The Let's Play Archive

Persona 5

by Arist

Part 106: 9/12-9/14: Cat Fight

Part 102: 9/12-9/14: Cat Fight

Welcome to Let’s Play Persona 5 one-oh-dos, the update I get inside your cabezas!

Music: Break it Down

Yo, welcome back. You get tanned a bit?
How was Hawaii?

*gasp* He’s been influenced…
Eh, I can understand why.
While you guys were off having fun, things here have gotten a bit more problematic.

In the in-game text this line is written as “were guys,” though it’s at least voiced properly.

Here is a graph of the profits for stores handling these items.
Double from last year!? Phantom Thief goods seem to be in especially high demand.
I didn’t know they sold that kind of stuff.
Should we try too? I mean, selling Phantom Thief merchandise.

Maybe I’ll toss some dry ice on the side. Y’know, give it that phantom-y effect… Uh, I’m just joking, all right?


I wonder how our guests consider this recent phenomenon.
What do you think, Akechi-kun?

Music: Suspicion

(not television)

There he is, the anti-Thief detective. I hope he slips up and self-destructs.


I can sense some chivalry behind their actions. They are clever to take the silent resentments of the public into account and relieve them. I believe that may be the secret to their popularity.
Well this is surprising. Your stance seems to have softened.
This doesn’t change the fact that they are dangerous. However… No, I shouldn’t say any more…
Come on, you can say it.
Oh no, I won’t be falling for that. I’ve learned my lesson after the previous backfire…

(not television)

These thieves are more popular than the police or politicians. What’s the world coming to?
What’re you so angry about? Hey, I’m gonna go to the bathroom. Take care of any customers that show up.

Wanna meet now?

Fine then. Tomorrow.

A Phantom Thieves stamp. Isn’t it awesome?

Not really, no.

Who do you think the Phantom Thieves will target next?
I wonder… I’m really excited to find out!
I don’t care who it is—just do it already.

Music: Beneath the Mask

Yeah, all that nothing I did in Hawaii really drained me.

With Phantom Thieves inspired movies and TV shows in the works, this craze is still gaining momentum.

Oh, yeah. That sounds like a fantastic idea. I’m actually pitching a story of my own about a guy who plays Fortnite while dabbing with fidget spinners, because all trends are forever.

With the economy in a slump, some think that this may help give it the boost it needs.
People are really making money off of us? Where’s our cut?

We need to feed our plant. Apropos of nothing, I’m a very smart person who didn’t have to spend a half-hour replaying a week of in-game cutscenes because I forgot to feed this plant today, no sir!

Maaku gains Kindness +3.

Never mind, you should probably get some rest. Don’t worry, it’s nothing important.

Music: Days of Sisters

You just got back from your trip and you’re already studying? How diligent.
I have souvenirs for you.
...The principal of Shujin Academy has passed away.

Music: Disquiet

Welp, fuck. I know we saw that cutscene, but there’s official confirmation.

Still, man, mad respect for somehow leveraging your position as a fucking high school principal to get in good with a massive political murder conspiracy. Or, wait, is that how you got that job? It’s really confusing and I’m not sure why they needed you there in the first place. If anything, I’m surprised you made it even this far without them realizing you were totally useless to their plans and killing you months ago.

Also, this is only tangentially related, but I find it kind of apt: the site I downloaded my portrait images from didn’t even spell Kobayakawa’s name right. We’ll miss you… uh… (searches for a reference I haven’t used yet) ...Morgan Cortez from Catherine!

He suddenly stopped while crossing the road and was struck by a large vehicle. Death by external trauma.

Isn’t all trauma technically external? I mean, I know about hemorrhaging, but that’s usually caused by some kind of independent force, right? What would “internal trauma” even be in the first place, because I’m picturing like, blood shooting out of people’s veins with the pressure of a firehose now.

(Looks it up)

It’s referring to shit like damaging your vocal cords? Laaaaaame. And not really that “lethal,” which makes me wonder why you bothered to specify. Unless “internal trauma” means like, “organ damage” and not “my body is attacking me, jesus fuck”?

Also most of the Google results for “internal trauma” just give back results to a Steam game. Whatever. Thanks for indulging my idiocy, everyone.

They say suicide seems to be a strong possibility…

What were we talking about? Oh yeah, suicide.

