- "Big sister is suffering because she doesn't have a rival. I want to take that suffering away!"
- —Kazuko Kawakami's wish
Kazuko Kawakami (一子 川神), formerly known as Kazuko Okamoto (一子 岡本) is one of the main heroines in Maji De Watashi Ni Koi Shinasai!. She is the younger sister of Momoyo Kawakami and wants to be an Assistant Instructor of the Kawakami Temple. She is one of the love interests to Yamato Naoe in Majikoi!, and a main character in both the anime and the manga being published by Comp Ace.
CHILDHOOD BEFORE JOINING KAZAMA FAMILY
Originally named Kazuko Okamoto, she was raised in an orphanage after being abandoned by her parents. During her time there, she met and befriended Tadakatsu Minamoto.
JOINING THE KAZAMA FAMILY
Kazuko is the third to join the Kazama Family and considered to be a founding member, which originally started out with Shouichi Kazama, leader of the Kazama Family, and Yamato Naoe. In their childhood, Shouichi and Yamato invited Kazuko to play with them which she cheerfully agreed to, saying it was fun to play with them more than anyone else. With both her and Shouichi being childish and energetic, it was up to the more mature and responsible Yamato to look out for them. The three would do everything together, with both Shouichi and Yamato comforted Kazuko whenever she cried from incidents such as not getting a free ice cream prize stick, to being sick with chicken pox, and not being able to go to the festival with Yamato and Shouichi, despite both of them staying with her the whole time.
Kazuko was frightened when Shouichi was confronted by Gakuto Shimazu, who challenged Shouichi to a fight. The fight ended in a draw and Kazuko became confused as to why Shouichi and Gakuto where laughing at the end, with Yamato calling it 'The Men's World'. When both Gakuto and his best friend Takuya Morooka joined the group, she then became aggressive towards them, barking at them like a dog when they joined. This simply entertained the two new members of the Kazama Family, with Gakuto calling Kazuko an interesting creature.
During their fourth year of primary school, a huge field was used as the Kazama Family's secret base. The base was also the prize for the strongest kids in Kawakami City. As a result, there were several fights for who would claim it. With Yamato's tactics, Gakuto and Shouichi's strength and Takuya as a diversion or bait, the Kazama Family constantly wins, with Kazuko always sitting on the sideline. One day, when the fifth and sixth graders ganged together to fight the Kazama Family, Kazuko decided to help and got was turned into a hostage as a result. Crying, Kazuko apologized to Yamato and the others. Unable to bear the thought of Kazuko being harmed, the Kazama Family surrendered and where beaten, with Shouichi having his ear pierced by a compass. Still crying, Kazuko apologized for being weak, stating she only wanted to help. This prompted Yamato to hire Momoyo Kawakami to be the Kazama Family's bodyguard. Kazuko was thrilled at the idea, as she admired Momoyo for her strength. Not long after Momoyo defeated the fifth and sixth graders, she joined the Kazama Family. Kazuko and Momoyo have been close ever since.
On their open field, the Kazama Family came across a weird plant, which Yamato noticed to be a century plant. The group then decided to see the flower when it bloomed, but not before noticing they were being watched by Miyako Shiina who quickly ran away when Shouichi confronted her. Yamato immediately thought that Miyako had a crush on Shouichi, to which Shouichi denied. The next day, Shouichi called the members of the Kazama Family in order to stabilize the plant during a heavy storm. Going into the rain, the Kazama family tied cloths and ropes to the plant in order to stabilize it. Noticing Miyako was there, Yamato was ordered by Shouichi to look after her. Taking Miyako’s hand, Yamato kept her close as they and the rest of the family stabilize the plant. Not long after, they arrived at the field to see the plant bloom, with Kazuko riding on top of Gakuto's shoulders. Gakuto's mom, Reiko Shimazu turned up with a camera and the group, including Miyako, took their photo in front of the plant, promising to witness its next blossoming in fifty year. The plant would later be relocated to the back of the Kazama hideout building in later years.
