrives, but Sora defeats him. When Sora tries to help him, the replica catches Sora off-guard and strikes him. He is about to move in for the finishing blow, but Naminé quickly shatters the replica's false memories, knocking him unconscious. Larxene then arrives to finish Sora off, but she is defeated when she makes the mistake of harming Naminé and angering Sora.
After the battle, Naminé explains her actions and motivations to Sora, and expresses deep regret, thinking that he will not forgive her. Much to her surprise, Sora is completely forgiving, though he does admit that he isn't happy about what she has done. When asked if anything can be done to restore their old memories, Naminé says she can do so, but only after they defeat the lord of Castle Oblivion, Marluxia, on the 13th floor. Sora heads off to fight him, and leaves the replica under her care. However, as she is watching over the replica, Marluxia arrives and kidnaps her.
Marluxia puts Naminé to good use when Axel confronts him about his plot to overthrow the Organization. Marluxia uses Naminé as a human shield, but Axel is undeterred, saying that he will go through her to defeat him, much to her shock. Luckily, she is saved by the timely intervention of Sora, though he fails to stop Marluxia from escaping with Naminé. Sora then defeats Axel and moves on to Marluxia, who orders Naminé to completely shatter Sora's memories and destroy his heart, when he sees that in his current state, Sora is of no use to him. Even so, Marluxia believes he can eventually restore Sora and make him his puppet. Remembering Sora's kindness towards her, Naminé refuses the order. When Marluxia threatens to kill her, Sora urges Naminé to erase his memory and destroy his heart, if it means saving her from Marluxia's wrath. In the end, she is saved by the Riku Replica's arrival. Sora, Donald Duck, and Goofy then initiate one final battle against Marluxia, as the replica guards Naminé.
After Marluxia is defeated and the replica departs, Naminé presents Sora with the choice of either keeping his memories of the events that took place in Castle Oblivion and abandoning his old memories, or regaining those and losing the ones of Castle Oblivion. She understands his choice of the latter, and leads Sora, Donald, and Goofy to a chamber housing crystal pods. They can sleep in these while Naminé restores their original memories. Though it will take some time, she assures Sora that he will eventually become his former self. Sora also believes that Naminé will always be in his heart, forgotten but not lost. Thus, the two promise to meet again as real friends, and then Sora falls into a deep slumber.
Naminé also aids Riku in his efforts to conquer the darkness within his heart. When Zexion overwhelms him with light, Naminé takes on Kairi's form to convince him that he should accept the darkness as well as the light within himself. Thus, he is given the strength to move through the light and strike down Zexion, who barely escapes.
Naminé and Riku meet again later at the urging of DiZ and she reveals Sora to him, who has fallen into a deep slumber in order to have his memories fully restored. She offers Riku a chance to seal away the darkness in his heart, though he, too, would have to sleep like Sora. Riku ultimately chooses to face the darkness on his own, and Naminé sees that he has made the right choice. He also reveals his suspicion that it was Naminé who appeared to him as Kairi, which she confirms, although she is surprised that he realized. Riku notes that the two "smell the same", before going off to face his darkness. Knowing that Castle Oblivion is still under the control of the Organization, DiZ convinces her to move Sora, Donald, and Goofy to his laboratory in Twilight Town for safekeeping.
Naminé, with the help of Riku and DiZ, tries to restore the memories of Sora, Donald and Goofy while they sleep in pods at Twilight Town's Old Mansion. However, the process is taking longer than expected due to some of Sora's "leaked memories" gaining sentience through one of Xemnas's experiments. The individual created from these memories is later named Xion, an anagram of "No. i" with an added "X".
Naminé is the one who reveals to DiZ that Xion's existence may halt Sora's awakening, and she tells Xion of her nature as a replica after Xion's interaction with Riku on Destiny Islands.
Kingdom Hearts II
Naminé is working with DiZ and Riku (who has taken on the appearance of Ansem, Seeker of Darkness in order to use the power of darkness) to restore Sora's memories. Because Sora is incomplete, Naminé is having difficulty chaining his memories back together. To help with this process, his Nobody, Roxas, an ex-member of Organization XIII, is retrieved by Riku and placed into a digital Twilight Town, where he lives until the time comes for him to join with Sora.
