|Age||20 (1980s Mode, 1989)|
54 (202X Mode, 2023)
|Crush||None (1980s Mode)
Unnamed wife (deceased)
Ayano Aishi is able to play his tapes in a cassette player in the Computer Lab to hear his tragic backstory. During 1980's Mode, he can be seen walking back and forth by the school gate, watching for suspicious behavior and interviewing students as they enter and exit the school. He was the mentor of Sonoko Sakanoue.
"In the 80s, a young man began a promising career as an investigative journalist. He was phenomenal at his job, and was quickly making a name for himself all throughout the nation of Japan. Unfortunately, he may have been TOO good at his job...
While investigating a murder in 1989, he correctly identified the perpetrator of the crime. Due to the unusual nature of the case - a schoolgirl accused of murdering a classmate for the sake of love - the media chose to sensationalize the case, resulting in international attention. However, the young murderess was able to escape a guilty verdict by manipulating the emotions of the court, and tricking the world into thinking that the journalist only accused her of murder for the sake of sensational headlines.
As a result of that court case, his reputation was permanently damaged, and his career as a journalist was over. He spiraled into depression and alcoholism. Nobody knows what became of him after he fell out of the public eye.
His current whereabouts are unknown."
"An investigative journalist who spends a lot of time trying to peek inside Akademi, attempting to find a clue to prove his theory that one of the school's students is a serial killer."
The Journalist was born in 1969, which makes him 20 in 1989. Not much is known about his early life, except that at some point, he began a promising career as an investigative journalist, at which he was phenomenal, and was quickly making a name for himself all throughout Japan.
As revealed on the 1st Mysterious Tape, in April of 1989, when his career was at peak, The Journalist heard about a murder at the local high school, in which the police had no leads, so he decided to investigate it himself to be a hero.
As revealed on the 2nd Mysterious Tape, The Journalist couldn't walk around the school, so he tried to gather information by interviewing students outside the school gate when they entered or exited the school, and while investigating, it was at this point in time that he noticed a peculiar girl - Ryoba Aishi, who was quite obviously stalking one of her seniors. The Journalist decided to keep his eye on her, and before long, he began to observe some disturbing behavior from her.
As revealed on the 3rd Mysterious Tape, from the school gate, The Journalist witnessed Ryoba do more than just stalk an upperclassman as she stalked any girl that spoke to him. Through student interviews, The Journalist kept tabs on what happened to those girls - they became victims of bullying, were expelled, and in some cases, they stopped coming to school, and he also frequently saw Ryoba running with a mop and a bucket. According to The Journalist, Ryoba was using manipulation, intimidation, and sometimes even violence to sabotage the boy's love life, and if she wasn't above that kind of behavior, the possibility of murder didn't seem too far off, but he didn't want to believe that a schoolgirl would actually commit murder just to keep a boy single. That's when The Journalist learned a crucial piece of information - the girl who was murdered at the beginning of the school year had a crush on the same boy that was being stalked. The Journalist knew that he had found the culprit, so he went to the Buraza Town police with his findings. It took a lot of talking, but the Journalist was eventually able to convince them to take Ryoba into custody.
As revealed on the 4th Mysterious Tape, due to the unusual nature of the case - a schoolgirl accused of murdering a classmate for the sake of love - the media chose to sensationalize the case, resulting in international attention. Word of her arrest quickly spread throughout the entire nation, and the trial turned into a media circus. The idea of a murderous schoolgirl was enough to attract that much of attention, that The Journalist became a celebrity practically overnight, though he didn't want to be a public figure, but he did want his investigative skill to be recognized, so he hoped that all the attention would boost his career. However, the young murderess was able to escape a guilty verdict by manipulating the emotions of the court, and she tricked all of Japan into thinking that the journalist only accused her of murder for the sake of sensational headlines and because he was jealous of his apprentice's skills as a detective. According to the Journalist, Ryoba put on the best act he have ever seen - she cried non-stop, feigned ignorance at every opportunity, and had an excuse for every accusation leveled at her, and the court, the media, and the entire nation fell in love with her. Ryoba called The Journalist a dirty pervert who enjoyed leering at schoolgirls and a fame-seeking yellow journalist, and the court bought every word of it. The day the judge declared Ryoba innocent, the entire country celebrated like it was a holiday.
