The Characters of Persona. Spoilers Abound!
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The Entire Team
Main Character (AKA Naoya "Nao" Todou, Yuya Narumi or Jihei Suzakuin)
The main character of Persona and designated leader of the group. His affinity is with the Emperor Arcana, which grants him use of Seimen Kongou, his starting Persona. He wields a sword and a sub-machine gun as weapons. He is most commonly dubbed the "Boy With The Pierced Ear", but with the loss of the earring in the North American version, it was shortened to simply "Boy". The manga refers to him as "Naoya Todou". As of 2013, he is the only Persona protagonist not to have a Canon Name.Dragged along to participate in the "Persona" game to settle a bet between Mark and Brown, the protagonist and his other classmates catch a glimpse of a little girl crying. Lightning flashes, and those who haven't played before are knocked out, sent into the border between consciousness and unconsciousness. A Guardian Entity named Philemon meets Naoya in a dream, asking him to state his name. Upon doing so, Philemon is impressed, for not everyone who comes to his realm knows who they really are. The protagonist gains the ability to summon his Persona, and is then sent back to reality. Upon regaining consciousness, he finds himself in the school infirmary, the last of his classmates to wake up. The school nurse and their homeroom teacher Saeko Takami urge the group to go to the hospital to have themselves checked, opening up an opportunity to visit Maki again.The group waits for Maki outside the ICU, where she is being treated after complaining of severe pain. Tremors shake the building, and when the door to the ICU is opened, there is nothing behind it but a wall. Demons soon run wild in the hospital, attacking the people inside. Upon encountering a gang of demons, he and his friends all awaken to their Personas. He is then designated as the leader.He's the main powerhouse of the team and, because of the inability to take him out of the party, has the highest level growth. He wields one handed swords for his physical attacks and sub-machineguns for his ranged attacks, and his Initial Persona is Seimen Kongou of the Emperor Arcana.
Maki Sonomura (Mary)
Maki Sonomura is a frail girl who has been sick all of her life, bedridden, and suffers from episodic fits of dementia. When she's not in too much pain, she often paints disturbing still-life pictures, escapes into her "Ideal" world, and waits for her friends to come visit her. Kandori takes advantage of this by kidnapping Maki from the hospital, and uses her unconscious mind as a test subject for his DEVA System, creating an alternate version of the city that is a reflection of Maki's "Ideal" version of Mikage-cho. In this world, Maki is healthy, demons wreak havoc everywhere, the hospital and police station do not exist, and the city has two sides, one light and one dark, divided in half by an ominous barrier.Part of Maki accepts, and at the same time rejects this development. Thus, three manifestations of her psyche actually emerge: The "Ideal" Maki which joins the party, Mai (Mae in the NA version), and Aki (Maggie in the NA version), the latter two being alternate selves that represent her innocence and malevolence respectively. The "Ideal" Maki remains the same age, while Mai and Aki manifest as Maki's child self. Depending on how the protagonist handles himself, the "Ideal" Maki will either succeed in turning the city back to normal and save her true self, or become ridden with guilt about her deep-seated nihilistic wishes and lose her identity forever.Despite being the main heroine of the SEBEC route, Maki has only a minor role in the Snow Queen route. Another version of her, credited as the "Masked Girl", appears as one of the Night Queen's allies, and claims to be responsible for everything that has happened. She and the Masked Boy (actually a masked Kandori) merge with the Night Queen for her battle with the heroes, but are defeated. Afterwards, Mark reveals that he left the Ideal Maki behind at SEBEC, tying the Snow Queen route back into the main story.Maki is the party's support character, able to cast healing magic from the far end of the group's formation. Because of this, she wields exclusively long-range weapons, a crossbow and a handgun. Her starting Persona is Matsu of the Priestess Arcana.
