Click Here for Update 2
: The votes are in, and the clear winner is Mamamia Amamiya, voted the single most faux-Italian high school student in Japan three years running.
: We had two votes for John Persona and two votes for Akira Kurusu. Given that we used the novelization name for the Persona 1 protagonist, I decided that Akira Kurusu had a strong claim and went with that. (Update: It was actually three for John Persona but one came in after I started recording).
: Up the hallway comes prosecutor Sae Niijima. Many have lamented the fact that you cannot date the goth cop, either in the original game or in Royal.
: The detective looks like a discount Johnny Gat.
: This seems like a really awkward question to ask, given that Sae is the equivalent of an assistant district attorney and thus probably this guy’s boss.
: “Just let me through; it’s urgent. There’s something I need to confirm with the suspect.”
: I do appreciate that they used a semicolon here instead of abusing the hell out of ellipses like Persona 1 and Innocent Sin did. Eternal Punishment does the same thing.
: Now, I’m not entirely sure how the Japanese law enforcement system works, but Sae’s boss has the title of “SIU Director”. SIU, or Special Investigations Unit, is usually a division in a police department, so it seems odd that a DA would work for them.
: “I’m responsible for this case, yet I’m not even being allowed an interrogation?”
: You might notice that some of the dialog in this game is… a little awkward-sounding. The reason for this is that the original game had a very rushed localization: a few sites that deal with that sort of thing say that they rushed through it just a few months before release. You’ll definitely notice some things before this update is done.
: “I will not be convinced unless I confirm it for myself. This is MY case.”
: It’s kind of disappointing that this game has amazing visuals that they clearly spent a lot of time and money on but skimped on the localization. Sae’s portrait (and all portraits in this game) are fully animated. Moving lips and all that.
: This kind of sounds like Kevin Mitnick’s trial back in 1995. If you don’t know who he is, Kevin Mitnick was a hacker in the late 80s (really more of a social engineer) who hacked into a couple of mainframes belonging to major corporations at the time using passwords he’d gotten by… basically phishing. He was arrested in 1988 after hacking into Pacific Bell, became a fugitive for a while, and was eventually caught in the mid-90s. By his account, the police kept him in solitary confinement for eight months because they convinced a judge that he was capable of hacking the US nuclear arsenal by whistling into a phone. He works as a computer security consultant today.
: “Can you hear me? It seems you’ve been through a lot. Almost anything can happen here… and I can’t stop them.”
: “That’s why I need you to answer me honestly. I don’t have much time either.”
: “What was your objective? Why did you cause such a major incident?”
: “I didn’t think it was a prank from the get-go, but I couldn’t assemble a case for prosecution. It’s because I couldn’t figure out the method behind it.”
: See what I mean by “awkward-sounding dialog”? Supposedly, they did a second pass to fix it, but to me it feels more like they just went through all of the blogs critiquing the bad localization and spot-fixed anything they pointed out.
: During dialog options, I’ll always pick the highlighted one. This is going to be important later on because a lot of the dialog choices in this game matter.
: “True. There’s no way I could be convinced of such a… ‘world’ just by reading the reports.”
: “It seems you’re coherent. When and where did you find out about that world? How is it even possible to steal another’s heart?”
: This sounds more like something you’d hear in a romance VN than a Persona game.
: Surprisingly, no. The voice for this dialog is female. The closest you ever come to seeing Philemon again is in Persona 4.
: The game gives us the opportunity to save here, because the first two hours or so of this game are a glorified cutscene. I made the joke once that the number at the end of each game is how many hours it takes to get to actual gameplay. Remember Persona 1, when we basically went right to the hospital and started fighting demons? Even for all its bullshit, I liked Persona 1.
: I kind of forgot there was an anime cutscene here, and since I have to replay this part to update the name I’ll get an actual video of this. Content warning: the next part involves an attempted sexual assault.
: One thing I will never be able to forget is that Joker looks like the dumbass manga version of Jihei without his glasses on.
