I saw that there was no Aoi thread created on SRK, so I thought I’d do the honors.
Who is Aoi?
Aoi is your typical bland VF character. She appears to be some sort of temple maiden (as evidenced by her background in every game), and she fights for her father. She also has a connection to Akira, but not much of one. Storyline wise, I'm not quite sure I know anything about her.
What is Aoi’s style?
Aoi style use to be Aikido (famous pracitioner is Steven Segal). I believe it was change to Aiki Jitsu in VF4 and onwards to explain some non-Aikido moves in her moveset. Aikido is basically a counter based martial art in which you use your opponent force against them. With that in mind, Aoi is a more defensive oriented character. However this does not mean you sit back and turtle and wait to react and counter. I does mean that she can use her defensive options once she has sucessfully baited something from the opponent.
In general, from my experience she basically wants to annoy you with her elbows, get an advance and set up a counter hit or she basically wants to reversal you.
Aoi main game is her strike game, but her strike game isn't all that diversified. While she does have some fast moves like a 12 frame jab and a 14 frame 6+P,P, these basically eitehr setup a bait, or they set up a throw. Aoi really wants to get situations where she is +9 so she can start with her throw game.
Her throw game is really good. She has two 360 grabs that work in both directions. Both doing 60 damage (her highest damage throw). Keep in mind her front 360 throw only sets up about 40 dmg, but you do get a qcf+K+G followup. From a back 360 you get a free pursuit attack (df+p). So she has potential to do good damage off throws.
She also can follow up her 3,3,6+P+G throw with a ground grab or a pursuit (guranteed).
One of her buffs from previous games is her hit throw 3,3+P, P+G. This is very easy to time, and now it works on a neutral hit (before it only worked on CH). It's a good way to punish predictable lows and highs, and it comes out fast (I think 16 frames). Very sneeky attack. Aoi has some other moves that leads to combos. 6,6+k leads into small followups (like 2+k,p,p and 2+k,p, 6,4+P+K,P). She also has 4,3+P+K which leads to a crumple on CH (this moves generates more hitstun than in previous versions on neutral hit). 4,4+P+K which leads to a high crumple and you can followup with a heavy bound (6+K+G) for big damage. But anyway when you first play, you may start wondering how to get this stuff started. I personally am learning to lead with jabs, and learning to fuzzy. While fuzzying is important for EVERYONE, I think it really is useful for Aoi. You will find yourself using her 2p a lot as well. For movement I generally cancel her 4,4+P+K to get distance. While moving in, I typically will move to the side and move forward while blocking. Generally you either want the range to set up 6,6+P; pp,6+p,p, or ppp, 2+k. You want moves you can cancel to set up her mixup or force your opponent to hit a button. When they hit buttons (typically a 5P) do her ying yang stance and get some quick and free damage.
there are tons of leves to this, and with her new cancels, she sets up baits even better. Her new G cancellable followups can be pretty nasty on CH. But she also has a good Sabaki (236+P+K) which cause a stomach crumple on counter hit.
One thing to note, that Aoi can reversal EVERY move in the game. This is not to say you should mash reversals (bad mistake), but you should definitely use them on occassion when you think you’ve got a good read. Aoi is really good about making opponents afraid to press buttons when it’s “their turn” due to her counters and YY stance. Once you have them afraid to attack then start abusing her throw game.
What is Aoi weakness?
Aoi is like a combo dummy in this game. She floats high when she gets hit. She is one of the smallest characters in the game. I think her actual weight is only around 110 pounds, meaning she floats very high when she ges hit. Against people with good juggles like Jacky, Akira, Jeffery, Wolf, Vanssa, etc. this can be a problem.
She also gets rushed down pretty bad. So you're forced to take some guesses. She gets very low reward for her risk. Her reverals aren't that great (they lead to escapable air ground followup). When she gets read, it can be very painful. And it's VERY hard not to become predictable with Aoi. Also Aoi damage is low compared to other characters in this game. So unless were talking about a wall, she doesn't do loads of damage from her combos.
Aoi is definitely for more patient players who like swift movemet, and love to play higher yomi. Not recommended for beginners due to her overall gameplan. She is more of a intermediate character, and you need a lot of experience with her before making her work well.
Also this is a brief summary, more indepth info is at virtuafighter.com. They have way better info from true Aoi pros. (trust me I’m a scrub with an opinion and that’s all).