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Nanoka Kiba (黄葉 菜花) is the deuteragonist of the story, MAO.
8 years ago, September 1st 2011 at noon, during her first year in elementary school, she and her parents were caught in a sinking accident when they passed by a shutter street named Five Line Shopping Street (五行商店街) by car. Her parents died and she was found covered in blood and not breathing, yet for some reason she still lives.
As she begins her third year in middle school, Nanoka passes the Five Line Shopping Street on her shortcut to school and mysteriously ends up in a strange village full of ghost-like beings in the Taisho Era, 1923. There, a disguised giant Mantis attacks her nearly on sight because it believes her to be human. As she runs from it, she spots someone who's not see-through: Mao and his young assistant Otoya. Having just arrived on the scene, the pair watch as Nanoka begs for Mao's help. Believing her to be a stronger than her attacker, Mao responds by saying she can deal with it herself. When the Mantis injures her, severing her hand, Nanoka's blood splashes onto it and makes it melt. Seeing this, Mao destroys it with his sword so as to not let it get away.
Later, Nanoka awakens from a fainting spell to see that she's received treatment from Mao, who tells her that she's an ayakashi. Believing him to be talking nonsense, Nanoka returns to the Shopping Street gate and exits back to her own world.
The next day, she displays some unusual powers and feels unwell enough to avoid school. Resolved to learn more about what happened to her, she manages to return to the Taisho era the same way as she did the previous day, intent to ask Mao her questions. With the help of Otoya, she catches up to Mao who reveals himself to be an Onmyouji and that he was cursed by someone using a byōki. This information reminds her of having seen a town on fire and a monster when she was a little girl at the cave-in accident.
She follows Mao and Otoya to another town where they find a Spider Demon using a dead viscount to carry out a slew of beheadings, and much to Mao's surprise, not only does she survive being strangled by the spiderwebs, she's also able to use his sword to kill the demon. She learns from Mao that being covered by the byōki's blood resulted in him being cursed, and that only he could use the sword because it was bathed in the same blood. Because of this, she deduces that the blood she was covered in 8 years ago was possibly that of the byōki.
She's a third-year junior high school girl with brown short hair and light brown eyes.
Outspoken, determined and brave, Nanoka is extremely curious about the circumstances of her and Mao's curse, leading her to research history with her classmate, Shiraha, when she returns home from the Taisho era. Despite her being a natural fighter, Nanoka is afraid to engage in conflict. She believes herself to be too weak to win against most opponents, but with her excursions with Mao, is growing more confident in her abilities.
Has raised Nanoka since the cave-in accident as a result of the byōki's ability to control lifespans.
The person cursed in the same way she was eight years prior. Nanoka initially views Mao as unreliable and unkind.
A dependable aid to Nanoka. Often makes note of her modern language usage.
The Kiba housemaid who has provided protection to Nanoka through terrible-tasting smoothies since shortly after the cave-in accident. Unbeknownst to Nanoka, Uozumi has always been Mao's shikigami.
Nanoka's classmate in junior high school. As a result of his admiration of her, he eagerly helps with whatever research she's pursuing after returning from the Taisho era. He doesn't appear to be aware of the real reason for her curiosity.
To be added
- Her last name (黄葉) means 'Yellow Leaf'.
- She has some characteristics that are similar to Takahashi's previous deuteragonists:
- Her hairstyle is similar of Akane Tendo from Ranma 1/2.
- She travels through time like Kagome Higurashi from Inuyasha.
- She was dragged into a different world when she was younger, which made her get strange abilities like Sakura Mamiya from Kyoukai no Rinne.