An idol working in the same label as Rise under the stage name "Kanamin", who served as her "replacement" following her brief retirement, and eventually (with her group "Kanamin Kitchen") her friendly rival upon her return, only to end up getting caught in the same kind of supernatural mystery that Rise helped solve half a year ago during her break, this time involving the disappearance of her fellow Kanamin Kitchen members.
- Adorkable: This is how she acts when not in character.
- All of the Other Reindeer: She exclaims that, as a child, she never got to have the courage to speak up and make friends. It was when she saw her idol on TV that she gained courage to become an idol herself. Even still, she feels like this as she has never made a friend, not even with her idol group.
- Ascended Extra: In Persona 4, she was briefly mentioned in Rise's Social Link arc as her replacement idol, and also briefly made a cameo in the anime. Here, she becomes a more prominent character, both as leader of Kanamin Kitchen and as a playable character in her own right.
- Broken Smile: Sports one with a bit of Laughing Mad as she tries to unlock Yuko's diary.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Has shades of it, what with her talking to her potted plants and admiring an obviously dangerous paranormal portal as "Plasma-san". In a partial Deconstruction, it's implied that these eccentrics are the reason Kanami has been having problems with making friends ever since she was young and feels so inadequate towards other people.
- Chekhov's Gun: That pocket diary she carries around? You do remember she tripped on it and it got mixed up with her stuff when she was a child, right?
- Cute Clumsy Girl: She's prone to tripping over her own feet, dropping items and just general awkwardness. Justified, as she mentions having hypoglycemia in one Internal Monologue.
- D-Cup Distress: Does not like that her breasts grew as she sees it as gaining weight. May be justified since her tendency to low blood sugar implies she might be a diabetic, which means gaining weight would be bad both for her career and health.
- The Ditz: She is one in personal life and very aware and self-conscious about it.
- Exotic Eye Designs: In her official portrait, Kanami has a star in her open eye.
- Fangirl: For Rise. She kind of loses it whenever Rise is dancing with her.
- Fanservice with a Smile: Kanamin Kitchen's uniforms include aprons, which gives the impression that they're waitress outfits.
- Friendless Background: Due to her eccentric, clumsy personality she has never been able to make a lot of friends as a child, which was her primary motivation for becoming an idol, but that ultimately didn't help solving the problem. At all.
- Gone Mad From The Revelation: Reading Yuko's diary caused her to snap twice.
- Hidden Depths: Her social issues as a child reached to a point where, once she saw her idol opting for suicide, her repressed memories started to boil over the huge stress that was being an idol with no bonds with others that she had indirectly become the host of Mikuratana-no-kami, who then used her to enact its plan to deceive humanity with a fake bond.
- Idol Singer: Duh.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Nanako.
- Jiggle Physics: Kanami, being as well-endowed as she is, has some bounce in her bust.
- Lethal Chef: Subverted. In the last chapter she brings home-cooked lunch to thank the Investigation Team; Yu and Yosuke brace themselves for more Mystery Food X, but it's actually quite good.
- Mad Libs Catchphrase: "I just have to [X]!" Nanako mimics this when they hang out.
- Opaque Nerd Glasses: As seen in her casual portrait and during some of the animated cutscenes.
- Quirky Curls: In both her idol and casual appearance, her idol hair even more so, though it might be a wig.
- Shipper on Deck: Can proudly proclaim that Yu and Rise are perfect for each during Fever Time.
- Speech Impediment: It's not very noticeable, but she tends to lisp her "s", especially when nervous.
- This Loser Is You: Despite being an Idol Singer, she is also very much a loser. She also serves as the player character for a good third of the game.
- Tragic Keepsake: Unbeknownst to her, because of Trauma-Induced Amnesia rewriting her memories, the diary.
- Trauma-Induced Amnesia: As a child, Kanami witnessed Yuko's suicide, which she has entirely repressed from her memory. In a rare realistic treatment of the issue, there is an anterograde aspect to it as well; she is unable to retain any new memories that would connect to the ones she has repressed.
- Tritagonist: She's the Player Character for a third of the game, she's the Face of the Band for Kanamin Kitchen, and the Coup de Grace at the end of the Final Boss is following a three-way performance between Yu, Rise, and her.
