Why is Kanji the only character who's using a joke weapon instead of one of his proper weapons? Because Kanji is the only character who did not come into the TV world prepared, so he had to use what he could find.
Just noticed this game's disc is a darker shade of yellow than the original's PS2 disc. Then I realized it's because the P4 story just became Darker and Edgier.
This doesn't apply with the European release, which instead has a blue backdrop.
The game's story mode is really easy for a fighting game. The final boss in particular is no SNK Boss, and is a pretty serious Anti-Climax Boss. However, it makes sense this would be the case in story mode since this is a continuation of a turn-based RPG's story… it would be pretty cruel to Persona 4 fans that they can't continue their story without adapting to a whole new genre.
This can be applied further. The game as a whole is much easier to learn and play than ArcSys' other games.
Why doesn't being forced into Fighting Your Friend affect the Shadow Operatives as much as it does the members of the Investigation Team? They already went through this back during the events of The Answer, whereas it's uncharted territory for the Investigation Team.
They've also known each other for a number of years; whereas with the sole exceptions of Yukiko and Chie, the Investigation Team haven't been friends for that long — Yosuke's only known Chie and Yukiko for around a year and a half; Yu and Teddie have only known the three of them for just over a year; and the rest of the group joined up over the course of the following year.
The male Yasogami uniforms have a roman numeral on the collar signifying what year the wearer is in — in Persona 4, Yu and Yosuke had a "II" while Kanji and Naoto had a "I". In Arena, Yosuke has a "III" and Kanji has a "II", but Yu still has a "II"… because he's no longer a Yasogami student and is using his old second-year uniform.
In the opening of Arena, none of the female characters weights are listed. Why? Because you never ask a woman her weight. Unless you want to get pummeled, of course.
Akihiko's weight is also not listed. This seems odd at first, but makes sense that, as a boxer, his weight may fluctuate wildly due to gaining/losing weight for training.
Shadow Labrys is a bit weird, considering she fights while still using her humanoid form and alongside the Asterius Shadow as opposed to transforming into a new monstrous form. However, remember that she is based on Labrys' desire to be normal, so her fighting alongside Asterius like the Investigation Team and Shadow Operatives do with their Personas may reflect that desire subconsciously.
It's also possible that it's because, unlike the Investigation Team, her Persona had briefly awakened before being thrown into the TV. As the Persona wasn't fully awakened when Labrys was thrown, her Shadow was still able to manifest.
Another factor could be that Labrys was developed with intention of summoning a Persona. Since the scientists thought that a weapon with an ego shouldn't have feelings, it would make sense that her personification of pain and suffering would manifest itself as a perversion of a Persona-user.
Still a third possibility presents itself in the form of Metis, a character introduced in Persona 3 The Answer. At first introduced as Aigis' "little sister" it eventually comes out that Metis was Aigis' discarded desire to be human. While she is never positively identified as a Shadow, her existence is rather similar to the repressed selves of Persona 4, although she is rather friendly toward her other self. And notably, Metis also used a Persona much like Shadow Labrys seems able to. Perhaps it is a trait inherent in Kirijo group robots that even their shadow selves can develop a Persona?
Why, when story mode clearly uses "The Carnivore Who Discarded Womanhood" as Chie's Red Baron, does the game still use "The Spunky Dragon With Deadly Legs" in its place? Chie was the one who was most displeased with her tagline.
When battling the Eerie Voice/Malevolent Entity during Story Mode, the theme that plays is The Almighty, the same one used for the battle against Persona 4's Ameno-Sagiri. How is this relevant? Ameno-Sagiri served as the Final Boss of the story, but take note: this was only if the player did not do battle with the True Final Boss Izanami. This obviously pointed to the fact that the story isn't over yet.
Taking this into account, this also explains why Shadow Aigis is nothing like Metis, who in contrast represented Aigis' suppressed human side.
Mitsuru and Akihiko both can use specials even when their Personae are broken, in contrast to the other characters. This makes sense because unlike the others, they both have had years of training in what they do best (fencing and boxing respectively)!
In Ultimax every character, from Narukami, to Aigis have a shadow counterpart as a playable character. However, several characters don't, those being Elizabeth, Marie, Adachi, Sho (both verisons), and Margaret. The reason this is so important is that all of these characters are bosses or major antagonists who don't have a Shadow. Elizabeth and Margaret are hardly human, Adachi was shown without one and it's implied he never had one, Marie is a Physical God, and Sho is the Big Bad of the game, thus justifying why they don't have one.
