List of Persona 5 characters
Persona 5, a role-playing video game by Atlus, is centered on the Phantom Thieves of Hearts,[a] a vigilante group of high-school students working to change the hearts of criminals by getting them to confess their crimes through defeating a physical manifestation of their subconscious in a mysterious realm known as the Metaverse. Its playable characters can be controlled in the game's many locations, known as "Palaces". People with great desires and a distorted perception of the world have a Palace in the Metaverse which the Phantom Thieves access through a mobile app on their smartphones. Persona 5 is set within Tokyo beginning in April of the year "20XX".
The player character is a silent protagonist codenamed Joker, who is a high-school student who moves to Tokyo after being expelled from his former school due to being charged with assault, later becoming the de facto leader of the Phantom Thieves. He quickly becomes friends with the delinquent Ryuji Sakamoto. The group's third founding member is Morgana, a mysterious cat-like creature whom they aid in the Metaverse. More characters join the group during the game, including fashion model Ann Takamaki, art prodigy Yusuke Kitagawa, student-council president Makoto Niijima, hacker Futaba Sakura, and business heiress Haru Okumura. Also interacting with Joker are Goro Akechi, a high-school student and ace detective; Sae Niijima, a public prosecutor and Makoto's older sister; the residents of the Velvet Room; Igor and his assistants, Caroline and Justine.
Many of the game's characters represent the tarot's Major Arcana suit. Although the suit has twenty-two cards, only twenty-one are represented by characters; the last one, The World, is given at a later point in the game. The seven deadly sins are a recurring theme within the game, with certain characters and situations representing particular ones.
- 1 Creation and design
- 2 Phantom Thieves of Hearts
- 3 Secondary characters
- 4 Antagonists
- 5 Confidants
- 6 Other characters
- 7 Reception
- 8 Notes and references
Creation and design
The game's character design and setting distinguish it from previous entries in the series, replacing Persona 4's yellow-and-green palette with reds and blacks. As with Persona 3 and Persona 4, its characters were designed by Shigenori Soejima. In an interview, Soejima said that he could not design the characters without the game's theme and plot being set, so he was given very detailed instructions from the producer during the process. He also worked on the color scheme and its overall visual presentation. In addition to their casual and school apparel, each of the Phantom Thief characters have their own thematic costumes with masks when they enter the Metaverse, as well as codenames.
Phantom Thieves of Hearts
The protagonist, who goes by the Phantom Thief codename "Joker", is the game's main playable character. The player can choose his real name in the game, but he appears as Akira Kurusu (来栖 暁 Kurusu Akira) in the manga and Ren Amamiya (雨宮 蓮 Amamiya Ren) in Persona 5: The Animation. A silent protagonist, the character occasionally speaks during the game in battle, day-to-day life and during cutscenes. Joker is a high-school student who was expelled from his previous school due to a false assault charge by Masayoshi Shido.
He is forced to move in with Sojiro Sakura at his cafe, Leblanc, and attend Shujin Academy (秀尽学園高校 Shūjin Gakuen Kōkō, "Shujin High School") for his one-year probation. Joker is the leader of the Phantom Thieves and the only member with access to the Velvet Room.
He holds the "Wild Card", an ability that allows him to hold more than one persona, and fuse together personas to create new. His base persona is Arsene (based on Arsène Lupin), and he fights with handguns and knives.[b] His ultimate persona is Satanael, the Gnostic equivalent of the devil,[c] a deity who can harness the power of the seven deadly sins. Joker is voiced by Jun Fukuyama in Japanese and Xander Mobus in English. Outside of the Persona series, Joker appeared via downloadable content as a playable character in the 2018 crossover fighting game Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Ryuji Sakamoto (坂本 竜司 Sakamoto Ryūji), using the Phantom Thief codename "Skull", is the protagonist's first companion. Hashino describes Ryuji as "defiant", but a "nice guy". Offended by the slightest comments from others, he can sometimes resort to violence. He came from a family with an abusive father, which caused him and his mother to move away.
Ryuji was formerly the star runner on Shujin Academy's track and field team. He was forced to quit after Kamoshida broke his leg when he stood up to him. Because Ryuji struck Kamoshida, the track team was suspended; he was blamed for the incident, earning the reputation of a delinquent at school.
Ryuji's persona is Captain Kidd, based on the Scottish pirate William Kidd. In battle, he fights with clubs and shotguns. As a confidant, Ryuji represents the Chariot Arcana and allows the Phantom Thieves to defeat lower-level Shadows. The protagonist helps Ryuji rediscover his love for running and re-establish the track team. Despite reuniting the team, Ryuji plans to run on his own instead. Upon completing his Confidant, Ryuji's Persona takes the form of Seiten Taisei, who is known for his immense strength. In gratitude, he gives the protagonist a sports watch when he leaves Tokyo. Ryuji is voiced by Mamoru Miyano in Japanese and Max Mittelman in English.
Morgana (モルガナ Morugana), using the Phantom Thief code name "Mona", is a cat found by the protagonist and Ryuji in Kamoshida's Palace. Due to his extensive knowledge of the Metaverse, Morgana is their guide before Futaba joins the Phantom Thieves. Hashino describes Morgana as similar to Persona 4's Teddie and a mentor of the Phantom Thieves. Outside the Metaverse, Morgana is a domestic cat and lives with the protagonist. He comments on the protagonist's actions. Morgana is infatuated with Ann (whom he calls "Lady Ann" (杏殿 An-dono)), and argues with Ryuji.
