|Japanese Name||神那 ニコ (Kanna Niko)|
|Weapon||Crowbar magic wand|
"The only thing that needs a name is your gravestone." - Niko Kanna, Chapter 7.
Niko Kanna (神那 ニコ Kanna Niko) is a character in Puella Magi Kazumi Magica: The Innocent Malice.
She is a magical girl and a member of the Pleiades Saints. Her wish was to create another version of herself, with a happy life and no memory of a traumatic incident in her past.
Her name was previously Kanna Hijiri (聖 カンナ Hijiri Kanna). She gave this name to her duplicate [link] upon making her wish.
Niko is a mostly quiet girl, being constantly seen with the same uninterested look on her face (which barely changes even when pierced with an arrow). However, she possesses high intelligence; arguably the highest in the bunch. She is a tech expert, and uses several pieces of high tech equipment, such as smartphones, to assist the girls with information. She is also able to quickly analyze situations, and notice subtle details that the others do not.
She can be sarcastic at times, but with no malice.
While she appears taciturn, she also harbors a great deal of guilt beneath the surface, as she was responsible for the accidental death of her friends when she was very young.
After a witch traps Kaoru and Umika inside of itself and takes off, Saki, Niko, Satomi, and Mirai come to Kazumi's aid. They introduce themselves as the Pleiades Saints, a seven-girl witch-hunting team of which Kazumi and her abducted friends are also a part of. Together, they search for Kaoru and Umika across town, with the help of Niko's tracking app. While they search, the mysterious girl from previous chapters, Yuuri, disguises herself as Satomi and separates Kazumi from the rest of the team. She attacks Kazumi, but just as she is on the verge of defeat, the other Pleiades show up. Kazumi is then held by her opponent at gunpoint, causing them all to hesitate. Kazumi screams out for them to attack anyway, and they fire a joint attack at the mysterious girl: Figli Del Toano. It causes a large explosion, but the magical girl gets away. Kazumi is only lightly wounded.
They reunite at Umika's house for a strategy meeting. Having traced the witch to a bookmobile, and after filling up on Kazumi's delicious food, they head out to the last stop on the bookmobile schedule to intercept it. They go inside, save for Kazumi, who is told to stay outside and to fire her Limiti Esterni from the outside to finish it off. Niko hands her a GPS/communicator, so she can receive their signal, while tracking their location allowing her to fire accurately. The girls plunge into the witch's barrier, and rescue Kaoru and Umika just in time. Together, the six of them bind the witch with Episodio Incrocio. However, Niko dropped her GPS/com unit in an earlier attack by the witch, causing it to break (or, in her words, "killed in action"). This leaves them unable to give Kazumi the needed signal. Umika, thinking quickly, commands them to use candy flutes given to them by Kazumi. The sound reaches her, and the witch is destroyed by Limiti Esterni.
While they reunite and celebrate their victory, they are approached by Jubey, the "fairy" that turned them into magical girls. He cleans up their Soul Gems, and gladly accepts the last witch's Grief Seed. He then refuses a couple of weird looking seeds, obtained from the pseudo-witches of Chapters 1 and 2, saying they were not real Grief Seeds. Umika theorized they imitated the Grief Seed's power and were created by the mysterious girl from before. Before they could draw further conclusions, they are attacked by that very girl, Yuuri. She pins the girls downs with quick, devastating attacks. Niko attempts to retaliate, but is pierced by an arrow, incapacitating her. Yuuri kidnaps Kazumi, and, with a message left in the arrow that struck Niko, orders them to go to the Asunaro Dome at midnight if they want Kazumi back. While waiting for the deadline at Umika's house, they speculate on Yuuri's motivations. Niko alerts them to the fact that the mysterious girl's Soul Gem was at her limit, and makes an omnious prediction as to what might happen if she keeps using magic.
At the right time, they arrive at the dome, but a force barrier prevents them from doing anything but watch as Yuuri enacts her plans. Yuuri states her objective is to seek revenge on the Pleiades. She interprets the Pleiades' failure to recognize her as having been "just that insignificant" to the girls. She then removes her hat, causing a shocked Umika to recognize her, and proceeds to shove an Evil Nut, one of the awkward Grief Seeds from before, into Kazumi's forehead, while the Pleiades scream in horror.
