Characters: Persona 4 The Investigation Team
The main characters of Persona 4
For the full list of characters from the game, click here
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The Entire Team
- Amateur Sleuths: Every member of the team save for Naoto, who's actually a Kid Detective.
- Badass Biker: All of them as of Golden, except Kanji and Teddie, who have to use a regular bike and roller skates respectively.
- Kanji also counts though since he can keep up with them on his regular bike.
- Badass Crew
- Badass in a Nice Suit: You can buy this in-game at the new Okina City where everyone (except Rise) gets one complete with Cool Shades.
- Beauty, Brains and Brawn: Rise/Yukiko (both have beautiful feminine looks and are extremely popular with males), Naoto (a professional detective who frequently serves as Ms. Exposition) and Chie (a tomboy who is skilled at kung-fu) respectively.
- Berserk Button: Anyone outside the group messing with them or anyone they care for.
- Big Damn Heroes: In the story, it's a given that they're this as they make it a point to rescue whoever has been thrown into the Midnight Channel. This seeps into the gameplay in the Golden with the Cavalry Attacks which have teammates that aren't even in your party charge in on their bikes (or skates) to help out if their Social Links are high enough.
- Break the Cutie/"The Reason You Suck" Speech: Any of them who were kidnapped suffer this at the hands of their Shadow. They get over it quickly though.
- Curtains Match The Windows: All of them sans Teddie. Kanji appears to avert this, but that's because he bleaches his hair.
- Dance Battler: They fight Shadows using dance moves in Persona 4: Dancing All Night
- Dare to Be Badass
- Enlightenment Superpowers: Accept your most noticeable flaws? Have a Persona. Work your way through more of your flaws? Your Persona takes on a stronger form. Come to the realization that you can still change and improve from there? The Persona's power increases even further.
- Fairytale Motifs: Each character's Persona is derived from Shinto folklore.
- Fan Nickname: The Inaba Scooby Gang, due to their spirited but… amateurish efforts to apprehend the criminals.
- Fire-Forged Friends: It helps that part of their Character Development, both as individuals and as a team, includes learning each other's deepest shames and accepting themselves and each other for who they are.
- The Fool: Embodies, as a group and Yu in particular, the Fool Tarot card and the trope.
- Hypocritical Humor: All of them (except Teddie) think that dressing up as the Neo Featherman Phoenix Rangers is a rather silly, if not stupid, thing to do; some even claim not to be all too familiar with the franchise because it's for kids. However, winning a battle while these costumes are equipped reveals that not only are they aware of each of the Phoenix Rangers' code names, but their trademark poses as well.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: The underlying plight of a majority of the team; they fear loneliness and have a strong desire to be "accepted" in one form or another. Chie and Yukiko are the only exceptions as they've been friends since they were children.
- Instant Cosplay Surprise: All of the characters get elements of this in The Golden. The most hilarious ones are when you dress the male members in just a bath towel. Yosuke even states that he hates you. It also makes you wonder how you managed to convince them to put on those (sometimes embarrassing) costumes.
- It's Personal: Everyone on the team is either a victim or the friend of a victim, giving them all a personal reason to hunt the killer down. And then Nanako gets kidnapped.
- Morphic Resonance: Unlike Personae of SEES which are more like the stylized interpretation of their mythologies, the Investigation Team's Personae are closer to their owners and/or their owner's Shadow Selves. Even as they evolve, their keep the same basic template they taken from their users as their previous formnote .
- The Power of Friendship: Plays a major role in plot and gameplay. The main character gets his strength from this.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The team consists of a second-year transferee, the class clown, a tomboyish kung-fu fangirl, the heiress to a prestigious hot springs inn, an infamous delinquent, a pop idol, a celebrated teenage detective, and some bear-like creature; all (save for the bear-creature) are in high school.
- Ramming Always Works: Half of their Cavalry Attacks involve this with Chie's being the most powerful.
- Reconstruction: Thanks to the Midnight Channel, the entire investigation team is painfully aware of the various flaws in their character types. Much of their S-Links are spent accepting and overcoming these flaws.
- Sempai Kohai: The Class 2-2 quartet are Kohai to Saki Konishi and Sempai (spelled and pronounced "Senpai" in-game) to Kanji, Rise, Ayane, Naoki, and Naoto.
- Sentai: Just for fun, Persona 4 Golden allows you to buy Phoenix Ranger Featherman R◊ costumes to wear for dungeon crawling; party members will even strike a pose after winning a fight!
- The Protagonist/Yu Narukami: Feather Hawk (Rednote )
- Yosuke: Feather Owl (Yellow)
- Chie: Feather Parakeet (Green)
- Yukiko: Feather Asasnote (Pink)
- Kanji: Feather Falcon (Black)
- Naoto: Feather Swan (Blue)
- Teddie: Feather Horned Owl (Silver/White)
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Everyone gets their moment during the final confrontation with the True Killer.
- Smart Ball: All of the characters have their own ways of thinking which help shine light on different aspects of the case.
- Yu is calm, levelheaded, and decisive. This is important to achieve the True Ending.
- Youske has good deductive reasoning and a knack for planning and strategy, if he's a little impulsive. Unfortunately this leads the team to focus on some red herrings.
- Chie is good at sniffing out rumors, gossip, etc., and occasionally hits a bull's eye with her wild theories.
- Yukiko has a non-linear thinking style that allows her to look at things from different angles. Problem is she doesn't put the pieces together until much later.
- Kanji can be surprisingly insightful at times, and is often the one who keeps the group focused on what they can control instead of what they cannot. His Hot-Blooded-ness can be distracting, though.
- Teddie knows the in's and out's of the TV world, and how shadows behave.
- Rise is the most socially sensitive of the group, giving her great insight into people's feelings and their behavior.
- And Naoto, being an actual detective, is perceptive, well-read, and great at logical reasoning. However, she has a problem of consistently not sharing her ideas with the rest of the gang.
- Specs of Awesome: Get these once they join the team. Wear them, and it's as if the supernatural fog in either world isn't there at all. Averted by Teddie, their creator, whose eyes are themselves lenses.
- Storm of Blades: The second phase of Yosuke and Teddie's Junes Bomber attack.
- Taking the Bullet: Any character with a sufficiently high social link will do this in battle. During the final boss fight all of your party members will do this to protect Yu from its instant death attack. It doesn't work.
- Those Two Guys: Why spend Christmas, vacations or Valentine's Day with your girlfriend or the fairer members of the cast when you can hang out with the fellas?
- Took a Level in Badass: They transform from a bunch of ordinary teenagers (some who are celebrities) with deep-seated issues to an effective fighting team with supernatural powers, that not only solves a murder case, catches the killer, but also take on a god-like being (and win). Also, when their Personas evolve.
- True Companions
- Übermensch: The True Ending implies that the protagonists have risen above ordinary humans in that they now have the ability to use and control their Personae (the masks that humans wear to deal with various ordeals and stimuli). If the Midnight Channel, the fog, and Izanami herself are indeed the Anthropomorphic Personifications of the human subconscious, then the protagonists have proven their egos to be more powerful than all of humanity's combined emptiness and strong enough to completely sweep away the delusions clouding the human subconscious.
- Deconstructed in Persona 4 Arena. The Malevolent Entity states that this is only temporary, and Personae have the ability to turn back into shadows at any time. All it takes is one Despair Event Horizon. The Entity's goal is to see this happen for reasons that are, as of yet, unrevealed.
- Victory Is Boring: Whenever the case looks resolved, the team becomes melancholic that their adventures are over, and that they'll have to go back to their normal lives. After Nanako seemingly perishes, this attitude is dropped and they're nothing short of relieved when they finally solve the mystery once and for all.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Save for Yukiko, Naoto, and the Protagonist (depending on how you play him), they love to tease, annoy, and bicker with each other.
- Yukiko, while better than most, is still Not so Above It All and will join in on the teasing. Mostly in regards to Yosuke, and later Kanji.
- Vocal Evolution: Keys into the Investigation Team's Character Development.
- Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World
- You Meddling Kids: They truly are the bane of the main villain.
- You Wouldn't Believe Me If I Told You: Pretty much the reason they can't tell anyone about their after-school activities.
The Protagonist/Yu Narukami
The Protagonist/Yu Narukami (AKA Souji Seta)
The silent protagonist who can be named by the player at the beginning
. His affinity is with the Fool Arcana, which gives him the ability to call forth multiple Personas, starting with Izanagi. He uses primarily two-handed weapons, including long swords
, baseball bats
and golf clubs
as weapons, has exclusive access to the Velvet Room, and occasionally encounters Oracle Cards in his mind that give him new Personas and also grants an Arcana Chance. He summons his Persona by crushing the card with his bare hand. The manga gave him the name Souji Seta, whereas the anime and the forthcoming fighting game will name him Yu Narukami, making this his Canon Name
. (The Golden
simply refers to him as "Hero" when it names the cast in the opening.
His parents moved a lot from town to town, forcing him to constantly change schools. Then, due to his parents having to work overseas, he has to move to the rural town of Inaba to stay with his uncle, police officer Ryotaro Dojima, and his six-year-old daughter Nanako. In his new school, he quickly made friends with class clown Yosuke Hanamura and kung-fu fangirl Chie Satonaka. Soon enough he learns about the 'Midnight Channel' and discovers his ability to insert his body to the television. This leads him into a quest to uncover the truth behind a series of inexplicable murders, in the process gaining a lot of friends and, when he has to leave Inaba a year later, lots of fond memories from an otherwise forgettable town. In the True Ending, his ultimate Persona is revealed to be Izanagi-no-Okami
He's one of the Investigation Team's three founding members (along with Yosuke and Chie) and its de facto leader (unlike the protagonist of Persona 3
). He sets the pace for the investigation, handles finances, and enacts all major decisions before the rest of the Team can act on them; he also leads the forays into the Midnight Channel and commands the group in battle. Because of this, the team never enters the Channel unless he is present (unless the course of action being taken requires searching both worlds, in which case they still never go further than the entrance).
- The Ace: If you max out all his stats (knowledge, understanding, expression, diligence, and courage). The trophy for doing so in The Golden is even called "Mr. Perfect", to the point Yosuke asks how perfect you are if you win the Midnight Channel Miracle Quiz finals.
- Almost Kiss: An optional scene in Golden has this happen between him and Teddie.
- Ambiguous Disorder: In the anime, Yu is a bit...odd. He definitely showcases some traits related to ADHD.
- Most of Yu's antics can be chalked up as "Rule of Funny" more than anything else. Why he does it is a matter best left to discussion forms.
- Ambiguously Bi: While the games provide no Gay Option, you're given several opportunities to have Yu express interest in the guys in the group.
- In Golden he can ask a middle aged officer for his number, which makes the officer anxious.
- Angel Unaware: He's how the Shrine actually grants the wishes posted on its emas. Even though he's not subtle about how he aids them, the people he helps still believe that the Shrine was the chief cause of the solution, which isn't too far from the truth.
- Animal Motifs: The helmet of his initial person, Izanagi, was modeled after a wolf's head. His Ultimate Persona, Izanagi no Okami has one that resembles a rabbit. This stands in stark contrast to how part of its name means Howling God, but perfectly fits with the Hare of Inaba myth.
