Follow TV Tropes


Foil / Persona 5

Go To

Warning! Unmarked spoilers below.

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

    open/close all folders 

The Phantom Thieves

    The Protagonist 

  • To Teddie. While both are non-human mascot characters tied to the main plot, their characteristics for the most part contrast one another. Teddie is a blank slate who develops his own inner desires as he spends time with the Investigation Team while Morgana is already driven by his own motivations and desires when he first meets the Phantom Thieves. Their true identities also contradict one another as Teddie was born from an antagonistic force due to being a former Shadow while Morgana is not a Shadow but an Animalistic Abomination created by the Real Igor to help Joker. Teddie also does become human once he awakens to a Persona as a result of outgrowing his former Shadow identity while Morgana is unable to fulfill his dream of becoming a human. Also, Teddie intentionally tries to get others to see him as a cute bear, while Morgana despises being seen as a cat.

    Ryuji Sakamoto 
  • To Anna Yoshizaka. Both of them are ex-star athletes who broke their legs and are no longer able to compete, both are viewed as delinquents, and both are powerful Persona users who work for a mysterious group led by someone called "Joker". However:
    • Anna's injury was an accident, yet she fully embraces the delinquent lifestyle. On the other hand, Ryuji's leg was broken by a teacher, but he's still a Nice Guy.
    • Whereas Anna is still admired by her peers, Ryuji's an outcast shunned by his former friends.
    • The group Anna joins is an Apocalypse Cult, but the one Ryuji joins has genuinely good intentions.

    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.
  • To Kanji Tatsumi, the Emperor social link and party member from the previous game. Kanji's conflict is his deep insecurity stemming from his traditionally-feminine hobbies and talents, as well as his possible homosexuality, and makes a concerted effort to hide his Unmanly Secret because he is afraid of people not accepting him or finding him strange. Yusuke, on the other hand, is openly and proudly an eccentric artist, fears that by achieving greater fame, recognition, and acceptance he will be "selling out" and harming his integrity as an artist. Like Kanji, his sexuality is ambiguous, but he isn't anywhere near as touchy about it. Both also have issues with their father figure, with the difference being that Kanji's dad died when Kanji was young, leading Kanji to lack a male role model growing up, while Yusuke had an abusive adoptive father who serves as an Anti-Role Model to Yusuke. In terms of gameplay, both favor physical attacks instead of magic, but Kanji specializes more in brute force while Yusuke is more of a Critical Hit Class.

    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.
  • To Tatsuya Suou. Both of them are Persona users who are loners among their peers despite being well-known. Both of them are Badass Bikers and they use Nuclear magic. In addition, both of them have an older sibling in the police they have a strained relationship with, and both their fathers were former police officers while their mothers are absent. Finally, both of them tend to charge alone in dangerous situations. However, there are some key differences:
    • Makoto is isolated because she throws all her efforts in her studies and is viewed as a Teacher's Pet. Tatsuya on the other hand, while immensely popular, is thought to be a delinquent and avoids people out of childhood trauma.
    • Makoto greatly idolizes her late father, but Tatsuya grew up thinking of his as a Dirty Cop and only found out he was framed in Eternal Punishment.
    • Both of them live in the shadow of their more successful sibling, but while Makoto is trying to mend her relationship with her sister who's pushing her away, Tatsuya and his brother have it the other way around.
    • Even though they both charge into dangerous situations alone (Makoto in the Yakuza headquarters, and Tatsuya's One-Man Army campaign), Makoto does this out of her inferiority complex and ignorance, while Tatsuya has Seen It All and knows he can fight his way out of it.

    Futaba Sakura 
  • To Maki Sonomura, another girl with deep-rooted psychological issues that caused them to manifest a supernatural world as a result of a device; the DEVA system for Maki and the Metaverse App for Futaba. But Maki's world manifested from her desire to live a normal life, whereas Futaba's palace manifested from her own suicidal thoughts as a result of her own self-loathing. They also had estranged relationships with mothers too preoccupied with their workload to spend time with their daughters. However, while Maki resented her mother, Futaba believed that her mother thought of her as a burden. And while both are noticeably frail girls for their age which is connected to their issues, Futaba's was a result of her lack of physical exercise due to being a shut-in, in contrast to Maki whose illness was what caused her to be shut out from the outside world.
  • To Mitsuo Kubo, a character who also has psychological issues and No Social Skills. Futaba's psychosis stems from the traumatic loss of her mother, and abuse from her relatives, thus she shuts herself off from society as a result. Her social anxiety leads her to being a Shrinking Violet, making it initially difficult for her to socialize and readjust to society. She calls on the Phantom Thieves to steal her heart, but she accepts her Shadow and becomes a member of said thieves. Mitsuo's case is due to constant ridicule of his appearance and lack of presence, thus he turns to video games to gain recognition of some kind, shutting himself off from society as a result. He's unable to truly make connections with others due to his less than pleasant personality. His willingness to commit murder and claim credit for the other prior murders gets the attention of the Investigation Team. Because he rejects his Shadow completely, he doesn't join the IT and is sent to prison for his crimes. Futaba faces the truth behind her mother's death and why it happened, discarding the lie Shido's men created. Mitsuo chooses to embrace the lie he created for himself, completely discarding the truth.

