When taking his whole arc into consideration, Yosuke’s story mode is a complete, prolonged moment of awesome for him. Here’s this guy who’s always felt insecure and, as he admits in the previous game, secretly felt jealous of his leader even though he loyally followed him to the end in order to finally find the truth and the murderer of his crush. Come this new adventure, and his story puts him on a role on which he finds himself with a pretty girl whose life not only depends on him, but ONLY on him, since the way the story presents the circumstances, as he wins fight after fight, he realizes he can’t be just The Lancer anymore, he can’t just be the second one after Yu or anyone else. This time, he HAS to be the hero, or else this girl whom he’s rapidly falling for might presumably die the same way his former crush did. And not only he’s confronted with this pressure, or the fact that he ends up having to face opponents that he can’t help considering to be stronger than him, but also the conspiracy of the Malevolent Entity that ends up making him believe that all that’s happening is just his fault, staged for the sake of his wishes of wanting to be special, and though he almost fell for a moment, he pulls through thanks to the power of friendship, overcomes all remaining obstacles, and truly saves the day. He’s truly become the hero he always wanted to be, and yet, when he’s there, he truly doesn’t care about it anymore. All he cares is that he managed to help Labrys and everyone is safe. It’s really no wonder the Manga adaptation follows his storyline the most.
Mitsuru has had enough of the Malevolent Entity masquerading as her and draws her sword. Cue Theme Music Power-Up as "Burn My Dread" begins to play and both Aigis and Akihiko step back to let her settle it one-on-one.
Yu figures out the trick that his friends aren't saying the things that he's hearing, and that the Teddie and Rise doing the announcements are impostors, after his very first fight. He then taunts General Teddie about this and tells him that the trick doesn't work on him, which causes a small Villainous Breakdown, to the point where the illusions (save Nanako's) actually break down and he hears Labrys' true thoughts.
In a similar manner, Akihiko and Mitsuru delivering a Shut Up, Hannibal! to General Teddie after their fight in the former's story mode. In context: Akihiko encounters Mitsuru while searching for Labrys. Due to the rules of the Grand Prix, General Teddie performs his mindtrick on Akihiko to goad him to fight Mitsuru. However, Aki recalls his earlier battles and goes straight to fighting Mitsuru while she's lecturing him on why he fights. After the match, the two former S.E.E.S members tear the General a new one for thinking that he could destroy their friendship with words and fighting.
Overlaps with Crowning Moment of Funny: Kanji "winning" the P-1 Grand Prix in his joke ending by defeating Shadow Labrys all while thinking this is All Just a Dream, and later subsequently being bitched at by the other Investigation Team members, save for Naoto.
There's also another one that doesn't overlap, but still awesome. Kanji is confronted by his Shadow actually the Malevolent Entity, who tries to rip his resolve. Unlike Yosuke, Chie and Yukiko (see the heartwarming sections for them)… Kanji instead fixes his resolve on his own by punching himself in the face, admitting his fault, then proceeds to renovate the Shadow's ass himself.
Naoto instantly seeing through the Malevolent Entity's attempt to masquerade as her Shadow, verbally bitchslapping it for the utter failure of its plans and mocking it for attempting to fool her in such an obvious way. All the more impressive because it actually acknowledges her flawless analysis and applauds her for seeing through it so quickly and easily. When the Eldritch Horror is complimenting your detective skills, you've got a lot to be proud of. To top it off, before fighting it, she expressed disappointment that she didn't get to fight anyone's Shadows... and would like to feel how it's like, by kicking the Entity's ass.
Yu's Arcade mode had a similar moment. When the entity tries to masquerade as his shadow, Yu immediately realizes that something fishy is going on since his persona (which he still has) and his shadow can't coexist; he then beats the crap out of it.
Labrys' escape from the Kirijo Group's research facility. After being forced to fight against and destroy her sister units one by one, including Unit #024 — her closest friend — the researcher's threat to erase the memories that she inherited from her sisters is the final straw; she snaps and rebels, willing to fight in order to hold onto them and the promise that she made to #024. She breaks through restraints rated for over twice the force her mechanical body is capable of producing through sheer force of will, then effortlessly evades an entire squad of armed security forces. Finally, when faced with an insurmountable gate, she summons her Persona for the first time and breaks it down with a single blow. Ultimately, she is stopped and recaptured upon her discovery that she is trapped on a faraway island, but the damage that she caused to the laboratory was so extensive that the researchers were unable to erase her memories anyway!
