Much of the beauty of the Persona series is in its characters. Sure, the various Personas and shadows you can collect are impressive on their own, but then there are the people you meet and play as. One of the most fascinating and unique characters in the entire Persona series is none other than Zenkichi Hasegawa, an investigator who works for the government. Find out about him in this Zenkichi Persona guide.
Zenkichi Hasegawa is one of the main characters in Persona 5 Strikers. If you haven’t played that spin-off/sequel game, you may not know how prominent he is within that game’s storyline. And there are even some major spoilery events that happen with him that will be all throughout this Zenkichi Hasegawa guide. I know that I was surprised by what happened with him, so if you haven’t played Strikers yet, you may want to look away now.
Bottom Line Up Front
Zenkichi Hasegawa is no random main character in Persona 5 Strikers. He isn’t a light villain in the way that characters like Sae Niijima are, nor is he simply a Confidant or side character that you meet in the main story of that game. Instead, Zenkichi is surprisingly a member of the Phantom Thieves.
Zenkichi joins the Phantom Thieves in Persona 5 Strikers as the final party member to join the group known as Wolf. He is the last member of the beloved team who fights against the shadows and Jail rulers in the Metaverse. He is also the only person to join the team as an adult.
Zenkichi Persona 5 Strikers Overview
A few essential parts of the Persona series stay true and consistent across all games, including even the original three titles on the PlayStation 1. There are features like having multiple Personas you can command, the Arcana playing a role in some way, and having a story about high schoolers.
This last part is one area that has always been quite fascinating to me. For the most part, the Persona series is almost always about high schoolers. This is even to the point where there are nearly no adults who join the party in the games outside of the Persona 2 duology.
In the modern Persona series, it is even stricter. There are plenty of intriguing adult characters who might work as part of the team, such as Sae Niijima or Dr. Maruki, for instance, in Persona 5, but neither happens. However, this trend was finally broken in a spin-off game of all things.
For the first time ever in the modern era of the Persona series with its Confidants and press turn systems, an adult joined the party. This person is none other than Zenkichi Hasegawa, who is also one of the oddest party members in the entire Phantom Thieves lineup.
As someone who played all games in the Persona series, including the older ones, he feels almost out of place in Strikers. Zenkichi honestly makes more sense as a character from the original trilogy of Persona titles or even Persona 3 rather than the current set of games.
And, yet, he is also one of the most compelling and surprising characters in Persona 5 Strikers. If anything, you should probably play this game to see him join the Phantom Thieves and for the action-based combat. To help you out, I’ll explain everything you need to know about Wolf below.
The look of Zenkichi is split up into two parts, like the other members of the Phantom Thieves. There is, first and foremost, his usual look outside of the Metaverse. In the everyday life, he is an investigator for the government, and he wears a traditional suit most of the time.
His hair is relatively long, going down to his shoulders and having some wavy textures to it. He wears glasses and has a nerdy but almost suspicious appearance to him, like he is hiding something. His face, hair, and even position remind me a lot of Shuji Ikutsuki from Persona 3.
Then there is his appearance in the Metaverse when he joins the team as Wolf. His Wolf outfit is one of the most visually striking costumes in the group, being all black and having a Zorro/vigilante style to it. The costume is sharp with flowing edges and a massive coattail in the back that is extravagant.
And don’t get me started on his hat, which rivals even the Metaverse Shadow Niijima’s hat from the original Persona 5. He wields dual pistols in combat, which only adds to his unique outlaw/dark cowboy style that he has going on.
Key Moments in Persona 5 Strikers
Zenkichi Hasegawa is present throughout the main story of Persona 5 Strikers as one of the crucial characters in the plot. Even though his joining of the group comes pretty late into the plot, he is a significant factor throughout the story from beginning to end.
As such, expect a complete set of spoilers from here on out for Zenkichi Hasegawa and everything that happens with him and the Phantom Thieves in Strikers.
Informing the Phantom Thieves
At the start of Persona 5 Strikers, Zenkichi is a shady individual who works for the government. He approaches the Phantom Thieves as their successful victory against Alice Hiiragi in the Shibuya Jail catches his attention.
Initially, the group distrusts him — understandably so — but begrudgingly works along with him on the case of investigating the Metaverse and the various Jails that have popped up across Japan. He acts as their informant, letting them know where to go next and how to tackle the mission.
Over time, the Phantom Thieves begin to trust Zenkichi somewhat but at a distance, especially given what happened during the events of the original Persona 5. He is seen as a necessary collaborator for the team, but they keep him at arm’s length.