Masao "Mark" Inaba
Masao "Mark" Inaba is a mischievous, artistic boy who is friends with the protagonist. He harbors an unrequited crush on Maki, and is steadfastly devoted to her, dragging his classmates to visit her in the hospital at every opportunity. Because of his laid-back nature (even in the face of danger), Masao gets into heated arguments with the stiff Kei Nanjo, who constantly belittles him. Masao's first Persona is Ogun of the Chariot Arcana. Masao can be considered the game's tank, as he totes a Franchi SPAS-12 shotgun and an axe in battle, and excels at fighting.Masao doesn't believe in the demon summoning game "Persona" one bit. He holds a bet with classmate Hidehiko Uesugi to prove that he's right on it being a fake, with the loser having to treat everyone to a meal at Peace Diner. When nothing happens immediately, Masao assumes that he's won. Upon waking up at the clinic, Masao is thrilled that they were being sent to the hospital for a checkup, because this means that he gets to visit Maki again in the process. After the event where the ICU disappears and demons run rampant in the building, Masao awakens to his Persona along with the others, and urges the Protagonist to find Maki.In the original North American version, Masao's appearance and dialogue is heavily altered, turning him into an African-American boy with stereotypical slang injected to his lines. Additionally, his hat is replaced by a gold baseball cap.
Kei Nanjo (Nate Trinity)
Kei "Nate" Nanjo is a rich boy from Persona who stands to inherit a wealthy group of companies. As heir of a wealthy family, Kei already met with Takahisa Kandori at some point in the past, taking an instant dislike to him from the beginning. While his parents are often away on business, Kei is looked after by Yamaoka ("Alfred" in the NA version), the Nanjo family butler. Since he seems to have grown up under Yamaoka's watch, he considers him as more of a father figure than a servant. A distinctive trademark incorporated into Kei's uniform is a scarf with the number 1 printed on it. This symbolizes his desire to become the "#1 man in Japan".Kei was dragged along to join into the demon summoning game "Persona", which was started by a feud between Masao and Brown. For his part, Kei chooses to just watch, as he feels that everyone was just feeding Masao and Brown's stupid squabbles. He also witnessed the spirit of a sobbing little girl, and was incapacitated by bolts of lightning which sent him to Philemon's realm.When Yamaoka is killed by zombies in the hospital, Kei flies into a rage, awakening to his Persona along with his friends and destroys the demons that killed his faithful guardian. He resolves to fulfill Yamaoka's wish, find out what caused the sudden influx of demons in Mikage-cho, and bring the person responsible to justice.Kei fights with a longsword and is a crack shot with a sniper rifle. His starting Persona is Aizen Myouou of the Hierophant Arcana. Kei uses his status, wealth, and knowledge a lot to negotiate with demons. In the NA version, Kei is the only playable character given an actual last name to substitute the Japanese one, making him the heir to the Trinity Family trust instead of the Nanjo Group. His full name became Nate Trinity (though Eternal Punishment later pretends his last name never changed and restores it to Nanjo), and was given blond hair and fairer skin to match the localization.
Reiji Kidou (Chris)
Reiji Kido is an antisocial transfer student of St. Hermelin who rarely shows up for class. He blames his stepbrother Takahisa Kandori for how his life has turned out, and believes that the latter must die. To this end, Reiji skulks around the SEBEC facility, waiting for a chance to confront Kandori. Despite his brusque tendencies, many girls of St. Hermelin take quite a shine to him. Reiji's Persona awakening was also triggered during the SEBEC incident, but he is less than willing to join the party unless certain conditions have been met early in the game. Reiji is adept at boxing, and an assault rifle. His Persona, Bres (Guni in the NA version), belongs to the Devil Arcana.Though rumored to be a gang leader, Reiji has no actual subordinates to speak of. The fevered pursuit of his half-brother Takahisa Kandori is the only thing on his mind. Reiji was the product of an affair between Takahisa's father and a mistress, and wants revenge for his mother being abandoned as a result of his birth. It's for this reason alone that Reiji believes Takahisa should pay with his life. It's a little-known fact that Reiji dabbles in magic tricks on the side, specifically with playing cards. He uses this skill in demon contacts.In the original NA version, Reiji's name was changed to Chris.Reiji is an optional character like Hidehiko Uesugi, Eriko Kirishima, and Yuka Ayase. He is the hardest to get out of all of them, needing several events and NPC conversations to be able to get him to join.
