Chiaki was Nagito's classmate prior to the Tragedy. She was also his class's representative, and Nagito respected her, thinking she was their class's hope. Chiaki seemed to genuinely care about him, although she did not agree with his way of looking at things. Chiaki is the only one out of her classmates who greeted Nagito warmly when he comes back after being suspended for about a year.
Later, Nagito inadvertently puts Chiaki's life in danger when he shows her a secret entrance to a room underground, where Junko Enoshima, Izuru Kamukura, and Ryota Mitarai were hiding. Chiaki tries to stop Nagito from killing Junko, Nagito ignores her but is ultimately shot by Izuru first. Chiaki holds him in a protective manner while he is unconscious.
When forced to watch Chiaki be executed by Junko, Nagito mumbles about how Chiaki, formerly the class's greatest hope, became their stepping stone to achieve a greater hope. However, he also felt great despair and appeared to cry over her death, which is a very rare reaction from him.
When it comes to AI Chiaki, Nagito does not seem to notice her that much at first, noting that she's a quiet girl who mostly plays video games and stares into space. However, he later appears to have a genuine respect for her deduction skills. In the Funhouse, he asks her to investigate with him, and is worried when she leaves the group without anyone noticing.
Though Nagito is unaware of it, Chiaki cared about him and she was also the traitor he tried to save in the end, though this failed.
- Nagito – “Now then, I think it's time for me to get going too, so...Chiaki, would you like to go together?”
- Chiaki – “...Me?”
- Nagito – “I haven't really had a chance to talk to you, so I thought this would be a great opportunity...”
- — Nagito teaming up with Chiaki to explore the Fun House in Chapter 4 of Danganronpa 2.
The ship sailed for similar reasons to Togiri, as a result of Chiaki and Nagito being two of three main characters of their respective cast, and the protagonist being shippable with pretty much every cast member because of the Free Time Events. The two also became a common choice for those pairing together victims and culprits of specific cases. On AO3 it is the fourth most written ship for Chiaki and the seventh most written for Nagito.
Danganronpa 3 further fueled the ship, with Chiaki being the one acting the nicest towards Nagito. Nagito's high opinion of Chiaki also helped, with his respect of her being formed as a result of her becoming the symbol of their class's hope, being the class rep who unitied her classmates and took care of them during Chisa's absence.
- AI Chiaki's relationship with Nagito on Danganronpa Wiki
- Chiaki's relationship with Nagito on Danganronpa Wiki
- Nagito's relationship with Chiaki on Danganronpa Wiki
- This is the second Danganronpa ship between the protagonist's implied love interest and rival, with the first being Togiri and the third being Ouaka.
- This is one of several Danganronpa ships between a victim and their killer, with the others being Leosaya, Chimondo, Yamaceles, Mahpeko, Tsumionji, Band Aid, Nekodam, Snatsumi, Nishichino, Amamatsu, Shiromami, Tojoshi, Shinnaga, Iruhara, and Oumota.
- Just like in Amamatsu's case, the culprit killed the victim without knowing who their target is.