Joining the Fight
Eventually, the Phantom Thieves learn what happened to Zenkichi in the past. The tragic death of his wife and his daughter, Akane’s distraught state, is something that Hasegawa eventually reveals to the team. In the end, he believes the Phantom Thieves about the Metaverse and Persona powers.
In time, Zenkichi awakens to his Persona skills and saves the Phantom Thieves in one of their most desperate moments. This leads to him joining the group formally as the final member, codenamed Wolf. From this moment forward, he takes the fight directly to his mission targets.
This is all the while trying to find the actual person behind the murder of his wife and the cause of his family’s broken state. In the end, he even has to face off against his own daughter, Akane, as she becomes one of the Jail rulers in the Metaverse.
He succeeds and, alongside fellow newcomer Sophia, is able to help the Phantom Thieves to close the case on the Jails that are springing up around the Metaverse and the true mastermind behind all of them. In the end, he is surprisingly a hero and an overall good guy, despite his appearance, position, and attitude.
Special Abilities Explained
There are a couple of special abilities that Zenkichi Hasegawa has in Persona 5 Strikers. They come down to his skills in the real world as an investigator for the police and also the powers that he has in the Metaverse.
Before joining the Phantom Thieves, Zenkichi is most known for his investigative expertise. He is no slouch when it comes to hunting down his foes and mission targets and doing whatever it takes to find them. For this reason, he can even track down the Phantom Thieves and realize that they are behind everything from Persona 5.
At the start of the game, he is hot on the trail of the ones who changed the hearts of so many influential figures, and he quickly gets to the Phantom Thieves before someone else does. Unlike some of the people from Persona 5, he even knows who the members are beyond Joker.
He is also exceptional at tracking down the next Jail target and knowing where to go next. Zenkichi is a highly skilled investigator who rivals that of even people like Sae Niijima and Goro Akechi from the previous game. These skills are what allow him to be such a valuable asset to the Phantom Thieves, too.
Then there is the other half of Zenkichi’s unique abilities: being a Persona user. His Persona is Valjean in Persona 5 Strikers, while Zenkichi himself is part of the unique Apostle Arcana. This is brand new to this game and is another name for the Hierophant Arcana from past titles.
His skills as a Persona user are pretty one-note, but not necessarily in a bad way. He has several abilities that let him buff the team, while his attack skills are based on the gun, physical, and Almighty attacks. He doesn’t have the typical elemental skills that the other members have.
Despite this, he is one of the more vital party members in Persona 5 Strikers since Almighty is such a versatile skill type. It isn’t generally affected by resistances since it is the hidden elemental type in the Persona series. This makes him one of the most flexible party members, useful in nearly every combat scenario.
Zenkichi Hasegawa Skills
Zenkichi is only in Persona 5 Strikers, a game that has no Confidants or social links like in the main titles. That said, you still find a lot about his story in the main plot, so that isn’t a loss. But he is still a traditional party member who levels up over time and gains new abilities. That much is still the same from game to game.
Below, you’ll find all of the abilities that Zenkichi Hasegawa learns in Persona 5 Strikers. I’ll also explain what the skill does and at what level Valjean, Zenkichi’s Persona, learns it:
- Tarukaja: This will boost the attack of a single party member for a time. This is an automatic skill he has when you acquire him.
- Rakukaja: This boosts the defense stat for a person. This is another automatic skill.
- Sukukaja: This boosts the critical hit and evasion rate for one person—default skill.
- Megido: This is a mid-rate Almighty attack that affects a large area—default skill.
- Triple Down: This is a light-damaging gun attack for an area—default skill.
- Gun Boost: This is a passive skill that boosts his gun attacks. Default skill.
- Technical High: Whenever Zenkichi lands a critical attack on an enemy, the buffs and de-buffs he throws down will last for longer. Learned at level 42.
- Dekaja: This takes away any boosts that the enemy has. Learned at level 45.
- Enduring Soul: Zenkichi will live once per battle whenever he is about to be taken out. It is learned at level 49.
- Heat Riser: This buffs the attack, defense, critical hit, and evasion rate of a single party member. Learned at level 52.
- Tetraja: This gives a shield to one person that will stop them from being knocked by an insta-kill attack. Learned at level 55.
- Deathbound: This deals medium physical damage to a large area. Learned at level 58.
- Megidola: This deals heavy Almighty damage to a large area. Learned at level 60.
- One-Shot Kill: This is a gun skill that deals severe damage and has a chance of being a critical hit. Learned at level 65.