FROM OKAMOTO TO KAWAKAMI KAZUKO
Kazuko's foster parents soon died due to natural causes, leaving Kazuko without a caretaker once again. While the idea of her being sent back to the orphanage was tossed around, Kazuko did not want to be separated from the Kazama Family. However, the only other option was for her to be adopted by a relative. While this did not seem like a bad idea, the few members of the Kazama Family who did meet the relative could tell he had a sly and deceptive personality. They thought that they could not trust him to take care of Kazuko. At the funeral of Kazuko's foster mother, the entire Kazama Family was able to confirm their suspicions about the relative as he chuckled about making Kazuko works around his house. Momoyo ended up talking to her parents, her grandpa, Tesshin Kawakami, and an assistant instructor at the time, Gyoubu Shakadou, about adopting Kazuko into the Kawakami Family. They agreed, with Gyoubu willing to beat up the relative if he came up to them to demand Kazuko back. Momoyo talked with Kazuko. Kazuko was emotionally overjoyed to have a new family and to have Momoyo as a new sister. Their bond, along with her admiration for Momoyo, gave Kazuko motivation to become a Kawakami Assistant Instructor in order to support Momoyo and help the Kawakami Temple, along with it's entire people.
However, before being accepted as a student in Kawakami Temple, Kazuko had to undergo a trial to see if she was worthy. This test included traveling a great distance on foot to a certain location. The test even made her help a struggling bystander on the way, and then she had to come back to the temple while all had to be done within a few hours. While Gyoubu had his doubt, feeling that Kazuko had no natural talent which he felt was a necessity, a fellow Assistant Instrustor, Lu Yi, felt that Kazuko's determination and hard work could make up for her lack of talent. Kazuko was able to complete the trial, and was allowed to train in Kawakami Style, with Yi taking it upon himself to help Kazuko in her training, as well as being her mentor.
Kazuko trains diligently in order to get stronger over the years, and along with her determination, came her self-confidence leading her to stop crying over every little thing. Over time she would also start to study nutrition and healthy diet in order to assist the Kawakami Temple in any way she could.
During her training, she received lots of praise and support from onlookers who admired her hard work ethics. One of these people was Hideo Kuki, who cheered her on in good humor. However, he soon began to admire Kazuko's hard work ethics, and soon he felt like he was captivated by her beauty in her diligence, becoming a habit seeing her boosted up his spirit and energy. Hideo, despite being bold and brash, soon came to the conclusion that he was in love with Kazuko and he would eventually confess only to be reject by an awkward Kazuko who had yet to understand things like dating and love. At some point in time, Hideo gave the robot Cookie to Kazuko as a present, making her Cookie's first master. Since then however, Cookie has come to serve all member of the Kazama Family, while referring Shouichi as his 'master'.
At some point, The Kazama Family would be unable to use their field as a hideout and looked elsewhere for a new hideout. Fortunately, Gakuto's family had a building near the industrial bay area of Kawakami City that was no longer in use as it became vacant when the financial bubble burst. Even though the building was not in use, it was still an owned property and the Kazama Family would be hired to look after the place, especially since Momoyo was among then, as a part time job. The building would end up being their hideout and the even brought furniture over as well as games, mangas among other materials. The family would then start a routine for them all to meet at the hideout every Friday. They would even dig up the century plant, and replant it at the back of the building in order to keep their life long promise.
KAWAKAMI ACADEMY, NEW FRIENDS AND RIVALS
In the year 2009, Kazuko became a second year student in Kawakami Academy and was placed in Class 2-F alongside the majority of the Kazama Family, while Momoyo, being the senior, was in Class 3-F. Kazuko continued to train diligently to become an Assistant Instructor. Due to this, Kazuko would hardly study and during class she would constantly fall asleep. This would lead to either the teachers yelling at her or for Yamato to tugging on her pony tail to wake her up. Kazuko would end up making good friends with Chika Ogasawara, Mayo Amakasu and Haguro Kuroko of the same class. Early during the year, Christiane Friedrich was introduced into Kawakami Academy as a German exchange student. Chris would be placed into Class 2-F, along with the rest of the Kazama Family. It did not take long for Kazuko to see an opportunity to gain a new rival, and quickly challenge Chris to a duel. The fight ended with Chris's victory, and acceptance into the school. Kazuko took the defeat in good spirit, and gave Chris the nickname 'Kri', which sounded indecent to Chris, due to it sounding a lot like the beginning of cliterous-alike things. This similarity was turn on Kazuko who took issue to the 'Dog' nickname Chris made for her. The two would start a strong rivalry and begin challenging each other to several matches, such a squatting, running and even eating. When Yukie Mayuzumi, a mysterious swordswoman, asked the Kazama Family to let her join them as a friend, Kazuko did not object to it. Kazuko was surprised to hear that Yukie was the daughter of the Sword Saint Taisei Mayuzumi and that she was also strong. She was very impressed by Yukie when she was able to block the punches of Momoyo who was interested in Yukie.
