Nui Harime (針目縫 Harime Nui?) is the secondary antagonist in Kill la Kill. She is the Grand Couturier of the Revocs Corporation, as well as the murderer of Isshin Matoi, from whom she took one half of the Scissor Blade. For this reason, she is the one Ryūko Matoi seeks to kill in order to complete her quest of vengeance. She is known for cute appearance and sadistic yet childish nature and incredible fighting power.
Nui was born about 17 years before the events of the series proper, following Ragyō Kiryūin's failed attempt to fuse her newborn daughter with Life Fibers. Concluding that a child born by a human could not properly merge with Life Fibers, Ragyō created an artificial Life Fiber womb from the mass of the Original Life Fiber, within which Nui was grown. Upon reaching her full development, Nui was raised by Ragyō as a servant of the Life Fibers, becoming the Grand Couturier of the Kiryūin Conglomerate (and of REVOCS as a whole).
Six months before the events of the series, Nui was sent to the Matoi Residence by Ragyō in search of Isshin Matoi's secret creation. After a short battle, Isshin unveiled the Scissor Blades to use against Nui. However, Nui overwhelmed the scientist and stabbed him repeatedly. Before she could deliver the final blow, Nui was distracted by the sound of Ryūko calling for her father, allowing Isshin to destroy her left eye with the purple Scissor Blade. Infuriated by this, Nui impaled Isshin to the wall with the red Scissor Blade, taking the purple blade for herself before planting a bomb in the Matoi Residence and making her escape.
Unbeknownst to Nui, her actions planted the seeds of defeat for Ragyō's ultimate plan. Not only did Isshin successfully trick her into ignoring his real secret project, Kamui Senketsu, but his last act in life would encourage Ryūko to take up the red Scissor Blade and seek out the one who killed her father.
Nui made her first full series appearance in Episode 11, interrupting Ryūko's match against Uzu Sanageyama during the Naturals Election at Honnōji Academy. She promptly defeated Sanageyama, blocking his attacks with ease before destroying his Goku Uniform by pulling out its Banshi. After knocking Sanageyama off the arena with her parasol, Nui challenged Ryūko to a battle, revealing herself to be the killer of Isshin Matoi by wielding the second Scissor Blade. Her taunts drove Ryūko into a state of fury, causing Senketsu to consume her and transform into a berserk monstrosity.
Nui's battle with the berserk Ryūko was interrupted by Tsumugu Kinagase, who sought to stop the latter. Nui attempted to kill Tsumugu, but ran into several of his traps - although the Grand Couturier escaped unharmed, she was separated from the rest of the fighters and ordered not to interfere by Satsuki Kiryūin. Nui sat on the sidelines accordingly, watching the battle between Ryūko and Satsuki until the Mankanshoku Family arrived and Mako Mankanshoku managed to snap Ryūko out of her rage. In the aftermath, Satsuki banned Nui from setting foot in Honnouji Academy.
In order to attract and take out Ryūko, Nui disguised herself as a student named Shinjirō Nagita (凪田 信二郎 Nagita Shinjirō?). Supposedly, he was a former member of the Newspaper Club before he got banned from school grounds. He is aware of all of Satsuki's wrongdoings, and wanted someone to stand up to her. He tried to convince Ryūko to don Senketsu when she was afraid of putting him on again and had lost her will to fight. However, Ryūko disagrees, shouting that she fights for no one while pushing him out the Mankanshoku Family household.
Later, Shinjirō decided to stand up on his own by distributing slander against Satsuki together with Mako. After being cornered by some bullies (also Nui's creation), he let himself get beat up in order to get Ryūko to transform. Upon witnessing Ryūko do so, Nui doffs her disguise and and begins fighting Ryūko and Senketsu, easily winning due to Ryūko restraining herself in fear that she will go into another rampage. Destroying Senketsu by cutting him into pieces, Nui was prevented from delivering the final blow by Satsuki, who confiscated all but one of the pieces of Senketsu in order to empower her forces during the Raid Trip.
During Satsuki's assault on Kobe, Kyoto, and Osaka, Nui disguised herself as the pilot of Satsuki's private helicopter. After Satsuki's battle with Ryūko, Nui revealed herself and diverted the helicopter to Kiryūin Manor, where Ragyō had wished to speak with her daughter.
