Yusuke Kitagawa Guide


Yusuke Kitagawa is one of many Confidants in Persona 5 Royal who represents the Emperor Arcana. While he starts off as a minor antagonist who interferes with the Phantom Thieves as they are investigating Ichiryusai Madarame, he eventually joins the group when Madarame’s crimes are too obvious to hide.

He is the artist of the Phantom Thieves, responsible for their calling card designs as well as fighting with his sword during adventures in the Metaverse. The Emperor Confidant examines Yusuke’s artistic ability when he hits a wall and his complicated feelings with his mentor. Let’s start our Yusuke Kitagawa guide by looking more into this Persona character.


Yusuke Kitagawa Guide
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Yusuke is an art student at Kosei High, studying under Ichiryusai Madarame as his apprentice. When the Phantom Thieves first encounter Yusuke, he is the only apprentice that they see. Yusuke’s talent for art has been recognized since he was little, and it is all he thinks about.

Yusuke struggles with the reality that Madarame is a terrible person, but owes him a debt of gratitude for raising him after the passing of his mother. He initially defends Madarame’s reputation to the Phantom Thieves not because he genuinely believes Madarame is innocent, but because he cannot imagine being ungrateful to the man who took him in.

This begins to change when the Phantom Thieves begin probing around Madarame’s Palace. Madarame’s wrongdoings become apparent and he is forced to grapple with the reality that he has been pushing away. Yusuke joins the Phantom Thieves to make up for his inactivity in regards to Madarame’s other apprentices.

The Emperor Confidant investigates Yusuke’s complicated relationship with his art and Madarame. After hitting a slump, he asks Joker for help to get the inspiration he needs to improve his art. Part of his slump is dealing with the reality that he needs to earn money to survive, as well as wondering if Madarame really was as terrible as he seemed.

Key Moments

Yusuke Kitagawa Guide
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Yusuke is first encountered when Ann believes he is a stalker on their way to school. Joker and Ryuji confront Yusuke on Ann’s behalf, where they discover his interest in Ann is purely for artistic reasons as he wants her to be his model. He invites her to Madarame’s upcoming art exhibition and then leaves.

The Phantom Thieves start to hear about Madarame’s reputation and decide to go to the art exhibition to learn more. They meet Yusuke, who shows Ann around the exhibits. He begins to show discomfort when Ann praises one of Madarame’s paintings, which she notices.

After Yusuke asks Ann to be his model again, the Phantom Thieves head to Madarame’s residence to speak to Yusuke about the rumors they have heard. Yusuke brushes off the rumors and tries to chase away the Phantom Thieves, though the arrival of Madarame does calm him down.

As the Phantom Thieves begin to investigate Madarame, they encourage Ann to take up his modeling offer. While Yusuke begins his work on painting Ann, he isn’t able to capture her image properly and asks her to be a nude model. Ryuji jumps in to interrogate Yusuke about Madarame, but this only serves to infuriate Yusuke, who refuses to speak to the Phantom Thieves again.

Recruiting Yusuke

Yusuke Kitagawa Guide
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Once the Phantom Thieves begin speaking to Madarame’s former apprentices (in particular Natsuhiko Nakanohara), they infiltrate Madarame’s Palace but are unable to get past a roadblock. The Thieves send Ann and Morgana to Madarame’s residence under the guise of accepting the nude modeling gig, where their real aim is to bypass the roadblock.

Ann attempts to stall Yusuke’s attempts at nude modeling with lots of clothing and her poor acting skills. Morgana is eventually able to unlock a door that resembles the roadblock in Madarame’s Palace, but this occurs at the same time Madarame arrives. Ann drags Yusuke into the room, where he discovers indisputable evidence of Madarame’s wrongdoings.

While Madarame tries to cover it up, he eventually defaults to calling the police. Ann drags Yusuke into Madarame’s Palace to escape, which brings Yusuke face-to-face with Shadow Madarame.

Shadow Madarame reveals his true intentions to Yusuke, which enrages him to the point that he summons his own Persona, Goemon. After assisting the Phantom Thieves in escaping Shadow Madarame’s guards, he eventually admits that he knew about Madarame’s wrongdoings the whole time. He only denied it to the Thieves because he couldn’t reconcile Madarame’s behavior with his gratitude for raising him as a child.

After the Thieves leave Madarame’s Palace to regroup, Yusuke joins the Phantom Thieves, saying that if he had done something earlier, he might have been able to stop some of the atrocities from happening.

