He is symbolized by falling maple leaves (he also has a golden stylized maple leaf on the back of his vest) and his official slogan is "Shining Soul" (
He is voiced by Kōji Suidzu.
Kaede is humble and polite for his age, modest about his accomplishments and careful about how he perceives himself to others. At first, he is reluctant to release Seiryū's power, afraid of the possibility of letting his other half becoming dominate and subsequently berserk with power. He has mixed impressions for Moriya as he respects his brother but is also a little envious of his freedom from the Four Sacred Beasts.
As Awakened Kaede, he is transformed into a cocky and brash warrior with a more rough way of speaking compared to his prior soft voice, a trait that slowly but subtly mellows as the series progresses. By Last Blade 2, Kaede establishes complete control over his awakening and uses Seiryū's power more effectively.
In his normal form, Kaede uses the Japanese pronoun "boku" to refer to himself; when awakened, he refers to himself with "ore" instead.
- Awaken - The state when Kaede gives in to Seiryū's influence is called "Awakening", and can transform into “Awakened Kaede” (
覚醒 楓, Kakusei Kaede). When Awakened, Kaede's hair turns blonde, and his eyes turn red. He becomes less gentle and more impulsive, but still retains his sense of good and justice. In this form, Kaede has greater control over his electric powers, which were granted by Seiryū.
- Energy Projectile - Kaede can fire a projectile of energy while not in awakened form, either along the ground (in the first game) or through the air at a low altitude (subsequent games onward).
- Electrokinesis - Kaede can control electricity.
- Electric Projectile - Kaede can fire a projectile of electric energy through the ground.
- Lightning - Kaede can summon lightning from the sky and from the ground up.
- Lightning Dragon - Kaede can summon powerful lightning bolts that take the form of serpentine dragons. These dragon-like lightning bolts can only be summoned with effort, and may cause severe damage to his opponents.
- Electric Attacks - As awakened Kaede, he can infuse his attacks with electric energy. This may be done on his sword or on his hand.
His "Kasshin Ittō" style is based on the "Kamiya Kasshin" style found in the Rurouni Kenshin manga, which serves as a basis for much of the The Last Blade series. As the name suggests, the style is meant to tame Kaede's temptations to depend on Seiryū. Throughout the series, he attempts to carefully control Seiryū enough to simply increase his natural skill and power slightly.
Much like traditional sword styles and like the Kasshin style itself, normal Kaede's sword strikes are frequently two-handed (as well as holding his sword in both hands in his idle stance), and his special moves all have the "Ittō" (One Blade) naming before them. His moves mostly have a wind motif about them due to his katana's name (such as Hayate/Squall, Kūga/Air Fang, Ara Uchi/Tempest Conquer and for his awakened form, Oite/Tailwind).
While when awakened, his skill increases by quite a bit as he swings his blade on the same line and manner as his normal form, only one-handed (even in his idle stance). All his special moves instead have the "Shinmei" (
In terms of gameplay, the style is meant to be a good balance for players with no real strengths or weaknesses, being a standard "shoto-clone" with a standard set of projectile, anti-air and expansion special moves. In the first game, Awakened Kaede as a transformation slightly altered his gameplay, as the form was noticeably stronger while gradually drained his lifebar while in use. The second game improved most characters to be about as good as Awakened Kaede, so that he is in this form from the start and permanently. Almost as if to illustrate this, normal Kaede is still in the game as a secret character, and is generally rated as one of the least capable characters in The Last Blade 2 (along with Yuki, who was even downgraded, possibly also for story reasons).
- The Last Blade
- The Last Blade 2 - Awakened form, original form hidden
- The Last Blade - Beyond the Destiny
- The King of Fighters 2000 - As a Striker for Ryo (Awakened form, a nod to Ryo's nickname)
- Neo Geo Battle Coliseum - Awakened form
- The King of Fighters '94: Rebout - background cameo in the Japan Team and Art of Fighting Team stages
- Days of Memories (ninth title) - in-text cameo
- KOF: Maximum Impact 2 - Rock Howard's Normal outfit G (Awakened Form)
- Garou: Mark of the Wolves - background cameo in Hokutomaru's stage
- His transformation ability is a reference to the Super Saiyan state in Dragon Ball Z, and has been likened to Rock Howard since the latter's first appearance.
- In the character popularity poll on Neo Geo Freak's website, his awakened state was voted as the ninth favorite character with a total of 1,028 votes. In the same poll, his normal form occupied the fourteenth spot with 896 votes.
- Official character profile from The Last Blade 2.