Application for towerofanimus
Personal LJ: this_troper
Contact Info: AIM: Blackwood404; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Characters Played: N/A
Character Name: Minami Arisato
Character Series: Persona 3: Portable
Character Age: 15
Character Gender: Female
Canon Point: November 11th, specifically shortly after Ikutsuki tries to sacrifice SEES to Nyx.
Background Link: Wikipedia link, TVTropes Page, Page on the Megaten Wiki
AU Background: The long version and a lot of explanations about the AU can be found in Minato's application, so I'm going to summarize Minami's side of the story.
Minami Arisato was born to loving parents with a protective big brother who was a year older than her almost to the day. The pair was close, parents were doting if a bit strict, and life was as good for a five year old as it could be.
Then came the accident.
Minami doesn't remember much about that day and, frankly, doesn't really care to think too hard about it. All she remembers is some petty argument with the brother she can now barely remember, some shouting, and a vague feminine voice telling her that everything would be all right. The next thing she knew, she was waking up in the hospital hooked up to machines and being told she was lucky to have pulled through. It would take a few years for her to fully understand, but apparently the car had swerved. Minami's parents and brother had died in the impact, and Minami had been clinging to life. It took several years of healing, surgery, and physical therapy, but she would eventually heal and lead a normal healthy life. Some children are lucky enough to bounce back like that.
The Kirijo Corporation took Minami in as a sponsored child, paying for any and all necessary medical bills, clothing, schooling. Anything Minami needed, she'd have provided for her. Minami never questioned why they did it, beyond the fact it happened on soil owned by the Corporation.
After her recovery, Minami was moved to another foster home. The one she'd been staying in had been specifically for her healing and recovery and other children needed to stay there, too. She didn't fare very well at that one, not being able to fit in, nor the next. Nor the next. Minami didn't quite understand what the problem was. She'd think things were going fine only told to pack her bags and a rushed explanation of she was no longer wanted by her social worker. The foster homes treated her well, but this constant moving and being told the same explanation every time gave her a complex. This resulted in her doing her best to stay whenever she got the chance. Be happy, be cheerful, be helpful. Do what she could to make everyone like her.
When the time to select a high school came around, Minami was approached and told of the boarding option at Gekkoukan High. Arrangements could be made so she could stay there year round. No more foster care, so long as she kept her grades up to maintain her scholarships. Minami, tired of bouncing around the Tokyo area, agreed. And, thus, with only a backpack containing her personal possessions, she began life in Tatsumi Port Island.
Naturally, on day one she winds up signing a contract with a creepy little boy and gets sucked up into a supernatural conspiracy involving shadows, persona, and ultimately gets named field leader, despite concerns from her teammates about her age and inexperience. Mitsuru is considered the leader of the team, but Minami, due to her ease of summoning (multiple!) persona and shockingly level head during crisis situations.
Over the course of the school year, Minami meets and makes a number of friends, fits into her place in SEES, and grows into a competent leader. During the course of this, they're joined up by Shinjiro Aragaki, briefly, and the Anti-Shadow Weapon, Aigis. Aigis and Minami get very close, even calling one another best friends and Aigis transferring into Minami's class. The two are rarely ever seen apart, with Minami finding Aigis's voice comforting, for some odd reason. Shinjiro, Minami has an on and off crush on, but nothing comes of it. He's Akihiko's friend and she doesn't feel ready to even attempt dating yet.
Then there's her secret friends, Igor and Theo in the Velvet Room, who teach her how to mix, match, and manage her numerous persona. And Pharos, the boy she signed the contract with, who would come to her while she's sleeping and speak in cryptic nonsense. Sometimes he'd speak of visiting "another" but Minami rarely understood what he meant by that.
Eventually it's discovered that by destroying the Arcana shadows that show up each Full Moon, it might be possible to put an end to the Dark Hour. The group, with a goal in hand and an end to this madness in sight, take to this to the best of their ability and manage to get through every last one.
