Nanao is a youthful girl with black hair normally kept pinned back, she has blue eyes and wears glasses. She notably resembles Lisa YadÅmaru, a member of the Vizards and the person who preceded her position as the 8th Division Lieutenant. The resemblance is likely intentional on her part, as she is hinted to have greatly respected Lisa before she became a Vizard, when Nanao was a child first joining the Gotei 13.
She is a very serious and pragmatic person who often puts up with her captain's silly antics, but like all lieutenants, she is extremely respectful of her captain and follows his instructions without hesitation. She is almost always carrying a heavy book. Nanao is often accosted by her captain, whose teasing takes various forms. Nanao's usual reaction is to scold him or hit him with something, usually a fan. When she is particularly annoyed she takes off her glasses, though her face has never been seen while doing so. Apparently this act is quite frightening, as most people who see it are reduced to gibbering wrecks just by witnessing it, even the sadistic cold hearted 12th Division captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi fell victim to this intimidating spectacle.
In her free time, she likes to go shopping, but even more to read, and often visits the library. She is in good terms with fellow reader Momo Hinamori, she even brought her books during her hospitalization. Nanao also has an article serialization in Seireitei Communication, titled "Please be Moderate", which is very popular, especially among the male readers. Nanao is known to be an excellent calculator, a skill very handy, given that she has to do even most of her captain's paperwork. Her favorite food is sweet bean jelly, and she does not like powdered green tea, a trait which is interestingly shared with her captain.
Nanao is the Vice-President of the Shinigami Women's Association, but is usually the one who attempts to maintain and control the meetings due to the juvenille actions and behaviors of president Yachiru Kusajishi. Yet while she attempts to be the main moderator, Yachiru usually has higher say on everything from budget decisions to activities done by the club making any of Nanao's comments or advice worthless. She is also frequently at odds with Shinigami Men's Association leader Tetsuzaemon Iba, of whom she usually forces her superiority and control regarding the influence and power she and the Women's Association have over his group.
Nanao is notable for being in 8th Division when she was a little girl, and enjoyed being read to by former lieutenant Lisa YadÅmaru, something they did regularly each month around the time of the first. Eventually between the period when Lisa was forced to hide alongside the other transformed Vizards and the present day, she worked her way up from being Shunsui's subordinate to his lieutenant.