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Published July 31, 2017

So I maxed out all Persona 5 confidants (with a little help from a guide), and they were my favourite part of the game. So much so, that they have compelled me to create my very first Top 10 list.

Two criteria need to be met for every confidant: How much I enjoyed the overall story, and how useful the ability was. I also didn’t want to rank every confidant, because that would allow you to find out number 1 through elimination. Furthermore, stat barriers won’t be a determining factor in my rankings.

Or, you could just, scroll to the bottom of the page and spoil the number 1.

ANYWAYS, ONTO THE LIST!

10.) Makoto Nijima

B-BUT SHE’S THE BEST CHARACTER IN THE GAME!

This statement is somewhat true. But let me ask you this: who is her confidant about? This personal relationship that you are meant to form with a character isn’t really between the player and Makoto. You spend almost the entire confidant assisting Makoto with her student council duties. It isn’t really the two of you getting closer, but more so the player tagging along as third wheel. It is pretend dating, that ends up becoming real dating. Other than one rank in which Makoto realizes her future goals through her sense of justice, not much of the focus is on her. The player doesn’t assist Makoto with these realizations, but rather, she finds them herself.

And an argument can be made that Makoto is independent and it makes sense that your presence would help her realize who she truly is. But that’s the problem: you’re just present with her while she does all the cool stuff. Sometimes you defend her and provide assistance, but most of the time, the moral support you give is just being there with her. It doesn’t feel like I have an active role in this confidant.

Makoto’s confidant ability is okay, but it isn’t very spectacular. Enhanced analysis of enemy weaknesses and their moves is nice on harder difficulties, but on normal, I didn’t really need it very much. I can definitely see how some people can use it to strategize which persona and characters to use.

So, through all that negativity, why is she on the list at number 10? Because her character IS still great, and the moments you share with her are fantastic. Conformity and societal pressures on a really smart, pretty girl in Japan is rough. Makoto doesn’t really know how to socialize properly because of her previous haughty attitude, so helping her break out of that shell and connect with more people is fascinating. I just wish the journey to accomplish this goal was a bit more polished. Just a teensy bit.

9.) Haru Okumura

Why does Haru get so much hate? Seriously, I see a bunch of vitriol going around that she is a throwaway character, she isn’t interesting, she comes late in the game and she isn’t very useful. To that I say: Have you even talked to her? The vegetables she grows are some of the most valuable items in the late game. Her gun skills in battle are incredibly useful, and combine that with skills like Cripple that increase the gat potential? Triple Down is one of the best damage dealing moves in the game, and her ability to heal party members’ status effects is fantastic. It beats Ann and Morgana’s ability to do so, that’s for sure.

And what’s wrong with her character? I hear people say she’s completely bland, but when you compare her to the other characters, she’s clearly distinct. Haru is good-hearted, she cares about others, she always shows compassion for others. Even when her father dies, she never complains about anything, and she is resilient to it all. How she hasn’t had a psychotic breakdown over the pressures from others to run a company as a 17-year-old girl is mind-boggling.

“oh, b-but her confidant becomes available so l-late! Think of my perfect run!”

Dude, every time you talk to the girl, she is available to rank up right after. The complete opposite can be said for every other party member in the game. I ranked Haru up fully before Futaba, and she was available 2 months earlier.

And Haru’s struggle is brutal! Who wants to be forced into a marriage and inherit a company they don’t want? She was originally meant to be married off for political reasons, and was given no business training. If you were handed majority shares of a massive fast food company, how well do you think you would do? Would you be able to handle the pressures of people constantly trying to manipulate you for their own gain? I wouldn’t.

So leave Haru alone. Her ability is one of the best in the game, she’s a great party member, and her confidant has actual struggle.

8.) Hifumi Togo

SHE IS HERE MOSTLY BECAUSE OF THE ABILITIES SHE PROVIDES.

I personally found the story for Hifumi’s confidant to be…odd. She is built up as some legendary Shogi player who doesn’t want the immense fame she is attracting, and, the confidant kind of just repeats that for ranks 4-7. Nothing really develops until you get the bombshell that Hifumi’s mom has been rigging all of the matches she’s been doing to boost their family fame and fortune. Eventually, you as a Phantom Thief, change her mom’s heart to reveal that all of the matches are fixed, and Hifumi realizes she isn’t talented.

But what I like about her is she takes all of the criticism and backlash, and uses it to strengthen her. She doesn’t whittle away and let herself be destroyed. She betters herself at Shogi, and she betters herself as a person. This is a clean start for her, and genuine losses provide more knowledge than constant wins. It’s a fairly simple, but enjoyable story.

But her confidant ability is by far, one of the most useful in the game. The ability to switch out party members adds a much needed layer of strategy to battles. Not starting out with this ability also makes it feel like it’s a reward, and later abilities she provides, like always guaranteeing escape, is legendary.

7.) Shinya Oda

Shinya is a kid who makes total sense within a 2017 context. It makes sense why he likes the Phantom Thieves, because they are a cool rebel group that fights against clearly awful adults. He buys Phantom Thieves merchandise and gatchapon. He IS a Japanese 13-year-old boy.

