Naminé is the Nobody of Kairi, and wields the power to manipulate the memories of Sora and those close to him. The first part of her name, nami means "wave" in Japanese, similar to Kairi's name, which is derived from the word for "sea".
Naminé was born when Sora became a Heartless in order to free Kairi's heart during Kingdom Hearts. Kairi's own body never became a Nobody because her heart lacked darkness (since she was one of the Princesses of Heart), so her body and soul were never able to leave the Realm of Light and thus made it seem like Kairi was in a comatose state until she regained her heart. The absence of darkness also meant that a heartless wasn't created. This made Naminé a very strange Nobody, born from Kairi's heart and Sora's body and soul.
However, this means that Naminé was also born without Kairi's memories, only furthering her unique status as an unprecedented Nobody. Yet she and Kairi are incomplete without each other, similar to Sora and Roxas. Because of the fact that Naminé is formed from Sora's body, she has the power to manipulate his memories as well as the memories of those who are connected to him, prompting several others, even herself, to call her a "witch". Ansem the Wise stated in his ninth Secret Ansem Report that Naminé is a highly unusual Nobody, due to possessing neither the body nor the memories that a Nobody is usually made from.
Naminé was born without memories and without the knowledge that she had emotions, due to the unusual nature of her birth. Because of this, she had no basis of any acting upon her birth. She simply followed the orders of whoever was close to her because it was the only obvious guidance she had, effectively making her very quiet, fragile, peaceful, forgiving and generous in personality. This led to her discovery of her ability to feel, as often times she found that blindly following her captors hurt others, something that made Naminé feel responsible and guilty.
Naminé often rebelled against her captors because of this guilt in favor of trying to redeem herself by helping someone, sometimes leading to her being extremely trustful, faithful and generous. Rebelling and constantly switching sides caused Naminé's determination and drive to grow significantly from her first appearance. Her more driven personality was put to good use, often going about in a Corridor of Darkness to help the games' other protagonists. She is also apparently very talented with her drawing, as seen when she finished a complex drawing of Castle Oblivion in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories.
Like Roxas, Naminé seems to possess true emotions, being a special and unusual Nobody. While most Nobodies pretend to have emotions by acting on the memories of their past lives in order to react to a specific situation, Roxas and Naminé had no memories of their past lives, and thus had no basis for any acting.
Examples of Naminé's emotional capacity are as follows:
- She felt lonely, which eventually led her to attract Sora to Castle Oblivion.
- She feared for Sora's life when he was about to be killed by the Riku Replica, even going so far as to completely shatter the replica's false memories.
- She willingly threw herself between Sora and Larxene to keep her from killing Sora.
- She showed genuine remorse and guilt for what she had done to Sora, Donald, and Goofy.
- She laughed in amusement at Donald and Goofy's teasing comments and jokes about how Sora always acts around girls.
- She was surprised and frozen in fear when Marluxia used her as a shield against Axel.
- She angrily refused to destroy Sora's heart even when threatened with death by Marluxia.
- She was a little hurt that Sora should forget her in order to become normal again.
- She willingly accepted that Sora chose to forget her and despite being hurt, respected his wishes.
- She began to cry after she put Sora into slumber in his memory pod.
- She was willing to go against DiZ's orders to assist Roxas.
- She happily smiled at Roxas, through Kairi, when Sora returned to the islands with Riku in the FMV ending of Kingdom Hearts II.
As the Nobody of Kairi, Naminé bears a resemblance to her, though, like with Roxas and Sora, this resemblance is a bit more subdued than most. Naminé shares Kairi's blue eyes and general body structure. Naminé remains virtually unchanged from her appearance in Chain of Memories to Kingdom Hearts II, wearing the same plain, white, lace dress and light blue sandals. However, in Chain of Memories, it was more obvious that she had rosy cheeks and pale, pink lips.
She looks more mature and taller in Kingdom Hearts II, which results in the dress reaching to about mid-thigh as opposed to just above her knee as it was in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. In both of her appearances, Naminé has blonde hair that is somewhat longer than Kairi's that usually drapes over her right shoulder.
