Shino is a woman of petite height with huge breasts, a slim waist, and chestnut brown hair. In the manga series, she wears her smooth hair in a bob cut style, while in the anime she has it tied into a ponytail jutting out from the side. She also has a more muscular physique in the manga adaptation.
Shino has a short temper and can get easily angered when someone gets on her nerves. She is also sadistic and enjoys fighting, preferably charging headlong into melee combat. This recklessness is often frowned upon by her fellow members, and often results in getting her equipment damaged beyond repair. She does not kill without reason (i.e. in self-defense or upon a superior's order) but relishes in cutting loose whenever she gets the chance.
In spite of her violent nature, Shino also longs for a man in her life, once asking Yōji Itami to introduce her to single men in the Special Forces. It is revealed that she has dated before, but said "dates" inevitably involved going to a martial arts dojo for a "friendly spar", and any boyfriend who failed to beat - or at worst, match - her was summarily dumped, on the spot showing that her man must be the ones that can beat the crap out of her. Because of her tomboyish nature, however, she ironically makes herself more popular with the women in the Special Region, particularly the Warrior Bunnies; Mamina admires Shino's battle moves at Italica, and in the novels Delilah and Shino become best friends, as both are violent and reckless in battle. She is also shown to be friendly with Rory Mercury, having apparently gained her respect after they fought alongside each other in the Siege of Italica, and two are seen drinking together in the manga, and retrieving the boys together in the video. Shino is the shortest compared to the rest of Third Recon, but undoubtedly the most ferocious.
Kuribayashi openly dislikes Itami due to his otaku nature. Her greatest personal ambition is to enlist into Japan's elite forces, the Rangers and Special Forces, and as a result she is severely shocked upon learning that a slacker like Itami, who shies away from any kind of exertion or responsibility, has managed to become a certified member of both. Although her dislike for his laid back personality has not lessened over time, she (albeit very) slowly comes to respect him as an able field commander.
Kuribayashi is one of the soldiers assigned to the Third Recon Team. She is not fond of Itami due to his Otaku nature, but still complies with her orders. With the rest of the team, they accompany the Coda village refugees to a safer location, and helps Piña Co Lada defend Italica from a bandit attack. During the battle, Kuribayashi charges straight into the battlefield, killing the bandits with her rifle, grenades and bayonet, eventually breaking the latter. She fights alongside Rory Mercury and gets her respect. When a Cobra pilot informs Itami that they are about to fire inside the gate, Kuribayashi is forcibly dragged away from the area, protesting that she can run by herself.
After the battle, the rest of Piña's knights arrive and chase their Humvees, mistaking them to be the enemy. Itami steps out and stays behind so the rest of the squad will be safe. Outside Italica, Kuribayashi notes Itami's bravery, but becomes shocked when she learns from Kurata that Itami is a Ranger.
Kuribayashi accompanies Itami to Japan for a Diet meeting, and is completely baffled when she hears that he is part of the Special Forces. She later accompanies the Special Region group to the Hakone Inn. During their stay, foreign agents ambush them there, but they manage to escape. The group later finds an unmarked vehicle and Kuribayashi points her gun at the driver while Itami forces him out. When Kuribayashi asks Itami why the agents are after them, Itami tells her that he doesn't know. She points her rifle at Itami and menacingly threatens to shoot him.
When Rika creates a news feed mentioning that the Special Region representatives are going to pay their respects at the Ginza memorial, Kuribayashi goes with them. Before she returns to the Special Region, she finds her sister broadcasting and is surprised to see her there.
When the Imperial capital is rocked by "earthshakes", Kuribayshi accompanies Sugawara, who is negotiating with Molt. Zorzal later arrives with a Japanese citizen that was one of the several citizens captured by the Imperials. Itami becomes enraged and lets Kuribayshi fire at will, something that she likes as she shows a menacing grin. She easily disposes of the attackers, and the rest of Zorzal's men surrender. Zorzal refuses to, and Itami allows Kuribayashi to fight him in close quarters combat. She approaches Zorzal, who calls her a little girl and attempts to punch her. She quickly dodges his attack and counters with a devastating uppercut, and then proceeds to beat him up while everyone watches.
Kuribayashi is separated from Itami when he is transferred to command of the Special Region Resource Investigation Team 101. During this time, she, like the rest of the squad participate in the JSDF intervention in the Siege of the Jade Palace, taking the Basson Prison. Shortly afterwards Kuribayashi aids Itami in his raid on the Imperial Palace, rescuing the Emperor along with Yao and Hamilton.
