The lights are on
We often meet people who change our lives in some profound
way. Perhaps they teach us something we didn't know about ourselves, force us
to become a better version of ourselves, or maybe they show us what it means to
put someone else first. Either way, once these people enter our lives, we're
never the same. This is the essence of Junpei and Chidori's relationship in
Persona 3, and why it stands as one of the more powerful interactions I've seen
in a video game. The moment where this all comes together is Chidori's selfless
act, which defines what the relationship truly meant.
Note: Spoilers ahead
The whole relationship is a testament to great pacing. When
we first meet Chidori, she's sketching in her artbook when Junpei blocks her
view. Without paying him much mind, she tells him to get out of the way. At
this point, Junpei is an especially self-centered character. He can't handle
anybody taking the spotlight from him and is extremely jealous of others. He
often puts up a front like he's a cool guy who has it all together, which
couldn't be further from the truth. But something about his interactions with
Chidori feel more genuine, like the façade is gone, and we're finally seeing
the real Junpei. After a few encounters, the talks turn deeper, despite
One of the turning points is when Chidori asks Junpei what
he does to make himself feel alive. Of course, Junpei loves the thrill of his
dark-hour heroics and confides in her about his Persona. Little does he know
that Chidori is actually working for Strega, a group out to stop Junpei's group
SEES. Working for opposing forces would tear most people apart, but Junpei
still sticks by Chidori even after she betrays him. When he visits her in the
hospital, he brings her a new sketch book and doesn't leave her side. This is
the first time we see Junpei show concern and put someone else before himself.
But as in most Persona tales, the journey is never without
misfortune, and Chidori's allegiance to Strega pits her against SEES once again.
In this moment, Chidori finally breaks down and shares her true feelings for
Junpei, feelings she was trying to deny because she didn't want to need
someone. The Strega group is displeased and shoots Junpei as he vows to protect
her. Without hesitation, Chidori uses her Persona to revive him, but using her
power comes with a cost: her life.
Chidori's final words are heartbreaking as she discusses how
Junpei opened her up to all these feelings that come with love and attachment. Watching
a character like Chidori finally show vulnerability and say her last words to
Junpei still sends a chill down my spine. Chidori gave Junpei her life - the
ultimate sacrifice- and he acknowledges it by saying, "It's not just my life
anymore." She lives on through him and now he needs to make sure her sacrifice
isn't in vain.
Chidori's and Junpei's relationship was about more than
simply romance, it was about something raw and real: finding somebody worth
opening up to, who can understand the pain and joy of life. The way this
relationship transforms Junpei is astounding, maturing him into a stand-up man.
Junpei's journey with Chidori says so much about the human condition; sometimes
it just takes one person to change the way we see the world. For the better.
Check out the scene below with Chidori’s final words to Junpei. Special thanks to Youtube user Zerokoolpsx for capturing it.
Email the author Kimberley Wallace, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.