Yusuke Kitagawa (喜多川 祐介, Kitagawa Yusuke) is a character that originates from Persona 5.
In Persona 5, Yusuke Kitagawa is the pupil of acclaimed Japanese artist Ichiryusai Madarame, the Phantom Thieves' second target. Yusuke is a passionate artist that began developing his craft at the age of three, at which point he had been orphaned and the artist had taken him in. Underneath Madarame's kind exterior however is a conniving con man who extorts his pupils and plagiarizes their work, a fact which, upon being confronted by the Phantom Thieves about it, Yusuke reflexively denies. In truth, Yusuke has long been aware of Madarame taking advantage of his students, for he is a victim of Madarame's crimes himself; however, he is unable to bring himself to believe that his caretaker for most of his life is such a terrible man. Yusuke himself is the last of Madarame's pupils, with several of his former pupils having their lives end up in shambles after resisting Madarame.
The Phantom Thieves of Heart catch wind of Madarame's fraudulent accomplishments and abusive personality, and go on a mission to steal his heart. Coincidentally, Yusuke develops an interest in Ann Takamaki around this time, for he becomes inspired by her beauty and starts stalking her. He is then caught by the rest of the group and admits his intentions by making an offer to Ann. He also invites the group to Madarame's art exhibit, where they discover many of the works are plagiarized and accept Yusuke's offer to investigate. There was a brief argument within the group when Yusuke reveals he wants Ann to pose nude for his art, but they eventually come up with a plan. Ann accepts the offer, but she and Morgana stall the session by dressing in excessive amounts of layers while the protagonist and Ryuji locate Madarame's palace. After this tactic, Ann tries to sweet talk Yusuke into entering Madarame's studio. While Ann fails to seduce Yuskue, he lets her go anyway out of not wanting to come off as rude. Madarame catches Ann and Morgana in the office and threatens to call the police, which forces them to go into his palace to escape. During this scuffle, Yusuke accidentally enters his palace too.
Upon entering Madarame's Palace with the Phantom Thieves, Yusuke winces in horror at the sight. Upon confronting Madarame's Shadow, Yusuke discovers that Madarame never truly loved him, and a piece of Madarame's art that Yusuke had admired for so long had in fact been a self portrait painted by his own mother, whom Madarame had left to die so he could steal her work. Enraged, Yusuke awakens his Persona, Goemon, becoming a Phantom Thief with the codename Fox, and helps the group steal the Treasure of his now former mentor. He designs a logo for the group, which is depicted on all the calling cards they send from then on. He also cuts all ties with Madarame, making him homeless. He lives as a drifter for a little while, even staying at Café Leblanc for a night, but eventually finds residence in the high school dormitories.
Should the player pursue a confidant with Yusuke, he admits to the protagonist that he has lost his drive to continue painting after his falling out with Madarame. Out of desperation, he asks to travel to Mementos to find some kind of inspiration. His experience leads him to create a painting titled "Desire," which he was proud enough to submit to an upcoming art exhibition. To his disappointment, the painting was received negatively by critics and patrons, with it being emotionless and stale as a common criticism. This nearly convinces Yusuke to give up entirely, but the protagonist convinces him to try again and improve his craft. This leads to several day trips where Yusuke does several life still and realizes how Madarame is the reason his outlook on life and beauty is so superficial and he might be going down that same dark path his former mentor took. Yusuke eventually meets Akiko Kawanabe, director of the Japanese Art Support Foundation one of the critics from the gallery. After hearing Yusuke's story, he offers him a spot in a new gallery in exchange for the paintings being sold and marketed as painted by a tragic, brooding figure. This offer angers Yusuke for having nothing to do with art in his eyes and rejects the offer. Kawanabe claims that Yusuke is acting immature and makes another offer: the foundation's unconditional support if he wins an upcoming competition. Yusuke accepts, wanting to show the world the true meaning of art is not monetary gain, but passion and love for the craft. After failing to come up with inspiration, Yusuke laments that he will never become one of the great artists. The rest of the Phantom Thieves tell him to stop comparing himself to others and there is nothing wrong with doing things for himself, but art needs to be made for others in order to succeed. This causes Yusuke to realize beauty on a deeper level and he creates a painting titled "Desire and Hope," which wins the competition. Kawanabe soon after reveals his taunting was merely a test of his character and offers the support of the foundation. Yusuke again declines, saying that his friends are his true inspiration and he will never follow in Madarame's footsteps if they are around.
When Takuto Maruki alters reality in Persona 5 Royal, Madarame is released from jail and apologizes to Yusuke and allows the artwork he stole to be displayed under the original creators' names. When Yusuke realizes this is just an illusion, this version of Madarame disappears and the painting Sayuri, created by Yusuke's mother but stolen by Madarame while she was dying, returns to Café Leblanc. If his confidant is completed, Yusuke confides in the protagonist that he feels guilty for rejecting reality and betraying his friends' trust in his eyes, even calling himself an "utterly hopeless fool." After venting his guilt for long enough, he apologizes to the protagonist and says he is his greatest teacher. Later on, Yusuke realizes he is the only one that would not be moving away after the school year ends, which made him feel slightly sad, but understood that life involves people going their seperate ways sometimes.
During Persona 5 Strikers, Yusuke meets a supposedly popular novelist Ango Natsume. While reading one of his novels, Yusuke admits he feels no passion from the author, a feeling he used to experience with his paintings. After discovering most of his novels were plagiarized, the Phantom Thieves quickly identify Natsume as Monarch and track him down to a party in hopes of gaining a password to expose him. During the party, Monarch insults Sayuri, which causes Yusuke to confront him about how his mother made Sayuri with love and passion unlike his stolen works. After defeating Monarch, Yusuke realizes that Natsume's grandfather is the world famous novelist Natsume Shougo, and he was driven to plagiarism to live up to his family's standards. Yusuke eventually gets Natsume to publicly admit to his plagiarism and to take a break from the literary world to hone his own unique craft.
As a background character
Yusuke Kitagawa appears on the Mementos stage in his Fox costume.
Yusuke also appears as a Novice-class primary spirit and his Phantom Thief identity, Fox is featured on the Phantom Thieves of Hearts spirit in the Persona DLC Spirit Board.
In both spirits' battles, Yusuke uses a Chrom puppet fighter.
Yusuke is fought along a Giant King Dedede puppet fighter representing Yusuke's Persona, Goemon and is fought on the Suzaku Castle stage's Battlefield form. During the battle, Vince appears as a hostile Assist Trophy, referencing Yusuke's occupation as a painter.
During the Phantom Thieves of Hearts spirit battle, Yusuke is the fourth Phantom Thief to defeat before fighting Joker.
Names in other languages