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Warning! Unmarked spoilers below.

A lot of characters in this game tend to contrast characters from earlier Persona games as well as each other.

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The Phantom Thieves

    Yusuke Kitagawa 
  • Yusuke's foil is his mentor, Ichiryusai Madarame. While both are introduced as quirky and classical artist, Madarame's greed and desire to steal others' work while not putting in the effort serves to highlight Yusuke's desire to do it for the art, as does his default choice of addressing a slump to resort to plagiarism while Yusuke instead doubles down to find an appropriate inspiration.
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    Makoto Niijima 
  • To Eiko, a girl she meets and befriends over the course of her Confidant. Makoto's an intelligent and hard-working girl who's somewhat out of touch with her contemporaries. Eiko, however, is a Book Dumb girl who has a more active life out of school. The differences between Eiko and Makoto's social lives serve to show how detached Makoto is to her fellow students, and Makoto even points out that Eiko has helped her gain insight into people who aren't like her.

    Haru Okumura 
  • She is this to Mitsuru, with the similarities being that she shares her background (inheritor of a big business group), age group (a third year, and senior to the main character), as well as future prospects (an arranged marriage), and the fact that both of them lose their fathers in front of their eyes. Those are where the similarities end though, as she is her opposite in nearly every way - especially regarding those similarities. In contrast to the relatively cold and professional Mitsuru (who uses last names on almost everyone besides Akihiko and eventually Yukari and the protagonist of Persona 3), Haru's more open to others, and refers to her friends with affectionate honorifics. Mitsuru is a Daddy's Girl who hopes to protect her father, while Haru initially opposes hers. Mitsuru is also resigned to (albeit not completely happy with) her Arranged Marriage, while Haru is desperate to get out of hers. Mitsuru takes the death of her father painfully hard and is shaken badly by it, while Haru accepts it and soldiers on without really letting it get to her. While Mitsuru eventually leads the Kirijo Group, Haru realizes she's out of her depth when it comes to trying to take over the family business. Mitsuru lives a sheltered life and fails to understand how life outside a rich family works while Haru seems to be able to adapt with the current trend well. In combat Mitsuru is a refined combatant with training in fencing, compared to Haru's gleeful but badly clumsy axe technique.
  • Within Persona 5 itself, she's also a bit of this to her teammate Ann Tamamaki. Both women want to be strong, confident with themselves, and various other things, and thus have idolized strong female characters they've seen on TV—the difference being that while Ann wants to emulate female super-villains, Haru wants to emulate female superheroes instead.
  • She also contrasts with Makoto. Both of them want to see a loved one have a change of heart, but while Haru makes a request for Kunikazu on the Phan-Site before going into his Palace herself, Makoto knew for some time that Sae had a Palace, but didn't mention it until the group was already planning to go along with Akechi's plan to steal Sae's heart. Makoto is also much more conflicted about stealing her sister's heart than Haru is about stealing her father's, since Haru notes in passing that she "saw no remorse" in her father's heart while exploring his Palace.

    Goro Akechi 
  • Seems to be billed as this to Joker. A mild mannered cop against the rebellious anti-hero, the Zenigata to our Lupin if you will.
  • To Naoto Shirogane from the previous game, to the point he's known as "The Second Coming of the Detective Prince." Both are well-known Great Detectives, but Naoto is noticeably more introverted and focused. Akechi, on the other hand, seems to be a bit of a celebrity, appearing in several talk shows and has his own in-universe fangirls. Gameplay-wise, he's something of an Expy to her, sharing her specialties (Light, Dark, and Almighty magic in tandem with some physical attacks), but unlike her he favors Strength over Magic.
  • Akechi is just a giant foil to the rest of the Thieves as a whole. He wears bright white while most others wear mostly black making him stick out in locations even more than Ann's cherry red ensemble, his finisher is the most flamboyant of the bunch, and whereas every other thief has "realistic models" as their weapons (aside from Morgana's slingshots) Akechi uses actual toys resulting in a Laser Blade and a Ray Gun.
  • To Tohru Adachi. Both are jovial, young police detectives who become acquainted with the heroes, specifically the protagonists. But while Adachi is a goofy and bumbling detective with a lackluster record, Akechi is an ace detective with many solved cases in his ledger that escalated him to celebrity status. Adachi's tendency to giving too much police information away unwittingly helps the Investigation Team in their efforts to save people, whereas Akechi initially served as a major roadblock to the Phantom Thieves as he's their most vocal opponent.