Principal Kobayakawa committed suicide…!?
But would someone about to kill themselves try to go to the police station? He even used a taxi to get there.

Uh-oh, Sae’s Adachi-ing.

Do you mean… this might be another incident?
Even if he had a sudden shift in his state of mind… it’s still unnatural. I can only suspect that he had a “change of heart.”
Are you saying he was targeted by the Phantom Thieves!?

How are you so certain?

Come on, Makoto. I thought you were smarter than this. You’re not usually the type to shove your own foot all the way down your throat.

W-Well… In prior cases, the changes of heart seemed to be done to make people confess their crimes. It’s hard to explain, but this incident seems contradictory to their usual modus operandi…

Back off, girl! This can only go poorly!

Did Principal Kobayakawa seem any different to you lately?

Sae, thankfully, decides to inexplicably drop it. She’s not usually the type to let shit like that go, as Makoto should know all too well by now.

I don’t really know. He rarely contacted the students, after all…
I see… Could something have happened during the school trip…?

No. Nothing happened during the school trip, for anyone, anywhere. It was a gaping void of time.

Ah, you’re studying. I’m sorry to bother you.

Sae pauses for a moment.

...Never mind. It’s nothing. Just don’t get dragged into trouble, OK?

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

*yawn* I’m so sleepy. You over your jet lag?

Still sluggish, huh? Well, I can say the same for myself… Never midn that, though. Did you know about this? The Phantom Thieves are popular now! I was surprised when we got back to Japan. People’re actually payin’ attention to who we’re gonna target next. Ain’t that amazin’? I’m gettin’ really psyched. This is where we work hard! Let’s do something big again and surprise the world!

Ryuji, Makoto surely contacted you by now, right? You know the fucking principal died, don’t you?

There’s another urgent assembly…
Is it true he died?
He was really taking some heat…
What’s happening to this school!? Are we cursed?

Music: Suspicion

As many of you may already know… Principal Kobayakawa passed away yesterday.

The crowd begins to talk amongst itself.

I wonder if that suicide rumor’s for real… It happened in front of the police station, didn’t it?
I think I was passing through there at the time…

I know the feeling. I was in Syracuse, New York like, two weeks before 9/11.

The principal had been working hard to restore peace ever since the incident with Mr. Kamoshida. He only wished for everyone to be able to lead a normal school life, and because of that love…
Love? Bullshit. He was covering something up. Everyone’s been talking about it.
Maybe it wasn’t suicide… Do you think the Phantom Thieves took him down!?
The Phantom Thieves? Do they kill people?
I mean, Kamoshida did say he was gonna kill himself to make up for everything he did.
That would be amazing! Either way, it serves that principal right!
(whispering) Hell no. We didn’t do jack shit.
(whispering) Are people gonna blame us for this too…?
I would like to see everyone live up to our late principal’s wishes as proud Shujin students, and…

Music: Interrogation Room

No matter how I think about it, that would’ve been impossible unless Makoto was helping you… But… she would never do something so foolish…

I dunno. I’m starting to suspect Makoto isn’t actually that smart and she just seems more intelligent because she hangs out with us.

Also, I’m kind of getting fed up with Maaku’s shit. He completely sold Makoto down the river offscreen. What the fuck, dude?

And is it true that you were completely uninvolved with the Kobayakawa case?

What does this mean…? …… But I suppose targeting someone at Shujin again and actually taking their life would be nonsensical.

I have no reason to believe everything you’ve said. ...However, it seems you aren’t the type of person who would lie just to protect themselves. I will acknowledge what I must. It’s more efficient that way.
I feel like my bond with Sae is growing deeper...

If you saw my investigation data, you would’ve had the same suspicions I did about Okumura. And if you looked into his Palace, you should’ve seen the answer to those suspicions. Tell me. What did the Phantom Thieves do to Okumura? What did you learn from him? Why did it turn out as it did? I need you to tell me everything.

Music: Disquiet

People are already talking about it online.
Nobody’s saying it’s ‘cause of the Phantom Thieves… so far.
People think he did it because that tabloid exposed how he was covering up Kamoshida’s abuses.
Could it be that… we’re responsible for Principal Kobayakawa’s suicide…?
Whaddya mean?
If we hadn’t changed Kamoshida’s heart, maybe this never would have happened…
But then Kamoshida woulda kept doing what he did if we didn’t go and take him down.
There’s a lot of opinions online. “It’s only natural that he died.” “Covering up crimes is wrong.”

