|English voice actor||Allison Sumrall|
|Japanese voice actor||Houko Kuwashima (Television series/very short movie) |
Mitsuki Saiga (Web short)
Kagura (神楽 Kagura), full name unknown, is one of the main characters from Azumanga Daioh.
While she makes appearances earlier on as one of Minamo Kurosawa's students, Kagura does not become a true acquaintance of the group until sometime later, joining Yukari's class in the 2nd year (Yukari selects her as a ringer to win the school athletic competitions). She devotes most of her time to the swim team but is an all-around good athlete. Thanks to her dedication to swimming Kagura receives some rather pronounced tan lines during the summer months, which friends like Osaka waste no time in pointing out – her exact words being: "You know, with that you could go to the pool wearing nothing and no one would even notice that something was missing".
She also has a one-sided rivalry with Sakaki and attempts to outdo her in all activities, whether it is playing softball, sprinting, or even eating lunch. This is how her character was introduced to the rest of the cast, when during 1st year's field day, she was defeated by Sakaki in a running event. The next time the two meet, Kagura has decided to make Sakaki her rival, yet she also makes continuous attempts to be a good friend to Sakaki. Sakaki is a natural athlete (and doesn't remember a thing about running against Kagura during the first Athletics Fest, which stuns Kagura) and defeats her in almost everything except stamina events. Like her would-be rival, Kagura is embarrassed when Tomo Takino calls attention to the size of her breasts.
Kagura is similar to Tomo in sheer energy and her lack of interest in studying, but is not prone to Tomo's impulsive outbursts and irritating behavior. Her low test scores and apathy for schoolwork have earned her a place in the "Bonkuras" (translated as "Knuckleheads" in the anime and "Numbnuts" in the original manga translation) alongside Tomo and Ayumu. Kagura's grades were actually slightly worse than Tomo's and Osaka's which led to her becoming the leader of the Bonkurazu by default. But because that leader title basically showcased how bad her grades were, it was something with which Kagura was anything but happy about. Tomo also points out that despite their scores and attitude toward schoolwork, they both ended up in the prestigious high-school anyway. However, in the manga, Kagura has been seen doing very well in health, getting a 91 on a test, to which Tomo remarks the reason for doing so well was her large breasts, to which she rebutes.
While Kagura is driven by competition, she is sweet and sensitive and can be brought to tears, especially when she feels she's let someone down or during emotional situations (an example being when she accidentally tackled Chiyo and knocked down the tent at a sports fest).  Unlike Tomo, Kagura is good-natured and eager to help people, such as scaring away cats that get near Sakaki so that Sakaki wouldn't get bitten, or helping a foreigner up a flight of steps with his bags despite being unable to communicate with him. She is in many ways the stereotypical "tomboy with a soft heart". However she can be so enthusiastic she's blinded to the effect her actions have, such as when she congratulates Sakaki for "totally killing" a Neco Coneco doll in a shooting gallery game, which upsets Sakaki horribly.
Her Tomboy stereotype was further enhanced when the gang went to a festival wearing Yukatas, Kagura remarked that she didn't own a Yukata prior but when she mentioned wanting to get one to her father, he actually got really excited. Apparently she doesn't do many girly things at home either.
Kagura has a respect for Nyamo that occasionally borders on hero-worship. She frequently calls her "coach" and was one of the biggest admirers of Nyamo's infamous "adult lecture".
Japanese ("Azumanga Web Daioh" short)
- Ashita wa Makenai GO! FRIEND Words by Aki Hata, music by Hulk
- Lazy Crazy Bonkuraa-zu Words by Aki Hata, music by Kosuke Kanai
- Her name comes from Shinto ritual: the kanji for Kagura (神楽) mean "entertainment of the gods", used to describe the traditional music played at shrines and the Imperial Court.
- Kagura makes a cameo appearance as an anthropologist in Classroom of Thesis; From the Report to the Graduation Thesis (論文の教室[レポートから卒論まで) by Kazuhisa Todayama which refers to several other Azumanga Daioh characters.
- Kagura was supposedly born in 1984 (or 1983).
- See Chapter 15.
- See Episode 22.
- See Chapter 31.
- See Chapter 8.
- See Chapter 18.
- See Chapter 19.
- See Chapter 36.
- See Chapter 25.
- See Chapter 21.
- In Chapter 16, the theme park guide says that the year is 2000, and while Kagura's birth month is unknown, Japanese second year students are typically 16 in their second high school year. 1984 is 16 years prior to 2000.