Gonks. If you're ugly in Persona 4, chances are you're not a very nice person either.
Kubo has unsettling fish-like eyes and a gormless expression. He's a creep from his very first appearance, when he hits on a reluctant Yukiko and then shouting at her when he doesn't get his own way. He then murders Morooka in cold blood, just so he can take blame for all of the murders and make a name for himself.
Hanako is an extremely overweight student with a pug-like face, and she's an awful person. She looks down on other girls and considers them unattractive, and will badmouth them sheerly because she's jealous of them. Interestingly enough the anime made her a much nicer character, even though she looked the same.
Kashiwagi is treated as being ugly by her students, when she's actually somewhat attractive; she just spoils it by trying to dress much younger than she is. She's a poor teacher, treats her female students badly because she sees them as a threat, and is more than willing to take advantage of teenage boys.
Morooka has buckteeth, a bowl haircut, and a downright weird appearance. He's also a brutal teacher, yelling at his students when they've done nothing wrong, and belittles people without a second thought. However it's implied that he's a somewhat decent guy deep down; a student who says he gave her a sweet when she was sad, and another student mentions he's great for career advice.
While not immediately obvious, Adachi's nose and mouth are somewhat misaligned. Guess who turns out to be less than nice after all.
Aversions include Igor, who has a long nose and bulging eyes, as he is extremely helpful to the player, and Old Lady Shiroku, who gives the MC a job at her pub and treats him quite kindly.
To a lesser degree, Perverts and Casanova wannabies like Yosuke and Teddie. Whenever they try to score with some ladies, do something perverted or make any advances on the female cast members, it usually backfires on them, often with horrible results.
Accidental Aesop: "Be what society expects of you" shows up for multiple characters. Chie wishes to be feminine, which is what's considered normal for girls in Japan. Yukiko ends up going back on her plan to leave town and instead decides to inherit her inn, which is what's expected of her. Kanji and Naoto drop their distinct appearances in Golden's epilogue, instead becoming more "normal" members of society. Yumi accepts the father she never knew that abandoned her and her mother, which is what Japanese society would expect. Whether this is a good aesop or if they were written well doesn't change the fact that it's a recurring theme.
Did Saki really hate Yosuke? As the battles with shadows have shown, they are an exaggeration of the character's true self rather than their true embodiment, such as Kanji being Camp Gay when in reality struggling with peoples perception of him, Rise being promiscuous when in reality being stressed about her career and image, and Chie resenting Yukiko when she really was concerned she was abusing her friendship with Yukiko. It's possible that Saki hating Yosuke was just an exaggeration of her frustration with her situation (working for Junes when the department store is taking business from her family's liquor shop) or was present in a mild sense and exaggerated by her shadow, likely also being a source of shame for her. This is supported by the fact that the only time Saki is portrayed as hateful towards Yosuke is her Shadow Self's lingering thoughts, and of course she'd be freaked out by a rambling weirdo saying she'll die and a police officer who is leering at her, so her reactions to them are justified. The one scene she has with Yosuke she legitimately seems worried about him making friends due to being both new in town and the son of the manager of Junes. Since she is being pressured herself about the latter both at home and by strangers, it's just as likely that she actually means what she says about the protagonist looking after Yosuke. Alternatively, it was all an illusion by Yosuke's shadow, representing what Yosuke feared she thought of him. After all, Saki's own Shadow never appears, so its possible that his Shadow projected those emotions outwardly in an attempt to bait him.
Adachi. Is he truly The Ditz, or is he smarter than he lets on? It's implied that it's simply laziness and Small Town Boredom that gives him little motivation to work as hard as he should. Then there's the revelation that he was the Killer. Was his appearance as Dojima's bumbling sidekick a mere facade, or was it really part of his personality that he outwardly expressed to mask his darker side. There was also his Establishing Character Moment where he vomits upon seeing Mayumi's corpse, which muddies things even further. Was it all part of the act, or was it out of genuine shock that he had just murdered someone?
On the note of Adachi - Is his 'lazy' behavior, lack of interest and general sour attitude him being a Manchild with Small Town Boredom or does Adachi have an undiagnosed mental illness like Major Depressive Disorder (Clinical Depression)? Could his inability to cook food be laziness or Too Unhappy to Be Hungry? The fact that he doesn't even find joy in the murders shows that there may be something seriously wrong with him at the core.
Kinshiro Morooka. His always portrayed as a borderline Sadist Teacher and a Jerkass who often demeans his students, and has an offscreen Kick the Dog moment where he insulted Saki and Mayumi at the former's funeral. However, after his death, it's revealed that he has a nicer side of him where he legitimately tries to help his students. Is his Sadist Teacher personality a facade, or is it really part of his character? It doesn't help that said Kick the Dog moment was told by an Unreliable Narrator.
Is Izanami a judgmental figure legitimately doing what she thinks is best for humanity, or is she a lying, scheming, vindictive villain? Or perhaps her past experience (her husband fleeing from her and sealing the entrance to the Underworld upon seeing her hideous form) has given her a bias view that people would rather live in ignorance and denial than except the truth.
Tanaka selling gas masks and medical kits during the fog. Is he filling a need in a difficult time, or trying to profit off people's panic?
What was the most relevant reason behind Naoto's dismissal from the police investigation? Was it because as a female and a teenager, the police didn't take her suggestions seriously and resented the implication that they needed her help? Was it because Naoto's sometimes abrasive personality didn't win her many favors with the others? Or was it perhaps because the police, having arrested a juvenile as a suspect in the case, weren't willing to admit that they were wrong?
Is the Heaven dungeon born from Nanako, or Namatame? Given the pattern of previous kidnappings, the Investigation Team assumes it's the former, and it's never directly challenged or questioned, but Namatame believes that the TV World is a safe and pleasant place, so it would make sense for him to perceive it as a paradise. Similar to the other kidnapping victims, the latter also has to face an Awful Truth (that the TV World he threw innocent people into is actually a dangerous and inescapable place, rather than the safe haven he thought it was). And, of course, Namatame is the one who becomes the dungeon's boss.
To a lesser degree, Yosuke, who within the Western fandom is more of a Base-Breaking Character and is overshadowed by Kanji. His tendencies to needle his friends, particularly Kanji, have been interpreted as both sexist and homophobic. He does have a respectable Western fanbase, but many were surprised to see him win an official character poll focusing on Persona 4 Golden characters.
Angst? What Angst?: Naoto doesn't really seem to care much about having her secret in school blown by her Shadow after being rescued. It probably helps that she doesn't need to change to the girls' uniform, which Naoto is very uncomfortable with, and can stay in her old uniform.
Much like the previous game, you have Teddie for an announcer during battles, who gives you information about damage taken or status effects. Unfortunately, much like Mission Control in the previous game he. Just. Won't. Shut. Up. It is made slightly better by the fact that Teddie is replaced midway through by Rise, but she also never shuts up and neither she nor Teddie ever tell you anything you couldn't already see on the screen. This also becomes irritating because they never stop talking about the number of enemies, who defeated what enemy and what a cool move the character made. Unfortunately, one of the trophies in Golden requires you to hear 250 of Rise's navigation lines, which is Guide Dang It! for more annoyance. Rise does get more useful if you max out her Social Link, when she gets the Weakness Scan ability which causes her to randomly reveal one enemy's weakness or immunity at the start of battle.
If you go up to your room on Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday, the game will remind you if you haven't bought anything from the shopping network. This gets annoying in December, when Tanaka begins selling gas masks and medical kits because of the fog that sell out before you can order anything, and you don't even have the option to buy anything.
Similar to the above, the game will repeatedly remind you on the days when you can work at a part-time job, even if there's other things you'd rather do on that day.
Anti-Climax Boss: For all the buildup to who The Killer is, Adachi is a relatively easy boss to defeat. He doesn't have that much health, nor does he have any gimmicks to like Shadow Mitsuo or Kunino-Sagiri did to make him more challenging. Justified, as he's simply a warm-up boss for the much more punishing Ameno-Sagiri.
Anvilicious: The game hits pretty early and pretty hard with the message that it's better to face your true self than to live in denial, from the murder mystery premise to the way the characters gain their personas.
In the original game, Izanami. Literally everything up to that point pointed to Ameno-Sagiri being the ultimate mastermind of the murders, but then, at the last possible moment, a completely new entity appears to take credit for everything, and the only bit of foreshadowing that she got was a minor event at the very beginning of the game that most players likely forgot about, along with Mr. Edogawa's story of Izanami and Izanagi, the player's initial persona, during school trip. Note that Golden avoids this trope via the Hollow Forest, which explains more about the specific links between Izanami, Marie, and Ameno-Sagiri - specifically that they are all aspects of a greater whole.
Nanako's resurrection. There really wasn't much explanation for it aside from the fact that you didn't kill Namatame.
Teddie's sudden burst of power allowing him to take down Shadow Rise (and that despite the fact that she was scanning them specifically to avoid their attacks) was neither explained, foreshadowed nor mentioned again afterwards.
Speaking of Teddie, the revelation of his nature as a Shadow. After the entire game building up to finding out what exactly Teddie is or what's up with him, this comes off as rather lazy and ineffective as anything really mind-blowing. It also doesn't make sense given many things in the story: his own Shadow and Persona, most notably, which definitely jar this outcome a little as it happens midway through the game. More time could have been spent finding out why he knows what humans are despite having never seen one at the beginning of the game, and how he can conjure up television exits.
In the original game, Izanami seemingly came out of nowhere. Golden adds more Foreshadowing for the individual in question, particularly in Marie's Social Link and at the end of the new dungeon in February.
Chie. She has a lot of fans due to being more of a normal girl compared to the other female party members, and for her tomboyishness, but there are others who found her Jerkass behavior annoying. One point of contention for Chie was her tendency to mooch off of Yosuke because he broke a DVD that could have easily been replaced, and then got defensive when she used his money on an expensive suit for Teddie without asking, showing that she can't take what she dishes out. Although a lot of people still like her for her fun personality, the sequels and their tendency to Flanderize her has only made her more divisive with time.
