Persona 4: The Ultimate in Mayonaka Arena, also known simply as Persona 4: Arena outside of Japan, is a fighting game spinoff and canon sequel of Persona 4 and, to a lesser extent, Persona 3. Developed by Arc System Works under the supervision of Atlus' Team Persona, the game combines the gameplay of BlazBlue with the writing of the Persona series.Three months after the conclusion of Persona 4, the Midnight Channel makes an unexpected return when Teddie, now dressed in a general's hat and cape, shows up on the screen to announce the P-1 Grand Prix, a bombastic fighting tournament created to discover who is the strongest Persona user in the world.Noting Teddie's suspicious new attitude and attire, the Investigation Team from Persona 4 decides to check it out just to make sure that it is nothing more than a friendly competition. Meanwhile, three former members of S.E.E.S. (Aigis, Mitsuru Kirijo, and Akihiko Sanada) come across the tournament whilst tracking a dangerous "item" stolen from the Kirijo Group, and decide to investigate as well. And just who is Labrys, the mysteriously-roboticStudent Council President of Yasogami High School who somehow entered the Midnight Channel despite not possessing a Persona?The game hit Japanese arcades in March of 2012, with a consolerelease of July 26 and August 7 in Japan and America, respectively. The European release date was eventually confirmed for May 10 2013, being published by Zen United.The Arcade build of the game began with 10 characters, but 3 more were added through timed releases (Labrys, Elizabeth and Shadow Labrys). The complete roster is as follows:
A sequel, Persona 4: The Ultimax Ultra Suplex Hold, or Persona 4: Arena Ultimax outside of Japan, was announced September 2013 (after being teased in August via a Japanese arcade location test.) New characters include:
The sequel also introduces "Shadow" versions of most of the cast, including ShadowYu and a version of Shadow Labrys who uses Ariadne instead of Asterius (yes, this also includes ShadowKanji), that can use a new mechanic called "Shadow Fury" in place of their burst command. Further, new stages such as Junes and Tartarus have been added.This page contains spoilers from both Persona 3 and Persona 4. You Have Been Warned!
This game provides examples of:
Accent Adaptation: Labrys's original Kansai dialect is presented as a Brooklyn accent in English.
Action Prologue: The Shadow Operatives are introduced defusing a hostage situation (Aigis), Saving a government official from Shadows (Mitsuru), and defeating a couple of muggers barehanded (Akihiko) in their respective prologues.
Elizabeth's story begin with her battling Erebus and easily winning.
Actor Existence Failure: As with The Animation, Igor's role in Arena was severely reduced compared to the previous games given the death of Igor's Japanese voice actor in 2010. In fact, Igor's only lines in Arena are reused audio from Persona 3 and Persona 4.
The dub carries this on as well, as the dialogue from Dan Woren was also reused (although he's not dead) to prevent problems with the audio.
Aerith and Bob: The majority of the characters have pretty standard Japanese and Western names, but there's also Aigis and Labrys. Of course, they are Robot Girls, so it's fairly justified.
Alien Lunch: In Chie's joke ending, after defeating Akihiko over a Beef Bowl from Aiya, she happily digs into it... and passes out. When she comes to, the case is solved and everyone's at the food court, and she wonders where her Beef Bowl is. Yu berates her for eating something she found in the TV World.
Ambidextrous Sprite: Zigzagged. Akihiko has different scars on both arms and a different bandage on each side of his head, so he has two portraits depending on which side he's facing. Mitsuru, who has Peek-a-Bangs, only has one. The actual sprites for battle are ambidextrous as well.
Labrys and Aigis decide to look for the girl Unit #024 wanted to meet, the "mother" of the anti-shadow weapon series.
Elizabeth awakens to the Fool Arcana, signifying the true beginning of her journey, and sets off to find companions who would join the former elevator attendant on her quest.
Misturu and the other Shadow Operatives decide to continue their investigation into the Malevolent Entity and the circumstances of Labrys' kidnapping.
Despite being ordered by Mitsuru to not get involved any further, Yu and the Investigation Team promise each other they'll visit Tatsumi Port Island again soon and begin their own investigation into the new mysteries.