As revealed on the 5th Mysterious Tape, immediately after the trial, the Journalist tried to escape the press by hiding in an alley behind the courthouse, and Ryoba, who had just been declared innocent found him there. According to the Journalist, she was smiling, but her eyes were blank, empty, and soulless, like a doll's eyes, and she looked like she didn't have a single ounce of humanity in her entire body. With that smiling face, she threatened his life, then turned around, and left without another word. As a result of that court case, The Journalist's reputation was permanently damaged, and his career as a journalist was over. From that day forward, The Journalist was a national disgrace, as he was known across the nation as a lecherous journalist who stalked schoolgirls and tried to throw a girl in prison to boost his own career. According to The Journalist, he saw disgust in the eyes of every person who looked at him, and his house and car were vandalized every day for weeks. Even his own parents turned away from him.
As revealed on the 6th Mysterious Tape, The Journalist's life was a "living hell" for about a year, while the trial was still fresh in people's minds. Eventually, the hatred subsided, but it never truly died, as there was always someone who recognized The Journalist, no matter how much he tried to change his appearance. Finding employment was nearly impossible, so The Journalist drifted between part-time jobs, and he spiraled into depression and alcoholism, by spending his free time drinking to ease the pain of becoming the national punching bag. It was around this point in time that he met his future wife. They met at a bar, and she didn't know who he was when they met. She casually said something like, "Nice night, huh?", and he was surprised that she didn't recognize him or try to avoid him. She asked why she should recognize him, and he told her all about his past. She listened in silence during most of his story. That night, he drank so much that he was eventually too drunk to drive himself home, so she called him a cab. When the cab arrived, he was too drunk to get inside it himself, so she helped him in. She was worried that he wouldn't even be able to open his own front door, so she got in the cab with him to make sure that he'd make it inside of his own house safely. Once she opened his front door, she saw that he was living in absolute squalor; he wasn't cleaning up after himself at all. She put him to bed and then cleaned his entire house. When he woke up, she was gone, but he immediately realized that his house was completely clean. He found a note from her, saying that she was worried for him and wanted to see him again. From there, they kept meeting up, and eventually, a relationship occurred. The Journalist didn't understand what she saw in him, as he was an absolute wreck, not to mention the laughingstock of the entire country, but as soon as they met, she wanted to spend every waking moment with him, wouldn't let him out of her sight, and got possessive if another woman so much as looked at him. The Journalist quickly began to depend on her for everything and it wasn't long before he couldn't live without her, as he certainly wasn't in any state to take care of himself. According to The Journalist, he was like an "adult-sized baby" - helpless and vulnerable, and maybe that's what she was attracted to - maybe she just wanted to experience the sensation of owning a person, to keep a "human pet", and someone who she could emotionally depend on. The Journalist didn't understand why anyone would waste their time with a man like him, but none of that mattered, as despite all his flaws, she accepted him, and that was all that he needed. She wanted to marry him very quickly, like about a month after meeting each other, but it wasn't until about six months, when The Journalist accepted her proposal. They got married in a town hall, as neither of them had any friends/relatives who wanted to attend, and according to the journalist's wife, she didn't need a fancy union, since she was happy enough just being with him. The Journalist may have taken his wife's name so he could "start fresh", untied to his old reputation. The Journalist wanted to avoid having a child whose father was a national disgrace, which is why, he waited over a decade to have one, so that the stigma will fade by the time his child would grow up. Eventually, somewhere in the early-middle 2000s, when he was in his middle-late 30s, his wife became pregnant.
