Aoba Suzukaze (涼風 青葉 Suzukaze Aoba ) is a rookie character designer for the company Eagle Jump, and the main protagonist of the series.
Aoba's small stature makes her look like a middle school student, which is often pointed out by her friends and co-workers. Her hair and eyes are both light purple. She is often shown wearing a suit that she bought during her last year of high school. Although it was supposed to make her look more mature, others comment that her suit makes her look more like a middle school student since it has a strong resemblance to a school uniform.
Aoba has a cheerful personality and is very polite. She strives to do her best for the company. She has a childish side to her, especially when it comes to things that she likes, such as her favorite games. She is hardworking and is loyal to her friends. Due to her earnest personality, she is able to earn the respect and trust of both her colleagues and her superiors in the company.
She is also shown to have a sadistic side, as remarked by Hifumi. This is seen when she 'tortures' a snowman in a hot spring.
Aoba contrasts strongly with Momizi Mochizuki's personality. They appear to be exact opposites in every way, from attitude to physique.
Aoba was raised in Tokyo with Nene Sakura, her friend since pre-school. Inspired by the first Fairies Story, she endeavors to become a character designer just like Ko Yagami, who became her role model. Since then, she has been a big fan of the Fairies Story franchise.
In her final year in high school, she joins the Art Club to improve her skill so she can enter an art college, before eventually becoming a character designer. She instantly became friends with the club president, Hotaru Hoshikawa. At some point, she learns that Ko began working right after graduating high school. After discussing with her friends and parents, she decides to apply at Eagle Jump, the company responsible for developing Fairies Story, as well as the work place of Ko Yagami.
Aoba was called in for an interview, but appears to have flunked it. In her final days at high school, she receives a phone call and learns that she has been accepted to work at Eagle Jump. Despite having to part ways with her friends, she continues to pursue her dream and begins working at her new workplace.
Game: Start! Edit
Her first impressions of Eagle Jump's employees were far from excellent. She finds her role model sleeping half naked in the office, and her co-workers seemed difficult to approach. Fortunately, they all manage to get along very quickly. Due to having little to no experience, she spends her first few days practicing 3D modelling by referring to a reference book. Luckily, Aoba is a quick learner and manages to finish a lot of her given tasks.
At the end of her first day, Aoba learns that she will be developing the third installment of Fairies Story.
After completing most of her given tasks, Ko is impressed by her progress and assigns Aoba to create a 3D model of a villager. She finishes the model, but receives criticism from Ko, who suggests she redo her work. After multiple attempts, she begins to lose hope, until Rin Toyama reveals why Ko keeps rejecting her work. With newfound encouragement, she works on her model once more. This time, she meets Ko's high standards and receives her approval. Soon, she begins creating more villagers for the game.
A month has barely passed, and Aoba finds that she overslept. She rushes to her workplace and nearly arrives in time. Unfortunately, she tripped outside the building, prompting her colleagues to help her. Entering the office, she is greeted with a scolding by Ko, who warns her about being too carefree. She was pardoned after hearing her incident outside the building, but is reminded that she must act professionally.
Her work was also scrutinized when Umiko Ahagon reports errors she found on Aoba's models. This was a relatively minor incident, and was mostly blamed on Ko, who forgot to teach Aoba about modelling errors during her training.
During the beta-testing period, Nene accidentally ate Ko's pudding. Since the two have long history together, there was a chance that Aoba might get into trouble along with Nene. Fortunately, this was mostly Nene misunderstanding the situation, and the incident was resolved without further problems. At some point, Aoba and Nene got into a fight regarding their work and lifestyle. This did not last long, and the two made up later that day.
Level Up Edit
With her quota of villager models complete, Aoba is given the task to design an important NPC from scratch, unaware that the character greatly resembles herself. She struggles to make progress; she has not illustrated for a while and feels pressured since her character is important to the game's story. In the end, she manages to finish her design, and begins to work on its 3D model.
After some time, the development of Fairies Story 3 has completed. It was then decided that their next work will be an original title: PECO. A competition was held, and Aoba's design has been chosen. This gives her an opportunity to become the lead character designer, a position she always aspired to be.
The Dream? Edit
Before officially becoming the lead character designer, she must first improve her current designs. While asking for advice, Ko vents her frustration at Aoba, still upset that all her drawings were rejected. Later, Aoba questions if this was the dream job she had in mind, and eventually crumbles. Ko, feeling bad for lashing out, approached Aoba. The two talked it out and, in the end, resolved their issues. As we will see later, this will not be the last of their problems.
Despite being the character designer, she is still inexperienced compared to her seniors. Because of this, she cannot provide much help when dealing with technical topics. Fortunately, she gains more knowledge as she works, and is able to contribute to more discussions.
Student VS Master Edit
To promote their new title, they need to draw a key visual. However, it was decided that Ko will be the one to draw it, and not Aoba. Ko is not happy with the decision, and had a fierce argument with their superiors, until Aoba suggests a competition between themselves. All parties agree, and a deadline was set.
With only one week to complete her submission, Aoba puts in a lot of effort on the key visual, receiving support from her colleagues. Unfortunately, Ko has over eight years of experience as a designer, so there was virtually no competition. Aoba broke down in tears upon realizing that she will lose. Despite this, she continues to finish her task, still in tears as Ko watches on.
As expected, Ko's design was chosen for the key visual.
The development of PECO has finally completed, and the company promotes the game at an exhibition. During the event, Ko introduces Aoba as the person in charge of the character designs, giving her the recognition she deserves. After the ceremony concludes, Ko reveals that she will leave the company. This shocks everyone, most notably Rin and Aoba, who has conflicting feelings about her leaving, but could not express them. It took the encouragement of Momizi Mochizuki, her intern, to approach Ko and voice her feelings, before finally giving her a proper send-off with her fellow co-workers.
- Her name means "Green/Blue Leaves" similar to Momizi Mochizuki's, which means "Red Leaves"
- Aoba's kanji (青葉) translate to fresh leaves, which can mean green leaves. However, the first character in Aoba's kanji (青, Ao) translates to blue, so her name could also mean blue leaves.
- According to an official Fairies Story artbook, she was initially designed to be 20 years old, graduated from a gaming college, and with Hiragana name instead of the current Kanji name.
- She has a pet cat at home