Throwing an obvious one, but the reason why the Shadow Operatives have their final Personas (save for poor Koro-chan) while the Investigation Team are stuck with their initial ones is chalked up to experience. Junpei, Yukari, Ken and Koromaru (funnily enough, all were added to Ultimax) have been fighting since 2009, while Aigis, Mitsuru and Akihiko (the three P3 representatives in vanilla Arena) having more experience before that. Compare that to the Investigation Team, who are still green when matched up in terms of experience.
Further, the Persona 3 cast all upgraded their Personas through unavoidable story events. The Persona 4 cast got their Ultimate Personas through maxing their Social Links, which is technically optional. This game avoids making any Social Links from P4 explicitly canon, so in order to maintain that they can't have their ultimate Personas. Due to them being plot-related, there's not doubt all the P3 Ultimate Personas are canon, so that's why they're here.
And yet Teddie's persona is still Kintoki-Douji rather than Kamui, despite his S.Link being mandatory. This is only not true if the Bad Ending is canon which would contradict Yu having the ultimate form of Izanagi.
It's apparently been stated in Trinity Soul that Personae can revert to their base forms through disuse. Considering the Investigation Team would have no reason to use their personae, it might've been a canon universe Discontinuity Nod (like Akihiko deciding to become a cop, like he was in Trinity Soul).
The Shadow characters in Ultimax have a general theme of sticking to the past - they reuse old tracks from Persona 3 and 4, have the old autocombos from Arena and continue to bother their originals by using mannerisms they have already accepted or gotten over.
Why two fighting tournaments as opposed to any other evil plot? Sho only knows how to develop bonds through fighting. He was subconsciously setting up situations where in his eyes their bonds would grow stronger and in the second game, he could bond with them.
This is also the reason why he rejected his contract with the Velvet Room. You are only more powerful due to how you come to mutual understanding with another human being, but trying to do that while fighting is not possible (unless Sho's buddies would be BloodKnights). If Sho doesn't learn how to interact with humans normally then his Wild Card would be extremely weak!
Though many were disappointed when it was revealed Hi-no-Kagutsuchi was the Big Bad and not Nyarlathotep returning, it makes perfect sense for it to be them. Remember his story of origin: Hi-no-Kagutsuchi's birth is what killed Izanami and ultimately led to her row with Izanagi. Izanagi, in turn, cut him to pieces. Given Yu's Persona and Marie's identity, there's perhaps no better successor to Izanami to be fought in this circumstance.
Why didn't Adachi fight anyone in his story mode except for the two Shos and Hi-no-Kagutsuchi? He was trying to stop Sho's plan. If he fought too much, he'd be giving off Persona Fragments as well, and would only speed up his plan.
A lot of things about Aigis make sense in light of what we learn about Labrys: Aigis being able to talk to dogs seems like a strange ability at first, especially as she explicitly states that dogs have no language (and The Answer implies that she is merely understanding Koromaru's feelings, not his words). But then you learn that Labrys, whose memories are preserved inside Aigis, had a strong bond with a dog (one that bears something of a resemblance to Koromaru at that) and it makes sense why Aigis would have such a strong understanding of canine emotions. Also, Aigis being drawn to the pier at Yakushima makes sense when you learn that the last thing Labrys saw before being shut down was the ocean view from said pier.
Why don't Yu and Aigis change Personas outside of their Instant Kills? Consider Persona Q - Yu and Makoto can't change their main Personas (Izanagi and Orpheus) due to the other's presence with the power of the Wild Card. Aigis inherited Makoto's Wild Card, so the same thing happened. They can't use sub-Personas because a chance to visit the Velvet Room and fuse Personas wasn't really accessible, and they can change Personas for the instant kill because evolving the Persona was still possible (if not on-command).
Shadow Yu. He's a Bad Boss that mostly cares about power...............He's not a Shadow of Yu himself, he's the Player. There's quite a few players who maxed all the Social links just for the more powerful personas. That's all the reason some of them have.
Labrys is the 5th Generation Anti-Shadow Suppression Weapon… that means that at some point, four previous generations of robots (with hearts, feelings, etc.) were put through the same kind of hell that she was. That's messed up.
In the P4 story of Ultimax, Rise's Fake Shadow is the only one not fought. Hopefully she vanished when the Malevolent Entity was destroyed.... right? Right??
Since no one else really loses to their shadow, presumably Yukari fought and beat Shadow Rise and got challenged by Shadow Yukari before she had a chance to catch her breathe.
The Shadow Dopplegangers tend to be pretty decent recreations of each characters' Shadows. That said, as the Character Page points out, Shadow Yu and Shadow Aigis are psychopaths (with Shadow Yu also being massively power hungry)...
In Labrys' storymode the android bonds with a dog apparently abandoned by its master. Except the research base is on an island which presumably is not yet open to the public. So how did the dog get there?