|Also known as...|| The Rule-Smashing Pun Machine (Solo)|
The Scar-Faced Dark Messiah (Persona)
|Japanese Name|| 皆月 翔 |
|First Appearance||Persona 4 Arena Ultimax|
|Arcana||The Sun (Solo), The Moon (Persona)|
Sho Minazuki is a character appearing in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax.
- Persona 4 Arena: As the "Eerie Voice" in certain characters' story modes
- Persona 4 Arena Ultimax: Playable Character
Sho appears to be a young man with short bright red hair, bluish gray eyes with rings circling his pupils similar to Aigis and Labrys (possibly from his Plume of Dusk), and a very pale complexion. He has a cross-shaped scar across his face, which is close in design to Master Daidara or Takahisa Kandori. He wears the coat of the Yasogami High uniform around his waist, with a dark green collared shirt and a yellow armband with a black star on his left arm and yellow sneakers with red soles.
His "TV world glasses" are shown to be a pair of shades. He also sports a pair of dual katanas that have triggers on them as an aesthetic touch. Both katanas also have serrated edges near the handles/hilts.
His eyelids also have small spikes drawn on like make-up, similar to the main character of Alex from.
In the true ending, after the defeat of Hinokagutsuchi, Sho's eyes and scar glow and turn blue, likely from the Plume of Dusk embedded in him while Minazuki sacrificed himself destroying Hino Kagutsuchi and gives Sho an ability to summon Persona. But beforehand, it was due to being granted with his power that Sho's eyes occasionally glowed red instead. His eyes and scares are also suggested to permanently glow after becoming blue.
Due to his lonely and painful past, Sho grows into a young man with vicious streak and very interested in fighting, as he later states that fighting all he knows. He is puerile, flippant, hot-headed, and anxious young man. A loner who dismisses companionship as he mocks Yu Narukami for his "useless" friendship with others, viewing people as weak to rely on such things. He has a habit of throwing a tantrum when something doesn't go as he hoped. Junpei Iori even calls him a brat due to his tantrums. He also harbors an intense jealousy towards Persona users, particularly Yu and Aigis due to their Wild Card ability.
Sho is described as a misanthrope, loathing humanity and feels it needs to "change" or face destruction. He questions Teddie on why he would ever desire to be human. Due to Shuji Ikutsuki's influence, Sho has a habit of making puns in his manner, which are so terrible that not even Teddie nor Yukiko Amagi find them funny. However, ever since Ikutsuki "threw" Sho away, he felt abandoned, and thus, his nihilistic views grew mixed in with his previous isolation.
Despite realizing what Ikutsuki's true nature was like, Sho could barely deny that his surrogate father was all he had in his life.
Tohru Adachi also points out it's not very different from what he himself used to think in the past as well as how they ended up with power used for evil. Adachi also feels that Sho could've redeemed himself from this mindset, as the former detective believes his own evil to be more than Sho's could ever have been.
However, the other Sho, Minazuki, which is the other personality/soul suffused through the Plume of Dusk on the other hand, is composed, methodical, callous, and manipulative. And unlike the former, is capable of summoning a Persona.
Minazuki is aware of the normal Sho, and is eventually revealed to be fond and caring of him with both personalities also being aware of each other, with Minazuki going as far trying to kill Ikutsuki for causing Sho to suffer as well as being quick to dismiss others who try to harm Sho the same way (or take advantage of him). Though it would seem the normal Sho's past of constant experimentation is what drives his other soul into believing that like the normal Sho, Minazuki from the Plume of Dusk feels that humanity must meet its end in order to give his other self the peace he needs.
Minazuki does not view himself as a split personality, rather seeing himself as an entity born to grant Sho's wish. On the other hand, Sho puts much trust in Minazuki that he tends to be baffled when one can claim they've overpowered him, or when Minazuki cannot be channeled by Sho for some reason.
