- For fighter info, see Joker (SSBU).
Originally a nameless protagonist, a tradition to the original video game release of entire main Persona game entries for the most part (except for the Persona 2 duology, whose protagonists, Tatsuya and Maya are silent in their own game, but not in the other, and Persona 3 FES, which featured Aigis, and established character of the main game as the last main protagonist of epilogue, titled The Answer). Since Persona 4’s anime adaptions (which featured a nameless protagonist who is now named Yu Narukami), many updated versions of the main games and spin-offs (some of which are canon, such as the fighting game Persona 4 Arena (Ultimax)) that relate to voice acting mostly began using the protagonists’ anime names, with Persona 3’s nameless protagonist, who received the official name Makoto Yuuki in the OVA movie, and Persona 5's protagonist being named Ren Amamiya in his anime adaptation. In the manga adaption, the protagonist is named Akira Kurusu.
Ren Amamiya is a second-year high school student who meets Morgana and transfers to Shujin Academy in the spring in Tokyo near Aoyama-Itchome. He lives in a coffee shop called Cafe Leblanc, located in Yongen-Jaya and owned by Sojiro Sakura, an acquaintance of his parents. He becomes classmates with Ryuji Sakamoto and Ann Takamaki, who join him in his endeavours alongside the mysterious Morgana. Additionally, he is the leader of the Phantom Thieves of Hearts, a group whose purpose is to steal the hearts of corrupted adults in order to create a reformed society. Later, more members join the Phantom Thieves: Yusuke Kitagawa, Makoto Niijima, Futaba Sakura, Haru Okumura and Goro Akechi.
In the Royal edition, the Phantom Thieves’ battle is not yet over, as they are trapped by Shujin doctor Takuto Maruki, who uses his two Persona (primarily: Adam Kadmon, and secondary: Azathoth) to warp reality in order to fulfill everyone's peaceful desires and create a world that sacrifices strife and progress for empty happiness. Joined by gymnast Kasumi Yoshizawa (real first name: Sumire), the Phantom Thieves return to the Metaverse to steal Maruki's heart. After a one on one fist fight between Ren and Maruki, the thieves manage to save and redeem Maruki, who starts over as a taxi driver and helps Joker and Morgana return home safely while evading government surveillance.
When a new Metaverse threat arises during the thieves’ summer vacation, in the form of a new app called EMMA developed by Madicce (secretly backed by the last Conspiracy loyalist Owada) during Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers, the Phantom Thieves are joined by a sentient female A.I. named Sophia and a family man fair cop who resembles Shido, Zenkichi Hasegawa , before their time is at limit due to being suspects in this new crisis.
As a playable character
- Although Persona is much akin to its own series, much of its origin is tied to its progenitor series Megami Tensei. A hallmark in JRPG history, Megami Tensei delves into the darker side of fantasy and helped establish surreal fantasy-meets-reality genre settings with themes of the occult, religion, and the nature of morality. Though these games were long held off from Western audiences like a majority of its mid 1990s Super Famicom JRPG counterparts, this was more due to the immutable religious references and themes of summoning demons and spirits that did not pass the western Nintendo guidelines of barring games with religious and violent imagery at the time.
- Much like Cloud Strife, Ren also originates from PlayStation, until they are debuted in Nintendo console.
- His home series, Persona has only one nameless female protagonist (in this case, Persona 3 Portable) than in some of Dragon Quest Heroes’ four main games (III - V and IX only).
- Ren shares the same Japanese voice actor with Roy. He also shares his English voice actor with SSBWU/3DS and Ultimate’s Announcer, Master Hand, and Crazy Hand.
- Ren and Richter Belmont are the only playable third-party characters to make their fighting game debut in Smash, however, Joker did make a cameo appearance in BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle as a palette swap for fellow Persona protagonist, Yu Narukami.
- Ren is one of only four playable characters to appear in M (Mature +17) rated games, the others being Solid Snake, Bayonetta and Simon Belmont.
- Ren is the most recently-created third-party character in Smash Bros. as Persona 5 was released in Japan on September 15, 2016. This also makes him the second third-party character to debut in the 21st century, alongside Bayonetta. Coincidentally, both debuted in more than one console releases at the same time of his home game’s first release date, but not counting later port on Bayonetta’s case. As for Ren’s case, he debuted on more than one console from the same company, namely Sony’s Play Station consoles.