12 (Chapter 115)
|Alice Stone Color||
Dark (unspecified color)
Teacher (Chapter 169)
Note: Subject of article is also called Persona
Persona (ペルソナ Persona) was known as Rei Serio (芹尾零 Serio Rei) when he was a child. Persona is a mysterious teacher who wears a mask at all times. He is the moderator of the Dangerous Ability Class. He was voiced by Miki Shinichiro in the anime.
Persona is a very pale man with spiky black hair and cold eyes. He wears a plain white masquerade-like mask. He also wears rings on each of his fingers and an earring which acts as an Alice controlling device. His earring turned out to be broken by Mikan Sakura in the New Year's Flower Princess Party arc. It was fixed, then broken again after his argument with Nobara Ibaragi. He wears a lot of black, which applies to his clothes, nail polish, high heeled shoes, and lipstick. Without his Alice restraints, Persona appears to be rotted. This appears to be the reason why he was called or known to be a "monster."
Because he grew up locked in a cellar in the Hana Hime dungeon after being abandoned by his parents, Persona craved for love and acceptance. He also desired to create a family that would unconditionally embrace him as an Alice holder that inflicts pain and destruction, even if unintentionally. When Izumi Yukihira accepted him, Persona came to respect him and consider him as a sort of father figure, as Izumi was the first person to truly accept him. Izumi also acknowledged Persona’s existence by giving him the name “Rei Serio”, as he was never given a name and simply referred to as “that thing”. Yuka Azumi’s presence and kindness also brought some significant happiness to Persona, as she hoped her Alice could help Persona with his Alice. Although introverted and timid as a child due to being isolated, Persona was actually a sad and lonely person who wanted nothing more than to be accepted and loved. However, he also suffered trust issues and even questioned Izumi’s claims he would one day free him from his prison. These qualities are what it easy for the Elementary Principal to manipulate and corrupt Persona
After being told Izumi had no intentions of freeing him and Izumi not denying the accusation, Persona’s dreams of having a family were shattered. He became more calm and focused, no longer caring about the well-being of others and even the name Izumi gave him, deeming it useless. The realization that Izumi may have lied to him ultimately led to Persona having a mental breakdown via rage and brutally kill Izumi. After calming down and realizing what he had done, Persona was consumed with guilt but knew there was no going back. In return for the Elementary Principal covering up evidence of the crime, Persona pledged allegiance to him. Persona came to despise those whom he felt were undeserving compared to the Elementary Principal and his sole desire was to serve him with uttermost loyalty; every crime is justified, every murder is a necessary act of evil, and any collaboratal damage is a welcomed sacrifice. Persona is even willing to sacrifice himself, and even his own allies if they are no useful, for the sake of fulfilling his duties for the Elementary Principal. Like the Elementary Principal, Persona would gain allies by setting up a series of events that would allow him to prey on their weakness or darkness and then manipulate them. This is shown with the Dangerous Ability Class; the students working together thinking they were handling the dirty work on behalf of the academy for greater good but in truth, they were merely pawns.
Despite the cruel person he had become as an adult, Persona still retained his desire for affection and acknowledgment, as he instantly grows attached to Nobara when he first meets her and she comments how “warm” his hand is. Nobara’s kindess and sympathy led Persona to develop deep feelings for her, as he treats her more dear than the other students and allows her to touch him. However, when faced with a situation in which he assumes he is being betrayed, Persona will lash out and not hesitate to use his Alice on those he feels deserve it, including Nobara. Persona later develops deep disdain towards Mikan, as she shares the same traits with her father, and blames her for his deteriorating leadership over the Dangerous Ability Class. Mikan theorized the thought of Izumi and the guilt over his death never left Persona’s mind, and it was this conflict that drove him to detach himself from sentimentality.
As Persona sought out individuals by preying in the darkness in them, Natsume Hyūga was a prime example; he manipulated his sister’s Alice into burning down their village and threatened Aoi’s life if Natsume didn’t come to the academy and work for him and the Elementary Principal. He monitored Natsume on a daily basis and would intervene if Natsume acted unaccordingly, especially once he noticed Natsume had grown soft due to his feelings for Mikan. With Mikan, Persona knew there was no possibility of turning her over to the Dangerous Ability Class, as she possessed no deep negative feelings, so he simply opted to force her into the organization. However, with Nobara’s persistence, Persona began to see the error in his thoughts and actions; erroneously thinking he was never loved and every act he’s done is justified but he had deliberately deprived himself any chance of finding stability and forgiveness. The realization alone was enough to break down Persona and allow him to revert back to Rei Serio. Persona deeply regretted his treatment towards Mikan, Natsume, and Nobara and did everything he could to redeem himself; he refuses to see Natsume ever again as he knows Natsume can never forgive him, he visits Nobara every day while she is hospitalized, and he openly betrays the Elementary Principal by helping Mikan try to escape. Persona was even willing to give up his own life to save Mikan, a selfless act that compels Mikan to forgive him for her father’s death. In a final act of atonement, Persona resigns from the academy and goes into seclusion, as he feels his presence is too tainted for people around him. This newfound freedom allowed him to achieve his lifelong dream of having a family; he later marries Nobara and they become the parents of a baby girl.
