& something about you resonates with me


Persona 3 is a great game in regards to character development. All of the main characters have their own individual struggles in the past and present they eventually overcome. Arguably, when they are able to triumph over their past or find a solution to their present difficulty, they take a step forward in their own development. The following scenes are those in which Mitsuru grows as a character and forms a new resolution that represents said growth.

Revived Will to Live

After the death of her father, Mitsuru loses all sense of responsibility and purpose in her life. She no longer sees a point in fighting when everything she believed in was a lie. She withdraws into herself and shows no interest in going to Tartarus. While on the school trip to Kyoto, Yukari finds her at a riverbank staring out into space. She suggests they get going because it's almost curfew and Mitsuru wonders why she is still concerned about her. Without a common goal to fight for or enemies to defeat, they have no reason to be friends. Frustrated, Yukari tells her it isn't true. Mitsuru insists there is no reason to continue on because she failed to... Clearly annoyed, Yukari interrupts and reminds her she fought to protect her father, not to atone for the Kirijo Group. Visibly displaying intense emotion, Mitsuru despairs that her trust in the Chairman blinded her and resulted in her falling right into his trap. She fought so she could relieve some of the shame and guilt her father took upon himself, but her "efforts were futile" and now her "life is without meaning." Yukari then slaps her across the face. She shares some of her past and the reason why she fights: to fulfill her father's last wish. After all, that's all she, rather, they can do. Yukari's words and being there for her breathe vigor back into Mitsuru. It really wasn't over yet and nothing has been decided. She, too, could fight for her father's final wish. Smiling, Mitsuru asks Yukari to stand with her until the very end. In other words, Mitsuru is asking for Yukari's continued support. Relying on someone else was something she never allowed herself to do previously. Realizing she is no longer alone, she promises her father she will never look back again. Her new resolve is not only to fight for her father's last wish, but also to push forward with the support of her friends. Penthesilea is then able to give rise to Artemisia.

Breaking the Chains

Mitsuru feels much obligation and responsibility for her role in the Kirijo Group. She has made many sacrifices on its account. After spending time with the protagonist, however, Mitsuru begins to realize how unhappy she is with the decisions being made for the group at her expense. She won't be able to go to college and choose a career for herself. She is also in an arranged marriage to a man who is much older than her and clearly does not care about her or her feelings at all. However, she decides to accept her fate and go along with everything because she feels chained to her family name. No matter what path she took, she would always be followed with regret anyway. If she gets married to her fiancé, she would be miserable. If she runs away, she'd be filled with guilt. Ultimately, though, Mitsuru realizes she has just been a coward. She didn't have enough courage to speak up and make changes. Through her feelings for the male protagonist or her admiration of the female protagonist's strength, Mitsuru realizes something needs to change. She stands up for both the protagonist and herself after her fiancé's degrading words and demands for him to get out of her sight. She may not be the perfect leader, but there was no way the group would prosper under someone who didn't understand the concept of a company being made of its people. She would lead the group without him.

The next time she spends time with the protagonist, Mitsuru admits she's been a coward. However, from that day forward, she would no longer be chained down by her family name or gender. She would face the future head-on without running away. Mitsuru had nothing to be ashamed of any longer and finally gained some self-respect. There were things that only she could do and she would certainly accomplish them. When Mitsuru tells the protagonist, "I am Mitsuru Kirijo. I hold my head high when I give that name," they can clearly see her new resolve.

The Answer

Toward the end of Persona 3 FES, Mitsuru and the other SEES members have a choice between returning to the present or going back to the past. In other words, the characters have to either accept the past the way it is (including the loss of all of their loved ones), or revisit it and try to change things. The members voice their opinions on what they each want to do. Mitsuru's opinion is not as strongly stated as Akihiko's or Yukari's, but she ultimately agrees with Yukari. She would want to use the key to go back to the past in order to have a chance to save the protagonist. At first, I found this rather strange and not like a resolution at all. She tells Aegis she agrees with Yukari on some points but then trails off after saying "furthermore." To me, it felt like she was simply agreeing with Yukari without really making her own decision. She just didn't feel like she had a strong resolve. It isn't until after all the battles are over that Mitsuru reveals why she chose to side with Yukari. When they lost the protagonist without having the chance to thank him, she swore she would stand by Yukari when she was suffering even if it meant putting her own feelings aside. Mitsuru's answer to life was to stand together with the people she cares about like they've done for her.

Additionally, Mitsuru shows two more times of growth at the end of The Answer. When SEES realizes Nyx is not malicious and only came at the calling of all those who wished for death, Mitsuru states boldly that fighting the monster is not something they can run from. She, too, is guilty of wishing for death when she was lost and couldn't accept reality. Therefore, she needed to do her part and face those feelings once more. Lastly, Mitsuru decides to not collect everyone's evokers like originally planned. She realizes by collecting them and storing them away forever, she was only running away from the pain of losing the protagonist and others during their fight for humanity. Mitsuru then acknowledges the battle against oneself is always ongoing and thus everyone should hold onto theirs as a reminder. Mitsuru has grown in that she can recognize when she is trying to run away, stop herself and then press forward in face of pain or other negative emotions. She now knows truly living means working through life's obstacles, not avoiding them. Now that Mitsuru has the support of others, though, she is not afraid of what the future might have in store for her.

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.