The official covernote …depicting Shirou to the left holding the card representing the Servant Saber class and Avenger to the right wearing a headband, both dressed in Yasogami High's winter uniforms. The author refuses to elaborate.
Anchored Ship: Shirou and Chie by mutual agreement. After her Shadow confessed to him against her conscious wishes, Shirou basically proposed a do-over where he'll pretend that That Didn't Happen until she feels ready to act in her own accord. Chie observed that Shirou was avoiding the issue in his own way, but she appreciated the fact he wasn't judging her from all the dirty secrets that her Shadow revealed, as well as the chance to have more time to sort things out.
Chie reacts strongly to anything that might threaten Yukiko, especially if that something is rookie detective Adachi suggesting that the missing girl could be the serial killer. He got tackled to the wall for that one before Yosuke managed to hold Chie back.
When Shirou thought Shadow Yukiko killed Yosuke, he outright lost it.
Big Bad Friend: Shirou makes good acquaintances with "Nami", the gas station attendant, during his part-time job at MOEL.
Bro Fist: Yosuke and Shirou the first time they refer to each other as partners. This and other Handshake Substitutes are likely to occur when either of them pull off something particularly nifty in the TV World.
Broken Hero: Shirou is his usual distorted, emotionally-damaged self. This raises some alarm bells with his allies because of his lack of a self-preservation mindset during critical times.
Butterfly of Doom: Shirou, just before the original start of the Holy Grail War, is told of his still living relatives in Inaba. The Power of Social Links are just the start of things to come in conflict with his ideology.
Made more literal as it is a butterfly actually Philemon that starts the ball rolling.
Pixie: (…) Granted, this is a good thing since humans have been known to exploit stuff, and as the fairy godmother once told me: 'Humans are the reason we can't have nice things.' Because they're greedy jerks and lose our stuff, like this sheath here, but still! Of course, what would I know, I'm just a figment of some-" Shirou: Pixie. Yosuke? Pixie: Oh. OH! Right.
Casanova Wannabe: Yosuke as in canon, but here he takes it even further by trying to make a pass at Shadow Yukiko. At least his logic was somewhat sound: if he could appease her by appealing to her desire for a "prince", the I.T. might have been able to rescue Yukiko without a fight. In the best-case scenario, he gets the real Yukiko as a girlfriend. What actually happened was that Shadow Yukiko failed to remember him and when she does, she dismissed him as an "another peasant suitor".
Motivated by both noble and selfish intentions, [Yosuke] stepped forward with an eager smile and spoke in his best British accent. "Allow me, my princess! I shall be the dashing hero who will whisk you away by the powers love and magic!" Chie was gobsmacked by his sudden charisma, but passed as she picked up the intentions. "Love and—Hanamura!"
Subverted. Yosuke tried to beat Shadow Chie before it could gather power with Chie's rejection. However, as long as Chie doesn't reject it, attacking her Shadow also hurts her in the process.
Done more successfully later during the Boss Fight against Shadow Chie. Being the manifestation of Chie's insecurities made her an easy target of Yosuke's taunting and her "throne" doesn't make the best place to sit on during battle from a tactical standpoint.
Competitive Balance: Fitting into Persona's video game roots, the narrative describes the Investigation Team like this.
Mighty Glacier: Shirou, his attacks are stronger than anyone else, his Persona powers give him Super Toughness, but he's noticeably slower to the punch than Yosuke or Chie on top of Persona switching slowing him down further.
Continuity Nod: A throwaway comment from Igor implies that the story follows the events of the female route of Persona 3.
Cry for the Devil: invoked Once defeated, Shadow Chie's cries elicited this reaction in- and out-of-universe.
Shadow Chie: Please, Don't leave me… Yukiko. All I wanted was to feel needed, to feel like I belonged with someone, somewhere. If you're gone… what will happen to me? All the years together, all the laughs we shared, doesn't it matter Yukiko? Why do you want to leave me? Yukiko…
Dark Is Not Evil: Shirou initially feared summoning Eligor due to his demonic roots as a Duke of Hell from the Ars Goetia, but proved to be completely noble and badass during the Shadow Yukiko fight.
"Well then," Yosuke smiled. "Now we have a plan; Emiya fights, Teddie supports, I investigate, and Satonaka…" he paused as he stared at the lone girl of their party. "Well, try not to get kidnapped, alright?" "Ha-ha, very funny," said lone girl deadpanned.
Delayed Reaction: During the phone call where Dojima convinces Taiga to not bring Shirou back to Fuyuki after she learns about the first death of the murder case, he argues that Shirou is not in more danger than any of his friends in Inaba. Taiga hangs up and the narration veers in a different direction for a little while until she suddenly notices how odd it's for Shirou to make friends so quickly. She immediately phones back and finds out that he was walking home with two girls (Chie and Yukiko) after his first day at Yasogami, which prompts a secondDelayed Reaction where she realizes that, even though Shirou's close acquaintances around his age are few and far between, most of them are good-looking girls, herself (shamelessly) included. Cue an Oh, Crap reaction and heavy drinking at the idea of him growing up to be a womanizer.
