"Don't make me laugh. I feed on dumbshits like you. There's not a snowball's chance in hell that a bright future lies ahead for you!"
- Persona 5 / Royal: Major Character (Antagonist)
- Persona 5 The Animation: Major Character (Antagonist)
Kaneshiro is a short and overweight man with long slicked back brown hair. He normally wears the typical cheap suit of a higher-up in organized crime and typically wears golden jewelry.
Shadow Kaneshiro has violet skin, wears a silver business suit and has a mustache. His hair is black and has a bang covering the right side of his face. He is accompanied by cognitive copies of his henchmen.
When he transforms into Bael, his eyes become large orange compound ones and he grows insect wings, developing some fly-like behaviors (constantly twitching and rubbing his hands together). In the second phase of his fight he converts his Palace's main safe into Piggytron, a mech resembling a piggy bank, to pilot. Piggytron itself has several weapons like machine guns and missiles, and can retract its limbs to become a ball that Bael will roll at the Phantom Thieves.
"You're right...I'm a poor, ugly...idiot...how am I supposed to live a normal life like this...? It's all because of our society! Weak people can't lead a happy life, no matter what they do! I'm a victim too! Yeah, none of this is my fault!"
Kaneshiro at first glance appears to be a shady, dreaded and mysterious crime lord as well as a shrewd scam artist, obsessed with accumulating wealth and money and utilizing scams and debts to reap the benefit from his hapless prey. His secrecy and untouchability by law makes him incredibly difficult to investigate, which piqued the fear and interest of many others and made him seem like a mysterious and dreaded leader of an untouchable crime syndicate.
He looks down on teenagers and adolescents, believing that they are gullible and easy to manipulate because they are young, naive and believe everything they were told on the internet. Therefore, his brutal scams tend to prey on minors with his privileged beliefs in mind. He is so obsessed with money to the point that he even dedicates a briefcase that filled with a large amount of money which disturbs Ryuji Sakamoto and disgusts Makoto Niijima. Makoto, when the party fights him, even tells him to his face that he's "nothing but a disgusting fly swarming to dirty money" and a "money-grubbing asshole."
In reality, Kaneshiro is a childish, pathetic and insecure man with an artificially engineered self-ego. He was born poor, which caused him to pick up a philosophy where selflessness is a weakness with no place in monetary matters. He is also very petty and will resort to blackmailing teenagers simply because he wants to go spending money for the sake of relieving anger. Furthermore, a close inspection of the money inside his briefcase reveals that they are actually fake money, further indicating that he is nothing other than a childish man running a massive criminal industry to artificially inflate his self-ego.
Normally, Kaneshiro speaks like a stereotypical upper-class crime lord, sporting a deep and intimidating tone and uses formal language, while making abrasive and unnerving threats. However when his Shadow attacks the party, he starts throwing out slangs and speaks in a loud and flamboyant manner. In Japanese, some of his dialogue when combating the party mixes both Japanese and English, with some sentences written exclusively in Katakana.
Unlike Suguru Kamoshida, Ichiryusai Madarame and Masayoshi Shido whom at least tried to give themselves a public image, Kaneshiro does not make any attempts to hide his crimes and true personality as he is out of the police's ability of management and thus views himself as an untouchable person, although as mentioned before he is insecure on the inside.
As with other major targets, he is themed after one of the Seven Deadly Sins, in his case Gluttony: Kaneshiro is already wealthy beyond any real desire for higher living and spends only as much as he needs to in order to remain at his socioeconomic bracket and run his branch of the mafia, but demands more and more money for the sake of squandering it for his own amusement. This stems from how he used to be a poor person without much to spend on. In order to overturn his status as a poor man, he ran his massive scam-and-blackmail industry, effectively "working himself" from rags to riches.
His hedonistic behavior differs from the sin of greed, as compared to Kunikazu Okumura who seeks more power and influence regardless of consequences, Kaneshiro didn't plan on doing anything with the money other than to spend on luxuries.
