Kaos (ケイオス Keiosu?) is the son of Desty Nova and a former late night DJ widely known as a radio star for his broadcasts via the pirate radio station Radio K.A.O.S. He possesses psychometry, a paranormal ability that enables him to "read" an object or person by touch and respectively acquire the abilities of the person who created it, or discover their memories.
Kaos is a tall, slim man with fair skin and shoulder length fair hair. His eyes have pale pupils and irises, but when possessed by his uncontrollable rage or Den his pupils became white and his irises became dark. Physically Kaos is very skinny, as his ribs are visible. He has an EPR transmitter that was installed into his heart and nervous system by Nova to remotely control Den's slave body.
He typically wears a light colored long-sleeved shirt and matching pants and shoes, over which he usually has a robe wrapped around his upper body. Kaos also favors a light colored turban and although he can see without them, usually wears sunglasses. He first wore a black pair, which was later replaced by a lighter colored pair that featured solid metal lenses which had multiple glass miniature lenses implanted. His latest pair is black and similar to his first pair. Although he can walk unassisted, Kaos usually relies on a cane for support, as he is physically frail. Depending on the circumstances, he also carries a katana previously owned by Ryukisai Tachibana that he can skillfully wield due to his psychometry. For a year he was forced to wear a pillory that connected his left arm to his neck by Vector, but it was removed after he proved himself to the latter.
In Gunnm: Martian Memory Kaos has white hair, wears black sunglasses, and a light blue robe and pants with dark blue shoes. An illustration by Yukito Kishiro for the 2003 Ultra Jump calendar depicts him as having white hair and wearing a light khaki turban.
From a young age, Kaos was constantly treated as an outsider and ridiculed by both other children and his father Desty Nova. He would often manifest his inner turmoil into a split personality that took on the name Den, which caused him to act upon these emotions; this highlights that Kaos may possibly suffer from Bipolar Disorder or Dissociative Identity Disorder due to Kaos never being able to recall them. Also, Kaos was known to occasionally become upset when things did not go his way and would throw tantrums until he was calmed down or appeased.
One notable trait of Kaos is that while he is able to see and hear like most people, it is through radio waves as opposed to sound waves; because of this, he is unable to perceive visual light and can only see things through infrared vision. In addition, Kaos is psychometric and can recall memories, skills or abilities of objects or people merely by touching them.
The father of Kaos, Nova subjected Kaos to cruel lessons of life, as well as also providing him with an EPR transmitter and a slave body to keep his Den persona in a separate body. Nova would go on to cruelly antagonize his son's opposition to him on numerous occasions, including subjecting his son to a deadly game of checkers with him where his friends were pieces on the board, forced to fight to the death with one another. How Nova fathered a child remains a mystery, given that Tiphareans are sterile and unable to conceive via sexual intercourse, possibly indicating Kaos is a clone or some form of surrogate child of Nova.
A young dark-skinned woman who was a few years older than Kaos, but cared for him as part of his father, Nova's, household. Jasmine was among the few able to communicate with Kaos via her own radio transmitter/receiver, as Nova only "spoke" as radio transmissions for much of his life, which we heard by a radio device as speech. Jasmine worked as a partner and assistant to Kaos in his pirate radio station, as well as demonstrated an additional talent in accurate fortune telling. Jasmine secretly harbored romantic feelings for Kaos, although he largely didn't appear to reciprocate them, possibly seeing Jasmine as a mother or sister figure. She felt jealous at first for Alita given Kaos was shown to be infatuated with her, although her final act before death was to honor the request of Kaos to return to the war-zone and provide assistance to Alita as payback for her protective actions toward himself in a skirmish with Den and Barjack forces. Jasmine was killed when one of Nova's cyborg assassins strangled her to death with a garote, Kaos mourned her death as one of his few lifelong friends and apparently acknowledged what she had felt for him, as she was dressed in the wedding dress originally worn by Alita for her burial.
The young teenage girl adopted by Master, she was a fan of radio Kaos and accompanied him on a number of his exploits; despite Koyomi disapproving of Kao's meek and timid demeanor at times, she would always come back to viewing him favorably and saved him from dying on the streets of Iron City from starvation in Last Order.
Kaos first encountered Alita in person as she lay dying from drowning in a river, having expended her lungs providing air to Koyomi . Initially, during his surgery performed on Alita, Kaos developed an intense infatuation with Alita, due to the emotions and sensations which he registered from Alita via his psychometric touch during the surgery. Those feelings of romantic attraction from Kaos were unrequited, and after some time and adventures together, they ultimately decided to part ways and just be friends. Kaos provided assistance to Alita a number of later occasions using his technological skills, including researching the location and status of Ido and hacking the Ourobouros Program to save Alita's life, as well as serving as a courier for Alita to while she was in Tiphares.