His persona is Zorro, which Hashino describes as Morgana's ideal human form. Morgana fights with a slingshot and curved sword. He can transform into a minivan (based on the Citroën H Van) in the Metaverse, which allows the Phantom Thieves to travel quickly. Morgana represents the Magician Arcana as a Confidant, allowing the protagonist to craft a variety of tools to help the Phantom Thieves explore the Metaverse. He seeks the protagonist's help to discover his true form, and believes that he was once human. After the Phantom Thieves enter further into Mementos,[d] Morgana learns that he was created by Igor to help guide the protagonist against Yaldabaoth. After Yaldabaoth is defeated, Morgana loses his Metaverse form and vows to remain with the protagonist in hope of becoming human. Morgana is voiced by Ikue Ōtani in Japanese and Cassandra Lee Morris in English.
Ann Takamaki (高巻 杏 Takamaki An, Anne in the Japanese version), using the Phantom Thief codename "Panther", is a one-quarter-American girl in the protagonist's class who recently returned to Japan. She speaks English fluently, and is a model. Despite her popularity and unique appearance, Ann is shunned by the girls in her class because of her rumored relationship with the gym teacher Kamoshida. Hashino describes Ann as "the life of the party", who "will have an impact on the fate of the main characters."
When Ann discovers that her best friend Shiho Suzui's suicide attempt is linked to Kamoshida, she joins the Phantom Thieves. Her Persona is Carmen, whom Hashino describes as a "femme fatale character." Ann fights with whips and submachine guns. She represents the Lovers Arcana as a Confidant, and helps the protagonist negotiate with the Shadows. As the protagonist befriends her, Ann improves herself for Shiho and begins taking her modeling career seriously.
When she completes her Confidant, Ann's Persona evolves into Hecate. In gratitude, she gives the protagonist a fashion magazine when he leaves Tokyo. If the protagonist is in a relationship with her, she gives him earmuffs for Christmas. Ann is voiced by Nana Mizuki in Japanese and Erika Harlacher in English.
Yusuke Kitagawa (喜多川 祐介 Kitagawa Yūsuke), using the Phantom Thief codename "Fox", is a student in the fine-arts department of Kosei High School. A composed, elegant, observant young man, he has a passion for art and is concerned with the aesthetics of his environment. Yusuke has been sheltered throughout his life, and is eccentric around other people. Because he is poor, he often skips meals to save money for art supplies.
Yusuke's mother died when he was three, leaving him an orphan. He was taken in by his mentor, the painter Ichiryusai Madarame. Yusuke sees him as a father figure and idolizes him for creating his favorite painting, Sayuri. However, he learns that Sayuri was a self-portrait by his mother, and that Madarame allowed her to die to steal the credit for it and painted over Yusuke to decontextualize her expression, manufacturing mystery for the sake of artistic appeal.
Yusuke's Persona is Goemon, an outlaw based on Ishikawa Goemon. He fights with Japanese swords and assault rifles. As a Confidant, Yusuke represents the Emperor Arcana and assists the Phantom Thieves by copying skill cards.[e] After Madarame's change of heart, Yusuke has difficulty regaining his ability to create art. The protagonist helps Yusuke to regain his ability to paint, rediscover his love for art, and see the beauty of the world around him; this inspires him to paint Desire and Hope.
When he completes his Confidant, Yusuke's Persona evolves into Kamu Susano-o. In gratitude, he gives the protagonist Desire and Hope when he leaves Tokyo. Yusuke is voiced by Tomokazu Sugita in Japanese and Matthew Mercer in English.
Makoto Niijima (新島 真 Niijima Makoto), using the Phantom Thief codename "Queen", is the student-council president at Shujin Academy. Makoto, the school's top student, is considered the brains of the Phantom Thieves. Analytical, she can deduce conclusions, theorize in several situations, and make elaborate plans to succeed. Behind this exterior, she has an inferiority complex and often praises her sister Sae Niijima. Makoto feels that she is a burden to Sae because of their father's death, which is her motivation to work hard, be successful, and reduce her sister's stress.
Makoto starts tailing the Phantom Thieves to find information for Principal Kobayakawa. Learning their identities, she tasks the team with changing the heart of mafia boss Junya Kaneshiro. Makoto's persona is Johanna (based on Pope Joan), and she fights with revolvers and tekko.
As a Confidant, Makoto represents the Priestess Arcana and provides the Phantom Thieves with a more-detailed analysis of in-game enemies. As the protagonist gets closer to her, Makoto decides to become better-acquainted with her classmates and befriends Eiko Takao. She discovers that Eiko is in a relationship with Tsukasa, a shifty-looking man who has manipulated girls into working for illegal businesses in Shinjuku. Makoto reveals Tsukasa's true nature to Eiko with the protagonist's help, and decides to follow her father onto the police force.
When she completes her Confidant, Makoto's Persona evolves into Anat. In gratitude, she gives the protagonist a "Buchi" calculator when he leaves Tokyo. If the protagonist is in a relationship with her, she gives him a wristwatch for Christmas. Makoto is voiced by Rina Satō in Japanese and Cherami Leigh in English.
