Noriko Katayama is a supporting character in the Persona 2 duology. She is a Seven Sisters High School student who harbors an intense respect and devotion towards Anna Yoshizaka, who is her senpai and former star athlete of the school.
Persona 2: Innocent Sin
During the events of Innocent Sin, Noriko desperately tries to have Anna recover her desire to live and unsuccessfully contacts her at Club Zodiac, hoping to help her to return to school and come out of her depression. After being rebutted by Anna, she becomes upset and leaves.
Persona 2: Eternal Punishment
"She looks up to Anna and is also a track and field athlete."
In Eternal Punishment, Noriko's role is expanded upon: She was responsible for calling the JOKER to kill the man who was responsible for Anna's hit-and-run. After seeing the loathsome behavior of Principal Hanya towards Anna for damaging the school's reputation, she snapped and invoked the JOKER ritual again, marking Hanya for death. Due to this, when she was eventually confronted she succumbed to the Joker Curse and was kidnapped by the Taiwanese mafia, requiring Maya Amano and Anna's help. After Joker Noriko is defeated by Maya's party at Club Zodiac, she is taken to the Velvet Room and is cured of the Joker curse by Igor. There, a concerned Anna asks Katsuya whether he will arrest Noriko. To the party's mild disbelief, Katsuya states that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and has Noriko taken into protective custody to shield her from the Tien Tao Lien.
- Joker Noriko is aided by two Ryumen.
Joker Noriko resists water and is weak to fire. She tends to spend her first turns using Taru and Raku Kaja on the Ryumen that assist her and uses Maha Aques as her main offensive spell. The optimal strategy is to defeat the Ryumen with multi-target Fusion Spells and then attack Joker Noriko with fire. As the Ryumen lack elemental weaknesses, any Fusion Spell will do. Despite her weaknesses to fire, it's not recommended to use L'Oiseau de Feu (Fire -> Wind -> Maha Agi) as there are other multi-target Fusion Spells that can inflict more damage to the Ryumen such as Maximum Tempest (Wind -> Water -> Maha Garula) and Crag Fang (Earth -> Fire -> Maha Magnus). After defeating the Ryumen, Joker Noriko can be easily defeated by a couple uses of Tower Inferno (Wind -> Earth -> Fire).
There are many Personas avaiable that can make the fight easier. Hel is recommended due to her elemental coverage allowing her to participate in the aforementioned Fusion Spells; she also has access to Fire Storm, which deals medium fire damage thus boosting the power of Tower Inferno and isn't weak to Water or Ice unlike other Personas with access to midtier fire spells (Kinnara, Surya and Hotei). A Jack Frost with Garu or Magna can participate in Fusion Spells in addition to nullifying water and absorbing ice, making him immune to all of Joker Noriko's offensive spells. Matsuo-sama absorbs water and can use Wall of Water, whose effect lasts until the end of the battle, to make the entire party immune to it; he also has access to De Kaja, Media (via mutation) and can cure characters inflicted with Charm using Refresh Ring. An Otohime with Garu or Magna can participate in Fusion Spells in addition to absorbing water and having access to Diarama and (via mutation) Soothing Melody. Maia Custom is also useful due to being immune to mind and thus cannot be charmed in addition to having Medirama.
Like all other Jokers, Joker Noriko can use Old Maid, which forces one random party member to attack their own allies with the Joker spell. If she ever uses Old Maid, immediately order all characters to guard and wait one entire turn thus rendering the attack useless.
Battle Quotes (As Joker Noriko)
- "You can't escape, Ms. Amano~" (Escape)
- "I can't... Because I'm a Joker♥" (Contact)
- "I got it~" (Normal Attack)
- "I want to see blood~" (Normal Attack)
- "Ciao!" (Casting Maha Aques)
- "Voices, voices~" (Casting Marin Karin)
- "Go, go~" (Casting Raku Kaja)
- "Ready, go~" (Casting Taru Kaja)
- "Joker~" (Casting Old Maid)
- "Oh no---!" (Defeat)
- "Ha ha ha! It's fate! (Party is defeated)
- "Na-na na-na naaa, your luck sti-nks~" (Party is defeated) [rare occurrence]
- The name Noriko means "rule, ceremony" (典) (nori) and "child" (子) (ko).
- Noriko's surname Katayama means "single" (片) (kata) and "mountain, hill" (山) (yama).
- Noriko's last name and her portrait never appear in Innocent Sin or its PSP remake.
- Noriko's normal portrait is only used in Eternal Punishment. Despite the release of Innocent Sin's PSP remake, her portrait was not used retroactively.
- Despite the existence of the Joker Noriko portrait (seen above), it was never used in either Eternal Punishment nor its PSP remake.
- Noriko is the only Joker not to have any speaking lines before her battle. When she is presented before the party, Joker surfaces and the battle begins almost immediately, unlike all other Joker encounters.
- In the Japanese version, Noriko calls Anna Onē-sama (お姉様), a very respectful way of saying "older sister". In Japan, it is common to call young people who are older than you "big brother/sister" (for older people, it's "uncle/aunt") as a form of respect or admiration even if they aren't related, which can be compared to calling someone "mister" or "miss/ma'am" in the West. The fact that there isn't much of an age gap between Noriko and Anna and the use of the -sama honorific demonstrates how devoted Noriko is. The American release translates it as "big sis", implying that they are related even though they aren't.
- Noriko's devotion to Anna is implied to be romantic in nature, as NPCs will discuss whether Noriko is romantically available and come to the conclusion that she only has eyes for Anna.