- Name: Maya Amano
- Game(s): Persona 2: Innocent Sin, Persona 2: Eternal Punishment
- Creator: Atlus
The Persona 2 games have some out-of-control complicated plots. They are influenced by popular urban legends, conspiracy theories, the Cthulhu mythos, Jungian philosophy, and various ancient mythologies. The main conflict of both Innocent Sin and Eternal Punishment concerns rumors becoming a reality. No, really. If a story gets passed around enough, eventually it will become true, and reality will reshape itself to fit that new truth. In a world where a rumor about how, for instance, the Third Reich still exists and might one day return with neo-Nazi robots to continue its genocidal plot, you many figure that there are many potentially catastrophic consequences to this.
It’s okay though, because an astral deity known as Philemon grants certain people the ability to use Persona, mythological beings whose strength and magic can be commanded at will. These people are the protagonists of Persona 2.
Maya Amano is probably the most important character in the overarching story. Although not the primary protagonist until the second game, she is equally involved in the plots of both. Other characters such as Lisa Silverman and Eikichi are unfortunately left to more peripheral roles in the transition, and some, like Baofu and Katsuya, are barely featured in the first before becoming crucial to the second.
Maya is an infectiously peppy reporter for the teen magazine “Coolest.” She became a reporter in honor of her father, who was a correspondent during World War II. Her motto is “Let’s be positive!” (or “Let’s positive thinking!” depending on how Engrishy you like your PSX translations). As any good teen magazine reporter should, she wields two handguns. Her starting Persona is Maia, the Greek goddess of growth. In Innocent Sin she acts as big sister to the group, as the rest of the cast is made up of high schoolers, and she’s the silent protagonist of Eternal Punishment.
She has an incredibly interesting dynamic with her roommate Ulala, a volatile unlucky-in-love boxer who, despite her affection for Maya, can get a little jealous of her constant cheeriness and seeming ease (or lack of concern) with men. Dynamic friendships between women are scarce in videogames, so it’s nice to see one like this.
In terms of badassery, through these games Maya manages to fight her way through a constant barrage of insane antagonists, unmasking both iterations of the mysterious Joker, literally helping to defeat a resurrected demon-summoning, spear-wielding Hitler, and taking on the Lovecraftian abomination Nyarlathotep.
Maya is a very, very powerful lady. She’s exceedingly likable, she’s beautiful but never played for sex appeal, and she can coax a demon into an interview in the middle of a battle. Plus, her heartboob jacket is unspeakably cool.