Kanata Shinonome is one of the main characters in the AKB0048 series and the older sister of Sonata Shinonome. Along with her sister, she is also one of the AKB0048's trainees. She is also the main protagonist in AKB0048: Heart Type Operation.
Kanata has shoulder-length red hair tied up into a small ponytail at the back with an orange ribbon. She also has orange eyes. Like all the AKB0048's trainees and successors, she has a heart-shaped lining in her hair and eyes.
Kanata used to sing in order to bring smiles to Sonata and her father, who was the leader of a pro-entertainment coalition. Then one day in combat, her father was killed by the DES soldiers. Since then, Kanata had joined AKB0048 with the sole purpose to fight the DES and to avenge her father's death, leaving her sister Sonata behind with their mother. It is hinted that Kanata comes from a desert planet.
Along with Mimori, Kanata is part of the 75th Generation, also known as the "Unlucky Generation." When Sonata shows up out of the blue on Akibastar, Kanata is less then thrilled, berating her little sister for even showing up and demanding she return home. Tsubasa cuts her off, telling her that her sister has as much right to be here as she does. She ignores her sister as she shows her to her room, and then fights with her to the point where she makes to slap her, only stopped by Mimori. Sonata then runs away, calling her sister "a liar". Kanata then reveals to Mimori she only joined AKB0048 so she could fight DES and get revenge on them for her father's death, and doesn't want Sonata to go through that.
The next day, at dance practice, Ushiyama scolds Kanata for her lack of concentration, and tells Chieri to take her place. Kanata protests, but Chieri cuts her off, stating that she wants to see the senior members set a good example. Stunned and crying, Kanata runs away with Mimori chasing after her. Kanata sits by the river, angry at herself for starting to like music and singing and forgetting the real reason she joined AKB0048. Mimori comes up singing and Kanata begs her to stop, otherwise she will start to like it. Mimori assures her it is okay to like music, and she and Kanata start to sing. Not for long, Sonata called her over and over, she finally gave in and hug her and they are soon joined by the members of the 77th generation, minus Chieri who walk in the city alone with Kirara.
In Episode 5, Kanata and Makoto are caught by current AKB0048 member Kojiharu, who says the girls are not using their luscious legs and pheremones enough. Initially embarassed, the girls at the end warm up to the idea of being "sexy."
In Episode 6, Kanata and Mimori appear when DES attacks the stadium. Kanata goes all out in her attack, and takes down a couple of DES soldiers. She later explains the point of the WOTA to the 77th Generation trainees.
In Episode 7, Kanata is chosen as the successor and understudy of Minami Takahashi. Kanata then beings to train with Takamina in earnest, doing so well that she earns a thumbs up from Takamina. Later at a dance practice, when Chieri fails to show, Kanata leaves the dance practice to go look for her, despite the objections of Ushiyama. She finds Chieri packing and preparing to leave Akibastar. After a conversation and a good cry, Kanata is able to convince Chieri to stay. Unbeknowest to her, her image has appeared at the shrine in front of both Tsubasa and Takamina, indicating that Kanata will be succeeding the name of Minami Takahashi sooner then anyone expected.
She is a huge fan of Takamina. In Episode 17, she cries at the end of Takamina's speech and declares that she will always be her guiding star.
In Episode 17, after Mimori gives her speech and declaring her promise still stands to Kanata, Kanata says "Mimori from above," which possibly hints that Mimori would become the successor of Shinoda Mariko. This is because of the song Ue Kara Mariko, which means Mariko from Above. Kanata says, "Ue kara Mimori," which means Mimori from above. In Episode 20, it is revealed that Mimori indeed becomes Shinoda Mariko the 8th.
In Episode 20, while talking to Takamina, Kanata reveals she also had the same fever as Mimori sometime before. It is highly likely that occurred during the time when Kanata was chosen to become the successor of Takahashi Minami.