Futaba Sakura (佐倉 双葉 Sakura Futaba), using the Phantom Thief code name "Oracle" ("Navi" in the Japanese version), is the adopted daughter of Sojiro Sakura (the owner of the cafe where the protagonist lives). Although Futaba is a genius computer hacker, she is a recluse at the beginning of the game and fearful of large crowds. Shortly before the game begins, she sees her mother (Wakaba Isshiki) killed by a car and is framed for her death with a forged suicide note. Futaba is bounced among abusive family members until Sojiro intervenes and takes her in. She has auditory hallucinations of her extended family's reactions to the suicide note, and locks herself in her bedroom. Futaba appears withdrawn in the game, and has developed a Palace depicting her sloth in the form of a pyramid. She has become so depressed that her Shadow represents her repressed positive emotions and helps the Phantom Thieves traverse her Palace. As the Phantom Thieves slowly become more popular, Futaba blackmails them into changing her heart with the alias "Alibaba". After entering her Palace and discovering the truth about her mother's death, Futaba awakens her Persona (Necronomicon) and helps the Phantom Thieves defeat a sphinx representing her mother's perceived wrath towards her. She later replaces Morgana as the party's navigator.
As a Confidant, Futaba represents the Hermit Arcana and provides detailed locations and extra assistance in battle. After learning to adjust to a normal life, she makes a "promise list" of goals she wants to reach with the help of the protagonist. As Futaba slowly recovers, she reveals that in her youth she was bullied for her intelligence and had only one friend (Kana). Futaba discovers that Kana's parents were abusing her. She tracks down Kana, and learns that the abuse has continued. After changing her parents' hearts, Kana and Futaba rebuild their friendship.
When she completes her Confidant, Futaba's Persona evolves into Prometheus. In gratitude, she gives the protagonist her promise list when he leaves Tokyo since she no longer needs it. If the protagonist is in a relationship with her, she gives him headphones for Christmas. Futaba is voiced by Aoi Yūki in Japanese and Erica Lindbeck in English.
Haru Okumura (奥村 春 Okumura Haru), using the Phantom Thief codename "Noir", is the heiress of Okumura Foods (owner of the Big Bang Burger restaurant chain). Haru first appears at the fireworks festival in July and, later, as a third-year chaperone on the school trip. When the Phantom Thieves first encounter her in the Metaverse, she is using the alias "Beauty Thief" (美少女怪盗 bishōjo kaitō) and is allied with Morgana (who has left the Phantom Thieves). She becomes a Phantom Thief to escape a marriage arranged by her father, Kunikazu Okumura, realizing that her father sees her as a tool to advance his business and political ambitions.
Haru's Persona is Milady, based on Milady de Winter from The Three Musketeers, and she fights with grenade launchers and axes. As a Confidant, she represents the Empress Arcana and uses her gardening skills to grow SP healing items.[f] After her father's death, Haru becomes Okumura Foods' largest shareholder. Many in her business, including her fiancé Sugimura, are trying to wrest control from her. Company officials want to expand into coffee shops with cheap labor, but Haru wants a friendly, intimate atmosphere like her grandfather's shop. In conversations with the protagonist, she learns to stand up for herself; the company adopts her idea, and she breaks her engagement with Sugimura.
When she completes her Confidant, Haru's Persona evolves into Astarte. In gratitude, she gives the protagonist a dyed handkerchief when he leaves Tokyo. If he is in a relationship with her, she gives him a hat for Christmas. Haru is voiced by Haruka Tomatsu in Japanese and Xanthe Huynh in English.
Goro Akechi (明智 吾郎 Akechi Gorō) is a popular teenaged detective who has been given the title of "The Second Coming of the Detective Prince" by the media. His talents have been widely praised, and he openly opposes the Phantom Thieves.
As a Confidant, he represents the Justice Arcana. During his Confidant, Akechi befriends the protagonist and admits his concerns about the Phantom Thieves' case and his past. He later joins the Thieves (with the codename "Crow") after learning their identities, and forces them to change Sae Nijima's heart to clear their names.
Akechi works for Masayoshi Shido as the "Black Mask" exploiting the Metaverse. He uses his Persona to assist Shido's campaign, but secretly plans to destroy his career by revealing himself as his illegitimate son when he becomes prime minister and avenging his abandoned mother. His mother, unable to live with the shame of having a child out of wedlock, committed suicide. Akechi was forced to live in a series of abusive foster homes, and he is deeply contemptuous of society as a result. Because the Phantom Thieves are actively working against Shido, Akechi betrays them and also attempts to assassinate the protagonist, partly out of jealousy. After the Phantom Thieves defeat him in Shido's Palace, they offer to take him back; however, he sacrifices himself to save them when they are attacked by his cognitive self-created by Shido.
Like the protagonist, Akechi is a wild card and can use several Personas simultaneously. The Persona he uses as a member of the Phantom Thieves is Robin Hood; when he faces the party in his boss battle, he switches to Loki in the second half of the fight. With the Phantom Thieves, Akechi fights with laser sabers and ray guns; when he fights them after revealing his true colors, he uses serrated swords and pistols with silencers. Akechi is voiced by Sōichirō Hoshi in Japanese and Robbie Daymond in English.