"Now, your next target was this man... Junya Kaneshiro. He doesn't compare to the previous two. Even the police had been struggling to apprehend him. So, exactly how did you take down such a well-guarded criminal? Tell me."
Kaneshiro is a mafia boss and con-man who rose in the criminal underworld through clever use of blackmail. In the past, he was a poor man who barely had anything to spend, so he resorted to scamming others for money, creating a massive criminal enterprise that makes its living by scamming teenagers. His target preferences stems from his privileged beliefs, that teenagers are young, naive and easy to trick.
The situation gone so severe, to the point that the police cannot do anything against him due to him being highly elusive and well-guarded along with his vast wealth reserves. One of his scams involved having his henchmen asking high school students to deliver an envelope for him to coin lockers for a large paycheck in broad daylight, but the envelope contains drugs and after he delivers the paycheck he will constantly blackmail the victim for ridiculous sums of money with picture proof of the victim delivering the drugged envelope or else he will expose them to their school. His scams intrigue a wide portion of Tokyo including the Phantom Thieves, since no other con-men had dared scamming people in such an open and blatant fashion.
Under Makoto's request to prove their justice under the condition that if they don't, she will reveal to everyone the recording that proves them to be the Phantom Thieves, they were forced take on an unknown mafia boss reported to scam students in Shujin Academy. At first, despite the party successfully uncovers his scams by asking his victims in Shujin, they cannot even find his name despite going all over Shibuya as his henchmen refuse to give away any information. Ichiko Ohya reveals his name as Junya Kaneshiro in a personal meeting with the protagonist in a pub. The details of his Palace was also moderately hard to pinpoint, as the party had to use some thinking to figure out that the Distortion type is "Bank" and the location "All of Shibuya."
His Palace is the entire Shibuya district transformed into a green atmosphere where the cognitions are the human-like ATM machines, although the main body of the Palace is a bank floating in the air like a UFO sucking up every money, symbolizing how he believes he is a banker and a businessman, people are merely sources of wealth for him and he is completely unreachable by law. When the Phantom Thieves investigate it for the first time, they were initially unable to locate the Palace itself after failed intel gathering from the ATM Cognitions, only to notice that it's actually up in the air. Because they lack aerial transport and Morgana cannot transform into one, they were forced to go back to the real world.
When the party's investigation went to a halt because they were unable to reach the Palace at all, Makoto risks herself by asking Kaneshiro's henchmen of his whereabouts in a last-ditch attempt to prove that she isn't useless, prompting the Thieves to follow her. This leads Kaneshiro to blackmail them by taking their pictures in his club and threatens to leak it to their school if they do not pay him 3 million yen within 3 weeks, adding that should they fail to pay their debt, Makoto would be forced to sell her body to pay it off. If even Makoto refuses, he will force Sae to sell herself off, since she was trying to investigate him.
Due to Kaneshiro extorting the party and Makoto forced to sell her body, she becomes the "Special Customer" for the bank and they were allowed access to the palace by Kaneshiro's cognition. When the thieves enter the front door of the Palace, Makoto tells the Shadow guards that she was the special customer, and they let the party enter the reception office. However, it was revealed to be a setup, and Shadow Kaneshiro sends his guards to attack the party, forcing them to hastily retreat.
After returning to the front door of the Palace, Kaneshiro reveals his motives to turn Makoto's sister, Sae Niijima into his sex slave as well if the party fails to pay the debts. This greatly angers her and it results in her awakening, and she and the Thieves easily defeats his Shadow guards. However, due to the increasing security, the party is forced to leave.
The Thieves successfully locate Kaneshiro's treasure and send a series of calling cards all over Shibuya, causing his treasure to form. They then confront him and he transforms into Bael, which turns his eyes into compound eyes and he spurts fly-like wings from his back. After being defeated once he turns his vault into "Piggytron," a robot resembling a piggy bank but the machine was destroyed by the Thieves as well, cementing his defeat.
