Rise "Risette" Kujikawa is a former Japanese teen idol hailing from the small town of Inaba. Described by her manager as extraordinarily gifted, particularly as an actress, her rise to stardom was the fastest ever for a pop idol. After starring in various films, television series, and popular commercials, she is only just reaching the very heights of stardom when she abruptly chooses to retire as an idol, and return to Inaba to attend school and work at her grandmother's tofu shop, Marukyu.
- Age - 15-16
- Birthday - June 1st, 1995
- Height - 5'2"
- Weight - 90 lbs
- Initial Persona - Himiko
- Secondary Persona - Kanzeon
- Ultimate Persona - Kouzeon
Relationships with the Other Team Members
Rise falls in love with the protagonist immediately after being rescued from the Shadow World. In contrast to the other girls, all of whom develop a crush on the main character, Rise is very open about her romantic interests. Canonically, Yu Narukami does not reciprocate her affection, which makes her affection for him entirely one-sided. Despite her blatant showing of affection, however, she very clearly trusts Yu greatly and considers him a great influence on her, as later games show that she admires him and that he greatly influences her as a person.
Her relationship with Yosuke Hanamura varies between the game and anime. In the former, she is generally friendly to Yosuke and finds him funny, although she does participate in some light teasing with the rest of the team. In the animation, however, she's initially very cold towards him, and labels him a "creep" and a "pervert". Yosuke has been shown to be a massive fan of Rise and was initially thrilled to meet her. However, overall, she has a relatively weak chemistry with Yosuke and rarely interacts with him on an individual level.
Chie Satonaka and Rise occasionally butt heads, especially when it involves romance. Chie is visibly uncomfortable whenever Rise flirts with the protagonist, at one point deliberately derailing her attempts to ski alone with him. Otherwise, Rise is extremely respectful to Chie, as well as towards the other women in the group.
Similarly, Yukiko Amagi will sometimes bristle at Rise's flirtatious nature. In the animation, Yukiko calls her "smug", and tells her that she'll "take her down with one blow.". Likewise, when Yukiko invites Yu and Nanako to sleepover at the Amagi Inn, Rise immediately turns it into a party. However, their relationship is generally positive, and they enjoy spending time with each other along with the other girls.
Like the rest of the girls, Rise does not appreciate Teddie's constant flirting, but she does share a certain kinship with him, as the two of them are capable of scanning and analyzing the Shadow World together. They also have a few similarities on their outward personality, which allows the two to get along well in social situations.
Rise treats Kanji Tatsumi like a younger brother, even going so far as to invent the nickname "Moron-ji", much to his chagrin. She also distinctly only calls Kanji by his name as a manner of teasing, as opposed to attaching an honorific, which annoys Kanji. Though she spends the majority of the time prodding his lack of intelligence or soft-side, she also pushes Kanji to be together with his crush, Naoto Shirogane. He uniquely rarely shows any sexual arousal around Rise, much to her annoyance the majority of the time.
Naoto Shirogane and Rise are not seen frequently interacting on screen, however, it is implied that they spend time together when they are not with Yu. They have a fairly cordial relationship and respect each other for their respective passions and professions. They also occasionally go on shopping sprees or walk home together. Rise also relied on Naoto briefly during the manga spin-off Persona X Detective Naoto.
At the very beginning of Persona 4, an intro cutscene plays that includes a commercial starring Rise in a bikini advertising a drink called Calorie Magic. This is the first time players see Rise, but she doesn't play a role in the story until much later on. Her role in the Investigation Team begins when she abruptly decides to leave her job and live with her grandmother in Inaba. Despite the murders that were occurring in Inaba at the time, Rise insists that she wants to live there to escape the stressful lifestyle of a teen idol. However, it soon becomes apparent that Rise cannot go anywhere without being flocked by fans, as evident by the people constantly gathering outside her grandmother's tofu shop in Marukyu, just to see her.
At this point, the Investigation Team has already figured out that people who appear on television will end up on the Midnight Channel. They realize that Rise might be in danger due to her living in Inaba and having appeared on TV dozens of times. The team decides to stake out the tofu shop in an attempt to catch the culprit. Tohru Adachi joins the team during the mission, but they only succeed in capturing a stalker who denies having anything to do with the case. Adachi isn't convinced and takes him away. Before the team departs, Rise's grandmother informs them that Rise has been away for some time. It is the worst possible news, and when the team tunes in to the Midnight Channel Rise appears.
Rise's dungeon, called Marukyu Striptease, becomes available on June 25th after the player gathers enough information on Rise for Teddie so he can locate her.
