Koromaru is certainly not your average party member. In fact, he’s not even human. This addition to the group in Persona 3 is a hyper-intelligent canine, who even has the ability to summon the Persona Cerberus.
The pup has a rather tragic past though, as his master, who was a monk from Naganaki shrine, died in an accident six months before. Koromaru stoically protects the shrine until a Shadow wanders in one night and is killed by the dog. From then on, he joins SEES, and gets an evoker allowing him to summon his Persona at any time.
Koromaru is fiercely loyal to the group and protagonist, oftentimes comforting characters and protecting them. Cerberus gives him a big buff with fire abilities, and his speed can be a huge boon in battle.
9. Maya Amano
Maya is an especially interesting character seeing as she’s a party member in Persona 2: Innocent Sin before becoming the main character in Persona 2: Eternal Punishment. She’s also the very first female protagonist of the series.
Maya is an exceptionally cheerful and upbeat young woman, working as a journalist for the teen magazine Coolest. In Innocent Sin, she’s the rock of the party, keeping everyone on track even in the face of defeat, and oftentimes taking the lead. In the past, Maya was almost killed in a fire, although she was saved by her Persona awakening. However, she’s since developed an intense phobia of fire.
Her story takes a tragic turn by the end of Innocent Sin, before she assumes the role of a silent protagonist in Eternal Punishment. Although Maya doesn’t technically speak in the second game, she retains some of her cheerful elements, though you begin to see cracks in that development throughout the game.
8. Akihiko Sanada
Akihiko is the more hotheaded party member of the SEES group, but like all the others, he’s got a pretty tragic backstory and conflicting internal issues too. Akihiko is cool and aloof, almost acting as the big brother of the party in Persona 3.
Although Akihiko cares deeply about his friends, he’s a very blunt person, grounding the party and pointing out the hard facts that often need to be said. He’s one of the most skilled and important members of the SEES team, also looping the ex-SEES member Shinjiro back into events. Both Akihiko and Shinjiro endured much when they were children, as they were both orphans. Sadly, one night Akihiko also lost his sister, Miki, in a fire. This led him to devote his life to training his body in order to have the power to protect everyone important to him. His boxing style makes him a powerful offensive character in combat, and he’s even less reliant on his Persona than the other characters in Persona 3.
With his obsessive nature about training, sarcastic wit, and staunch determination, Akihiko remains one of the most intriguing characters from Persona 3.
7. Chie Satonaka
Chie is a bright and cheerful young girl, who also happens to be a humongous fan of both meat and martial arts. Her quirky, tomboyish personality really makes her stand out from the rest of the cast, and she’s always looking to crack a joke or two to keep things light.
Despite their enormous differences, Chie is best friends with Yukiko Amagi. When Chie has to confront her Shadow, her biggest insecurity, her femininity, and relationship with Yukiko are brought to the forefront. After years of friendship with the more romantically popular Yukiko, Chie developed an inferiority complex. Because of this, she grows jealous, and believes herself to be unattractive to men.
Across Persona 4, Chie grapples with these issues, and works to make her relationship with Yukiko and the rest of the party healthier. Her superior martial arts skills make her one of the most powerful party members in combat, with a range of devastating attacks. Even in the darkest most desperate of times, Chie’s personality shines through.
Baofu is just a minor character in Persona 2: Innocent Sin that appears in one of Tatsuya’s flashbacks, but he later becomes one of the main party members in Eternal Punishment. He’s really an extortionist and so-called Tap Buster, choosing to use a bit of an odd weapon. Baofu uses anything that he can flick at an enemy to fight with, whether it be a coin or chakram.
Baofu is ultimately cocksure of himself, and is consistently a bit of a smartass at every turn. He’s relentless in his goals, which are actually much more multilayered than what he lets on at first. His true identity is actually a Japanese prosecutor who’s been presumed dead for years. During Persona 2, Baofu learns to grow out of his grudges, although he still retains his whole smartass shtick even to the end.
A combat android developed by the Kirijo Group, Aigis is yet another unique party member in Persona 3. At the start of Persona 3, Aigis is basically the emotionless robot you’d expect her to be. Because of this, her social skills are nonexistent when she starts at Gekkoukan High. However, she’s inexorably drawn to the protagonist and begins to learn human emotion as she spends more time with the group. Additionally, she can understand Koromaru, often translating for the canine and the group.