: All the people in this game that threaten a lawsuit over dumb shit remind me of this one case I heard about in one of the pre-law classes I took in college (at one point I was going to go to law school but never actually did). This guy is on the back of a bus that gets hit by a car. Both the car and the bus have some dents, but not much more.
: He insists he’s got neck and back pain and shoulder pain - common injuries in motor vehicle accidents - and he wants to sue the driver of the car and the bus company. The police report comes in, and not only did it not list the guy as being on the bus, the officer who responded noted that witnesses said this guy walked up to the crowd of people who had already gotten off the bus (none of whom were injured) and pretended he’d been on it.
: I like that this can be taken as reference to Eternal Punishment if you don’t know what they’re actually talking about. In EP, the Joker Game shows back up only now instead of granting your wish you give the Joker a name and that person dies.
: Oh, right. I had mentioned last update that I was going to do a side update on Lupin III. I tried doing that and it turned into a list of Lupin stuff to watch. Since we’ve got an elongated cutscene here I might just talk about it here instead.
: First, we need to talk about Arsene Lupin. Arsene Lupin is a series of novels and short stories by a French author named Maurice Leblanc in the early 20th century. We’re going to run into a reference to him shortly.
: Welcome to Shibuya, by the way. Anyway, Leblanc starts writing Arsene Lupin stories in a magazine and then graduates to books. All of his stories are more or less self-contained and star a “gentleman-thief” who may or may not be nobility of some sort. He has no singular origin story. All of the Arsene Lupin stories are more or less the same formula: a rich person has their jewelry or money stolen by Lupin, the police investigate (usually assisted by Lupin himself in disguise) and have Lupin tell them exactly what happened. Most of the stories are told from the perspective of a biographer hired by Lupin to tell his story.
: Arsene Lupin has an incredible amount of resources (to the point where it’s speculated that he owns a newspaper) and a network of accomplices capable of pulling off ridiculous heists. He’s called a “gentleman-thief” not because he doesn’t kill people, but because most of the people he robs are aristocrat types. Most of the time, the people he steals from are bigger criminals than he is.
: One thing I should mention is that Leblanc at one point stole the character of Sherlock Holmes while Arthur Conan Doyle was still alive. Conan Doyle (and later his estate) did not enjoy this and told him to fuck off or face legal action. As a result, the book “Arsene Lupin vs. Sherlock Holmes” had the name changed to “Arsene Lupin vs. Herlock Sholmes”.
: I have a copy that I’ve read through, and it’s kind of hilarious because they forgot to change the name about half the time. The irony in this will become evident when I start talking about Lupin III.
: Anyway, in the late 1960s, a Japanese mangaka by the name of Kazuhiko Kato reads a bunch of the Arsene Lupin stories and decides he wants to make a manga out of it. He invents the character of Lupin III, the grandson of Arsene Lupin.
: Lupin III started as a manga, but got an anime adaptation in 1971. The anime was a disaster. The first director was canned after six episodes because the network didn’t like the fact that Lupin III killed people (which is actually accurate to the manga, which is much darker than the anime). They brought on a little-known director by the name of Hayao Miyazaki to fix it. You’ve probably never heard of him.
: Since it’s impossible to tell what happened, Joker pressed the app on his phone and time stopped.
: Anyway, Miyazaki completely changed Lupin III’s characterization. He didn’t kill people anymore, was generally a lot more family-friendly, and the entire show was more comedic and cartoony than before. This more or less set the standard for what Lupin III is now, though there’s been a lot of pushback on it in the more recent adaptations.
: The first series was cancelled after one season (23 episodes) and it wasn’t until five years later that a new one sprung up. There’s no good name for it - most people call it Part 2 or “Red Jacket” after Lupin’s jacket, which changes color with every new series he’s in (the first series was Green Jacket, they’re currently on Blue Jacket).
