the third director
If something were to happen to me, take care of my little brother.
|name||鈴菱尚央 (Suzubishi Nao)|
|birthdate||February 13, 1996|
|died||March 2, 2017 (21 years old)|
|personal pronoun||俺 (ore)|
|voice actor||Kawanishi Kengo (河西健吾) ~ other roles|
|fitting in at Bell Liberty|
|role/affiliation||director / Suzubishi Group|
NOTE: There's really nothing to say about Nao that's not a spoiler, so everything below is a spoiler.
Nao is Tomo's older brother and, until his death at the tragically 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 was a sickly boy suffering from an unspecified heart condition, which meant that no one was interested in adopting him. And for a long time, Tomo refused to be adopted separately, 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 was already gone, 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. 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 on the role of 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.
Nao's death was sudden and unexpected. The details are unclear, but his illness suddenly worsened and his condition deteriorated quickly. It's especially cruel because Suzubishi Pharmaceuticals was nearly finished with development of a drug that, while not for his specific condition, had an off-label side effect that might have saved him.
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:
- We don't get much detail about Nao's personality, but both Sakaki and Kuya mention that he was easygoing and liked to mess around. Nao even describes himself as less serious than his little brother, Tomo.
- His illness was some sort of unspecified, incurable heart disease. No further details have been given.