During the Imperial Civil War Kuribayashi managed to fight off a Dar while inside a moving helicopter with only a knife, when Tomita congratulated her on such a feat she jokingly asked him if he had fallen for her, unfortunately this made Tomita raise a death flag by telling 3rd recon that he planned to marry Bozes after the war. To remove Tomita's death flag, Kuribayashi decided to let Itami take the bad luck by having him raise a death flag in front of Tomita, Tomita did not take the whole death flag thing seriously but Kuribayashi insisted that he had two ways to avoid it, he could either let Itami raise another death flag in front of him to nullify his, or he could get married right away, when Tomita responded by saying the Bozes is too busy fighting off Zorzal's army to get married Kuribayashi suggested Tomita marry her then, she even had marriage forms on her at the moment, however Tomita refused, wishing only to marry Bozes. She and Tuka made a plan to get Itami to confess his real feelings about Tuka, during their visit Tuka would pretend to sleep quickly, then Kuribayashi would ask Itami about Tuka. Since there was only one bed, Tuka and Kuribayashi had to share, while the boys slept on the ground, due to Tuka and Kuribayashi having different norms, Kuribayashi was shocked when she found out that Tuka slept naked, and used people as body pillows, Tuka then wondered why Kuribayashi didn't sleep naked. When news reaches Itami that he is needed back int eh special region without anyone noticing, Kuribayashi goes along with him, due to the riot outside the gate Itami, Kuribayashi, Tomita and Tuka need to parachute into the gate, Tomita and Itami are the only ones trained for paradrops so Tuka was attached to Itami and Kuribayashi was attached to Tomita, just as they are about to jump Kuribayashi remembers Tomita's death flag and alerts Itami, in order to save Kuribayashi, Tuka then raises a death flag by proclaiming that she will marry Itami after the war.
Kuribayashi kicks Itami in the crotch when the latter failed to move out of the way when she and Tomita were landing, Tuka then berates Kuribayashi for having enough cushioning on her breasts to soften the collision yet still kicking Itami, to which Kuribayashi responds with "You expect me to hug the Lieutenant?!". Itami is later ordered to destroy the magic circle connecting the many worlds through the gate, as a huge alien swarm was entering and killing the inhabitants of Fort Alnus, since Lelei demanded that Itami stay in the special region in return for her opening and closing the gate, since there would be no way back for all the JSDF personnel who wished to return to Japan before the gate closes, Tomita decides to accompany Itami, after all he planned to stay and marry Bozes. Kuribayashi wishes to help as well, and Itami questions her why, since she had no reason to stay. It turns out that Kuribayashi had fallen in love with Tomita, and did not want to see him go, however Tomita rejects her, leaving her in tears. Even though Tomita rejected her, Kuribayashi decides to stay in the special region, saying that she has difficulty with giving up, she and Rory combine their fighting styles again to hold of the alien swarm. What happened to her during the four years after the gate's closure is unknown, however she did survive and is currently living in the special region.
Skills & Abilities
- Basic Training: Like all JSDF personnel, Kuribayashi has undergone basic physical and combat training, and is good physical condition, and is a competent marksman.
- Close Combat Expert: Shino is very experienced in hand-to-hand combat and can take down people easily who are several times larger than her. She is also shown to strong enough to fight toe-to-toe with a shape-shifter in her beast form using only a combat knife and hand-to-hand combat
- Weapons Expert: She is proficient with her bayonet on her Type 64 rifle, proving herself capable of killing multiple armored Imperial soldiers in close combat. Shino is also a skilled shot with a handgun and her rifle, and in the use of hand grenades.
- Bayonet Fighting (Jūkendō): Shino proved to be an expert in Jūkendō (Japanese martial art of bayonet fighting), being able to take down all of Zorzal's bodyguards and also being able to take down several bandits in the Siege of Italica by using this martial art style.
- Type 64 battle rifle: Shino is seen in anime, using an Type 64 battle rifle as firearm in combat.
- M1 bayonet: In the anime and manga, Shino is seen using an M1 bayonet when she was fighting Zorzal El Caesar's bodyguards and when she was fighting the bandits in the Siege of Italica.
- Hard knuckle tactical gloves: In all three media, anime, manga and light novel, Shino is seen using Hard knuckle tactical gloves, when she was ordered by Itami to torture information from Zorzal about other Japanese people.
- Hand grenade: Shino is seen in anime, in the Siege of Italica, using a Hand grenade when she was fighting the bandits.
- Minebea P-9: Shino is seen in anime, in the Siege of Italica, using an Minebea P-9 against the bandits, when she couldn't use anymore her Type 64 rifle in combat.
- Type II Body Armor: Shino is seen in anime, wearing the Type II Body Armor.
- The name Shino means "will, purpose" (志) (shi) and "from" (乃) (no).
- Shino's surname Kuribayashi means "chestnut" (栗) (kure) and "forest" (林) (hayashi/bayashi).