One of my favorite things about Japanese role-playing games is their focus on camaraderie and friendship.
In fact, you can extend this outwards to a large amount of Japanese media in general — take a look at manga and anime and you’ll find a very similar situation.
The concept of nakama, or the trope of “true companions”, is very commonly seen — party members don’t necessarily always get along with one another, but they can count on one another and trust each other to do the right thing in a pinch.
The Persona series takes this concept considerably further than most other JRPGs by emphasizing not only the bonds between party members, but also the bonds between the protagonist and the people whose lives he passes through fleetingly.
This article was originally published on Games Are Evil in 2012 as part of the site’s regular Swords and Zippers column on JRPGs. It has been republished here due to Games Are Evil no longer existing in its original form.