Stealing Madarame’s Treasure

Yusuke Kitagawa Guide
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With Yusuke on their team, the Phantom Thieves eventually carry out the heist to steal Madarame’s treasure. After grabbing the Treasure, they are apprehended by Shadow Madarame, who reveals that the Thieves stole a fake Treasure. The real Treasure is a painting done by Yusuke’s mother, who died shortly before Yusuke was born.

Knowing that his mother was an apprentice under Madarame, and knowing how he treats his apprentices, Yusuke asks Shadow Madarame if he killed his mother. Shadow Madarame admits that he killed Yusuke’s mother by inaction; while he was not responsible for the seizure that took her life, he did nothing to help and let her die.

Upon hearing this, Yusuke realizes just how far Madarame has fallen, and defeats Shadow Madarame without feeling a shred of remorse.

When Madarame admits to his wrongdoings in public, Yusuke has to move to a new place, and ends up celebrating with the Phantom Thieves over hotpot, where everyone shares their life stories. Realizing that he needs to be around other people in order to grow, Yusuke decides to stay at his school’s dormitories.

He continues to assist the Phantom Thieves with their other activities, stealing the Treasures of other villains in Tokyo, and is an essential part of taking down Yaldabaoth.

The Emperor Confidant

Yusuke Kitagawa Guide
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Yusuke confides with Joker that he is in a slump and at risk of losing his art scholarship, the only thing keeping him in school. He asks Joker for help in regaining his artistic ability, with Joker suggesting that they visit Mementos for inspiration.

While in Mementos, Yusuke learns that he can duplicate Skill Cards, which he offers to do for Joker in exchange for his assistance.

Yusuke uses the trip into Mementos to come up with a painting for a local art exhibition. Unfortunately, the painting is not well received, which discourages Yusuke. Joker accompanies Yusuke to a number of locations for possible sources of inspiration, which include Madarame’s old residence.

Yusuke is unable to stop himself from reminiscing about better times, and admits that despite knowing Madarame’s crimes, is still unable to reconcile that knowledge with his feelings towards Madarame as a father figure. It is then that they are approached by Akiko Kawanabe, who was at the exhibition where Yusuke displayed his painting.

Kawanabe offers Yusuke the chance to grow under his art foundation, but the offer is insulting enough that Yusuke refuses. Kawanabe then challenges Yusuke to submit a painting for an upcoming competition that his foundation is sponsoring before leaving.

Yusuke strives to enter a painting that will be good enough, but is unable to come up with good ideas. He invites Ryuji and Ann over to discuss the issue, where he laments his inability to paint since he must create art to earn money and be famous. Ryuji and Ann are able to change Yusuke’s mindset, telling him that while there is nothing wrong with working for your own sake, he still has to make art for the sake of other people.

With this revelation, Yusuke creates a new painting that draws great acclaim from everyone who attends the competition, including Kawanabe himself. Kawanabe admits to Yusuke that he wasn’t being serious with his first offer, it was simply a ploy to provoke Yusuke to push himself further.

Kawanabe shares his background with Madarame, and even mentions that Madarame once called him because Yusuke was sick when no hospital was open. Kawanabe makes an offer for Yusuke to join his foundation again, with an actual offer. Yusuke is happy, but politely declines, mentioning that as long as he has his friends, he will always stay on the right track.

Persona 5 Royal

Yusuke Kitagawa Guide
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If the 3rd semester is unlocked, Yusuke’s desire is to study under a kind Madarame, who has reformed after being released from prison. While Yusuke enjoys living in these circumstances, Joker helps him realize that this isn’t the correct reality, and that he needs to snap out of it. He regains his senses in time to help Joker rescue Sumire from Dr. Maruki.

After learning about the fate of the world from Lavenza, Yusuke and the rest of the Phantom Thieves defeat Maruki and restore the world to its original state.

Persona 5 Strikers

Yusuke reunites with the Phantom Thieves when Joker comes to visit during summer vacation. After assisting the Thieves in taking down Alice Hiiragi, Yusuke travels with the group to take down other Jails that have appeared around Japan.

When they reach Sendai to investigate a Jail, Yusuke comes across the supposed owner, Ango Natsume. Natsume regards himself as a great author, but disparages Madarame’s reputation and indirectly insults Yusuke’s mother. To get information about the Jail, Yusuke decides to go up and talk to him. After getting the information he needs, Yusuke subtly talks down to Natsume, telling him that his mother’s work is far beyond anything Natsume could create.

