Kōri Hime (Ice Princess)
Nobara Ibaragi (茨木 のばら Ibaragi Nobara) is a middle school student in Gakuen Alice. Nobara is the only female in the Dangerous Ability class, known as the "Ice Princess." She appears only in the manga, possesses the Ice Alice, and has multiple personalities.
Nobara is easily seen as a confused and lonely young girl. Famous for being the "Ice Princess" and the only female member of the Dangerous Ability Class, she is ostracized by her peers, which results to her own insecurities. However, as she and Mikan become friends, she is simply drawn to the girl's cheerfulness and charms to the point she becomes completely fond of her and secretly watches her from afar. Her bond with Mikan helps her become more assertive and brave as shown when she disobeys the Elementary School Principal because she could not bear hurting Mikan.
Her manner of speaking is rather soft, but due to her chronic shyness, she is prone to stuttering her words. She noticeably has a very polite demeanor, though she can be somewhat clumsy. She is generally quite trusting, but also very emotionally vulnerable.
Apart from her shy personality, Nobara can also be a cold and heartless person. This personality corresponds with her other Alice and usually comes out only during missions or whenever Persona tells her to.
She is very attached to Persona, beginning from when she first met him at a very young age. Despite his Alice, Nobara regulary has physical contact with him, as proof of her affection for him. She tends to forgive him whenever he does something horrible and justifies it because of the cruel treatment he endures at the hands of the Elementary School Principal and the hatred he receives from others because of his Alice. It was initially unknown whether her feelings for him were romantic or that of an intimate friend, as they both grew up lonely and ostracized by others. However, in the final chapter, it is confirmed that she has been in love with him all along, as they are seen together with their child.
Young and fragile, Nobara possesses ephemeral beauty with a heart-shaped face and a petite form. She has icy-blue, wavy hair that flows down to her shoulders, pale skin and a pair of gentle blue eyes. Complimenting her Alice, her appearance somewhat relates to the depiction of a "Yuki Onna" (Snow Woman). She is usually seen with her hair down and only ties it up during an occasion.
She wears the standard middle school uniform for females, which consists of a black jacket with a blue ribbon, a blue-colored plaid skirt, and a pair of black boots. Back in elementary school, Hayate teased Nobara that her appearance is "yucky" because she didn't have any female friends, so she cried all the time. Of course, Rui 'punished' Hayate for teasing Nobara and making her cry.
Nobara was abandoned at the academy by her parents when she was five years old. A then teenaged Persona found her, telling her not to touch him because she would end up like him. Nobara touches his hand saying, "It's warm." Nobara is also seen giving Persona flowers. These flowers do not rot when Persona touches them.
Christmas Dance Arc
Eight years later, Nobara is first introduced looking out a window, wondering why Mikan is by Natsume's side and notices Natsume smile at Mikan. Nobara later appears asking if she can help with preparations for the Christmas party. Because of her status in the Dangerous Ability Class, she is treated as an outcast by her fellow students. She then meets Mikan and the two become fast friends. When the cakes start cooling, she tries to cool them down with her Alice because Mikan wants to decorate them now. It did not turn out well because the cakes freeze. Natsume then comes and uses his Alice to defrost the cakes instantly and asks why Nobara is there before telling her to leave. Mikan encourages Nobara to try again, but this time, she holds her hand and uses her Nullification Alice to help control Nobara's Alice. It works, and the two smile and laugh. Nobara is later attends the Christmas Ball, watching over Mikan.
Clean Up Day Mini Arc
After the Christmas Ball, Nobara wanders off to the Elementary Division area where Mikan, Natsume, and Ruka are and gets mistaken for a ghost. Natsume recognizes her and kicks Nobara, causing her to fall down. Nobara tells Natsume the reason why she came is because she wants to see Mikan. Because the other middle schoolers did not want her to help with the clean up duties, Nobara decideles to help Mikan's class, so she goes out into the snow and along the way she gets wet (because of the snow), injured, and lost a boot, (she also found a pair of scissors then), which was why she was mistaken for a ghost. Mikan's class is already done by the time she arrives, but she and Mikan manage to see each other. But then Narumi came in telling everyone to clean up their Alice-based classes, and Tsubasa takes Mikan away. Nobara later meets with Natsume who tells her go, but Nobara says that she has something to tell him concerning Mikan. She tells him that she saw Mikan's mask fall off in front of her partner at the Christmas Dance and she thinks it could of been the Elementary School Principal.
