|Japanese Name||生田目 太郎|
|First Appearance||Persona 4|
|Date of Birth||June, 1st, 1974|
|Japanese VA||Kōji Haramaki|
|English VA||J.B. Blanc (games)
Matthew Mercer (anime)
- "I'm... going... to... save... her!"
- —Taro Namatame, Persona 4
- Persona 4 / Golden: Major Character
Taro Namatame is a man with short black hair, brown eyes, and a mole on his forehead. He wears a white collar long sleeved shirt and black pants. When he works at his family business he wears an emerald delivery uniform. During his previous job, he used to wear a black suit with a white collar and black tie, white gloves, and a white band of city council secretary on his right arm.
Taro Namatame can be best described as a good man who winds up in bad situations in which he is horribly misinterpreted due to clouded judgement from others and his inability to convey himself. Before people found out about his affair, Namatame was thought of as an outgoing man with a fun personality (though this side of him is never seen in the game).
When the protagonist interacts with him, he is timid, distraught and frightened. He speaks few words, and after he learns the truth, he offers accountability for his actions and deeply resents himself for it. Despite expressing regret for cheating on his wife, Namatame felt that Mayumi Yamano understood him far better than Misuzu Hiiragi did, and truly loved her in return, extremely heartbroken upon discovering her death.
Thanks partly to Tohru Adachi, he believed what he was doing was the right thing when discovered he could throw people into the Midnight Channel. He hoped that it would keep next victims safe, not knowing what kind of place it actually was. When faced with the world he thought was a safe haven, Namatame described it as an abomination. By the end of the game, Namatame is in a much better state than he was before at the hospital, and returns the best way he knows how to politics, motivated to do the right thing and help his fellow peers as he always wanted to do in the first place.
- "One had not the eyes to see things as they were, and failed to awaken to his power..."
- —Izanami, Persona 4
Being a city council secretary, Namatame was married to renowned Misuzu Hiiragi. However, her popularity had put a strain in their relationship. Seeking solace, he met with TV announcer Mayumi Yamano while the announcer was doing interviews with candidates for the next election.singer
Namatame found out that they both had come from the town of Inaba. Both understood their passion for work, and eventually began an intimate relationship. However, the affair was exposed and a scandal erupted, which led to the end of his career and his marriage. Both he and his wife Hiiragi affirmed that the enka singer chose to nullify their marriage. Namatame then fled to his hometown.
Seeing that the affair had caused a great deal of grief for Yamano, who was getting bad publicity during afternoon shows and had her shows and appearances canceled, Namatame wanted to apologize to her. However, he failed to contact her. Namatame begun to drink heavily to wash away his guilt.
Recalling a rumor of a bizarre channel that showed one's soulmate, Namatame sat one night in front of the television and finally saw Yamano. In the channel, Yamano appeared to be in pain. In his disbelief and anxiety, Namatame touched the screen, and discovered that he could reach literally into the television.
Dismissing it as fatigue, Namatame rested and went to the city to work the next day. He was fired on the spot, just as he had expected. He went back to Inaba, where his father offered him work with the family's delivery service to alleviate his grief. However, his grief worsens when Yamano's dead body was discovered hanging amongst television antennas.
Grieving Yamano's death, he sat in front of the television again to see a Yasogami High School student appearing in the Midnight Channel. As he had been following the news on Yamano, he realized she was Saki Konishi, the student who found Yamano's dead body. Convinced that the channel was a portent of imminent death, he tried to warn Konishi, to no avail. The next day, he learned that Konishi had died, the same way as Yamano.
Namatame tried contacting the police, and got through to Detective Adachi. Adachi suggested that Namatame keep whoever was shown on the channel safe somewhere. As he was trying to figure out where a safe place could be, another person was shown on the channel. It was Yukiko Amagi, daughter of the Amagi Inn. Namatame thought the girl in the channel was smiling, and decided to place her inside the television, where he believes she will be safe.
He first kidnaps Yukiko and placed her in the television. Days later, Yukiko apparently survived the killings, and Namatame was convinced that he should repeat the process every time a person appears in the channel. His job as a deliveryman was a perfect front for his "mission" to save people. His latest mission - to "save" Nanako Dojima - was almost thwarted, however, when her father pursued him. In desperation, he fled with Nanako into the television. Nanako's world manifests as Heaven.
