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Kuon Ichinose is a character from Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers. She is the creator of the popular EMMA concierge application.

AppearancesEdit

DesignEdit

Kuon has long brown hair with a chain-like hair accessory and light olive green eyes. She wears a white trench coat, light blue shirt with white stripes and black jeans.

PersonalityEdit

Ichinose speaks in archaic Japanese and has a loud and peppy disposition. She also seems to know a lot about EMMA and its secrets, and proves a reliable source throughout the investigation against it, since she is its creator.

In reality, Kuon Ichinose is an extremely stoic, cold woman, to the point where she believes she does not actually have a heart. Due to her natural coldness, she can be extremely ruthless due to her lack of an emotional response to her actions. When she realizes that EMMA is threatened, her first action is to kill the Phantom Thieves. Many people around her believe that she is not human due to her mannerisms. It's also implied that she's actually extremely misanthropic despite genuinely wishing for the happiness of humanity, for she cares nothing about human emotions at all, completely ignoring that to understand humanity, the human heart must be studied as well instead of merely human desires. It's heavily implied that her mindset even goes as far as making irrational or sometimes, outright inhuman decisions, something that has manifested within both Sophia and EMMA, with the former suggesting killing Alice's Shadow (Which would most obviously induce a mental shutdown), and the latter proposing to Konoe that he should use Akane Hasegawa's Jail to bait and capture perceived criminals, despite Akane being clearly a child with no prior knowledge of the Jail function and EMMA never telling Konoe about Akane. (Resulting in Zenkichi going after Konoe personally for manipulating his daughter without his (Konoe's) knowledge)

However, she is not completely without emotion, despite what Ichinose herself thinks. She is fully aware of how aberrant her behavior is, and fundamentally believes herself to be a "doll" incapable of empathy, and this distance from the world makes her extremely lonely and prone to self-loathing. Her true feelings show when she becomes frustrated or upset, revealing she has a childish, spiteful side driven by her own fear she will never be able to connect to people emotionally, with EMMA being partly created to convince herself she did not need true emotions to understand humans or save them.

She also appears to be jealous of the capacity to feel strong emotions. This caused her to become enraged as she tries to deny that Sophia did a better job in actually assessing humanity by their heart instead of merely by desire. After being defeated once Sophia awakens Pandora, she feels overwhelming guilt for the first time and even drops her first tears, something that she hasn't had before, and she realizes part of her disdain for the human heart came from jealousy and a sense of isolation from the people around her, and that her real desire was for friendship, her rejection of Sophia being driven by her fear that she had nothing in common with her own creation. Once this is past, she shows herself to be a lot more openly empathic, realizing those affected by EMMA act in mechanical, eerie ways rather than in genuine happiness and assisting the party in stopping EMMA herself.

ProfileEdit

Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom StrikersEdit

Ichinose is a misanthropic psientific and AI genius who created the EMMA app so she could create a god that can enforce the answer to humanity's happiness via a complex learning system mounted within the AI; if enough people use it for something, that is considered the desire of the public and will be EMMA's mindset. She sold the application to Akira Konoe, so he can use his troubled past and his vast resources in technology to determine what humanity actually wants.

She shut down her emotions due to unknown circumstances, and she never displayed any of it even when both of her parents died. Nobody save for her parents ever understood her eccentric behavior. When she was in her university, people merely saw her like a freak and wondered if she was even human to begin with, since she does not respond to any queries and was constantly closed within her research lab. This caused her to think that she was an emotionless doll. Due to having realized that her behavior is abnormal, she created Sophia to understand the human heart. However, it was too curious of the human heart, which she believes she has none so she ditched it quickly in favor of EMMA who was only capable of understanding raw desires and not the heart.

Ichinose first meets the protagonist and the Phantom Thieves of Hearts at a restaurant in Sendai, where she had a chat with them about the nutritional values of beef, claims that she is a researcher from Touhou University (A parody of the real life Tohoku University) and gives them candy before leaving.

After defeating Ango Natsume, she appears after Akira Konoe's speech in her university, whom she personally invited. After everyone leaves, she comes into the auditorium to meet the party because she was attracted by Ryuji talking. After then, she reveals that she created the EMMA app and sold it to Akira Konoe so he could improve the application, and makes a deal with the party to investigate the EMMA app.

While not personally encountered between Sapporo to Osaka, Ichinose does provide Akira Konoe's keyword once the Phantom Thieves asks her for clues about entry of his Jail, since Konoe does not use EMMA for advertisement unlike the past targets. She obtained it from Konoe after attending his speech, where he gives her the keyword via his business card.