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Confidants

    Sojiro Sakura 
  • To Sae. They're both emotionally distant guardians to minors that happen to be members of the Phantom Thieves. But while Sae is secretly a Resentful Guardian who is jealous of Makoto's apparent ability to do whatever she wants and is stuck in a job she hates to provide for the both of them, Sojiro keeps up a Jerkass Façade to try and be Joker's disciplinarian and is happy to work as the owner of a hole-in-the-wall cafe.
  • He can also be seen as a contrast to Persona 4's Ryotaro Dojima. Both men take you in for the year, and both men represent the Hierophant Arcana, but while Dojima is outwardly kind, friendly, and supportive of the protagonist from the beginning, Sakura very quickly makes it clear he sees you as nothing but a pain in his ass and threatens to throw you out on your ass if you cause him any trouble, and you have to draw out his softer side during his Confidant. Their reactions to finding out that Yu and Joker were involved in the main plot of those games are very different; while Dojima distrusts Yu and interrogates him in order to find some answers, Sojiro is much more understanding and decides to not report Joker to the cops (though it is partially due to how the police wouldn't exactly believe him).

    Munehisa Iwai 
  • In a way, to Sojiro Sakura. Both Sojiro and Iwai are gruff older men that run small establishments as a means of laying low and retiring from their earlier careers. They're also both adoptive fathers that frequently doubt how capable they are as parents, and serve as something of a parental figure to Joker himself. However, while Sojiro was a law-abiding citizen and government official who now owns a respectable cafe, Iwai was a criminal and member of the Yakuza who now runs a shady military surplus store, mentioning that he "do(es)n't even like" it. While Sojiro was close friends with Futaba's mother Wakaba, and Futaba was thirteen when Sojiro took her in after Wakaba's death, Iwai only knew Kaoru's mother as a drug addict who tried to sell him as an infant, with Iwai being the one to raise him after she abandoned him anyway. Finally, both of them eventually get roped back into the life they tried to avoid (Sojiro's business with Shido and Iwai's involvement in the Yakuza, respectively), and it's with Joker's help are they able to truly put it behind them.

    Sadayo Kawakami 
  • To Noriko Kashiwagi of Persona 4. Both are female teachers in the schools of their respective game. Despite being fairly attractive, both women are considered Christmas Cakes, but it's Played for Laughs in Kashiwagi's case as it's hinted that she's in her forties. Kawakami downplays it, since there's a good chance she's younger than Kashiwagi. Kashiwagi doesn’t seem entirely interested in teaching her students, but rather, constantly flirts with male students unfortunate enough to cross her path and shows jealousy towards the younger female students, particularly Chie, Yukiko, Naoto, and especially Rise. Because of that, no one gives her any respect as a teacher. Kawakami is similarly introduced as an Apathetic Teacher, but it's played more for drama, and she's naturally never seen flirting with any male students or shows any sign of envy toward the female students. The only time she can be seen flirting with anyone is during the secret maid service job, in which she acts sweet & innocent, instead of sultry & seductive like Kashiwagi tries to. She at least gets some respect from her students, thanks to being more serious about her job. Kashiwagi never changes throughout the majority of P4, while Kawakami, after the end of her Confidant, finds a renewed passion for teaching. Most importantly, whereas Kashiwagi utterly fails at getting into Student Teacher Romance due to her students being turned off by her advances and run away in terror, Kawakami is able to get romanced by Joker, who makes the first move.