    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. They are also both of the Empress Arcana. 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 Takamaki. 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. Both of them also hid a major part of their true identities (Naoto's gender and Akechi's personality). 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. Adachi was driven to villainy by boredom, while Akechi has a strong goal in mind, namely bringing down his father, Shido.

    Sumire ("Kasumi") Yoshizawa 
  • To Makoto. Both are well-regarded by the faculty of Shujin, with Makoto being the top student and on track for a scholarship, with Kobayakawa offering to write her a letter of recommendation (albeit as an incentive to identify the Phantom Thieves). Kasumi herself also has a gymnastic scholarship and is aiming to participate in the gymnastic internationals. Both are also dealing with some serious baggage regarding their family, with Makoto's strained relationship with her workaholic sister Sae and Kasumi currently grieving for the loss of her sister, who died a month before the start of the game. They're also struggling to keep up with people's expectations, with Kasumi being seen with envy and jealousy by the other students since the teachers give her special treatment (But heavily implied to be for other reasons initially unbeknown to her) Makoto laments the fact that people see her as an Academic Alpha Bitch when she's trying so hard to get into a university. Finally, while Makoto has a legitimate name to be burdened with, Kasumi is just Sumire trying to uphold something that she clearly isn't.
  • To Adachi, in terms of gameplay. While Kasumi is a newcomer, both form their respective bonds with the protagonists in the Updated Re-release. Both also have an Arcana that changes midway through the story, with Adachi's "Jester" Social Link becoming "The Hunger" when Yu realizes that Adachi's Bitch in Sheep's Clothing personality isn't an act and their relationship has changed radically. Kasumi's "The Faith" is actually a false Confidant, possessing only five ranks in contrast to ten, though it becomes a true Confidant following Shido's defeat. Unlike Adachi, however, her Arcana does not change, as unlike Adachi her bond with Joker is genuine.
  • To Naoya Todou, the protagonist of the manga adaptation of the first Persona game. Both of them adopted the identity of their twin siblings who died in a vehicle-related accident, and are plagued with guilt for feeling responsible for said siblings' deaths. Even their siblings' names, "Kazuya" and "Kasumi" respectively, sound similar. But while Naoya did so more to help his mother cope from her grief after she mistook him for Kazuya, Sumire took on her sister's identity because she did not want to confront the fact that Kasumi is dead. In fact, Naoya's guilt actually caused him to disassociate himself from his "Kazuya" identity, whereas Sumire requested Maruki to overwrite her with Kasumi as a result of her guilt.
  • To Aigis. Both of them are rather eccentric beings, human or robot, were once kidnapped by a major antagonist as a weapon and slowly becomes more natural over an amount of time, as well as being the protagonist's closest girl and a major spotlight during a future re-release, effectively being the mascot of their respective games, as well as having ultimate personas based on well-cherished goddesses of their respective mythologies. Both of them also appear to be in serious denial once they regain their true selves or obtain humanity. However, while Aigis is designed to protect the protagonist, Sumire relies on the protagonist for protection. While Maruki kidnapped Sumire and used her as a weapon for intimidation purposes, Ikutsuki attempts to kidnap Aigis with clear intent to kill SEES. Additionally, while Sumire's denial of true self is indirectly manipulated by Maruki, Aigis' denial is caused by natural rejection; And while Sumire's acceptance is to accept what she actually is and get out of Kasumi's shadow, Aigis' acceptance is to embrace humanity and cherish life. Furthermore, while Sumire has a red and black motif, Aigis has a yellow and white motif.
  • To Alice Hiiragi. Both of them are girls from Shujin who were driven hard by very severe jealousy complexes, so much that they resorted to living a lie to get around, as well as sharing a fairy tale motif, namely Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland. However, while Sumire only requested Maruki to cast an illusion on her because she couldn't otherwise cope with the death of her sister, the real Kasumi, Alice deliberately uses EMMA's psientific functions to mesmerize all of the men in Shibuya just to prove to the girls that bullied her that she was better because all of the men in Shibuya worshiped her, even if she brainwashed all of them. While Sumire was at least initially respected at the school only because the students thought that the real Kasumi was around, the bullies in Shujin walked all over, attacked and humiliated Alice in incredibly derogatory ways.
  • Speaking of Scramble's targets, she's also one to Ango Natsume. Both of them suffered from an inferiority complex from a superior family member, namely the real Kasumi for Sumire and Natsume Shougo, his grandfather for Ango. To cope with their inferiority complex, they again, decide to live in false glory. However, while Sumire requested Maruki to turn her into Kasumi (or more appropriate, make her think that she is Kasumi) because she wouldn't get away with her crippling survivor's guilt otherwise, Natsume abused the psientific function of EMMA so he can draw the source of income to himself by creating a false and artificially inflated fanbase.
  • To Rei from Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth. Both of these are girls that are revealed to be Dead All Along and requested a being, god or human with supernatural powers to help them cope with their pain by creating illusions of what they desire. However, Rei is a ghost with no body, while Kasumi was a product of Maruki's cognitive manipulation using Sumire as a vessel. Additionally, while both girls have a caretaker with godly powers, Rei was Zen's only client, but Sumire was only one of Maruki's clients.
  • To Hikari from Persona Q2. Both Hikari and Sumire are suicidally depressed girls who fell into depression because they felt that they disappointed a loved one. They are also only one of the clients taken under a godly being. However, Hikari outright refuses treatment and instead lays on her bedroom catatonically to escape pain and created a distortion so massive that the Phantom Thieves and other Persona users has to unite to prevent her from offing herself, while Sumire passively seeks for treatment, allowing her condition to be quickly halted by Maruki. The cause of the belief of disappointment are also different for the two girls; Hikari felt that she disappointed her father for a lifetime of bullying and social maladjustment that seemingly made everyone hate her, so she believed that she failed her father's objective for raising her as a loveable person and her father was never dead in the first place, while Sumire was jealous of her older sister's superior performance, constant optimism, better properties as well as that she arranges and decides most of her family life save for preparing dishes since she can't do it properly but Sumire can, causing her to believe that she caused Kasumi's death for the traffic accident, which is further compounded by Kasumi actually and genuinely caring for her instead of being merely an overprotective sister.



