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    "Don't let your kids watch this!" - Robbie Rotten

    This article contains potentially sensitive content that may be discomforting or upsetting to certain users. Reader discretion is advised!

    Reason: TBA

    Ryuji Sakamoto
    Ryuji Sakamoto.png

    P5 Ryuji Sakomoto, Phantom Thief.png

    For real!?
    Gender: Male
    Type: Track Traitor
    Age: 16-17 (P5)
    18 (P5 Strikers)
    Species: Human
    Portrayed by: Mamoru Miyano (Japanese)
    Max Mittleman (English)
    Status: Alive
    Media of origin: Persona 5


    Ryuji Sakamoto is a main playable character from Persona 5. He is a student of Shujin Academy and has known Ann Takamaki since middle school. He originally came from a household with an abusive dad who eventually abandoned him and his mother. Later on, Ryuji got a greater opportunity for her future and to ease his mother's burden by decided on the career of athletics starting on his school's track team where he managed to be the leader and earned the trust of his teammates Nakaoka, Takeishi, and Ikeda. However, during an unknown time prior to the game's events, Suguru Kamoshida came. When Kamoshida talked about Ryuji's parents, the latter got mad to the point that Kamoshida breaks his legs. The conflict between Ryuji and Kamoshida caused the track team to disband, and the former members of his team alongside Kamoshida would label him as the track traitor due to his supposedly brash violence against Kamoshida leading to the team's disbandment. Since the team was already disbanded, they were also unable to participate in a track championship.

    Why He Rocks

    1. While he may be a disruptive student at a school whose bad behavior causes a lot of trouble, his troublemaker-like character fits so well that it's considered to be a perfect quality of a Phantom Theif.
    2. He's straightforward when it comes to expressing his feelings. This is evident when every time he mentions his hatred towards selfish adults and corrupt authority figures.
    3. Ryuji is deeply empathic when it comes to the plight of others. For example, he learned about the protagonists' story of how he got arrested. Ryuji got really angry to the point that he even learns that he can show an ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
    4. His delinquent behavior is actually supposed to be a coping mechanism for the loss of his reputation to Kamosida's injustice and his prevention of being an athlete after the injury. This makes him a character who is understandable enough to feel bad for. Especially since he's got a past that was troubled.
    5. Deep down, he a kind and altruistic boy who cares for his mom and takes effort as an athlete to relieve her worries. In fact, he only lives with his mom as his dad left. With that said, he's a friendly guy on anyone in the Thieves (despite frequent bickering). Ann is a prime example of this.
      • Another thing is that he shows a good deal for the well-being of others around him. He attempted to end the abuse of the track team even pushing it to the point of letting the team beat him up in an attempt to air out frustrations.
    6. While it may not seem like it appearance-wise, he knows right and wrong.
    7. He's a forgiving person. He helped his former teammates on the track team and also forgave Makoto Niijima for getting the team blackmailed.
    8. Character development: the story portrays him as an individual who is obsessed with glory and recognition. He later admits to letting things go to his hand and mentions how little he changed as a person. With the help of the protagonist, Ryuji resolves to improve himself.
    9. Ryuji can be a really entertaining character in this game. His personality says so and even his lines like "effin" and "for real" fit so well with his immerse character. The same can be said about his character tics like when he taps his foot quickly when annoyed.
    10. In battle, Ryuji has the most health in the party
    11. He may have moments where he is pretty stupid, he has a good knowledge of physical training and sports from his days as an athlete. He gave his friends tips on things like recovery and dieting.
    12. There are moments where he can actually be correct at times even when he may not be that bright. In a Palace in Royal, there is the third part of a three-question examination where Ryuji thinks that one of the answers is correct. Sure, he gets mocked for his "brain-dead" suggestion, but the answer Ryuji chooses is the correct answer.
    13. Out of all the Thieves, he's the one most excited about changing the world.
    14. His Confidant talks about his resolve to help reestablish the track club after Kamoshida disbanded it.

    Bad Qualities

    1. Outside of the life of a Phantom Thief, Ryuji's personality as a problem student causes a lot of conflict to the teachers.
    2. Very short-tempered. Even raging to the slightest of the comments.
    3. His Confidant can be pretty boring to watch for some people.
    4. Can sometimes be clumsy and overly energetic.
    5. His yelling is a habit that he has. Even Morgana told him to keep his voice down which usually results in Ryuji creating louder outbursts.
    6. Has a hard time accepting blame for things.
    7. His academic abilities prove that he gets bad grades simply because he oversleeps or refused to study. This makes him pretty dumb.
    8. Sometimes he can be perverted like that time he participated in "Operation Maidwatch".
    9. Has moments where he's a butt monkey such as making a lot of comical screw-ups.
    10. While he did borrow money from Ann in order to buy a dolphin plushie for his mom, he never paid her back.

    Trivia

    • His name is a reference to Ryoma Sakamoto from the Bakumatsu period.
    • In the Japanese version, he proclaims "Phantom Thieves Captain Kirikomi" which is localized as "Charge Commander". the Captain Kirikomi part is a reference to the Marauding Captain card from the Yu-Gi-Oh! series. "Kirikomi" either refers to curing fish slices of Hokkaido regional cuisine or naval boarding in ship-to-ship combat.
    • Ryuji's civilian shoes are censored in the Chinese and Korean versions of the game, due to containing the Rising Sun Flag. The symbol is a sensitive issue in many other Asian countries when they suffered from Japan's invasion during World War II. Atlus removed it out of courtesy when the issue was brought up.
      • The rising sun symbol on Ryuji's shoes is also removed from the official artwork used for his Spirit in all versions of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
    • Just like with Makoto Niijima and Goro Akechi before, the official Twitter account for the Persona series posted a "Happy Birthday" message for Ryuji on July 3, 2017, JST.
      • Pointed out by the same Twitter account, Ryuji's birthday is on Wave Day (波の日*), a Japanese anniversary. The origin of Wave Day comes from the pronunciation of the numbers and the word "wave" combined (なみ*) forming 7/3. (な (7) み (3))
    • On the English version, he said "I'm a Phantom, on a steel horse I ride" as a reference to Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive" from the 1986 album "Slippery When Wet".
    • According to an interview from the Persona 5 Royal Official Complete Guide, the cutscene where Ryuji single-handedly saves the protagonist and Akechi from Cendrillon's final attack was added very late into development. The producer remarked on how the design teams were begging him to let them add that to the scene, and when he played it for himself, he was shocked at how "cool" Ryuji looked during it.
    • Ryuji's artwork on the Persona 5 Strikers box art differs between the Japanese and Western versions: it was changed from him being punched in the face by a Shadow in the former, into only falling down wielding his weapon, and the Shadow grabbing him by the ascot. This is because ESRB does not allow video game box arts to depict violent blows to the head. This only applies to the box art though.
    • Gave us the "FOR REAL" meme.

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