    Yuuki Mishima 
  • To Goro Akechi. Both Mishima and Akechi have a desire to be acknowledged by others and make a name for themselves. Despite their association with the Phantom Thieves, both of them are treated as The Friend Nobody Likes by the Thieves (The difference is that Ryuji is the most vocal in expressing his hostility towards Akechi, Ryuji genuinely treats Mishima as a friend). Lastly, both of them also take advantage of the Phantom Thieves' rising popularity to their own advantage. However, while Mishima ultimately learned to overcome his issues and become a better person by sticking with the Phantom Thieves to the end, Akechi was unable to realize his wrongdoings and betrays the Phantom Thieves to further his goals. Akechi is adored as a celebrity detective by the public, that affection is ultimately superficial as his "fans" are quick to turn on him if he's proven wrong. Mishima on the other hand, despite remaining a nobody despite being the administrator of the popular Phan-Site, has genuine friends in the form of Joker and Ryuji who help him throughout.
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    Sae Niijima 
  • She is this to Katsuya Suou, a playable character who also deals with the law from Persona 2 Eternal Punishment.
    • Katsuya is an honest, good-natured, by-the-book homicide detective (to the point that Baofu repeatedly decries him as an irritant and a wimp) to the point of being rather Adorkable; Sae, prior to her Heel–Face Turn, is a cynical prosecutor who is willing to bend the rules in order to get ahead in her career, not caring about the consequences.
    • Both of them have very strained relationships with a younger sibling, and they handle it in different ways. Katsuya repeatedly makes an effort to reach out to his younger brother Tatsuya, despite being harried by his aloof, uncaring behavior. Sae, on the other hand, keeps Makoto at arm's length, often leaving her to her own devices and expecting her to keep at her studies and go down the beaten path of college and a respectable, high-paying career. This extends to their siblings' behavior as well: Tatsuya, despite him making the audience believe otherwise, is disrespectful towards both Katsuya himself and his effort to build a better future for him, whereas Makoto strives to meet her sister's expectations and wants to be close to her like they were before their father's death.
    • Both of them are very resentful towards their younger siblings: Katsuya is resentful of Tatsuya for his attitude towards his family and because they both share a romantic interest with Maya Amano, who in turn favors Tatsuya; Sae is resentful of Makoto because, as a high school student, she cannot relieve her of her burdens, and she shares the same seemingly naïve sense of justice that led to their father dying in the line of duty. For the sake of their mission, Katsuya is mostly tight-lipped about his feelings, only letting them go during the Very Definitely Final Dungeon where Nyarlathotep summons his Shadow, and said Shadow spills out all of his resentment towards Tatsuya. As for Makoto, while she doesn't see the full extent of Sae's resentment until the thieves take on her Palace, Sae makes her feelings of frustration mostly clear early on, up to the point of calling Makoto useless in a fit of anger.
    • On top of being highly intelligent and finding the means to discover the one who framed his father and forced him to back out of the police, Katsuya is a formidable Persona-user. While Sae is strong-willed and uses her wits to help the Protagonist escape during her Heel–Face Turn, she can only do so much against the Conspiracy; she cannot even take legal action against Shido and his conspirators until the Protagonist turns himself in. In a similar vein, Katsuya, like the other Persona-users, fights his Shadow head-on, while a major component of the Phantom Thieves' plan to goad Sae into joining their side is by appealing to her Shadow.
    • Both of them reconcile with their siblings by the time their respective stories end. Due to the fact that Tatsuya in Eternal Punishment has a Double Consciousness, with the active half of him being the Tatsuya of Innocent Sin who decried Katsuya constantly, his inactive half does not remember the events of EP, ending their story on a bittersweet note. Makoto and Sae, on the other hand, have a much happier time.

The Targets

    Suguru Kamoshida 
  • He is one to Tohru Adachi of Persona 4. Both are men who believed that they should be rewarded for their success and hard work, and target young women whom they have an unhealthy fixation on. To add on further, both Kamoshida and Adachi represent the theme of lust, with Kamoshida's sin being Lust, while Adachi represents the Lust/Hunger Arcana. However, unlike Adachi who hides his monstrous personality behind an affable face, Kamoshida has no qualms expressing how much of a Jerkass he is to the students, confident that the school system would protect him. While Adachi is The Heavy who's actions and manipulations drive the plot of Persona 4, Kamoshida, though his actions lead to the creation of the Phantom Thieves, is merely a Starter Villain who has no direct involvement in The Conspiracy. And finally, while Kamoshida is an irredeemable scumbag who has to be brainwashed into repenting for his sins, Adachi does show that he still has some humanity in him, and tries to atone for his crimes on his own free will.
  • He also contrasts with Ichiryusai Madarame. Kamoshida's primary victims- Ryuji and Ann- despise him, but while rumors of Madarame's misdeeds have been spreading for some time, Yusuke respects him enough that he's in denial about them. Kamoshida is also a Devil in Plain Sight who has all the Phantom Thieves chomping at the bit to go after him, while Madarame is such a good Bitch in Sheep's Clothing that the Thieves doubt his evil nature until they confirm he has a Palace.

