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Koko Hekmatyar
S1 10 Koko
Koko Hekmatyar in Episode 10.
Nicknames "Princess" by her squad
Status Alive
Affiliations HCLI
Koko's Squad
Occupation Arms dealer
Relatives Floyd Hekmatyar (father)
Kasper Hekmatyar (older brother)
Weapons Pistols
Manga debut Chapter 1
Anime debut Episode 1
Japanese voice Shizuka Itō
Marina Inoue (drama CD)
English voice Anastasia Munoz


Koko Hekmatyar (ココ・ヘクマティアル Koko Hekumatiaru?) is the protagonist of the series. She is the daughter of shipping magnate Floyd Hekmatyar and the younger sister of Kasper Hekmatyar. Koko is an arms dealer and a member of HCLI's Europe/African Weapons Transport Division. She leads a squad of bodyguards with whom she travels the world conducting business. "Jormungand", a secret project between her and her best friend Minami Amada, provides the context behind her actions.

Appearance

A slim, fair skinned young woman with waist-length fair hair styled in a hime cut and light coloured eyes, Koko has white hair with light blue eyes and pale skin in the anime. When she was younger she maintained her hair at chin length and two years later has again cut it to that length. She is very similar in appearance to her brother Kasper, although they are not twins. Koko is usually well dressed, favouring business suits or similar attire, with or without neckties. She also wears a white coat with a feather-like collar. Because she has a tendency to burn when out in the sun, Koko usually wears a broad-brimmed straw hat when outdoors for an extended period of time.

Personality

S1 01 Koko's table roll

Koko rolls on a table to express her frustration at the gravity of the situation in Episode 1.

Koko remains a largely enigmatic character, rarely revealing her true state of mind. She normally appears quite cheery and happy and sometimes acts immature when around her subordinates, having a tendency to throw fits when frustrated or angered. However, she is able to rebound quickly and rarely allows herself to remain stuck. Even when in dangerous situations, she is able to keep a clear head and actually smiles when she is in danger. Previously, she was unable to keep her composure when in danger, but made a promise to Echo to do so after he was mortally wounded while protecting her from Hex and her unit.[1] She has since largely masked her true feelings. Koko can be ruthless and determined, making her a very dangerous opponent as she will not hesitate to use various means, including deadly force, to reach her ends. However, a single action or statement by her opponent can motivate her to display mercy towards them depending on the circumstances, and she has occasionally been willing to spare them. Koko is unafraid of weapons because she is in the business of selling them and believes that one should not fear one's merchandise. She has a fatalistic attitude towards her own death, feeling that unless it is her time to go, then she will escaped the situation unscathed. Koko is also very charismatic, a trait that she exhibited early when she impressed four older veteran soldiers (Lehm, Wiley, Echo, and Valmet) to leave the military and join her.

For her business dealings, Koko only accepts payment in the form of cash, although she once made an exception by accepting diamonds.[2] She refuses to take any credit and has met attempts to pay her with drugs by having her squad immediately kill the payees. Because of the circumstances of Echo's death, Koko has trouble sleeping during the full moon as it reminds her of the incident. Early on it was suggested that she tends to sleepwalk, but this was only shown once, at the start of the series.[3]

Relationships

S2 20 Jonah & Koko

Koko being affectionate with a reluctant Jonah in Episode 20.