- Unkempt Beauty: Is this when not dressed in her stage outfit. She wears simple gym clothing, has her hair in plain pigtails, and wears thick glasses.
- Verbal Tic: She tends to add "-beshi" (a slang for "I must [verb]") at the end of her speech, as well as adding "-san" to nouns on random, making it sound like she were treating inanimate objects as people and, to a lesser extent, "desu".
The youngest member of Kanamin Kitchen. On stage she presents as an adorable little girl, appealing to the group's lolicon audience. In real life, Sumomo is a down-to-earth girl with a rural upbringing, who hates the way the media treat her, and has been considering a change of career.
- Creepy Doll: The form the false bond forces her into is a huge doll with stakes driven through it, including one through the eye.
- The Cutie: Her idol image is centered on her acting almost sickeningly cute.
- Doting Grandparent: Implied, when everyone is thinking of people they love and admire, she thinks of her grandma and her Senbei-Soup.
- The Fake Cutie: Not intentionally, she was made to be one.
- Farmer's Daughter: What she really is. You ain't got no problem with that, do ya?
- Kawaiiko: Only when in-character (and she hates it).
- Older Than They Look: The Official Visual Book reveals she's in fact 17 years old.
- Tohoku Regional Accent: She's good at hiding it, but her accent is pretty distinct when she's not in character. Localized in English as a thick "country" accent.
- Token Mini-Moe: Of Kanamin Kitchen.
The oldest member of Kanamin Kitchen and technically the lead singer, though Kanami takes most of the attention. Among her fans Tomoe has a reputation as a man-eater and playgirl, while in real life she is reserved and romantically disinterested with a nerdy streak.
- Ascended Fangirl: Even if she thinks that the fact that she is One of Us would make her unattractive to the fans - or anyone for that matter.
- Birds of a Feather: A non-romantic example, she and Yukiko immediately strike off a friendship on the basis of having similar (closet) interests.
- Closet Geek: She has a complex about being one.
- Fangirl: "Julius-sama!!"
- The Leader: Of Kanamin Kitchen. The Eerie Voice loves to target her sense of duty as a leader.
- Ms. Fanservice: What her fans see her as. The Eternal Bond turns her into literally just a busty torso.
- Otaku: Her "embarrassing hobby". In her off time she'll spend hours surfing the web, staying under her kotatzu, and gush over her manga.
- Shrinking Violet: Her real personality, as opposed to the seductive mask she puts up.
- Situational Sociability: Tomoe is seen by Ms. Fanservice by fans, but is a Closet Geek in private.
- Team Mom: As the oldest member, and the de facto lead.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair
One of the group's younger members, Tamami is determined to become Japan's Top Idol and cement herself in the minds of her fans as the cutest, most desirable celebrity they have ever seen. Unfortunately, this over-zealousness and her frequent emotional outbursts have caused her to become known as the group's Comic Relief instead.
- Always Second Best: Sees herself as this to Kanami, much to her chagrin.
- Butt-Monkey: The only member of Kanamin Kitchen not putting up an act of any kind. She's just naturally buffonish. Deconstructed a bit as it leaves people remembering for her comic relief rather than her hard work she's trying to do.
- Daddy's Girl: Very embarrassed of being called one.
- Inflating Body Gag: Towards the end of her "boss fight", her shadow form begins to inflate so it gets stuck in place, before exploding into a shower of white light at the end.
- Malaproper: She is prone to that, especially when trying to make metaphors.
- Monster Clown: Is turned into a ridiculous looking clown-like Shadow by the Eternal Bond.
- Mythology Gag: She shares the same surname (and parts of her personality) with Hidehiko Uesugi.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Her dynamic within Kanami Kitchen. The Eerie Voice bombards her with voices about how everyone doesn't care about her hard work and training so long as she can make them laugh.
- Stage Mom: It's implied both her parents are like this, due to being in showbiz themselves.
- Tsundere: The first thing she does after meeting Narukami? Brag that she'll find many guys more dreamy than him.
- "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: Her primary motivation for wanting to excel in everything she does.
The second oldest member of the group. Nozomi is meant to appeal to the group's female fans by presenting as a powerful, yet kindhearted Knight in Shining Armor who doesn't care much for social norms. The reality looks different: While Nozomi is a very talented actress, she also suffers from intense social anxiety and finds it difficult to speak to people when she isn't playing a role.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Alternates between being frightened and charmed by Kanji's fiery tenderness.
