Feature

The 10 Best Persona Characters

by Kimberley Wallace on May 04, 2017 at 06:30 PM

The Persona series has introduced us to many interesting characters over the years. The casts of the last three mainline entries games are all memorable in their own way, and spin-offs such as Persona 4: Dancing All Night and Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth have given some of them more depth, nuance, and charm. With a month to ruminate on Persona 5 and its characters, we've updated our rankings of the best personalities the series has to offer.

Entries by Kimberley Wallace and Suriel Vazquez.

10. Maya Amano (Persona 2)
Maya stands out for being the first female main protagonist in the Persona series, but she also left an impression for her optimism. In the world of Persona, not many people are chanting things like, "Let's think positive!" especially as things escalate to worse circumstances. It was this very attitude that turned her into a great leader to raise her team's spirits and get them through the darkest times. She's also just someone you want to be around, because she's always looking on the bright side, never bringing you down with negativity.

9. Nanako Dojima (Persona 4)
Not only is Nanako adorable, she's also one of the more appealing child characters in a video game. She's just a naïve child, but at the same time, has had to learn to take care of herself due to her father's demanding job and her mother's death. It's hard not to smile when she calls Yu Narukami "big bro." You can tell she's been lonely, but wouldn't dare be a bother to anyone. That's why it's so fun to see her just be a kid around the group and embrace hanging out with them. Whether she's singing the Junes' theme song or transforming into Magical Detective Loveline, Nanako steals the scene every time she appears.

8. Aigis (Persona 3)
As an android, Aigis is programmed to take orders, but what makes her so interesting is how she begins to develop emotions after bonding with the Persona 3 group. You watch her go from heartless to full of heart. And soon enough, you no longer have a humanoid in front of you, but an empathetic and gentle girl. Her devotion and bond with the main character only further showcase her ability to care and protect someone. Aigis, while a beast on the battlefield, is so much more than a weapon, and her transformation alone makes her a memorable character.

7. Elizabeth (Persona 3)
Igor, master of the otherworldy realm known as the Velvet Room, has had quite a few assistants over the years, but Elizabeth shines above the rest. As you shepherd her around the real world, she comments on the oddities of modern life (such as wishing fountains) with an enthusiastic naiveté, then reinforces just how alien they are to her by misunderstanding the meaning behind them (dumping thousands of yen into said wishing fountain, for example). Behind that ignorance is an unimaginable power, however, and in later games, a dedication to cracking the mysteries of the Persona universe.

6. Naoto Shirogane (Persona 4)
Naoto is far from a typical high school student; she comes from a lineage of famous detectives and continues the tradition. Since she's so young, she's had to constantly prove her maturity to gain respect, in addition to being insecure about her gender holding her back in her male-dominated field. To be accepted, Naoto wore men's clothing and deepened her voice, never correcting people who assumed she was a boy. However, during the course of Persona 4, Naoto realizes she needs to embrace her true identity and stop that behavior. She is who she is: a fantastic detective, regardless of gender.

[Click on the next page to see who else makes the cut....]

5. Makoto Nijima (Persona 5)
Makoto Nijima has a lot to of things on her mind. She's student council president, her sister's a successful prosecutor, and she has to deal with both while being a Phantom Thief. Despite this, she's able to both excel in school and help her friends avoid trouble – all without being a stick in the mud. She's prioritizes the greater good, but doesn't compromise on her convictions, which makes her Persona 5's best character. Punching bad guys with spiked knuckles and riding a Persona-cycle in the Metaverse help, too.

4. Kanji Tatsumi (Persona 4)
Kanji, with his leather jacket and reputation for fighting, definitely sports a tough guy façade, but things are not always as they seem. In addition to being skilled at sewing, Kanji loves adorable things, like in Persona Q when he encounters the cute pup Koromaru and squeals in delight. For some time, Kanji was ashamed to have any feminine interests, but he eventually comes to terms with who he is. More so, Kanji is just a fun guy; he's a little slow on the uptake, at times being the last to get the joke, but that's part of what makes him amusing. He may be able to take a punch and throw one, but deep down he's a big softie.

3. Mitsuru Kirijo (Persona 3)
Mitsuru has a lot on her plate and puts all her effort to every task she's handed. As student council president and the heir to the powerful Kirijo Group, she presents herself as an intelligent and confident leader who commands respect. But behind her strong demeanor is also a caring individual who is always looking out for everyone. Furthermore, if you finish her entire social link, you gain even more respect for her as she stands up for her family and takes control of her own destiny. C'est magnifique!

2. Junpei Iori (Persona 3)
Everyone knows someone like Junpei - someone who tries so hard to be liked that they overcompensate far too much. Deep down, though, Junpei is a goofball who will do anything in his power to make sure people around him are having a good time. He may seem self-centered, but he's got a good heart, as you see in his relationship with Chidori. His lighthearted attitude and ability to tell jokes make him an asset during the tough times. He's the guy who tries so hard to be the life of the party, but ends up embarrassing himself because he goes overboard, and that's why you can't help but love him.

1. Chie Satonaka (Persona 4)
If you're a fan of noodle bowls, action movies, and giving Yosuke a hard time, you're a fan of Chie. Chie remains one of the most likable characters to date. Whether she's talking about her passion for food or standing up for someone in need, she's a delight to be around. Part of this is because her upbeat personality, but she's also one of the most caring and loyal friends you could ask for. Chie is the type who prefers kung-fu fighting to makeup, which at times makes her insecure about her femininity. Seeing her finally accept herself as is and embrace her differences is a highlight of Persona 4.

For more on Persona, check out  our features: Perfecting Persona: How Atlus USA Bloomed and How To Create A Nearly Invincible Killing Machine In Persona 5.

Also, be sure to let us know your favorite characters in the comments below!