Badass Cape: Akihiko wears one, complete with a hood. Both Chie and Mitsuru consider it ridiculous, for different reasons.
Bag of Spilling: Only Yu, Aigis, Akihiko, and Mitsuru still have their Ultimate Persona, and Yu only gets to unleash Izanagi-no-Ookami for his finishing move. No one in the game addresses this fact, though it was stated back in Persona 2 that Persona revert to their initial forms if not used often. Also, while Yu uses Izanagi as his standard Persona and Izanagi-no-Okami for his finishing move, Aigis does the exact opposite: she uses Pallas Athena as her standard Persona, which she devolves into Palladion for her finishing move.
Big Damn Heroes: Fuuka of all people gets one, breaking the Malevolent Entity's control of Labrys from outside the TV. Even the villain is impressed.
Bittersweet Ending: Labrys is saved, the Investigation Team and Shadow Operatives have become friends, and Elizabeth takes another major step on her quest... but the Malevolent Entity is still out there, and promises he'll be back soon.
Boss Rush: Score Attack mode, which pits you against the main roster, with special buffs (Yosuke in eternal Sukukaja, Naoto lowering your Fate Gauge with even normal attacks, etc.) and a final battle against Elizabeth.
Brand X: Japan Airline Network instead of Japan Airlines.
The laptop Naoto is typing on in her ending has Xaio written on it.
Brick Joke: Yosuke comments early on in the story that he had Teddie leave the exit from the TV world out in case anyone on the team ever accidentally fell into their TV while sleeping. It later turns out this is exactly what happened to Kanji.
Yosuke: I mean, think about it. What if we were half-asleep and fell into a TV when Teddie wasn't over there...? Isn't that a scary thought?
Chie: Like anyone would be that clumsy!
Bridal Carry: Aigis picks up Kanji this way after defeating him in her storyline, much to his embarrassment. She is also much shorter than he is.
The Bus Came Back: Despite having moved back to the city as planned at the end of the original game, Yu returns to Inaba during the Golden Week break to investigate the P-1 Grand Prix with the rest of his friends. He even puts back on his old Yasogami High uniform for investigating inside the Midnight Channel.
Button Mashing: Borrowed from BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, rapidly hitting the A button will execute a basic character-specific combo ending in a super if you have the meter for it. You also need to keep tapping both attack buttons after a successful All-Out Attack for more hits and damage, and you need to do at least 15 hits this way before the finisher for the knockback finisher to slam the enemy into a wall for additional combo opportunities instead of just knocking them back.
Many of the characters' attacks and win poses are call backs to their original games.
One of Nanako Dojima's voice clips as a Combat Commentator, used if the character she's supporting gets poisoned, harkens back to the beginning of 4 after Yu gains his power to enter TVs from Izanami posing as a gas station attendant.
Nanako: Did you get carsick? You don't look good.
Camera Abuse: In keeping with the TV motif, one of Shadow Labrys's supers has Asterius smashing its fist into the TV screen, and one of her win poses has Asterius break through the screen completely.
One of Kanji's Victory Poses has him throw his folding chair at the screen.
The game over screen is another example.
Canon Immigrant: Labrys from the Persona 3 Drama CDs, making her way to the main series in this game.
Classical Mythology: Labrys makes use of these motifs to fit with the rest of the Persona 3 cast, and it's just as symbolic as ever.
Labrys's Persona is Ariadne, daughter of King Minos of Crete and half-sister of the Minotaur. In the myth, when Theseus came to end Minos' tradition of sacrificing seven men and women to the Minotaur every seven years, Ariadne gave the hero a sword for combat and a ball of string so he could find his way out of the Labyrinth later. Ironically, when Labrys is thrown into the TV, she creates a Labyrinth and Minotaur of her own.
Shadow Labrys's berserk form is Asterius, better known as the aforementioned Minotaur. Likewise, Shadow Labrys is the monster inside her own version of the Labrynth, Labrys's dungeon, being brought sacrifices in the form of the Investigation Team and Shadow Operatives.
