Naminé is the Nobody of Kairi. She first appears in Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, and plays a minor role in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days and 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 Kairi was in a comatose state until she regained her heart. As a result, Naminé was born without Kairi's memories, only furthering her status as an unusual entity. 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 be referred to as a "witch". Ansem the Wise stated 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 (波?)" means "ocean wave" in Japanese, similar to Kairi's name, which is derived from the word for "sea (海, Kai?)". 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 friends and events prior to their arrival. At the same time, she uses her influence to cause Sora to believe that she is a very important friend that he has forgotten. Marluxia forces Sora to undergo this manipulation so that Sora may become a puppet under Naminé's, and therefore Marluxia's control, allowing Marluxia to overthrow Xemnas.
Naminé replaces Kairi with herself in Sora's memories, and Kairi's lucky charm now takes on a new form to reflect the replacement. Sora "remembers" a childhood memory in which he promised to protect Naminé during a meteor shower. 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.
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 is led to believe that Naminé is his long lost friend, and that he made the same promise to Naminé. Replica Riku even has an identical lucky charm, though this one is only a transformed card. Naminé's conscience eventually helps her to overcome the loneliness and fear that caused her to go along with Marluxia's scheme, 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 urges him to remember Kairi, whose existence is special to him.
Back in the halls of Castle Oblivion, Sora confronts Naminé. 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 from this by the timely intervention of Sora, though he fails to stop Marluxia from escaping with her. 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 when he ultimately chooses 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 Sora's, Donald's, and Goofy's memories 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.
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, claiming that it is better if Roxas did not know the truth. 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 she reveals to Roxas his status as a Nobody, his relationship with Axel, and his connection to Sora. 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 Corridors 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. Later at Sunset Hill, Naminé makes a speech to Axel, stating that even Nobodies have people who are dear to them, which strangely moves Axel. As Riku thanks them both, Naminé is bewildered, but later expresses her gratitude before entering the Corridor of Darkness opened by Axel, as the latter and Riku followed suit.
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 a sad Naminé 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.
Before Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A Fragmentary Passage-
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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 has blond hair, which is slightly longer than Kairi's, that she drapes across her left shoulder, rosy cheeks, and pale, pink lips. She wears a white dress that ends at her thighs in an embroidered lace pattern and light blue sandals decorated with yellow flowers. She remains virtually unchanged from her appearance in Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories to Kingdom Hearts II. 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.
Due to the unusual nature of her birth, Naminé was born without memories. As a result, she had no basis of free will, and simply followed the orders of whoever was close to her, effectively making her very submissive, quiet, and fragile in personality. However, as revealed in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Nobodies like her could grow new hearts, which is why she is able to express true emotions. During her time in Castle Oblivion, Naminé begins exhibiting the capacity for emotions. In fact, Naminé later reveals that she agreed to use her powers to draw Sora to Castle Oblivion and manipulate his memories was due to a sense of loneliness she felt from being isolated from others for so long.
Upon realizing her misdeeds, Naminé becomes guilt-ridden and eventually rebels against her captors in order to help Sora and his friends. She displays genuine remorse for what she has done to Sora and co., and willingly puts herself in harm's way to protect Sora from Larxene. Her determination and desire to take responsibility for her actions also led her to defy Marluxia's order to destroy Sora's heart, despite of being threatened by the former. When Naminé bids farewell to Sora when he enters the memory pod, she sheds tears and expresses happiness of their promise to meet again one day. By the end of Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, Naminé has proven herself to be a kind, compassionate, and driven individual. By Kingdom Hearts II, Naminé has matured greatly, and now acts independently without hesitation. She demonstrates her willingness in assisting Roxas in spite of DiZ's orders, and rescues Kairi when she is captured by Organization XIII.
Naminé enjoys drawing, and she is seen sketching throughout her appearances in the Kingdom Hearts series.
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.
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 he lost in 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. Another reason was due to Xion, a memory-based replica of Sora created by Xemnas and Vexen, which absorbed some of Sora's memories within her. 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.
Being a Nobody, Naminé can access the Corridors of Darkness, 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.
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.
Notes and references
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