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….]