Persona was abandoned by his parents because of his Alice and it having been spread all over his body due to poor control. He was then taken into the Academy and locked in the same room Aoi Hyuga was later in the series. Persona was known as a "monster" and would grab at passerby's through what is thought to be a ventilation hole or small window connecting his prison to the Middle School Division's garden, inflicting them with his Alice. A victim who survived was Subaru Imai because of his Healing Alice. Only one person visited him and that would be Izumi Yukihira, Mikan's father, because Persona's Alice could easily be negated by the Nullification Alice he had. Izumi went on to name him "Rei Serio," as his parents never bothered to.
One day when Rei was in the sixth grade, Izumi introduced him to a high school Yuka who put Izumi's Nullification Alice stone in him after Izumi had told her about his past. This causes some of the marks on his body to fade, making him and Izumi both happy, being a step further in their goal to have him out of the prison.
However, Kuonji releases Rei from his prison and tells him that his Alice is great and gives him the idea that Izumi never cared for him and it was his fault that Rei was locked away. When Izumi comes to take Rei away back to his cell, Rei confronts him with the false facts. To his shock, Izumi says that he felt that Rei wasn't ready yet for the outside world. Rei tells him that he does not want to go back and uses his Alice on Izumi. Izumi is unable to counter it due to its immense power with Rei's feelings of betrayal in proportion to its intensity, and starts to get the effects of Rei's Alice. This scares Rei and Izumi dies from the power of Rei's Alice.
Rei regretted it immediately, even crying in shock and disbelief that he had killed Izumi. After awhile, during Yuka's escape, he is seen to be treated harshly by Kuonji, who had, based on what he said, been locking him in another room. Persona, in the end, suffered a maligned treatment as a "monster" even though he hadn't intentionally caused harm to others. He and Luna Koizumi then visit an ill Kuonji in the hospital and like Luna chose to stay by his side.
As a high schooler, Persona would meet a toddler Nobara who he dared that she shouldn't touch him or she will become like him. Nobara ignores his warning, touches his hand and he walks her into the Academy. Once enrolled, she also gave him her picked flower and it didn't die when Persona touched it. Nobara saw him shed a tear when the flower did not die.
Over the next several years, Kuonji filled his head with twisted facts about the use of Alices and how to treat students with dangerous Alices causing Persona to become cruel and corrupted.
Persona would later join with Narumi and Misaki in an attempt to get Natsume to enroll in the Academy. However, unlike Narumi and Misaki's gentle requests, Persona coldly demanded for Natsume and said it was for his best interest. He later planted an Alice stone in the Hyuga residence and after Aoi found it, she fell ill and lost control of her Alice and burned their village.
This caused Natsume to be enrolled in the Academy and Persona threatened him to do dangerous missions for the Academy or else Aoi will suffer even more. Persona pressured Natsume to do dangerous missions and accompanied him. If Natsume disobeyed, Persona physically and emotionally abused him until he learned from his mistake.
Welcome To Alice Academy
He is first shown looking for Natsume Hyuga who is hiding from him. He is called "The Mask" by middle school students bullying Mikan and they call for him to punish Natsume, but are unsuccessful.
Persona's next appearance is him being the substitute teacher for Makihara under Kuonji's orders, named Serio, to figure out why Natsume has changed. When Natsume confronts him, seeing through his disguise, he comments on how he was amazed that Natsume sat quietly during a test, even though it would do nothing, since Natsume has no home to go to. Persona explains that he was ordered to see the little kitten (Mikan) who changed Natsume's eyes. Natsume asks why they made her his partner and persona responds that this wasn't planned to happen and warns Natsume not to get close to anyone or else he will lose them while rotting a flower with his Alice.
Natsume sees Persona unmasked among a crowd of people with a malicious grin. This encounter reminds Natsume that he is unable to have friends to care for.
Persona came to pick up Nobara who had just become friends with Mikan. Nobara becomes saddened when meeting with him as she is reminded that she is surrounded by darkness.
He also disguises himself as a woman fortuneteller and is ordered by Kuonji to affect Narumi with his Alice for meddling in Kuonji’s affairs.
New Year's Flower Princess Party
Mikan, Natsume, Hotaru, Ruka, and Yoichi search the Hana Hime dungeon after learning Persona is keeping Natsume’s sister, Aoi, imprisoned there. Persona finds Natsume first and the two begin fighting before Mikan and the others arrive. Persona orders a hypnotized Nobara to attack them but she reverts back to her normal self when she sees Mikan. Nobara refuses to attack them any more and an enraged Persona accuses her of betrayal, and attempts to use his Alice on her. Mikan shields Nobara and is infected instead. Persona taunts at her for getting herself involved and that her getting infected was an "accident," causing Natsume to get angry. Aoi appears and pleads with Persona to stop hurting Mikan but Persona accuses her of betrayal also and tries to infect her. Mikan again protects Aoi by allowing Persona to infect her instead. As he does so, he sees Izumi's spirit behind Mikan and tells him not to get his hands dirtied any longer. This makes Persona so shocked that he breaks his control device earring, resulting his Alice to spread over his skin. He barricades himself in his room and notes that the incident was "like parent, like child." Mikan falls seriously ill afterwards and is in a state between life and death. Later on, it is revealed that Subaru Imai had also been a victim and is the only one to have survived Persona's Alice. Therefore, the school administration appoints him to cure Mikan's illness. When Mikan is in the hospital, Shuichi Sakurano notices an Alice stone in Mikan's hand. It turns out Mikan's secret Stealing Alice draws out Persona's Alice and turned it into a stone.
