In Dream or Premonition, Noriko is introduced as a newly accepted medical student at the University of Manchester. Born in Manchester to a British father and a Japanese mother, she holds a British-Japanese dual nationality. Her father, Robert, is a businessman formerly attached to the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan, and who bears a striking resemblance to well-known actor Stephen Dillane except for the eye color. Her mother, Sayuri, is a registered nurse and a lecturer at the School of Nursing of the University of Manchester.
Noriko lived in Manchester until she was 7 years old and then moved with her family to Japan where she lived until the end of high school. She formerly attended Daiichi Junior High School and then the all-girls Kamakura Jogakuin High School. In middle school, Noriko worked as a manager for the boys' soccer team before she held a similar position for the girls' basketball team in high school. In Dream or Premonition, her first semester in medical school was only set to start in the following September. In The Road to the Promised Land, Noriko is assigned to the Trafford General Hospital's orthopaedics department for her clinical apprenticeship.
Because of common interests in medicine and football (soccer), Noriko became Kakeru and Nana's roommate when the latter two left Japan for their new life in the Greater Manchester area. Noriko's dream is to become Manchester United's future first team doctor and Dr. Steve McNally's successor, One of her role models is former Chelsea F.C. team doctor Eva Carneiro.
In middle school, Noriko met Suguru Aizawa after a match, and both developed mutual attraction almost instantly. Suguru admitted that she would make a great sports physician and thus gave her a career path. Because of the intense public scrutiny Suguru had to endure, both he and Noriko agreed to maintain a secret long-distance relationship. Since Suguru passed away, Noriko has not dated a single man before the events in The Road to the Promised Land. However, the arrival of Yusuke Saeki in Manchester changed Noriko's life.
Since Noriko made contact with both Japanese- and English-speaking cultures, she enjoys listening several pop songs from both languages. In any case, the only Manchester-based band she is a true fan of is named The Courteeners.
Being born and raised at an early age in Manchester, she quickly became a Manchester United supporter through her parents and her grandfather. It is revealed later that Noriko, then 4 years and 8 months old, was with her parents to attend the 1999 UEFA Champions League final in Barcelona's Camp Nou. On that historical day of May 26, 1999, Manchester United went from losing 0-1 to winning 2-1 with injury time goals from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Until the events of The Road to the Promised Land, that event was her favorite memory as a Manchester United fan. Regarding international football, Noriko cheered for England in the past and still wishes them to do well. But since her teenage years, she chose to support Japanese national teams over England should both countries face against each other. From her own words, Noriko always feels "more Japanese than British".
By the end of the 2033-34 season, which is the setting for the epilogue of The Road to the Promised Land, she is married to Yusuke Saeki and is the mother of their two children. It is also revealed that she has become the first-team doctor at Manchester United Football Club, having followed at last the footsteps of her role model, Eva Carneiro.
Noriko has long dark brown hair tied as a ponytail and blue eyes as her facial features. Because she has poor vision, she has to wear glasses all the time and she has some difficulty finding them when they are dropped on the ground. Noriko has a slender body going with her 167.1cm-tall frame.
Day and nightwear
Since Dream or Premonition is set in the middle of spring in England, Noriko's outfit consists mainly of a black leather jacket and blue jeans. Under her jacket, she wears either a black sweater or a red hoodie. At times when she is jogging, she is wearing a pink and black tracksuit. Her nightwear for the season consists of a pajama shirt and bottoms with pockets.
In The Road to the Promised Land, Noriko wears a white shirt, black trousers and a white medical coat when she's working at the hospital. In some occasions in fall and spring, she wears a turquoise sweater. When the weather gets chillier, Noriko wears a beige 3/4 trench coat on top of her clothes.
When going to Old Trafford to attend a football match, Noriko wears a red Manchester United football shirt with number 11 and the name "GIGGS" embroidered in the back, in honor of her favorite player. She also wears a scarf with the colors of her favorite team (mainly red with small black bars on top of slightly wider white bars on top of the red color).
After some time in the events of The Road to the Promised Land, Noriko started wearing a midnight blue and gold Manchester United football shirt with number 17 and the name "SAEKI" in the back. The shirt was given to her by Yusuke after a match against Liverpool Football Club.
When Noriko watches games on television from the comfort of her home, she sometimes wears a unisex red T-shirt with a white collar and white sleeve edges. That T-shirt also has the classic coat of arms of Manchester embroidered on the left chest, which makes the piece of clothing look like a replica of the 1960s Manchester United shirt.
Noriko usually wears normal running shoes in her free time. With respect to the Japanese half of her origins, she wears women's Mizuno white and purple running shoes. At the hospital, Noriko wears leather slip-ons.
On a rare occasion when Noriko goes out to a night club, she wears a black V-neckline tie-back halter top, blue jeans, and black wedge sandals. The tie-back halter top was originally bought by her friend Sarah Davies, and was borrowed by Noriko before it later became a full gift from Sarah to Noriko.
Noriko's most noticeable personality trait is of being optimistic and confident about herself and her friends. She is very loyal and reliable whenever her friends are in need of her support. Alongside that self-determination for her career aspirations, she is also indicated to be an avid reader of medicine books despite not being in her freshman year yet.
When Noriko used to be the team manager of a boys football team in middle school and of a girls basketball team in high school, she cared about the players' well-being and long-term above anything else. Noriko was never afraid of reminding it even if she had to go against the stubbornness of some players when the latter sustained a serious injury. That quality was a big reason why she got accepted into medical school.
