Kaoru's... an okay character. The big problem with her is that at a certain point in the game, she leaves the party and when she returns, she is unable to be H'ed until post game. You also need to spend some presents on her since events aren't that common.
While she starts out as a melee character, with certain upgrades she eventually becomes a ranged attacker and you should then put her in the back row because her HP isn't that high. Her other stats are mostly average in general. Overall a character that will come in helpful once in a while but not as broken as some of the top tier characters in the game.
In the final arc, she'll become removable from your roster of 16 characters if you need space for other people.
Second opinion: Kaoru can be H'ed fairly early during the course of the normal game (around the 20-25% mark for the game progress bar - you need to have seen the two events where she's caught sneaking off into the night as she needs permission from the King to sleep with Rance). What this means is that it is possible to remove her final level cap of 49 before you lose the option to H her during the normal game.
However, this will require excessive hours of grinding. To put the work into perspective, she needs 55,000+ exp to increase from level 48 to level 49, the last time she needs to be H'ed by Rance (to boost her level cap by 2 more to her max of 51); and that's just one level. Considering that your best exp source for the first 40% of the game is the northern path of the Nearby Forest (i.e. 400 exp per fight), you will be fighting many many battles there.
At level 51 (with a non-enhanced level A weapon and no food item upgrades) she should have an attack rating of around 1,400. This combined with an upgraded "Determination towards Victory" and an upgraded "Iaido Cut" will allow Kaoru to hit super hard even from the back row (leaving room for the other power-hitters in the front row). She could give Rance and Rick a run for their money in terms of damage output potential.
While she has the potential, she requires a tedious amount of preparation (your time is best spent elsewhere IMO). You will also be trivializing the difficulty of the normal game as you will be excessively over-leveled long before you even achieve this. But for those that want to break the game (and for those that have a soft spot for the vice-captain), make sure to put your first two Talent Ocarinas on her ASAP for the exp boost. Use it in conjunction with Rance's "Main Character/Protagonist" skill. Next is Cessna, who, along with her upgraded "Full-Body Blow", will be your best offensive option when it comes to tackling the high-level northern path early on (equip the two Moja Dolls on her; they are of paramount importance for this operation). Rizna/Kaoru should be in the 3rd front row spot. Lastly, make sure Sill and Prima (along with her upgraded "Basic First Aid" skill) are present in the back row to provide instantaneous healing (mostly for Cessna as she's very squishy). Don't attempt the northern path with anything less initially or you will be in a world of hurt.
On a side note, characters that have reached their talent/level cap do not decrease exp gain when placed in your active party. Make good use of this fact later on once the enemies of the northern path become more manageable and you start to notice a significance decrease to your exp gain due to your high level active party (but this is more for 15-20+ hours down the road).
Your goal is to expedite the process as much as possible. It still won't be fun, I assure you.
- Get both special upgrades of "Iai Slash" first, which will reduce charge time and give it a chance to paralyze.
- Upgrade "Determination towards Victory" since it gets a huge bonus.
- Either upgrade the damage of Iai Slash or SP.
Kaoru's basic attack. It doesn't require any turn charging, so it's completely spammable.
It deals physical damage and has melee range.
Kaoru's rare talent.
It requries 1 turn to charge and deals 75% physical damage, but it's guaranteed to be a critical when used against humans.
Kaoru's best move that can be learned later on.
A fast physical and ranged attack with high accuracy and a chance to inflict paralysis on enemy. Initially, it requires 1 turn to charge but can be upgraded to not requiring it at all.
At the beginning of the battle, all party members receive an attack buff.
Kaoru's rare talent.
It requries 1 turn to charge and deals 75% physical damage, but it's guaranteed to be a critical when used against non-humans.
|Determination towards Victory||
Kaoru increases her attack power for a period of time.
Seems like it works at a 200% multiplier, upgraded to 400% if you get the upgrade so it's useful once upgraded and in long battles.
Weapons and ItemsEdit
- Raise her FR to 30 and see her special event where king Gandhi will give her the "Iai no katana", not sure if this special event can happen before postgame.
- Quick, Strange Bug - Increases her evasion rate.
- Scare Hare Mask - Cuts damage by 1/4, as you can see the point is to not have her die when the enemy looks at her funny.