So, yes, I haven’t been writing much recently. This is due to me moving into a new place + work. I’m really sorry for this. I am also hoping to get a new computer sometime towards the end of the month, so I can finally make videos much more consistently and effectively.
ANYWAYS ENOUGH OF THE UPDATING GARBAGE, LET’S GET TO THE DIARY!
1.) Detective-Sized Elephant in The Room
Alright, there has been a character I have been neglecting. This character is very important to the plot as well, and yet, I have failed to mention their name once. What was my master plan in neglecting this man?
I don’t know I just kind of forgot about Goro Akechi.
My thoughts on this character so far are thus:
This guy is so fake. I have to commend Akechi’s voice actor for making him have this intentionally fake, appealing voice. He’s a beautiful anime boy (arguably the most beautiful), who is smart, charismatic, and all-around better than everybody in your group. He’s a TV celebrity at the age of 16, he is at the top of his grade in academics, he is this glorious human being.
At least, that is what he is on the surface. This is why his fake personality, or his “persona”, comes across as so offputting. There are hints and deeper layers to him that make me feel he can snap at any second and attack.
His social link always cracks me up too. It goes like this:
Akechi: I think we can be best friends
Me: Go fk urself fgt
RANK 50 UP JUSTICE ARCANA ADVANCED.
2.) Inkling Girl and Curry Man resurrected
Futaba is back from taking her 3-week nap after finding out her mom didn’t commit suicide because of her, and she overcame her anxiety and depression. So, you know, the usual that happens during Summer Vacation. Futaba’s awakening is that into a girl who is finally confident in herself, and is attempting to live her life happily. It’s a happy ending, and it is incredibly personal to me.
This also marks the beginning of Sojiro’s resurrection, and you really see how his happiness is tied into Futaba. Sojiro begins the game as cold-hearted and resentful towards the main character. He almost outright hates you, and is incredibly cutthroat with everything he says and does. It can be seen in his interactions with customers. At the beginning of the game, you see him insult a customer, and you have the option to grill him for it. Right before you meet him, he’s aimlessly doing a crossword on his own, away from his customers, in his own aloof mind. To him, the perception of the world is depressing. Everyday is just a daily struggle with no aspirations for the future.
That is, until Futaba experiences her reawakening, and he notices a lot of positive changes in her. She’s happier, she’s comfortable around people her age, and she’s having fun, summer vacation opportunities. He encourages her to have fun with friends because he knows it will be the happiest memories she experiences.
The beach trip they go on leads to Futaba coming out of her shell and having positive memories with the other female characters. It’s likely her first trip out with friends, and it is also here where she reveals her reason for sticking with the Phantom Thieves. She wants to find the people who killed her mom. It isn’t about fame or reforming society. its her own personal goal. This is something I really like about all the characters in Persona 5. While everybody works as a unanimous team, they still have their own reasons for being Phantom Thieves. Ryuji hates terrible adults and wants to become a hero, Ann wants to make sure people don’t take advantage of others like they did Shiho, Morgana wants to get to the bottom of mementos, etc. They are united by their own humanity and individualism. It feels like people are humans living in a modern Shibuya. It’s great.
3.) Fame and Fortune
Man check dat 80% approval rating on the Phan-Site. A non-distinct amount of people love us so much. Ryuji absolutely loves the fame, and it’s honestly getting pretty unhealthy in the Phantom Thieves dynamic. We are getting obessed with rushing targets and taking down evil adults, that it doesn’t seem to be a fight for justice anymore. Rather, it is a battle for fame and recognition, which is completely counter-intuitive to the concept of a Phantom Thief. Shouldn’t a Thief try to be sneaky, and not make their presence known to the world? Even characters who condemn Ryuji for his fame obsession are getting sucked in by it too. Makoto, Ann, and even Futaba scorn Ryuji for this, but they are not hesitant to search for a new target. They are dictated by the Phan Site’s poll on who to target, and they begin to rely on the wishes of their fans, rather on their own judgement. Okumura becomes a suggestion for them because he is the number 1 target on their poll, and the Phantom Thieves search for justification. They did not make the decision to find Okumura, but rather, it all came to them, and they are following through on people’s desires.
