Kokonoe Mercury (ココノエ＝マーキュリー Kokonoe Mākyurī) is a scientist at the 7th Agency, and the daughter of Jūbei and Konoe Ayatsuki Mercury. She is a playable DLC character in the console version of BlazBlue: Chronophantasma.
Kokonoe appears as a fairly young adult catgirl with a slim build. Her eyes are a golden-amber with visible bags under them, due to working overtime in her lab. She has pink hair which she keeps tied in a specialized style consisting of a long ponytail backing up longer tufts resembling large cat ears, which tend to overshadow her actual animal-like ears, which fade into white at the tip, these ears are bent forward slightly. Her attire consists of an altered, scientist version of the usual Kaka jacket with a white coloration. A hole at the lower base provides room for her twin, cat-like tails. She also wears a pair of small spectacles, and is never without her trademark lollipop.
The oversized sleeves are cut at the sides to make it easier for her arms to slide in and out of them. She wears a pair of red capri pants lowered enough to reveal black underwear, with a black belt adorned by a large cat bell. The attire is completed with a pair of white mules with heels similar to the boots the Kaka tribe wears, but with no vamp, allowing her to take them off almost reflexively as her story mode render shows her barefoot in one of her feet.
In BlazBlue: Alter Memory during Episode 8, she also wears a white high-neck sports bra underneath her Kaka jacket after the oversized sleeves of her jacket got spilled with her own coffee.
When she was young, she had short hair and kept it in a pigtail, and wore the same yellow ribbon that she wears as an adult. She also did not wear spectacles. In terms of clothing, she wore a jacket similar to Taokaka’s except with the hood down, and with a black collar.
Kokonoe is a rather serious and cynical woman with no regard for emotions, and always strives for Tager to complete his missions without fail; however, she can on rare occasions be quite personable, mostly around her creations. She is displayed and perceived as cranky and foul-mouthed most of the time. She and Taokaka possess a few similar personality traits, something that most note as “more in common than they realize”, due to their impatient nature and short attention span. She has some traits of her father and her mother, even though she tends to be bitter at both of them deep down for them not being a part of her early life. She also displays signs of being aware of the racism displayed to her heritage as a half-beastman; believing that people will show prejudice against her, it’s for this reason that even her potential new students and apprentices aren’t aware of her species, as displayed by Litchi in BlazBlue: Chronophantasma.
However, as Celica points out, Kokonoe is a good person at heart. Without Litchi’s knowledge, she became Arakune’s Observer despite the risks entailed to prevent the Boundary from consuming him and is trying to figure out an effective solution for his depraved state. Also, she repeatedly shows that she will only resort to mass destruction in a worst-case scenario, preferring to minimize the casualties caused by her war against Terumi or not have any at all. She was also willing to use an alternative method to activating the Lynchpin where Celica wasn’t sacrificed despite her being merely a clone and even took the initiative to create the Ex Machina: Minerva so she could defend herself.
Tager has described Kokonoe as being selfish, foul-mouthed, having an addiction to Silvervine candy and having the belief that the entire world focuses on her and her alone. Overall, Tager gives a very negative outlook on her when first describing Kokonoe to Noel Vermillion; however, at the end of his “frank opinions” on his superior, he states that she is actually a very kind and good person, something that Makoto Nanaya immediately calls out on, calling it contradictory to his previous sentiments. Her anti-social behavior and lack of outdoor activity implies that Kokonoe is a hikikomori.
Lotte Carmine also introduces his opinions about Kokonoe to Litchi Faye Ling when they first met. Despite his numerous complaints about her lack of ability to congratulate people, he points out how she possesses the trait of not paying much attention to detail; but compliments her abilities as a scientist.
Tager’s and Lambda’s superior at the 7th Agency, and also formerly Litchi’s and Lotte’s. She is a half-breed and the daughter of Jūbei and Konoe Ayatsuki Mercury, two of the Six Heroes, though she shows disdain for this fact, supposedly “staying angry for weeks” when Jūbei is mentioned. The reason behind this is that Jūbei left her in the care of the World Void Information Control Organization for a great deal of her childhood, apparently not staying around to act as a father figure to her.
