This is a good article. Click here for more information.

Protagonist (Persona 3)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The protagonist
Persona character
The protagonist in Persona 3
First game Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 (2006)
Created by Shigenori Soejima
Designed by Shigenori Soejima
Voiced by (English) Yuri Lowenthal
Voiced by (Japanese) Akira Ishida

The protagonist (Japanese: 主人公, Hepburn: Shujinkō) is a player-named character from Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3, a role-playing video game developed by Atlus. In the game, the protagonist is an orphan who transfers to Gekkoukan High School in Iwatodai City and discovers a phenomenon called the Dark Hour during which supernatural entities called Shadows roam freely. After awakening an ability within himself called Persona, the protagonist finds himself intertwined in the ongoing struggle against the Shadows with his new schoolmates.

He was designed by Shigenori Soejima, who aimed to create an ordinary youth who the player could relate to. In the manga adaptation, he goes by the name Minato Arisato (有里 湊, Arisato Minato). His character was reworked for the animated film adaptation where director Noriaki Akitaya explained pressure in giving the silent character his own personality. In the movie adaptation, he goes by the name Makoto Yuki (結城 理, Yūki Makoto). The protagonist later appeared the spin-off game: Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth as well. Critical reception to the protagonist's character has been generally positive for both his role in the games for how he handles his social life. His development in the film gathered similar responses. He is voiced by Akira Ishida in Japanese and by Yuri Lowenthal in English.

Design and characterization[edit]

The Persona 3 protagonist was the first character Shigenori Soejima designed for the game. Early designs of the character made him look mature and collected since the artist viewed him as a "cliche[d] cool guy."[1] Soejima took longer to design the protagonist than any other character as the game's other characters would be made to complement his design. In Art of Persona 3, Soejima remarked that "Initially, he looked more honest, like an ordinary, handsome young man. But, I worked to achieve greater ambiguity in his expression."[2] He further noted that the character managed to have a "hidden coolness."[3] In retrospect, he found that the character was not ambiguous enough and thus when creating the Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 protagonist, Soejima made Yu Narukami with the idea that his entire personality be decided and portrayed by the player's in-game actions and decisions.[4]

Director Noriaki Akitaya had faced a similar dilemma for his animated film version. He explained that one of his biggest challenges was, "..getting the protagonist, who is the player in the game, and making him into a character named Makoto Yuki for the film, then figuring out how to integrate him [the protagonist] into the story." This led Akitaya to be extremely careful about how he went about constructing the character in terms of his speech, gestures and behavior all the while staying true to what was already established in the game.[5] Akitaya admitted that he would not have been able to meet the expectations of the individual fans of the game since they were able to choose their own unique name and personality for the protagonist.[6] Instead Akitaya took the route of incorporating the most general traits of fan reactions to the protagonist to form Yuki's character.[6]

The protagonist's maniacal laugh during the character's first Persona summoning was a point of interest for director Noriaki Akitaya.[6]

Akitaya stated that his favorite scene in the film occurred when the protagonist summoned his Persona for the first time.[6] He elaborated that the protagonist's maniacal laugh and heavy breathing helped bring depth to the scene and establish animation director Keisuke Watabe's character designs as being one of the main attractions of the film.[6] Akitaya had joked that during initial pre-production the protagonist's name was still not determined and instead proposed the placeholder "Tsukitarō Yamada" (山田 月太郎, Yamada Tsukitarō) until the first draft was developed. However even as Jun Kumagai began working on the screenplay, the placeholder went unchanged for the next four to five months and Akitaya found himself growing attached to it despite eventually changing it.[6]

Akira Ishida voiced the protagonist in this Japanese adaptation. He noted that since he was presented with the roles of both Pharos and the protagonist, recording the scene of the protagonist's initial meeting with Pharos was something he enjoyed.[7] In the English version of Persona 3 the role of both the protagonist and Ryoji is taken by Yuri Lowenthal. As with his previous role as protagonist of the Digital Devil Saga games, Lowenthal did not have extensive dialogue lines. His main task was shouting out the names of Personas: localization editor Yu Namba was initially worried about his performance, but Lowenthal managed to pronounce the names correctly. He attributed this to his love for Dungeons & Dragons.[8]