The other love interest of Kaos in the original Battle Angel Alita series. Initially, she was a Tuned Operator supervising Alita, but later on, she and Kaos met, and she found him quite attractive. In the original Battle Angel Alita series, they married in the epilogue. In GUNNM: Martian Memory, Lou and Kaos greet and welcome Alita back to Earth, and reveal that they married in her absence. In the ending of Last Order, Kaos wasn't shown reuniting with Lou, but Alita had sent him a message regarding Lou's fate from Tiphares, which he read to feel reinvigorated with conviction that the situation now rested upon him to accomplish her dreams. At the end of Last Order, the new "Lou" formed from the incubated brain of Lou at initiation, had no memories or interaction with Kaos, nor was she around to accompany him in the construction of the Tower of Tiphares, retconning the romantic ending for Lou and Kaos shown in both the original series and GUNNM Martian Memory.
Psychometry: Kaos can instantly learn and channel the memories and abilities of any object's previous owner as well as learn their entire history just by touch. He can similarly learn a person's history through physical contact. Its only weakness is if the object that Kaos tries to read has been demagnetized, removing any trace of its prior history, or is brand new without any previous owners.
Kaos has exhibited various abilities in the following areas through psychometry:
- Cybersurgery: When he first touched Alita, Kaos read Daisuke Ido's experiences as a cyberphysician, although Ido had never worked on the cyborg body that Alita was actually using at that moment, the TUNED Body. This enabled Kaos to repair Alita after she had overloaded her lungs in an effort to save Koyomi. The experience of the surgery was so close to how Ido would have operated on her that Alita at first thought that it was him. However Ido's parental love for her was transformed into a romantic love by Kaos, something that he was not able to get over, although it was unrequited.
- Hacking: After accessing a computer terminal in the Granite Inn, Kaos was able to determine its layout and flood all eight of Nova's erapape routes. When he tried to hack into the Ouroboros Program, his first attempt failed and his heart stopped, but he succeeded on a second attempt and was able to disrupt Nova's final dream scenario by appearing as Den. Kaos was later able to use the Agrippa Circuit computers and some reconfigured deckmen to help patch in the Combat TV broadcast of the Tenth Zenith of Things Tournament Finals to the Scrapyard.
- Music: One of the objects psychometried by Kaos was a DX-7 digital synthesizer formerly owned by Alan Parsons. In the original manga he sang a song from the album Gaudi.
- Tailoring: Kaos created a wedding dress by hand that was found by his team of molemen in the ruins.
Enhanced durability: Depite apparently being physically frail, a condition he has had to deal with since birth, Kaos has proven to be quite resilient. He took a beating by Vector's cyborg thugs and despite having a pillory placed on him by Vector that bound one of his arms to his neck and rendered it useless, was able to survive in the Scrapyard for a year. Nearly a year later he was hit by a taxi and despite lying unattended for some time, did not sustain any serious injuries.
As a child prior to Nova creating his slave unit to house Den, Kaos entering his Den personality also appeared to enhance his strength and durability, as he could seemingly break bones with ease as a young child, as shown in his earliest known manifestation of his Den personality, and again as he was in adolescence and savagely attacked Nova and his lab assistant. It is unknown if his enhanced strength is a mere product of just his adrenaline levels being heightened with anger, or if the strength is inherent to his physique and simply unlocked by the increased confidence of the Den personality.
Weapons wielded by Kaos also seem to have enhanced durability, as in the case of the katana, Kaos easily slashes massive cyborgs in spite of the blade being forged in steel 1,000 years prior, and it seems unlikely that such a blade would not be damaged by such rigorous combat.
It may also be that Kaos may have such durability as a result of Nova's enhancement via nanite infusion after the discovery of the Den persona.
Combat: As a result of his frail physical condition, Kaos did not engage in hand to hand combat. However by using a katana belonging to the Japanese master Ryukisai Tachibana he could use the sword fighting style Hikida Kage-ryū via psychometry. He defeated a team of Desty Nova's cyborg ninjas, three of Vector's henchmen, and the cyborg swordmaster Pizmo, all without sustaining any injuries. Kaos' connection to Den enabled the latter to control his body and make use of his sword techniques, although Den was unable to defeat Alita.
However after Geppa was killed during the game of Death Checkers forced upon Kaos by Nova X, the katana which he had been carrying was destroyed. It was subsequently recreated, but lost the history of its previous owner, thus rendering Kaos no longer able to use Hikida Kage-ryū.
Enhanced senses: Kaos initially had different physical senses from normal humans: he can only see in infrared and only hear and speak via radio waves. When he first met Koyomi she had to wear a special transceiver to communicate with him. A similar transceiver was also worn by Jasmine. However, after his ordeal with his father within the Granite Inn, this was shown to be apparently gone, as he surprised Alita by speaking vocally to her.