Persona 4 Arena UltimaxEdit
Sho Minazuki was an orphan who used to be one of Ikutsuki's test subjects, much like the future members of Strega. Due to his tremendous potential compared to other orphans that Ikutsuki had gathered, Ikutsuki viewed him as his favorite test subject. As part of the experiment, Ikutsuki had Sho isolated from the world, preventing him making contact with anyone. Due to their "somewhat" close bond initially, Sho has picked up Ikutsuki's infamous pun habits. Sho also developed exceptional fighting ability that surpasses normal humans due to the experiments.
During one of the experiments in attempt to gain a Persona through using Plume of Dusk, instead of a Persona, another personality/soul is born within Sho, which is referred to as "Minazuki" throughout the game. Ikutsuki takes interest in Minazuki, but soon tried to dispose of him when Minazuki almost killed him in attempt to protect Sho.
However, this strain between them escalates further in that ever since Ikutsuki supposedly "threw" Sho away, especially since his attempt to erase Minazuki forced Sho into a vegetative state and could no longer be the valuable tool he was before.
It is from there, Sho felt greatly abandoned, and much of his nihilism towards the world and the society he was isolated from grew and thus Sho began to hate the world out of frustration. From there, Minazuki then caters to Sho's desires out of deep care and over-protection, especially in terms of the desire to be in a world with only himself remaining with the zero existence of bonds.
After Ikutsuki's death Sho made contact with Hinokagutsuchi after living in Inaba. In return for helping to give him a body, Sho wishes to have the world destroyed for his personal goal of being alone and ridding it of mankind.
In Labrys' arcade mode, Sho's dual personality generated from the Plume of Dusk announces himself as Sho Minazuki (ミナヅキ ショウ, Minazuki Shō, in katakana instead of kanji), calling her a "puppet" and confessing he is the one responsible for hijacking her and allowing her to "run amok" during the events of the P-1 Grand Prix, revealing himself to be the "Eerie Voice" that hacked her from the previous game, and for the sake of finding out if the Plume of Dusk could hold multiple souls.
Minazuki claims he is the same as Labrys, which was why he chose her to be his puppet, and thus by that proxy, prioritizes her safety above all else just so his plans to go into fruition. He is also the one responsible for dragging the reluctant and currently reforming Tohru Adachi into his schemes, whether he had an opinion on the choice or not. He even stated that, should Adachi refuse to fight, then the Inaba murders would resume, presumably with Adachi as the first victim. It is through this that Minazuki also forces Adachi into the P-1 Climax against his will when Adachi refuses to work with him.
It is even through this that Minazuki/Sho claim Adachi is no different from himself, having a negative view on the world thinking it has nothing but foolish beings and the like, and when granted with power both of them did villainy with it. Adachi while not denying so via his past, refutes this by stating he has done more evil than Sho/Minazuki could ever have, and while refusing to be lumped together with him also states it's not too late for Sho to reform himself.
As guessed by Naoto, his plan is to "carve" off pieces of the Investigation Team and the Shadow Operative's Personas by having them battle their Shadow copies in order to summon something. However, Minazuki denies this, saying that he simply wants to grant a wish, which would be towards his other self (the normal Sho). Minazuki also eventually grows fond of Naoto for her deductions.
It was revealed in Episode Adachi that Minazuki wishes to summon a being beyond that of ordinary humans: the power of the Sagiri. He states that he needs that power, though he also says that it needs to be tamed. For that purpose he tried to recruit Adachi into helping him, despite his refusal. However, from the beginning, Sho had planned to kill Adachi due to the fact that the leftover power from Ameno-Sagiri remained in him, which was interfering with Hinokagutsuchi's ritual. After managing to pin down Adachi, he told him that he had planned to rip out his Persona and turn it into a Shadow before merging it with all of the Persona fragments he had gathered, thus he would be able to tame it.
In the Persona 3 story mode, Labrys confronts Sho at the top of Tartarus and defeats him. It is learned during this mode that the Malevolent Entity was simply using Sho and that he can no longer contact Minazuki, infuriating him even more. Despite knowing that Ikutsuki was using him, Sho does indeed care for him, as much as he hates him. It is also revealed that he hurts and fights people as it is the only way he knows how to connect with people. When Labrys revealed that Minazuki attempted to protect him in the past it causes him to become even more confused.