However, Kazumi is able to free herself, and engages Yuuri. However, over the course of the battle, Yuuri's Soul Gem cracks. Niko pronounces that Yuuri's Soul Gem has hatched as she becomes a witch. Along with the other Pleaides, Niko is trapped on a cross in the witch's barrier, and is enveloped in thorny vines.
The magical girls are then shown a vision of the witch's past as Airi. After that, Kazumi falls under the influence of the Evil Nut and breaks free. However, she is unwilling to fight the witch and even attempts to change her back. Saki then shoots the witch, freeing Niko and the other Saints. They then attack the witch as they explain to Kazumi that they have no choice but to kill her. As usual, Niko is almost expressionless. Finally Kazumi delivers the final blow, saying she wishes to share this burden with her friends.
The next day, Kazumi spots Niko walking along with Juubey. When Kazumi asks what Niko's doing, she evasively replies she's witch hunting. As the walk to an amusement park, Kazumi says she understands why the Pleiades kept the truth about witches from her. Niko comments that Kazumi still dosen't have her memories back. When Kazumi asks if there's a way they can be restored, Niko says she might have regrets. She says this as she looks at her smartphone, which is displaying an English news article about a Japanese kid shooting people in California. When Kazumi says she's okay with that, Niko says they'll have to talk to the others about it later as she suddenly confronts the other girl that's been following them.
Introducing herself as Ayase Souju, she reveals she collects Soul Gems as a hobby. Niko finds it disgusting. Ayase claims the Pleiades are "gem picking" too, alluding to an incident (where Niko may or may not have been present) involving a magical girl being attacked by at least four of the Pleiades. Niko is utterly silent until Ayase asks for their names - as she wants to add Niko and Kazumi to their collection. Niko says the only thing that will be named is Ayase's gravestone as they both transform.
During the battle, Niko turns her fingers into bullets, then fires them. She then surrounds Ayase with an army of clones. When Kazumi asks what's going on, Juubey explains Niko's wish and powers. Ayase quickly burns the clones to a crisp with her fireballs, but then the real Niko appears, grabs Ayase's Soul Gem, and uses a spell called Tocco del Mare (English: Touch of the Sea). Ayase abruptly detransforms. When Kazumi asks what happened, Niko says Ayase was just stunned. Suddenly, Ayase's body begins talking and attacks Niko at point-blank range, reclaiming her Soul Gem. Niko is sent flying and is heavily wounded. It is revealed that Ayase is actually sharing her body with another girl, Luca Souju. Niko comments that their last name (which means "twin trees") must refer to their body. Luca smiles.
As Kazumi battles Luca, and later both Soujous, Niko recieves a telepathic message from Saki, asking if she "secured" something - presumably Ayase's Soul Gem. Niko responds by saying they're still fighting, and then asks Kazumi if she can get hit by the Soujous ultimate attack. (Interestingly, she says they're talking through their Soul Gems.) Niko watches as Kazumi is swatted around a few more times, then rescues Kazumi when she finally deduces the nature of Ayase/Luca's power - a synchronized simultaneous blast of hot and cold that creates an explosion. She then develops a plan to combine Kazumi's and her own magic to create a similar effect that can counter the Soujous' attack. After a few fits and starts, and with Jubey's help, they are successful.
Suddenly, the Soujous pull out a surprise weapon - a box of Evil Nuts. She throws them at Niko and Kazumi, but they are saved by Saki and the other Pleiades Saints. Kaoru says they'll be taking the Soujous gems. Saki tells Kaoru not to do it in front of Kazumi, but Niko says Kazumi already saw her doing it. Kaoru pulls out both Ayase and Luca's gems with Tocco del Mare. Kazumi angrily asks the others why they're taking the Soul Gems of other magical girls, saying that she said earlier she would bear the burden with her friends. Against Saki's objections, Umika says she'll tell Kazumi the truth about the Pleiades Saints. While she's saying this, Satomi sees Niko's Soul Gem starting glow as Niko falls to her knees. Suddenly a witch appears, with Niko's body floating in front of it.
