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...I’m not letting you go to Hell alone... I wouldn’t know what to do, anyway...

—Norimaki, demonstrating his loyalty to Freya Idun.

Norimaki
Japanese 海苔巻
Romanization norimaki
Norimaki-face.png
(c)アリスソフト
Race Artificial Lifeform
Sex Male
Status Alive
World The Continent
Affiliation Freya Idun, Helman
Games
Appeared in Rance IX, Rance X, Kichikuou Rance

About[]

Norimaki is a mysterious cat-shaped lifeform and the companion of the Helmanian assassin Freya Idun.

Norimaki was created at an uncertain point in the past by Oama Motohide, a brilliant yet deranged biologist from the Helman Republic, during his research to construct the ultimate lifeform. With a body composed entirely of a metallic liquid-like substance, Norimaki possessed the ability to mold himself into whatever shape he desired, allowing him to endlessly adapt to any situation that he found himself in. For unknown reasons, Motohide deemed Norimaki to be a failure soon after he was constructed, and quickly abandoned him to fend for himself in the harsh rural countryside. Through a combination of his quick wit and malleable body, Norimaki was able to survive independently for several years, and soon forgot about Motohide altogether.

Sometime later, Norimaki encountered Freya Idun, a young member of the Dark Wings assassination organization, and began accompanying her. Norimaki's unique ability to slickly shapeshift his body into a variety of tools made him the perfect accomplice to Freya, acting as a weapon during combat and as an agile scout while spying. Eventually, Freya became recognized as the leader of the Dark Wings, with Norimaki remaining at her side as she continued to maintain the organization's position at the center of Helman's criminal underworld.

Spoilers-Untranslated.png This section contains spoilers from a game that has not been translated to English yet.
Expand if you wish to read regardless.

During the events of Rance IX, Norimaki accompanied Freya on her mission to infiltrate The Outlaws, a band of criminals suspected of having ties to the Helman Revolutionary Army, and assassinate Prince Patton Helman, the army's supposed leader who was rumored to be traveling as a member of the group. Freya was soon exposed for her malicious intentions by the JAPANese strategist Sanada Tourin, but was given permission to remain a part of the group by its leader Rance, who cared more for about beauty than where her true loyalties lay.

While Freya initially planned to use the opportunity as a means of completing her objective and killing Patton, she gradually became convinced that the Outlaws would emerge victorious against the Helman Army as they continued to score victories over its forces. At the same time, she also became personally endeared to Kentou Kanami, a self-conscious Ninja who Rance had assigned as her supervisor, causing her to further lose interest in working against the group. As a preemptive means of ensuring that the Dark Wings would remain intact regardless of the revolution's outcome, Freya temporarily suspended all of its activities and continued to act as a loyal member of the Outlaws.

Norimaki struggles to assist Kanami in raising the flag of the Revolutionary Army from atop Lang Bau.

Freya's intuition was ultimately proven correct when the Outlaws successfully occupied the Helman capital of Lang Bau. To declare their victory to the rest of the country, she led Kanami to the roof of the imperial palace to display the flag of the Revolutionary Army. Freya forced Norimaki to assist Kanami in holding the heavy flag, choosing to sit and admire the landscape of the now liberated nation rather than help them herself.

In the months following the end of the Helmanian Revolution, Freya and the Dark Wings remained in service to the new government led by President Sheila Helman, Patton's younger sister and the nation's former empress, who had been chosen to serve as the country's first elected official. As part of Sheila's desire to transform Lang Bau into a more open and welcoming place to the general public, the Dark Wings developed a more visible presence within the capital, though they remained generally covert in carrying out their operations. Norimaki remained close to Freya's side and continued to assist her in performing her duties.

In September of LP0007, less than a year after the end of the revolution, Helman was invaded from its southern border by an enormous army of Monsters in what would come to be known as the opening movements of the 2nd Dark Lord War. The country was unequipped to defend against an attack of such a size from the south, causing it to send a portion of the Helman 2nd Army, its primary monster subjugation unit, to assist in the effort. This proved to be a critical mistake, as a second large army of monsters approached the nation from its border with the Monster Realm soon afterward and was able to quickly overwhelm the reduced numbers of the 2nd Army stationed there. In an instant, Helman was occupied from two sides by the Monster Army and pushed to the brink of collapse. As the safety of Helman directly correlated with the safeguarding of the Dark Wings, Freya wasted no time in lending her forces to assist in defending the country. Lacking the raw power necessary to challenge the Monster Generals that commanded the main divisions of the enemy army, the Dark Wings instead devoted their attention toward subduing the Monster Captains that presided over smaller squads, as well as aiding in the evacuation of civilians in targeted cities.

