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Naja

Naja Akara

Naja Akara (朱螺 凪耶 Akara Naja) was the best friend and scientific partner of Washu Hakubi, the universe's greatest scientist, before her dissapearance. She is canon to the official continuity of Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki. Article:The Mysterious Naja Akara

See also: Kagato and Noike Kamiki Jurai.

History

Naja Akara was born at the Jurai Imperial Academy(1). At the age of 21, she met Washu Hakubi whom she welcomed by chasing around the campus grounds. The two quickly became good friends, being almost equals in their intellect and academic standing and both being in Class 6 of the Department of Philosophy (the elite department of the Academy).

From her description, Naja seems to have had an impulse, mercurial temperament. Teasing one moment, quick to cry the next. She enjoyed trying to surprise Washu with large events, which Washu disliked and endeavored to avoid, eliciting a pout from Naja.

Najawash

Naja on the left with Washu in the center and Mikamo and Mikumo on the right.

Naja was privy to information on the political situation between the planet Jurai and Seniwa, helping to keep watch on Washu after her marriage to Mikamo Kuramitsu of the prestigious family from Seniwa. She lived with the couple on their farm after the marriage and it was Naja who broke the news to Washu of Mikamo's departure with their baby, Mikumo. Afterwards, Naja assisted in locating and devising methods to retrieve the child for 4-plus years. In the end, Washu refused to remove the child from the only home he had known, thus setting the stage for her descendants in the Kuramitsu family. The two apparently returned to Royal Space Academy and remained there for somet time, eventually helping to separate the institution from the control of Jurai and forming it into the Galaxy Academy.

Najawashu

Naja and Washu

For some time around 15,000 years (give or take a few hundred), the two taught, researched Washu's gems (which contained her godly power that she removed from herself as well as her memory), blew a large hole in the Academy's landscape (Washu's Pore), and pondered ancient artifacts from a prehistoric civilization called the Ancients that had once spanned the galaxy. During this time, Naja and Washu were attempting to create a being that could use the potential power of Washu's three gems.

In their attempts to create a being who could harness the great power of the gems, two precursor children were created who died, cause unknown. (2) Then, approximately 5000+ years ago, while researching ancient artifacts on planet K1190, Naja herself was presumed to be killed in a pirate attack (though importantly, her body was never found). It is unknown if Washu was there or not. This is where Naja disappears from history.

A Juraian noble, Ushio Kamiki, destroyed the pirates and discovered an unidentified 6-year old girl suffering from amnesia. Ushio took her to Jurai and adopted her into the House Kamiki of the Imperial Family of Jurai where she became Seto Kamiki Jurai, the mother of Empress Misaki Jurai, adopted mother to Noike Kamiki Jurai, and grandmother to princesses Ayeka and Sasami, being known around the galaxy as "The Devil Princess of Jurai."

The saddened Washu cloned her friend (probably from some left-over DNA). The Naja clone appropriated or was assimilated with one of the failed Ryoko prototypes because of the body's great strength, resulting in Kagato.(3) Afterwards, Kagato separated himself from his female "part." Washu and Kagato continued their attempts to create a being with the power to use the gems. Eventually, Ryoko was created.

Something went wrong wrong and Kagato was more arrogant and ambitious than his predecessor, and managed to lock Washu in the reverse world on board her battleship, the Soja, afterwards using Ryoko to further his own ends. Washu was released by her great-granddaughter Mihoshi, and Kagato was finally destroyed by Tenchi Masaki.

Kagato discarded the remnants of his female half due to his extreme hatred of women and motherhood. Kagato then tried to kill the little girl but she was later saved by Tenchi when his mind drifted to the past when he was injured by antagonist Z.

After Tenchi rescued the little girl, he was pulled back to the present and she drifted off into some other point in time. The little girl was found by the woman who Noike knows as her mother. However, a child this old would have interfered with her attempts to hold on to a man. So Noike's mother had Dr. Clay perform illegal modifications to regress her back into a baby. As a result of the procedure, female Kagato's consciousness split into two forms; the personality as the white haired girl saved by Tenchi, and a new personality who became Noike. The little girl's consciousness reverted into astral form while the new Noike consciousness kept the physical body, the latter taking control while the former did things subconsciously.

Kagato-OVA3 (1)

Female Kagato with Dr. Clay's seal on her.

Dr. Clay, being very arrogant, had a habit of placing his mark on all of his work, and put his seal on the cells of astral female Kagato, which also prevented the two personalities from fully merging and becoming whole. Dr. Clay's seal could also be used as surveillance to see through Noike's eyes, allowing Z to watch Tenchi. In the end of OVA 3, Washu removed the programming and female Kagato fully merged with Noike

Fact Notes:

