Persona 4 is one of the most beloved games of all time. Even in the Persona series, many claim it to be the best. This is in no small part due to the characters in it. One such Persona character is the hero himself, Yu Narukami. As you will see in this Yu Narukami guide, he is one of the more intriguing heroes in the series.
The Yu Narukami guide will explain everything you need to know about the protagonist. From his history and events in Persona 4 to his surprising personality to unique abilities and more. There is a lot to go over regarding this player-controlled character, so, without further ado, let’s take a look.
Bottom Line Up Front
Persona 4 and its Golden variant are the fifth mainline games in the Persona series. The player takes the role of Yu Narukami, the lead protagonist in both versions. Unlike almost every other protagonist in the series to date, Yu has a distinct personality. It is mainly fleshed out in the numerous different games and adaptations he is featured in.
He is one of the most loving heroes in the series, profoundly caring and getting to know each of his friends. He leads the Midnight Channel Investigation Team using his wildcard Persona summoning ability. Together with his friends, he attempts to find the serial killer in the small town of Inaba.
Who is Yu Narukami from Persona 4?
The lead hero of Persona 4 and Persona 4 Golden is none other than Yu Narukami. He is the main character fifth mainline game in the Persona series. Across the PS2, PlayStation Vita, and Steam versions of the game, he is the player-controlled character. He is also one of the most famous protagonists in the series.
Before releasing Persona 5 and Joker, he was, in my opinion, the most recognizable and favorite hero in the series. Like Joker and every other main character in the series, he is a mostly silent protagonist. That said, he has a startlingly passionate and exciting personality. It just takes some other media to find that out.
Yu Narukami is a quiet hero who the player controls within his games. You decide what he does during the day at school, what he does after school, and how he controls in battle. Everything that Yu does is mainly decided by you.
You can help him build relationships with the various characters around town and complete side objectives. You can have him increase his social stats as well as battle ones. He can also participate in part-time jobs and gardening if the player chooses.
Yu Narukami is the canon name for the player character in Persona 4. Despite being a silent protagonist, he does have an official name. This is also interesting since the player can choose what his name is within the game.
That said, Yu Narukami is the official name and one that is used in subsequent media. Yu is the leader of the Midnight Channel Investigation Team in Persona 4.
This is the group of high school students looking into the serial killer in the small town of Inaba. They are finding out how to use their Personas to stop this supernatural killer from continuing his reign of terror.
For Yu Narukami, there are two main aspects of this character’s appearance. These will ultimately depend on what you are doing within the game. For certain moments in Persona 4, he will have one design outfit.
On the other hand, he will look a different way in other situations. His look is too wildly different, though, in either situation. He does not necessarily have some final form or crazy transformation like in other games. The look of this character is all around pretty tame overall.
High School Uniform
For starters, we have the high school uniform outfit for Yu Narukami. This is his daily outfit for going to school and hanging out with friends in town. He wears a standard school uniform with the usual pieces that you would find for a high school student in Japan.
This means that he wears a black blazer and black dress pants together. The blazer is simple enough, with just the school emblem on the left-hand side. In addition, Yu will sometimes wear the collar on the blazer up, allowing you to see that it is white on the inside.
In addition, he has a white dress shirt that he wears underneath his blazer. This is your typical button-up shirt, and there is nothing much to it. He will sometimes wear the shirt tucked in but always has his blazer open.
Overall, the outfit for Yu Narukami is pretty tame. It is nothing like the extravagant appearances of some of the other characters in the series.
That said, the most significant part about him is his interesting hair. Unlike other heroes, he has a strange ashen gray color to his hair. This is an interesting color that is very non-traditional. This also gives him a slightly older look than some other high school students.
Investigation Team Outfit
While the other outfit is mainly for day school and after-school affairs, Yu has another outfit. This is his Investigation Team outfit and the one he wears in the Midnight Channel. While players are hunting for the killer in the other world and fighting shadows, this is what you will look like.
Yu wears the same general outfit, but he has it even more open and flared up. It gives him a rugged and almost rebellious high school student look. Everything else about him is pretty standard except for one notable feature.
While in the Midnight Channel, he will wear eyeglasses. Even though he does not seemingly need glasses in the real world, this is true. This is due to the glasses acting as a catalyst for the Persona users. These glasses allow him to channel his energy and summon his Persona efficiently.