In Royal, he will instead start fighting on Piggytron and fight on foot after it is destroyed, in which he will summon a Hitman-for-Hire and a Bodyguard-for-Hire that he claims to had been contracted with massive sums of money, and he boasts on their incredible toughness and power. True to his word, the guards are incredibly tough, although unlike most bosses, they can be crippled by any status condition save for Brainwash, Fear and Despair. Furthermore, if his HP is low enough, he will start to shower all of his money in his bank to cripple the Phantom Thieves, only to fail as his bank runs out of money and the guards fleeing because he has no money to pay them anymore. Once he's defeated, he attempts to run into the Piggytron for more cash only for it to explode, taking him down instantly.
After the Thieves defeat Shadow Kaneshiro, he reveals there is a third party other than them who has the ability to manipulate the Palace for his own ends without caring about what happened to the people in reality.
Back in the real world, the real Kaneshiro experiences a Change of Heart and calls Makoto to tell her that he has canceled their debt and deleted the photo of them in the club, and that he has turned himself in to the police.
Kaneshiro's Treasure is his golden briefcase which takes the shape of several giant gold bars stored inside Piggytron, the mechanical piggy bank that assisted Shadow Kaneshiro during the battle against the Phantom Thieves. The Phantom Thieves take the briefcase into Café Leblanc where Makoto opens the lock by remembering its number combination when she saw it opened in Kaneshiro's club. They find it full of notes from "Children's Bank" which have Shadow Kaneshiro's portrait, symbolizing how Kaneshiro only tried to look like a powerful person. While they cannot use the fake money in the briefcase, the case itself is highly valuable and the party manage to pawn it off to celebrate in an expensive sushi restaurant in Ginza.
After defeating the TV Executive in Shido's Palace, he reveals that Kaneshiro was part of the conspiracy. The executive reveals that the money Kaneshiro earned from his drug trafficking scheme helped fund Shido's organization.
The Phantom Thieves would eventually encounter Kaneshiro's Shadow in the Depths of Mementos, locked in the massive cell located within the second floor alongside their other previous targets. It was revealed that the Phantom Thieves did not properly change his heart and merely reverted him into an apathetic citizen praising the Grail's eternal rule. He, alongside the other Palace owners whose hearts have been stolen, praises the cell from which he originally escaped, declaring that he is finished of acting like a bigshot and that it doesn't matter whether or not he is stupid.
Persona 5 The Animation
Junya's counterpart in the anime adaptation of the game doesn't differ too much from his main counterpart. The differences begin to vary in the battle against his Shadow Self. In it, The Phantom Thieves burn the money in the bank in order to lure Junya out of Piggytron. Also his arrest is shown more in depth. In addition, his intentions for Makoto are more explicit, as he orders her stripped naked and photographed for "clients" when she is brought to him in the real world, and his Shadow references her paying off the debt with her body at an "affiliated shop".
During the fight with Shadow Kaneshiro, he initially fights the Phantom Thieves on foot as Bael. He doesn't do a lot of damage or take a lot of punishment before he goes down, but his ability to inflict Fear can delay the progress of the fight a bit. Once this form's health is depleted, a Hold Up and All-Out Attack are automatically initiated, advancing the fight to the next phase.
At this point, Bael will convert his vault into Piggytron and begin fighting the party from there. Defeating Piggytron will complete the boss fight. It primarily uses physical attacks and occasionally a strong Fire attack, while Fear Gas can debilitate the party by inflicting Fear on the party members. Avoid bringing Yusuke to the fight to prevent Piggytron from getting One Mores too often, and keep Energy Drop or Energy Shower handy to remove Fear.
After enough of Piggytron's health is depleted (and a few times afterwards), Bael will convert the mech into a ball-like form and then hop on top of it, rolling it at the party for massive amounts of damage after a turn of inactivity, and will probably down a party member even if they are guarding. The Thieves must damage Bael enough while he is gathering speed to knock him off, causing him to lose control of Piggytron and end up flattening himself (though he recovers quickly and hops back in). Go all-out with attacks that hit multiple targets to both interrupt Super VIP Form and deplete Piggytron's health.
