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The Persona series is filled with exciting spin-off titles with fascinating characters, such as the star of this Labrys Persona guide. Understandably, Persona fans would stick to primarily the main games in the series, and that is it. But doing so misses out on so many great titles that I think are worth checking out.
Some of them not only rival some of the main series titles, but others offer unique experiences not found anywhere else. I think it is a true disservice to the series if a player does not check out some of the spin-off games, in addition to the mainline titles. If you do so, you will find out about the characters Labrys. She is exclusive to the Persona 4 Arena fighting game, which is essentially a canonical sequel to Persona 4 and even Persona 3.
Labrys is one of the best main characters to appear in a non-mainline game in the Persona series. I find that her story is terrific and the best part about Persona 4 Arena. The writing is tremendous, allowing her to outshine even some of the best party members in the main games. Here’s everything you need to know about why I adore her.
Bottom Line Up Front
Labrys is the main character introduced in Persona 4 Arena. She is exclusive to that spin-off fighting game from Atlus. In it, she is the force behind the tournament in the TV World. She inadvertently brings together the casts of Persona 3 and 4 for a memorable adventure.
The character is a robot sister of Aigis, but with a dark and horrifying storyline that is unforgettable. At the same time, she is also a Persona user, much like her younger sister.
I also think that Labrys is absolutely the best character introduced in a Persona spin-off game, mainly due to her storyline, writing, and relation to others in the cast.
Labrys Overview and Description
Labrys is part of the fifth generation of Anti-Shadow Suppression Weapons. Despite coming out in a Persona 4-themed game, it seems that the evil influence of the Kirijo Group from 3 is far-reaching. They had their hands in many nefarious deeds, and poor Labrys is one by-product of this.
This makes her a robot, much like Aigis. She is designed to be a sentient robot that takes on shadows in the Dark Hour.
She is one of the most successful members of her generation, becoming a valuable asset in the fight against Tartarus and the shadows.
Though she does not appear in Persona 3, her role comes later in Persona 4 Arena. She is the main star of that spin-off fighting game, being the center of the entire plot.
Everyone converges in the TV World because she allows her to reunite members from Persona 4 and even its predecessor, 3.
She has a strong personality, with a passionate mindset that pushes her forward no matter what. I would even go so far as to say that she is far more emotional and human-like than her younger sister, Aigis, at times.
Labrys is easily the best spin-off character in the Persona series. I might make some people mad with this one, but I would even argue that she is far more interesting than Aigis ever was to me. (Not that she is any bad, though).
In my opinion, she deserves far more attention and love in the Persona community. Her storyline is one of the best in the entire series, and her character is intriguing and mysterious. Even non-fighting game fans like myself should not stray away from checking Labrys out in Persona 4 Arena and its sequel, Ultimax.
Labrys has a clear robot design that I think is even more prototype-like than her sister, Aigis. She has a gorgeous light-blue hair color that flows in a long ponytail in her natural form. It is tied up by a strange metal helmet that she wears on her head.
It kind of reminds me of a take on a helmet that a knight might wear in medieval times, in a way. She has bright crimson eyes that are menacing and also sad at times.
She wears a school uniform in Persona 4 Arena that is seemingly modeled after that of the one that the main characters in Inaba wear.
It has a yellow ribbon and a checkered black and white skirt on the bottom. Beyond these unique aspects, everything else screams that she is a mechanical being that is not fully human.
Her arms and legs are straight-up robotic pieces that continue the knight feel to them. Her legs are white, but her arms have tinges of red throughout them.
She wields a massive double-bladed ax in battle, known as a labrys. This is also likely the inspiration behind her name.
There is a Shadow Labrys variant that is virtually the same as the original but with terrifying yellow eyes that denote this version’s less than human (err, robot?) nature.
The critical moments for Labrys are strictly confined to the events of Persona 4 Arena and Ultimax. She has few appearances outside of those games, and none of them is too noteworthy plot-wise.
Of course, she more than makes up for that by being the star of Persona 4 Arena and a significant character in Ultimax.
As such, you can fully expect significant spoilers for both games ahead. Before reading this next section, I highly recommend checking out the story modes for both of these fighting games, especially since they are on modern consoles now. Her story is just too good to spoil before experiencing it for yourself.
Greatest of Her Kind
Part of the spoilers come from the fact that I will note her key moments in chronological order, which does not happen like this in Persona 4 Arena. Her backstory is told later on in the game.
Her tale begins with her creation in 1999 as the 31st unit of the fifth generation of Anti-Shadow Suppression Weapons.