It also doesn’t help that the requests on the site are becoming more egregious. Some people are asking for outright murder of their ex-lovers, or of their asshole bosses. People who aren’t bad enough to justify a reformation have their personal information leaked on a website for the entire world to see. It’s one of the revolting aspects of the Phandom. If you have mysterious heroes who cause changes of people’s cognition with unexplained means, people’s demands are going to get absurd.
4.) Summer Vacation Vibes
I’m going to be honest, I found the Hawaii trip somewhat disappointing. It lasted four days, and there was hardly a memorable moment. It was just a standard, school trip with no Persona-style hijinx. Other than a date with Makoto, which was pretty nice, it was just people worrying about the next target. I found this slightly interesting, as this compliments the more realistic and relatable tone that Persona 5 is going for. But I mostly found it uninteresting, with not much happening other than the group photo before they go on the trip.
However, the rest of the Summer vacation of people coming over all day and playing retro video games together give me the perfect vibes. See, my summer vacation has been completely botched, because it doesn’t exist. I work full-time, so there isn’t really many fun, full days with friends to be had. Those days are the most precious to me, and their scarcity does ensure they are all special, but I wish they were more frequent. It was really heartwarming getting messages from friends at like, 4am, asking to hang out at my place. I beat Futaba’s palace as soon as I could, just so I could enjoy these moments.
It sounds depressing, but these hangouts were a nice replacement for what I wish I could do more frequently. Although, if I splurge on junk food everyday, I’ll shave my life off by 10 years in about 2 months. Moderation is key.
5.) Let’s Discuss the Themes of Persona 5 That I Find Most Interesting
SO. Persona 5 does a lot with its story that I haven’t seen in a video game in a long time. From its understanding of internet culture, to the current issues of hive-mindedness that plagues society, Persona 5 deals with them very well. I believe a story’s plot is one of the least important aspects of it, and its themes are more fascinating. Persona 5 takes on very modern themes that I have always been fascinated with, but have not been touched upon for a long time.
ONTO THE LIST WITHIN THIS LIST.
So this one is the most obvious and blatant theme in Persona 5. This has been a topic that’s been discussed in literature for hundreds of years. Some believe we all are our own individuals, different from everybody else. Some say that we are insignificant, and our differences are too tiny to measure, so we must all be categorized for easy understanding. If we all seek to be individuals, why do we find comfort when we discover another person has common interests? If individuality is promoted, why do we reward those for fitting in with the norms of society, and believe them to be okay? Are all social norms just constructs that people have been told are okay, but cannot be reasonably explained?
Persona 5 tackles these topics fairly well, and the concept of being rebels within a Japanese society that endorses conformity is a nice message. Sure, your group of Phantom Thieves + an Inkling Girl are all really pretty, but they are social outcasts because of their personalities. They’re all absolute weirdos, and that’s perfectly fine, because they are comfortable in it, and if everybody in the world was the same, it would be boring.
This theme is moreso endemic to Japan, but it could be applied to any location on the planet. Every culture has certain expectations placed on an individual. Work at a business firm? Wear a nice outfit and have a professional attitude. Work at a convenience store and you’re 30 years old? You must be a failure in life. We all have these expectations that have been molded through thousands of methods as we grow up.
I love that Persona 5 does so much to give you a taste of society. I love that nobody’s opinion of the main character improves other than those close to him. It makes you realize that society has unbreakable conceptions. Once the main character is branded as a criminal, it never changes. So much of what you do influences the world, and you feel like a hero, but it all comes crashing down once you step in class and get a question wrong FU-
But society has a great impact on the Phantom Thieves as well. The people believing in them gives them power, regardless of their actions. If people didn’t believe in the Phantom Thieves and they saw somebody have a change of heart, they would likely chalk it up to some psychological disease. But since the public perceives the Phantom Thieves changing people’s hearts as a legitimate, swift method to problem solving, they put their faith in it. Japan needs Jesus.
But, I think that should be fine for theme discussion. I will talk about them more as I continue through this great game.
YES, I WILL MAKE A YOUTUBE VIDEO SOON! SOON, MY COMPUTER WILL BE FIXED, AND THE VIDEOS WILL COME OUT TWICE PER WEEK.