|“||Why do you keep pushing forward? You will be happier with the illusion. Embrace the fog and immerse yourself in a world that matches your desires.||„|
|~ Izanami-no-Okami to Yu Narukami in Persona 4: the Animation.|
Izanami is primary antagonist and the final boss from Persona 4. Intrigued by humanities' true desire, Izanami takes the form of a human, and bestowed various people their latent powers of invoking Personas. Izanami believed, that by observing the ones who have awakened would carry out humanities' true desire.
While disguised as gas station attendant, Izanami is voiced by Daisuke Namikawa in the Japanese version of the game, Takahiro Mizushima in the Japanese version of The Animation, Karen Strassman in the English version of the game, and by Derek Stephen Prince in the English dub of the Animation. As Izanami, she is voiced by Romi Park in Japanese and by Karen Strassman in English.
It can be assumed that Izanami's past is true to the myth where she and her husband Izanagi has created the world together until her demise due to giving birth to fiery God Kagutsuchi. Her spirit goes to the underworld with Izanagi pursuit her spirit. Izanagi goes to returned her to tekan of the living, but is horrified with her now undead appearance.
The scared Izanagi flees for the gate to the land of the living and blocked the gate with a boulder. Brokenhearted, Izanami threatened that she will ensure that 1000 mortals will die while Izanagi replied the threat by ensuring 1500 mortals will born in return. And thus, their marriage is over.
Izanami was intrigued by humanity's greatest desire and decided to infiltrate the land of the living to figure it out. She posed as androgynous-looking attendant working in the Moel Gas Station of Yasoinaba and to before commenced the next part of her plan by awakening Persona ability to some individuals she met there, namely Tohru Adachi, Taro Namatame, and finally, Yuu Narukami. It is unknown exactly how many humans Izanami awakened, however, she implies that many have been awakened by her.
Out of individuals she awakened however, only Yuu that interested her most, even more than Adachi himself. That's why she used Yuu as a catalyst to awaken the potential of invoking Persona of those close to him, so they could carry out her plans.
Aside awakening other people's Persona, Izanami also spread rumors regarding the urban legend of the Midnight Channel. As the Midnight Channel reflects the images of the viewers' desires, Izanami believed that this would make her understand better about humanity's wishes.
However, Adachi, one of the awakened ones, uses his powers for murder, and carries out the belief of humanities' insecurities, leading Izanami to believe that what humanity actually wishes is a world of oblivion and stillness, and thus she subjects to overrun the world with Shadows, monstrous physical manifestations of humanity's repressed thoughts and inner desires. Acknowledging (and misguided by) Adachi's plans, Izanami created the god of fog, Ameno-sagiri, and later, Midnight Channel itself.
Focusing her schemes on Yuu, Izanami visits the him in his dream. In there, Izanami taunts him for a wish to reach the truth, and asks him to follow her if he does. Izanami's plans of using Yuu eventually was a success. However, Yuu's Wild Card ability that enable him to carry multiple Personas alongside his original Izanagi, and his determination are something she did not foresee. Ignoring the urges of killing Taro Namatame, the wrong suspect of the murders, allows Yuu's and his fellow Investigation Team to eventually find out the true culprit: Tohru Adachi.
After defeating Tohru Adachi and defying Ameno-sagiri's plans to overrun the world with Shadows, Yuu, whom having Adachi warned him about puppeteer that manipulate whole events through a letter and Nanako told him about her suspicion on the Gas Attendant, confront Izanami whom in her Gas Attendant disguise and asked her about what she did to him in their first meeting, Izanami revealed her true identity and chastises his persistence to seek the truth, and tells him that she shall await his defeat in the "other world". When Yuu and co. visit her reality in Midnight Channel that taking form of Yomotsu Hirasaka, Yuu recognized the place that he once visit in his dream when met Izanami, but couldn't tell whether he did confront her or not.
