Asagi Kusanagi (草薙 浅黄 is a fictional character who first appeared in the Kusanagi Asagi)1995 film Gamera the Guardian of the Universe. She appears in all three films of the Heisei Gamera trilogy. She is also the main character of the 1996 Dark Horse comic book sequel to Gamera the Guardian of the Universe. She would also cameo in the 1995 tie-in game, Gamera: Gyaos Destruction Strategy.
At the age of fifteen, Asagi lived with her father Naoya, an insurance representative who was investigating a ship containing uranium running aground on a moving atoll. A fan of fantasy novels, Asagi was very interested when her father and his colleague Yoshinari Yonemori discovered an ancient prophecy on the atoll. They also discovered various orichalcum beads on the atoll, and gave one to Asagi. When Asagi touched the bead, it began to glow and emanate energy, actually forming a telepathic bond between Asagi and Gamera, the monster that was contained inside the atoll. Over the next few days, Asagi began developing inexplicable bruises and cuts, all while feeling drawn to Gamera, who was shot down over Mount Fuji. Asagi convinced a cab driver to take her to Mt. Fuji, where Gamera was being attacked by the JSDF Every injury Gamera received was also inflicted upon Asagi, and she fell unconscious. Asagi was taken to a hospital, and remained asleep for several days. Extremely concerned for his daughter's safety, Naoya Kusanagi discussed her condition with Yonemori and ornithologist Mayumi Nagamine, who was studying the Gyaos creatures that were connected to Gamera. They concluded that Asagi was essentially performing the role of a priestess to Gamera, possessing a telepathic link to him and being capable of reading his thoughts.
When Gamera battled Super Gyaos in Tokyo, Asagi and her father arrived to witness the battle. When Gamera and Gyaos took their battle to the sky, Asagi and her father along with Yonemori and Dr. Nagamine followed them in a helicopter. As Gamera was repeatedly struck by Gyaos' sonic beam, Asagi began developing the same injuries as him. Naoya Kusanagi begged Asagi to stop, but she assured him that she couldn't because Gamera was fighting for all of them. When Gamera and Gyaos plummeted back into the city, Asagi exited the helicopter and witnessed Gamera seemingly be consumed in flames. She held her father's hand and began to pray, as Gamera absorbed the fire around him and launched a massive fireball at Super Gyaos, decapitating and killing it. Gamera roared victoriously before glancing at Asagi, using his power to heal her injuries through their link, and returning to the ocean. Asagi remarked that she could no longer read Gamera's thoughts, but was certain that Gamera would return again if the Earth was ever in danger.
One year after Gamera's battle with Super Gyaos, Asagi and one of her friends went on a skiing trip to Hokkaido. However, Asagi's friend broke her leg and the two of them were forced to return home. When they arrived in the city of Sendai, they found it under attack by the Legion. They were evacuated to the nearby airfield where helicopters were taking civilians away, but Asagi's friend tripped and fell in the commotion. Midori Honami, a scientist who happened to be there, helped Asagi and her friend onto the helicopter. However, the Mother Legion emerged from underground and approached the helicopters. Thankfully, Gamera arrived and attacked the Legion, buying time for the helicopters to escape. As the chopper flew away, Asagi looked back and expressed her concern for Gamera. When Gamera was seemingly killed when the Legion flower seeded and annihilated Sendai, Asagi and Dr. Honami visited the ruins of Sendai, where countless people surrounded the fallen Gamera. Asagi reached out to Gamera, and the Atlantean bead that bonded her to Gamera shattered in her hand. Gamera was surrounded by a wave of energy and was revived. He then flew away to Tokyo to stop the Legion. Dr. Honami noticed that Asagi's hand was bleeding, but Asagi said it didn't hurt. She was more concerned that her bond with Gamera had been shattered. Gamera was successful in destroying the Legion, and left Japan in peace.