- Attractive Bent-Gender: He's no Teddie, but he can rock a skirt and sailor suit better than anyone else.
- Badass: He can reprimand Morooka with "You calling me a loser?", summons Persona not by attacking his card with his Weapon of Choice, but by crushing it with his hands. Exaggerated in the anime: Yu basically takes out the bosses singlehandedly. It's gotten to the point where some Imageboards joke that he's obviously on a New Game+.
- Battle Aura: Deserves special mention; his Battle Aura is several times larger than those of the rest of the Investigation Team.
- Battle Couple: With any female party member, if romanced. But it best comes across with Chie in her Social Link.
- Beneath Suspicion: Dojima's instincts catch onto you and the investigation team almost immediately, but he can't bring himself to suspect the person who watches over his daughter.
- Berserk Button: In the entire compilation, Yu's only real weak spot is his Big Brother Instinct towards Nanako. While he does have other buttons, threatening his surrogate little sister is the only guaranteed way to make him lose his composure.
- A good example from the anime is when Mitsuo tried to do... something... to Nanako when she bumped into him at the grocery store, only to be scared away when Yu jumped to her defense with a rather uncharacteristic "Back off or I will hurt you." expression.
- Big Brother Instinct: Towards Nanako, to the point where he is the trope God.
- Big Brother Mentor: The Protagonist adopts this role with several of his Social Link contacts, notably Kanji and Teddie, and to a lesser extent Shu Nakajima and Naoki Konishi.note
- Big Eater: In the anime, Yu apparently likes to order the The Meat Lover's Combo.
- Blithe Spirit: His actions can help transform Inaba from a Crapsaccharine World to a much more pleasant Quirky Town.
- But Now I Must Go: He's only in Inaba for the year, while his parents are working abroad.
- Butt Monkey: Not so much during the "investigation" and "fighting" parts of things (He is a bona fide Badass after all), but sometimes during the "everyday life" elements of the game. For example, near the beginning of the game he gets hauled in by the cops because Yosuke thought waving swords around in a public place sounded like a good idea. (Note that Yu was just sitting there.)
- Catch Phrase: The anime turns some of the narration's comments from the game into phrases Narukami says, for instance "Let's leave him be" shows up a fair bit. "Calm down" is pretty much a catchphrase, especially as of P 4 A.
- Canon Name: He's named Yu Narukami in the game's sequel, Persona 4 Arena as well as in Persona 4
- Cassandra Truth: Can tell his uncle, as well as some social links, about what's really going on and what his involvement with the case really is, as well as telling his friends about the Velvet Room. Dojima assumes he's making it all up to hide the truth, in at least one instance with the social link they assume he's speaking of another murder case entirely and assume he's in Inaba for witness protection, and his friends think the Velvet Room is just a ghost story that "almost sounds true" when he says it.
- Celibate Hero/Really Gets Around: The Protagonist can be either one or anything in between.
- Character Development:
- The personality stats return from Persona 3, except there are now five attributes rather than three: Knowledge, Courage, Diligence, Understanding, and Expression. Maxing them out opens up new Social Links and gives you more dialogue choices.
- In the anime, Yu starts off as a quiet, reserved, stoic, somewhat shy and unmotivated individual. He gradually begins to open up, showing a kinder, friendlier, yet slighly perverted, but comedic side to his personality. In fact, he eases up on the poker face, smiling more often and showing more reaction to events around him, and takes more initiative in understanding/dealing with the people around him.
- Chick Magnet: By the end of the game, it's possible for Yukiko, Rise, Chie, Naoto, Ai, Yumi/Ayane, Marie, Margaret, and even Nanako to fall for him.
- Recognized in the anime. He's called a gigolo/Man-Whore by Margaret of all people. Nobody argues about this. Case in point. Why does his shirt open itself? Because it must.
- Persona 4 Arena also recognizes this, as Rise may refer to him as the "Legendary Ladies Man of Inaba".
- In Golden though, come Valentine's Day and you will feel like a bastard if you had all the girls as your lovers. You have to turn all of them down one by one, sending them into devastated, crying fits.
- Chivalrous Pervert: In the anime and an option in the game. In both cases, it leans more on the Chivalrous side because the girls rarely act negatively towards his come-ons like they do with Yosuke and Teddie.
- The Chosen One: Of three.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome:
- If you perform the Social Links, it is almost impossible to stop him from helping others.
- Parodied in the anime at first, as Yu doesn't so much agree to help people as get volunteered to at an almost alarming rate by others. Bonus points for the fact that Izanami more or less volunteered him to save Inaba on his first day in town However, later episodes play this straight.
- Combat Stilettos: Izanagi wears a bladed variant of these. They don't get in the way as he's capable of flight, and they're quite useful in cutting enemies in half with a solid kick.
- The Comically Serious:
: [Sweat Drop
] Dude, does anything
- Probably shown best when Yu and Yosuke get knocked into the river for making perverted comments to Yukiko and Chie. Yosuke is laughing and flailing about, while Yu is completely flat faced and falls like a rock.
- Cool Big Bro: Pretty much every social link with someone who's not older than you, and one you're not romantically interested in.
- Cool Old Guy: Get turned into an old man briefly in Naoto's dungeon in the anime. Rise leads the other girls in squeeing over him anyway.
- Cool Shades: He can make a simple glasses into one. Just look at the page cover.
- Covert Pervert: Some of his text options are pretty perverted. In the anime, his response to Shadow Yukiko talking about scoring a hot stud is to remark to Yosuke (coolly) that he wished he had taped it. As of Episode 7, he did start recording it. It's become something of a Running Gag that Yu and Yosuke will say something equally perverted, but only Yosuke will get hit for it. Chie even says at one point that the girls don't find it creepy when it's Yu whose doing it, but it is when the other guys are acting perverted.
- Curtains Match the Window
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: And he didn't even break an arm.
- Deadpan Snarker: Emphasis on Deadpan. Narukami has a dry sense of humor and a very strange one at that. When he's not being snarky he's known for acting like a Cloudcuckoolander because he finds it funny. This coupled with his Poker Face, makes it hard to tell if he's kidding or not. To provide examples:
(Yu sticks his hand onto the TV, only for Teddie to bite it.)
Yu: Something bit me.
Chie It left marks! Are you alright?!
Chie: No you're not.
Episode 6 Dojima gives Yu a rather gaudy pink swimsuit◊
for children's day, which Yu describes as being "Very fashionable" in a monotone voice. Episode 8; turns out he brought it with him for the camping trip and acts as if it's trendy.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Well, "Earn Your Bittersweet Ending" is probably more accurate.
- Eleventh Hour Super Power: Initiated by The Power of Friendship.
- Extreme Omnivore: You have the option of eating anything you find in the fridge, regardless of how inedible it is (at one point you can even eat a pot of grass.) He does get sick a few times, though.
- Face-Heel Turn: Adachi's S-Links in The Golden can make the Protagonist relate with him so much to the of point not exposing his crimes, leaving the town on schedule, invoking the Accomplice End.
- Fan Nickname: The Broswagonist
- Female Gaze:
- In the anime, after he summons Izanagi for the first time. The camera pans down his chest as he opens his jacket so he can breathe better.
- Episode 15, right before the King's Game starts and as it progresses. Yeah...he's pretty ripped.
- First Kiss: Margaret steals his in a moment of Genre Blindness to romance. Unless you date anyone else beforehand. In the anime, he gets his first kiss from Ai instead. In Golden, when it's at Valentines Day, it's Marie.
- The Fool: His initial Arcana.
- Friendless Background: Heavily implied in the anime, and this may actually explain his odd antics.
- Get A Hold Of Yourself Man:
- Does this to Yosuke in the manga and the anime when he meets his Shadow. He decks Yosuke in sync with Izanagi as it lands a good punch to Yosuke's Shadow. Then made hilarious by Yu's response:
Yu: (completely deadpan) Oops, wrong guy.
- Also, in the Normal/True Ending, he shouts down the entire team to calm down and make them reconsider avenging Nanako on Namatame, realizing something is off with the situation.
- Episode 26 of the anime has this happens to Yu himself, by Maragaret, in order to snap him out of his Heroic BSOD.
- The Glasses Come Off: He throws away his glasses when he summons Izanagi-No-Okami to punch out Cthulhu. It's epic.
- Good People Have Good Sex: Like in Persona 3, you are given the opportunity to sleep with almost any of the girls' whose Social Links you've completed. The scenes are not given explicit detail since this isn't an eroge, but it's heavily implied that both Yu's are very loving and gentle.
- Go Through Me: Toward the end of Naoto's social link the man the two had been tracking pulls a knife on her and you have the option to defend her, which has him run between the two. While this action is necessary to pursue her romantic social link ending, it's ultimately a pointless gesture as the knife was one of the stolen items, wasn't even a real knife, and was going to be returned to her.
- Good Is Not Nice: As Ayane points out, he can be pretty mean for a nice guy.
- Guile Hero: Saves almost everyone around him with words and simple emotional guidance.
- Hates Being Alone: This is Yu's secret weakness in the anime. He apparently was an unwilling loner before coming to Inaba, and it's implied that he has abandonment issues.
- Hair-Raising Hare: Izanagi-no-Okami
- The Heart
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: When the quality of your relationships actually power your Personas to fight against the Shadows, of course this trope applies.
- Hello, Insert Name Here: While the manga and anime give him a name, the initial game does not. In fact, The Golden simply refers to him as "Hero" when it lists everyone's names.
- Henpecked Boyfriend: In Episode 5 he plays the reluctant rebound-boyfriend for Ai. He's totally whipped.
- The Hero
- Heroic BSOD:
- Happens in Episode 12 of the anime, Yu is hit by a Lotus-Eater Machine set by Shadow Mitsuo in the form of experiencing his worst nightmare. All of his friends in the Investigation Team leaving his life gradually, Yosuke being the last to leave and ending with Shadow Mitsuo appearing in his room as Yu fails to summon any Personas as his Social Links have all broken. Shadow Mitsuo grows to a large size and begins strangling Yu to death. He snaps out of it by Yosuke bailing him out.
- It happens again in episode 21, when Nanako is kidnapped. When they find Namatame's truck, with both Namatame and Nanako gone, he completely snaps, to the point that Teddie has to physically restrain him as he attempts to dive into the TV to follow them (it was established earlier in both the game and the anime that entering any TV other than the one in Junes is extremely risky, and potentially too dangerous to attempt). Rise is able to talk him out of it.
- Episode 26, the True End episode of the anime, shows Yu exhibiting quite possibly the ultimate example of this: after seeing all of his Investigation Team friends dragged down to their deaths by Izanami, he becomes so broken that he forcibly—albeit unwittingly—traps himself in a Groundhog Day Loop of the day before he is meant to leave Inaba, just to he can spend more time with his friends. It takes getting slapped in the face by Margaret AND facing his Shadow to make him come to his senses and finally beat Izanami.
- Hot-Blooded: He's mostly stoic and calm in conversation but loosens up a bit during fights; shouting and throwing out the occasional swear word.
- Dojima believes that Yu inherited this quality from his mother.
