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Good job!
~ Kaede to all her friends after they all evade danger in the first part of the Death Road to Despair

Kaede Akamatsu is the central protagonist of Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony. She was the main protagonist of the prologue and the Chapter 1 of the game until she was executed at the near end of the first chapter and Shuichi Saihara takes over the role of being the main protagonist.

A participant in the Killing School Semester, Kaede has the title of Ultimate Pianist (Super High School Level Pianist), owing to her prowess in playing the piano since childhood and winning various awards.

To save the students from being killed, she makes up a plan to eliminate the mastermind; unfortunately Rantaro Amami gets caught in the scene. Although Kaede’s shot missed Rantaro, Tsumugi Shirogane kills him and pinpoints/frames the murder on Kaede. Kaede is executed believing she was the killer.

She is voiced by Sayaka Kanda in the Japanese version, who also voiced Yuna in Sword Art Online and Queen Anna in Frozen, and by Erika Harlacher in the English version, who also voiced Shinobu Kochou in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Kyouko Kirigiri in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, Ann Takamaki in Persona 5, Crusch Karsten and Meili Portroute in Re:Zero - Starting Life in Another World, Kurapika in Hunter x Hunter, Violet Evergarden in Violet Evergarden, Jeanne d'Arc in Fate/Apocrypha, Elizabeth Liones in The Seven Deadly Sins, and Asseylum Vers Allusia in Aldnoah.Zero, Yumeko Jabami from Kakegurui, Sukuyo Mankanshoku in Kill la Kill, Videl in Dragon Ball Z, Jeanne Alter in Fate/Grand Order, Monoa Bellucci in Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna, and Dunya Musta'sim in Magi.

Appearance

Kaede has shoulder-length blonde hair and a prominent ahoge. She wears silver music note hairpins and has warm purple eyes. She wears a high school uniform, which consists of a long-sleeved white shirt completed with a pink ribbed-hem sweater vest adorned with her previous schools’ insignia and an orange tie. She wears a dark, warm purple skirt patterned with black music staves and lining each of them. The song on her skirt creates an actual melody, but it doesn't seem to be any relevant tune. Dark purple knee socks are adorned with her previous schools’ insignia on the top of them, and beige shoes with dark brown laces and soles. Kaede also carries around a white backpack, that has a gold clasp.

In the Prologue, Kaede wears a dark blue sailor uniform with a short matching blue skirt, a red tie, black knee socks and black penny loafers. The pins in her hair are regular, silver straight ones.

Personality

Kaede is an optimistic hard worker. As a leader type with a firm character, she has a strong will and doesn't hesitate to take action, her notable character trait being her strong sense of belief in herself and others. Her main motivation for playing the piano is to see others smiling.She has a kind personality that makes her think about others before herself. Because of this, she is unable to immediately suspect people, as demonstrated in the demo by her going as far as faking an alibi out of her trust for Makoto, with no rational basis for his innocence. She is willing to lie for good reasons, but appears uncomfortable while doing so and is quite bad at lying. Like the other protagonists before her, she has a very sensitive nature and listens to other people's troubles. However, as seen during her Free Time Events with other students, she seems to encourage other people to get better even more actively than some other protagonists do, and she isn't afraid to be bold about it and point out their flaws. It appears that she is rather quickly well-liked by the other students.

Before being exposed to the Flashback Lights, Kaede had "no faith in humanity" and stated that she was "perfect for a killing game." This seems to imply she was a nihilist, to the point where she'd give her life to have a bit of fun.

The Truth About Kaede's Fate

When Tsumugi frames Kaede by killing Rantaro by switching shot put balls after Monokuma threatens all the other students, Kaede, having herself been fooled by Tsumugi's trick into thinking she killed Rantaro, decides to accuse herself in the Class Trial before being executed with a piano concert that plays a classical musical piece called "The Flea Waltz", but it turns out that she has been killed due to the Monokubs' yanking of the ropes that pull her up faster and faster, asphyxiating her because of the Monokuma-designed clasp around her neck.

