Athena is a modern day high school girl in Japan. She teamed up with her friend, Sie Kensou, to fight in the name of justice. In Psycho Soldiers, she was one of the "heroes of light" who defended the world from the Shiguma forces. Her psychic powers are believed to be transmigrated to her rather than inherited by her family. As such, she is sometimes referred to as the resurrected Athena who is gifted with esper-like powers.
In the King of Fighters series, she is a student of Kensou's Kenpo teacher, Chin Gentsai. She has spent most of her life secluded in China's mountains training. Her team participates in the tournaments as a form of training and to save the populace from an apparent future threat. Other times, they enter to disrupt any evil forces they may feel at the time. In the 1996 tournament, Chin seemed perturbed by the energy he sensed and didn't want his students to be involved with it. However, they surprise him by redoubling their enthusiasm for the event and they enter.
Their success in the tournament is shown in the following year where they receive a mountain of adoring fan letters. Athena in particular had a boost in popularity and stardom. However, Chin rejects their proposal to enter King of Fighters since he doesn't want his students to forget the purpose of their training. Determined to change his mind, Athena presents him with an inspirational letter from Kaoru Watabe. The contents in the letter helps her argument that their publicity moves people to do better things, which is essentially another way of saving people. Convinced that his students are improving, he allows them to enter once more.