Hana Hime Arc
Nobara attends the Hana Hime Party and is surprised to see Mikan there. When Nobara tries to talk to Mikan, Natsume takes Mikan away before she can understand that Nobara is trying to tell her. She is later seen following Tsubasa and Misaki and wants to tell them what she wanted to inform Mikan, but did not know how to address Tsubasa. Nobara is captured by Rui and is used as a trap to get Natsume by making her look like Aoi Hyūga. Appearing in a trance, she still thinks of warning Natsume to leave. Nobara then appears with her other personality using her Ice Alice on Hotaru, Ruka, and Natsume. It was only when Mikan arrives that she stops. Horrified, she refuses to use her Alice because she did not want Mikan to see her other personality. Nobara runs off crying, only to be found by Tono and Misaki later on. Shortly after, she looks out the window at Mikan, Ruka, and Natsume playing outside. However, Persona, who had infected himself due Mikan using her Nullification Alice against him, is traumatized and Nobara comforts him, vowing to always protect him.
Sports Festival Arc
Nobara is on the red team and tries to tell something to Mikan about Luna Koizumi, but Tsubasa, who was carrying Mikan during the game, runs away, since Rui is carrying Nobara. In the game, she uses her Alice to create an ice floor to make some contestants slip.
She is seen looking out the window at Mikan and everyone with binoculars, until she is startled by the arrival of the Elementary School Principal and Persona. The Elementary School Principal tells her that she does not need to be scared, because Persona convinced him to give her lighter missions. He then asks her to help them bring a certain female companion she wishes into the Dangerous Ability class. However, Nobara is reluctant due that the Elementary Principal is talking about Mikan.
She appears in the Elementary School Principal's office with the rest of the Dangerous Ability class, where she appears worried about Mikan's safety by transferring to the Dangerous Ability class. When Natsume comes to protect Mikan, she refuses the order to trap the two in ice. Nobara is told that she would be in trouble for her actions but she allows Mikan and Natsume to escape anyway. This action also makes Persona so angry to the point where he throws his mask at her and berates her for her betrayal.
Time Travel Arc
She is being taken away by the Punishment Team where Tono sees her. She and Tono are later rescued by Tsubasa. She is taken to see the past, where she meets Mikan and the others. Nobara is happy to see Mikan and hugs her. Like everyone else, Nobara creates an Alice Stone and gives Mikan an Ice Alice Stone. After the time-travelling, she and everyone teleport back to the High School Principal's office where everyone is found missing. When they are discovered by the Punishment Team, she keeps them at bay with her Alice, which causes everyone to stop arguing about Tono's choice to have Noda take the Punishment Team with him with his Time Travel Alice.
Later on, Persona is seen with the other Dangerous Ability students, discussing about finding Nobara and punishing her for the betrayal.
The group ends up getting surrounded by students who want to capture them for the Elementary School Principal, but she and everyone manage to escape after Natsume uses his newly inserted Wish Alice. Knowing that the Dangerous Ability students are moving out, Nobara makes a firm decision to stay behind and fight them. Nobara is noticed by Natsume when she sneaks away from the group. Natsume questions her actions, but Nobara admits that she wants to fight the Dangerous Ability students on her own. Throughout her life, she has been hated by her peers and hated her own Alice for that reason. Mikan is the only one who showed true kindness and friendship to her, even after finding out about her split personality. She knows that her betrayal has emotionally hurt Persona, as she is the only one who truly knows and understands him. It is seen in a flashback that she is very close to other Dangerous Ability students and they treat each other as family.