Watching Aigis’ evolution is a fascinating endeavor, especially as she tragically grapples with the fact that she’s not human. She’s an important character to both the central story and the history of the protagonist, something you find out as you progress through Persona 3. She also takes the spotlight as the main character for the epilogue included with Persona 3 FES, The Answer.
Aigis robotic body comes packed with a ton of weapons and functionality, making her a valuable ally in battle. She’s a well-rounded character to bring with you, and has some of Persona 3’s best special abilities.
4. Junpei Iori
Junpei may seem like the most stable and outgoing member of SEES, but the truth is he’s one of the most conflicted. Junpei puts off a goofy carefree nature, something that belies the actual intelligence he has. He fancies himself a bit of a ladies’ man, and only performs badly in school because he’s unwilling to study.
Junpei oftentimes functions as the comic relief for the SEES team, and has the most selfish reason for joining the team, as all he wanted to do was play hero and gain fame. During Persona 3, however, you quickly find out his goofy facade merely hides the deep insecurities Junpei holds. He believes the only thing he’s ever been good at is fighting, and considers himself worthless besides that fact. He also has a poor relationship with his father due to alcoholism that deeply affects him.
In battle, Junpei functions as a melee character with his bat, who’s best served bringing the fight directly to enemies. Across Persona 3, Junpei goes through some of the most prolific growth of any of the characters. Seeing him grow and change is charming, especially as his romance with Chidori begins to develop.
3. Naoto Shirogane
Naoto is the last addition to the party of Persona 4, but she remains one of the most well-developed characters of the title. Naoto is a brilliant child detective who comes to Inaba in order to solve the cryptic murder case wracking the town. She has an androgynous appearance, which directly ties into the insecurities that Naoto has to deal with when confronting her shadow.
Naoto’s an interesting character in Persona 4, as she initially works in opposition of the Investigation Team, thinking they could even be responsible for the murders. Naoto’s insecurities revolve around both her age and gender. After both of her parents died in a car crash when she was a child, she inherited the the mantle of her father’s detective legacy. Naoto wants desperately to be seen as an adult, and the sexism she faced in her line of work made her self-conscious of her gender. Because of this, she kind of adopted a male facade, something she grapples with in the game.
The dynamic she creates with the team is interesting, as she provides a much more analytical approach to the murder investigation.
2. Mitsuru Kirijo
Mitsuru is the Student Council President of Gekkokan High School, and the de facto leader of the SEES team. She’s the only child of Takeharu Kirijo, the founder of the Kirijo Group responsible for combating shadows and the Midnight Hour.
Mitsuru is calm, collected, and professional, referring to the rest of the team formally by their last names. She single-handedly recruited most of the team, and deeply cares for each and every one. Despite her caring nature and leadership skills, Mitsuru is actually quite awkward in most social situations. Much of this stems from the fact that she’s spent almost her entire life battling shadows, instead of growing up like a normal child, along with the antisocial tendencies of her father.
She grapples with the responsibility resting on her shoulders, and consistently doubts her abilities. Despite all this, she tries to keep the team running and live up to the monumental task assigned to everyone.
1. Kanji Tatsumi
Kanji is an absolutely fascinating, multilayered character and one of the most well-rounded party members of Persona 4. He puts up a rough and tough facade, intimidating anyone that might even try to mess with him. However, underneath that hardened exterior lies a completely different person.
The Investigation Team takes a while to warm up to Kanji, as he seems pretty terrifying at first. Once he joins the group, however, he begins to open up even more. Kanji’s insecurities lie in his hobbies and interests, which could be seen as unmanly, with his sexuality also being brought into question. These are the major issues that Kanji deals with throughout the game, and there’s a reason why he puts up such a mask. When his father died, he told Kanji a man needs to be strong, which Kanji took to meant that he wasn’t manly enough.
For the rest of his life, he began pushing people away, and hiding any of his interests that could be construed as “feminine.” Of course, Kanji is ridiculously powerful, and his Persona’s affinity for lightning can be a great help. He goes through some serious growth through Persona 4, and is possibly the greatest example of how the series can create engaging and lovable characters.