The character sheet for One Year. For canon characters, only list tropes that appear in the fic.
- "After everything I'd been through while in Inaba, the life I'd lived before seemed small and hollow in comparison, but even so, it would be my life once again, at least for the next year. If nothing else, I'd learned that one year is not too short of a time to establish a meaningful connection with someone, grow as a person or make a difference, so there was no reason for me not to try."
The main character of Persona, as well as this fanfic. Having solved the mystery behind the murders in the town of Inaba alongside his friends, he is returns home greatly changed by his time in Inaba.
- Armor-Piercing Question: He asks one of Kenji when the latter inadvertently drops the suggestion that his other friends are slacking off and squandering their potential.Kenji: Don't get me wrong. I've enjoyed our time a great deal, and don't like the thought of not seeing either of you again. That said, if I had to choose, I'd choose to secure my future, instead of compromising and ending up with a less than optimal outcome.Yu: Like the rest of us did?
- Armor-Piercing Response: He does this to Kenji. When Kenji points out that he was actually jealous of Kaoru for having a dream, Yu notes "And yet, you didn't fully understand what it felt like to have his hopes dashed," forcing Kenji to admit that he didn't realize how his words came off to Kaoru.
- Brutal Honesty: As nice as he can be, he can be prone to this at times.
- Calling the Old Man Out: While he mostly keeps any feelings of bitterness toward his parents to himself, when his mother admits that she'd have discouraged him from getting involved with Yukiko considering that he'd be leaving after a year, he snarkily suggests that he finds it unlikely she'd pay to call long-distance to tell him to break up with Yukiko, considering that she hardly ever keeps in touch with him.
- Character Development: It's mentioned that over the course of Persona 4, he learned to live life to the fullest, and intends to put the lessons he learned in Inaba to full use in Minagi City while trying to get his old friends back together.
- Chick Magnet: Downplayed, since Yu's somewhat popular, but only among girls who know him well.
- Deadpan Snarker: He can engage in this at times, whether some good-natured ribbing or occasionally more harsh and sardonic responses.
- Friendship Trinket: He keeps the various gifts his friends gave him in a trunk, with the exception of the family photo he got from Nanako (which is on his desk), the mug he got from Dojima (which is in the Dojima house), and Yukiko's shrine charm, which he carries around.
- The Heart: He was the center of his old team. He's not happy to hear this, as he'd hoped they would fare well in his absence.
- Nice Guy: He's portrayed as such in this fic, being generally kindhearted and supportive of others.
- Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: Played with, as he goes into a larger and more competitive school. As a student, while he's top of his class at Yasogami, he starts out as fifth at Minagi. As a drama club member, he does fairly well in the auditions for the School Play, but gets passed over for Romeo. As an basketball player, it's pointed out that he wouldn't stand a chance at getting a spot on the team.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Does this with Yosuke, telling him that while he has some things in common with Adachi, he's also fundamentally a good person.
Yu's girlfriend and heiress of the Amagi Inn, who stays behind to prepare to inherit the inn, while also studying for university.
- Deuteragonist: The primary POV character in Inaba.
- I Will Wait for You: Essentially, the entire fic's about her going through this.
- Lethal Chef: Gradually subverted over time, as she works hard to become a good cook. At the moment, she's made noticeable progress, but is still far from where she wants to be.
- Lonely at the Top: One of her fears about becoming head of the Amagi Inn is that the waitresses and chefs will no longer be so familiar with her.
- Character Development: With Naoki's help, he finally puts the issue of Saki to rest, realizing that she'd never hated him, even if she was frustrated by her current situation and unable to confide in him.
- The Friend Nobody Likes:
- His status as such is explored, albeit with the "friend" part not being in question. Chie says that he almost inevitably gets on everyone's nerves, but doesn't think that anyone who knows him could really hate him, as he thought Saki did.
- While talking with Yu on the phone he even lampshades the fact that he invariably gets everyone mad at him eventually.
- Not So Different:
Yosuke: It's a bit scary to think that the only difference you have from a murderer is that when you reached the same crossroads, you took a different route. I suppose that's why people like to dehumanize criminals, and pretend they have nothing in common with them.
- His similarities with Adachi and Yu are explored in Chapter 14, particularly how all three wound up in a seemingly boring town like Inaba. As much as Yosuke hates Adachi, he has to acknowledge that they have some things in common.