Same, same.

The comments I’ve seen are similar as well. “Only the Phantom Thieves are on our side!” “I wish the Phantom Thieves would take down the police and the politicians of this country!”

Oh, don’t worry, folks. We’ll take care of the cops, all right.

It’s not just the news. There’s even Phantom Thieves merchandise now. I never expected we’d end up such a big deal…
It seems like the public would rather believe in us than in the adults. People are trying to get the Phantom Thieves to solve societal problems, not just personal ones.
This is kinda scary…
Are we really doing the right thing…?
I mean, the principal was coverin’ stuff up, right? I guess… he got what was comin’ to him.

Dark, Ryuji.

Whoa, guys, let’s get back on topic. Weren’t we going to discuss the data we obtained from Niijima?

Why me…?

It seems she is searching for a common thread to tie them all together. Some parts seem to be speculation, but she has cited a beneficiary of the majority of these incidents.

The corporation Okumura Foods. More prominently, its CEO, Kunikazu Okumura.
Okumura? I feel like I’ve heard that name somewhere…
From Big Bang Burger.

You know, they only got famous sometime in the past few years. They even had a branch in Hawaii.

The scene where the group talks about Big Bang Burger’s… err… explosion into the restaurant world and their parent company Okumura Foods is the sole sequence in the entirety of the Hawaii trip with any direct narrative purpose, and it’s just to set up this conversation. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to the idea of some totally inessential downtime for the group. It’s not that the game couldn’t use some fluff where the group just hangs out and relaxes; god knows there was plenty of that in Persona 4. But the Hawaii trip comes at a particularly inopportune time in regards to the story’s flow and pacing, feels pretty redundant after the earlier beach visit, and tragically just isn’t that fucking interesting at all. Persona 5 is a game that simultaneously feels loose as hell pacing-wise and way too rigid and tight for its own good, because while it has a lot of extraneous scenes, most of them are still plot-related and only exist because the game needed a better editor, meaning the game feels really overstuffed and none of the characters have a chance to fucking breathe. Most of the “gang hanging out” scenes have been unfortunately relegated to the text conversations because there’s legitimately just no space left on the game’s calendar for most of it. Hell, that more than a few plot-critical conversations happen via text message says a lot about how this game is structured.

But that’s enough of that rant.

It says here they benefited both from scandals and the resignations of their competitors’ executives.
That would seem to be the case…
This is too suspicious though. Only one CEO is profiting from these seemingly accidental incidents. I think it’s natural to suspect he’s intentionally causing them.
I get that, but still…
We have even more evidence than that. Tell them, Futaba.
I already tried putting Okumura’s name in the Nav. He has a Palace for sure.

That settles it then! He’s totally our next target!
That’s right. Okumura is at the top of the rankings, after all.
Hold on. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s evil. If we jump into this too carelessly…

He’s rich, Yusuke. He’s evil.

Music: Suspicion

Beyond that, this Phantom Thieves fad is… unsettling.
Yeah… The excitement levels don’t feel normal. We might want to let things calm down a bit first…
You too, Ann!? You’re just gonna go against what people want!?
Huh? No, but…

The group falls silent.

For real…?
L-Looks like we’re not gonna agree today then…

Uhh, what? Chill out, cat.

Even you, Ryuji! You just back down the second someone disagrees with you!

Music: Confession/Secret

I guess all you’ve been talking about is using the Phantom Thieves name to pick up girls anyway. Being hyped up because of the popularity is fine, but getting conceited over it is unacceptable.
Hey, aren’t you actin’ for your own benefit here too?
My appearance might have changed, but I’m still an admirable human! At the very least, I’m more admirable than some carnal blond monkey!

Well, you’re certainly being a raging asshole tonight.


Sorry, but it looks like I’ll be getting the credit for solving the mental shutdown mystery.

Well, she was more useful than you, as a matter of fact.
Hey, that’s inexcusable!

All right then! Bring it on!
Ryuji, stop!

Well, this is goodbye!

...See you.

And just like that, Morgana is gone.