As Niko's Soul Gem cracks, we see background text of her thinking that that she'll die without a trace, and she wants everyone to remember. She thinks she doesn't want to kill anyone anymore. The runes coming out of her Soul Gem read "We have no future as long as he's around." The Pleiades are shocked to discover Niko has become a witch. Repeatedly shouting "Cut", the witch turns her hands into a single pair of scissors. Kaoru transforms and blocks the attack using Capitano Potenza ("Captain Power"), which encases her arms in a black metallic substance. The witch fires projectiles from its body. Umika encases herself, Kazumi, and Satomi in a barrier. Saki pushes Mirai in, but is minorly wounded. Mirai flips out and uses her attack La Bestia ("The Beasts"), causing an army of teddy-bears to appear and chew on the witch. When the witch throws them off, Mirai uses La Bestia Refare ("Remake the Beast"). The bears start hugging each other and turn into a giant bear that Mirai jumps on. The bear pounces on the witch and pulls it into a bear hug. Mirai leaps into the air, turns her wand into a giant sword, and cuts both the bear and the witch in half. The witch dies, yelling "Cut" one last time. She drops a Grief Seed (which notably looks different than Niko's Soul Gem).
The story flashes back into the past in Chapters 10-12. Umika, Kaoru, Satomi, Mirai, Niko, and Saki are standing on a catwalk. They are all displaying a witch's kiss on their necks. Niko's despair is from her childhood. As a little kid, Niko played with her neighbors and a loaded gun. The gun goes off, the bullet bouncing off a vase and killing her neighbors and injuring her arm, revealing her to be the Japanese kid from the news article in Chapter 7. Niko cries.
The girls standing on the catwalk jump off, as a voice says, "Everyone should just die." The voice is cut-off by a familiar spell with ribbons wrapping around the girls, stopping their fall. Their savior is none other than Kazumi, who says, "Ciao! You suicidal girls!"
Kazumi opens up a witch's barrier around herself and the girls. Familiars appear and start attacking the normal girls while Kazumi watches. Satomi asks why Kazumi isn't helping. Kazumi responds by asking why they don't want to be eaten if they want to die. She then pulls six firearms from her hat and drops them on the ground. The familiars combine, revealing that they were actually a witch. The girls pick up the weapons with Niko musing she can't run away from guns. They fire at the witch, deflating it like a balloon. It re-inflates itself and charges. Kazumi stops the witch with her cross, saying that "As long as you keep trying to live, you won't fall into despair" and that there's always hope. She then fires "Limit Esterni", destroying the witch. As the barrier disappears, Jubey introduces Kazumi as Magical Girl Kazumi, who hunts witches. A loud growling noise is heard, which turns out to be Kazumi being hungry.
The scene changes to Kazumi's house, where she eats with the Pleiades. She talks about how her grandmother said that people eat plants and animals to live, and so they have a duty to them to keep living. The girls share their pasts with one another as they eat Kazumi's strawberry risotto, with Kazumi saying her story about how she became magical girl last.
When Mirai asks if she can become a magical girl, Jubey tells her she can if she accepts her fate of fighting witches. Mirai says she can accept anything. Umika, Kaoru, Satomi, Niko and Saki quickly chime in agreement. Kazumi cheers over having new friends. After Mirai and Saki say their wishes to Jubey, Niko whispers her wish as she is too embarrassed to say it aloud. When the contracts are completed, and Kazumi names their team the Pleiades Saints. The scene cuts to the girls fighting a witch. Kaoru destroys it with her spiked shoes. Jubey asks about her strengthened magical girl body. Kaoru is very happy about it. Kazumi calls Kaoru's attack Capitano Potenza ("Captain Power"), and reveals she wants everyone to call their attacks, even recording them in a book. Niko questions the notion, but Kazumi reveals that she's following the lead of Mami Tomoe and says she won't cook for the girls if they don't do it.
