Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth Puts Naoto And Ken In The Spotlight

By Sato . March 20, 2014 . 1:55am


In the previous round of Atlus’ Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth character introduction videos, we got to see the two support characters in Fuuka and Rise. This time, they introduce us to Persona 4 detective Naoto Shirogane and Persona 3’s youngest SEES member, Ken Amada.

It looks like Naoto will be putting her deductive skills to use when the crew enter the mysterious realm of Persona Q. While she’s usually more on the calm side, even Naoto can’t hide her excitement upon meeting a real robot—namely Aigis from Persona 3.


In the video, Naoto quotes, “when I’m with everyone, I see a different part of myself… and I don’t mind that new side of me.” She seems to have made it her goal to continue changing herself for the better.

Meanwhile, Persona 3‘s Ken Amada starts out by saying that there’s something he must do, even if it means changing his way of life; however, he also says that he is troubled at times, due to not being certain whether that’s the reason behind his existence or not.


At 0:21, there’s a humorous exchange between him and Kanji, as he tells the Persona 4 badass that he looks exactly like a villain from a Sentai show he’s been watching. It looks like Ken will have no problem opening up to the likes of Yosuke and others from the Persona 4 crew.


Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth will be released in North America this fall for Nintendo 3DS.

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  • BossBullet

    My favorite character naoto screen time :D

  • natchu96

    Frankly I never really liked the design of Naoto’s persona, but Naoto’s own design always feels badass.

    And then Christmas Eve happened.

    • hng qtr

      I liked how it was smaller than her. Jes…Takaya’s persona was one of my favorites too.

    • Shippoyasha

      Blasphemy! Personally, I liked it as a throwback to oldschool sentai robot heroes of the 80’s. It seems a lot about Naoto was a throwback to that era’s detective/sentai style.

      • natchu96

        It just seems small to me, really. REALLY small.

        And Sentai always did look weird to me, but they have their moments I guess. I see the appeal, but my brain sadly lacks it.

        • Ethan_Twain

          Actually, I really liked that it was small. Honestly I think Persona could do more with Persona scale disparity. They’re mostly the same size, but it would be cool if when you summoned Thor or Abaddon or whatever it was just MASSIVE versus Pixie and Knocker and the rest of the faerie family being tiny. It wouldn’t change how the games play, it would just put a little more variety into the combat graphics.

          • natchu96

            I guess it does make sense for Pixie and Knocker. Such a weak looking thing dealing absurd damage was probably half the appeal of the infamous Demifiend’s UberPixie.

            But I use my main cast personas for the purpose of mass-murdering shadows, and the size on top of the semi-cutesy look doesn’t help get into the vibe. Maybe it’s just me.

            I would love a giant Thor though. Though I guess since these things are manifestations of our subconscious they should be as big as the MC expected them to be.

            Now that I think about it I actually kinda liked 80’s robots and the more armored-looking sentai-types. It’s the ones that are just one solid color that looked weird. Plots also tended towards the cliche with those.


    In serious note, you don’t want to get in a verbal tassle against these two, as they both possess a sharp mind as well as a mature mentality than what their age suggests..

  • 3PointDecoupage

    Why is Kanji blonde?

    • natchu96

      Pretty sure he was always that way.

    • karldeck

      Because he found it more manlier than having black hair.

    • ‘Cause blondes do have fun and ass renovations.

    • Kumiko Akimoto

      Cause bleaching your hair is what cool kids do

    • Kaetsu

      This game takes place before he dyed it.

  • Kami nii


  • karldeck

    So, now they pair up the mature young people with inferiority complex towards adults.

    • A shota and a reverse trap. What a team indeed.

      • Krysanthia

        Please don’t refer to trans people as traps, ffs.

        • Mir Teiwaz

          This would require Naoto to be a trans person. She just hid her gender because she felt no one would take her seriously as a girl.

          • Krysanthia

            So calling her a trap is fine? I know what they meant by what they said regardless of Naoto.

          • Landale

            If you know what was meant, why’d you drag trans people into it? Just stirring shit?

          • Krysanthia

            I knew what he meant, aka referring to trans people as “traps” and yes Naoto is considered by many in the trans community to be at least gender queer/questioning.

            Not saying I know that they meant no harm, and no not trying to stir shit, as you call it, i’m just tired of the term, implying we are out to trick or trap someone, its super degrading.

          • Landale

            So communities can just lay claim to characters even when the source of said character establishes that, no, they’re not of that category?
            I think we’re done here.