They are interrupted by Hinokagutsuchi who takes control of Sho's body and fights Labrys, but was defeated again by her. With Elizabeth's help, Labrys, Sho, and the others are transported to the TV World. Sho asks did she kill Hinokagutsuchi, which she confirms. Hearing this, Sho admits that she is strong, but then becomes frustrated by Labrys' slow response. Before he leaves, Labrys tried to convince him to stay, but Sho refuses and threatens to surely destroy her if so, leaving his whereabouts afterwards a mystery.
In Persona 4 story mode, Yu confronts Sho before a beaten Adachi. who was subjected to a pummeling for trying to betray Sho and trying to destroy the Persona fragments. Minazuki replaces Sho and fights him, but was defeated. After his defeat, Yu makes Minazuki realize that he is never alone, because his strength comes from his feelings for Sho, which is the very proof of their bond. They are interrupted by Hinokagutsuchi, who reveals he knew that Minazuki planned on betraying him by using Adachi, since Minazuki was well aware that Hinokagutsuchi would not hold his end of their deal. The entity then proceeds to possess Sho's body with Minazuki disappearing. Combining his power together with Adachi's Magatsu-Izanagi, Yu is able to kill Hinokagutsuchi for good. Also, it is revealed he was the unnamed guest of the Velvet Room in the prologue of the story mode, only to reject the contract. However, Igor states that Sho will eventually return and form a contract with them at the start of his journey.
In the events of the true ending following Hinokagutsuchi's defeat by Yu and Adachi, Sho eventually shows himself to be alive, but wondering about his other self/Minazuki's disappearance as he cannot sense him anymore. Yu eventually also notices Sho's eyes and scar to glow into a sudden pale blue, different from the red glow via Kagutsuchi's power.
During a talk, Sho reveals that after he woke up in the hospital. he found out that his medical expenses were paid for by Ikutsuki, despite him throwing Sho away. With a large inheritance and going into the outside world for the first time, Sho had very little idea what to do with his life. He then traveled the world until he arrived in Inaba. He stated for a long time, fighting was all he knew and he was unable to handle the dull life in Inaba, until one event; to which he revealed that he watched the Investigation Team's entire progression on the serial murder case to its conclusion, which he found exhilarating.
Hinokagutsuchi then appeared before him, asking Sho if he wanted to destroy the world, and Minazuki formulated the plan of the world's destruction with Sho following along. Yu tells Sho that he should not be afraid to bond with others, as Sho is similar to Labrys. However, Sho claims that he can only understand others by fighting them, to which Yu states that he will gladly fight Sho as long as he could forge bonds that way. Sho and Yu engage in one last fight, revealing that Sho could now summon Tsukiyomi on his own, with Yu emerging victorious. Inspired by the power Yu's bonds gave him, Sho still insists that he will one day kill Yu and he should be ready for when Sho come for him, fleeing the scene as he starts his own journey.
Solo Form (Sho)Edit
In his default form, Sho is an easy-to-learn solo attacker type, relying on his own physical strength to get in his opponent's face instead of using a Persona, making him a typical rushdown character. Because of this, he has no worries with having his Burst locked out because of a Persona Break. Much of his fighting style is quick and aggressive, with powerful wide-reaching attacks, and even a high-speed teleport known as Kousoku Idou (High Speed Movement). Because of his sword attacks providing such long reach via disjointed hitboxes and the fact stronger sword attacks deal two hits, hit-confirms into a combo with Sho tends to be a breeze.
He also throws survival knives for long-range attacks (which functions as a charge-motion command special); along with his Reversal/Furious Action, Izayoi (Sixteen Nights) as an anti-air move, and his Houzukizan (Crumbling Moon Slash) series moves being chain expansions, Sho is indeed a typical shotoclone character. He is also one of the few characters who can chain two R/F-Actions in a row in one combo, as his Ura Izayoi (Reverse Sixteen Nights) can be chained off its grounded variation and being a very good invincible-punishing attack.
