After defeating the first of Arcana Lovers shadow, Yukari takes a shower. During the dark hour, water is blood. What was Yukari showered with?
Fridge Brilliance time: the cutscene could be seen from either Yukari or the MC's perspective; since they're under the spell of the Lovers Shadow and see everything as an illusion, they might perceive the blood as actual water. *shudders*
Unless specially modified or controlled by shadows, electronic devices do not function during the Dark Hour. So, aircraft and hospital equipment...
...are only frozen. More fridge logic when you realise "time freezes" for the world outside, and only shadows, Personae, and those with potential experience any passing of time.
Which leads to Fridge Horror if, say, a person with the Potential gets put on life support.
Take a look at Akihiko's bandage. Now look at his room and pay attention to the trophies above his bed. Now remember the fact that the dorm was hit by an earthquake at one point.
In The Answer, if Team Aigis and Team Junpei were both unsure of what to do next, shouldn't they have avoided fighting each other? Granted, Junpei seemed to learn towards Team Akihiko, but still he seemed more unsure than anything, like Team Aigis.
Why is Mr Edogawa still in a job? As school nurse, he gives the students home made remedies rather than legitimate medicene, and as a substitute teacher he routinely throws the teacher's intended lesson plan out of the window to teach the class about magic.
The protagonist is Jesus, SEES are the 12 Apostles (counting Metis, Igor, and Elizabeth/Theo), Takaya is the Antichrist, and Social Links are people whose life Jesus touched.
The Protagonists have the Fool arcanum, which symbolises limitless potential. The protagonists can also can summon almost any Persona.
Keeping in mind that a Persona is a reflection of one's psyche, this ability leads to mountains of crazy WMG about the main character's sanity, the status of reality ("is it all a dream?"), etc. The constant changing of Personas reflects the fact that the player can effectively paint whatever personality they want for MC because they control his responses in various situations.
The Protagonists are silent. Word Of God explained this as the potential for change and to put the player into the story, respectively, but there's an English proverb that fits this too: "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt."
The Dark Hour is the hidden hour right after 12 o' clock, or a thirteenth hour that shouldn't exist. Death is described as the thirteenth Arcana that was never meant to be. Death is directly related to the Dark Hour, being the harbinger of Nyx.
The arcanum of The World (The Universe in some decks) represents fulfillment, oneness, self-realization. Meanwhile, the Arcanum of Death isn't "death" but changes and cycles (hence why the New Game Plus after the Protagonist has died is called "New Cycle.") Now take Apathy Syndrome: it's the total loss of self. You're nothing but a moaning body, devoid of personality. And Nyx's effect on Earth would have been to inflict this on everyone —rather than outright "killing" all life on Earth, Nyx ONLY takes your self away *
yes, your mindless body would've died eventually, but that's beside the point
. The Persona series is about expressing various facets of your personality. The Arcana represent states of consciousness, some benign, some negative, but a consciousness nonetheless. By establishing Social Links, you can amass all your experiences with these Arcana (yes, even Death) and become a fully-realized human being —The World. The World that is beyond Death, The World that overcomes fear of change, The World that is above (lowercase) death because death is no longer fearsome. The World that has seen The Judgement. The World that embraces change. The World is the absolute opposite to Apathy Syndrome, nothingness; that is, it is opposite to Nyx itself. And Nyx, summoned by those who fear life and reject themselves, has no power over one who has achieved The World. In turn, the Protagonist has completed their (and The Fool's) Journey, they have found The Answer to their own existence, and they willingly accepts their own death in order to surpass the nothingness of Nyx. And that is why they become the Great Seal between Nyx and Erebus: it is NOT And I Must Scream or a Fate Worse Than Death: for the Protagonist, becoming the invincible (Erebus can't touch him) barrier between death and despair is the ultimate expression of personal realization. He/She is basically saying, "Yes, death exists, but it is only an end that gives way to a new beginning. You don't need to fear it, because I will take away the darkness and despair from you forever." Now, depending on your interpretation, it might be that he/she doesn't have to be the Great Seal, but maybe he/she wants to. The Protagonist always strove to help others and to protect them. They were also deeply at peace in their last day on Earth, having helped a multitude of people become better persons. What better reward for their ultimate sacrifice than to allow him/her to become the last, greatest guardian of humanity? Of course, one is free to disagree with this last bit, but it could also make the Bittersweet Ending a lot less Bitter.