In Persona 3[edit]

The protagonist of Persona 3. He moves into the Iwatodai dorm, learning of his ability to summon the Personas Orpheus and Thanatos of The Death Arcana when the dorm is attacked by Shadows during the Dark Hour. Mitsuru asks him to join SEES and he is later elected the team's leader in combat. The protagonist is unique among his cohorts in that he has the Wild Card ability which enables him to wield multiple Personas and switch between them during battle. Over the course of the game, he also gains Messiah of the Judgement Arcana and Orpheus Telos of the Fool Arcana in Persona 3 FES. With the power of the Wild Card he has access to over 150 different Personas.[9] He is also the only character with access to the Velvet Room, in which the player is able to fuse together multiple Personas together to create a new and more powerful one. Over the course of the game, the player is challenged to manage the protagonist's day-to-day schedule as he attends school, takes part in extracurricular activities, and spends time with classmates and other characters.[10] Igor, the proprietor of the Velvet Room, encourages the protagonist to form Social Links with people, as they will determine his potential in combat.[11] Social Links with characters in-game are represented by one of the Major Arcana and grants various bonuses during Persona fusion, increasing the player's proficiency in battle.[10]

As he works with SEES, the protagonist builds up the Social Link for the Fool Arcana, which symbolizes beginning and infinite possibilities of the journey ahead.[12] When the protagonist decides to spare Ryoji Mochizuki, the Social Link of the Fool Arcana changes into the Judgement Arcana, which symbolizes the end of his journey and looking back at what has transpired this far.[13] The final Social Link the protagonist attains is the Universe Arcana, a card from the Thoth tarot that replaces World Arcana, symbolizing the full awareness of the protagonist's place in the world.[14]

The protagonist is an orphan; his parents died ten years prior to the events of Persona 3, which sees him returning to the city he grew up in.[15] In December, the player learns that a Shadow known as "Death" was sealed in the protagonist as a child by Aigis, who was unable to defeat it herself.[16] The Death Shadow was able to lead the protagonist to twelve other greater Shadows;[17] by defeating them, The Appriser was created, a being which summons Nyx to the world to bring about its destruction.[18] SEES battles The Appriser on the roof of Tartarus, but are not able to stop Nyx's descent to Earth. The protagonist enters Nyx and using the power of his accumulated Social Links, seals it away with the "Great Seal"—at the cost of his own self.[19]

Other appearances[edit]

Persona 3 FES extends upon the original game with the introduction of an epilogue called The Answer. These events reveal that the protagonist died after becoming the Great Seal used to seal Nyx away. After being led to the Great Seal, SEES discovers it to be under attack by a creature called Erebus.[20] Although Makoto does not appear in Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 and the sequel Persona 4 Arena, it is revealed in those games Igor's assistant Elizabeth left her position to find a way to rescue the protagonist from his fate as the Great Seal.[21]

In the PlayStation Portable port Persona 3 Portable, an option was added to control a female protagonist, voiced by Marina Inoue in Japanese, and Laura Bailey in English.[22][23][24] He is also featured in several radio dramas that tell new stories related to games.[25][26] In the manga, the protagonist is named Minato Arisato (有里 湊, Arisato Minato). There, he is portrayed as a quiet teenager who often is tired or drowsy, and likes to eat and cook food.[27] The character also appears in the game Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, where he joins forces with the Persona 4 cast to defeat the Shadows.[28] In the stage adaption, Persona 3: The Weird Masquerade, the male protagonist is named Sakuya Shiomi (汐見 朔也, Shiomi Sakuya) while the female version is named Kotone Shiomi (汐見 琴音, Shiomi Kotone).[29]

In the anime film series Persona 3 The Movie, he takes the name of Makoto Yuki.[30] Makoto is portrayed as an ambivalent individual with an initial neutral viewpoint on the film's theme of life and death, making his growth via new found experiences the focus of the movie.[31]