- Bifauxnen: Her stage persona was clearly modeled after Takarazuka actresses and she is known among her fans as the group's "Prince Charming". She gets turned into a portrait, striking a boyish pose that would fit better for an actual male.
- Bokukko: Only on stage. In real life, her pronoun is "Watashi".
- Grew a Spine: She's never shown overcoming her anxiety entirely, but she does at least make some very valiant efforts.
- Huge Schoolgirl: The Official Visual Book reveals that she's in fact 171cm (~5′ 7″) tall, which is quite something for a 14-year-old Japanese girl. In order to make her more marketable as an idol, her In-Universe public profile says she's 3 centimeters shorter than the real value.
- Nervous Wreck: She is this when not in-character.
- Not Good with People: Understatement.
- Situational Sociability: Nozomi has great difficulty talking to people unless she is playing a role of some kind. On her own she's a major Shrinking Violet.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Kanji's really rough attitude messes her up when trying to strike a conversation, so much that the group reprimands him for being rude to her.
- Younger Than They Look: She's 14 and the youngest member of Kanamin Kitchen. Surprising considering that she's also, on average, 13.5 centimeters (>5 inches) taller than any of them.
A top-idol who committed suicide by hanging five years ago. The aftermath of her death looms over the game's plot.
- Apocalyptic Log: Her diary, originally a treasured gift from her manager, eventually became a receptacle for all her distress and misery. It was so engorged with despair and agony that it nearly caused an apocalypse after a young Kanami read it.
- Broken Bird: Despite all the fame she enjoyed, she was cut off from all forms of social interaction, which led to her suicide.
- Broken Pedestal: Kanami was horrified to learn that the idol whose songs had brought her so much joy and encouragement was herself terribly depressed. She went so far as to repress her own memories of the suicide, the diary, and her own admiration of Yuko to preserve the elegant, confident image she had of her, however slightly.
- Brown Note: The Big Bad uses a demo of Calystegia played in reverse to further its own agenda.
- Despair Event Horizon: She crosses it when she starts believing that she can never truly convey her feelings to her fans.
- The Determinator: She has been described as "uniquely talentless" in the world of idols, but managed to become a top performer through hard work and determination. Admirable qualities that unfortunately had their limits.
- Driven to Suicide: The story mode's very first scenes focused on her hanging herself before Kanami's presence.
- The Ghost: Just narrowly Subverted. Yuko only appears in an animated cutscene at the start of the story mode and just barely at that. Her face can only be seen on the DVD cover that a small girl (a younger Kanami) carries with her and only as Freeze-Frame Bonus, blurry and distorted by perspective. Her current and heavily reconstructed profile picture above is the best we've got so far.
- Hates the Job, Loves the Limelight: She was starting to get stressed out from her job and wanted support from someone who understands her frustrations.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: What Kyoka makes the friendship she had with her sound like. Though, the "heterosexual" part is probably debatable. Their bond was substantial enough to keep Yuko going, but in the end, she decided it wasn't what she was looking for after all.
- I Just Want to Be Loved: Realizing that having fans isn't the same as genuinely being loved was what drove her to end her life.
- Lonely at the Top
- Posthumous Character: She was suppose to be dead when she hanged herself before the events of the game.
- Secret Diary: The pages you find in the various dressing rooms, as well as the diary that Kanami carries.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The entire plot of the game was an aftereffect of her suicide.
The Producer responsible for Kanamin Kitchen's and Rise's marketing. She is infamous for being corrupt, immoral and prone to forcing publicity stunts without any regard for the performers' well-being. On the other hand she is also very skilled at what she does and seems to put the performers' lives before her own when it comes down to it.
- Badass Normal: Normal humans tend to get eaten alive in an Eldritch Location like this, and even Persona users get tired out easily in places like this. She survives the Midnight Stage without a Persona, and she doesn't need Teddie's glasses to not tire out after a few minutes.
- Big Damn Heroes: Saves Kanami from being kidnapped and taken to the Midnight Stage.
- Brutal Honesty
- Cloudcuckoolander: Demonstrated in her "training session" vignettes.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Her reputation, within and outside idol circles. This is taken to a ridiculous Gag Boobs degree when her Shadow form has drills as boobs.