In Yuu's final confrontation with Izanami, she faces the party with her goddess form, but it was eventually revealed to be a fabricated appearance when Yuu uses the Orb of Sight, an item given by Igor to shine upon the truth. Having her facade taken away, Izanami reveals her true form as Izanami-no-Okami, a rotting, death-ridden being. Izanami-no-Okami later sends the Yuu comrades to the underworld, and finally, Yuu himself.
When Yuu is about to give up, he hears the voices of his friends who encouraging him to fight. In anime, it's not just their voices that encouraging him, but also Margaret, Igor's current assistant whom snapped Yuu from his breakdown as his said mental breakdown dangerously reduced his Izanagi into a powerful Shadow which represented his fear of losing his friends. Margaret's encouragement, as well as voices for his friends, enable him to regained his senses and acknowledged his fears, allowing his Shadow to revert to its Persona form Izanagi once more.
Now returned confront Izanami once more not long after his defeat, Yuu confront the goddess again. Accumulating powers from bonds from people he met in his life (which in game referred as Social Links), Yuu channels the powers to his initial Persona, Izanagi, transmogrifying Izanagi to his true form, Izanagi-no-Okami. Bemused by the Protagonist's powers, Izanami-no-Okami repeatedly attacks the Protagonist, but is surprised to see the Protagonist enduring all her attacks. Angrily asking how the will of so few could defy a divine will, the Protagonist ultimately summons Izanagi-no-Okami, ending Izanami with one powerful attack, known as "Myriad Truths".
Upon Izanami's defeat, Yuu's friends whom banished to the underworld instantly teleported to his side with the weakened goddess exclaims that she will not interfere with humanity anymore. She encourages them to live and face their own decisions, but cannot guarantee their happiness, and fades away.
All in all, despite Izanami's antagonistic approach in her schemes considering one of her pawns, Adachi, has indirectly swayed her towards a darker path, she truly wishes for humanity's happiness, as evident that she later congratulates the Investigation Team for discovering the truth, as well as defeating her.
Powers and Abilities
Being a goddess, she had a nigh-omnipotent powers that made her a formidable advesary that Protagonist aka. Yuu Narukami ever faced.
- Power Bestowal: Like Philemon, Izanami can bestowed anyone the ability to summon Persona. Unlike Philemon however, Personas that she awakened were limited to Izanagi form. Even so, how their respective Izanagi Personas looked like still depend on their psyche and conscience: Yuu's Izanagi looked pure and dignified that mirrors his good heart, whereas Adachi's Izanagi looked feral, bloody, and malevolent.
- Immortality: Izanami is immortal in spite of suffer mortal demise once, and is returned as undead being.
- Invulnerability: Izanami is technically invulnerable due to died once, though she eventually defeated when Yuu uses Myriad Truths against her.
- Thousands Curses: She can banished her victim to underworld with Thousands Curse ability at will.
- Interestingly, both Japanese and English voice actresses of Izanami's true form voices another supporting character in Persona 4. Her Japanese voice actress, Romi Park, also voiced Naoto Shirogane. Her English voice actress, Karen Strassman (who also dubbed Izanami's gas attendant disguise in the game), also dubbed Nanako Dojima.
- Izanami is similar to Yaldabaoth, the primary antagonist of Persona 5. They're both entities beyond humanity and appears in the story at first, manipulating the protagonist and their future villains into their own games. After the protagonists defeated the human Big Bads (Adachi and Masayoshi Shido, respectively) in the story, they both revealed themselves and their true intensions.
- However, Izanami is interested on human nature and that intrest makes her intrigued on Yu, meaning she has no disrespect towards humanity, and she was happy to accept her defeat and respects humans. Yaldabaoth, on the other hand, scorns humans and attempts to use the Phantom Theives as his puppets so that he can either rule humans with an iron fist or destroy the world and create it anew, and Yaldabaoth fails to acknowledge humanity's true power prior to his defeat.