Naminé desires to see Roxas, having developed a connection with him, as his situation is quite similar to her own in Castle Oblivion, and she enters the digital Twilight Town herself. There, she meets him and acts as a guide for him when he is attacked by Nobodies. After Roxas's Dive to the Heart, Naminé meets with him again, saving him from the darkness that bursts forth from the Twilight Thorn. She plans to reveal the truth of who he really is, but is stopped by Riku, who says that it's best for Roxas not to know. Even so, their encounter puts Roxas into contact with Kairi the next day, when Kairi manages to remember Sora's name.
On the following day, Naminé and Roxas meet again, and this time, she reveals to Roxas his status as a Nobody, his relationship with Axel, his connection to Sora, and that he was never supposed to exist. Upon seeing Roxas's reaction to the revelations, she apologizes and remarks that "some things really are better left unsaid".
On the final day of Roxas's time as an independent entity, they meet once more, and Naminé sheds light on Organization XIII, and their search for Kingdom Hearts. However, this Naminé is made from data, and is deleted before she can reveal any more. The true Naminé then appears, and tells Roxas that he will not disappear when he fuses with Sora, and will instead be whole. DiZ quickly tries to stop her, but before she is taken away, she promises him that they will meet again, even if they don't recognize each other. Despite Roxas's pleas for them to let her go, Naminé, DiZ, and Riku disappear into a Corridor of Darkness.
Having no further use for Naminé with Sora's memory restored, DiZ orders Riku to destroy her. However, Riku, already angry and bitter towards DiZ for his selfish intentions, instead leaves her in the care of Axel, returning the favor she did for him at Castle Oblivion. Naminé makes a speech to Axel, stating that even Nobodies have people who are dear to them, which strangely moves Axel.
Later, in The World That Never Was, Naminé breaks into the Organization's stronghold, rescuing Pluto and Kairi from their cell in the dungeon. They then proceed to find Sora, though Naminé's close proximity to her true counterpart causes her to blink in and out of existence as they apparently begin to join together again.
While searching for Sora, they are intercepted by Saïx. However, Riku arrives and manages to drive him off. Naminé then tells Riku that he can take over from this point, and vanishes.
After the first battle with the Kingdom Hearts-powered Xemnas, Naminé appears another time, though in a transparent state, and opens up a pathway to Destiny Islands. Apparently, only Sora, Riku, and Kairi can see her, as Mickey, Donald, and Goofy have no idea where the pathway came from (however, the French version alters this; when the Corridor to Destiny Islands is opened, Donald asks, "Who was that girl?" to which Mickey replies, "I'll explain to you some other time." Having said thus, Mickey, Donald and Goofy enter the corridor, leaving Sora, Riku and Kairi behind to speak to Roxas and Naminé). Kairi thanks Naminé for her help.
Naminé then tells Sora that they meet again, though he does not understand what she means (due to his loss of memories of Castle Oblivion). At that moment, Roxas projects himself from Sora, and the two Nobodies meet once more, just as Naminé promised. The two realize that not all Nobodies are doomed to fade into the darkness, as they were able to meet their original selves, and though they are no longer independent, they will live on through Sora and Kairi. Sora and Kairi promise their counterparts that they will be together every day, and without regret, Naminé finally joins with Kairi, completing her.
Following Xemnas's defeat, Sora and Riku return home to a waiting Kairi. As Sora looks up to smile at Kairi, he takes on the appearance of Roxas. Kairi then takes on the appearance of Naminé, smiling back.
A data version of Naminé meets up with Data-Sora and Mickey in the white room of the digital Castle Oblivion to tell them about Terra, Aqua, and Ventus as well as Sora's destiny to save them from their suffering along with Axel, Xion, Roxas, and Naminé herself. As a data replica created specifically for this purpose, Naminé fades away after the message is delivered.
While trapped in a dream in The World That Never Was, Sora sees Naminé looking sad in front of a set of stairs. Upon seeing Sora, Naminé quickly runs away until Sora catches up to her. She looks back and, while Sora tries to tell Naminé something, Xion appears in her stead.
Naminé finishes a drawing of Sora on the Paopu tree in the White Room of the Old Mansion in Twilight Town, and says Sora's name.
As the Nobody of Kairi, Naminé bears a resemblance to her, though, like with Roxas and Sora, this resemblance is a bit more subdued than most. Naminé shares Kairi's blue eyes and general body structure. Naminé remains virtually unchanged from her appearance in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories to Kingdom Hearts II, wearing the same plain, white, lace dress and light blue sandals. However, in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, it was more obvious that she had rosy cheeks and pale, pink lips.
