Masami Iwasawa (岩沢 雅美 Iwasawa Masami) is a character in Angel Beats, featuring as the founder and original leader of the band Girls Dead Monster, where she is the band's lead guitarist and vocalist.
She is voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro in the Japanese version and Luci Christian in the English dub, whilst her singing voice is by marina. She's also a heroine of the visual novel Angel Beats! -1st beat-.
Iwasawa has chin-length pink-red hair that has two longer locks of hair than the rest where it extends to her shoulders and red eyes.
She wears the uniform of the SSS with the sleeves rolled up to her elbows. She wears flat calf high black boots instead of normal school shoes as well as black sweatbands on her wrists. She carries an acoustic guitar that is a tan or orange colour which she found in a trash heap. She is 160 cm tall (5'3").
Iwasawa has a calming demeanor that she has been described as the "cool beauty" by Yuri Nakamura. While usually she is rather quiet, she is able to fascinate listeners by striving to create music that speaks her thoughts and feelings. Iwasawa later reveals that she feels uncomfortable when interacting with other people as she experienced being gossiped about 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 (Iwasawa's bandmate and co-founder of Girls Dead Monster) was the first person to show kindness towards her.
In the manga, Iwasawa can be seen to have a rather comical attitude towards Hisako, which often results in Hisako getting angry over Iwasawa. She is often seen as stubborn (as Angel whom she mentioned to be very persistent) at the beginning but as she got to know Hisako better, Iwasawa was actually a clueless, innocent bad-in-naming-the-band girl.
Prior to her death, Iwasawa was born into a turbulent family - her parents often fought during her childhood, with some scenes suggesting that her father was an alcoholic. Whenever her parents started fighting Iwasawa would curl up in her room, covering her ears to block out the noise. It also appears that she didn't have many friends during her school years as she recalled an incident when a group of girls mocked her openly about the way she behaved.
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 the guitar and eventually began singing as a way of expressing her emotion. Although her grades were good, she began to focus on her music career planning to save up enough money, buy her own place and then live off her music. 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 on the head with a beer bottle. She spent the rest of her life in a hospital bed paralyzed and silently cursing her fate.
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 lead guitar. 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.
On one occasion, she is forced to flee when she continues her guitar-playing antics, and there, she meets Hisako. Hisako 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.
Iwasawa appeared as a minor character in the Angel Beats anime, disappearing at the end of the third episode. Having come to terms with her past, she no longer had any need to remain in the world and Yui eventually replaced her as the lead guitarist and singer. However, her influence remains throughout the entire series. Her song, "My Song," is hummed by Kanade later in the series and in the epilogue when a person who resembles Otonashi reaches out to someone humming it.
Angel Beat's First Beat
Masami is one of the main heroines of the Angel Beats 1st Beat Visual Novel. Along with Yui and Matsushita, Iwasawa has a designated character route, which means her role can be expanded significantly compared to the anime or manga series. What happens to Iwasawa depends entirely upon the player's choices as Yuzuru Otonashi. As such her fate can vary from route to route or ending to ending.
- Should Otonashi not join the battlefront, he will never meet Iwasawa. It is implied that they and every other character then remain trapped in the afterlife indefinitely.
- If the player stays faithful to the anime or chooses to follow one of the other routes from an early stage, then Iwasawa's fate remains unchanged. She will disappear at the end of Otonashi's second mission with the battlefront, upon finishing her solo "My Song".
- It is also possible to get locked out of her route. Should the player make too many wrong choices, Masami will tell Otonashi to stop bothering her, thus condemning her to disappear.
- There is, however, still an opportunity to "save" her. If the player chooses to disregard Yuri's instructions and interrupt her singing of My Song, Iwasawa will remain in the afterlife for the rest of the story, whether the player chooses her route or not. Depending upon how strong her relationship is with Otonashi, Iwasawa may start to drop subtle hints that she has developed a crush on him.
- In the event that the player makes all the right choices, Iwasawa will gradually start to open up to Otonashi about things besides music. As mentioned in the game, this is something that not even the other members of GirlDeMo have managed to accomplish. Eventually, with a bit of encouragement from Sekine and Irie, Otonashi begins to recognise that he is love with Iwasawa. Not long afterwards, however, the Shadows attack. Yuri soon realises that it is Otonashi and Iwasawa's feelings for one another that caused these monsters to appear. Knowing what has be done, Yuri orders Otonashi to break up with Iwasawa. He does so very reluctantly, with a little bit of help from the other members of Girls Dead Monster. Heartbroken and tricked by those that love her, Iwasawa flees. Otonashi meanwhile immediately regrets his actions and soon suffers a complete breakdown. Wanting to pass on, he manages to trick Noda into tying him up in the woods during a thunderstorm, where Otonashi is eventually struck by lightning. He wakes up in a small cabin and finds himself face to face with Iwasawa once again. She reveals to Otonashi that she has figured out the truth, following a conversation with a guild member. Now knowing that Otonashi and the others were just trying to protect her, Masami says that she no longer hates him. She reluctantly tells Otonashi he has to leave, but Otonashi refuses. Instead, he embraces Iwasawa and makes it clear that he really loves her. The pair of them renew their relationship and return to the Battlefront with some astonishing news; Iwasawa is pregnant. After meeting with Yuri, Otonashi and Iwasawa marry each other, before stepping down as active members of the battlefront. They then spend some quality time together as a family. Unfortunately, Yuri later tells Otonashi that nothing living can be born in the afterlife, meaning that their child will never be born. Otonashi decides not to inform his wife of this development and just sits with her happily. There, he watches sadly as Masami starts singing to their unborn child and passes on. Otonashi is left devastated, but Iwasawa is revealed to have left one last message for him. In a letter, she tells Otonashi that she was already knew about their child, but assures him that it did not matter. She loved Otonashi and enjoyed every second together with him. Knowing that she would soon pass on, Masami encourages her husband to move on and live a wonderful life. Otonashi complies with her request, but not before reading the signature at the bottom of the letter, which reads Masami Otonashi.
- The name Masami means "elegant, graceful" (雅) (masa) and "beautiful" (美) (mi).
- Masami's surname Iwasawa means "rock" (岩) (iwa) and "marsh" (沢) (sawa).
- Angel Beat's Heavens Door revealed that Iwasawa was one of the oldest members of the battlefront in terms of age.
- Since she was confirmed to be a third-year student, this means she would have been around eighteen years old when she died.
- As of May 2021, there has not been any official source for any character's date of birth, or age. Unofficially