Introducing Japan’s biggest idol: Risette! The Persona series shines in exploring complex social issues and telling atypical stories. Thankfully, Rise’s character arc does not tarnish that reputation. Anime mediums often have tropes for the girl who acts like an idol, but Atlus took the next step and told the story of an actual idol in the industry. Hence, Rise’s genesis story is addressed with all the complexity of a young girl in the entertainment industry.
Rise is represented by the Lovers arcana and will grant you bonuses to your lover persona fusions. Usually, Persona characters are symbolic of the arcana that represents them. However, in Rise’s case, it is very on the nose. Let’s begin our Rise Kujikawa guide by learning more about her character.
Rise Kujikawa as a Character
Compared to the rest of the main party, Rise has a more bubbly personality. She constantly is trying to turn the head of the main character and is the only girl I feel actively flirts with him outside of her social links. Being a teenage Japanese idol, she is no stranger to entertaining the world around her and constantly is ousting the other party members of their comfort zones. If she isn’t getting her way, she will pout as a strategy to get you to give it to her. She is naturally confident, but it would be easy to have typical introvert tendencies no longer after performing in Tokyo. Rise is a professional idol, after all.
I chose Rise on my first playthrough because I couldn’t resist the flirty and adorable hair, voice, and genuine passion she has for the main character. Ms. Kujikawa seems to enjoy pushing people out of their comfort zones to get a reaction but uncontrollably blushes if anyone does the same to her. She pretends to cry for attention at specific points throughout the game, and I fell for it every time. If you look, compliment, or admire other women, Rise will become extremely jealous.
Because of her idol career, she has fallen behind in school. Even though she is as old as the second-year high school students, she is in a first-year classroom. She hints at the jealousy of Rise and Yukiko for getting to be in the same class as the main character. In the Golden edition, she can obtain a scooter license with the rest of the Investigation Team (besides Kanji and Teddy) because of her age.
Being an idol, Rise tends to look slim and fit. She wears her long auburn hair in two pigtails on either side of the back of her head, with bangs in the front. However, Rise’s pigtails aren’t straight as they are slightly messy. She has a mischievous but innocent smile and blushes when teased or around the main character. Rise has greyish-brown eyes.
Rise changes her outfits depending on the season. Unlike Chie or Yukiko, she will wear the Yasogami High uniform, with her only variation being a pair of thigh-high socks. Instead of a bright-colored jacket, her long pigtails become her accent feature. There are several scenes where some of the other students express jealousy of Rise’s looks.
Starting Rise’s Storyline and Confidant
Starting on June 21st, the Investigation Team will start Rise’s chapter automatically (as long as you saved Kanji before the deadline). The team will have until July 9th to save her from her palace. On July 10th, she will join the Investigation Team, leading you able to start her confidant links on July 23rd. This event will happen automatically with the story and gives you access to the lover’s arcana.
Rise will be available to take out on Friday, Saturday, and Sundays in the evening. If it is raining, I suppose she can’t come out to play and is unavailable. You need to go to the Inaba shopping district and find her outside her grandmother’s tofu shop when school is out.
If school is in, Rise will be on the first floor of Yasogami High. The absolute last day to max her social link if you are playing the Golden edition is February 5th for story purposes. However, if you want to romance Rise and subsequently get her Christmas date scene, have her maxed before December 21st.
Rise will stay with the Investigation Team until the end of the game. Aren’t we so lucky?
Rise Kujikawa Story Implications
After starting the game, Rise is the first character you will see. She is featured in a bikini during a commercial for a weight loss drink. NPCs around the town and school will mention her, but she will not become relevant until after saving Shadow Kanji from the Steamy Bathhouse dungeon.
The town will be frantic about the new celebrity who just moved back to Inaba in late June. Everyone is crowding around the tofu shop because of rumors the idol Risette is there.
The party will get their chance to meet the famous Risette, who is very calm and exudes an air of exhaustion at first glance. She elected to quit as an idol and move back to the sleepy town, working for her grandmother in the meantime. So naturally, she is the next person to appear on the Midnight Channel and becomes the focus of the Investigation Team. Later, she will join as a permanent member as well.
Rise’s Shadow and Midnight Program
Things fastidiously go from bad to lewd when Rise appears on the Midnight Channel. Her shadow is a sleazy tease who threatens to expose herself for the audience’s entertainment. This speaks to how Rise does not feel in control of her personality, always thinking that there is a different part of herself while denying herself. No one sees the woman behind the idol because her fans are always lusting after her, the dungeon: Marukyu Striptease is born.
As a dungeon, it is not subtle. It’s based on some form of gentleman’s club, and the lights, dark hallways, and overall aesthetic could not be mistaken for anything else. While traversing the dungeon, Rise’s shadow will constantly be assailing the party with innuendo and taunts.
Rise’s shadow looks precisely like her down to the pigtails, with the patented vermillion eyes all the shadows have. The other big difference is the outfit her shadow flaunts. Instead of any clothes, she struts around in a golden bikini-like get-up.
When the Investigation team comes face to face with both Rise and her shadow, the shadow will antagonize Rise, who pleads with her to stop. However, after conforming herself to be “Risette,” her shadow wants her to accept the side of her that is Rise as well.