A captive of the Organization, Naminé resides in the upper floors of Castle Oblivion. When Sora comes into the castle, Naminé is forced by Marluxia and Larxene to manipulate Sora's memories, threatening to lock her in the castle forever. She slowly caused Sora and his companions to forget many important friends and events. At the same time, he believes that Naminé herself is a very important friend that he has forgotten, though in truth they never met before. Marluxia forces Sora to undergo this manipulation so that Sora becomes a puppet under Naminé's control, allowing Marluxia to overthrow the Superior, Xemnas.
Naminé replaces Kairi with herself in Sora's memories, and the promise made between Sora and Kairi and her lucky charm now take on new forms to reflect the replacement. Motivated by these false memories, Sora continues to ascend Castle Oblivion where he realizes that Naminé is being held against her will by the Organization. Because the Kairi in Sora's memories had someone who cared very deeply for her, while Naminé was all alone in the world, this motivates her to replace Kairi with herself in Sora's heart.
Meanwhile, Naminé is also forced to implant false memories into the Riku Replica, so that he thinks he is the real Riku. However, like Sora, he believes that Naminé is his long lost friend, and that he made the same promise to Naminé that Sora made to Kairi. Replica Riku even has an identical lucky charm (though this one is only a transformed card). Naminé's conscience eventually helps her overcome her loneliness and fears, and she reveals herself to Sora after being released by Axel. She appears to Sora in the memory version of Destiny Islands as he is conversing with the memory version of herself. She tells him that she had never been in his heart, despite what his memories show him, and to look for a faint glimmer of light in the deepest regions of his heart, for that light is the person truly special to him.
Back in the halls of Castle Oblivion, Sora confronts Naminé, realizing that she is not the special person Sora thinks she is. Just then, the Riku Replica arrives, but Sora defeats him. When Sora tries to help him, the replica catches Sora off-guard and strikes him. He is about to move in for the finishing blow, but Naminé quickly shatters the replica's false memories, knocking him unconscious. Larxene then arrives to finish Sora off, but she is defeated when she makes the mistake of harming Naminé and angering Sora.
After the battle, Naminé explains her actions and motivations to Sora, and expresses deep regret, thinking that he will not forgive her. Much to her surprise, Sora is completely forgiving, though he does admit that he isn't happy about what she has done. When asked if anything can be done to restore their old memories, Naminé says she can do so, but only after they defeat the lord of Castle Oblivion, Marluxia, on the 13th floor. Sora heads off to fight him and leaves the replica under her care. However, as she is watching over the replica, Marluxia arrives and kidnaps her.
Marluxia puts Naminé to good use when Axel confronts him about his plot to overthrow the Organization. Marluxia uses Naminé as a human shield, but Axel is undeterred, saying that he will go through her to defeat him, much to her shock. Luckily, she is saved by the timely intervention of Sora, though he fails to stop Marluxia from escaping with Naminé. Sora then defeats Axel and moves on to Marluxia, who orders Naminé to completely shatter Sora's memories and destroy his heart, when he sees that in his current state, Sora is of no use to him.
Even so, Marluxia believes he can eventually restore Sora and make him his puppet. Remembering Sora's kindness towards her, Naminé refuses the order. When Marluxia threatens to kill her, Sora urges Naminé to erase his memory and destroy his heart, if it means saving her from Marluxia's wrath. In the end, she is saved by the Riku Replica's arrival. Sora, Donald Duck, and Goofy then initiate one final battle against Marluxia, as the replica guards Naminé.
After Marluxia is defeated and the replica departs, Naminé presents Sora with the choice of either keeping his memories of the events that took place in Castle Oblivion and abandoning his old memories, or regaining those and losing the ones of Castle Oblivion. She understands his choice of the latter, and leads Sora, Donald, and Goofy to a chamber housing crystal pods. They can sleep in these while Naminé restores their original memories. Though it will take some time, she assures Sora that he will eventually become his former self. Sora also believes that Naminé will always be in his heart, forgotten but not lost. Thus, the two promise to meet again as real friends, and then Sora falls into a deep slumber.
Naminé also aids Riku in his efforts to conquer the darkness within his heart. When Zexion overwhelms him with light, Naminé takes on Kairi's form to convince him that he should accept the darkness as well as the light within himself. Thus, he is given the strength to move through the light and strike down Zexion, who barely escapes.