- Debilitate: This will reduce the attack, defense, critical hit rate, and evasion of a group of enemies. Learned at level 68.
- Firm Stance: This stance lets Zenkichi give up some of his evasion in exchange for halving any damage he takes. Learned at level 72.
- Agneyastra: This deals medium physical damage, possibly multiple times to a large area. Learned at level 76.
- Megidolaon: This deals severe Almighty damage to a massive area of the battlefield. Learned at level 80.
Zenkichi Voice Actor
Zenkichi Hasegawa is only in Persona 5 Strikers. Since he isn’t in the previous games, he doesn’t appear in the anime or anything like that. However, he still has two voice actors, depending on if you listen to the game’s English or Japanese voiceovers. Both are excellent and worth hearing.
On the English side, Zenkichi is brought to life by Tom Taylorson. You may know him as Scott Ryder, the male protagonist of Mass Effect Andromeda, Roland in Star Wars: Bad Batch, and the Bunger in Bugsnax. He is a talented voice actor who certainly deserves more roles beyond these few prominent ones.
If you listen to the Japanese voices, you’ll hear Shinichiro Miki as the voice of Zenkichi Hasegawa. You might know this famous and talented voice actor as the person behind classic characters like Roy Mustang from Fullmetal Alchemist, Randy in The Legend of Heroes series (play it!), James from the Pokemon anime and Zamasu in Dragon Ball Super.
Plus, he is also no stranger to Atlus JRPGs, having been featured in some of the Shin Megami Tensei games in the past.
A few key relationships are at the heart of Zenkichi Hasegawa’s life and storyline in Persona 5 Strikers. First and foremost, there is his general relationship with the Phantom Thieves of Hearts. The core group each has their own thoughts on the police investigator.
Some think he is suspicious, like Futaba and Yusuke, while others are weary but open to learning more about him, which seems like in the case of Joker and Morgana. His relationship with Joker and Sophia are two of the most prominent in the group, as they are seen interacting with each other the most.
Despite how things begin, he quickly becomes a member of the Phantom Thieves family and someone that everyone cares about. They fight for his cause and to get justice for what happened to his wife in the past and what is going on with his daughter currently.
Speaking of his wife, there is also his relationship with her. Her death in the past tore his world down and changed everything. It is the single motivation for what he’s doing as an investigator as he attempts to bring down her killer. He also has a strong, hateful relationship with that murderer, who I won’t spoil here.
And lastly, there is Zenkichi’s relationship with his daughter, Akane. This is a mostly troubled relationship between father and daughter, as they lack understanding with one another, and everything is strained after the passing of his wife. In reality, Akane doesn’t see much hope in the police force, especially when it comes to justice, which is what leads to her conflict with Zenkichi in the main story of Strikers.
Question: Does Zenkichi Betray the Phantom Thieves?
Answer: This is an excellent and understandable question, given certain characters in Persona 5. Spoiler alert, but no, Zenkichi doesn’t betray the Phantom Thieves. This is intriguing since the script was supposedly originally going to have this happen in the main story.
Question: Is Zenkichi a Good Guy?
Answer: I would say that, yes, Zenkichi is a good guy. He is one of the few investigators and government officials on the side of the Phantom Thieves. He has his own motives, sure, but they are understandable, given what happened to his wife. He is undoubtedly one of the heroes.
Question: Who is Zenkichi’s Wife in Persona 5 Strikers?
Answer: Zenkichi’s wife in Persona 5 Strikers is Aoi Hasegawa. She is no longer alive at the start of the game, having been murdered a couple of years prior. Zenkichi’s entire mission in life is to hunt down and get justice against the person who killed her.
Who to Check Out Next in Persona 5 Strikers
Zenkichi Hasegawa is one of the Persona series’ best and most underrated playable characters. As one of the only adults to join the entire party, outside of the Persona 2 games, he is a rare example of a solid adult who is trustworthy and helpful to the Phantom Thieves rather than a hindrance or enemy.
Zenkichi pretty much dominates the entire plot of Persona 5 Strikers, too. The best parts of the story come from his personal conflicts with his family and the events that led to his wife’s death in the past. But Zenkichi isn’t the only new member of the Phantom Thieves, even if he is canonically the final one.
Sophia is the other new member to join the Phantom Thieves in Persona 5 Strikers. She is the first of the two in the main story to join and is also quite unique in her own right. She is the first AI/robot partner to join the team since Aigis and only the second in the entire franchise. She is also at the center of the plot, alongside Zenkichi, so she’s worth discovering more about.
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