Understandably, his main weakness is his lack of a Persona, or rather the potential he could have with a Persona. He loses out on important setups that the other characters gain from having Personas, mainly a wake up pressure tool and something to lock his opponents down while he's advancing, as well as some much-needed zoning via disjointed pressure. In addition to his lack of a Persona, he has a low amount of health as with many an offensive focused character.
He also only has one SP Skill, the Engetsu Bousou (Blazing Moon Rampage), an autocombo that is often used as his primary combo finisher. His Getsumen Kudaki (Moon Surface Smasher) however is also one of the strongest Awakening Supers in the game, which can take off almost half of a health bar if both hits connect.
Instead of a Persona Attack and Rush, for his D, he does a stance almost similar to a counter/reversal which can completely dodge incoming attacks (and can also be done in midair to pause his momentum). Also unlike the other characters, Sho uses three attack buttons instead of two (A, B and C instead of A and B).
However, like most rushdown characters, Sho can easily be punished during some moves, so a good defense is strong against him if one can predict his moves, unless one masters him enough to mitigate his opponents' sense of yomi (reading), enough to know how to unconventionally get in a hit-confirm. On the offense, Sho is difficult to stop due to his combo strings working just as well as block strings, though his lack of strong zoning outside of his Survival Knife tends to make it an effort in order to get in close and personal to the opponent.
Also despite Sho's disjointed weapon hitboxes, his physical range isn't too much in the footsies area for poking and making space, especially since he advances towards his opponent a lot during most of his grounded move animations. What's more, his damage is only average outside of his Getsumen Kudaki, since he relies a lot more on long combos in order to do his damage. His long combos also tend to involve his Furious Action and Super Cancels, leaving a lot of blue health in place.
Like most rushdown characters, he also has very weak damage without any resources such as high amount of SP.
Sho in his normal form also has no spells or skills from the Persona series; all of his moves are completely original.
Sho also when silenced, only loses his ability to burst.
Move List (Solo Form):Edit
- Moves with a localized name from the original Japanese name will be shown in with a slash along them, while the real translation will be in parentheses.
- Reversal/Furious Action(s):
- Izayoi (Sixteen Nights): Sho's Furious/R-Action. Sho rises up with a double swinging uppercut slash while spiraling upwards with his swords (leading hand: outward slash, following hand: inward slash). A typical rising uppercut "Dragon Punch" slash that works as Sho's main anti-air special with a good amount of invincibility, but can be punished as Sho is landing. Similar to Yu's R/F-Action, it has only one set height unlike most DP anti-airs due to P4U's systems and that Izayoi has only one input. The first hit can be super cancelled before Sho can leave the ground. Launches the opponent on hit.
- Back Izayoi/Ura Izayoi (Reverse Sixteen Nights): Sho's R-Action done in midair. Has the same kind of invincibility as the ground version, but unique in that it's a scooping inward slash that causes ground slide. Can be followed up from the ground Izayoi at its peak. Air unblockable, and like many midair attacks, an overhead. Also alters Sho's momentum in midair.
- Skill Attacks/Special Moves:
- Survival Knife: Sho with his leading hand flings out a horizontally spinning knife. Typical projectile move. Sho due to this projectile move having a charge motion tends to recover quite fast from his knife throw, as well as the startup being farily fast. A and C versions fly high but can be ducked underneath, while B and D versions fly low to hit around the feet (but do not hit low; A and B fly slow, while C and D fly fast). SB versions throw out both a slow and fast knife at the same time, only either using AB or CD alters the positions of the knifes and their speeds.
- As of Patch 1.10, the afterimages of the knife is rendered differently to make the knife itself move visible (less visible afterimages).
- Houzukizan/Moon Crushing Slash (Crumbling Moon Slash): A series of chain slash attacks that act as multi-input specials, only they can be done either standalone/from a chainable attack or during any Houzukizan. They are:
- Senga (Flash Fang): The basic Houzukizan attack. Sho dashes in with a downward chop via his following-handed sword in a step, ripping the air in front of him with a shredding-sword line effect. Can followup with a Shouga or another grounded special move. A comes out fast, while B is slower but moves a bit further with more damage. SB version does more damage than both and comes out very fast.