Yet, what’s most compelling to me about Shinya is the overwhelming pressure he faces from an overachieving mom. I used to work a lot with children, and I know the negative effects a lack of compassion can have on a child. Shinya also has no father figure, so his entire lifestyle has been him and a stressed mother. To their livelihood, losing is not an option and they need to take every step they can to ensure survival in a costly Shibuya.

Therefore, acting like an older brother to Shinya and providing him positive support in his life is so endearing to me. I have worked with younger children myself who have damaged households, and knowing that you can make a positive contribution in a youth’s life means so much.

His ability is great too, allowing you to gat people late game effectively. Guns don’t become godlike until the last few months of the game, where you discover all their abilities and get Shinya’s power to down opponents with the gat.

Yes, this confidant is this high for a personal reason, but, it is my list. So, please understand.

6.) Morgana

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a major fan of Morgana’s character from the start. I thought Morgana was arrogant and cocky. I thought Morgana was cruel to Ryuji and inconsiderate of others.

But I was a Fool, because all of this was intentional. Because Morgana changes. Morgana goes through a real character arc. Morgana goes from the assumption that he is using all of the Phantom Thieves for his own gain, to the realization that he is nothing without them. The Phantom Thieves are Morgana’s only friends in the world, and they are the only people who have ever cared for him.

So when Morgana throws them away, thinking he can fight every battle on his own, and he finds out his own limitations, it is an endearing moment. Morgana went from this annoying cat who follows you everywhere that dictates your sleep schedule to a true friend. I never thought once about Morgana’s constant presence, but once I grew to like him more, and he grew to be more kind and accepting of those who matter to him, I realized how precious the time spent with Morgana is. All of the subtle touches he adds in cutscenes matter a lot. And yes, his crush on Ann does still get on my nerves, but it thankfully diminishes over time.

Gameplay wise, you essentially get Morgana from the beginning of the game, but I began to weed him out completely for Makoto. Morgana’s healing is great if you want to play conservatively and need a healing net to ensure victory, but there are other characters who eventually match his healing abilities while being able to dish out more damage. So, Morgana got the shaft in the late game.

Cat buses are lit though.

5.) Toranosuke Yoshida

Yes, this character is not a young, beautiful anime boy/girl, but his confidant is one of my favourites. Being an assistant to an unpopular politician with a strong message is fascinating. The first time you meet Yoshida really says all about his character. You meet him working part-time at the beef bowl store. This is a politician, who eats at the same common restaurants as every other regular citizen. He doesn’t have any embezzled funds or high-end connections. He just notices your skill in memorizing orders and sympathizes with your struggle. He’s a politician that genuinely tries to connect with the people.

He’s not cruel either, but he’s a genuinely nice person who feels remorse for his past. Yoshida, 20 years prior to 20XX, engaged in shady political acts. He slandered opponents, embezzled funds, typical politician stuff. That should have marked the end of his career…

…until you find out that he didn’t actually do that. He was framed, and Yoshida believed he engaged in those practices on accident. He gained the nickname “No-Good-Tora”, which still triggers him over his past mistakes. But once the information is revealed that he did not do anything illegal, rather than tell this to the general public, he embraces the previous label of No-Good-Tora. Rather than show that he was an elitist member of society, he owns up to his mistakes, pretending they are still true. This works massively in his favour, as it shows him willing to atone and improve as a person. It is a level of honesty and transparency not seen in many politicians, and the bravery that takes is commendable.

Yoshida was also swayed to give up his campaign, as prospects of becoming Japan’s Prime Minister is nigh impossible. But rather than accept a cushy job as a political assistant, he sticks to his guns, and promptly gets destroyed in the election. But he’s happy, because his victory does not come in his political position, but that he was genuinely able to connect with people. He does care about Japan, and wants to make it better place for the everybody.

I also got his ability early on, and the power to persuade shadows more effectively supplemented the majority of my income. Forcing opponents to give into your demands through passionate communication is a lifesaver.

4.) Yusuke Kitagawa

Yusuke is one of my favourite Phantom Thieves. I have a soft spot for weird, eccentric characters who seek true artistic passion. Yusuke is an oddball who eats way too much and spends money on stupid, superfluous things. He’s basically all of my College friends.

But Yusuke is an incredbily talented artist, and without him the Phantom Thieves wouldn’t have a brand or a logo. He takes inspiration from everything and finds beauty all over the world. His confidant is you attempting to help him find his own artistic talents, and not mooch off of the skill of his previous, abusive mentor.

I feel that I have been in similar situations to Yusuke. I consider my writing to be my artform, and I notice when it is lacking. I can tell when it is soulless. I never want to sell myself out for fame and stay true to myself. If this blog or any of my YouTube channel stuff takes off, I do not want to become the corporate monster who focuses solely on profits.

Yusuke’s confidant also has the most memorable moments to me. A lot of confidants have ranks that kind of meld together. They tell an overarching story with few memorable moments and locations. Yusuke’s has you going on a canoe date with him in an attempt to capture romance, you go to a church with him and try to imitate crucifixion (yes, this is real), and you go on a sushi date with him. You work through his mental blocks and help him become better as a person.

