A second year (later third year) Student and serves as the head of the Disciplinary Committee at Ousai Academy. Compared to most of the other female characters, Kaede is upright, serious and a diligent student. As a result, she plays the straight-man-role either when Takatoshi Tsuda or Suzu Hagimura are not around or in tandem with them. On other occasions, she will find herself in the 'Boke' (funny man) role. This is true mostly around Tsuda, due in part to her interactions with the other girls.
Kaede has long straight light brown hair tied into two braids that reach down her back. She has dark brown eyes, and while height is often inconsistent throughout the series she is generally depicted as being about a head shorter than Tsuda. On one occasion, Aria remarked that her twin-tails reminded her of anal beads, after which Aria and Kaede switch hairstyle for a short period of time.
She often has a stern look on her face (due to her role as Head of the Disciplinary Committee), but her expression often softens considerably around people she knows.
She makes her first appearance shortly after the School Council's ill-fated trip to the beach, where they were forced to spend the night in an inn after their chaperone Naruko Yokoshima got herself drunk. After being shown photos of the event by Ranko Hata, she confronts them about spending the night together and even threatens Shino Amakusa with dismissal as Student Council President. While she is eventually calmed down, the entire affair showed how seriously she took her duties. It also showed just how badly her fear of men affected her, as she could not even bear to show herself when Takatoshi opened the door to let her in.
One of Kaede's defining trait is her strict, disciplined, principled attitude, making her a great fit for her role as the Head of the Disciplinary Committee. She is often seen retorting to or scolding other students whose actions are arguably in violation of the strict moral code and rules of the school. She takes these duties very seriously and acts more or less the same way even when not in school.
Kaede suffers from a relatively serious case of androphobia, colloquially referred to as a "fear of men". Despite the overly comedic reason for incurring her fear of men, her symptoms are severe; her androphobia has resulted in Kaede's inability to have simple, short conversations with members of the opposite sex. When approached by men, she reflexively distances herself and she passes out when she comes into physical contact with members of the opposite sex. She has also been known to exhibit symptoms of shaking and stuttering when conversing with most males that she isn't comfortable with. These symptoms only display themselves if she is aware of the fact that the person she is coming into contact with is, in fact, male. Instances with Uomi and Tsuda have shown that her reaction is different if she does not realize the sex of the other person she is conversing with or making physical contact with.
This androphobia, however, has led to her walking a more upright, principled, and defined course in life as she seeks to correct herself and carry out her duties and work as a student despite her condition.
Kaede is familiar with Shino as fellow second years (later third years). She respects and admires Shino for being talented and reliable in her role as Student Council President, but is also very aware of Shino's perverted personality. They are not very close as a result, with Kaede generally referring to Shino as President and Shino addressing her as Igarashi.
Similar to the situation with Shino, Kaede considers Aria to be a reasonably good role model for the most part, except for Aria's tendency to make perverted observations and (even worse) sometimes coming to school without wearing underwear. While Kaede addresses Aria with a more formal Shichijou-san, Aria happily refers to Kaede as Kaede-chan (despite originally addressing her as "Igarashi-san").
Kaede considers Suzu to be the most reliable member of the Student Council and the easiest to talk to, if only because Suzu is neither perverted like Shino or Aria nor male like Takatoshi. The two occasionally exchange greetings or chat if they happen to meet one another.
As Kaede is the Head of the Disciplinary Committee and in charge of morals, while Hata has few to no morals when it comes to getting scoops, the two girls clash often. To be more accurate, Hata will do something and Kaede will attempt to thwart her. In several chapters, Hata plays pranks on Kaede like pointing out boys staring at her during the Miss Ousai contest or telling Uomi to pretend to be a cross-dressing boy. Kaede has been able to get her own back, for example when she realises Hata attempted to film the girls in the bath, she calmly observes they are sharing a room and suggests a nice long talk. The suggestion leaves Hata sweating in fear. In the opening to the second season, near the end, Hata and Kaede are walking besides eachother, and Hata takes a picture of her yawning, causing Kaede to rebuke her. Soon after, Kaede is seen trying to grab the camera off of her.