Upon confronting Shadow Rise, the Investigation Team discovers the idol's internal plight. She is excessively concerned with her rise in popularity and fears becoming a sex symbol. Rise is also incredibly afraid of losing the real person to the public mask. Like everyone else, she denies her hidden feelings, causing her Shadow to lash out and attack. The Investigation Team thwarts the Shadow, giving Rise enough time to accept who she is and to welcome the Persona Himiko into her heart.
Upon her rescue, Rise takes over in the role of the assist party member as Teddie's own mounting doubts immediately cause his own Shadow to appear and go on the attack. After Rise helps the party defeat Shadow Teddie, she takes on the support role in the Investigation Team full time, and Teddie's role shifts to that of a combatant.
As a pure assist and analysis party member, Rise's Persona is equipped with more potent analysis and support abilities than Teddie.
Rise presents herself throughout the rest of the game as a free-spirited, energetic, and whimsical person. She's highly opinionated, and though she shows blatant signs of immaturity, it's very obvious that her time spent in the limelight has forced her to grow up considerably faster than a normal 15-year old. Almost immediately she shows an interest in beginning a relationship with Yu Narukami, a crush that lasts the entire game. Unsurprisingly, it is possible for the player to choose for Yu to return those feelings, blossoming into genuine love by the end of his time in Inaba.
The social link for Rise Kujikawa is initiated in July after she is rescued from the TV. The social link primarily deals with Rise's insecurities about being a popular teen idol. The earlier segments of the social link focuses on Rise's happiness with finally achieving a normal life outside of the limelight. As a child, Rise was lonely and shy. She was often bullied by classmates because of this, and she didn't have many friends. Additionally, her parents were very strict. When she suddenly won an idol competition, her popularity skyrocketed, but she eventually realized that people only liked her because she was an idol and not for who she really was as a person.
Rise begins to doubt herself, however, when her old manager finds her in Inaba and asks her to return to her former lifestyle. Rise manages to trick her old manager into thinking that the reason for her leave is because she is planning to marry Yu. This event causes Rise to second-guess her decision and ask herself whether or not she actually was happy being famous. Her doubts are only intensified when a former co-worker seemingly replaces her and becomes the center of everybody's attention.
Max Social Link
Rise finally realizes that her previous life was not entirely bad when she receives a letter from a fan. With Yu's help, Rise finally comes to terms with her pop idol self and her real self and realizes that both aspects of her life are important and are what makes her 'Rise Kujikawa.' It is then later revealed in the latter part of the game that Rise has decided to take singing classes in hopes to return to her former lifestyle. Rise is one of the female social links the player can choose to have a romantic relationship with.
After completing her Social Link, the player receives an autographed photograph of Rise as a sign of her unconditional affection, as well as the ability to create Ishtar of the Lovers Arcana in the Velvet Room. Her initial Persona, Himiko, evolves into Kanzeon (and again into Kouzeon in Persona 4 Golden), although unlike other Persona evolutions, these do not affect her abilities and are strictly a symbolic change.
Persona 4 Arena
Rise is a secondary character in Persona 4 Arena. Captured by the villains prior to the game's start, she was thrown into the TV world and held hostage by Labrys's Shadow, who was for much of that time disguised as evil dopplegangers of both herself and Teddie. The reason for her abduction was to prevent her from using her Persona's abilities to interfere with the larger scheme. However, she is eventually able to help the others reunite and stop Shadow Labrys. Rise is also one of several "support" characters in the game that the player can choose from to provide encouraging comments during multiplayer matches.
Persona 4 Arena: Ultimax
It has been confirmed that Rise will be a playable character in Persona 4 Arena: Ultimax. A direct sequel to the events of the first P4A, Rise is separated from the others and forced to fight on her own. Her Persona Himiko also undergoes some form of transition, allowing Rise to become more combat-capable. Her weapon in the game is a microphone stand, and her Instant Kill attack, True Story, involves her singing to defeat her opponent.
As with most of the other player characters in the game, a Shadow version of Rise is also playable.
Persona 4: Dancing All Night
in Persona 4: Dancing All Night, set after the events of the Persona 4 Arena series, Rise has returned to show business. However, when fellow idols begin disappearing, she learns about a mysterious world called the Midnight Stage. With the help of Yu Narukami and their friends, they investigate this latest mystery.
- Rise went through a few physical alterations during the development of the game. At one point she closely resembled Saki Konishi in looks and later Lisa Silverman, a character from Persona 2.
- Rise is voiced by Rie Kugimiya in the Japanese version of the game and Laura Bailey in the English version of the game.