Fridge / Persona 2

Fridge Brilliance

  • From fast food cashiers who talk like ninjas to jackass genies leading alien-worshiping apocalypse cults, the rumor system justifies every single bizarre occurrence in this duology, elevating the entire plot into Fridge Brilliance.
  • Owing to Adolf Hitler’s appearance as an antagonist in Innocent Sin, it’s common to see Western fans volleying accusations of mitigating Japan’s involvement in World War II at Atlus, but what these fans ignore is that Hitler is the only historical figure of his kind whose inclusion would have made sense. The other leaders of the Axis powers, Benito Mussolini and Hideki Tojo, were both publicly executed, but in the chaos following the Fall of Berlin, no one was able to confirm that Hitler really had committed suicide. His body fell into the hands of the Russians, and for years following the war, Russia propagated dozens of conspiracy theories about Hitler’s (un)death and whereabouts, including one particularly interesting variation which suggested that he escaped Germany and went into hiding in the Antarctic. Sound familiar?
  • At the very end of Innocent Sin, Maya's death by the Spear of Longinus and the end of the world feels like such a Diabolus ex Machina—the team just won! They’ve beat the final boss, and they’ve proven Philemon right. But their enemy is still Nyarlathotep, the embodiment of humankind’s self-destructive urge, so of course it makes sense for him to fire the Chekhov's Gun he set up as a contingency when there’s no reason for him not to. Sure it’s not fair, but who keeps score in cosmic chess games?
    • Which also explains why Eternal Punishment takes place at all. Why would Nyarlathotep respect having lost the game, especially when the groundwork from Innocent Sin is still laid out, when all he has to do to get what he wants is nudge a few memories back into place and repurpose his grand scheme around a different conspiracy theory?
  • The Masked Circle’s decision to target Kasugayama High as the first large-scale Ideal Energy harvesting ground seems arbitrary; why there, and not Seven Sisters, another high school of equal size and better standing? More pointedly, why not Seven Sisters even though it’s shown to be connected to the Masked Circle through Anna Yoshizaka fairly early on, while no such connection to Kasugayama exists? Cuss High appears to be the weaker target of the two until you learn that the Joker is a student there.
  • Awfully convenient for Eikichi to have those two pink handguns on hand to give to Maya, while poor Lisa is stuck punching things. Seems unfair, right? Only if that's not what Lisa wanted. The owner of Shiraishi Ramen gives out the party’s first weapon set without asking about their individual preferences; Lisa, kung-fu nut that she is, simply passed up the handguns in favor of being the team’s Bare-Fisted Monk.
  • There’s quite a bit of Fridge Brilliance involving the party’s exclusive Personas:
    • Jun and Tatsuya’s Personas, being representative of their exchanged #1 Dimes, get the most benefit from their basis in Classical Mythology. Aside from representing the items superficially (Chronos, the Greek deification of time, for the watch; Vulcanus, Roman god of fire, for the lighter), the exchange itself is symbolized through Apollo and Hermes, who most famously appeared together in the myth of Apollo’s stolen cattle, which ended in the two exchanging what would become their most sacred icons: the lyre and the caduceus, respectively.
    • Because of how much time he spends tinkering with his motorcycle, a rumor spread around Seven Sisters that made Tatsuya a borderline genius with machinery. His starting Persona is Vulcanus, the Roman equivalent of Hephaestus, the blacksmith god of the Greek pantheon.
    • Maya's starting Persona, Maia, is the mother of Hermes. Maya is important to the original Masked Circle as their motherlike figure, especially to Jun, whose Persona is Hermes.
  • It’s no coincidence Jun and Tatsuya exchange their trinkets in front of a wedding boutique.
  • From the movesets:
    • Hyperion’s signature move, Justice Shot, is unusual among the Ultimate Personas in that, unlike the standard “deals a lot of damage” signature move, it has the effect of bringing enemy HP down to 1. Why? Because Katsuya’s a cop, of course; he wants to bring people in alive.
    • In Innocent Sin, Tatsuya's signature move, Nova Kaiser/Cyther, does Light and Almighty damage. In Eternal Punishment, it deals Nuclear damage. This could be symbolic of how Tatsuya in EP is powerful, but also tearing the world apart just by existing.
    • The contrast between the movesets of the Innocent Sin and the Eternal Punishment casts brilliantly showcases each team’s interpersonal dynamic. In Innocent Sin, all of the five endgame characters have complementary Ultimate Personas with holistic movesets, and each Ultimate Persona clearly represents an element (fire, water, wind, earth, and ice) each character has maintained since the beginning of the game, showcasing the team’s synergy as a group of Childhood Friends. That closeness just isn’t present in the Eternal Punishment party, who’ve all known each other for a few weeks at most—barring long-time friends Maya and Ulala, and brothers Katsuya and Tatsuya—and remain fundamentally independent of each other. This is, as you might expect, reflected in their movesets; they move away from their starter elements, and their Ultimate Personas don’t sync anywhere near as well as those of the Innocent Sin party (for example, Katsuya and Tatsuya’s overlap—they both deal Nuclear damage and have sun deities for Personas).
  • Tamaki getting beaten by King Leo, a mid-boss, seems like the Worf Effect at work, since she's a Megaten protagonist who canonically beat her game. But there is some justification: at the end of if.., Tamaki frees all her demons and lets her Guardian go. She wasn't using her endgame demons or endgame stats when she fought King Leo.

Fridge Logic

  • If Nyarlahotep is the embodiment of humanity's weakness, if destroys humanity, won't he die to?
    • Perhaps he doesn't care. Humanity's weaknesses include self-harm, which Nyarlathotep would presumably exhibit was well.
    • Nah, he's the collective embodiment of the darkness in every person, and when people die their minds return to the Sea of Consciousness. So long as that still exists he and Philemon have nothing to fear.

Fridge Horror

  • The rumor system, ingenious though it may be, still operates on this breed of Nightmare Fuel. Imagine that, just by spreading the right rumors to the right number of people, you could rewrite just about anything or anyone, even history itself, with nobody any the wiser. Imagine that, just by spreading a rumor, someone else could be rewriting your entire existence and sense of self on the fly, with you none the wiser. Who knows how many people in Sumaru City have had their entire lives retconned just because a few people wished them ill…
    • ...Which brings us to Ginji Sasaki. He’s depicted as a creepy Ephebophile who uses his position as an idol band producer to take advantage of adolescent girls, but there’s a distinct possibility that he didn’t start out that way. Men who work directly with teenage girls—like producers or teachers—are often considered suspect by others, whether or not they really should be. Sasaki may have been perfectly respectable before the rumor curse was put in place, but once it was, those idle whisperings would have transformed him into the sexual predator he is in the game, much like the escalating rumors turned the Masked Circle into The Conspiracy in the first place.
  • Yukino's fate if her Shadow jumps off the bridge becomes much more disturbing in light of Persona 5. Assuming P5’s logic applies to the Persona 2 duology, Yukino’s Shadow dying would imply that her real self underwent a “mental shutdown”, rendering her a nonfunctional, mindless shell without a will to live. In other words, she suffers the same fate as people like Wakaba, Okumura, and Kayo.
  • In EP when the gang get trapped in the Kimon Tonku formation, there's a TV producer who’s justifiably afraid of being trapped. We don't see her again after the spell is broken and everything returns to normal, which raises the question: Was she still under the effect of the spell?
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