Teddie. Some find him to be an amusing Plucky Comic Relief character who has a great and funny dynamic with the rest of the team as well as interesting character development. Others can't bear his puns (or ending his sentences with 'kuma' in the Japanese version), his period as the game's Mission Control, perverted antics, and blatant attempt to be a marketable mascot character annoying.
Shadow Rise doesn't have much HP, and while she's the first boss to use multiple elements, she doesn't have any particularly troubling abilities. It's mainly a lead-in to the fight with Shadow Teddie.
Shadow Naoto is relatively simple in comparison to the bosses that come before her, being vulnerable to Silence and only getting one turn per round as opposed to the previous boss's two.
Considering the build-up to their confrontation and the level you go through to get to them, Adachi is mostly just a warm up for the fight afterwards.
Marie and Kusumi-no-Okami in the Hollow Forest. The first phase is relatively short and easy, similar to Shadow Rise. If you have a good stock of the "(Element) Breaker" items, the second phase can end relatively quickly (and even moreso if the party is equipped the Repel Joue armors) due to her low Endurance and Cast from Hit Points skill, and equipping a powerful SP recovery stone on your healer should provide you with enough SP to keep healed up.
Breather Level: The Hermit Social Link's penultimate request is the easiest, as you only need to search around for a lost wallet, and it can be completed within a single day. In comparison, the previous request needed you to have invested some time in the Fishing Minigame, and the final request involves catching the Guardian.
In general, the comedy scenes in the game are divisive. Some fans of the game like them because they add levity to the plot, allow for more character interaction in the downtime, and are fans of the humor involved. The problems other people have with them is that they can be very mean spirited at times (The Amagi Inn and Camping Trip scenes for example), they sometimes drag on for 20-40 minutes (particularly with the camping scene and the school festival leading into the Amagi Inn scene), and that they provide a lot of Mood Whiplash (like Yosuke announcing that he needs to pee during the tense scene of when they discover the TV World and Rise's comedic crying when the Protagonist goes home at the end). This also factors into another issue which is the girls' treatment towards the boys (particularly, Chie to Yosuke). Are they hilarious, or are they Love Hina-levels of Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male?
Claiming Kanji is gay earns a similar reaction from the fandomnote Word of Saint Paul has his original English VA, Troy Baker, go on the record that he portrayed Kanji as gay and believes he is. Kanji's character arc is about gender and societal norms being pushed onto him, and the struggle that comes from fitting in. The game does keep Kanji's sexuality a bit vague but it isn't the point of his character and contradicts his character arc of acceptance of his personality and hobbies. At most, Kanji would be Ambiguously Bi given he maintains his attraction to Naoto among a few other girls. Despite all of what the game says, its common for people to claim he is gay because the game doesn't fully resolve the arc, and even ends with a
Claiming that Yosuke is gay or straight will also generates ire. Some point to the fact that he was originally intended to be a romancible social link to be a sign that he is gay, others will point out the fact that he shows attraction to Saki Konishi and the female team mates as a sign that he is straight. Some use his insistance that he is not gay as proof that he is straight, while others see it as a case of protesting too much to be straight. A third group is frustrated that the prospect of him being bisexual doesn't seem apparent to either. The fact there are lines in the games data that suggest he was planned to be one caused the debate to resume heavily.
Dave Wittenberg vs Sam Riegel as Teddie. While most agree that they're on pretty even footing for regular Teddie, fans are more divided in their voices for Shadow Teddie. Fans of the original prefer that Wittenberg's voice for Shadow Teddie sounds more naturally menacing, with only a slight reverb added to it, and criticize Riegel's Shadow Teddie for being artificially pitched down to try and achieve a similar effect. Others think that both are effective.
Naoto being a girl. Her dub voice doesn't even try to sound like a boy, but even if that weren't the case, some figured it out just by looking at her. Somewhat subverted in the anime's dub, where she was subjected to The Other Darrin. Her dub voice in that version at least made more of an effort to sound like a boy. Shinjiro in Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth slightly lampshaded this by stating he could tell Naoto's gender just by looking at her.
Cliché Storm: A lot of the Dojima family drama amounts to this, including Deceased Parents Are the Best (the Dojima matriarch being dead and a source of angst for both Ryotaro and Nanako), When You Coming Home, Dad? (Ryotaro being a workaholic who doesn't have time for Nanako and is always breaking promises to spend time with her), and a Third-Act Misunderstanding (the Dojimas being sent a threatening letter, which leads to Ryotaro turning against the Protagonist).
It's commonly believed that Marie always kisses the protagonist on Valentine's Day and gives them a Love Confession in the epilogue. This only happens in the version of these events that plays if the player romanced her. The scenes lack those elements on her platonic path. This misconception exists because the vast majority of public footage of Golden's epilogue comes from "harem" playthroughs.
The Japanese fandom has a large following for Adachi/aged-up Nanako, however little sense it makes.
Rise and Kanji have also turned into a surprisingly popular one as well. Interesting in the fact that, story-wise, the two have crushes on different characters (the Protagonist and Naoto respectively) and that Kanji is explicitly uninterested in her to the point that it irritates her in Golden. They do seem to get along quite well in the game (the game notes it may be because the others in the team are second years whilst the two of them are the only first years in the group until Naoto joins) and people may see them as an alternate Yosuke and Chie pairing without the UST. Oddly enough, this pairing might have been referenced in Persona Q, where Yukiko, at one point, believes that Kanji has a crush on Rise and should confess to her. The player has a dialogue option that supports this pairing.
The Japanese fanbase is quite fond of pairing Naoto and Rise together. This is actually because of the voice actor connection. Rise is voiced by Rie Kugimiya and Naoto is voiced by Romi Park: they've had many roles where they worked together, notably Ed (Romi Park) and Al (Rie Kugimiya) Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist. Romi Park once stated in a behind the scenes interview for FMA that she wanted Rie Kugimiya to come and cook for her in nothing but an apron. There tends to be a fair bit of teasing subtext between them during interviews together.
Yukiko and Chie giving the boys Mystery Food X that nearly kills them shouldn't be nearly as funny as it is if it weren't for the fact that the girls are just that bad at cooking. Yosuke's reaction is admittedly pretty funny, too; props to Yuri Lowenthal for making his reaction both believable and hilarious.
This line from Yukiko during the school's camping trip. Chie's response says it all -
Yukiko:(While Hanako is snoring) ...do you think she'd stop snoring if I covered her nose and mouth?
Chie: N-nonononono! Yukiko, NO!
Yukiko trying Rise's omelet (which actually isn't that bad; just really spicy) only to keel over exactlylike Yu and Yosuke did back in the camping trip. Kanji's well-timed Ironic Echo makes this all the more hilarious! Even when Nanako herself tries the omelet she can't help but to complement Rise out of courtesy since it's established earlier that Nanako isn't very fond of spicy food.
Any Shadow with the word "Basalt" in its name. They resist (and later outright nullify) physical attacks, have unpredictable weaknesses, and while they don't have many skills, their regular attack hits like a ton of rocks. Oh, and there's one type of them that resists Almighty. You will, more often than not, drain half your collective SP getting everyone's health back up after fighting a group of Basalts. It's worth noting that the All-Out Attack is of Almighty affinity. Yes, they resist the All-Out Attack.
"Machine"-type enemies, regardless of variation, can be pretty nasty. They come in two flavors, and both variants pack a very powerful normal attack that's almost guaranteed to knock out a party member in one go.
The Steel Machine in Void Quest and Heartless Machine in The Very Definitely Final Dungeon have very low hit points, barely hitting 100, but they make up for it with an absurd amount of resistance to all forms of damage. You'll find yourself Cherry Tapping them to death if you try to brute-force them. The Steel Machine even has a hidden almighty resistance to let it weather your All-Out Attacks. The one solace is their lack of Light or Dark resistance, so a good Hamaon or Mudoon should take them out quickly. Hint Damage items always inflict a fixed amount of damage unless you hit an immunity. Use a Magatama to instantly kill it, or a couple of more common items.
The Dominating Machine Degraded Boss in the Secret Laboratory and the Solemn Machine from a later dungeon may take increased damage from everything but usually have absurdly high health to ensure they won't go down in one hit. They also have Light and Dark immunity so you can't one-shot them like the others and are forced to take them out in a straight-up brawl.
The Heartless Machine in Golden is no longer behaves like its vanilla counterpart. Instead, it mixes attributes from the above two variations, having immunity to Light and Dark while resisting all other damage sources that aren't its sole Wind weakness. It still has very low HP, but if you're missing any Wind damage source you'll be Cherry Tapping it for a while.
The Intrepid Knight in Heaven. Nulls both Hama and Mudo skills, and resists both Almighty and Physical. But at least it has a Lighting Weakness, right? Nope; it takes less damage from electric attacks, and since it resists Almighty, All Out Attacks are pointless. Throw in the fact it's got Power Charge (the boosts its next attack 250%) and the very strong Virus Wave (that hits all party members and may poison them), this guy is a pain in the ass even in a New Game+. In Golden, it's even worse, as the Virus Wave is replaced with Blight—basically the same thing, just stronger. Cementing this is that all of its resistances are the ones that can't be broken with a spell.
The Noble Seeker in Magatsu Mandala. Previously a pushover, as of Golden it's a nightmare. It has no weaknesses and repels physical attacks, meaning it's impossible to knock it down. Its magic stat is a little bit monstrous, its health and SP have been improved, and it possesses Galgalim Eyes (HP to 1, inflicts enervation).
The Minotaurs from the same dungeon as the above hit hard, have lots of health, possess powerful skills like Diarahan (single-target full heal) and have a fair number of resistances.
