I don't know who the real me is!
- Episodes: PS Vita, PS3, PS2
- Genre: RPG, Adventure
- Airing Date: July 10, 2008
- Producers: Atlus
Persona 4 Preview (No Spoilers)
Persona returns, this time to the town of Inaba, a rural town where little to no excitement occurs. Our protagonist was transferred here from the city to attend school here. Shortly after he arrives, a string of mysterious murders started to take place around town. As mystifying as it is, there was no conclusion to the investigation. As the protagonist quickly settled into his foster home of the Dojimas and starts to make new friends, the TV World appears just as suddenly as the murders. Seeing a connection between this parallel world and the murders, the protagonist, along with his new friends investigate the nature of the world the truth behind these deaths and murders.
Seiyuu Name: Rie Kugimiya
Rise Kujikawa is a popular idol that is well-known even in the rural town of Inaba. On camera, she is portrayed as bubbly, friendly and extremely energetic. However, the real Rise questions if that is her true self. One of the biggest fears Rise has is her sense of individualism and whether the media had degraded her already broken the perception of herself. Confused, Rise even turned to escapism as a solution only to once again be left disappointed and unsatisfied. It wasn't until the arrival of the protagonist and his friends did Rise finally accept and assimilate all her false selves as facets of her true and original personality, once and for all ending her dilemma.
1. Rise Kujikawa’s Boldness
After getting to know the protagonist and his friends, Rise becomes more cheerful and outgoing. Her demeanor is unlike when they just met her - quiet, reserved and aloof. As she is included in the inner circle of the group and is more comfortable with the group, Rise is more outspoken, talkative and even risqué sometimes. It gets so out of hand sometimes that Chie Satonaka commented that she may downright be dangerous. A couple of times now, she has teased fellow team members, jeered at the insecurities of fellow female members and is shown to be very competitive.
Perhaps the most obvious of all would be her open declaration of love towards the protagonist. There are numerous instances of her making advances towards the protagonist. That would be fine and all if it weren't done openly in full view of the group. Asides from being direct with her words, she can openly flirt with the protagonist as well to the discomfort of the group. Rise can even be so direct to the point that the group questions if she is actually serious about it or not. One thing's for sure though, her boldness is certainly a unique trait that stands out amongst the rest of the group.
2. Rise Kujikawa is a loyal and supportive friend
Despite her feisty attitude as mentioned, there are much more instances in which Rise Kujikawa proved to be a loyal and valuable ally and a friend than just a femme fatale. Characteristically, whenever the group faces a dilemma, it was always Rise who will lighten the mood. Despite having a playful and sassy side, Rise can be a great comforter when it is really needed. On an individual level, Rise had been shown to be a great listener as well, often listening to the problems of her peers and offering advice to them when they needed it the most.
On the battlefield, this aspect is much more evident. Rise is the overall navigator of the group after Teddie. With the addition of her, on-field intelligence is so much more detailed, allowing the group to make better-informed decisions. Rise is able to identify enemies weakness, interfere with the flow of battle to increase party stats and even heal them. In the Shadow World, she can even detect things that sometimes Teddie himself is unable to. This reflects how passionate Rise is for her friends and the length that she will go in order for them to remain safe. Although she may not be an active combatant, Rise Kujikawa plays the role of the loyal and supportive friend on the backend.
3. Rise Kujikawa is an idol
Before moving back to Inaba, Rise Kujikawa was actually a famous idol. Deciding that she needs a break, Rise insisted on moving back to her hometown to live with her grandmother. It was here that everyone gathered at the tofu shop that her grandmother owned in order to catch a glimpse of her. To everyone, this was a once in a lifetime chance for a mega idol to be in the rural and boring town of Inaba. For the first time ever, the tofu shop in Inaba was packed with people.
Rise being an idol is certainly a bonus for the group. Not only is she attractive, which will make the boys go woozy, she also has numerous connections which allowed the group some perks during their adventure together. Further, the life of an idol is an interesting one so just having one in your presence is sure to make you go into awe. Due to her, the group became much more noticeable in public places as well which makes it easy for them to conduct interrogations or procure information. Talk about using your profession to your advantage!
4. Rise Kujikawa remains true to herself
As mentioned, Rise Kujikawa decided to take a break in Inaba from her idol life. Not many know of her sudden departure and the reason for her hiatus. The truth can be seen when the public saw her in Inaba. What they saw was an image that is different from her TV personality. She was more reserved and quiet, very unlike her usual bubbly and cheerful self.
The image of Rise Kujikawa was so different that even the group's idol fanatic, Yosuke mistook her for someone related to her. The truth was that Rise was actually running away from her other persona as she was starting to question her identity. During her time in Inaba, Rise never once displayed any action that is noteworthy, hinting that her idol persona and her real self is very different indeed to the extent that other people can confuse themselves with the same person. Granted that it would have been so much easier for her to act as an idol in order to get social standing in her small town, she chose to maintain her true self and chose her real personality instead of her idol persona.
5. Rise Kujikawa is full of resolve
After experiencing the Shadow World and gaining the knowledge of Shadows and different selves, it becomes evident to Rise that she is suffering from an identity crisis. Before this, Rise loathes the fact that people are recognizing her on the street as Risette the idol, not Rise Kujikawa. Now, she questions whether her media personality had caused her real self to degrade away and that she no longer has a real self to her. Due to it, Rise says her character’s symbolic phrase: "I don't know who the real me is". This was the biggest problem that she faced in the series.
Having an identity crisis is not an uncommon phase in life. What sets Rise apart, however, is that instead of letting it go as it is, Rise developed the strength to assimilate all of the facets of her personality as her one true personality. Even those that were considered fake to her were eventually accepted by her. It takes a lot of self-resolve in order to look beyond our fake selves to see our true selves amidst the different faces that we present to people on a daily basis. Not only that, Rise confronted the problem head-on by going back into show business in order to show to her fans the other traits of her personality. Through this decision, Rise had finally come to terms with her individuality.
That is our take on Rise Kujikawa. In summary, we can only say that looks can be deceiving and that you can never judge a book by its cover. Rise Kujikawa is a perfect figure to represent this. On the surface, she looks like she is contented with her life as an idol and living the glamorous life. However, as we explored her personal life, we realized that there is a much more complex person beyond the TV persona. It is here that we finally saw the true Rise, just as human as the next person. This just means that everyone has a side to them that they do not show to the world. It’s just part of being human after all.
Was Rise Kujikawa one of your favorite characters in the Persona series? If so, why is she such a memorable character to you? Can you sympathize with her struggle to find her true self? What are some of the traits that make Rise endearing to you? Do share with us your take on Rise Kujikawa and we will see you next time!