    Shadow Futaba Sakura 
  • She is this to Shadow Rise. Both Shadows represent the repressed feelings of characters who have struggled with social isolation at one point in their life. Shadow Rise however tries to get Rise to buy into the idea that she is only using her career as an idol to hide behind her past weaknesses. Shadow Futaba however wants Futaba to accept that she is only harming herself by being a shut-in and has subscribed to false beliefs because of her weaknesses. Similarly, both are the only Shadows that do not get a proper boss fight with Shadow Rise's encounter being scripted while Shadow Futaba is not fought at all. In fact both Rise and Futaba accept their Shadows under similar circumstances as instead of the party fighting their shadow, but Rise admits to her weakness while Futaba resolves to become a stronger person. There's also the fact that by accepting their Shadows, both Rise and Futaba give the party the strength while they are in what appears to be a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • In a way, Shadow Futaba is one to almost every single Shadow in the franchise. While the Shadows usually represents a person's repressed negative feelings, Shadow Futaba serves as the repressed positive emotions of Futaba.

    Kunikazu Okumura 
  • Since Haru contrasts with Mitsuru, it makes sense that Kunikazu contrasts with Mitsuru's father, Takeharu:
    • Takeharu is an extremely good man who strives to atone for his wicked father's misdeeds, and is shown to be a good president of the company he owns. Kunikazu, meanwhile, is a Bad Boss running his company into the ground, eager to obtain more power and profit-hungry because of his father's misguided benevolence.
    • Also regarding their daughters: Takeharu has his daughter's best interests at heart and can be a Papa Wolf when the situation calls for it, despite his lack of powers (a big example being taking out Shuji Ikutsuki when he captures SEES after the defeat of the final Full Moon Shadow.) Kunikazu, on the other hand, willingly ignores Haru's suffering, using her like he uses his employees, and is cowardly and weak.
  • In a way, he is one to Mitsuo Kubo. Both ended up being a Red Herring of their respective games, and they both had their dungeons being a bit "out-there" (Mitsuo's dungeon is viewed as a 3D representation of 2D dungeons from 8-bit games, and Okumura's dungeon is a Space Station). While Mitsuo was a Hate Sink villain who took credit for the murders just for the attention, Okumura was portrayed as an Anti-Villain who generally cared about his daughter despite using her as a bargaining chip. Also, while Adachi is unable to kill Mitsuo thanks to the Investigation Team saving him, Okumura was Killed Off for Real with the Conspiracy purposely baiting the Phantom Thieves into targeting Okumura just so that they frame them for his death.

    Sae Niijima 
  • Serves as one to Makoto by way of flipping Makoto's fundamental quandary around. Makoto struggles with anger over the fact that none of the adults in her life seem to want to bother with actually matching the example she's always been asked to set. Sae's problem is just the opposite; she's convinced her adult self is, despite initial protestations to the opposite, fundamentally incapable of meeting the standard her teenage sister seems to set with ease. Sae has grown incredibly jealous of Makoto as a result.
  • She also contrasts with Kunikazu Okumura, both individuals whose obsessions are causing pain to those they care for- Makoto and Haru, respectively- and Haru points out that Sae is much like Kunikazu. Unlike Kunikazu, though, Sae makes the choice to change herself and become the Thieves' ally in the end. While Kunikazu ultimately treats Haru as a bargaining chip, it's implied that Sae is strict with Makoto in order to ensure that she succeeds in spite of the odds against her.

    Black Mask 
  • To the protagonist, as another abandoned teenager who gained access the Palace. While the Protagonist used his power to help others from being exploited by figures of authority, Akechi used his powers to selfishly exploit the system to become a figure of authority himself. Arsène and Robin Hood, the protagonist's and Akechi's Personas respectively, are also weak to the other's main element. Also, the protagonist is ostracized by the public for his record but has friends and confidants he can rely on while Akechi is a celebrity who's adored by the masses, but ultimately has no real friends. In fact, one of the things that Akechi complains about in his Motive Rant is about how even though he's the popular one, the Protagonist has everything that he doesn't, which ties back into their approaches. People were drawn to the selflessness of Joker while Akechi put himself on a pedestal in the hopes people would come to him. However, his approach backfired and left him alone, with the first exception being Joker himself.
  • To Naoto Shirogane of Persona 4, to point he's known as "the second coming of the Detective Prince". Both serve as famous Kid Detectives dealing with Parental Abandonment issues who join the party late the game. But while Naoto is sincere in her desire to help others, Akechi is a Fake Ultimate Hero who lets his insecurities get the better of him and invents cases he can "solve". Similarly, Naoto was raised by her grandfather after her parents died in a car crash, thus giving her a stable home life, while Akechi was abandoned by his father and passed around the foster care system after his mother died.
  • To Futaba, whose mother also gave birth to her out of wedlock, and who also hasn't had any friends before meeting the Thieves. Akechi can masterfully put on an affable public facade and has done so for years, whereas Futaba has crippling social anxiety that she struggles to overcome, even after completing her dungeon. On the other hand, while Akechi's mother committed suicide and put up with abuse in assorted foster homes, Futaba's mother genuinely loves her, and she was Happily Adopted by Sojiro not long after her death (although her anxiety and auditory hallucinations prevented it at first).
  • To Makoto. Both of them are honor students who excel in order to be accepted- Makoto by her sister and Akechi by society as a whole. Both use blackmail in order to get onto the team, but with very different motivations. While Makoto genuinely wants to see if the Thieves are just (and offers to release them from the deal once they all end up getting blackmailed by Kaneshiro), Akechi's entire plan is a trap for the Thieves. While Makoto quickly reconciles with Ann and is accepted as a trusted friend by her and the rest of the Thieves, Akechi is never fully trusted- while the Phantom Thieves care for him, even the relatively compassionate Ryuji and Haru cannot forgive his misdeeds. There is also the similarity that both characters are used by members of the Conspiracy to bring the Phantom Thieves to justice. Makoto however didn't know the Principal was tied to the Conspiracy and was nothing more than his Unwitting Pawn for a short period of time while Akechi willingly teamed up with Shido to capture the Phantom Thieves.
  • He also has many similarities to Ken Amada from Persona 3. They both lost their mothers, were ostracized by society and seek revenge against someone who wronged them. They're both also of the Justice Arcana. It's not hard to see Akechi as what Ken could have become if he hadn't met S.E.E.S. and given up on revenge. It's also implied that Akechi's mother committed suicide out of shame while Ken had a loving relationship with his mother. Ken also had heavy doubts about killing for revenge (especially in the movie, when he befriended Shinjiro before learning about what Shinjiro had done), whereas Akechi had no issues about killing anyone just to further his own ends.
  • Aside from Ken, he is also one to the aforementioned Shinjiro Aragaki. Both are responsible for the death of a party member's mother two years prior to the events of their respective games, and both serve as a Guest-Star Party Member before pulling a Heroic Sacrifice. However, Shinjiro's murder of Ken's mother was purely accidental, caused by losing control of his Persona. This is in contrast to Akechi, who assassinated Futaba's mother, Wakaba, at the behest of Shido. And unlike Shinjiro, Akechi ends up being responsible for the deaths of two party members' parents (the other being Haru's father, who he also assassinates when ordered by Shido). Additionally, Shinjiro remains loyal to S.E.E.S. until he ends up Taking the Bullet for Ken, while Akechi betrays the Phantom Thieves and only sacrifices his life for them after they make it clear they sympathize with him and are willing to work with him to take down Shido. Finally, Shinjiro wears a Jerkass Façade that hides his kindness and guilt over the death of Ken's mother, while Akechi is a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who's affable demeanor masks his selfishness and psychopathy.
  • He can also be seen as a counterpart to Reiji Kido from the original Persona, as both are illegitimate children yearning for revenge against their bastard fathers (and half-brother by proxy, in Kido's case). Akechi is arguably Reiji gone horribly wrong: while Reiji was distant and cold toward his allies, he stuck it out with them and made them a part of his life, giving him stability in the wake of having a lackluster sales job. On top of that, despite enacting his revenge and feeling empty afterward, he was able to move on, and he even starts a family at the very end of Persona 2: Eternal Punishment. Akechi is the opposite: he was given no love or affection growing up, had no one to rely on as a consequence, easily let himself fall into his father and the conspiracy's web (and abuse the power granted to him as a result), ultimately shuns the sole bastions of friendship presented to him (although he knew he was too far gone to accept it at that point), and suffers immensely in the end. And while he was able to kickstart an extremely successful career as a detective-cum-idol (in contrast to the struggling salesman Reiji), it's extremely fickle due to how easily swayed the public is; indeed, had the truth about his past and his misdeeds come to light, his career could easily fall apart at the seams.