The reason why Yosuke is such a Base-Breaking Character. He is perverted to the point of misogyny (right after a girl he had a crush on was murdered), and his tendency to make fun of Kanji's insecurities make him look like a huge homophobe. However, unlike the former, he never faces karma for the latter.
While Yosuke is no saint, Chie's treatment towards him doesn't paint a pretty picture of her either. She'll often assault Yosuke (and the protagonist and Kanji on some occasions) for minimal offenses, even if he apologized beforehand, she mooches off of him, and she charged money to Yosuke's credit card for an expensive suit for Teddie without asking him.
The rest of the Investigation Team may not be as bad as Yosuke and Chie in the Jerkass department, but they still have their moments, like Yu and Kanji coercing the girls into competing in the beauty pageant, the infamous Amagi Inn scene, and the times they took swipes at Kashiwagi and Hanako for their looks (though the latter case is more forgivable given that Kashiwagi and Hanako aren't exactly pleasant people themselves). Another point against them is their tendency to make short-sighted decisions that end up causing more problems, as mentioned in Idiot Plot below.
Ending Fatigue: This game gets hit with it a lot of fake-outs. Kubo turns out to only be a Jack The Rip Off. While Namatame was responsible for some of the kidnappings, he wasn't the one that killed Yamano and Saki. Even after Adachi is arrested and you've said your goodbyes to all your friends on your last day in Inaba, the Investigation Team learns about Izanami and has to fight her.
Shadow Yosuke and Shadow Naoto tend towards being the most popular of the Shadows. Particularly notable in that the former is only part of the tutorial and doesn't have a special venue like most of the other Shadows, while the latter is, as mentioned above, a Breather Boss.
This particular game is notable for spawning even more than games of its franchise usually do, thanks in no small part to leaving certain side-mysteries from the main plot tantalizingly half-answered or unanswered at all (in order to leave plot hooks for the inevitablesequel, in all likelyhood). Naoto being a descendant of Raidou Kuzunoha and/or a relative of Persona 3's Protagonist (and the two are not mutually exclusive), the exact nature of Teddie - as he's clearly not just a joe shmoe Shadow who wants to be nice to humans- and the nature of the TV World and how it relates to the Dark Hour and Abyss of Time from Persona 3 or the Metaverse from Persona 5 are especially popular targets for tree-planting.
The strange eye symbol that can appear on a party member's status screen. Whilst it was eventually revealed to just be a glitch and had no effect on gameplay, just what it was meant to do before the mechanic was removed from Persona 4 is unclear and has never been explained by anyone, with Atlus being reluctant to even admit to it being a glitch - something they only did in 2013, a full half-decade after the game was released.
Evil Is Cool: Adachi, of all people. The reveal that he was the Killer all along actually added to his appeal as a character. His tendency to switch between Laughably Evil and delicious evilness makes him both entertaining yet intimidating in the eyes of the fanbase. Also, he wields the Persona Magatsu-Izanagi which is the Evil Counterpart for the protagonist's Izanagi, with a cool-looking red and black color scheme.
Fandom-Enraging Misconception: Due to the Shadows being so overly dramatic to purposely misrepresent the person's concerns/fears, its common to see people mistake the Shadows' point as being the truth, even though the game makes it clear otherwise this is not true. Combine this with Values Dissonance because of it being through a Japanese cultural lense (and thus Westernizers would miss the context), and it becomes moreso. Both Naoto and Kanji are the most common ones to have this issue.
Fandom Rivalry: Between fans of Persona 4 and fans of the other games, especially the first two, who feel that this game is overrepresented in spinoffs due to being Adored by the Network. There's also the rivalry with Persona 3 over which game has the superior tone and cast, with 3 fans claiming 4s of being childish and shallow and 4 fans accusing 3s of being insufferable due to their issues.
Being a Heroic Mime, The Protagonist's personality is ultimately determined by the player, but some personality traits have become recurring in fanfiction, such as him being a Badass Bookworm, a Deadpan Snarker (His dialogue options tend to head towards Only Sane Man most of the time, but sometimes head towards this), a Nice Guy and the Only Sane Man (Literal non-example, he's the only member of the party whose persona does not stem from having resolved his own mental issues since he hasn't got any. If you pay attention, most of his dialogue choices tend to edge towards this as well.) Many of these traits would become canon after future games established the anime's Yu Narukami as "canon".
There are exactly two moments when Naoto's bust size is brought into question; one vague hospital scene where she's embarrassed to have her measurements read by Rise who's impressed and shocked, and again during the Hot Springs Episode where all of the girls comment on her bust size being bigger than they expected now that they see her out of her clothes. Fanon decided to take this ball and run with it straight outta the stadium, and the grand bulk of her fanart depicts her with downright tremendous assets, easily surpassing D-cups. Meanwhile in Canon, the hot springs character cut-out and the anime of the game show only a slight elevation, nothing more than a modest B-cup. However, the Hot Springs cutscene added in Golden actually shows all four girls in nothing more than their towels, and makes it explicitly clear this is the case, with Naoto being the largest of the group and roughly a large C-cup.
Kanji/Naoto, to the point where people who haven't played the game think they're an official couple in the game. They even have a ship name: Kannao (完直). The popularity of the pairing has gotten to the point where Atlus has taken notice (despite originally treating it as a one-off in the original Persona 4), and added a lot of ship tease material in Persona 4 Golden (like the scene in the ski trip where Naoto falls on top of Kanji when they're out in the snow). Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth even includes options for Yu to spur on their relationship. Recently it seems to be the most popular het pairing for the franchise.
The protagonist and Yosuke. Easily one of the most popular ships in the fandom (both for western and eastern fans), which is largely because of the considerable Ho Yay vibes between them. Yosuke was even supposed to be something of a Gay Option originally, but was implemented as the protagonist's Best Friend. Both do care a great deal on one another and refer to one another as "Partner."
The protagonist and Adachi is popular; however, this is limited to the Japanese fandom due to Western slash fans taking issue with Adachi's character and the age difference between the two.
Chie is usually paired with either Yosuke or Yukiko for varying reasons:
With Yosuke, it's usually because much of their spats could be interpreted as Belligerent Sexual Tension to where they seem Like an Old Married Couple. Beneath that, though, they are quite Not So Different from one another, having surprising amounts of commonality and motivations. They're both considered to be the most "ordinary" out of the Investigation Team members, and both of them have low self-esteem regarding themselves as a result of their perceived lack of "specialness". Both of them have inferiority complexes that appear as being envious of their more traditionally popular best friends (Chie's shadow manifested out of her envy of Yukiko being beautiful and more traditionally feminine than her, while Yosuke would confess to feeling envious toward the Protagonist regarding being better in his Rank 9). At the same time, this is compounded with an enjoyment of people relying on them. This leads them both with a desire for people to like them for who they are, especially compounded with the fact that both of them are implied to have relatively lonely childhoods. Heck, the two are the other's closest friend aside from Yukiko for Chie and the protagonist for Yosuke. Interestingly enough, Rise once teases them as being a couple (causing them both to be flustered) and Yukiko even admits that she thinks the two would be a cute couple. In fact, one could make the assumption that much of their spats come from being honest and open with one another in ways they may not necessarily be with others.
With Yukiko, the two are best friends and much of their closeness has Les Yay vibes, particularly in P4 The Animation. They rely a good deal on one another and their own Shadows involve the other in some form and fashion, (Chie is envious of Yukiko yet enjoys how much the latter relies on her while Yukiko in turn mentions relying on Chie against harassment and her shadow expresses a desire for someone to "save" her.) Add this with Yukiko and Chie's Girlygirl Tomboy interactions respectably and it's not much of a surprise that the pairing is as popular as the one between the protagonist and Yosuke.
On certain days Mitsuo can be found standing across the street from Tatsumi Textiles. Talk to him, and he'll suspect Morooka of being the murderer. If you know what happens later in the game, this is either amusing or disturbing.
Near the beginning, Chie is somewhat relieved to hear that the only reason the player character transferred over was because of his parents' work, having been worried that it was something more serious.note Possibly a nod to the protagonist's backstory in 3 - his parents died in a car crash. In Persona 5, it's indicated that the protagonist transferred to his new school as a result of getting on probation for assaulting a molester, which would definitely qualify as significantly more serious.
Morooka states that "This town is miles away from your big city of perverts and assholes, in more ways than one" when berating Yu on the first day of school. Come Persona 5, which is set in Yu's hometown of Tokyo, and through Suguru Kamoshida and Masayoshi Shido (among others), we learn that Morooka may have had a point.
Chie, in Golden, as she gets Apt Pupil and Auto-Tarukaja. Her Black Spot and Rainy Death skills both have a 35% Critical Hit rate, the highest in the game, and with Apt Pupil and Rebellion, it reaches a 70% Critical Hit rate. By spamming critical hits, Chie can trivialize entire encounters. The only problem is that Rainy Death is only around for 3 levels before God's Hand comes along, which is arguably still game-breaking.
The infamous "autoleveling" trick — if you equip a Persona that nulls physical attacks and fight a group of Great Kings, they'll continuously summon Mooks. The trick? Attack a Mook once, turn on Rush mode and leave the game running overnight, and wake up to a godlike EXP reward. This was Nerfed in Golden, where after summoning a few Mooks, it'll start tossing Megidola until it runs out of SP and will keep casting it, forcing you to kill it.
Golden Hands now hand out tremendous amounts of cash when you kill them as well as fantastic experience for beating them too. Early game requires Chie's Rebellion/Revolution to earn the critical hits (or buying items from the Shiroku store to help get around the higher defenses), but once you start getting the Megido line of spells, then your only challenge is to kill them off before they flee. The prizes are too good, and it becomes really easy to power level.