During the events of Rance X, the forces of the Human Realm were, through various circumstances, formally united under Rance to create the United Human Army. Due to possessing the Dark Sword Chaos, one of the only weapons capable of penetrating the Invincibility Field that protected the Dark Lords that led the legions of the Monster Army from all forms of damage, Rance was able to form a specialized squad made up of humanity’s finest warriors designed to fight against and defeat each of the Dark Lords invading human territories. Titled the Dark Lord Extermination Squad, this group allowed humanity to begin to mount a more effective resistance against the Monster Army, providing hope in a seemingly hopeless situation.

Norimaki unwittingly becomes the object of Housesnurse's affections.

At some point during the war, Freya was recruited to serve as a member of the Dark Lord Extermination Squad, with Norimaki naturally accompanying her. During this time, he inadvertently attracted the attention of the Holy Gal Monster Housesnurse, who had a long history of suddenly falling madly in love with others. Hesitant to voice his disinterest in pursuing a relationship, Norimaki allowed himself to be captured by Housesnurse and taken to the depths of Lang Bau, which she transformed into a dungeon using her power over earth to prevent others from following them. Norimaki spent the next several hours awkwardly enduring Housesnurse's attempts at flirting before being finally pursuaded to confess his desire to end the relationship by Freya, who had willingly accompanied the two due to her amusement at the situation. Soon afterward, the three were found by Rance and his allies, who risked their lives braving the dungeon to rescue them, and returned to the surface of The Continent, leaving Housesnurse's heart as the only casualty of the incident.

Norimaki makes a brief appearance during the epilogue of Rance X: Part 2, where, twenty years following humanity's victory in the 2nd Dark Lord War, he is shown at Kanami's side while she works as the new leader of the Dark Wings. As no mention is made of Freya in this brief scene, both her status following the conclusion of the 2nd Dark Lord War and the circumstances surrounding Kanami obtaining her position and ownership of Norimaki are unknown.

In the non-canonical Kichikuou Rance, Norimaki is still depicted as being Freya's partner in crime. As Oama Motohide is not suggested to exist within the universe of Kichikuou Rance, it is unclear what the origins of this version of the character are.

Freya and Norimaki first appear after the Kingdom of Leazas has been at war with Helman for several weeks, where they are hired by Prime Minister Stessel Romanov to sabotage the enemy country for a 50,000 GOLD reward. The two will then randomly appear in various cities across Leazas, where they poison the local food supplies with a powerful corrosive agent in order to throw the nation into economic turmoil.

If Freya is able to destroy the food supply of five different cities, the ensuing food shortage will force the Leazas Government to expend most of its national budget to rectify it, greatly compromising its ability to take further action. Having successfully completed her assignment, Freya receives a large cash reward and departs to the Free City of Diptheria with Norimaki to begin eagerly planning their next move. Now with enough money to live comfortably off of forever, the two spend the remainder of their lives wandering the Continent in aimless leisure.

If Rance, the newly-crowned king of Leazas, levies the city that Freya was most recently sighted at, he will catch her moving through the shadows and throw a rock in her direction to subdue her. Before he is able to capture her, however, he becomes distracted by admiring her good looks, allowing Norimaki to blind him by emitting a bright flash from his eye and give Freya a chance to flee. If Rance attempts to catch Freya two additional times, she will continue to deftly escape from his clutches through a combination of Norimaki's blinding eye flash and her own exceptional skills, eventually becoming so confident in her ability to evade him that she carelessly reveals herself as a ninja sent by Helman. The knowledge that Freya is an enemy spy motivates Rance to entrap her even more, causing him to begin seeking out alternative means of doing so.

Norimaki becomes stuck in the ninja birdlime alongside Freya.

After learning that Freya is a Helman spy, Rance gains the option to purchase a substance known as ninja birdlime from the merchant Pluepet. If he levies a territory Freya was sighted in after acquiring this item, he will throw the birdlime in her path as she moves to escape from him and cause her to trip and fall into it, flinging Norimaki off of her back and incapacitating them both. Rance takes advantage of Freya's sudden vulnerability to assault her, and shoves Norimaki's face into the birdlime to prevent him from using his eye flash to interfere.

Upon finishing having his way with Freya, Rance is given the choice of either freeing her from the birdlime or demanding that she defect from Helman to serve under him.

If Rance chooses to let Freya go, he will first order her to swear to end her allegiance to Helman. Though Freya seemingly agrees to do so without argument, claiming that she will spend the remainder of her life as a simple farmer, she immediately reveals herself to have merely been lying after getting released and quickly takes off elsewhere to resume her disruptive activities.

If Rance chooses to try and recruit Freya, she will insist that he pay her an even greater salary than the amount she was promised by Helman and successfully negotiates him into hiring her for a price of 100,000 GOLD, double what Stessel had promised her. While Norimaki acts baffled by the ease at which the exchange occurred, Freya ends up being a relatively loyal addition to Leazas' forces, and can from then on be called upon to scout, sabotage and assassinate soldiers of enemy armies.

