Current Characters: Eikichi Mishina (Persona 2: Innocent SIn)
Character: Yu Narukami
Canon: Persona 4: The Golden
Canon Point: Post events from Dancing All Night, but before the game's 'New Epilogue' where characters are aged a little older. (so basically after all the spin-offs)
[Megaten Wiki Link]
He come to town.
COME TO SAVE...the princess Mar--okay no, if you need me to write it all out, I'll be happy to do so.
To be the leader of a bunch of wild cats, one must be a purrfect good herder indeed, even if the process of becoming one did not happen in a single night.
His name is Yu Narukami, and as one of the leaders of the Investigation Team (as he considers Yosuke his equal in that regard), he has all the qualities of a good protagonist. Somewhat silent and polite, Yu has a warm heart and he cares deeply for those close to him, and tends to radiate that warmth to those around him, whether they want to or not. Refusing to turn his eyes away even against a goddess and the will of humankind, he chose to carve out his own way with his friends. There are many reasons Izanami said he represented Hope; and if you happen to become close to him or spend a few days alongside the silver-haired youth, it's not hard to see why.
In a series heavily bent on rumors, masks and the hidden layers of personalities worn each day, first impressions are not really kind to him, and Yu wears his facets just like members of his own team. The events at Inaba have worn away on it, but pieces of that old stoic personality still remain. What truly resides inside him is not completely noticeable at first. When things gets serious, he reverts to that quiet, almost emotionless boy. It's not that Yu does this on purpose; rather before meeting the Investigation Team, he never connected with others so deeply. He was lonely, yet unable or willing to make friends: he traveled a lot, so making connections almost seemed like a waste of time. It did make him sad and, admittedly, a little bitter.
Keyword here is was. To borrow the quote from the Wiki and what he says in Persona Q:
"My friends faced their own Shadows and came out stronger for it, but I never met mine. To make up for it, though, I've had my friends to help me mature. It's my companions that I draw strength from in all of this."
All that changed when he met his friends that would later become the Investigation Team group. What began as a simple outreach to help someone turned into wanting to aid those around him in Inaba, to the point where he found himself becoming fast friends with a group of people and together, they changed each others' lives, including his own. Through helping others, Yu found more pieces of himself and began to understand the world around him. In Dojima and Nanako, Yu found an extended family, considering Nanako more like a sister than his cousin. Having no siblings of his own and being far away from his parents, Yu thinks them as important as his own father and mother, near and dear to his heart. The extent those bonds have on his soul and well-being are immeasurable.
Because of this, connections have become extremely important to him (SOCIAL LINKS SOCIAL LINKS SOCIAL LINKS BONDS BONDS BONDS), and understanding how attached to those bonds and how much he cherishes them brings a clearer picture of his actions. In Arena, Elizabeth tries to fight him to understand that power, only to have him continue to rise up to prove to her how powerful that strength is. She described it as "a giant rising behind him" and it overwhelmed her (Elizabeth recalls no other time in her memory where this has happened and she felt almost afraid).
He'll joke at his friends' expenses and tends to mess with them (Yosuke being the butt of his jokes rather often), but don't do the same or threaten them, he'll be quick to come to their aid. There's a darkness to him in that manner; he's EXTREMELY protective of them. There is no doubt that Yu would sacrifice his life over and over (and over and over) to endure countless pain if it meant one of his friends wouldn't have to. And, in return, he also trusts them with his own life and knows that they'll never let him down.
Even if he's become more open to speaking to even strangers, most of the time you'll find that Yu listens and is willing to open up to even the strangest of situations and people. Sometimes he spaces out, and it might be brushed off as part of his 'cool, silent guy' stereotype, but the truth is he actually has a multitude of theories and ideas running in his head. This is even more apparent during Arena and Ultimax when we finally get to see his inner thoughts. It's not that his perfectly blank expression is meant to be insulting; rather it is just a habit he never really shook off. He doesn't even always realize he's doing it. When he finally does speak, it's...well, honestly Yu can be sarcastic and has a sometimes bizarre sense of humor which does throw people off during first meetings (this is a guy when told that he might get rain on him from holding the umbrella wrong, will reply "I'm sexier when soaked"). Did I mention he will eat random things he finds in the fridge?
When he does speak regarding important and pressing matters, his investigative mind can be as keen as his detective friend Naoto and Yosuke's. While most of his team were confused during the Arena Tournament, he quickly deduced that the Teddie and Rise couldn't be the real ones, and that the friends he were fighting were not quite themselves. He's wise beyond his years, and quick with comebacks. Yu will be threatening when he wants to be, willing to risk his own life to save one of his friends. But, once again, he may not always say what you think he'll say, and after a serious discussion, he might crack a joke to aid the mood. In a way, it's how he copes.