Persona approaches Mikan, taking off his mask to glare at her as he did in her nightmare, and has papers to put her under custody for the incident that had involved her falling during the Cheerleading Competition. However, the teachers conclude the incident wasn’t her fault and release her.
High School Division Escape
When Natsume helps Mikan escape from Kuonji and the Dangerous Ability Class, Persona is angered when Nobara refuses to trap Mikan with her Alice and throws his mask at her, hurt that he treated Nobara special than other Dangerous Ability students and yet she betrayed him. Later, when he finds out Nobara has joined with Mikan’s group to help Mikan escape from the academy, Persona vows to capture Nobara and give her a life she will regret. He, Rui Amane and Hajime Yakumo are easily able to find Nobara when she freezes the pursuers. He comments on how strong Nobara's Alice is since she shouldn't be able to use her Alice so strongly if she isn't hypnotized. As Nobara tells Persona to stop letting people out because he is afraid to be hurt, Persona sees this as pity and is angered. After Nobara freezes both Rui and Hajime, she and Persona fight one-on-one where she tells him that she will be last person he uses his Alice on. As Nobara continues to talk, Persona becomes further irritated and can't take it any longer when she speaks about Izumi. This reminder of that painful memory has him use his Mark of Death Alice on her, but surprisingly, Nobara grabs on to his foot and says, "I will always be by your side." Confused, Persona has a mental breakdown that causes his earring to break, resulting in his Alice to affect his skin and collapse. Nobara then holds him in her arms and announces to everyone that she will protect Persona from Kuonji.
As Nobara lays in the hospital, Persona is shown greatly distressed. He realizes that he had done terrible things to her and others. He leaves a withered flower by Nobara's hospital room and walks away. The next day, Persona follows his Dangerous Ability class along to visit Nobara in the hospital. Persona approches Nobara's injured body and places his hand on the glass container. Yoichi Hijiri sees Nobara's spirit reach for his hand and caress Persona's face gently while crying, meaning she holds no ill will towards him for her illness and wishes to comfort him.
He is at the hospital when Mikan escapes and uses her Stealing Alice to save Nobara's life. Although ordered to help capture Mikan, he goes against Kuonji's orders and decides to help her in gratitude for saving Nobara. He asks Mikan to let him help her and tells her that he is remorseful of his past actions. Persona offers to help her find Natsume and get her out of the academy, which she accepts. Persona also sayis he is willing to sacrifice his life to protect her. Mikan, however, rejects the idea of sacrificing his life for her, and says that she will protect him because it is what her father would want. When they are attacked by the Punishment Team, he uses his Alice to defeat them and even takes numerous stab wounds to protect Mikan. While fleeing to reach Natsume, Persona, after losing a lot of blood from the stab wounds, tells Mikan to go without him because he is too weak and Mikan is able to truly forgive him. After she thanks him and teleports away, he is saved from the Punishment Team by the Dangerous Ability class students. Relieved, Persona loses conciousness.
Persona lays hospitalized from his wounds beside Nobara and cries tears of relief when the news of Kuonji being defeated spread all over the Academy. Before departing, he tenderly touches Nobara's cheek without waking her up. He has a discussion with Kazumi Yukihira about him being a harm to the student body and had decided to atone for his sins. After one last look of Mikan in her classroom smiling with her friends, he steps out of the gates to Alice Academy.
During the four years he was away from the academy, he and Nobara reunited and had a daughter together. In the final chapter, he reunites with Mikan, with Nobara and his child with him.
Persona has the Corrosion Alice 腐食 (previously tentatively named Mark of Death 生命を枯らす) that has him leave marks on anyone who touches him and also leaves a cross under his left eye. These marks will get worse if the person keeps touching Persona or if the marks continue to spread and worsen as time passes. Subaru, Mikan, Narumi, and Nobara are the only known five people to have been saved when infected by his Alice. Unfortunately, Izumi(Mikan's father and the previous holder of the Nullification Alice) could not survive it. Izumi could be considered a technicality because, when they first met and Persona attempted to poison Izumi, Izumi nullified the effects. But it was after Izumi and Yuka spent a night together that Isumi got into a verbal altercation with Persona (then a kid) that he succumbed to the effects of Persona's Corrosion Alice. Persona pushed corrosion into Izumi's body quicker than he could nullify it and thus died.
It is later revealed in the final arc while he is escaping with Mikan that he can rot away not just living things, but buildings and floors as well.
- His name, Persona, means a character an actor takes in Italian. The meaning of Persona can also be Mask, which possibly refers to the white mask Persona is commonly seen in.
- Persona and Yoichi Hijiri share the same birthday, April 13th.