Kou Yagami (八神 コウ Yagami Kō) is the lead character designer of Eagle Jump who was the character designer for the game that inspired Aoba Suzukaze to become one herself and a close friend of Rin Toyama.
Kou has blond hair that falls to her waist with bangs hanging on the left side of her face and light blue eyes. She keeps her outfit simple with a plain black t-shirt, blue jeans, and black shoes, sometimes wearing a beige with brown patterns dress instead. She is sometimes seen wearing her work lanyard.
Even though Kou has a laid-back attitude, brutally honest, dense, a sweet tooth and somewhat a goofball; she is a genius at character designing, quite stern and a bit of perfectionist. Kou often works overnight to complete her work and sleeps at the office.
She has a rather lazy sense of style, being seen wearing the same black shirt or the occasional jeans or dress, this is due to her wanting to wear boyish clothes due to not being sexy. Kou is rather embarrassed when wearing posh clothes and is quite timid when being complimented on her looks.
It is implied by Rin Toyama that Kou's goofball and laid-back attitude is the latter's coping mechanism as a result of the suffering incurred from being bullied.
Rough Start Edit
Kou is based in Tokyo. She joined Eagle Jump at the age of 18, straight out of high school. In the same year, a contest was held to determine the game Eagle Jump will develop. Having won this contest, Kou was made the Lead Character Designer, and the development of Fairies Story began. However, some were not happy having a junior as their boss. In addition to her personality, Kou was often bullied and had no friends aside from Rin Toyama and later Hifumi Takimoto.
Despite low expectations, Fairies Story was a success, and Kou became the 'face of the game'. She was promoted to Art Director for its sequel, but her strict behavior caused a new employee to quit after only working for half a year. Depressed, she stepped down from the role of Art Director and became the Lead Character Designer once again. In the end, Fairies Story 2 was still a massive success. She refuses to become the Art Director for Fairies Story 3, although she was made Character Team Leader.
The Apprentice Edit
Kou left quite a lasting impression when a new employee began working: Aoba Suzukaze discovers her sleeping half-naked under a desk. Regardless, she does her best and guides her newbie. Since Aoba has no experience with 3D modeling, Kou gives her a reference book on the subject and checks in on her progress once in a while. She even helps Aoba get closer with her colleagues when she spots her struggling to approach them.
Noticing quick progress on her training, Kou assigns Aoba to make a villager model. Aoba is then given a taste of Ko's high standards when her drafts were rejected multiple times, though she has her reasons. She has high expectations from Aoba. After some motivation from Rin, Aoba submits a model that Kou can accept. As the development of Fairies Story 3 continues, she assigns more tasks for Aoba and the rest of the Character Team. Eventually, she gives Aoba the task of creating an important NPC from scratch.
Letting Go Edit
Kou is sometimes seen as she wishes for things to stay as it is: Rin as the Art Director and her as the Character Designer. However, they both know that people must move on, and Rin suggests that Kou takes on the role as Art Director again. Kou refuses, although she seems to support the idea of Aoba becoming a character designer, wanting her to be more proactive.
After the development of Fairies Story 3 has concluded, the company celebrates its completion. Shizuku reveals that Rin has been planning to become a producer, and Kou is asked to become the Art Director one more. This time, she receives support from Aoba and eventually accepts the role.
Déjà Vu Edit
After it was decided that their next work is an original title, a competition was held to determine the character designs. With years of experience under her belt, she joins the competition, along with Aoba. However, having only worked on the Fairies Story franchise, her artwork was deemed too similar and they were all rejected. Aoba's unintentional submission was chosen instead. Upset, she vents her frustration at Aoba. Realizing what she has done, she cools off at the roof.
Rin remarks that her outburst was similar to when Kou first started: a junior winning the competition and becoming the character designer, and seniors unhappy with the decision. She advises Kou to decide where she wants Aoba to end up. With this in mind, Kou approaches Aoba and resolved their issues. With a final draft compete, Aoba officially became the Character Designer for their new game, PECO.
