I don't really understand, what exactly did you not like regarding how Ishimaru was presented as a character?
Nothing wrong with how Ishimaru was presented as a character, the thing is that Ishimaru was that he is a very strong presence on the cast.
I know everyone’s experiences playing the game are different, however Kiyotaka is definitely one of those characters that stand out due to just how genuinely good of a character he is. Outside of his hot blooded ‘follow the rules, I have a stick up my butt’ personality people like to portray of him, there is an honest to god good person in there who means well.
It shows off even more when you do his free time events and you realize out of everyone else there, Kiyotaka is the closest thing to someone like Makoto and if anything is more relatable than Makoto will ever be. Plenty of people have dealt with difficult upbringings, plenty of people have dealt with social anxiety, along with difficulty making friends and most importantly, many people can relate with feeling alone or as an outsider like Kiyotaka did since he didn’t even feel like he fit in among his peers at his old school.
However despite such a shitty upbringing and the bit of prejudice Kiyotaka has to deal with thanks to his ‘goody-goody’ personality, he still works hard. He still wants to help his fellow student body, even if they don’t want his help. He’s one of the few characters who legitimately cares about everyone there, seeing the potential they could have if they just put in a little extra effort, and every time other people break rules or actually kill people, he personally feels like he’s fucked up. If I recall right, his actual title is something about being in a Public Morals Committee or Disciplinary Committee. ‘If he’s supposed to be the Super High School Level Public Morals Committee, then why can’t he even stop one murder?’ is probably something that crossed his mind, especially during chapter 2.
And honestly, the end of that chapter all the way to Chapter 3 is where I feel like the writers completely fucked up on one of the most inspiring characters in the cast. Not only does Kiyotaka have to go through the harsh realities that even with his best efforts, no matter how close he thought he was with someone, even he couldn’t get to know everything about them like he thought he would and as a result feels so personally responsible about everything that happened that he literally just shuts down as a character.
The game doesn’t allow you to console Kiyotaka, even if you have maxed out his free time events. Then, after his Ishida transformation, you’re still not allowed to free time or hang out with him. There’s a single one that wasn’t used in the game’s files, but all he essentially says is ‘You’re a good guy Makoto, but you’re not Bro.’ This honestly just shows how close or even how much Kiyotaka appreciated Mondo and how even with a normie like Makoto around, he still respects Mondo’s hard work more than Makoto just being normal.
Anyways, the point I’m getting at is how can you take a character like that and then just kill him off when he’d finally found a reason to kind of be alive? I mean it wasn’t perfect, if I’m being 100% honest, Ishida was a mistake and the writers have admitted a billion times that it was the worst idea they’ve ever let get through into the games, simply because they thought it would be cool but when it came to writing that alternate personality they just completely drew blanks.
However despite suffering from writer’s block, you still got the general idea of what Ishida was meant to be, which was supposed to be(from what I can guess) Ishimaru’s last attempt at keeping his hopes up. That even with Mondo and Chihiro gone, he could still live on for them. So even with the weird transformation, the Kiyotaka we know and love is still in there. However the transformation simply leads to his downfall.
This is where the worst shit happens in my opinion, since right as he seems to finally be getting better in his own twisted way, Ishida is pretty much quickly labelled a problem over the Alter Ego shit, and later on when he gets called to ‘help’ and is baited by Yamada, it’s implied Yamada accused him of hurting Celestia(which was a lie) and attempting to steal Alter Ego. Since Kiyotaka is still conscious enough to know that it’s bad, he probably couldn’t recall if he did or didn’t actually do that due to his little Ishida power trip. So when Kiyotaka died, it’s very possible his last thoughts were something along the lines of he himself failing his own bro and the others by breaking school rules and hurting someone.
Then there’s the biggest kicker of all: No one gives a shit he died. Like literally no one even had the time of fucking day to be like ‘Holy shit, Kiyotaka fucking died’, not even Makoto. They made a bigger deal over Hifumi dying with the tears thing and Alter Ego dying what with Makoto going apeshit over it. And that’s why it’s more so depressing than anything, especially when you look at who did survive in comparison to him. I mean I know for a fact I’ve seen a lot people complain how him dying and Yasuhiro not, which even if it is a bit messed up, in the context of the game it’s a legitimate complaint. Why didn’t at least one character who actually was trying to do something for everyone’s sake outside of Makoto get to survive over someone who literally does nothing the whole game? Granted the same could be said with just about everyone else that survived, it just seems to be a stigma Yasuhiro has.
Anyways, that was longer than I thought it would be and it’s a bit all over the place but I hope I made it clearer on what I meant!