Yamato Hotsuin

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Yamato Hotsuin
Shin Megami Tensei character
First game Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 (2011)
Created by Suzuhito Yasuda
Designed by Suzuhito Yasuda
Voiced by (English) John Gremillion (Teen, Anime) Meaghan Avocato (Child, Anime) Kaiji Tang (Record Breaker)
Voiced by (Japanese) Junichi Suwabe (Teen), Megumi Ogata (Child)

Yamato Hotsuin (峰津院 大和 Hotsuin Yamato?) is a character introduced in the 2011 role-playing game Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 by Atlus. He is an ambitious and calculating 17 years old bureau chief of a secret organisation that protecting Japan, JP's. Yamato plans to use the leader of the enemies Septentrione and the administrator of the world, Polaris, to recreate the world into hierarchy where people's worth is based from the individual's achievements rather than money or bloodline. As a result, Yamato might become an antagonist from the game depending on the player's decisions. He has also appeared in the animated and manga adaptations of the game and has been the protagonist of a light novel detailing his backstory. He is voiced by Junichi Suwabe and Megumi Ogata as a child. In the English dub of the anime, he is voiced by John Gremillion as a teen and Meaghan Avocato as a child. While in enhanced version, Record Breaker, he is voiced by Kaiji Tang.

Yamato was created by Suzuhito Yasuda who wanted to create a strong character that would not stand out much despite his control on people. Suwabe noted difficulties in voicing him due to his stoic personality. Critical reception to the character has been positive based on his development across the anime and his role as an anti-hero.

Character creation and traits[edit]

Character designer Suzuhito Yasuda made Yamato with image of a coercive person that has tremendous control of people. He at first has difficulty designing Yamato since he wanted to make him unique from other characters but not too stand out. He eventually came up to add a gaudy clothes with a pose of Yamato fixing his white gloves to fit his character. This pose is eventually used as his in-game render.[1] Initially, he intended to have Yamato's coat shorter and the buttons opened with yellow JP's uniform underneath it, but changed his mind because it made him looks rough, opposite from the image of chief that Yasuda has imagined.[2]

Yamato's last name came from the word "tsuin", the pronunciation of "twin" in Japanese, while his first name is referring to his family's role to protect Japan since ancient times. His last name also referring to his gemini zodiac and a hint of the existence of Miyako Hotsuin, who appears in the new scenario in Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker.[3]

Yamato's voice actor, Junichi Suwabe jokingly admitted in Otomedia interview that when he was first given the role as Yamato, he thought that Yamato gives off a cool felling but later was surprised to know that Yamato is still 17 years old as he had initially thought he would be older.[4] He also stated that when he was playing as Yamato, he had to give small hints as to how far he let his emotions show, and how far he restrained them instead, through observation of his actions and speech. He tried to play him while keeping that point in mind.[5]


In Devil Survivor 2[edit]

Yamato is the sole heir for the Hotsuin family. In order to succeed JP's, he has been treated as an adult since he was a child, never attending school and was already at the college level education. [6] Growing up surrounded by power-hungry but profoundly incompetent people, Yamato comes to view the world has lost its worth for letting such people claim higher position in society. This resulted him to come across as arrogant, sarcastic, and condescending young man. He treats others in a very callous manner, throwing in his opinion no matter how cold-hearted it is and not caring for whatever the response is.[7] Although his actions are seen as cruel by most people, he is not completely heartless, as Yamato only wishes the best for the world.[8] As the heir of the Hotsuin, Yamato is capable to control the energy source that has been passed down in his family for generations called the Dragon Stream.

Yamato is introduced when Makoto takes the Protagonist, Io, and Daichi to JP's to treat Io's wound. He orders Makoto to have them imprisoned out of suspicion they will abuse the Demon Summoning App.[9] Only until the Protagonist and his friends defeat the first Septentrione he provides them shelter in JP's[10] and convinced them to join his organisation to protect Japan from Septentrione invasion. Throughout the game, Yamato mostly give orders to the Protagonist and his party, but he can be playable in his route or Daichi's route or if some characters died, he'll be replacing their position that required in certain missions.

As the game progress, he grows to respect and admire the Protagonist for all of his achievements despite being a civilian with no experience prior the disaster. In his route, he even admit that he considers him as his first and only friend. Throughout Yamato's Fate Route, Yamato expresses his discontent and disgust of the weak.[11][12] Through his interaction with the Protagonist, Yamato comes to understand that there is a lot of potential and strength that exist in the world beyond his purview and open to discovering it.[13][14]

In Thursday's Shock, Yamato reveals that he knew from the very beginning the truth behind the Septentrione invasion and hid it from everyone, including his own subordinates.[15] Yamato plans to use the leader of the Septentrione and the administrator of the world, Polaris, to recreate the world into hierarchy where people's worth is based from the individual's achievements rather than money or bloodline.[16] In Friday's Partings, when the characters are divided into different factions, Yamato is joined by Makoto, Fumi, and Keita, creating Osaka Faction. Yamato's fate depends on the route that the player choose.