  • He is also one to Jun Kurosu. Both are intelligent handsome young men, have Abusive Parents, were bullied in the past and have a connection with black masks. Also both of them had masked Alter Egos with contrasting goals. Jun as Joker is dressed in mainly white, initially had the goal to make people happy by granting their wishes and avenge his "Big Sis" he thought was killed. Despite his noble intentions Jun's mind eventually got corrupted by a mixture of rumours and brainwashing. Akechi on the other hand wears mostly black as Black Mask, acts as the enforcer for his father's evil plan out of his own free will and had the goal to eventually kill Shido for revenge. Also unlike Jun, Akechi started out as The Ace having a revengeful and violent side created by his Dark and Troubled Past which he hid from the public by all cost. After their respective Heel–Face Turn the outcome is also very different: Jun gets to travel with his Childhood Friends the original Masked Circle to atone for his Actions while Akechi sees there is more in life than hate and eventually sacrifices himself for his new friends the Phantom Thiefs and dies.
  • To Haru. Both of them start out thoroughly under the thumb of their fathers, doing whatever has to be done to please them and get their approval. Haru had the advantage of being an acknowledged child while Akechi did not, but neither of them was particularly loved by their fathers in either case. Their fathers are simply using them to further their own goals, with Haru's father arranging a political marriage Haru was opposed to in order to secure political clout and Akechi's father using Akechi's abilities to further the Conspiracy. Haru refuses to change herself and rebels openly, while Akechi's rebellion is subtle and subdued, letting himself be changed so he can get closer to Shido, which allows Shido to continue exploiting him. And finally, while Haru is horrified and saddened when her father is killed (by Akechi no less), Akechi fully plans to torture his father himself. Their personalities also contrast, with Haru being Spoiled Sweet and always true to herself while Akechi is a Bastard Bastard who is always presenting false faces.
  • To Ryuji. Both of them have fathers who abandoned them with their mothers. However, while Akechi's mother committed suicide from the burden, Ryuji's was able to shoulder the burden and struggled through raising him on his own. Because of this, Akechi is a bitter and jaded cynic who believes in an "every man for himself" philosophy, while Ryuji is a naive bright-eyed optimist who values loyalty and friendship. Ryuji is a Book Dumb athlete, while Akechi is a prodigy detective. Akechi himself points out when recruiting Ryuji to carry poker chips in Sae's dungeon that Ryuji was the perfect brawns to match Akechi's brains. Both of them have a strong desire to become famous as as a means of gaining positive attention, having gone so long in their lives without it, with Ryuji going on about how taking down big-name targets will make them famous and Akechi loving the limelight his "Detective Prince" status earns him; Ryuji, however, grows out of it near the end, while Akechi never does. Finally, Ryuji is incredibly open and willing to talk about his past to Joker within two days of knowing him, while Akechi maintains so many lies that he sometimes can't figure out which are true.
  • To Yusuke. Both of them were abused by a father figure who exploited them for their own ends; Yusuke's confidant, however, shows him learning to find his own way in life after breaking away from this abuse, while Akechi doesn't have the opportunity to do this. Yusuke even notes in the chat after Akechi's boss fight that he himself may gone down a similar path as Akechi, had he not met the Phantom Thieves and escaped Madarame's abuse.
  • To Ann. Both were discriminated against based on the way they were born. Ann for being quarter-white and Akechi for being a bastard child. But unlike Akechi, Ann was still able to make friends such as Shiho, Ryuji, and the protagonist in spite of said discrimination. They also both initially wanted to use their Personas to get revenge on someone, but while Ann was getting revenge on behalf of a friend, Akechi wanted revenge based on his personal grievances.
  • He also can be seen as a darker counterpart to Taro Namatame from Persona 4. Both were specifically chosen by the Greater Scope Villains as alternate representatives to the Protagonist Persona users, and were similarly manipulated by the Big Bads of their respective games; however, both went down completely different paths on their usage. Taro was an Unwitting Pawn, misguided on how the Midnight Channel works; he really isn't that bad of a person, but his actions made things worse by unknowingly aiding the mastermind and making the Investigation Team clean up his mess. Meanwhile, Akechi served as Shido's personal assassin with the intention of betraying him (not knowing Shido planned on doing the same to him). Additionally, Namatame never obtains a Persona, while Akechi is a Wild Card Persona user (albeit one that only had two Personas, Robin Hood and Loki).
  • Akechi is also a foil to Yuuki Mishima. Both are young teenagers who strive to be acknowledged by others and make a name for themselves, and are willing to use the Phantom Thieves for their own selfish ends. Despite their association with the Thieves, they were viewed as nuisances and are treated with either indifference or hostility. However, while Mishima ultimately learned to overcome his issues and become a better person by sticking with the Phantom Thieves to the end, Akechi was unable to realize his wrongdoings and betrays the Phantom Thieves to further his goals. Akechi is adored as a celebrity detective by the public, that affection is ultimately superficial as his "fans" are quick to turn on him if he's proven wrong. Mishima on the other hand, despite remaining a nobody despite being the administrator of the popular Phan-Site, has genuine friends in the form of Joker and Ryuji who help him throughout.
  • There are also shades of Ryoji Mochizuki in that he's a late party member, is only a part of the party for a short time, and is secretly a bad guy. Although, unlike Akechi, Ryoji's friendship with the party was always genuine (Ryoji was stuck with amnesia at the time, and was still friendly towards the heroes even after he regained his memories.)
  • To Morgana. Both have been using the Metaverse far longer than any of the other Phantom Thieves and been selected by higher beings to guide mankind to a specific fate (granted Morgana it was to help Joker to save them for ruin, whilst for Akechi, unknowingly, it was to their ruin). Personality wise, both are intelligent, yet have a tendency of being rather arrogant and showboating, mostly due to masking their insecurity over just wanting a place to belong and feel useful. Both even left the team at certain points, albeit for different reasons. However, while Morgana eventually gets over his insecurities thanks to meeting his [1] early on, Akechi never had anyone that legitimately cared about him which just made attention issues worse and worse until it was too late.