    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 plays the part of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold 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, Sojiro 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).
    • In terms of both their Social Links and their relationships with their respective daughters, they are also foils. Both are single fathers struggling to raise their daughters. However, while Dojima's parenting issues come from his borderline neglect of his daughter Nanako due to his workaholism and dedication to solving his wife's death, Sojiro is sincerely trying his best to raise Futaba but instead struggles because of circumstances outside of his control, namely his adoptive daughter's Trauma Conga Line and the resulting fallout.
  • To Nagi from Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth, if in Futaba's perspective. Both of them are the owners of the main hub of their respective games and appear as classy, elegant folk adopting a self-withdrawing girl in severe distress. However, while Sojiro is a genuine guardian of Futaba who secretly encourages her to find the truth behind her mother's death and her fall to despair, Nagi is actually a Control Freak and a Knight Templar who encourages Hikari (Or any of her other wards) to submerge themselves in their depression and negativity to have them avoid pain instead of letting them confront it.

    Caroline and Justine 
  • They are such to all of the past Velvet attendants. Elizabeth, Theodore and Margaret are polite, mature and friendly folk that overtly treats their guests as mutuals. Caroline and Justine however, are abrasive and rude towards their guest, as if they were wardens instead of attendants and are significantly more childish, even going as far as casually throwing out laughable insults in Persona Q2.

    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.

    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 dorky; 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. And despite both of them choosing the path of law enforcement as their career choice, their reasons for doing so are different. Katsuya's dream job was to be a pastry chef/patissier, but gave it up so he could find a way to clear his father's name. In contrast, Makoto noted that Sae had always dreamed of having a career in law, but their father's death and the stress of her work caused her to become the cynical prosecutor at the start of the game's events.
    • 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, but signs show that Tatsuya is still making an effort to try and reconcile. Makoto and Sae, on the other hand, have a much happier time.