Personally, I rarely used Yusuke in battle, as I favoured Ryuji for physical damage, but I was a card copying fiend. I took my persona creation very seriously, so being able to provide the best skills for my persona was essential. So Yusuke is a cool dude who’s relatable.

3.) Sojiro Sakura

God, this one was a pain to rank up, but it was so worth it. Sojiro’s confidant took a long time, but it was worth it. His feels like a narrative that would have taken 8 months to unfold. to have Sojiro open up to the main character gradually as he helps him with his life problems is touching.

Seeing Sojiro’s kindness towards Futaba was adorable as well. He’s a guardian who genuinely cares about her, and he grows to really care about the protagonist as well. His relationship with Futaba also shines light on the reason he takes the main character into his care. Maybe he always desired that close relationship with a child. Futaba was a reclusive shut-in, and likely didn’t talk much with Sojiro. Perhaps Sojiro saw the opportunity to help you reform into a proper member of society.

But Sojiro never knew how to be a proper parent. He is very laissez-faire when it comes to guiding his kids, and he realizes that method never worked. He was obessed with his work and livelihood that he never truly cared for the one’s who matter the most to him. This confidant helps him realize how he was mismanaging his time, and allows him to deepen his relationship with Futaba.

As described in my Persona 5 diaries, I am a coffee monster. And Sojiro’s ability to let you make coffee and curry were essential SP boosts for majority of the game. It was what let me max all confidants in my first playthrough, by limiting the amount of days needed to infiltrate a Palace. So, thank you Sojiro, for acting like an in-game curry dad.

2.) Futaba Sakura

This character could have been so easy to ruin. Futaba could have been a meme machine who is there to make people go “DID SHE JUST?!?!??” This character could have been a condescending asshole to everyone she encounters. But she isn’t. Futaba is nerdy, but she is really nice. She cares a lot for the people who matter to her.

Her nerdiness isn’t used to get weird thirsty internet dudes to like her, but to add to her personal charm. The writing in this game is so strong, that even anime and internet references that would make me roll my eyes feel natural in this game. Futaba is a person who very rarely socializes in real life, so she lacks that proper communication. There is reason for terrible memes, and even after changing her heart, Futaba still slips up and says oddities. Instead of, “Can I get closer?” She says “Me near, OK?” She’s just really cute.

Helping her get over her social anxiety and depression is also incredibly relatable to me. Having others be there for you is the best remedy for these mental blocks. She reminds me of myself when I was thirteen. I was struggling to understand the world and find my place in it. Her quest to become affluent within a mall with friends reminds me of nostalgic times when I was a teenager.

But it’s her abilities that are amazing. Being able to save time in Mementos, knowing which enemies have treasure, the random buffs in battle, the SP and HP recovery, It’s all amazing.

And she’s uber cute. Lowkey I regret dating Makoto over Futaba.

1.) Sadayo Kawakami

Thicc Sensei is my favourite confidant in the game. It’s the most unique, her struggle is the most brutal, and her kindness is insurmountable. For those who don’t know Kawakami’s story: She used to tutor a young boy in the after hours at high school. This boy’s grades were slipping heavily, and she wanted to provide aid. However, the boy has terrible grades because he had to work part-time jobs to supplement his parents horrible gambling addiction. This boy got no sleep because of his stressful situation, and in a fatigued stupor, walked into the road without looking both ways and got hit by a car. The boy died on impact.

Because of this, the boy’s parents blamed Kawakami for overworking him, and demanded reparations. They threatened Kawakami by taking her to court, which, in Japan, basically means the end of her teaching career. She would likely get her license revoked and live with a criminal record, even though the situation wasn’t her fault. The boy’s parents are completely ignorant to their gambling issues, and don’t even work for their own income. They rely solely on monthly payments from Kawakami.

Because of this, Kawakami needs to get a part-time job as a maid/escort. She isn’t hired just for cleaning and cooking, but she is hired to serve a person’s every needs. It’s incredibly creeping and degrading, but it is the only place that pays her considerably well.

Kawakami isn’t a mean person by any means. He is incredibly stressed and tired, which affects her mood. When I need a nap, I get snappy with everybody about everything, but Kawakami can show some kindness through her horrible situation. She was a confidant I genuinely really wanted to help. Her situation is dehumanizing and brutal. She is a helpless victim. If you didn’t step in and provide aid, she would maybe be miserable for the rest of her life.

I never enjoyed the romancing option for Kawakami. I felt it was disingenuous thing to romance somebody so much older than you. I feel like remaining as her most trustworthy student is the best scenario, however I understand if people need to quench their thirst.

So her confidant is one of my favourites, but her abilities are easily the best in the game. Being able to provide you precious free time is amazing. Making coffee and curry for free saved my life so many times for the later Palaces. Having time to slack off and make lockpicks in class is amazing.

Kawakami’s confidant is, to me at least, the best in Persona 5.

 

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