She looks more mature and taller in Kingdom Hearts II, which results in the dress reaching to about mid-thigh as opposed to just above her knee as it was in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. In both of her appearances, Naminé has blonde hair that is somewhat longer than Kairi's that usually drapes over her right shoulder.
Naminé was born without memories and without the knowledge that she had emotions, due to the unusual nature of her birth. Because of this, she had no basis of any acting upon her birth. She simply followed the orders of whoever was close to her because it was the only obvious guidance she had, effectively making her very quiet and fragile in personality. This led to her discovery of her ability to feel, as oftentimes she found that blindly following her captors hurt others, something that made Naminé feel responsible and guilty. Naminé often rebelled against her captors because of this guilt in favor of trying to redeem herself by helping someone, sometimes leading to her being a damsel in distress. Rebelling and constantly switching sides caused Naminé's determination and drive to grow significantly from her first appearance. Her more driven personality was put to good use, often going about in the Corridors of Darkness to help the games' other protagonists. She is also apparently very talented with her drawing, as seen when she finished a complex drawing of Castle Oblivion in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories.
Like Roxas, Naminé seems to possess true emotions, being a special and unusual Nobody. While most Nobodies pretend to have emotions by acting on the memories of their past lives in order to react to a specific situation, Roxas and Naminé had no memories of their past lives, and thus had no basis for any acting.
Unlike other humanoid Nobodies, Naminé's talents do not lie in battle, but in the ability to control memories, making her a "witch". The ability comes from the fact that she is formed from Sora's soul and body, rather than Kairi's. Because of this connection, Naminé can move around the "links" of his memories that are located within his heart to her liking, as well as the ones of those who are connected to Sora. She can even sever them completely, turning the victim into little more than an empty shell, such as the Riku Replica when he threatened to kill Sora. In addition, she can create objects affected by the new memories, evidenced by turning a card into a good luck charm for the Riku Replica and altering the appearance of Kairi's Lucky Charm to resemble that of a Paopu Fruit. It is noted in Kingdom Hearts II that everybody who Sora, Donald, and Goofy met and worked with in Kingdom Hearts had mostly forgotten about them until recently; this could mean that the Castle Oblivion incident also somehow caused the other characters to lose their memories of Sora, and they regained all of them when Sora awakened. She also displays the ability to "break" the Riku Replica's heart through her connection to him.
She can also cover up Sora's memory of Kairi with her own image, but as she is Kairi's Nobody, it is impossible for Naminé to completely snuff out Kairi from anyone's memories, as shown when he regained a small memory of her even though he couldn't think of her name. Conversely, those with the greatest connections to Sora cannot ever completely forget him, as evidenced by Kairi, who still slightly remembered Sora, but not his name, his face, or the sound of his voice, while all other denizens of the Destiny Islands (along with all the people in other worlds) had completely forgotten about Sora's existence.
Naminé also has another limitation to her power. When Naminé took on the task of re-chaining Sora's memories together so that he will remember everything he had forgotten, but lose his memories of Castle Oblivion, she was unable to make much progress. DiZ reasons that it must be because Sora's other half, Roxas, is missing, and in order to completely restore Sora, Roxas and Sora must join with one another. This is half-true; the main reason behind this is because of Xion, a memory-based replica of Sora created by Xemnas and Vexen.
How Naminé actually manipulates memories is something to be noted. As she is always drawing pictures on her sketchpad, DiZ believes that she draws in order to capture the memories she needs to chain together. Because of this, the walls of her room are covered by pictures of events, places, and people that are in Sora's memory. Several of them are also of Roxas, implying her ability to fiddle with Roxas's memories as well.
Naminé can sew in the manga, as shown when she fixed up Axel's coat, though he remarks that she has no talent for it.
Naminé, being a Nobody, can also access the Corridors of Darkness to her liking, but she only does so three times; once to communicate with Roxas and inform him that he will not cease to exist when he joins with Sora, once to help Kairi and Pluto escape from their prison cell, and then to return Sora and co. to Destiny Islands. She also seems to be able to use the power of darkness to change her physical appearance, as seen when she uses Kairi's form to help Riku; however, this could be because of her connection to Kairi.