Unfortunately, as all this is going on, a series of murders are committed during the Dark Hour by a group they later discover is called Strega, a group of teenaged persona users much like SEES. They're led by a dark haired young man named Minato, who sets off all kinds of alarms in Minami's head and is very good at cutting Minami down where it hurts whenever they meet face-to-face: her own heart. Encounters with Strega often left Minami in tears by the end of the night and she'd often wind up locking herself in her room to hide from the other members of SEES. She's supposed to be a leader, dammit. Leader's don't cry.
It was hard not to cry the night Junpei was captured by one of their members, whom he had feelings for without knowing her affiliation. He'd claimed to Chidori he was the leader of SEES and that Minami was just a decoy. Chidori had seen through this, however, and she held him hostage. This backfired as Chidori alone, while skilled, was no match for four persona users, two of which had been trained and hunted shadows since they were children and one having access to multiple persona. She wound up captured and put into a Kirijo-run hospital to tend to her injuries. Junpei later apologized to Minami for his charade, explaining he'd only been trying to impress Chidori and admitting that, yeah, Akihiko and Mitsuru had made a good call in making her field leader. The entire team would be dead by now if he'd been the one making all the snap judgments.
But she let herself cry when they found Shinjiro dead one October night, a small boy and Minato standing over his body. He'd been shot and before they could even ask questions, Minato had snatched up the shellshocked boy and disappeared. He gave Akihiko a few parting words, the passed on. The school held a memorial service a few days later.
Eventually, SEES manages to defeat the final Arcana Shadow, The Hanged Man, and a celebration is expected for the following night. Unfortunately, this is not to be. The Dark Hour springs up during the party, Aigis, thanks to a remote control of Ikutsuki's, is forced to knock out the entirety of SEES as well as Mitsuru Kirijo's father, and tie them up. The group is to be sacrificed to the goddess Nyx, who will bring about the end of mankind.
This devastates Minami, but she fights through it to look Aigis in the eye. Aigis finds herself unable to shoot and fights against her own programming. This ultimately saves SEES, but during this struggle, Mitsuru's father tackles Ikutsuki and both fall from Tartarus, plunging to their deaths.
In the aftermath, the group makes plans to defeat Nyx. She might be unstoppable, but they're not going down without a fight. With Mitsuru and Yukari out of it and consoling one another about their fathers--Yukari's that her father was innocent and Mitsuru about her own's death--Minami, Akihiko, Fuuka, Aigis, and Junpei begin to go through Ikutsuki's records.
What they found turned Minami's life upside down yet again.
Her entire life had been tied to the Dark Hour. All of it, right back to the crash on Moonlight Bridge. The reason she found comfort in Aigis's voice? She'd saved her life as a small child by placing the Shadow of the Arcana of Death in Minami--possibly the sole reason she even made it to the hospital at all. Her foster homes? Her social worker had been on Ikutsuki's payroll. All her foster families had been told she wanted to leave. It'd never been about them not wanting her.
And, most heartbreakingly of all, her brother was alive. Minami, who was young and had never thought to question it, had never looked for him. He'd been taken in by Ikutsuki, who'd thought he'd gotten all of the Shadow Aigis had split up. Performed horrible experiments on him. But the boy escaped.
The boy, named Minato--she'd honestly thought it was coincidence--was now the leader of Strega.
Without saying a word, she'd gotten up from that room with the files, and said she needed to lay down.
On November 11th, Minami wakes up in a tower and, to her horror, finds a note that says her world has ended.
Personality: At first glance Minami is your average teenager. She's talkative, ditzy, cheerful, gets a B average in school, and has no problem opening up to people. When someone has a problem, she's usually there with a bright smile and an encouraging word to help in any way that she can. She tries to get along with everyone she meets. Even if she has the handful of people she doesn't like, she does try to treat them with respect. The same as if she'd like to be treated. True, her cheerfulness and outgoing nature can grate on people's nerves, and she can be a bit thick and self centered like most teenagers, but overall she is a kind and sweet girl.
But this is a front.