After he has attempted this twice in the fight, Morgana realizes that Shadow Kaneshiro will basically do everything and anything for cash. A Special Order then becomes available where one of the Thieves can distract him with a very valuable item. This not only interrupts Super VIP Form, but also keeps Bael occupied for several turns and leaves Piggytron completely defenseless. It is recommended to only do this as a last resort, such as if 3 or more party members are in Fear status and the player is certain they won't be able to damage Bael enough. Also, the items that the party members attempt to offer are different, so some party members will attempt to offer not-as-valuable items such as a Life Stone or Devil Fruit, which will cause the special operation to automatically fail.
Bael will go after the following items:
- Bead - Fully restores HP to one ally.
- Bead Chain - Fully restores HP to all allies.
- Snuff Soul - Restores 50 SP to one ally.
- Soma - Fully restores HP and SP to all allies.
- Hiranya - Cures all non-special ailments for one ally.
- Physical/Magic Ointment - Reflects one Physical/Magic Attack for one Party Member.
- Soul Food - Fully restores SP to one ally.
- Idaten Ofuda - Raises Accuracy/Evasion for all allies for three turns.
Make sure to have a few accessories or a persona to prevent or resist sleep during this fight. Otherwise, Kaneshiro will take advantage of it to decimate the party. Makajamaon and Dormina are also strongly recommended to deal technical damage. A level 27 Sandman is extremely ideal for this fight, since it can learn Dormina to disable Kaneshiro or his henchmen and it has Null Sleep at level 27, effectively preventing the protagonist from falling prey to his most dangerous attacks.
Shadow Kaneshiro will get into Piggytron immediately at the start of the battle. This time, Piggytron has lower stats compared to Persona 5. He will attack normally once before using March of the Piggy twice in a row. It is now possible to tank March of the Piggy by guarding. The special operation to distract Piggytron will trigger during the second time Super V.I.P Form (preparation for March of the Piggy) occurs. Make sure to distract him this time, since he will not resume his normal behavior otherwise. Once the two turns that he's been distracted passes, he will begin to use Fear Gas. Make sure to cure this, otherwise the party may lose valuable momentum.
Once the robot is defeated, Kaneshiro will emerge from the Piggytron and fight on foot, summoning a Bodyguard-for-Hire to protect him and a Hitman-for-Hire to act as a reliable damage source. While none of the enemies have particularly high stats, they can become a nuisance quickly for a complacent player. The Bodyguard-for-Hire prevents any attacks from reaching Kaneshiro, while the Hitman-for-Hire does damage regardless if Kaneshiro is disabled or not. Both guards naturally resist all attacks, making them nearly impossible to defeat under normal situations. Furthermore, the Hitman drains bless while the Bodyguard drains curse, so refrain from using Bless or Curse skills. However, they can be affected by any status bar Fear, Brainwash and Despair, rendering them vulnerable to technical damage. Use this to your advantage to deal reasonable amounts of damage against them afterwards. It should also be noted that Sleep induces technical damage from any attack. Kaneshiro is also affected by the same conditions as the hired Bodyguard and Hitman. One might also consider focusing on disabling the guards and target Kaneshiro exclusively, again with Technical Damage from single target moves.
Kaneshiro will also abuse technical damage as well, as he will put all party members to sleep before attacking them with Snap (A Gun attack), dealing decent amounts of damage. When accompanied with the guard's attacks, this might be a nuisance and can be sometimes lethal, especially if the protagonist is hit multiple times in a row. If Kaneshiro cannot put anyone to sleep, he will spend his next move doing nothing.
Be warned that since Kaneshiro's party gets the preemptive turn, it is possible for him to wipe out the entire party before they get their turns, especially on hard or merciless where the attacks of all enemies do close to 200 damage with technical.