- Hyperspace Arsenal: The other characters have easily concealed weapons, with exception to Kanji who could hide some of his weapons in shopping bags but not all of them (i.e. a desk). He doesn't and he carries all of the Shadow parts and useful things you find. The most common suggestion is that the Velvet Room has something to do with that.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: This gets more attention in the anime than the game. The Tanabata tree's options are half this, either expressing a desire to be able to spend more time with Nanako or to have a girlfriend.
- In the anime. Yu's biggest fear is that after the investigation is over, the group will go their separate ways and he'll be by himself again. Mitsuo's shadow exploits this fear and causes him to have a tremendous Heroic BSOD. It's possible that Yu has not had any lasting friendships before now, which would explain his Sugar and Ice personality.
- Episode 26 (the True End episode) has Yu finally face his own Shadow, who says that he doesn't even care if the world is lost in fog as long as it meant he did not have to go back to a life without any friends. Yu freely admits this as the truth.
- Implacable Man: Rise finds this out about him in episode 9. He can't be bargained with. He can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever..... until he gives you back your cell phone that you dropped.
- Improbable Weapon User: He can be equipped with a variety of unorthodox weapons, including shovels, mops and flags.
- In-Series Nickname: Yosuke calls him "Partner", Teddie calls him "Sensei", Nanako calls him "Big Bro", etc; in fact, most of the important characters have a different nickname for him, to avoid calling him by whatever name you gave him.
- Last Name Basis: In the anime, most people address him by his last name when they're not using a nickname. Though Yosuke eventually switches to First Name Basis, while flirty Rise always addresses him as such.
- Japanese Delinquents: He isn't actually one, but is often compared to one by fans and called one as a Fan Nickname. It became canon as of Arena, which described him as a "steel siscon banchou". Additionally, Izanagi's design deliberately invokes this kind of look, and his outfit for the cross-dressing pageant, specifically the seifuku with the long skirt and wooden sword, does so as well. In the anime, Yu even briefly plays the part during his bit in the pageant.
- Jerkass: Most of the dialogue trees in the game have at least one "asshole" option. However, the game discourages you from choosing these, as by doing so, it causes your friends to lose their trust in you, resulting in broken Social Links which leads to depowering your character's Persona growth potential. Dialogue choices tend to push him more into Deadpan Snarker and Obfuscating Stupidity territory. This becomes even more apparent during his Heroic BSOD-induced Groundhog Day Loop in the True End episode of the Anime, where he force-feeds Yosuke a spoonful of Yukiko and Chie's horrible food, and then later suggests they add mustard, whole-cut watermelon (with rind!), pudding cups, and GELATIN into the mix.
- Karma Houdini: Like the Persona 3 protagonist, it's possible to become romantically involved with about half a dozen girls all at once, with little to no hints that they know about each other, with zero consequence. This includes best friends Yukiko and Chie (that's an awkward conversation waiting to happen). UNLIKE the Persona 3 hero, it's not necessary to date them to get the max social link, so it's entirely up to the player if they want to have their cake and uh... eat it too. However, in Golden, you will be severely punished for it.
- Katanas Are Just Better: His weapon of choice in Persona 4 Arena.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: Shows signs of this if you follow the various 'Feed the Cat' sidequests. He can spend a whole afternoon doing nothing but petting a cat outside his house.
- In Golden, while hanging out with Kou in the evening, he remarks that the murders are a big shock to a town where the news is usually about a lost cat. One of the responses is asking about the cat's well-being.
- Knight Templar Big Brother: You're given the option to throw Namatame in the television in retribution for Nanako's death. Yu nearly DID do this in the anime, but managed to stop himself. Things will only get worse if you do.
- Large Ham: Yu has his moments in the anime.
- Last Name Basis: In the anime.
- The Leader: Type II in both the game and the anime.
- Lethal Chef: While Yosuke treats him as a Supreme Chef, especially in comparison to the girls, he can potentially be a lethal one when cooking school lunches, if the player chooses the wrong options. At one point, you have the option to spray cologne on creme caramel.
- Love Freak: Yosuke considers him to be "ridiculously nice".
- Manly Tears: Shortly after Nanako's death and the ruckus with Namatame in the anime.
- Meaningful Name: One reading of Yu Narukami approximately translates as "quiet thunder god". Narukami can also be read as "to become a god", foreshadowing how Yu manifests the World Arcana in the true ending.
- The Messiah/The Paragon: He helps almost everyone he meets overcome their deep-seated psychological issues, convinces his friends to spare the man who almost killed his cousin/little sister figure, and saves the world thanks to a literal application of the Power of Friendship. Attention is drawn to this by Igor and Margaret in the anime, who refer to Narukami as a "chosen one".
- Mr. Fanservice: Episode 15. Aw yeah...
- My God, What Have I Done?: In the Accomplice Ending, finally gets this reaction once he boards the train and gets a message from Adachi, who is the only person to see him off.
- Nerves of Steel: Except when it comes to ghost stories. He gets as freaked out as the rest of the crew.
- New Transfer Student: Apparently becoming a Signature Style for Persona protagonists, which is justifiable, as it's easy to portray a high school kid with no existing friends or acquaintances, thus avoiding potential problems arising from preexisting Social Links. The manga goes further and implies that he (as Souji) changes school almost every year.
- Nice Guy: In almost all canons, he is portrayed to be a very kind and caring individual.
- Not So Stoic: There are plenty of moments where he breaks his stoicism.
- After summoning Izanagi for the first time, he can be seen enjoying a taste of his new power.
- He often shows when he's concerned or surprised about something, rather friendly during conversations with his friends, and there's a distinctively afraid/shocked tone in his voice when he and his friends stumble into Mayumi's Shadow room during the first. episode. He also smiles at least once an episode.
- Played for Laughs in Episode 20, when Nanako asks if he and Teddie are perverts. Both of them go Blue with Shock.
- Yu suffers an emotional breakdown twice over the course of the series. The first time after having doubts of sparing Namatame and the second time when he willing allows himself to get trapped in a "Groundhog Day" Loop in the final episode.
- Off with His Head!: Combined with Your Head A Splode, this is Izanagi's preferred method of dispatching Shadows and does so with either its weapon or bladed footwear.
- Official Love Interest: Rise in the Manga.
- Old-School Chivalry: Usually, the Protagonist is quite a gentleman. Without any prompting from the player, he will almost always walk girls home or offer to protect them (although, sometimes the game allows you play a subversion).
- Omniglot: Based on the books in his room and several of his dialogue choices, he seems to have at least a basic knowledge of Korean, Spanish in English version (English in Japanese version), and French.
- Parental Abandonment: In the game itself, his parents are only mentioned two or three times. However, the manga states that he moves a lot due to their jobs, and implies that his self-reliant nature stems from a lack of their presence in his life (due to always being busy).
- Perpetual Frowner: His bangs and Izanagi's mask were designed to make the two appear as if they were always giving off a half-glare.
- Precision F-Strike: While he can curse several times throughout the story, one line in particular gets special mention because this is the one time he loses his temper and yells for the first and only time in the entire game… all to make the party reconsider killing Namatame.
"Calm the hell down!"
- They drop this line in the anime because, Yu having a lot more characterization than his game counterpart, it wouldn't have had as much "Omph!"'. So instead, he delivers this in response to the True Killer's Hannibal Lecture in Ep.25:
Yu: I've had enough of your Bullshit!note
- Promotion to Parent: His relationship with Nanako, due to the constant absence of her own father from her life.
- Punny Name: "Yu Narukami," his name in The Animation and The Ultimate in Mayonaka Arena, has caused quite a few bad puns among the English fandom involving the pronoun "You."
- The Quiet One: In the manga where he is allowed to talk, he (as Souji) is still awfully quiet, only speaking at crucial moments and when he's the one initiating a conversation; it creates quite a parallel to his Silent Protagonist role in the game. In the anime he — as Yu — is portrayed as a calm, composed, and soft-spoken individual.
- Real Men Wear Pink: The guy's a good cook, is seen taking care of children in one of his jobs while wearing an apron, and tutoring another kid in another job. Another job has him cleaning, while the other three are housework, not to mention how good of an influence he was in raising Nanako. Let's face it — the guy's the ideal House Husband in these regards... and also one hell of a Badass to boot.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Yosuke's red.
- Scary Shiny Glasses/Slasher Smile: The first time he summons Izanagi is a rare completely heroic example of both. Seen here from episode 1 of the anime.◊
- Sempai: In contrast to Persona 3's protagonist, he's older than most other characters and gets called this.
- Second Year Protagonist
- Selective Obliviousness: When Yu gets a confession, he'll generally pretend not to realize it happened if he isn't interested, such as with Chie or Yukiko. Of course, Ai assumes she got the same gentle brushoff during her rank 6 event, but during her last social link meeting she decides she has to be direct and make absolutely sure while assuming that she'll be shot down.
- Serious Business: For Yu, everything. It does not matter if it is solving the case, making origami or eating the rainy day special, he treats them all with the same focus and determination.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: In the anime, Yu is the one to kick of the team's (now legendary) retort to the True Killer.
: I've heard enough; It's all Bullshit
! No matter what you say, you won't get away with this!
And that, Is the TRUTH!
- Silent Protagonist: Averted in his appearances in The Animation and The Ultimate in Mayonaka Arena.
- Stealth Pun/Shout Out: This must be what the artists of the manga were thinking when they named the Protagonist after Seta Soujiro. That or just coincidence.
- The Stoic:
- He never speaks outside battle and often has the option to tell others to calm down; there are only two points in the game where he has the option to become visibly angry. The eyes of his model are pretty cold too.
- The anime adaptation also depicts him this way. In contrast to the other cast members he (as Narukami) is rarely fazed by extraordinary events, and he almost always keeps a straight face (to the point that it's difficult to tell how serious he is about some of the things he says - see Deadpan Snarker). Taken to absurd levels in the school trip episode, when he has the same serious expression plastered on his face as he's tossed over a cliff by Chie and Yukiko
- Stupid Sexy Flanders: Boy does he look good in that schoolgirl uniform and a wig.
- Superpower Lottery: Let's face it, he's the only character who has access to almost every Persona, and is the only character who is able to defeat Izanami because of his ability to upgrade his own and everyone else's Persona via The Power of Friendship. Even in comparison to his predecessor's Superpower Lotteries, he won it BIG time, and that's saying something.
- Supreme Chef: His friends treat his meals like the best thing they ever ate, he's asked to save the day by Yosuke when the girls are proposing to cook for an event and during this, if the player decides to make the omelette that will please Nanako the best, she's literally blushing with happiness.
- Take a Third Option: Invoked by the Protagonist himself.
- Kill Namatame for revenge, or let him live and hope he'll never kill again.
- Answer: Let him live because of suspicion of him "not" being the killer.
- In The Golden: Let Marie kill herself, or let her live and cause the world to disappear due to the fog inside her.
- Answer: Have the fog turn her into the monster, and Kill the monster itself instead of her.
- In a less serious matter, one rainy day finds Yu, Yosuke, Kanji, and Naoto outside with only Yu and Naoto having umbrellas. Yosuke and Kanji debate on who among them should go with who, Yu can opt to instead give the two of them his and go with her.
- Take Over the World: When Nanako sets up a tree for Tanabata, you're given the option to list this as your wish. Dojima's reaction to this is almost worth picking the option.