- Dominatrix: One of the forms her Shadow takes.
- Hate Sink: Invoked. She fosters this image towards Kanamin Kitchen's fanbase of a tyrant of a woman to garner sympathy for them, and she is also largely disliked by most of the cast for a lion's share of the story.
- It's All My Fault: To this day, she blames herself for the suicide of Yuko Osada, one of her previous charges.
- Leitmotif: Simply named after her.
- Nerves of Steel: Absolutely nothing seems to faze her. This may be why the Eternal Bond leaves her alone for so long before targeting her—she doesn't seem to give a damn what people think of her.
- Not So Stoic: Gets rather intense whenever the performance of Calystegia is involved and barks out bizarre, kabuki-esque scenarios to the idols to try and make them understand the emotions behind the song.
- Perpetual Frowner: Ochimizu always appears to be in a foul mood. Part of it is to maintain her "empress" image, and the other part is likely her lingering depression over Yuko's death.
- Red Baron: She's known as "the Empress" for her outer persona of a ruthless manager.
- Red Herring: For first half of the game, she acts very suspiciously, and all the evidence points to her involvement as the culprit. She's just as in the dark as everyone else.
- Self-Made Woman: She owes her success to nobody but herself.
- Skunk Stripe: as seen in the picture
- Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Despite her notoriety for sternness and amorality, deep down she has never forgiven herself for Yuko's suicide.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: All that rumor about her being a draconian nightmare of a producer was really unfounded when it started up, but she saw no point in trying to do anything about it out of guilt over allowing Yuko to kill herself, and began acting the part instead, even personally fueling the rumor that she changed the lyrics of Yuko's final song. It has the added bonus of mainly channeling the fans' hatred towards her and generating sympathy for her idols.
- When She Smiles
An unnamed dance instructor who works to train prospective idol singers. Has a crush on Ryotaro Dojima.
- Camp Gay: Flamboyant, male, and showed clear sexual interest in Dojima. The character was an outright Drag Queen with a female personality in the Japanese version, though this was downplayed for the English release.
- Catchphrase; "Let's grooooove!"
- Dark-Skinned Redhead: Though it's probably a result of dyes and tanning.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Much less so pronounced than Ochimizu, but Kanami comments that he can be really scary on his bad teaching days.
- Foil: To Ochimizu with their similarly posed character portraits, bittersweet pasts, and understanding of the spirit of dance. However, the Dance Instructor is far more accommodating to the feelings of the idols whereas Ochimizu tries to impose very specific attitudes onto their routines.
- Hidden Depths: Tells Inoue not to mind the vanished Kanamin Kitchen girls too much, explaining that they'll probably be back after they figure out their emotions and desires.
- Probably in the spur of the moment, he tries to convince Dojima in making Nanako a dance partner for Kanami by saying 80% of the parents usually crush their children's dreams.
- Hot-Blooded: Always passionate about just about everything.
- Large Ham: The instructor is larger than life in his work, always dramatic and commanding.
- No Name Given: He's never addressed as anything but the dance instructor.
- Perpetual Smiler: Unless shocked or wistful.
- Training from Hell: Easygoing as he might seem, he takes dancing very seriously and will make sure his pupils take it seriously too.
Her true identity is Mikuratana-no-Kami, the deity born from humanity's collective desire for painless relationships. Like other deities in the franchise, she is a Shapeshifter, but prefers to take the appearance of the Shadow of the person whose heart she has been summoned by - in this case, Kanami.
- As Long as There is Evil: The Investigation Team convinces Mikuratana-no-Kami about the strength of genuine life bonds after her final defeat, but she warns them they might confront her again as long as humans yearn for an end to their suffering.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: Mikuratana-no-Kami is the personification of humanity's desire for painless relationships. Her true appearance represents humanity's desperate inner desire for an end to all suffering: A grayish-blue humanoid body from which several human faces sprout, each with red eyes and crying tears of blood, with arms that wear manacles made of traditional symbols of Shintoism.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Its true form is roughly the size of a sports stadium.
- Big Bad: Everything that happens on the Midnight Stage happens because of it.
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: Just like Izanami, it makes no real effort to understand human nature. It takes until the end of the game to make it understand that it can't continue the way things are going.