  • Koko has a unique relationship with Jonah that is unlike that with any of her other squad members. She generally treats him like a little brother and bestows on him physical affection when they are together, although he does not reciprocate as he believes that this interferes with his ability to protect her. Koko has also kissed Jonah twice, the first time after he saved her from being shot by Shisho, when she kissed him on the cheek while they were being shot, and later full on the lips after joining him uninvited while he was bathing. She had earlier invited him to bathe together while they were on the Atlas but he turned her down, dismissing the idea as childish.[4]
  • R came to the conclusion that Jonah's true purpose is to act as a shackle on Koko's sanity as she fears turning into a monster as a result of her actions.[5] Although aware of his hatred of weapons and arms dealers when she had Kasper recruit him, Koko respected Jonah's views and worked to change his perspective, although she did not attempt to impose on him.
  • Despite her age and personality, which has earned her the nickname of "Princess", her squad is extremely loyal to Koko and will follow her orders without question, implicitly trusting her judgment. Lehm, who has been with her the longest, typically serves as a voice of reason and is unafraid to voice concerns or objections that he has to Koko's ideas. Valmet is in love with her and Koko considers her a special person, but has deliberately ignored Valmet's open displays of affection. However she has taken advantage of Valmet's feelings for her to fondle her breasts on two occasions.[6]
  • Although she gets along with her older brother Kasper, Koko was aware of the initial hostility with which he was regarded by Jonah and was furious with Kasper with how he and Chiquita treated Jonah when they encountered him on the Atlas. Nonetheless because of their family ties they will support each other when asked.[7] Koko however did not inform Kasper about Jormungand until the second quantum computer was launched and disagreed with his attitude that weapons would never be truly eliminated from the world when it was activated. She has a strained relationship with her father, Floyd Hekmatyar[8], which may stem from being involved in the arms trade from a young age, and did not tell him about Jormungand.
  • Amalia Torohovsky, who was initially an opponent of Koko's, proposed mutual cooperation after conceding defeat and since then the two have worked on a few deals together. Amalia generally treats her like a younger sister, calling her "Koko-chan". Koko does not see Amalia in the same light but maintains a friendly relationship with her as it is more convenient and easier for both of them to be friends rather than adversaries.
  • Although she was targeted by Orchestra, Koko developed a measure of respect for Chinatsu and offered her a position in the squad. After the former swiftly rejected this proposal over her burning desire to avenge Shisho, she tried to shoot Koko with a pistol she had concealed but was shot twice by Lehm. Koko caught her when she fell to her knees, and after she had died, gently laid her down, placed her hand over Shisho's crucifix, and closed her eyes.

Abilities

Having been trained in HCLI's business from a young age, Koko became involved in arms dealing early, starting when she was a teenager. Despite her youth, she was allowed to operate on her own accompanied by her bodyguards. Although she did not receive a higher education[9], her business sense and negotiating is top notch and she is a very successful arms dealer despite later growing to despise the business.

Koko has excellent instincts and has come to rely on them to see her and her squad through difficult situations. She is also able to quickly size up other people and tends to be spot on with her evaluations, sometimes even when she has not previously had the chance to research the other person's background. She is generally calm when in danger due to the nature of her work, but can get unnerved when she is by herself and without her bodyguards nearby. She has an encyclopedic knowledge of weapons backed up by real world experience and is a hyperpolyglot, speaking several European languages as well as Arabic and Japanese.

S2 14 Koko test firing

Koko test fires the SP 2022 in Episode 14.

Unlike her subordinates, Koko typically does not fight, although she has wielded a pistol on three occasions, twice in combat. She is actually a decent shot, being able to put two out of three quick shots from a Sig Sauer SP-2022 into a bullseye with the third just missing.[10] She is also well oriented with her laptop, from conducting business transactions to navigating a Sperwer B in combat. Koko generally directs her squad's actions but also gives them a great deal of initiative. She possesses excellent tactical and strategic sense and can quickly analyse a situation and how to handle it as well as think multiple steps ahead.

Equipment

Firearms
Koko does not carry weapons and has always borrowed a pistol when she has used one.

History

S1 09 Koko with squad

Koko with her squad shortly after Mao was recruited in a flashback in Episode 9.

Koko's background is largely filled in during the course of the series through flashbacks by other characters. Both she and Kasper were born at sea due to the nature of their father's work and they thus lack any sense of patriotism to a specific country. They were both exposed since a young age to the business of HCLI and have multiple passports and are used to traveling and working internationally. Koko began working in the business since she was at least a teenager and Lehm, Wiley, and Chiquita were the first three members of her bodyguard team.[11] After Chiquita had left, Koko recruited Valmet after she had returned home to Finland and offered her two choices: a domestic life or the key to the world. As her military career was over, Valmet opted for the latter.

