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"I'll give everything I've got to be the best hostess I can be!"
—Koharu


Koharu (Japanese: 小春) is a young student and aspiring Ryokan hostess, who appeared in the November 2, 2021 update for Dead or Alive Xtreme Venus Vacation in the DMM and Japanese Steam versions, and the November 24, 2022 update in the Johren and Singapore Steam versions.

Biography[]

She was the daughter of a couple who owned a Ryokan (traditional Japanese hot spring inn). In large part because of this, she aspired to become a hostess of her own inn. While growing up, during her breaks, she often went to the relaxation room and read various books inside, which contributed massively to her later love of classical Japanese literature.

She eventually went to the Venus Islands to work at the hotel, as a way to ensure she completed the necessary training to become a hostess due to feeling training at her parents' inn would only have her go too easy on herself. While trying to get her luggage to the hotel, she stumbled and fell on the Owner. Afterwards, the Owner decided to have her be a participant in the Venus Festival.

Appearance[]

Koharu has pale skin, black hair worn in a side ponytail held by a pink string with a gold jingle bell, and purple eyes. She is not as busty as the other girls, but still possesses an ample chest. Her main attire, Hospitable Beauty, is a slightly revealing kimono, similar in overall appearance to the Stylish Blossom outfits, albeit with yellow mixed in. Her belt buckle has a stylized owl on it. It also included an apron, which according to Koharu had been made by her mom shortly before she left for the Venus Islands. Although nowhere near as short as Marie Rose or Kanna, she is nevertheless one of the smaller girls on the island.

Personality[]

Owing to her desired career choice, Koharu was shown to be meek, dutiful, and submissive. She also utilized respectful terms towards the Owner and to a lesser degree the other Venuses (initially referring to the latter party by the suffix "-Sama" in the Japanese version and the pronoun "Ms." in the English localization until Leifang told her such wasn't necessary). Similar to Marie Rose and Patty in the Japanese version, she at times refers to herself in the third person, although not nearly to the same extent. This trait likewise is toned down in English localizations. She also has some degree of insecurities about herself and whether she'll succeed at being a good innkeeper, even deliberately going to the island to ensure she doesn't "go easy on [herself]," and also tending to lament whenever she makes any failures to her training and get apologetic. Partly because of her insecurities, she also tended to get reckless to her own well-being to ensure she does a good job, a notable instance of this is when she overworked cleaning the onsen and ended up becoming unwell enough that she passed out with a significant fever and had to be confined to a bed.

Etymology[]

Koharu is a Japanese feminine name. It can mean several things depending on the Kanji involved, but generally translates to "small", "heart", "spring", or "summer."

Relationships[]

Koharu's mother[]

Koharu idolizes her mother, with her specifically wishing to become an innkeeper to emulate her mother. When she was much younger, she often tended to place her head on her mother's lap while napping, an action that she eventually repeated with the Owner years later. Her mother later sent a letter to Koharu giving some encouragement, as well as advice about how she needs to keep a relaxed attitude to make her guests at ease while also adding she missed her daughter. Koharu when reading that last bit also speculated that she may have inherited her clingy attitude from her mother.

Hitomi[]

Koharu met Hitomi as well as Leifang in person shortly after the latter party did three laps around the island. However, she already knew their names and faces by that time by having studied up on them, citing that as being an important skillset for acting as a landlady of an inn someday. Hitomi also related somewhat towards her desire to train in innkeeping, due to her constantly training her Karate skills even during vacations. She also offered to have Koharu train alongside her, although she refused, mostly because her job didn't allow for that kind of training. She also watched with some amusement Hitomi and Leifang get into an argument over cooking, glad to gain some "older sisters."