Naminé and Riku meet again later at the urging of DiZ and she reveals Sora to him, who has fallen into a deep slumber in order to have his memories fully restored. She offers Riku a chance to seal away the darkness in his heart, though he, too, would have to sleep like Sora. Riku ultimately chooses to face the darkness on his own, and Naminé sees that he has made the right choice. He also reveals his suspicion that it was Naminé who appeared to him as Kairi, which she confirms, although she is surprised that he realized. Riku notes that the two "smell the same", before going off to face his darkness. Knowing that Castle Oblivion is still under the control of the Organization, DiZ convinces her to move Sora, Donald, and Goofy to his laboratory in Twilight Town for safekeeping.
Naminé, with the help of Riku and DiZ, tries to restore the memories of Sora, Donald and Goofy while they sleep in pods at Twilight Town's Old Mansion. However, the process is taking longer than expected due to some of Sora's "leaked memories" gaining sentience through one of Xemnas's experiments. The individual created from these memories is later named Xion, an anagram of "No. i" with an added "X".
Naminé is the one who reveals to DiZ that Xion's existence may halt Sora's awakening, and she tells Xion of her nature as a replica after Xion's interaction with Riku on Destiny Islands.
Naminé is working with DiZ and Riku (who has taken on the appearance of Ansem, Seeker of Darkness in order to use the power of darkness) to restore Sora's memories. Because Sora is incomplete, Naminé is having difficulty chaining his memories back together. To help with this process, his Nobody, Roxas, an ex-member of Organization XIII, is retrieved by Riku and placed into a digital Twilight Town, where he lives until the time comes for him to join with Sora.
Naminé desires to see Roxas, having developed a connection with him, as his situation is quite similar to her own in Castle Oblivion, and she enters the digital Twilight Town herself. There, she meets him and acts as a guide for him when he is attacked by Nobodies. After Roxas's Dive into the Heart, Naminé meets with him again, saving him from the darkness that bursts forth from the Twilight Thorn. She plans to reveal the truth of who he really is, but is stopped by Riku, who says that it's best for Roxas not to know. Even so, their encounter puts Roxas into contact with Kairi the next day, when Kairi manages to remember Sora's name.
On the following day, Naminé and Roxas meet again, and this time, she reveals to Roxas his status as a Nobody, his relationship with Axel, his connection to Sora, and that he was never supposed to exist. Upon seeing Roxas's reaction to the revelations, she apologizes and remarks that "some things really are better left unsaid".
On the final day of Roxas's time as an independent entity, they meet once more, and Naminé sheds light on Organization XIII, and their search for Kingdom Hearts. However, this Naminé is made from data, and is deleted before she can reveal any more. The true Naminé then appears, and tells Roxas that he will not disappear when he fuses with Sora, and will instead be whole. DiZ quickly tries to stop her, but before she is taken away, she promises him that they will meet again, even if they don't recognize each other. Despite Roxas's pleas for them to let her go, Naminé, DiZ, and Riku disappear into a Corridor of Darkness.
Having no further use for Naminé with Sora's memory restored, DiZ orders Riku to destroy her. However, Riku, already angry and bitter towards DiZ for his selfish intentions, instead leaves her in the care of Axel, returning the favor she did for him at Castle Oblivion. Naminé makes a speech to Axel, stating that even Nobodies have people who are dear to them, which moves Axel.
Later, in The World That Never Was, Naminé breaks into the Organization's stronghold, rescuing Pluto and Kairi from their cell in the Organization's dungeon. They then proceed to find Sora, though Naminé's close proximity to her true counterpart causes her to blink in and out of existence as they apparently begin to join together again.
While searching for Sora, they are intercepted by Saïx. However, Riku arrives and manages to drive off Saïx. Naminé then tells Riku that he can take over from this point, and vanishes.
After the first battle with the Kingdom Hearts-powered Xemnas, Naminé appears another time, though in a transparent state, and opens up a pathway to Destiny Islands. Apparently, only Sora, Riku, and Kairi can see her, as Mickey, Donald, and Goofy have no idea where the pathway came from (however, the French version alters this; when the Corridor to Destiny Islands is opened, Donald asks, "Who was that girl?" to which Mickey replies, "I'll explain to you some other time." Having said thus, Mickey, Donald and Goofy enter the corridor, leaving Sora, Riku and Kairi behind to speak to Roxas and Naminé). Kairi thanks Naminé for her help.
