Kaede Sakura ("Sakura-san") is the main antagonist in the anime/manga series Kämpfer, and its sequel, Kämpfer für die Liebe.
In the Anime
Kaede is the initial object of the series's protagonist Seno Natsuru's affections, and he is initially somewhat obsessed with her. However, she herself, being both a lesbian, and as is later revealed, finding the very existence of men grotesque, views him with complete contempt, though out of politeness does not directly reveal this until he becomes aware of her true nature.
Kaede gave the dolls to every character in the series that caused them to become Kämpfers (a Kämpfer is a female being with superhuman fighting abilities, and sometimes pyrokinetic abilities, used as pawns in the Red/Blue Galactic War by an unknown alien race who call themselves the Moderators. Aside from Seno Natsuru, all known Kämpfers were born female). It is later revealed that Kaede's body is the avatar used by the Moderators to ensure that no Kämpfer goes out of line with their war, and that blues and reds kill one another.
Once Kaede becomes aware of the allegiance between the Blue Kämpfers Seno Natsuru, Akane Mishima, and Red Kämpfer Shizuku-sando (whose mentor Kaede is implied to have killed prior to the series), the Moderators fully utilize Kaede's body as an avatar, and give her the ability to control minds, as well as exceptional swordsmanship and agility. At the Cultural Festival Beauty Pageant, Kaede (acting as an avatar of the Moderators) attempts to profess her love for Natsuru (who since being turned into a female Kämpfer has become the object of a blind obsession of Kaede's), though she is stopped by Akane, who attempts to kill her, and Shzuku, who stops this, in what to the audience looks to be a mere performance. However, Kaede is successful in completing her main goal, spreading dolls into the audience to create an army of White Kämpfers, slaves to her will, in order to destroy the school's red and blue Kämpfers. She also turns Natsuru's childhood friend Kondo Mikoto into a Red Kämpfer, in order to devastate Natsuru (though it does not work, as the two join forces, creating a 4-person team against the Moderators).
Throughout this time, Kaede continually decieves the entire group into believing that she is just an oblivious innocent, and is able to do this well, because part of the time she is, as when the Moderators stop using her body as an Avatar, she loses all memory of what she has done. Until she reveals her true identity, she spends much of her time as part of Natsuru's social group.
Eventually, during a fight with the main team against her White Kämpfers, Kaede reveals her true nature, and fights against Natsuru, Akane, Mikoto, and Shizuku, with her White Kämpfers, attempting to kill all of the protagonists except Natsuru, who she believed she could force to join her side. She repeatedly controls Natsuru's mind to try to ensure her success, but he is always strong enough to overcome her control, even though he loves her, because he knows how awful what she's doing is.
In Kämpfer für die Liebe, Kaede uses her mind control on Natsuru to force him to assemble Akane, Mikoto, and Shizuku, so that she and her white Kämpfers can kill them. However, despite the White Kämpfers having the upper hand and capturing the three, Kaede fails because when she orders Naturu to kill his team using his pyrokinetic ability, Natsuru refuses and allows his team to escape, leaing to a confrontation in which the White Kämpfers and Kaede are forced to retreat. During the confrontation, she also used her powers to force Mikoto to sexually assault Mikoto, who she had rendered powerless, but she is quickly shot in the stomach by Akane.
At this point, Kaede reveals that she is in fact immortal, and was not even harmed by the gunshot wound. She then sends her White Kämpfers in and retreats, but is pursued by Akane, while Shizuku has to fight Mikoto, who is still under Kaede's mind control. While fighting Akane, Kaede slices her opponent's pistol in half, but before she can kill Akane, she is attacked by Shizuku and, while she is distracted, Mikoto slams her katana into Kaede's stomach, though due to her power and immortality, the blade simply bounces off her skin, and is grabbed by Kaede, who comments "You know that's useless, right?"
Kaede is about to shoot Mikoto in the head when Natsuru shoots a fireblast at her, having defeated her White Kämpfers.
Kaede then retreats, before remarking "The real fun is just beginning!"
Kaede then swears vengeance against the school's Red and Blue Kämpfers, while laying in bed alongside all of her White Kämpfers, all of whom are total slaves to her will, and are apparently unable (and unwilling) to return to their previous lives. She makes it clear that she won't give up, and she will make Natsuru join her side one day.
There was only one other episode of Kämpfer für die Liebe which, due to the show's cancellation, did not feature Kaede, so nothing that happened to her afterwards in the continuity of the anime is known.
Powers and Abilities
Although Kaede is not truly a Kämpfer herself, the Moderators granted her several abilities to do their bidding, the combination of which make her far more powerful than any Kämpfer seen in the series.
- Mind Control (even over Kämpfers)
- Superhuman Speed (with a sword)
- Wind manipulation
- Ability to choose and create Kämpfers (as avatar of the Moderators, under their authority)
- Inability to swim
- Often blinded by her obsession for Seno Natsuru
- Memory loss when not under the control of the Moderators
- Dual personality
Due to being used as an avatar by the moderators, when in and out of their service, Kaede quite literally has two entirely separate identities. Though her identity as the Moderators' avatar has all the memories of her regular self, her regular self always loses her memories after her body has been used by the Moderators. It is quite often impossible to know which of the two personalities is actually the one shown on the show, so attempts to describe each personality are based on best-guesses of which persona was in control at which time:
As herself, Kaede is outwardly friendly, though inwardly harbours animosity towards men, possibly due to her father never being there for her. She is also known to have intensely obsessive traits, such as for disemboweled animal dolls, and her obsession with Natsuru-san's female form. She could be described as a stalker in this sense, and in one scene even goes as far as to climb into bed with Natsuru while Natsuru is trying to sleep. She is a very confident and bold about many aspects in her life, especially when it comes to proclaiming her feelings, and is shown to be very competitive when it comes to Natsuru-san.
As the avatar for the Moderators, Kaede maintains many of her previous character traits, but is far more sadistic, manipulative, cold, and homicidal. She is also very obedient of her masters, but is willing to forgo their orders in order to return a favor or keep a fight fair (as seen in the first episode of Kämpfer für die Liebe), possibly out of a somewhat misplaced sense of honour. She also seems to care nothing about those whom her other personality views as friends (e.g. Shizuku) and is more than happy to kill them to complete her objective.