"I've carried that thing around ever since I decided to change who I was. I could check myself whenever I wanted, to make sure I was still pretty all the time... But now... I don't need it. From now on, people like you will be my mirror. I'll look for my reflection in you, so that I'll never forget who I am. I won't be able to lie to myself anymore... Thank you. Your eyes taught me how to do that."
- Persona 4 / Golden: Supporting Character; Moon Social Link
Ai has long, wavy blonde hair and matching color eyes. At school, she wears the school uniform of Yasogami High, with various eccentricities: a lace fringed choker, pink turtleneck, and white leggings. On weekends, she wears a pink dress with matching pink ribbon, a white bolero jacket, and pink high heels.
In Persona 4: The Animation, her hair and eyes are much darker, and she wears a short skirt instead of her game counterpart. During Summer, while attending the Summer festival, she wears a light pink shirt, a striped scarf, and a pink miniskirt.
Ai is a highly materialistic girl with a prima donna complex, who often talks down to her admirers, and has no qualms with outwardly insulting them, deeming their confessions worthless if their looks aren't up to par with her standards. She is also extremely selfish, but being with the protagonist reveals her to be a shy person and a sweet, loving soul; she harbors a crush on either Kou Ichijo or Daisuke Nagase, depending on the player's sports club choice. She fears rejection and can act irrationally upon receiving it, such as culminating in an attempt to jump off the school roof after learning her feelings for her crush are unrequited. She puts herself through various trials to become more appealing to her choice, and appears so desperate for love that she tries to sway the protagonist into an eventually temporary relationship with her after comforting her heartbroken state.
In Persona 4: The Animation, Ai behaves more aggressively and does not grow actual affection for Yu. After attempting to jump off the roof and being calmed down by Yu, she successfully forces him into an insincere relationship by threatening her own life if he refuses her, like how Kou, her crush in the anime, did not reciprocate her feelings. After learning Kou liked Chie, she grows immense jealousy and hatred of her, to the point that she harasses and slaps her, but eventually, she comes to terms with her rude treatment of others and strives to become a better person.
- Main article: Social Link/Ai Ebihara
Ai is first introduced to the protagonist during sports practice. She was picked by Mr. Kondo as the sports team manager, but it's immediately evident that she couldn't care less about the team. Ai explained that she was only there to fulfill the attendance quota and ensure her graduation, since she had been skipping classes for quite a while now. Despite her pattern of truancy, Ai has many admirers, and her beauty is said to trump even Yukiko Amagi's.
The protagonist can ask Ai out, provided that his Courage characteristic has reached Lv. 3 or better. The protagonist can find her on the first floor of the classroom building, by the shoe lockers. Ai will invite the protagonist to skip class later on, and he will accompany her on a shopping trip to Okina City.
During the course of the protagonist's interaction with Ai, she shyly reveals harboring romantic feelings towards Kou or Daisuke (varies depending on which club was selected) but was afraid of rejection, and practically orders the protagonist to perform reconnaissance and find out what kind of girl he likes.
Upon learning that he prefers a "nice girl" (it is also revealed that Kou has a crush on Chie Satonaka and Daisuke doesn't have any interest on Ai), Ai is devastated and attempts to commit suicide by jumping from the rooftop. Eventually calmed down by the protagonist, Ai reveals that back in her old home town, she was a plump girl and was given the insulting nickname "Piggy-hara" by her peers. Furthermore, Ai's confession towards a boy she loved was rejected horribly, and was even told by the boy that he might get infected by her "germs" if they were to be together.
After her father earned a fortune in land investment, her family moved to Yasoinaba. It was that time that Ai decided to go on a diet and consult fashion magazines like bibles to turn herself into the ideal girl that everyone wants to be with. However, having her feelings indirectly spurned once again, Ai takes refuge in the protagonist being nice to her despite having no ulterior motives, and suggests that they should become a couple.
If the protagonist accepts, Ai will practically drag him into a shallow, playacting relationship where she constantly wants to be affirmed of them being perfect for each other. Ai will eventually feel guilty and break up with the protagonist, revealing that she cares about him too much as a friend to hurt him like this. But if the protagonist rejects her proposal, Ai will remain his friend, but subsequent events will cause Ai to become enamored with him.
