|English voice actor||Tiffany Grant|
|Japanese voice actor||Sakura Nogawa|
Kaori (かおりKaori), better known as Kaorin (かおりん Kaorin) is a minor (major in the anime) character in Azumanga Daioh.
She is a classmate of the main cast (during their two first years of high school). Kaori is in love with Sakaki, whose unrequited feelings are a frequent source of anxiety. Her friends seem mostly unaware of her crush on Sakaki (the only one to actually show that she notices it is Osaka, in Supplementary Lessons when the gang are at Chiyo's summer house and Kaori's fangirling of Sakaki leads Osaka to ask her whether she is "gay".) It is unknown whether Sakaki would reciprocate – in Episode 1, Kaori was put off inviting Sakaki to the astronomy club due to fear of rejection; Sakaki, however, seemed sad that Kaori had not invited her. Kaori panicked after finding out that Sakaki went to Chiyo's summer house when she saw a picture of Sakaki from the trip and soon freaked out after seeing a photograph of Tomo sleeping with Sakaki and asked why Tomo tossed and turned in her sleep.
Even if Sakaki knows of Kaori's affections for her, she never shows any sign of seeing her as anything other than a friend. Kaori's best friend is Chihiro (another classmate of the main girls), whom she is most often seen together with. While her given name is Kaori, she is almost always addressed by her nickname of Kaorin (nicknames are often formed by changing the end of a name in this way to sound cute). Kaori's surname is speculated to be "Aida", judging from a panel in volume one of the manga, however Kiyohiko Azuma denied this.
Kaori is normally shy and sensitive to a fault, but frequently has been known to display a ferocious temper and is prone to extreme jealousy when Sakaki is involved. She can also be more than a little neurotic. She has some artistic talent, and helped design Chiyo's notorious "penguin suit" (together with Chihiro, in the anime). For her first two years, she is a member of the Astronomy Club and goes to their camps during summer break. In her senior year, she accompanies the group to Chiyo's summer home (and is, like Chiyo, left emotionally scarred by her ride in the Yukari-mobile). Also during that year, Kimura-sensei transferred her into his class, much to Kaori's dismay (Kaori dreads Kimura-sensei's attention even more emphatically than her peers). Kimura-sensei also expresses more interest in her than in any other student, to the point of planting a Kimura and Kaorin garden. He also tells her to call him by a nickname as well (Kimurin) when she complains that she is the only student in class being addressed by a nickname. Kaori attempts to overlook Kimura-sensei's fault after meeting his sensitive and sweet wife. However, this ends quickly. On their final day of class, to Kaori's horror, Kimura-sensei tells the class he and Kaorin will be together forever. She also gets to take a photo with her beloved Miss Sakaki in this episode, which she requests Tomo to send her over the summer. When she took the picture, Tomo pointed the camera toward the floor, and Kaorin insisted Tomo take a new picture, being so persistent about it that Tomo was almost shocked and didn't dare to do anything but obey her.
Appearing only sparsely in the original manga, Kaorin's role was significantly increased for the anime, to the extent that she even appears with the rest of the group in the opening and closing credits. In the anime, she is notably closer to the other girls, going to Chiyo's house and preparing for the first Culture Festival with them, and accompanying them on their trip to a shrine on New Year's Day, after having an anime-exclusive New Year's dream of her own. Her involvement in existing stories and sketches from the manga is often increased for the anime, and she has several brand-new anime-exclusive skits dedicated to her, almost universally involving her pining over Sakaki or being pursued by Mr. Kimura. She is the only character to have one of their parents actually shown on-screen; her Mother (who bears a striking resemblance to her) appears in episode 8, waking Kaori up from her New Year's Dream. In the anime both Kaori and Chihiro are shown to be quite smart; At a test which was difficult for Kagura they both received high scores, while in the manga little is said about Kaori's academic performance compared to the main cast.
- Kaori was supposedly born in 1984.
- The only 4 episodes in which Kaori didn't have an appearance are episodes 18, 19, 24 and 25. Though, she is present in as few as 18 manga chapters (her first appearance being in chapter 1 and her last in chapter 41), her appearances becoming increasingly sparse as the series progresses.
- ↑ In Azumanga Daioh: Supplementary Lessons Chapter 3 Page 12, Osaka asks Kaorin whether she is gay, to which she responds "The correct term is Lesbian!" before denying that she is a lesbian.
- ↑ See Chapter 7.
- ↑ See Episode 16.
- ↑ See Chapter 34.
- ↑ See Episode 20.
- ↑ See Episode 26.
- ↑ See Episode 13.
- ↑ In Chapter 16, the theme park guide says that the year is 2000, and while Kaori'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.