Nui returned to the Academy during the Great Culture and Sport Festival, which was really a front for Ragyō to have the Life Fibers consume everyone in the town. Nui hung around the edge of the arena, reacting with surprise when Satsuki suddenly betrayed Ragyō and announced a full rebellion against the Kiryūin Corporation. Before Nui could step in, she was confronted by Uzu Sanageyama, who sought revenge for his previous defeat at her hands. Although Nui easily held her own, the rest of the Elite Four soon arrived to even the odds; however, Nui still had little trouble outmaneuvering their attacks, despite being outnumbered four-to-one and the Elite Four's upgraded Goku Uniforms.
Tiring of the battle, the Grand Couturier summoned a swarm of clones to occupy Satsuki's inner circle while she left to observe the fight between Satsuki and a mind-controlled Ryūko. When Ryūko somehow broke free of Ragyō's Mental Refitting and moved to attack the REVOCS Director, Nui dropped in and goaded her into fighting her instead, confirming that she had killed Isshin Matoi on Ragyō's orders, not Satsuki's. Although the gambit worked to distract Ryūko, leaving Satsuki to attack her mother, Nui was surprised when Ryūko began gaining the upper hand, having fully synchronized with Senketsu and sharpened her resolve to avenge her father's death. Nui's surprise only grew when Ragyō - having defeated Satsuki and donned Junketsu herself - ripped out Ryūko's heart, revealing it to be fused with Life Fibers.
Following Satsuki's defeat at Honnōji Academy, the Life Fibers began a full-scale takeover of the Earth, seeking to flush out and consume all remaining resistance. During this time, Nui took up residence at Honnōji Academy and began working on Shinra-Kōketsu, an "ultimate Kamui" that would be integral in the final stage of Ragyō's plan.
A month later, Ryūko emerged from hiding, operating independently of Senketsu and Nudist Beach out of confusion and self-loathing over the revelation of her true ancestry. Using the girl's instability to their advantage, Ragyō and Nui used a pair of COVERS to send a message to Ryūko, challenging her to face them at Honnōji Academy. Despite the warnings of her allies, Ryūko obliged, breaking into Honnōji Academy and clashing blades with Nui once again.
During the battle, Nui secretly stitched Life Fiber threads all over Ryūko's body before taking a seemingly-fatal blow from the red Scissor Blade. After a moment of melodramatic agony, Nui laughed off the injury and pulled out her own heart, revealing that she is also a Life Fiber hybrid. As her injuries healed themselves, Nui explained her origins to her opponent and claimed that she was able to understand Ryūko's true feelings in a way that no one else could, due to their shared nature. Ryūko disagreed, but the battle was interrupted by the arrival of Ragyō and Junketsu, the latter of which immediately began bonding to Ryūko thanks to the threads Nui had planted on her body.
As Junketsu took control of Ryūko's body and corrupted her mind, Nui helped Ragyō break their victim's spirit by engaging in a (possibly-hallucinatory) threesome with Ryūko. Their encouragement turned Ryūko into a loyal servant of the Life Fibers, allowing her to activate Junketsu's battle form. When Rei Hōōmaru arrived with news of Satsuki's escape from the academy, Ragyō sent Ryūko to hunt her down, but not before the latter kissed Nui in order to give her "something to feel good about". As their new ally blasted off in search of her prey, Nui admitted that Ryūko was likely a better kisser than Ragyō, before declaring that she had to get back to work on Shinra-Koketsu.
Despite the importance of her duties, Nui quickly decided to join Ryūko into battle against Nudist Beach. She arrived on the S.S. Naked Sun just in time to free Ryūko from Ira Gamagōri's Vacuum Fist, revealing that Ryūko had been literally sewn into Junketsu. If Ryūko was to be separated, it would be fatal. Feeling confident of victory, Nui began battling Satsuki, but her continued use of the purple Scissor Blade tipped Satsuki off to the fact that Ryūko's brainwashing was not foolproof (as Satsuki put it, Nui would have allowed Ryūko to wield both halves of the Scissor Blade if she was certain that Ryūko would not turn them against her). In a last desperate gamble, Satsuki allowed Senketsu and Mako to confront Ryūko while the rest of her allies held Nui at bay.
The plan worked, and Nui found herself pinned to the wall of the S.S. Naked Sun by Ryūko's thrown Scissor Blade as the latter painfully tore Junketsu off of herself. Although irritated by Ryūko's success at breaking Junketsu's control, Nui remained cheerful, as she now had both Scissor Blades in her possession. She attempted to cut down Senketsu before he could reunite with Ryūko, but ended up being used as a springboard for the Kamui as he combined with his favorite host once more.