    Masayoshi Shido 
  • He's something of one to Takahisa Kandori, the Big Bad of the original Persona. Both are men in positions of great power (Shido as a Dietman/aspiring Prime Minister; Kandori as the de-facto CEO of the SEBEC corporation) who have delusions of grandeur and aspire to godhood, willing to utilize supernatural means to get there (Shido via the Metaverse; Kandori via the DEVA System). How they go about their lofty goals and the end results contrast one another greatly, however:
    • Kandori is more hands-on in utilizing the supernatural aspects of the DEVA System, directly using it to summon the Deva Yuga palace and keeping Maki Sonomura, who became linked to the system, under his control. Shido, meanwhile, knows somewhat of the Metaverse and how Cognitive Pscience (utilizing the Collective Unconsciousness in all manner seen across the series) works, but he's more hands-off, leaving most of the semantics and the dirty work to his son and personal hitman, Goro Akechi. To hit the point home, Kandori is a Persona-user, while Shido remains oblivious of the Phantom Thieves going after his heart (and his Shadow by association) until it's too late, going so far as to forcing himself in a coma to stop it.
    • Both men are dependent on a despondent teenager's supernatural powers (Maki Sonomura for Kandori; Goro Akechi for Shido). Kandori is at most indifferent towards Maki, keeping her alive in knowing that he needs her to succeed in his plans, and actually develops a fondness for Aki, her malevolent id. Shido, on the other hand, is aware that Akechi is his illegitimate son and is ashamed of his existence, fully intending to do away with him once he becomes Prime Minister. To hit the point home, lurking in his Palace is a cognitive version of Akechi that he views as a fanatically loyal, disposable puppet. Interestingly, Kandori doesn't hold any ill will toward his own half-brother, Reiji.
    • Kandori actually succeeds in attaining godhood like he wanted to, whereas Shido's heart is successfully changed on the night he's elected, preventing him from acting out his despotic desires. Kandori also sticks around long enough to lament how boring and meaningless his life became after obtaining power, whereas Shido likely would not have had such reservations had he not had his change of heart. Also, once Kandori is out of the picture, while no one on a grand scale grieves for him and the world moves on without him on a personal scale in Eternal Punishment he gains a measure of redemption, with his half-brother naming his child after him, leaving some form of positive legacy. By contrast, the people of Japan are in disbelief that Shido was villainous and worry for a future without him, and his conspiracy attempts damage control in response, but at the same time no one truly cares about Shido as a person or an individual.
    • While it's revealed in Persona 2 that Nyarlathotep was pulling him along, Kandori had more agency in his fate and his status as the Big Bad than Shido; not only was Yaldabaoth playing everyone like a fiddle in this game, but had Akechi's fate been different, he would be at a massive advantage, given that he's the one with the power of Persona and could potentially humiliate him and ruin his life, as he had intended to do.
    • Shido is a one-dimensional Hate Sink too full of Pride to ever be capable of self-reflection or change, while Kandori was motivated by the emptiness of his life and after his return in Eternal Punishment has become far more philosophical and self-reflective, maturing into an Anti-Villain who regrets the mistakes he makes in life.
    • Shido treats his lovers as disposable, he can't even remember Akechi's mother's name and is introduced assaulting a woman while drunk, Kandori, on the other hand, treats women well, even gaining the love of Chizuri Ishigami who he treats with respect.
    • Finally, Kandori's boss fight is not that difficult, with the man himself being weak to nearly every element in the game, while the battle against Shido's Shadow is set up in five phases, with all of them having multiple resistances.
  • As a fellow self-aware Palace master, he is Futaba's opposite in nearly every way. Futaba's distortion is based in self-loathing while Shido's distortion in based in immense pride. Her palace is in a barren desert while Shido's is in a flooded world. Her strongest cognitive character (her mother) want to harm her while Shido's cognitions are slavishly devoted to him. Finally, Futuba recognizes that her mentality is self-destructive and desperately wants the thieves to change her while Shido embraces his megalomania and wants his Palace to remain.

