The Persona series canon names aren’t established during most of the games themselves, as the player is given the option to pick a name from scratch. In the old days of RPGs, a default selection would be pre-entered with players manually deleting it to reinsert their own choice. Persona offers no such option, leaving fans wondering about the Persona canon names. Luckily enough, the multitude of spin-offs and adaptations have eventually provided the answers.
Here are the canon names for all Persona protagonists.
Persona 5 / Persona 5 Royal protagonist name
Joker’s canon name is Ren Amamiya.
This one is slightly controversial, as this initially appeared to be Akira Kurusu based on a Persona 5 manga released shortly after Persona 5’s Japanese release in 2016. Therefore lots of fans ran with the name Akira during their Persona 5 playthroughs.
However, every subsequent appearance has seen Joker’s name either changed to Ren Amamiya or left out altogether, and the canon name of Ren Amamiya is now accepted. This includes various other Manga books, Persona 5 The Animation and some comic adaptations.
Joker has also appeared in numerous other games, including spin-off titles Persona Q2, Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight, Persona 5 Strikers and of course Super Smash Bros Ultimate as a DLC character. Again, he is either specifically named Ren Amamiya or referred to as Joker.
- RELATED: Persona 5 Royal Review
Persona 4 / Persona 4 Golden protagonist name
The Persona 4 protagonist is named Yu Narukami.
Like Joker, this is another name that switched around a few times in Persona 4’s early days. A Persona 4 manga adaption from 2008 named him Souji Seta, and there’s even a stage adaptation where he takes the name Hayato Asakawa. The canon name Yu Narukami was used in Persona 4 Arena and has been established ever since, with his multiple appearances across various mediums.
Persona 4 has a formidable list of spin-offs which star Yu and the rest of the Investigation Team. These include Persona Q, Persona 4 Arena, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax and Persona 4: Dancing All Night. Yu even appears as an optional DLC enemy in Persona 5 Royal, who can be battled in the Velvet Room once unlocked. In many of these, Yu is named and has a fully-formed personality that doesn’t depend on player dialogue choices.
There is also a well-received Persona 4 Animation featuring Yu as the lead, and whilst he has limited dialogue here, it expands on his character a little more.
Persona 3 / Persona 3 FES / Persona 3 Portable protagonist names
The protagonist for Persona 3 and Persona 3 FES is Makoto Yuki.
Once again the initial Persona 3 manga adaptation had a different name, which was Minato Arisato, but subsequent appearances have confirmed Makoto Yuki as the canon name.
This includes a series of Persona 3 anime movies, along with multiple gaming appearances. Persona 3 doesn’t have quite as many spin-offs as the more recent Persona games, but there are still a handful of occasions where Makoto shows up. He is a main character using his canon name in Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight, and he could be selected as the main character in the original Persona Q.
Like Persona 4’s protagonist, Makoto can be battled in the Velvet Room in Persona 5 Royal as part of a DLC battle pack. Personally, I’m still holding out hope for some sort of Persona 3 remaster or remake where we’ll get to experience Makoto’s story once again.
Persona 3 Portable – Female protagonist name
Persona 3 Portable added the neat option of a second protagonist choice, which changed up various aspects of the story along with the social links.
This one is a bit more debatable. The Persona 3 Portable female protagonist appears to have the canon name Kotone Shiomi, which is derived from a Persona 3 stage adaptation.
The only other time she has been named specifically was as Minako Arisato in a comic anthology. The name Kotone Shiomi is far more recent, and the general pattern above is that the earlier name tends to be changed, which is why this is my pick.
She doesn’t have as many other appearances as the other main characters, but Kotone is a playable character in Persona Q2. There have been a few other names banded about such as Hamuko, but these seem to only be fan ideas. With only limited official use of her name so far, perhaps we’ll get a more solid confirmation in future.
Persona 2: Innocent Sin / Persona 2: Eternal Punishment protagonist names
In the earlier Persona titles, the main characters were named in the traditional fashion – they were given default names that could be deleted and changed by the player.
There are two main characters in Persona 2, with each one taking the lead in distinct instalments of the story.
The main character in Persona 2: Innocent Sin is the male protagonist Tatsuya Suou.
The main character in Persona 2: Eternal Punishment is the female protagonist Maya Amano.
Persona wasn’t such a big deal these days, so these characters have not been granted much inclusion elsewhere. It’s only a small handful of references along with a novel appearance.
Persona 1 / Revelations: Persona protagonist name
Last but not least, the protagonist for the original Persona, released all the way back in 1996 is another silent, unnamed character.
His canon name is not as easy to distinguish, and he is referenced as “The pierced boy” in the Japanese version of Persona or the “Boy with earring” during a cameo in Persona 2.
In the English version of the game, he doesn’t actually have any piercings, which rather undermines these titles. This one isn’t as settled, and he has been named Naoya Toudou, Yuuya Narumi and Jihei Suzakuin in various manga and novel adaptations.
Do the Persona games have canon romance?
Speaking of canon, debates about the best waifus have raged since release of the most recent games in the series. I’ve seen some suggest that the Lovers Arcana represents the canon romance, and others read into the specific plots of the games to determine the most appropriate love interest for each protagonist.
However, the reality is there is no canon romance option in the Persona games. Each one has a wealth of suitors, allowing players to opt for their favourite – or simply go down the harem route of picking everyone! That’s what I did in Persona 5 Royal anyway…
For some more games that provide romance and relationship options, check out our list of titles I the article below.