Rina Kawaei (born February 12, 1995 in Kanagawa Prefecture) is a Japanese singer and actress. She was a member of the Japanese idol girl group AKB48. She was in Team A. She was also in a group called Anrire with AKB48 members Anna Iriyama and Rena Katō; they were featured in Rino Sashihara's single "Ikujinashi Masquerade", which charted at number one in the Japanese Oricon weekly singles chart.
2012 – May 2014
Kawaei auditioned for AKB48 and was selected to join the seventh kenkyūsei (trainee) generation (11th AKB48 generation overall) in July 2010.
In March 2012, she was promoted to Team 4, and was transferred to Team A in August. Soon after the TV series Shiritsu Bakaleya Kōkō ended on June 30, it was announced that Kawaei would participate in its film adaptation. The movie would star several members from the groups Johnny's Jr. and AKB48.
In 2013, during a broadcast of a special episode of the comedy show Mecha-Mecha Iketeru!, it was announced that Kawaei would perform as center in a song of the special unit BKA48 that will be included on AKB48's single "Sayonara Crawl" to be released in May.
At the 2013 AKB48 general election, she placed 25th with 26,764 votes, and thus gained a place as an Under Girl for the next single "Koi Suru Fortune Cookie".
June 2014 – present
At AKB48's 2014 general election she placed 16th with 39,120 votes and thus gained a place in the promotional line-up for the next single "Kokoro no Placard".
On March 26, 2015, she announced that she would be leaving the group. She had her graduation ceremony during AKB48's Summer Concert in Saitama Super Arena on August 2 and had her last stage performance on August 4, 2015.
In November 2015 it was announced that she would star as Mitsuki Takahata in an NHK Morning Drama Toto Neechan.
She also took part as a guest voice actor in the animated movie PriPara Minna no Akogare Let's Go PriPari that was premiered on March 12, 2016. She provided the voice for Minifaruru, the younger sister of Faruru who is the main character. This will be Kawaei's debut in a theatrical anime.