- "What...? What's that supposed to mean!? I'm... I'm not nothing..."
- —Mitsuo Kubo confronting his Shadow Self, Persona 4
Mitsuo Kubo is a character from Persona 4.
- Persona 4 / Golden: Non-player character
Mitsuo has disheveled black hair that is parted slightly in the middle. He has a cool, ashen complexion, though his skin has a peachy tint to it, and he has a beauty mark under his left eye. Most of the time, Mitsuo appears to be extremely tired as he has a fairly pronounced slouch, walks slowly and breathes heavily, and has droopy eyes and a rather grim expression.
Perhaps his most notable features are his eyes, which are unlike any of the other characters in Persona 4, being extremely deep and pitch black without visible pupils (aniridia), giving him somewhat of a "absent from reality" aura. Mitsuo also has long eyelashes, thin eyebrows and very pronounced lips.
His school uniform is black, with a green and orange emblem and a green tie, while his casual clothes consist of video-gamed themed shirts such as with a controller design, or an alien invaders-like pattern, and jeans.
His English voice is boyish and tone-filled, whereas his Japanese voice is deep and intimidating. However, his low voice sometimes breaks into more of a maddened laughing in the back of his throat when he is excited or furious, and he speaks more sweetly to Yukiko, this is likely to show that he puts on a low voice for show to seem more powerful in front of others.
Mitsuo is a teenager who suffers from psychological issues. He has poor self-esteem due to ridicule for his appearance, and in turn his social isolation and lack of friends. This makes him self-centered, delusional, attention-dependent and aggressive. Mitsuo is immature, and often throws tantrums if something upsets him, such as tripping over a garbage bag or being rejected by Yukiko. If anyone tries to confront him about his life's emptiness, having no friends or accomplishments, he lashes out into a state of anger and ignorance. Although he is so often alone and looked down upon, Mitsuo has an extreme need for attention, whether it be positive or negative.
Mitsuo does not display any notable skills, interests or good attributes other than his love for video games and the internet because of how empty his life is. As stated by his shadow, he has and is nothing, and this is why he is so resolute in neglecting his shadow. Mitsuo's lack of attributes is one of the reasons he doubts his existence and secretly wishes to die as referenced by his shadow. He simply wants to end it all, and the only reason he's obsessed with killing is because he thinks it's the only way he can make an impact on the world. Most notably, Mitsuo's extreme negative behavior and hostility initially made it hard for the Investigation Team to discern the difference between Mitsuo and his Shadow when they confronted him at the end of his dungeon.
To make up for his lack of good attributes and help him cope, he boasts about beating video game bosses, and grows to believe he and Yukiko love one-another; as she's the most popular girl in town, that would make him of high social standing as well. However, he merely stalks her and takes photographs of her with her friends, while harboring hatred for everyone else.
Following his rejection by Yukiko, he slips to the point of performing murder, as to show he is powerful enough to kill another person would make him more intimidating to others in his mind. Mitsuo showcases the symptoms of a "power-trip" in which he acts hostile to anyone who approaches him, even going so far as to attempt to physically hurt Nanako, a child half his age and size. Knowing he cannot showcase his "strength" in public, he turns to the internet where he can anonymously brag about being the serial killer in Inaba, although nobody believes him. This causes him to throw a fit, destroying his room and going to confess to the police and have all the murders blamed upon himself to get attention.
Mitsuo first appears as a nameless student from a rival school in Yasoinaba when he waits outside the gates of Yasogami High School for Yukiko Amagi. Upon seeing her, Mitsuo addresses Yukiko as 'Yuki' and asks if she wants go hang out with him, much to Yukiko's confusion as she does not know him. Several students passing by mock him for talking to Yukiko. Mitsuo asks again and upon Yukiko's declination, he angrily says "Fine!" and runs away. He would be later seen standing across the street from Tatsumi Textiles, complaining about daily life.
After the rescue of Rise Kujikawa, the protagonist's homeroom teacher, Kinshiro Morooka is killed by blunt force trauma. To make matters worse, his corpse is found hanging from a water tower by his foot in a similar fashion to the murders of Mayumi Yamano and Saki Konishi. Mitsuo takes the opportunity to turn himself into the Inaba Police, confessing that he was responsible for the three murdered victims thus far. The police do not take his statement seriously and pawn him off to Adachi. Shortly after, Mitsuo went missing and wound up in the TV World.
His presence in the Midnight Channel immediately put him on display where his Shadow gloats about him murdering the three victims and ultimately getting away with it all. While they have serious doubts about his role in the murders, the Investigation Team decide to brave his dungeon to question him directly.
Mitsuo's dungeon, Void Quest, takes the form of an classic 8-bit styled video game dungeon, complete with pixelated flames and graphics. The music is peppy and 8-bit, eventually scaling up into maniacal orchestra music, and the dungeon's sound effects are monotone and digital. As the party scales the dungeon, Mitsuo loses his grip on reality. He thinks of killing Mayumi, Saki and Morooka as video game fights, complete with fictional stat increases ('Excitement increases by 4! Emptiness increases by 1!')
When the Protagonist reaches the Endgame, he finds Mitsuo yelling at his shadow, who refuses to say anything — even when Mitsuo hurls a hysterical question at him, the shadow only replies that he is 'nothing.' Mitsuo wildly denies his Shadow's claim that he is nothing and continues to state that he is the true murderer. When Mitsuo denies his Shadow, it turns into a giant baby with computer codes circling its head. It is heavily suggested by his dungeon and his Shadow's infantile appearance that Mitsuo has an immature personality and poor self-esteem. The Shadow also has the ability to erect 8-bit styled blocks around it, forming the image of "Mitsuo the Hero," a representation of his hobby of playing video games to mask his immaturity and become the important "Hero" he could never actually be.
