The clone of Maumi Orishina. Being that she is a Kildren, she had her memories changed after she was shot down by Teacher in Innocent Aces and was reincarnated as such. Her memories were changed so that she believes she's been stationed beforehand at a Rostock base near Hariyu Base for some time, flying Sankas. She is then transferred to Hariyu Base and reports to the Teacher, who is stationed there as commander of Cheetah squadron. Upon arriving to Hariyu Base, she reports to Cheetah calling him "Teacher". Kusanagi has no memory of her previous defection to Lautern as Maumi Orishina and her battle with Cheetah, although the desire to fight is still present in her. She also remembers herself as a slight fan girl of the Teacher, having heard about his ablilities, and wishes to learn from him.
None but Air (novel)Edit
Suito Kusanagi gets transferred into Hariyu Base, believing she was stationed somewhere else previously, when really she's been reincarnated as a Kildren and the clone of Maumi Orishina. Kusanagi was assigned the Suiga fighter upon arriving at base, although she had arrived to the base in a Sanka M-II. She flew multiple sorties with the Teacher and another wingman, Kusurida, in the Suiga and got multiple kills in the Suiga, and she became proficient in the aircraft, although she thought the cockpit of Suiga was too spacious for her. She was then given a Sanka Mk-A2 ( or Mk-B as it is known in the film and game) as Rostock was gradually changing out their fleet to pusher aircraft. Shortly after receiving her aircraft, Kusanagi goes on a large scale sortie with it and gets some kills in the Sanka, while some pilots in her squad are lost.
Two new pilots are assigned a week later to the base: Higasawa, a female pilot, and Kurita, a male pilot. Being that Higasawa was the only other female pilot on the base, Kusanagi forms a relatively close friendship with her as a result, although she had her doubts about Higasawa at first, especially since she was getting closer to the Teacher than she was very rapidly. Higasawa later gets shot and injured during a mission, passing out from blood loss and crashing into the ground while trying to make an approach at a nearby base. Kusanagi goes to the crash site, only to find her dead, really impacting Kusanagi and making her really unstable.
After a conversation with Teacher in his room about the mission and Higasawa's death, the Teacher told Kusanagi he was going to go to Fuko at the mansion to have sex; however, Kusanagi got into his car just as he was about to leave. Kusanagi was very unstable, having experienced the death of Higasawa, and it seems like the Teacher actually took advantage of that fact. She had a frightful look on her face upon arriving at the mansion and after stepping out to tell Fuko not to enter the room, Kusanagi went back into the room and had sex with the Teacher. In the days and weeks following, she did not talk very much to anyone, although she started to get to know Jinro Kurita, whom she flew with a lot and would hang out with her and Sasakura.
She later goes on a two week leave, in which she visits her doctor aquaintence, Sagara, and requests an abortion of the child she was going to have becasue of Teacher. However, the Teacher calls the doctor without consulting Kusanagi to keep the fetus child alive and have it artificially nutured outside of Kusanagi's womb, to which doctor Sagara agreed. When Sagara told Kusanagi, Kusanagi refused, but Sagara put her under anesthetics and removed the fetus child to grow artificially. Back at her hotel, the Teacher visits her after the removal of the child to explain to her that he quit flying for Rostock. Kusanagi lets him go, and her mind goes in circles for a while, but soon gets over it quickly.
She then returns to the airbase about a week later, where Sasakura picks her up for a meat pie. Some time later, Kusanagi is on another mission and encounters an aircraft with a black cat painted on the side, which tangles with her in the air for a while but then escapes, while shaking its wings 'goodbye'. Kusanagi shouts happily and starts crying and laughing from joy as she realizes it was the Teacher who had returned to flying for the Lautern company.
Down to Heaven (novel)/After defection of TeacherEdit
While on another mission, she fights against the Lautern ace known as the Joker, whom she hits with little difficulty. However, Kusanagi got careless and decided to approach to get a look at the pilot, whom she notices has a grey beard, is rather aged, and is actually smiling at her, showing his teeth. She saluted him from her cockpit, but in a desperate last attack, the Joker stalls his damaged aircraft and fires at her, cracking Kusanagi's canopy and injuring her neck with the shrapnel. The Joker goes down with his aircraft. Kusanagi did not feel her injury and only noticed the crack in the canopy, and fainted after she landed her plane and parked it near the hangar. Sasakura lifted her out of the aircraft and had her taken to a hospital.