Readers knowledgeable with Fate/stay night will notice right away why Shirou spending a year away from Sakura is a bad idea.
Related to the above, Shirou is absolutely convinced that he's never done anything to warrant a girl's romantic interest. Aboutthat…
As it happened in canon, recurrent conflict in the story stems from the fact that people surrounding Shirou only slowly come to realize how truly distorted and borderline inhuman his Chronic Hero Syndrome really is. Any reader who previously played the Unlimited Blade Works route of the game may appreciate exactly how fitting and plain wrong is for a person with an unique and highly-functional personality disorder that makes him derive happiness only by helping others, especially by saving them from immediate danger, like Shirou to be in the shoes of the protagonist of Persona 4.
There is a more lighthearted example in chapter 22, where Shirou promises to teach Chie how to prepare a lunchbox. The poor unsuspecting fool.
Empty Chair Memorial: The spare chair at the kitchen table, as Shirou discovered the first morning he and the Dojimas ate breakfast together. After an uncomfortable moment, Ryotaro defused the situation by reminding Nanako that her late mother surely wouldn't mind Shirou using it.
Shirou tries to explain the many supernatural phenomena he finds in Inaba with his limited knowledge of thaumaturgy. For example, he mistook the TV World for an extensive Boundary Field and Igor for a magus.
From her phone conversations with Dojima and Shirou, Taiga thinks Shirou has become a womaniser. This causes her to start drinking heavily.It only gets worse when she mistakes Shirou's description of Chie for herself (see I Have This Friend below for details).
The Fair Folk: Shirou's second Persona, Pixie, is one of these, and she can think and talk on her own. And because she is one of the Fair Folk, she knows about Avalon. She even has a You Have GOT To Be Kidding Me moment when she realizes that it was in Shirou's body this whole time and he didn't even know about it.
The Fool: The Wild Card, as expected of the Tarot Motif. Shirou matches the archetype particularly well in social interactions, where his painfully honest and oblivious ways accomplish quite a lot, which is not always for the best.
For Want of a Nail: Word of God says that Chie's presence during the second trip to the TV World on April 15th (the fight against Shadow Yosuke) will have consequences throughout all the storyline.
Freak Out: Played for Laughs. Taiga had three of these, each episode more severe than the one before, during her Day in the Limelight in chapter 22 at the mistaken realization that: 1) Shirou could grow up to be a womanizer, 2) already be one and 3) might have just tried to "womanize her".
In the game, bringing a Persona of the matching Arcana to a Social Link event speeds up its development. In this story, this is because said Persona can actually speak and advise Shirou in his head or, as it happened with Pixie in chapter 20, let him know when he's messing things up.
Yosuke didn't want to bring Chie during Yukiko's rescue because he really, really didn't want to think how dealing with her Shadow would be like.
For her part, Chie is quick to point out that if she meets her Shadow, she just needs to accept it so they'll have the power of one additional Persona working for the team and she even prepares accordingly for such a case. Underestimating the confrontation with one's own Shadow comes to bite her hard later.
When they found out Charming Prince was healing Shadow Yukiko, Yosuke suggested Shoot the Medic First. Unfortunate Shirou responds that it would leave them sitting ducks to Shadow Yukiko's attacks.
Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Shirou was in the receiving end of this trope during Yukiko's rescue. Twice. Yosuke and then Chie slapped him out of his Heroic BSOD. The first time, Charming Prince used a Fear-inducing skill that forced his memories of the Fuyuki fire to resurface. With the experience still fresh in his mind, he suffered a similar episode later at the sight of a big conflagration caused by Shadow Yukiko.
Good Counterpart: Though probably not intentional, Yosuke comes off as Shinji Matou's, he's basically what Shinji would be if he was actually redeemable or even vaguely likeable.
Green-Eyed Monster: Many of the early Investigation Team members are secretly envious of certain trait of another member. Their Shadows love spilling the beans.
Homoerotic Subtext: Sans the "sub-" part. With the characteristic subtlety of her kind, Shadow Yukiko outright stated that if Chie were her "prince", she'd be "willing to try something new". Everybody present, even Shirou, turned to the real Yukiko for clarification but then Shadow Yukiko dismissed Chie as unfit for the role for reasons similar to the ones from canon plus what she learned from Shadow Chie's confessions (the latter due to the events of the altered timeline).
