the third director
NOTE: There's really nothing I can say about Nao that's not a spoiler, so everything below is a spoiler.
Please take care of my little brother.
Nao is Tomo's older brother and the third director of Bell Liberty. He died only two months before the start of the game's story, and Yuki was the last student he invited to the school. Despite that, he is still one of the most influential characters in the game.
Nao is Tomo's older brother and, until his death at the criminally young age of 21, was also Tomo's only remaining relative. Their parents died when Tomo was extremely young; Tomo has no memory of them at all. Because the two boys had no living relatives, they were placed in a state orphanage.
Nao had one of those mysterious, undefined illnesses that inevitably results in dying far too young, so no one wanted to adopt him. And for a long time, Tomo refused to be adopted seperately, so the two lived at the orphanage for years. Nao desperately wanted his little brother to have a real family, and finally convinced him to agree to being adopted alone.
Eventually, it was discovered that Nao and Tomo were distant relations of the Suzubishi family, but since Tomo had already been adopted, only Nao was adopted by Suzubishi. Unfortunately, there's no details about exactly who adopted him. Nao and Tomo have different family names (Suzubishi vs. Kasahara) because they were adopted out separately.
Because of his illness, Nao was not able to attend school normally, and got his degree by correspondence. Again, it's unclear, but it seems like this is referring to his college degree, which would mean he earned it much earlier than usual - surely by the time he became the director at age 19, or maybe even earlier. There's contradicting information in a few places, but 19 is the oldest he would have been when taking over the directorship.
When Kazuki stepped down from the directorship of Bell Liberty, he handed the job over to Nao, blocking the Sakaki Group members on the board from putting Professor Sakaki into that position. Instead, Sakaki took a lower position as assistant director, with the assignment of opposing Nao. Despite that, Sakaki and Nao became close friends and it seemed like their opposition was in name only; rather, they worked together with the goal of improving the school and its policies.
Though Tomo is the director of the school and Yuki's childhood best friend, it's actually Nao who is the Kazuki-like character of GH2. He's the kind and reliable nii-san who spent time with the young protagonist - there's even a CG of Nao reading to Yuki and Tomo under a tree, an obvious parallel to the CG of Kazuki reading to Keita.
After that, there isn't much detail about what Nao did at the school, but we do know some things:
- He was well liked by the students, and friendly with the student council.
- He was an idealist and wanted to make many radical changes to improve the school, including reforms to the entrance policy.
- He and Sakaki seemed to be close friends, working together rather than opposing each other.
- When Yuki received someone else's Platinum Paper by mistake, Nao was happy that he called to report it and invited him to attend too. He did this without knowing who Yuki was; it was genuine kindness, not a favor to an old friend.
And some bits of information:
- Birthdate: February 13, 1996 (Aquarius)
- Death date: March 2, 2017 (age 21)
- The name Nao (尚央) seems to be feminine in both pronunciation and in the choice of kanji used to represent the sounds. I'm not sure what, if anything, this might mean, but it's also worth noting that Tomo's name (智友) is unisex, leaning slightly feminine as well. Maybe their parents really wanted a girl? idk
- His illness was some sort of unspecified, incurable heart disease. No further details have been given.