In addition to the eyeglasses, Yu also has a katana wielded as his weapon of choice in battle.
The personality of Yu Narukami is unique. For most other heroes in the series, the player shapes the personality. That is the same for Yu in Persona 4, but he does have a canon character. This is not necessarily seen within the games but in other spin-offs and anime.
Through this, we find out more about how Yu is. He has the most notable and shaped personality out of any main hero in the Persona series. He is a kind and soft-spoken guy who deeply cares about his friends. He shows this in everything that he does in the series.
He is a loving family guy who likes to hang out with his cousin Nanako and uncle Dojima. Yu also loves to hang out with his friends in high school. This makes him the most down-to-earth protagonist in the series. He does not need an extravagant life and does not mind the intimate nature of the countryside.
Furthermore, he is seen to be quite intelligent and protective over those he cares about.
There are many key relationships that Yu has in Persona 4. Though the cast is small, Narukami makes sure to have a deep connection to everyone that he comes across. It starts with his family, including his uncle Dojima and cousin Nanako.
Dojima and Yu have a somewhat difficult relationship at first but grow to care about one another over time. On the other hand, Nanako Dojima is likely the most critical person to Yu. He does not let anything happen to the young girl and will do everything to protect her.
Yu has a best friend in Yosuke, and the two often hang out with one another. Chie is another great friend, and she is a sparring partner for Yu. Teddie is the animal mascot who is a best friend for Yu as well. Yukiko Amagi is a kind girl that Yu befriends, and they have a relationship where he helps her find out more about herself.
Kanji is a delinquent who Yu reaches out to when no one else will. Rise is a pop idol wannabe who is struggling, and Yu helps her out. Lastly, there is Naoto Shirogane, who Yu helps in her investigations and can go toe-to-toe with intelligence-wise.
There are other key relationships that the player can have optionally with members of the town. In Persona 4 Golden, Marie also has a possible romantic connection canonically to Yu.
Every protagonist in the most recent Persona games has a voice actor. That said, most of the time, they do not really matter. They are only there for the occasional catchphrase or sound effect. However, that is not the case at all when it comes to Yu Narukami.
His voice actors have a lot to work with, especially when it comes to the anime adaptation and spin-off games, where he talks a lot. The English dub voice actor is Johnny Yong Bosch, and the Japanese one is Daisuke Namikawa. It is worth noting that both the Japanese and even English voices for Yu are fantastic.
It is worth noting that Johnny Yong Bosch, but not Namikawa, also voices another character in Persona 4. The English dub actor also voices supporting character and officer Adachi in Persona 4. He actually does a great job of differentiating between the two’s voices as well.
As the main character in a JRPG, it makes sense that Yu would have some special abilities that only he can use. There are two main powers that Yu has, and they are the crux of the turn-based battles in the game. This is besides the fact that he is able to enter the Midnight Channel at will, unlike most people.
Yu’s first main ability is that he is a Persona summoner. He is able to awaken to his inner self and summon that Persona at will. His default Persona that best represents him is Izanagi. They even look like one another in the appearances of both characters.
As a Persona summoner, he is able to bring out his other self at will in the other world. He can command it to use certain skills in battle with his Persona. This provides the basis for the combat in the Persona 4 game. The player is able to channel the Persona’s abilities to use against shadows.
However, this is not all too special since all of the party members in Persona 4 are Persona summoners. That said, there is a main difference between him and his friends that play into his second ability.
Like other protagonists in the series, Yu’s second ability is that of the wildcard. Everyone else in his party is restricted to just one Persona at a time. However, Yu is different in that he is able to have more than one in his collection.
There are many ways that Yu is able to get another Persona, such as collecting them as cards or fusing them in the Velvet Room. The Velvet Room is, in fact, an exclusive area that only Yu can access. His teammates cannot go there since they do not have the wildcard.
The general playstyle for Yu Narukami is chill and relaxed, just like the countryside where he is living in Persona 4. There are two main sides to the Persona gameplay for Yu, and the first of these is school life. During school life, the player can go about going to class as usual.
There are occasional quizzes and questions that the player can answer. They can explore the school and town, talk to friends, and hang out. There are many optional objectives, too, like working a part-time job or building out social links.
