Tohru Adachi is one of the most unforgettable side characters in the Persona series, originating in Persona 4. This Tohru Adachi guide is all about why this is the case.
Even years after Persona 4 first came out, the community still obsesses over Adachi and everything about him. This is even though he is just a side character who plays a moderate role in the storyline at first.
A large portion of why he is a fan favorite in the series, and we are making this Tohru Adachi guide, is because he is a police detective investigating the serial murders at the heart of the series.
We should make it abundantly clear, though, that this complete guide will cover significant spoilers because of this fact. His role in finding the serial killer gives away too much story information, so please turn away now if you do not want enormous spoilers for Persona 4.
Bottom Line Up Front
Tohru Adachi is a supporting character in Persona 4 and its Golden version, playing an integral role in the serial murder investigation. Initially, he was the comic relief character for the game. He shows up every once in a while and cracks jokes as the goofy detective partner of Ryotaro Dojima.
As partners with the uncle of the player character, Yu Narukami, he shows up quite often in the series. However, it turns out that he is the main villain behind everything.
In the end, we come to find out that he is the mastermind behind the serial murders in the Midnight Channel and the big baddie at the end. This insane twist has led to near-cult status for Tohru Adachi in the community and multiple appearances in other games and media.
Who is Tohru Adachi?
Tohru Adachi is one of the supporting characters in Persona 4. He is not a party member and does not join the main characters’ investigation team. However, he is a critical side person in the plot as the partner of Dojima, the player’s uncle in the game.
Because of this, he shows up often enough in the game and even has a social link associated with him. He is the comedic relief character who is there to provide goofy antics primarily and laughs whenever he’s around. This is due to his seemingly aloof and almost stupid personality.
However, the truth is that he is a sociopath who knows exactly what he is doing, and that is playing everyone. In the end, he reveals to the player and the cast, showing his true colors. In reality, Tohru Adachi is the very villain that everyone has been looking for.
As the main villain in Persona 4 and the mastermind behind the serial murders in the town of Inaba, he is far more essential to the plot than first thought. For many, the twist of the true identity of Adachi is one of the craziest and best parts of the entire JRPG.
Because of this, Adachi is currently one of the most popular characters in the entire Persona franchise. There are many fans of him and the surprising twist on his personality that he shows later on. This cult status of his fandom has led to his appearances in other games and media adaptations beyond just Persona 4 and Golden.
Tohru Adachi has mainly one appearance throughout the majority of Persona 4. He sticks to this exact look for the game’s entirety, even when it is revealed that he is the villain. However, there are some slight changes to his appearance in future games (more on that in a bit of a bit).
In his general appearance in Persona 4, he wears the standard detective suit. There is nothing exceptional about his outfit, which is broadly similar to what any other police detective might wear. It is a black suit with black pants that match it, with nothing out of the ordinary there.
On the bottom of his black suit jacket is a white long-sleeve undershirt. He wears his suit jacket unbuttoned so that you can easily see the undershirt and tie he has underneath. The tie that he wears is a long red one. He is primarily cleaned up, but his hair is messy and unkempt at times.
Usually, Adachi has a goofy smile and face, hinting at the comedic relief role. The only real change in his appearance is later on when it is revealed that he is the true villain. At this moment, we get to see his true face, which is wild, insane, and maniacal. However, his outfit remains the same.
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax Variant
The only real change for Tohru Adachi’s look is in the direct sequel/spin-off to Persona 4, known as Persona 4 Arena Ultimax. In this second fighting spin-off game, Adachi appears as one of the game’s playable fighters and a member of the plot.
For the most part, his appearance does not change all that much here, either. The main difference is that he can be seen wearing a big yellow coat over his suit in some of his fights and shots. The suit itself is the same one from the previous game, but the yellow coat is there to add an exciting touch.
There are also plenty of different colorations for Adachi that make him look like other characters from past Persona games or various suit color versions. Some costumes allude to characters from other media, like the Joker from DC Comics. In this way, players can customize Adachi’s appearance to an extent.
Tohru Adachi has one of the best personalities in Persona 4 due to the massive twist that happens with him. Overall, his personality is deceptive to the ultimate level, carefully planning and ensuring that his evil deeds can go off without people finding out that it was him all along.
As part of this facade, he has a fake personality that he uses that is, at the very least, possibly part of who Adachi is. For most of Persona 4, this is the personality that you see. This version of Adachi is a goofy police detective who seems like the comedic relief in many films out there.