He can also be needlessly dramatic. Remember all those scenarios going on in his head? Well in Inaba be became the jack-of-all trades, talking with strangers, feeding cats, earning money at the hospital and as a part-time teacher, someone getting near perfect grades and sleeping enough time to make it to school every day and stay awake. So when something fails, or an issue presents itself that undoes his plans he will panic...inwardly. Outside, he is cool as a cucumber, but truthfully he's panicking and screaming. Which is why one day you might see him on the side of the street, out of energy, his face filled with bitter defeat. He doesn't take defeat well, to put it lightly.
If there's another strong quality about him, it is that Yu is brave. He has an Iron Will and is not afraid of a challenge, attacking shadows, or putting his own popularity at risk. This isn't to say he's confident to the point of having an inflated ego, but rather a desire to aid others to be successful too. When there's a group cafe, he'll sit on the girl's side because they are missing someone, when the Pageant happens, he doesn't mind putting on a good show decked in a girl's makeups and outfit (let's do our best!), then admitting on stage he did it because a he was asked to. Granted in Persona Q he remakes that he secretly thinks he has a natural talent for it. Once a challenge is presented to him, it's hard for Yu to back down. Partly because he doesn't seem to care much for social stigmas, especially those present in Japan, partly because...well, he'll do it because he can. As Yu has traveled to many places and never really stayed somewhere for long, he doesn't care what the public thinks of him as much as how his friends do.
On the other hand, it's also very bad when that bravery leads him to make questionable decisions. An entire group of people inside the store when you want to show to your new friends that you have strange powers involving TVs? No, don't just place one arm in there, it's even better to stick your entire head! Girls freaking out and throwing buckets because you aren't suppose to be there? HOLD THE LINE, MEN! Sometimes tact isn't his strongest suit, but with Yu, you know that his heart is in the right place.
He really likes cats. Dogs too, but there's a reason why there is a lot of artwork with Yu and cats. He will collect them and suddenly the Dojima household has nine of them outside.
The Investigation Team literally mean the world to him. Without his friends, he admits, he'd question his resolution. They are literally what makes him move forward. Despite his shortcomings, attacks at his own personal insecurities and expense tend to fall to deaf ears. You want to anger him? The quicker solution is to insult or harm his friends instead. And WOE UPON YOU if you harm Nanako, as he will probably cut you up in pieces. That's his berserk button, right there. With Yosuke, Yu's strongest friendship is forged. As much as he loves his entire team, there is no doubt that Yosuke is his best friend. They have an extremely strong understand of each other, despite the fact that they butt heads when it comes to insults and being caught in situations. Yu values Yosuke's opinion and they have a synergy between themselves that Yu doesn't quite have with anyone else. When he has an idea in mind, Yosuke is very quick in understanding what he wants to do and vice versa. Together, they lead the Investigation Team with deadly efficiency.
With Chie, he admires her strength and resolution. Yu understands when she needs to do her thing and lets her take over when she challenges the bullies. He encourages her desire to protect others. And let's be honest, she can throw a mean kick at Yosuke. With Yukiko, Yu learns the value of family and how you can be self-sufficient while being part of a greater group. He admires her for her will and the tenacity. He does not admire her for her cooking. With Kanji, Yu appreciates his sewing and craft skills, and does not judge him on his choices. Yu helps Kanji through the hardships he had with his family, especially the ones regarding what Kanji's father said to him. He strongly believes that Kanji is actually quite bright, but keeps putting barriers against himself because of what society expects of him and what he feels he should be doing. And it's a shame really, because seeing him sew and calculate things, Yu knows he could do better in school.
With Rise, Yu learned about overcoming what you may desire vs what society wants you to be. He doesn't put her on a pedestal because she's an idol, but treats her as someone equal to them. As a valued friend. To Rise, Yu offers a friendship without judgement, unmarred by stardom. With Teddie, Yu learns to appreciate life in general and to see past what you are. Yu doesn't treat him differently because he's a shadow, he treats him as a friend no matter what he looks like. Teddie could have been the Loch Ness monster, and Yu would have still called him a friend. With Naoto, Yu sees a resolution to follow in the footsteps left by a family's legacy, and to overcome a burden that society attempts to impose on her. Naoto's courage after facing her shadow becomes something he admires greatly . To say that Yu trusts Naoto's intuition is a great understatement. In Marie, he learned the importance of all life, and was glad to help her regain her memories of who she was. They are the force that drive him forward. His friends, his family, his connections in Inaba. Labrys, the Shadow Weapon he met during the two tournaments may be a new friend, but you can see how quickly Yu can build trust and how fast he is willing to spring to someone's aid, be they human or not. They may form his Achilles heel on how to control him, but he knows none of them wouldn't go down fighting together. So...he's not afraid.
But there is a reason that his title during the Arena tournament is "The Sister Complex Kingpin of Steel". To say that he's protective and close to Nanako is pretty much an understatement in itself. Yu practiced a magic trick each day just so that he could show it to Nanako, and risked life and limb to rescue her from the shadow world and Namatame. He isn't like a brother, he is an older brother with her. During the tournament, he is nearly tricked a few times that she is there, and it's the times when he lets his guard down. During Yosuke's own mission, when he had to fight Yu, all he could hear, was Yu being increasingly aggressive, to him, demanding what he had done to Nanako and what time and place had he met her (these all turned out to be illusions, thankfully).