In the Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker expansion, the player can access a new scenario called Triangulum Arc, set after the event of Septentrione Arc. During the arc, Yamato's existence in the world is replaced by a girl named Miyako Hotsuin and he only appears in dreams, causing the entire party to worry that he has ceased to exist. However, it's later revealed that Yamato is alive at Akasha Stratum. The reason for his absence in the world is because when he and Anguished One decided to regress the world once more after everyone is killed during the battle against Arcturus in the second world, Yamato decided to stay at Akasha Stratum to salvage and restore the Protagonist's data that has been damaged by the Traingulum so he can exist in the third world. Yamato's absence is considered as an error in the third world, resulting with the leader of Triangulum, Canopus, to create Miyako in Yamato's place, temporarily fixing the error. After saving Yamato from his impending death, he rejoins the party and this time will follow whichever choices the player make out of respect for the Protagonist.

Other appearances[edit]

In Devil Survivor 2: The Animation, Yamato is one of the key characters and can be considered as the main antagonist of the series. While Yamato's goal is still the same, the way his character is depicted differs greatly from his game counterpart. In the anime, Yamato is depicted colder and more serious that talks little unless important. This cold attitude also completely replaced the sarcasm that he has in the game. His relationship with the protagonist, Hibiki Kuze, is also antagonistic. However, he slowly changed through his interaction with Hibiki. His past with the Anguished One is expanded further, revealing that he was able to summon demon since he was five years old and the first Shining One that the Anguished One had chosen before Hibiki[17]. Yamato's main demon is Cerberus, the demon that he first summoned and had been accompanying him since he was a child. He later also gains Ba'al, Nebiros, Zaou-Gongen, and Satan. He is one of the only two survivors that survived Polaris' trial. He and Hibiki fights for the audience with Polaris, in which he lost. When the world is restored, he, Hibiki, and Anguished One are the only ones who remembered the entire events of the Purge of Polaris with Yamato now accepting the concept of friendship that Hibiki has taught him with his own way.[18]

He also appears in Devil Survivor 2 The Animation: Cetus's Prequel,[19][20] a light novel that focused on his times before the Purge of Polaris.


Critical reception to Yamato's character has been positive based on his role in the anime adaptation of Devil Survivor 2. Richard Eisenbeis from Kotaku praised the development of the series' main villain (or antihero) Yamato Hotsuin, who "gets a ton of development" and credited the character as being an "excellent villain."[21] Voice actor behind the character in his teen appearances, Junichi Suwabe, noted that the charm of his character is his strength.[22] He was third in a Danny Choo poll asking people which characters did they fancy the most.[23] In Character Archive message, Suwabe also said that Yamato's stoic personality attracts him.[5] Siliconera sees joining Yamato as one of the most important decisions from the video game based on the impact it could make.[24] Anime News Network felt Yamato and Fumi were the "weak points" from the anime's cast as they come "come across as impossibly cold-blooded and insufferable."[25]

Additionally, reviewers focused on his fights across the series. Chris Beveridge from the Fandom Post enjoyed Yamato's fight against Alcor and Hibiki from the animated adaptation and stated that Yamato "is definitely shifting more to the fanatic side here."[26][27] Bambo Dong from Anime News Network noted how in Yamato's final fight against Hibiki they kept "they're really pulling out the big guns" due to the use of demons the two characters make. He added "it's no surprise that the final showdown had a serious trump card up its sleeve."[28]


