|Japanese Name||杏里 あいり (Anri Airi)|
"If they knew why didn't they save her?"
"Why did they murder Yuuri!?"
"And here I said to Yuuri's murderers...
...'Thank You'!" - Airi Anri, Chapter 5.
Airi Anri (杏里 あいり Anri Airi) is a character appearing in Puella Magi Kazumi Magica: The Innocent Malice. She was first seen briefly in Chapter 4, and had an expanded appearance in chapter 5.
Airi was just a normal girl who had a debilitating illness. She simply wished to live and enjoy eating with her friend Yuuri. However, when she learned that her friend Yuuri had become a witch and was killed, she completely lost her sanity. Driven by vengeance, she wished to become her friend Yuuri and swore revenge against the magical girls who killed her, living from then on with that sole intent.
Airi has so far only appeared in Kazumi Magica. Her first appearance (or so it seemed) was in Yuuri's single panel flashback in Chapter 4. Her backstory was explained in a flashback in Chapter 5, (revealed in Chapter 6 to be a vision created by her witch form). More of her story is also revealed in the short story, "Puella Magi Kazumi Magica Special Edition ~ A Dream-Filled Spoon."
Before the events of Kazumi Magica, Airi and Yuuri Asuka were just classmates. Yuuri cooked a big meal for her whole class, but one of the students complained of food poisoning afterward. Yuuri started staying home from school in shock, until Airi visited her and helped prove that the student was trying to frame Yuuri. Afterwards, the two stayed close friends.
Two years later, Airi became a hospital patient suffering from some unspecified illness. When visited by her friend Yuuri, Airi told her that she only had three months to live, and that she didn't want to die. Yuuri gives Airi a spoon, telling her it's a good luck charm. She then leaves to secretly contract with Kyubey, wishing to cure Airi's illness. Airi, overjoyed at her miraculous recovery, believes the spoon helped cure her illness.
Later on, Yuuri participates in a cooking contest. Airi gives Yuuri back her spoon, telling it to protect Yuuri now. Yuuri makes it to the last round, but vanishes. While searching for Yuuri, Airi wanders into a witch's barrier and is saved by the Pleiades Saints (except Kazumi, who wasn't a member at the time). When the Pleaides leave, Airi finds that the witch had dropped Yuuri's spoon. Kyubey appears to Airi and reveals that Yuuri was actually the witch; he explains Yuuri's wish to cure Airi, and how she used too much of her magic to cure the diseases of other people, turning her into a witch right in front of the Pleiades Saints. Shocked, grief stricken, and losing her grasp on sanity, Airi blames the Pleaides for Yuuri's death. She wishes to take over Yuuri's life and become Yuuri, and she subsequently takes on Yuuri's appearance and name for the rest of Kazumi Magica.
See Yuuri's history for her subsequent actions.
In Chapter 6, Kazumi has a brief trauma induced vision of Yuuri and Airi happily eating parfait. In Chapter 16 Airi is mentioned by the detective Ishijima as one of the 20 girls that have gone missing over the past few months. Apparently they received mysterious text messages from the address "Hyades" left behind on their phones. It's later revealed that Airi was contacted by Kanna Hijiri.
- Airi's backstory bears a notable similarity to a very common speculation about the prior life of Charlotte. The main difference is that someone else wished Airi back to health.
- Airi has a number of similarities to Homura. Like Homura, she was a former hospital patient, she was motivated to contract by the death of her best friend, she had significant changes in personality and appearance, and she uses firearms.
- There are also parallels between Airi and Kyousuke. Airi's despair over her disease is reminiscent of Kyousuke's despair of being unable to play music. Both of them are reassured by a friend who then makes a wish to heal them.
- Airi's hair color was silver prior to contracting, as shown in extra artwork included with Kazumi Magica volume 2.
- Yuuri/Airi left several clues for the Pleiades Saints to discover the truth, though they failed to do so:
- Yuuri/Airi's letter carried the same emblem from the eating contest.
- The arrow that Yuuri/Airi used to send her message is the same kind used to kill Yuuri's Witch form.
- The Asunaro Dome was the same place where the Pleiades Saints killed Yuuri's Witch form.
- The Pleiades only realized who Yuuri was (or who she was claiming to be) when she showed her face.