Token tough guy meets sappy seamstress
183 cm (6 ft)
65 kg (143 lbs)
Take-Mikazuchi, Rokuten Maou
plates, shields & boards
folding chair, skull shirt, silver locket
Tatsumi Kanji is a first year student at Yasogami High and the fourth party member to join the investigation squad. Upon first meeting he comes off as brash as his appearance. With piercings, shirts with skulls and crossbones, and a battlescar as proof that he lived to tell the tale, it's obvious that Kanji is not a force to be reckoned with. It's said that when he was in middle school Kanji destroyed a biker gang with his own two hands, and living in a small town like Inaba the stories were quick to spread. Since then he's been known as somewhat of a troublemaker, skipping school and loitering around at night.
Kanji's debut scene in Persona 4 occurs during a news special on biker gangs (in which he recklessly yells at the camera to "Get bent!"). The group is pretty terrified of Kanji and his bad reputation, so there's no wondering why teammates Chie and Yosuke make a run for it when he chases them down the Samegawa Riverbank. However, upon rescuing Kanji from Mayonaka TV it turns out there's more to this bosozoku-smasher than meets the eye. Alongside Kanji's hobby of kicking ass and taking names he's also very talented at sewing, carries around boxes of animal crackers in his backpack and has a penchant for snuggling soft, adorable objects.
Family TraditionIf you're raising an eyebrow and your gaydar's flashing red, then maybe it's also a good idea to mention that Kanji's sensitive side stems from the history he shares with the textile shop in the small town of Inaba. Run by his family, Kanji's spent a good portion of his life at Tatsumi Textiles, born into a world where "dyes are one with the universe" and "cloth is alive", and as a result Kanji has grown up to be quite skilled in tailoring. Ever since Kanji was young he has been interested in arts and crafts and would practice his sewing and knitting skills without anyone knowing. Konishi Naoki also reveals during his social link that Kanji is in fact a decent cook as well: the croquettes that Kanji's mom made 10 years ago for Naoki were actually made by Kanji. As a child, Kanji would prefer to play house over catch, and going to home ec instead of P.E., but as a result he was unable to make friends with boys (who he shared no interests with) or girls (who simply found him creepy). Because he was unable to find acceptance from either sex, he became quite lonely and grew insecurities about his hobbies. This caused him to push others away in order to keep him from seeing who he really was.
Despite his "bad boy" nature Kanji cares deeply for his family and others around him, particularly those who he can emphathize with. He lost his father at a young age and is very protective of his mother, to the point where he began to think that fighting gangs was a way of protecting her. When Kanji hears that his mother was sent to the hospital, he worries that she's passed on before he could say good bye (like his father) and rushes there quickly, only to find out that she had actually taken someone to the hospital, not gone herself. Though he bleaches his hair and starts fights against her will his mother seems to care as deeply for his well being as he does for her. She wants the best for her son and only hopes that with some good influence of the protagonist, Kanji can change his ways. Though Kanji likes to act tough, he's quite the mama's boy and even tries to obey his strict curfew so that his mom doesn't get upset with him!
goody two-shoesKanji may or may not be the manliest in the bunch, and he certainly isn't the smartest, but one of his most valuable attributes is his heart of gold: Kanji looks up to his senpai and cares for them as teammates as if they were family. While he may appear like any old thug to the inhabitants of Inaba, he immediately transforms into a respectable kouhai when speaking with the main character especially (addressing him as "senpai!"). Like a loyal companion, Kanji does his best to help out the group (if only in brawns and not brains) that he feels indebted to for not only saving his life, but accepting him for who he is. His actions at times are clumsy and confused, but hidden under his rough exterior is a guy who genuinely cares about the well-being of others around him: even if his best way of showing that is that by sewing dolls for the children that play along the Samegawa riverbank.
On the downside, due to the fact that Kanji seems to act on his emotions, he can be quite impulsive--he's quick to anger and gets worked up very easily. Alongside Yosuke, he's the only one to act aggressively towards Nametame when the group suspects that he's guilty of bringing Nanako into the TV world. More often than not, Kanji will quickly catch himself when his actions become even slightly out of line, particulary if his senpai are around watching him. His interactions with the group are what allow him to begin coming to terms with his true self, as well as grow as a person and be there for his friends and family in ways that go past violence and lashing out.