Also from Golden, advancing Rise's Social Link now grants her even more abilities that turn the game into a cakewalk: once per battle, she can summon a Beehive Barrier to completely nullify a multi-target enemy spell that would have killed an ally, and if the hero is defeated, she can revive him once with full health and SP. She can also randomly pop in to heal your whole team, restore your SP, or cast a Ma-kaja or Ma-taru spell. Not to mention that your all-out attacks can sometimes get a power boost, which is just the icing on the cake.
Fusion and the Persona Compendium, if you've got money to burn, especially on Golden. Many of the higher level Personas, such as those obtained from completing S. Links, like Beelzebub, are extremely powerful, and with the right skills they make the game trivially easy. A few notable Personas that aren't final S. Link are available as soon as you have the money and level to put them together:
Black Frost comes with no weaknesses, handily absorbing Fire and Ice and reflecting Dark. It also naturally learns Mind Charge, Agidyne, and Fire Amp, meaning it can set off some powerful Fire attacks. He's available by the fourth dungeon and having him at that point turns the boss Shadow Mitsuo into a complete joke.
Yoshitsune learns the best attacking skill in the game: Hassou Tobi. It hits all enemies eight times, more than enough to offset the weaker power of the individual strikes, compared to single target attacks like Primal Force. Buffs like Power Charge and Tarukaja can help augment this further, and if you somehow give it Victory Cry, it can wipe away all enemies and then heal your HP right back up.
Trumpeter has a multitude of resistances, so if you fuse it with Null, Reflect, or Absorb Element skills, you can essentially make it invincible, making it so that only the seldom used status ailments and Almighty attacks can damage you. On top of that, it learns two very useful skills for buffing and debuffing. Heat Riser raises all of the stats of one character, while Debilitate reduces all of the stats of one enemy. These two skills cannot be passed through fusion inheritance, so expect to keep Trumpeter in your stock for a long time.
Alice, due to her powerful Die for Me! skill which is a Dark instant kill type skill. Combine that with Mudo Boost to increase its effectiveness, and she can clear away enemies with ease. She can also have a very magical oriented moveset with skills like Mind Charge and Megidola for enemies who aren't immediately destroyed by Die For Me!. Nebiros, one of her ingredients, can optimize her further by covering her weakness with Null Light and discounting everything she does with Spell Master.
The ability for skills to randomly change during fusion. It is random, yes, but it is also possible for a Level 45 or 50 persona to get Victory Cry, which can normally only be gotten by Lucifer at Level 99. This makes the rest of the game a cakewalk in terms of grinding. A trick with the Persona Kaiwan, normally around Level 25 or so, can be fused on a specific day some time during June, and with enough patience and luck, it can acquire Victory Cry, which can then be fused onto other Personas.
Spell Master halves the SP cost of all skills that use it. This is quite useful in the Hollow Forest, in which if you have a Persona with that ability, you can essentially throw around high-level spells while your accessory recoups the cost.
Germans Love David Hasselhoff: This holds true in relation to Persona 3. Persona 3 was a little better received in Japan and is generally considered the better of the two games, and got far more spinoff merch due to the incredible demand; Persona 4, meanwhile, still got a decent reception but not a great one and not much secondary merch. The opposite holds true in America and Europe, though; while Persona 3 did basically bring real mainstream attention onto the franchise, Persona 4 was reviewed much higher and is generally considered to be a whisper away from total perfection and quickly became the best-selling SMT title in the West ever (which actually had the effect of making Persona 4 the best-selling SMT game ever due to worldwide sales). This may actually be spilling back to its homeland as well, with several spinoff merch and sequels that are about equal with Persona 3. And hey, Atlus sure didn't call the crossover fighting game Persona 3 Arena.
Glurge: Most of Nanako's character revolves around her being The Woobie, to the point where her death is the driving point for the decision the player must make for either the good or bad endings.
Contrarian King, the Bonus Boss in Shadow Yukiko's dungeon. He has insanely high Attack power for his level and his Rampage attack can kill the entire party in one hit if you go back and attempt to defeat him immediately after clearing the dungeon the first time, even if defensive buffs are in play (oddly enough, it's several times stronger than his other moves). However, he becomes rather easy if you grind through another dungeon or two and then return, have a Persona with Null Physical on a New Game+, or simply get lucky and never see him use it.
Shadow Teddie, given his massive amount of health. His attacks are easy to recognize if you know his tells, so it's more of an endurance contest.
The scene where Chie charges Teddie's wardrobe to Yosuke without his permission becomes this in Golden — in the original release Yosuke complains that he's trying to buy a motorcycle, but in Golden he's recently done so at this point in the story and complains that he's broke and doesn't have the money for it, with Chie's reaction being a non-plussed "Well, then it's not like going into debt is going to be problem!" Keep in mind that when Golden was released, there was a global recession taking place due to this sort of spending.
Yumi's New Year's date has her making a small prayer at the shrine. During it, she thanks God for bringing the two of you together and makes it known that she's glad that you're alive. Considering what closely preceded this and the events of the True Ending, it can be seen as a bit of foreshadowing, especially considering what the series as a whole has a knack for doing to its protagonists.
In a throwaway comedy scene during the summer, Teddie and Yosuke help with Nanako's homework by providing proverbs. Teddie's is "Cogito ergo sum" or "I think, therefore I am". Once you learn his backstory and witness his entire character arc, this is considerably less funny.
In Ai's Social Link, after hearing that the guy she likes isn't interested in her, she threatens to throw herself off the school roof, but you talk her down. In Persona 5, Shiho, after being sexually assaulted by Kamoshida, attempts suicide in the same manner, surviving but being injured and going into a coma.
Also from Ai's Social Link, the part where she rejects a suitor for not being good-looking enough and expresses her belief that looks are all that matters. Initially, it comes off as a Kick the Dog moment that makes Ai seem shallow, but later on, you learn that she also feels that way about herself, believing so strongly that looks are her only redeeming quality that she becomes suicidal when she's rejected, and this revelation says volumes about Ai's self-esteem (or lack thereof).
Mr. Yamada casually makes slips of the tongue implying that Yukiko, one of his students, is cute, something that passes without comment. In Persona 5, Mr. Kamoshida lusts after Ann, retaliating against her friend Shiho by sexually assaulting her when Ann spurns his advances- his attraction to her isn't portrayed as being acceptable in the least, and he comes off as one of the most despicable characters in the game.
Marie, Igor's Golden-only assistant together with Margaret, is revealed to be a pawn of Persona 4'sGreater-Scope Villain. Apparently, Atlus decided to do it again in Persona 5, although this time it's the Greater-Scope Villain of that game himself who places himself in the Velvet Room, impersonating Igor no less.
Those packages you likely bought off Tanaka's Amazing Commodities? Every delivery of them seems to have made Nanako more acquainted with Namatame...
During the Okina event where you, Kanji, and Yosuke compete to pick up girls, you can talk to a religious fanatic. While it's clear she's nuts and has no idea what she's talking about, she does mention despair being the source of human suffering and hope being the path to salvation. This could very well be a reference to the whole plot of Izanami's plan—Namatame is the piece representing Despair, and drives most of the plot by kidnapping people and is the source of most of the conflict in the game. You, the player, are the piece representing hope and are indeed the only one able to save the world.
Theodore's Fan Nickname "Flight Attendant Kanji" can be this if you let Kanji wear the Deep Blue Clothes.
Hiimdaisy's webcomic has Chie using Bufu on Shadow Yukiko, one hit KO-ing it (which in the original isn't weak to Ice and thus qualifies as the original's Wake-Up Call Boss). Now in Golden, Shadow Yukiko is weak to Ice.
There was a lot of fan art of Izanami joining the Investigation Team, or at least playing a bigger role in the overall story. When Golden was released and Marie turned out to be a part of Izanami, this came true.
The common comparison that Ameno-Sagiri looks like a giant disco ball has become this after the announcement of Persona 4: Dancing All Night, a rhythm game featuring the Investigation Team.
3 has Personas being activated by having the user shoot themselves in the head with a pistol. Fast forward to this game, and we have Naoto, whose Weapon of Choiceis a pistol, which is used for the Persona Activation scene by shooting the card.
Nanako asking if the weather forecaster decides the weather becomes this after the ending of Golden, when Marie becomes a weather forecaster who really can decide the weather.
During Rise's Social Link, you frequently hear about her rival idol, Kanamin, such as from a group of people who say that Kanamin's true to herself, unlike Risette. In Dancing All Night, it turns out that Kanamin's main appeal is her manufactured character, and in terms of appearance and personality, the difference between Kanamin and the "real" Kanami is perhaps even larger than the difference between Risette and the "real" Rise. Similarly, Nanako says that she tells all her friends that "Rise-chan's way better" than Kanamin, but ends up bonding with Kanami during Kanami's B-plot.
Naoto's Social Link has you aid Naoto in investigating a culprit known as the "Phantom Thief". Come Persona 5, whose main characters operate under the name "Phantom Thieves", with one of their enemies also being a high school detective, even referred to as "the second detective prince".
During the school's culture festival drag show, Teddie's pickup line is "Gimmie your hearts!" when he introduces himself. Come Persona 5, now it sounds like Teddie is trying to be a really aggressive Phantom Thief.
All the Midnight Channel dungeons consist of an exaggerated place created by the mind of someone forced into the TV World that has a swirling red and black vortex as the entrance along with the same pattern in the sky. Minus the Midnight Channel, this sounds a lot like a Palace.
Due to cultural touchstones about how a cute mascot character is supposed to sound despite being separate VA, Dub Teddie ends up almost identical to Dub Monokuma. Them both sharing the running gag of bear puns while being horny on main bear mascots who can suicide bomb without dying only adds to it.
Ms. Kashiwagi is widely derided among the students as ugly, when she looks like this◊ (though more likely they're talking about her desperate attempts to "regain her youth").
Rise, when she's working at her family's tofu stand. Presumably it's meant to show how different she is from her idol persona, but characters genuinely believe she's an old lady just from the fact that she's wearing a kerchief on her head.
