|Previous Affiliation||Shinō Academy|
|Previous Occupation||Academy Student|
|Previous Partner||Itazura Kori|
Ranmaru Shibata Jr.
|Base of Operations||Seireitei, 7th Division Barracks|
|Relatives||Tadashi Kori (Father)|
Yukimura Kori (Mother)
Itazura Kori (Elder Brother)
Tsubaki Kori (Cousin)
Shin Nagakura (Uncle)
Riki Nagakura (Uncle)
Rika Nagakura (Aunt)
|Education||Shiori & Erina|
|Bankai||Not yet Achieved|
Mariko Kori (真理子コリ, Kori Mariko), who is often called Mari (マリ) for short, is a scion of the mostly destroyed Kori clan, as well as a Shinigami aligned with Heisekai. During the Collapse she, as well as her brother, where in Tougenkyou and, following the disastrous event, recovered in the now sealed-off realm.
Mariko has the appearance of a young tomboy, short of height and quite lean of build, her build not unlike that of her father's in the latter's younger years; for he, too, Shin was quick to point out, looked like a little girl. Her hair is easily one of her more distinguishable traits and serves to seperate her from the crowd, as her hair ends are light blue, while the top and back is colored a darker shade. She usually styles her hair in a messy fashion, much to her mother's annoyance, with her bangs falling over her ears, as well as shadowing her eyes somewhat in her appearances. Her eyes are also blue, being of a dark shade. Many within the Kori Family have made comment on the striking resemblance Mariko has with her now deceased fraternal grandfather, whose hair and eyes were of the same varied blue coloration as Mariko's are, though any other resemblance ends there.
During Part III when Mariko made her journey to the spiritual realm of Heisekai, she was noted to have matured well beyond her childhood appearance. No longer appearing like her father in the latter's younger years, Mariko has taken an appearance with more similarities to her mother and deceased fraternal grandfather, especially in terms of hair and eye color when the latter is concerned. Like her mother, Mariko is a beautiful young woman who is beginning to grow into her body and truly mature, though her habit of favoring boyish clothes helps disguise this fact quite well. In fact, many within Heisekai originally thought her to be a boy until she actually corrected them on the fact. Her friend, Fox Satonaka, claims this is due mainly to the fact that Mariko often wears a series of bandages wrapped around her breasts to better hide the scars inflicted by Raiden's Brother. Mariko has also cited Kusaka as the inspiration for her current hairstyle. Its length extends just past her ears and she usually spikes it slightly at the ends in a similar fashion to her cousin, with the rest combed down neatly. Her expression has also hardened due to her circumstances, resulting in little of the girlish innocence being left behind.
In terms of attire, Mariko usually sports the average academy uniform, complete with academy insignia emblazoned on the right and left of her chest respectively. The uniform consists of an average white kosode and a red hakama, with her zanpakutō threaded through her white-colored ōbi when she is given permission to wear it in public. Her usual attire consists of more comfort-based clothing, usually in the form of a loose-fitting jacket over the top of a sleeveless shirt, colored a dull white. Under the shirt Mariko wears several lengths of bandaged cloth that entwine tightly around her stomach and breasts, which effectively hides her scarred chest. The jacket ends split into seperate strands, often causing them to billow in the wind wildly whenever Mariko dons this outfit in the great outdoors. To complete her outfit she usually wears a pair of average teal trousers, with comfortable sneakers on her feet. Mariko has said herself she hates wearing "girly clothes" and much prefers trousers over skirts and tights. The only girly accessory Mariko wears is the purple scarf she favors in public, as it was a gift from Itazura which he sowed himself. She does however wear clothing typical to her gender during certain important occasions, which usually takes the form of a delicate flower embroidered black Shihakushō (死覇装, Garment of Dead Souls) with a thick red ōbi complimented with pink shading.