Sae Niijima (新島 冴 Nijima Sae) is a prosecutor for the Tokyo District Special Investigation Department and legal guardian of her sister, Makoto. Although Sae cares for Makoto and helps her succeed, she sees her sister as a burden who takes what little enjoyment is left in life after their father, a police officer, was killed in the line of duty. In her disillusionment with the Japanese judicial system, Sae develops a Palace representing envy in the form of a rigged casino where she always wins. She is assigned to the Phantom Thieves case, and becomes fixated on them. Her Treasure is never revealed, although Makoto suggests that it may have been their father's police journal.
As a Confidant, Sae represents the Judgment Arcana. During the game, she interrogates the protagonist about the Phantom Thieves following his arrest. Although Sae is tasked to prosecute the Phantom Thieves, she believes the protagonist's story and helps him escape. When she completes her Confidant she decides to become a defense attorney, and gives the protagonist her business card when he leaves Shibuya. Sae is voiced by Yūko Kaida in Japanese and Elizabeth Maxwell in English.
Sojiro Sakura (佐倉 惣治郎 Sakura Sōjirō) is the owner of Café Leblanc and the protagonist's guardian during his rehabilitation. Originally cold toward the protagonist at the beginning of the game, Sojiro warms up to him. He teaches the protagonist about coffee and curry when he works at the café. The protagonist later learns that Sojiro is Futaba's legal guardian, and adopted her after her mother's death.
Sojiro, a former government official, was in love with Wakaba, Futaba's mother. He left the government sector to work at the café shortly after her death, and suspects Masayoshi Shido's involvement. Sojiro learns that the protagonist and his friends are the Phantom Thieves, and lets them use Café Leblanc as their headquarters.
As a Confidant, Sojiro represents the Hierophant Arcana. During his Confidant, he is harassed and extorted by Futaba's abusive uncle. Futaba wants to defend Sojiro, but his coolness towards her causes them to argue. The protagonist helps Sojiro and Futaba reconcile; Sojiro asks Futaba to stay with him, and thanks the protagonist for reminding him not to take the easy path in life. When he completes his Confidant, Sojiro gives the protagonist a Recipe Note: a list of recipes written by Wakaba before she died. He is voiced by Jouji Nakata in Japanese and Jamieson Price in English.
In Persona 5, some individuals have a severely-distorted view of the world and the people around them. At a certain level characters gain a Palace, a place in the Metaverse where their desires appear. Eight palaces must be overcome, represented by the seven deadly sins; each palace has an owner with whom the main characters interact.
Suguru Kamoshida (鴨志田 卓 Kamoshida Suguru) is Shujin Academy's PE teacher and volleyball coach, a former professional athlete and Olympic volleyball champion. Kamoshida abuses and sexually assaults the students, which is ignored by the principal because of the volleyball team's fame and his status as a teacher. Kamoshida targets Ann as his latest sexual conquest; when she rejects his advances, he forces himself on her best friend, Shiho Suzui. Shiho's subsequent suicide attempt convinces the protagonist and Ryuji to change his heart. When Kamoshida is confronted by them and Mishima, he threatens to have the three of them expelled at the next school-board meeting.
Kamoshida's palace represents lust and takes the form of a castle, where he sees himself as the king due to his power at Shujin Academy. The male members of the volleyball team are depicted as being subjected to torturous training, and the female team members (as well as Ann) are viewed as his sex slaves. After his Shadow is defeated, his Treasure (an ornate crown) manifests as his Olympic medal in reality. After his change of heart, Kamoshida surrenders to the police and confesses his crimes. Unlike most of the game's palace-possessing antagonists, Kamoshida is not part of its overall conspiracy. He is voiced by Yuji Mitsuya in Japanese and D. C. Douglas in English.
Ichiryusai Madarame (斑目 一流斎 Madarame Ichiryūsai) is a well-known artist who secretly plagiarizes and profits from his students' work. Yusuke's mentor, he lets him live in his run-down shack as his pupil. Yusuke admires him at first as the creator of his favorite painting, Sayuri, but later discovers that Madarame stole it from his mother and let her die from a seizure. Madarame then pretended that the painting was stolen from him to fraudulently sell copies of the original to private collectors. When Ann and Yusuke discover Madarame's plagiarism, he threatens to have them arrested for trespassing after his art exhibit is over (including the protagonist and Ryuji).
Madarame's palace represents vanity, and takes the form of a lavish art museum where his students are depicted as portraits on display from which he can profit from. His treasure is the Sayuri painting, which depicts Yusuke's mother with her infant son in her arms; Madarame had painted over her son to add mystery and make his claim that he is the painter more believable. After his change of heart, he calls a press conference to admit his crimes and plagiarism. Yusuke later gives the original Sayuri to Sojiro Sakura to hang in Cafe LeBlanc. Madarame is voiced by Yukitoshi Hori in Japanese and Kyle Hebert in English.
Junya Kaneshiro (金城 潤矢 Kaneshiro Junya) is a ruthless yakuza crime lord who is responsible for enlisting students from Shujin Academy to smuggle drugs in Shibuya. Makoto, tasked by the principal to investigate, allows herself to be taken by the yakuza. When the Phantom Thieves try to rescue her, Kaneshiro blackmails them into paying him ¥3 million in three weeks with a threat to show photographs of them at a night club to their schools.