  1. ^ Yasuda, Suzuhito (2011). Devil Survivor 2 Official Design Works. Enterbrain. p. 43. 
  2. ^ Yasuda, Suzuhito (2011). Devil Survivor 2 Official Design Works. Enterbrain. p. 44. 
  3. ^ Yasuda, Suzuhito (2011). Devil Survivor 2 Official Design Works. Enterbrain. p. 46. 
  4. ^ Otomedia. Gakken Marketing. June 2013. p. 17. 
  5. ^ a b "Products :キャラクターアーカイヴス|TVアニメ「デビルサバイバー2」公式サイト[DEVIL SURVIVOR2 the ANIMATION]" (in Japanese). Pony Canyon. Retrieved September 15, 2013. 
  6. ^ Atlus (2011-07-28). Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Yamato: High School? I've never participated in any educational institution. / Daichi: Not even elementary school!? What the heck!? No way! / Yamato: I was already at the college level education when I was a child. Any questions were handled by personal expert lectures. That's the Hotsuin way. 
  7. ^ Atlus (2011-07-28). Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Yamato: Ah, yes. Nitta, was it...? What do you want? / Io: Er... I-I wanted to ask you something... Why did you, um… / Yamato: ...I've seen this for some time now. You are wise and open-minded, but poor at relationships. It's a noticeable defect. / Io: Oh... right. I'm sorry... I'll try to keep that in mind. / Yamato: So long as you understand. Now, what do you want? Keep it brief, please. / Io: Um... well... why did you say those things you knew would cause a schism…? / Yamato: Ah, my speech about the merit system. A schism... Hahaha! How very amusing. / Io: Wh-What's so funny? You hide things from people... Make them angry... How is that amusing!? / Yamato: Silence, girl. It is not required that you understand. Think what you will. / Io: Why do you say those things? If you were just nicer, people might be more understanding… / Yamato: Oh, I don't doubt it. That is how the world rotted. / Io: What...!? Rotted!? / Yamato: Nitta... You must be quite happy with the status quo, I assume. All reasonable assertions and sincere endeavors run afoul of the barrier of self-interest. No one takes the long view. Any civility is only to prevent the loss of social benefits. They are worthless! The dregs rise up while the worthy are curshed underfoot! What meaning is there to your existence in such a world!? To be a true leader, one must jettison the past that's built up like so much sludge…! If no one else will do it, I'll fight to the bitter end, even if I stand alone! / Io: ...Ah…! E-Excuse me! 
  8. ^ Atlus (2011-07-28). Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Yamato: I have to make sure whether or not the world you're going to create will be a good one. Heh... Are you surprised? I only fought you because I want what's best for the world. And to see whether a world even better than my own ideals will unfold...That is my last task as the head of the Hotsuin clan... No. As myself. Until then, I sill fight alongside you. ...Don't disappoint me. 
  9. ^ Atlus (2011-07-28). Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Makoto: Are you serious? But they are just normal civilians. / Yamato: Then how can you be positive that they won't abuse the summoning app? / Makoto: They cooperated with me and helped reseal Coordinate K. I don't think they'd abuse it... / Yamato: When man grows accustomed to power, he tends to abuse it. Wouldn't you agree, Sako? / Makoto:... / Yamato: This conversation is over. Move them to a cell. 
  10. ^ Atlus (2011-07-28). Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Daichi: You're gonna lock me up again, aren't you? No, I'm fine up here, thanks!/ Yamato: Hahaha! Don't worry, any doubts we had about you have been cleared. You all defeated Dubhe. Even if by coincidence your actions are praiseworthy. 
  11. ^ Atlus (2011-07-28). Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Yamato: Listening to your emotions and saving people would be easy. It's the same for us in JP's. But... doing so would cut back on our forces, and we'll only gain more incompetent people…Do you understand? We must have priorities, unlike Japan before the disaster. 
  12. ^ Atlus (2011-07-28). Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Yamato: It's not worth considering. It's because the old society was structured poorly. They force mediocrity on those with ability, and treat them as any other idiot… And they pretend that it's the "right" thing to do! That's the reaility of the old society. Stupidity at its worst. Don't you feel it? The foolishness of that society? 
  13. ^ Atlus (2011-07-28). Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Yamato:...Is there something within common life that should produce someone like you…? Ha, I doubt it. Still… 
  14. ^ Atlus (2011-07-28). Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Yamato:...I see. I thought so. Is it too late to understand how civilians think? 
  15. ^ Atlus (2011-07-28). Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Yamato: That's right, I knew all along. Listen and I'll tell you, if you wish to know that much! The chief culprit behind the fall of this world is known as Polaris 
  16. ^ Atlus (2011-07-28). Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Yamato: Hah... It's simple. I will rebuild this world anew. / Keita: Rebuild this world? What? / Yamato: Just as it sounds. I will revive this world under a new order. The old order that's been in place until now will no longer be required. Only the wise, the informed, and the powerful are worthy to live! The dregs are not! I hereby declared my intention to create a world based on merit! 
  17. ^ 3rd Day: Tuesday of Turbulence - I
  18. ^ Last Day: Sunday of Realization - II
  19. ^ "Products :ノベライズ「くじら座のプリクエル」|TVアニメ「デビルサバイバー2」公式サイト[DEVIL SURVIVOR2 the ANIMATION]" (in Japanese). Pony Canyon. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  20. ^ DEVIL SURVIVOR2 THE ANIMATION 公式ノベライズ くじら座のプリクエル 新沢克海 講談社 (in Japanese). Kodansha Box. Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  21. ^ Eisenbeis, Richard (July 30, 2013). "Devil Survivor 2 Is Much Better Than I Expected". Kotaku. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  22. ^ "メインキャスト陣が語るTVアニメ『DEVIL SURVIVOR2 the ANIMATION』 TVアニメ「デビルサバイバー2」NEWS" (in Japanese). Pony Canyon. Retrieved January 9, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Devil Survivor 2 Anime". Danny Choo. Retrieved August 10, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Keeps Nintendo DS Alive In North America". Siliconera. Retrieved May 3, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Shelf Life Space Invaders". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 1, 2015. 
  26. ^ "Devil Survivor 2 Episode #13 Anime Review". Fandom Post. Retrieved May 2, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Devil Survivor 2 Episode #12 Anime Review". Fandom Post. Retrieved May 2, 2014. 
  28. ^ "The Stream Flower Power". Anime News Network. Retrieved May 2, 2014.