|Age:||12-14 years old|
| Character Information
|First seen:||Manga: Chapter 85|
|Last seen:||Manga: Chapter 85|
|Voice actor (Japanese):||Maria Yamamoto|
|“||I don't care what you are. Because... I like you.||”|
–Aiko, to Kaede
Aiko Takada was the second human to befriend Kaede. She made her only appearance in Chapter 85 of the manga series, and in the special OVA episode of the anime, both of which are almost exclusively devoted to her back-story.
Five years after murdering Kouta's family, Kaede/Lucy is on the run, killing some humans and infecting others with the Diclonius birth virus in the Kamakura area, as many as two hundred. These murders are mostly accomplished by using her vectors on people's blood vessels to simulate strokes and heart attacks. After being accidentally hit by a kid's soccer (foot) ball, she is stopped from going on another rampage by an offer of aid from Aiko, which she, at first, reluctantly takes.
Aiko then asks her to be a model for her drawings, revealing that she had already sketched her in the park from her apartment window. Her artwork, however, aroused the ire of her father, who greatly resented her mother, who was also an artist, for abandoning them. Aiko's father beat her in front of Kaede, who tossed him around with her vectors. She spared his life only to spare Aiko's feelings. Aiko tells her that she still dreams of her family being united again, despite never actually having known her mother. She reveals that her mother, now a famous artist, is likely in the area with a showcase of her works at a local mall. With memories of her regrets about Kouta still haunting her, Kaede strongly urges her to go and see her mother, no matter her fears and anger. They resolve to go and see her the very next day, at which time Aiko will give her a gift, a painting she made and hid away. Unbeknownst to her, her mother in fact desired to see her very much. Following a grim premonition, Kaede went back to Aiko's apartment.
When she arrived, she found that Aiko had accidentally killed her father. Having seen a painting she drew for her mother, he tried to slash it with a knife, only for her to push him away from the painting to save it. This led to him slashing his own throat. Kaede told Aiko it was in fact her fault, since the hidden painting was exposed when she threw Aiko's father. Their plan to go to the police the next day is ruined by the arrival of his barfly girlfriend, who openly and loudly accuses them both of murder. Promising that Aiko will meet her mother, Kaede gets her to agree to go on the run. The instances of massive amounts of heart attacks and Diclonius births caught the attention of Diclonius researchers Kurama and Kakuzawa, who reach the conclusion that perhaps the original Diclonius is in the Kamakura area. An old photo of Kaede from the orphanage combined with the murders she committed five years before and the report of the murder of Aiko's father to narrow their search.
Kaede and Aiko broke into the mall where her mother's exhibition will be held, hoping to meet her. Aiko is briefly heartened to see a painting of her as a baby with her mother. Outside, Kurama leads the team that will try to go in and take Kaede. Inside, Kaede uses her powers to amuse Aiko and convinces her that she is a magician, but is put off by Aiko's talk of a hopeful future together. They are surrounded by the armed guards led by Kurama, who at first urges restraint, until a panicked Kaede begins using her powers. Attempting to protect Kaede, Aiko is shot by Kurama. Enraged, Kaede kills many of the guards. In the distance, Aiko's mother, who was one of the guests cleared out before the assault, wandered at the carnage. To try and save the dying Aiko, Kaede agrees to surrender. Once in captivity at the Diclonius Research Institute, Kaede is informed that Aiko has died, and is told that it was her own fault for not surrendering, just as Diclonii 'deserve' their treatment for not wanting to co-exist. Feeling that he has failed to keep his word, Kaede vows to kill off the people Kurama loves, but to leave him alive to suffer the pain of losing someone he cares about, just as Kaede lost Aiko.
- While a minor character in the series proper, Aiko, in the end, is the reason Kaede is first captured, and the source of her hatred of Kurama, both major plot points.
- In the anime OVA, Aiko's home life is never shown. Also, Kaede/Lucy reveals her horns to her, which she did not in the manga. Like Kouta before her, she finds them cool. It is wearing Lucy's wool hat that gets her misidentified as a Diclonius and shot.
- In the final manga chapter, Wanta wanders past a poster that may or may not say Aiko Takada, indicating Aiko survived being shot. Some scanlations indicate that this is Aiko; others say it is an advert for another of her mother's exhibitions. While no official word has yet been revealed, there are a few logical arguments against her survival. Kurama had no reason to lie to Lucy, when in fact news that her cooperation had saved her friend would have calmed what Kurama would logically see as a dangerous captive. Also, her exposure to young Lucy would have made Aiko a target for surveillance if not elimination by the paranoid Kakuzawas. Until such time as some manner of official word is released on this subject, this article and related information on this Wiki should relate that in fact Aiko died that tragic night.
- Maria Yamamoto voices Aiko (there is no English dub of the episode she appears in). Aiko's death would mark the fourth character that Ms. Yamamoto has voiced to meet a tragic end. Sadly, Aiko's being shot was the least grisly of Ms. Yamamoto's characters' ends; The other three being Kisaragi, Kanae, and Saito.