- Talking to Himself: Johnny Yong Bosch voices both him and Adachi. And you can let the both of them duke it out after The Reveal!
- Team Mom/Team Dad: Depending on some of your choices he can swing between one or the other.
- Team Chef: Among the Investigation Team members, he is the only one who can put together a good meal as an individual, though this is largely contingent on the player's own cooking skill. Canon in The Animation where Yu is shown to be a pretty good cook.
- Testosterone Poisoning: Izanagi's appearance was pointedly made to be as manly as possible.
- Thousand Origami Cranes: He can volunteer to fold origami cranes for charity as a part time job. The anime promotes this trope into his (as Narukami) hobby when killing time. He's pretty good at it too. He made a crane out of a paper napkin, which is harder to fold than regular paper. Episode 9 shows that Origami Cranes is Serious Business for Narukami.
- Interestingly, Yu drops this habit in the second half of the anime.
- Touched by Vorlons: Part of the reason his Superpower Lottery payoff was so large is due to having his powers granted to him by Izanami.
- Tranquil Fury: How he expresses his anger. Particularly in episode 23 when he comes within a hair's breath from tossing Namatame into the TV world (basically a death-sentence) in retaliation for Nanako's apparent death, and without any hint of emotion on his face. It's one of the most chilling scenes in the anime.
- Unwitting Pawn: One of the three people to whom Izanami granted the power to enter the TV. He represents "Hope." Sadly for Izanami, he refuses to accept her gambit and eventually turns his given power on her.
- Visible Silence: There is a whole series of dialogue options which are ellipses (".....") in the early days of the game.
- Warrior Therapist: Because tailing a serial killer (and incidentally saving the world) doesn't mean you can't save time to deal with the psychological issues of your whole team, your family, half your school and if we consider the Fox path, half the town. The therapy is so good he can end up seven-timing and somehow convinces his uncle that since he's so great, he can marry his own cousin. And let's not get started on all the mancrushes he can start.
- What an Idiot: In-Universe, Adachi cracks up at the protagonist in Golden's accomplice ending for actually burning the letters that could get him convicted. Not unjustified, considering his actions throughout the rest of the game.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Delivered to the entire Investigation Team in the Normal/True route — the only time he gets visibly angrynote — when the rest are contemplating killing Namatame.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: When the crossdressing competition occurs, you're given the option to enthusiastically admit that you signed yourself up for it.
- You Bastard: You felt awesome dating all of these lovely ladies at the same time right? Well, since Golden now includes Valentine's day, you have to make one lucky lady very happy and reduce the others to tears. The other FIVE of them.
- Rejected ALL SIX? Yosuke will berate you for hanging out with him, Teddie, and Kanji at Junes.
Yosuke is a second-year student at Yasogami. Because his father is the manager of Junes, the local department store, he is usually treated as an unofficial complaints box, much to his chagrin. He is the Main Character's best friend and is often the butt of his friends' jokes
. Although typically a bit of a Deadpan Snarker
, he has a soft spot for Saki Konishi, a third-year and an employee at Junes, whose murder acts as part of his initial motivation to join the Investigation Team. He dual wields various weapons
and his Persona is Jiraiya of the Magician Arcanum, which later evolves into Susano-O once the Magician Social Link is complete. His Personas cement his role as the party's Red Mage
: Yosuke can use physical attacks and Garu (Wind) magic fairly effectively, and he also has access to support spells that confuse and debuff enemies, augment accuracy and evasion, and provide minor healing.
During a trip to the Midnight Channel and after witnessing the Protagonist's Persona awakening, Yosuke was faced with the horrible truth: Saki has always hated him. When Yosuke refused to admit this, his Shadow emerges and taunts him that he's only being cheerful as a facade and sees everything, including Saki, as a tool to block out his extreme loneliness. Yosuke angrily retorted and it caused the Shadow to reveal its true form, but was eventually defeated by the Protagonist. Encouraged by the Protagonist and Teddie, Yosuke painfully accepts that he did feel that way, but he resolves to get better, which causes the Shadow to turn into his Persona. Yosuke later goes to co-found the Investigation team, along with the Protagonist and Chie.
Yosuke is the team's unspoken second-in-command. He helps coordinate the group alongside the protagonist, and will usually be the one to suggest new courses of action. He has good deductive reasoning (which serves well in the case), but is not the most perceptive of individuals and has a tendency to put his foot in his mouth.
His Shadow looks like him in a ridiculous ninja outfit, with a giant frog making up his lower body. It represents his resentment towards Inaba, his boredom and his wish for excitement. Aside from the reference to the original character Jiraiya, the frog theme is also a word play. In Japanese, "frog" is pronounced the same as "return" which plays in to Yosuke's desire to leave Inaba.
In his Social Link, Yosuke revealed that he initially hated Inaba, but has grown to love it and despite being hated by Saki, he did genuinely love her. He later reveals that he is jealous of the Protagonist and used the murder case to play hero and hide his insecurities. Yosuke later asks the him to punch him to get rid of his jealousy and they end up in a brawl; Yosuke realizes that he can form genuine, close relationships with people regardless of where he is, and resolves to live his life to the fullest. His Persona then evolves into Susano-O.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Played with — although he crushes on Saki, she secretly hates him. He's aware, though, that she must have disliked him, though he believes she was a good person at heart and decided that he'll still love her anyway.
- Yosuke also (halfheartedly) hits on Yukiko and Rise who both either ignore and reject his affections.
- Badass Longcoat: On Takehaya Susano-O.
- Berserk Button: Disrespecting Saki or the Protagonist. Hurting Nanako.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Among all the party members, he was the one most determined to kill Namatame after Nanako's apparent death.
- Blow You Away: Yosuke's specialty is Wind powers.
- Breakout Character: Yosuke stars in his own manga Spin-Off Persona 4: The Magician.
- Bromantic Foil: To the Protagonist.
- Bullying a Dragon: Yosuke does this to Chie in the anime where he often criticizes her at some points. The result is her attacking on him, even on a littlest insult.
- Butt Monkey: And he knows about this, complaining in the anime that nothing good ever happens to him/the guys of the investigation team.
- Calling Your Bathroom Breaks: At completely inopportune times.
- Casanova Wannabe: Has three crushes throughout the game, all of which don't turn out too well — Saki outright hated him (or at least her Shadow did), Yukiko shot him down, and Rise only has eyes for the Protagonist.
- Chivalrous Pervert: When it comes to Rise, at least. When her shadow offers to "bare it all" for her fans, he clearly can't decide whether to be worried or excited.
- Combat Medic: In the earliest parts of the game, his Persona can use healing and Wind spells. He fills this role until Yukiko comes along. Then he becomes a Jack of All Stats.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Demoted to Extra/Flanderization: Yosuke in the anime has much less overall importance than he did in the game, and is much more of a comedic character. This is probably the result of the fact that his role as Exposition Fairy is irrelevant when Narukami can speak for himself.
- Determinator: He will catch Saki's murderer no matter what.
- He's shown to be a rather diligent and hard worker whenever he's on the job at Junes.
- Dual Wielding: Whether it's knives, kunai, wrenches, or fish, he will always have one in each hand.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Yosuke pushes Teddie for calling the Protagonist "Sensei" and not getting respected.
Yosuke: Dude, you call him [Yu] Sensei and then don't show me any respect?!
- Everything's Better with Spinning: His Follow-Up Attack.
- Exposition Fairy: Shares it with others at times, but the trope most consistently applies to him.
- Facepalm: He does one during the episode 15 of the anime at the nightclub. The situation called for it.
- Female Gaze: In the anime, quite a lot of shots are focused on his butt.
- Flanderization: In the Anime. In the game, Yosuke acted as the unofficial mouth-piece for the Protagonist, so he was quite talented at deductive reasoning. This aspect of his character was given to Narukami in the anime, so Yosuke's Butt Monkey and Lovable Sex Maniac aspects have increased instead.
- Flower Motifs: Best showcased with his swimming trunks and how his Youthful Wind spell causes flowers to sprout around him and his allies. "Hana" is part of his last name after all.
- Foil: To Adachi. Both characters are initially furious that they have to live in Inaba, and feel above the city and everyone in it. While Adachi snaps, Yosuke overcomes it by forming relationships with those around him.
- Funny Afro: His tier 3 Persona, Susano-o No Okami, has a huge, flaming afro.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Averted with Yosuke's status as Butt Monkey. His Luck Stat is the worst of all the characters.
- Groin Attack: Tends to be given "Critical Hits to the Nads" by Chie.
- Taken Up to Eleven when Shadow Chie delivers a devastating kick to Jiraiya's crotch in the manga, which Yosuke feels of course.
- Handsome Lech: Was designed to be a rather handsome young man. In-universe, his peers think that he's good-looking enough to stand a chance at crossdressing, but this admiration is offset by him being "pure disappointment the moment he opens his mouth."
- Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?
- Headphones Equal Isolation: Yosuke is always seen with his headphones, either around his neck or on his ears. This seems to be done purposefully to make him seem unapproachable and keep a distance from others, as he wasn't particularly close to anyone in Inaba before Yu arrived. By the time of The Golden's epilogue however, he is seen without them.
- Honor Before Reason
- Hormone-Addled Teenager
- Improbable Weapon User: In addition to knives and maintenance tools, Yosuke can also use bones, maracas, and CORN against his foes. These joke weapons tend to have higher stats than their more serious counterparts.
- Innocently Insensitive: The first time he, Chie, and Yukiko meet Nanako he challenges Chie to a cook-off, offering to have Nanako judge and saying that one of them would probably "make something that ranks up there with your mom's cooking." Nanako points out that her mother died in an accident, and forgives him for saying that when he quickly apologizes.
- Insistent Terminology: Sure, you could call them scooters, but he'd rather you refer to them as motorbikes.
- Jack of All Trades/The Red Mage: Jiraiya has good buffs, physical skills, Garu spells and an odd healing ability. Towards the end of the game, he (and Jiraiya's successor, Susano-O) begins trending toward Lightning Bruiser, especially with good equipment.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold
- Jerkass Has a Point: When Chie suggests leaving the matter of Saki's death to the police, he snaps at her, telling her that they are really useless. He stresses that even if they told the police about the TV world, they probably wouldn't be believed. As soon as Adachi makes a visit and shows how naive he is, Chie realizes Yosuke is right about his statement. The trope is slightly twisted after The Reveal that Adachi himself is the killer, and he could have sabotaged them.
- Licking the Blade: He does this in the anime◊. He then claims these are fake. Not that it stops the police from arresting him and Narukami...
- The Lancer: Serves as this to the Protagonist, by virtue of effectively being his mouthpiece in the original game/Golden. Arena establishes that this is their canon relationship, with Yu & Yosuke being the ones who make the decision to reinstate the Investigation Team at the end of the game, the game explicitly stating that the two of them had discussed it the prior evening. Furthermore, Arena establishes/canonises that Yosuke is the more verbal of the two whilst Yu is far more reserved.
- The Lost Lenore: Saki is this to him, even after he learns what she really thought about him.
- Meaningful Name: "Yosuke" can mean "to give help" or "support", reflecting his role as a Living Emotional Crutch for many of his Junes co-workers and the pride he takes in helping others.