Now, you may ask, “Hasn’t Morgana been a massive asshole to Ryuji for the entire game?” or “Why the fuck are we spending valuable time dealing with Morgana’s poorly-fleshed out inferiority complex that adds nothing to his character besides making him incredibly unlikable?” or “What the fuck is even his plan?” or “Why should I even care that the cat who seemingly does nothing but narrate my life all day is gone?” or “This seems like a petty-as-shit grievance to full-on quit the team over, doesn’t it?” or “This bit stopped being funny three questions ago, are you finished yet?” Well, don’t worry! All this just means it’s time for...

Why, yes, I do believe it’s that magical part of the game where poorly-established character traits that will never be mentioned again after this take over the entire plot for multiple hours in a row! Who needs organic, compelling character growth and logical story progression when you can just have a character selfishly commandeer the narrative for the sole benefit of themselves?

Look, if I wanted to watch characters be assholes until the plot happened at them, I’d go play Persona 3 again.


I should mention that while I don’t actually hate Morgana I have absolutely no stake in his existential crisis whatsoever, mostly because he’s kind of a dick about it but also somewhat because in a sense it’s just a retread of Teddie’s whole deal in P4. Imagine that, I’m favorably comparing Teddie to something.

All right. I’ve managed by myself before, and I can do it again now. I just need to take down Okumura before those guys do…!

Music: Suspicion

The public believes in the justice of the Phantom Thieves. They have no interest in that principal.
I’m experiencing equal levels of frustration. My comments on TV turned everyone against me.

Oh boo fucking hoo, people are mad at you when you get paid to appear on TV. Cry me a river.

Then again, I won’t allow mere criticism to break my spirit so easily.
We won’t keep letting ourselves be defeated either. My suspicion after the hacker’s case last month is now conviction thanks to the principal’s death. The mental shutdown cases and the psychotic breakdowns are surely the Phantom Thieves’ doing.
I remember the data you showed me about Okumura Foods. Is that the basis for these beliefs?
There have been frequent occurrences of mental shutdowns surrounding Okumura recently. If only there was a clear connection between him and the Phantom Thieves… Well, it would be problematic if there wasn’t one.
So you’re jumping the gun here.

DAAAAAMN, Akechi! Fuckin’ smoked her!

It’s great to see someone actually get how weird and messed up Sae is. “Wait, you threatened the owner of a restaurant you like with revocation of custody… and then have the nerve to go back?” Of course, Sae won’t care because she’s a goddamn sociopath, but it’s nice to see someone at least attempt to cut her down to size.

It’s all for the sake of the case.
You may have the backing of the SIU’s director… but you’ve been far too aggressive, Sae-san. You’re trespassing into police territory. Don’t say nobody warned you if this becomes an issue later.

We first need to know what methods the Phantom Thieves are using. The police can’t make a move unless that becomes apparent, after all.
This opponent can’t be caught by following the rules. What need is there to stick to formalities?

Uhh, if you don’t know anything about the Phantom Thieves, especially how they do what they do, then you have basically no chance of catching them even ignoring the rules. Akechi’s a fucking cop, yeah, but he seems like the only rational one in this conversation.

So you wish to ignore protocol in order to reform society? I hope you realize that’s no different than what the Phantom Thieves are doing. It’s a shame, especially since we both want to capture the culprit behind the psychotic breakdowns…

With that, Akechi walks away.

Music: Desire



Sure seems that way, huh?

What… I can’t… see… Who’s… there…? Mas...ter…?

Worth noting: that was one of the only days in the entire game that was spent “normally” (read: we woke up in Yongen and fell asleep in Yongen) where we had no opportunity to control Maaku. Or, in other words, it’s one of the only days in the game we spend at home where we don’t hear “Beneath the Mask” in any form (at least at night). Normally we at least get the chance to walk around Leblanc’s attic and check the news, but it skipped right past that. In addition, outside of the Sae flashforward there were only two dialogue options. Weird.

Music: Confession/Secret

Me too… I kinda just expected he’d come home when he got hungry.

Nah, he’s a cat. He’s stubborn like that.

Oh, maybe he went to someone else’s place. Let’s ask.

Huh? He hasn’t come home yet?
The food’s still in his bowl.
Do you think he really just took off like that…?

Um, he’s not here, so… yes.

He’s a cat, so it’s possible he got into an accident…
Does he really seem to be the type who would go off and die on us like that though?
It’s just been one day! Y’all are worrying too much! He’s prolly just off doing his own stuff. I mean, he used to live alone, remember? Just don’t worry about it! I’m sure he’ll come back if something happens.