Leifang[]

Koharu met Leifang as well as Hitomi in person shortly after the latter party did three laps around the island. However, she already knew their names and faces by that time by having studied up on them, citing that as being an important skillset for acting as a landlady of an inn someday. Leifang also told her not to be so formal with her fellow venuses when she initially addressed them with "-Sama" (localized as her addressing them with "Ms."), with her taking Leifang's advice to heart. Leifang also offered to teach Koharu how to prepare Chinese dishes, with Koharu agreeing mostly because the hot spring inn that her family owned was also getting foreign customers and thus knowledge on foreign as well as Japanese cuisines will ultimately be necessary in the near future. She also watched with some amusement Leifang and Hitomi's argument after the latter implied that Leifang tended to add too much spice, as well as expressed gladness at gaining "older sisters."

Misaki[]

Misaki apparently met Koharu the first day of her arrival, and even provided pointers to her regarding working with the Owner, based on statements made by Koharu in one of her debut episodes. Misaki largely related to her due to her also working part time for the Owner as his supporter. The next day, Misaki learned that Koharu intended to clean Tamaki's room, but she was not responding (due to her sleeping past noon), which ultimately culminated in Misaki having to break into her room to allow Koharu to clean it.

During a stargazing festival, Koharu alongside Elise tried to get aid from Misaki regarding how to Stargaze due to her expertise in the field (as neither of them knew how to do so due to little to no actual experience in doing the activity before then, Koharu in particular having only had second-hand knowledge on the subject via a school event in her past). Misaki then gave them some advice regarding knowledge on stars and constellations, as well as it not requiring deep thoughts and "the most important" part about it before getting back to work.

Tamaki[]

Tamaki met Koharu by accident after Misaki and Koharu were forced to break into her room due to her sleeping past noon due to the latter needing to clean it. It was implied from the strewn about swimwear and Tamaki wearing glasses that she was pulling an all-nighter researching new swimsuit designs. Tamaki also implied that she found Koharu cute, which disturbed Koharu slightly. When cleaning the room, Koharu also was shocked at the more adult nature of Tamaki's swimsuit designs, with her refusing when Tamaki offered to give her one of the designs before hurriedly leaving under the pretense of finding sheets to replace the bed with.

Elise[]

Elise alongside Nanami, met Koharu after the latter invited the two and several other girls over for Japanese tea and snacks, with Elise in particular being motivated to learn more about Japanese culture. Elise was particularly impressed with Koharu's manners, even beyond her job. She also deduced some elements on what the snacks were meant for (namely raising blood sugar enough to endure hot springs due to the heat from the springs making people sick otherwise).

The two were later involved in a filming production of fighting girls (implied to belong to the same film series that Leifang started), with Elise acting as the director of the movie and also playing the role of one of the protagonists, while Koharu was to portray an antagonist alongside Kanna. However, she inadvertently caused chaos on the set due to using Nyotengu's fan in an attempt to "provide hospitality." Elise was reluctant to flee the area due to insistence that they finish the scene.

Elise and Koharu later engaged in an onsen event together (mostly because Elise was the final Onsen customer before a late-night festival the two were to participate in together entailing jewelry). While bathing together, Elise and Koharu made small talk about how their time at the island and bonding with the Owner changed them, with Koharu indirectly hinting at her crush on the Boss, although she later changed the subject after Elise noticed her blushing from this and believed she was getting heat exhaustion. After getting dressed in the jewelry themed outfits that the Boss left for them in advance, the two also made some small talk about the meanings of various jewelry, with Elise in particular explaining to Koharu what her "violet sapphire" themed dress was likely meant to represent.

The two convened by accident during a stargazing festival (as they were intending to meet up with the Boss). As they both were trying to find a way to repay the Boss for both the outfits and their overall time with him, they decided to stargaze together. After getting advice from Misaki, Koharu after finding her constellation, Capricornus, proceeded to relay a bit of information to Elise and the Boss regarding its origins, with Elise noting that it fit well with Koharu's ties to a historic inn.