If Freya is captured while performing spy work against the Helman Army after she is recruited by Leazas, she will be brought before Stessel and Dowager Empress Pamela Helman, who sentence her to execution for her betrayal. While Freya accepts her fate, she attempts to persuade Norimaki to flee to safety, only for him to refuse and to insist on dying by her side. The two are killed by soldiers moments later, with Pamela then ordering to have their faces be destroyed beyond recognition and their corpses thrown into a river to prevent them from ever being reclaimed.

Personality and Appearance[]

Though his body is composed entirely of shapeless liquid metal, Norimaki spends much of his time in the form of a one-eyed cat.

A miracle of biomechanical engineering, Norimaki is a living organism with a body composed entirely a formless metallic substance that can fluidly reshape itself into any appearance he desires. He spends the majority of his time perched on Freya's shoulders in the form of a small Sphynx cat, but transforms himself into a whip with several tails whenever the two engage in battle. Norimaki's most distinguishing feature is a single large yellow eye with a striking pink iris, which remains visible on his body regardless of whatever appearance it takes.

Befitting an assassin's accomplice, Norimaki is a sly creature with a sharp wit and a willingness to do everything possible to achieve his goals. While he is capable of human speech, he is incredibly quiet; rarely ever speaking to anyone other than Freya and maintaining an air of detached professionalism on the occasions when he does. As such, he is easily irritated by those that do anything to disrupt his focus, and claims to be particularly poor at dealing with assertive and uncompromising women, as he believes them to never bother taking his input into consideration. Even in these instances, Norimaki makes a conscious effort to remain polite, choosing to reserve his exasperated insults exclusively for Freya's company.

Norimaki shares a close bond with Freya Idun, who he has served as the constant companion of for several years. The two never miss an opportunity to mock one another when it arises, with Freya in particular taking great delight in seeing Norimaki struggle enough to break out of his usual calm. In spite of this, the duo trust each other implicitly and share astonishingly similar judgement on nearly all matters, to the point of being able to communicate without needing to so much as exchange words. This is especially prevalent in the heat of combat, where they are able to essentially act as a single mind operating two bodies to coordinate complex tactical maneuvers.

Norimaki has a considerably less stable relationship with the Kichikuou Rance version of Freya, whose flighty and thoughtless personality often puts the pair at odds with each other. Norimaki derides Freya near-constantly for acting in an overly-casual way that he believes is unbecoming of an assassin, and will dryly call attention to the reality of her circumstances whenever she attempts to lie to appear more glamorous or spectacular than she truly is. Nonetheless, he is exceedingly loyal to her beneath his frustration, and chooses to die by her side rather than escape to protect himself when she is placed into mortal peril.

Abilities[]

Norimaki possesses the ability to distort his body into whatever shape he desires it to be. While he is incapable of altering his body's mass, restricting him to relatively small shapes and sizes, he is otherwise capable of endlessly transforming himself and has an unmatched level of flexibility. This power particularly shines in the fields of stealth and infiltration, where he is able to seamlessly slink through the shadows by altering his body to blend in with the surrounding environment.

Norimaki can transform himself into the form of a whip to assist Freya in battle.

While physically weak on his own, Norimaki is able to use his body's unique properties to shapeshift into a wide variety of useful tools to assist Freya during battle. The form he assumes most often in combat is a multi-tailed whip which Freya uses lash at her opponents. Norimaki is lightweight and flexible in this form, allowing Freya to swiftly swing him across a long range with little difficulty, and can be used to disarm enemies by wrapping himself around their weapons.

During his appearance in Kichikuou Rance, Norimaki displays the ability to produce a dazzling flash from his eye that is capable temporarily blinding anyone that faces him. This technique is incredibly potent, and allows him to escape to safety with Freya even when they are trapped in an alleyway surrounded by enemy soldiers by instantaneously disorienting them. As Norimaki is not shown or suggested to be capable of using this power in any of his later appearances, he is assumed to no longer canonically possess it.

Trivia[]

  • Norimaki came in 8th place in the "Other Males" category of the Rance IX Popularity Poll. His high ranking is especially notable in relation to his extremely limited role in the game, where he utters only a single line of dialogue. This discrepancy was lightly acknowledged in the poll itself, where Norimaki incredulously asks "Do I even count as a character?" upon learning of his popularity.
  • Norimaki shares his name with a variety of seaweed-wrapped sushi.
  • Norimaki's appearance is possibly derived from the Huan, a creature in Chinese mythology said to resemble a one-eyed cat with three tails.
  • Norimaki's appearance as a weapon, where he takes the form as a whip with multiple lashes, is likely intended to be a play on the Cat o' nine tails, a variety of whip designed for carrying out severe corporal punishment.

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