Naminé then tells Sora that they meet again, though he does not understand what she means (due to his loss of memories of Castle Oblivion). At that moment, Roxas projects himself from Sora, and the two Nobodies meet once more, just as Naminé promised. The two realize that not all Nobodies are doomed to fade into the darkness, as they were able to meet their original selves, and though they are no longer independent, they will live on through Sora and Kairi. Sora and Kairi promise their counterparts that they will be together every day, and without regret, Naminé finally joins with Kairi, completing her.
Following Xemnas's defeat, Sora and Riku return home to a waiting Kairi. As Sora looks up to smile at Kairi, he takes on the appearance of Roxas. Kairi then takes on the appearance of Naminé, smiling back.
A data version of Naminé appears in the white room of the digital Castle Oblivion, where she meets up with Data-Sora and Mickey to tell them about Terra, Aqua, and Ventus well as Sora's destiny to save them from their suffering along with Axel, Xion, Roxas, and Naminé herself. As a replicant of data existing specifically for this purpose, Naminé fades away after the message is delivered.
At the end of Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Naminé is seen in the White Room of the Old Mansion in Twilight Town, blissfully finishing a drawing of Sora on the Paopu tree, and says Sora's name.
Naminé appears as a vision in Sora's dream while in The World That Never Was. The Naminé in his nightmare is merely an illusion designed by Organization XIII to lure Sora into the deepest abyss of his darkness. When Sora catches up to her, she transforms into Xion, and then proceeds to run away.
Naminé first appears as a light in the shape of a star if Sora finds and approaches her in The Final World. She explains that she was residing within Kairi's heart until Kairi got struck by powerful darkness (Demon Tide), and she found herself in The Final World. She then confirms to Sora that Kairi's presence still lingers on after the Demon Tide's attack, because she was holding onto Sora so that he wouldn't fade away and encourages him to find her. Then, Sora explains that he knows Naminé is hurting through his connection to Roxas. Naminé believes that Roxas is the one who they all miss; not her, but Sora mentions how much he, along with Kairi, Donald, Goofy, Mickey, and Roxas, misses Naminé dearly; Sora continues on by telling her that someone special wouldn't let her down and promises to find a way to free her, and then she thanked him. Naminé then mentioned her brief contact with Terra during the events of Kingdom Hearts I and Kingdom Hearts 0.2: A Fragmentary Passage, and promises to trace that connection to assist him. After Sora rescues and retreives all of the fallen Guardians of Lights' hearts with the exception of Kairi's, Naminé returned to her heart. Naminé's contact with Terra is what led him to find Aqua, Ventus, and the rest of the Guardians of light and help them fight off the one of the Thirteenth Seekers of Darkness. During a battle against one of them, the heart of Riku Replica materializes out of Riku and fights off the replica who was a member of the Organization, taking the heart out of the now-empty vessel. Riku tells Riku Replica to take the body for himself, but he instead decides to leave it for Naminé.
Later on, at the end of the game, in Radiant Garden, Naminé reappears in Ansem the Wise's research study as Ienzo, Even, and Ansem are planting Naminé inside the vessel. The construction appears to be successful as Naminé awakens as herself, now no longer the Nobody of Kairi. Afterwards, she is seen exiting Ansem's castle and was approached by Riku who arrived using a Gummi Ship, and escorts her into the ship to fly her off to the Destiny Islands.
She is seen again at the end of the game on Destiny Islands with rest of the main characters; Xion is showing her a blue colored thalassa seashell. Then, Naminé along with everyone else, takes a look at Kairi sitting on the Paopu tree with an image of a fading Sora.
- "I'm a witch with power over Sora's memories and those around him."
- —Naminé explaining who she is to Roxas
Unlike other humanoid Nobodies, Naminé's talents do not lie in battle, but in the ability to control memories, making her a "witch". The ability comes from the fact that she is formed from Sora's soul and body, rather than Kairi's. Because of this connection, Naminé can move around the "links" of his memories that are located within his heart to her liking, as well as the ones of those who are connected to Sora. She can even sever them completely, turning the victim into little more than an empty shell.