Classified Information: The Shadow Operatives refuse to disclose their mission objectives to the Investigation Team because they don't want to get them involved (er... well, more than they already are). Mitsuru actually says this at one point in her story in a conversation with Rise regarding Labrys after she was kidnapped by her Shadow. It never works as the Investigation Team know a few things that the Operatives don't (such as how shadows behave in the TV world) which they use as leverage to get answers.
Cliff Hanger: Each of the "true" routes in story mode will stop on a "To Be Continued" cliffhanger the first time through, and can only be completed after unlocking and then clearing Labrys's route.
Combat Commentator: Rise serves as the default one. Fuuka, Teddie, Mitsuru, Aigis, Yosuke, and Nanako are all unlockable options.
To a smaller extent, finishing Arcade Mode with a character allows them to do the "Round X, fight!" announcement instead of the normal guy.
Meanwhile, Margaret serves as announcer for the Character Select screen, giving info on the cast.
Comeback Mechanic: Awakening, which happens when a character is nearing the end of their vitality gauge. They become more resistant to attacks, fill their super meter by 50 points and increase the maximum to 150 (which means they can execute up to three supers consecutively), and can use their "Awakening" supers.
Elizabeth's Instant Kill is the same 9999 damage Megidolaon she uses as a Bonus Boss in Persona 3. It even includes a Persona 4 version of the unconscious icon.
Yu's Instant Kill is summoning Izanagi-no-Ookami and using Myriad Truths, the same ultimate move he used to finish off the true final boss in Persona 4.
At the end of his Story Mode, Akihiko say that one day he plans to quit the Shadow Operatives and become a police officer, in a Discontinuity Nod to his role in the non-canon Persona -trinity soul-.
The island beach in Arenawhere Labrys wishes future generations of her sisters will find happiness is none other than Yakushima beach, where Aigis meets the Protagonist and other SEES members years later in Persona 3.
Labrys' and Aigis' stories reveal that the material used as the basis of the Anti-Shadow Weapons' souls is a Plume of Dusk, an Easy difficulty-exclusive Auto-Revive item in Persona 3.
Persona 4 Temperance Social Link Eri and Yuuta can be seen in Junes early on in the game.
Aigis' story mode mentions a police report with testimony from Adachi from the end of the game, though he is not named.
Funky Student, the kid with the afro who gave you quizzes back in Persona 4, can also be seen working in Junes early in the game.
Rise's manager is once again Inoue, her manager from the Lovers Social Link in Persona 4.
Anti-Shadow weapons can understand dog talk, just like Aigis in Persona 3.
For his Instant Kill, Akihiko uses Caesar to move his opponent inside a miniature version of Earth, and then performs a Colony Drop punch on them from orbit.
Yu's Instant Kill has him using Izanagi-no-Okami to summon a giant lightning bolt right on top of his opponent's head.
Deadpan Snarker: Aigis slips back into stilted robot speech in order to snark. "I comprehend." Mitsuru takes it as a sign that she's becoming more human.
Defeat Means Friendship: In a strange case, Shadow Labrys clouds the senses of those inside her dungeon and uses illusions to make the friends think they're saying horrible things to each other. It's only once the two contestants finish battling that they can interact with their friends normally again.
In a straight case, happens in earnest after every fight between the Investigation Team and Shadow Operatives, and once Shadow Labrys is defeated she too becomes a Persona.
Chie: If this was some fighting manga, we'd beat the tar out of each other, then shake hands in the end as best friends. A powerful enemy can become a powerful friend, you know. Friendship can do amazing things.
(sticks out her hand)
Despair Gambit: The Malevolent Entity wants to break the Investigation Team and Shadow Operative's wills, so all their Personas will turn into Shadows again. It fails, as both groups have already learned The Power of Friendship.
Difficult but Awesome: Mitsuru has shades of both. She has the least available attacks out of any other character and clunky Persona attacks that can easily leave her open against agile fighters such as Yosuke and Yu. Of course, the moves she does have Freeze characters in place. (In a fighting game like this, this can mean the difference between victory and defeat, as being stuck in one place for more than five seconds is more than enough time for an opponent to hammer you, especially in Score Attack Mode) and her normal A-button combo is more than enough to Bum Rush an opponent into a corner, despite not doing much damage.
