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|“||I know not the way to triumph over others. I know the way to triumph over myself. I want to protect the one who is important to me.||„|
|~ Houki Shinonono during kendo practice|
Houki Shinonono is the 1st heroine introduced of the light novel and anime series Infinite Stratos. She is a first year student at the IS academy and has been friends with Ichika Orimura since they were kids though at the beginning of the story, they have not seen each other for six years. She pilots the Akatsubaki, given to her by her older sister Tabane, the creator of the IS. She and Ichika were forced to become roommates of sharing a room.
She is voiced by Yōko Hikasa in the Japanese version of the anime, and by Monica Rial in the English version of the anime.
Houki is a beautiful teenage girl of average height with long brown hair that she keeps in a slightly messy ponytail (that seems to be divided into two sections) using a green and black ribbon, dark blue eyes and a slim, curvaceous body with no trace of fat on her. She usually wears her IS Academy uniform, with high stockings and black knee-high boots that have white soles. After the battle with the Silver Gospel, she replaces her green ribbon with a red-and-white ribbon that Ichika bought for her birthday.
Her initial IS training uniform matched the standard ones worn by all other female students, but after gaining Akatsubaki, she changed into one (a uniform) that is predominantly white with a black neckline, and black edges on the legs.
In the light novel and rebooted manga, it is stated that she is very well-endowed for her age and has the largest bust size among the main heroines, including the older Chifuyu Orimura and Tatenashi Sarashiki, who are very voluptuous themselves. She was even complaining about the size of her breasts being too big and how they just keep getting bigger, only to think to herself that maybe Ichika likes that.
Having been raised in a shrine, Houki possesses a stern, disciplined personality. As such, she had a hard time socializing with other children, so she had virtually no friends, with the exception of Ichika. Ichika thought of Houki as a cute little girl, and he helped her out by chasing the bullies away whenever they mocked her. Even as a little girl, Houki had trouble expressing her feelings for Ichika; and shortly after they first met, she asked him to use her first name, but then she justified it by saying that there were three other Shinononos (her father, her mother and her sister). Since her place of residence is a kendo dojo, Houki haa been interested in kendo ever since she was young. After being forced to move away from Ichika, Houki continued practicing kendo, as it was the only connection she had left with him.
As a result of the separation, Houki has a serious emotional problem. Although she has been training in kendo which emphasises obtaining self-control as with most other forms of martial arts, she is very emotionally unstable, often resorting to be controlled by her own will rather than controlling it herself, and is quite prone to jumping to conclusions. Whenever Houki gains a new power, it doesn't take long for it to go to her head, causing her do and say things that would haunt her.
Ichika says that Houki's vile at times. This is because she's too prideful and stubborn to agree with others or admit her mistakes whenever she's wrong. Ichika even notes that this is what leads her to make mistakes as a result. She usually wants to be punished for her mistakes, and feels worse when she isn't. Ichika was quick to forgive her, but she did accept his kindness because she thought that she shouldn't be forgiven that easily, and often feels she doesn't deserve someone as kind as him. She does want to change these tendencies, but still hasn't managed to make any changes regardless of that. Houki also has a habit of constantly frowning, as noted by Ichika. Sometimes, her stubbornness even leads her to be hypocritical (such as not wanting people to bring up the fact that she is Tabane Shinonono's sister, but taking advantage of the fact that she is, in order to gain her own personal IS). Often, however, Houki can be cheered up if Ichika is to compliment her.
Despite her rather gruff attitude, Houki is actually a pretty kind girl. Although she initially acts strict towards Ichika upon their reunion to the point of not allowing him to use her first name, as well as have a tendency to act quite mean to him sometimes , it's largely out of a desire for him to see her as a woman, and she soon drops the facade and treats him much nicer, though she still isn't above hitting him when he makes her really angry or is about to do something stupid. She's also shown to get along well with Charlotte, Laura, Kanzashi, Tatenashi, Rin, and Cecilia, considering them friends, despite their rivalry for Ichika's affection, and often watching their backs in combat.
Houki has very little confidence in her looks and in being feminine, likely a result of being bullied in her past for being a tomboy. She always feels uncomfortable when she has to wear revealing and/or feminine clothes like dresses or bikinis (a fact that she's well aware of). She also becomes quite shy when Ichika looks at her or compliments her. She also likes seeing Ichika in suits, to the point in an instant, she finds it troublesome just trying to look at him directly. Notably, when the girls end up in fantasies about their ideal future with Ichika, caused by the program "World Purge", Houki is shown viewing him as an equal, in contrast to the superficial image the other girls (including the kind-hearted Charlotte) have of him.
Prior to the start of the main series, she was a childhood friend of Ichika. Her place of residence is home to a kendo dojo and she has been interested in kendo since she was young. Houki even competes in kendo competitions at a national level and was the winner of the national tournament that was hosted one year before the story of Infinite Stratos began. Her older sister, Tabane, is the creator of the IS yet Houki hates her because six years ago, Ichika agreed to become her boyfriend if she could win the national kendo tournament of their grade. However, the day of the tournament was also the day the IS were introduced to the world. Because of their links to Tabane, Houki's family was placed under government protection and Houki was forced to withdraw from the kendo tournament. Since that incident, Houki has disliked her sister for moving her away from the boy she loves and abandoning their family.
2nd Shift, Armaments and Abilities
She is particularly skilled in the art of Kendo, having won the national tournament a year prior to the story. Her fighting style is decidedly offensive, as in the past she has always won her competitions with pure power, and she had issues defending against during the Grade Level Tournament.
Akatsubaki (紅椿?, lit. Red Camellia), is a 4th-Gen personal IS specially designed for Houki Shinonono by her younger sister and IS creator Tabane Shinonono, built from the experiment data resulting from modification of Byakushiki its Armaments include,
1. Foot Blade
2. Twin Katanas
3. Amatsuki Right Katana
4. Karaware Left Katana
- 2 blade bits that detach from the wings of Akatsubaki for aerial combat after the activation of the Fold-Out Armor
The One Off Ability:
1. Kenran Buto Energy Recovery
2 Thousand Pierces Crossbow