Niko's witch form resembles a giant shooting dummy. Its form is that of a shooting gallery dummy, with target circles spiraling outward from its forehead. The forehead has a large hole that extends to the back of the head, like a bullet hole. Its arms are giant blades that are used like scissors, and it has no lower body or legs. Her witch form's name is "Weiße Königin", which is German for "White Queen".
In volume 3's design notes, the witch is described by the illustrator, Takashi Tensugi with, "The witch of bullets, with a guilty nature. Because she feels like she's always being blamed for something, when someone enters her barrier, she eliminates them immediately". Her familiars are small shooting-gallery targets.
Powers, Weapons & Abilities
Niko's individual abilities in battle were not fully known prior to Chapter 7. She was seen summoning CD-like disks, which are likely throwable weapons with cutting properties, but did not have the chance to use them.
Her tech expertise also comes in handy for the Pleiades both inside and outside the battle. She developed a smartphone app that can read a witch's residual power wavelength, and use it to calibrate the girls' Soul Gems, to track that particular witch more accurately. She also uses (and apparently, carries extra) GPS/com units, used to coordinate the girl's actions when away from each other.
In Chapter 7, it was revealed that her wish was "rebuilding and reforming". This gives her the ability to deconstruct any material and then reconstruct it as any object that she wants, including clones of herself. She can even turn her fingers into missiles and shoot her enemies. This presumably also gives her enhanced healing abilities - she is seen recovering from her wounds very quickly.
She can shoot a wave of magic with a spell called Rendere O Romperlo (Make or Break).
Her weapon is a magic wand that is shaped like a crowbar. On one occasion, she used it to power up a stopped roller coaster car.
Niko also sometimes carries a cylindrical container on her back. Objects placed in the container will shrink, and can easily be carried around. She mostly uses it to contain hazardous items such as Evil Nuts and the bodies and Soul Gems of magical girls who the Pleiades are taking to the Freezer.
- When transformed, she dons a classical paratrooper suit, complete with aviator goggles and leather helmet, several utility pockets, a harness and a parachute backpack.
- According to Chapter 10, she used to live in California as a child.
- One of the meanings of her name could be the Japanese onomatopoeia for "smile". As of Chapter 18, it is revealed that it means ニ (Two) 子 (Child), translating into something along the lines of "Two Childs" or "Second Child"
- Niko's original name was Kanna Hijiri, which she gave to the duplicate created by her wish.
- "Niko" is the official translation of her name. Previously "Nico" was used.
- Her last name, "Kanna" is a reference to Kanna Hijiri, her real name.
- Given Niko's use of high tech and the ability to summon CD-like disks, it is speculated she made a wish concerning technology, for example to become a great programmer.
- This speculation was disproved in Chapter 7.
- Her weapon and her wish suggest she may have been paralyzed.
- This speculation was disproved in Chapter 10. Her wish, witch form and the fact she appears holding a gun in the Cover page of Chapter 9, was most likely the result of accidentally killing her friends with a gun and injuring herself in the process.
- In Chapter 9 the Niko that turns into a witch is said to be a "backup" of the real Niko. What is left unclear is where she comes from, especially since if Niko is actually creating a copy of herself that can turn into a witch, then she's basically making herself into a perpetual motion machine. This is incredibly unlikely to be happening, especially since the Incubators would have exploited this so something else might be going on. For example, Niko's backup may have originally been another girl, transmuted to look like and think she's Niko. It's interesting to note the Grief Seed for copy-Niko's witch actually has a diamond top, while Niko's Soul Gem has a hexagonal top, implying the witch may not have come from the real Niko's Soul Gem.
- This speculation was disproved in Chapter 18. The Niko that became a witch was the genuine Niko, and did die at that point in time. The Niko that appears afterward is Kanna Hijiri, who was created as a result of Niko's wish and started off as a regular girl who then made a contract with Jubey in order to take revenge on Niko and the Pleiades upon finding out everything.
Art by Ushiki Yoshitaka, author of Dream Eater Merry