Our charming characters. 16-year old Mari Sonoda, orphaned and aiming to work as a beautician, has a very hot temper. She is short on patience with other people's stupidity, and a sure way to get her out of your life is to slobber all over her. Her family was killed in a fire or explosion when she was a child, and she was one of several kids adopted or just looked out for by the president of Smart Brain Corporation. He sent the Faiz belt to her, I'm guessing along with a warning about the Orphenok. She's a very strong peronality, has a crush on Yuji Kiba because he's such a nice guy, and was unaware that The Annoying One, Kusaka, has set his sights on winning her affections. Unfortunately, she is aware that Kaido has. She thinks he's silly and foolish, which he doesn't help by acting so around her. She likes Osada, knows the other girl likes Kaido. She's also very carefully tried to hint at her feelings for Yuji, who wins her attention because Kusaka fractured in front of her and frightened her. After a rocky start with Takumi, I think she's placed him in a big-brother role in her life.

To complicate matters, it turned out that the group of orphans Smart Brain watched over were chosen because a child who survives a near-death situation may have done so because they are an Orphenok. Smart Brain was hunting for the Arch-Orphenok, and sure that they would find it in the children. When everyone hit puberty, they decided to force matters by slaughtering anyone in the group who hadn't already manifested. However, quite a few of the kids still didn't manifest, so Smart Brain's scientists resurrected them in an effort to make them Orphenok. It still didn't work, most of them remained stubbornly human. Mari was, perhaps, the most stubborn of all. None of them remembered the night when they were slaughtered. Mari didn't remember the young man who'd come, manifested as an Orphenok and tried to help only to be smashed aside. When she did remember, the images were fragmented and for a time she thought he had been the one who attacked them.

The boy who becomes Faiz is Takumi Inui, a young drifter who seems to be obsessed with a pair of red boxers in his bag. He's been many things in his short life, including a server at a coffee shop. Now he works in Keitarou's laundry (where the three of them live), and he has a good heart and is willing to try. But he also spends quite a bit of time being sullen for no obvious reason. Becoming Faiz gave him direction, and he came to love it but did not really know that until it was taken away from him for a short time. When he found out from Yuka Osada that becoming an Orphanok did not mean the person becomes evil, and that she herself just wanted to live, he went into shock for a time. It was hard to bring himself to fight when he knew he might be fighting a frightened, confused person. And he's inadvertently become friends with the gentle, otherworldy Yuji Kiba. He does not know that Kiba is an Orphanok, but Kiba has taught him the important issue. Evil is as evil does. It's painful to watch them fight, as yet they are unaware of each other's human identities. He does know about Kusaka, who at first seemed perfect and really got on his nerves. But the fact that Kusaka is nasty and threatening became plain especially to Takumi. He's calmed down about it, though, and is still trying to protect the foolish man.

And Takumi eventually remembers a truth he'd hidden or just been amnesiac about. He is an Orphenok. The Wolf Orphenok. It was he who'd tried to help a group of frightened young people being mercilessly slaughtered by other Orphenok.

Keitarou Kikuchi is a sweet young man from Tokyo. He seems to be without family, too. They used to own a cleaning business and he had left Tokyo and been working in that field when he met Mari by having to swerve to avoid her. At any rate, he has an e-mail pal named Yuka. I don't know how they became pals, but they've never met, leaving him blindly unaware that she is Yuka Osada, the girl he's fallen head over heels for. He stole the Faiz gear, planning to become a hero only to find it would not allow him to don it. He has put his heart and soul into taking care of Takumi and Mari, though he'd never say aloud that this is what he's doing because they might get offended. He and Kaido have become friends, by virtue of a discussion which involved Kaido's shouting in his ear "I love Mari!" and he shouting back "I love Osada!" The two men hatched a plan, asked the respective girls out on a date and tried to trade off at the pizza restaurant. It was rather hilarious. Yuka is still unaware of Kikuchi's feelings.

But things change. They happened to exchange e-mails while in the same room, and she realised that he was her pen-pal. It shocked, amazed, and shored her broken heart to learn finally that he really loved her.

The Annoying One. Kusaka. He went to after-hours school with Mari when they were little kids and has had a crush on her ever since. They grew apart and he became a master of just about everything, probably a strong reaction to getting picked on a lot as a child. Tennis, horse-back riding, pretty much anything, he can do it. But hidden under all these capacities is a terrible fracture. The earliest sign of trouble was his obsessive habit of cleaning his hands. But then we realized there was more going on. He seemed at first like a good, driven Kamen Rider, no backing down. The friction between him and Takumi just a result of Takumi being jealous of him. And then we slowly learned that he's also a prick. He let an unconscious, injured man fall just because he was tired of holding him up. He would not touch a feverish, delerious man or even hand him a pitcher of water. And worse, he started provoking Takumi to fight him, then pretending that he'd been injured. It's getting worse. When he found out Mari likes Yuji Kiba, he went after the young man and drew him aside, possibly to talk. But then came an Orphenok attack. Kiba knows Kusaka is Kaixa, and Kusaka knows Kiba is the Horse Orphenok. But he's also lost it now. He's trying to form an alliance with the Orphenok at Lucky Clover, I think wanting to use them to get Kiba and Takumi out of his way. But now they all know he's not running down the sane track. He was orphaned as a child on a river-rafting trip. I thought he was an Orphenok too, but he wasn't. Whatever Smart Brain did to him, it made him strong enough to survive the corrosive effect of the belts longer than other humans. The slaughter of that night, and a suppressed memory of Mari's blood all over his hands, was what had broken him and left him with a tendency to compulsively wash his hands. He died at Kiba's hands.

Summaries. Only episode one as yet.

The Orphenok The Renegades

Other Significant People