    Takuto Maruki 
  • To Nagi/Enlil from Persona Q2. Both act as advisors for the group and seem to subvert the idea that Adults Are Useless, but in reality are the Big Bad of the game and is causing a Reality Bleed that is impacting the minds of the ones they want to help. But Enlil is a literal god who wants to take away people's freedom by forcing them to sink into depression with negative movies, delusionally seeing freedom as a sort of poison. Maruki is a Persona user who sincerely wants to end people's suffering by fulfilling all their wishes, to the point he let Kasumi's sister Sumire take Kasumi's identity when the former died, in addition to having never been delusional to begin with up until the 24th of December. Finally, Nagi has no involvement in the story unless she is revealed as the big bad while Maruki is extremely active among the thieves' confidants or sponsors.
  • And to Shido, both serving as the penultimate target. Whereas Shido is a cruel, lying, and all-around despicable politician who tramples over others for the sake of his own cause, exploits the Metaverse to assist in his plans, and makes society suffer thanks to his actions, Maruki is an overall friendly person who wants to save society from its suffering by using the Metaverse, but doesn't realize how much harm it will cause. Furthermore, Shido's usage of cognitive psience is only limited to murder or intimidate people going into his way, while Maruki's usage of it was a lot more sophisticated, being able of using it to change hearts or even tamper history as a whole.
  • Just like Shido, he's also one to Takahisa Kandori from the original Persona 1. Both exploited their studies in the supernatural as well as an emotionally unstable teenager in order to shape the world In Their Own Image. They also have Lovecraftian Personas which they ended up fusing with resulting in the birth of a new god-like entity — God Kandori and Adam Kadmon respectively. But in contrast to Kandori's motives which were simply to satiate his lust for power and desire to become a god, Maruki's intentions are genuinely benevolent if not severely warped and misguided. And unlike Kandori whose "godhood" was dependent on Maki's connection to his DEVA System, Maruki's control was entirely owed to his sheer willpower and knowledge of cognitive psience. Sumire in contrast to Maki was merely used as a test subject for Maruki's powers rather than a power source. While Kandori wears a dark business suit which openly shows his shady personality, Maruki primarily wears light clothing which reflects his approachable nature. Kandori's Fusion Dance with his Persona was completely involuntary, as he lost control over Nyarlathotep, or rather Nyarlathotep decides to control Kandori directly. Maruki, on the other hand, willingly fuses with his Persona who is actually loyal to him, or at least shares the same goals. And finally, Kandori ultimately lets himself die, knowing that being evil is all he knows how to do. Maruki, however, was given a second chance in life after Joker saves him from falling to his death.
  • To Nyx Avatar/Ryoji/Death from Persona 3. Both of them deliver swift and direct approaches to end all of humanity's pain, unlike others such as Izanami or Enlil who simply kept specific people to suffer unconsciously, as well as being the protagonist's advisor and close friend. They also carry out their salvation plans under the order of a superior being reluctantly and avoid any direct confrontation if possible, only directly confronting them if they didn't have a choice. In their boss fights, they also start with a real boss fight as their first phase and a scripted fight for their second. They also hold back during their fights against the party based on their friendship towards the protagonist. However, while Nyx's solution is to wipe out all life on earth and thus leaving nobody and nothing alive, Maruki's solution is to spoil humanity with his spell, keeping them alive but killing off any more room of improvement. Additionally, while Nyx has heavy night, black and death-granting motifs, Maruki has a light, gold and life-giving motif. And while Nyx is accidentally summoned by the experiments of the Kirijio Group and is thus called forth by man, Maruki is unintentionally corrupted by a mistake in Yaldabaoth's plan and is called into action by a super-being.
  • To Marie from Persona 4 Golden. Both are new characters created for their respective games's Updated Re-releases, both of their Social Links/Confidants have to be maxed out in order to access the bonus dungeon, and both are former friends turned Anti-Villains that serve as the final boss of said bonus dungeon. However, Marie is a fragment of the goddess Izanami, while Maruki is a human Persona user. Marie has the appearance of a teenage girl, while Maruki is an adult man. Marie is an antisocial Tsundere, while Maruki is a friendly counsellor. Marie has no memories of her past, while one of Maruki's powers is to alter other people's memories. Finally, while Marie regains her powers after reuniting with the other fragments of Izanami, Maruki loses his power as a Persona user after the Phantom Thieves steal his heart.
  • To Zen from Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth. Both had granted desires in the form of illusions and memory manipulation per request of a young girl in despair to cope with their pain that are breakable once the truth is revealed and have supernatural powers that are extremely strong for their race. However, Maruki is a mere human who gained his power from an unstable persona, while Zen's powers are a part of him due to being a god and are much more stable. While Zen wears black, Maruki wears white. Additionally, both realize their errors and promise to change at one point, although Zen's was due to the awakening of his merciless self while Maruki only does so after his fist to fist fight with Joker. Finally, while Zen's goals are undoubtedly for the greater good, Maruki's motives become dubious once he is driven insane.