Dramatic Irony: A lot of details from the story modes are only explained in certain scenarios and leave the other characters confused. Once you've played any particular story mode, you know that other characters are going to be making mistakes.
Naoto interprets Mitsuru's limo as serving some secret purpose since it stands out so badly, but the truth is just that she failed to specify an inconspicuous vehicle.
Mitsuru, on the other hand, doesn't know Labrys is running around confused and initially thinks the hijacking and subsequent tournament were an escape attempt and revenge. The story mode for characters like Yosuke makes this plain, however.
For her part, Labrys' story mode is mostly backstory and is only unlocked later, so when a mysterious voice offers to 'help' her the audience knows that this is a bad idea and a trick by the Malevolent Entity.
Dub Name Change: Many of the special and super moves with unique names in the Japanese version were renamed into preexisting skills in the English version.
Elizabeth's "Momento Mori" super was changed to "Ghastly Wail".
Chie's insulting title, as used during matches below her lifebar and in the battle intros, is changed from "The Carnivore Who's Discarded Womanhood" to, "The Spunky Dragon With Deadly Legs". The story still uses the Carnivore title in dialogue, though.
Eldritch Location: The Sea of Consciousness where Elizabeth spends her off-hours, and where she finds Erebus and the Golden Gate. The TV World of Persona 4 has also, at least temporarily, reverted from the idyllic landscape of the former game's True Ending to its TV studio appearance.
Enemy Without: The sequel allows you to play as a character's Shadow; including the first canonical appearance of Shadow Yu, and the Shadows of the Persona 3 cast. In game-play they're a sort of Berserk version of the main characters; Less attack power and defensive abilities (such as Burst and Awakening modes), but have rapid SP gain, access to Awakening Skills when they hit 100 SP, and the Shadow Rampage ability (which grants them unlimited Sp for a short time).
This is a story element as well. It seems that the Shadows are actually wandering around Inaba at the same time as their originals! How this is possible is not known yet. On the flip side, Mirror Matchs!
Emotionally Tongue Tied: Kanji towards Naoto in his story mode. He does about as much as he can to confess to her before running off, claiming he's going to 'run some laps'. And this is while he thinks it's a DREAM.
Excuse Plot: In arcade mode, Teddie replaces the Midnight Channel with his P-1 Grand Prix tournament, and invites all the Persona users into the TV world to prove who's the best. Though it does turn out in story mode "General Teddie" is actually the disguised Shadow of Labrys, a Kirijo Group anti-shadow weapon trapped inside the TV world, putting it in line with the plot structure of Persona 4 and explaining what the Persona 3 cast members are doing there.
Evil Twin: Mitsuru thinks Teddie is using this as an excuse in regards to General "Teddie" in Teddie's story.
Fangs Are Evil: The illusions in the Persona 4 Arena manga tend to have small fangs.
Fighting Clown : Teddie. Amongst humans and human-shaped Robot Girls, Teddie is a walking cartoon bear with silly animations.
Flanderization: The in-universe character introduction trailer makes sweeping generalizations about the fighters' personalities, as The General wants to annoy them. Additionally, several characters' previously minor quirks get blown up to insane proportions:
Akihiko's favorite food being 'Anything with Protein' in P3 becomes an overblown obsession Played for Laughs.
Chie favorite food being steak in P4 mutatues into her being willing to blow the entire investigation to chase after a beef bowl.
Fog of Doom: The red fog that appears in Climax, working similar to both the TV World and the Dark Hour by turning off the power and changing the real world.
Forgot About His Powers: Yu and Aigis barely utilize their "Wild Card" abilities to switch between different Persona, even when doing so would give them a clear advantage.
Fragile Speedster: Yosuke, who is the fastest character in the game, but has poor strength and defense.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: Goes both ways. In the Story Mode, the majority of Labrys fight is done that she's in permanent Persona Break because she only gets her Persona near the end of the story. On the other hand, Mitsuru has an intro where she enters the battlefield with her 10-doored limousine, and she's apparently able to bring it to close spaces like a classroom or announcer room.