Hope Spot: Just when it looks like Chie managed to accept her Shadow without a fight, the latter breaks into a knowing smirk and systematically tears apart her confession, denouncing how Chie was mostly paying lip service to acquire her own Persona instead of being motivated by genuine acknowledgement of her repressed feelings.
Indirect Kiss: Subverted. After sharing some of her instant noodles with Shirou, Chie realizes that this trope will come into effect the moment she puts her chopsticks in her mouth. After Yosuke mentions the new meat menu at Junes, she jumps at the opportunity to eat steak and gives the rest of her soba bowl to Shirou.
I Have This Friend: Chapter 22 has an amusing Subversion. Taiga called Shirou to check on him and, at her insistence, he asked her for advice on this love problem of his where he accidentally discovered that a girl had a crush on him in less-than-ideal circumstances. Reluctant to outright say Chie's name or speak of the other things he learned from her Shadow, but aware that Taiga needed a least a little bit of information on her to work with having never meet Chie before, Shirou gave his surrogate sister a rough description of Chie that happened to match Taiga's almost spot on. This created an One Dialogue, Two Conversations situation where Taiga thought Shirou heard some off-color gossip about her and himself going around due to all the time she spends at his house and that he was using this trope as a roundabout way to make her confess or deny the rumors. Cue hilariousFreak Out involving the phone call being cut short and lots of booze.
Taiga:[screaming in her head] I REFUSE TO BE WOMANIZED!
Interface Spoiler: A rare non-videogame example in chapter 22, a.k.a. Taiga's Day in the Limelight, where the title has the words "The Sun" in bold letters. Considering how unlikely is for Shirou to join a cultural club in Yasogami, this probably means that Taiga will eventually be the eponymous Social Link.
I Work Alone: Subverted. Shirou tried to keep Yosuke out of the murder case because of the inherent dangers involved, but Yosuke persevered until Shirou accepted his help. This event also signals the moment when Shirou established the Magician Social Link with Yosuke.
The Leader: Shirou for the Investigation Team. One could go on and on about his shortcomings, but it's undeniable that he's the go-to team member for calling the shots during a fight.
Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In Chapter 20, Yosuke internally describes Shirou as being oblivious regarding girls at "shonen hero levels." While neither of the main source materials are really "shonen," it still sort of fits.
"As usual, I can't take all the blame: I act on the wishes of mankind, after all. A little over a decade ago, this thing happened to be stirring and made a wish to bring together all the evils in the world. It was subtle at first, but as the days went on, it would grow exponentially stronger and louder, as if begging to be realized. So I thought, 'what else could I do but answer that request?' And… here we are. While the wish interfered with my banishment, it didn't outright violate it either… though to be honest, I didn't struggle a whole lot out of it."
Magic Enhancement: Persona users receive a considerable buff to their physical abilities in the TV World, including strength, speed and reaction times. This is the reason why Yosuke fights like a ninja and Chie can kick a Shadow through a wall. Shirou combines it with Reinforcement magecraft to give himself Super Toughness.
Magikarp Power: The power of the Wild Card. Shirou is quite surprised to hear that his starter Persona, Izanagi, qualifies as "weak".
Mental World: The TV World warps itself according to the people who find themselves within it. Shirou and Yosuke discovered that sticking one's head into a random TV is enough to fill the landscape with some sort of image of their inner worlds. In Shirou's case, a hill ofswords.
After Daisuke and Kou tried to convince Shirou to join one of their sport clubs, Yosuke mentioned that they attempted to do same with him last Valentine's Day with the promise that the training would make him more resistant to the cold. Said event is told in detail in the Spin-OffPrequel manga Persona 4: The Magician.
The Badass Bystander above basically performed a Cavalry Attack to thwart a robbery.
No Guy Wants an Amazon: As in Persona 4, Chie thinks poorly of herself because of this trope. Unlike canon, Shirou makes clear from the start, albeit in his own Innocently Insensitive way, that he doesn't consider her unfeminine or less attractive because of her tomboy traits. This leads her to harbor a crush on him much earlier than what is possible in the game, feelings that her Shadow is all too happy to act on, making the confrontation a whole lot more complicated.
No Name Given: Subverted. NPCs "Spacy Girl" and "Errand Boy" got proper names: Haruka and Hiraku, respectively.
Non-Uniform Uniform: Shirou quickly picks up on the fact that Yasogami High is less mindful of the dress code than his former school, and decides to wear his uniform jacket semi-unbuttoned. Yosuke comments how Shirou pulls off the open-coat look pretty well.
Chie: So, you ever heard of the Amagi Inn, Emiya? Shirou: A few times. Chie: Well, Yukiko's family runs it. It's been going on for generations. It's the pride of Inaba! Yukiko: Mhm. Shirou: I see. Chie: …Amagi Inn has been in a lot of magazines as a hidden treasure. Yukiko's going to inherit it someday. Yukiko: Mhm. Shirou: I see. Chie: …It attracts a lot of visitors in because of its natural hot springs? Yukiko: Mhm. Shirou: I see. Chie: …Emiya, Yukiko thinks you're cute. Yukiko: Mhm. Shirou: I see. (Double Take) Yukiko and Shirou:What?!