Nanami[]

Nanami, alongside Elise, met Koharu after the latter invited the two and several other girls over for Japanese tea and snacks, with Nanami being surprised at Koharu being the same age as her. When learning of Koharu's past of being the daughter of the innkeepers of a particular historical hot spring inn, Nanami also pondered whether she actually stayed at that inn in the past.

Nagisa[]

Koharu stumbled upon Nagisa and Lobelia while shopping for meals, as the two were trying to find a particular novel. Nagisa largely recognized her due to having heard of her elsewhere. They then made small-talk about literary genres, with Nagisa learning that Koharu specifically liked classical Japanese literature, recognizing the genre as including Man'yōshū and The Pillow Book. Nagisa eventually explained when Koharu asked why they were looking for a particular book that she needed it as source material for a new acting gig, citing her job as a stage actress.

During the fifth anniversary party, Koharu encountered Nagisa alongside Momiji after an awkward moment where she nearly fell asleep due to overeating at the banquet. They then made some small talk about their initial reasons for joining the festival and what changed their minds. Nagisa in particular explained that she joined by accident due to initially intending to pick Misaki up and leaving due to distrusting the Owner, but ultimately relenting after seeing how happy Misaki was at the festival. She also partly wanted to keep an eye on the Owner.

Lobelia[]

Koharu stumbled upon Nagisa and Lobelia while shopping for meals, as the two were trying to find a particular novel. They then made small-talk about literary genres, with Lobelia relating to Koharu's love of Japanese classical literature since she herself also was fond of classical literature as well, albeit of more Western origin such as the Iliad. When asking why they were looking for a particular book, Lobelia stated she had her own secret reasons for wanting to read it.

Lobelia later loaned a book to Koharu entailing demons and forbidden love, causing her to tease Koharu afterwards of having a "demon" inside her. This prompted Koharu to have an imagine spot involving herself as an angel, and Lobelia representing a demon.

Fiona[]

Fiona, alongside Ayane, met Koharu in order to thank her for opening up the onsen, with Fiona in particular really enjoying the experience due to having never actually experienced them for herself. She also hoped that the three would engage in a "Naked Talk" at the onsen. However, since Koharu herself was working the entire time the onsens were open, she settled for a pajama party instead due to Koharu mentioning that participants tended to "talk until morning", with Koharu being especially eager to try it out. Fiona also inquired about Koharu's love of Japanese classical literature, having learned of it via her friend Lobelia earlier. Upon learning about Koharu's favorite story, Tale of Genji, she was very fond of what the story entailed. She then admitted that she'd still like to participate in an onsen with Koharu.

Ayane[]

Ayane, alongside Fiona, met Koharu in order to thank her for opening up the onsen. Ayane remarked it "wasn't bad", and admitted that, although having more experience in the area than Fiona, she didn't generally participate in them. After learning that Koharu was working the same time that the onsens were open, she asked her if there was another means to interact besides that. Ayane reluctantly participated in the pajama party afterwards. She also learned of Koharu's love of classical Japanese literature, and admitted that, Tale of Genji aside, she wasn't familiar with many books in that genre, with Ayane giving more cynical commentary after Koharu explained what that story was about. Specifically, she considered the eponymous character to be a womanizer, though she nevertheless expressed some grudging respect for him actually being loyal to his lovers.

Kanna[]

Koharu was paired up with Kanna to act as the main antagonists in a film about fighting girls, although Koharu's more submissive and polite demeanor ended up spoiling the act. She inadvertently caused chaos on the set due to using Nyotengu's fan in an attempt to "make the movie better," with Kanna immediately recognizing the fan and trying to warn her against using it.

