Persona 5 exploded onto the scene on September 15, 2016. Since then, Joker and his fellow Phantom Thieves have been stealing the hearts of gamers everywhere with their spin-off games and crossovers. The Phantom Thieves came together in defiance of a society run by oppressive adults and selfish bullies. By channeling their rage and accepting their true selves, the protagonists gain access to their Persona.
With this new, powerful inner demon by their side, the Phantom Thieves take action to protect the beaten and the broken. One of the most outspoken members of the team is Skull! He’s team leader Joker’s A1 since day one and the local hot-head. Here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about this charismatic character.
10 He Has Several Nicknames
Skull is the primary name you’ll hear him go by in the game, but he has several others peppered throughout. Morgana, the team's sassy cat mascot and founder, calls him Blondie on account of his... well, very blonde hair. Some of his less flattering names are The Vulgar Ape, given to him by antagonist Kamoshida, and Track Traitor by his former track partners.
He’s also called Sprintmaster Sakamoto by some of the track members who still appreciate and respect his talents. But, at the end of the day, he’ll always be the heartwarming and open-armed Ryuji Sakamoto.
9 His Birthday and Age
So many of our favorite characters can fall into obscurity in terms of birthdays and ages, but that’s not the case with the cast of Persona 5. Ryuji was born on July 3, 1999, and is listed to be around 16 or 17 during the game. Being a July baby makes Ryuji the water sign of Cancer.
It’s a little strange to think of this hot-headed character as cooling and healing like water, but not all waters are smooth sailing. Besides, his warm personality and genuine love for helping his friends helps it all make a bit more sense.
8 He Uses Bludgeons and Shotguns
Each Phantom Thief comes armed with their own weapon of choice. Ryuji is a bit of a roughneck trope, so it’s no surprise that his outfits and weapons allude to this. He prefers to give those awful Shadows an old-fashioned beat down with various bludgeoning weapons like bats, pipes, and crowbars.
For those pesky flyers, he relies on a shotgun. It might seem a little like overkill, but the Shadows they face and defeat are no mere trifles. They’re powerful and armed to the teeth themselves, and Ryuji’s there to lay the smackdown with a witty retort.
7 His Arcana is The Chariot
In the Persona series, characters who are under the Arcana of The Chariot tend to be passionate, driven, and focused. They lock onto their goals with tunnel vision and allow nothing to get between themselves and the finish line. Sound familiar? Ryuji fits the traditional mold of The Chariot to the tee.
He even exhibits their love of physical attacks and specials that focus on physical strength over spells, magic, and status effects. Ryuji also develops the ability to perform special physical attacks without the use of his Persona, further elevating him on the list of useful physical attackers.
6 His Unique Confidant Ability
As Joker spends time with the Phantom Thieves and certain other characters, their Confidant level increases. This unlocks abilities for the character that aid the party or Joker in some way.
Ryuji shares some common abilities like Baton Pass and Follow-Up with other members of the team, but he has one ability that only he is able to learn at Rank 7. It’s called “Insta-Kill” and it elevates your team’s ambush potential to demon-like levels. With it, you have a chance to instantly win the battle after a successful ambush and capture even more Personas.
5 His Original Persona is Captain Kidd
Captain Kidd is based on the historic Scottish pirate named William Kidd. While William is a legitimate historical figure, his exploits have been told, retold, and occasionally embellished to the point that he’s a bit of an infamous legend.
After aiding the English in the Caribbean, he earned the king’s trust and was given a special letter that kept him protected so long as he was loyal to the crown and its orders. Unfortunately for William, he unwittingly plundered a neutral ship, which led to his execution. Some say that before his capture, he buried treasure to keep it to safe from sticky-fingered associates and enemies.
4 Captain Kidd Can Evolve
As Skull’s confidant rank grows, so too does the strength of his Persona. Once he’s maxed it out with protagonist Joker, Captain Kidd evolves into the historic and cunning rebel Seiten Taisei. Most people probably know this character by the name of Son Goku. This new persona is even more of a representation of Skull’s rebellious-yet-soft personality.
In the original text, Son Goku builds quite the reputation for himself as a rebellious and volatile man. Considering Son Goku is actually a monkey birthed from a giant rock, perhaps his high-octane personality is all the more fitting. Even Ryuji’s character design looks a bit simian at times.
3 He Lives With His Mother & Abhors Senseless Violence
Ryuji comes from a broken home: his abusive father left him and his mother to fend for themselves. Despite the shaky past, Ryuji became a compassionate and talented young man. When the protagonist meets him in the game, he’s one of the first people to warm up to him and treat him like a true friend.
While he’s proud of his reputation as a rebellious troublemaker with a short temper, he will not resort to violence unless absolutely necessary. In fact, he even goes as far as taking a beating without fighting back to protect others.
2 He Loves Ramen and Junk Food
While he’s far from an Iron Chef, Ryuji’s love for food is referenced several times in the game. He loves ramen and will take a day’s ride just to get the best bowl with the perfect noodles. He’s awfully particular about his noodles.
He also likes things like beef katsudon and burgers. Maybe his being an athlete makes him crave lots of carbs and fats like an energetic child. He’s such a picky eater, his associates swear he has the palate of a kid.
1 He’s Voiced By Max Mittelman
Ryuji’s multi-faceted personality and sarcastic remarks would be much less impactful if they weren’t delivered by a talented voice actor. Max Mittelman is no newcomer to the voice acting scene either. He’s voiced over twenty characters in video games alone.
Combined with his extensive track record in film and television, it’s no wonder Ryuji comes to life as the Phantom Thieves embark on their mission to steal hearts. A few voices you may not know he’s done outside Ryuji’s are Leo in Fire Emblem Fates, Luxu in Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue and Troy Calypso in Borderlands 3.