As with all the characters who come face to face with their shadows, Rise denies that she is her shadow. The shadow is empowered and transforms into her monster form, who then fights the party. After a brief battle, Teddy will step in to save the party from her. Rise then seizes the chance to accept her shadow.
Rise’s Shadow: Boss and Appearance
Once again, subtlety is damned! The shadow of Rise becomes an enormous technicolor woman who swings on a pole upside down. She has a head made of flat hexagons arranged like a flower with an antenna that sticks out of where her face should be. Her hair and pigtails are still present and correctly colored, even in this monstrous form.
When she attacks, she will reach out to the party as if to tempt them. Specific attacks will have her sliding off of her pole and kind of grind against it before she launches the attack at you. Shadow Rise will use “analyze” on you and your party when you get her down to about half health.
After, you will not be able to hit her anymore. Instead, guard with your party because the battle ends after three attacks by her. Be cautious, though; there is another boss right after her.
Rise’s Persona: Himiko
After accepting her shadow, Rise receives her persona named Himiko. Her persona stands very tall and wears a long white dress over her jet-black skin. Himiko appears as a woman until you get up to her head, where she seems to be looking up into the sky. However, she does not have a face with features on it. Instead, she has a massive telescope-shaped head that meets in a collection of hexagons, similar to her shadow’s monster form.
There are more hexagons here that are reminiscent of a satellite dish. On the side (where her ears would be), she appears to have sextants made to look like earrings. A very long golden antenna extends from behind her, all the way out to the satellite dish. Himiko has two long ribbons that hang out of the exact location that looks like Rise’s pigtails. Four support rods connect to a gyroscope on the primary antenna and slightly protrude from the dish face.
In Himiko’s hands, she holds a gold ring crown-like visor with a flair up to vaguely look like short antennae or cat ears. She will lower this over Rise’s eyes, allowing her to sense and see things in the surrounding area that the rest of the party are not sensitive to pick up, including Teddy’s nose. When she uses her persona, Himiko will also do this action.
Rise’s Persona: Kanzeon
Attain Rise’s second awakening by completing her social link, and her Himiko will evolve to Kanzeon. Kanzeon looks very similar to Himiko in terms of her head shape, although she has added extra radar two extra radar dishes for three in front. On the back of her primary antenna, she also has a new small radar dish. Her main golden antenna and the visor for Rise have turned to a shiny red-like color.
Kanzeon retains the large pigtail ribbons, but her outfit has changed drastically. Transforming from a long robe-like dress to a white and black vertical line cheongsam style dress. Buttons line the side of her legs and give the appearance of large boots or perhaps dressy pants.
New to Kanzeon is what appear to be earmuffs that wrap around her hips. A small antenna extends for the radius and splits parallel around her before connecting to more hexagonal radar/antenna dishes. Her skin appears as a metallic white color instead of the black of Himiko.
Rise’s Persona: Kouzeon
If you are playing Golden edition, Rise can evolve her persona one more time in the third semester. Once complete, she will wield Kouzeon. Drastically different from the Kanzeon and Himiko head shape, it has become a colossal telescope with a white barrel and a turquoise tip. There no longer is any antenna, and the back of Kouzeon’s head features the sight piece and attachment for the telescope.
Two extra arms have sprouted to make a total of six arms. Kouzeon’s skin has reverted to black on the arms until after the elbows, where they become the same turquoise as her head. On her hands, she wears red gloves. Two of her arms continue to hole Rise’s visor crown.
Kouzeon retains the cheongsam dress, but it has become white with tiny black pinstripes. Her hips are turquoise like her arms but turn black around the knees. As if this design isn’t cool enough, there is a solar system model that gravitates around her. It even has its silver but otherwise featureless planets.
Rise: The Navigator
While technically a member of the party, Rise can not be slotted as an active battle member of your party. Instead, she helps the party navigate the TV world and battles. Rise offers many buffs and support skills as she levels up while assisting the Investigation Team.
Unfortunately, she has different lines of dialogue for every character in nearly every situation. Her poor voice actress! Thankfully, Rise has a lovely voice, so even if you hear the same line five hundred thousand times while playing through, you likely won’t notice or mind too much.
When someone ends up on the Midnight Channel and ends up in the TV world, Rise will team up with Teddy and his nose to attempt to locate them. Both of them can sense things in the TV world. Neither are perfect, though and may need some help from the rest of the party by receiving hints about the missing person.
Social Link for Rise Kujikawa of the Lovers Arcana
The perk list for Rise’s persona, Himiko, is not extensive, but she will afford you several perks in the heat of battle or while exploring dungeons.
- Rank 3: Himiko will learn Treasure Radar which will show you all the treasure chests that are on a dungeon floor
- Rank 6: Rise’s persona acquires the Enemy Radar skill, which can show you where all the enemies on a dungeon floor
- Rank 10: Himiko will learn Affinity Search, which can sometimes tell you an enemy’s weakness right at the start of a battle. Having this skill can help create more opportunities for all-out attacks, saving time against new enemies. Rank 10 also allows Rise to have a “Second Awakening,” which evolves Himiko into a more robust persona with more benefits.
