& something about you resonates with me


Persona 3 makes use of the thirteen Major Arcana of tarot cards. Each Persona user in the game represents a different arcana, which is in turn symbolic of their personality. Due to the differing social links between the male and female protagonist, Akihiko has two different arcana depending on the route being played. If the player choses the male protagonist, Akihiko is the Emperor. If playing the female route, his arcana switches to the Star.

The Emperor

The Emperor is representative of authority, control and upholding rules. It is also connected with discipline, leadership, experience and sometimes inflexibility. The Emperor is a reminder of how sometimes it is necessary for the mind to dominate over the heart in order to push through difficult situations. It tells us that it is important to maintain our concentration and focus while making hard choices. Therefore, the Emperor represents structure and logic over emotions and lesser desires. It can sometimes be interpreted as having absolute confidence to move towards some goal and signal a new way of seeing the world will change the way you experience life. Lastly, the Emperor can signify you desire to have control over everything in your surroundings. However, the Emperor serves as a reminder that some things may not be controllable or benefit from being controlled.

The Emperor can arguably be connected to Akihiko's personality in a variety of ways. For one, he is certainly disciplined and experienced compared to most of the other members. While he is not the leader of SEES, he does show leadership qualities as well. The importance of putting logic over emotions is very representative of Akihiko's character. When Polydeuces gives rise to Caesar, for example, Akihiko is initially overwhelmed with grief and confusion over Shinjiro's death/coma. However, when he pulls himself together and realizes he needs to push his feelings aside and focus on what lies ahead, he is able to formulate his resolve for fighting. If he had let his emotions get the best of him, he certainly would have become immobilized. Did he want to let his mind triumph over the heart? Probably not since his grief was strong. It was just the most effective way to overcome a difficult situation. While I would hardly say Akihiko is a control freak, I still feel the last part of the description above fits his character. He tries very hard to keep others at a distance in order to control how important they become to him. He also desperately wants to have control of his strength development and tries to keep tight control over his feelings around Miki's death. He later realizes, though, trying to control all of those things ultimately does not benefit him or others--just like the Emperor's reminder.

The Star

Where the Emperor is deeply rooted in logic and reason, the Star is representative of inspiration, hope for the future and becoming more confident of your needs. It signals new changes to come in the future. New opportunities are around the corner and you are starting to think more positively. The Star can signal having something to live for or somewhere to move towards because it represents the calm after the storm, so to speak. A higher pathway is becoming visible when this card shows up and things are becoming clear. Further, the Star can mean you have been in a state of sadness but are finally starting to see some hope. It is a light in the darkness. This arcana is also associated with trust, hope, regeneration, harmony and seeing the world differently. Finally, the Star also reminds us of both vulnerability and potential.

Connections can be drawn between Akihiko's character and the Emperor. The Star, however, I feel is more representative of Akihiko's relationship with the female protagonist. This makes sense, if you think about it, as Akihiko only becomes the Star for the purpose of a social link with the female protagonist. He lets himself become vulnerable around her while talking about Miki and therefore trust is built. Through their relationship, Akihiko slowly begins to see the light at the end of the tunnel. He's carried sadness and guilt for so long but he can now see hope he can move past such feelings. He comes to terms with the fact he had only been pretending to get over Miki's death because he didn't want to face what happened. He reaches clarity regarding his feelings for her death and for the protagonist herself. By spending time with the protagonist, Akihiko also resolves to protect the things important to him rather than not allowing things to become important. In that sense, he becomes more positive, confident and has a solid goal to move towards. Lastly, I would argue that by finding a new resolve through their time spent together, Akihiko is regenerated as a character. He is able to make peace with his demons and see the world in a new way.

The Emperor @ Keen
The Emperor @ Psychic Revelation
The Emperor @ Wikipedia
The Star @ Keen
The Star @ Psychic Revelation
The Star @ Wikipedia

b a c k   .   c l e a r   .   f o r w a r d    Resonance is © Samantha, however Akihiko, Mitsuru and Persona 3 are © Atlus and other rightful owners. Resonance is a part of AFTER-DEATH.ORG.