In 2016, the video game Persona 5 was released and the world soon began to hear of the Phantom Thieves. A band of misfits out to steal something unconventional: the “hearts” of society’s corrupt figures. In reality, it’s a force in a change of perspective where the victims realize what they’ve done wrong and repent for it.
Taking place in modern Tokyo, you play as the unnamed protagonist who is relocated to another school because of a criminal charge. Unfortunately, life has other plans and throws a series of unfortunate events at you, starting with a suspicious app that appears on your phone which has the power to send you to another world. With your new friend, Ryuji Sakamoto, you explore a suspicious castle that has replaced your school where you’re both imprisoned by the king of the castle: Shujin Academy’s gym teacher, Suguru Kamoshida. While trying to fight back and escape this castle, you unearth a strange power within yourself known as “persona”.
The persona series has a few themes that have carried on with every new game. Characters undergo personal developments to better understand who they are and what they should do. Your goal throughout the game is to develop relationships, known as social links, among your team and get stronger while overcoming many difficult obstacles. The main antagonist is never the same but they’ve all been large intimidating figures like gods of creation or demons of chaos seeking to destroy the world.
The characters in Persona 5 all have one characteristic in common with each other which is how they are isolated from society. The protagonist, known by his alias Joker, is labeled a criminal and is on probation for assault. You are the wild card that is capable of many things and over the course of the game, the potential of your character is revealed. Ryuji, who quickly becomes your friend at the start of the game, is a former track star who becomes a delinquent for reasons unknown. Known in the Phantom Thieves as Skull, he is quick to jump into action but is always inclusive of his fellow teammates. Ann Takamaki, an outcast because of half-foreigner heritage, runs as Panther with the Phantom Thieves and acts as their moral center to ensure they never lose track of their main goal. The three of them, along with a trusty “cat” named Morgana, they create the foundations of what would eventually become the Phantom Thieves of Heart.
Over the course of the game, you’ll add more members to your team who will provide new skills and powers to support the goal of changing the hearts of the corrupt. Yusuke Kitagawa, also known as Fox, is a talented artist held back by obligation and avoided by many of his classmates. His eccentric personality and innocent nature is often used as comedy relief for the team. As the student council president, Makoto Niijima has had to endure plenty of backlash due to certain incidents at the start of the game. Coming from a family that works with the law, Makoto has a strong sense of justice instilled in her and she uses that plenty under the alias of Queen. Practically unknown to the Phantom Thieves for much of the game, Futaba Sakura is a genius hacker who lives out of her room. Although she is the youngest of the team, her technological skills are a massive asset to the Phantom Thieves and provides support in battle as Oracle. Finally, the gentle nature of Haru Okumura is like a breath of fresh air to the Phantom Thieves but her true nature can be seen when she is Noir. Hidden beneath Haru’s personality is a brute who enjoys horror movies and the thrill of defeating enemies.
One of the more mysterious characters in the game is ace detective, Goro Akechi. With enough charisma to woo the fans and his skills of deduction are nothing to be laughed at. He has a large presence throughout the game, mainly due to his growing suspicions of who the Phantom Thieves are. Just who exactly is he and how much does he really know?
It has been a little over three years since Persona 5 was released and during that time, an anime, manga, and a rhythm game were released. There have been numerous collaborations with other video games as well as a cafe collaboration with Sega Japan in 2018! Persona 5’s popularity has grown rapidly during that time and numerous rubber straps, figures, plushies, and cosplays have come out. Did you know that Persona 5 also has a stage play as well as an ultimate edition of the game called Persona 5 Royal set to come out later this year? Are you ready for the Phantom Thieves of Heart to once again “Take your heart”?
Browse Persona Goods
To browse Japanese anime merch and doujinshi goods from other anime, click the banner below.
We hope you enjoyed reading all about Persona 5. What are you hoping to see in Persona 5 Royal? Let us know on our social networks below.
Get The Conversation Started #ZenPlus.