- Mr. Vice Guy: His vices primarily being bored of Inaba and difficulty considering the ramifications of his words and actions, which often leads to Moral Dissonance and his being on the receiving end of Laser-Guided Karma.
- The Not-Love Interest
- Number Two
- Potty Emergency: He has one when he first discovers the TV World with the Main Character and Chie.
- Promotion to Parent: He pretty much adopts Teddie as he's the only one who could feasibly house him.
- Real Men Wear Pink: In Golden's epilogue he's mostly eased up on his "Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?" stance, in a literal example of the trope.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to the Protagonist's blue.
- The Resenter: In the ending of his Social Link route, he admits he was jealous of how successful you were in everything you did, especially compared to him. Nonetheless, he knows he shouldn't feel that way, and he respects you for everything you do.
- Revenge Before Reason: He really wants to avenge Saki, and while usually one of the most rational and level-headed of the team, he tends to get more rash and impulsive whenever he gets (or seems to get) closer to accomplishing that goal.
- That Came Out Wrong: Has a knack for spouting out innuendo.
- The Headphones Go On: Only wears his headphones over his ears in combat.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: This is what he said to Chie when she started saying that he has a crush on Saki.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Responds to Adachi's Hannibal Lecture by saying "You're nothing but a worthless criminal".
- Small Name, Big Ego: Yosuke serves as an interesting aversion. He starts out with traits of this, but after Saki's death, he actually ends up as The Lancer.
- The First Cut Is the Deepest: During his Social Link event in the Protagonists room, Yosuke decides he can't be with a girlfriend until he avenges Saki...which is definitely not reflected in the main storyline.
- Small Town Boredom: Ultimately subverted, once he realizes how much he came to love Inaba.
- Stepford Smiler: Combined with Sad Clown, this quality tends to crop up whenever Saki is brought up and is much more obvious in his Social Link. Shadow Yosuke calls him out on this in the Animation, citing that he was one of these even before the events of the main game took place.
- Took a Level in Badass: He takes several levels throughout The Animation. When he first uses his Persona, he fails to even land a hit on his enemies. Near the end of the series, he not only gets more precise, but his spells become powerful enough to gravely injure a Reaper. He also saves Yu from death thrice and is the first to attain his Ultimate Persona.
- Troll: Shadow Yosuke is no better than Adachi.
- Yosuke himself is a more tame example, as he enjoys getting a rise out of people with some well-placed snark. He usually pays dearly for this though.
- Unfazed Everyman: He manages to be this despite having Persona powers, and is usually the one to Lampshade the weird stuff they encounter in the TV World.
After Teddie somehow grows himself a human body inside his suit.
Yosuke: What kind of creature would do that?! I mean… What IS he? […] *Sigh* Then again, this hardly the first bizarre thing we've seen…
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Chie. Also with Teddie, though it is more downplayed.
- Weapon Twirling: He does this while in battle and in the opening animation. It backfires when he nearly drops his dagger in both.
- What the Hell Are You?: To Teddie after he is unmasked to see nothing inside.
An upbeat girl with short light-brown hair who usually wears a green athletic jacket decorated with buttons. Her weapon is a pair of greaves. She has an obsession with kung-fu, and even uses them in battle, similar to Lisa Silverman
. Her obsession goes so far that she even attacks Yosuke over a martial-arts DVD. Most of the time, she is friendly, cheerful, and energetic, but has a short temper, especially with Yosuke. She, Yukiko and Rise are unskillful cooks, providing normally unpalatable to terribly awful dishes to the crew several times
Her Persona is Tomoe Gozen of the Chariot Arcanum, a muscular female wearing a yellow outfit reminiscent of Bruce Lee
's "Game of Death" costume, wielding a double-bladed naginata. Tomoe Gozen initially learns both physical techniques and Bufu (Ice) spells, but is not that proficient with magic and can only learn mid-level spells; Teddie later becomes the chief Bufu mage
. Tomoe evolves into Suzuka Gongen, who is wielding what can only be described as Darth Maul's
lightsaber, after completing The Chariot Social Link.
Chie's Shadow takes the form of a long haired, masked dominatrix supported by three pale Chies. The dominatrix has long black hair, similar to Yukiko's. It represents her jealousy of Yukiko's natural gifts and talents, as well as her wish and need of control over Yukiko.
Chie is the third founding member of the Investigation team. While not the smartest of the group, she's very attentive to the discussions and always has her ear to the ground for the latest rumors, gossip, and snippets of info regarding events in Inaba.
Through her Social Link, the Protagonist and Chie become closer through training together at the Samegawa Floodplain. He also learns how Chie and Yukiko first became friends: as children, Chie volunteered to shelter a dog Yukiko found but was unable to bring to her inn due to her parents' disapproval. Over time, the Protagonist learns of how Chie enjoys creating groups and titles for herself, in hopes of being feared by juvenile delinquents and protecting the weak. Hearing from a police officer that high schoolers have been bullying people in the Central Shopping District, Chie and the Protagonist coincidentally help. They first save Chie's middle school friend, who then calls the police. The second time, Chie makes the hoodlums run off just as they attempt to steal from a little boy. Once this occurs, the Protagonist has the option of beginning an intimate relationship with Chie. Depending on what the player decides, Chie will either go to train with the Main Character (friends) or go to his home (romance) and gives him some matching wristbands. Chie's resolve to help others and protect the team, especially the Protagonist, transforms Tomoe Gozen to Suzuka Gongen
. She also resolves to train as a police officer under Dojima's guidance.
In the extended true ending of Persona 4: The Golden
, She has become less self-conscious about not being seen as a girl by those around her. While still sporting her iconic black sports shorts, she now also has more feminine haircut, along with a black choker and a new frilly, floral-patterned jacket.
- Action Girl
- Adorkable: Thoughout her social link, Chie has a habit of embarrassing herself by putting her foot in her mouth.
- An Ice Person: Though she's more on physical beatdown, so she only learns up to mid-level Bufu skills. Teddie fills in this role more completely once he joins the party.
- Anger Born of Worry: As soon as the Protagonist and Yosuke return from the TV world with their Personas, she looks worried, but she gets pissed off soon enough after Yosuke asks her what's with the Cry Cute face.
- Armed Legs
- Awesome yet Practical: Her Follow-Up Attack, Galactic Punt, will instantly kill one enemy Shadow and literally blow them away. It has a 100% chance to hit and even works on mini-bosses.
- Badass: Considering she can possibly punt a tank into the stratosphere...
- Badass Pacifist: Decides at one point to take a beating for a little kid without defending herself to protect him and Yukiko.
- Battle Couple: The basis of her Social Link is her desire to become this. Which happens if you wish it to.
- Berserk Button: She's pretty easy to anger, but insulting Yukiko really pisses her off.
- Big Eater
Yosuke: The Meat Lover's Combo... Just like it says in the name, you really have to love meat to order it.
Kanji: Oh, you talking about that thing at the food court? I wanna try it, but it's always sold out...
Yosuke: Don't tell me, did Chie — D-Don't answer that. I'm not sure I want to know for sure that a friend of mine has the appetite of a starved wolf...
- If you romance Chie and take her to the summer festival, she'll admit that she feels self conscious about eating so much.
- The Big Girl: A position shared with Kanji.
- Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: Though spirited, she often has to play the Straight Man to Yukiko, Yosuke and Yu.
- Book Dumb: Zigzagged. Chie generally fails most exam subjects, but Yukiko states that Chie gets very good scores on those that she doesn't fail. She's also fairly attentive and tends to support conversations about the investigation pretty well.
- In the Golden's "Midnight Trivia Miracle Quiz", she's very good at answering questions related to food and battle.
- Bruce Lee Clone: Since she loves kung-fu movies, she's learned how to emulate her martial arts idol's fighting style during combat, complete with lines likes "Don't Think, Feel".
- The Golden even introduced Bruce Lee's iconic jumpsuit as a costume for her.
- Bully Hunter
- Bystander Syndrome: Earlier on, Chie suggested with Yosuke of letting the police handle the investigation on Saki's death.
- Cry Cute: Broke down crying in relief after the Protagonist and Yosuke made it out alive of the Midnight Channel during their second trip (sans Chie, who tried to keep them tied onto a safety rope, which promptly snapped moments after they enter the Channel).
- Made about a million times more adorable in the anime.
- Cute Bruiser
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Discussed in her Social Link.
- Dominatrix: Shadow Chie.
- Don't Look At Me: She says this to the Protagonist and Yosuke when they see her confronting her Shadow self.
- Comedically played with in the Golden; When the Fox gives her the track suit, she demands that the team, and even the fox, not look at her as she geeks out and maybe changes into it right then and there.
- Don't Think. Feel: One of her quotes at the end of battle.
- Dumbass Has a Point: Mixed with a bit of Self-Deprecation. She spouts the first theories that pop into her head when the Team is discussing the case, but occasionally everyone goes quiet when they realize she's absolutely right.
Chie: "Huh? Y-You guys think that's it? I-I was kinda expecting you to ignore it as Chie being random again..."
- Extremity Extremist: Everything she does in battle she does with her feet, even guarding.
- Fear of Thunder: Golden reveals that Chie is scared of thunderstorms.
- Flanderization: In the original game, although Steak was her Trademark Favorite Food it was only brought up a few times. In Golden this turns into a full blown obsession with all types of meat.
- Food As Bribe:
- Inverted in the anime. When Yu and Yosuke return from their second trip into the TV World in the second episode, she says the only way she'll forgive them is if they buy her 10 orders of both beefsteak and nikudon.
- Inverted and played straight in the game. Chie makes Yosuke buy her food as repayment for destroying her DVD and he bribes her and Yukiko with steak when he and the protagonist devour their noodles.
- Glass Cannon: Suffers from Physical Skills which consume HP and mediocre defense. However, she hits like a truck once God's Hand comes along and has a skill that can instantly kill enemies.
- He Is Not My Boyfriend: Happens several times with Yosuke.
- During her festival date with Yu as her romantic partner, she has a kneejerk reaction to a vendor calling Yu her boyfriend, only to realize that that is in fact, true.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: While it's downplayed, if you ever pay attention to Chie's dialogue, she has a nasty habit of putting herself down whenever she praises anyone else. Her shadow actually attacks her on her Inferiority Complex, accusing her of being friends with Yukiko because it makes Chie feel better about herself.
- I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: Chie's romantic social link ends up as this on Valentine's Day, as she is surprised that the protagonist would choose her over someone like Yukiko, Rise, or Naoto.
- Irony: When Rise says she'll need the help of the entire Investigation Team to perform at the Junes Concert, Chie panics and says, "I'm no idol!" Around a year later, she was revealed to be on the initial roster of Persona 4: Dancing All Night.
- Kick Chick: "HWA-TAAAAAAA!"
- Kneel Before Zod: Part of her Shadow's dominatrix theme.
- Last Name Basis: At the beginning only, Yosuke calls Chie by her last name two times; first when he returns her DVD in a panic, and second when he offers her a drink. He calls her by her First Name Basis for the rest of the game onwards.
- Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone: While Yu is in a monogamous relationship with Chie, the girls of the Investigation Team will attempt to leave the two of them alone during Valentine's Day. Neither catches on until Yukiko all but spells it out by accident, prompting Chie to eventually flee to meet up with Yu later, much to Yosuke's amusement.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Decides to run off after Yukiko early in the game. As she is not a Persona-user at this point, this does not end well.
- Light 'em Up: Gains Hama spells from her social link in Golden.
- Magikarp Power:
- She stops gaining useful Physical and Bufu Skills by the time you get Kanji and Teddie, at least mid-game. This leaves her with only "medium" damage skills for a long time. Once leveled high enough though, she learns multiple powerful skills in rapid succession, like God Hand, Agneyastra, and Power Charge.
- If you Max her S Link in Persona 4 Golden she learns Dragon Hustle (Buffs all allies Attack, Defense, and Agility for 3 turns). Think of it as Persona's version of Luster Candy.
- Modesty Shorts
- My God, You Are Serious: When she asks Yu what his study habits are like on the way to school, this is her response if you choose the option to say that you don't ever study.
- The Other Chie: Erin Fitzgerald replacing her original voice actor, Tracy Rooney.
- Orwellian Retcon: Her original VA is Tracy Rooney. When they replaced her with Erin Fitzgerald, the latter voiced her in every single appearance afterward (even rerecording all of Rooney's lines in Persona 4: Golden).
- Poisonous Friend: Was jealous of Yukiko because she was more feminine and popular than her.
- Psychotic Smirk: Shadow Chie has a particularly frightening one.
- The Resenter: Shadow Chie
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: With Yukiko.
- Roundhouse Kick: How she breaks her Persona card.
- Rule of Three: Haraedo-no-Okami is a composite of three Shinto godessess, is Chie's third-tier Persona, and its unique Dragon Hustle spell buffs the party's Attack, Defense, and Hit/Evasion Rate.
- Sick and Wrong: Her response to Yosuke having come to the school camping trip with swimsuits picked out for her and Yukiko just on the off chance that they wouldn't have brought their own.
- She's Got Legs: Yosuke doesn't think so. Yu, on the other hand, thinks that "they're fine."
- Status Buff: Her Dragon Hustle is perhaps the most powerful and costly kind of this spell in the game, effectively casting Heat Riser on the entire party in one fell swoop.
- The Straight Man: Alongside Naoto, she's this to most of the Investigation Team.
- This Is Unforgivable: Her opinion on the killer kidnapping females as she comments he's a pervert.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Meat in general, but especially steak. She can also give you meat-flavored gum if she's not in your active party and talk to her in a dungeon when there's not a victim needing to be rescued.
- Tomboy: Including the common traits:
- Tsundere: She has moments of this. Yosuke is usually on the receiving end of the "tsuntsun" (including critical hits to the nads) while Yukiko gets a good part of her "deredere."
- A Twinkle in the Sky: Her "Galactic Punt" Follow-Up Attack.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Yosuke.
- Whip It Good: Part of her Shadow's dominatrix theme.
- Why Did It Have to Be Bugs?: Her entomophobia, revealed during her third Social Link Event.
- Zettai Ryouiki: With the right equipment she goes all the way to rank A.
Yukiko is the only daughter of the owner of the Amagi Inn, and thus the heir to the generations-old family business. Despite that, she is a terrible cook
. She is a smart girl, but quite socially awkward, with only Chie as her true friend. She fights with a fan
, but is most suited for heavy magic fighting
. Her Persona is Konohana Sakuya of the Priestess Arcanum, and later evolves into Amaterasu. Yukiko fits the role of both
the White Mage
and the Black Mage
, learning powerful healing spells (including one that fully restores the entire party's HP!) as well as destructive Agi (Fire) spells.
When Yukiko was kidnapped and thrown into the Midnight Channel, it created a dungeon in the form of an European castle, while her Shadow masqueraded as a princess continually searching for a "prince" to whisk her away. The castle and her Shadow were born of her repressed yearning to break free from her designation as heiress to the Inn, instead privately wishing for someone to alleviate her responsibilities. The Protagonist, Yosuke and Chie manage to defeat her Shadow, and she becomes a member of the investigation team.
Yukiko's Shadow looks like a giant, red-feathered bird with her head, kept inside a giant birdcage atop a chandelier — a literal "bird in a gilded cage", reflecting how Yukiko views her life.
In the the earlier stages of her Social Link, Yukiko still desires to leave Inaba and pursue interior design to learn to fend for herself. However, friendly teasing from the Inn's staff and pestering from an irresponsible TV crew
who want to make a program that will ruin the reputation of the Inn eventually made her realize that she had a supportive family and friends that she wants to help and defend. She resolves to accept her duty and manage the inn, evolving her Persona. She is also a possible Love Interest
for the Protagonist depending on player actions in the S. Link.
In the extended true ending of Persona 4: The Golden
, she has become more confident in herself and far less worried about standing out. Yukiko no longer wears red all the time, instead sporting a simple blue and white dress when you meet her, and now wears her hair in a bun.
- Action Girl
- Adult Fear: Her family's inn goes through bad times to the point she has to leave school to provide assistance, causing her to fear for her future. Before getting her Persona, she desires to run away and thinks she can't do it alone. Post-Persona, when she drives out the Paparazzi, the Amagi Inn starts to recover and she decides to stay, to take charge of the Inn and be with her family.
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: A subversion. Though she has the looks and is thought as aloof and hard-to-get by her peers, Yukiko is revealed to be a complete goofball who laughs at the silliest jokes, has a hidden perverted side, and gets really excited about telling scary stories when she's comfortable with the people around her.
- Armor-Piercing Slap: Quite mean, too, as Kanji can attest.
- Betty: To Rise's Veronica.
- Beware the Nice Ones: She is scary when provoked. She manages to scare away paparazzi trying to take advantage of her inn and she politely and sweetly blackmails Kanji into joining the cross-dressing pageant. Also, this line from the anime:
Yukiko: (about Shadow Kanji) I say we reduce him to ASH next time we see him!
Yu: Sounds good.
Chie: Don't forget guys, we have to find Kanji!!!
Yukiko: (disapointed) Right....
- Black Mage: Her enormous magic stats aside, her 3rd tier Persona skill is the only overtly offensive one.
- The Cameo: In Persona 3 Portable's female protagonist route, when the PC's sports club goes to a summer fellowship in Inaba and stays at the Amagi Inn. She's younger and has shorter hair, and impresses the Gekkoukan students with her looks and maturity.
- Casting a Shadow: Gains Mudo spells if you level up her social link in The Golden.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: None of Yukiko's Personas are immune or even resistant to Darkness spells. If an enemy repels her Mudo spells back on her, there's a very low probability of her surviving it.
- Character Select Forcing: The only member of the team aside from Teddie to get anything other than pitiful heals and that character is more of a support role, while Yukiko also has hard hitting Agi spells. A variant happens during a stakeout early in the game, you get the choice to team up with Chie, Yosuke or Yukiko, but circumstances will always leave you with Yukiko.
- Cherry Blossom Girl: Her initial persona fits the visual themes. Yukiko provides the personality.
- The Chick: Shares this position with Rise.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: If the Protagonist takes Ai on a date on a Sunday, Yukiko catches them together. She questions him on it, snaps at Ai for interrupting, scares her off and spends the rest of her day with him as if nothing was wrong.
- Cloudcuckoolander: She has, on more than one occasion, been shown to have a somewhat out there thought process.
- On the other hand, her "Outside-The-Box" observations come in handy more than once.
- Combat Hand Fan: Fitting her role as The Ojou, her Weapon of Choice is a fan.
- Comically Missing the Point: Tends to take gross exaggerations and accidental Double Entendres at face value.
- Covert Pervert: She's usually the shy one, but get her a little tipsy and see what happens. Or better yet, make her think she's drunk and watch her inhibitions fly out of the window.
- Give her one of the sexier alternate costumes when in an intimate relationship with her. She's happy to dress up, but she would prefer it be in private...
- Deadpan Snarker: The anime occasionally shows her taking a level in snark. Particularly against Yosuke:
Yosuke: (at Junes, with the rest of the gang) Still, don't you feel sorry for Nanako, bringing her here of all places?
Yukiko: (indifferently) Yes, I feel sorry for her.
Yosuke: You didn't have to rub it in!
- She does this in Golden as well during the ski trip. When Yosuke is about to suggest something for the rooms being coed, she immediately cuts him off with a no. Her response to him saying she should have let him finish?
Yukiko: Oh, were you going to suggest that we play cards?
- Distaff Counterpart: Golden's extras explain her initial persona is a feminine version of Izanagi.
- Ditzy Genius: While a straight-A student, she does have a peculiar thought process when it comes to certain topics, like taking strange delight on someone described as "legendary".
- Drunk on Milk: During the King's Game.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: ...Unless they're the malevolent manifestation of your repressed emotions.
- Girls Are Really Scared of Horror Movies: Subverted. She's the only member of the Investigation Team utterly immune to creepy ghost stories. And she's the best at telling them. The type of movies she's most interested in seeing are horror films, also. She's actually able to dissect the film and explain what made it suspenseful and exciting.
- Gold and White Are Divine: Her second Persona, Amaterasu, and her final Persona, Sumeo-Okami.
- He Is Not My Boyfriend: She goes out with Yu so much that her family starts to assume he is. She denies it. But at that point, it's pretty clear that even when she's shouting this trope, she really wants to be proven wrong.
- Hime Cut: Part of her Yamato Nadeshiko image.
- Hot-Blooded: In spite of what you might think based on the rest of her characterization, she is aggressively enthusiastic about wiping all shadows from existence. This is rather fitting considering her element, which can also qualify as her own touch of iron.
- Humor Dissonance: Invoked, Yukiko finds humor in the most bizarre places. Her friends just leave her be.
- The Hyena: Her laughing fits can last for several minutes. Chie even calls her a "crazy hyena" once (or "Demon Queen" in the Japanese version). This only makes her laugh harder.
- I Need to Go Iron My Dog: If the Protagonist takes the friendship route after her Love Confession, she quickly says she has errands to run and runs off on the brink of tears.
- I Will Wait for You: Essentially what she tells the protagonist. She'll never stop loving him, and on Valentine's Day in Golden she says she'll wait for his return so they can be married.
- Klingon Promotion: She says that if she had been born a boy or if there was a precedent for female leaders in Neo Featherman, she would have battled you for the Red Phoenix Ranger position.
- Lady of War/Lady of Black Magic: In accordance with her Yamato Nadeshiko exterior, she is very graceful on the battlefield.
- Lethal Chef: Not always lethal, as she manages to make "flavorless" food later on. The stuff she gives to the Protagonist, however... well, you need a high Courage stat to actually eat it, so let's leave it at that.
- She believes that adding squid ink to chocolate would help give the treat some "character", entirely basing this assumption on how the two are of a similar color.
- Lonely Rich Kid: Before meeting Chie.
- Lost Food Grievance: Her fried tofu.
- Love at First Sight: She confesses this was the case to the MC on Christmas Eve.
- Loved I Not Honor More: When romanced, she repeatedly expresses that she's aware the Protagonist will leave to return home one day, but it doesn't stop her from loving him.