As revealed on the 7th Mysterious Tape, The Journalist's wife died while giving birth to their only child - a daughter. She died due to severe and rapid blood loss, very soon after birth, and she never even got to see her child. After her death, The Journalist could barely take care of himself, much less a baby. It was very difficult for The Journalist to love his own infant daughter, knowing that his wife was dead because of her. According to The Journalist, he was a horrible father, and his daughter practically had to raise herself, as he never tried to spend much time with her, or learn about her interests, which is why he didn't knew much about her, like what kind of person she's turned into, or what her everyday life is like, but he knew that she spends all of her time on her computer, that she bought it herself. His daughter also seemed to have a lot of money for someone her age, but The Journalist was afraid to ask where it comes from. Sometimes his daughter came home with blood on her clothing, but he can't tell if it's her blood or someone else's blood, as he try to stay out of her business, partially out of respect for her privacy, but mostly out of fear.
As revealed on the 8th Mysterious Tape, The Journalist made the first 7 tapes, because he thought it would be therapeutic to record his feelings, even if he was only talking to an obsolete machine since he had never told anyone about any of this, never saw a shrink, and never had any friends to confide in. However, The Journalist hasn't calmed down at all, and the only thing that came out to him of this experience was all the anger and the hate he had kept buried for the past decades has risen back to the surface. After that, The Journalist couldn't go back to the way things were before - to wasting his time with part-time jobs, drinking, and sitting on a couch feeling miserable, and didn't want his life to be like this, until he will see justice served. Then, The Journalist remembered Ryoba, who has never been punished for the sins of her youth, and he didn't want to keep living in a world where monsters like her walk around in public. The Journalist knew he was the only one who knew the truth about her, and the only one who could bring her to justice, thanks to his journalistic skills - he knew how to track a person down, to learn a person's secrets, and to dig up the truth. For the first time in decades, he felt like he have a purpose, and knew what to do with his life, so he decided to track down Ryoba, and try to deliver justice to her.
As revealed on the 9th Mysterious Tape, Ryoba, after over three decades since the events of 1989, never moved out of her hometown. The Journalist began to following Ryoba around town for a week. He noticed that she'd suddenly change direction when walking, or linger in one place for seemingly no reason. He realizes she was stalking someone, and figure out that her prey was a young woman, just out of high school. Shortly before The Journalist began to follow Ryoba, this woman casually flirted with Ryoba's husband Jokichi, and Ryoba began to stalk her. She was probably a cashier at a convenience store, or a female co-worker of Jokichi. However, there's no guarantee that she was actually in love with Jokichi, but as a yandere, Ryoba was so over-protective of her husband that she assumed any girl who was moderately polite to him was in love with him. She was suspicious of any girl who seemed to be too sweet to her husband, but didn't always take action, and probably murdered a handful of times between 1980s Mode and Story Mode. It wasn't revealed whether or not Ryoba actually killed this woman, or if she just let her go.
As revealed on the 10th Mysterious Tape, Ryoba eventually caught the Journalist on following her. He followed Ryoba into an alley, but lost her in the shadows, and she snuck up behind him. He then turned and ran to his house. The Journalist knew he can't go to the police, as he will sound like a "babbling lunatic" without any evidence, and even if they do listen to him, and investigate her, they won't find anything. The Journalist also knew his only option was to leave Japan altogether, but before that, he tried to get in contact with his daughter, but he couldn't, and he couldn't wait for her to come home, as he had to leave immediately. So, The Journalist recorded the 10th tape, gathered all of the recordings he had made so far, and put them where he knew his daughter would find them so she could at least know why her father disappeared so suddenly. The Journalist then went to the airport, but Ryoba followed him and saw him get on a plane to America.
The Journalist's face is covered by a brown hat with a gold ribbon. However, on other illustrations can be seen that he has black hair and eyes. He also has facial hair.
On the official website illustration, the Journalist wears a shirt with a blue tie, and a long meringue coat fastened with brown buttons and tied at the waist. He has brown pants and shoes.
