- "When I was young, I... I lost someone very important to me. Manaka Iwai, my best friend. One of the only friends I had."
Manaka Iwai (居和井 愛夏, Iwai Manaka) is a minor character mentioned in AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES.
High School Life
She began a secret relationship with So Sejima sometime between 1999 and 2001. Despite Renju and Hitomi's efforts to convince her to end her relationship with So, she did not. She became pregnant in early 2001.
Iris's Birth and Manaka's Murder
In early November, soon after Iris Sagan was born, Manaka met up with Renju and Hitomi, and explained that she wanted to speak to So about the baby. Renju warned her not to go, fearing for her and her child's safety. Manaka explained that So had contacted her in the first time in a while, fearing that his mistress's child would endanger his political career. She left the baby in Renju and Hitomi's care, and Renju gave her a GPS transmitter to hold onto in case anything happened to her.
Manaka met up with So Sejima in the Harbor Warehouse District. So told her to move overseas, and offered to pay for everything. As she turned to leave, Saito Sejima ran out from where he was hiding and stabbed her repeatedly in the back, killing her.
So asked Rohan Kumakura and the Kumakura Family to dispose of her body. The Kumakuras took her body to the Okutama Mountains. Before she was buried, Rohan asked them to wait, and removed her right eyeball. Hitomi and Renju later returned to dig up her body. They took her body to the Okiura Fishery Cold Storage Warehouse, where it would be preserved in secret for as long as necessary while they found a way to get revenge against the Sejimas and the Kumakuras. She remained there for 18 years, stored under the hood of a forklift, where Hitomi and Renju would occasionally visit her. One month before the game's events, Mizuki Okiura followed Renju to the warehouse, where she saw Manaka's body and mistook her for Iris.
B: Hitomi's Blackmail
Hitomi, desperate to find a way to pay for treatment for Iris's brain tumor, thought of a plan to blackmail So. On the night of Sunday, November 3rd, she placed Manaka's body on the workbench covered by a sheet and called So to the warehouse. So lifted the sheet and was surprised to see Manaka's body after so many years. Hitomi then sent a recording to his phone demanding he pay for her silence and cut ties with the Kumakuras. After So left, Kaname Date entered, lifted the sheet, and mistook the body for Iris. After he left, Hitomi placed Manaka's body back in the forklift.
In the early morning of Tuesday, November 5th, Date returned to the warehouse in search of Renju. He found her body inside the forklift using Aiba's x-ray vision. Believing her to be Iris again, Date passed out. The police later arrived and inspected her body.
The fate of her body beyond this point is unknown.
|AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES|
|Day 1: sigAI|
|Day 2: saikAI|
|Day 2: meikAI||Day 2: keitAI|
|Day 3: syokubAI||Day 3: gyoukAI|
|Day 3: rihAI||Day 3: gumAI||Day 3: kyuusAI|
|Day 4: youdAI||Day 4: jukkAI||Day 4: syuurAI|
|Day 4: jikAI||Day 4: syougAI||Day 4: kikAI||Day 4: irAI||Day 5: kenzAI|
|Day 5: zugAI||Day 5: seisAI||Day 5: jinnAI||Day 5: dakkAI||Day 5: jutAI|
|Day 5: syokuzAI||Day 5: ihAI||Day 6: kekkAI||Day 5: kokkAI|
|Ota: END||Day 6: hiAI||Annihilation: END||Iris: END||Day 6: sousAI|
|Day 6: sanpAI||Day 6: hakAI|
|Mizuki: END||Three Months Later: kassAI|
- Manaka's first name in Japanese is "愛夏." The character "愛" (ai) means "love," and the character "夏" (natsu) means "summer," making Manaka's name mean "Summer love."
- Love (愛, ai) is one of the meanings behind the title of the game AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES.
- After Date and Aiba discover Manaka's body in the Cold Storage Warehouse, Aiba decides to give her a nickname to identify her, saying "She was all-ice, so let's call her Alice". This is a direct reference to the Zero Escape series, particularly the first two entries, 999: Nine Hours Nine Persons Nine Door and Virtue's Last Reward. In 999, an elusive mystery character is referred to as "All-Ice" or "Alice" throughout the story. In the sequel, a character named Alice appears in reference to the mystery character in 999.
- Manaka's body being frozen solid and preserved for several years, and retaining her physical appearance, is most likely a reference to "All-Ice's" legend within 999, where she had allegedly been kept frozen for millennia.
- Allegra Clark confirmed on a stream that the voice actress for Manaka is Faye Mata, the same voice actress as Amame Doi.
- Allegra Clark's stream talking about Faye Mata as Manaka Iwai (around 2:06:35)