Naoto Shirogane is one of the main characters from the Persona 4 anime and games.
An androgynous girl who is a famous high-school detective, given the glorious title of "Detective Prince" by the media. Naoto is adept with revolvers, and her Persona is summoned by shooting the card. Naoto's initial Persona is Sukuna Hikona of the (Wheel of) Fortune Arcana, which later becomes Yamato Takeru.
In the XP4 fics, Naoto debuted in the XP4 Heroes Coalition - Neo-City Diaries.
In the AWA fics, Naoto is a student at the AWA Academy.
Naoto has an androgynous in appearance with short blue hair and gray eyes (blue in The Animation and Arena). She wears Yasogami High's gakuran, with the exception of one optional occasion in which she wears a seifuku-style school uniform. Naoto is often seen wearing formal clothing such as blue shirts, ties, and her trademark blue cap. On days off during winter, she wears a dark blue double-breasted cardigan coat (which she says is custom made) with a light blue bowtie (on her white dress shirt underneath) and yellow buttons, and plaid blue pants. Naoto's summer outfit, however, is reminiscent of the clothing of Kyouji Kuzunoha and consists of a light blue shirt and a yellow necktie.
Having lost both her parents in a car accident when she was very young, Naoto is an orphan who acts very mature in spite of her age. As a descendant of a respected lineage of famous detectives, she wears formal clothing, and deepens her voice when she speaks in a sophisticated, stilted manner. She is generally very serious, focused and mission-oriented. She rarely jokes around which can make her seem like a killjoy or party pooper when the team is involved in silly antics. In Persona 4 Arena, Kanji calls her out on this, saying she is too "uptight" and it makes her seem distant and on a different wavelength. One of Naoto's insecurities is her lack of friends; she has difficulty making friends and is lonely as a result.
Naoto is very intelligent and analytical. A running gag, however, is that she texts in all caps with abbreviations, for example, "SEE U TOMORROW? Y/N PLZ REPLY ASAP" and "I HAVE IMPORTANT INFORMATION 4 U, PLZ SEE ME TOMORROW AFTER SCHOOL"
Naoto's insecurities are her gender and age. She yearns to be seen as an adult, and expresses frustration at being treated like a child by the police force. She hates being looked down upon, and fears no one will take her seriously as a female, in a sexist occupation field. The sexism Naoto has tolerated and endured had made her self-conscious and ashamed of being female, making her struggle with the concept of femininity. In response, Naoto desired to be male; Naoto wanted to be viewed as male by society, adopted a male identity, never corrected anyone when people used male pronouns, avoided feminine clothing and wears platform shoes to appear taller. It is also implied Naoto began binding her chest to hide her large-sized breasts.
Naoto is a Solo Hero at the Heroes Coalitions and is a member of the Inaba Investigation Team. She also attends at Vanguard Academy as a student.
XP4 Heroes Coalition - Neo-City Diaries
In Chapter 13, Naoto, alongside the rest of the Inaba Investigation Group, were supposed to have a nice weekend when Dan Gotanda made his presence. After Dan explained to them about the Heroes Coalitions, they all decided to join. Later, the team arrives at the Neo-City and were awed at the sight of the Training Facility. Later Dan left to sort out a problem, they then met Precious Dazzle and befriended him. After Dan returned and told them that they'll be meeting the president of the Heroes Coalitions which they obliged.
Naoto fights using projectile-based fighting style alongside her Persona. She uses a handgun as her main weapon.
- Shadow Naoto says that "Naoto" is a "cool manly name" but it won't let her change sexes, which may give the implication that Naoto changed her name. However, extra information reveals that Naoto is indeed her real birth name her parents gave her. Her parents didn't name her that with the intention of raising her as a boy and hiding her real gender. They thought that 'Naoto' was a fairly androgynous name and since she might grow up to be a detective, and knowing the sexism in the profession, they should avoid girly names which end in '--ko". Examples of --ko names in the game include Yukiko, Nanako and Noriko (Hanakomay be a parody of idealized femininity).
- Shigenori Soejima, character designer and art director of Persona 4, stated in the annotations of Persona 4's artbook that Naoto was originally planned to be a boy.
- One of Naoto's usable weapons, "Athena Kiss R" might be a reference to one of Aigis' weapons, Kiss of Athena, both which take the name of Aigis' ultimate Persona, Pallas Athena.
- In the English localization, the gun left behind by the bonus boss in the Secret Laboratory is called Algernon, with its description stating that it was named after an experiment in finding happiness. This is a reference to the book Flowers for Algernon.
- Naoto is the last party member to join the investigation team, as Rise and Teddie both joined the party in the same dungeon.