: Red Jacket ran for three years, with one episode a week every week for a total of 155 episodes. Miyazaki came back to direct two of those, and also directed the definitive Lupin III movie, Castle of Cagliostro, around that time. Unfortunately, it would be years before anyone would try to bring Castle of Cagliostro to the west because every time someone tried, Leblanc’s estate sued… which is kind of ironic when you consider the whole Sherlock Holmes debacle.
: I like that they kept the blue fire motif for Personas that’s been around since P1.
: The same thing happened to Green/Red Jacket for a while, until a company called Geneon brought the first half of Red Jacket over in the early 2000s, complete with an English dub. Crunchyroll initially got the second half subtitled but their subs were bad. The second half of Red Jacket finally got proper subtitles from Discotek, who just put out the last box set of Red Jacket earlier this year.
: There’s three more series of Lupin: Pink Jacket (Part 3) which is shit, The Italian Game (Part 4) which is from 2015 and is really good, and Part 5 which was okay but I wasn’t a huge fan of. They also just put out a 3D movie this year that uses Detective Pikachu style visuals and it’s basically Lupin III meets Innocent Sin.
: Now, you might think this is Joker’s shadow due to the whole golden eyes motif established in Persona 4. It’s not. An ongoing theme of this game is that only bad people have (or are) shadows, because they threw the whole Jungian psychology thing out the window after Persona 4. No, this is Joker’s Persona.
: ZA WARUDO ends and time resumes.
: So why did I mention Lupin III? This game takes a lot of visuals from it, particularly from Red Jacket. It takes more than that but I can’t get into that for a while.
: Admittedly, if I had a “stop time and make my Persona appear” app on my phone I’d probably do the same thing out of fear of looking up and seeing Gritty.
: We get off the subway and get an objective. People on the street will sometimes have these random dialog boxes open if you get near them. I’m not going out of my way to get them.
: Welcome to Yongen-Jaya. For some reason, they changed the name of the area where Joker lives from its real-life counterpart, which is called Sangenjaya. There’s a dumb pun here - the “san” in Sangenjaya is the number 3, and the “yon” in “Yongen-Jaya” is the number 4. You’d think they’d have called it Gogen-Jaya since this is Persona 5.
: As Joker walks down the street, we pass by a doctor with a unique model who we’ll definitely never see again.
: This seems like a really weird thing for a 17 year old to say. You’d think he’d just say “I’ll be living with Sojiro Sakura”.
: I know exactly where Sojiro is, because he owns this cafe… subtly named “Leblanc”. Guess who Joker’s starter Persona is.
: Unfortunately, we can’t just go there because event flags.
: We need to talk to this guy first.
: We also need to talk to this guy who will tell us to go to the cafe we were at not even minutes ago.
[Image Credit: @mu_gi on twitter]
: This is what the real-life location they based Leblanc on looks like. It’s actually a bar instead of a cafe and looks like the kind of place Kazuma Kiryu would throw one of his opponents into so that the owner can finish them off with a wine bottle to the head in a heat action called “Essence of Face-Bottling”.
: By the way, the TV at Leblanc is how we’ll eventually get the Persona 5 equivalent of Trish’s “Who’s Who” show in Persona 3. You can find out what happened to all of the Persona 4 party members, who are now in their 20s (which is how we know this game takes place in 2016, apart from the dates lining up). It’s hard to believe that by this point, the Persona 1 cast are pushing 40. The Persona 3 cast are in their 30s.
: I kind of wish they’d done updates for the Persona 2 cast, since that doesn’t happen in either P3 or P4.
: O-y-s-t-e-r. Meet Sojiro Sakura. He has exactly two emotions. This is the first.
: “…Oh, right. They did say that was today.”
: “Thanks for coming.”
: “A what now?”
: “It’s none of my concern.”
: “…Four hours for just a single cup of joe. So, you’re Akira?”
: “…Uh-huh. I’m Sojiro Sakura. You’ll be in my custody over the next year.”
: The second is MAXIMUM OVERSMUG.
: “Have you been told? A customer of mine and your parents know each other and- well, not that that matters. Follow me.”
: “I’ll at least give you sheets for your bed. You look like you wanna say something.”