Once his HP reaches half, he will use "Make it Rain," severely damaging all party members. This attack looks intimidating, but it cannot kill since it does damage equal to current HP, just make sure to heal afterwards. However this uses money from his bank, so he will be unable to use them after using once at a quarter of its HP. He will attempt to use it a second time, although this does nothing. He will run out of cash to pay his guards after this and they will flee permanently, should they still be around the battlefield at this point. Take this opportunity to defeat him, as he will just squander all of his turns "being remorseful."
- Hitman-for-Hire and Bodyguard-for-Hire are vulnerable to all status conditions save for Brainwash, Fear and Despair.
- Kaneshiro (Bael) is vulnerable to the same conditions as his guards.
- "Cry all you want, but I ain’t gonna forgive ya!"
- "Hehehehe! Bein' young is such a crime! They're naive, they're reckless, and on top of that, they don't even realize how stupid they are. Now I couldn't just sit back and not cash in on those idiots, right?"
- "Eat this!"
- "Stop whimpering like a baby!"
- "Whooa!? Gyaaaah! Friggin'... punks!" (Super VIP Form is interrupted by attacking him)
- "Ahahaha! Yeh're just gonna keep goin' at this to the bitter end, huh? No more games then. I ain't gonna forgive yeh punks for this."
- "Ngh... Aaagh... D-Dammit...! Yeh goddamn punks...!"
- "Tch... The hell? Yeh punks're stronger than you look... Looks like I gotta bring out my big guns...!"
- "Hehehe... We'll see about that... Time to roll out...! Here he is... My guardian robot! Gyahahahahaha! Yeh ready to die!? It ain't a pig, yo! This is my Palace's swine-model defensive mechanoid, Piggytron! Goin' against me's a real bad crime, yeh know? It's time for yeh all to go to hell!"
- "Yeh punks're really pissin' me off! Yeh called my Piggytron a pig earlier, right? Were yeh talkin' about me too when you said that? If you were... Imma tear yeh all to shreds! Go, Piggytron! Super VIP Fooorm!"
- "Run all ya want, but I ain’t gonna forgive ya!" (Super VIP Form transformation)
- "How's this!? Can't even speak 'cause of how scary my Piggytron is, huh? Gyahahahaha!"
- "Freakin'... punks..."
- "I... can't lose..."
- "Dammit... How dare yeh hurt my Piggytron so much...! My Piggytron's gonna lose...? No, that's impossible!"
- "Hm...? What is that!? It's got the shine of somethin' pricey! Go collect it, Piggytron! R-Right away! ...Wh-Whoooaaa! Th-This'll make us a fortune! Damn good find, yo! Oooh, this ain't half bad, yo! Maybe I can pick up a girl or two once I pawn this thing off..." (a high-quality item is given, successfully distracting Kaneshiro)
- "What're you thinkin', litterin' in my bank!? What kinda stuff they been teachin' yeh in school, huh!?" (a poor-quality item is rejected, failing to distract Kaneshiro)
- "DAMN PUNKS!" (Defeated)
- "Time to roll out!" (Deploying Piggytron)
- "Wha- My Piggytron! That's it! I'll just deal with you busters myself- through the power of cash!" (Using Special Guards)
- "Ha, wassup! I paid these guys off, and now they're gonna clean you up! Ya like that? They're super duper powerful! And super duper fly! Heheheh... A totally invincible wall!" (After using Special Guards)
- "Time to sleep!" (Using Lullaby)
- "Why won't you just go down, yo? F-Fine! It's time for my last trump card! I'm gonna make it rain and party down! Ya dig?" (Before using Make It Rain)
- "Take this!" (Using Make It Rain)
- "Gah! I rain outta cash!" (After using Make It Rain twice)
- "Wha- Hey! Where'd everyone go!? I'm just a little short on funds at the moment! C'mon, come back, yo!" (After guards flee the battle)
- "I-I can't! I-If I don't have money... then I... Oh, I know- there's still money inside Piggytron! Gotta get back in there! Whew... Cash... Cash really does calm my nerves... Wait- what's wrong, Piggytron!?" (Defeated)
Will Seed Quotes (Royal)
- "Money is life..."
