I mean to start hot spicy discourse but from what I've seen isn't Ryuji the most misogynistic member of the main cast? (the way he talked about girls was...) And pretty rude? I could be wrong but he's like Yosuke from P4 or Junpei from P3? except he never stops acting /like that/? Is that what you mean by him not getting an arc? seems like every persona game has that one "bro" character who is just a dick? Once again sorry if this ask bothers you
for context i’ve only played p4 and my half of p5 (i played like 20 hours of p3 and gave up because i’ve got the attention span of a goldfish) so i can’t really speak to any of the previous games outside of p4 but … ? i guess, thought honestly if it’s a trait that only shows up in cutscenes (re: the incidental stuff towards ann) i’m generally inclined to ignore it since there’s kind of a trend of cutscene writing being much more intensely trope-adherent than the rest of a game’s writing especially in the persona series (but it’s also something that happens in other games with animated cutscenes, including the professor layton series of all places but i won’t talk about that).
that aside, this is a controversial opinion but i would actually argue that yusuke’s behavior is more misogynistic than ryuji’s, and yeah alright he’s heavily coded as a gay man but hoo there’s a lot to say about misogyny in gay men so that doesn’t really absolve him of anything. the way he talked about wanting ann to model nude for him was easily the most uncomfortable part of the game for me so far, and that is including the part where i fought the disembodied head of a giant penis.
[SPOILERS AHEAD, READER BEWARE]
also, that is absolutely not what i was talking about when i talked about ryuji not getting an arc - incidental misogyny as a part of a character trope is an issue, yeah, but what i meant was that he’s the only main character whose awakening doesn’t come from breaking from a major oppressive force within one’s life and/or addressing a truth that had previously been denied.
his issues with kamoshida were nasty, yes, but he wasn’t really. lying to himself about anything. he wasn’t presenting a false self or denying any truths, he was just keeping his head down to avoid getting expelled, and that’s very different from the kinds of things that ann, yusuke, makoto, and futaba went through prior to their own awakenings. it’s on a completely different level of severity for starters, and more importantly - everyone else had been maintaining some sort of extremely psychologically significant falsehood, but there wasn’t anything like that with ryuji. he awakens his persona pretty much solely because the game requires the player to have some extra firepower to work with so that it’s easier to hit the ground running.
like, say this was a persona 4 situation where characters explicitly face the false selves that they’re projecting - what does ryuji have to address before captain kidd shows up? with the other characters you can conceptualize a p4-style arc pretty easily (this is a subjective take, that’s just what i think), but ryuji kind of. does not change in any meaningful way from before his awakening to after. he’s the same dude, doing the same stuff. that’s what i mean when i say he doesn’t have an arc - if you decided to never do his confidant for whatever reason, you’d walk away thinking ‘wow alright so that dude just got fuckin zero character development whatsoever’ - and even what his confidant provides isn’t a real Arc
(plus he’s the only main character who doesn’t play a real major role in a palace arc - ann was much more central to the kamoshida arc than ryuji was; his awakening is the equivalent of a subplot in all of that)
so when i’m talking about ryuji not having an arc, i’m not talking about there being problems within his personality that don’t get addressed - i’m saying that his awakening happens in a different way than the rest of the cast, and doesn’t even really address the supposed underlying issues that were meant to drive it.