In addition, she can create objects affected by the new memories, evidenced by turning a card into a good luck charm for the Riku Replica and altering the appearance of Kairi's Wayfinder to resemble that of a Paopu Fruit. It is noted in Kingdom Hearts II that everybody who Sora, Donald, and Goofy met and worked with in Kingdom Hearts had mostly forgotten about them until recently; this could mean that the Castle Oblivion incident also somehow caused the other characters to lose their memories of Sora, and they regained all of them when Sora awakened. She also displays the ability to "break" the Riku Replica's heart through her connection to him.
She can also cover up Sora's memory of Kairi with her own image, but as she is Kairi's Nobody, it is impossible for Naminé to completely snuff out Kairi from anyone's memories, as shown when he regained a small memory of her even though he couldn't think of her name. Conversely, those with the greatest connections to Sora cannot ever completely forget him, as evidenced by Kairi, who still slightly remembered Sora, but not his name, his face, or the sound of his voice, while all other citizens of the Destiny Islands (along with all the people in other worlds) had completely forgotten about Sora's existence.
Naminé also has another limitation to her power. When Naminé took on the task of re-chaining Sora's memories together so that he will remember everything he had forgotten, but lose his memories of Castle Oblivion, she was unable to make much progress. DiZ reasons that it must be because Sora's other half, Roxas, is missing, and in order to completely restore Sora, Roxas and Sora must join with one another. This is half-true; the main reason of this is because of Xion, a memory-based replica of Sora created by Xemnas and Vexen.
How Naminé actually manipulates memories is something to be noted. As she is always drawing pictures on her sketchpad, DiZ believes that she draws in order to capture the memories she needs to chain together. Because of this, the walls of her room are covered by pictures of events, places, and people that are in Sora's memory. Several of them are also of Roxas, implying her ability to fiddle with Roxas's memories as well.
Naminé can sew in the manga, as shown when she fixed up Axel's coat, though he remarks that she has no talent for it.
Naminé, being a Nobody, can also access the Corridors of Darkness to her liking, but she only does so three times; once to communicate with Roxas and inform him that he will not cease to exist when he joins with Sora, once to help Kairi and Pluto escape from their prison cell, and then to return Sora and co. to Destiny Islands. She also seems to be able to use the power of darkness to change her physical appearance, as seen when she uses Kairi's form to help Riku; however, this could be because of her connection to Kairi. Aside from being a Nobody, during the early events of Kingdom Hearts II, after Roxas returns to Sora, Naminé is seen with Axel and Riku (as Ansem; Seek of Darkness) in Twilight Town. In the manga, it can be shown that Axel showed and taught Naminé how to travel to different worlds using the Corridors of Darkness.
- Naminé's name can also be translated to "sound of the wave" in Japanese, since the character 音 (oto) can be pronounced as "ne". Alternatively, her name can mean "born from the wave", because of the French "né" at the end of her name ("né" is the past participle of the verb "naître", which means "to be born"). However, this may have just been added in the English releases to ensure that her name was pronounced the same way it was intended in the Japanese original.
- Naminé is the only character from the boxart cover of Kingdom Hearts III to not be featured in the opening of the Kingdom Hearts III game.
- Aside from this, she is the last person to reunite with protagonist characters (Sora, Roxas, and the rest of the protagonists) at Kingdom Hearts III.
- At The Final World in Kingdom Hearts III, Naminé made an appearance as a star-shaped heart. The reason for this is because she had formed her own heart before first merging with Kairi. When the Demon Tide attacked, it split Naminé away from Kairi's heart but Naminé managed to retain her own heart and her existence because Kairi holding onto to those deeply connected to her; this being Naminé herself, and Sora. She was unable to retain her form/body because she is Kairi's nobody, and she already had merged with Kairi at the end of Kingdom Hearts II.
- Naminé, along with the Wayfinder trio, and Roxas are the only protagonist characters who remained in their same outfit throughout the series since their debut thus far.
- Naminé, followed by Olette, Skuld, Strelitzia have their hair longer than the majority of the female characters.