By the end of the Social Link, Ai realizes that she only chose to skip classes and wear fashionable accessories because she wanted the attention and admiration that she had longed for. In actuality, she was avoiding her more laid-back, simpler, but truer self. Ai eventually also realizes that she wasn't in love with Kou or Daisuke all along, but was only all for the idea of loving someone.
Ai gives the protagonist her Compact, telling him that after reshaping her image, she has been carrying the compact to constantly remind herself that she's different now from how she was before. Now she vows to respect other people's views, realizing that they are her true "mirrors" to point out her existing flaws.
Completing the Moon Arcana unlocks the Ultimate form of the Moon, Sandalphon, the Heavenly Prayer.
Persona 4 The Animation
In the anime, Ai meets Yu on April 19 at basketball practice, when he is dragged there by Kou. It is similar to her in-game Social Link, with a few differences. She orders Yu to find out from Kou himself whether he liked anyone or not, since Ai harbors a crush for him. She hides inside an empty vaulting horse in the changing rooms, as Yu talks with Kou. Kou is embarrassed by the question, stumbling over himself; he eventually admits he likes Chie. Kou soon leaves, and Yu discovers Ai wallowing in self-pity.
As in the game, she threatens suicide on the school roof, already climbing the chain-link fence. Yu pulls her down, and after much struggle, she eventually calms down enough to confide in him. She relays her past troubles with her weight, and the subsequent bullying it brought down on her. She cries, claiming Kou should love her for her beauty, because she had worked so hard to achieve her looks. At length, Ai becomes placid enough to forget about Kou, and instead forces Yu to be her fake boyfriend, until she finds a suitable replacement.
Ai proceeds to treat Yu as her personal chauffeur, and bag carrier. She drags him off to see movies, to shop, and generally regards him as hired help. She forces him to proclaim his affection for her, and to engage in impromptu make-out sessions. Yu's tolerance slowly crumbles. All the while, Yu's friends worry about his well-being, as he has no time for the rest of them, and he is constantly called by Ai.
Soon, an important basketball game begins, as it will be Kou's last game, before he quits basketball in favor of becoming his family's heir. Behind the scenes, Yosuke is lead to believe Chie has feelings for Yu, due to misconstruing her words and actions. As a result, he brings her to the basketball game to act as manager, in order for her to realize her true feelings.
Ai immediately becomes jealous, as she believes Chie is in love with Yu, as well. Chie is confused during all this, not understanding both Yosuke and Ai's attitudes towards her.
During the game, Ai interrupts Chie's filming, stating that she was unnecessary. Chie is puzzled and upset, arguing the fact she had nothing to do with Ai, and vice versa. Chie claims Ai is treating Yu horribly, and he doesn't deserve such treatment. Ai's demeanor shifts, saying aloud that Chie "has the hots for [Yu]."
They soon start to bicker, and Ai slaps Chie out of anger. The two exchange blows as they fight, the players too focused on their game to notice. Out of the corner of her eye, Ai watches as Kou scores a shot just as the final buzzer goes off; unfortunately, Yasogami loses, despite their efforts. Ai, in turn, feels guilty for Kou, and his performance cements her feelings for him.
Later, at Aiya's, the team celebrates their game, still joyous in the face of their failure. When they leave, Ai hangs back with Yu to talk with him. She says she wants to remain friends with Yu, and instead wait for Kou to notice and love her. Instead of her compact, Ai gives Yu a roll of photos from their photo booth session. He watches as she moves on ahead to walk beside Kou, striking up a conversation.
Persona 4 The Golden Animation
In the opening intro, Ai is seen scolding Adachi before he calls Dojima. During episode 2, she and Chie are fighting over a dress and they ask Yu to tell them who looks good, but Marie manages to sort out the dispute between the two. She quickly become friends with Marie and asks her to choose a dress for her. Later, during episode 8, Teddie tells her to help Yu since he is busy with work. She comes to help Yu for Christmas Eve before everything turns into a mess.
In Other Languages
|Japanese||海老原 あい (Ebihara Ai)|
|Korean||에비하라 아이 (Ebihala Ai)|
|Traditional Chinese||海老原 愛 (Hǎilǎoyuán ài)|
- Persona 4
- Persona 4 The Animation