There are a lot of issues in video games that we do not think about at first but crop up as time goes on. One such problem is establishing a canon name for a character the player is free to name as they like. Usually, this is not an issue, but Atlus slipped up when it came to the name of the Persona 3 male protagonist. It is because of that that this Minato Arisato guide even exists in the first place.
Persona 3 was the changing point for me when I first played Portable roughly 11 years ago. I had tried the games before it, but none of them grabbed me in the way that this game did. The 3D graphics, rich turn-based gameplay, and brooding storyline all appealed to my likes. But, perhaps above all of those things, though, were the characters. Playing as someone like the star of this Minato Arisato guide (or whatever you want to call him), I was able to connect with video game NPCs, unlike ever before.
Bottom Line Up Front
Minato Arisato is one of the many names that exist out there for the Persona 3 male protagonist. For a long time, Atlus didn’t establish what his canon name was, so various adaptations gave him their names. Minato Arisato derives from the manga adaptation of Persona 3. However, it is not the canon name for the main character, which has since been determined to be Makoto Yuki. Despite this, you should know this name in case you ever do read the manga version of this legendary, must-play JRPG.
Persona 3 Minato Arisato Overview
Canon status is one of the trickiest parts of navigating any fandom. As you likely already know, the internet is a hot pot of hotheads who wish to present their ideas or theories as facts. So, whenever the topic of canon comes into play, you best believe that everyone will pick you apart if you don’t know what you’re talking about.
Fortunately, when it comes to Persona, at least I can help you out there minus the hostility of everyone else. One of the most confusing parts in terms of Persona canon is the third numbered game in the series, but the fourth mainline title, known as Persona 3.
There are so many problems with the canon status of this game, from which version of the game is the best to the female protagonist to even what happens to certain main characters. It is a confusing mess, but perhaps the most atrocious part of it all is that it is hard to even agree on names.
The name in question that I am talking about is Minato Arisato. This person is none other than the hero of Persona 3 himself. For this particular guide, I am focusing solely on the male protagonist in the series. If you want to know more about the female main character, you can find that out right here.
Minato Arisato is one of the many names for the Persona 3 main character. If you’ve played the game before, you might remember that you are free to name the protagonist whatever you like. This is a feature that extends throughout almost every single mainline entry in the series, even for someone like Joker in Persona 5.
Minato Arisato is one of the accepted names that people have given to the male protagonist to represent him as a whole. But is it canon? And where did this name even come from? These are the topics that I would like to cover while also diving deep into who Minato Arisato even is in Persona 3.
Minato Arisato, or whatever you would like to call the Persona 3 main character, has a rather generic appearance in terms of clothing, at least. His outfit of choice for the entirety of the JRPG is just his school uniform and nothing else.
What you will find in this game is that less is more. Unlike the other characters that would come later on down the road, such as the stylish and over-the-top Joker, the Persona 3 MC is a simple guy. For this reason, it doesn’t matter if he is saving the world or going to school; he will wear his school uniform.
There is nothing too terribly special about the outfit, other than the black school blazer that matches his dress pants on the bottom, and that is it. You can see his school’s symbol over his blazer to give a little unique touch, but that’s all there is to it. He has a white undershirt that is buttoned up and a small black ribbon around his neck.
Altogether, I think he is a fashionable guy as he looks dapper in his school uniform, unlike someone like Junpei. But the generic nature of his outfit doesn’t mean that his character design is bad. On the contrary, actually, because I quite like his character design.
Outside of Joker, and perhaps even more so than the Persona 5 protagonist, Minato Arisato’s design is my favorite of the main characters. This is due to his excellent choice of hair. His hairstyle is similar to my own, with a medium cut that is a bit longer than some guys and bangs that part over to the side.
Like me, he parts his hair to the right side, partially covering his eyes at times. His deeply rich blue hair is extravagant and gives a nice emo touch that I prefer. Without a doubt, the male protagonist of Persona 3 is who I strive to be in life. I have colored my hair before but never blue. Just staring at his screenshots right now for this guide has me wanting to change that.
I adore the appearance of Minato Arisato, even over the unique female protagonist that appeared in Persona 3 Portable. The more I talk about his devilishly handsome good looks, the more I want to cosplay him, so I’ll stop here.
Makoto Yuki vs Minato Arisato: Which Is Canon?
