Hump Day Husbandos: Yusuke Kitagawa (Persona 5)

Hump Day Husbandos

We all love a weird art bro, and that’s exactly what Yusuke Kitagawa delivers. As a member of the mysterious Phantom Thieves of Hearts, he sets out to right the wrongs of a world that sees injustice as an acceptable fact of life. However, when he’s not trying to save humanity from itself, he’s an abstract artist with a tortured past and a strange fixation with lobsters. He’s an oddball, but we love that about him.

This week’s Hump Day Husbando is the Phantom Thief with the artistic flair, Yusuke Kitagawa, aka Fox.

Who is Yusuke Kitagawa?

Yusuke Kitagawa from Persona 5

After the original four Phantom Thieves awaken their powers and clear the first dungeon, they set about trying to find someone else who might have a distorted desire. Their message board system points them toward the renowned artist Madarame, who lives in a humble little house with his apprentice, Yusuke Kitagawa. Yusuke has two objectives at this point; to protect his master’s honour and to get Ann to undress. For art reasons, of course.

However, there is tragedy just behind the strange behaviour Yusuke displays at this point. His mother was another student of Madarame and died when he was a young boy. Turns out she was the artist behind Madarame’s most famous painting, a self-portrait of herself with her young son. Madarame didn’t exactly kill Yusuke’s mother, but he did leave her to die so that he could claim the Sayuri for himself. Uncovering the truth behind his mother’s death is what eventually gives Yusuke the strength to become a Phantom Thief and throw off the shackles of society’s expectations.

Why we love him

Yusuke Kitagawa from Persona 5

There is no doubt that Yusuke Kitagawa is a weird guy. He is obsessive about his art, to the point where it isn’t clear if he even sees Ann in a sexual manner or if he just wants to paint her because that’s what he does. He has lived an incredibly sheltered life, being taught art in a private home by one of the most celebrated artists in Japan.

Though his behaviour is often awkward, there isn’t a hint that there is any maliciousness behind it. In fact, Yusuke tries, at every turn, to behave like a perfect gentleman. He’s just got a couple of boundary issues holding him up. When it is time for the Phantom Thieves to spring into action, though, he is all business, ready to take down the adults ruining everything with his trademark style and flair.

Why you’ll love him

Yusuke Kitagawa in Persona 5, battle scene

Some of the best scenes in Persona 5 centre around Yusuke Kitagawa in some way. Ann wearing every item of clothing she has to avoid getting naked is the first hint that Yusuke would be the straight man among the chaos that surrounds him. Like the great Leslie Nielsen, the key to Yusuke’s appeal is his ability to deliver absurd dialogue with a completely straight face. Whether he is commenting on the figurines in Futaba’s bedroom or showing up at the beach holding a lobster for reasons that defy explanation, Yusuke is incredibly strange and yet oddly wholesome.

While he isn’t always the driving force behind the events of Persona 5 like Ryuji, Yusuke Kitagawa manages to be one of the best characters in a game filled with memorable characters. And he manages to be one of the coolest-looking people in a game that oozes style in every scene. Quite the accomplishment for a guy with almost no social skills.

Haven’t played Persona 5 yet? You really should, especially with the new ports of the Royal edition for PC and Switch on their way soon. It is still one of the best JRPGs that has ever come to the west.

Header art by hayatetsujimoto. Original source here.

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