He is that classic bumbling and useless detective partner who is only there to provide a laugh or two, while Dojima is the principal police officer important to the story. He is someone that is even easy to forget about in the plot since he does so little to contribute to it at first.
However, the real personality of Adachi is cold, heartless, and undeniably psychotic. He is a sociopath who seems to have little emotion whatsoever. He has no problem at all getting children involved in his scheme, and he will stop at nothing to accomplish his plans.
The real Adachi is a brutal serial killer who is willing to take out anyone at the bat of an eye. He seems to have no qualms or restrictions at all when it comes to who he will murder. Despite this insane part of him, he is still somewhat goofy and lighthearted, making light of even the wicked deeds he does in Persona 4.
Tohru Adachi has very few critical relationships in Persona 4, likely because he has no interest in such things. One of the few relationships he has is with his police partner, Dojima. For the most part, their relationship is that of subordinate and leader.
Adachi will mostly do whatever Dojima tells him to do and does not deviate too much from his role. While the two are not exceptionally close outside of work, Adachi does seem to take some surprising interest in the personal life of Dojima and his family.
This includes a minor relationship with Nanako, Dojima’s daughter and the cousin of the main character Yu. He jokes around with her a lot and seems to look after her at times or care about her well-being. However, this is seemingly false, given what happens later in the game.
And lastly, there is his relationship with Yu Narukami, the player character in Persona 4. He is drawn to the main character and seems to see a lot of similarities between the two of them.
This is why he is a social link for Yu, where you can get to know him more. He even sees a possible accomplice in Yu for helping him in his dirty work, as that is even an ending in the game.
The Japanese voice actor for Tohru Adachi in Persona 4 is Mitsuaki Madono. You may know Madono from his other roles like Kon in Bleach, Kaname in Code Geass, and plenty of dubbing roles in American cartoons and films.
On the other hand, the English voice actor in the excellent dubbing is Johnny Yong Bosch. Not only is he known for his time in the Power Rangers series, but he is a prolific voice actor these days. You may also know Bosch from other iconic roles like Ichigo in Bleach, Sabo in One Piece, Artemis in Sailor Moon Crystal, and much more.
Interestingly enough, this is not Bosch’s only role in Persona 4, as he also voiced the main protagonist, Yu Narukami. This adds further fuel to the similar nature of the hero and his number one enemy beyond both of them having Izanagi as their Persona.
As the main villain in Persona 4, Tohru Adachi has a couple of different vital abilities. One of them has to do with his real-life skills that involve manipulating others and investigating situations. The other has to do with his more supernatural capabilities that have to do with the Midnight Channel.
In the real world, Tohru Adachi is likely a brilliant person. While I would not call him an outright genius like some of the other villains in the series, he is pretty intelligent. Most of his intelligence comes from the impressive manipulation skills that he has.
He can manipulate people and situations around him to keep him looking weak and innocent. His deception helps in his detective skills, too, as he is a decent police officer at the same time. This all allows him to lie and deceive his way to his goals.
What is fascinating is that the end of Persona 4 reveals that Adachi is a Persona user himself. He even has a twisted version of the same Persona that Yu wields in battle. While he is not as experienced as a Persona user as Yu and the rest of the Persona main characters, his other self is naturally robust and exceedingly dangerous in battle. His Persona is Magatsu-Izanagi.
As mentioned at the start of this Tohru Adachi guide, telling his history in the game spoils everything about the story. As the main villain, he is behind everything in the plot. Though you already know the major twist of the JRPG, turn away now if you do not want to know most of the events that happen in the game with him.
Investigating the Serial Murders
Before his start in the Persona 4 games, Adachi grew up outside Inaba. He was a relatively average person who eventually became a cop due to his obsession with guns. However, he was a typical person and did not let his interest in weapons lead him to do anything horrible.
However, an accident occurred while on the job, and he was sent to Inaba in the countryside of Japan as punishment. Here in the boring little town, he became partners with Dojima. It was a primarily uninteresting place and job and one that led to him exploring.
Eventually, he came to find out that he could stick his arm through the TV and enter the TV World. This newfound power as a Persona user allowed him to manipulate situations and accidentally murder someone he threw inside the TV World.
Once he realized that he could use the Midnight Channel as a way to kill anyone that he wanted without being found out, he began to go on a killing spree. He had no boundaries on who he would kill, targeting men, women, and even children at times.