: “It’s on you to clean up the rest. I’ll be leaving after I lock up each day. You’ll be alone at night, but don’t do anything stupid. I’ll throw you out if you cause any trouble.”
: “Now then… I got the gist of your situation. You protected some woman from a man forcing himself on her, he got injured, then sued you. Right?”
: “That’s what you get for sticking your nose in a matter between two adults. You did injure him, yeah? And now that you’ve got a criminal record, you were expelled from your high school.”
: I uh… I don’t think any justice system anywhere works that way, except maybe Italy. Italy’s justice system is fucking crazy. Lawsuits are civil actions that are separate from the criminal charges pressed by the police and the prosecutors.
: The writing here is really awkward, but I think what they meant to say is that the guy pressed charges with the police. It’s kind of hard to believe they’d expel a kid over simple battery, but maybe that’s just Japan.
: “The courts ordered you to transfer and move out here, which your parents also approved.”
: This also makes no sense. Usually, a minor getting arrested on criminal charges isn’t grounds for removing them from their home like that. That usually happens in nasty divorces or if one of the parents is found to have abused the kid - I see this shit at work all the time. It makes no sense that the court would go “Now you’ve got to relocate to this random area west of Shibuya” in this case. This shit would probably get thrown out on appeal even in Japan, I assume.
: Smug bastard.
: “It’s best you not talk about anything unnecessary. I am in the restaurant business, you know. Behave yourself for the year. If nothing happens, your probation will be lifted.”
: Seriously though I want to know who approved this plot because it makes exactly zero sense. The courts, at least in the US, don’t go “Okay we need to remove the child from this household, let’s put him with a random cafe owner”. They usually send the kids to one of the grandparents or another relative. The only way this would make sense is if Sojiro was a foster parent, but he’s not.
: I like to think that Joker knows that the world he lives in no longer makes sense and has just kind of resigned himself to being in a nonsense plot.
: “Really now… it’s the word that applies to you. Your sentence lasts until next spring, right? That’s why you’re gonna be here for the coming year. Cause any problems, and you’ll be sent straight to juvie.”
: “We’ll be going to Shujin tomorrow.”
: “Shujin Academy - the school you’ll be attending. We’ll introduce ourselves properly to the staff there. There’s rarely a place that’ll accept someone like you, you know.”
: “What a waste of my Sunday. Your ‘luggage’ arrived a little while ago. I brought it up here for you.”
: I thought the box would have the P5 save bonus in it, but it doesn’t yet. Persona 5 was somewhere in the middle of Innocent Sin and Persona 1 in terms of money. It’s tight early on, but by the end I remember having several million yen sitting around. The extra money will help because a lot of our expenditures in this game will be on things that aren’t equipment or healing items.
: Most of the things in Joker’s room have a use once they’ve been cleaned. In fact, we’ll be using a couple of chunks of time early on to do that.
: Meh, I’ve slept on worse. In college I stayed in this thing that was a “dorm alternative” where they gave you a tiny little apartment that looked like a Cold War-era bunker. Whole thing was made of concrete, was really drafty, and by the end was infested with rats. I remember keeping a knife next to my bed in case I had to knife a rat in the middle of the night. We need to examine one more thing.
: We could check everywhere but all the dialog more or less adds up to “this room could be useful if it didn’t look like Maya lived here”.
: He was actually playing the Maya Game in case Maya was around. The Maya Game consists of waving a can of crabmeat and shouting “FRENCH DINNER, FRENCH DINNER, PLEASE COME HERE” while walking circles around the room.
: “Actually, the place doesn’t look too bad. Though it’s only natural you’d want to keep your room tidy.”
: “Why don’t you go to bed for tonight? You don’t have anything better to be doing, right?”
: “I’m going to close up shop and get out of here myself. I won’t be the one looking after you if you get sick from staying up too late, you got that?”
: Game, did I really need a tutorial on how to bed? I know how to bed. This is one of the last times we’ll ever be going to bed willingly.
