Saori Hasegawa is a Social Link
character in Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable
. A student at Gekkoukan High School
, she is the representation of the Hermit arcana in the female protagonist's
storyline in place of the MMORPG player "Maya" that appears in earlier versions of the game and in the male protagonist's
storyline. The player is first introduced to Saori on May 8th. During school, Ms. Toriumi
approaches the female protagonist and informs her that she must join one of the committees that still has an open space; the Student Health Committee, or the Library Committee. Regardless of which option the player selects, Saori appears as the head of the committee.
Even though Saori is a second-year high school student like the protagonist, other students that speak to her, even seniors, speak to her in a formal tone. This is due to the fact that Saori is two years older than the other students in her grade and one year older than the senior class because she had been overseas for two years. However, this has also led to a disconnect, as she finds it difficult to associate herself with the other students in the school.
The distance between her and the other students is demonstrated several times over the course of the Social Link. In one case, a student loses the notes she borrowed from Saori and immediately runs away after hastily apologizing. In another case, a girl confronts Saori, claiming she stole her boyfriend. During these events, the protagonist stands up for Saori and attempts to convince her to be more assertive. However, she is used to being treated this way and appears to accept it.
Eventually, she and the protagonist are called to the Faculty Office over the PA. They are met by Mr. Ekoda, who angrily demands an explanation for the magazine article laying on his desk; within the article is a picture of a high school girl who, although censored for anonymity, is clearly Saori, and she is supposedly giving an account of her debauched life at “G. High School.” Mr. Ekoda, outraged at the slanderous impression she is giving of Gekkoukan, suspends her.
Upon returning from her suspension, Saori is shunned more than ever, as the rumors about the article have already spread. She reveals to the protagonist that she will be transferring schools soon, commenting that her parents believe she's a terrible girl. The next time they meet, they overhear several male students gossiping about Saori. She tells the protagonist that she doesn't mind what others think, as long as the protagonist believes in her.
However, after thinking about it, the protagonist admonishes her for giving up like that. Saori doubts she is able to do anything about it, but the protagonist encourages her to show people what she's really like. After hearing an announcement, the protagonist has an idea and they sneak into the PA room.
Over the PA, Saori introduces herself and denounces the article and rumors as lies. As she is explaining herself, Mr. Ekoda hurries to the PA room and confronts the protagonist outside. While trying to stop Saori, he remarks that it's to be expected from students of Ms. Toriumi and Ms. Ounishi, who both arrive shortly after and start arguing with him. After finishing her announcement, Saori is questioned by Ms. Toriumi and Ms. Ounishi. As the homeroom teachers of the protagonist and Saori respectively, they decide to take the blame for the incident and handle the punishment themselves, thus deflecting the two from Mr. Ekoda's wrath.
Finally, after an otherwise normal day of committee activities, Saori and the protagonist leave school and stop at the gates. Saori says farewell, revealing that this is the day she's leaving Gekkoukan. She apologizes for not saying so earlier, but she resolves to work harder to improve herself and thanks the protagonist for staying with her and giving her the courage to stand up for herself. Having recorded her PA broadcast in order to reassure herself, Saori uploads a copy to the protagonist's phone as a sign of gratitude and friendship, and the two part ways.
As is the case for the male protagonist's Hermit Social Link, completing Saori's Social Link grants the ability to fuse Arahabaki.