He has good intentions when stalking Ryoba Aishi and wants to do what's right. He appreciates fame, but he wouldn't just accuse a high school girl for it.
The Journalist is naturally very observant and great at finding clues. He shows that when he first deals with Ryoba, seeing her stalk Jokichi Yudasei, and a few decades later when she stalks a young woman.
In 1980s Mode, the Journalist's persona is unknown but he will apprehend Ryoba by running up, spray her with pepper spray and then restrain her if he catches her killing anyone, getting closer to him with a weapon, carrying a corpse, or being bloody. If he witnesses a corpse, he will run out of the school and call the cops just like a Loner. It's impossible for Ryoba to kill him, since he will always look at her when she's near. Ryoba cannot normally interact with him as well, like the teachers.
The Journalist's default reputation is +100.
The Journalist arrives at school in 7:05 AM where he starts investigating around the Akademi. He will be always seen patrolling around the entrance gate of Akademi everyday in a week. Because he was aware the fact that Ryoba might have murdered Sumire Saitozaki in the previous day, the Journalist will be always hostile towards her. If the player is near him, he will threaten Ryoba that he knows she's hiding something and he will keep on eye her. He will speak aggressively if Ryoba gets more closer to him, believing that she is trying to intimidate him. The Journalist will just stare at Ryoba in a tough look as long she is near around him until the player moves away from him, continuing his routine. If Ryoba activates an easter egg like Cyborg Mode, he will completely ignore her all together. If he witnesses Ryoba covered with blood, carrying a corpse, or approach him with a weapon, he will apprehend Ryoba with pepper spray, similiar to the Student Council.
As of May 15th, 2022 Build, the Journalist will constantly follow Ryoba if the player is outside the school grounds. When inside the school grounds, the Journalist will investigate around. It's now impossible for the player to commit any crime in the long walkway area outside of the school where the Journalist patrols around.
The topics towards The Journalist are Negative/Positive/Neutral as follows:
- Martial Arts
- Everything else.
Main Article: Ryoba Aishi
Their backstory and how they interacted is told throughout the Mysterious Tapes. There is some more information on the Basement Tapes.
The Journalist can almost go blind with rage when he sees Ryoba, though he still runs away from her after she finds him stalking her after a few decades. The Journalist's revenge has seemingly failed for now, but he is said to possibly appear in a secret main story mode ending, which implies that he could've gotten away.
Ryoba doesn't kill the Journalist right away after the court case and he lives until sometime shortly before Ayano's first day of school, as seen from Basement Tape #10. Ryoba follows him to America, which is why she is absent throughout gameplay, but it's currently unknown what happens next.
As shown in 1980s Mode, the Journalist is very hostile towards Ryoba and dislikes her as well because he's aware that she killed Sumire Saitozaki and eliminating other girls who had a crush on Jokichi. He vowed to bring her to justice and make her pay for her crimes. He was even able to convince the Buraza Town Police to have her in custody. Unfortunately, however, his investigative skills were not enough as he was outsmarted by Ryoba who was able to escape a guilty verdict by manipulating the emotions of the court, and tricked all of Japan into thinking that the Journalist only accused her of murder for the sake of sensational headlines.
Even for the numerous of years have passed, the Journalist still holds a strong grudge against Ryoba for her crimes, making his life a living hell and is even angered that she never has been punished for her sins of her youth as evident on his tapes.
In his tapes, The Journalist mentions a daughter that he doesn't spend any time with, a daughter that he knows nothing about, only that she spends a lot of time on the computer, makes a lot of money and occasionally comes home with blood on her.
It is unknown who his daughter is.
Many theorize that his daughter is Info-chan, or someone outside the school grounds.
It is unknown who his wife is, however it is revealed his wife died during childbirth.
