ATB’s Top 25 Male Characters: (12) Yu Narukami


“Anyone can do it. As long as they open their eyes and look around, they’ll see it. They’ll see the truth!”

We’re now into the meat and potatoes as the top 25 continues. Tomorrow, our list continues the countdown to the #1 male video game character of all-time on Aug. 31.

12) Yu Narukami (Persona 4) – 2 votes / 155 points

Chris: At first glance, Yu Narukami appears to be a regular high school student. He just transferred to the area and he’s making new friends fast. Things seem to be going great until someone in the town ends up dead. Most teenagers would shy away from such adversity, but Yu? He says the hell with it, let’s form an investigation team and get to the bottom of this!

Along the way, Yu gets to romance nearly every girl in the school and join up with several clubs and organizations. He picks up part-time work and befriends a mystical fox. He eats everything in the fridge, from rotten eggs to science projects. There’s no stopping him.

Where Yu really comes into his own is in Persona 4: The Animation. On the show, he gets to speak a bit, and the sudden burst of language shows him to be a sarcastic but kind-hearted leader. He reacts to all the situations around him with aplomb and never once shies away from his cool demeanor.

Bottom line, Yu Narukami is the coolest cat in the galaxy. It’s hard to argue with that.

Shaun: I can really only speak about Yu’s character through the anime, but what I love about him is the fact that he doesn’t quite represent the “standard protagonist” we’ve all become accustomed to. Sure, he’s a good looking kid and has a way with the ladies, but that more stems from his awkward demeanor than anything. I like to think Yu is completely self-aware, and uses that knowledge to troll people. He has a lot to say, but would rather keep quiet. He’s intelligent, but enjoys saying completely idiotic things, like he’s too naive to understand. He has a good sense of humor, but completely deadpans his friends into oblivion. Yu’s eccentric attitude is pretty much the only reason I stuck with the anime for as long as I did, and is the only reason I’d ever consider picking the game up.

Joseph: I have seen this character in game and anime form. He seems all right. He seems like the kind of person I wouldn’t mind having as a friend. I might be taken aback by the premature graying, but I like to think I would give him a chance.

Jason: Ahhh yeah! My man Yu! While technically suffering from many of the same problems as Link, in that he doesn’t have much of a voice and the player makes all of his choices for him, Yu’s personality have been fleshed-out fully through the Persona 4 animes and the fighting games. What’s more, unlike Link, who is just an avatar for the player’s actions, the player gets to direct Yu’s actions by choosing from a list of possible responses, all of which serve to flesh out his character. Want to give dry, sarcastic responses? Well, you can! And even if you don’t, you at least know that Yu considered doing it…

Yu is just a regular (by game standards) high school student who ends up rallying together a group of misfits, stopping a serial killer and saving our world from destruction, all while balancing his school work and social life. He’s the man we all wish we could be, and a true friend and companion to those around him. Does he deserve to be higher than 12 on this list? Probably. But Yu wouldn’t care, he’s got more important things to worry about.


(13) Bigby Wolf

(14) Auron

(15) Solid Snake

(16) Conker T. Squirrel

(17) Yoshi

(18) Red

(19) Ganondorf

(20) Kefka Palazzo

(21) Crono

(22) Alistair

(23) Mike Haggar

(24) Miles Edgeworth

(25) The Lone Wanderer




Honorable Mention


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