Kaos was "born" in the Scrapyard although his mother has never been mentioned. Jasmine knew him since he was a young boy and was part of the household. At one point Nova gave Kaos a caged bird which he wondered at and longed to touch. When its caged was opened though the bird flew away but was shot by a netman. Nova ridiculed his son's actions and pointed out that nothing that could fly was permitted below Tiphares, causing Kaos to be mad at himself. It was also at a young age when the Den aspect of Kaos' personality would sometimes seize him and drive him into a murderous rage. During one such incident he severely beat a man and broke his wrist, but after the rage dissipated he could not recall what had happened.
On Kaos' sixteenth birthday, Desty Nova took Kaos to his lab for tests, only to discover Kaos' alter ego, wherein the stress of the medical tests caused Kaos to cross a rage threshold, allowing the Den persona to take control of Kaos, in which Den brutally beat both Nova and Barzarld to near-death. As Den approached Nova to deliver a killing blow, Nova stabbed Den with a needle, sedating the young man and then promptly creating the slave unit for which Den would be known.
Battle Angel Alita
Having enough of his father's tyrannical rule and experiments, Kaos abandoned him and left with Jasmine to travel the Badlands on his own; eventually, he formed a partnership with several underground mole people who would gather him artifacts to use with his psychometry. In addition, he modified the interior of a large desert vehicle and made it his new home as well as the location for his pirate radio station Radio K.A.O.S. For many years, Kaos would travel the Badlands and broadcast his radio station every night; while he was aware of the ongoing war between Barjack and Tiphares, Kaos would remain neutral and stay out of the conflict.
One night, Kaos stares up at the stars one night and remarks how the weather conditions are ideal for the nightly broadcast. He was approached by one of Den's lieutenants to join Barjack once again; Kaos refused and goes inside and prepares the broadcast. He plays an electronic keyboard and begins to sing as many listeners across the Badlands fall asleep.
Soon after, Kaos got word that there were two girls trapped in an underground cave network; he travels down an elevator and orders the mole people to bring them to him. He uses his psychometry to learn the identity of the two girls and how they came to get trapped. Noting that one of them is unconscious, Kaos brings them up to the surface and back to his home.
Addressing one of them, Koyomi, by name, he mentions what he is doing and his abilities; however, he notices the unconscious one, Alita, to be a cyborg. Intrigued, he touches her and is quickly overcome by the memories and abilities she possesses. Crawling away from her, he shivers in fear of who or what Alita really is.
GUNNM: Martian Memory
Kaos is among the characters featured in the video game adaptation, GUNNM: Martian Memory. There is no revival of Alita, just Alita and Koyomi knocking on the door of the truck for Radio K.A.O.S. asking if they can visit. Followed by Den interrupting the visit. Unlike his manga counterpart, he is not as openly flirtacious towards Alita. However, he does admit his hidden romantic feelings about Alita to Lou Collins later on when he leaves Farm 21 to confront Desty Nova. Much like the manga, he admits that he feels that they are merely artificial and a product of his psychometric powers.
The confrontation at the Granite Inn is significantly changed as well. Alita sees an image of an unconscious Kaos inside the Granite Inn, only to discover upon its intangibility that it's merely a hologram being projected by Nova from elsewhere inside the Granite Inn. Nova then proceeds to inflict pain upon the restrained Kaos in front of Alita's eyes, further angering her.
Kaos also appears frequently within the Ouroboros Program in the game, his appearances being preceded by the Cat Gally each time. Throughout the Ouroboros section of the game, Kaos teaches Alita about how her actions effected others, and about how in spite of all the tragedy, her humanity and feelings of love toward others would not have happened without the tragedies that occurred in her life on Earth, functioning as an Angel on Alita's shoulder. Unlike the manga, where Kaos is represented by Den inside the virtual construct, Kaos fades away because he is dying in the real world, and Den arrives in the program to challenge Alita for the ownership of Kaos' soul, to which Alita accepts the challenge stating in defiance that she will never let someone who loved her be lost again (like Yugo/Hugo and Doc Ido), and proceeds to a virtual boss battle to conclude the Ouroboros Program.
Unlike the original manga, Kaos and Lou Collins are among those to meet Alita when she is returning to Earth, and both were fully aware of what happened in Tiphares.
|e · d · v||Desty Nova|
|Incarnations:||Nova II • Nova X • Porta Nova • Super Nova|
|Staff:||Barzarld • Eelai • Daisuke Ido • Jasmine • Kayna • Jim Roscoe|
|Patients:||Alita • Deckman 100 • Den • Daisuke Ido • Jashugan • Makaku • Tzykrow • Zapan|
|Inventions:||Collapser • Cyborg ninjas • Doll bomb • Imaginos Body (Imaginos trigger) • Maggot Body|
Ouroboros Program • P Box • Restorer • Stereotomy • Water pressure converter
|Residences:||Desty Nova's manor • Granite Inn|
|Technology:||Gehirn Umbao • Nanomachines|
|Weapons:||Desty Nova's machine pistol • Smith & Wesson Model 610|
|Related articles:||Flan • G.E.N.E. Project • Orbital University • Tiphares University|