Finding Out the Truth
However, the one problem for Tohru Adachi was the Investigation Team. A group of teenagers from the high school in Inaba discovered their Persona powers unbeknownst to him. They started interrupting his plans and stopping the victims from dying, resulting in the failure of his plans.
Despite this, he kept his composure around the citizens and acted like the same goofy, problematic cop that he has always been. In the midst of this, he tried to figure out who exactly was stopping his plans. Through the tips that he gives to the main characters, he inevitably figures out the truth about who his enemies are.
At this point, he sends out a letter to his partner’s house and threatens them. The protagonist does not stop, and poor Nanako is thrown into the TV World as a result. Though she is saved in the end, she becomes bedridden in the hospital because of the situation.
At this point in the story, Adachi’s fate in the world of Persona 4 can differ quite a bit. However, in the game’s actual ending, the protagonist and his team figure out that the fake killer is not the one behind everything. In the end, they realize that the mastermind must be Adachi.
The Final Boss
Adachi hides in the Midnight Channel and waits for the Investigation Team to chase him there in retaliation for being found out. Eventually, this leads to the final dungeon in the game’s main story (minus the Golden ending), where the player encounters Adachi once and for all.
After giving his bland motives for wanting to kill all those people, he reveals that he, too, is a Persona user. His Persona is none other than Magatsu-Izanagi. However, he is ultimately defeated in battle by the more experienced teens and their Personas.
After Adachi’s defeat, he is possessed by the real mastermind behind him, and the Investigation Team again defeats him, this time for good. He is arrested, and the story ends there, or so it seems. Adachi comes back in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, where he is a side character.
Though he is rescued by the main villain of that sequel plotline, Adachi does not connect with him and help him in his plans. He even plays a minor heroic role in the story, but this does little to redeem the horrible acts he committed previously.
Social Link Explained
Tohru Adachi’s social link is one of the most unique in all Persona games. He does have a social connection, and it is technically optional for the main story. It is possible to see the original true ending of Persona 4 without ever touching the social link for him. In fact, this is what I did when I first played Golden on the PlayStation Vita.
However, his social link is an option, and it is a great way to understand more about the twisted main villain of the series. Like the other social links in the game, there are ten ranks to his relationship. He is, of course, not romanceable as he is the main enemy in the game.
The first unique part about Adachi is that you can only access the first six ranks when he becomes available. Those six ranks are only available until November 20, at which point you are locked out of them. To make matters more annoying, there are only certain days of the month that you can hang out with him.
These days are pretty random and not at all standard like the other social links. Here is the full list of the days that you can hang out with Tohru Adachi, starting in May:
- May: 13, 20, 23, 25, 27, and 30
- June: 5, 10, 11, 15, 26, and 28
- July: 2, 4, 5, 12, 14, and 26
- August: 23, 25
- September: 1, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 27, and 30
- October: 6, 12, 21, 24, 26
- November 1
You really have to plan out your time to make sure that you hang out with him when he is available if you want to reach the first six ranks. After November 20, the final ranks unlock through the main story itself. This is where things get even weirder as there are two routes to maxing out his social link.
The first has to do with making certain choices that side with Adachi and do not reveal his identity as the killer to everyone. If you go about this method, you will unlock the Accomplice Ending, which is a bad ending. Otherwise, you can still unlock the true ending and max out his ranks if you pick different conversation options.
Tohru Adachi in Other Games and Media
Since his original appearance in the PlayStation 2 version of Persona 4 back in 2008, there have been a lot of appearances of Tohru Adachi elsewhere. First up, there was the anime adaptation of Persona 4 that came out after the game and featured him as the main villain there.
He was also present in Persona 4 Golden on the Vita. There were plenty of spin-off games that came out after that, including Persona 4 Arena and its Ultimax sequel. Though Adachi is not involved in the first Arena, he appeared in the second as a playable character even.
Then there was the next spin-off game, Persona 4: Dancing All Night in which he is a DLC playable character there as well. In both Arena games and Dancing All Night, players can take control of him for the very first time. That said, his time in the gaming spotlight still did not end with those Atlus games.
In fact, Adachi has even appeared in other video games outside of those developed by Atlus. One such example is the Puzzle and Dragons mobile game. In this game, there have been Persona collaborations in the past and several characters have joined the free-to-play game. Adachi is one of the few major villains who had that opportunity.
