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Joker

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For fighter info, see Joker (SSBU).
This article is about the character from Persona 5. For the Mexican smasher, see Smasher:Joker.
Joker
Joker Thief - Persona.png
Joker Civilian - Persona.png

PersonaSymbol.svg
Official artwork of Joker from Persona 5.
Universe Persona
Debut Persona 5 (2016)
Smash Bros. appearances Ultimate
Most recent non-Smash appearance Dragalia Lost (update, 2021)
Console/platform of origin PlayStation 3,
PlayStation 4
Species Human
Gender Male
Place of origin Japan
Created by Katsura Hashino
Shigenori Soejima
Designed by Shigenori Soejima
English voice actor Xander Mobus
Japanese voice actor Jun Fukuyama
Article on Wikipedia Joker (Persona)

Joker (ジョーカー, Joker) is the codename used by the protagonist of Persona 5. Although Joker's civilian name is given by the player in Persona 5 itself, in the anime adaptation, most future medias such as spin-off Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight, promotional material for Persona 5 Royal and Persona 5 Strikers' respective Western releases, and his amiibo description, he received the name Ren Amamiya (雨宮 蓮, Amamiya Ren); the original manga adaptation also gives him the one-off name Akira Kurusu (来栖 暁, Kurusu Akira).

Origin[edit]

Ren Amamiya is the leader of the vigilante group known as the Phantom Thieves. After being falsely accused of assault, he was labeled a delinquent and moved to Tokyo, Japan to attend Shujin Academy as part of his probation while under the care of café owner Sojiro Sakura. While there, he discovers a strange application on his smartphone but brushes it off for the time being. After a chance encounter with fellow outsider Ryuji Sakamoto over their lecherous gym coach Suguru Kamoshida, they discover that the app is actually a conduit to a parallel reality called the Metaverse. This “cognition” is the manifestation of an individual’s twisted desires into a dream-like fantasy. In this case, Kamoshida sees himself as the king of the academy and treats the rest of the students and faculty like slaves. Wanting no part in this reality, Ren rebels against the oppression of King Kamoshida and awakens his Persona, donning the mask and cloak of "Joker".

Joker is a user of a rare Persona ability known as the Wild Card, which allows him to hold multiple Personas at once. The Metaverse Navigator app and other aid in managing Joker's Personas is provided by Igor, the proprietor of the Velvet Room (a recurring feature of the Persona series). Igor warns Joker that ruin is imminent and that his "rehabilitation," facilitated by himself and the twin wardens Caroline and Justine, is the only way to avoid this ruination.

Joker's initial Persona is Arsène, based on the literary gentleman thief Arsène Lupin. Joker awakens Arsène in order to save Ryuji in Kamoshida's palace. While attempting to escape, the pair meet a catlike creature named Morgana, who also possesses a Persona, Zorro, and mentors Joker in the use of Personas. Upon return trips to the palace, Ryuji awakens his own Persona, Captain Kidd, and the group is inadvertently joined by another of Kamoshida's victims named Ann Takamaki and her Persona, Carmen. Under guidance from Morgana, the group sends Kamoshida a calling card, announcing themselves as the Phantom Thieves of Hearts, causing a treasure to manifest in the palace. The successful defeat of Kamoshida's Shadow, and theft of the treasure, results in a change of heart in the real Kamoshida.

Following this success, the Phantom Thieves pursue other targets, typically corrupt adults who victimize the young, gaining a large following and reputation. Over the course of their exploits, the group grows to include artist Yusuke Kitagawa (whose Persona is Goemon), student council president Makoto Niijima (whose Persona is Johanna), reclusive hacker Futaba Sakura (whose Persona is Necronomicon), heiress Haru Okumura (whose Persona is Milady), and briefly the detective Goro Akechi (whose Personas are Robin Hood and Loki), who tries to stop the group in an attempt to arrest them. Ultimately, they end up exposing and ending a conspiracy to elect the corrupt politician Masayoshi Shido to the position of Prime Minister of Japan, who, through sheer coincidence, was the very same person who falsely accused the protagonist initially. Soon afterward, they discover that the conspiracy was masterminded by the god-like being Yaldabaoth, who sought to merge the Palaces and the real world so it might seize control of both of them. After a long and desperate struggle, they banish the false god and free humanity from its control.

In the Royal edition, the Phantom Thieves’ battle is not yet over, as they are trapped by Shujin doctor Takuto Maruki, who uses his two Personas (primarily Adam Kadmon, and secondarily Azathoth) to warp reality in order to fulfill everyone's peaceful desires and create a world that sacrifices strife and progress for empty happiness. Joined by Akechi, who is now exclusively using Loki instead of Robin Hood, and gymnast Sumire Yoshizawa (whose Persona is Cendrillon), the Phantom Thieves return to the Metaverse to steal Maruki's heart. After a one-on-one fist fight between Joker and Maruki, the Thieves manage to save and redeem Maruki, who starts over as a taxi driver and helps Joker and Morgana return home safely while evading government surveillance.

In the game Persona 5 Strikers, a new Metaverse threat arises during the thieves’ summer vacation, in the form of a new app called EMMA developed by Madicce (secretly backed by the last Conspiracy loyalist Owada). The Phantom Thieves are joined by a sentient female A.I. named Sophia (whose Persona is Pandora and is initially in a pre-Persona-state known as Pithos) and a family man fair cop, Zenkichi Hasegawa (whose Persona is Valjean), before their time is at limit due to being suspects in this new crisis.

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

As a playable character[edit]

Main article: Joker (SSBU)
Joker, as he appears in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Joker was confirmed to appear in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a playable character on December 6th, 2018 during The Game Awards 2018. He is the first DLC fighter to be part of Fighters Pass Vol. 1. He was released on April 17th, 2019 along with Mementos, its 11 music tracks, and several Persona series Spirits as part of Challenger Pack 1.