Kaneshiro's palace represents gluttony and takes the form of a bank hovering above Shibuya, where people are viewed as automated teller machines for him to drain money from. His treasure appears as large gold bars in his palace, manifesting as a golden briefcase filled with fake money. After his change of heart, Kaneshiro deletes the photographs, voids the Phantom Thieves' debt, and surrenders to the police. He is voiced by Kazunari Tanaka in Japanese and Jalen K. Cassell in English. In the Japanese version of Persona 5: The Animation, he is voiced by Takahiro Fujimoto.
Kunikazu Okumura (奥村 邦和 Okumura Kunikazu) is president of Okumura Foods and Haru Okumura's father. Growing up poor, Okumura transformed his family's small company into a multi-million-yen business and founded the popular Big Bang Burger fast-food chain. Because he mistreats his staff, he is the most popular suggested target on the Phantom Thieves' online poll.
Okumura was part of Masayoshi Shido's circle as a sponsor until he decided to enter the political world. One of his first steps in gaining a foothold in politics is arranging a marriage between Haru and Sugimura (despite his abusive nature), who is from a politically-influential family. When Shido discovers this, he begins to see Okumura as a threat and orders him killed before the election. The conspiracy rigs the Phantom Thieves' poll to scapegoat and frame them for Okumura's murder. His Shadow is killed by Goro Akechi after the Phantom Thieves defeat him, resulting in him suffering a mental shutdown during a live conference before he can reveal the names of those linked to Shido.
Okumura's palace represents greed, and is depicted as a space station where his employees are robots that work in poor conditions and are discarded when they break down. His treasure is a mysterious orb in his palace, and manifests as a spaceship model kit he had dreamed of as a child but could not afford due to his family's poverty. Okumura is voiced by Hirohiko Kakegawa in Japanese and Christopher Corey Smith in English.
Masayoshi Shido (獅童 正義 Shidō Masayoshi) is a politician and a representative in Japan's National Diet. Early in the game, Shido frames the protagonist after he tries to prevent Shido from sexually assaulting his subordinate. He later appears as a candidate for prime minister, leading the United Future Party. To secure victory, he and his followers (including his illegitimate son, Akechi), steal Wakaba's research on "cognitive psience," and use the Metaverse to cause mental shutdowns and psychotic breakdowns in order to eliminate potential threats and spread distrust for the current government administration. When the Phantom Thieves gain traction, he and his followers frame them for their crimes and use them to gain control of Japan.
Shido's palace represents pride and takes the form of a cruise ship sailing though a sunken Tokyo, where he and his conspirators live in luxury; rather than cognitive beings, the Shadows selves of Shido's conspirators also reside within the palace, having been drawn to his strong personality and ego. His treasure is a golden ship's wheel in his palace, manifesting as his legislative pin. After Shido's change of heart, he confesses his crimes in a press conference after his landslide victory. He is arrested at the end of the game, and the protagonist testifies against him at his trial. Shido is voiced by Shuichi Ikeda in Japanese and Keith Silverstein in English.
Yaldabaoth, the god of control, is malevolent and appears in the form of the Holy Grail: a treasure of mementos created from humanity's distorted sloth. He leads the conspiracy to give Masayoshi Shido political power and sponsored the Phantom Thieves to see which is stronger: their salvation of the world or Goro Akechi's desire to destroy (and recreate) it. Yaldabaoth imprisons Igor, impersonating him until the protagonist unmasks his identity.
He reveals himself as power-hungry, self-righteous and sadistic, with a tendency to toy with humanity. When Akechi and Shido are defeated, Yaldabaoth decides that the world should be saved; this "salvation" entails taking control of existence and removing everyone with chaos in their heart. He awakens his body in the core of mementos, merging them with the physical world as his palace. This gives Yaldabaoth the ability to change lies into truth, driving people into despair and complacency and erasing his enemies.
He is described as the manifestation of humanity's desire for order, warped to the point where he no longer cares for the human cost (or morality) of that order. Yaldabaoth sees humans as little more than livestock and lemmings for him to rule, due to their self-destructiveness and stupidity. He initially takes the form of the Holy Grail, which is black before the flow of wishes for him to dominate the world revitalizes him and turns the chalice gold. After the flow is cut off and the Grail is defeated, the chalice merges with his arena to become a giant, robotic, faceless angel who can manifest a gun, bell, sword, and book with each of his four arms. At the end of his fight it is revealed that he had enough power to defeat the Phantom Thieves at will, but kept fighting them out of arrogance. Until one of Phantom Thieves' allies Yūki Mishima manages to convince the surviving civilians to support their fight against the evil god, leading the creation protagonist's ultimate Persona, Satanael. Yaldabaoth is finally defeated and reverts to his original, mindless form of the Holy Grail, bringing an end to his ambitions and destroying the Metaverse for good.
Like previous Persona titles, progression of the characters' skills is based on their level of bonding with non-player characters. Persona 5 has Confidants (コープ kōpu, lit. "Coop" in the Japanese release, short for "Cooperation"), replacing Persona 3 and Persona 4's Social Links (コミュ komyu, lit. "Commu" in the Japanese release, short for "Community"). Each Confidant represents a tarot Arcana (suit), based on their disposition and problems. Spending time with a Confidant allows characters to advance personas of the same Arcana, gain extra skills, and fuse the strongest persona of that Arcana.
