|Name in Japanese||岩沢まさみ|
|Romaji Translation||Iwasawa Masami|
|Debut (Anime)||Episode 01|
|Debut (Manga)||Heaven's Door Chapter 10|
|Appears in||Anime, Manga|
|Voice Actor|| (jp) Miyuki Sawashiro|
(en) Luci Christian
Marina (for performances)
|Affiliation/s|| Afterlife War Front (Member)|
Girls Dead Monster (Founder, Lead Vocalist)
|Final Appearance||Episode 03|
Masami Iwasawa (岩沢まさみ/雅美, Masami Iwasawa) is the leader of Girls Dead Monster, an all female band which is a part of the SSS. She is voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro and Luci Christian whilst her singing voice is by Marina. She's also the heroine of Angel Beats! -1st beat-.
Iwasawa has chin-length pink-red hair with two locks of hair longer than the rest, extending to her back. Her eyes are dark red. She also wears the uniform of the SSS with her sleeves rolled up to her elbow. She wears flat calf high black boots instead of normal school shoes as well as black sweatbands on her wrists.
While usually she is rather quiet, she is able to fascinate listeners by striving to create music that speaks her thoughts and feelings.
She is very focused to making music to the point that only the fellow members of Girls Dead Monster are the only ones who are able to talk to her; she is usually described as a "music nut" by her bandmates. Even so, her usual conversations with the group are composed of plans for a new song for their next performance.
Masami later reveals that she feels uncomfortable when interacting with other people as she experienced being gossiped behind her back when she was still living, and has once showed a facade to people to actually talk to her, hiding her true feelings inside. This eventually changed when she meets Yuri, who aside from Hisako has been the first person to show sincerity towards her.
In the manga, Iwasawa can be seen to have a rather comical attitude towards her band mate, Hisako, which often result in Hisako getting angry over Iwasawa. She is often seen as stubborn (as Angel whom she mentioned to be very persistant) at the beginning but as she got to know Hisako better, Iwasawa was actually a clueless, innocent bad-in-naming-the-band girl.
"My parents were always fighting. I didn't have a bedroom, so I would always curl up in a corner and plug my ears when they started screaming. I had to close myself up in my own shell. There was nowhere for me to rest. That's when I found a band called "Sad Machine." The vocalist who was from a bad home environment like me. Whenever things got rough, he would cover his ears with earphones and escape into the world of music. I started doing the same. I felt like my problems were blown away. The vocalist was screaming out for me. He was pleading for me. The kids acting like everything is normal are wrong, and the kids crying are right. Those of us who are lonely are true humans. He screamed out against the unfairness of the world as he lashed out and shattered it. He saved me." Iwasawa explains her past to Otonashi.
It is revealed that her parents often fought during her childhood. While staying away from home during one such fight, she listened to music from a band called Sad Machine that struck a chord within her. Inspired, she started to play guitar and sing and after some time she began her music career. Unfortunately, just as she seemed to be getting into the business (and away from her dysfunctional family) she collapsed while working at her part time job as the result of a severe cerebral stroke that left her unable to move or speak. The cause of the stroke was head trauma she suffered as a child while trying to stop a fight between her parents, during which her father hit her with a beer bottle. She spent the rest of her life in a hospital bed paralyzed and silently cursing her fate. " And that was when my life came to an end."
Iwasawa is the leader of the band Girls Dead Monster, also known as GirlDeMo. As well as being the leader she is in charge of the vocals and is the rhythm guitarist of the group. She is also the one who writes the lyrics and composes the music for the band's songs. The songs are then used as performance pieces for concerts which turns out to be a diversion for the NPC students while the SSS proceeds with their plans to eliminate Angel.
Arrival into the AfterlifeEdit
Way before the forming of Girls Dead Monster, Iwasawa also experienced being a freshman in the Afterlife school. She finds herself waking up on one of the benches inside the campus, and upon hearing her voice for the first time since her accident, she rushes to the first thing that she wanted to hold on: a guitar.
Upon that same day, Iwasawa takes the attention of the students and, eventually, the Student Council and the faculty. While Angel is more calm in asking her to return to class, the faculty members are stern in confiscating her guitar.
In one occasion, she is forced to flee when she continues her guitar-playing antics, and there, she meets Hisako. Hisako continuously asked Iwasawa to form a band with her which the latter refused. It was only after their first live performance then Iwasawa agreed to form a band with her.
Following Masami's decision to join Hisako in a band, they started performances throughout various locations inside the campus. Their music took the attention of the student body and the faculty alike, and as they make new fans, they also learn to escape the teachers who always try to confiscate their instruments
Meeting the Afterlife War FrontEdit
During one of their performances at school, Hisako and Iwasawa meet Yuri for the first time and was asked to join the Afterlife War Front. Masami thought that Yuri acted like an evangelist that goes around to recruit others, and Yuri's explanation did not change her impression of her. Masami later decides to use Yuri so that they can look for more members to their band, as she wanted someone to take over the bassist and drum positions, which they currently lacked.