The goal for her given by her creators is to develop a personality, awaken her Persona, and defeat shadows. To do this, she is forced to engage in combat drills with her sisters as training. After her training sessions, she is allowed some free time to herself.
In the midst of this, she encounters unit 24 outside. Her older sister and the more experienced of the two, 24, teaches 31 (Labrys) a lot about life. Together, they take care of a dog named Snowy that they find in the forest around the facility.
Over time, Labrys develops her personality due to her interactions with 24. In the end, her training turns deadly as Labrys is the most successful of her siblings. Over time, instead of training, she is forced to kill her sisters to get closer to awakening her Persona, or inner self.
Last One Standing
Labrys is tormented by the fact that she has to kill her sisters and shares this concern with 24. Eventually, everyone is defeated by Labrys until the only one left is 24. Though she does not want to kill her sister, she is forced to by her creators.
In retaliation for putting her through that hell, she tries to escape the facility and nearly succeeds before giving up. In the process of doing this, she remembers the young girl in the hospital who was her inspiration behind her.
As punishment for trying to escape, her memories are wiped, and she is deactivated as the team of Kirijo Group scientists work on later versions.
Entering the TV World
In the present day, in Persona 4 Arena, the Kirijo Group, now under the hands of Mitsuru Kirijo, discovers Labrys. In the process of transporting her, she is stolen, activated, and sent into the TV World. It is here that Shadow Labrys and the world play tricks on her mind.
She takes the memories of the bedridden young girl and creates a fictional Yasogami High School from Persona 4, where Labrys is the student council president and an ordinary girl.
In reality, a villain is making a Grand Prix tournament to have the casts of Persona 3 and 4 fight one another.
She eventually remembers the truth about her life and can fight against the shadow version of herself.
She succeeds and reawakens her Persona as the story of Persona 4 Arena and the Grand Prix comes to an end. However, this is not the end of her tale.
She joins the Shadow Operatives alongside her sister, Aigis, and works to find the true villain behind everything.
After Aigis is captured in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, Labrys works alongside the others from the Persona 3 and 4 cast members to save her.
In the process, she learns the truth about the villain, Sho Minazuki, and stops him from completing his evil mission.
Her tale differs ever so slightly depending on the perspectives that you play from in the fighting game sequel. At the conclusion of Ultimax, she finds the bedridden girl’s grave and calls her mom, seemingly concluding her story for now.
Labrys is rather similar to her younger sister, Aigis, in her unique abilities. She is an exceptional fighter that was trained from the moment that she was created to defeat the shadows. These allow her to have better physical capabilities than an average human.
At the same time, she is a Persona user and a powerful one at that. Here’s what you need to know about Labrys’ special powers.
Robotic Enhanced Abilities
Labrys is the fifth generation Anti-Shadow Suppression Weapon. This means that she is an artificially-created being that is both intelligent and overwhelmingly powerful. As a metallic being with a fake heart, she can perform tasks that the average human would struggle with.
She shows immense strength beyond that of an average human and the ability to wield various weapons. Oddly enough, she does not seem to have an affinity for guns like Aigis, and some of the other robots from the Kirijo Group do.
This is why she wields the double-bladed ax in battles from which she gets her namesake. However, this does not stop the fact that she is insanely agile and brutal in combat.
There is a reason that she is better than all of her counterparts from her generation, able to defeat them with ease.
We can even see, before her Persona awakening, that she can take on several members of her robotic family at the same time without breaking an oil sweat.
This gives off the idea that she is not only stronger than humans but that she is somehow even more potent than her fellow robot sisters.
In comparison to Aigis herself, I would say that she is roughly equal to her in terms of natural power.
I think that Aigis has the natural edge when it comes to an overall head-to-head fight due to her more freeform Persona summoning nature, but they are relatively close otherwise.
Of course, the entire goal of Labrys’ creation is to make an artificial Persona user. This was ultimately successful with her being able to use her Persona in battle.
However, this took quite a long time to happen, and the results were a little bit messy at best.
Her awakening to her Persona happened after many trials of fighting against her sisters in battle.
She did not even truly awaken to her Persona until the events of Persona 4 Arena. It is here that she can wield her Persona known as Ariadne.
With her Persona, she has access to many of the abilities and skills that the other main characters from Persona 3 and 4 can use.
I will admit that there are some unknowns regarding the skills that she has affinities for, especially since the bulk of her Persona use comes from the fighting game.
Since there is little room for experimentation when it comes to the turn-based battles in the rest of the series and customization, we know little about her overall abilities.
