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Name: Heather
LJ: [livejournal.com profile] agentgrrl
E-Mail: adeolucror [at] gmail
IM: adeolucror

Character Name: Shinjiro Aragaki
Series: Persona 3 FES
Timeline: October 3rd

Canon Resource Link: [Here - Shinjiro] [Here - Persona 3]

Character Background: Shinjiro's past before meeting Akihiko and his little sister Miki is a mystery. It's unknown how he came to live at the orphanage, but it's pretty clear he and Akihiko became pretty fast friends, even at that young of an age. The three of them, Shinjiro, Akihiko, and Miki, became inseparable, and were the closest thing to a family Shinjiro had ever known.

That semi-familial bond was tested for the first time when, at the age of 8, they were forced to stand by and watch the orphanage, the only home Shinjiro had ever known, burn to the ground, taking Miki away from them both. That day, even at such a young age, Akihiko and Shinjiro made a solemn promise to one another: they would train and get strong enough to be able to do whatever was necessary to do what was right and to protect what they held dear.

The gap between that time and middle school, when Akihiko was confronted by Mitsuru Kirijo and offered an Evoker and a place in SEES to fight against the shadows, is never explained, but it is revealed in "The Answer" that Shinjiro demanded to be allowed to join as well, in order to stay by Akihiko's side. It's also revealed that Akihiko had misgivings about Shinjiro's ability to control his Persona, but that he never voiced them.

Mitsuru's reaction to Shinjiro's rejoining of SEES suggests they were a good team, and for years they operated just the three of them, fighting Shadows by night and attending school like normal teenagers by day. The Original SEES members reminisce about those times in-game, jokingly talking about how Akihiko would run off in excitement leaving Mitsuru and Shinjiro running to catch up. It was great.

They were a team, until October 4th, two years before the start of the game. The details of that night were never explained, but it was made clear they were fighting a shadow and Shinjiro summoned his Persona. There is never any talk of it happening before, even considering Akihiko's concerns, but that night, Shinjiro lost control of Castor, and instead of destroying the monsters they were fighting, it killed the mother of a boy while he was watching.

After that night, Shinjiro left SEES and the dorm behind. He took to visiting the sight of the murder, which is how he thinks of it, regularly. It was a back alley hang out for less desirables and the home of two seedy bars. The alley has the reputation of being a tough neighborhood where are the bullies and street rats hang out. The two years before April aren't explained either, though it is strongly suggested in dialogs with Akihiko, and with cutscenes involving he and Shinjiro, that he never stopped trying to get him to come back.

The first time we're introduced to Shinjiro in gameplay is when Akihiko asked him to the hospital to talk about the Apathy Syndrome cases involving people he knew. He brushed off the main character (Minato), Yukari, and Junpei without even a word, simply glaring at them until they moved out if his way, scoffing and saying he, "don't have have time for this shit." After he left, Akihiko described him to the others as "a friend from school. Sort of," and Yukari made the observation later that "Akihiko-senpai said that guy went to our school, but I've never seen him there," suggesting Shinjiro didn't attend school often, if at all. It should be noted he did attend school as in the Female playthrough of Persona 3 Portable, Akihiko makes the comment to the Main Character that he often had to go to the roof after classes to get Shinjiro, who usually fell asleep up there. In later conversations with the group, Shinjiro confirms this by sighting rumors he's heard at school, which he'd have to be there to hear.

We don't see Shinjiro again until Minato, Junpei, and Yukari, at Yukari's suggestion, go to the Shady hangout in the alley to gather information on a missing student and rumors of a ghost at the school. The other kids, street toughs, didn't take kindly to their showing up in what they considered 'their turf' and confronted the three Juniors. At first, Shinjiro, who isn't even noticed, didn't interject. It wasn't until things got physical, with one of the thugs attacking Junpei, that he stepped in, easily defeating all of them and never even taking his hands from his pockets. After the guy and his cronies run off, Shinjiro takes a moment to recognize them as the juniors he met while at the hospital, and asks what the hell they're doing there, and chides them saying they don't belong there. After Yukari fills him in, he gives them what information he has about the disappearance, saying he heard two girls talking about it and that they seemed really proud of the fact, but that he hadn't seen them around the alley since. He reiterates he doesn't want to see them around that alley anymore before he leaves. Later, when asked, Yukari states she thinks that Shinjiro isn't as bad as he seems, and that it actually seems like he's a nice guy, just really misunderstood.