Genre Savvy: At the end, Mitsuru tells the former Investigation Team members to be aware of the enemy out to get them, but to leave the job to the Shadow Operatives instead of abandoning their normal lives for it. Yu, unwilling to let someone else take responsibility, makes a subtle sign to his friends to concede the point, and reinstates the Investigation Team the next day. Mitsuru, however, realizes what he's doing immediately, and admits to Naoto that there's little she could have done to dissuade them anyway.
Kanji: I'll give you one hell of a beating, just like last year. I hope you're ready!
Teddie: I-I Don't remember you giving me anything like that! What did you do without me knowing!?
Yosuke and the Nurses. Most especially in his ending: "How did this conversation go from welcoming to wanking in three steps??"
Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Elizabeth straight-up invades the plot during Story mode, leaving Yu very perplexed at this strange, all-powerful Velvet Room girl appearing in the middle of the tournament with no warning, no regard for what else is going on and little-to-no explanation for why she's here.
Guide Dang It: Some of the methods needed to 100% story mode are rather obtuse (namely, there being a secret scene in Yu's story that gets unlocked if you only pick the top choice for every choice in his story).
The Heartless: The shadowy, ghostly students that serve as "audience" to the matches are the Shadows of what little remains of the minds of Labrys' sisters, which she inherited when she was given their memories during her combat preparation. They have so little ego left that they only exist to watch friend fight friend.
"I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: At the end of each character's story (Except for Labrys and Elizabeth), Labrys is taken over by the true masterminds of her kidnapping and disappearance into the TV World, either through hacking by someone with an "Eerie Voice" or by possession by the "Malevolent Entity".
Informed Ability: The Wild Card has sort of become this for Yu and Aigis. While the game still emphasizes the Wild Card's Power of Friendship, the ability to use multiple Personas is absent note aside from Yu evolving Izanagi for his instant kill; Aigis does the opposite, summoning her starter persona, Palladion, in her Instant Kill. The game even claims several times that both Yu and Aigis go all out for their fights, which should imply that they switch to their more powerful Personas, such as Yoshitsune or Messiah.
Interface Spoiler: Good luck avoiding the fact that Fuuka Yamagishi is in the game. Her name appears in the voice cast and the DLC page features the new character art.
Market-Based Title: The English release dropped the literal title translation of "The Ultimate in Midnight Arena" for just "Arena", given the Gratuitous English would have stood out more for native English speakers.
Nigh-Invulnerability: Elizabeth. After she "loses" a match, she does not fall to the ground unconscious like everyone else. Instead she lies down on her book, watching her opponent with an amused smile. And after anyone fights her in their story mode, the winner is left gasping for breath, while Elizabeth stands up, dusts herself off, and thanks them, before leaving, unharmed and not even winded.
Noodle Incident: You never do find out exactly what your character's Jerk Ass illusion says to the opponent in any of the story modes, leading to some amusing moments afterwards.
Naoto: I understand. We were shown illusions to goad us into fighting each other.
Mitsuru: In that case, I'll... well, I'm willing to forget all the things you said about my body.
Naoto: Wait, what?
After Naoto defeats Kanji in the former's story mode, Kanji is blushing and stuttering constantly. His misfunction involves having trouble being himself, and his insecurity about his ability to knit, and Kanji has a huge crush on Naoto. Put one and one together...
Not Himself: A running mystery throughout the story. Rise and Teddie would never make their friends fight each other, the good guys would never taunt their friends before a match, and a person's Shadow shouldn't be able to manifest at the same time as their Persona. The entire thing turns out to be one big Despair Gambit being run by Master of Illusion Shadow Labrys and Master of Disguise the Malevolent Entity.
Not Just A Tournament: It's not just a tournament, it's the Midnight Channel dungeon of Robot Girl Labrys. It's also being manipulated by someone known as the Malevolent Entity.