It might double as a Mythology Gag to the game. If romanced, Yukiko will confess on Christmas Eve that she pretty much fell in love at first sight with the protagonist.
No Social Skills: A downplayed case in comparison to other examples of the trope, but Shirou definitely doesn't think like a normal teenager and it shows in how he treats people, especially if they have more than a casual acquaintance with him. In some cases he comes across as accommodating and very dependable, in others as insensitive or downright cruel.
Ouija Board: Referenced. Nami compares the Midnight Channel to a talking board, giving Shirou an important hint of how it actually works. Whether "he" intended to help him or not, is yet to be seen.
Painting the Medium: When the story is narrated from the point of view of character who will later develop a Shadow Self, thoughts closer to their repressed feelings are formatted in italics.
Parents Know Their Children: More like self-proclaimed older sister knows her little brother, but Taiga still qualifies. After learning about the murder case in Inaba, Taiga wanted Shirou back in Fuyuki because she was convinced that he would either catch the killer's attention, try to play vigilante to stop the culprit, or more likely both.
When Shirou is having it explained to him, he is incredulous towards the idea that he gets stronger just by making friends before Igor and Margaret further explain.
Interestingly, he also questions the ethics pertaining the idea of cultivating relationships for power, but he was reassured that it's the other way around: a meaningful connection with someone is its own reward, even if it happens to give him a power bonus, and that it's simply not possible to form a true Social Link without personal investment and genuine reciprocation.
The Resenter: Shirou's obvious heroic traits come to aggravate the envy Yosuke felt towards the protagonist in the game. This results in his Shadow going the extra mile to try and kill Shirou when it goes berserk.
Right Behind Me: In chapter 16, the day after the fight against Shadow Yosuke:
Yosuke: Just what am I supposed do, anyway? Roll up to him before school starts and say 'Yo! Emiya!'? Shirou: Yes? Yosuke: Gah!
Romantic Spoonfeeding: More like not-quite-forceful chopstick-feeding, but the time when Chie shared some of her instant noodles with Shirou managed to come across as endearing if very, very awkward.
School Uniforms are the New Black: The story makes a convincing argument as to why the Investigation Team wears their school uniforms in the TV World. Shirou observes that most of their weapons can be smuggled into Junes either hidden in their baggy uniforms or school bags (his katana requires a special bag designed to carry a shinai, though), and if they ever get asked about it, they can say they're from Cram School.
Share the Male Pain: Let's just say, the infamous "critical hit to the nads" didn't go unnoticed by Shirou or their classmates.
Stay in the Kitchen: Shirou on occasion, as expected of his pre-Character Development self. Just ask Yosuke, who felt right to Dope Slap him because of how badly he almost messed things up with Chie while trying to dissuade her from going with them into the TV World to save Yukiko. Although Yosuke would give you the exact opposite reason to why she was left speechless.
"'That world is no place for a girl'?" Yosuke repeated in an incredulous tone. "Are you sexist, or just stupid?!"
Super Reflexes: A realistic variant. Due to his self-training, Shirou's a very short reaction time. In chapter 20, he deflected a stray soccer ball before it could hit Chie in the back of the head. Kou and Daisuke tried to recruit him for their sport clubs because of it.
Taiga: Remember Taiga, getting drunk off your ass won't help anyone. Getting drunk off your ass won't help anyone. Getting drunk off your ass won't help anyone.
Synchronization: As it happened in Persona 4: The Animation, Persona-users can feel any harm that afflicts their Personas, albeit in a diminished form. They can also use their Personas as a secondary set of sensory inputs, i.e. see and hear things from their Persona's perspective. The same applies to the Shadow Selves if they haven't been rejected yet.
Technology Marches On: Subverted. Shirou carries an outdated cellphone for the year the story is set (2011) just like the protagonist in the opening animation of the game, but that's because of his personal tendency to keep old appliances in working order for long after their average life expectancy.
Trap Door: Yukiko's Castle has them. Let's just say Shadow Selves are trolls like that.
Umbrella of Togetherness: As oblivious to romantic tropes as he is, Shirou doesn't understand why Chie got so flustered when he offered to share his umbrella with her on a rainy morning.
Virtual Soundtrack: The forum version of the story comes annotated with Youtube links to soundtrack pieces for every other scene, usually of either franchise for obvious reasons.
Weapon of Choice: While there's the obvious Shirou using swords and Yosuke canonically using Dual Daggers, Word of God has stated that Chie will be using different kung-fu oriented weapons before finally settling on one.