However, behind her apparent self-confidence, Noriko hides a massive emotional pain linked to Suguru's death after she met him a year prior to the fatal accident that cost his life. However, she eventually comes to terms with the pain after speaking to Kakeru about her past. Nevertheless, it still took Noriko a few years before she was able to become fully comfortable around a man she's interested in again. When Noriko finally accepted Yusuke as her boyfriend, she was able to lay the past to rest once and for all.
Being a passionate football fan, Noriko usually gets in the mood of the match by singing songs and by shouting her support in full voice during matches. At times, she uses foul language in the heat of the moment when she's not happy about an incident or bad officiating. As a Manchester United fan, she despises crosstown rivals Manchester City more than any other historical rival. On a few occasions, she would join the traveling Manchester United supporters in away matches and would be known to her fellow supporters under the nickname of "Red Kate".
Nothing was revealed in Dream or Premonition except that she does jogging. In The Road to the Promised Land, it is revealed that Noriko is an expert in freestyle football. She can pull off popular and difficult moves such as the Maradona 7 or the Alternate Lemmens Around the World (ALATW). Noriko can also take hard shots on goal. In her own words, she admits that she plays football to keep her physical fitness. But she only sees playing as a hobby rather than something to make a career on. Both Kakeru and Nana acknowledge that Noriko would have become a top class player if she made a different career choice.
Noriko also earns a British driving licence, and drives a Ford Focus hatchback car.
- Robert George Lewis: As Noriko's father, she maintains a close relation to him despite living at her uncle's place in Japan until recently.
- Sayuri Lewis: As Noriko's mother, she is just as close to her as she is to Robert.
- Taeko Ishiki (一色 妙子 Ishiki Taeko): Noriko's cousin, Taeko considers Noriko almost like her own little sister.
- Harry Lewis: Noriko's grandfather and Robert's father, he likes to share his footballing stories with the rest of the family.
- Yusuke Saeki (佐伯 祐介 Saeki Yusuke): Yusuke is Noriko's boyfriend. Their relationship had an uneasy start with Noriko feeling uncomfortable around Yusuke because the latter reminded her of Suguru in a number of ways. Nevertheless, they became good friends and then life partners over time although Noriko felt uncertain about how to let the relationship grow at times. Thanks to words of advice from her friends and from her role model, Dr. Eva Carneiro, Noriko was able to fully accept Yusuke as her significant other in her life. Years after their first encounter, Yusuke and Noriko have become a married couple and the parents of 2 children.
- Mitsuha Saeki (佐伯 三葉 Saeki Mitsuha): Mitsuha is Yusuke and Noriko's older child. She is depicted as a kind, caring, and supportive girl as well as being also determined, sometimes persistent, frank, and also adventurous. One would say that she inherited several traits from her mother, but she owes her lighter brown hair color to her father. In the epilogue of The Road to the Promised Land, which would take place in the spring of 2034, she is 10 years old.
- Taki Saeki (佐伯 瀧 Saeki Taki): Taki is Yusuke and Noriko's younger child. Taki is a kind, hardworking and caring individual. He is a very helpful, responsible and busy young man, as well organized, level-headed and sometimes quite serious. One would say that he is a carbon copy of his father except for his mother's dark brown hair color. In the epilogue of The Road to the Promised Land, which would take place in the spring of 2034, he is 8 years old.
- Kakeru Aizawa (逢沢 駆 Aizawa Kakeru): On the way to becoming a player for Manchester United, Kakeru met Noriko. Because Noriko reminisced a moment that happened 5 years ago between her and Suguru, she has shown some interest in Kakeru when first meeting him. However, Noriko is aware of the strong relationship between Kakeru and Nana, and thus pushes her feelings for Kakeru no further than friendship.
- Nana Mishima (美島奈々 Mishima Nana): Just like Nana, Noriko was once the team manager of a boys football team in middle school. Unsurprisingly, the two young women quickly became friends on their way to a new life in Manchester. Because of Nana's superior footballing skills, Noriko is very supportive of her friend's attempt to make history by being the first female player to play at professional level in the English Premier League.
- Sarah Davies: Noriko and Sarah became friends when both started medical school in the same classes at the University of Manchester. Because of different clinical affiliations, it's more difficult for both friends to enjoy time together, but they make the most of it when they can. Although she's less vocal than Noriko, she enjoys football as much as Noriko does. Sarah also has experience with the Manchester nightlife, and so she gives advice to Noriko on how to enjoy it.
- The first name "Noriko" was chosen as a tribute to seiyuu actress Noriko Hidaka, who gave her voice to the likes of Akane Tendo (Ranma 1/2; 1989-1992), Constance Bonacieux (The Three Muskeeters anime; 1987-1989), Jean Roque Raltique (Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water; 1990-1991), Kikyo (Inuyasha; 2000-2010), and Taeko Ishiki (Area no Kishi; 2012).
- The surname "Lewis" was chosen in honor of 5-time Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton.
- Physically speaking, Noriko would basically look like a young adult version of Mari Makinami Illustrious with her hair tied as a ponytail instead of twintails.
- Noriko has become a big fan of Makoto Shinkai's Your Name (君の名は。Kimi no Na wa.) when she first saw the animated film. Hence her children are named after the film's protagonists, Mitsuha Miyamizu and Taki Tachibana.