- Shouga/Soaring Fang (Flight Fang): An anti-air rising slash with his leading sword after scooping along the ground in a turn. Resembles Izayoi, but has little in the way of being a safe anti-air due to its startup, despite having some invincibility. Can be done standalone or from Senga, and can followup with normal air attacks, Ura Izayoi or any midair special once Sho is in the air. A version hits once and comes out fast (but its height leaves much to place Sho in a comboing position), while B does 2 more hits via the startup, is slower and rises higher. SB version comes out faster than B version and does 7 hits instead and packs some invincibility. Like Izayoi, this launches on hit, and the A version can even be used to start juggles since Sho can land back on the ground sooner.
- Metsuga/Destruction Fang (Destroying Fang): Sho slams down with both swords in a helmet-splitter dropping slash. Has a fair amount of recovery and htis overhead. Can be done standalone in midair or during Shouga, and plummets the opponent on air hit. A version comes out fast while B version has a bit of a delay on startup and does more damage. The SB version combines the two while making it have less recovery time, enabling followups once Sho hits the ground. Both the B and SB version can Fatal Counter.
- As of Patch 1.10, it's possible to cancel into Sho's D dodge from a Senga or Shouga. The invincibility also occurs later for the SB version Shouga.
- Kousoku Idou (High Speed Movement): Sho dashes forward and disappears for a small while before he reappears, all in high speed hence the name of the move. Works as a teleport (and does no damage), Sho's main form of escape as well as being able to pull it off in midair. But due to being able to cancel it from attacks as a special or cancel it into an attack, it can work very well for offensive crossups, as well as fastfalls to loop moves like a Senga-to-Shouga loop by getting back to the ground quickly. C version moves forward a small distance, D moves forward further, while the midair version is a diagonal air-to-ground fastfall. The SB version comes out fast and also grants some invincibility.
- As of Patch 1.10, it's possible to cancel into Sho's D dodge from a Kousoku Idou.
- SP Skill Attacks/Super Moves:
- Engetsu Bousou/Blazing Moon Barrage (Blazing Moon Rampage): Sho slouches during the super flash, then dashes forward, once he connects, he'll perform a rapid amount of slashes (5A, Houzukizan: Senga, 5B, 5C, 2B second hit, 2B first hit, 5AA, All-Out Attack which switches sides with the opponent) while finishing with a high-flying Izayoi to a Houzukizan: Metsuga, all for a 14 hit combo causing ground slide. Auto-combo/ranbu (wild dance) super, and can connect on an airborne opponent close to the ground, but Sho can be punished afterwards if blocked. A version goes a small distance while B goes further. The SB version has the same amount of hits, but tacks on extra damage by replacing the Metsuga with a Getsumen Kudaki finisher instead. Sho will not switch sides with the opponent in the corner. Main combo ender since it can't be followed up on, but if quick enough upon landing and with enough meter, it's possible to combo it from a normal version on counter hit into an SB version, taking advantage of the OTG effect (the auto combo also works on downed opponents). Regarding the OTG capability, it's possible depending on if Sho is in the corner or not, to use a variety of moves to combo off of the super once the opponent hits the ground. but only on a counter hit to be safe.
- Awakened SP Skill Attacks/Super Moves:
- Getsumen Kudaki/Moon Smasher (Moon Surface Smasher): Sho rears back as he ducks close to the ground during the super flash and while holding both swords in reverse grip, then with his following handed sword flies diagonally to the air with a fierce ripping slash. At the apex of his leap, he then falls with his leading handed sword to smash the ground with a falling sword plant, causing a burst of energy, and launching the opponent away. The second part of the attack does a good amount of damage making it one of the strongest Awakened SP Attacks, and has some anti-air-type invincibility. However, using this poorly with the second part being blocked can result in Sho getting punished. Is also air unblockable. The A version flies less higher, making it easier to followup with as Sho hits the ground earlier (especially on counter hit). B version flies higher with more damage, while the SB version is stronger than both A and B versions.
- In Patch 1.10, the minimum damage scaling has increased.