Idiot Plot: The plot really tests the player's Suspension of Disbelief with how stupid the characters are to get it going. First, you have Saki's murder and Mitsuo's disappearance, both of which were committed at a police station. This leaves you wondering why nobody was taking better care of an underage witness or someone declaring himself to be the killer, not to mention the golden horseshoe Adachi would need to have up his ass to not get caught by any security cameras. Then you have Namatame blindly assuming the TV world is safe without actually going in it. Finally, a good number of the kidnappings were caused by the Investigation Team's own ineptitude. Kanji got abducted because Chie was too dense to play along with Yosuke's claim that they were dating, leading to him chasing them away. Rise got abducted because the Investigation Team left her unguarded while chasing a blatantly obvious stalker on the blind assumption that he's the killer. Nanako got abducted because of Dojima's kneejerk reaction to the threatening letter, leaving her home alone and vulnerable. The Protagonist also gets idiot points for not sticking his hand in a TV to prove to Dojima he wasn't bullshitting him when there was one around.
It's Popular, Now It Sucks!: Now that Atlus has built up a franchise aroundPersona 4, this type of Hatedom has come out the woodworks. Taken Up to Eleven with the 2013 Persona event, which announced a grand total of four Persona games, three of them P4 related. This event pretty much shattered the Shin Megami Tensei fandom due to Atlus' focus on P4; for comparison, three non spin-off games were released since 2000 while Persona had five, counting remakes. For all intents and purposes, P4 has become Atlus' equivalent of Final Fantasy VII.
Teddie's human form also isn't treated as a spoiler these days, and like Naoto spinoffs make no attempt to hide it.
The murderer's identity has become one of these, mainly due to it being very difficult to discuss the character without revealing this, and the character appearing as a DLC playable fighter in Persona 4: Arena Ultimax with a moveset that makes no attempt to hide their psychotic nature.
Mitsuo Kubo. Though on the surface he seems to be an irredeemable, sociopathic murderer, one ought to stop for a moment and consider the kind of isolation he must have gone through to make him that desperate for attention that he would kill a person who we're given reason to believe had expelled him for a minor infraction and take credit for two other murders just to prove that he exists. Voices in his dungeon such as "Sadness increases by 5" and a long scream of "I DON'T HAVE ANYTHING" don't help matters either. Though his actions aren't justified, those who can see past their hatred might still wish things could have turned out better for him, or at least that he had thought twice.
Saki Konishi, considering how her family endlessly berates her for her decision to work in Junes, as the opening of the store is ruining her family's liquor store business. She's also the subject of gossip from her classmates and friends, and her friendship with Yosuke ended up complicating her life even further. Sure she comes across as a cold-hearted girl in reality (although this is debatable, as seen under Alternative Character Interpretation), but she certainly didn't deserve to die.
The protagonist. No, really. Probably doesn't hurt that he can canonically end the game with six girlfriends (seven in Golden) and inspire crushes in his cousin, a 27 year old nurse, and — if you know where to look for the dialogue — Hanako.
Kanji's ambiguous sexuality and chemistry with everyone on the team has resulted in fans shipping him with everybody. Naoto's still the most popular ship for him, though.
The Killer, AKA Tohru Adachi. Despite his monstrous personality, fans found him too likeable and a treat to watch, given his genuinely funny and memorable quotes and his tendency to troll the Investigation Team at every turn.
Mr. Morooka/King Moron is a Sadist Teacher who frequently chews out the protagonist and the gang for the smallest of slights. Yet he's an Ensemble Dark Horse due to how over-the-top said attitude is that gives many of the game's most hilarious moments.
"______" is best girl! Explanation Most discussions about preference for favorite romance option in the game will result in this comment coming up. Naturally, Yosuke isn't immune from this.
"Chie is Best Girl" in particular got a massive following Golden's release. To the point where even Atlus USA and even Nintendo of America started referencing it.
Kou looooves them balls.Explanation Kou says this while complaining about having to put the basketballs away after practice.
Man, you just killed my vibe. That's wiggity wack, yo. Explanation The Funky student on the third floor of Yasogami will say this at one point in the game. In an odd case, this one caught on long after Persona 4's peak in popularity, during Persona 5's peak no less.
Virtually any line that comes from Hiimdaisy's Persona 4 comic has been turned into a meme, usually by sheer force of Youtube commenters posting them anywhere they're even remotely relevant (and a lot of places they're not):
Shut up Adachi. Explanation Adachi keeps running his mouth about the police investigations.
ALL YO YENS, YIP YIP YAP Explanation The fox's SP-healing services are very expensive, but are nearly necessary for completing a dungeon within 1 day.
YOU SAYIN' I LIKE DUDES?! Explanation Kanji's Armored Closet Gay response while in confusion over his sexuality.
I HAVE TO PEE!!!! Explanation Yosuke expressing his fear in an eloquent manner in the Midnight Channel.
TRIAL OF THE DRAGON!!!!!!!! Explanation Early on, Yosuke accidentally breaks Chie's DVD of her favorite movie. Not only does it lead up to the Groin Attack as described above, she reminds him of his blunder to extort a favor from him.
Depending your preferences, many of the other girls can qualify as moe, especially during their respective social links and even more so during their Christmas date events. It doesn't even have to be a girl: Yosuke's been referred to as moe by several people, and for good reason, too. Teddie (especially when cross-dressing in human form) is also a qualifier.
Nanako: "Welcome home, Big Bro!" Once it's gone, you will miss it.
The music that plays when you max out a social link.
The Reflect/Counter sound switches to this trope if you're the one doing the reflecting. It's more gratifying if you reflected a Charged Attack, the reflected damage was lethal to the attacker, or both.
Just like 3, the sound cue that plays along with a Eyed Screen cut-in when a team member lands a critical hit or strikes a weakness. As of Golden, after January you can hear it as often as you like.
Towards the beginning of the game, it seems that the history teacher lacks the tact to take off her silly Egyptian headdress to deliver an announcement that one of the students has been found murdered.
In Golden, the choice to trigger the new accomplice ending comes after a flashback to the good times you've had with Adachi in order to make the idea of betraying your teammates more appealing. Except that Adachi doesn't get that many scenes, even with his new Social Link, so the game is pretty much trying to get you to team up with the killer by reminding you that you went grocery shopping with him and invited him for dinner a few times. Somehow, the choice ends up not being as difficult as the developers intended it to be, so players who head down that path are probably just doing it to get 100% Completion.
In the hallway on December 3rd, right after Nanako seemingly dies, Kanji punches a wall and screams in frustration. But due to the timing of the character animation and the dialogue, he punches the wall first, so it looks more like he's screaming from the pain of punching the wall. Worse, Kanji stays in his wall-punching pose until his next line of dialogue, and a couple of other characters have lines before him. It's probably to prevent him from distracting from other characters' dialogue, but if you keep your eye on him holding that pose for several seconds it goes from "evocative" to "incredibly awkward" very quickly.
Ameno-Sagiri speaks with a voice so heavily pitched-down and distorted that it sounds less like an Eldritch Abomination and more like someone playing around with Microsoft Sam.
While not nearly as bad as Fuuka's English voice in Persona 3, many take issue with the Japanese voices for Rise and Teddie due to them being on the... shrill side.
Speaking of Rise, her Shadow's first appearance on the Midnight Channel could be a contender. While many shadow selves are meant to have one or two humorous qualities, this is a very serious moment, where the shadow self zigzags between talking in a low, successfully seductive tone, and... a shrill, exaggerated "Yaaaay!" that will have you burst out laughing.
During a scripted portion of the final battle, your party members push you out of the way and sacrifice themselves to Izanami's attack. It's all very dramatic, except that you being pushed is accompanied by a rather cartoonish and comical "Punch!" sound effect. It's even better if one of the party members is Kanji, whose method of "pushing" you is literally jumping through the air and dropkicking you with both feet.
In Golden, going to the Velvet Room will occasionally have a scene where one of Marie's wangsty, melodramatic poems is read. This is Played for Laughs. However, those same bad poems are later played for drama in Marie's dungeon, the Hollow Forest, where they get read intermittently.
The Killer's motive. He was motivated by his bad luck, with the rejection from Yamano being the final straw. However, with what the viewer is told and how little they're shown, the Killer comes off as Wangsty. It's hard to take the game's Big Bad seriously when his motive is the premise for every Dan Vs. episode. This isn't helped by his rather inconsistent characterization. One moment, he's acting like a sociopath that killed people For the Evulz, and then he anti-climatically turns himself over rather quickly.
For some, Adachi's goofy facial expressions once he's revealed to be The Killer only serve to accentuate him as an intimidating and unnerving villain.
The Killer's motive can come off as this depending on the perspective. The revelation of the sheer pettiness and lack of complexity behind their motive simply because they were Not Good with Rejection and later on For the Evulz, can come off as both frightening and entertaining.
The reaction you'll get besides horror at Berserk Shadow Rise.
The random fridge events, which involve, among other things, white miso that used to be red and an entire mushroom growing out of one of the food items. And yes, the game gives you the option to eat these mysteries, while providing Courage for doing so (at the cost of using up all your time in the evening).
Whatever the hellYukiko and Chie cooked up for the summer trip that's so bad that neither Yu nor Yosuke can identify it as something edible.
The guys crossdressing. Take a wild guess as to how much fanart there is of it. In Golden, their "crossdressing" outfits are all selectable costumes the party can wear while dungeon diving, and Rise has a number of (mostly complementary) comments she can make about them. There has gotten to the point where the male cast of Persona 3 and Persona 5 got their own crossdressing outfits in certain spin-offgames in which that is something that may have never happened if it weren't for this.
And then we have the One-Scene Wonder with Adachi eating cabbages because he's on a budget. Fans can't stop making fun of this, exaggerating by declaring cabbage to be his Trademark Favorite Food and making them an actual pairing. However, Adachi actually doesn't like cabbage, and only eats it because he can't afford much else.