  • To Shuji Ikutsuki. Both of them are bumbling bespectacled advisors to the persona users as well as researchers into the supernatural. Both of them pull a Face–Heel Turn somewhere during the game, presenting themselves as twisted saviors who wanted to end all of humanity's pain, either by death or eternal happiness. They had also taken the closest girl to the protagonist under their control as threats against him and his teammates after their face-heel turn. However, Maruki's Face–Heel Turn is merely a distortion and not his true personality, while Ikutsuki's deluded savior complex is his true personality and not a result of any sort of distortion. Additionally, Maruki is designed to be sympathetic and trustworthy while Ikutsuki is designed to be completely untrustworthy by instinct. Comparing Maruki's treatment of Sumire to that of Ikutsuki's treatment of Sho Minazuki, Maruki clearly cares for Sumire's mental state and only resorted to extreme measures when normal methods failed whereas Ikutsuki only saw Sho as an expendable test subject. And while Ikutsuki remains The Unfought save for a cognitive movie character taking his form in Persona Q2, Maruki is clearly fought as the true final boss of the game. Their final fate also involves them committing suicide by jumping from a high place once their plans fail; While Ikutsuki successfully committed suicide by jumping off the top of Tartarus, Maruki's suicide was halted, saved by Joker and then realized the error of his ways.
  • To Yaldabaoth. Both Maruki and Yaldabaoth intend to imprison humanity in a fake reality (Takutos actions even create a second Mementos). However while Yaldabaoth is a godly Treasure, Maruki is completely human. As a psychiatrist Maruki is actually searched out by his 'victims' and asked to help them (Kasumi even goes to him) while humanity subconsciously asked for Yaldabaoth, not knowing what it would do to them. While Yaldabaoth is a control freak who ultimately cares nothing about humanity, Maruki has actually completely good intentions, not caring about becoming a god but only about freeing everyone from the pain of reality. Just compare their treatment of Joker. While Yaldabaoth intended to get rid of him while lying the whole time about his goal of rehabilitating him, Maruki doesn't actually resent Joker for opposing him and even gives him a choice, never once lying to him. Most interestingly is however Azathoth in this comparison. Yaldabaoth in Gnosticism is actually a false god, who merely claimed he is god and never actually created humanity but still wants their worship. Azathoth on the other hand actually created all of the Lovecraftian mythos by dreaming, never wanting to be worshipped for it because he isn't even aware, making him much more godlike than Yaldabaoth. While Yaldabaoth tries his best to keep up a good façade, Azathoth is "too horrible to even be described". In the same vain Yaldabaoth tries to keep humanity ignorant, certain creatures in Lovecraftian lore actually try to keep Azathoth asleep. Maruki's other Persona Adam Kadomon meanwhile is actually the original man in the teachings of Kabbalah, untainted by earthly matter, standing in contrast to the Adam of Eden as a perfect prototype man. Compare that to Yaldabaoth who while pretending to be divine is actually made up by the 'earthly' humanity. Noteworthy Yaldabaoth is always in complete control of his actions while Maruki was actually possessed by Azathoth at one point.
  • To Joker himself, both receive their persona from the fact they were powerless to help someone and later became a victim of Shido's actions as Shido steals Maruki's research for his own ends and ruins Joker's life by labeling him as a criminal, although Maruki did not suffer subsequent repercussions from Shido unlike Joker. Both of them also had their desires distorted by Yaldaboth as Yaldaboth actively pushes Joker to steal the desires of others in hope of realizing how corrupt society is as a Phantom Thief under a false lie of rehabilitation, while Maruki was distorted by Shido's embargo and losing his beloved Rumi in exchange of his power and a jarring miscalculation by Yaldabaoth himself to become Azathoth. Joker's ideal world would have his desires distorted by Yaldaboth, remaining as a Phantom Thief in a world that had become even more corrupt and in need of his "help" while Maruki's reality would ensure everyone is free of suffering of reality at the cost of their potential. Even in their defeat they both try to reach out to the sky as one disappeared from reality while Maruki nearly fell to his death if not for Joker saving him.
  • From Persona 4:
    • To Tohru Adachi. Both are adult Slinks that turn out to be Persona-users and the antagonists of their respective games. Both are of an arcana that is an alternate version of an existing arcana (Jester to Fool/Hunger to Strength, and Councillor to Magician). Both want to overwrite the existing reality and turn it into something different. However, Adachi wants the Midnight Channel to spill into the real world and turn everyone into Shadows, and wants this out of deep misanthropy and hatred for the real world. Maruki, on the other hand, only wants to create a world where everyone is happy, and wants to truly make the world a better place.
    • To Taro Namatame. Both were overcome with despair due to a tragedy involving the women they loved, which led to both of them developing supernatural powers. Both of them want to put people into alternate realities in order to protect them from harm. However, Namatame never developed a persona or any abilities beyond throwing people into the TV world (which he mistakenly thought would protect them from being killed) while Maruki was one of the foremost experts in cognitive psience with a wealth of knowledge about the cognitive world which he exploited to become one of the most powerful Persona-users in the franchise, and the world he put people into was in fact safe for them, at least physically if not mentally or emotionally. Both of their dungeons also take the form of a heavenly paradise with garden motifs as well.
  • To Jun Kurosu/Joker from Persona 2, another Persona-user whose shared a similar goal of making people's dreams come true. There is also the fact that they have Personas with deep connections to the Cthulhu Mythos, Azathoth and Joker-Nyarlathotep respectively. Though in contrast to Joker who only grants the wishes to those who request his services, Maruki desires to grant the wishes of humanity as a whole without them even aware of the changes. There are also no strings attached to his deals, in contrast to Joker who would strip those who lack dreams of their Ideal Energy and reduce them to lifeless husks, while those whose wishes he granted would become followers of his Masked Circle. Their well-intentioned goals eventually became corrupted by god-like entities. But unlike Kurosu who became Joker partially due to the machinations and corruptive influence of Nyarlathotep, Yaldabaoth merely manifested Maruki's Persona and only incidentally at that. Maruki's actions during the Third Semester are entirely his own accord.