(2) This is from an interview with Kajishima Masaki in the "Shin Perfect Collection" art book. (1) Does this mean Naja was a citizen of Jurai? If so, she was of the 'general populace" for she did not possess a royal tree (that we know of). The Academy seems to have been cosmopolitan in nature, so this is not necessarily the case.
Interviewer: Then why did Washu make Ryoko?
Kajishima: Well, certainly after all, of course it is true to say that she did want a child. Not only that, in order to ascertain the true nature of the jewels, Ryoko was created as an experiment. Because to respond to the jewels, as she did, she understood that only a child born from her would (be able to accomplish this goal). In fact, even before Ryoko two people, children that is, were created by Washu!
Interviewer: Made the same way as Ryoko?
Kajishima: One was made by cloning from Washu's cells, the other was made by combining an ovum together with pseudo-sperm*. But, both died in an accident**. For details of that particular topic, please read the "Shin Tenchi Muyo! Ryoouki" novels. (laughs).
* You could take this to mean "one experiment" was cloned from Washu's cells, while "the other" experiment was created from her artificially inseminated ovum. Atonashi believes that he is speaking of the two children being created by different means. Ryoko was created using Washu's ovum and "masu" (pseudo-sperm). The context seems to indicate he is speaking of the two precursor children, but this is "Kajishima-ese" speak, so I'm not sure.
** You can read "incident" here for "jiko". Maybe the same one that created "Washu's Pore"?
(3) This 'failed Ryoko" was a further experiment. From the novel "Jurai" Pg. 36, 37:
With every impact Azusa felt the grating of bone.
Why was Kagato so strong?
It was because a prototype body of Ryoko was used for* the body of Kagato.
Called the Milky Way Galaxy's greatest brain, Washu gave her all to Ryoko's experimental prototype. As Azusa thought, he was not human!
* I think this could also be read "used IN the body of Kagato". Assimilation is a dangerous thing!
(4) From OAV3, Episode +1 - the young girl says she is the "josei bibun damena" ("no good female part") of Kagato. Washu explains that "...Kagato tte... motomoto shiyuudoutai dattandayo" ("...Kagato, that is to say... originally was a hermaphrodite!") Thanks to Tomato for digging the script out of his closet to look up that line! The term "shiyuudoutai" means "hermaphroditism", and is not "futanari" (hermaphrodite). So what does this mean? (See "Some Speculation", Note 5)
(5) One thing to remember -- Dr. Clay was not overly fond of Akara Naja. To find this astral being who greatly resembled one of his nemesis at the Academy must have been quite surprising to the Doctor. Who knows what purpose he intended for Noike?

Some Speculation

People wonder: Are Seto and Naja related in some way? It is a strange coincidence that they disappear and appear on the same planet at the same time. It would have been much easier for Kajishima to have written Seto as a full Jurain without this odd happenstance in her background. This fact, along with the similarity of Seto and Naja's personality (Seto chasing Azusa through the Tenju ; Naja chasing Washu through the Academy) seem to point to a relationship. (Note 1)
But what sort of relationship? There are three major contenders:
1. Seto is Naja or Washu's daughter -- Somehow, either through genetic manipulation or by an unknown husband, Naja and Washu produced a child who managed to get lost on K1190. (I only comment that it would seem odd that Washu would not have searched for this child, even if she did not know Naja was dead). Kamiki Ushio would have asked people to help identify Seto, but no such ID was forthcoming. I doubt Washu would have failed to find such a lost child. It is possible that Washu decided to leave her where she was, as she did with her own child, Mikumo. Perhaps Washu felt Ushio could give her a better home. (Note 2)
2. Seto is one of the failed Ryoko experiments -- Two "children" were produced who died in accidents. These were preliminary Ryoko experiments. This would explain why Seto's hair color is different from Naja's, as opposed to a "natural" child, as Ryoko's is from Washu's. (Note 3)
3. Akara Naja IS Kamiki Seto -- In some fashion, Naja was reborn as a six-year old girl with no memory. She had been researching ancient artifacts from the Ancient civilization on K1190. It is possible that she had found something, and during the pirate attack, an accident happened, or something was activated or released, that transformed her. This is in keeping with how Washu herself was found (as a three year old girl with no memory) on Kanemitsu.
Of course, these are not the only theories. Seto herself has no inkling of her possible ties to Akara Naja, thinking she is the orphaned daughter of a treasure hunter. Kajishima may once again be misleading us. Naja (one of the galaxy's brightest minds) may well have been vaporized in a pirate attack.
Speculation Notes:
(1) The eyes as a relationship I have removed. Seto's eye color is very odd. In the anime, Seto's eyes are dark red, resembling Misaki, Ayeka and Sasami's. A family trait to be sure. However, in Kajishima's doujin and the Shin Tenchi Muyo novel images, Seto's eye color varies, but is generally a yellowish appearance (much the same as Ryoko's). Seto's eye color is as much of a conundrum as what happened to Akara Naja! Of course, Kajishima describes Ryoko's hair color as "emerald green" in the novel "Yosho". Perhaps he's hinting at a tie between Ryoko and Seto? (Note 4.1).
(2) In Episode 13, when Washu was hugged by Misaki, she responded "She reminds me of someone." Both S.Naoe and I thought this might be a reference to Naja, as S.Naoe reported that Kajishima had written that Misaki and Naja were similar in personality. However, in Kajishima's Q&As from his home page, he answered that Washu was referring to Mihoshi. This seems to put this connection to rest. Except -- if Mihoshi and Misaki are similar in personality and character, does this mean they have a common ancestor -- Washu? Perhaps the reason Misaki is very powerful (The Counteractor) is that she is descended from a goddess, or from the creation of a goddess (Seto)?
(3) In a recent Kajishima doujinshi, there is a scene of two children that is apparently a memory of Washu. These children resemble Washu, and are possibly the two precursor children. The following scene shows Washu and Naja dressed in formal Academy garb, and it is postulated that they are in front of a cenotaph (though it's unclear). This would indicate that the children died before Naja, and therefore could not be on K1190 with her. So the explanation that Seto could be one of the two failed Ryokos seems less likely now. Or does it? Just how many prototypes did Washu and Naja make eventually?

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