When both Yukie and Chris were first introduced to the Kazama Family hideout, Chris caused tension by saying the place should be destroyed since it was abandoned and served no purpose, while Yukie begged everyone to calm down. While Yamato was able to make Chris realize the error of her words by revealing different people value different things, and make Yukie realize that friends are equals and do not beg for things, Kazuko simply stayed quiet since she didn't know what to say. When the situation calmed down, Yukie found the picture of the Kazama Family in front of the century plant. When told about the century plant and the promise to witness the next blossoming, both Chris and Yukie were invited to see the century plant in several years time, to which they accepted. A month after Chris and Yukie became members of the Kazama Family, Kazuko and Chris would continually duel one another in slight competitions with Chris being the victor more often. Kazuko would continue to train hard everyday in order to make her dream a reality.
Kazuko has amber eyes with waist-length, red hair that is normally tied into a ponytail. Wearing her uniform on schooldays, she tends to adorn herself with sweats or other clothing that is easy to train in otherwise. In her own route after she became Yamato's girlfriend she sometimes let her hair loose and also has become more conscious of her appearance like sometime wearing a bit of make-up which she didn't in the past.
During Majikoi! S, after the following events of her own route, she switches between letting her hair loose and wearing a ponytail. She also wears glasses sometimes because she studies a lot and read a lot of books.
As an adult, her hair isn't as long as it was before growing till shoulder length instead of waist length. She also doesn't wear her trait-mark ponytail hair. She has grown a lot more and having a more adult-like figure.
Kazuko is known for her cheerful demeanor and never-give-up attitude despite being known as a crybaby when she was young girl. But despite being very determined and strong willed, she is surprisingly sensitive. While both she and Gakuto help each other train, they also have a competition with school exams, where the one with the highest marks gets a free meal from the loser. Whenever she needs to study, Kazuko always goes to Yamato. However, there are times when Yamato forces Kazuko to study as she lacks the interest to do so. Even though she has low school marks and neglect of studying Yamato stated that she has a amazing concentration when she puts her mind to it and could get good marks if she wanted. At school, Kazuko would still rather train than pay attention in class, and even has a tendency to doze off, which prompts Yamato, who sits behind her, to pull her pony tail to wake her up.
In contrast to Momoyo, Kazuko is naturally competitive and bears an attitude to never-give-up at anything, to the point where she is called the "Genius of Hard Work."
She is a healthy eater, but likes to go all out during festivals. She also likes action movies, but hates horror ones. She is always very enthusiastic when they go out with the Kazama Family.
She has a good relationship with everyone at the Kawakami Temple, including her mentor, Lu Yi and her adoptive grandfather Tesshin Kawakami. Lu Yi in particular, trains with Kazuko and looks out of Kazuko's well-being as he does not want Kazuko to develop a sole interest and desire in fighting as Momoyo had.
She has a close relationship with Tadakatsu Minamoto, who was the first friend she ever made. She is quite friendly to Tadakatsu who she calls 'Tacchan', a name he won't allow anyone else to call him. During their childhood, she would always go to where Tadakatsu was in the orphanage and the two have been close ever since. Despite Tadakatsu originally finding Kazuko to be annoying and a crybaby, he genuinely cares for her well-being and is always looking out for her and soon having a crush on her.
She is the target of both admiration and affection from Hideo Kuki, however, she is very uneasy around Hideo due to his boisterous personality and her lack of interest in dating. As a result, she tries to put distance between her and Hideo despite his constant advances.
Kazuko wants to have the same figure as her older sister, but everyone in the Kazama Family laughs at it playfully, saying that is something impossible for her.
In her after route upon the sequel Majikoi! S, she has becoming more serious in her attitude towards life. Also after getting her dream getting shattered in her route in the original Majikoi! She also learned a lot of things from it getting stronger from it mentally then she was before. Also her personality becomes more mature in a lot of things. Making feel people like those in the Kazama Family feel lonely since she is growing up so fast and is not the naive little girl she was before. She still retains a lot of her old personality despite having growing up a bit.
