Persona 5 has a colorful cast of characters that remind me of the horrors of high school. I’m around 50 hours in and one character sticks out the most as someone I despise. Ryuji, the first confidant you meet, turns out to be a terrible human being who is almost as bad as the villains you’re taking down. He’s the stereotype of a shitty teen boy. Not shitty teen me, mind you, but much like the other ass hats I had to deal with in the darkest of times.
My first impression of Ryuji was “oh God, do I have to deal with this idiot for the entire game.” Unfortunately, 50 hours in he hasn’t left the picture. I’ve tried sympathizing with his sob story but his brash, thoughtless comments bring out an anger in me that I haven’t felt for a while. Every time that idiot speaks, it’s inevitably going to result in me thinking, “really dude? Can you not? Please shut up.” Hardly anything he has to say adds to the conversation. He’s constantly spouting nonsense for the sake of hearing his own voice. The thing is, he doesn’t change! In fact, Ryuji only gets worse as the game goes on.
Now if being a loudmouth punk were Ryuji’s only flaw, I’d be cool with him. I even have a few friends who share that quality. Where Ryuji crosses the line is a very real moral flaw. He is a misogynistic would-be womanizer, if anyone ever fell for this idiot garbage person. His perverted nature is hardly any better than Kamoshida, the first bad dude you encounter. It is almost guaranteed that if Ryuji has the opportunity, he’s going to try to look at a boob. In this regard he reminds me of almost every high school boy I knew. Horrible horny monsters...all of them!
If that wasn’t enough Ryuji is also a homophobic ass hole. At one point, he jumps at the thought that Mishima, another idiot I hate, may be gay and acts like that’s screwed up. It’s 2017 for fuck’s sake! Seriously, get over it Ryuji. Mishima only asked to share a room with your friend, something you yourself asked to do. On top of that, Ryuji acts like it’s the worst thing in the world when an aggressively gay couple take interest in him. Heads up Ryuji, gay guys thinking you’re attractive isn’t a bad thing. You could deal with it like an adult or...wait, there he went running away like the little homophobic shithead that he is.
It wouldn’t even be that bad if Ryuji just kept these feelings to himself or even tried to better himself. Instead, he constantly stirs up conflict within the party by simply being inconsiderate. I don’t think he’s trying to be hurtful but Ryuji is completely oblivious to the situation or tone of the group. Even when he tries to be nice, it always comes off as a backhanded compliment. These qualities are never endearing and only serve to remind me that high school was awful and teenage boys may be one of the worst groups of humans on the planet. I sincerely hope that Ryuji changes by the time I’m done with Persona 5 but if I had to guess, he’s just going to shout something even more stupid.