The infamous "Yosuke brings real swords to the public cafe" scene. Even the staunchest of Yosuke fans admit this was an incredibly boneheaded move on his part.
The Amagi Inn scene, in which the girls throw washtubs at the guys to force them out of the hot spring, only to realize after the fact that they'd gone in at the wrong time. With how some reacted to that scene and their behavior during the camping trip, you'd think the girls do nothing but make the boys' lives a living hell.
Dojima is, for the most part, a fairly good detective for a case in which the standard rules don't apply, quite trusting of the protagonists despite his concerns about Yu getting involved in the investigation, and tries to raise Nanako well in spite of his issues and his workload. Quite a few people, however, tend to focus on his actions on November 5, and see him as none of these things.
Naoto initially comes off as an Insufferable Genius, and some people find it hard to forgive her for that. While Naoto does sometimes exhibit those qualities (calling the investigation a "game" for the main characters), it's implied that some of the police who dislike her are influenced by how 1) she's a lot younger than they are, 2) she's a girl, and 3)they don't want to admit that the young suspect that they arrested isn't actually the culprit for the first two murders.
Adachi proves that confronting a brutal killer becomes notably less frightening when he's wearing a smile, both his model and portrait, that just screams "heavily intoxicated". He can switch between chilling and hilarious within the space of a minute, so he's prone to getting this reaction. Golden probably brings in the biggest example with this face.◊
Ameno-Sagiri, lord of fog and master of oblivion. Aka the giant disco eyeball smoke machine.
Shadow Teddie. Sure, he may sound menacing thanks to Wittenburg's performance, but you can't help but bust out laughing when he could easily be compared to Hannibal Lecter in a bear suit.
Older Than They Think: When Golden released on Steam in June 2020, a lot of people thought it was the first Persona game on PC, and the first mainline Persona game to not be on a PlayStation console. However, the first Persona had a PC port released, though due to that game being obscure compared to later Persona games, and the PC port being Japan-only, most people can be forgiven for not realizing it existed.
Padding: A common complaint about the story is that it would often come to a screeching halt for high school shenanigans that don't add to the story, but are mandatory to sit through in order to progress it. The most notable examples include the camping trip, the school festival, and the Amagi Inn scene. In a game where time is of the essence, these scenes cut into days that could be used for level grinding or building Social Links.
Nanako's kidnapping, and her subsequent dungeon. Not to mention her apparent death. And the utter silence when you come home after that, without Nanako's cheerful "Welcome Home, Big Bro!" to greet you. Even worse, take revenge on her behalf... and get a one-way path to the bad ending, where she permanently dies.
There is also Valentine's Day in Golden. If you maxed out at the lover's route with all the ladies, now you have to reject all of the girls save for one. As you dash the other girls's romantic hopes, they will sullenly attempt to mask their disappointment. What hammers it home is Naoto saying to herself "You'll only get hurt" when she gets rejected.
Polished Port: The PC version of Golden definitely improves the graphics from the Vita version thanks to the ability to select from a variety of resolutions and texture filtering options. It also has arbitrary frame rate support, which is a pleasant surprise from a Japanese studio without much experience porting to the PC. There are some other improvements as well, such as dual audio support and the ability to customize the difficulty from the start, which in the Vita version was restricted to New Game+. A later patch made the port even more polished, fixing issues like stuttering cutscenes and random crashes.
The are several times in the game when, in order to track the latest person that's been thrown into the TV World, you will need to go around town asking random NPCs for information about that person. The specific people you need to ask are a major case of Guide Dang It!, and the information you uncover is typically stuff you already know, or will learn about in more detail later on, making these sections seem tedious and pointless. To make matters worse, the people you need to talk to aren't available on every day, and you can't hang out with party members during that time, resulting in a potential waste of several time slots while you wait for the right person to show up.
Rainy days. Most social links can't be done on rainy days, dungeons have extra (annoying) enemies, but on the upside you can get (mostly worthless items) from a capsule machine, and try Aiya's Beef Bowl challenge, which gives you points in multiple stats. However, if you're on a New Game+, those upsides are completely worthless, making you simply waste an afternoon. Golden adds some viable alternatives with movies for leveling up your party members (and maybe some social link points) and a cafe to get skill cards, though this comes with having to wait for bikes to get unlocked first (although you can do the bike rides on rainy days).
The capsule machine itself, not only because the items you can get of it are of negligible value, but doing so will send you to evening afterwards. While the game tries to justify it in that the machine is faulty and that you need to get the shop staff's attention, it still doesn't make much sense that it takes many in-game hours just to get one prize out of it.
Unlike in Persona 3, where you can do social and stat-raising activities and your part-time job during the day and then go to Tartarus at night, you do your dungeon crawling in this game in the afternoon, and if you choose to do it, you cannot do your part-time job or go fishing afterwards as the game states that you're too tired for them. Note that in this game, several part-time jobs are also Social Link activities, two of which can only be done at night. On top of that, most other Social Links are only doable in the afternoon, so you have to decide between dungeons or social every day, unlike in P3 where you can do both in the same day. For what it's worth, the game removes the "condition" mechanic from 3, so it balances out a little.
Once you've maxed out a stat, there is no point in raising it any further. This doesn't stop mandatory stat-raising events or notifications that such-and-such stat has increased, which are a pain to click through.
Party members now use up Homunculus items when hit by Hama/Mudo skills, which prevent them from being instantly killed at the cost of using up a Homunculus. This wouldn't be a problem if not for the fact that you still get a game over if the protagonist falls in battle. Meaning if your party members use up all the Homunculus items and the protagonist gets hit by a stray Hama/Mudo skill with no resistances immediately equipped, then too bad for you.
Ship-to-Ship Combat: Hooooo boy. Yu has camps for all four of his female allies, with the bigger contenders being Yukiko and Naoto, in addition to a large division of shippers pairing him with Yosuke. Naoto is the most controversial for a slew of reasons that can be found all over this page, further compounded by the fact that Kanji canonically has a crush on her, naturally leading to Kanji/Naoto going up against Yu/Naoto. Yu/Rise also has their fair share of shippers. As for Chie, she and Yu are part of the ¡Three Amigos! who founded the Investigation Team, although as with Yu/Naoto, Yu/Chie has issues with Yosuke/Chie and Yu/Yosuke. And with Golden adding Marie, and with Marie being favored by Atlus in general in the story (she's now DLC for the sequel to Persona 4: Arena and is bumped up to Deuteragonist for Persona 4 Golden: The Animation) and, through rumors, many believing she's pushed as a Love Interest (a very common misconception is that she'll always kiss Yu and love him, even if you don't pursue her romantically), a whole new can of worms has opened up. It's not helped that Marie is extremely divisive in the West. Granted, the anime and spin-offs don't make any of the pairings canon, and are implied only through small bits of dialogue, but even the small moments of Ship Tease Yu has with the girls do not help matters.
Stop Having Fun Guy: The revelation of a Very Easy mode in Golden pissed off a lot of players who believe that Atlus games have to be absolutely Nintendo Hard and led to experienced players frothing at the mouth at the idea of players who wish to play the easy modes. Never mind that Very Easy and Easy are completely optional, or that the same game included a Very Hard mode for their masochistic pleasure. Similar complaints were leveled at the way fusion inheritance is handled in Golden: the player can now select what skills carry over from Persona to Persona to get the fused Personas the player wants. To the hardcore crowd, it took the "fun" out of unpredictable results and dealing with what the RNG spits out.
Especially with the benefit of hindsight, Persona 4 was one of the games that elevated game dubbing to the next level and began to put the "sub vs. dub" debate to rest. While there are still a few shaky performances from secondary characters (who the actors just don't have time to dig into) and Tracey Rooney's original performance of Chie was infamously uneven (and even then still had fans), the main cast all turn in exceptional performances that boosted their careers - Yuri Lowenthal, Johnny Yong Bosch (which also helped prove he had range), Dave Wittenberg, Amanda Winn-Lee, and Laura Bailey all saw a boost in their careers after their killer performances. And most notably, Troy Baker's Kanji was so incredible that the fame from this performance propelled him to the heights of stardom and led to him becoming one of the most famous voice actors in the world. The game overall marks a major point at which dubbing was taken much more seriously, and also set a significantly higher bar for other works to reach.
If anything, cast changes in later versions and adaptations have proven controversial because of this - while Erin Fitzgerald's Chie is more consistent than Rooney's, some fans feel Rooney's Chie had more charm. And the less said of the debate between Wittenberg's Teddie and Sam Riegel's, the better, perhaps (however, it is agreed that the difference between them isn't substantial or bad). And while Matthew Mercer has done his best to fill in for Baker after Baker became so well known and busy, they're still massive shoes to fill. Also, Ashly Burch's performance for Rise in Persona 4: Dancing All Night was criticized for having Rise's lines come across as a Dull Surprise and poorly delivered, and many fans considered Laura Bailey's performance significantly superior.
Surprisingly Improved Sequel: From a gameplay standpoint, pretty much everything from Persona 3 has been greatly improved and refined and several new features have been added as well. The story is more divisive with the fanbase, however.
Sweet Dreams Fuel: Regardless of how you feel about the game's story, it cannot be denied that it qualifies for this trope thanks to its strong themes of helping each other in accepting one's strengths and weaknessess in equal measures, the heartfelt interactions between the main characters and the Non-Playable Characters, and the true ending which makes the adventure ultimately worth it!
Tastes Like Diabetes: Most of the time her scenes are genuinely heartwarming, but other times Nanako crosses the line straight into this.