Mao was the next person recruited for the squad after he had been discharged from the army following a training accident. After he joined, Koko learned that he had kept the truth of what he was doing secret from his children. She accepted this, but advised him to make sure that being kind would not undo him and to be proud of his comrades.[12]

S1 05 Jonah meets Koko

Koko tells Jonah that she will melt his heart of ice in Episode 5.

While dealing with Ugo's mafia organisation, which tried to pay her with drugs, she had Mao and Valmet wiped them out but spare Ugo, because he had reacted by looking away in disgust. When she afterwards tried to probe why he had done this, he refused to disclose why. Nonetheless she offered him a job as her driver.[13]

After Kasper encountered Jonah, Koko learned about the young child soldier and had him recruit Jonah for her. She later met him in person on the street in a certain Eastern European country and vowed to melt his heart of ice after seeing his expression.

Plot

Fire Hare Arc

S1 01 Jonah meets the team

Koko introduces Jonah to the rest of the squad.

Koko took Jonah to the hotel the squad was staying and briefly told him about his first mission, helping recover a shipment of MiG-29 upgrades being held up in port. After Wiley and Mao saw her hand Jonah a pistol, Koko then threw open the door to their hotel room and introduced him to everyone, to their bewilderment. She then received a status from Tojo on the upgrades and decided to go ahead with recovering them, having Jonah accompany her with Lehm and Valmet providing backup.

On the way over she called the Vice Minister of Home Affairs but got nowhere with him. Afterwards she tried to talk to Jonah, refusing to take his reticence for an answer and revealing that she knew all about him. After the Voskhod 6 suddenly appeared, Jonah surprised Koko by firing on them first. After the two cars tailing her were dispatched, a Humvee loaded with Voskhod 6 appeared and sideswiped the Volvo and Koko realised who her attackers were. When the chase moved off the highway, Jonah was able to throw a grenade just as a FGM-148 Javelin was fired at them. The grenade diverted the missile into a parked car and Koko was surprised to hear Jonah laugh after a stuffed toy dog that had been in the car flew out and landed on his head. After the Humvee was destroyed and the Voskhod 6 pulled back, Koko pointed out to Jonah the contradiction of his situation, as he would need to use a gun and get through her bodyguards if he wanted to target her out of his hatred for arms dealers. When asked at the port why she sold weapons, her answer was for world peace The following morning Jonah made breakfast for Koko, Lehm, and Valmet as the newest member of the squad, but the three of them got sick from his fried eggs.[14]

Gunmetal, Calico Road Arc

A few nights later Koko sleepwalked after Jonah had joined Lehm outside the hotel room for his patrol shift, wandering into the hallway where Lehm redirected her to the bathroom. The following morning, she briefed her squad on the delivery of enough parts to assemble 15 Hind-Ds by another arms dealer, C. K. Kloshkin. Because this intelligence came from headquarters, her pay would be cut unless the situation was resolved. After briefly rolling on the table in frustration, Koko told her squad that they had to stop the shipment. She assigned Tojo and Valmet negotiate with the air force while Lehm, Ugo, Mao, and Lutz backed up her and Jonah.

S1 01 Koko's piggyback ride

Koko getting a piggyback ride from Jonah.

En route, Koko gave Jonah a backup pistol as she was concerned about Kloshkin. She then signaled to Ugo for "good hunting" and they separated. She advised Jonah to act discreetly and pose as her little brother, only acting when she signaled him. They met with Kloshkin at his office, where Koko was called by Tojo shortly after he and Valmet had met with Stanistaw Jesensrg. When she instructed him on what to emphasise, Kloshkin was surprised to hear this and was turned down when he asked for some professional courtesy he was turned down. After Koko compared the current situation to something that she had helped set up that he was now taking advantage of and would thus face the consequences, Kloshkin smashed a coffee pot over her head in a rage. However she stopped Jonah from shooting and winked at him after Kloshkin disarmed him. When he suggest that they cooperate with him, Koko flatly dismissed him and suggested that he contact his snipers when he mentioned them again. Soon after she received an update from Tojo that the air force had cancelled its order for the Hinds and signaled for Jonah to execute Kloshkin. He then gave her a piggyback ride back to the car. That night Koko tried to cheer Jonah up at his inability to prevent her from getting hurt by wrapping herself in toilet paper as a mummy.[15]

