StyleOne of the first things about Mitsuru I noticed (besides her simply being gorgeous) was she looked high-class and very well put together. I was therefore not surprised to find her surface personality matching that description quite well. Mitsuru is extremely mature, talented and very intelligent. She's the class valedictorian, student council president and is studying college-level material. Of course she would look impeccable, too! It became clear very quickly that she dressed in expensive clothing compared to the other characters when in casual wear. Her outfits also exude an elegant, classy atmosphere. She has riding clothes as her "casual" winter wear, for example! Her summer casual wear doesn't seem very "casual," either. Mitsuru's hair also appears to be styled each day as well. It would seem that appearance and style were things of importance, wouldn't it? I was pretty shocked to find out Mitsuru doesn't actually know anything about style at all! She just wears whatever her family's stylist selects for her. In fact, she comments she would like to wear things like Yukari does but feels she wouldn't be able to pull it off. She notes she has to remember the difference between things she would like to wear and things she can actually wear. After thinking about her words, I think her "style dilemma" is actually quite fitting. Mitsuru outwardly acts cool, collected, elegant--basically "perfect." However, she actually has many doubts, insecurities and is actually quite "human." The fact that her clothes are picked out by a stylist, to me, is representative of her letting her life be molded by her family name. She has to act and dress the part of being the only daughter of the Kirijo family. If she had her choice, however, she'd like to wear the cute, pink outfits that Yukari typically wears. Acting under the pressures of money and responsibility is tiring after awhile for anyone--it is not at all surprising that Mitsuru secretly would rather wear more casual clothes.
Designer CommentsIn the Persona 3: Official Design Works book, the designer talks about how he was given instructions from the director to give her the image of a "commander." To him, that meant drawing a strict and serious type of character. He talks about how her boots give her this sort of atmosphere but he also tries to draw her eyes as gently as possible so she doesn't come off as being so intense. He also comments on how he personally thinks Mitsuru's charm comes from her weakness. She tends to hold her problems and worries to herself, but the moment where she reveals them only to the protagonist makes her have more of a human-like charm. I would have to agree about Mitsuru's boots really pulling the image of being a serious, strict and almost "cold" character together. Knee-high boots stereotypically give off an aura of power or dominance, especially with the stiletto heel. I thought his comments on giving her softer eyes and sad facial expressions were also interesting. Despite Mitsuru looking reserved, I never thought she came off as being a "bitch" or too hard. After reading his comments, I definitely think it's because of her face. Even when she is serious, her eyes are still soft. Her lips are usually slightly separated rather than being pursed during serious moments--something that also contributes to making her expressions softer. Therefore, while Mitsuru certainly looks elegant, high-class and reserved, she also comes off as being mature and motherly as well. I don't know if Mitsuru's appeal comes from her having a "weak" side like he said, but it certainly does make her much more relatable as a character.