When the Thieves infiltrate the Sendai Jail and defeat Shadow Natsume, Yusuke steers Natsume back on the right path by reminding him why he became an author in the first place.

Yusuke then joins the rest of the Phantom Thieves in defeating the False God Demiurge, once again stopping a threat from the Metaverse from endangering Tokyo.

How To Begin The Emperor Confidant

Yusuke Kitagawa Guide
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The Emperor Confidant will only begin after Madarame’s public confession. After Yusuke moves into the dormitories, he will ask Joker to meet him in Shibuya’s Underground Walkway on June 18th. When Joker talks to him, the events that follow will start the Emperor Confidant.

Emperor Confidant Benefits

The Emperor Confidant revolves around Skill Cards, which can be used to give Personas new abilities, including some that they would not normally be able to learn.

  • At Rank 1, you unlock Card Duplication, which allows Yusuke to duplicate a Skill Card that you give him. You must give him a Card, then come back the next day to receive the copy (as well as get the original back).
  • At Rank 3, you unlock Follow Up for Yusuke, which allows him to follow up Joker’s attack if Joker hasn’t finished off an enemy.
  • At Rank 4, you unlock Art Talk, which allows Yusuke to smooth over a failed negotiation with a lone Shadow. The Shadow must be by themselves; all other enemies must be defeated.
  • At Rank 5, you unlock Card Creation, which allows Yusuke to create a Skill Card if he has previously copied it before. You must wait one day for Yusuke to complete the Card before you can pick it up.
  • At Rank 6, you unlock Harisen Recovery, which allows Yusuke to heal a status ailment from a party member after he targets an enemy’s weakness/gets a critical hit.
  • At Rank 7, you unlock Live Painting, which allows Yusuke to do Card Duplication and Card Creation on the same day. You can only do one request per day, but the result is given to you immediately.
  • At Rank 8, Yusuke learns Endure, which allows him to survive a fatal attack with 1 HP remaining.
  • At Rank 9, Yusuke learns Protect, which allows him to protect Joker if he is about to take a fatal blow.
  • At Rank 10/MAX, Yusuke’s Persona will transform from Goemon to Kamu Susano-o.

Guide To The Emperor Confidant

Yusuke Kitagawa Guide
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Rank 1:

Meet Yusuke at the Shibuya Underground Walkway and agree to spend time with him.

You unlock Card Duplication.

Answer with the following responses:

  • Thanks

Rank 2:

Answer with the following responses:

  • It’s enigmatic
  • I hope you’re right
  • You’re already doing enough

Rank 3:

Answer with the following responses:

  • Don’t let it bother you
  • This is just the beginning
  • This isn’t like you
  • That’s the spirit
  • That’s the spirit (for a later response)

You unlock Follow Up.

Rank 4:

Answer with the following responses:

  • I should bring a girl here
  • Love comes in all forms
  • Don’t get discouraged

You unlock Art Talk.

Rank 5:

Answer with the following responses:

  • Do you want me to strip?
  • It doesn’t look like it
  • There’s still hope

You unlock Card Creation.

Rank 6:

Your Proficiency must be at the 4th level (Masterful) in order to continue. Otherwise, you will simply be locked out and must come back another time.

Answer with the following responses:

  • It feels nostalgic
  • We should get it fixed
  • Are you OK?
  • I couldn’t possibly tell you
  • He had a certain dignity

You unlock Harisen Recovery.

Rank 7:

Answer with the following responses:

  • What do you mean?
  • The truth is within you
  • It’s not a crime to enjoy sushi

You unlock Live Painting.

Rank 8:

Answer with the following responses:

  • It has to be Ann
  • You’ve really grown, Yusuke

You unlock Endure.

Rank 9:

Answer with the following responses:

  • Her love for her son
  • You’ve really changed, Yusuke

You unlock Protect.

Rank 10:

Any responses will do. Goemon will transform into Kamu Susano-o, and Yusuke will give you the Desire & Hope Painting in March.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Is there a deadline for completing Yusuke’s Confidant?

Answer: The deadline is December 24th in Persona 5 and February 2nd in Persona 5 Royal.

Q: Is there anything special about Yusuke’s Confidant?

Answer: At Rank 6, you must have your Proficiency at Masterful (the 4th level) before you can proceed. Otherwise, you will be locked out and must boost your Proficiency until it is sufficient to open the door.

Q: Why doesn’t Yusuke’s New Game Plus bonus appear?

Answer: You must start the Emperor Confidant at Rank 1 before the bonuses kick in again.

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