Main Article: Sonoko Sakanoue
Sonoko, the tenth rival of 1980s Mode, is a disciple of his he uses to investigate Ryoba since he can't legally explore the school himself. Despite their relationship there are limits, Sonoko kept the matter with the insane asylum to herself. This matter is possibly unknown even to The Journalist himself. Canonically, Ryoba befriends Sonoko, so she helps Ryoba in the trial by saying she would never commit murder, instead of siding with the Journalist. The Journalist refused to remain partners with Sonoko after she defended Ryoba in court. They never spoke again.
Main Article: Ui Tunesu
When The Journalist was at court for Ryoba's case, he mentioned everything Ui told the police that she witnessed Ryoba do, meaning that he may see that she is trustworthy.
Main Article: Kocho Shuyona
The Journalist doesn't really have a much interaction with Kocho, although, it was mentioned that Kocho always refused to let him enter Akademi.
At the time where Ryoba is arrested and brought in the court trial, Kocho seems to be the only person to believe the Journalist's claims about Ryoba being the real culprit behind the murder at Akademi is a truth that caused him to also develop a grudge against Ryoba.
- He doesn't react to Ryoba when she kills someone with stealth using a blunt weapon (e.g. Baseball Bat, Magical Girl Wand, Manhole Tool...)
- He was introduced in the August 10th, 2015 Build.
- He might only appear in the ending cut-scene of 1980s Mode or during week 10.
- He is not the person who put his tapes around the school.
- His name will likely not be revealed unless there is a huge fan demand for it.
- YandereDev thinks that the Saikou family is probably aware of his existence.
- He may have taken his wife's surname, to escape the past of his own.
- In some rumors, many people mistakenly believe that his son is actually Taro Yamada, as in the timeline, after their marriages, they believe that they'll give Taro a birth in the same year.
- When he was a student, he likely had the Sleuth persona.
- There is no way to kill him, as he will pepper spray you anyway. It is also not possible to kill him in the Snap Mode, since he simply disappeared. He is also unaffected with easter eggs.
- If he dies, it would cause a plot hole/time paradox and mess up the established timeline of the game.
- He will not attempt to apprehend/pepper spray Ryoba if an easter egg is active. 
- If his reputation is to be put below -140 the game will next day represent his funeral with red question mark on his picture, opening his profile will reveal his name to be random.
- Interestingly enough, the same action used on Info-chan will also result in her name being randomized. This was done by Drippy (Yandere Simulator Youtuber).
- As of the May 15th, 2022 build, when he sees a corpse but does not witness Ryoba interacting with it, he will run out of the school and call the cops.
|“||Looks like it still works.||”|
— Mysterious Tape #1. The first thing he says in that tape.
|“||I decided to keep my eye on her, and before long, I began to observe some disturbing behavior from her.||”|
— Mysterious Tape #2. The Journalist talking about Ryoba.
|“||That's when I learned a crucial piece of information...The girl who was murdered at the beginning of the school year had a crush on the same boy that was being stalked. The final piece of the puzzle had fallen into place.||”|
— Mysterious Tape #3. Finding out that the Phantom Girl's death was the death in April of 1989. The Journalist goes to the police.
|“||The court fell in love with her. The media fell in love with her. The entire damn nation fell in love with her.||”|
— Mysterious Tape #4. The Journalist talking about how everyone, from his view, bought Ryoba's act.
|“||From that day forward, I was a national disgrace.||”|
— Mysterious Tape #5. After the court case.
|“||She looked like she didn't have a single ounce of humanity in her entire body.||”|
— Mysterious Tape #5. The Journalist noting Ryoba's eerie behavior.
|“||It was around this point in time that I met my future wife.||”|
— Mysterious Tape #6. The Journalist's life was terrible for about a year after the case. Around this time he met his future wife who he married six months after meeting her.
|“||I never tried to spend much time with her, or learn about her interests. Even now, I don't think I know much about her. I don't even know what kind of person she's turned into. I don't even know what her everyday life is like.||”|
— Mysterious Tape #7. The Journalist talking about his neglected daughter.
|“||For the first time in decades, I feel like I have a purpose. I feel like I know what to do with my life. I'm going to deliver justice to that murderer or I'm going to die trying.||”|
— Mysterious Tape #8. The Journalist deciding to hunt down Ryoba once again.
|“||In order to convict this monster and send her to prison, I need firm evidence that she's a murderer. If I save this young woman's life, I won't have any evidence. I have to let her die.||”|
— Mysterious Tape #9. The Journalist decides to let a woman die so that he can get back at Ryoba.
|“||Stay safe...I love you...||”|
— Mysterious Tape #10. The Journalist's goodbye to his daughter and his last words on the tape.