Off the Rails: Liz's story mode. It feels like a parody of Mary Sue fanfictions, but with entertaining comedy, as this all-powerful nigh-god just waltzes onto the scene and takes down whoever she feels like, with no regard for the other events going on within the story, save for her participating in a fighting tournament and her vague agenda of finding out about the wild card power. It follows its own plot, in which she is trying to come up with a way to save the protagonist of Persona 3, but at the cost of coherence with the other characters' stories. Rule of Funny precedes all here.
Continuing Arc System Works tradition, the game has instant kills in the form of "Mortal Blows" (localized as Instant Kills). Not counting the original Guilty Gear where you could spam them as much as you want until the opponent failed to counter one and allowed you to win the entire match instantly, they have the most lenient requirements out of any Arc System Works fighters: while they require 100 SP to perform and they can only be performed on your winning round, your opponent does not need to be have low health for your insta-kill to work (like Guilty Gear) and there's no permanent cost associated with performing them such as disabling your Persona or Burst for the rest of the match like in BlazBlue: thanks to Offensive Burst that fills your SP completely, you even can do things like using them twice in rapid succession.
Both Naoto and Elizabeth also have classic SMT series insta-kills (Ma)Hamaon and (Ma)Mudoon as super moves:
Naoto's can only cause a One-Hit Kill if she has brought down her opponent's Fate counter to zero, otherwise they do no damage.
Elizabeth's are fixed traps that will always cause instant death if they hit, but take 10 seconds to activate and disappear when she is hit.
Overt Operative: The Shadow Operatives, whose existence and motives are supposedly kept secret to the public. Mitsuru and Aigis arrive at Inaba in an eight-door limousine and end up having trouble finding a discreet parking spot. The less said about how they and Akihiko dress, the better.
Mitsuru: Don't tell me you came from the airport like that... Does the concept of keeping a low profile mean nothing to you?
Aigis: Mitsuru-san, I believe we have lost the right to complain about that...
Previous Player-Character Cameo: Aigis, Mitsuru, Akihiko, and Fuuka all show up over the course of the story. Mitsuru and the other Shadow Operatives are searching for a precious "item" stolen from the Kirijo group. While Elizabeth wasn't a player character in the previous game, she stumbles upon the P-1 Grand Prix on her continuing journey to find a way to bring back the protagonist of Persona 3.
Promotional Consideration: Parodied. The Atlus and Arc System Works developer credit screen that can be seen when the game starts up is in the form of the Promotional Consideration screen that appears before a majority of Japanese TV programs, with a different character reading the standard "This program is brought to you by the following sponsors" announcement each time.
Psychotic Smirk/Slasher Smile: Almost all the Shadow versions of the characters have either one of these expressions on their faces. The only exceptions are Shadow Naoto, who just has a look of disdain, and Shadow Kanji, who is just fabulous.
Puppet Fighter: Everyone who has a Persona. Which amounts to everyone but Sho. The C and D buttons allow the characters to control their Personas separate from themselves, though the amount of control the player has over their Personas varies.
Revenue Enhancing Devices: The announcers are normally unlocked by doing things like clearing Story Mode, Arcade Mode, the Challenges, or Score Attack. But for those who don't want to bother, you can just unlock them through paid DLC. Additionally, there are several palettes that are available only through purchase.
Saved by Canon: The extended true ending of Persona 4: The Golden shows the entire Persona 4 cast to be alive and as close as ever several months after the P-1 Grand Prix incident. Yosuke even makes a nod to this game, noting that Yu/the Protagonist didn't really get a chance to relax when he visited Inaba during Golden Week.
Scenery Gorn: The Announcement Room is this whenever Shadow Labrys is involved. The room soon reveals a blood red factory with various android parts hanging around, moving on the conveyor belt, or in the incinerator in the background.
Seen It All: Both the P3 and P4 cast have this, though it shows more for the Investigation Team given that the action takes place inside the TV world, their home turf.
At the end of the P-1 Grand Prix, both Labrys and the Shadow Operatives wonder why the P4 cast are acting so nonchalant about what they just went through. Their answer basically boils down to "We've seen this shit before".
Sequel Hook: At the end of the game, both groups make plans to investigate the "Malevolent Entity's" identity and motives.