Unimpressed, Nui engaged Ryūko in battle, only to find that the Kamui-wearing girl was an even match for her even without the Scissor Blades. As they clashed, Nui wondered why Ryūko had chosen Senketsu and Mako over her and Junketsu, viciously interrupting Mako when she tried to give an encouraging speech. After being smashed through several walls of metal and relieved of her weapons, Nui tried to take control of Ryūko's allies with Mental Refitting - when Ryūko interrupted the technique, Nui used the opening to sneak behind her opponent and drive a needle through her throat.
Unfortunately for Nui, Ryūko had already dashed behind the Grand Couturier, leaving Nui to stab at an afterimage. With a quick strike of the Scissor Blades, Ryūko cut off both of Nui's arms, with the power of the combined weapons preventing them from regenerating. The permanent loss of her arms drove Nui into a demented fury, but she would have met her end there and then had Rei not spirited her away in a helicopter, leaving an army of COVERS behind to prevent pursuit.
As the helicopter began flying back to Honnōji Academy, Nui demanded to know why Rei had forced her to leave before she could exact revenge on Ryūko for destroying her arms. Rei calmly retorted that Nui had only herself to blame - having ignored her duty to finish Shinra-Koketsu in favor of attacking the Naked Sun - and that she would have to explain her injuries to Ragyō. Although Nui scoffed at the thought of answering to anyone, the secretary's words calmed her down enough to stitch her wounds shut and refocus on her primary task - nonetheless, she made it clear that Rei would regret talking back to her once she finished her project.
During Nudist Beach's attack on the Original Life Fiber, Nui remained in Honnōji Academy, furiously working to complete Shinra-Koketsu by sewing it with her teeth. After the Original Life Fiber was seemingly destroyed, Nui emerged on the academy's highest tower to mock her enemies' efforts and unveil the completed "ultimate Kamui". As Ragyō admired the new outfit, she used Life Fibers to give Nui a new pair of arms, admitting that they would not be as delicate or dexterous as her original pair. Despite this, Nui cheerfully accepted the gift, commenting that she would not need to sew anymore with the Life Fibers' plan in its final stage. She subsequently watched Ragyō don Shinra-Koketsu and absorb Rei into herself, activating the Kamui's "Absolute Domination" ability.
With most of the heroes immobilized by Shinra-Koketsu, Nui watched Ragyō revive the Original Life Fiber and summon it to Honnōji Academy. She moved to attack Mako, who continued to shout words of encouragement to Ryūko and Senketsu, but her attack was blocked by Ira, who seemingly succumbed to his wounds shortly thereafter. When Senketsu managed to free Rei from Shinra-Koketsu, thereby disabling its "Absolute Domination" field, Nui moved to defend the transmitter needed to activate all of the Life Fibers around the world. She and her clones managed to keep the Nudist Beach forces at bay until a recovered Ira dropped from the sky and made an opening for Aikiro and Tsumugu to destroy the transmitter.
With the transmitter destroyed and her own body severely wounded by Ryūko and Satsuki, Ragyō called on Nui to "cast off her body". Accordingly, Nui cut off her own head (as did all of her clones), allowing her to merge with the remains of the Original Life Fiber. Manifesting as an enormous, distorted version of Nui's head, the entity fused with Ragyō, healing her wounds and empowering her even further than before. Nui was last heard expressing her happiness at being worn by her "Mama" before Ragyō blasted off into space to manually initiate the final phase of their plan.
It is unclear what happened to Nui after her fusion with Ragyō, but her consciousness was likely destroyed by merging with the Original Life Fiber and/or Shinra-Koketsu (implied by a sketchy image of Nui's face fading into nothingness as she speaks to Ragyō). Any lingering remnants of the Grand Couturier were likely destroyed when Senketsu absorbed Shinra-Koketsu and sacrificed himself to safely return Ryūko to Earth.
Some time later, she is shown to have survived these events somehow, returning to battle several Kamen Riders, FoxMask, and even IguanaGoji. During these events, she would defeat several enemies, showing great skill in battle, and murder the child of IguanaGoji, sending him spiraling into a rage that also extended to the Kamen Riders
After these events, she would meet a mysterious Shadowblood, who somehow managed to forma sibling-like bond to Nui, due to their shared mutual childhood pains. In addition she would later be trapped on a mysterious planet by Yapool, before being rescued by Trahir, and joining the Neo Empire as one of its lieutenants, while keeping her own plans a secret from everyone.
