Kaito Momota, the Ultimate Astronaut
"I'm Kaito Momota, Luminary of the Stars! Even crying children adore the Ultimate Astronaut!"
Kaito is a very energetic, highly "gung-ho" individual. He shares several traits with Kaede: 1. A potential to rally the others together 2. Unfaltering (hard to shake, not entirely invincible) optimism, 3. Set morals: "believing in someone to the end", "sometimes you need to be a bit reckless to achieve your goals". Kaede's morals were: "Keep trying and you'll eventually succeed" a mentality she picked up from playing the piano.
An example of the second term is when he had a friend forge documents so that he could take the Astronaut exam. Normally, one needed to have a college degree to even take the exam, and Kaito's only a high-school student. The forgery was discovered, but the "higher-ups" decided that they liked Kaito and let him take the exam anyway. He passed with flying colors and is now an astronaut trainee.
Kaito is -- in his own words -- "a scientist type of guy". As an astronaut, he also needs to undergo a lot of training to prepare himself for space. First off, he needs knowledge in medicine, aeronautical engineering, scuba diving, linguistics, and survival training. Kaito also stresses that "teamwork/communication" is the most important trait an astronaut needs. That's why he learned how to speak Russian, Japanese, and English all fluently, as well as the culture.
Kaito hasn't actually gone to space yet, and his drive to go into infinity and beyond I'mnotsorry is what helps him to continue on and live through the killing game. His time is running out though; Despite his enthusiasm, he seems to have a sickness of some sort. He coughs up blood, and the way Kaito reacted to it was a the reaction of someone who knew what was happening to him. He still hasn't gone to space, but he's already dying and his body is weakening. This also explains why he's getting lazier in his training sessions with Shuichi and Maki.
(Kaito x Maki is my second OTP for this game. It's really cute, I can't help it. Kaito and Maki will once again befriend Shuichi and Kaede in this FWRP.)
Kaito can make some rather rash decisions sometimes based entirely on his belief and intuition. He is both logically and emotionally sharp, but it's very easy to skip over those areas and simply dismiss him as "a lovable idiot." One example of Kaito's sharp intuition: he said that the "everybody" Kirumi mentioned wasn't the trapped students, but another group. Another example is when Kaito looked at Maki and went: "Yeah. You look like you can fight." He was correct, since Maki is the Ultimate Assassin.
Kaito might come off as a cocky, impulsive, and overly confident (all of which are true), but his selflessness is a redeeming factor. He goes out of his way (like Kaede) to help out those who are drifting away/lagging behind. He helped comfort Shuichi, first by advising him to use his memories of Kaede to push on, then by inviting him to train with him. By befriending him, Kaito gave Shuichi someone he could trust. The same goes for when Maki was revealed by Kokichi to be the Ultimate Assassin. Maki felt cornered, and was prepared to close herself off completely when Kaito barged into her life and made her join Shuichi and him. This helped Maki open up and become more trusting of others. Kaito helped make Maki feel human again. OTP
In serious situations, Kaito doesn't think about his own well-being. He's willing to throw away his life and believe in Maki and Gonta. The whole occult thing could be considered "selfish", but that was used in a more humorous tone (but also alluded to something serious later on, Kaito dismissing his symptoms as a "cold" was to cover up something happening to him). His actions at the end of Ch. 4, where he shrugged off his sickness, also showed that he didn't want the others to worry.
Once you gain Kaito's trust, he's going to believe in you until the very end. Maki, Shuichi, and Kaede have all gained his trust (as well as some of the other students potentially). This comes at somewhat of a liability later, when he believed in Gonta who was actually a culprit. However, I can't really blame him. The scenario surrounding the murder is rather convoluted. This event broke Kaito's trust in Shuichi, so we know it's possible for someone to break Kaito's trust.
Other aspects of Kaito: He has a very strong fear of the occult. Whenever the occult is mentioned, he starts getting chills and he loses his appetite. Elaborating on a previous point: Kaito has an ego; he's always saying stuff like "A man doesn't apologize!". Also, instead of admitting he was afraid of the occult, he denies it and blames it on Monokuma saying something like: "Because of Monokuma's interference, I wasn't able to investigate properly!" He also has the tendency of lying and telling tall tales.
His animal would be the bar-headed goose. The bar-headed goose is one of the highest flying birds, as it can almost reach a height of 21,120 feet. Birds are also known to either be fierce (have you ever been chased by a goose?) or cowardly (like city crows and pigeons), fitting for Kaito. Also since Kaito is the Ultimate Astronaut and
s p a c e
Maki Harukawa, the Ultimate Child Caretaker Ultimate Assassin
"Maki Harukawa... Ultimate Child Caregiver..."
Starting off on a joking note: tragic backstory, violent, and murderer? Perfect! She'll fit right in. Maki's personality is cold and distant. Yet, despite her assassin-status, she's just a girl. She likes hand mirrors, jelly balls, and morning beach shores (not winter beach shores though). She talks about how she can't be human anymore yet still is able to show emotion (especially in later chapters when she grows closer to Shuichi). The reason she hid her talent was because anyone who knew of her talent would eventually try to kill her. Maki only kills if she's requested to do so, or in self-defense. Kaito's interest in befriending her confused her enough for him to get past those walls she erected around herself.
I quite like her interactions with Kaito and Shuichi post Chapter 2's trial and her talent reveal. It's like they have their own little group. They grow closer together as Kaito chips down the walls with his usual impulsive nature.