What we do know, though, is that she likely has an immense amount of potential within her.
It is presumed that she is very much like Aigis in that she likely has a natural affinity for using her Persona in battle.
I would also not be surprised if she has a natural focus on melee and physical skills like her, too. Given her weapon of choice, this would make some sense as well.
Overall, though, her skills as a Persona user are hard to judge, especially since she is relatively new to it.
How to Play as Labrys in Persona 4 Arena
Labrys is playable in a couple of different games. She is a member of the Persona 3 Dancing in Moonlight and Persona 5 Dancing in Starlight rhythm-based games. However, her playstyle in those games is pretty much the same as everyone else, with nothing super special to say there.
However, it is in Persona 4 Arena, Ultimax, and even BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle where her uniqueness shines on the battlefield. Labrys is a playable 2D fighter in those games.
I find her to be one of the easier fighters to use in those games as it is simple enough to learn how to battle as her.
She is a decent enough fighter for beginners or inexperienced players like myself in the genre. She is not the best starter fighter, but she comes close enough with a generally straightforward moveset.
The most crucial part that players should know about Labrys is that she is a melee fighter above all else.
Her Persona plays a relatively minor role in her playstyle, making her one of the more traditional fighters around. Everything that she does centers around the ax that she carries. There is even a bar that is dedicated solely to the ax weapon that she has.
It has five levels to it (each with a different color), and they increase the more you use ax-based abilities, which are anything other than Persona skills.
This even includes when you are blocking with the ax, too. If you get hit by the enemy or go too long without using an ax hit, the level will slowly go down.
The higher the level, the more damage you will do. In addition, the highest, noted by its red color, offers some extra benefits that are worthwhile. She does have Persona abilities that are decent for range attacks and subduing the opponent.
However, I think that Labrys has enough reach on her own, making her standard ax moves the go-to most of the time. This is a huge reason why she is easy to learn, in my opinion.
On the other hand, Shadow Labrys is virtually a different fighter. She swaps the moveset for a heavier focus on the Persona, almost requiring it most of the time.
This makes her extremely useful on the battlefield but also takes away the easy barrier to entry for players. She is much harder to master but well worth it for the players who do.
Labrys has connections with everyone that appears in Persona 4 Arena and Ultimax. That said, a few relationships are much stronger than the others and worth mentioning. First up, there is the most important connection to her in Arena, and that is with her sister, Aigis.
They are both robots that were created by the infamous Kirijo Group to take down the shadows in the Dark Hour. They have this immediate connection with one another because of this.
However, there is more to it than just that. There is the fact that Labrys is an older sister for Aigis, which might be familiar to some Persona 3 fans.
Labrys is far from the first in this position, with Metis notably doing that in The Answer part of Persona 3 FES. In this way, Labrys represents another chance for Aigis to find some of her family.
This is entirely the basis for why Aigis has been involved in Persona 4 Arena in the first place, which, in turn, affects the other members of her game.
From there, Labrys also sparks a friendship with some of the Persona 4 characters.
Most notably of these is Yu Narukami, the main character of that JRPG. She tries to be friends with Yu and his classmates, acting as the student council president for their high school.
Over time, she grows as part of Yu and the others’ core group and is considered one of their own. She also befriends characters like Teddie and Rise in the process of the Grand Prix tournament.
There is also the main villain of Ultimax, Sho Minazuki, who represents a mortal enemy for Labrys. They have a rocky relationship as Minazuki is the one behind much of what is happening to her.
Finally, there are the relationships that she has with the people in her past. The most notable two include the girl in the hospital. Labrys’ memories and very existence come from this girl, along with her distinct way of speaking.
Of course, there is also her older sister, 24. The 24th unit of the fifth generation, this girl who looks similar to Labrys is like her sister. They spend a lot of time together, and it is because of 24 that she gains her humanity in a way. She also represents one of the best parts of her storyline.
Labrys’ voice in the Japanese version of Persona 4 Arena is Ayana Taketatsu. What is notable about Taketatsu’s performance is that she captured the unique style of Labrys with her strong Kansai dialect.
This gives her personality compared to the more tame and standard Kanto-style accent that is used in most Japanese media.
You may know Taketatsu from several anime and video game roles in the past. Some of the ones that I know from my personal experience include Leafa in Sword Art Online, Nino in The Quintessential Quintuplets, and Fredrica in Bofuri.
The one role I want to hone in on is Shirley in The Legend of Heroes games. A minor villain role but a memorable one. She steals the show in every scene she’s in.