I know you're hiding something.
I've got my eye on you
— When Ryoba is near the Journalist.
|“||...trying to intimidate me?
Tch. Don't waste your time. You don't scare me.
You can fool the others, but you can't fool me.
— When Ryoba is closer to the Journalist.
|“||I knew it was you!||”|
— When witnessing Ryoba murdering anyone, carrying a corpse, bloody or getting closer to him with a weapon.
Stop right there...Ryoba Aishi!
You are under arrest on suspicion of the murder of Sumire Saitozaki, 11 weeks ago...
...and your connection to at least one other person's disappearance./...and your connection to at least one other person's death./...and your connection to several other deaths and disappearances over the past 10 weeks./..and from what I've heard...you've been doing everything in your power to keep girls away from him.
Oh, no - you're not going to sweet-talk your way out of this one. Your "Innocent Schoolgirl" act won't save you this time!
I've been questioning your classmates over the past couple of months. They've noticed a pattern in your behavior.
That boy over there...the one under the tree? You've shown a keen interest in any girl who developed feelings for him.
And every single one of those girls is dead now!/And every single one of those girls is dead or missing./And every single one of those girls has gone missing./And some of those girls have gone missing. Tch...how convenient for you./Some of those girls are dead now! And the others? They're conveniently...out of the picture.
What's happening here is obvious. You're eliminating any girl who tries to take that boy away from you. And Sumire was your first victim.
Save it for the judge. Cuff her, boys!
— The Journalist's lines before arresting Ryoba.
On April 1st, Ryoba Aishi put a note into the locker of Sumire Saitozaki.
After reading this note, Sumire went to the east third floor girls' restroom.
That was the last time anyone ever saw Sumire.
After she was reported missing, police investigated Akademi for clues.
In the east third floor girls' restroom, they found some of Sumire's blood.
Shortly before Sumire went missing, Ryoba Aishi was spotted carrying a knife...
...and walking in the direction of the east third floor girls' restroom.
Later, she was seen carrying a large garbage bag towards the school incinerator.
All of this information came from Ui Tunesu, a student at Akademi...
...who was interviewed by the police the day after Sumire's disappearance.
It's obvious what happened to Sumire.
Ryoba Aishi killed her in the bathroom with a knife, stuffed her in a garbage bag...
...and carried her to the incinerator, where she burned all of the evidence.
Do you deny any of this, Ryoba Aishi?
What about the knife?
And the garbage bag? How do you explain that?
Tch! You always have a convenient explanation for everything, don't you?
Do you really think anyone in this courtroom is going to believe your obvious lies?
...it's true that there is no smoking gun evidence linking you directly to a murder.
However, with that said... over the past 11 weeks...
...you have demonstrated behavior that is suspicious, if not outright incriminating.
Your classmates have testified that you've been stalking a certain boy at school...
...following him when he goes shopping... following him when he walks home...
...by all accounts, you're absolutely obsessed with this boy.
Furthermore, every time a girl begins to show signs of interest in him...
...something always happens that removes the girl from his life.
You can't possibly expect anyone to believe that these facts are mere coincidence!
Clearly, you are sabotaging the boy's love life in order to keep him single!
And, who else had a crush on that boy? That's right. Sumire Saitozaki.
You've been elimiating every girl who comes between you and that boy...
...and Sumire was your first victim.
— The Journalist's lines in the Courtroom.