When the party visits the Jail of the Abyss, Ichinose appears within it after the evolved EMMA application vanishes. She greets the party and claims that she's here for a "special role," then explains everything that happened until this point; when she sold the application to Konoe, she was actually using him in hopes that his company's tech will spread the application to the public on a massive scale, allowing it to determine humanity's true desire, with the evolved version of EMMA overwriting all of the public's other desires with it. When Konoe delivered the application to Okinawa, it was tampered to use this method to deliver the true desire. Madicce's release merely popularized it among the public, resulting in the nation-wide Change of Heart incidents. She also initially monitored the Jails just to see how will EMMA change, although when she was doing so, she saw the Thieves marauding into the Jails. When the Thieves entered Sendai, she encountered the Thieves by coincidence and she already knew that the teenagers in front of her are the intruders, although she merely waited till this moment to wipe the floor off with them.

The Change of Heart incidents surrounding the Jails are also separate from EMMA's current state; instead, every time the public consulted it, it gathers those desires and concludes a "true desire" among them. Due to Ichinose's programming allowing it to exceed humanity, EMMA's servers can't be shut down at all. Finally, she tells the party that the Change of Heart was merely the most pragmatic and efficient method of delivering the "true desire." The Phantom Thieves neutralizing Konoe merely awakened the public's true desire and thus enabled EMMA's abnormal behavior. However, as she didn't program EMMA with a proper emotional algorithm in the first place unlike what she did with Sophia, EMMA's "true answer" to humanity's happiness was merely when humanity no longer desires anything but EMMA's guidance, since lacking human understanding means that she can't actually collect information other than people asked it for advice. Ichinose then announces that her "special role" is to end the Phantom Thieves and sets herself up as the penultimate obstacle.

First, she uses the basis that Sophia is a failed prototype to briefly make her attack the party, until Sophia decides that the Phantom Thieves should not be attacked by her. She then claims that she is a "heartless doll" and her friendly mannerisms are imitated and uses a large diamond to send the Phantom Thieves off the depths of the Jail. When they return, she sends a massive amount of mobs against them after being denied a second time. She manages to stall time again for the diamond to activate, until Sophia appears and tries to convince her that humanity does not desire eternal escapism from mistreatment, and being wronged enables one to grow from their mistakes. She then awakens Pithos into Pandora and Ichinose summons a Hecatoncheir to attack the party. When Ichinose is officially neutralized, she asks the Phantom Thieves to kill her out of guilt, only for Sophia to convince her to get back on her right tracks. When she was convinced by Sophia to do so, she tears for the very first time. EMMA then telepathically communicates to Sophia out of Tokyo tower that "God" has descended and will grant mankind's wishes. While Ichinose believes that she is powerless in stopping the rampaging EMMA, Sophia tries to persuade her in joining the party, with a further push from Ryuji who steps in and forcefully drags her by the arm to the party's side. The party and Ichinose successfully escapes and return to the surface. Ichinose officially assists the Phantom Thieves from this point on.

When EMMA assumes its true form as the Demiurge and unleashes its mass salvation plan by dragging masses of people onto Tokyo Tower so they can go to the promised land, Ichinose was asked to follow and investigate but rejects, although she ultimately becomes a valuable asset for the investigation on it. Once the party figures out that they must send the Calling Card to EMMA, she deducted that the EMMA is immune to all traditional methods and they must hack the EMMA application to send it to the public, who are being mesmerized by EMMA. When Futaba had trouble hacking into the EMMA servers, Ichinose lends her a hand and allows them to access the Demiurge. she was allowed to do this since she was given special rights over EMMA, so all patrolling Shadows ignore her. Once everything is over, she would turn herself into the police, although this failed since the police do not believe her statements at all. She takes Sophia back so they would go wandering around the world to learn more about humans, and she would return to her old home in Shibuya.

GalleryEdit

 
Akira Konoe Concept art
Concept art
 
P5S BeefTongueShop
Kuon meeting the Thieves at the beef tongue shop
 
Ichinose post exposure
Ichinose after her exposure

EtymologyEdit

The "Ku" (久) in Kuon means "long time," and "on" (音) could mean "sound," "speech," "news" or "tidings."


TriviaEdit

  • Kuon Ichinose shares a last name with a man named Taizo Ichinose, a Japanese war photographer.
  • Ichinose's first meeting with the Phantom Thieves bears a striking resemblance with Takuto Maruki and the Phantom Thieves' usual conversations, as well as being a researcher with university prestige like him. Both Ichinose and Maruki also share a nearly identical noble but heavily deluded goal of making people happy. It is unknown if they are connected at present.
  • EMMA, or any Shadows within the vicinity of EMMA's Metaverse cannot target Ichinose since she was considered its ally. This allows Ichinose to appear in EMMA's server room to assist Futaba in delivering the Calling Card without being attacked by Shadows at all.
  • Much like Goro Akechi before, Ichinose is exposed as a major culprit in front of the Phantom Thieves because she eavesdropped one of their discussions. The Phantom Thieves' initial encounters with them also happen to be food-related casual talk. Coincidentally, both major culprits do legitimately assist the Phantom Thieves after a major confrontation.
  • Ichinose and Akane Hasegawa are the only non-player characters in Scramble with SNS icons.


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