Kaede has a relatively complicated relationship with Takatoshi. Their initial meeting was affected by her androphobia. On top of that, she suspected he was a pervert (a situation compounded by one of Shino's perverted comments). As time went on, Takatoshi came to to be what is perhaps the only male Kaede can converse with comfortably even when they run into each other at unexpected times. She is eventually comfortable enough to scold Takatoshi when he makes mistakes and, at one point, was able to hold his hand (in an attempt to overcome her fear). On one or two occasions, the pair can actually hold a reasonably friendly conversation.
There are several jokes in the anime and manga that hint Kaede may have a mild crush on Takatoshi (for example, she sometimes blushes and stammers like a love-struck girl when they are talking). However, these should probably not be taken seriously, as they are generally the result of her androphobia. Even Takatoshi notes that her reactions to him could be seen as misleading if someone watching did not realzse she had a fear of men.
In Volume 10 Chapter 263 of the manga, Kaede goes to karaoke with the Student Council members in order to test if they were capable of pinch-hitting for the Chorus Club Without realizing it, she puts her hand on Takatoshi's stomach to show him how deeply he should be breathing.
Shino, Aria, and Suzu, as girls attracted to Takatoshi, are slightly concerned by the fact that Kaede eventually becomes comfortable enough around him to come into physical contact with her without fainting.
Noa-chan and Yoshi-kun
Kaede spends quite a bit of time scolding Noa-chan and Yoshi-kun for their overly public displays of affection. For their part, they usually knock it off once they get scolded and are apologetic for not taking heed of their surroundings.
However, because the two are Ousai's most prominent sweethearts, they often repeat the offense. This frustrates Kaede a lot.
- Episode 8 (1st anime)/ Volume 2 Chapter 18 (manga)
Kaede's first appearance. She introduces herself and first meets with Takatoshi. She is noticably nervous around him. She confronts them with photos taken by Ranko during the School Council's unexpected stay over at the beach. She threatens Shino with dismissal as School Council President due to discipline issues. Kaede is left dumbstruck by Shino's mixing up of the Japanese words for 'dismissal' and 'pregnant' (with the same pronunciation "Kai-nin"), as well as Aria's suggestion on how to prove the Student Council members did not sleep together.
She claims to be able to tell the truth from lies simply by looking into someone's eyes, but when Takatoshi takes her up on it, she immediately looks away as Aria explains she is afraid of boys. Kaede then curses the fact that she signed up for Ousai as it was an all girls school, only to become co-ed.
She then warns Takatoshi that she will take action if he so much as lays a hand on any of the female students. Shino assures her that Takatoshi would rather be attacked than do the attacking, resulting in Kaede declaring Takatoshi a pervert and fleeing.
Later in the episode, she explains her duties (which include patrolling the school). Suzu mentions that she's never seen her on the first year floor, and Kaede admits it's because boys are there.
- Episode 9 (1st anime)/ anime-only
Kaede confronts Takatoshi about a rumour that he was going around making girls cry (i.e. implying he was a playboy).
Later in the episode, during the sports meet, Kaede assures Shino that she will fight with all her might. Unfortunately for Kaede, the first event involved finding a male student (impossible for her) and the second (a relay race) involved Takatoshi running up to her, sending her fleeing in a panic and costing her team the race.
- Episode 10 (1st anime)/ anime-only
It was immediately followed by Ranko interviewing Kaede, and suggesting that Kaede became Head of the Disciplinary Committee due to her vast experience (of being cheated on by boys).
Later on, during the Ousai School Fesitval, Kaede's class opts for a cafe and Kaede is one of the waitresses. When her next group of customers turn out to be a group of boys, she panics, and then somehow manages to serve the tea while standing a good distance away.
