Norio Kunato (岐神 海苔夫 Kunato Norio) is a Garde pilot and heir to Kunato Developments. Norio ranked first during pilot training and had little respect for other trainees, developing a rivalry with Nagate given the special treatment he receives, unaware of his background or circumstances. His body is later taken over by Ochiai's mind; he regained control after Ochiai abandoned him and joined consciousness with Kanata.
Personality & CharacterEdit
Norio was born into the prestigious Kunato Family. As such, he's also the heir to the Kunato Developments that manufactures the current Type 18 Gardes series. Being born of high status, Norio always looked down on people as he feels he's the best and others are nuisances to him. With a desire to attain fame and glory, Norio worked and trained hard to become one of the top Gardes pilots in Sidonia; it was his ambition to rise to the elite squads and attain the legendary Gardes, Tsugumori, to become the next great savior of Sidonia. However, things didn't go his way.
Nagate Tanikaze's appearance became a severe threat to him. Through Nagate's short tenure, Nagate attained the Tsugumori, quickly excelled to full fledged pilot, and defeating a Gauna to make him a hero; it robbed of Norio of his long desired public adulation as well as his legendary Gardes; Norio sees Nagate as a thief to his glory.
His personality in the anime differs slightly from the manga. In the anime he is played up as more of an outwardly malicious character, while in the manga he is portrayed as equally arrogant but outwardly puts on a guise of emotional indifference while occasionally showing emotions.
Desperate to regain his glory, he framed Nagate in a major subjugation mission and cost the lives of his fellow Gardes pilots for the petty sake of his glory. This resulted in the death of Shizuka Hoshijiro. Even when confronted, he denied any wrongdoing and makes no apologies for his actions; he's a man of great pettiness and vanity for greatness. However, his attempts were eventually all proven to be in vain as Nagate recovered from Norio's treachery and Norio resigned from the SDF to focus on his family's company.
Despite their tension, Nagate asked for Kunato to return to piloting and invited him to him to eat, saying that while he could not yet forgive Kunato he still wanted to protect Sidonia, which included Kunato. Kunato remained unresponsive to his invitation, but shed some tears after dismissing Tanikaze.
The Kunato family had their secrets and one of them was having ties with Ochiai. Although not fully explained, Norio was investigating into Ochiai when he was taken and Ochiai's personality was downloaded into Norio's body. However, it is unclear if Norio is still inside his body or Ochiai had destroyed Norio's consciousness. Ochiai had taken full advantage of Norio's identity and devoted vast resources of Kunato's fortunes into redeveloping and continuing his old research projects, such as his chimera projects with the support of Kobayashi; nobody realizes that Norio isn't really Norio. Eventually though, after Ochiai successfully got everything he wanted out of Norio and perfected Kanata, Ochiai joined his consciousness with Kanata and left Norio behind. Medics restored Norio and returns him to active duty despite recent events.
Skills & AbilitiesEdit
Despite his petty nature, Norio has proven himself to be a skilled pilot.
Norio is tall and has white hair.
Notes & TriviaEdit
- He is named after "Nori."
- In the Manga, the reason he quit the Sidonia Defend Force is unclear, he still piloting the garde even after battle against Benisuzume. In the Anime, the reason he quit the Sidonia Defend Force is really clear, he quit right after the battle with Benisuzume and he had a nightmare and haunted because "killing" Shizuka.