Oh well. Have a good day…

You think the Phantom Thieves murdered him? But why?
Think about Kamoshida’s victims. The principal’s just as guilty for keeping quiet about it all. People who take advantage of others for their own personal gain need to disappear. In fact we need a scumbag cleansing to purify the world.


Music: So Boring

“The Okumura Way”...And it was even signed!

Well, uh. That’s certainly contrived a crazy random happenstance. Who’da thunk that the day after we find out about this Okumura dude the teacher brings him up apropos of nothing at all? It’s almost like this game is incredibly on-the-nose!

With his logical management skills, he revived his company that was on the verge of bankruptcy. He then started Big Bang Burger, a bold and creative venture.

So true. Big Bang Burger only hires the finest hamburger artists.

Okumura’s words are a philosophy on life itself! How could she sell that to a second-hand shop…?

I thought she “threw [it] out.”

But, in times like these, getting one’s mind to switch gears is key. Wouldn’t you agree, Hamiru-kun? Second-hand shops are also known as thrift stores. Do you know when the earliest ones appeared?

Correct. They were mostly run by religious or charitable organizations, of course… But larger businesses could donate unused stock to them, and use them as a tax write-off that way. It takes incredible business acumen to figure out how to be both profitable and charitable at once.

Which is why most people don’t bother with the second part!

I feel like I got a little smarter from being able to answer that question...

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

Morgana’s not here, so not only is the dude sitting behind us probably wondering why he can breathe through his nose at school for the first time in five months, Maaku has to tell himself he’s smart today.

I just remembered; there are rumors that President Okumura may be getting into politics.

Foul: Improper Semicolon Use; Five-Yard Penalty.

Hold up, I’m being told the coach will challenge, saying that semicolon here is technically not a violation because the two clauses are both independent. Let’s see what the referees have to say about this.

Hm? The refs are back, and according to them “it’s technically permissible, but no rational human being would use a semicolon like that instead of a regular colon,” and so the penalty stands. They also say, and I quote, “I’m a massive hypocrite, lol, because I have no idea if I formatted that penalty call correctly.”

It is true that the current administration is incompetent in a number of ways… I would love to have a charismatic man like him leading the country.

Oh boy, a “charismatic” plutocrat with no political experience whatsoever running for the nation’s highest office? Can’t see any flaws with that idea!

In a different class...

We’re gonna wait together in case Morgana comes home!

Oh, right, he’s missing.

Anyway, come straight home! I wonder what’s up with Morgana though… He should just hurry and come back.

Music: Blooming Villain


I’m sure he’ll come back when he gets hungry.

Late last night, multiple glass windows were found shattered at the Okumura Foods Corporate HQ.

Music: Suspicion

Oh, really? How do you figure? Never crossed my mind at all.

Huh… Wonder if someone’s got a grudge against that guy…
However, there were no signs of a break-in. Identifying the culprit is expected to be difficult…

I mean, let’s think about this. Sure, it makes sense that he’d go there, because he said as much yesterday. But, um, how and why would he commit felony vandalism? Not only does he have no real reason to break shit, he’s a fucking cat. How would he possibly manage to deface a statue even if he was trying? In a game that made more sense I’d just assume it was a freak coincidence due to that, but we’ve got narrative economy on our side, so let’s just assume he did do it somehow.

Yeah… He may not seem like it sometimes, but he’s totally a capable cat when he wants to be. Either way, let’s go to Okumura’s Palace tomorrow. I’ll contact everyone.


Music: Beneath the Mask -Rain-

He did say he’d go alone.
Does that mean he’s in danger?
The chances of that are highly likely.
Yeah. We should all go in after him. The Palace is most likely at their corporate headquarters. I’ll look into it a little more.
All right, let’s do it! We gotta look into those mental shutdown things too.
I’d prefer a little more caution, but this is an emergency…
Then we’ll go tomorrow. Don’t forget, everyone.

The “Phantom Thieves of Hearts” craze has captured the hearts of people of all ages. Why exactly do they have such strong appeal? We asked people around town for their thoughts.
It looks like the Phantom Thieves’ popularity is on the rise.

Apparently the windows at their office got busted.
Whoa, what happened? That’s scary…
Was it the Phantom Thieves? Eh, no way…
I wouldn’t put it past them…

The hell’s that supposed to mean, Random Asshole #312?