- Love Hurts: She takes the MC's friendship choice harder than any other female on the Investigation Team, and leaves hints of lingering bitterness in certain costume dialog segments and on Valentine's Day. But she ultimately accepts his friendship.
- The Maiden Name Debate: On Valentine's Day, she says the Protagonist will have to take her surname when they're married for the sake of the Amagi inn.
- The Medic: This aspect of her Persona alone is going to make her a character you keep in your party for a long time, especially since she learns the mother of all healing spells at level 74. note It also makes a lot of sense given that the Arcana she represents is The Priestess, i.e. the kind of person you would expect to be a healer.
- Meet Cute: Technically their second meeting, but the Protagonist runs into her when she's wearing a Kimono. Subverted if the player decides not to romance her.
- Never Live It Down: In-universe — Shadow Yukiko once said she wanted to "score with a hot stud." Teddie brings it up sporadically throughout the game.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Absolutely adores ghost stories, as shown in the ski trip.
- Nonindicative Name: "Yuki" is a name more often associated with "snow." Although, she initially feels that it's a Meaningful Name because she's "worthless" like snow.
- Not So Different: From Rise during the King's Game. The two of them fit the Betty and Veronica love triangle for the protagonist, but when both of them were "drunk" off their asses, they joined forces in making the game as lewd and sexual as possible. In fact, the two of them turn it into a full-blown harem in the anime, along with a mortified Chie.
- Ojou: Of a generations-old inn.
- Parasol of Prettiness: Only with the pink yukata.
- Parents Know Their Children: In Golden, her Social Link concludes with her finding out her parents and everyone at the Inn knew she was planning to leave the whole time, and that they would love and support her no matter what she chose. If romanced, they also support her marrying the Protagonist.
- Playing with Fire: Yukiko's primary attack spells are fire-related.
- Precision F-Strike: Yukiko rarely swears, so if she tells you to shut the hell up as she does to those reporters in her Social Link, you know she's angry. Shadow Yukiko's speech is practically a Cluster F-Bomb by her standards.
- Proper Tights with a Skirt: She's the poster girl.
- The Red Mage/White Magician Girl: In combat, she straddles the line with her powerful Agi skills but her personaily fits the White Magician Girl stock character type in addition to being one of the resident Medics.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: With Chie.
- Ryokan (inn): The Amagi Inn of course. She's going to inherit it and is the Goddess of the trope.
- Saying Too Much: During the King's Game scene, in a moment of drunken silliness she accidentally spills the beans about the Shadow World and the Personas to Naoto. Then again, she didn't believe it.
- Shipper on Deck: Regardless of whether Yu romances Yukiko, she thinks that Chie and Yosuke would make for a cute couple.
- Shrinking Violet: She appears this way at first, but as she gets more comfortable around the Protagonist and Yosuke, her true personality traits emerge.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Calls out Adachi on his poorly contrived Freudian Excuse for his actions.
- Silk Hiding Steel
- Squishy Wizard: Probably the worst character in terms of defensive stats, but boy does she hit anything not resistant or immune to Agi like a truck.
- Through His Stomach: The most blatant example out of the girls. She knows she's a horrible chef, but she uses her attempts to get better as an excuse to go on not-dates with the Protagonist, with the aim of one day making something that pleases him. In the friendship route, she finally gets it right.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The girly girl to Chie's tomboy.
- Troll: Mildly so. When it's time to induct Kanji, she has Teddie give him two pairs of failed Groucho Glasses (which she and a reluctant Chie tried out earlier) before finally handing him the real ones. Needless to say, she's not the only one who gets a good laugh.
- Tsundere: Shows shades of being a Type-B in the game (mainly getting violent when the males act perverted), but is definitely a Type-B in the Anime.
- Useless Accessory: Don't expect her personas, Amaterasu or Sumeo-Okami to ever use those katanas.
- White Magician Girl: She's the best healer in the game (only surpassed by The Protagonist given the right Persona), the most gentle player character, uses a blunt weapon that amplifies her spells and is a potential love interest. The only way she steps outside this trope is her repertoire of hard-hitting Agi spells.
- Yamato Nadeshiko: Played with. She fits the archetype, then her Shadow deconstructs it and shows its opposite. She ultimately shows a modern version of this trope: soft spoken, strong-willed and polite yet not afraid to stand up to herself and get dangerous if necessary, as an unfortunate group of paparazzi discovered.
A delinquent whose mother runs a textile shop that the Amagi Inn frequents. Despite his brash outlook, he cares a lot for his mother
and is skilled at handicrafts
, which caused people to shun him for having "girly" hobbies
, which made him question his sexuality
. He fights with brute force using chairs, tables, plates, etc
, and his Persona is Take-Mikazuchi of the Emperor Arcanum, which evolves into Rokuten-Maoh; it deals heavy physical attacks and learns a few Zio (Lightning)
When thrown into the Midnight Channel, it generates the Steamy Bathhouse dungeon. His Shadow masquerades as him wearing nothing but a towel
and speaking like a Camp Gay
looking for "love". It later taunts Kanji as a gynophobic because women shunned him due to his hobbies, but Kanji refused him, causing the Shadow to show its true form and was later defeated by the Protagonist. Accepting his flaws, Kanji joins the Investigation Team and at the same time, starts re-attending Yasogami as a first-year.
Kanji's Shadow takes on the form of his upper body atop a ridiculously masculine male form with a rose garden where the head should be, carrying two Mars symbols which it uses as weapons and flanked by two Macho Camp
bodybuilders. This ludicrous exaggeration of masculinity and homosexuality is a distillation of all of Kanji's fears about his orientation.
In his Social Link, Kanji meets a boy who lost his doll and to cheer him up, he makes him a doll, which turns out to be so impressive he orders more. Kanji was later accused of bullying said boy
, but the Protagonist encourages him to tell the truth instead of hiding it. Eventually, Kanji learned to like and take pride of his hobby and opens up his own handicraft class.
In the extended true ending of Persona 4: The Golden
, he has stopped trying to assert his masculinity to others. He can be seen with now unbleached black hair and a pair of glasses. His attire has similarly changed, as he now dresses in a simple short-sleeved button up white shirt and black dress pants.
- Adorkable: Basically sums him up, once you get past his tough-guy exterior.
- All of the Other Reindeer
- Ambiguously Gay: By design. It zigzags during school trips, and then of course there's what happens with Teddie during the King's game. The Golden adds a few scenes that some would argue makes things much more explicate, but it's mostly just Ho Yay with Yosuke and is played for laughs so it's still up in the air.
- Ambiguously Bi: While Kanji does question his sexuality a lot and does have feminine personality traits, he also shows attraction to Naoto, even after finding out her true gender. During the camping trip, he's also visibly appreciative of the sight of Chie and Yukiko in their swimsuits.
- Camp Gay: Shadow Kanji is designed to be this, as he represents Kanji's insecurity with his sexuality and other issues brought about by his softer, more feminine personality traits.
- Macho Camp: Shadow Kanji's minions.
- Badass: He fights off an entire biker gang with a shield — all because the noise they made woke his mother up. In the Anime of the Game, he didn't even have that — meaning he took them all down barehanded.
- Berserk Button: Implying that he's gay ("YOU SAYIN' I LIKE DUDES?!"). Or insulting Naoto.
- Big Eater
- The Big Guy: A position shared with Chie.
- Billy Elliot Plot
- Bi the Way: Speculated by Fanon, due to his attraction to Naoto Shirogane before and after he knows she's really a girl and his own comments that he's most afraid of rejection, and it doesn't matter whether it comes from men or women.
- Big Brother Worship: Downplayed, but Kanji's mom tells the protagonist that Kanji went on and on telling her about him.
- Book Dumb: But very good at arts and crafts and beating the crap out of people.
- Bullying a Dragon: Yu, Yosuke, and Teddie tend to give him a lot of grief when they hang out as a quartet.
- Butt Monkey
- Cannot Spit It Out
- Chairman of the Brawl: One of his main weapons is a steel chair. As of Arena it's become his signature weapon.
- Coat Cape: Provides the current trope picture.
- Comically Missing the Point: He's completely oblivious to social subtleties, leading to him asking obvious questions.
(After finding Rise and the Protagonist alone in a mountain shack)
Chie: Huh... They're still dressed.
Kanji: Why would they take their clothes off, in this freezin' weather?
Naoto: Do I really have to spell it out for you?
- Cooldown Hug: How he ultimately accepts his Shadow in the Manga.
- Cuteness Proximity: He had one of these moments when he first met Teddie, even asked if he could pet the little guy.
- Deadpan Snarker: He has his moments. Particularly in the anime's English dub.
- Disappeared Dad: He's dead, and according to Kanji's mom, Mr. Tatsumi collapsed and died when Kanji wasn't at home.
- Does Not Like Women: Before his trip inside the Midnight Channel. He developed a phobia of women because, though he has a lot in common with them personality-wise, they all mocked him for not behaving like a "real" man and rejected him. He found guys much easier to get along with, but at the same time he felt he had to hide those feminine aspects of his from them. How responsible this may be for his sexuality is left ambiguous.
- Dumb Muscle: It's rather self-designated as he is neither very good at nor interested in the more intellectual processes of the investigation.
- Dumbass Has a Point: When talking with him with Naoto in the group while he's in his Halloween costume, he mistakenly identifies Frankenstein's Monster as Frankenstein. Naoto corrects him and explains the story to him, only for him to come to the conclusion that Frankenstein was the real monster of the story, not the Creature, for abandoning his "child" for being ugly. This completely catches her off guard.
- Kanji's also pretty good at keeping focused on The Big Picture. There are several points in the story when the rest of the team become discouraged, only for him to step up to the plate with "Hey, look at what we've done already! Can't give up now! We just need to focus on what we can do right now."
- Dynamic Entry: Kanji's way of saving the Protagonist from danger is drop-kicking him out of the way.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Despite being one of the most dreaded local thugs, he's actually a total Momma's Boy. The cause of his infamous beatdown of a biker gang? They were making too much noise and bothering his mother.
- Everything Is Better With Penguins: The secret Animal Cracker!
- Face Palm of Doom: One of his Supers in the fighting game is this. Considering his Japanese voice actor, can you say Shining Finger?
- Gayngster: Subverted in that he's not really part of any criminal group. The jury's still out on whether he's gay, though.
- Genius Bruiser: Very good at arts and crafts. Also capable of beating up 100 Bozu all by himself and, in the games, has been fighting off his Shadow on his own for several nights before the others show up to help him.
- Glass Cannon/Mighty Glacier: Depending on how you use him; Kanji has higher HP and Endurance than Chie, but his Persona's Physical Skills burn away through his HP quickly. If you have him stick to basic physical attacks, he'll do less damage but will be very difficult to take down.
- Magic Knight: Surprisingly, he's a decent magic user as well, with some powerful Shock Spells, plus a few buffs.
- Gratuitous English: Nice Guy (one of Shadow Kanji's minions) in the anime.
- Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: His defensive attitude about his masculinity and sexual identity verges on this early on. His social link is mostly spent helping him getting past it. It also eases up a fair amount once Yosuke stops holding his shadow against him.
- Healing Factor: In the Golden, he's capable of learning the Regenerate spells if his Social Link is high enough that serve to stymy the high cost of his Physical Skills somewhat.