Kusanagi spends her time recovering at the hospital, and meets a pilot named Kannami, also recovering at the hospital. She gets to know him a little, but doesn't see him for some time after. Kusanagi later goes to a press conference with Kai in the hospital lobby, an official from Rostock who has been working to help Kusanagi, and afterwards she gets sent back to Hariyu Base for a short while before then going to instruct at a trainng session at another airbase, again under Kai's orders. She encounters Mui Higasawa's younger brother upon arrival, whom she feels sorry for but at the same time acts rather indifferent towards, becasue of the feelings he incurrs into her. During the training session, she once again encounters Kannami on the first day of the training session, and Kannami finds her on the roof of their dorm building. Kannami tells her about his strange dream that he always has, and Kusanagi proceeds to kiss him, feeling affection towards Kannami. Kusanagi apologizes and Kannami almost kisses her again, but he hesitates and excuses himself and heads back inside. Kusanagi did not see him at the training sessions again, as different pilots came in and out daily to the sessions.
After a week, Kusanagi and Kai go to the city where Rostock is headquartered. There, Kusanagi goes to meet Kayaba at the Rostock headquarters building. Kayaba happens to be Kai's boss and a former base commander at Hariyu Base, and knew the Teacher since his days as a rookie pilot. Kayaba informs Kusanagi of an important mission to fly over the city, which she will receive more instructions on later, and explains he has heard alot about her from the Teacher. He then asks Kusanagi if she knows why Teacher left the company, since the company does not fully understand why, to which Kusanagi responds it was becasue of the implementation of pusher prop aircraft. Kayaba says that if Teacher wanted a tractor aircraft, they would've gladly given him one, so it is hard to believe he quit because of that. Kusanagi seemed to know it was becasue of what happened between her and the Teacher.
Later that night, she meets the Teacher in that same building, much to her surprise, anger, and agony. The Teacher explains that they are to duel against each other over the city as the important mission, for the existence of both companies. Teacher explains that he never wanted this, but that these were his orders. Kusanagi is thrilled to know that she will be dueling to the death against the Teacher, but begins crying from seeing him again and the fact that she will now fight him. The two salute each other as they leave. (The final part to Down to Heaven has not been released in English as of yet, so more info will come on how Kusanagi does in the duel).
The Sky Crawlers (film/novel)Edit
In the novel The Sky Crawlers and the film, Kusanagi is now commander at Hariyu Base and doesn't really fly anymore, although the pilots on base know that she can fly and that she is a fearsome ace. She seems to know the pilots on base well enough to know their quirks. We first see her again when Yuichi Kannami reports in to her office, with her seemingly slightly older, but still relatively young. In the novel, when she finds out Tokino had not waken up yet from Kannami's report, she goes over to his room to yell at him to get up, much to Tokino's surprise. As base commander, she deals with all of the communications from higher command, and gives orders to the pilots below her, occassionally flying herself if needed. Kusanagi isn't afraid to fight back her superiors and other branches of Rostock when they make a mistake that could get her and her pilots killed, as she shows in the novel and film. We also see Kusanagi's daughter, Mizuki, for the first time on base. Kusanagi does care for her, but also seems to hate Mizuki as she will outgrow her at some point. Due to the events she had with Teacher beforehand, see seems to have a personal vendetta against him. In the film, she once goes to sortie on a mission, taking over Kannami's place. The pilots and ground crew look at her in amusement and perhaps even slight fear since they know of her flying ability. On that mission, she encounters the Teacher, who according to Tokino, when she saw him, she broke off from the flight to go fight him. She is later seen shot down but still alive.
Kusanagi is much, much colder towards everyone and rarely talks unless she wants to compared to in the past, although at times she will hang out with Tokino and Kannami.
Before Higasawa's death, Suito Kusanagi has a similar personality to Maumi Orishina. She will actually laugh and smile in the air when flying and gets really excited when flying against a good opponent or watching a good pilot, especially the Teacher, but on the ground she tends to be a quiet presence around people she wanted to be around. She especially wanted to learn from the Teacher. If Kusanagi did not want to be around a person or group, she would find a quick way out. She will make up an excuse, go to her room and do something else. However, if she wants to talk she will make conversation and would probably stick around a person if she felt some sort of friendship with someone, like the Teacher, or Sasakura.
After Higasawa's death, she was scarred deeply, and her personality became very taciturn, and is rarely found smiling or laughing, especially on the ground. She begins to distance herself from almost everyone, including the Teacher, and develops confused feelings along the lines of sadness and regret of Higasawa's death, resentment and bitterness toward the Teacher after getting impregnated by him and also not being able to fight him in the sky, and her state of mind that the world has no meaning. Kusanagi believed that she carried the will of Higasawa within her, and that it even led her to having sex with the Teacher. She becomes more confident in herself and doesn't care to learn from other peple like she used to want to do.