Caroline and Justine
Caroline (カロリーヌ Karorīnu) and Justine (ジュスティーヌ Jusutīnu) are twin prison wardens in the Velvet Room, replacing Elizabeth and Margaret from the previous two games as Igor's assistants. Caroline is the "bad cop", with a short temper and a general dislike of the protagonist; she guards the entrances to the Velvet Room in Tokyo, and kicks the protagonist inside when he enters. Justine plays the "good cop" and manages the Persona Compendium, a list of the Personas the protagonist has owned. Calmer than Caroline, she still treats the protagonist as a prisoner and guards the Velvet Room entrances in Mementos.
Caroline and Justine represent the Strength Arcana, and encourage the protagonist to fuse certain personas with skills. When he fails to stop the Holy Grail, they remember that Yaldabaoth had captured Igor and split the pair to prevent them from acting. They fuse into Lavenza (ラヴェンツァ Ravensha) their true form. Lavenza calls the protagonist "trickster" instead of "inmate" and maintain's Justine's calm demeanor, but exhibits Caroline's aggression and impatience when Ryuji cannot understand her explanations. If the player completes Caroline and Justine's confidant, Lavenza gives the protagonist the key to the Velvet Room before he leaves Tokyo. Caroline, Justine, and Lavenza are voiced by Aki Toyosaki in Japanese and Carrie Keranen in English.
Igor (イゴール Igōru) is the prison master of the Velvet Room. As a Confidant he represents the Fool Arcana, allowing the protagonist to have multiple personas simultaneously. When the protagonist fails to stop the Holy Grail, Igor declares his rehabilitation a failure and reveals himself as Yaldabaoth in disguise. The real Igor, who has been held captive, is freed and helps the protagonist defeat Yaldabaoth.
Tae Takemi (武見 妙 Takemi Tae) owns the Takemi Medical Clinic in Yongen-Jaya. For secretly selling barely-legal prescriptions to her patients, she is nicknamed "the Black Death". The protagonist helps her by participating in clinical trials to test her new medications, which (she hopes) will boost her credibility. Artist Shigenori Soejima said that he originally designed her as "extremely unapproachable, with the eyes of a killer", but softened her appearance at Hashino's request.
As a Confidant, Takemi represents the Death Arcana and gives the protagonist discounted supplies from her pharmacy. As the protagonist participates in more of her trials, he learns that Takemi had worked for a university and was fired (and blamed) for a disastrous medical trial she had opposed. She becomes more motivated after treating a young patient with a similar illness; when the protagonist changes the heart of her former colleague, she saves a former patient's life and regains her reputation. Before the protagonist leaves Tokyo, Takemi gives him a dog tag as a farewell gift. She is voiced by Yuka Saitō in Japanese and Kirsten Potter in English.
Munehisa Iwai (岩井 宗久 Iwai Munehisa) is a former yakuza who owns an airsoft shop, Untouchable, in Shibuya. In the Metaverse, fake guns (and other weapons) are viewed as real, so the protagonist frequently visits Untouchable in order to supply the Phantom Thieves with equipment. Iwai has an adopted son, Kaoru, whose mother abandoned him when she could not sell him for drug money; unable to bring himself to tell Kaoru about his ties to the yakuza, Iwai instead told him that he was a family friend who took him in after his parents died in a car accident.
Iwai represents the Hanged Man Arcana. In his Confidant, the protagonist is a lookout for Iwai and helps him with a deal involving his yakuza brother Tsuda (who has been forcing him to illegally customize guns). The deal becomes fraught when Tsuda threatens the lives of Iwai and the Phantom Thieves. He repents, however, admitting that he thought he was losing his place in the organization to younger members. Another yakuza, Masa, tries to take advantage of Tsuda's abandoning the deal; he threatens to kill Kaoru and reveals the truth regarding his parents. Iwai acknowledges Kaoru as his son, and Tsuda takes Masa into custody. At the end of the Confidant, Iwai gains Kaoru's trust and gives the protagonist a Gekko pin symbolizing protection of home and family before he leaves Tokyo. He is voiced by Hisao Egawa in Japanese and Kaiji Tang in English.
Yuuki Mishima (三島 由輝 Mishima Yūki) is a classmate of the protagonist and Ann. A member of the volleyball club, he is a frequent target of Kamoshida's abuse. Mishima was forced to summon Shiho Suzui to Kamoshida's office, leading to a sexual assault and Shiho's suicide attempt; Kamoshida nearly expels him for confronting him with the protagonist and Ryuji. After Kamoshida's arrest, he realizes that the protagonist, Ryuji, and Ann are the Phantom Thieves. He creates and manages the Phantom Aficionados website, a fan site dedicated to the Thieves with a message board where people post requests for changes of heart. Mishima periodically sends the requests to the protagonist to enhance the Thieves' reputation.
As a Confidant, Mishima represents the Moon Arcana and will give party members experience points. His fascination with the Phantom Thieves becomes an obsession, and the protagonist deduces that his motivation to help springs from insecurity and his desire for popularity. When Mishima runs into his bully from middle school, he threatens to have his heart changed. After the protagonist confronts his Shadow in Mementos, Mishima realizes the error of his ways and saves his bully from thugs. In gratitude, he gives the protagonist an early draft for a documentary he intends to make regarding the Phantom Thieves before the protagonist he leaves Tokyo. Mishima is voiced by Daisuke Sakaguchi in Japanese and Sean Chiplock in English.