- Heel-Face Turn
- Hopeless Suitor: Towards Naoto.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: In his association with Naoto.
- Improbable Weapon User
- Shield Bash
- Throwing Your Shield Always Works
- Made especially improbable by the fact that he's supposedly concealing these weapons under a school uniform somehow. Of course, even if the townfolk do see these weapons, it's not likely that any of them would tell him not to carry them around.
- Another theory is that he uses a shopping bag to smuggle them in.
- In Golden, his Cavalry Attack has him using a bicycle as a weapon.
- Japanese Delinquents: Just LOOK at him.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The God of them, though the "jerk" side stems more from his temper.
- Knuckle Cracking: His idle battle animation.
- Large Ham
- Leitmotif: The track Time for True Revelation from the anime seems to have become his Theme Song.
- No Bisexuals: He's attracted to Naoto, but she's a girl. Not that he knew that before becoming attracted, but he still continues to like her. To hear Yosuke and everyone else talk, though, the possibility of bisexuality doesn't exist. Not that it's talked about much in the first place.
- Could be Justifed in that they live in a small town in Japan (which is rather conservative sexually.) They probably don't really know about bi, pan, or transsexual.
- Noodle Incident: An incident where he single handedly beats down a biker gang.
- Nosebleed: Suffers one after seeing Chie and Yukiko in bikinis for the first time. Another instance (in the anime) is during the school's beauty pageant, when he sees Naoto being reluctant to come out on stage also in a bikini.
- No True Scotsman: His identity issues are mostly caused by his love of cute and flamboyant things and delicate artistry. Most people, especially girls, considered this improper behavior for a man. Kanji's Shadow summarizes:
(mockingly) "'But you're a guy.' 'You don't act like a guy.' 'Why aren't you manly?'"
(angry) "What does it mean to be 'a guy'? What does it mean 'to be manly'?"
- Oda Nobunaga: His ultimate Persona is "Rokuten-Maoh", it was actually a shortened version of "Dairokuten Maoh" AKA Demon King (a random encounter demon in Persona 2), which is based on Nobunaga.
- The Other Kanji: Troy Baker is replaced by Matthew Mercer as of Episode 15 in the anime.
- Pointy Ears: He's given a pair of elven ears in the anime.
- Pure Awesomeness: The Man's Way is punctuated by a bevy of Cherry Blossoms gently raining on the battlefiels, followed by enemies either getting dizzy or knocked on their asses.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Deconstructed, and not just by his Shadow. Kanji's entire list of self esteem issues can be traced back to the fact his feminine interests and behaviors have elicited scorn from other guys and from girls alike.
- In Episode 22 of the anime, when Nanako is in the hospital, he buys pink wool so they can knit animals together when she's feeling better.
- Reconstructed with his Social Link, which is about getting him to overcome his doubts and accept that his interests don't make him unmanly, which means he can and should ignore anyone who says otherwise.
- Serious Business: Animal Crackers, especially finding the secret penguin cracker.
- Shock and Awe: His primary attack spells are lightning spells.
- Shrinking Violet: Around Naoto.
- Single-Target Sexuality: Ambiguous as his orientation is, Kanji only ever shows an attraction to Naoto, both before and after The Reveal.
- He shows some modest attraction to Yukiko (and to a lesser extent, Chie), outright blushing at points when innuendo relating to her crops up.
- On the flip side, he is the only IT male to not be attracted to Rise in the slightest.
- Sissy Villain: His Shadow.
- Sweet on Polly Oliver: To Naoto.
- Tsundere: He exhibits shades of this, especially when it comes to his mother and Naoto.
- Unmanly Secret: This is his main issue. His mother owns a textile shop, and he likes to make little dolls for people, which directly contrasts from the tough biker badass persona that he tries to project to people. His entire character arc/Social Link is about learning to overcome his hangup about this and accept himself as a whole.
- Unusual Euphemism: The word "gay" is never said in-game. This leads to some odd phrasings.
- Though in the anime (English dub only), instead of 'strange', Chie flat out said 'gay'. Bad idea.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: And an adorable one at that.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: While not to the extent of Yosuke and Chie, Kanji tends to bicker with Rise whenever she talks to him directly.
- Younger than He Looks: His official bio shows he is younger than all the party members, even classmates Naoto and Rise.
- Ends up getting Played for Laughs in Golden when the gang decides to rent motorcycles. Kanji is forced to ride a bicycle since he's the only one not old enough to get his motorcycle license.
A teenage Idol Singer
often appearing in TV programs and ads as "Risette". She suddenly declared retirement and moved to Inaba to help on her grandmother's tofu shop and enroll in Yasogami High as a freshman. Rise is cheerful and bubbly, but also sweet deep down. She is mostly out of the frontlines and prefers analyzing the enemies and their weaknesses
. Her Persona is Himiko of the Lovers Arcanum and later evolves into Kanzeon.
Her dungeon in the Midnight Channel is the Marukyu Striptease, wherein her Shadow masquerades as her in a flashy gold bikini and teases a lot about showing off her 'stuff'. This all stems from Rise's fear that everyone stereotypes her as an airheaded
pop star, while in truth she just wants to be loved for who she is. Rise's Shadow possesses analytical skill that allows it to predict the party's every move, making it impossible to defeat; it takes a Heroic Sacrifice
from Teddie to finish it. Rise comes to terms with her Shadow and it becomes her Persona, but at the same time Teddie's existential doubt comes to a head and his
Shadow emerges. Rise takes Teddie's place as Mission Control
and helps the party defeat it, then she joins the Investigation Team.
Rise's Shadow takes on the form of a naked woman dangling from a striptease pole with technicolor flesh and a fractal satellite dish where its face should be. It constantly shouts for the party to look at it, embodying Rise's concern about being exploited.
In her Social Link, Rise was continuously pestered by her past manager to return to showbiz despite her misgivings. She revealed that as a child she was a shy bully magnet, until her debut as a star, which she thought would help her win some friends; what she saw are people seeing her more as "Risette" than her true self. However, more reminders of her past came from a letter from her number-one fan expressing sadness over her retirement, and the emergence of another idol she once trained and is now taking her spotlight, causing fans to badmouth "Risette", which inadvertently annoyed her. Eventually, Rise realized "Risette" is still an aspect of herself she shouldn't discard and resolves to return to showbiz come spring, evolving her Persona. Rise states that she loves the Protagonist, and will show a very obvious interest in him during the storyline regardless of her Social Link standing or whether you date her.
Teddie is a denizen of the Midnight Channel, taking the form of a talking bear plush that actually has nothing inside. He initially is a Mission Control
, then after Rise fills in for him, he soon joins in combat, equipped with claws, knuckles and other hand implements
. His initial Persona is Kintoki-Douji of the Star Arcanum, which eventually evolves into Kamui. His Persona uses Bufu (Ice) spells
, and has some support and healing skills as well.
Teddie first acts as a reluctant guide of sorts, providing the party with special glasses that allow them to see through the mist and summon their Persona. In the Japanese version, his sentences always end with -kuma
, and often addresses the Protagonist as "sensei" out of respect for his abilities (and to avoid using his name during scenes with voice acting
). He also serves as another comic relief in the story arc (making lame jokes like Shuji Ikutsuki
), supported by Yosuke's nagging curiosity about who (or rather, what) he really is. In the English version, his speech is laced with un-bear-ably bad puns
. Also, even if he is from the Midnight Channel, Teddie knows little about where he came from and what he is supposed to do with his life.
After saving the party from Rise's Shadow almost at the cost of his life (though it only literally flattened him), his fears of having a superficial existence manifests into a bigger Shadow. It's revealed to everyone near the end of the game that Teddie is really a docile Shadow, preferring to befriend humans instead of killing them, which explains the cute form he manifested
. After being saved, Teddie gains a degree of human will along with the Persona Kintoki-Douji, allowing him to participate in fights more actively.
As Teddie is a Shadow himself, his own Shadow is a much larger version of him, with a crack in its face showing something squirming under the surface (a visualization of Teddie's fears about his origin). It is later revealed in hindsight that Teddie's Shadow was somehow hijacked by the end-game boss, the supporting evidence being his Shadow's baleful eye floating in the emptiness inside him being identical to the eyes possessed by said boss's avatar. Further evidence comes from the anime episode in which the party fights Teddie's Shadow. Rise scans it, and detects a prescece hiding inside it. Using her visor, we can see an image of the boss's avatar itself, which appears in episode 25.
In the real world, he takes the form of a blonde boy who goes by the name "Kumada" (Japanese — actually a common surname)/"Teddie" (English), and in a certain school event, convincingly cosplays
. He stays at the Hanamuras and often helps Yosuke with part-time work at Junes, either as a mascot
handing out balloons, a cook at the food court, or a grocery stocker when in human form.
An androgynous girl
who is a famous high-school detective, given the glorious title of "Detective Prince
" by the media. Naoto is adept with revolvers
, and her Persona is summoned by shooting the card. Naoto's initial Persona is Sukuna Hikona of the [Wheel of] Fortune Arcanum, which later becomes Yamato Takeru. They are well-rounded with Light, Dark
and physical skills
at her disposal.Orphaned at a young age and raised by her detective grandfather
, she yearns to emulate the cool male sleuths she read in novels, accepting the family tradition and aiding her grandfather in his own cases, eventually creating a favorable reputation for herself. She was sent to Inaba by the prefecture police, to gain insight for the murders happening there.
Naoto is yet another survivor of the Midnight Channel, bound by her resentment at being talked down to and treated like a child by the police
, as well as her views on the police force being dominated by men. This manifests in a volatile Shadow that also creates a high-tech facility reminiscent to that of futuristic military bases from science fiction. Her Shadow wears a dress shirt and tie, while wearing an oversized white lab coat, and can act like a serious scientist one minute and like a child the next, further referencing her true feelings. Her Shadow claims she will perform "body modification" to turn Naoto into an adult male so that she can be respected by her fellow cops and cross the divide between gender roles
. However, unlike other victims, she willingly put herself at risk by volunteering for a TV interview, hoping she can become a bait
; she was convinced the Investigation Team had not caught the real killer. The Team promptly tears into her for being so stupid, then welcome her as the last addition to their team.
Naoto's Shadow takes on the form of a robotic version of her, and includes childish attachments like wings and twin ray guns that wouldn't look out of place on an action figure. This references her obsession with gender roles — a tomboy who likes sleuthing and science fiction — while the action-figure qualities of her Shadow mirror her resentment of having her talents belittled due to her age.
In her Social Link, Naoto has several of her possessions stolen, and receives taunting riddles from a Gentleman Thief
. The Protagonist helps her retrieve them, and she becomes more comfortable with his assistance. It is eventually revealed that the "thief" is actually her grandfather, who simply did it to help reignite her passion
. If the player openly aims so through their choices, she becomes somewhat more feminine, but will keep it mostly just to herself and the Main Character; following a series of options, she even dresses in the female school uniform on Christmas.
In the extended true ending of Persona 4: The Golden
, she has stopped worrying about being ignored for being a woman. She now sports longer hair, along with a light, form fitting sleeveless shirt and knee-length skirt that shows off her figure.