The Kansai dialect is traded for a Brooklyn accent on the English side. She has lots of anime and game roles, but some that are memorable to me include Queen Beryl in Sailor Moon Crystal, the Chimera Ant Queen in Hunter x Hunter, and Amy in various Sonic video games.
Fun Facts About Labyrs
Here are some fun facts about Labrys that you may not have known about before:
- Let’s start with the most obvious fact that I already mentioned in this guide once before. Labrys has her name derived from the similarly titled double-sided ax that she also wields in battles.
- As mentioned in the voice actor section, Labrys has a unique accent. A Kanto (including Tokyo and other parts) accent is standard in most Japanese media. But Labrys has a distinct and heavy Kansai region accent (area including Osaka) in the Japanese dub.
- On the English side, they couldn’t exactly replicate that sort of situation, so they went for a thick Brooklyn-style accent that proved quite controversial and even parody-like for some fans.
- What is interesting is that her sisters do not speak like her. Slight spoilers here for Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, but her Kansai/Brooklyn accent comes from the bedridden girl who was the basis for Labrys and her siblings.
Canon Status Explained
One of the more confusing parts about Labrys is whether or not she is canonically part of the Persona franchise. The hard part about the Persona spin-off games is that they are not always considered part of the core story running through each mainline title.
I find this quite annoying since some of the best moments in the entire series are potentially non-canonical. Think things like potentially everything new in Persona 5 Royal and the female protagonist option in Persona 3 Portable.
However, all signs point, thankfully, to Labrys being one of the few exceptions. Persona 4 Arena and Ultimax are considered true, canonical sequels to Persona 3 and 4.
They do not do the stupid memory wipe at the end of them like was done in the Persona Q games.
The Persona 4 Arena games explain what happened to all of the main characters following the events of their respective titles. As such, I take this to mean that Labrys is a canon character with a valuable part of the Persona storyline.
She is integral to characters like Aigis, Yu Narukami, fellow new character Sho Minazuki, and many more. There is more evidence beyond just my personal beliefs on the matter, though.
For one, she and fellow Arena characters Sho Minazuki are among the only spin-off characters to appear outside their games.
She is featured in both Persona 3 and 5 dancing spin-off titles. She also has the honor of appearing as a DLC character in BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle as a fighting character. This focus on her indicates that everything surrounding her is canonically part of the story.
Now, whether or not that means that she will appear in a future Persona game, though, remains to be seen. Perhaps, though, we will at least get a hint of her within the world in a future game.
Who knows? Maybe there will be a Persona 5 Arena game someday that will see her return as one of the playable fighting characters.
Question: Does Labrys like girls?
Answer: I can see why someone would wonder about Labrys’ sexuality since she is close to unit 24, her older sister’s robot. Their connection is at the center of Labrys’ storyline.
However, their relationship is that of the older and younger sister, so nothing romantic of that nature. As such, Labrys’ sexuality is unconfirmed at this time.
Question: What Persona does Labrys have? What is Shadow Labrys’ Persona?
Answer: Labrys has the Persona known as Ariadne. In a related question, Shadow Labrys has the Asterius Persona in battles.
Question: Are Aigis and Labrys related?
Answer: Yes, Labrys is essentially the older sister of Aigis. Labrys is part of the fifth generation of Anti-Shadow Suppression Weapons, whereas Aigis is from a later generation of robots. But they both originate from the Kirijo Group.
Question: Who was controlling Labrys?
Answer: There are a couple of different answers to this question, each of which is considered spoilers, so here is your warning. You could argue that Shadow Labrys is controlling her in the TV World.
You could even say that Labrys herself controls her and everyone else’s actions in the tournament. But, at the same time, Sho Minazuki is the main villain behind her, so he is also controlling her.
Question: Is Labrys in other Persona games?
Answer: Labrys initially appears in Persona 4 Arena and its sequel, Ultimax. The only other Persona game she is in is Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight and Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight. However, she is also in non-Persona games like BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle.
Labrys is the Persona 4 Arena fighting game star and a character that you should not miss. I think she is underrated and deserving of much more attention than she currently has.
If more players played Arena’s story mode and found out about her life, they may even agree with me that she is the best of the spin-off characters in the Persona series. That said, I can see why so many players would be intimidated by the 2D fighting game.
I will admit that I am not a fighting game expert or even a fan myself. Persona 4 Arena ushers in inexperienced players like me with ease.
It teaches you how to play it enough to get through the story mode while offering plenty of incentives. You can find out more about Persona 4 Arena and its predecessor in my original overview guide.