Sadayo Kawakami (川上 貞代 Kawakami Sadayo) is Class 2-D's Japanese-language and homeroom teacher (the protagonist and Ann's class). Kawakami avoids the protagonist until he learns that she is also a maid to pay the guardians of Taiki Takese, a student from the previous school she worked at. Takese worked several part-time jobs to support his guardians' hedonistic lifestyle, frequently missing school and receiving low grades. When Kawakami began to tutor him, she was ordered by the principal to stop or resign because of Takese's rumored delinquency. Takese was killed in a car accident shortly afterwards, and his guardians use his death to extort money from Kawakami, threatening to sue her if she does not comply.
As a Confidant, Kawakami represents the Temperance Arcana. She helps the protagonist with chores and gives him free time in class. Initially saying that it pays her sister's medical bills, Kawakami's second job allows her no time to rest and she is hospitalized with exhaustion. When the protagonist changes the hearts of Takese's guardians, she quits her second job and resolves to be a better teacher. Upon completing her Confidant, Kawakami gives the protagonist a coupon for free maid service before he leaves Tokyo. If she is in a relationship with him, she gives him a pen case for Christmas. Kawakami, designed as a "normal" person, is voiced by Mai Fuchigami in Japanese and Michelle Ruff in English.
Toranosuke Yoshida (吉田 寅之助 Yoshida Toranosuke) is a politician and public speaker. He attempts to overcome a bad name (where he is nicknamed "No Good Tora") after a political scandal for which he was not responsible.
Yoshida represents the sun Arcana in his Confidant. The player can volunteer to aid his public speaking to build up his Confidant, during which it is learned that the scandal which destroyed his credibility was not his fault; his old mentor misappropriated funds and blamed Yoshida. By the end of the Confidant, Yoshida has won a sizable base for his upcoming campaign; the culprit behind the scandal is revealed, allowing him to confront his problems. On completion of his Confidant, Yoshida gives the protagonist a fountain pen. Yoshida is voiced by Keiichi Noda in Japanese; and William Salyers in English.
Ichiko Ohya (大宅 一子 Ōya Ichiko) is a reporter and paparazza who represents the Devil Arcana in her Confidant. In her mid-20s, she will write whatever story sells – sometimes manipulating information in her articles for clickbait, even if she does not take the time to research the truth. She was a more-stringent journalist, but her story exposing the scandal of Masayoshi Shido's cohort was censored and she was reassigned to entertainment. Her partner, Kayo Murakami, disappeared and was framed.
The protagonist leaks information about the Phantom Thieves to the media, allowing Ohya to unearth information about her demotion. Ohya is forced to be the Joker's girlfriend to hide from her bosses that she is working to overcome them. She frequents Shinjuku's Crossroads Bar, where she is friends with drag queen bartender Lala Escargot.
Ohya's farewell gift to Joker before he leaves Tokyo is her Top-Secret Memo, with her notes obtained from the protagonist during her Confidant. If the player pursues a romantic relationship with her, she gives them a camera for Christmas. Ohya is voiced by Yumi Uchiyama in Japanese and Amanda Winn-Lee in English.
Chihaya Mifune (御船 千早 Mifune Chihaya) is a fortune-teller with a stand in Shinjuku. Although she is part of a con-artist group, her clairvoyance is genuine. Chihaya is from the countryside, and speaks in her original dialect when she is flustered.
As a Confidant, Chihaya represents the Fortune Arcana and can boost the protagonist's social statistics and relationships with his other Confidants. She scams the protagonist out of ¥100,000 to buy a power stone, which turns out to be rock salt. When he confronts her and changes the heart of someone who is bothering one of her clients, she has him accompany her during her readings because she believes that he can change fate. Her employers (the Assembly of Divine Power, a group of New Age con artists) force her to sell fake power stones; she persists, since her readings say that she cannot escape. The protagonist convinces her that the future can be changed, and her destiny is molded by her actions.
Upon completing her Confidant, Chihaya gives the protagonist her fortune tarot card when he leaves Tokyo. If the player pursues a romantic relationship with her, she gives him cologne for Christmas. Chihaya is voiced by Miyu Matsuki in Japanese and Sarah Anne Williams in English. In the Japanese version of Persona 5: The Animation, she is voiced by Haruka Terui.
Hifumi Togo (東郷 一二三 Tōgō Hifumi) is a champion shogi player from Kosei High School who is often found at the church in Kanda at night. Her mother encourages her media appearances, and promotes her Japanese idol (to her dismay) when she would rather be praised for her shogi skills.
As a Confidant, Hifumi represents the Star Arcana and teaches the protagonist tactical skills (including switching members from the party during battle) with shogi. Hifumi discovers that her mother has been rigging shogi matches in her favor. After the protagonist changes her mother's heart, Hifumi loses a shogi tournament and is called the "Phony Princess" by the media. She is happy to be her real self, however, and continues to play shogi for fun. Her farewell gift to the protagonist before he leaves Tokyo is a kosha piece. Hifumi is voiced by Persona Stalker Club host Tomomi Isomura in Japanese and Eden Riegel in English.
