Kaoru in Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle
|Occupation||Captain of the Goefu|
They have utmost confidence in their skills, and holds great pride in the Goefu. They speak loudly and flamboyantly, to the point of sounding as if they're acting out a role in a play. They are quick to anger if they or the Goefu are insulted or mocked, and their leading rank makes them strict to uphold their code. They also seem insistent to take the lead in conversations.
- Manipulating miasma
Kaoru can spontaneously emit clouds of thick fog, in an array of different colors and chemicals. Their mists can be used passively (covering Devanagara in red fog during a state of emergency) and aggressively (poisoning enemies in battle).
Name & Origin
Their full name is Kaoru Kashiwagi (柏木 薫). Their first name Kaoru (薫) can literally mean "aroma", "fragrance", "scent" or "smell", and their surname Kashiwagi (柏木) literally means "oak-tree". The name "Kaoru" also has the trait of being a common Japanese name that's also gender-neutral.
Their name and concept are also based from The Tale of Genji (源氏物語 Genji Monogatari). The main character's wife has an affair with his nephew, named Kashiwagi. She then birthed a son, and named him Kaoru. It was said that Kaoru always had a pleasant aroma.
Kaoru has light blue hair and eyes and is dressed in the Sokutai (束帯) attire, commonly used by courtiers to the Emperor, and was traditionally worn by the members of the Emonfu (衛門府), which Kaoru is a part of. Their uniform is dark blue in color, which would indicate that they rank around 23 to 26 out of 30 official ranks, or 45 to 52 out of 60 ranks. The hirao (平緒), the strip of cloth in the middle of their uniform, features a design based on the Gorintō (五輪塔), a Japanese type of Buddhist pagoda in which the shapes represent the Five Elements as mentioned in Buddhism; they are from bottom to top: Cube for earth, Sphere for water, Pyramid for fire, Hemisphere for air and Jewel for ether. Their hat is similar to an eboshi (烏帽子), which were hats typically worn as formal wear by men during the Heian period; the hat features a logo of the Pagoda of the Heavenly Mirror, one of the capital's symbols. They wield in their left hand a jitte (十手), a weapon commonly used by police in the Edo period, and a bow in their right hand, carrying a quiver of arrows on their back.
Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle
Kaoru appears as the stage 4 boss of Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle on the Brilliant route, where they attempt to stop the protagonists from entering the capital and pushing the frontline further into Devanagara territory.
- They attack the Preschool Team in an attempt to recruit Tenkai Zuifeng as the emperor's retainer.
- They attack the New Emperor Team in an attempt to capture Taira no Fumikado, who is a wanted refugee in the capital.
Kaoru is also responsible for the red mist seen across Devanagara in stage 5, a sign that leaving the capital was forbidden at the time.
Despite them both being in military service, it's implied that Kaoru and Sanra have low opinions of each other. Sanra belittles the Goefu frequently and ultimately sees them as useless, to the dismay and frustration of Kaoru.
Although they take issue with their budget being cut, they still serve Mitori loyally. However, this could simply be because they're unable to do anything about it.
Kaoru is particularly disliked by Suzumi, to the point where not only did Ardey almost told Hamee to kill Kaoru before they rewind with Trace, but they had to be much more hard towards Hamee to avoid getting Kaoru killed as suggested by the dialogue in the secret team's Brilliant scenario.
- Official Outfits and How to Wear Them: Color & Patterns (Japanese Source)
Strictly speaking, dark blue was not a color used in official attire during Emperor Tenmu's reign, who Mitori was based on. It started seeing use after a reform in official attire by his successor Empress Jitō, who Sanra is based on, which was also the system used in modern-day Japan.