It wouldn't be right to end this without talking about Adachi, the antagonist to Yu, right down to the facets of the Persona they are both using. Adachi could have been like Yu, but chose a different path, and a bitter one, embracing the shadows because he hated the world. Yet in the end, despite all that he did and the pain he caused in Inaba, Yu chooses not to end his life, but have him face justice. Yu forgave him, not out of pity, but understanding. In Adachi, he can see what could have been.
And this, out of everything else, keeps him grounded.
As with other characters from the Persona universe and the series' namesake, Yu has the ability to summon parts of him made flesh to combat the hardships of life. But Yu's is a little more unique than that:
Wild Card Persona Ability
The Wild Card Ability represents the number zero. It is infinite possibilities and lets Yu use any Persona he can craft in the velvet room compared to his friends who are limited to just their own. If a Wild Card user meets another, it also grants the ability for non-wildcard users to be able to switch to an additional Persona as well (this was shown in Persona Q)
Personas grant him a number of skills in both magical and physical sense (although the Personas are doing the actions, not Yu himself). He can cast various fire, ice, lightning and wind spells with some, create barriers that protect against physical or magical attacks, heal wounds (although this skill is considerably weaker when used on non persona users), charm monsters, or even cause mini-nuclear blowouts with his more powerful ones. It's a varied set and a lot of the skills can be found in this list although this should be just a general guide, since the skill list does not mention which Personas cast what, and also includes passive (skills that allow them to resist attacks from a certain type) and support skills (which only Rise can use).
Using a persona is a great strain on the body. Abilities require a certain amount of energy, therefore using the much more powerful skills and Personas in his arsenal will require a longer time of recovery and leave him weak after casting.
All of the Personas are based on the basic default skills apart from Izanagi which is mostly inspired by his skill usage in Arena/Ultimax,
Weak: Wind (Turned Resist) Str: Lightning Nul: Light
Power Charge / Elec Amp / Mazio / Thunder Reign / Resist Wind / God Hand / Heat Riser
>> As with the Fighting Games, Yu can also briefly turn Izanagi into Izanagi-no-Okami as seen in this video.
LOKI (IT Team Basic Social Link)
Weak: Fire (Turned Null) Block: Darkness Absorbs: Ice
Bufudyne / Mabufudyne / Rakukaja / Sharp Student / Ice Amp / High Counter / Null Fire / Niflheim
LUCIFER (Seekers of Truth - IT Team Social Link)
Resists: Physical Block: Dark Weak Light (Repels with skill) Absorb: Electric (with skill)
Bufudyne / Brave Blade / Mind Charge / Ice Amp / Spell Master / Repel Light / Absorb Elec / Victory Cry
SRAOSHA (Nanako Dojima Social Link)
Weak: Dark Reflects: Light Absorbs: Electric
Mahamaon / Brave Blade / Power Charge / Ziodyne / Hama Boost / Megidolaon / Angelic Grace / Repel Physical
KOHRYU (Ryotaro Dojima Social Link)
Repel: Lightning Null: Light
Ziodyne / Mediarahan / Samarecarm / Maziodyne / Mind Charge / Elec Amp / Spell Master / Salvation
He is above average build and strength, enhanced thanks to his Persona skills. (Also he looks good without a shirt). As a fighter, he's able to move quickly, but packs a powerful punch. He's quick to summon Izanagi in rabid succession as seen here.
1H SWORD WEAPON USAGE
He has the knowledge and skill to wield a katana sword and other similar one hand-sword models. Also golf clubs.
He can dance pretty well ever since the events in Dancing All Night. Yu's got the rhythm. Here's a video.
MUSICAL PERSONA / GUITAR PLAYING
This is 100% canon. Yu can summon Izanagi-no-Okami in dual bass/guitar mode.
Alignment: Peromei. Yu is kinda like liquid Hope in male form.
- He thinks he has a talent for crossdressing. (said talent may be up for debate)
- He will friendship the shit out of people if they let him
- He can be a friend to all the animals (especially cats) like no one's business.
- Has all his social links maxed
- Yu has all the items from his max social Links in his pockets, his sword (Blade of Totsuka), his Velvet Key, his Scooter License, the Orb of Sight, a pair of glasses (with a giant nose and mustache), and the clothing on his back.
Test Drive meme
Being friends with the Aspect of Death
Cats aka the best thread ever.
Let me know if you need more!
Questions: Actually yes! In Persona Q, everyone lost the memories of their time due to the time spent in Persona Q world was 'the impossible becoming possible'. Do you think that Empatheias 'time' fits this meaning as well, and that Yu (and the others in the game like Fuuka and Shinjiro) might be able to get snippets of his memories from that time the more they interact with each other via the tree of memories?