Last Resort for the dice-type Shadows. The good news is that it not only kills the user, but also harms its allies. The bad news is that it does incredibly high damage to the entire party, and will likely be a Total Party Kill on higher difficulties. Some dice-types will only use it when at low health, but others won't give you any such warning
Contrarian King's Rampage, which for some reason is many times stronger than the typical Rampage, and the King's other attacks. Brought Tarunda and Resist Physical? Your MC might survive a single hit of Rampage, though that says nothing for the rest of your party. But if it lands two or three hits you will die regardless of buffs and resistance. Nothing short of Null Physical can truly protect you, but the only way you will have that at this point in the game is either getting really lucky in Shuffle Time or being on a New Game+.
Whenever Shadow Mitsuo throws a bomb, as it inflicts Exhaustion on hit.
Shadow Mitsuo also has the combo of Evil Smile (which inflicts Fear on everyone) and Ghastly Wail, which kills everyone with Fear. If he puts Fear on everyone, or Yu and nobody cures him in time, he's essentially already won.
Izanami-no-Okami has Summons to Yomi, which instantly kills any party member with any kind of status effect. She also has several status effect-inflicting spells. And she gets two attacks in a row. If she puts a status on the main character and then uses Summons to Yomi, you're basically screwed with no way to prevent it. The World End and Summons to Yomi combo she uses later in the fight telegraphed by Mind Charge, but it's still deadly to those who aren't prepared.
Kunino-Sagiri's Control, which he uses to Control all your party member except the MC for 2 turns, turning the fight into an unfair 1 vs 4 scenario. The MC must somehow tank 4 high level attacks during that phase. This is even worse if you bring Naoto into the fight as you're on the risk of being Instant-killed or taking Almighty spell to the face.
That One Achievement: Hardcore Risette Fan, which requires you to listen to 250 of Rise's navigation lines in one playthrough. The comments are randomized, and if you engage in too much Level Grinding many of them will be lost.
It wouldn't be an Atlus game without them. The first one of many is Shadow Yukiko, having a lot of HP compared to the previous boss Shadow Chie. Her Burn to Ashes attack deals high damage, even while guarding. When she reaches half health, she'll summon a Charming Prince that will inflict your party members with status effects and leave your party members open to Shadow Yukiko's Shivering Rondo, which is nearly guaranteed to kill a Fearful target in one hit. In the original Persona 4, she didn't even have a weakness - her servant was weak to ice. It's easier in Persona 4 Golden where she has a weakness to Ice and her servant is weak to Elec, but the Charming Prince can still Silence Chie with Makajam. And did we mention Shadow Yukiko has more than twice her original health now?
As detailed in That One Attack above, Contrarian King is one for the optional bosses. He can be fought just after Shadow Yukiko, but his Rampage comes out completely randomly with zero warning and can easily one-shot anyone around that level. Fighting him without a Null Physical Persona is a matter of pure RNG as even with Physical resistance, the player character can survive two hits at most. Even heavily overleveled parties will have trouble with him.
Shadow Mitsuo is even worse, being able to give himself a free 1400 HP every few turns, dealing high damage, inflicting Exhaustion, and having the dreaded Evil Smile (inflicts fear on all enemies) + Stagnant Air (increases ailment susceptibility) + Ghastly Wail (instantly kills ALL fearful enemies).
Shadow Kanji is pretty hard too. He starts off with two assistants, one with healing and buffing spells and one that deals high damage. The assistants have a decent amount of health, and no weaknesses in the original Persona 4(and if you're playing on Golden, they'll put up Wall spells to prevent their new weaknesses from being hit). Shadow Kanji himself deals high damage, continuously poisons male party members and enrages females, and has a massive amount of health - and no weaknesses, Golden or no.
Naoto's Social Link (Fortune) can fall under this, especially on first playthrough. It opens up at late October, meaning there's only so much time to complete before the late November cutoff. Adding more frustration elements into the mix is the fact that her Social Link doesn't open up automatically and you have to complete a sidequest for unlocking the first rank which requires both max Knowledge and Courage. This is significantly easier to achieve in Golden due to the extra month at the end game but even so, you have to prioritize her social link over everyone else's due the tight schedule.
Margaret's Social Link (The Empress) requires you to fuse Personas with specific abilities. Prepare to sink a lot of spending money into the Compendium, looking up the correct Arcana combinations, praying that the resulting Persona inherits the right moves, etc. After first getting the Personas in question, however, the whole thing can be done in a day on subsequent playthroughs. Thankfully it comes with an inherent Anti-Frustration Feature in the "reshuffle" mechanic; deselecting and then reselecting the same Personas will cause the potential skills of the fusion to be reset, so a player doesn't need to constantly repurchase the base Personas required. Unfortunately, not only is this little fact never mentioned in-game, one still has to trust to the Random Number God, and many of the requested moves have low inheritance values (Matador with Mahama is particularly guilty of this). Averted in The Golden, where Inherited Skills for fusions are manually selected, and it's easy enough to "cheat" by using a Skill Card to give the Persona the required skill without bothering with giving it to the components.
Ai (The Moon) is the easiest Social Link character to piss off. One wrong move, and you can have a Reversed or even Broken Social Link. There is also the fact that as long as you don't ruin the Social Link, you can end up dating her only to break up with her or vice versa. This can cause problems either way; you could end up with her breaking up with you if you actually wanted her for a girlfriend, or you can end up with her sticking with you even when you were interested in someone else, which is fairly annoying if you don't want to be cheating.
Believe it or not, Nanako can fall under this. Her social link progresses from Rank 6 to Rank 7 after three holdover visits (ahead of everyone else in the game), and that's with a Justice Persona equipped. The amount of effort needed to get this kid to talk is astounding, since you need a maxed out Expression stat to complete the link. What's worse is you have to complete the Link before she gets kidnapped, or it's lost.
Similar to Nanako, Dojima's Social Link often requires holdover visits, even when you make all the right choices and have a Hierophant persona. You also have to complete the link before Nanako's kidnapping, since Dojima's hospitalized for the rest of 2011 after crashing his car while trying to save her.
The Hermit social link. It involves many quests that take several days to finish, and some of them require you to spend time. The last quest requires you to fish up the two rarest fish in the game, which requires bait that's fairly rare and doesn't become available until you get to the point at which you have to fish them up.
The Temperance social link. While it's available relatively early on and the Understanding requirements are relatively low, it's quite slow to advance. You don't even establish the link until your second day on the job, most of the rank-ups require holdover visits (partly because in some of the events, none of the questions give points), and there's no way for you to spend time with Eri at night.
Similar to Temperance, Naoki's Social Link (Hanged Man) doesn't start right off and requires three holdover visits before the first rank. This can be a pain in the early game where you are pretty much forced to rank up as many Social Links as possible before the fog sets. Thankfully, his Social Link progresses relatively fast.
The Tower social link is very difficult to start, as you require maxed Understanding to get it going. There aren't a lot of ways to raise that stat — paper crane folding needs some Diligence to start, and the daycare job above has low availability — so it's likely you're not going to commence it until you're in the endgame, although it greatly makes up for it by being a well-paying nighttime activity.
Hello, Void Quest. It seems straightforward enough at first, but wait until it starts randomly changing your direction at every intersection, made a lot worse if there are shadows nearby ready to trigger Preexisting Encounters with Enemy Advantage while you're getting your bearings back. Plus, that's also the floor where you have to find a very easy-to-miss* (unless you unlocked Rise's Treasure Radar first) key item required to proceed to the boss chamber.
The Hollow Forest. The idea of limiting players and upping the difficulty might have been a great idea, and Shin Megami Tensei fans were looking forward to the idea (the level was designed by the Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey staff, after all). However, in effect, the level is just tedious. Limiting players' SP just makes battles annoying and frustrating, and enemy levels are so low that even without using SP the fights aren't difficult, just annoying. Same with taking players' items. Taking away players hard earned items, both expendable and equippable is just irritating, turning items that are usually Boring, but Practical into precious rares (just leaving the dungeon to go to the Velvet Room requires the uncommon Sacred Branch). Throw in Marie's poems every time you go to a new floor, a visually repetitive design, and the fact players are stuck with default costumes (even though this is the first dungeon since several costume options are given to the players) and you have a dungeon that's just a pain.
You'd think Naoki, somebody whose sister was one of the murder victims, would have more importance to the plot than just a Social Link, especially since Yosuke had a crush on his sister. Somewhat averted in the manga, though, where several scenes of his Social Link are shown, essentially giving him prominence comparable to the Dojimas in the plot.
Izanami in the original PS2 version. She had little build-up, coming off as a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere. She seemed to only exist to give the game a final boss. This is averted in Golden, where she is at least built-up better.
After Mr. Morooka's death, the player learns from NPCs that he was a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. However, those are easily missed, and if the player did see them, it's an Informed Attribute at best. He would have made for a good Social Link (either mandatory, or with a lack of holdover periods like with Aigis in Persona 3) that would have allowed the player to see his Hidden Depths first-hand and make his death more impactful.
The Investigation Team never has to confront the fact that not everyone is a good person deep down, despite both Mitsuo and Adachi having their true selves be negative. The latter in particular, since while he does reform in a later game, he wants nothing more than to murder people for the simple reason of being bored. Having to confront that someone being themself instead of hiding it will result in people dying is never brought up.
Although well-liked, Naoto falls under this in original version of the game because she only learns Light and Dark spells and Almighty spells, which even with her Mind Charge spell, makes it impractical to use for a boss fight. This is fixed in Golden as she now comes with elemental skills, leaving her just enough to phase out the Useless Useful Spell her arsenal is filled with.
Yosuke falls here in Golden due to the changes made to all the characters. Unlike most characters, Yosuke received very little changes from the original game aside from some very minor buffing and debuffing skills, which, given the buffs made to Teddie and Kanji, prevent Yosuke from catching up at end game. Since he's a Jack-of-All-Trades, which was his biggest strength in the base game, this means his use in the party is better used by someone else, like Naoto or Teddie.
Yukiko's ascended persona, Amaterasu, is pretty cool-looking, except for the fact that it has no face.
Rise's radar-face persona, Himiko. It looks like somebody took her face off and installed wires. Thankfully mitigated by her alternate combat form in Persona 4: Arena Ultimax, which implies that it's actually a mask.