From that time until the beginning of September, we see several different scenes between Akihiko and Shinjiro. Akihiko makes a point to meet up with Shinjiro regularly, to update him on things they've learned and tell him what SEES is up to, subtly urging him to rejoin the fight. Shinjiro reiterates several times he's already made his decision and nothing Akihiko says is going to change his mind. He consistently brushes Akihiko off, leaving him with bills and generally acting like he isn't important. There are also a few scenes where Shinjiro is seen making deals with Strega, a group that wants to stop SEES from ending the Dark Hour, for the suppressants they use to assist them in controlling their Personae. In these scenes, It's made very obvious Shinjiro doesn't intentionally sell SEES out, but that he's far more preoccupied with getting the drugs he's started to need to control Castor.

In early September, Akihiko finally confronts Shinjiro with news he can no longer brush off or run away from: Ken Amada, the boy who watched him kill his Mother two years prior, had joined SEES. Shinjiro finally relented, rejoining SEES and moving back into the dorm he used to call home. Even though his friends, Akihiko and Mitsuru, were excited to have him back (Akihiko going to far as to tell Minato he's the strongest fighter SEES has ever had) Shinjiro kept his distance from the group. At one point during the month of September, he stopped Minato to ask how he liked the dorm. When Minato responded that he couldn't care either way, Shinjiro laughed, immediately taking a liking to the younger boy simply for his honesty.

Mitsuru assured Minato Shinjiro may be a little rough around the edges, but he cares deeply and means well, but is very stubborn. Shinjiro confirmed this by telling Minato the way he fights is the way he fights and not to try to change it. Shinjiro is a straight-forward as his Persona, which possesses no special abilities and allows for only physical attacks.

During the month he rejoins SEES, the player is able to invite Shinjiro out to the movies, where they see a movie about a dog that went back and against all odds saved its owners. While Shinjiro tried to hide it, it's noted his eyes are red as he leaves in a huff, embarrassed, suggesting Shinjiro has a gentler side but hides it well. He dotes on Koromaru, a dog capable of summoning a Persona, more than any of the other members, going to great lengths to get him quality food, and even cooking for the dog on occasion.

The rest of SEES found out about Shinjiro's Suppressants when they were question Chidori Yoshino, a member of Strega they'd taken into custody who was being kept at the Hospital owned by the Kirijo Group. She lost control of her Persona and Shinjiro force-fed her the pills to grant her control. Afterward, he fled and Akihiko pursued. He caught up with Shinji at Port Island Station and confronted him about the suppressants, siting their side-effects as they were known to be fatal. Shinjiro lashed out, saying he didn't need another lecture. Akihiko pointedly reminded Shinjiro of their promise made so long ago on Miki's grave. Shinjiro left, saying there was something only he could take care of.

On October 4th, a full moon (the one night in every month a major arcana shadow appears), Shinjiro and Ken were nowhere to be found. While Akihiko, Mitsuru, and the others defeated the Shadows, we're shown where Shinjiro and Ken were. October 4th is the anniversary of Ken's mother's death and as far as Shinjiro is concerned, her murder. How then ended up in the alley where she died, but Ken confronted Shinjiro, having overheard a conversation between Shinjiro and Akihiko the month before that confirmed for the boy the identity of his mother's killer. Ken wanted to kill him, was ready to take vengeance on the person who'd killed his mother and destroyed his family. Shinjiro tells him to do what he thinks he needs to, but warns Ken it may mean he ends up just like himself, broken and a shadow of his former self.