Quotes

Nothing. No light. No sound. No form. No voice. No knowledge of who I am. ...Who am I? Who am I? I extend a hand. A hand that belongs to no one. To take hold of my existence-- This is me. My name is Kaede Akamatsu. I just remembered who I am. Nice to meet...me. I'm the protagonist of this crazy story.
~ Kaede introducing herself during the opening monologue of the game.
Ever since I was a child, I would play piano whenever I got bored... There were even times I played the piano so much, that I forgot to eat and sleep. Eventually, I won trophies from concerts. And people started praising me...
~ Kaede talking about her love for piano playing and how it dates back to her childhood.
We may not be able to escape now, but we'll do it eventually, somehow... Everyone just has to cooperative if we all wanna get out of here!
~ Kaede uniting the other students by telling them that working together is the only way to escape the Killing Game.
Whatever you have planned, I'm not gonna let you get away with it!
~ Kaede standing up to Monokuma.
No need to worry! It looks a bit dangerous, but we're all Ultimates here!
~ Kaede calming down the other students.
Whoever trapped us here wants us to fight each other... ...So let's show 'em that we're not gonna let that happen! We're *not* gonna fight each other! We're gonna work together! Okay!
~ Kaede telling the others that fighting would only make them play into the mastermind's plan.
It may take one more try or a lot more tries, but it's not impossible. Forget about Monokuma. It doesn't matter what he says to us. I don't wanna lose to him! And I don't want any of you to lose, either! I refuse to lose to someone who would do these terrible things to us!
~ Kaede refusing to let any of the students die.
But I won't lose... I won't give up. Because I want to see everyone's smiles just a little longer... I want to spend time with them, laughing and talking like normal teenagers. So...I won't give up.
~ KAede's determination to save the herself and the others.
I love seeing the expressions people make when they're enjoying themselves. That's why I play piano... To see the smiles on everyone's faces. And that's why we need to expose the mastermind and end this dumb killing game! So we can smile with everyone else!
~ Kaede expressing her reasons for being so determined to end the killing game.
If you dismiss a possibility and look the other way without confirming anything... ...then you're just turning your back on the truth.
~ Kaede talking to Shuichi.
I think everyone is afraid of learning the truth. But the people who are willing to find the truth are the ones who can decide their fate. If you never know the lies from the truth, then you can't choose a path. You won't even know you're on a path. So...fight for the truth... Even if it is frightening. I know you can do this. If you're scared, borrow the strength of others who will be there to help you. Think of everyone you're helping, and let that be your strength.
~ Kaede comforting Shuichi.
I have to retake control! I have to tell a lie...so we can get closer to the truth!
~ Kaede being tempted to lie during the class trial for the sake of pushing the other students further towards the truth.
If we vote for him, all hope is lost... I won't be able to save everyone... But I haven't lost hope yet! I won't give up! Before I can save everyone...I need to make sure we're all on the same page!
~ Kaede telling the other students not to vote for Shuichi.
Answer me this—what kind of truth did you realize? Don't be scared to say it. Not just for me...but for everyone else. Please...face the truth.
~ Kaede pressuring Shuichi to tell the truth during the trial.
It may be the end of me, but I want my wish to... I'm giving it to you, Shuichi. From now on, you're going to carry on my wish! You're going to protect everyone!
~ Kaede passing her wish onto Shuichi before her death.
I believe in you! I believe that you all will make it through this, somehow!
~ Kaede reassuring the other students that he has faith in them surviving.
You guys better live! Don't go dying on me now! End this ridiculous killing game, survive, and get the hell out of this place! And then...be friends after you escape, okay? I think you'll all be the best of friends.
~ Kaede entrusting the other students with ending the killing game and surviving.
Yup, that's our promise. I'm leaving everything up to you, Shuichi. ...Goodbye.
~ Kaede's final words.

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           1280px-Danganronpa series English logo.svg.png Heroes

Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
Makoto Naegi | Kyoko Kirigiri | Byakuya Togami | Aoi Asahina | Yasuhiro Hagakure | Sayaka Maizono | Toko Fukawa | Chihiro Fujisaki | Sakura Ogami | Kiyotaka Ishimaru | Mondo Owada | Hifumi Yamada | Celestia Ludenberg | Leon Kuwata | Alter Ego | Jin Kirigiri


Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
Hajime Hinata | Nagito Komaeda | Chiaki Nanami | Mikan Tsumiki | Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu | Ibuki Mioda | Gundham Tanaka | Sonia Nevermind | Hiyoko Saionji | Ultimate Imposter | Peko Pekoyama | Mahiru Koizumi | Akane Owari | Teruteru Hanamura | Kazuichi Soda | Nekomaru Nidai | Usami


Danganronpa/Zero
Ryoko Otonashi | Yasuke Matsuda | Yuto Kamishiro | The Madarai Brothers


Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls
Komaru Naegi


Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak Academy
Kyosuke Munakata | Chisa Yukizome | Juzo Sakakura | Miaya Gekkogahara | Seiko Kimura | Ruruka Ando | Sonosuke Izayoi | Ryota Mitarai | Koichi Kizakura | Daisaku Bandai | Great Gozu


Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony
Kaede Akamatsu | Shuichi Saihara | Tenko Chabashira | Miu Iruma | K1-B0 | Maki Harukawa | Kokichi Ouma | Gonta Gokuhara | Angie Yonaga | Rantaro Amami | Kaito Momota | Korekiyo Shinguji | Kirumi Tojo | Ryoma Hoshi | Himiko Yumeno

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