Tina Armstrong[]

Shandy[]

Koharu stumbled upon Shandy by accident when the latter had barely woken up due to not being a morning person and was wearing an extremely revealing outfit, as Koharu was about to clean her room. She later met her face to face alongside Leifang, while struggling to avoid admitting to stumbling on her earlier. Koharu then admitted she was impressed with Shandy's handling of Leifang's genuine Sichuan Mapo Tofu, as well as her overall mature demeanor, while Shandy likewise admitted she respected Koharu's determined and dependable nature that belied her cute appearance, as she herself doubted she could live up to that. She eventually deduced Koharu's earlier peeping on her and promptly teased her about it.

Owner[]

Koharu met the Owner by accident while trying to get up to the Hotel, where she fell on him. Largely thankful for his breaking her fall, she was eager to work under him. It is also heavily implied that she fell in love with him partly because of his role in saving her, though she was reluctant to act on those feelings due to needing to focus on her training as an innkeeper.

Appearances[]

Dead or Alive appearances[]

Music themes[]

The following are the music themes used for Koharu throughout the series.

Theme Game appearances
"Better" Dead or Alive Xtreme Venus Vacation

Gallery[]

Trivia[]

  • She is the third character to use the honorific "-Sama" for the Owner, after Fiona and Lobelia. Of the three, she is also the only one to be Japanese and not of high class (as Fiona was explicitly a princess, while Lobelia was mentioned to be from an aristocracy). She also uses the Hiragana form, similar to Lobelia.
  • Owing to her love of Japanese classical literature, her volleyball challenger chibi icon depicts her reading a book, as well as one of her gravures reading a book. The book "Beach Side Lovers" in the latter instance implies that she was also fond of the romance genre, which is further supported by Koharu relaying the plot of the Tale of Genji during small talk with Lobelia and Nagisa, as well as to the Owner when describing herself for the purposes of writing a bio for the festival.
    • She also recognized the finding of the spoon aspect from Dolce birthdays, or at least her own birthday, as originating from the book The Straw Millionaire, though she didn't put two-and-two together until she saw her birthday cake.
  • Although her nationality is not supplied due to the bios for various girls lacking a nationality section, she is meant to be Japanese, due to the hiragana spelling of her name, and also her backstory of being the daughter of an inn keeping couple for a Japanese hot spring inn and her love of Japanese classical literature, and to a lesser extent her fondness for Japanese clothing.
    • In the event episode, "Tea Time", after Elise relayed Koharu's background of her family running a certain historical ryokan, Nanami speculated that she may have visited that ryokan in the past.
  • Koharu is so far the only girl to have a live voice segment during an anniversary while still remaining behind a paywall.
  • She is the sixth character to hold an explicit job on the Venus Islands besides participating in the festivals, after Misaki (who acts as the part-time Supporter for the Owner), Tamaki (who designs various wardrobes for the events), Monica (who runs the local casino), Sayuri (who acts as a nurse), and Elise (who manages the Owner to keep him to his schedule). In Koharu's case, she acts as an in-training landlady for the island's Hotel.
    • She is also the third character to debut a new or at least returning gameplay element, after Luna (who's inclusion brought in the Jungle from past games) and Monica (who brought in the Casino). She brought in the onsens, which acted as a replacement to the training menu due to complaints about how the latter mode was deemed useless.
  • According to Sakuta in his commentary during Famitsu's coverage of the fourth anniversary, Koharu was created mostly to satisfy the development staff's request for a cute girl who could be readily identified as Japanese. He also elaborated that Koharu's motivation was to be like her mother regarding her actions.[2]
    • Sakuta later elaborated further on the reasons behind her creation in the 4.5 anniversary coverage by GameWatch, citing it was to emphasize a form of hospitality as well as a character that can readily be identified as Japanese was not something the game's done before.[3]
  • As of her debut, Koharu is the youngest playable character in the series.
  • Due to debuting late into the fourth year, Koharu is technically the only fourth year add-on to not have prior history to any characters or, in the case of Elise, the Venus Islands itself (as Lobelia and Nanami were childhood friends of Fiona and Misaki, respectively, and Elise was a former owner/Boss of one of the Venus Islands).

Notes and references[]

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