          • Pyrofrost

            Mmmmm, the delicious fruit of “PC” campaigns~
            Looks like another episode of someone looking for something to be offended by; when, in fact, there is nothing there. :p

          • Krysanthia

            So sorry for picking one character for the trans community to identify with, we have so many to pick from. :S
            Even if she herself, doesn’t identify as trans, its at least nice to know that there is some gender diversity out there. The quintessential “trans” character doesn’t exist in games cause there are so very few, sorry to pick one for us to identify with.
            I will bring this up at the next trans meeting to let everyone know we are not even allowed this.

            Now I have to ask, are you serious? Or just trolling me at this point? I was trying my best to educate, as nice as I could without getting flustered.
            But since you have decided i’m pulling shit out of my ass, allow me to try and educate you.





          • Pyrofrost

            You, or anyone trying to identify Naoto as a trans, gender queer, or gender questioning; clearly has not actually played P4 or comprehended Naoto’s story.

            Should the LGBT community have videogame characters to identify with; sure, why not. However, to label Naoto as such is outright wrong according to the source material.

          • Kumiko Akimoto

            You do know known of those articles prove that she is trans right?So you don’t have a case and you pretty much just overreacting yeah?

          • Malakym

            Lay claim? The fuck are you talking about, like this is some sort of custody battle? If you can’t see how Naoto’s story couldn’t at the very least be seen as sympathetic to what actual trans* people deal with then I don’t know what to tell you, and god forbid a group as trodden-on as them can find at least one character in this entire medium to *somewhat* identify with.

          • Kyriana

            Whether or not a character is trans (and I would tend to agree Naoto would fall somewhere along the trans* spectrum, if not transgender then at least genderqueer.) The word “trap” in this context is unquestionably steeped with a transphobic connotation, that is to say, the idea that trans people (however this is primarily aimed at trans women due to a cultural bias against femininity.) are somehow “deceiving” people.

            This leads to bullshit like the “trans panic defense” which was used in murder cases such as:

            It has been used to try to get coldblooded murderers off and back on the street. The mindset that spawned “trap” has blood on its hands.

          • Kumiko Akimoto

            I’m pretty sure it’d only be lead that way if the person in question is actually a trap. But if it’s simply a crossdresser then it doesn’t make sense to complain about it being degrading to trans people.

        • Solomon_Kano

          To all involved parties in this here discussion, I’d like to ask that you take a step back.

          This is not a discourse on gender identity. This is a Persona article. I’d like to take this moment to ask that you all stick to that topic — and, no, that Naoto sits at the center of it all doesn’t make it anymore on topic because, frankly, this isn’t really about Naoto. You all have moved beyond that.

          At present this discussion hasn’t been very healthy and it doesn’t seem to be headed in a healthy direction either. I recognize that the topic of gender identity is one that ignites passions, but, in the interest of this not spiraling into an even larger conflict based on a seemingly innocuous initial comment, I’d like to ask that you all leave it here.

          • Noor Mahmoud

            Moderators that actually step in to stop pointless bickering? Another reason why I visit Siliconera everyday.

  • Servant BerserCAR

    “Meanwhile, Gekkoukan High’s student Ken Amada…”

    Ok, look’s like someone need to finish his homework properly. (-‸ლ)

    • Sato

      Doh! Totally slipped my mind that he wasn’t actually part of the school. Thanks for pointing it out! Haven’t played P3 in years :x

      • Landale

        To be fair, practically everything traces back to that school. Would not be surprising in the least if where ever it is he goes has connections to it.

  • Liamv2

    Ken and Kanji. It has been shipped.

  • makubexnas

    still don’t know if he happy to see naoto or ken…

  • Pyrofrost

    Oh look, it’s mai waifu~

    Thanks for the Naoto feature @disqus_L1m2RTVLNv:disqus!

    • Sato

      Yep! Anytime :)

  • Servbot_Society

    Loving those preview videos! Very lucky to have preordered the PQ 3DS LL in time. Will start my journey to the world of Japanese 3DS gaming in June. My body will be ready for you, Mitsuru…

  • Rose Spinoza

    D’aaaw, Kanji playing along with Ken was cute.

  • DyLaN

    Subbed ver.

    -Material X? Is the Mysterious Food X being used as weapon!?
    -Ken should be more tolerable here I guess?