- "You don't need smarts, if you got the dough."
- "You can't go anywhere until I make you ugly."
- "Give me money..."
- "The whole world runs on money, right?"
- "Money...is power..."
- "There is nothing money can't buy."
- "Man...I just want your money...and some cash."
Concept art (2)
Kaneshiro transforming into his Shadow
Shadow Kaneshiro in Persona O.A.
|Persona 5 Cut-Ins|
Intimidating Shadow Kaneshiro Cut-In
Angry Shadow Kaneshiro Cut-In
Cognitive Kaneshiro Smirking Cut-In
Upset Cognitive Kaneshiro Cut-in
Sad and distressed Cognitive Kaneshiro
|Persona 5 The Animation|
Bael's demon form in Persona 5 The Animation
|Persona 5 The Stage|
Persona 5 The Stage Volume 2 with Kaneshiro on the top-right Corner
Jun (潤) is usually for composing phrases like "profit" (利潤) or "damp" (湿潤); Ya (矢) means "arrow." Kaneshiro (金城) means "castle of money/gold."
- Kaneshiro shares the chubby appearance with Tsubasa Yozawa (与沢 翼) in reality, he was a hedonistic entrepreneur who earned his initial fortune when he was 17 years old. One of his controversial businesses was an expensive course which taught the way of "earning 100 million yen in just 1 second."
- In the Japanese version, the exact phrase used by Makoto to label Kaneshiro "money-grubbing asshole" is "narikin" (成り金) which means "upstart." When the two kanjis are reversed, it looks very similar to Kaneshiro's surname (金城) and also the kanjis of "成" and "城" share the same Sino-Japanese pronunciations, namely "jō" and "sei."
- Kaneshiro's Japanese voice actor, Kazunari Tanaka, is the second voice talent who died of sickness around the initial release date of the game. The first is Chihaya Mifune's voice actress, Miyu Matsuki. Atlus Japan's Persona announcement Twitter account issued a eulogy to Tanaka's sudden death at the age of 49 on October 11th, 2016. As a result, his voice actor is replaced in Royal.
- Bael's battle theme is initially the mid-boss theme "Keeper of Lust" on foot, but it becomes the normal boss theme "Blooming Villain" once Piggytron is activated.
- In human form, Shadow Kaneshiro speaks in a stereotypical upper-class and clear fashion just like his real person, but as Bael he reverts to a more casual vernacular and frequent use of slang. In other words, he is literally "acting fly."
- The fly Bodyguards he summoned with contract money flee instantly and never return once he runs out of funds trying to use "Make it Rain" as a last ditch attempt to kill the party. In other words, they are literally "Money-grubbing flies."
- In the anime, during the battle, he seems to be rapping during the fight.
- During his boss fight, when the All-Out Attack is prompted, should Joker be afflicted with Fear, it gets cured.
- Despite the fact that it is possible for the protagonist to earn over 3 million yen in Persona 5, there is no option to pay Kaneshiro that sum of money when he extorts the Thieves in the nightclub.
- Kaneshiro has the fewest appearances out of any of the Phantom Thieves' main targets. His normal self only appears in the game twice, once when the Thieves initially confront him and once when his henchmen show him the calling card. Consequently, he is the only one of the Thieves' targets whose change of heart is never seen in person.
- Bael's signature attack, "March Of The Piggy" may be in reference to the song "March Of The Pigs" by the popular industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails.
Appearances in Other Media
- Kyoutou Kotoba RPG: Kaneshiro (Enemy > Can join as Kotodaman); Shadow (4-star), Bael (5-star)
|Kyoutou Kotoba RPG|
Kaneshiro in Kyoutou Kotoba RPG
Bael in Kyoutou Kotoba RPG
- 田中一成さんの突然の悲報に接し、哀悼の意を表します。, @p_kouhou (Oct 11, 2016)