"You'll have to... kill me."
Ryoji Mochizuki is a non-player character from Persona 3. He is a transfer student who enrolled into Gekkoukan High School later in the story and became known for his flirtatious nature.
- Persona 3 / FES / Portable: Major Character
- Persona 3 Portable (F): Fortune Social Link
Ryoji has black, swept back hair, blue eyes, and a beauty mark under his left eye. He wears the school uniform of Gekkoukan High School, with the added detail of folded black sleeves. He also wears black suspenders, a watch with crossed straps on his left wrist, and a yellow scarf. He is never seen without his scarf except in Kyoto.
Ryoji is very flirtatious and lively in both the Male and Female Protagonist routes, though the latter route reveals a far better understanding of him through his Social Link, fully revealing his kind, gentle, caring and empathetic personality. However, like Junpei, Ryoji can be very perverted at times (usually when they are together), and it is heavily implied that he is a bit of a voyeur, as evidenced during the events at the hot springs at Kyoto. During the Female Protagonist's route Ryoji initially flirts with her, yet his demeanor quickly changes when she's around. He seems to enjoy her company and he will outright turn down any other girl to be with her; he also proves to be very romantic and if the player shows interest in him he will show a more melancholic side and fear of losing her.
After the defeat of the twelve Greater Shadows, Ryoji shows up as a transfer student, claiming his parents are working overseas. Ryoji's flirtatious personality immediately gains people's attention and his frequent antics with Junpei causes him to often get on Yukari's nerves. Aigis continually expresses an unknown feeling of hostility toward him and repeatedly warns the protagonist to keep his guard up around Ryoji.
Despite the warnings, Ryoji later befriends Junpei Iori and Yukari Takeba, along with the protagonist and the other members of SEES. He proclaims to be from a rich family, and is apparently very popular with his classmates. During a school trip, Ryoji, Junpei, Akihiko, and the protagonist attempt to get in a hotspring with the girls by "mistaking" the time. Eventually, Yukari, Mitsuru, Fuuka, and Aigis show up in the hotspring, much to Akihiko's panic and fear. Depending on the protagonist's actions, he could either escape from the girls' vision or get caught for being a "peeping Tom". Should the protagonist successfully avoid the girls, Ryoji and Junpei will faint from staying in the hot springs for too long.
Ryoji's true past is revealed after Aigis eventually senses who he really is. She confronts him one night during the Dark Hour on the Moonlight Bridge. At first, Ryoji can't remember what led him there, or why Aigis shows such hostility toward him. Aigis explains what she really is and her true purpose as an Anti-Shadow Weapon. She claims to have fought against Ryoji at that same location 10 years ago. This triggers his memories of his true identity, the anthropomorphic personification of Death, and Ryoji easily halts Aigis' assault, heavily wounding her. He faints after SEES arrives, but explains his true identity the next day.
Ryoji was sealed inside the Protagonist's body 10 years ago by Aigis, after she realized Death can not be defeated. Being locked away within the protagonist's body as a child manifested the identity known as Pharos. Defeating the twelve shadows manifested the identity known as Ryoji Mochizuki. He explains that he is the "Appriser" of Nyx, and is destined to be the harbinger of Death (ultimately becoming the Avatar of Nyx). However, he feels misery and guilt because of the connection between the Protagonist and his other identity, Pharos. Thus Ryoji offers SEES the option to kill him, instead of facing Nyx, but gives them a month to think about it.
On December 31, Ryoji asks for SEES to make their decision and self-invites himself into the protagonist's room and sits on his bed. Killing Ryoji would result in erasing the memories of the Dark Hour (the cause of all their pain and suffering), allowing the members of SEES to live their lives as normal high-school students until the arrival of Nyx on the promised day. In an attempt to persuade the protagonist to kill him, Ryoji transforms into his true form as Thanatos, bringer of death.
In the 'good' ending, declining Ryoji's offers to kill him results in providing the members of SEES with useful information regarding a confrontation with Nyx. When Ryoji leaves, he tells them to "look forward to the next year", presumably indicating that he, himself, hopes that they can put a stop to Nyx, as well.
On January 31, Ryoji appears at the top of Tartarus, where he now serves as the Avatar of Nyx, bearing the potential and skills that the twelve previous shadows possessed. Throughout the battle he shifts from one Arcana to another while explaining their motifs and purpose, and upon shifting to his final and true Arcana, Death, his monotonous voice finally seams through a melancholic tone. While arming an attack, he tells the protagonist not to regret, as this is the protagonist's "own decision".
After the protagonist manages to fend off the Avatar of Nyx, Ryoji laments that there should have been more people like SEES, then perhaps the Fall could have been avoided, and shrugs off the SEES' assault, and continues his summoning of Nyx. As SEES fall into despair, the protagonist rises upon the moon to face Nyx. Through the cheering of others, he manages to perform the Great Seal, and thus stopping Nyx. Ryoji's voice would later reappear, telling that the protagonist had already found his answer to life, and fades away.
His Social Link, although short-lived and requires the player's full participation to max out his link, states about his time as a human on earth spending time with the Female Protagonist. He was first introduced to her by Junpei Iori, and they became fast friends despite Aigis' hostility towards Ryoji. As time flew by, Ryoji developed strong romantic feelings for the protagonist, although strangely saddened whenever he is with her, that he considers their relationship as a "Forbidden Love." He leaves the Female Protagonist before the next full moon, teary-eyed.
His Social Link will be maxed if the player lets Ryoji live in the December 31 decision, where the player receives a glowing ring as a remembrance of his time on earth, saying that he will survive his heartbreak if she kept it.
Ryoji's alignment with the Fortune Arcana is manifested when he lets SEES decide on how to deal with Nyx, as the Fortune Arcana represents deciding one's fate, as well as seizing the opportunities provided by it.
Concept artwork of Ryoji
Concept artwork of Ryoji's costume (Kyoto)
Concept artwork of Ryoji (cinematic)
Ryoji and the protagonist
Ryoji on the right
|Persona 3 (Manga)|
Ryoji with his bang down
|Persona 3 The Movie|
Ryoji's design in Persona 3 The Movie
Illustration countdown of Winter of Rebirth
Ryoji Mochizuki in Persona 3 The Movie
Ryoji and Chihiro
Ryoji posing with Makoto
Ryoji and Makoto
Ryoji on the Moonlight Bridge
Makoto and Ryoji
|Persona 3: the Weird Masquerade|
Ryoji as he appears in Persona 3: the Weird Masquerade
- The surname "Mochizuki" can be read as "full moon." Shuji Ikutsuki is another character with "moon" in his name.
- He shares his last name with Mari Mochizuki from Devil Survivor.
- Ryoji's true form as The Appriser is Thanatos, "the bringer of death."
- In chapter 18.5 of Persona 3 manga, where Ryoji changes his hairstyle in order for Mitsuru be confused of which one was the real Minato, he bears a strong resemblance to him, it was possible due to that his appearance based on him. Ryoji manifested Minato's looks due to him being sealed in him.
- However, he doesn't resemble the female protagonist during her route, despite that Ryoji was supposedly sealed in her too.
- Kamogawa River bank where Ryoji and the female protagonist spend time in Kyoto and are surrounded by couples is known for being filled with couples in reality as well (https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-couples-at-the-kamo-river-in-the-city-centre-of-kyoto-japan-asia-24161795.html)