Hidehiko "Brown" Uesugi (Brad)
Hidehiko "Brown" Uesugi is the resident class clown of St. Hermelin, relying on puns and outdated jokes to get attention (this is also used in his negotiation skills). Hidehiko pesters his classmates to perform the "Persona" ritual in order to impress them, but Masao Inaba doesn't believe that it will actually work. They both hold a bet, with the loser having to treat everyone who was dragged into it at the Peace Diner. Masao thinks that he won at first, because nothing happened after the ritual. Hidehiko complains, saying that Masao didn't try hard enough when it was his turn to perform. But then a crying young girl appears, and they are all hit by flashes of lightning that send them to the border of consciousness and unconsciousness.When Mikage-cho changes, the main protagonist finds Brown imprisoned inside the Police Station along with Masao; both were captured after going out through the hole in the school wall to procure guns there with Kei Nanjo (Nanjo barely managed to escape with the equipment). After freeing them both and fighting off some demons (causing Hidehiko's "forced" awakening from being attacked). Brown fights using a spears, quarterstaves, and a TMP machine gun as his sidearm. His Persona is Nemhain (Talon in the NA version) of the Justice Arcana, which has the ability to cast Wind spells as well as absorb them.Like Yukino, Hidehiko's features weren't changed much for the original North American release. His kanji puns were altered, fitted with easy-to-digest local jokes. His name was also changed to Brad.
Eriko "Elly" Kirishima (Ellen)
Eriko "Elly" Kirishima belongs to a wealthy family and has been studying overseas for most of her life. She later decides to finish her schooling in Japan to later pursue a career in modeling and fashion design. She is among the popular girls in St. Hermelin High School because of her beauty and amiable personality. She is smart; however, she tends to fail to realize serious life and death situations. She wields a rapier, and (like Kei) is armed with a rifle for long-range fighting. Her starting Persona is Nike of the Judgement Arcana.Apart from her outwardly feminine hobbies, Eriko is also interested in the occult. Because of this, she is the only participant of the "Persona" ritual who is actually excited to be there. She somehow sensed that her friends were in grave danger after demons begin to appear in Mikage-cho. Eriko arrives just in time to help the group escape the hospital, awakening to Nike in the process. Off-hand, she expresses overly-ecstatic enthusiasm over the fact that her Persona is the "Goddess of Victory".Having done some investigating of her own, Eriko tells the group to head for the shrine, where they meet Maki Sonomura's mother, a former employee of SEBEC. The latter reveals that the advent of demons was brought about by Takahisa Kandori, who tricked her into perfecting the DVA system, a device that wrought havoc with the dimensional divide between the real world and the demon world. After getting Maki's mother to be treated in the school infirmary, Eriko will leave the group to find a way out of the town, which is now wrapped in an ominous barrier. She can be later recruited as one of the optional fifth characters in the game upon finding her in the subway tunnel.In the original NA version, like Kei, Eriko was given blond hair and fairer skin to match the localization. Her name is also changed into Ellen.