Before we go any further in this guide, it is time to address the elephant in the room: what is the canon name for the Persona 3 male protagonist? That is a fantastic question that I am to answer here. You see, part of the problem with Persona 3 is that Atlus didn’t establish a name for the character when the game first came out.
In the original Persona, this was not a problem as the developer just referred to him as the dude with the earring officially since that is a description that he got in that game. Persona 2 had a set protagonist with Tatsuya Suou, so his name was written in stone from the moment it came out.
But you had the chance to choose the name for the Persona 3 protagonist, and Atlus didn’t think ahead in this way. Since there was no canon name, others began to offer their own ideas. In the end, the mangaka for the manga adaptation of Persona 3 had his own idea.
His proposed name that he officially used in the licensed manga was Minato Arisato. He chose this name because that is what he gave the main character when he played the title. There was no special meaning or anything behind the name as he just randomly chose it when starting.
If you read the manga for Persona 3 first, for whatever reason, this might be the name that is canon to you. However, there was another name that appeared right around this time. There was a stage play adaptation that happened in Japan, and the name there was Sakuya Shiomi.
I doubt anyone thinks that name is canon but is Minato Arisato the official name? Well, the third option is the last one that appeared first in the anime film series adaptation of Persona 3. In that movie, the characters addressed him as Makoto Yuki.
This name, unlike Minato Arisato, didn’t only stick to a single medium like the manga. Instead, it branched out and was eventually used in the recent Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight spin-off game. The critical point here is not just that this game used that name but that it was recently and that Atlus made that game.
So, there is an actual game from Atlus that uses the name, Makoto Yuki. This appears in marketing material and on the official site, too. As such, I am sorry to anyone who likes the name Minato Arisato, but that is not the canon name. The real, official name for the Persona 3 male protagonist is Makoto Yuki.
However, for the purposes of this guide, at least, I will continue to use the name Minato Arisato.
This shouldn’t be a surprise at this point, but there are massive spoilers on the way in this section. I will try to refrain from bringing up unnecessary twists and turns, but if you haven’t played Persona 3 yet in any form, turn away now. And after turning away, go and play the game already!
Still here? Awesome. Before the start of Persona 3, Minato Arisato’s parents passed away in an accident. As an orphan, he eventually finds his way to the dorms for Gekkoukan High School. He transfers to this school and dorm and ends up swept up in the fight for the world’s fate.
After awakening to his Persona, he joins the SEES group, a team of high schoolers fighting the Dark Hour and Tartarus to save the world. It is a daunting task and one that Minato is made for. Over time, he takes on different missions and meets many colorful characters.
His bonds and time with the team grow until his ultimate decision comes where he must decide to kill someone close to him to possibly save the world or find another way. In the end, he opts for a different path and takes on Nyx, the very source of the Dark Hour and the shadows tormenting humans.
At the climax of their fight, it is clear that Minato is the only one who can stop this alien god or whatever Nyx is. He sacrifices himself in the end, giving himself as a seal to keep Nyx locked in place and stop her from destroying everything.
His story ends there, unlike his companions who would go on to have other adventures in life. Well, that is if you dismiss his time in the Persona Q games and that time when he went dancing all night in Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight. But, other than that, his story is done for now.
You probably know the drill by now, but just in case, Minato is the main character of a mainline Persona game. What this effectively means is that he is guaranteed to be a wild card Persona user. This is a special type of Persona summoner who has some unique traits that almost no one else has.
As a wild card, Minato can summon and use any Persona out there. This is why you can gather together Personas and fuse them together into new creations. It is also why the player can access the Velvet Room. Only the wild card users can access this place.
But it doesn’t stop with Minato being able to access the Velvet Room. He is a member of SEES, which is the group fighting the Dark Hour. The ability to access the Dark Hour is unique to him and the other members. This is a special hour that exists in the middle of the night that only a select few can experience.
Suppose you are not one of the special Persona users or someone who accidentally awakens there. In that case, you will be frozen in time and unaware of what is happening. As a Persona user, Minato can access the Dark Hour and save anyone who is trapped there while also fighting in the Tartarus tower.
Lastly, his final special ability is a bit of a spoilery one, so here’s your usual warning. Minato is a rather unique hero even among the other Persona protagonists. He can literally sacrifice himself for the entire world, Jesus-style, by sealing away Nyx. No one else is likely capable of this feat that we know of, making him one of the most potent Persona users of all time.
