Kaede Akamatsu is a student in the Ultimate Academy for Gifted Juveniles and a participant of the Killing School Semester featured in Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony. Her title is the Ultimate Pianist. Kaede has smooth ash blonde hair, reaching just below her shoulders, which is somewhat curved outwards to each side, making it look a lot bigger than it is. Her hair is parted to the far right, her bangs hanging low over her eyes before they're swept behind her ears, with a single arcing ahoge poking out from the back of her parting and two thin clumps of hair sitting over each shoulder, which curve outwards at the ends. Her eyes are tilted inwards a little, and are framed by quite long and pronounced upper and lower eyelashes, and in her game sprites their irises are a warm plum color, although in her official reference sheet they’re more of a light purplish-brown. Kaede wears a pinkish off-white dress shirt with an orange tie at her neck, over which she wears a sleeveless pale pink sweater with a darker pink hem and v-neck collar, her school’s insignia adorned on the left side of her chest. She wears a short, dark purple skirt, which is patterned with 5 thin black lines with musical notes decorating them, which creates an actual melody, although it doesn’t seem to be any relevant tune, and in her bangs she wears five hair-slides of a similar design. Her knee-high socks are a much colder purple color than her skirt, bearing the same crest as her sweater on their outer sides, and on her feet she wears tan lace-up shoes with thick brown soles. She also carries around a plain white backpack, which has a flap lid, fastened with a rectangular golden clasp, and two small pockets on the sides. In the Prologue, Kaede wears her school uniform which consists a navy blue seifuku, her collar and skirt a slightly darker shade, with a white trim around the collar and a double one around the cuffs, and a red scarf knotted loosely over her chest. She also wears black knee-high socks and penny loafers, and the slides in her hair are regular straight ones. 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. Kaede 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. However, being a pianoholic from a young age, she has a peculiar trait of including music talk into her conversations. She even strongly avoids certain activities such as cooking and certain sports because she fears her fingers might get hurt, affecting her ability to play. After talking to Tsumugi during her Free Time Events, Kaede was quite shocked and disturbed after realizing how heavily her life and identity is centered around piano and how she doesn't really have anything else, and she became desperate to find new hobbies. Kaede can also be a bit oblivious and silly at times. During K1-B0's Free Time Events, she unintentionally asks questions in a somewhat insensitive manner by making assumptions about his robotic nature. She also pokes Tsumugi's cheek and K1-B0's emergency button without permission, showing that she is quite childish and impulsive. Furthermore, she has a habit of making rather sexual comments towards other girls, such as repeatedly calling Tenko cute, describing Tsumugi's sexy aura and her body, threatening to lift up Tsumugi's skirt and let everyone see her panties in order to make her to talkーShuichi even points out to her that she sounds like a creepy old man. However, ironically, she seems completely oblivious when other girls talk about liking girls. During Tenko and Himiko's Free Time Events, she completely fails to understand that they refer to homosexuality when talking about "playing for the other team" and being attracted to another girl. She is also quite sensitive to vulgarity, as shown in Miu's Free Time Events. While brave and determined, she is shown to be more fearful around certain situations, such as disliking horror movies because they make her scared in the bonus mode. While a kind and friendly person, Kaede is shown to have a quite firm, sometimes even rather easily angered personality as well, as she tends to lash at others when they annoy her enough. When Shuichi panics after they first met, she yelled at him to shut up in order to calm him down but also appeared quite annoyed by his nervousness, and later slapped Shuichi upside his head when he wasn't responsive for a short amount of time. She tries to be patient with Miu, but occasionally snaps back at her whenever she gets fed up with her insults, once even angrily telling Miu she has "nasty cow udders" after Miu repeatedly called Kaede's breasts tiny. During the investigation, she tells Himiko to be quiet and shut up multiple times, having no patience for her nonsensical and unnecessary talk about magic during such serious situation. She is also rather firm with Kokichi, bluntly telling him when she dislikes his behavior and what she thinks about him, such as believing he just wants attention and or is delusional, to which Kokichi responds by stating that Kaede really seems to know how to stand her ground. At one point, she scares off Monokid by yelling at him to shut up. She is also rather firm about illegal actions, scolding Kaito for cheating and Miu for wanting to use drugs to get high. Indeed, Kaede's tendency to push forward with her own personal justice is her biggest flaw. She refuses to give up when it would be the sensible thing to do and when pushing forward would only make things worse. She also never doubts what she thinks is right and accepts it blindly. At one point she convinced the group to try escape via Monokuma's trap and got called out by Kokichi because of it. This pushy and bossy attitude causes her to become a bit unpopular among some students, though she does appear to feel very bad for it and genuinely just didn't seem to realize how her actions had affected the others at the time. She is also willing to lie during the Class Trials, though only to strengthen the group's unity as Kokichi put it and she feels uncomfortable doing so. When pushed to her limits, Kaede would go as far as attempting to murder the mastermind in order to save her friends from the mass execution in Chapter 1. She always has good intentions and is motivated by her dreams and wish to befriend the other students and get them out of the school. However, Kanda has pointed out that she is unsure whether or not to call Kaede a good person, stating that she doesn't have ulterior motives because she doesn't think she's wrong, and she ends up going a bit crazy when her sense of what is right turns out to be mistaken. Later, it is revealed that Kaede's memories had been altered to make her act like a person with a completely opposite personality. In reality, Kaede was a person who hated people, having difficulties with trusting others and openly stating with a disturbingly bright smile that she had no faith in humanity. Though, it should be noted that it is left unclear whether or not this is true and it could have been a lie made by Tsumugi, as pointed out by Shuichi.