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In the anime, she stood by Tetsuo, even though he treated her with abuse in the hopes of appearing tough to his friends. When Tetsuo began his rampage through Neo-Tokyo, she followed him, and when his powers manifested and caused his body to warp and expand to grotesque proportions, she was engulfed in his flesh and crushed to death by his oversized organs.
In the manga her death was much milder: she was shot and in an attempt to save her, Tetsuo put her in a cryogenic chamber to avoid his death. What happened to Kaori after that remained unknown.