Yamabuki Saaya is a second-year student at Hanasakigawa Girls' High School and the drummer of Poppin'Party. She became good friends with her classmate Kasumi during their high school entrance ceremony, and since then they eat lunch together every day.
She is also good friends with Tomoe because they're both older sisters and drummers, and with Moca due to her being the self-proclaimed number #1 fan of Yamabuki Bakery. She and Rimi are also classmates with Kokoro.
Saaya is the oldest of three children in her family; she has a younger brother named Jun, and a younger sister named Sana. Saaya's family owns the Yamabuki Bakery, at which she helps out, even during the school term.
Saaya used to play in a girls' band called CHiSPA when she was in middle school, but quit because she didn't want to burden her bandmates and her family due to an incident that happened before an important performance. But thanks to Kasumi, who never gave up on her, and her mother's support, she regained her passion for music and her desire to perform in a band, thus became the last member of Poppin'Party to join.
Saaya has slanted royal-blue eyes and long, curly brown hair worn in a high ponytail, usually tied up in a ribbon. She has spread-out bangs and shoulder-length curled forelocks.
She wears long flowing pale yellow pants with a white, frilly off-the-shoulder top.
A kind, empathetic and hardworking person who cares deeply about her friends and family, Saaya often lends an ear to Kasumi and Rimi. She is generally level-headed and easygoing, and is like an "older sister" to the other girls, always willing to help them out in hard times. Because of her kind nature, she has a hard time saying "no" to her friends or their requests, such as helping Hagumi to study.
A list of characters Saaya interacts with in the game (during Lives and in the dialogues at the end of every game).
Yamabuki (山吹) refers to the Japanese rose Kerria japonica, also known as Japanese marigold bush. It can also be split into two parts: Yama (山) which means "mountain" and Buki which means "song" or "wind".
Saaya (沙綾) can be split into two parts: Sa (沙) which means "sand" and Aya (綾) which means "a thin type of silk fabric resembling satin".
- In the original storyline, she used the Katakana romanization of her name, サアヤ, while "exchanging diaries" through the desk she shares with Kasumi. (Kasumi attends day classes, while Saaya attends night classes, hence how they "share" desk.)
- She also had three younger siblings, took care of the bakery and all the household chores in the house, and listened to different kinds of music for each kind of pastry while doing preparations for the bakery. Instead of her mother, her father was the one who got sick before an important performance, leading to Saaya quitting her former band. Meanwhile, it is mentioned in this storyline Saaya's mother had passed away.
- In episode 2 of BanG Dream! Girls Band Party!☆PICO, Saaya mentioned that she was practicing to play the drum with 3 drumsticks (this is also shown in the ending). This could be a reference of Saaya in the original storyline, who can also play the drum with 3 drumsticks.
- Saaya owns a lot of hair scrunchies and collects them as a hobby, even if she doesn't wear all of them.
- She has the same height as Ran, Rinko, Misaki, and Nanami.
- Saaya is disliked by animals and they always tend to bite, scratch, or run away from her when she tries to pet them.
- Saaya loves romance movies and classic Cinderella stories.
- After the event My Design, My Texture, Saaya became interested in photography.
- In the A Certain Scientific Railgun T collaboration, her character design was based on Shokuhou Misaki.
- Poppin'Party Lounge Conversation: What's everyone's favorite food?
- Saya x Tomoe - Downtown: Whoa, are you okay?
- Before the Start of a New Season/Event Story