Mariko is generally a well-spoken young woman with a flair for mischief, which her polite words and general attitude serves to better disguise. The question is often asked which is truly the more mischievous of the two: Mariko, or her brother, Itazura. Examples of this behavior include manipulating the younger of her instructors with her girlish charm, such as she often does with Tedasuke Shiba, which ultimately allows her to slip away from lessons under the pretense of injury or "woman problems". Due to the nature of some of her excuses, she is rarely challenged, even by her female instructors, who are arguably more sympathetic to her supposed plight. And even when she is challenged her quick thinking often allows her to prevail ere regardless. She has also been known to prank her uncle, Shin, and cousin, Kusaka, almost exclusively whenever she sees them: to the point she drops whatever it was she was doing beforehand. The two have even begun to become paranoid whenever they know that Mariko is in the vicinity, for they have rarely ever been fit to prevent her pranks upon them; and when they do manage it she often makes the next even worse to make up for it.
Influenced early on by Kireina Shiba and Ino Hiroshi, who came often from Horiwari to visit Yukimura, Mariko has projected many of their personality traits unto herself, viewing the older woman as role models and exactly what she wants to be when she grows up. As a result Mariko has quite a loud and colorful personality when all is taken into account, especially her own mischievous traits, as she is quiet playful and constantly cheerful. Very little gets her down or rains on her parade, which is exemplified by her near inexhaustible amount of energy that seems fit to amp up people around her and stop them feeling down as well; which is usually the case with her brother, who worries over the smallest details. And while her natural energy and exuberance were for real, she did tend to exaggerate it around her friends in order to cheer them up, and instill confidence in them during their lessons, ultimately helping them advance their skills. The only time she doesn't appear all inexhaustible energy is when she's with Itazura, who almost exclusively carries her everywhere via piggyback, or when she first obtained her scars and was reluctant about showing them in public. In fact the only person she is comfortable showing her scars to is Itazura, who has his own and thus can sympathize with her situation.
When it comes to her family, Mariko is a compassionate young woman who would drop almost anything she was doing currently to accommodate them, for she constantly neglects her academy studies to run errands for both her parents and her uncle; regardless of the errand. She also does this for Tedasuke as well, arguably because she has a fierce crush for the older Shinigami. This is especially true when it comes to Itazura. Mariko and her brother are extremely close and share almost every aspect of their lives with one another, even the most personal, as demonstrated when Mariko confided in her brother about how she felt about Tedasuke. There are very few secrets between them. In fact, Mariko would often go to her brother with a problem before she'd confront either her parents or her uncle; which speaks volumes for their close relationship. The residents living within the Kori Estate located within the Seireitei constantly cite brother and sister as one another's best friend, emotional support and dearest ally. And while they do have their differences of opinions, squabbles and falling outs the love they share runs deep in each. When together Itazura near constantly carries Mariko via piggyback everywhere they go, which he has been doing for her ever since he was strong enough to go any distance with her on his back; without Mariko even needing to ask. She is instantly fit to read her brother like an open book and can usually have a pretty solid guess at what it is he's thinking, often to the point people believe that she can read his mind.
Itazura later claimed that Mariko has an almost uncanny -- some would say unnatural -- level of focus that allows her to effectively shut out everything from her surroundings that may distract her, thus allowing her to devote all of her considerable intellect to whatever problem demands her attention. This she demonstrates whenever in the company of Ranmaru Shibata Jr. The behavior has even been shown overriding other established behavioral patterns, as she eventually focused primarily on her training instead of pulling pranks constantly on Kusaka. Shin even believes Mariko to be smarter than her brother, who has already established himself as a genius, with an intellect on par with Shin's own. These particular traits were shown most strongly during her training to utilize the Rei Furashuu, as Mariko was able to focus on the task at hand much easier than Itazura could, which gave her an easier time tapping into her spiritual power which the Kori Glove was then restricting by quite a margin. Itazura also claimed that she inherited her amazing focus from their mother, who possessed the same trait. This has sometimes led people to call her single-minded, which isn't a bad description. In addition, this same focus gives her a natural degree of control over her emotions. Unlike her brother, she rarely gets frustrated or loses her cool, instead dusting herself down, taking a deep breathe and trying again.