While Ken hesitated, Takaya of Strega appeared, taunting the both of them and informing Ken that no matter the decision he made, whether or not he decided to kill Shinjiro, he would die soon, that the suppressants were killing him. Then Takaya pulled a gun, planning to kill them both for SEES and their meddling in Strega's plans. Shinjiro stepped in front of the gun, protecting Ken. He last thing he wanted was to see Ken end up like him. Takaya fired, hitting Shinjiro in the chest and knocking him to the ground. He then proceeded to torture Shinjiro, kicking him repeatedly in his wound, demanding information about Yamagishi, the one among them able to sense and locate Shadows. Shinjiro insisted through the pain there was no one, but Ken, seeing his revenge was lost, stepped forward claiming to be the one Takaya was looking for. Shinjiro tried to stop him, but Takaya kicked him again and pointed the gun at Ken. Shinjiro pulled himself from the pavement just before Takaya could pull the trigger, taking the second and final bullet for Ken.

It was then that Akihiko and the others showed up. Takaya, knowing himself outnumbered, ran. Akihiko rushed to Shinjiro's side, but it was the Dark Hour, and no hospital could help him. Nothing that ran on electricity would work and the doctors would all be transmogrified in their coffins regardless. There was no way anyone could help Shinjiro, and he died before the Dark Hour ended.

Abilites/Special Powers: As a Persona User, Shinji is able to summon a Persona, Castor, to battle for him. Castor has no magical abilities at all. Because his Persona has no elemental strength, it also has no elemental weakness, but it’s not able to attack anything that is completely invulnerable to physical attacks.

Aside from the attacks his Persona can perform, Castor grants Shinjiro strength and agility far superior to normal humans and is able to heal wounds in days that would take a normal human a week or more.

Aside from abilities granted him by his Persona, Shinji wields an axe with moderate skill though his aim isn’t the greatest, and is capable of cooking meals that rival five-star restaurants.

Third-Person Sample: (Recycled from [livejournal.com profile] hellpointe)
Most people tended to stay away from the lanky figure leaning against the railing at the far end of the boardwalk behind Port Island Station. There was always an air of severity around him, and if you crossed him, he’s lash out as soon as smile politely. There weren’t too many people who hung out in this particular back alley who actually cared, either way. They were too busy acting tough and talking tougher.

None of them knew what the place meant to the quiet young man at the rail. None of them knew it was the place where, two years ago, he’d lost control of another part of himself, taking the life of a mother before the eyes of her son. None of them realized he spent most of his time here reliving the events, replaying all the ways he’d screwed up, all the things he’d changed for the boy because he’d lost control.

Shinji remembered having a purpose, fighting Shadows, protecting people from the monsters that fed on their dreams, on their personalities, on their minds. He remembered relishing in it, having something only they could do, having the power to save people. And he’d loved it, and every night, every Dark Hour, he remembered the night reality had come crashing down, the night he’d learned the truth: he wasn’t powerful enough to save anyone; his power was a curse, not a blessing. All it was capable of was destroying things, the very things he’d been blind enough to think he could save.

As if cued by his thoughts, the clocks struck midnight, and the streetlights darkened, the gathered crowds of people transmogrified into their coffin-like shells, just like every other night, and the eerily large moon native to the Dark Hour loomed overhead. With the change, the bleed of time from the world of the Shadows, a clenching pain erupted in his gut, a burning vice that grabbed hold of his viscera and began to spread slowly and steadily upward. He grunted in pain, his breath coming in rasping hiccups, and he fought to find the pills in his coat pocket.

Just one. Just one tonight. It would be enough to stop it, to wrest control back from Castor, to put him back in the cage Shinji wasn’t strong enough to keep closed on his own. He popped the pill, dry-swallowing, and waited, through the pain, as it tapered off.

Just one more. Tomorrow would be a big one. Tomorrow it would be two years since it happened.

First-Person Sample: (Recycled from [livejournal.com profile] hellpointe)

[Audio]

[The audio feed clicks on to a scoff and the sound of boot heels clicking on pavement.]

We traded one time-bent hell-hole for another, huh? You've gotta be kiddin' me. Something ain't right about this place, and I ain't talking about how we all got here. [He heaved a sigh.] I don't have time for this shit.

[There's a small pause, almost long enough to thing the speaker had disconnected before...]

Anybody know anything about "That Noodle Place"? It don't smell half bad.

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Shinjiro Aragaki

August 2011

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