Persona Form (Minazuki)Edit
In his second form, Sho, awakened to his Plume of Dusk, uses a Persona named Tsukiyomi, and now gains more range and zoning on par with the fellow Persona users, with new Persona based moves that amp his range up a bit; Sho even gains a new variety of moves, such as the Life Drain and Spirit Drain (Kyuuketsu/Sucking Blood and Kyuuma/Sucking Devil respectively in Japanese) being able to absorb his opponents' HP and SP respectively, along with his new Supers Rengoku no Tsubasa (Wings of Purgatory; a long super projectile move) and Mugen no Kiri (Fog of Fantasy; a counter/reversal Awakening Super); this super even enables him to blind the screen in darkness should it connect normally outside a killing blow before the darkness shatters, instilling mindgames and fear into his opponents (though at a cost, it unlike most counters/reversals seems to require a strict timing). His aforementioned Drain moves also act as command throws, giving him a new edge in tick throw mixups.
His Persona-based normals can also, depending on which ones used and the distance of the opponent, cross them up somewhat due to being able to appear behind them (but they can still block according to Sho's position as usual). Most of this tends to be space dependent however. But compared to others, Sho's spacing game with his Persona tends to do wonders for the other Sho's weaker physical range, and many off-screen tactics tend to be possible for his "behind-Persona-attacks" with proper spacing and judgment.
Like with the other Sho, his damage isn't too good outside of long combos, and even then his long combos that involve his Furious Action and Super Cancels leave a lot of temporary blue health in place.
Much like his other self, he still has his weak damage potential without any resources such as high amount of SP, since he requires a lot of it, possibly more so than normal Sho for many a damage conversion with mechanics such as the 1 More Cancels.
Sho also like all characters also has a new auto-combo similar to the normal characters and their Shadow counter parts, only he uses Sho's original 5C for the second move of his auto-combo (5AA), and loses use of the original Sho's 5AA (used for both Shos' ground throw animations), j.C (still used for both Shos' air throw animations) and j.2C (used for the Tsukiyomi move). He also loses his Engetsu Bousou attack, replaced by the aforementioned Rengoku no Tsubasa.
Though he loses his teleport in trade for a slower one named after his Persona's namesake, altering his mobility game. Overall, along with alternated activation frames for his Surivival Knife move (slower startup with faster projectile flight), now a traditional-circle motion projectile, as well as having the commands of his Houzukizan moves changed, Sho in this form plays more traditionally to the rest of the cast compared to his other form. He also gains a new Mortal Blow/Instant Kill in the aforementioned second form, named the Shinma Messatsu (God Devil Annihilation).
Sho similar to the Shadow mode characters, sports a misty aura to set him apart from the normal Sho, especially with different color palettes. Only notable difference that unlike a Shadow, Sho's aura is a very pale turquoise, and despite similar animations has new quotes separate from the other Sho.
Sho also has a total of 4 Persona Cards/Units.
Move List (Persona Form):Edit
- Moves with a localized name from the original Japanese name will be shown in with a slash along them, while the real translation will be in parentheses.
- Reversal/Furious Action(s):
- Izayoi (Sixteen Nights): Same as the normal Sho. Though unlike normal Sho, it can be possible to cancel into Rengoku no Tsubasa to put oneself in a safer position.
- Back Izayoi/Ura Izayoi (Reverse Sixteen Nights): Same as normal Sho's.
- Skill Attacks/Special Moves:
- Survival Knife: Same as normal Sho's, only due to the motion being changed into a quarter-circle motion, it has more lag to offset its simple command. Has more startup time but rather fast recovery, and now only two button versions exist, being done only with A and B. A version throws the knife slowly at chest level, so opponents can duck under it. B version throws a fast knife that hits at the opponent's legs, while the SB version throws both versions at once.
- As of Patch 1.10, this move undergoes the same changes with normal Sho's Survival Knife, where the afterimages are less visible in order to see the knife easier.
- Houzukizan/Moon Crushing Slash (Crumbling Moon Slash): Same as normal Sho's, but they now act as legitimate extra/multi-inputs in the classical "Rekkaken" style.