Moving Forward Edit
While Aoba lacks knowledge in more technical topics, she does a majority of the character designing. This leaves Kou with more free time, and she wonders if she is a better Art Director this time. According to Rin, Shizuku initially wanted Kou to do the character designs at first but chose Aoba since she thought it would make Kou do something better. Instead, Kou teamed up with Aoba and brought something beyond her expectations, and Rin notes how much she changed from the past.
After a while, Kou and Hazuki invite Hifumi to discuss her replacing Kou as the Character Team Leader. Hifumi was initially hesitant, but Kou assures that she is skilled enough to take the position. Trusting Kou's judgment, Hifumi is appointed the Character Team Leader. Since Kou is well aware of Hifumi's personality, she helps her out once in a while. She also continues to make sure the team is under control with their new leader.
At one point, Aoba struggles to create a design for PECO's final boss. Since it has been a while, she offers to help take care of minor character designs while Aoba focuses on the boss. Although it took her some time, Aoba completes her design and compares it with what Kou would have made.
With PECO's alpha version nearly complete, a key visual is needed to promote their new title. However, it was decided that Kou would be the one to draw it since they believed it would promote sales. Kou is upset with the decision, and a heated debate ensued. Aoba then suggests a competition between her and Kou. With no objections, a deadline was set.
Despite all her efforts, Aoba was no match against Kou's eight years of experience as a designer. Realizing that she will lose, Aoba broke down in tears as Kou consoles her. Despite this, she continues to finish her task, still in tears as Kou watches on. Seeing Aoba work hard to complete her design made Kou realize that she cannot fall behind. As the development of PECO reaches its conclusion, Kou approaches Christina to discuss her plans.
New Game! Edit
With the development of PECO finally complete, the company hosts an event at a game exhibition, with Ko giving a speech. During her speech, she takes an opportunity to introduce Aoba as the Character Designer of PECO, giving her recognition. After the ceremony concludes, Kou surprises everyone by announcing that she is leaving Eagle Jump to work at a French company. On the day of her departure, Aoba meets Kou one last time to voice her feelings. With their other co-workers arriving, they give Kou a final farewell.
Bonjour, France! Edit
Kou finally arrives in France, and she almost feels like a newbie all over again. She is approached by Watona's French relative, Towa, who does not understand any of her Japanese, until she reveals that she was teasing her the entire time.
After they finish sightseeing, she takes her to the outside of the new building she will be working at, and begins to flirt with her about making Kou her "dog", before surprising her with a kiss, a gesture more common in France. They then go to her home, where she meets Towa's sister, Sophie, and Kou notices some art that has been left to the side, it was from a girl that previously lived in the house that forgot to take it away. When Towa leaves to make dinner, Kou gets a call from Rin, and it seems to be the middle of the the night in Japan. She proudly says that her this is her new beginning and she will do her best.
Rin remembers a time when Kou and Rin were still new. Rin comes back from a coffee errand for a co-worker, but the co-worker tells her that she had she did not get what she wanted. Rin quickly apologises, but according to Kou that was what she wanted. Rin believes it is simply better to apologise, but Kou disagrees.
She also points out that they are only sending her for errands even though she is also a newbie, which annoys her, but Rin thinks it is fine as she is skilled, so of course they would hold her back to do more work. Rin thinks that Kou is amazing because she has always had a goal, and then asks her if she will be entering in the new character design contest, Kou says she will and asks if Rin will too, and questions if she has her own dream.
In the present, Rin looks to Kou's empty desk and wonders what she should be doing about her dream.
New Years in France Edit
It is New Years Eve, and Rin has come from Japan to spend it with Kou. She is staring dejectedly at her ramen and asks why they are doing something like that on New Years Eve. She had had more romantic expectations of France.
When they are alone, they catch up on their work progress, referencing Hajime's new dogdeball game, Kou can tell that work has been tough lately and tell her 'good work', Kou gets confused by her reaction. Rin then asks how her job is going: for her it is a lot more tough since she sticks to a strict schedule. The biggest thing for her is Towa's amazing management skills and how she gets them to draw things as she imagines them, Kou has a lot of respect for that.
Rin suddenly remembers that she was the woman in the picture Kou sent, Kou tells her to beware as she is an aggressive kisser, but Rin takes it more literally than it really is. Towa ends up overhearing and corrects them that it is a 'bidou' and not a kisss. Towa then does a formal greeting with Rin instead, and Kou points out how weird that was when she kissed her on the first day, Rin frantically wonders what she meant by that as Kou wonders what she was getting worked up about.