Critical reception to the protagonist's character has been positive. GameSpy's Patrick Joynt praised the character's social life in Persona 3 as it allowed the player to interact with several other characters and learn about their interesting stories.[32] GamesRadar commented that while Makoto is a "Japanese RPG stereotype" it was refreshing to see him dealing with his social life.[33] Damian Thomas from RPGFan saw the interactions between the main character and his dorm mates as one of the game's best parts due to the character growth in each social link.[34] He was also listed as the 10th best Persona character by Kimberley Wallace from Game Informer who found his role in Persona 3 admirable.[35]

Reaction to the character's portrayal in the animated film Persona 3 The Movie: #1 Spring of Birth was also met with praise. Richard Eisenbeis of Kotaku described the protagonist as being an initially "ambivalent, broken character.." whose growth takes center stage and gave the film "a suitable sense of completion."[31] Elliot Gay from Japanator saw Makoto's growth from a "empty, aloof, and distant young man" who "lacks any kind of real determination to do anything" to his growth as a person as one of the film's main focus.[36] His relationship with Aigis and his comical actions have also been prasied by Gay during a review for the second film.[37]


  1. ^ Soejima, Shigenori (2007). Persona 3: Official Design Works. Udon Entertainment. p. 14. 
  2. ^ Soejima, Shigenori (2007). Art of Persona 3. Atlus. p. 14. 
  3. ^ Soejima, Shigenori (2007). Persona 3: Official Design Works. Udon Entertainment. p. 13. 
  4. ^ Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 Visual Data. Atlus. 2008. p. 10. 
  5. ^ Sato (November 21, 2013). "Persona 3 the Movie Makers On Staying True To The Game". Siliconera. Archived from the original on September 11, 2016. Retrieved December 11, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "熱意溢れる現場で作られた劇場版「ペルソナ3」、見どころは友情と主人公の成長 ─ 監督が裏話や制作秘話を語る" (in Japanese). Inside Games. November 22, 2013. Archived from the original on May 1, 2016. Retrieved December 12, 2013. 
  7. ^ スペシャル | 劇場版「ペルソナ3」 公式サイト. Persona 3 The Movie (in Japanese). Aniplex. July 22, 2013. Archived from the original on January 15, 2014. Retrieved August 14, 2013. 
  8. ^ North, Dale (7 July 2008). "Anime Expo '08: Atlus' Shin Megami Tensei panel". Destructoid. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2015. 
  9. ^ Haynes, Jeff (April 22, 2008). "Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES Review". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on May 8, 2016. Retrieved December 26, 2009. 
  10. ^ a b VanOrd, Kevin (July 24, 2007). "Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Review". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on September 15, 2015. Retrieved December 26, 2009. 
  11. ^ Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3. Igor: The ability evolves as you develop your Social Links--your emotional ties with others. The stronger your Social Links, the more powerful your Persona ability. Please remember that. 
  12. ^ Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3. PlayStation 2. Atlus. Mr. Edogawa: The first card, numbered 0, is The Fool. It represents the beginning and suggests infinite possibilities. 
  13. ^ Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3. PlayStation 2. Atlus. Mr. Edogawa: Judgement awaits the individual at the end of his journey, as he looks back on the path he has travelled. 
  14. ^ Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3. PlayStation 2. Atlus. Mr. Edogawa: The final card is The World, which represents the individual's full awareness of his place in the world. 
  15. ^ Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES North American instruction manual. Atlus. 2008. pp. 04–05. 
  16. ^ Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3. PlayStation 2. Aigis: Even so, your strength was far greater than I anticipated. The only possible alternative was to seal you away... And as circumstance would have it, a suitable vessel was available: a human child standing nearby... 
  17. ^ Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3. PlayStation 2. Ryoji: I see, so I was confined within him, and I lead him to my twelve missing pieces without realizing it. 
  18. ^ Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3. PlayStation 2. Ryoji: I'm The Appriser... The Appriser of Death... My existence is the affirmation of the Fall. 