At the end of Elizabeth's story mode, Yu, despite having just lost to her, demands a rematch because he refuses to just give up when his friends are there. He then, with The Power of Friendship, starts to radiate a power that thoroughly intimidates Elizabeth, who, with the possible exception of the Malevolent Entity, is otherwise the most powerful character in the game by far. That is the true power of the Wild Card.
To make things even more awesome, Aigis then appears out of nowhere to defend Elizabeth from Yu after he turns the tables on her. She discreetly neutralizes and dispels Yu's power using her own power of the Wild Card, which is also quite an incredible feat on its own, given that Aigis basically just swatted away the same power that was about to defeat the almighty Elizabeth as if it were a fly.
Hey, can't forget Elizabeth's prologue too. Like how about curb stomping the final boss of The Answer on a yearly basis!?
Curbstomping doesn't even covers it; she one-hits the damn thing. And if the dialogue is anything to go by, it's usually with HER BARE HANDS.
When Elizabeth loses a match, she does not pass out like the others. Instead she reclines on her book, watching her opponent with a mysterious smile. That's right you, "won", but she's not hurt and she doesn't really care.
Aigis gets one right at the start of her story, by disarming and non-lethally subduing a group of airplane hijackers nearly on her own in a series of increasingly awesome moves, culminating in grabbing a button from one of the hijacker's coats and flicking it at another and hit him in the forehead to distract him and take them both down.
Chie telling off her fake Shadow in her storyline:
Chie: I'm not amazing like them, but that doesn't mean I can't be proud of myself! That's why I'm working so hard at what I'm good at… what's so bad about that?
Fuuka proves beyond any possible doubt that she's a Badass Pacifist by breaking the Malevolent Entity's control over Labrys despite A) the fact that the Malevolent Entity is something even more powerful than a Shadow (and by extension, more powerful than a Persona) and B) the fact that Fuuka had to extend her power into another world to do so. (And a world with which she had absolutely no familiarity, to boot). Mitsuru knew what she was doing when she asked Fuuka for help.
Every. Single. Mortal. Blow.
Yu transforms Izanagi into Izanagi-No-Okami and uses Myriad Truth, which is shown as a giant lightning attack summoned just over the opponent's head and dropped onto them. Ouch.
BTW, this is the same attack (or at least a variation) that he used to take out the final boss in P4.
Junpei summons Trismegistus, who goes into OUTER SPACE to pitch the opponent to Junpei, who sends them flying in a homerun which causes a scoreboard to have a part of it BURNED OFF.
Yukari fires an energy arrow skyward, Isis appearing to hold the enemy in place with a wind attack, as Yukari charges an energy arrow from the sky, which flies through the foe at high speeds, akin to Tsubaki's or Izayoi's Astral Heats.
Rise traps her opponent with her Attack Drones and summons a giant amplifier to blast them with a burst of electricity followed by a sound blast that takes them out.
Adachi sends their opponent to an underworld full of Shadows. Then Magatsu-Izanagi cuts them down.
Marie turns into Kusumi-no-Okami and summons a thunderstorm to zap her opponent.
Margaret one-ups Elizabeth in Ultimax by summoning Helel to bring down Morning Star. Talk about overkill.
"Boy, you lot sure don't change. You're as naďve as ever."
Rise becoming a playable character in Ultimax. You go girl!
And to top that up. She faces Elizabeth and wins after knowing her persona's true potential power.
Naoto once again shows her deductive skills. After just one fight, she pretty much figures out the culprit's entire plan. Namely that the fights are a distraction, the reaction of a persona vs persona clash is what he's after, that he's trying to use the Tartarus Tower to summon something. It's no wonder that MINAZUKI wastes absolutely no time in trying to take her out.
Ken is no longer the little boy he was in Persona 3. He's hit a huge growth spurt and became a master in academics and fitness (at a middle school level, anyway) — quite a transformation.
Adachi is more or less a juggernaut in all the game's scenarios as he and Magatsu Izanagi deftly fight their way through hordes of shadows (offhandedly rescuing some of the heroes along the way) to ascend the Inaba Tartarus, solve its mysteries, and defeat the mastermind atop it out of spite.