Shinya Oda (織田 信也 Oda Shinya) is an elementary-school student who hangs out at the Gigolo Arcade in Akihabara. He is known as the King because of his top score in the shoot 'em up arcade game, Gun About. Shinya idolizes the Phantom Thieves, and the protagonist asks him for his help in defeating a cheating gamer in Mementos.
As a Confidant, Shinya represents the Tower Arcana and teaches the protagonist gun moves in Gun About, which the protagonist utilizes in the Metaverse. Despite his popularity at the arcade, he is swept up in a prank war with his classmates and vows to win (an aggressive trait learned from his mother, Hanae). When his classmates accuse him of bullying, he questions himself and becomes concerned when he realizes that his mother has become more unreasonable, arguing with his school concerning his education. After Hanae sees Shinya hanging out with the protagonist, she accuses the latter of being a bad influence to her son and threatens to report him to the police. After the protagonist changes her heart, Shinya makes amends to his classmates and gives the protagonist a Gun Controller before he leaves Tokyo. He is voiced by Aki Kanada in Japanese and Barbara Goodson in English.
Shiho Suzui (鈴井 志帆 Suzui Shiho) is Ann's best friend and a member of Shujin Academy's volleyball team. With little self-confidence, she feels that volleyball is the only thing she is good at. Due to stress and sexual abuse by Kamoshida, Shiho attempts suicide by jumping off the roof of the school. Comatose, she regains consciousness after Kamoshida's change of heart. Ann visit Shiho in hospital and helps with her recovery as her Confidant progresses, and Shiho's parents decide to transfer her to another school. Near the end of Ann's Confidant, Shiho asks her and the protagonist to bring her to Shujin's roof; she says that she wanted to escape, not die. However, she heard a voice within her which urged her to kill herself; after her recovery, the voice disappeared. Shiho says goodbye to Ann, and they promise to keep in touch before she leaves with her family. She is voiced by Akemi Satō in Japanese and Christine Marie Cabanos in English.
Wakaba Isshiki (一色 若葉 Isshiki Wakaba) is Futaba Sakura's mother, and a researcher of "cognitive pscience" in the Japanese government. Although she was a close friend of Sojiro's, she was largely unaware of his feelings for her. Wakaba raised Futaba as a single mother until she suddenly walked into the road and was killed by a car. Before her death, she suspected that she would be killed and her research stolen; she confided her fears to Sojiro, who did not take them seriously.
Wakaba's death was initially ruled a suicide, and Futaba was blamed by her family; in reality, her Shadow was killed by Goro Akechi in the Metaverse (causing her to mentally shut down). Shido's conspiracy stole her research and forged a suicide note in which she expressed regret for giving birth to Futaba. Because of the trauma of her mother's death and her being held responsible, Futaba began repressing her memories of Wakaba and believed that she had been a burden to her mother. This, coupled with Futaba's desire that her mother still be alive, leads to a cognitive version of Wakaba in her Palace in the form a sphinx that represents her perceived wrath towards her daughter. After Futaba awakens her Persona, she helps the Phantom Thieves defeat the sphinx; a vision of the real Wakaba appears, and she and her daughter affirm their love for each other. Wakaba is voiced by Minako Arakawa in Japanese and Erin Fitzgerald in English.
The game's characters were generally well-received. According to Simon Miller of trustedreviews.com, "The cast of characters only gets better as the game progresses." The Verge also praised the cast: "Persona 5 has a memorable and lovable cast of characters ... the story is buoyed by a great cast of characters, who – in typical Persona fashion – start out as forgettable teenage archetypes, before revealing themselves to be layered, lovable individuals."
GamesRadar+ praised the characters and the new Confidants: "Every aspect of the game's narrative is outstanding, including the many ancillary folks that you can make into 'confidants'". Eurogamer enjoyed the characters' exchanges of surreptitious text messages, but objected to the game's gender ethics: "Persona 5 continues the franchise's awkward relationship with queer-coded people". In The Independent, a reviewer called the characters "fantastic".
GameSpew also noted the characters: "Yet as with any Persona game, its biggest selling point is how the game explores such ideas through its colourful cast of characters." According to a Kotaku review, "If you're looking for an RPG with a great story and characters it may be a huge disappointment." However, Amanda Yeo of Kotaku enjoyed the game and its characters: "Persona 5 taught me how to be a friend." A Polygon reviewer liked the game's characters overall, but disliked the portrayal of homosexual characters: "Essentially, some of Persona 5's only examples of queer characterization are there as a terrible joke."
Notes and references
- 心の怪盗団 (Kokoro no kaitō-dan) in Japanese. The team's name, which can be changed in the game, is known as The Phantoms (ザ・ファントム Za Fantomu).
- A base persona is the character's first unlocked Persona, in the case of the protagonist, he has many Personas, whereas other characters only have two.
- The "Ultimate Persona" is a character's final, or most powerful Persona
- Mementos is a large dungeon in-game, the palace of the whole of society
- Skill cards are items in-game that allow the holder to learn new skills, magic or attacks
- SP stands for "Special Points", used for casting magic in game.
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Well-behaved girl: Sorry to surprise you. I'm another third-year who was asked to come chaperone this trip.
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Akechi: But you... you're just some criminal trash living in an attic! So how...!? How does someone like you have things I don't!? How can such a worthless piece of trash be more special than me!?
- Cite error: The named reference
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