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 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.
  • He also contrasts with Masayoshi Shido. While Kamoshida is universally hated among students of Shujin, yet the school's desperation of protecting their reputation with him prevents anyone from speaking out with him, Shido is abnormally popular despite being someone who is clearly hateful beyond all belief, much like Kamoshida and in a different way. Additionally, just like in the case of Madarame above, Kamoshida is very blatant, to the point of voices of students screaming being heard in the PE office out in the open, while Shido only does shady deeds when nobody knows about it.
  • To Kinshiro "King Moron" Morooka of Persona 4. Both were harsh teachers who quickly made enemies of their games' respective protagonists, but while Morooka had a Hidden Heart of Gold, never crossed the line into outright abuse, and was actually mourned after his murder, Kamoshida was a completely irredeemable sociopathic Sadist Teacher and everyone was happy to see him go once his misdeeds came to light. Morooka was unpopular among the student body of Yasogami, while Kamoshida was a Villain with Good Publicity at Shujin.

    Ichiryusai Madarame 
  • He's this to Natsume Ango. Both of these people are massive plagiarists who only steal other's work and pass them as theirs, in addition to being clad in gold and becoming progressively pathetic as the battle drags on especially for Madarame in Royal. However, Madarame was the one fleecing his pupils to the point that they get driven to suicide, while Natsume was the one being fleeced for plagiarized work, resulting in him to use EMMA's Jail function so he gets the profit while the publishers that fleeced him don't. While Madarame at least did care for Yusuke to a point (although he's just raising his subjects well enough to induce stockholm syndrome on them) Natsume didn't care for anyone but himself, his fans (which he changed their hearts to mesmerize them) and his work. Finally, Madarame did not publish any original work during the events of the game, instead blatantly publishing his student's works using his name while Natsume at least bothered to copy and paste sentences and ideas from other franchises in his own book.

    Shadow Futaba Sakura 
  • Similar to how Futaba is a Foil to Maki Sonomura, Shadow Futaba can be one to Aki, Maki's malevolent ID. They both represent the repressed feelings of socially isolated girls and have control over the world manifested from said girls' negative feelings. But while Aki acts like a playful and cheerful girl, she is in reality extremely mischievous to the point of openly antagonising the heroes and tries to kill them. In contrast, Shadow Futaba while seemingly hostile to the Phantom Thieves due to her aloofness, actually guides them to help Futaba with her issues.
  • 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.
  • She's this to Shadow Akane, being shadows of a young girl consumed by wrath against the death of their mother, both being orchestrated by Shido's cronies and passive Shadow selves that do not directly confront the Thieves. However, while Shadow Futaba is willing to help out since Futaba did willingly requested them to change her heart, Shadow Akane is so consumed by wrath that she is outright hostile and is manipulated by EMMA and Konoe to achieve their goals.
  • 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.
  • He's this to Mariko Hyodo. Both of these are acquaintances of Haru who used to be in some sort of way, genuinely care for her, in addition to being influential people. However, while Okumura could not care less about the scandals all over his company, Hyodo is heavily disheartened by just one scandal that can be easily taken advantaged of, so much that she resorted to using EMMA to plunge her back to the top. Also, Hyodo did still care for Haru even if EMMA distorted her. Okumura could care less about Haru other than to sell her to a sleazy man so he can become president by the events of the game begin.

    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. Makoto is also loyal to whoever she works for at the moment (be it the principle or the Phantom Thieves), while Akechi is ultimately loyal to himself and only works for Shido in order to accomplish his hidden agenda.
  • 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 puts up a front 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 and handsome young men, have at least one horrible parent, were bullied in the past and have a connection with black masks. Also both of them created 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. Goro on the other hand wears mostly black as Black Mask, has a noble goal in wanting to get rid of corrupt rich people yet he still acted as the enforcer for Shido's evil plan out of his own free will to gain his trust and eventually ruin his father for his year-long mistreatment of his own son. Also unlike Jun who was viewed as a dangerous outcast by his peers because of being shipped to a school for delinquents for injuring some of his bullies with his Persona, Goro started out as a well-known and popular Kid Detective and The Ace with a secret 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 Goro sees there is more in life than hate and eventually sacrifices himself for his new friends the Phantom Thieves.
  • 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 pampered yet 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), alongside being gifted with abilities different than a normal Persona-user. 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. Not to mention both have streaks of being rather childish and tendency to be the butt of jokes throughout the game, something usually by their peer's hands. Both even left the team at certain points, albeit for different reasons. However, not once does Morgana ever resort to abusing his abilities to cause extensive harm to someone psychologically and he eventually matures to the point he realizes he doesn't need to prove himself to his friends anymore. Akechi, meanwhile, has zero qualms in using his abilities to do harm via acting as Shido's personal assassin and never grows out of his childish craving for attention. Plus, while the Phantom Thieves do occasionally tease Morgana it's made clear that they appreciate him and will never abandon him, regardless if he's useful or not. Akechi's role in the Conspiracy is only because of his usefulness as a Metaverse assassin and once his usefulness is up, he would be eliminated as well.
  • To Hikari from Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth. Both were social outcasts that suffered from having to live a torture and the only parent they had is their father since they lost their mother in one way or other, and they wanted to be loved and accepted only to have everyone seemingly hate them. It's just their mindset is just the exact opposite, since one of the reasons why Akechi even considers assassinating Shido's political opponents is that he thinks that he is superior over all other human beings and everyone else does not deserve to live, but Hikari became a shut-in and closed herself off because she thinks that she is inferior to all other humans, an abnormality and a piece of worthless garbage that nobody could like. They also driven themselves berserk when they felt that they had ashamed their father in some sort of way; Hikari collapsed in a fit of visual and autditory Hallucinations when her father accidentally triggered her Trauma Button that fully convinced her that she was abnormal, while Akechi drives himself berserk with the same power from Loki that he uses to cause mental shutdowns then mercilessly attacks the party as a last ditch attempt to dispatch the thieves so he could impress Shido.