Yuka Ayase (Alana)
Yuka is a kogal whose outward cheerfulness makes her popular with the boys. However, her penchant for lying and being glaringly frank at times gets her into a lot of trouble. Yuka's initial Persona is Horus of the Magician Arcana, which exclusively deals fire damage. She employs a whip and .45 handgun in battle.Hidehiko Uesugi introduced the game "Persona" to the rest of their classmates. Yuka has played it before and was counting on Hidehiko to win the bet against Masao Inaba to get a free meal at Peace Diner. Since she wasn't hit by lightning, Yuka does not follow the group to the hospital and instead opts to hang around in school. However, she does not follow the group to the hospital, opting to go on a shopping trip instead since she doesn't feel sick in the least. As a result, her awakening isn't triggered immediately.She isn't seen again until the group brings Maki Sonomura's injured mother from the Araya Shrine to the school infirmary, tasked to cover the hole in the wall in the room leading to the gym. However, she will be the mandatory fifth member if you have not recruited either Eriko Kirishima or Hidehiko Uesugi. You can let her join upon running into her later in the factory located at the south-eastern section of Mikage-cho, but she will force her way into the party if the steps to acquire Reiji Kidou aren't fulfilled. In the Snow Queen Quest, Yuka is a requisite member of the party.During the good ending path, Yuka reveals that she has a reputation of a heartbreaker, a girl who dates many boys and dumps almost all of them. The reputation stuck so hard that even though she did have her own standards, people still believe her as a heartbreaker, which distresses her. However, she uses these skills a lot when she negotiates with the demons.Because her hair is already dyed blonde, Yuka's only feature alteration in the original NA localization was her skin color, and her dialogue was given valley girl overtones as an equivalent to her oddball kogal speech. Her name was also changed to Alana.
Yukino Mayuzumi (Yuki)
Yukino was an ex-yanki who was reformed thanks to the efforts of her teacher Saeko Takami. Though she hasn't shed her yanki looks just yet, Yukino is well-recognized and trusted by the student body, acting as a mother figure of sorts to her friends. Despite her change of heart, Yukino still retains some of her punk ways, employing throwing blades and a double-barreled shotgun in battle. Her Persona, Vesta, is of the Empress Arcana and has both Fire and Nuclear magic at its disposal.Yukino was among those invited to help settle the bet between Brown and Masao, but doesn't actively participate in the "Persona" ritual, opting instead to watch and keep her classmates out of trouble. Even so, she is still affected by the result, sent to the border of consciousness and unconsciousness after being struck by lightning. Yukino awakens to her Persona in the hospital following a checkup and an unplanned visit to Maki Sonomura (who was also admitted there) that turns sour with demons suddenly wreaking havoc all over the place.In the original NA version, Yukino is the only character whose name (dropping only the 'no' from Yukino) and features were relatively untouched during the transition, but also has the shortest role in the main story arc due to her leaving the group after returning to the school. The only way to get her back is to trigger the Snow Queen Quest, which was removed and only officially playable in the JP version. In this part, if the player opts not to continue investigating SEBEC, they would find a mysterious mask in the school. Saeko Takami gets possessed by the mask after telling them the legend of the Snow Queen. Yukino joins the party, wanting to save the teacher she owes her new life to. The quest was re-implemented in the PSP Updated Re-release.
PhilemonSee Persona Recurring for Philemon's role.
IgorSee Persona Recurring for Igor's role.
Trish (Kelly)This world runs on give-and-take!A money-obsessed fairy who charges out the nose for healing springs. Gets much more character development in the second game.
Yamaoka (Alfred)Yamaoka, known as Alfred in the English localization, is the butler for Kei Nanjo. When told by his teacher to go to the hospital, Kei meets his butler Yamaoka at the school gate, who offers to chauffeur everyone via the Nanjo family's limousine. Kei refuses, preferring to walk with his friends instead. Yamaoka yields, but secretly follows Kei to the hospital.When the ICU where Maki Sonomura is being treated vanishes following a small earthquake, the group flees to the lobby downstairs. Kei is shocked to find Yamaoka sprawled on the hospital lobby floor, mortally wounded by a demon attack. Yamaoka knows that he is not long for this world, and his dying wish is that Kei would become a great man someday even after he has gone. Late in the game, he returns as the ultimate Persona for Kei.