- It's also pointed out that he has some similarities with Namatame, as both of them were spurred on by a desire to protect others after the women they loved died. After realizing this, Yosuke is able to forgive Namatame.
- Book Dumb: Downplayed, but while she's improved her grades, they still aren't exactly great.
- Commonality Connection: Since she was once jealous of Yukiko, and was also in love with Yu, she helps Rise work through her feelings.
- Secret Secret-Keeper: It's strongly implied that she knows about Yu and Yukiko being a couple.
- Beta Couple: With Naoto.
- Birds of a Feather: He and Naoto are both people who struggle with their gender roles, and the fact that not everyone will accept him.
- Not Quite the Right Thing: Calling out Ms. Kashiwagi when she badmouths Rise is portrayed as this. Naoto understands what Kanji wanted to accomplish and sympathizes, but believes that he got in trouble with little to show for it.
- Real Men Cook: He places third in the cooking contest, behind Naoto and Yu.
- What the Hell, Hero?: He gives a relatively subdued one when he finds out that Naoto has been throwing out the various love letters she has been getting without even bothering to read them.
- Beta Couple: With Kanji.
- Obsolete Mentor: While she does help Yukiko improve her cooking to the point where it's edible, and that the chefs trust her to do more on her own, Naoto quickly runs out of things to teach Yukiko.
An Idol Singer who's working to restart her career after a year-long hiatus.
- Everyone Has Standards: According to Word of God, she wouldn't have made advances on Yu if she'd known he was already in a relationship with Yukiko.
- Hero of Another Story: Her efforts to revive her idol career largely happen offscreen.
- Love Hurts: She takes Yu's rejection and subsequent revelation of his relationship with Yukiko the hardest, and the realization that her career as an Idol Singer would have precluded getting into a relationship with Yu to begin wit doesn't help.
- Stepford Smiler: She tries to bury her pain and outwardly accept Yu's relationship with Yukiko.
A group of four friends that Yu had in his first year at Minagi High School. Initially, Yu was friends with Kaoru and Kenji, but then befriended Sakura, who brought her other friend Hitomi into the group. During the year Yu spent in Inaba, the other members drifted apart, busy with other pursuits and their daily lives.
Tropes common to the group
- A Day in the Limelight: Chapter 18 is this for the four of them, showing what they're up to during Golden Week.
- Tarot Motifs: According to Word of God, if Yu's friends were Social Links, Kaoru would be Strength, Kenji the Tower, Sakura the Lovers, and Hitomi the Empress.
- Two Girls to a Team: Sakura and Hitomi.
- We Were Your Team: Sakura more or less says this to Yu, saying that he kept the group together. Yu is not happy to hear this, since he'd hoped that they could have stayed together in his absence.
- "Maybe you've never had anything this important to you, but this is how I feel about basketball. It's the one thing I'm good at, after all."
One of Yu's old friends, and an aspiring basketball player.
- Blunt "Yes": Subverted. When Yu asks him if all the work he puts into the team is worth it, Kaoru responds by saying "It can be," rather than the more confident and decisive answer that Yu expected.
- Book Dumb: He's not particularly good at academics, although part of his problem is that he's given up on seriously trying to improve himself.
- To Kou and Daisuke. Unlike them, he doesn't have any particular doubt about his sport and tries his hardest, only to ultimately get cast aside and rejected.
- To Kenji. Not only do they contrast as a jock and an honor student, Kaoru believes in natural talent, while Kenji believes more in the value of hard work.
- Hope Spot: Subverted. His getting a chance to play for the team again would seem like this, but by then, he's past the point at which he has any hope of becoming a professional athlete, and so focuses on coming to terms with it.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He can be a bit blunt, outspoken and prone to taking things personally, but is a good person at heart.
- Tragic Dream: Becoming a basketball player is this, and he learns after a few months that he doesn't actually have what it takes to keep up with his high school team, let alone a professional one.
One of Yu's old friends, a highly studious boy who's among the top students in his grade.
- Blunt "Yes": He gives one when Kaoru, in danger of being dropped from the team due to low grades, asks whether it's all that important that he do well in school. Yu does notice, though, that Kenji's a bit less confident about his belief than he usually isKaoru: I hate to sound naive, but are grades really this important?Kenji: They are. You're a student first and an athlete second, after all.