Mitsuo Kubo's horrible dead eyes qualify as well.
Namatame's usual expression; staring like that can be a little creepy, although his backstory at least makes it justified. His boss form has this pretty bad as well.
Any Shadow that resembles a baby, especiallyShadow Mitsuo.
Chie often acts like an unrepentant Jerkass to Yosuke (and on some occasions, the Protagonist) regardless of whether he deserves it or not, but the game always seems to want you to side with her. She assaults Yosuke for minor infractions (like for breaking her DVD that he promised he'd pay her back for beforehand). She often extorts him as a way to pay her off for her DVD, even though what she gets off of him paid her back many times over. She even uses Yosuke's money without permission to buy Teddie an expensive outfit and got defensive when Yosuke rightfully called her out on it. Despite her behavior, she always gets away with it, which is why she's such a Base-Breaking Character.
After Mr. Morooka is killed, some students at school will mention how he was looking forward to Rise's attendance and even bought a calendar of her. This is supposed to show us that he had Hidden Depths beyond his harsh and abusive exterior, but to Western audiences who may not be all that adapted to how the Idol Singer industry works and the culture behind it, and maybe even if they are, this just comes off as creepy. In any case, though, it does make him come off as a bit of a hypocrite, particularly in that he's trying to keep it secret.
Japan's strict views on gender roles tend to crop up in this game, most notably with Naoto (who is female, but presents as male because despite her dreams of being a detective, the Japanese police force is male-dominated and she feels that no one would take her seriously as a detective if she were female) and Chie (a tomboyish girl who is insecure about not being feminine enough; the English localization tones this down somewhat, since in the Japanese version there's a lot more emphasis on how she wants to be told she's "girly" and "docile", which would likely rub a lot of Western players the wrong way).
Naoto, it should be noted, does run into this especially hard, thanks to her Shadow. The intended thrust of her plotline is that tying "gender identity" to her wider sense of self-worth as a detective and person is pointless no matter how you slice it; as she herself says, she can be a woman, and a detective, and there's no true inherent conflict there, and society is wrong to think otherwise. That's all progressive and positive no matter where you are... but to American audiences who are familiar with modern discourse about trans issues Naoto can, thanks to the tack her Shadow takes, come across as a closeted trans-male. The answer is supposed to be that she's ultimately uncomfortable with how she's regarded as a woman, but the presentation can make it very difficult to see that, especially at first. Not to mention that, in the United States (and many Western countries) where women serve in the police force without issue even from most conservative circles, they're likely to look at the "I can be a woman and a detective" message and think "Wellduh" (while, even in the game's 2009 release timeframe, this was still a point of contention in Japan to a degree that might surprise non-natives).
Dojima has earned some ire from the American fanbase for often leaving 7-year-old Nanako home alone, even while a serial killer is on the loose and after their household receives a threatening letter. It's not illegal and not even particularly uncommon for young children to be left home alone in Japan; while the game does portray Dojima as a less than stellar parent (more for distancing himself from Nanako than for not being home), this aspect was likely not intended to come off as harshly as it did. It's also pointed out that Nanako knows not to open the door for strangers, which provides an important clue as to her kidnapper's identity.
Some of Kou's angst in his version of the Strength Social Link carries Japanese values toward being adopted, particularly when he concludes, after receiving a forged letter saying that his birth parents are dead while believing that his adoptive family intended to replace him with his 2-year-old sister (even though she can't carry on the family name) that he has no one.note As the Persona 5 page elaborates on more fully, orphans and adoptive children have traditionally been in an awkward social position in Japanese society, and especially at the time of the game's release, koseki family registration was still the law of the land and Kou could be disinherited and basically abandoned at the stroke of a pen, something he's become old enough to realize. On the other hand, Kou eventually realizes that the Ichijos are his real family, and his parents, best friend and the player all criticize/make fun of him for thinking otherwise.
The fact that the game released not on the PlayStation 3 but the PlayStation 2. Japan's not as quick to "move on" from previous-gen systems as the rest of the world is; so something that didn't start development late in the system's life, a yearly sports game, or a licensed game isn't that weird.
The Fox, who's consistently referred to with gender neutral dialogue (although the narration uses male pronouns when you talk to it in dungeons). They have children at the end of the game, and the Official Design Works confirms it's female.
The gas station attendant. In the original Japanese they had a distinctly male voice, but their English equivalent is a lot more ambiguous. The fact that they're revealed to be the female Izanami can also lead some fans to confusion.
Vindicated by History: While the game never released to poor reception and became an almost instantCult Classic (Faster than Persona 3 did at least), it still was overlooked by some simply because it was a PlayStation 2 game released in 2008-2009 depending on where you lived in the world. By then, a lot of players simply weren't expecting anything new on the Playstation 2 other than cheap licensed cash-ins. The Animated Adaptation and Persona 4 Golden allowed it to ascend past its Cult Classic status.
WTH, Casting Agency?: The casting of Tracey Rooney, a screen actor who never did VA work before (or since) as Chie Satonaka. While her take has its fans, many fans found her deeper, calmer take to be a poor fit for Chie's energetic, tomboyish characterization and prefer Erin Fitzgerald's take for sounding higher-pitched and more energetic.
While most of Yosuke's "moments" are funny, there are a few moments where the laughter just has to stop (pretty much anything involving Saki after the second murder, especially since after she's killed you find out she hated Yosuke all along even though he fell in love with her.)
Namatame's pretty damned pitiful as well. Getting the love of his life murdered by a madman, getting caught up in said madman's plot as a pawn, being wrongly framed for the murders he was trying to stop... nothing seems to go right for him. You can add to his suffering by throwing him into a TV, but you'll be punished for it with the bad ending.
2011 was a really bad year for Naoto. She has no friends in Inaba, the police only tolerate her when they need her, and the Investigation Team may as well have neon signs advertising that they are somehow connected with multiple murders. Oh yes, her age, gender and isolation issues are as bad as Kanji's. You feel glad when she finds people who will like her for who she is.
Kanji is another one; he acts like he does because he wants to be accepted and because people made fun of his hobby (later, job).
Dojima is yet another one. He's gone through more in the past six years than most could handle in their lifetime. Having his wife killed in a hit-and-run, which caused him to become so devoted to his job that he barely interacted with his only daughter to the point that she's practically able to take care of herself at only 6 years of age (and he admits it's due to fear of their relationship breaking down and him losing the only family he has left if you go for his S-Link), seeing her kidnapped right before his eyes, and watching her slowly die (though thankfully only temporarily) can be pretty rough on a person. And to top it all off, he finds out that the person who had orchestrated the kidnapping was his own partner, whom he trusted and had been good friends with. And through it all, he remains completely strong and stone-faced. Almost.
And of course Nanako, whose sadness and loneliness whenever she's left to take care of herself by her dad is utterly heartbreaking. Her happiest moments came from a commercial jingle before you came to live at her house. It's no wonder that she latches onto you as a brother instantly. Her Woobie powers are so great that a group of teenagers are repeatedly willing to hang out with a 6 year old kid just to cheer her up.
Nearly all of the Social Links have endured a lot of pain. The only ones who don't suffer from some sort of claim to Woobie-ism are Margaret and Adachi. From Ai, who creates the image of a social dominator to conceal the fact that she's suicidally depressed due to the bullying she went through in her past, to Hisano the self-loathing widow, they should all be really glad that the MC is a Warrior Therapist.
The surviving members of the Konishi family deserve a mention. Naoki was hit hard by his sister's passing, to the point at which he'd rather pretend that he doesn't feel anything than face the full brunt of it. His problem isn't helped by how his parents aren't taking it any better, since according to him, they don't talk about her, but cry themselves to sleep over her. To make matters worse, his family business is going through some hard times after Junes' arrival, and he's painfully aware that many of their customers only come out of pity.
Teddie's verbal tic was changed from adding the word "-kuma" to words in his sentences to making bad puns, many involving the word "bear" in some way. This arguably counts for his name, too, since the connotations of a cutesy bear calling itself "Kuma" ("Bear" in Japanese) don't translate well into English. Although even in Japanese, Teddie also made bear puns (just less often than the English version). This even goes so far as that when fan-subs of The Animation were being made before the dub was released, fans would insert bear puns into Teddie's dialogue rather than retain his use of "-kuma".
The "Mayonaka TV" was changed to "The Midnight Channel".
The Gratuitous English Junes jingle "Everyday Younglife Junes" got changed to "Every day's great at your Junes!"
The item that instantly transports you out of a dungeon was originally called "Kaereiru", from the Japanese "kaeru", meaning "return." Stateside, it's called "Goho-M." This also counts as a Stealth Pun that most people don't get until they say "Goho-M" out loud. Go on. Try it.
The final scene for the Fortune social link was originally about Naoto asking if she should use male pronouns. The intent was to essentially choose whether she presents as a tomboy or a girly girl. In English, an equivalent choice of pronoun would come across more as attempting to resolve an Ambiguous Gender Identity (and would be trickier to implement due to differences between languages, since changing pronouns in English would change how others speak, instead of just how Naoto speaks), so it was changed to asking about the pitch of her voice.
The mention of Naoto's family being like Raidou Kuzunoha the 14th is the result of the translators lacking any other option to translate Chie's reference to a Japanese book series about a family of Legacy Character detectives. Does not stop the line from fueling insane levels of Epileptic Trees.
Shadow Kanji in the Japanese version speaks with more stereotypical gay "quirks". In the American version he sounds more Camp Gay, which is the North American stereotype for homosexuality.
Golden's new Lust arcana (from Crowley's Thoth deck) was renamed "Hunger" to avoid any confusing implications that Adachi was lusting after the protagonist. It's supposed to represent "lust for life" rather than just carnal desire (never mind that it has the Mother Harlot of Babylon for its illustration.)