When Ruka notices the pursers with his Barrier Alice, Mikan uses teleportation to get everyone to safety. However, Nobara stays behind and tells Mikan that she is grateful for her friendship. After Mikan's group departs, Nobara is now alone and uses her Ice Alice to freeze all the pursuers, so that Persona and the Dangerous Ablility students would find her easily. She attempts to convince Persona to stop shutting people out, but he finds this talk as pity. When seen again, Nobara has frozen both Rui and Yakumo, so that she wouldn't cause them trouble. Nobara then tells Persona that she will be the last person that he'll use his Alice on. She continues to plead to Persona to stop doing what he is doing, apologize for what he did to Mikan, and tells him that he is a pawn of the Elementary School Principal. Nobara unfreezes those she froze except their feet and creates a large ice dome to trap Persona and herself. Persona is angered by her words and is further angered when she speaks of Izumi Yukihira, who cared for him and didn't blame Persona for his death. Enraged, Persona uses his Mark of Death Alice on Nobara. She still pleads for him to change as Nobara holds his hand and says, "It's warm," like she did when they first met and then falls down from the effects of Persona's Alice. Persona then has a mental breakdown and gets effected by his own Alice. After Persona collapses, Nobara declares that she will protect Persona from the Elementary School Principal.
She is hospitalized and under the care of Subaru Imai. Mikan is been told that she isn't allowed to heal Nobara, because she needs to keep up a ruse that she is incapable of using her Stealing Alice. During the Christmas Ball, Nobara is still hospitalized, which is the reason Subaru was unable to attend this year.
By New Years, she is still being treated by Subaru, but he is still unable to heal her or improve her condition. The Dangerous Ability class (Rui, Yoichi, Yakumo, Hayate) along with Persona visit Nobara in the hospital and are worried about her. After a short time, Persona announces that they must leave, but approaches Nobara's injured body and places his hand on the glass container. Yoichi sees Nobara's spirit reach for his hand and caress Persona gently, while crying, meaning she holds no ill will towards him for her current condition and wishes to comfort him.
Eventually, Nobara’s condition takes a turn for the worse. Her spirit appears in front of Mikan, making her realize that Nobara is close to death. Sakurano and Subaru rush to try to save her until Mikan suddenly teleports to the room and uses her Stealing Alice to remove Persona's Alice stones from her body. Nobara finally opens her eyes as Persona arrives and offers to help Mikan escape. When Mikan is reluctant, Nobara asks for Mikan to forgive Persona because he truly wants to help her escape from the Elementary School Principal and regrets his bad deeds.
After the Elementary School Principal is killed by a redeemed Luna, Nobara is gradually recovering and is side-by-side with Persona, who is also recovering from his injuries. They express relief and joy at the news of the Elementary School Principal's death and holds Persona's hand. Two weeks later, Nobara is sleeping when Persona visits with her before resigning from the academy. Before departing, he tenderly touchs her cheek. When she wakes up, she notices he is gone but still feels his warmth on her face.
At some point, during the four years after Mikan's departure from the academy, Nobara fully recovers from her illness and reunites with Persona. Nobara confirms her feelings for Persona when, in the final chapter, she and Persona are happily married and have a daughter. During her reunion with Mikan, Nobara cries and hugs Mikan, who is also happy to see her.
Nobara possesses the power to rapidly decrease the temperature in her surroundings and form a great variety of ice structures. In addition to being above-average in using her Ice Alice, she is able to generate ice, snow, and cold at will and project in various forms of quantities of ice and snow. She is able to freeze any moisture in the air and is virtually immune to sub-zero temperatures.
In addition to her magnificent Ice and Snow manipulation, Nobara carries multiple personalities within her. Normally, she is shy and withdrawn, but her other personalities are cold and ruthless. This personality only comes out when Persona wishes for it and during missions. This is the side she refuses to let Mikan see. These split personalites are a result of hyponotism, because Nobara would refuse to use her Alice herself.
Notes and Trivia
- Nobara means "wild rose" in Japanese.
- Nobara's Alice is like the legendary Japanese Yokai, Yuki-onna, which is one of her nicknames.
- She also goes by another alias known as "Koori-hime", which literally means Ice Princess.