    Masayoshi Shido 
  • He's something of one to Takahisa Kandori, the Big Bad of the original Persona 1. 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 is still an ordinary human despite his knowledge of Cognitive Pscience.
    • Both men are dependent on a despondent teenager's supernatural powers (Maki Sonomura for Kandori; Goro Akechi for Shido), acting as a father-figure to them as means to manipulate them. While not related by blood, 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 illegitimate half-brother, Reiji.
    • While Shido stole the research of Wakaba Isshiki, Futaba's mother, on the Metaverse and Takuto Maruki's on the cognitions of individuals, Kandori's knowledge on Personas and the related subjects are entirely the fruit of his own effort - though he had help from his staff.
    • 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.
    • While the public isn't aware of Kandori's crimes, he gained an unsavoury reputation due to rumours of his shady activities circulating. This is in contrast to Shido who is a Villain with Good Publicity whom the public trusts wholeheartedly. Once Kandori is out of the picture, no one on a grand scale grieves for him and the world moves on without him. On a personal scale in Eternal Punishment, however, he gains a silver lining in his legacy with his half-brother naming his child after him and his former enemies forgiving him. By contrast, the people of Japan are in disbelief that Shido was villainous and worry for a future without him and The Conductor behind him takes the oppurtunity to increase his popularity to cultish levels as an attempt to mock the Phantom Thieves, but at the same time no one truly cares about Shido as a person or an individual. Once Yaldabaoth and his control over Tokyo are gone, the public is quick to turn on Shido and with the confession of his crimes, any positive image of him is destroyed.
    • 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 Shido and ruin his life, as Akechi had intended to do.
      • Adding to that, in EP Kandori is perfectly aware that he's a puppet for Nyarlathotep and is more or less resigned to it, continuing his villainy because he's good at it. Shido had absolutely no clue he was being manipulated, and all his cruelty is entirely his own.
    • 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 lover 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 (he fixes that in EP though), while the battle against Shido's Shadow is set up in five phases, with varying degrees of elemental affinities and all without weaknesses.
  • 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.
  • He's this to Akira Konoe. Both of them are influential men representing the sin of pride, in addition to sharing similar combat styles, first by using a mount (or robot), then combatting them on foot. Furthermore, they are so firm in their beliefs that their shadow selves look identical to their real selves, although their clothing transforms to contrasting characters; Shido transforms into a military general which is often associated with villains, while Konoe transforms into his childhood superhero, a sentai ranger called Zephyrman. What sets them apart is Shido is a complete monster with no tragic backstory or redeeming qualities and merely abuses the supernatural to wipe out all opposition, while Konoe is heavily abused in childhood by his father, so his abuse of the supernatural is truly motivated by altruism, regardless of his methods. Furthermore, while Shido does not know much about the Metaverse bar essays he seized from Wakaba or Maruki and from Akechi, Konoe knows how to use his application's psientific functions very well.
  • He's also one to Hikari's Father from Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth in every way possible. Both of them were fathers of a social outcast who had to live a torture. It's just Akechi and Shido's "bond" is merely a farce and the two wanted to remove each other by the very end, yet Hikari and her father's bond is genuine; not only he encourages his daughter to develop his talent and gave her emotional support, his twisted cognition in the form of Doe is actually an ally in that game.