  19. ^ Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3. PlayStation 2. Igor: These are the voices of hope that wish to help you... Separately, they are weak... But together, they will bring about a great change in you. Now is the time to draw on the true strength of the bonds you have forged! I never dreamed of seeing that card with my own eyes... This is indeed a surprise... Behold the last power you and I shall unveil... It is the power to bring about a new beginning, or the ultimate end. It may be possible now, with this newfound power... You may be able to defeat the one who cannot be defeated. What you have in your hands is the power of the Universe... Nothing is outside the realm of possibility for you now./ Elizabeth: We will soon reach your destination. / Igor: It seems that, in addition to Death, fate has also dealt you the wild card. ...You must accept your destiny. Our contract has been fulfilled... I have completed my role as well. ...You were truly a remarkable guest. 
  20. ^ Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES. PlayStation 2. Fuuka: What... What is this? / Metis: ...This is his life essence. As you can see, this is what happened. He himself became the Great Seal. But relinquishing one's life essence means death for a human... 
  21. ^ Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. PlayStation 2. Margaret: Before Elizabeth left... she told me this: a soul slumbers at the ends of the world—that of a young man who devoted himself to becoming a seal. That soul is risking itself to prevent mankind, who has lost the joy of living, from calling down ultimate destruction. She told me that she was going to save him from that fate. [...] Just as Elizabeth did for the other boy, I shall do for you. 
  22. ^ Lada, Jenni (June 11, 2010). "Gamertell Persona 3 Portable preview diary: Entry 5 – Wrapup". TechnologyTell. GadgeTell. Archived from the original on November 12, 2016. Retrieved November 12, 2016. 
  23. ^ Bennett, Colette (August 20, 2009). "Pictures and video from Persona 3 PSP emerge". Destructoid. Modern Method. Archived from the original on June 28, 2010. Retrieved November 12, 2016. 
  24. ^ 『ペルソナ3ポータブル』謎の敵"シャドウ"に挑む特別課外活動部. Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain. September 5, 2009. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved May 3, 2010. 
  25. ^ "オリジナルドラマ~A CERTAIN DAY OF SUMMER~" (in Japanese). Lantis. Archived from the original on January 22, 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  26. ^ "ドラマCD Vol.1 -Daylight-" (in Japanese). Frontier Works. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  27. ^ Sogabe, Shūji (2007). Persona 3, volume 1. Kadokawa Shoten. ISBN 978-4-04-866285-7. 
  28. ^ Romano, Sal (December 20, 2013). "Persona Q Trailers introduce Persona 4 and Persona 3 protagonists". Gematsu. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved March 15, 2014. 
  29. ^ Komatsu, Mikikazu (December 14, 2013). "Character Costume Photos for "Persona 3: The Weird Masquerade" Stage Play". Crunchyroll. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved December 29, 2013. 
  30. ^ キャラクター | 劇場版「ペルソナ3」 公式サイト. Persona 3 The Movie (in Japanese). Aniplex. July 22, 2013. Archived from the original on January 15, 2014. Retrieved August 14, 2013. 
  31. ^ a b Eisenbeis, Richard (November 26, 2013). "The Persona 3 Movie Will Leave You Wanting More". Kotaku. Retrieved November 27, 2013. 
  32. ^ Joynt, Patrick. "Persona 3". GameSpy. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved March 15, 2014. 
  33. ^ Kemps, Heidi (August 16, 2007). "Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 review". GamesRadar. Future plc. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  34. ^ Thomas, Damian (September 23, 2007). "Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Review". RPGFan. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  35. ^ Wallace, Kimberley (October 1, 2015). "Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Review". Game Informer. GameStop. Archived from the original on October 8, 2016. Retrieved August 19, 2016. 
  36. ^ Gay, Elliot (February 18, 2014). "Impressions: Persona 3 The Movie #1: Spring of Birth". Japanator. Archived from the original on March 26, 2016. Retrieved November 27, 2013. 
  37. ^ Eisenbeis, Richard (June 9, 2014). "Persona 3's Second Movie Reminds Me Why I love Persona 3". Kotaku. Archived from the original on August 24, 2016. Retrieved June 9, 2014.