- Episode 11 (1st anime)/ anime-only
- Episode 12 (1st anime)/ anime-only
Following a meeting with the Student Council and other committee heads, Ranko observes that since Kaede's class is one of the rooms used for the Ousai entrance exam, her desk might get used by a student. Kaede immediately freaks out, prompting Takatoshi to scold Ranko for picking on her.
- Episode 11 (2nd anime)/ Volume 6 Chapter 129
- Episode 13 (2nd anime)/ Volume 7 Chapter 175
Kaede is still trying to overcome her fear of males, and the Student Council members suggest simply getting used to it bit by bit. However, Shino then whispers (loudly) to Takatoshi, telling him to sneak up on Kaede and blow on her ear. Takatoshi immediately refuses, knowing it would freak Kaede out completely.
Kaede freaks out anyway and runs away, but slips and nearly falls down the stairs. Luckily, Takatoshi is fast enough to grab her hand and stop her from falling. He then helps her up. Suzu notices that Kaede seems fine despite Takatoshi holding her hand (much to Kaede's own surprise). Just as Aria is suggesting that perhaps Kaede unknowingly overcame her weakness, Kenji bumps into her and causes her to freeze. Shino is left to wonder just what it means that Kaede is okay with Takatoshi touching her, but no other boy.
- OVA No 1 (2nd anime)/ Volume 6 Chapter 121
Kaede recruits Suzu to investigate rumours that Shino and Takatoshi share an inappropriate relationship (i.e. they're dating on school campus). Suzu opts to simply ask Shino what she thinks of Takatoshi, then relays the reply to Aria so she can inform Kaede. Unfortunately, Shino's answer (that Takatoshi is an important member of the Student Council) becomes slurred and Kaede then confronts Takatoshi with the report that he has an impotent member, resulting in him demanding she start the investigation over from scratch.
- Volume 9 Chapter 218
While walking down the hall, Kaede notices Takatoshi leaning on a window looking at his phone. She sees some debris stuck to his back and considers calling out to him, but then opts to remove it herself. However, she is hesitant and moves so slowly Shino and Aria wonder if she is sneaking up on Takatoshi to unhook his bra.
Kaede later consults with Shino, Aria and Suzu on how to get used to physical contact with males.
- Volume 10 Chapter 263
Kaede is worried because the Chorus Club has a performance coming up and several members are sick, so Shino and the Student Council offer to help. Kaede wonders if they can pull it off, and so the group winds up going to karaoke. Kaede is impressed with Shino, Aria and Suzu's performances, but thinks Takatoshi should be giving it more power. Without realising it, she places her hand on his stomach to show how deeply he should be breathing to increase the strength of his voice, leading Suzu to observe when Kaede is really into something she is able to naturally touch Takatoshi without a problem.
After the performance, she admits she sees Takatoshi in a new light because he tried his hardest despite not being much of a singer. The mood is quickly ruined by Shino noting she also sees Takatoshi in a new light for being able to masturbate while speaking to Kaede (his hand was in his pocket at the time).
- Chapter 304
Takatoshi is sitting in the library and Kaede asks if it is okay to sit next to him. Takatoshi gives the okay and Kaede takes a seat beside him. She belatedly realises that made it appear as though she deliberately wanted to sit with Takatoshi despite other seats being available, especially when a passing-by Nene Todoroki stares at them.
- When she was practicing the Japanese word for "male" (specifically 男 read as otoko i.e. man), somebody asked if she was sexually frustrated. This was the start of her fear of men.
- In addition, she developed a strong dislike of mushrooms after noticing the shape resembled male genitalia.
- Kaede relies heavily on Suzu (and, while she would never admit it, Tsuda) to keep Shino and Aria's perversions under control. When both of them were away on their school trip, Kaede could not keep up with Shino, Aria and the additional headache of Kotomi.
- Among the Japanese fandom, following episode 13 (where it's revealed Kaede is okay with Takatoshi touching her), the Takatoshi/Kaede pairing jumped tremendously in popularity.
- She is often teased by Hata Ranko.