As the main character of Persona 3, you will spend a lot of time playing as him. Thankfully, there are a few games beyond the usual Persona 3 that you can take his role in, including several versions of the title and some spin-offs.
In terms of spin-off games, there are the Persona Q games on Nintendo 3DS. These are similar to the mainline Persona titles in that they are RPGs with turn-based battles. This part is generally the same, but exploration is quite different and honestly a ton of fun.
You explore various dungeons in first-person, mapping out the location as you go around. It is like you are a true dungeon explorer since you create the map yourself to help you when it comes to returning to the place. Besides that spin-off game, there is also Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight.
After the success of Persona 4: Dancing All Night, Atlus went all-in on making more spin-off music games in the series. Dancing in Moonlight is an example of this, bringing the cast of Persona 3 into the club to show off their moves.
There is nothing too unique about how Minato controls in this game as he works like everyone else. But for those who have never played one of these games, it is a music dancing rhythm game.
You will see button prompts appear on the screen, and then you have to press them at the right time to have Minato execute the dance move correctly and earn the highest score possible. It’s honestly a whole lot of fun and a nice break from the strategic nature of Minato’s other playable moments.
Persona 3 FES vs Portable
What I find crazy about Persona 3 is that Minato controls differently within the same game. Or, well, game versions. If you’re playing Persona 3 FES, aka the PlayStation 2 edition of the game, Minato will control slightly differently than if you were to play Persona 3 Portable on the PSP.
In FES, this version of Minato features him being able to explore a 3D world, talk to NPCs, go to school, and all of that. In dungeons, you can run around, pick up items, and attack enemies. Then in the battle screens, you have the turn-based experience where you choose what skills and attacks to use.
However, Persona 3 Portable changes Minato’s gameplay ever so slightly. The battles are roughly the same, and so is the dungeon exploration, but there are a couple of key changes. For one, he is unable to use every single weapon (minus guns and knives), unlike in FES.
He is solely limited to one-handed swords in battle, which takes a little bit of the fun out of the customization options. Furthermore, another dud gameplay component is that you cannot fully explore the world outside of Tartarus.
Instead of running around as a 3D character, you are a cursor that moves around a static screen at school, in the dorms, and so on to select what to do.
I’m not sure if this was a design choice or a limitation of the PSP, but controlling Minato this way in the real world is rather lame. For a long time, I even thought that this was how the game was initially designed since I played Portable first. This control method is seriously a bummer when it comes to playing the PSP version, which will be available on other modern systems.
Persona 4 Arena Absence Explained
I would like to note that Minato and his female counterpart are the only prominent party members from Persona 3 that are not playable in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax. Heck, even Elizabeth from the Velvet Room is playable in that game, and she isn’t even playable in the main title.
Getting to play as Minato in the 2D fighting game spin-off would have been amazing with the Orpheus or Thanatos Personas equipped. But, alas, that is not the case. The reason for this is a bit of a story-related one, so beware of spoilers right here.
The reality is that Minato and his female counterpart are not in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax due to being dead. Since it is a canonical sequel to Persona 3, this means that the male protagonist is not around anymore.
This plays into the story, with some characters even mentioning his death. Of course, he still could have been a DLC character not involved in the story, but Atlus didn’t go for that.
Minato Arisato Boss Battles
There are a couple of boss battles that Minato is involved in within the Persona series. If you love his character but want to see more of him from the other side, where he is your enemy, you can do that. The first of these boss battles are a bit of a spoiler, so I’ll save that for last.
First up is the simple DLC boss battle that Minato is in, in Persona 5 Royal. What’s crazy about this fight is that he has no level in the game, so there is not a good judging point for figuring out what you should be for this fight. In all honesty, though, you should be maxed level if possible.
This is because he has a whopping 15,000 health and some of the best elemental skills that you can have. The Door of Hades is gruesome, capable of dealing heavy almighty damage — nothing too special — but also has a chance of killing you instantly. Max level, covering your weaknesses, and the Satanael Persona are necessary here.
Now for the spoilery other boss battle, this one takes place in The Answer. You can access this epilogue storyline from the main menu of Persona 3 FES. It takes place after the main game, and you can face Minato in a battle.
The catch here is that Minato can use all of the ultimate Personas for the entire party and changes between them often. An analysis is necessary to know what you are dealing with each turn. Furthermore, be sure to nullify weaknesses to fire, ice, electricity, and wind.