She has a deep hatred for Terumi, because he killed her mother, Konoe, and her aunt, Celica. She also has a strong dislike of Hakumen, but cooperates with him because she needs the Susanoo Unit to defeat Terumi and cannot figure out how to separate him from it. During the events of BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, it is revealed that Kokonoe has created and stockpiled hundreds of nuclear warheads in her lab. Hakumen mentions that it was weapons like those that decimated the world a hundred years prior. In the end, after Ragna the Bloodedge successfully turned Noel Vermillion back into her normal state, his left arm was destroyed. Kokonoe was able to make Ragna a new mechanical arm, stating that a man who has not been in the habit of asking for favors asked her a favor. This man was Jūbei, and she agreed to do that favor, while also mentioning that they had not seen each other in 20 years.
that which is inherited
In the past, she worked alongside Relius Clover under a group known as the “Sin Architects”. The story behind this was further explained in BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II’s second Extra Story – that which is inherited. Kokonoe was offered a job by Relius to work on the Event Weapon; however, she refused. Relius then showed Kokonoe the then-newly created Ignis and Nirvana, after which they left to open the Kiln. After Relius opened the Kiln, the Black Beast was released, and Relius proceeded to tell Kokonoe that the only way to stop it is for her to use magic inherited from Nine. Relius explained that the very core of Event Weapons are created through part of the Black Beast, and Kokonoe’s mother Konoe was the one who created the Arch-Enemy Event Weapons. She is skeptical of using magic, but after hearing Tager’s scream, she no longer hesitated and unleashed Konoe’s power – Infinite Gravity. She became exhausted afterwards and Relius decided to show his true colors; at this, Kokonoe became enraged and Nirvana (under her control) strikes Relius down, supposedly killing him.
BlazBlue: Remix Heart
Kajun Faycott was sent by Kokonoe to the Military Academy as an undercover spy in order to find and retrieve the Burning Red. The reason behind this was to find a power source for Tager that would be more permanent. Monitoring the Academy allowed Kokonoe to see that the ninth level was reacting strangely, which lead her to sending Kajun down to investigate.
It wouldn’t be long until Kokonoe was asked to examine the remains of an alchemy based life-form by Kajun; Kokonoe quickly realized that the core of the creature belonged to the 7th Agency, which lead her to deduce that the creature itself must of been made by Cypher Albar, a former defected colleague. She noted that it would be difficult to smoke him out of the area, and that he had most likely changed his appearance since his time in the organization.
Kajun would eventually deliver the news that she was unable to retrieve the Burning Red. Kokonoe revealed her motives for wanting it, and that her mother researched it thoroughly, finally adding that the one created by Cypher was likely a failure.
BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger
Realizing her plan of being able to bring Hakumen out of the Boundary and back into the real world, Kokonoe begins to explain the details of the hero’s existence, stating that it is 'wonky' due to him being pulled straight out of the narrow space. The two converse, with Kokonoe revealing that she’s his Observer, with her Observing being mechanically amplified due to Hakumen being almost too much to handle, however, Hakumen’s temporal existence faded out of the headquarters and into another location; in response, Kokonoe immediately called up Tager to return to her so that she may send him out onto another mission – this time to detain the leader of the Six Heroes.
Using communications, Kokonoe helped Tager navigate through the 13th Hierarchical City of Kagutsuchi until Noel Vermillion came to arrest Tager for trespassing on a city that was on Level D Alert Warning. Noel ordered for the communications channel to shut, however, because of the modifications made on Tager, the scientist still witnessed everything that happened. When the fight ended in Tager’s favor, Kokonoe gave him a lecture on the Event Weapon that Noel wielded during the brawl – this quickly changed into berating her subordinate for going soft on the lieutenant because of her gender.
Much later on, Kokonoe attempted to mechanically teleport Hakumen back to the 7th Agency headquarters, but she failed to as Hakumen nullified the intervention. She immediately commanded Ragna to run out of the area, while failing to get a hold of Tager as he was already too busy to intervene.
In BlazBlue: Chronophantasma, she and Tager are allied with Kagura Mutsuki in helping to overthrow the Control Organization, which is that she had a chance to eliminate Terumi/Hazama as well. After her father fought Phantom, she is informed that Phantom is actually her own mother, revealed to be alive, but brainwashed by a spell.
Powers and abilities
Despite being as capable on the battlefield as much as any character, Kokonoe doesn’t participate in combat a great deal. Her forte comes in the form of her grand knowledge of magic and science and being the daughter of Konoe supplements this. While she has not shown any of her own creations, her prowess as a scientist is frightening, her alterations to organic and non-organic matter being second to none, even causing the normally ruthless and intimidating Hakumen to shudder at the promise of an 'upgrade' from her. Her prominent works thus far have been the revival of Tager through cybernetics and the activation of Lambda by bonding Nu’s soul to the empty homunculus.
Due to comments dropped by both Hakumen and Hazama, and also being the daughter of both Jūbei and Nine, Kokonoe could be one of the most powerful individuals in the BlazBlue universe, though she refuses to admit it as it greatly angers her. Owing to her cat-like heritage, Kokonoe is known to possess cat-like reflexes, landing on all fours after falling from relatively great heights with no damage whatsoever.
When forced to take a direct hand in the battlefield, Kokonoe proves to be a very capable fighter. In battle, Kokonoe brings forth her many creations and tools such as using robots, a wrench, a specialized “drill hammer”, a freeze ray, rocket fists, and a gigantic Mecha-Tager. It should also be noted that she is not above using magic in battle, using it to summon a giant meteor in her Astral Heat.
In gameplay terms, Kokonoe has been described as a powerful rushdown character with many options; she is the only character, save Jin, who can freeze an opponent, for example. Her Drive is Graviton (グラヴィトン Guraviton, localized as Gravition Capacitor), which allows her to summon a small mechanical device that can pull opponents toward it, trapping them for Kokonoe to attack. Her Overdrive is Graviton Rage (グラヴィトンレイジ Guraviton Reiji) which increases the effects of any Graviton attacks, while reducing the amount of meter needed to use them. Before the major 1.01 update for BlazBlue: Chronophantasma, Kokonoe was regarded as the ultimate character in the game; post update, her capabilities have been toned down, but she still retains her top tier position.
- “Kokonoe” contains “Kokono”; the kun'yomi rendering of the kanji for the number “nine” (九, on'yomi: kyū, kun'yomi: kokono); possibly a play on her mother Konoe’s alias, Nine. The name can also be analyzed as ko- + Konoe, with ko meaning "child"/"baby" (子) or "little" (小)[Note 1], making "Kokonoe" literally mean "little Konoe".
- “Mercury” comes from the Latin Mercurius and is commonly associated with either the chemical compound, Hg, or with the Roman God Mercury (which the compound was named after).
- A “grimalkin” (Kokonoe’s English nickname) is an old or evil-looking cat found in Scottish legends. During the 16th-18th centuries they were associated with devils and witchcraft and people tried as witches were often accused of having grimalkin familiars.
- A “bakeneko” (Kokonoe’s Japanese nickname) is a demon cat found in Japanese legends. Regular cats can become bakeneko through various ways including their tails becoming forked in which case they can also be called nekomata. They have various supernatural abilities including but not limited to shapeshifting, manipulating dead bodies and cursing humans.
- Her move naming theme involves technology and scientific terms.
- Kokonoe’s birthday, April 18, is Invention Day.
- In Continuum Shift, she was the only NPC that has a Character Select portrait, despite not being playable before becoming a playable character in Chronophantasma. She shares that feature with Trinity Glassfille, who also has a Character Select portrait in Centralfiction, despite being an NPC throughout the series.
- The lollipop she licks is Silvervine Candy, which may possibly (or jokingly) give her skills for her eloquent speech, as shown in Taokaka’s “Help me! Professor Kokonoe” ending, where Taokaka eats one whole and starts making long sentences with words that she could not have used otherwise. Kokonoe then states that she had no idea the candy would have that kind of effect on someone from the Kaka tribe. Tager states in BlazBlue: Chronophantasma that Kokonoe is actually addicted to the substance.
- In general, it is common for people of Kokonoe’s caliber in both fiction and real life to often have a lot of sweets in general, due to providing glucose for high blood sugar as it fuels the brain.
- Added to this, Silvervine (Actinidia Polygama) is a plant which effects cats in a way reminiscent of catnip (though supposedly more intensely). It is found in the mountainous regions of Japan and China and is a popular cat treat in Asia.
- Kokonoe is the third character to complain about having small breasts, along with Noel and Platinum. She gets extremely irritated at Makoto’s breast size during her own “Help Me! Professor Kokonoe!” segment. She also gets quite angry at Noel during her “Help Me! Professor Kokonoe!” segment since Noel thought they could be great friends due to both of them having small breasts.
- Kokonoe’s electrocuted sprite reveals several lollipops hidden inside her jacket sleeves, similar to how Taokaka is hiding a pair of fish inside hers in the same situation.
- Her fireball’s color changes depending on which player is using her. If it is the first player, her fireballs are red, but if the second player uses her, the fireball’s color changes to blue.
- In Centralfiction, Kokonoe says that she is the only other SS-class rebel in history apart from Ragna, though it was a long time ago and Kokonoe erased all records of it, all that is known by the Control Organization was there was another SS-class rebel.
- Kokonoe shares her English voice actress with Tsubaki Yayoi.
- This prefix, spelled in two different ways, is frequently used for words for baby animals, e.g. koinu ("puppy") or koneko ("kitten")
|The 7th Agency|
|Current members:||Kajun Faycott · TR-0009 Tager · Kokonoe Mercury · Mai Hazuki|
|Former members:||Cypher Albar · Lotte Carmine · Lambda-11 · Litchi Faye Ling · Makoto Nanaya|
|Related articles:||Azrael · committee · board meeting of the 7th Agency’s upper section|