Pulsar Arc

While traveling to an unnamed country near the Russian border, Koko discovered that her lack of reception was due to a border that had erupted with the Russians that had destroyed the local communications infrastructure. After her convoy was halted, the local military under the command of Major Pollack brought them in. He turned out to be the customer she was seeking and took delivery of a MIM-104 Patriot missile battery. However when Koko tried to get Pollack to sign the contract, he had her sit down to talk and she learned that the border war had begun just eight hours before. Grant, the commander with whom she was to have met, was relieved of command, making Pollack the commanding officer. Koko quickly realised that the situation had deteriorated, Pollack would have trouble supplying his forces, and would demand more of her. This was borne out when Pollack began to ask for additional weapons after signing the contract, but was interrupted by the arrival of CCAT. This was an unpleasant surprise to Koko and she ignored Mildo's hug, telling her when asked that Valmet was in the field. She was not too happy to see Curry but regardless sat down with him and Pollack.

S1 02 Koko signals

Koko signaling her response when Lehm asks what they will do next in Episode 2.

After learning that Curry had sold the major refurbished FIM-92A Stingers, Koko tried to leave but was stopped by Pollack, who asked for a radar to replace the one that had been destroyed in a bombing. After Curry declined being able to get one Koko tried to do the same but the former suggested that she could obtain one thanks to her connections. Koko nonetheless pressed ahead with her denial, making it more theatrical. A frustrated Pollack quickly called for his men, provoking a standoff with the squad. Koko calmed down an angry Lutz and adopted a more level tone with Pollack, claiming that she knew that he would try to suppress any news about what was going on. Pollack admitted that his men were killing civilians and journalists to prevent the news from leaking, but added that it was his responsibility as their commander to ensure that they were properly equipped. He reiterated his demand for the radar before leaving, defusing the situation. While walking away with her squad, Koko signaled to them when Lehm asked what they would do next that they would pretend to accept the order, but flee after meeting up with Tojo and Valmet. She informed them that the major was nearly broke and could only pay them by controlling the pipeline. She then vowed that she would never do business on credit, earning a round of applause.

However despite her resolve Koko was unable to sleep and rose early. Before she left Pollack told her that he would send two of his men to accompany her and that her satellite phone would begin working again once she cleared the pass. While driving away one of the escorts who was accompanying Koko voiced his dislike of arms dealers but Koko hit back by mocking his elite status and experience of soldiering. Koko later had Jonah try her phone when they arrived at Orin Pass and discovered that she had regained reception just before a pair of Russian Hind-Es suddenly appeared and attacked the infantry deployed in the mountains. After everyone dispersed away from the road, Koko saw a Stinger fired at the Hinds miss. She and then Jonah then found a soldier who refused to confirm that his unit had fired the Stinger. Nonetheless she warned him that he had to get his comrades away from the Hinds because they were using thermal sensors, making it easy to spot anyone on the ground. During the attack the soldier realised that Koko had been smiling the whole time and dismissed her. Back on the road she explained that she would not sell additional arms to Pollack when Jonah asked as her instincts told her that the fight would be over in at most two days, and the short duration and circumstances combined would not make it profitable to get involved.

While later continuing on foot through the woods, Koko called Valmet and directed her and Tojo to capture their escorts, who were left bound and unharmed. Koko then gave Valmet a welcome hug, which the latter was happy to receive. That night the squad found an abandoned factory where CCAT was hiding. Koko learned from Curry that they were in a fix because Mildo had attacked their escorts and agreed when he suggested that Mildo and Valmet patrol. After being informed that Pollack’s troops were closing in, Koko had her squad prepare to move out and proposed to Curry that they clear the way. When Lehm pointed out that they were surrounded when they stepped outside, Koko commanded her squad in a loud voice to unload their magazines, surprising CCAT. She then yelled out to the troops that they could attack them or go after CCAT inside. The troops ignored the squad and advanced to attack CCAT. The soldier who Koko had earlier encountered at Orin Pass approached and pointed out that the pass was now unguarded, telling Koko to head north as they would let them go. As the squad ran for their vehicles, Jonah began to laugh. When he explained that this was the first time he had left a battlefield without firing a shot, Koko replied that she would make sure that he had plenty of opportunity to fire the next time. They made it safely to the airport, where Koko saw on the news that fighting had stopped as she entered the terminal. She then saw CCAT arrive right behind her before she joined the squad.