Saeko Takami (Ms. Smith)
Ms. Saeko is the homeroom teacher for the Protagonist and others. She is very popular with the students. She plays a small role in the SEBEC route of the game, helping protect the students of St. Hermelin in the real world, and appearing as an apparition in Maki's world.In the Snow Queen Quest, she is possessed by a malevolent spirit inhabiting the Snow Queen mask, who plans on sacrificing her as a way to bring about the Eternal Night. The spirit is eventually revealed to be Tomomi Fujimori, Saeko's best friend from her high school days.Interesting enough, her last name in the original NA release, while unnecessary, is also something of a backhanded Woolseyism of her Japanese last name, which is roughly analogous to "Smith" as a generic last name. Aside from her name, she is also unedited (aside from the Snow Queen quest, which was missing from the original NA version).
Vice Principal Hanya (Dean Harding)Vice Principal Hanya, known in Revelations: Persona and Persona 2 as Dean/Principal Harding, is the Vice-Principal of St. Hermelin High School. Unlike Principal Ooishi, Hanya hardly cares for his students and is concerned only with enforcing rules and evading lawsuits. He is detested by everyone at school. His students nickname him "Hamya", a reference to how unnecessarily crazy he gets about even the most minor infractions. In Japanese, it's "Hannya," a play on his name (a Hannya is a demon from Japanese folklore).He was mostly unaltered in the original NA release, though his name was changed, and he is instead nicknamed "Darth Harding" by the students.He returns in the second game as the principle of the main characters' school. Tropes related to him in those games can be found on the respective page.
Chisato Kasai (Selina)A student who went missing two months ago, believed to have eloped with her boyfriend Yosuke. In truth, she was lured into the other world by Maki, where Aki met her and made her into the Harem Queen. When the party arrives in the Karma Palace, Maki discovers that she never really loved Yosuke, she just wanted him because Maki loved him as well.
Yosuke Naito (Bruce)A popular student who went missing two months ago, believed to have eloped with his girlfriend Chisato. They were actually lured into the other world by Maki, where Yosuke lost Chisato and fought Aki, ending with him becoming badly bruised. He hid in the other St. Hermelin, discovering the giant door to Avidya World, and was trapped until others from his world came.
Tamaki Uchida (Tammy)A New Transfer Student from six months ago. Not entirely willing to talk about her previous experiences, but who can blame her? Joined the fencing team, and gets into a lot of fights with Tadashi over his irresponsibility.
Tadashi Satomi (Tad)The heir to the Tadashi Satomi Pharmacy. He is a member of the fencing club, and argues with Tamaki a lot.
Kenta "Toro" Yokouchi (Chunky)Toro is an overweight, unpopular student at St. Hermerlin who harbors an intense crush on Yuka. He plays a much larger role in the Snow Queen quest, when his Persona (Mara) possesses his body after Yuka stomps on his heart yet again. The Mara-controlled Toro attacks the party, but reverts to normal once beaten.
Tsutomu Kurouri (Kain)A nerdy student at St. Hermerlin and a permanent fixture of the school's library, Tsutomu (nicknamed "Devil Boy" for his occult readings) is a ravenous student of all things paranormal... and is not trusted as an authority, since he's also a bit of a crank. This is reflected in the Ideal World, where's he's still creepy, but also rather sagely and perceptive.
