Waifu Wednesday: Kanade Tachibana (Angel Beats!)

Waifu Wednesday

Considering the sheer amount of emotional damage Angel Beats! caused me and countless amounts of other folks in our respective youths, I feel that I do not bring it up enough to honour its memory and lasting effect all these years later. While I have already covered my absolute favourite lass of the anime before, there is a specific yin and yang appeal between the two main female leads.

So here’s to Angel Beats’ very own Angel, Kanade Tachibana, who singlehandedly elevates the emotional weight and everlasting significance of the show she appeared in back in 2010.

Who is Kanade Tachibana?

Simply nicknamed as Angel by those of the Afterlife Battlefront (abbreviated as the SSS), Kanade is the Student Council President of the central Academy that the anime is completely set in. Seemingly appearing in absolute opposition to Yuri and her comrades’ goal of beating the rules of Angel Beats’ purgatory world, Kanade is the most obvious obstacle on their path to victory. Only, that’s not actually what the real deal is with her character.

Why we love her

Angel Beats - Kanade Tachibana

Kanade is arguably the most interesting character of Angel Beats! For just how much of a mystery she is upon her introduction, her character specific revelations even at the very end give her one of the most significant and emotional of storylines in the show. Initially appearing as an enemy to the heroes of this tale, Kanade actually ends up becoming the heroine of the story.

Not only is her development wild in that regard, being as subversive as it is, but it is also extremely satisfying due to how well-written she is. The fundamentals and formula to her character are simple but highly effective. While initially emotionless and closed off, this is later explained as it being a resistive front she develops due to the nature of the purgatory world they all now exist in. Every one of her friends have long since moved on, but she works tirelessly to grant everyone else around her their freedom too. Even if some others are unable to see that.

Considering all this, Kanade is the most isolated individual in the school until she learns to open up, become more expressive and reaches out to connect with those in the same boat as herself once more. But once again, despite all that substance, that is not all that her character explores and represents.

Why you will love her

Angel Beats! Kanade Tachibana

Kanade’s bravery never wavers. Even when standing by her own ambitions and fighting her own corner alone, she singlehandedly beats out her opposition or saves the day due to her unexpected physical capabilities and talents. At the same time, her being such a silent assassin is the complete opposite to her true nature, which further plays with what the audience expects of her – that of being quite an airhead. Fitting for the crowd she ends up in.

It’s safe to say that seeing the layers of her character become increasingly exposed over time makes for some of the most joyful moments to be had from the anime in its entirety. The way she dishes out a cracking deadpan joke or two – as evident with what she pens into her school anthem – is a highlight in itself. So while she may rarely speak, is completely misunderstood and can’t help but be socially inept more often than not, she was and always is the most badass character of the entire cast due to her actions alone.

In the end, the most important factor to her significance as one of its most notable characters is how she is the prime cause of delivering the biggest emotional gutpunch of the anime. Its very last episode in particular is especially worth note here for how much of a payoff it is in arriving to in order for us to see Kanade be the happiest she has ever been up until that point in the anime. It’s all just so bitter and sweet.

With all that said it is surely a no brainer that if you ever need an emotional anime to make the waterworks go, then Angel Beats! is where it’s at. Check it out now on Crunchyroll.

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Lilia Hellal
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