Asagi, now eighteen years old, had spent the last several years studying Gamera and the Atlantean civilization that had created him now that her bond with him was broken. She met with her old friend Mayumi Nagamine and explained that Gamera was able to manipulate a substance called Mana, the life energy of the Earth and all living things on it. Gamera consumed a huge portion of the Earth's Mana in order to revive himself and destroy the Legion, and as a result it was now depleted, allowing the Gyaos to evolve and multiply all over the Earth. She explained that Gamera was desperately trying to defeat the Gyaos as they overtook the planet, all without his link to humanity. Upon learning of another young woman who supposedly had a telepathic link to a Gyaos-like creature called Iris which had wiped out an entire village, Asagi and Dr. Nagamine tried to find her. Asagi was worried that the girl's bond to Iris was disturbingly similar to the bond she once had with Gamera. They traced the young woman, Ayana Hirasaka, to Kyoto, where she was in the custody of Asukara Mito, a self-proclaimed psychic and descendant of the Atlanteans, and Kurata Shinya, a computer programmer. They explained to Asagi and Nagamine that Gamera was a threat to the planet, defending humanity when it was perhaps necessary for the Gyaos to exterminate it and prevent humans from destroying the world any more. They believed that the creature bonded to Ayana, Iris, was destined to finally kill Gamera so that the Gyaos could destroy human civilization. Asagi was outraged and told them that Gamera was created to defend the Earth at any cost. Just then, a typhoon descended on Kyoto, while Iris approached the city in order to merge itself with Ayana.
Asagi and the others traveled to the Kyoto train station, where Ayana awaited Iris' arrival. When Iris touched down in the city following a brief air skirmish with Gamera, Ayana commanded it to kill Gamera. Iris complied and engaged in a destructive battle with Gamera in the heart of Kyoto. Asagi begged Ayana to let go of her hatred, but was unsuccessful. Eventually, Iris and Gamera tackled each other into the station, where Iris impaled Gamera through his shell with its spear arm, seemingly killing him. Kurata and Asukara were killed by falling debris, while Dr. Nagamine was trapped under a girder. Ayana's friend Katsunari Moribe arrived and tried to kill Iris with his family's sacred dagger, only for Iris to swat him aside. Iris then absorbed Ayana into its chest against her will. When all hope seemed lost, Gamera got up and plunged his hand into Iris' chest, freeing Ayana. Iris impaled Gamera's hand against a wall and drained his power, preparing to kill him with his own fireballs. Gamera blew off his own hand with a fireball and used the stump to absorb Iris' fireballs, forming a plasma fist that he plunged into Iris' chest wound, killing it. Gamera set Ayana down near Asagi and Nagamine, who desperately tried to revive her. Gamera roared loudly, and Ayana awakened. Moribe ran to them and embraced Ayana, who begged forgiveness for her actions. Gamera, maimed and weakened, then walked out to the ruins of Kyoto to face a descending swarm of Gyaos. Nagamine stated that it seemed Gamera would continue to fight, even if alone, while Asagi declared that Gamera wasn't alone.
One year after the events of Gamera the Guardian of the Universe, Asagi went with her friend Mayumi Nagamine to the private island of millionaire Patty Smith in Guanajota, Mexico. Asagi's father thought travel would be educational for her, and paid for her to go along. However, Asagi was not allowed to accompany Nagamine to the island, so she instead took interest in a Freak Show by the harbor that claimed to have a real monster on display. However, when she arrived she only found the show's owner, a man called Lutz, attempting to strap a fake head onto his dog. Because his "monster" was not ready, Lutz instead offered her a harbor tour in his seaplane. While she was not quite sure of the rickety plane's safety at first, Lutz assured her that it was quite alright. During their flight, Lutz asked where Asagi was from, and she explained her situation with Nagamine. He then was curious about her interest in monsters, and Asagi replied that she knew one. Lutz asked the monster's name, and instantly recognized it when she said Gamera. She explained how her father had helped to discover Gamera, and the Atlantean Magatama she wore on her neck, and the psychic connection she had with the monster because of it. She recounted the tale of how she had helped Gamera defeat Gyaos when the amulet began to glow, and she told him with urgency that Gamera was calling her and that she felt it was close. He did not believe her until Gamera flew by. Asagi begged Lutz to fly closer to Gamera as he fought another Gyaos that had appeared as her cheek split open with claw marks from her bond with Gamera. Lutz was frightened by this, and landed to order Asagi off his plane in fear that she was attracting the monsters. Asagi began to cry as she insisted that she pay for her tour, but Lutz simply wanted her to get away. Asagi then fought against the fleeing crowd in an attempt to get to Gamera.