She worries if Towa has been mistreating Kou, but Kou says that nothing has happened, and she will not be intruding on their 'plans', Rin is confused by what she means by this and Kou takes her away to an expensive restaurant for just the two of them.
Kou asks if she wants to go to see the Eiffel Tower as she hears it will be lit up at New Years day, and Rin agrees, they take a crowded train to get there and by the time they make it out; their hair is all messy. They both laugh at this.
The two sit together outisde the Tower, and Kou asks if Rin is cold, Rin says she is fine. She had thought that she would be a bother coming all the way over but is glads she came. Kou is glad to have her. It is seconds away from the light-up, and the Eiffel Tower begins to glow, Kou says that it looks a bit funny and Rin giggles in agreement. They wish each other a happy New Year.
Meeting Hotaru Edit
Kou is drawing outside, and a woman walks up to her and tells her in Japanese that it is a nice drawing. They then asks questions about their lives in France and work, which leads them to finding out they both work for the same country, the woman introduces herself as Hotaru Hoshikawa, and Kou wonders if she has has seen her before, but they have not. Hotaru seems surprised hearing her name, but brushes it off and hopes they meet again. While riding back home, she remembers her from the photo that Nene had showed her of Aoba, her, Hotaru and Chinatsu and immediately recognises her.
She then finds out that Hotaru is actually living at her house too as she had come back to France to work with Towa. Ko says that she remembered her as Aoba's friend, but it turns out the night from two months ago was also her, to Hotaru it seems like they were fated to meet.
Kou, Hotaru and Sophie go to visit the island Saint-Michel, there does not seem to be anyone at this time in the morning, they then experience the sunrise together, and Hotaru comments that the sunrise is always beautful no matter where you to see it and reminisces on the New Years traditions she had with her friends.
Night Call Edit
Rin calls Kou, worried about a possible lover taking her away. At that time, it is night in France. Unfortunately, Hotaru tiredly answers Ko's phone, Rin gravely asks who she is. Hotaru explains that she answered her phone and wakes up Kous. Rin angrily asks her the same question. With the commanding of Aoba and Nene, Hotaru tells Kou to say to Rin "I love you". Rin is shocked that she would says that at a a time like then, but asks happily if she can believe her. The next card Hotaru holds says "yes", and Rin believes it too.
Rin tells her to be careful and call her if there is a change, Kou agrees and asks why she wanted to call her at this time anyway, and after and explanation, Kou laughs at her silliness. Kou explains the situation and calms her down.
During Hotaru's first meeting with her co-workers, she is given an important role of designing the most important character in their new game, King's Hand. Kou tells Towa that her decision was unreasonable and brings up the chance of her failing.
Kou explains that what she was trying to say was that if getting the job of designing that character was the right one for Hotaru, and if she she is not able to come up with an idea in the remaining months will have to go. Towa does not mind this, saying that that must mean that she was not a good match for Blue Rose from the start, and as a backup plan, she will have Kou do a design in two days.
Two weeks later, Kou approaches Hotaru and comments that she seems to be having trouble, Hotaru was not expecting Towa to be so strict. She offers to go out with Hotaru tonight. Later, they are going shopping, and she is looking for a new bag for Rin. Hotaru remembers her from the night call and asks what she is like, she realizes that she might have caused issues seeing as they seem close, but Kou does not know what she means.
Hotaru picks one, but it is too expensive for Kou, but she insists, saying that she should definitely pay more if it is for someone important to her, Kou thinks that it is really not that kind of thing, but Hotaru still thinks so with a smile. Kou points out her a face, saying that when she is at work her face stiffens up, she has skills, but she needs to relax most of all to get work done. She then does off to pay for the bag.
Kou points out that Hotaru has been asking her co-workers questions very often lately, Kou is more concerned that she is getting in the way of her co-workers. But Towa sees it as a good thing as she starting to fit in more and more and is optimistic about her growth, Kou agrees.