He is level 76 in this fight with 7000 health, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but that is if you survive long enough in this battle to get there. I seriously recommend grinding as much as possible with the party beforehand to win this.
The Persona 3 male protagonist says almost less than any other hero in the series. Even though Joker has little to say, even in his own anime series, he still has some iconic lines. That is not the case for Minato from Persona 3. He rarely says anything at all, even in battle.
But there are a couple of lines from him requiring some voice actors. The English voice actor will be pretty familiar to the existing Persona fans out there. He is none other than Yuri Lowenthal. Besides quickly becoming one of the best video game voice actors in recent years, he is a Persona staple.
He not only voiced a couple of lines for the Persona 3 protagonist, but he brought life, cheer, and humor to the iconic role of Yosuke in the following game of Persona 4. His acting as Yosuke is phenomenal and one of his best roles. In addition, he voiced both Pharos and Ryoji Mochizuki in Persona 3.
Besides this, players may know him as Spider-Man in the Marvel Spider-Man games and some other projects, as well as Sasuke in Naruto and Ben in Ben 10.
On the other hand, the Japanese voice actor is the legendary, award-winning Akira Ishida. The older voice actor doesn’t do much these days but was a legend back in the day. He voiced characters I love, like Gaara in Naruto/Boruto, Athrun in both Gundam Seed shows, and Byakuya in the Danganronpa games.
For the Persona fans out there, the Persona 3 main character was not his only role, either. While he didn’t voice Yosuke like the English VA, he did voice both Pharos and Ryoji Mochizuki within Persona 3, just like in the case of Lowenthal. They were much more substantial roles for him compared to the main character.
The Persona series is all about the relationships and connections that the party members have with one another. At the center of every single mainline game, beginning with Persona 3 is the protagonist. As such, every person in the JRPG connects with Minato on some level.
To this point, I won’t go through all of the characters that he connects with but keep in mind that it is basically the entirety of the SEES group plus the other side characters. In the end, the player is the one who chooses who Minato connects to the most.
This is through the social links system, where you can build relationships with the various characters in the cast. You can spend time with each of them and get to know them the more you hang out. There are levels to each bond, and there are benefits to getting to know them.
They unlock the ability to summon the ultimate Personas from each of the Arcanas and possibly romance them, too, depending on the person. Not everyone has a social link, controversially, though, such as Junpei Iori and Shinjiro Aragaki.
Both of these are pretty disappointing since Shinjiro is crucial to the plot while Junpei is literally among the top three most important characters. He is the best bro dude like Yosuke and Ryuji and is central to many of the significant events in the game. Not having him as a social link is tragic, but he is still a significant relationship for Minato nonetheless.
The same goes for Pharos and Ryoji. Pharos is a young prisoner boy that you meet who guides you at times, while Ryoji is a teenager who becomes Minato’s friend. These two relationships are immensely important to the game’s story, and your connections with them can even affect the ending you get in the game.
Question: Is it Makoto Yuki or Minato Arisato?
Answer: It really depends on which version of Persona 3 you are enjoying. If you are enjoying the manga, it is Minato Arisato. Outside of that, though, it is probably going to be Makoto Yuki, the actual canon name. Unless you are watching the stage play, in which case it is neither of those names.
Question: Who is Minato’s Persona?
Answer: His initial Persona is Orpheus, but his ultimate is considered to be Messiah or Thanatos. However, he is a wild card, so he can technically use anything he wants.
Question: Is Minato Arisato dead?
Answer: Spoilers ahead, so here’s your warning! The answer to this question is, yes, Minato Arisato, or whatever you want to call him, is dead at this time. But his friends are searching for a way to save him, so perhaps that will change someday in a sequel or spin-off game.
Despite being able to name the Persona 3 hero yourself, Minato Arisato is considered one of his prominent names. This name comes from the manga adaptation but is not the canon name. In fact, if I’m being honest, I’m not even a huge fan of this name, especially the family name. I’m definitely more of a fan of Makoto Yuki, which happens to be the canon name for the character.
Yeah, I know; it is one massive mess that Atlus learned from with Persona 4 and sort of with Persona 5, though that is kinda a mess, too. If you happen to like confusing situations like this one, well, Persona 3 has plenty of those for you. Another complicated feature has to be the fact that this game is the only one in the series to have male and female main character options. Well, only in one version of the game. It’s a whole ordeal so just read this protagonist’s guide to find out what’s going on.
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