Mariko is the second-born of Captain Tadashi Kori of the 11th Division and Lieutenant Yukimura Kori of the 7th Division, as well as the niece of Shin Nagakura, Riki Nagakura and Rika Nagakura. Her older brother, Itazura Kori, made it a habit of his to take her everywhere, leading Mariko to have a very strong bond with her elder brother. As Itazura was tutored to Garian Shinjo, Mariko was enrolled in the Seta Girls' Academy, where she met Kiyoko Takara, coming to refer to the latter as Mistress.
- Main Article - Bleach (Kenji Hiroshi).
Cat and Mouse arc
- Calm Discipline meets Quiet Fury
- Planning for the Future
- Means to an End
- Finding that which is Needed
- Igniting Sparks
Dragonforce arc Part I
- Foreign Trip
- Lost amidst Splendor
- Escaping Splendor
- Winds of Freedom
- Gears laid in Motion
- Beating the Blues
- Through the fire and Flames
- Another Side, Another Story
Dragonforce arc Part II
- Saying Farewell
- Machinations of an Informer
- Annoying things Walls
- Eventual Breakthrough
- Face to Face at Last
- Reunion and Ambition
- Main article -- Bleach: Cataclysm.
War on Two Fronts arc
Kori Glove: A glove made as a joint venture between the Kori Family and the Quincy residing within Horiwari, at the behest of Kusaka Kori and Fujimaru Namikaze. An improvement upon the existing Sanrei Glove, the improvement envelops the entire hand and arm up to the bicep in a cloth that mimics the Sanrei Gloves white and blue coloration, with slight slashes of grey incorporated. Kusaka explains that the glove was developed to help the younger generation of the Kori Family utilize the Rei Furashuu. Mariko wears the glove upon her left arm, which extends to cover her bicep and upper arm, and has been instructed by Kusaka to remove it only when "she cleans it or herself", further explaining that the gloves effect lasts for an hour even after removal. The glove makes it incredibly difficult for her to even utilize her reiryoku reserves, which Kusaka cites will help her gain discipline, spiritual understanding and control - all factors required to utilize the Rei Furashuu properly.
Bokken: A simple wooden katana that Mariko received as a gift from Shiori Nakamura, which she and Erina Ayaka made especially for her. She uses it as her staple practice sword and, need depending, during battle to compliment her zanpakutō.
Powers and Abilities
Spiritual Energy: Being the daughter of a captain and lieutenant respectively, and a daughter of the Kori Family to boot, Mariko exhibits impressive spiritual power and, according to her parents and instructors, has considerable talent and potential matched by few amongst the current student-base attending the Shinō Academy. At present however, because of the Kori Glove, Mariko struggles to exert the smallest trickle of spiritual power without great effort, but has since learned to exert larger levels through practice with the Captain-Generals of the Shuuten.
Rei Furashuu (レイフラッシュ, Japanese for Soul Flash): not yet learned, though Mariko knows the process required in which to utilize it and has begun her training.
Swordsmanship: Based on her studies both at the Shinō Academy and under Garian, Mariko has quite some talent in swordsmanship; using it as her preferred method of combat. She has repeatedly beaten her brother in sparring sessions and continued to do so even after he received tutelage from the three Sansōzoku. Her skill in swordsmanship is enough to battle against foes who utilize high-speed movement techniques, as Mariko demonstrated the skill required to utterly dominate her brother in battle.
Hakuda Usage: Mariko has less skill in hand-to-hand combat than she does in swordplay, even after training with Garian, but she can effectively link her attacks and is quite quick in performing chained combos in conjunction with her brother regardless.
Shunpo: Only recently learned but greatly advanced since meeting and receiving tutelage from Garian. When she first began using Shunpo she could only accelerate the speed of her body a small amount, or slow her descent should she be free-falling. Now, however, she is noted to be fit to travel in short bursts; with her long legs helping her outrun her fellow students, her brother amongst them. Following training from Erina, Mariko is notably faster, and can follow and respond to her brothers movements with remarkable ease.
