Fantastic Females Friday: Masami Iwasawa

Hello! It’s Friday! What does that mean here? Well, it means the beginning of a new series from me! I’ll try to get one out each week, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to do that, so they might be bi-weekly posts.

Anyway, this is just going to be me talking about female characters that I enjoy in anime! I think it’ll be nice to look at how female characters grow throughout an episode, or series, or season (whatever it may be) because I truly believe they’re not given enough attention. Let’s get into our first fantastic female: Masami Iwasawa (Angel Beats!)

 

Why do I like Iwasawa so much? Well, aside from the fact that her story in Angel Beats! brought me to tears, I think she was fantastic in an overall sense. To do this post, I’ll be focusing on her story within Angel Beats! and what it did for me. Why does she always come to my mind when I think of female characters? I’m not quite sure to be honest, but her sadness, and her love for music and her ability to express her emotions in a similar vein as myself might have something to do with it.

Before we really get into Iwasawa’s story, though, I’d like to point out how she was okay with being used as a diversion technique in the story. In our first episode of Angel Beats! we get Yuri coming up with a plan to get Angel alone to fight against her. The distraction for the NPCs in the story? A concert performed by Girls Dead Monster–of which Iwasawa is the lead! So, Iwasawa plays a concert for the NPCs, which draws the attention of Angel, giving the Afterlife Battlefront time to do whatever it is they need to do. All in all it works, but what really stuck with me was the music that was played.

Anyway, let’s hop into the third episode of Angel Beats! (titled My Song) here, which focuses on Iwasawa. What I love about Iwasawa is the fact that she doesn’t seem fazed by her past in respect to others. And when talking to Otonashi about it during a break in her practice, she hops right into her story.

friday feature #1 guitar pic

Her parents were always fighting, she didn’t have a bedroom, so she would hide in a corner and plug her ears when they began shouting. Now, that in itself is sad–it truly is. We can tell that she’s young, so it must have been even worse for her mentally–she’s not fully grown yet and might not understand what’s going on between her parents. But, Iwasawa found music, a band called Sad Machine (I guess), and she connected with the vocalist. It’s actually pretty neat how she connected to music in that way.

So why do I love Iwasawa so much? Well, her ballad, of course. And her story. It’s emotional, it’s pure, it’s heart-wrenching in every sense. Granted I can’t connect with her in the fact that my parents were always fighting when I was younger (that happened later behind closed doors). Okay, some of you might ask how I can love a character for one moment, for one small moment in regards to the whole of the series. Well, I say I don’t need to give you an answer to that other than this: it hit me emotionally. Yep, the ballad, when Iwasawa disappeared from the purgatory/limbo school setting Angel Beats takes place in was heart-wrenching for me because I was so connected to the music of the moment that I didn’t know what had happened.

friday feature #1 ballad pic
Queue tears…

Iwasawa is fantastic because at one point she was simply a small piece, a pawn in the larger scheme of the show and the plan to destroy Angel. And then, when her time came to shine, she took on the role of the queen. She was able to control the board, move how she wanted, do whatever she wanted, and control the outcome based on her own talents. And that is why Iwasawa is so fantastic. She had raw energy, purity, and a calling that she dug into in this purgatory-like setting, and did what she could to help those she cared about.

 

Anyway, that’s all for this Friday feature! Thanks for reading!

Alexie 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Fantastic Females Friday: Masami Iwasawa

  1. She was a great character. Despite her very limited time in the anime, her impact was well felt. Her story and her disappearance are really what pushed Otonashi to question what he had been so far told about the afterlife and ultimately she was the one that lead him to make the choice he made that ended up helping others. Loved her character, loved her song, and that moment absolutely reduced me to tears every time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I cry every time I hear that song and see her emotion as she’s singing, It’s so heart-wrenching, and pure, and full of emotion. I’m glad I’m not the only one that cried/cries during it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not sure how many years it’s been since I first watched Angel Beats, but to this day, I can’t hear an acoustic guitar get bumped — like the sound Iwasawa’s guitar made when she left — without stopping in my tracks. I’m over a half century old, and her story’s still with me.

    Did you know that Crow Song, Alchemy, and My Song are on iTunes? My iTunes play counter tells me I’ve listened to them an unhealthy number of times!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Iwasawa is awesome, and I love your take on her being a willing pawn. And I love her version of the GDM songs much more than Yui’s! Marina did a good job as the voice behind her songs, and I found out just now after googling, but her character was voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro, one of my favourite VAs!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You’re right, women in anime do not get the credit that they deserve! Perhaps it’s because they’re relegated to a supporting role more often than their male counterparts? I don’t know…

    Anyway, I still think about Iwasawa from time to time. You’d think growing up in a loveless, toxic home would be enough to break her, but the strength that you could hear in her voice when she was singing told you that she was anything but broken.

    Like

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