Masahiro Sakurai, in a video interview at Atlus, revealed that he had been a longtime fan of the Persona series ever since Revelations: Persona was first released on the original PlayStation. He played Persona 5 in his spare time and was continuously impressed by the stylish user interface. It was this initially strong impression that he aimed to capture the sense of style in Joker's moveset and the mechanics of Mementos.

Spirits[edit]

Fighter spirits[edit]

Support spirit[edit]

No. Image Name Type Class Cost Ability Series
1,306
SSBU spirit Phantom Thieves of Hearts.png
Phantom Thieves of Hearts
Support
★★★★ 1 Item Autograb Persona Series

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name
Japan Japanese ジョーカー, Joker
UK English Joker
France French Joker
Germany German Joker
Italy Italian Joker
Spain Spanish Joker
China Chinese JOKER
South Korea Korean 조커, Joker
Netherlands Dutch Joker
Russia Russian Джокер

Trivia[edit]

  • Joker, Cloud Strife, Richter Belmont, Hero, and Sephiroth are the only third-party fighters who did not debut in the first game of their home series.
  • Joker is one of the only three fighters featured in the Super Smash Bros. series to appear in games given an M-rating by the ESRB, the other two being Solid Snake and Bayonetta.
    • Coincidentally, they are also the only three fighters to use an alias and not a form of their real name or a generic title.
      • Joker is the only one of the three to not have an established canonical name in his debut game (as Snake and Bayonetta's canonical names are David and Cereza, respectively), as he is named by the player in Persona 5, much like the protagonists from Persona 4, Persona 3, and Revelations: Persona. Joker is known as Ren Amamiya in most of his other appearances in the Persona series, though he is also referred to as Akira Kurusu in the manga version of Persona 5.
  • Joker's English voice actor is Xander Mobus, who also voices the announcer, Master Hand, and Crazy Hand in Super Smash Bros. 4 and Ultimate. This marks the first time that an English voice actor for these characters voices a playable character.
    • His Japanese voice actor, Jun Fukuyama, also provides the Japanese voice of Roy.
  • Joker is the third Sega-owned character to be playable in Smash, following Sonic the Hedgehog and Bayonetta, as Sega owns the Persona series' developer, Atlus.
  • Joker is the only third-party fighter from a spin-off series (as Persona deviates from the Megami Tensei franchise).
    • Although Joker is the first fighter to originate from the Megami Tensei series, the spirits Tsubasa Oribe and Tsubasa Oribe (Carnage Form) come from Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE, a concept crossover between Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem, which was developed by Atlus and published by Nintendo.
  • Joker is the only third-party fighter in Smash whose game of origin was initially released on an eighth-generation platform, being the PlayStation 4, and the only fighter who debuted on two different PlayStation consoles simultaneously, those being the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation 4.
  • Joker is the second third-party character to debut in the 21st century, after Bayonetta, and the first to debut in the 2010s. Additionally, both Bayonetta and Joker debuted on the PlayStation 3 as one of their two simultaneous console debuts.
  • Joker, Cloud, and Sephiroth are the only fighters who solely originate from a PlayStation console.
    • Joker and Cloud are the only third-party fighters whose debut games were not released on a Nintendo console prior to their debut in Smash.
  • Joker is the only playable character to not have his debut game playable on a Nintendo console. A spin-off sequel based on it, however, called Persona 5 Strikers, was released on the Nintendo Switch.
    • Joker's full debut on a Nintendo console is on the Nintendo 3DS with Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth, which features the main cast of Persona 3, 4, and 5; Joker's debut in general on a Nintendo console is the Nintendo Switch version of Sonic Forces, as one of the DLC costumes for the customizable avatar is based on Joker.
  • Joker is the fourth playable character to have a real gun on his person, after Captain Falcon, Snake, and Bayonetta. He is also the second to use it to attack, after Bayonetta. Like Bayonetta, Joker's gun is magically enhanced in the form of firing ammunition made by mental cognition, though Joker's gun is a model gun instead of a real one. That said, it is based on the Tokarev TT-33, a real-world firearm, making Joker the only character to use a firearm in battle based on a real gun.
  • In the form of Joker's Shujin alternate costumes, Joker is the fifth playable character to wear glasses, the first four being Roy Koopa, Iggy Koopa, Bayonetta, and one of Inkling's alternate costumes (excluding Mii Fighters, who may wear glasses if the Miis they are based on wear them).
  • Joker is the first and so far only character to have more than one victory theme in the same game, not counting the change made to Chrom's victory theme within an update.
    • He is also the second character whose victory theme plays continuously, replacing the results theme; the first character with this trait was Cloud.
  • Joker, Yoshi, Luigi, Snake, Corrin, and Roy are the only playable characters to feature material from games scheduled for release after the relevant installment of Super Smash Bros.. In Joker's case, his Grappling Hook is directly based on a mechanic in Persona 5 Royal, the updated version of Persona 5 that was shown off mere days after the version 3.0.0 update.
  • Joker is the only character in the series to have two full-fledged trailers for the same game.
  • Joker is the eighth playable character who hails from a real-world location, being Japan. He was preceded by Snake, Sonic, Little Mac, Ryu, Simon Belmont, Richter Belmont, and Ken Masters, and followed by Terry Bogard.
  • In Persona 5, Joker holds his knife in a forehand grip, but in Smash, he holds it the opposite way in a reverse grip. The only time he is seen holding his knife in a forehand grip in Smash is during his Final Smash, All-Out Attack, where the short cinematic before the cut-ins appear (recycled from Persona 5) has him holding his knife as such.

External links[edit]