- Chained by Fashion: Originally, the bindings it uses to remake humans and shadows take the form of the ribbons Yuko used to commit suicide.
- Dirty Coward: It is far from as ambiguous as Izanami. It refuses to allow any semblance of violence as a means of fighting in its world, and when the Investigation Team and friends find a way around that, it stops trying to connive and resorts to just entrapping people and running whenever it's threatened.Kanji: You dick...! So the second things ain't goin' your way anymore, you just ignore us!? Get down here, dammit!Teddie: Grrrrumph! I bet you're just too chicken to face me! C'mon, put 'em up!Naoto: It refuses to even face a direct challenge... What an irritating opponent!
- Expy: It's pretty much Izanami, only wanting to "protect" people from painful bonds instead of painful truths. Even their methods of doing so are ultimately the same.She also gives the party a genuine congratulations upon being defeated like Izanami does. However...
- "Get Back Here!" Boss: Travels to a section of the sea of souls well beyond (or so she thought) the Investigation Team's reach to abscond with the LMB Festival audience.
- Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: The fate of those who fall victim to the Midnight Stage. Their sense of self would gradually be wiped clean and they would find happiness in being what others want them to be.
- Graceful Loser: After the Investigation Team defeats them with a display of a true bonds, they admit the Investigation team is right, but does point out that people will still yearn for painless bonds and thus it is possible that they may clash with the Investigation Team again. Bonus points for returning the Investigation Team to Earth when Rise's super-charged Persona stage begins to disappear as well as return everything and everyone they took into the Midnight Stage.
- I Reject Your Reality: It lives by this trope. No matter how many times someone shoves in its face that expression can lead to happiness or that the bonds it creates are fake, it will absolutely refuse to accept it. Naoto, Rise, and Kanji all point out that it knows it's wrong, but can't or won't own up to it. In retrospect, this is also the general attitude of those who fall victim to the Midnight Stage because they inwardly desire an escape from what they see as cruel reality.
- Manipulative Bastard: It's not innocent in any sense. Even if people wanted a painless bond somewhere in their hearts, it fully admits it abused and manipulated the desires of the people around it—Yuko Osada, Ms. Ochimizu, and Kanami Mashita—to get what it wanted, knowing that the song it had found yearned for a true connection."It seems to have originally been meant to convey a meaning which the listener would appreciate. But I had no such need of this..."
- More Than Mind Control: All the people it abducted were only snatched up because they were desperate for a painless bond. The Investigation Team showing these victims what a true emotional connection is helps them realize how hollow and phony Mikuratana's connections are, giving them the push needed to free themselves.
- Orcus on His Throne: Averted, in stark contrast to Izanami. The eerie voice is a constant, proactive presence throughout the story, neither using proxies nor beating around the bush to achieve what it believes is best for humanity.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Not empty-handed, mind you.
- Smug Snake: Always is confident in its success despite repeated failures. Well, almost always.
- Technical Pacifist: It prevents any violence or pain in the Midnight Stage, but still uses its ribbons to knock and pull people around, or to try to strip them of their identities. Those who fall victim to the Midnight Stage never die, but they are either in a constant state of enforced bliss (specific target victims of the Stage) or in comas (those who watch the cursed video of the Stage).
- The Evils of Free Will: Mikuratana-no-Kami believes this to be the reason why true bonds bring constant suffering and why humanity is desperate for painless bonds. By imposing happiness on others, she tries to use a simple solution to solve the inherently complex problems humanity faces.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Like Izanami, Mikuratana-no-Kami ultimately wishes to bring everlasting peace to humans and put an end to the constant disappointments and suffering that life gives them, particularly when dealing with each other. Also similarly to Izanami, she also does not truly understand human nature and does not bother to learn about it until she is finally defeated.
The virtual idol and Vocaloid herself, released as DLC along with a remake of Heaven.
- Arc Number: 39, usually pronounced "san-kyu" can also be pronounced as "mi-ku" and thus has become associated with Miku by the Vocaloid fandom. Atlus took this up to eleven by making her reveal trailer 39 seconds long.
- Averted in the western version of the trailer, which was shortened to 29 seconds.
An accidental visitor to the Velvet Room, Margaret telling them a story is the story mode's Framing Device.