In reality, Minami is incredibly insecure. Being passed around a few foster homes being told that it's because you don't fit will do that to a person and Minami adapted by trying to be what she thinks will get people to approve of her. Hence her constantly being cheerful sometimes to the point of annoyance and trying to help everyone she meets. She's a people pleaser, plain and simple, and most of what she does is motivated by her need to be accepted by others. Will this person she just met like her if she does this for them? Will people not look at her funny if she keeps up a smile inside? What about listening to everyone's problems? Will people hate her if she shows weakness and lets them know about hers?
Heck, throughout her time in SEES she actually gets terrified of herself. In a battle she can be cold, ruthless, and bloodthirsty towards shadows and actually enjoys killing them. This doesn't fit with how she was trying to remake herself, but in SEES she's useful. It might annoy her how everyone is always concerned about her due to being handed a leadership role at such a young age, but she wouldn't trade her place in it for anything in the world. SEES gives her purpose, something she's never had in her life of pinballing around foster homes throughout her childhood. Naturally when she joins up and is declared the field commander, despite her own misgivings, she puts her all into it and eventually grows into a capable and seemingly-confident leader.
Then, when it comes out Ikutsuki lied to them, things come crashing down. The sacrifice and its purpose, SEES true purpose of bringing about the end of the world, completely devastates her. It's only through the group rallying to defeat Nyx that Minami, for the first time in her life, fully feels accepted somewhere, like she has a home, and that saving these friends, this family she's built, gives her a purpose.
Upon entering the Tower, she's confused and brainbroken, but determined to keep going. She promised SEES, the first people she's been able to truly consider family, they would keep moving forward, and she would.
- In a purely physical fight, she nominally fights with a naginata, a spear-like weapon, though she uses it mostly for defensive purposes. The girl is competent as a physical fighter, but it's not her strong suit.
- Minami can summon a persona, which is a manifestation of her psyche. Her base persona is Orpheus, the bard, but she, theoretically, has access to every persona possible in the game. Her usual "party" of persona she keeps on hand are Black Frost, Parvati, Gabriel, Titania, Dominion, Kurama Tengu, Alice, and Seiryu.
- Minami also has Social Links, which basically means the deeper a relationship she has with another person is, the stronger her persona of that Arcana are. This must go both ways to work, meaning Minami has to have just as much invested in the relationship emotionally as the other person to strengthen her persona.
Minami hid her head under her pillow as the rain splattered on her window outside. Rainy days were the worst. Her hair would frizz out and be impossible to make look nice, any aches from training with her naginata seemed to increase tenfold, her head always hurt, and she spent the day more exhausted than usual, it being harder to get her smile to reach her eyes. Ugh. Why did it have to rain all day, too? If this kept up they wouldn't even be able to train all night.
Well, theoretically they could, but--
--oh, and there go the lights. Just swell. Midnight already and it's still raining. Ugh. Why couldn't she manage to sleep all night? Aigis insisted she did. So had everyone else, much to her chagrin. Oh, you've been working too hard Minami. You need to get some shut eye! She wasn't a little kid! She was the leader!
Yet here she was, up in her room, trying to block out the rain because she was starting to smell what it and the torrents outside had become during the switch to the secret hour. The coppery scent that made her hands itch for her naginata and evoker in a way that made her stomach twist in disgust. What was wrong with her? Why was fighting such scary things so.... so fun? Why did she only feel truly alive in the midst of a fight and not while, say, she was taking pictures for the photography club? Or running laps for the track team?
Minami, peeked out from the edge of her pillow, hoping tonight was a night Pharos would show up. He was a cute kid and, much as she didn't understand what he babbled about, it'd distract her from the rain of blood pouring from the sky.
Not for the first time, Minami was glad she invested in some nice dark curtains so she didn't have to see it. The first time had made her, Junpei, and Yukari sick to their stomachs and now....
Well, Aigis was up and about, definitely. Maybe she could get a soda and they could play cards or something? Yes. That would be nice.
So Minami climbed out of bed, forced a cheerful look on her face, and practically bounced out of her room. She might be uncomfortable with the rain and trying to hide her discomfort, but her happiness at talking to her best friend was always genuine.