She describes herself as a loner from the start, and likes to be alone, and that she is never interested in anyone other than herself. She also states that, "All talks are generally unnecessary"  and dislikes places with a lot of people. She can be found reading a book in her room or smoking a cigarette rather than talking and socializing and will avoid unncessary conversations with other people on base. She is also a very light eater, and usually will not finish eating her entire meal. She can be very analytical and seemingly stern, especially as a commander. She also sees it as an insult when people take pity on others.
Kusanagi has had multiple suicide attempts, all of which failed. She is still slightly suicidal, mainly if she is not flying, and even considered killing herself once while flying by crashing, but ultimately couldn't bring herself to do so. Kusanagi has a rather absurdist view on life, being that she is a Kildren and that all she can do is live to fly and fight, and thus wishes to die. She herself says that she is very unstable on the ground, which is why she needs to fly. Similar to when she was Orishina, she can at times be very volatile and rather confused about herself, and usually does a lot of pondering about herself and the world around her. Kusanagi is usually uninterested in other people and their affairs, and will keep a distance from almost everyone. She tends to be more interested in aircraft and machinery than people around her, and is actually confused as to why she is so interested in the Teacher since she usually pays no attention to other people.
As a pilot in None but Air, she'll socialize with the other pilots occasionally on base so that it won't look like she is putting on airs, but by the time of the film and in The Sky Crawlers novel, she rarely socializes with anyone and doesn't really care about it. The only time she ever really feels happy, or at least a little more relaxed, is when flying. Like Maumi Orishina, the only thing Kusanagi says that she lives for is to fly. She strives to like the Teacher in flying ability and is always looking to improve. However, she tends to downplay her abilities so that people won't expect much from her to begin with .
As a pilot, Suito Kusanagi is on par with the Teacher. Even the Teacher himself states that Kusanagi may surpass him in the "not-so-distant future" . She is very quick and decisive in the air and can predict enemy movements with ease, making her very formidable in the sky. At one point, she had shot down 14 enemy aircraft over a period of two months, a new record amongst the pilots at Hariyu Base, surpassing even the Teacher. Kusanagi's eyesight is very powerful and can easily see the emotions of a person's face in an aircraft that she flies near. She explains during a training session to pilots that the reason why she is so good is because she treats every dogfight like a dance in which she takes her partner's hand and reads their movements through that connection.
Kusanagi was very interested in the Teacher, although she didn't always know how to approach him. Kusanagi has multiple conversations with him about aircraft, life philosophy, and other topics, getting to know him a little more as a person. She admires him for his skill, and always wishes to learn more about him. She seems to have an admiration and sexual attraction to Teacher, and even goes as far as having sex with Teacher and gets pregnant. This is partly due to the fact that she is a Kildren, which according to one source, children can sometimes be attracted to adults becasue they cannot always differentiate between admiration and sexual/physical attraction, which could be the case with Kusanagi here . After Teacher leaves Rostock, Kusanagi has no hard feelings toward him, and even rejoices when she tangles against an aircraft from Lautern with a Black Cat painted on the side, as she knew Teacher had returned to flying.
Mui Higasawa (only in novel)Edit
Mui Higasawa, another female pilot who gets transferred to Hariyu, gets to know Kusanagi during a conversation. Initially Kusanagi was wary of her and was jealous of Higasawa getting close to Teacher, but through some conversations, Kusanagi learns to accept her and forms an affection to her as a friend and wingman. When Higasawa gets shot down, it actually impacts Kusanagi deeply and even changes her as she believed she lost a good friend and pilot, and rushed to find out if she was still alive. However she wasn't, and Kusanagi yells at civilians near the crash site to not pity her, because she believed HIgasawa was a wonderful pilot and nothing about her was worth pitying as she tried her best. Even after Higasawa's death, Kusanagi still thought about her, and even thought that she might have possesed her body in oder to sleep with the Teacher., and later thought about joining her in death. (In the film, Kusanagi also yells at civilians about no pity, but the pilot was unidentified. Since it was an adaptation, this is probably where that scene was taken from). Kusanagi thinks about about Higasawa very often, which goes to show the impact she had on Kusanagi as a friend. Kusanagi even goes as far as believing she retains HIgasawa's will within her, which was why she had sex with Lynx.
The mechanic on base in charge of maintaing all the aircraft, transferred to Hariyu around the same time as Kusanagi. In the novel series, Kusanagi interacts frequently with Sasakura and will at times have comedic interactions with Sasakura. According to Kusanagi, Sasakura tends to be a loner as well, and thus they seem to get along well. Sasakura was the one who invited Kusanagi to the downtown area for the first time, since Kusanagi always refused to go with the other pilots and never went. Sasakura and Kusanagi usually converse about aircraft, people, and locations. For Kusanagi, Sasakura seems to mainly be a source of help and information. Since Sasakura has more experience, Sasakura teaches Kusanagi a lot about the area around the base and the relationships between people that she doesn't know about, as well as aircraft mechanics. When Kusanagi returns to base from a two-week leave, it is Sasakura who finds her and picks her up, taking her out for a meat pie. Also when Kusanagi is injured and hospitalized, it is Sasakura who visits her bringing a bouquet of roses, her books, and packs of cigarettes to Kusanagi. Overall, Kusanagi really appreciates and respects Sasakura as a friend and mechanic.