Onto backstory: Maki grew up in an orphanage. While at the orphanage, she lived with her best friend. This girl was a crybaby, but had a heart of gold. As Maki grew older, she noticed strange men coming to the orphanage and inspecting the kids. Turns out those men were members of a cult (the New Hope, I believe) that trains assassins; The orphanage was one of the places where they handpick new trainees. The cult sends funds to their orphanage when a trainee from the orphanage performs satisfactorily well. Maki's friend had great talent for assassinations; However, Maki knew her friend wouldn't be able to handle the grueling training and volunteered to go instead. If Maki had let her friend become an assassin, she knew it would've destroyed her. Her friend would've cried herself to sleep until she could no longer cry. (Maki probably was implying that she didn't want her friend to become as emotionless and broken as her.) The training not only gave her the basic physical training, it had to teach the trainees to withstand torture and to die when they had to. After all, an assassin who fails has no choice other than die. Maki knew that, if she failed and didn't endure, her friend would replace her. Her sacrifice would be in vain; her friend would still end up being an assassin.
Maki's friend is only mentioned in her free time events. At the end of those events, Maki tells the protagonist that her childhood friend has died. However, she feels like her friend died as happy as she could've been: Her friend saved a kid from an incoming car, pushing the kid out of the way and getting hit instead. Maki thought her friend must've been happy that her last act was saving a life.
Starting from the second chapter: Kaito gives Maki a nickname. The localization translated it to "Maki Roll". In the original Japanese version, Kaito called her Harumaki. "Maki" is also how you say "roll" in Japanese, so the localized version of Maki's pet name is literally "roll roll". The reason "Harumaki" doesn't work as well in the English version is because of the difference in cultures. In English, high school students usually refer to each other by their first names. In Japan, politeness is heavily emphasized; everyone calls each other by their family name first and foremost with an honorific attached. You'd only call someone by their first name if you were especially close to them/family. As a result, Kaito would've been more commonly referred to as "Momota-san" and Maki would've been "Harukawa-san". The nickname would fit more since Momota would've been calling her by her last name. At the end of Ch.4, when Kokichi calls Maki "Maki Roll", she answers: "You don't deserve to call me Maki Roll." I just found this absurdly cute, despite all the sadness and negativity happening in that moment.
This is more of a theory: Maybe Maki's "real" talent really is the "Ultimate Child Caregiver." I don't think she was lying when she said that kids seemed to come to her on their own. Maki had some talent as an Assassin, but her childhood friend had more talent so Maki was not the "best of the best" as an Ultimate should be. There's no denying that Maki had potential, but she's not the best. Maki probably had more of an innate talent for taking care of children, and it would've been interesting to see how she would've turned out if she had pursued that talent instead.
As for the ML FWRP world: Maki wouldn't get along with the others. She's not a Feral, she doesn't kill for justice: she kills as a job. Even outside her hero persona, she's required to kill. Her assassin status would probably be hidden from Shuichi, Kaede, and Kaito, since Maki would want to preserve her friendship with them. Despite everything that's happened to her, she's still a girl. She doesn't want to be completely alone. So in the end: there will be people who try to befriend Maki (with good intentions) but Maki will probably just stick with Kaede, Shuichi, and Kaito.
She might also conflict with Polar Breeze. I get the feeling Elizabeth wouldn't want to have someone who could overpower her when they're both civilians. Her standoffish nature would probably incite a bunch of "what gives?".
Maki's animal would be a Deathstalker. A deadly scorpion, it fits (kinda). I could've went mainstream and chosen a black wolf, cat, or fox, but I decided against it. Maki's rather slim and small, she doesn't seem very physically adept (on the outside) and her skills are more subtle. That's why I decided on a tiny -- but deadly -- arachnid.
Maki's "hero-self" might be a villain instead. Kaito and Maki wouldn't know each other's Miraculous identity; could be another Empress x Praying Mantis situation. Possibly tying in to her "real talent" theory I wrote before, maybe Maki has an arc where she decides to quit being an assassin (easier said than done.
Continuing on: In Maki's Free Time Events, Shuichi tells her that she should quit being as assassin and that he would do anything to help. Maki's exasperated. She tells him that she'll continue being an assassin as long as assassins are still needed. She mentions how some "complications" could only be solved with murder. As long as there are "complications", she'll continue to be an assassin. Unless Shuichi can completely abolish the idea of assassination, she'll continue to be an assassin and fund her orphanage. It's a hard task, but Maki's rooting for the detective to carry it out.
From that interaction, we can deduce that Maki doesn't want to be an assassin, but continues because she has an obligation. Just because she quits, it doesn't mean assassinations will stop, so she feels it's pointless to quit while the problem still exists and will continue to happen. She also has her orphanage to think of.
Possible solution: Kaito, Kaede, and Shuichi either catch Maki in the act (coincidentally stumbling on her off to carry out her next job, finding her store of weapons and equipment, seeing her right in the act of assassination) and Maki has no option except to tell them the full truth. Her friends will probably still trust her even after this, as unrealistic as that seems, as "trust" is another recurring theme in NDRV3. They'll try to find a way to make Maki quit. She'll offer the same reasons, as well as the additional "do you really think they're just gonna let me go?"
So far, my solutions have been 1. the orphanage burns down, erasing Maki's motive to keep going. 2. The cult itself is abolished, and Kaito and co. manage to save Maki from the massacre of the cult. 3. Kaito and gang get the cult arrested. This is probably not the way to go, as Maki will have to get arrested to.
At the end of all this: Maybe Maki can (tying into my earlier theory) finally show off her true talent as the Ultimate Child Caregiver. She'd have to keep her time as an assassin under wraps; who would trust a murderer with their kids?