Upon his Shadow's defeat, Mitsuo continues to deny his Shadow which causes it to disappear into a cloud of smoke instead of transforming into a Persona, signifying that Mitsuo's ego and his Shadow are indistinguishable from each other. Mentally exhausted from the whole ordeal, he is brought out of the Midnight Channel by the Investigation Team where he is handed off to the authorities for questioning. For a time, Mitsuo finally attracts the attention he had sought for so long, being plastered all over the media for his supposed crimes.
However, the legacy of his murder fades away when it is later confirmed that he was not the true killer of Mayumi Yamano and Saki Konishi. Instead, he was just a copycat killer who killed Kinshiro Morooka with no particular motive other than to claim to be the Inaba mass killer. This is also the reason why Kinshiro did not appear on the Midnight Channel before his death. It is unknown what his fate is after his arrest, but he was most likely convicted of his murder and remains in prison for his crime.
Later, Adachi reveals that he is the one who pushed Mitsuo into the Midnight Channel, stating that if he Mitsuo took credit for all of the murders, then the abductions would stop. Adachi took Mitsuo into a dark interrogation room where he pushed him into the Midnight Channel while he was stunned. As a result, Mitsuo was completely unaware of his assailant's identity.
Persona 4 The AnimationEdit
In the anime, he appears on April 15 on a raining day rather than April 12 which originally takes place in the game.
He didn't appear at the Tatsumi textiles shop where the game takes place, only in April 21 where he appears again, albeit seen briefly, in his winter uniform staring at the crowd at the Marukyu Tofu where Rise worked.
Mitsuo appears in Episode 11 of the anime, following his murder of Morooka and he proceeds to go on a power trip throughout the episode. He is seen stomping on a trash bag he accidentally tripped over, and scaring Nanako at the supermarket and reaching out to grab her, only to back away and run off when Yu shows up. Soon afterward, he comes back to Yukiko's high school and tries to ask her out once again, grabbing her hand before Chie pushes him away, and then Kanji intimidates him into retreating. That night, he goes on the internet and tries to claim he is the serial killer, only to be greeted as a joke online, leading him to trash his room and confess to the police for attention. Mitsuo then appears on the Midnight Channel, laughing at the attention he has received and daring the Investigation Team to come find him.
Mitsuo appears within his dungeon, Void Quest, in episode 12 of the anime. There, he is found screaming hysterically at his Shadow who sits, playing a video game and constantly reminding him of how he is empty inside and a worthless person. Completely insane, Mitsuo constantly denies this truth until his shadow erupts in a pillar of red flames to fight him.
Upon the defeat of Mitsuo the 8-Bit Hero, he awakens surrounded by the Investigation Team, shocked that they followed him into the Television. When they ask him whether he is the killer, he claims to be responsible for all the murders, causing his Shadow to dissipate, as Mitsuo's ego is so large, he has become his shadow. He is then turned into the police, laughing manically and driven away with Adachi and another officer from Junes Department Store.
In contrast to the game, the main cast doesn't learn of Mitsuo's identity until after he's arrested by the police following the defeat of his shadow. The only person in the anime who addresses him by name is his mother, who calls him "Mitsuo-chan," and the rest of the characters from learning about his deeds mention him in passing as, "That Kubo guy." When the case is considered closed and Mitsuo has become somewhat of a minor celebrity for taking the rap for all the murders in Inaba, the news consistently ridicules and demeans him, which sparks some anger from Kanji who believes it's rude to insult people for their social abilities and look. When the Investigation Team rescues Naoto from her dungeon, a conversation is brought up in which they realize Mitsuo can't be the killer, and was only responsible for the murder of Mooroka, and likely had no knowledge of the TV World.
Persona 4 The Golden AnimationEdit
In the anime opening introduction, he was seen walking by Konishi's Liquor in the Central Shopping District.
- "The police still haven't caught the killer?
Those idiots! Can't they do anything right!? I tell ya, the world is chock-full of idiots!
Take those morons that ride around on bikes in the middle of the night for example!
Guys like that can't do anything without each other! They're worthless! And lemme tell ya...
> The student from a rival school ranted on and on..."
- —Friday 05/06 Shopping District, North as 'Rival school student,' Persona 4; Persona 4 Golden
Mitsuo concept art
|Persona 4 (Manga)|
Mitsuo appears in the manga adaption
|Persona 4 The Animation|
Concept artwork from The Animation
Mitsuo intimidating Nanako at the supermarket
Mitsuo attempts to grab Nanako
|Persona 4 Visualize|
Mitsuo appearing on the Midnight Channel in Persona 4 Visualive
Mitsuo as he appears in Persona 4 Visualive
- In one of the floors of the Void Quest dungeon's floors, a textbox will say "Good morning, you slept pretty well even with the police sirens, I wonder what happened. Would you mind buying cafe at the arcade? A girl has been murdered, the streets are not safe anymore." This is a reference to Shin Megami Tensei I when the protagonist wakes up from the strange dream and is asked to buy coffee at the mall by his mother.
- In Persona 4: The Animation, the track "I'll Face Myself" from the album Never More -Reincarnation: Persona 4- is played while Yu fights Mitsuo's Shadow.
- In Persona 4: Golden, the boss theme for Mitsuo's Shadow is a heavily synthesized, 8-bit edition of "I'll Face Myself" entitled "Revelations: Mitsuo"/"Shin Mitsuo Tensei." This bears relevance to how Mitsuo is meant to be a joke making fun of the player, and how his Shadow uses video games predominantly in its design.
- Mitsuo can be found walking around Inaba on the same days as Namatame, he can be found talking about how the police are bad at their job and that the biker gangs do nothing for society.