Abilities and Skills
Kazuko has been proven to be a capable student, and is capable of studying just as well as training despite her lack of interest in studying.
While being weaker than her older sister in raw power and skills, she is still very athletic, and constantly challenging others for fun and skills development. She has high speed and agility, and uses many techniques in Kawakami Style proficiently.
In Tsubame Matsunaga's route, she is revealed to be a candidate for the Big Four title in the future after reaching the Top 4 Teams in the Tag Tournament with Tadakatsu Minamoto, made even Hyumu Hellsing acknowledge Kazuko's strength.
The fighting techniques that she has been using so far in the Majikoi! visual novel and in the anime adaption.
Kawakami Style, Scorpion Strike: A punch from an acrobatic posture. Used multiple times, such as when Kazuko first encountered Kokoro Fushikawa during Kawakami War in her own route in the original Visual Novel.
Kawakami Style, Big Swing: A horizontal swing after gathering power into her naginata via spinning with up to 40 revolutions. Used multiple times, such as when Kazuko fought Angel Itagaki in the anime.
Kawakami Style, Agito: A double attack consisting of two swings to parry the enemy's attack with the first ascending blow and then attacking with the second descending blow. Used against Chris during the tournament in her own route in the original Visual Novel.
Kawakami Style, Removal Shrike: A jumping German Suplex in which Kazuko jumps with her enemy to plant them headfirst in the ground. Used against a Class 2-S student during Kawakami War in the original Visual Novel.
Sling Stone: An attack with the weight of a chain sickle after spinning the weight overhead. Used against Koyuki Sakakibara during the athletic festival in Christiane Friedrich's route in the original Visual Novel.
Kawakami Style, Snake Killer: Used against Momoyo during her test in her own route in the original Visual Novel against Oomura Yoshitsugu during a spar in Majikoi A-4.
Kawakami Style, Ki Strike: Used against Momoyo during her test in her own route in the original Visual Novel and also against Oomura Yoshitsugu during a spar in Majikoi.
Kawakami Style, Water Pierce: After dragging her naginata against the ground, Kazuko pierces thorugh a small opening in her target's defenses. Used against Shima Ukon in the East-West Exchange War in Majikoi! S' common route.
- The name Kazuko means "one" (一) (kazu) and "child" (子) (ko).
- Kazuko uses a naginata (Japanese spear) with her unquestionable speed and has developed a rivalry with Christiane Friedrich who usually called her "Inu" (Dog in Japanese). More than anything, she hopes to grow strong enough in order to one day look at Momoyo Kawakami as an equal. But she always gets scolded because she never starts a fight with all her power until she is in a pinch or is already defeated.
- Kazuko is nicknamed "Wanko" by the Kazama Family members. This is a pun, since the Kanji used for Kazu is "Ichi", which means 1. Wan is also the Japanese equivalent to "woof", which is the sound a dog makes. Since 1 and Wan have the same pronunciation, Kazuko is almost always compared to a dog. This is also due to her having dog-like tendencies, such as responding to a whistle that each member of the Kazama Family uses in order to call her, even if she doesn't want to.
- Kazuko is very bad at English. This is seen during her route when she asks Yamato Naoe to kiss her 'one again' instead of 'once again'.
- Before becoming a member of the Kawakami Family, her original family name was Okamoto.
- In the latest popularity poll on Minatosoft's website for Majikoi! A, of the current female characters in the series, Kazuko is ranked #5. In the Majikoi! S poll, she was ranked #10. And in the the original Majikoi! popularity poll, she was ranked #2.
- She is the target of admiration and affection from both Kuki Hideo and Minamoto Tadakatsu which leads to conflict between the two which only happened in her route
- Kazuko often gets treated as the child of Yamato and Miyako Shiina (as a joke), but it's mostly about her needing to do her best in studying.
- Even though Kazuko and Momoyo are not blood-related sisters, they share some funny similarities. For example, they both hate studying and they will try to do anything not to study and they both can make unique entrances when meeting with the Kazama Family.
- Yamato has mentioned in Kazuko's route that she was his first-timer for a number of things, like seeing her naked, receiving valentine chocolates and sleeping in the same bed during their childhood.
- Kazuko's tarot arcana is the Sun, reflecting her enthusiastic personality.