- Senga (Flash Fang): Same as normal Sho's version, but can followup with Shouga as an extra input.
- Shouga/Soaring Fang (Flight Fang): Same as before, but now has a new command and can only perform off of a Senga.
- Metsuga/Destruction Fang (Destroying Fang): Now is more of a combo finisher, mainly due to undergoing the same changes as Shouga where it can only be done from Shouga instead of standalone in the air. Still acts the same as the original Sho's disregarding such changes however.
- Thus, the whole Houzukizan chain can only be performed as Senga->Shouga->Metsuga.
- Tsukiyomi (Moon Reader): Persona-based attack. Sho makes use of his Persona's powers to teleport and reappears in midair to slash at his opponent with a dual fanning forward slash with both swords (Sho's original j.2C). Meant to be for mindgames unlike the other Sho's teleport and is advantageous on block, but can put Sho in a Fatal Recovery. Can perform in midair. The C version reappears in front of the opponent, D version appears behind the opponent, and both C and D hit overhead. The SB version varies on where Sho is (Grounded SB version appears in front while midair SB version appears behind), but it does no damage and only makes Sho teleport in order to close in on the opponent for mindgames. The state of leaving Sho in a normal airborne state during said SB version also allows him to jump cancel into a double jump or cancel into an air dash.
- Kyuuketsu/Life Drain or Kyuuma/Spirit Drain (Sucking Blood or Sucking Devil): Persona-based attack and the two Drain spells (which Tsukuyomi in past SMT games could not learn). New command grabs. Sho reaches forward with his bare-leading hand to grab his opponent, then alongside Tsukiyomi drains either health (Kyuuketsu/Life Drain for the C version) or 10 SP (Kyuuma/Spirit Drain for the D version; will drain all SP if less than 10) from them and then tosses them away with an inward throw. It is meant for some good tick throw mixups, but has less range than his normal throw and puts Sho in a Fatal Recovery state, making it risky. The SB version combines both versions together. Can Fatal Counter.
- In 1.10, the Fatal Counter property has been removed.
- SP Skill Attacks/Super Moves:
- Rengoku no Tsubasa (Wings of Purgatory): Persona-based attack. Sho covers himself up with arms and swords at ready and slashes out a cross of dark crescent waves at his opponent with Tsukiyomi by his side. A projectile with a huge vertical hitbox and startup invincibility, and despite the long recovery, the opponent is granted quite a bit of untech time if it hits, and the attack also causes wallbounce. Can be done in midair and during moves like Izayoi or Shouga via Super Cancel due to this. C version goes slow and is more used in combos than standalone, while D goes faster and thus is a great punish and combo finishing tool. The SB version is more faster than the D version and does more damage than both C and D versions.
- Awakened SP Skill Attacks/Super Moves:
- Getsumen Kudaki/Moon Smasher (Moon Surface Smasher): Same as before, but does a bit less damage than the other Sho's version, and can be blocked in midair.
- Mugen no Kiri/Fantasy Fog (Fog of Fantasy): Persona-based attack. A reversal/counter move where Sho does the stance/position similar to summoning his Persona (only he crosses his swords). If the opponent manages to hit him at a certain time/during certain frames of the attack, Tsukiyomi appears and plants its sword, suddenly causing the opponent to slowly get knocked down and the screen blacks out for a while, making only the opponent visible. Sho can be seen now and then, but it's possible to perform all sorts of mixups on the opponent. A downside is that summoning Tsukiyomi can give away his position. Despite its counter/reversal nature, the opponent can make use of their Furious/Reversal Action (depending on the character) or a 1 More Cancel to escape the counterattack if they trigger the move. C version lasts longer with more counter frames. The D version is short but faster to recover from, while the SB version is between the two with no damage boost. Does not work against projectiles. After a certain amount of time passes or if Sho gets hit, the black screen will slowly crumble away and the arena will return to normal.
- As of Patch 1.10, the move has lessened damage reduction/increased minimum damage scaling, like the other Sho's version.