After being impressed by Hotaru's skills, one of the employees asks Kou if all Japanese people are that good at art, Ko says no and it is just that she is good. The employee says that she must be a genius after all, then.
One morning, Hotaru goes outside to draw, and Kou knows that she goes out every morning to do this, she is about to practice via her tablet, but decides to draw outside with a pencil. Hotaru says that she could just do it with a tablet, but Kou says that it simply feels cooler doing it with a pencil. Kou tells Hotaru that she thought that she was a genius, but she realizes how much work she puts into her art.
Hotaru thought the same of Kou, because she rarely practiced outside of work, Kou agrees. But then, she says that the kindness she gives to other people comes from the hardship she has endured, and to her, that is not something to be taken lightly. Kou denies her compliments, saying that she is not nice and came here for herself. She then challenges Hotaru to draw King's Hand, to see who will satisfy Towa first. Sophie easily realises that this is a game design, and Kou tells her to forget about it, as Towa will be angry.
Towa still catches them, and says that she will lecture them over breakfast, while Sophie points out they broke company policy, Hotaru says that she is pretty knowledgeable.
The King's Hand Edit
Another day at Blue Rose, and Kou is giving her design to Towa to check. As she is checking it, Mira burst in with her own design, Kou points out that she drew a design too, Mira believes that if Kou should be allowed to draw a design then so should she. Towa explains that it is not just her who was, but the whole team are secretly coming up with ideas and giving them to her. If Kou makes the accepted design, then she guaranteed fame, and everyone wants that.
At night, Hotaru is drawing Sophie and Kou decides to join in. Kou notices that Hotaru looks happy when she draws, and when she ends up smiling too, she feels like that part of her is contagious. They both show her when they are done, and even though she calls them both cute, she seems to love Kou's more. Hotaru seems disappointed. Kou suggest they do another.
Sophie looks, and once again, Kou's drawing is better and she even added colour too. Hotaru says that it was not fair, but takes back her outburst once she realises there were never any set rules. She points out that Hotaru is not as laid back as she was earlier, Hotaru says she is just nervous but Kou disagrees. It is actually because she is drawing something she wants Sophie to like, but is frustrated that she does not like it. Sophie says that she thinks Hotaru's drawings are cute too.
This is just a part of the job, as the first thing you need to do when someone orders a drawing is to to get them to like it, you cannot make a good piece when you are withdrawn. Hotaru offers to do another drawing. When she sees Hotaru overthinking, she simply tells her she can do it. They have spent a lot of time together and she just needs to find something the two like.
The final review, and Sophie likes both of their creations, Kou then leaves her to work. Upon being out of her sight, she says that she might not be able to win after giving her a lesson like that.
The Return Home Edit
Kou is approached by Towa, she asks her if she likes being at Blue Rose. She does because of the competitive environment giving her motivation, but she misses the Japanese food. Towa offers for her to join Blue Rose.
Umiko is Kou's co-worker who she likes to call by her last name which always results with her getting head-shots from the latter. The two are close enough that they engage in a drinking contest and a duel.
Rin is Kou's close friend to the point that the latter acts more like a mother to her. It is also noticeable that Rin has a huge crush on Kou which she is painfully unaware of because Kou is a blockhead. Possibly the only person in the company that doesn't notice Rin's feelings; as Shizuku, Hifumi and Yun are shown to be aware of it, although Aoba might be aware of it as well.
Shizuku is Kou's superior. She likes the Rin/Kou tandem in the extent that she supports, teases and even set the mood for the two.
Aoba is Kou's supervisee. She admitted that Kou's the reason for her becoming a Character Designer. She's the one who successfully persuaded Kou on becoming the Art Director.
When Hifumi started, she and Kou doesn't really talk to each other until one time when Kou called her. Hifumi replaced Kou as the Character Team Leader after admittedly said that she trust the latter.
Yun, even though being Kou's subordinate, there isn't much interaction between them. Kou entasked Yun in making 3D models for monsters.
Hajime, being a motion designer, isn't really handled by Kou until Kou become the Art Director. Kou sometimes uses Hajime's collections as a reference for character designs.
- Kou's surname Yagami means "eight" (八) (ya) and "god" (神) (kami/gami).
- Kou gets easily drunk.