Musica Ex Machina Arc

S1 03 Tojo & Koko joke

Tojo and Koko joking in Episode 3.

While waiting for their flight to Dubai, Koko became aware that Jonah's education was lacking when Valmet asked him to calculate how many wheels were on three airliners. At their hotel in Dubai she explained to him that he would now be instructed in general education subjects such as math, science, and languages by various members of the squad. When he gave a ballpark figure in response to Tojo prompting him for the answer to a problem, Koko and Tojo recalled the airport incident. Jonah then asked Koko what she was looking at on her laptop and she explained that it was a list of assassins forwarded to her from headquarters. However she was not that worried due to the Dubai Police Force and her own bodyguards. Tojo saw that she had pulled up information on Orchestra, whose background Koko then explained. After cracking a joke that had her and Tojo laughing, Valmet and Lutz entered and wondered what was going on. Koko then wondered why her squad was not enjoying the city and accepted Valmet's invitation to go out, leaving Jonah behind with Tojo to continue his studies.

Koko and Valmet wound up in a small plaza where the former admired an expensive watch in a store window. When she decided to get the watch Valmet immediately offered to buy it for her, refusing to take no for an answer. As soon as she stepped inside the store however, Chinatu grabbed Koko's wrist and asked her why she sold arms when she knew that it could end up killing her. Koko responded by grabbing Chinatsu's other hand and getting in her face, yelling that she would answer if Orchestra could kill her. Chinatsu broke contact and Shisho, who was seated at nearby table under an umbrella, suddenly turned around and fired at her.

She was saved by Jonah, who had raced to the roof and jumped on top of the umbrella over Shisho's table, throwing off his aim and pulling Koko to the ground. They had to stay under cover as Shisho continued to fire at them while Chinatsu kept Valmet pinned down. Koko surprised Jonah by kissing his cheek out of gratitude while continue to smile, such that she had to pull him down to keep him under cover. In response to his query as to what was wrong with her, she argued that it was nothing as she was used to being targeted. If it was her time to go, there would be nowhere to hide and if not, she would be able to escape and how could she as an arms dealer fear her own product. They were able to move when Shisho ceased firing and Jonah covered them.

The arrival of the Dubai Police Force prevented Chinatsu from using her Chinatsu Cannon Special against them and when Orchestra paused, Valmet attempted to join them with the aid of a ballistic shield that she recovered. She was hit in the leg but managed to reach the pair and apologised to Koko for not being able to help. Seeing this, Jonah decided to try and take out Orchestra on his own and he charged them head on but was saved at the last minute by Lehm. While Orchestra dealt with a police sniper team that had appeared, Koko and Valmet were able to join Lehm and Johan. Lehm gave Jonah his headset and he and Koko were able to escape the square on foot.

Anime and manga differences

Additions

  • The anime adds more information on Koko's work history.
  • Koko and her squad were shown with Minami Amada watching a Hek-GG rocket launch from a naval launch platform prior to Jonah's addition. The scene with Jonah cooking a meal was changed to dinner and sickened the entire squad.[16] This replaces Koko's attempt to cheer Jonah up by using toilet paper to make herself into a mummy.

Omissions

  • Koko occasionally wore more outlandish outfits when passing through airport security to disguise her appearance which do not appear in the anime.

Trivia

  • Koko placed fourth in a character poll conducted by Sunday GX which ran from June through September 2012.[17]
  • Koko appears on all of the volume covers of the manga except for Volume 11. She is always paired with another member of her squad except for Volume 10, where she is alone.

References

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