- Mortal Blow/Instant Kill:
- Shinma Messatsu/God and Demon Annihilation (God Devil Annihilation): Persona-based attack. Sho crosses his swords above himself with arms close together, then slams them down in front of him, planting them and hitting his opponent if they happen to be close enough. After getting hit, the opponent will slowly get lifted a bit far and above Sho. Dark energy via portal below Sho with the use of Tsukiyomi's command bombards the opponent in the form of dark spikes as Sho makes a maniacal gesture. As the screen is filled with darkness, the opponent slowly falls down, and Tsukiyomi them reaps them with its scythe, breaking the screen. Tsukiyomi then gestures with its scythe causing the darkness to shatter away and finish the opponent, and revealing Sho with his back shown and arms crossed, standing alongside Tsukiyomi. The move has full startup invincibility, but is slow to come out.
Between both Shos, their techniques' names tend to have motifs towards the moon.
Both Shos along with Margaret are the only ones who's All-Out Attacks tend to be unique, in that they can switch sides with the opponent and pass through them.
Sho's normal leitmotif is known as "The Joker". Which is a possible reference to the very villain from the two Persona 2 games and the fact that both the villain of those two games and the villain in Ultimax have a similar role and abilities. It also plays a nod to Sho's habit of puns.
His Minazuki/Persona version's leitmotif is instead "Blood Red Moon", a reference to a solar phenomenon.
'Minazuki' refers to the month of June and also to a kind of sweet with red beans (which fits his red theme) normally eaten around that same month. His first name literally means "flight".
It could also mean "all moons", a reference to his attacks that have a moon theme or are related to the moon. This is similar to Ikutsuki (which means "many moons") in terms of a moon-based surname, and their habit of puns; this is true in that it's due to their non-blood related "father-and-son relationship".
The term Izayoi (lit. Sixteen Nights) being a sixteen-day-old moon in the night right after a full moon, and is also can be a given name or surname for most females.
- Ironically, despite the heavy moon theme in his attacks, name and Persona, Sho's Arcana is the Sun.
- And like his arcana, his eyelids have spikes drawn on them in a fashion like make-up, resembling the way suns are usually drawn. This is more apparent during his cut-in when entering Awakening Mode.
- However, with his Persona version, the Arcana suddenly changes into the Moon, signifying a two-coin-sided relation between the two versions of Sho, especially through a "day" and "night" motif.
- Ironically, his Persona version also has fire-elemental powers with his moon-themed Persona.
- Sho's solo version, Kanji Tatsumi, and Mitsuru Kirijo are the only three characters in the game to have charge-motion special moves (Sho and Kanji only apply in Ultimax while Mitsuru was already a traditional charge-motion character).
- Compared to the rest of the characters, Sho is the only character to use in a vein like recent 3-button fighters, a 3-button basic attack layout (with one special button) as opposed to 2 basic attack buttons and 2 avatar-based buttons, similar to some 4-button fighters (with two weak attacks and two strong attacks); though his Persona version no doubt still follows the aforementioned 4-button scheme.
- Sho is also the only Persona character to have no moves from the series itself regarding his solo version, as all of his moves are completely original to the Persona series as a whole. He also shares this trait with Teddie, who's whole moveset is also original with no spells (save for his follow up attack).
- A notable contrast between the two Shos is the name and title display underneath the Life Bar during a battle. While in his solo form, The Rule-Smashing Pun Machine, his name is Sho, while in his Persona form, The Scar-Faced Dark Messiah, he is referred to as Minazuki. Justified in that in the Japanese version, his name in solo form is written in kanji while in his Persona form, his name is written in katakana, which would be difficult to localize, thus settling for a last name basis.
- Also, normal Sho tends to have a very clear smile of anxious energy and possible deranged essence, while Persona Sho tends to have more tame smiles and more serious expressions.
- Another difference is their mannerisms. Sho acts impulsively and despises the concept of friendship, while Sho is calm and collected with an interest in Naoto, saying he wished to talk to her again if he got the opportunity, as she was able to figure out his motives.
- Further separating each other apart, Sho gives out his first name before fully introducing himself, while Sho gives out his last name before doing the same, which is also another way around localization difficulties.