Out of Character
PersonalityKanji seems to be a delinquent who was strong enough to fight a biker gang at middle school, earning him a town-wide reputation of wildness and toughness. He drapes his school uniform over his shoulders in a punk-ish style to emphasize the style he wishes to embody. However, when he sometimes gets flustered he tends to threaten people, occasionally getting into fights and scraps.
In reality, Kanji's deliniquent behavior is just to hide that he likes feminine hobbies such as sewing or cooking despite his appearance. When his father died, he told him that he wasn't like a man because he obsesses in sewing, knitting, crafting and preparing snacks, causing him put up this facade. He actually fought down the biker gangs to prove his masculinity and to prevent them from harassing his mother, since he's sort of a mother's boy and cares for her well being more than anyone else. He cares for his mother so much that a simple mention of his mother being in a hospital severely unsettles him.
Kanji's feminine hobbies, or the side of him that he attempts to hide at all costs, includes how adept and passionate he is at sewing, knitting, arts and crafts, much unlike any other man in the area. He has been interested in arts and crafts since he was young and has been honing his skills without anyone knowing. Kanji's cutely designed works, which include knit plushies and plush hand mitts are already being sold as proper goods in the shop. He also conducts handicrafts classes for the neighbors. When it comes to crafts, Kanji is unrivaled. Kanji really wants to join his school's Sewing Club, but felt that he might frighten the other club members. He can be seen standing in the Sewing Club classroom, although he has made the Sewing Club members nervous. On his online profile, he is part of the social groups "Let's Sewing," "Knitting Cafe" and "I Like Hawaiian Quilts." Kanji is obsessed with details and compulsiveness at times. However he's scared of participating those hobbies because girls may ridicule him for it.
Kanji compensates with a tough, hypermasculine facade in order to avoid ridicule and rejection, and he hides his interests. His Social Link reveals that acting tough has often caused a chain of trouble for Kanji, and he wonders how to prevent such things from escalating. In his Rank 10 Social Link, with Rise Kujikawa calling his dolls "creepy" but nevertheless compliments him as an amazing guy, he realizes that he needs to try to make others "understand" him, something which he never attempted as he immediately gave up on them, and something he hopes will prevent future misunderstandings.
Compared to the rest of the team, Kanji tends to be a bit slow on the uptake. However, he is impulsive and acts faster than he talks. Through the game he realizes that his impulsive actions can drag others down, and that he can balance that by instead giving them his support.
In addition to that, in a Social Link event with Naoki Konishi, it was revealed that the 'super yummy croquettes Kanji's mom made' he had 10 years ago was actually made by the young Kanji. In other words, not only is Kanji good at crafts and sewing, he's also a decent cook. On his online profile, he is part of the social group "Delicious Shops In Inaba." He is a huge fan of popsicles and animal crackers, and is searching for the ultimate secret animal cracker: the penguin.
He has a fondness for cute things, particularly animals, as he is shown to keep many stuffed toys and takes a particular liking towards Koromaru and Morgana. He also likes reindeer.
He is terrified of having the secrets he has kept for so long - his likes and his true nature - revealed and he suspects that he really does have a "feminine" heart. As a result, on the other side of the TV, a dazzling world of love between men was created. Shadow Kanji claims that he hated women becausee they spoke on his back and men would keep his feminine interests, and Kanji did admit that it was saying the real thing. However, this can be just be interpenetrated as his feminine side taken to logical extremes. Kanji's real sexuality as left ambiguous, since he did mistake Naoto's "interest in him" (Which is actually her suspecting that he might be the next victim of the serial murders) as a love confession, and Naoto has not been revealed as a woman during that time.
Even after his friends have accepted his long-standing inner conflicts, his likes and hobbies, and the him who represents all those things, he still feels unsettled at times. By the end of the game, Kanji acknowledges a deeper acceptance and understanding of stereotypically "feminine" and "masculine" interests in his Social Link.