After the deconstruction of the Neo Empire into a new faction bent on neutrality, Nui disappeared somehow, with her current whereabouts being unknown to everyone, including her "brother" SquidMask.
Nui demonstrates a very childish and cheerful behavior. She is always seen smiling, and acts, on the surface, very friendly with everyone, demonstrating excessive intimacy towards even Satsuki and revealing to Ryūko in a rather nonchalant way the fact that she killed her father. According to Ragyō, Nui is a free spirit and will do whatever she wants according to her whims. Her often bubbly behavior and nonchalance towards the feelings of others often makes her sociopathic, and playfully enjoys violence to a sadistic degree.
Powers and Abilities
- Life Fibers
- Superhuman Physical Prowess - As a Life Fibers-infused human, Nui possesses immense physical strength, speed, reflexes, durability and endurance. She is able to handle herself exceptionally well in battle, being able to effortlessly fight against the Four Devas, who were all wearing enhanced, Three Star Goku Uniforms, fight on even grounds against Kamui-wielding fighters such as Satsuki and Ryūko and easily defeat the Nudist Beach forces. In spite of her natural strength, due to the particular nature of the Life Fibers infused to her, Nui is unable to don a Kamui, as it would have no effect on her.
- Regeneration - As a Life Fibers/human hybrid, Nui can regenerate from any wounds and even lost limbs almost instantly, regardless of their severity. The only exception to this healing power is if Nui is cut by the Scissor Blades or the Bakuzan, as they can nullify Life Fiber restoration.
- Mon-Mignon Prêt-à-Porter - One of Nui's unique skills allows her to create replicas of herself that can either fight her opponents or act as distractions. Although physically identical to Nui and possessing all of her abilities, the duplicates appear to be far less powerful than the original, relying mainly on their superior numbers.
- Mental Refitting - Much like Ragyō, Nui can release Life Fibers from her hands that ensnare opponents and turn them into mindless puppets.
- Shapeshifting Arms - For the final battle, Ragyō replaced Nui's lost arms with Life Fiber replicas that can alter their shape. During the final episode, Nui's new arms transformed into blades for melee combat and bat-like wings for flight.
- Natural Abilities
- Infiltration and Disguise Skills - Nui also appears to be extremely skilled when it comes to mimicry and infiltration. She was able to completely disguise herself as Shinjirō Nagita, disguising her height, hair style, gender and voice almost perfectly. She was also somehow able to create fake student data for Nagita, which appeared genuine upon inspection but disappeared immediately when she discarded her disguise. The only clue to her true identity that she apparently could not change was her eyepatch, which she instead covered up. In order to support her disguise she also used lifelike puppets to imitate the One-Star students chasing Nagita, indicating that she is also skilled at puppetry and ventriloquism.
- Piloting Skills - Nui is also a skilled pilot, as seen when she hijacked Satsuki's personal helicopter and flew it back to the Kiryūin manor.
- Master Sewing Skills - Being a Life Fibers/human hybrid and the Grand Couturier, Nui has a deep knowledge of how Life Fibers clothing is made, as demonstrated when she effortlessly spotted and removed Sanageyama's uniform's Banshi, dismantling the uniform. Likewise, she altered the Kamui Junketsu to be worn by Ryūko by sewing the Kamui's Life Fibers to Ryūko's own in order for the Kamui to possess her, making it extremely difficult for it to be removed from her body. She can sew high quality garments, especially Life Fiber based with ease, even after losing her arms as seen by her completion of the Shinra Koketsu.
- Fingernail Hooks - The bottom edge of Nui's fingernails are lined with small hooks that can catch threads. She can use these hooks to grab and remove Banshis from uniforms.
- Scissor Blade (片太刀鋏 Katatachi Basami?) – Nui's signature weapon is one half of a giant pair of scissors, which she took from Isshin Matoi after defeating him. She wields the scissor as her main weapon, as one-handed, single-edged sword. The blade is capable of cutting Life Fibers, which are otherwise indestructible. Her skill with the blade is equal, if not superior to that of Ryūko's own.
- Scythe Mode - Like Ryūko's blade, Nui can alter the shape of her Scissor Blade. During the battle on the S.S. Naked Sun, she converted her blade into a large, double-sided scythe.
- Nui is shown to be one of, if not the, most hated characters due her constant cheerfulness and sadistic nature in battle, as well as her constant survival of 'death' due to her status as a Life Fiber life form.