  • ivanchu77

    The persona games usually have a great cast of characters, but of course there´s some exceptions, and Ken is one of them , awful character

    • Ethan_Twain

      I don’t feel like what was done with him was so bad necessarily. He acts impulsively (which I’m okay with since he’s young), gets cold feet when confronted with committing murder, and generally after that sequence is an introspective party member who’s no trouble to work with.

      The PROBLEM is that having an elementary age child join the team was a mistake in the first place. Persona 3 kinda had a problem with that, cheapening the whole Persona concept with increasingly wacky party members. There’s a stretch there where you get a dog, a robot, and an 11 year old. That’s not great.

      • Kumiko Akimoto

        I don’t see why that would be a problem or why that wouldn’t be unusual with a kid.

        • Ethan_Twain

          This is the scenario: You are a team of teenagers in late high school. You risk death many nights engaging in combat come midnight. The shadows that live in the tower you climb are are murderous in intent and often terrifying in form. You have been doing this for many months now and have grown stronger through your trials.

          Then this elementary school kid comes along. You’re just gonna send him in there? 1. Anyone that age lacks physical strength. Period. The body just isn’t developed that way. 2. It’s irresponsible to even allow a child that age to risk his life like that. It isn’t a matter of “he made up his own mind”, when you’re that age you shouldn’t be allowed to make up your own mind about your daily diet, much less whether to risk life and limb in this ridiculous shadow labyrinth. Make the kid eat his vegetables and go to sleep by 9:00 PM. 3. Oh yeah, and he’s just as good at dungeon crawling as your team you’ve been doing this with for months. He comes in at appropriate level with a bunch of abilities. So, uh… why not pull ALL your team from the elementary schools? Apparently they teach you how to fight shadows and cast spells up to level 30.

          If you just think about the situation with any real world logic at all, taking this little kid along with you on your deadly extracurricular activity is irresponsible and a bad idea. You bring a little kid into a war zone and the kid ends up dead.

          • Kumiko Akimoto

            In the real world without shadows or magic yes it wouldn’t make any sense. But ken was forced to grow up at a young age and well the whole town is a war zone he can’t accept that danger considering everything was basically a hopeless situation from the start.

            So as long as you think within the context of the game there is no problem with him fighting along side you.

          • Landale

            Even in Persona 3’s setting, he doesn’t really make sense, actually he makes even less sense in that type of setting. If he were perhaps a less physically active character, maybe things would make sense, but he does really crazy stuff right off the bat keeping up with others that have had more time dealing with the physically taxing nature of the Dark Hour on top of the normal strain of those sorts of activities.

          • Kumiko Akimoto

            It’s not like they ever added story support for his feelings during the mission like they did for junpei and yukari.
            The only far fetched thing I can think of is the way he’s able to handle the weapon he has. But again there’s monsters, shadows and magic.
            So if they were going for realism those things wouldn’t be there

          • Ethan_Twain

            I’m not sure that fantasy trappings excuse a lack of logic. Would it have been okay if Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimili had picked up some eleven year old to join them in their adventure through Gondor, to join them in battle at the black gate? I mean, there’s magic and monsters and faeries and everything! If Tolkien was going for realism then those things wouldn’t be there.

          • Kumiko Akimoto

            Why not? If he was the chosen one? That sort of stuff happens in fantasies all the time.I don’t know why it would be different then.
            So yeah if lotr was realistic they’d probably take that into account.

      • because you know having a robot as a playable character is damn bad.

        • Ethan_Twain

          I didn’t like it. Persona 3 was a lot more grounded before the robot happened. Moved the game away from high school teenagers struggling with their lives and also this extra huge responsibility thrust upon them. Turned it more into a typical anime super power squad. For all that I prefer Persona 3 over 4, 4 did WAY better in actually keeping the thematic implications of the persona central to the narrative.

          In Persona 3 we go into “the robot goes to school and doesn’t have social graces” hijinks, and I didn’t think that really developed any characters meaningfully OR was original OR was funny. Atlus eventually did do some stuff with Aigis to develop it as a worthwhile character, but that wasn’t until the FES expansion.

          • Tienron

            4 really has nothing on 3 to be honest, it was kinda basic 3 did a great job and it donst matter what age he is, he had a persona and was useful, period that alone is why he was needed same for the dog.

          • Kumiko Akimoto

            Story wise maybe though I’m not gonna make that judgment but 4 was way better gameplay wise and just feature wise in general.