After having fallen down, she was found by Lutz, who helped her toward where Gamera and Gyaos were fighting. When they reached the harbor, Asagi noticed a freighter in the water, and sent a message to Gamera through the Magatama. With Asagi's suggestion in mind, Gamera then tackled Gyaos into the tanker, and set them both ablaze. Gyaos was killed in the fire, and Asagi was completely drained. Lutz dropped her at a clinic, but he stole her Magatama.
Out of guilt, Lutz dreamed that while Zigra was attacking the Battleship he was aboard, he escaped and found Asagi working as a crewman, swabbing the deck. He approached her and tried to return her amulet in an attempt to get her to take control of Gamera to fight off Zigra before realizing that it was broken. Asagi looked at him and informed him that Gamera was dead because he broke the Magatama, and that because of this he had doomed the human race. Zigra then flew out of the water and incinerated them with his Tri-Color Beam. In reality, Asagi had made a full recovery and was doing well. Dr. Nagamine then reveals to Lutz that Asagi's name and role in apprehending the original Gyaos had been kept out of the media to protect her anonymity, considering that she was a minor.
Asagi make a cameo late in the tie-in game for Gamera the Guardian of the Universe on the Nintendo Super Famicom. In the last two stages she tries to reason with the JSDF that Gamera is not the enemy and witnesses the missile attack on Gyaos fail and Gamera surfacing for a final battle to save Tokyo from the Gyaos.
Asagi with her father in Gamera the Guardian of the Universe
Asagi in Gamera
Asagi with Midori Honami in Gamera 2: Attack of Legion
Asagi in Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris
Asagi Kusanagi's cameo in Gamera: Gyaos Destruction Strategy.
- Coincidentally, Daiei planned a reboot of Daimajin in 1998 starring Steven Seagal, Fujitani's father. While this project never materialized, a novelization based on this unmade film was later published.
- Asagi Kusanagi and Inspector Osako are the two most recurring human characters in the entire Gamera series, both appearing in all three films of Shusuke Kaneko's Gamera trilogy. Initially, Kazunori Ito was strongly against having Asagi return in G3, feeling her appearance would weaken Ayana Hirasaka and Tatsunari Moribe, but his plot was changed at Shusuke Kaneko's request.:261
- According to Ayako Fujitani, Asagi sees Gamera as a "father" in G1, a "lover" in G2, and an "ex-boyfriend" in G3, and later drafts of G3 depict Asagi struggling to have romantic relationships with human boys due to her feelings for Gamera.:184:261-262
- While not present in the films, the final draft of G2 depicts her mother's death in the past.:261-262
- Kenji Takaya, a comic artist known for his manga adaptation of Orochi, the Eight-Headed Dragon, depicted in his manga adaptation of Gamera the Guardian of the Universe that Asagi naturally possesses supernatural capabilities without her Atlantean magatama as she experiences a precognitive dream and can sense Gamera's movements, and she along with Naoya Kusanagi, Mayumi Nagamine, and Yoshinari Yonemori gave their life forces to Gamera to support him.:287
- Fujitani notes that she and Asagi coincidentally share several things in common, such as being interested in Atlantis and other ancient civilizations, and their willingness to go to dangerous areas without hesitation if their loved ones are in danger.:185
- Fujitani briefly appears in the 11th episode of Ultraman Max, directed by Shusuke Kaneko, and the episode initially included a scene of a boy playing with toys of Gamera and Godzilla when it aired on TV. However, the scene was later removed from video and DVD releases.:288
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