- Education Mama: His parents pressure him to do well in his studies out of a belief that he has the potential, and that his success now will translate into success later in life.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: The "inferiority" part is downplayed, but the way he acts is in large part out of the fear that if he's anything other than the best at academics, he'll have wasted his youth
- Insufferable Genius: He doesn't necessarily lord over others, but he does think of himself as smarter than most people.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He can be occasionally condescending, but he cares about his friends.
- Sunk Cost Fallacy: He seems to be subconsciously driven by this on some level, afraid of the idea that his efforts in his studies might not get him what he wants. Yu even explicitly compares him to Shu Nakajima, the Tower Social Link of Persona 4.
- "The possibilities in life seem endless now that I'm willing to step off the path of least resistance, and because you helped me realize that, I... I'm really grateful to you."
One of Yu's old friends, a shy girl whom he reached out to in his first year at Minagi.
- Dramatically Missing the Point: In Yu's opinion, she does this when she lets out a sigh of relief over Kaoru and Kenji stopping just short of having an argument. While she's happy that her friends didn't fight, Yu believes that they failed to address the issue of their conflicting worldviews.
- Foil: To Ai. She started out as somewhat introverted and overweight, but changed her image without gaining a false conception of what made her attractive.
- Formerly Fat: Yu notes that she's lost a fair amount of weight since he last saw her.
- Friendless Background: She had hardly any friends before meeting Yu.
- The Glasses Gotta Go: As part of her image makeover, she switched to contact lenses.
- Good Parents: Her parents are supportive, open-minded and kind to her.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Despite being sad about being rejected, takes it in stride.
- Love Confession: To Yu, in Chapter 28. She gets rejected in Chapter 30.
- Nice Girl: She's cheerful and polite to others, if somewhat averse to conflict.
A friend of Sakura's, whom she brought into the group.
- Abusive Parents: Her parents emotionally abuse her, constantly putting her down and saying that she can't do anything apart from accepting her lot in life as a housewife.
- Aloof Big Brother: By all accounts, she and her brother are not especially close, given that he's five years older than her and the fact that he's busy with his own duties for the family.
- Arranged Marriage: The cause of all her woes, since once it goes through, she will largely be discouraged from seeing other men. She thinks her fiance is a kind man, but realizes that he must put his loyalty to his family before anything else, and so doesn't completely trust him.
- Big Fancy House: Her family lives in one, and Yu notices this when he visits her.
- Book Dumb: Her grades are only slightly better than Kaoru's, and she's generally well below average.
- Foil: To Yukiko. Both feel trapped by their families' expectations, but while Yukiko had passively hoped to be saved before confronting her Shadow, Hitomi initially hopes to close off all other paths besides the one chosen for her.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: She wants her four friends to stay close to one another after she graduates and is married off. As far as romance goes, she also has a crush on Yu, but refuses to act on it, not only because of her family, but so that Sakura will have a chance.
- Kimono Is Traditional: She typically wears one around the house.
- Last-Name Basis: She addresses most people this way, until Sakura insists that Hitomi make an exception for her, one that she later makes with Yu. On the other hand, she's perfectly fine with her friends using her first name.
- Nice Girl: While she's a bit more distant from the rest of the group than Sakura is, Hitomi is unfailingly kind and polite.
- Nice to the Waiter: She's kind to her maids and other servants. She'd like to think of them as her friends, but can't because they must think of her as a mistress first.
- The Ojou: She's the wealthiest of the five main characters.
- Shipper on Deck: She ships Yu and Sakura.
- Shoo the Dog: Downplayed, but she keeps the males of the group at a certain distance, in preparation for the day when she will marry and say goodbye to them.
A second-year who is president of the drama club that Yu joins.
- Alliterative Name: Sayuri Sakamoto.
- Boyish Short Hair: She finds it convenient to keep her hair short when playing male roles.
- Broken Pedestal: To an extent, her predecessor is this to her. She'd respected her and hoped to learn from her, but realized that she was embezzling and even apart from that, was hardly an ideal leader. It's also indicated that the pedestal cracked a bit before her arrest, as Sayuri didn't agree with all her predecessor's decisions.
- The Chains of Commanding: She finds it difficult to be Club President, since she desperately struggles to keep the club afloat and has to keep things professional with her aunt (the club advisor) and her best friend(a club member)
- Club President: Of the drama club.
- Internal Reformist: She'd originally hoped to be this for the drama club, but her goal fell by the wayside as she struggled to keep the club afloat, much to Satomi's frustration.