Responses for Rise
Remember to keep the main character with a persona that has the lovers arcana for maximum benefit. Only the prompts that net your points are below. If no points are given, you can answer Rise any way you want without affecting your progress towards her next rank. Yes, that includes bullying or coming off as cold to her when given a chance. But, if you elect to do that, how will you sleep at night?
Completing the Lovers arcana will also give you a Signed Photo from Rise that allows you to create a powerful persona in the Velvet Room. The persona in question is Ishtar. Despite how good this persona is, a signed picture of Rise might be more valuable.
Don’t forget, all lover arcana persona you fuse will also receive more experience upon fusion, depending on the current social link level.
No extra points.
“But it is just a little embarrassing to show up alone, you know?” Respond with: “Just order takeout” or “So you don’t eat out?”
“It’ll take time to get back, so let’s walk around quick!” Respond with: Any Option
“Rise is worried…” Respond with: “Call the police” or “Grab her hand and run.”
“Rise looks worried” Respond with, “Go along with her.”
“I’m sorry…Lying about marrying you and all” Respond with: “I don’t mind” or “It…It was a lie?”
“Senpai, have you ever thought that you’re pushing yourself too far, or that you were just acting…?” Respond with: “All the time” or “Sometimes.”
You’re with me right now because I’m Risette, yeah? Respond with: “No” or “I don’t know.”
“A fan letter came, you see…” Respond with: Any Option
“To think I trusted him… I feel betrayed!” Respond with: Any Option
“I gave up on being Risette. I can’t meet her expectations…” Respond with: “She’ll understand” or “Having second thoughts?”
“Doesn’t that sound fun? H-how about it? Haha… ha…” Respond with: “If you’re serious…” or “Sounds great.”
“She was cute, so I figured she would sell.” Respond with: Any Option
“You like having such a cute underclassman, right? I’m an ex-idol, after all.” Respond with: “That part doesn’t matter.”
“Rise looks helpless….” Respond with: Any Option
***This will be your chance to romance Rise (You Know You Like Her)***
“Senpai… I… I don’t know why I’m crying…” Respond with: Any Option
“…You sense this is an important moment. There’s no turning back.” For Romance: “Hold her.”
Non-Romance: “Stand There” (and think about how you messed up)
“And yet… I felt so angry about it… why do you think that is?” Respond with: Any Option
***Only applies if you romanced Rise***
“I’ll ask the man himself! So – where do you hide them?” Respond with: Any Option
In terms of social links, Rise ranks in my top three. Her shame involving the fans who looked up to her, hiding from the paparazzi, and accepting that the business world moves on without her is complex. I have played the Golden almost a dozen times specifically to play this social link (and the platinum trophy).
After all, Rise decides that she wants to go back and pursue her career as an idol, and you have helped her realize that. She remarks that since it is her decision, she will work with a stronger resolve. She also decides that she won’t be a corporate puppet. The pressure of the world around her will not sway the course of her life for her. Rise’s admission stands for the growth of spirit that she has achieved working with the Investigation Team.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Question: Is Rise Kujikawa a playable character in Persona 4 Golden?
Answer: While it would be cool to have a different character option like in the PSP remake for Persona 3, it is not a feature. Only the main character is playable outside of battle in either Persona 4 or Persona 4 Golden. Rise is playable in a few spinoff titles.
Question: Is Rise Kujikawa Canon?
Answer: Absolutely. She was in the original Persona 4, Golden, the animation, and multiple spinoffs. There are even Easter eggs in Persona 5 alluding to her. In addition, she is a prominent party character and canon to the story and series.
Question: Does Rise Kujikawa Die in Persona 4/Golden?
Answer: Technically, it is possible for her to die. If you fail to save her from her dungeon by July 9th, you will get one of the bad endings. If you make it this far, you probably know by this point it is possible. However, this cannot be considered a canon ending. As long as you are paying attention, you should have no problem clearing Rise’s dungeon before then.
If you do somehow fail, you will receive a call from Chie informing you that the police have found Rise’s corpse. Igor will call you to the Velvet Room and tell you that it is too dangerous to continue the investigations. The game will give you the chance to start again a week prior or quit the menu. Unfortunately, you will not be able to proceed with the rest of the game without saving Rise.
In my opinion, Rise is the “best girl” of Persona 4 and Golden. Her natural flirty nature is highly admirable, and she makes the main character feel unique, despite whether you romance her or not. Her hair represents a style that is not seen often due to the mainstream over-sexualization.
The fact that she is your navigator makes you feel close to her as a character, even if she is not your type. She is by far the most romantic character in the party and has a gorgeous social link.
She would be in my main party if she had a battle persona. Her compassion for the victims of the TV world, combined with the vulnerability that she shows in hard times, motivates my desire to protect her from them. I
f there was one character I did not expect to fall for, it was the idol Risette, as I figured she would be the stuck-up, “too good for this town and everyone in it” trope. However, Atlus pleasantly changed my mind about her as she blossoms into a kind and maternal figure for the Investigation Team.
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