On the other hand, the other side to Yu’s playstyle is within the Midnight Channel. In this other world, the player is able to control him in full 3D to move around the dungeons. The player can explore and interact with shadows to initiate fights.
In the fights themselves, Yu uses a turn-based system. The player can choose his decisions in battle each turn, like summoning a different Persona or using an ability. They are also able to use items and other skills in battle.
Being that Yu is the hero in Persona 4, much of the story revolves around him. He is involved in every aspect of the game from start to finish. This means that his history is the longest and most detailed in Persona 4 and that it is going to contain massive spoilers.
If you do not like spoilers and would rather play Persona 4 without knowing anything at all, turn away now. Otherwise, continue onward if you want just a brush-up on Yu’s events in Persona 4. That said, I will be sure to avoid specific plot details like the serial killer’s identity and so on that are not necessary for this Yu Narukami guide.
Moving to the Countryside
At the beginning of the game, Yu Narukami comes from an unknown other city in Japan. His parents are going away for a time, so he needs to spend a year with other family. Thus enters his temporary one-year move to the town of Inaba, Japan.
This fictional town does not exist in the real world but is based around an actual city in Japan. Yu moves to this town by train at the beginning of the game. While on the commute, he falls asleep and ends up in the Velvet Room.
He is granted the wildcard in the Velvet Room and meets Igor and Margaret. Once in Inaba, he eventually runs into his uncle Dojima and cousin Nanako. They stop at the gas station, where he meets the store clerk on the way home.
After falling asleep that night and seeing the fog in town, he wakes up and goes to school. On his first day at school, he meets Yosuke Hanamura, Chie, and Yukiko, who he immediately befriends. Eventually, he discovers more about the Midnight Channel rumor of seeing the person you love.
When he tries to investigate the Midnight Channel with Yosuke and Chie Satonaka, they fall into the TV itself. There, they meet Teddie. The next day, a tragic death happens and leads Yu and Yosuke into the TV once more. There, Yosuke confronts his shadow, and Yu helps him to overcome his weakness.
Later on, the next victim of the Midnight Channel is revealed, and it is Yukiko. Together, Yu, Yosuke, Chie, and Teddie begin investigate. Through this, Yu helps Chie to summon her Persona.
Together, the group works to find Yukiko and help her deal with her shadow form as well. Through this, they are able to save Yukiko from being the next fog victim.
Forming the Midnight Channel Investigation Team
With this team of five, the group creates their Midnight Channel Investigation Team. Yu and the group know that they are the only ones who can access the other world and Personas. Because of this, it is up to them to find out who is using the world to kill people and stop them.
They begin to watch the Midnight Channel to see who the next victims will be. As such, they end up going to various dungeons in the TV world to rescue people. The first person that Yu rescues next is Kanji, a delinquent at school who has secrets of his own.
After that, they deal with Rise, a pop idol girl from the small town. And lastly, they save Naoto, a genius detective high school girl. Together, the eight of them form the complete team.
Along the way, Yu can even help find out the truth about Teddie’s existence and help him become a valuable fighter on the team.
With this entire group together, the team works to stop the killer once and for all. In the midst of this, Yu is able to go to school, live a seemingly normal life outside of the TV world, and do other side content. Yu is able to, through the player, work jobs and build social link relationships with everyone.
Finding a Killer
Near the conclusion of Persona 4, multiple endings can occur. It all depends on what Yu chooses when the killer picks his next victim. This time around, a more personal victim is directly threatening Yu to stop what he is doing.
Depending on what Yu chooses in these moments, it can radically change the game’s ending. The victim close to Yu can die or remain hospitalized in two of the endings. On the other hand, the main character could figure out the actual serial killer behind everything and get the true ending.
Yu and the gang confront the killer and find out that he is only playing a pawn in someone else’s schemes. They take out this person and then can get the typical ending or the true one. For the true one, the player must complete specific actions on the final day to realize who the actual enemy is and defeat them.
In Persona 4 Golden, there is an entirely different storyline available during this time. This optional storyline involves Marie, who could be the canon love interest for Yu. After helping her out with her issues, the player can proceed with the true ending and fight the true enemy behind everything.
Yu Narukami in Other Games and Media
Beyond just Persona 4 and Golden, Yu has appeared in many different games and media. For one, there is Persona 4 The Animation and its Golden variant. This is the anime adaptation of both games and features another place for fans to check him out.