You could take the interpretation even further by intercultural studies. Tarot arcanas (traditionally western) are developing inside the main character (the Self) through the relationships he has with others: as a matter of fact, most Eastern cultures (especially Japan) are known as more "collectivist", causing the self to be "interdependant", meaning that the self isn't described through internal characteristics, but rather through his relations to others. As such, the MC develop his own potential through his own training (gaining levels, western/individualist thinking) and through the building of social bonds to his community (Social Links and the associated Arcanas, eastern/collectivist thinking). As it is commonin both western and eastern philosophies, balance is key to developing the self: the MC finally reaches his full potential by fully developing his Social Links (eastern part) which manifest in his Arcanas (western part), reaching wholeness (the World arcana), which is often described as the highest state of mind, in all cultures.
In The Answer, there are timeskips preventing SEES from going from March 31st to April 1st. As we all know, April Fools day comes on that day and the Fool tarot card represents the start of a new journey. What are SEES going to do after leaving the dorm?
Pharos is wearing prisoner-esque clothing because he's technically a prisoner inside the MC's psyche.
This also explains his physical appearance. He looks like a ten-year-old boy because he's been inside the MC for ten years.
Ken's arcanum is Justice, which symbolises the knowledge of what is right or wrong. He hesitates bonding with the female protagonist because of their relationship's implications.
Shinjiro's arcanum is Moon. It doesn't symbolise snobbery, but contradictions, illusions, emotional turmoil and fear of dark desires. Shinjiro is the game's premiere Troubled, but CuteJerk with a Heart of Gold. He would love a normal life, even if he fears the after-effects of the short-lived normalcy he is given. His genuine kindness and modesty definitely contrasts the toughened up image he is seen as initially, like an illusion. The fears also manifest in his repressed desires for the protagonist.
Fuuka's arcanum is The Priestess. It symbolises looking into oneself for answers. After Shinjiro's death, she laments that the tragedy could have been avoided if only she had trusted her intuition.
The fact that Shinjiro and Akihiko's Personae are Gemini is pretty obvious, but how Ken is tied in may not be so immediately obvious — in some myths, the Gemini were the sons of Nemesis. If that's not clever enough? Castor was killed by a spear to the heart. Now, what's Ken's weapon again?
Shinjiro was killed by a gunshot after being threatened with a spear. In the game, both attacks deal the same type of damage: Pierce.
The evokers. The protagonist summons their Persona by shooting him/herself in the head. Apart from evoking images of suicide, it's excellent foreshadowing. Remember what happens to the Protagonist at the end?
The bad ending, where the MC kills Ryoji has the MC executing his evoker at a much slower pace. Perhaps he knows the consequence of this which is that everyone will die, including him and thinks of this as ACTUAL SUICIDE, thus taking a logical approach to the hesitant evoker pose.
Out of the New Game Plus Endings, Ken's was much more bittersweet and less romantic than everyone else's. The endings follow an upright meaning of each character's arcana. Justice is an arcana does not have an interpretation pertaining directly to love; the opposite actually, with ones such as distance and logic. Those would make sense, as space and rationality are what would keep them together without a stigma from society. The most significant of the meanings, however, is "clear vision". Ken expresses his worry that the main character will "go somewhere", hinting he knows her fate to die. Whether the others know and are lying for her sake, or Ken is the only one to know this is both poignant, and absolutely heart-breaking
Aigis's persona transformation from Palladion to Athena gives her one of the best healing spells in the game. This coincides with her gaining human emotions and caring for her comrades.
On December 31, the protagonist has to decide whether to forget everything that happened by killing Ryoji. In other words: "Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?"
Mara's stats are basically one long string of dick jokes. His arcana is the Tower, he has the strongest Pierce-type attack in the game, and he's weak to ice.