On their first guerrilla concert, as no other members were available, Yuri and Shiina themselves took up the positions, forming the band "4 Guitar Women". However the latter two were not experienced so the band was immediately disbanded due to unsatisfactory performance according to Hisako's standards, much to Yuri's disappointment.
The very first concert was held in episode 1 during "Operation Tornado" (they performed "Crow Song" in the concert). During this episode it is shown that GirlDeMo is a well known and popular band as the students/fans get very excited and happy over their performance before and after it starts. In this episode they held the concert to gather the students together in the same area so that they could collect meal tickets from them by having the rest of the SSS turn on large powerful fans when the concert was at its climax. This blew the meal tickets out of the students pockets and hands away into the air which they collected and used for themselves as a means to get food. Whilst the concert was proceeding the rest of the SSS was in charge of fending off Angel to stall for time until the operation was completed and successful.
In a rehearsal with her band the day before another performance, she comes across Otonashi and tells him of her past as a living person. On the day of her performance (they performed "Alchemy"), Angel – and later, the faculty – gain knowledge of the performance and prepare to stop it even if they have to use force. Despite the demands of the students against the sudden shutdown of the concert, the faculty continues.
As one teacher takes the replica of Iwasawa's first guitar when she was living, she steals it back from his hands and performs the last song that she composed titled "My Song": a ballad which tells about how suffering makes one more human. During the start of the song band member Hisako manages to escape from one of the teachers grasp and dashes to the control room which she then manages to turn on all the speakers inside the building and so the song Iwasawa is playing is broadcasted throughout the entire school. After the solo performance, she disappears after finding peace and passing on, leading her comrades to question whether following Angel's orders is the only reason people disappear, if it is really that bad and what awaits them if they do find peace.
After Iwasawa's disappearance, her guitar is taken to the SSS headquarters, where it is under the care of the remaining members. After that Yui took her place as Lead Vocalist in Girls Dead Monster.
Iwasawa on guitarEdit
For fans who are able to play guitar with chords, Iwasawa's fingers at episode 3 where she played My Song were the accurate chords for the song itself.
Despite disappearing at Episode 3, Iwasawa was still consistently being mentioned for the rest of the Anime series. Most notable was when Angel walks around while humming My Song at the last episode, and at Episode 11 when the rest of GirlsDeMo (Along with Yusa) look up to her acoustic guitar and Yui's electric guitar.
In episode 4's opening theme (GirlsDeMo version of My Soul, Your Beats!) when Yui was singing, one of the cut scenes showed Iwasawa's guitar behind the desk of the Anti-Angel Headquarters. The painting shown at the back seems to be referring to Iwasawa as "Soul Singer/Music".
- Iwasawa was a contestant of the voting contest Anime Saimoe Tournament 2010 but lost to Aoi Yamada in the second round of the main tournament, one of only three Angel Beats! contestants to reach past round one.
- On the cover of Angel Beats! Track Zero, she is the only one who does not wear the GirlsDeMo accessory (worn on their thigh).
- She is usually associated with crows in the manga.
- In Chapter 14 of Heaven's Door manga, Iwasawa was mistaken to be having an erotic relationship with Hisako by Angel.
- At the Heaven's Door Afterword, Maeda Jun mentioned a sentence "Asami-san, in the short time we're working together, let's devote our lives to Angel Beats!" does not refer to Iwasawa, but instead refer to the manga artist Asami Yuriko.
- Iwasawa's last "composition" could be either, as mentioned in the anime, Thousand Enemies, or, released half a year after the end of the series, Last Song. A short manga and 4 panel comic is featured in Last Song album, hinting that Last Song could be the actual "last song" by Iwasawa.
- In Episode 3, it can be implied that Iwasawa gave an indirect kiss to Otonashi after giving him her bottle of water, though he was not seen drinking it.
- There is a confusion between Iwasawa's given name to be either Masami or Asami あさみ. According to the official guidebook, Iwasawa's name is confirmed to be Masami まさみ, in hiragana, and not in kanji.
- She is one of the very few characters with an actual revealed cause of death (the others being Otonashi and Hinata).
- In the episode 3 of the anime, during the scene with Iwasawa in the music store (while still alive), two posters are displayed on the wall: one for her favorite band „Sad Machine“, and another for the band “Flower Gas Melody”. Identical posters are partially visible in the background in the episode 2 of “Charlotte” (another anime from Maeda Jun/Key), during Tomori’s conversation with her older brother. Snapshot of this scene is also shortly included in the episode 6.
- In the Angel Beats 1st Beat game, Iwasawa has her own designated character route. If played correctly Iwasawa "survives" her anime disappearance and sticks around until the end of the game (which is round about episode 11 in the anime) before passing on. During this time, she and Otonashi develop a romantic relationship and eventually marry each other with Iwasawa renaming herself Masami Otonashi and becoming pregnant by him.
- The voice actor (Sawashiro Miyuki) and singing voice (Marina) of Iwasawa is the same as Sala Shane, the lead vocalist for ZHIEND from the anime, Charlotte, also by KEY.
- ↑ Angel Beats Heavens Door Chapter 10