  • He's this to Nyarlathotep from Persona 2. Both of these entities have a trend of using conspiracies to spread falsehoods and pass them as reality to rationalize humanity's desire is their self destruction and self liability, in addition to having a massive entourage made of influential people that they couldn't even care less by the slightest bit. However, Yaldabaoth's desire for order and control contrasts with Nyarlathotep's plans for chaos and destruction. Nyarlathotep deliberately spreads seemingly nonsensical conspiracies that lead to total world destruction so that nothing will be left in his wake, while Yaldabaoth deliberately and subconsciously manipulates public opinion into believing that Shido, a malicious oaf with no redeeming qualities is an outstanding example of humanity and thus proving that he is the only godly entity fit for ruling the world. Furthermore, while Nyarlathotep has no regard to basically anyone, Yaldabaoth at least in some sort or way, cares about cementing Joker's victory against Akechi and the corrupt conspiracy he set up with his own hands. And finally, while Nyarlathotep's "true form" is a tentacled monstrosity, Yaldabaoth appears as a graceful-looking robotic angel in silver and gold armor.
  • To Dagda of Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse. Both of these are godly beings who had made a contract with the protagonists of their respective games and aid them in their journey, but otherwise care less for their well being and more on their own goals for domination. However, while Dagda is an Anti-Hero who seeks to bring humanity more freedom by resurrecting a human child to be his warrior puppet, Yaldabaoth only protects and assists Joker only beause he didn't want him to be exposed by any authority while he rigs his victory over Shido and turns on him by making people think that the Phantom Thieves (And eventually the Phantom Thieves' members themselves) don't exist and subjugating humanity into his full control.
  • To the real Igor.
    • Igor is a gentle individual who forgives Yu in Persona 4 for missing a deadline and even offers to reset time if he accidentally slacked off, while Yaldabaoth straight out tells Joker that the game is over and he will be imprisoned forever in the Velvet Room if he does the same.
    • Igor would often evade questions while asked a critical one and tells the protagonist to find the answer on his own, while Yaldabaoth will straight out tell the protagonist what will happen next.
    • Igor never treats his guest's journey as a "game." He isn't even overly enthusiastic about your arrival or anything you do, instead making a neutral stance on most things. Yaldabaoth in the other hand seems to be delighted in every success you make throughout the game, even when he's telling you that your popularity will soon drop after defeating Okumura.
  • To Enlil in Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth. Both of these are godly beings with similar positions in their respective myths, with their modus operandi being trapping souls of people in Epiphanic Prisons and leaving them in a dismotivated state. Their domains can also cause Reality Bleed if they were left unchecked. However, Enlil's purpose of creating the prisons is to counter what Yaldabaoth tries to do; Yaldabaoth's conspiracy encourages abuse of innocent people via powerful authorities such as Kamoshida and Shido, while Enlil tries to relieve people of such pain. (Although the method that Enlil uses ensures that their pain will continue.) Yaldabaoth is fully self-aware that its actions will bring forth pain to people, but twists the definition to being the ultimate happiness that humanity wishes. Enlil however, is not self-aware of her doing being harmful to her wards. In the same way, Yaldabaoth deliberately causes Mementos to bleed into the real world for the sake of proving that humanity will believe his lies no matter how blatant they are, while Enlil's version is more of a side effect.

    Adam Kadmon 
  • He's one to Nyarlathotep from the Persona 2 duology. Both, (with Adam Kadmon as Azathoth) are lovecraftian gods who have the power to manipulate fate and reality, with both doing so by outright rewriting history. However, while Nyarlathotep uses the ability for mass world destruction and delights in the very own destruction he causes, Adam Kadmon (Azathoth) uses it for actual mass salvation in the form of ending all of humanity's suffering and is ultimately, philantrophic. Additionally, while Nyarlathotep absolutely needs the help of accomplices and surrogates to fulfill world destruction, Adam Kadmon/Azathoth only needs his host (Maruki) to know a specific person in order to grant them an end to all of their pain.
  • To Nyx from Persona 3. Both are philantrophic entities brought out by accident in order to end all of humanity's suffering, and their human forms or owners, in the form of Ryoji and Maruki, have formed unbreakable bonds with the protagonist of their respective games. However, their awakening and salvation are the polar opposite of each other; while Nyx is unintentionally awakened by actual humans, Azathoth is awakened unintentionally by Yaldabaoth, an almighty being born from the sloth of man. While Nyx brings forth salvation by The Fall which is a literal end of everything, Azathoth brings forth salvation by rewriting history or replacing cognitions of specific people so all causes of their grief did not happen and they can live content and happy, but nevertheless stagnates all potential of moving foward and is nothing short of a spiritual and metaphorical death for anyone affected.

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. The Takases are relatively weak versions of Oberon and Titania, who are normally encountered near the end of the game, while the Magarios are much stronger versions of Incubus and Succubus, who are found in the first Palace.

    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 while keeping quiet about it, and forcing Makoto into investigating the Phantom Thieves by blackmailing her, 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 and a lot of people were glad he was dead. Also, Kobayakawa was a part of The Conspiracy, while King Moron was merely a homeroom teacher with no shady connections.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: