Emiko Niwa (丹羽笑子 Niwa Emiko) is a supporting character. She is an active member of the Niwa family who is responsible for the traps in the Niwa home, her son's thief training and the preparations for Dark's heists, the wife of Kosuke Niwa and the mother of Daisuke Niwa (the protagonist of the series).
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Emiko is considered to be a beautiful woman  with straight shoulder-length red hair (light brown hair in the anime) and red eyes (light brown eyes in the anime), just like all main members of the Niwa family and she wears a variety of outfits, skirts and frilly aprons.
When Emiko first met Kosuke Niwa, she had long and wavy hair.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Emiko is a passionate and bold woman who isn't afraid to speak her mind or pursue her goals. She often uses her bubbly personality to distract people from her disguises or sleights of hand; thus, she is also shrewd and a master of deception. She also displays creative and crafting skills.
She is protective of her family, quick to suspect the Hikari Family and to comically threaten violence towards those who harm or kidnap her son.
History[edit | edit source]
In the manga[edit | edit source]
Past[edit | edit source]
Emiko is the daughter of Daiki Niwa, the tamer of Phantom Thief Dark 40 years prior to the series. Her mother died when Emiko was very young and she blamed herself for taking away her father's most precious person, in addition to being unable to fulfill the Niwa duties of transforming into Dark Mousy due to being female. She cried out to Dark to make her a phantom thief; he heard but did not respond.
Throughout her youth, Emiko was popular with boys. However, whenever they asked her out, she would question whether they would father her future son and inadvertently scared them away.
When she was 23 and in college, she was again approached by several men who wanted to ask her out on St. White's Day. She rejected them, explaining why each one was not a suitable candidate to father her future son. But the men stubbornly pressed forward and accidentally pushed her off the platform in the path of the approaching train, where Kosuke Niwa arrived and pulled her back to safety.
When Kosuke offered her a handkerchief, Emiko saw entangled with it a white ribbon, similar to the ribbon that she anonymously received one year ago. He admitted to being her mystery sender and asked a question that no other man had asked: why did she want to have a son? Emiko happily declared that she wanted to be the mother of the Phantom Thief Dark.Dark explains her feelings to Daisuke Niwa over 14 years later; she did not want her child to feel the sadness that she felt growing up.
Eventually Emiko married Kosuke and gave birth to Daisuke, whom she trained to inherit the Niwa family duties. When he was an infant, she marveled at his speed when picking locks, and her father proudly stated that he was destined for this. Emiko builds deadly traps for Daisuke every morning before he leaves for school and every afternoon when he returns. She has done this since he was a small child, despite seriously injuring her young son many times. She admits later in the series that she should have explained the reason for his crimes sooner, but doesn't explain the real motivation behind Dark's heists as Daisuke interrupts her, saying that collecting Hikari family artworks is also a hobby for her.
Daisuke and Dark's First Heists[edit | edit source]
When Daisuke appears again, this time under Dark's appearance, Emiko is impressed by his beauty. She reveals his identity as the heir of the Niwa family, whose job is to steal artworks under the identity of Phantom Thief Dark. However, in front of Daisuke’s reluctance, she pretends stealing the Saint Tears will be enough to make him turn back into his normal appearance. The lie is quickly uncovered after Daisuke returns from a successful heist and Emiko finally tells him he in fact needs to get his love towards his “Sacred Maiden” reciprocated for Dark to entirely disappear. Daisuke must now seduce his crush Risa Harada and perform heists under his secret identity, a life cleverly orchestrated by his dedicated mother.
One day, as Emiko is shopping in town, she sees her son with a classmate, Satoshi Hiwatari, she recognises as the heir of the Hikari family. Taking Daisuke with her, she warns him about the boy, who musn’t be trusted.
On St. White’s Day, Emiko helps her son get ready and forcefully hands him a white ribbon to give to the girl he loves. Unfortunately, she thinks, Daisuke is as shy as his father. As she’s thinking about Kosuke, an unexpected letter announcing his return fills her with joy. She also immediately accepts when Saga Entertainment contacts her to make Daisuke star in one of their commercials.
However, St. White’s Day doesn’t go as planned for Daisuke, who leaves his body to Dark and retreats deep into his mind. Emiko has to introduce Kosuke to his son’s other, ruder personality. Her cheerfulness turns into worries when the thief explains Daisuke gave up and in consequence this body now belongs to him. Kosuke reassures the rest of the family by giving Dark a magic ring that turns his body into Daisuke’s again. The only way for the thief to get rid of it is to receive Daisuke’s help, thus to find his host again.That evening, Emiko and Kosuke stargaze together. The man’s years of research haven’t been enough to lift the mysteries surrounding the Niwa and Hikari curse, but Emiko fondly expresses how, despite her husband being a Niwa by marriage, she can see Dark’s wings on his back.
Emiko calls the middle school the following day to inform that the upcoming commercial shooting will make Daisuke miss classes. When the boy comes back home to question her about that surprise advertisement, she sees the trouble between him and Dark settled down.
Saga Entertainment’s producer, Keiji Saga, wants to parallel Daisuke, as a normal boy, with Dark, his secret identity. In consequence, the advertisement is shot during Dark’s heist of the Moonlight Mask and the family has to rely on With’s shapeshifting ability. Emiko assists Daisuke and Dark by lending the Sunlight Mask to With and sending Kosuke disguised as Dark on top of a roof to distract police officers and journalists.
After returning home with both masks, she explains her tricks to Daisuke and finds the mysterious envelope Keiji Saga used to pressure Daisuke by pretending it contained a dirty picture of the girl he likes, now Riku Harada. When she opens it, thinking it’s a present for her, it only contains a blank sheet of paper.
Emiko excitedly records the advertisement when it first airs on television.Emiko, Daiki and Kosuke secretly follow Daisuke during his school trip by the sea. They catch Daisuke kissing Riku’s forehead, a sight that makes Emiko regret her son isn’t bolder, but don’t intervene until later, when Dark takes advantage of Daisuke being asleep to tell their secret to the girl. Daiki immediately uses a drug to knock the girl unconscious and the Niwa parents escape with her when Krad appears to fight the thief.
Krad defeated and Daisuke back in control of his body, the Niwa family pretends they were on a vacation and passed by coincidentally. They tell the boy about what happened during his sleep and Dark’s multiple attempts at protecting his host. Daisuke and Dark agree that they want to coexist together.
The boy carries Riku back to her hotel bedroom and Emiko changes her into pyjamas to be sure she thinks of Dark’s revelation as nothing but a dream. The Niwa family enjoys the end of the trip close to an unwilling Daisuke.
Towa, the human form of the Eternal Mark, joins the Niwa household and assists Emiko as a maid.
The Second Hand of Time[edit | edit source]
Daisuke catches a cold as the middle school festival is drawing closer, worrying Emiko who takes great care of him and even considers he might not be healthy enough to steal the Second Hand of Time artwork as expected. The boy still goes to school one morning and brings two classmates home: Keiji Saga and Funabashi.
Learning they have guests, Emiko quickly deactivates the traps she placed for her son and cooks dinner, ultimately reminding Daisuke he has to “do his homework.” With takes the boy’s place at home and Dark escapes through underground paths to steal the Second Hand of Time from Klein Church. Saga and Funabashi eventually leave.Dark comes back with empty hands: the Second Hand of Time, that was rumoured to be dead, kidnapped Daisuke, much to Emiko’s shock. Grasping a katana, she’s determined to go save her son herself, but Towa, Kosuke and With stop her. The thief and Kosuke conclude the artwork resonated with Daisuke’s painting of a snowy landscape and came back to life. Dark decides to retrieve it from the Harada house and sends a warning card.
The Niwa family tracks Dark’s progress inside the snow painting with Towa’s abilities. However, Kosuke discovers in the Niwa library that the Ice and Snow tale related to the Second Hand of Time has a hidden side: a grimmer version, titled Ice and Dark, used to exist before the Cultural Revolution.
With Kosuke’s information, Emiko and Daiki search for a trace of the Wedge of Time, a sword closely related to the Second Hand of Time. The artwork is anonymously donated to the Russel Museum shortly after. Emiko immediately announces Dark will steal it and it is successfully reunited with the Second Hand of Time, freeing Daisuke.
Daisuke returns home, wounded by Krad and heartbroken by the disappearance of Freedert, but the school festival and his courage make him move forward and reassure his mother.
Emiko and Kosuke see him perform as Freedert in his class’ adaptation of Ice and Snow during the school festival, and the boy’s obvious efforts to save the amateur play please the woman, who cheers from the seats.
The Hikari Threat[edit | edit source]
One evening after school, Daisuke brings an unconscious Satoshi Hiwatari to the Niwa house. Even if Daisuke says he fainted at school and needed assistance, Emiko suspects the boy wants to retrieve the Hikari treasures Dark stole in the past. She confronts Daisuke, who answers back Dark is the one doing causing harm by stealing others’ property. As Emiko is about to tell her son the reason behind the Niwa family’s heritage, Daisuke interrupts her: don’t they steal because she likes it? That is indeed partially true.
Emiko’s animosity towards Hiwatari temporarily calms down after the boy compliments her cooking, and she even calls him cute.
In one of her trips to the museum to scout Dark’s next target, Emiko sees Risa Harada place a fake warning card on an artwork. The woman retrieves and brings it back home, but Daisuke refuses to tell whether he knows something. She can’t help but have a bad feeling about this situation.
However, excitement rises again when she learns Dark asked Risa on a date. She immediately dedicates herself to finding the perfect date place and, with Daisuke protesting that he won’t go, insists that letting the poor girl down would traumatise her, on top of being mean.Riku also asks Daisuke on a date to the same place at the same time, which resolves the matter: with With’s assistance, Daisuke and Dark will go on a double date with Riku and Risa to Azumano Joyland. Emiko, Kosuke, Daiki and Towa help, parting in two teams to follow the couples in the amusement park and making sure the twins don’t discover Daisuke is Dark. Emiko and Kosuke follow Riku and her partner to intervene when necessary. At one point, Emiko disguises herself as a saleswoman to give a present to Riku in Daisuke’s name. Her skills impress Kosuke, who applauds her.
A power outage suddenly blocks Riku, With under Daisuke’s appearance, Emiko and Kosuke in a water ride. Emiko is about to jump off the boat to figure out what happened, but Kosuke’s worries make her stay and hug him instead. She then reassures him, as “Daisuke”’s present is a special mirror that will help the boy finding Riku again.
Riku faints after the ride is evacuated. Daisuke himself is found unconscious in the park and Emiko anxiously watches over him for two days. During his sleep, the boy pronounces a mysterious word: “Argentine.”
When the boy opens his eyes again, much to his parents relief, they tell him what happened. Daisuke is immediately ready to rescue Risa, who got kidnapped by the Argentine artwork, but Dark refuses to help him, saying his feelings are too unstable. Kosuke’s premise is that the thief can safely switch with Daisuke with the protection of powerful and pure feelings of love and that Dark won’t let Daisuke use anger, for their sake.
Emiko is suspicious: what is the Hikari trying to achieve with the Argentine? But these feelings are quickly replaced by laughter when Daisuke falls into one of her traps and Takeshi Saehara visits. She gracefully welcomes their guest, stealing his cameras in the process, and leaves the boys together.
Emiko doesn’t see Daisuke’s decision to receive their “enemy” Satoshi Hiwatari’s help positively. Kosuke interrupts to remind her their son is resolved.
Daisuke successfully rescues his classmate, but Emiko learns with disappointment the Argentine has been destroyed. Or so the family thinks: the unique artwork appears unexpectedly in the Niwa basement and the housekeeper can merrily add him to her collection, turning him into the family’s butler.
As the middle school’s dance party is getting closer, Emiko assists her son’s in chosing his outfit, but Dark makes the final decision. During the event, Krad appears and shoots Daisuke, who ends up unharmed thanks to Dark.
Emiko notices stolen artworks grow agitated in the Niwa basement. When Towa questions her about the family’s motivations behind the heists, she explains they protect and befriend artworks for a future confrontation.
To cheer a tired Daisuke up, Emiko announces an easy heist. This time, Dark will steal a “defective” artwork made by one of the Hikari disciples. She believes this low-quality piece will give information on the precious Hikari Manismare. On top of this, Daisuke will receive help from a member of the Niwa family’s side branches: Funabashi.
In the anime[edit | edit source]
On Daisuke’s 14th birthday, she insists on how important that day’s ritual is, without indicating it’s for Dark’s awakening. She is aware of Daisuke’s feelings for Risa Harada (Daisuke's classmate), much to the boy’s surprise.
Emiko’s magical ritual successfully seals the Sacred Maiden artwork.
Emiko announces the heist of the unicorn painting by sending a notice to the police. She also asks Daiki whether this artwork that has kidnapped people was made by the Hikari family, but he responds in the negative.
One day in the Niwa basement, Emiko and Daiki call upon ancient spirits and confirm that one of the Facing Dragons has gone missing from the Folk Customs Museum. Daiki explains the history behind their powers and suggests another catastrophe might occur if they do not reunite the dragons. Emiko sends a warning letter in Dark’s name, announcing the thief will steal the missing part the following day at 5pm, and tells Daisuke to come home early to prepare for the upcoming heist. Fortunately, Daiki finds the artwork in an antique shop the following day and purchases it.Three days before her birthday, Emiko receives a visit from a little girl and her mother who tell her about Daisuke’s heroic actions earlier that afternoon. Daisuke had saved the little girl from being injured - or worse - by a piano, risking his own life. When Daisuke returns home, Emiko scolds him: what would happen to Dark if Daisuke is severely injured?
A following day, Emiko finds souvenirs while cleaning the house, including her old high school uniform, and tries it on, delighted that it still fits. She shows her find to her son, who’s both surprised and circumspect. When he suggests she’s too old for such clothes, a strict glare makes him take his words back. Emiko shows him proof of her former glory in old photo albums; indeed, she used to be well known across town in her youth for her beauty and many boys courted her... until they learnt she was interested in having a son above all else. Daisuke’s questions lead her to tell more about her encounter with Kosuke. The nostalgic moment is nonetheless broken as Emiko remembers she has laundry to take care of.The day before her birthday, someone, in Dark’s name, announces they’ll steal the heart of the “world's number one lady”. Emiko is furious and determined to catch this impersonator: she climbs the roof of the house with a telescope and searches for him, sees him, but trips and almost falls from the roof. Dark catches her and brings her back to safety. He reveals the heist wasn’t fake, wishes her a happy birthday in both her sons’ names and gives her her present.
Back to the living room, she unwraps the gift: Daisuke’s sketched portrait of her high school self, which delights her. She thanks him dearly as he sleeps and gives him a white ribbon.
Daiki one day reads in newspapers the Adonis statue resurfaced after 40 years in the ocean and leaves home. Emiko stays at home in the meantime, and tells Daisuke when his grandfather comes back home. Later that day, as she serves tea to the old man, the latter expresses worries about Daisuke’s feelings on the case of that artwork: Emiko believes her son will be fine no matter what.
Kosuke Niwa (Emiko's husband) comes back home unexpectedly one evening, much to her delight. The following day, the couple is walking in town, chatting about Kosuke’s journey, when Emiko suddenly asks him what brought him back. Despite Kosuke pretending at first he came back for her, he soon confesses the truth: he was worried about the Rutile of Grief’s abilities. Emiko is happy Kosuke worries about his son so much.She watches the Rutile of Grief heist on television. However, noticing Kosuke, who went to the basement to replace a lightbulb (or so he says) didn’t return, she goes down to search for him, banging on the door until he opens. The bruised man collapses on her and pretends he fell down the stairs. Emiko carries him to their bedroom and patches his wounds. The sight of her injured husband moves her, and she fondly expresses how, despite Kosuke not being a Niwa by blood, she can see Dark’s wings on his back.
Summer break starts for Daisuke, which means more work for Emiko; she has to take care of the many new artworks that Dark brings home since Daisuke has more free time for heists. To cheer up her tired son, Emiko goes on a long shopping trip with Towa, who recently joined the family , to bring enough food for a nice meal. When she comes back home several hours later, she sees the Harada twins and Mio Hio (who is delighted to meet whom she sees as her future mother-in-law) are visiting. Emiko decides to hold a barbecue and cooks for everyone with Riku Harada's occasional help.
One week-end, as Daisuke has a cold, Satoshi Hiwatari suddenly visits the Niwa residence. Recognising him, Emiko politely tries to drive him away, but Kosuke invites him in.
That evening, Dark comes back home and explains that Daisuke has been taken by a woman called Freedert. The family quickly links that name to the play their son practices at school, and understands someone must be pulling strings. The thief mentions the Second Hand of Time, an artwork that was supposed to be sealed, and Kosuke guesses Daisuke’s snow painting resonated with the artwork and freed it. Dark decides to solve the next problem himself: he will retrieve said painting from the Harada household.
The family has a snack while waiting, but Towa’s behaviour suddenly turns strange as she says she can feel Dark, Riku and Risa entered the Second Hand of Time’s world.Dark returns with the painting the following morning. The artwork magically turned black and, even if Towa senses Daisuke is inside, Dark can’t reach him anymore.
Kosuke finds an older version of Freedert’s tale, whose original title was Ice and Dark. Its grim ending and details about the Second Hand of Time had been rewritten during the Cultural Revolution. The family is shocked by its real contents. Emiko and Daiki decide to research the Wedge of Time, a sword that seems to be the key to free Daisuke. Thanks to Towa’s power, the sword is suddenly located, and despite it being an obvious trap from their enemies, Dark takes the challenge and successfully brings Daisuke back.During winter break, Christmas is getting closer and the Niwa family starts decorating. Daisuke hasn’t been calling Riku in fear of bothering her and, learning this, his family teases him about his shyness. The discussion is cut short as Towa hangs decorations weirdly, worrying Emiko once again.
Suddenly, the multiple artworks in the basement of the Niwa house react, their spirits gathering in a black mass to escape. While his mother and grandfather get ready to perform a ritual, Daisuke is left under his father’s supervision. Soon, Kosuke says, the family will have to make a decision. Indeed, the Black Wings are about to be activated.
Kosuke collapses, drawn to his limits by the pain shared through his Rutile, and Emiko watches over him in bed. She explains to Daisuke that taking his pain was all Kosuke could do, and the man tries to reassure him about his state. Later, as a resolute Daisuke gets ready to assist Dark, both parents realise how much their son has grown.With Emiko, Daiki holds a ritual in the house’s basement to assist Dark during his last battle. As the feather motif on the painting they’re using disappears, they know the fight is over.
Daisuke has a vision of the future 20 years after the main events thanks to the Eternal Mark’s power. He sees that Emiko still lives in the same house... and insists on being called “Emiko-san” and not “grandma” by her grandson Daichi Niwa.
Relationships[edit | edit source]
Daiki is Emiko's father who are also partners as Emiko managed the family and Daiki is a reference when it comes to artworks and hosting Dark Mousy.
Kosuke is Emiko's husband and she acts in a very affectionate way with.
Daisuke is Emiko's son, who she loves dearly as she trained him to be a great thief ever since he was young.
Dark plainly calls her "Emiko" and Dark once said that Emiko is his "mother" who gave birth to him.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- The name Emiko means "laugh/smile" (笑) (emi) and "child" (子) (ko).
- Emiko won a beauty pageant and she was known as the "Angel of Azumano".
- Emiko placed 9th in the first DNAngel character popularity contest.
- In Daisuke Niwa's birthday omake, Emiko does not know how old Dark is, speculating that he might be 1000 or 2000 years old.
- In the anime, according to Kosuke Niwa, Emiko always takes a long time when food shopping .
- In the anime, Emiko uses an expensive ¥10.000 make-up remover that she cherishes.