|“||I am who I am now because of everything that's happened. If I try to deny my past, I'm denying the person I've become.||”|
Iori Nagase (永瀬 伊織, Nagase Iori) is one of the main characters of Kokoro Connect series. She is the president of the Student Cultural Society. She attends the same homeroom as Taichi and Inaba and is seen as a bright and popular individual amongst her peers. A bold and dynamic character, Iori endeavors to bring excitement and fun to the Cultural Club and later develops into the voice of reason amongst her friends, keeping peace during times of strife. Iori also lives alone with her single mother who is often out.
Iori is generally shown to be energetic, playful, and strongly opposed to negative feelings, working tirelessly to relieve tensions and keep things light-hearted. Also, due to previously having a violent stepfather, she has developed a habit of altering her personality to fit the expectations of others. As a result, Iori presents herself as especially courteous when around authority figures and especially cheerful when she's around her friends. Iori enjoys making perverted jokes and tongue twisters which Taichi often finds himself roped into.
After Michi Random, Iori expresses herself much more freely, embracing the good and bad parts of herself, even being violent when necessary. She is also the one that keeps everyone together, giving wise advise to the rest of the club and looking after the 1st years.
In Yume Random, Iori, because she likes working with kids, decides that she will be a teacher in the future. In Precious Time, Iori decides to go to a university and major in education. She received a recommendation from Yamaboshi High, and also began doing volunteer work as a teacher for an affiliated elementary school in her free time.
Growing up with five fathers, Iori adapted to her changing conditions by acting with different personalities to appease everyone's expectations of her. As Iori constantly changed her behavior for the people around her, she realized that she has, overtime, lost touch of her original personality. Throughout the series, Iori strives to find her true self so she can stop pretending to be someone she feels she's not.
Iori is considered to be very cute and big busted body. She wears her shoulder-length, dark-purple hair in a pigtail with a pink scrunchy on the left side. She has dark-blue eyes and a beauty mark on her face, just below her mouth. Iori is usually seen wearing her school's uniform and opts to wear shorts underneath her skirt. In later volumes of the novel, Iori is shown to abandon her pigtail, allowing her hair to flow freely.
When required to choose a club to join, Iori could not favor any club over the others and decided to make her homeroom teacher, Gotou, randomly choose for her. As a result, Iori was placed in the Student Cultural Society. Iori was initially against becoming the club's president, but reluctantly accepted the role after losing a game of rock-paper-scissors.
Iori grew up with five different father figures in her life. Her 2nd father was very violent, so Iori would change her personality to appease him and keep him from harming her and her mother. Ever since then, Iori has made it a habit to alter her behavior to meet the expectations of everyone around her. Iori's 5th father, who passed away during Iori's 3rd year in junior high, encouraged her to "live her own life", a task she was unsure how to fulfill at this point.
- Nagase Reika: Iori's single mother. The two are shown to be quite close, Iori always being very courteous around her and considerate of what would be best for her mother.
- Yaegashi Taichi: A male classmate and fellow member of the StuCS club. The two are very close, Iori admiring Taichi's honesty and his ability to always stay true to himself. Iori has feelings for Taichi which are mutually returned and the two later confess to each other. However, due to the interference of the phenomenons, their relationship never fully develops. At the end of the Kako Random arc, she starts doubting her feelings for him and they ultimately choose to remain friends. This choice of hers is later put to the test in Nise Random when a fake Taichi re-confesses to her. Iori steadfastly remains loyal to her decision, having no desire to change a thing about her relationship with Taichi.
- Inaba Himeko: A female classmate of Iori's and the vice president of the StuCS club. The two became friends after working together to deal with a stalker during the Spring of their first year. After that incident, the two had a sleepover where Iori told Inaba about her persona problem. Although total opposites of each other, Iori and Inaba have a strong friendship and mutual respect for each other. After learning that Inaba also has feelings for Taichi, Iori pushes her to act upon them. The two decide to have a fair fight for Taichi's affections, both promising the rivalry would not harm their friendship. After Inaba and Taichi begin dating, Iori lends her full support to the couple, making good on her promise.
- Kiriyama Yui: A fellow member of the StuCS club. Overcoming the trials of the phenomenons together, Yui and Iori develop a strong friendship and are willing to go to great lengths to help and comfort one another.
- Aoki Yoshifumi: A male member of the StuCS club. Due to their similar natures, Iori and Aoki share a friendly relationship. However, this doesn't stop Iori from poking fun at his expense from time to time.
- Fujishima Maiko: Iori’s class representative. Much to Iori's horror, Fujishima is openly in love with her and is not afraid to make lewd advances on her.
- Nakayama Mariko: Iori's close friend and classmate. The two have been friends since the beginning of their 1st year.
- Kurihara Yukina: Iori's friend and classmate. In Step Time, they work together to make the dates of Mariko and Yui a success by thinking up activities for them. They also spied on the couples throughout the triple date.
- Setouchi Kaoru: A classmate of Iori's. Due to various circumstances, the two have a difficult time getting along, but forgive and befriend each other after the Michi Random arc.
- Shiroyama Shouto: Shiroyama confessed to Iori in Michi Random and was harshly rejected. Shiroyama did not hold a grudge and, after he began dating Setouchi, Iori and Shiroyama are shown to get along.
- Katori Jouji: In Precious Time, Iori and Katori team up for the Couples Battle Royale and end up winning due to a vote by the students, which was suggested by Iori. In the December of their third year, Katori confesses to have feelings for Iori. Though she has come to admire many things about him, Iori turns him down as she simply does not feel that way about him.
- Iori has thus far been the only member of the StuCS to be possessed by Heartseed. This usually takes place near the end of a phenomenon.
- Of the original five members, Iori is the only one who is the child of a divorcée and has no siblings, though she did have step siblings at one point or another.
- Iori is well known as the "Number 1 Most Beautiful Girl" in her year after having won the Cultural Festival Beauty Pageant during the spring of her first year.
- Because she never gets into arguments with others, Iori does not know how to slap someone. As a result, on the two occasions where she was aiming to slap, she ended up delivering an open-palm strike to Setouchi, and later to Taichi, too.
- Iori does not study much but still manages to get surprisingly good grades.