Aigis unleashes Extreme Orgia Mode for the first time to rescue Teddie from a rampaging Shadow Labrys. An awestruck (and possibly infatuated) Teddie then starts to idolize her much like he does with Yu, even saying that he is the only person who's as amazing as she is.
Yu and Adachi combining their power and Personas to defeat Hi-No Kagatsuchi at the end of the Persona 4 route in Ultimax.
Similarly Labrys single-handedly beating Hi-No Kagatsuchi in battle despite the above.
There's something OH SO SATISFYING about seeing Adachi of all people giving Sho a well deserved Shut Up, Hannibal! especially considering that said Shut Up, Hannibal! was the exact same one Naoto gave him. Doubly so because it clearly shows that he's reforming and took everyone's words to heart.
From a gameplay standpoint: Yu's new super, Raijin Enbu/Thunder God Dance. This Death Or GloryDeadly Rave/Dragon Install-esque Desperation Attack can only be performed while Yu is Awakened (Shadow Yu cannot perform this, probably because he's too weak and pathetic to do so anyway) and has 150 SP lying around. Landing it may be difficult, but a successful chain can result in tearing through half of the opponent's health.
Aigis' Extreme Orgia Mode is her answer to Yu's Raijin Enbu. And this time, Aigis is the one who outshines Yu. Extreme Orgia Mode refills all of Aigis' bullets, enables her to move thrice as fast, Athena's Persona Cards are fully restored and she now immediately uses her powerful attacks automatically without needing to be hit, Aigis inflicts about thrice as much damage as she does in normal Orgia Mode, her attacks are much harder to block, her HP rapidly regenerates to full, her defense doubles, and she has infinite SP for the entire duration of the mode. All these new buffs also enable Aigis to perform chain combos so powerful and relentless that it wouldn't be unheard of to completely obliterate an enemy at full health if he or she lets his or her guard down an gets caught in the onslaught. However, the requirements for activating this skill is much more stringent than Raijin Enbu: Aigis also needs to have 150 SP lying around, Athena must be very close to or in Persona Break and she must no longer have any more bullets. Like Shadow Yu, Shadow Aigis is also unable to use Extreme Orgia Mode.
Shadow Labrys decides to remind you exactly why she was the final boss of the last game, by taking over a body-controlled (by Sho) Labrys, basically telling him to piss off and die, and kicks his unholy ass. So when the Investigation Team tries to stop her by getting in the way, she naturally warns them she will kill them if they don't move, which they don't. Instead, they give her a spiel on how they're friends and won't let her do this. Does she decide that they're right and she's better than this? Nope! She basically says "Screw This, I'm Outta Here!" and swaps back with Labrys.
The description of how Ken finishes off Shadow Ken in Episode P4.
At the same time, a spear comes flying from behind, missing us completely but really nailing the fake kid. It was thrown so hard that the kid goes flying back and gets nailed to the wall behind him.
Ken's encounter with Shadow Ken in the P3 story is even more awesome. At this point, he isn't aware that the Shadows are actually fakes and Kanji, who happens to be watching, doesn't know either. For all they knew, this was Ken's actualEnemy Without, and Ken manages to muster the resolve to face it alone, with Kanji remarking that this is something he has to do. Not only that, but Ken fights to protect Kanji and Naoto because he doesn't want a repeat of three years ago (i.e. someone dying for him) to ever happen again. Really shows how much Ken has developed since Persona 3.
Yu, Yosuke & Chie only learn the true motives behind the fighting after Adachi basically spells it out for them. Naoto figures it out after one fight, whilst Kanji, Teddie & Yukiko figure it out without any outside interference too.
Rise figuring out she can summon her Persona outside of the TV world. Everyone else on the Investigation Team, even Naoto & Yu, needed to be told they could do this by someone else - Rise just realises that Inaba in the Dark Hour is reminiscent of the Midnight Channel, and summons Himiko.
Rise's arc, which sees her go from doubting her usefulness to the Investigation Team after the events of Arena, to throwing her lot in as a frontline fighter with the rest of the Investigation Team. After spending the last game as an Out of FocusDamsel in Distress, Rise more than makes up for it by taking several levels in badass.