Aigis has infinite Orgia Mode, 999 bullets each round, and does increased damage.
Yu Narukami's special attacks are automatically boosted with no SP cost, his damage is increased, his attacks are faster, and all of his specials cancel into each other.
Shadow Labrys has increased damage, and her Brutal Impact Limit Break can interrupt combos.
Labrys' axe is always fully charged, her persona attacks that involve planting traps in the ground teleport to your location, and she gets a damage boost.
Elizabeth takes this far into Up to Eleven territory. Her passive, Invigorate, gives her 100 SP in roughly four seconds, she gets near triple HP (20,000), her One Hit Ko traps come out instantly and can't be interrupted, she casts Diarahan upon Awakening (now with invincibility and blowback properties), and if given a chance, and her damage is boosted to insane degrees, Ghastly Wail in particular now dealing 7500 base damage (44,444 if the opponent has Fear).
Spin-Off: In terms of gameplay at least. The story itself continues where Persona 3 and Persona 4 left off.
Truth in Television: The SAT captain said that he hasn't faced off against armed hijackers in 10 years. While true, the calculations are wrong since the last hijacking was in 1999 on ANA Flight 61. Which means that it's suppose to be 13 years since the game is set in 2012. The low rate of hijacking cases is due to the strict anti-hijacking law enacted in 1970 after the Japanese Red Army staged their first hijacking in Japan during the Cold War. The maximum penalty is death just for being involved. Least you can expect is life in prison.
Un Entendre/Entendre Failure: In Yosuke's Story Mode, when he comes across Chie, she immediately requests to eat him. Yosuke spends a few moments trying to figure out if she meant it sexually. She meant it literally. Then, when Yosuke brings it up after their battle, Chie thinks it's he who is trying to say something sexual.
Walking the Earth: How Akihiko has spent the two years since the end of Persona 3 across the globe to perfect his punch and become the greatest fighter. He's back in Japan because Mitsuru invited him to investigate the tournament with her.
Weapon for Intimidation / Shoot Him, He Has a Wallet!: The hijackers were reported to be using pistols, which gave the SAT legitimacy to intervene. But the NPA ordered them to pull back and boy did they do the right thing when the Shadow Operatives were deployed. The hijackers were hypnotized to do the attack and the pistols were nothing but air guns.
Which unfortunately leads to Truth in Television, since there are incidents where police officers/soldiers gun down persons because they were drawing their non-lethal items in a threatening manner or had air guns with them in public.
Wham Line: Kanji's Shadow(?): Did I not push him far enough? No, I didn't make any mistakes...the power he drew from his bonds was just stronger. There's still something missing to turn a Persona back into a Shadow...
What the Hell, Hero?: Most of the joke ending outcomes. The Investigation Team were not pleased that Chie chose an Aiya Beef Bowl (turns out to be Alien Lunch) over the real matter at hand, while they chew out Kanji for still treating things like a dream... well except Naoto, who's more or less flustered. As of Yukiko, they would be calling her out, if it wasn't her forcing down her horrible food and causing them to skip out Golden Week afterwards due to sickness.We still laugh at it anyway.
Who You Gonna Call?: The National Police Agency created the Shadow Operatives to act as a covert civilian anti-paranormal unit in the wake of the events of Persona 3/4. It's official name is the Shadow Response Unit under the NPA's Security Bureau.
With Catlike Tread: A visual variation. The Shadow Operatives try to act covertly for their mission, but the Kirijo Group apparently doesn't see the problem with sending a limo to a rural town. The actual members aren't much better, what with Mitsuru's and Akihiko's rather eye-catching outfits, and Aigis being completely undisguised. The latter even tries to bring it up only for Mitsuru to immediately refuse to let her.
Mitsuru Kirijo: All I told them was to give us a car with "enough space"…
You Remind Me of X: The Shadow Operatives sometimes make references to the events of Persona 3, often comparing the Dark Hour and Tartarus to the Midnight Channel and the fake Yasogami High School. Mitsuru in particular notes similarity between Yu and the Persona 3 protagonist, and Elizabeth also states that Yu heavily reminded her of Aigis.