- You Are in Command Now: After her predecessor got arrested for stealing money, she was forced to take up leadership.
A second-year and member of the drama club. She's friends with Sayuri, although their relationship is somewhat strained as a result of Sayuri being in a position of authority.
- What the Hell, Hero?: She calls out Sayuri for her style of leadership, accusing her of making excuses and losing sight of why she wanted to be president in the first place.
One of Sakura's friends who's president of the student council, and is top student in her grade before and after Yu's arrival.
- Absurdly Powerful Student Council: Averted. According to Yu, the student council has a great deal of responsibility but little autonomy, rendering it an arm of the principal and administration.
- The Ace: Like Yu, she has entirely maxed out statistics in Knowledge, Courage, Diligence, Understanding and Expression.
- Student Council President: Her job.
Yu's homeroom teacher, the advisor to the drama club, and Sayuri's aunt.
- Cool Aunt: She's this to Sayuri on her time off, although professionalism dictates that she treat Sayuri like any other student while on the clock.
- Foil: To Kinshiro "King Moron" Morooka. Unlike him, she's polite, professional and well-respected by her students.
- Sharp Dressed Woman: She wears a suit in most appearances, since her school has a relatively strict dress code for the faculty.
- Stern Teacher: While not overly strict, she firmly believes in the value of upholding the rules and keeping a professional distance from her students, including her niece.
Kanako and Souji Narukami
Yu's parents, who work for an international tech firm and spend a lot of their time away from home.
- Aloof Big Sister: It's implied that Kanako was this to Dojima in the past, as the responsible one, and the two aren't close in adulthood.
- The Cynic: Yu's parents tend to think in highly practical terms.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Kanako is the responsible sibling compared to Dojima, but early on, remarks that since he took care of Yu for a year, perhaps their roles have reversed.
- Love-Obstructing Parents: Averted. They make no secret of how they don't think it's a good idea for Yu to have gotten into a relationship with Yukiko when he knew that he'd have to leave and she'd have to stay, but don't do anything to drive them apart. Yu, however, is concerned about the possibility of them changing their mind.
- The Maiden Name Debate: Kanako was formerly known as Kanako Dojima.
- Parental Neglect: Played somewhat more sympathetically here, as Kanako feels a certain amount of guilt for not being present in Yu's life, even if it's due to her job.
- Parents as People: Yu recognizes that while his parents are not always there for them, they're the only ones he has.
- Second Love: Kanako had a boyfriend in high school, but had to break up with him when their lives took them down separate paths.
Yukiko's mother and he manager of the Amagi Inn.
- First-Name Basis: With Haruka Tatsumi, Kanji's mother and her long time friend.
- Kimono Is Traditional: She wears one most of the time.
- Open-Minded Parent: She's willing to give Yu a chance, and invites him over during the summer.
- Second Love: Her husband was this, as her parents drove her first boyfriend to break up with her after relentlessly questioning him.
- You Just Told Me: After correctly guessing that Yu was Yukiko's boyfriend all along, she notes that her daughter's reaction was proof that she was right, even if she had her suspicions all along.
- The Maiden Name Debate: Like Yu will in the future, he married into the Amagi family and took their name.
- Open-Minded Parent: Like his wife, he's willing to accept Yu, albeit he's a bit more insistent on finding out his true character.
The main antagonist of Persona 4. He was arrested after his defeat and is awaiting trial for murdering Mayumi Yamano and Saki Konishi, as well as other crimes.
- Put on a Bus: He's given two life sentences for killing Mayumi Yamano and Saki Konishi, and it's indicated that he'll likely never see Yu or Dojima again.
- We Used to Be Friends: Yu visits him in jail during Golden Week to get a sense of closure, but it's clear that while he looks back fondly on their friendship and feels a certain amount of pity for Adachi, Yu can't forgive him.
Also known as Izanami no Mikoto, Marie is the amnesiac girl Yu met who eventually regained her memories and her status as a goddess. No longer a resident in the Velvet Room, she now lives in Inaba.
- Put on a Bus: She disappeared since the final battle and none of the Investigation members have seen her...
- The Bus Came Back: ...until Chapter 33, in which the second-years meet her while clothes shopping.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Rise notes that Marie looks nice in a suit.
Saki and Naoki's father, and owner of Konishi Liquors.