If mobile games are not necessarily your thing, there was his inclusion in BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle where he was a playable DLC character in Season 2 as well.
Playstyle: Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
When it comes to playing as Tohru Adachi in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, there are a few key details that you should know about. The recent remaster of the game for modern consoles and PC gave me the chance to try him out for the first time.
Adachi’s playstyle in this game as “The Egocentric Police Dick” revolves almost entirely around offensively attacking with his Persona. To this point, players should know that he is almost defenseless without his Persona, which is especially problematic if a break happens to you.
That said, when Adachi has access to Magatsu Izanagi, he is one of the most powerful aggressive fighters around. It is very possible to take control of the battle and make it difficult for your opponent to make a comeback. There are plenty of status ailments that you can apply to your enemy.
In addition, most of his Persona attacks are quite powerful and unable to be stopped once used. His awakening skill is especially potent, compared to some of the other fighters, and deadly if you can pull it off. He is able to attack from far away but he risks his health with certain moves. We recommend playing as Adachi to aggressive players who can take full control of the arena.
Fun Facts about Tohru Adachi
Here are some fun facts about Tohru Adachi that you may not have known about:
- The only reason that Adachi wears a tie in the first place is that Dojima gave it to him. Otherwise, he would not be wearing his signature red tie in the game.
- Another part of his appearance that comes from Dojima is the fact that he carries around a lighter. This is only for lighting the cigarettes that Dojima smokes since Adachi does not smoke.
- When Adachi summons his Persona, he holds his head as if he is in severe pain. This is very similar to how one of the main antagonists from Persona 3, Takaya Sakaki, summons his Persona.
- He is one of the only characters from Persona 4 who does not have a Shadow version of himself. This is reflected in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, where he is playable, but no Shadow Adachi variant exists.
- As mentioned above in the guide, the English voice actor for Tohru Adachi also voices Yu Narukami, the main character in the game. This interesting parallel adds a fascinating level to the two characters. However, the most intriguing part is that the Japanese voice actors are not shared between the roles, despite the overwhelming similarities, like having the Izanagi Persona and using Zio attacks.
- This final trivia fact has significant spoilers for Persona 5, so please turn away now if you do not want them. Speaking of similarities, there are a lot of parallels between Tohru Adachi and Goro Akechi. The first one is the fact that they are both detectives who are investigating the significant events that are transpiring in their respective games. The second is that they are both the “traitors” and villains behind the killings going on. They even have some decently close similarities in their looks as well. Of course, they are both Persona users as well. However, the shared features end there as Akechi is a party member and teenager and gets much more redemption than Adachi ever got in his game.
Question: How do You Max out Adachi in Persona 4?
Answer: This is a one-of-a-kind situation in the Persona series where there are multiple ways to max out Adachi’s social link. However, what you should keep in mind is that you do not want to max out usually.
Get the first six ranks up by November 20, and then the other levels will happen naturally in the story. Make sure to choose the options to find the truth and stand against him, or you will reach max rank in the wrong way, receiving the Accomplice Ending.
Question: What Days Can I Hang Out with Adachi?
Answer: There are only certain days of the month (not even week) that you can hang out with Adachi prior to November 20 for the first six ranks. Those days are May 13, 20, 23, 25, 27, and 30.
In June, June 5, 10, 11, 15, 26, and 28. In July, it is July 2, 4, 5, 12, 14, 24, and 26. August only has August 23 and 25. September has 1, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 27, and 30. Lastly, the final days are October 6, 12, 21, 24, 26, and November 1.
Question: Do You Need the Adachi Social Link for the Actual Ending of Persona 4?
Answer: No, you do not need to max out Adachi’s social link in order to reach the true ending of Persona 4. However, you do need to make the right conversation choices in specific scenarios, including when talking to him.
Tohru Adachi is one of the best villains in the entire Persona series. In my opinion, the twist in Persona 4 of finding out that he is the real mastermind behind everything is brilliantly handled and one of the more unexpected moments in the series. However, he is far from the only villain in the series to impress in this way.
However, I should warn you that this will contain massive spoilers for Persona 5, so turn away now if you do not want that. Another villain is Goro Akechi.
With so many similarities between the two characters, there is a lot to love about Akechi and his villainous detective skills. You can find out more about Goro Akechi right here, where we go over the infamous traitor of the Phantom Thieves of Hearts.
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