Interestingly, the Persona 4 anime is where he really developed his personality and began to talk more. This was followed by many different spin-off titles that Yu is featured in. The most notable of them is Persona 4 Arena and Ultimax.
These are canon sequels to the original game. In them, Yu is brought back to the town of Inaba to investigate another crazy event. This happens with the other characters of Persona 4 as well as Persona 3. It is a fighting game that lets Yu show his strength and skills differently.
There is also Persona 4 Dancing All Night, where Yu and the gang enter a dancing competition with this music-themed spin-off title.
Persona Q and its sequel are also where Yu and the cast from Persona 3 enter a dungeon to stop bad things from happening. Since then, he has also made appearances in other games like Persona 5 as an optional boss character.
Fun Facts about Yu Narukami
Yu Narukami is the main character in the Persona series, so there are a lot of fun facts and trivia about him. To help with this, we will break down some of the neat details that we think you should know about this character. Note that a couple of them are light spoilers so please bear that in mind.
- Tohru Adachi is seen as the opposite personality to Yu Narukami. Yu is a serious high school student, while Adachi is a goofy adult. The events that happen with both of them even mirror one another.
- Tohru Adachi and Yu also share the same English voice actor but not in Japanese.
- Before Yu’s official name was confirmed, the Japanese fans had their own nickname for him. They called him Bancho, and this stuck enough that the Japanese version of Persona 4 Arena references him by this title.
- Yu is the only protagonist who has less than three canonical Persona. His only two are Izanagi and Izanagi-no-Okami.
- While Yu Narukami is his canon name these days, this was not always the case. At one point, he had a different name in the manga. The instruction manual for the original game gave him an other name. The anime first started using Yu, and Persona 4 Arena confirmed it as the canon name later on.
Question: What is the Persona 4 Protagonist’s Canon Name?
Answer: The Persona 4 protagonist is one of the few in the series to have a canon name across all media. Not all of them have one, as is the case for the hero of Persona 1 and even Joker, which is just a pseudonym. That name is Yu Narukami.
However, the player does not have to use this name in Persona 4 and Golden if they do not want to. They can choose their own unique name for the lead hero. If you play something like Persona 4 Arena or another spin-off or watch the anime adaptation, Yu Narukami will be used for the protagonist.
Question: Can You Fight Yu Narukami in Persona 5?
Answer: Yes, you actually can. However, you have to go through a couple of notable hoops to do this. For one, he is only available as an enemy in Persona 5 Royal. You will need that particular version of the game to fight him.
In addition, Yu Narukami is a DLC boss battle in Persona 5 Royal. You will need to have that particular DLC purchased and downloaded to fight him. He is a mid-level boss fight that you will need to grind to be able to defeat. Being that he is an optional challenge boss, it will not be an easy fight.
Question: Does Yu Narukami Have a Shadow?
Answer: Yu Narukami does have a shadow but not necessarily in the main game of Persona 4. This is slight spoilers for the games, so turn around now if you do not want to know anything at all. Still here? Alright, Yu does not have a shadow like the other main characters in Persona 4 due to the villain.
The main villain, the serial killer behind everything, represents a foil to the protagonist. In a way, they are like Yu’s shadow while being a normal human.
That said, Yu Narukami does have a traditional shadow at some point in the series. If you play the Persona 4 Arena spin-off game, you can see Yu’s more standard shadow version.
Question: Does Yu Stay in Inaba?
Answer: This is another slight spoilery question. The spoilery answer is that Yu does not stay in Inaba. He was only ever meant to stay in the town for a year while his parents were away. Once the year is up at the end of the main story, he goes back home to be with his immediate family.
That said, Yu does return to Inaba canonically. This happens in Persona 4 Arena and its Ultimax follow-up, which is a direct sequel to the main game. In that game, he returns for the Golden Week holiday to see his friends and solve yet another mystery alongside the cast of Persona 3.
Yu Narukami is one of the main playable characters in the Persona series. He is beloved by fans and a recognizable character from the franchise. He is a brilliant example of a hero who can be shaped by the player while also having a great personality.
But Yu is far from the only memorable hero in the series. After reading this guide to the Persona 4 lead character, we recommend checking out our guide to Joker. In the Joker Persona 5 guide, we break down the popular leader of the Phantom Thieves.
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