Antagonists — SEBEC Route
Takahisa Kandori (Guido Sardenia)
Takahisa Kandori is the de factonote head of SEBEC, and used the corporation as a front for his developing the Deva System, a machine which would allow him to go into a subject's mind and use it in his quest to become a god. During initial testing, the thoughts of Maki Sonomura somehow came in contact with the system, allowing Kandori to contact her malevolent Id, Aki. Kandori has his men capture Maki, and uses the Deva System to summon demons into the real world, then later escapes into the "other world" when confronted by the heroes. Using his alliance with Aki, Kandori gains control of half of the "other" Mikage-cho, and later tricks the heroes into giving him Mai's compact.Using her compact with Aki's, Kandori is able to achieve his goal to become a god, summoning the large palace Deva Yuga into the real world. The MC and the others follow him into the real world and confront him at the top of the Deva Yuga, where Kandori, now grown nihilistic due to his apparent godhood, asks them their reason for living. After the MC gives his answer, Nanjo insults Kandori by calling him weak and cowardly, angering Kandori enough to attack them. When Kandori appears to be defeated, his persona Nyarlathotep forcibly enters his body, transforming him into God Kandori. After God Kandori is defeated, Kandori reveals the truth about Maki and the Deva System, then dies.Kandori, credited as "Masked Boy", has a minor role in the Snow Queen quest, where he appears as one of the Night Queen's allies. He and the Masked Girl (clearly a masked Maki) merge with the Night Queen during her battle with the heroes, but are defeated.He is later revived by the NWO in Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, serving as the primary focus antagonist if the player takes the Nanjo route. Also, Eternal Punishment goes the extra mile to make up for the Macekre of the first game by making his NA name in the first game an alias (which, given all the crap he gets involved in, is a fairly logical thing to have).
AkiA strange little girl in black who has decided that Kandori is her father. She also uses her Compact to grant Kandori's wishes and set up Chisato as the Harem Queen.She is actually Maki's id, who was given form along with the other world when Maki's thoughts synchronised with the DVA System. She appeared to Kandori around two months ago, which led to Kandori abducting Maki at the beginning of the game.
MaiAnother strange little girl in white who appeared along with Mai. She uses her Compact Half to alter her side of the town, and hides in the Gingerbread House. In the Bad Ending Route, she first attacks the party with a Monster Teddy Bear, then she makes Aki and Maki disappear into the virtual reality.She is later revealed to be Maki's ego and represents her innocence.
Kazuya TodouA character exclusive to the manga. Naoya's older twin brother.He's actually the embodiment of Naoya's guilt over the death of his brother. When Naoya got sick, Kazuya went out to buy a manga to cheer him up, but got hit by a car and died.
PandoraThe True Final Boss of the SEBEC route. She is the embodiment of Maki's nihilism. After the death of Kandori, Aki awakens Pandora in an attempt to use her against the party, but is eaten, causing her half of Maki's dream world to disappear. Pandora then steals the core unit of the DEVA System and prepares to use it to destroy everything, but is defeated by the party and is accepted by the Ideal Maki.
Antagonists — Snow Queen Route
Kumi HiroseOne of the previous Snow Queen victims. Under the pressure from the strains of both the Drama Club and from her father, she listened to the Snow Queen mask and killed herself. After the Snow Queen possessed Ms. Saeko, Kumi was resurrected as the guardian of the Hypnos Tower. There she was freed from all pain and had no intention of leaving until her Persona, Hypnos, was defeated by the party.
Michiko MatsudairaOne of the previous Snow Queen victims. Feeling that she was bullied and ignored, she listened to the Snow Queen Mask and killed herself for power. After the Snow Queen possessed Ms. Saeko, Michiko was resurrected as the guardian of Nemesis Tower. Using her power, she trapped Toro and Tsutomu in the tower in order to set up a trick for the group. Her Persona is Nemesis.
Yuriko YamamotoOne of the previous Snow Queen victims. After coming to the realization that life might not be any better than it was now, she listened to the Snow Queen Mask and killed herself to retain her beauty. After the Snow Queen possessed Ms. Saeko, she was resurrected as the guardian of Thanatos Tower. Her despair from being cut off from her family and friends lead to an immense power she can use to take away the team's Personas and force them to go to Tartarus to get them back. Her Persona is Thanatos.
Tomomi FujimoriThe spirit within the Snow Queen Mask. She gained the role of the Snow Queen in Saeko's time. However, she let the rumor that Saeko only declined the part because of the curse go to her head and listened to the mask; once she put it on, it burned her face. She comes back for revenge on Saeko.
The Night QueenThe real enemy of the Snow Queen quest. After being driven out of Tomomi by the Magic Mirror, she took her own form and became the embodiment of despair. Her name was Nyx in the Japanese version.