Kidō: Taking after her father more so than her mother when she began her tutelage at the Shinō Academy, Mariko had little early skill in proper Kidō usage beyond rudimentary healing of herself and others. However, upon meeting and being apprenticed to Garian, Mariko's skills have increased quite notably. Even whilst limited by the Kori Glove she was fit to utilize Hadō #13: Yūsetsu after only a day with the glove donned, which left Sojiro stunned.
Hayakuchi (早口, Blue Streak). Mariko's Hayakuchi is sealed in the form of a traditional katana with a square guard missing its four corners, which is colored an average metallic bronze. Her sheath is dark blue, much like her hair and eyes, which is commonly held in her hand or worn threaded through her belt or ōbi depending on the garment.
- Shikai: Hayakuchi is released with the command "Can you see it yet?", which is immediately followed by Mariko vanishing from sight instantaneously in a flash of blinding blue light; even should she be held tightly in place by Kidō spells. Even should she not be holding her zanpakutō she can release Hayakuchi into Shikai without any problems. When Mariko finally does reappear, often at her own volition, she exudes a bright blue light that exudes outward from her entire body, though not to the same intensity as the initial flash.
- Shikai Special Ability: Hayakuchi's power lies in extremely swift, almost instantaneous movement between two points. For example, Mariko was fit to jump from her home in the Seireitei to Nishiendo in the Rukon in a matter of seconds, appearing and disappearing with a puff of white smoke and a blue flash; traversing a distance that would usually require hours for someone of her normal Shunpo speed. On the basis of this power alone, Mariko has immense speed and near instantaneous reflexes when she uses her Shikai, for she can disappear and reappear in the blink of an eye. She can also transport others, though the more people she takes with her, the shorter the distance achieved.
- Weakness: As to be expected of such a powerful and useful ability, it is not without its downsides. One such can even prove crippling. Hayakuchi's speed is quite similar to the technique invented by Naibu Shizuka, known simply as the Sairento Kōtei. When in use Mariko's muscles, particularly those in her legs, are placed under tremendous strain because of the sheer speed reached.
- Bankai: Not yet Achieved.
Itazura Kori: Mariko and her brother are extremely close and share almost every aspect of their lives with one another, even the most personal. There are very few secrets between them. In fact, Mariko would often go to her brother with a problem before she'd confront either her parents or her uncle; which speaks volumes for their close relationship. The residents living within the Kori Estate located within the Seireitei constantly cite brother and sister as one another's best friend, emotional support and dearest ally. And while they do have their differences of opinions, squabbles and falling outs the love they share runs deep in each. When Raiden's brother scarred her during their battle (Itazura thought he'd killed her), he flew into a quiet fury and reduced him to a charred husk with a full-powered Shakkahō.
Parents: Mariko obviously loves her parents very much, and adores the fact they give her so much independent freedom to roam the Rukongai, hunt Raiden, etc. She would usually take time out of her own schedule to accommodate them, knowing that they're busy, and tries to help whenever she can.
Ranmaru Shibata Jr.: Mariko, or Mari as Ranmaru calls her and Ran, as Mariko calls him, initially got off to a rather one-sided start. Ranmaru idolized her and promised, in his own words, that "he’d follow her anywhere. That it was his life before hers, that he’d protect her until he turned to dust." Mariko, however, dislikes his continual flirting and at times thinks he's an idiot, but admits that he's resourceful regardless. By the time Mariko left Heisekai after her two month stay she and Ranmaru had bonded when Ranmaru made good on his promise, preventing Yoshinari's allies using Mariko for their own ends. When they parted they did so with a kiss, which left Itazura stunned. H remarked that Mariko didn't usually go out with people like Ranmaru. They have kept in touch over the years.
Behind the Scenes
- Mariko's nickname, Mari, was originally coined by Razo's Izaya Masaharu. I liked the sound of it so decided to adopt it.
- Mariko's appearance is based on Naoto Fuyumine from the Dogs: Bullets and Carnage manga series. I'd like to take this opportunity and thank Kazeyo of the Naruto Fanon Wiki for introducing me to the Dogs: Bullets & Carnage series.