For a while, this troper wondered why it is that the Death link progresses on its own. There is an in-game justification for The Fool and Judgment, but not so for Death. Then, it became clear: Death is Minato/Hamuko's own Arcana, representing their own development. Every other S.Link shows Character Development in increased amounts as you power up that arcana, so this only makes sense. Given how S/he brings out said development in others, this even reflects Death's symbolic meaning.
Death represents transition, which is noted several times in the game. The night of the "last" mission, the Death social link completes, while Fool does not, despite the fact that SEES is about to be disbanded. Given what happens next, it's a brilliant bit of foreshadowing. If you had already deduced that the game was far from over, the completion of the Death link is arguably confirmation.
When Aigis frees the party from Ikutski, she is acting out a deus ex machina in the literary sense. This is also the exact moment when we first see that she is forming a soul, or an aspect of god, inside of her. Not only is she being a literary deus ex machina, but also literally a life or soul (god) born from a machine, further symbolized by her Persona's transformation from Palladion (a statue of Athena) to the goddess Pallas Athena herself. In other words, Aigis is three "deus ex machina" at the same time.
The Protagonist having the name "Makoto Yuki" in the movies. Some have pointed that the name is rather feminine, but remember - The Proagonist can undergo a Gender Flip is Persona 3 Portable. The Protagonist has been given a name that works regardless of the gender chosen by the player.
How did Officer Kurosawa get your swimsuits?!
The bad ending doesn't seem quite so bad without the proper context. At first glance, it looks pretty peaceful, but since all memories of the dark hour have been erased, all of the Character Development is null and void. So Junpei still has no purpose in life, Yukari still feels abandoned by her father and mother, Mitsuru is still in a state of Heroic BSOD, Shinjiro is either dead or in a coma and ignored, Ken still has regrets about his mother, Akihiko is still a Blood Knight, and Aigis has been completely forgotten. Oh yeah, and they're all going to die of Apathy Syndrome and they don't know it, and some dialog suggests it may already be happening.Way to go bro.
The bad ending itself is almost disappointing. Then the "good" ending kicks in and you see the divergences as everyone begins to remember... and the bad ending seems like the good ending.
In path to the good ending, the entire world slips into the Dark Hour, the Fall is just starting to occur, and at least one person (that we see) dissolves into a puddle of shadow-matter. That's horrifying enough, but... after the MC seals Nyx, everyone loses their memories of the Dark Hour —so it's not just SEES that forgets everything about Personas, Shadows, Tartarus, et al, but the whole world forgot about being drawn into the Dark Hour that last night. So... did the people who fell into Nyx' thrall and dissolved "disappear forever" as far as their friends and family are concerned? Even the victims of Apathy Syndrome had it better than that...
Think carefully about Ryoji being "inside you". March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November. That's nine months. Congrats, you are the parent of the end of the world! This also puts disturbing consequences on a romantic link with the female protagonist.
Nyx's true form is a vaguely egg-shaped ball of light. Nyx is the "mother of Shadows". Her one and only attack is an attempt to give birth.
In the bad ending, Aigis is unaffected by the Laser-Guided Amnesia. She is also inorganic. When Nyx descends, she'll witness everyone in the world, including her friends, become shells of themselves and die. Possibly in fiery explosions as pilots suddenly stop controlling their vehicles.
Akihiko's Social link with the female protagonist involves Akihiko coming to terms with his little sister's death and realizing that his fear of feeling that pain again has prevented him from getting too involved with others. Which is all the more poignant if you go the romance route. The person he finally lets himself love after all that dies shortly thereafter.
The video recordings. Sure, they're funny, but the long and the short of it is that every room in this dorm of teenagers has a video camera, recording constantly. Almost as if to hammer this home, there's Mitsuru's video unlocked around the start of October, which has her wandering around in nothing more than a bath towel & comment that she really needs to stop lounging around in her room without any clothes on.
Regretting that you equipped Shinjiro with all that high-level equipment? Go to his room after the funeral: you can retrieve all of it from a box on the desk.
Well, he wasn't planning to come to the battle that night, since he knew the significance of the date, and he wasn't planning to remain in SEES. You don't have the chance to change his equipment that night, and since none of the characters seem to be wearing or carrying around their equipment outside of Tartarus or missions, So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear is justifiably averted: Shinjiro never equipped for battle that night.