This, however, was the turning point for him. Namatame had never realized that the place inside the television was grotesque and abominable. He could not find his way out, and discovered that a bunch of teenagers are after him. When they finally cornered him, he was caught up in his "mission to save" complex and became possessed by an entity called Kunino-sagiri, which appeared after Namatame merged with several Shadows.
However, the Investigation Team proved to be more than a match for Kunino-Sagiri, and after its defeat, Namatame fell unconscious and was sent to the hospital under police custody. He woke up in the hospital bed one night, and was scared of what had transpired. Suddenly, the Team appeared, apparently angry at him for hurting the little girl, and apparently sending Nanako to her death. The Team was about to hurl him into the television that was in his room, and was motivated to do so when an image of him appeared in the television, mocking the Team's attempt to stop his "mission".
In the Bad Ending, when his image in the television appeared, the boys were riled up and had no doubt it was Namatame's fault, despite his own miserable attempt to deny it. Namatame gets thrown into the television and apparently died in the channel.
In the Neutral Ending, the team spares Namatame but ultimately decides to leave his fate to the police. Namatame is later seen in court, pleading guilty to the kidnapping charges but denying responsibility for the first two murders.
However, should the protagonist manage to keep everyone calm, Namatame was spared this fate in the Good Ending. Detective Adachi decided to transport Namatame out in a couple of days, apparently without Dojima's authority. Namatame rested, and had a visit from the Team the next day.
Here, the Team managed to convince Namatame that they too could enter the television, and had reason to believe that he was not the real culprit. Namatame believed them and reveals his entire role, up to the point of Nanako's "rescue attempt." He also convinces the Team that he loved Yamano with all his heart and would not think of murdering her or hurt her in anyway, notwithstanding all the other three students he had kidnapped. He finds out from the Team that all this while his mission had only brought the people he "saved" closer to their deaths. He apologizes profusely and asks the Team to capture the real culprit — the one who had murdered Yamano and Konishi.
He was transported out of the hospital the next day, and his immediate fate is left unknown. However, in the epilogue of the extended true ending to Persona 4 Golden, he can be seen running again for public office, determined to do good in Inaba as a way of penance for his actions. It is revealed that he was released from prison due to the lack of evidence to build a case against him.
Concept art of Taro
Concept art of Taro's attires
Concept art of Taro's attires and appearance
Concept of Taro's reaction
|Persona 4: The Animation|
Taro Namatame in Persona 4 The Animation
Namatame's first brief appearance in Persona 4 The Animation.
Namatame's previous job as city council secretary.
Namatame makes a brief appearance in Ep.14.
Namatame desperately getting away from Dojima
Namatame tells Nanako that he going to "save" her
Namatame holds an unconscious Nanako captive
Namatame merging with the shadows
Namatame's shadow appears in the midnight channel
|Persona 4 Visualive the Evolution|
Namatame as he appears in Persona 4 Visualive the Evolution
Namatame confessing in the hospital in Visualive the Evolution
- The protagonist can actually interact with Namatame on certain days (particularly around May) even prior to his debut in the actual game events, although he will merely say a few words. He can be found on the Samegawa Riverbed (he is seen sitting on one of the tree trunks) and/or the Central Shopping District (near the Shiroku Store). His dialogues include:
- "Who in the world could've done such a.... [pause] It's horrible... too horrible..."
- "Why...? I just had an affair, and look what it turned into... [pause] Mayumi... forgive me..."
- "I was fired from work in spring... But I'm helping with the family business now. The life here is nice too..."
- "The incidents... are they really over...? Everything was really that boy's fault?"
- "If the police can't gather the evidence... Mayumi... won't be able to rest in peace... I hope... that justice will be served..."
- In Golden, Namatame can be seen during the Junes Concert event wandering around the background around the Investigation Team, probably to confirm his doubts about the "targets" being safe or keeping them safe from harm due to their concert gig being most likely shown on TV. Only Yosuke notices him leaving in both occasions, though by that time, he doesn't make any other connections other than recognizing Namatame being close to them behind the stage the second time he sees him leave from the concert area.
- Given the evidence that Izanami gave both Adachi and the Protagonist different forms of Izanagi, it can be assumed that Namatame would have been able to summon an Izanagi of his own. It is unknown if he had ever been aware of it or not, but it is most likely that he never learned about it.
- In the English release of the game, when confronting Namatame on December 4th, he states once "I knew that the three of you who I 'saved' went back to your normal lives," when, in fact, he "saved" four of the people in the room with him: Yukiko, Naoto, Kanji, and Rise.