          • kaimo

            Whatever the Answer accomplishes, and lets be real it’s not much- comes at the expense of torpedoeing all the characters that aren’t Aigis.

          • Ethan_Twain

            Eh… kinda? I felt like the Answer benefitted Aigis, Akihiko, and particularly Junpei. It really didn’t do much of anything with Ken. It absolutely torpedoed Yukari and Mitsuru though, I’ll grant that without hesitation.

            And I’m just saying that it didn’t really do much with Ken because I don’t remember anything in particular with him. Do you remember better than me? I just kinda remember him being there.

      • Herok♞

        The whole Persona concept isn’t cheapened by those 3 characters and is actually improved by them after all, those 3 don’t have Personas just because and have serious important back story behind it, unless you are just going to write off their stories because of who they are. Heck I would argue they are all at least more deserving of a Persona than Junpei at the very least.

        • Ethan_Twain

          I disagree. The idea is that the Persona is a manifestation of the mind, right? Well in these three characters we learn 1. A dog’s mind is able to manifest a persona just as good as anyone else’s. So it’s not like Personas are particularly profound or anything, just dumb animal loyalty is enough to trigger it. 2. A robot can manifest a persona too? So it doesn’t even need to be a real organic mind, it can be a simulated digital construction? Okay, so basically anything can manifest a persona. Okay, whatever. 3. Oh, and a little kid too? Sure, bring the little kid along with you on your regular flirtations with death in the tower. That isn’t irresponsible or anything. Sure he’s in elementary school so his brain is still developing in a pre-puberty phase (which means critical thinking isn’t all there yet) but hey, he’s smarter than a dog! So why not have him manifest a persona?

          These three characters take Persona manifestation away from being psychological reflections of the characters and more into just a thing that gives super powers. It’s a little more typical anime, a little less interesting.

          • Herok♞

            Persona is a manifestation of their personality as a whole, those with deeper more meaningful Experiences form Personas, also keep in mind all you have to do in the first game to get a persona is play a simple childrens game.

            1) your first point tries to say that animals can’t have deep meaningful experiences, that greatly effect them, it was more than just “Animal Loyality” that caused Koromaru to awaken. He is known to be very intelligent on top of that. So it makes perfect sense for him to have a persona

            2) Anyone who played Persona 3 knows Aigis is more than a simple robot, long story short she does have a mind and soul regardless of the fact that she is a robot(Heck if want the short verision of what makes her special watch Labrys story from Persona 4 Arena). Sure if they were like here normal robots can summon a persona you would have a point but that isn’t the case.

            3) Ken’s Persona manifested out of the need for vengeance you know that is the psychological reflection you are looking for. The fact that he is still a young kid doesn’t matter in the long run. I would go as far to say that Ken is one of the few people who would have his persona no matter what. Unless you are saying kids can’t have deep life changing experiences because they are still growing. His mother got murdered and he wanted revenge its pretty straight forward.

            So no they all have Personas for good reason, I would even say better reason than most of the cast when you get down to it. After all don’t pick apart the rest of the thrown together cast because after all they are all high school students(which aren’t known to be the most mature in the real world).

          • Tienron

            junpei didn’t have a proper experience he was just found scared wetting his pants in the dark hour….that’s it

          • chroma816

            I think you’re missing the overall point of the Personas. Yes, they’re used in battles and shit, and tend to represent something within in the character, but the concept is based around one’s facade and how they present themselves to the outside world – the persona they take on in order to live among others.

            In that sense (a way that it’s described in-game as well), it’s completely fine that a robot with a human mind and a little boy can manifest a persona. Same with the dog – he had gone through experiences in his short doggy life that lead to him having to adopt a new way to live, leading to his persona.

    • Firion Hope

      Yep ken is right down there with teddie in my hated/never used tier. But if other people can stand them then good for them I suppose

      • Kaetsu

        But Teddie is bearrific!

        • Firion Hope

          Hes bad and he should feel bad :P

    • Mirai

      “Sore Wa Chigau Yo!”

      Hopefully people get the reference…

  • Nice Boat Quatro

    Calm down Naoto! Calm down!

  • Pythia Brixham

    Just putting this out here…

  • Morningstar

    Ken and Yosuke? That actually makes scene. Both of them had loved ones that were killed. (Hell, Ken’s arc was basicialy revenge for that until a certain boss).

    Not sure about Kanji though.

  • Helen Donald

    so lookin forward to this :D

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