Other Characters

    Kouta and Asami Magario 
  • To Toshio and Hiromi Takase from Kawakami's Confidant. Both are couples that use their child for their own financial gain after ending up in debt, and both serve as a Dual Boss in Mementos. However, the Takases blackmailed their foster son for money and do the same to Kawakami following his death, while the Magarios force their still-living biological daughter into a career as a gravure idol so they can profit from it. And while the Takases appear twice in Kawakami's Confidant prior to being confronted in Mementos, the Magarios are never seen outside of the fight against their Shadows.

    Principal Kobayakawa 
  • Of a sorts to Kinshiro Morooka, A.K.A. King Moron, in that he is a faculty member at odds with the protagonist who is murdered as part of the larger conspiracy. King Moron was openly rude to his students, spoke his mind too often, and didn't seem to care if they hated him for it, but it's ultimately revealed he had a Hidden Heart of Gold, as told by students who were lost on their career path. He pulled them in to give them a private well meaning lecture and gave them a piece of candy. After his death, he had a few in-universe Alas, Poor Scrappy moments, particularly when Yosuke mentioned despite being an asshole, it didn't justify killing him. Meanwhile, Kobayakawa was more polite about his contempt for his students, caring more about the image of his school then said students, which includes letting Kamoshida abuse them because of the former medalist's reputation & keeping quiet about it, and forcing Makoto into investigating the Phantom Thieves by blackmailing, using her desire to get into a good college to his advantage. Unlike with King Moron, no one shed a tear when he was killed off. Also, Kobayakawa was a part of The Conspiracy, while King Moron wasn't.
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