In the film, Kusanagi has a similar relationship with Sasakura, who is now a female mechanic in the film rather than as a male mechanic in the novels. Their interactions are few, but Sasakura is still respectful of and caring towards Kusanagi, seemingly understanding her pain of being a Kildren for so long and having a child who will outgrow her. Sasakura is also implied to know about the relationship between Teacher and Kusanagi from long ago. Sasakura tries to calm Kusanagi down when she yells at civilians at a crash site, and she also rushes to give medical attention to Kusanagi after she was shot down by the Teacher and found by Fuko, showing her care towards Kusanagi. Sasakura told Mitsuya that she and Kusanagi have known each other for eight years up to that point, alluding to their history together from the novel series (although Sasakura seems to have gotten a sex change by the producers of the film...). Nevertheless, Kusanagi still considers Sasakura as a friend and respects her ability as a mechanic.
A woman from Rostock working under Kayaba to help promote Kusanagi's image, as Rostock deems Kusanagi a valuable weapon and wants to push Kusanagi ahead and keep her away from constant danger. Initially, Kai comes to Kusanagi with the prospect of promoting her to a higher position, but Kusanagi refuses as she only wants to fly. To Kusanagi, Kai is like a good mother to her, and Kai takes the role of being her mentor and confidant whenever she is around.
A prostitute at the brothel mansion in the area, whom Teacher often visits. Kusanagi almost ran her over with Sasakura's motorbike on the way back from the diner with Sasakura. Kusanagi managed to dodge her, but she and Sasakura fell off from the bike because of the sudden reaction, and slightly damaged the motorbike. Fuko was apparently so drunk she fell asleep on the road. Sasakura, who recognized Fuko, carried her back to base for her to sober up, while Kusanagi walked alongside with the motorbike. Kusanagi had learned about Fuko from Sasakura, who had seen Teacher with her on an occassion. Kusanagi later encounters Fuko again at the brothel mansion, when she enters with Teacher, and tells Fuko to stay out of the room. Fuko tries to be relatively friendly with Kusanagi, but Kusanagi seems to have an apathy and maybe even slight jealously towards her since Fuko spends so much time with the Teacher and does rather intimate things with him. In the film, Kusanagi seems to want to have nothing to do with Fuko and her friend, Kusumi, and apparently gets annoyed or angry if she sees them anywhere near or on Hariyu base.
Another pilot on Hariyu base, who in the novel arrived at the same time with Higasawa. In the novel, Kusanagi talks to him occassionally after Higasawa dies, but there seems to be no further interactions between the two. In the film, Kusanagi apparently loved Kurita who was a Kildren like her and had shot and killed him to relieve him of his suffering as a Kildren. Rostock later seems to reincarnate him as Yuichi Kannami, given current information from the film and novel. More information is to come on the relationship between these two and how it developed, as there isn't much currently.
- Kusanagi's callsign is "Boomerang", similar to her "Kylie" callsign as when she was Maumi Orishina (a kylie is a hunting boomerang). She also retains the same tail emblem on her aircraft.
- Kusanagi has very large and dilated pupils that seem to only shrink a little bit when she is outside in bright light (compared to everyone else's pupils which seem normal in the film). Her condition is akin to a permanent form of benign mydriasis, perhaps due to the constant stress of having lived as a Kildren for 14 years , which can at times make her look like someone you don't want to see suddenly standing in your room when you turn on the lights or in dim lighting. This would also make sense as to why she wears reading glasses and sunglasses when the other pilots don't.
- Her previous form, Maumi Orishina in the game, also had slightly bigger pupils than all of her squadmates in bright light, but they could go unnoticed unless you actually look closer, as they weren't as big as Kusanagi's.
- And not surprisingly, Kusanagi's daughter Mizuki has the same soul-piercing gaze complete with dialated pupils.
- ↑ The Sky Crawlers Establishment Book
- ↑ No source info; based off estimates from novel and images so it's a possible range of weights. She doesn't eat much and is rather thin and light according to the novel.
- ↑ None but Air - Hiroshi Mori
- ↑ Down to Heaven - Hiroshi Mori
- ↑ None but Air - Hiroshi Mori