: Are you ready to see the exact same scene we saw not even minutes ago? I’m not. Same warning, by the way.
: Sorry, I was too busy being asleep. I really don’t get what the point of this is. We already know what happens.
: And I’ve got my title for this update.
: Also, why does this guy look like Hideki Kamiya?
: I think Joker misunderstands the situation. Kamiya only wants her in the car so he can block her on Twitter.
: Back in the real world, Joker’s phone rings. Either that or he’s asking himself what the best way to calculate the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter is.
: Yeah this happens to me all the time when I go to sleep and then remember that I was supposed to buy a yellow onion at the grocery store a week ago and never did.
: Man, don’t you just hate it when you get up and want to take a piss, but you’re chained to your bed in some kind of weird BDSM situation?
: Meet the Velvet Twins - Caroline and Justine.
: And of course, Igor. Gone are Belladonna and Nameless - they stop showing up after Eternal Punishment. Philemon’s money kind of ran out after the world ended in Innocent Sin and they couldn’t afford the massive bills that come with an on-demand pianist. Persona 3 actually tells you somewhere that Nameless and Belladonna are still around but merely don’t show up for some reason.
: One thing that changed with Royal is that you can actually invite Caroline and Justine out if you have free time. We probably will not be doing this because the timetable is so tight to finish everything else.
: “You’re in the presence of our master. Stand up straight!”
: “Welcome. I am delighted to make your acquaintance. This place exists between dream and reality, mind and matter. It is a room that only those who are bound by a ‘contract’ may enter.”
: This is almost word for word identical to what he says to Jihei and Tatsuya the first time he meets them.
: “I summoned you to speak of important matters. It involves your life as well.”
: “The state of this room reflects the state of your own heart. To think a prison would appear as such.”
: “You truly are a ‘prisoner’ of fate. In the near future, there is no mistake that ruin awaits you.”
: “I speak of the end of everything. However, there is a means to oppose such a fate. You must be ‘rehabilitated’. Rehabilitated toward freedom.”
: “That is your only means to avoid ruin. Do you have the resolve to challenge the distortion of the world?”
: “You didn’t decline, hm? Very well, that is enough. Allow me to observe the path of your rehabilitation.”
: “Ah, pardon me for not introducing the others. To your right is Caroline, to your left, Justine. They serve as wardens here.”
: “I shall explain the roles of these two at another occasion.”
: Nah, fuck that, I’ll explain it now. Caroline and Justine do Persona fusion. You can also use them to cash in Personas for items - there’s no more rank mechanic so I think you can just do it from the get-go. This is a mechanic Atlus got rid of in P3 and P4 and only just brought back for this game.
: “Take your time to slowly come to understand this place. We will surely meet again… eventually.”
: What is it with this game and everyone telling me to go to bed?
: And… we’ve done it, everyone! After roughly 20 minutes of cutscene, we’ve made it to the second day.
: Have I mentioned that the game doesn’t actually start until 4/18?
: “Well then, let’s go introduce ourselves properly to the staff about your transfer.”
: “It’ll take a while to get there by train. The transfers are a real hassle, too.”
: I looked it up just to see how far away Aoyama is from Sangenjaya.
: The answer is about 24 minutes east, and you only have to transfer trains once, maybe twice. It’s also interesting that there’s a train accident today.
: I also looked up what Aoyama is like and it’s apparently one of the busiest entertainment districts for young people in Tokyo, and also one of the wealthiest. Honestly, Joker probably hit the jackpot. Shit, I’d love to work in a place like that, as opposed to where I do work.
: “I’ll drive you there, but just for today. Let’s go. Sheesh… men aren’t usually allowed in my passenger seat.”
: Sojiro has never fucked. Ever.
: “Don’t get me wrong, I don’t care what happens to you. Just don’t cause any trouble.”
: Welcome to Hashino’s Persona, where all fat people are evil. I should talk about that a little bit.
: As I mentioned in Innocent Sin, Satomi Tadashi left Atlus after Eternal Punishment. It kind of sucks, because even though he wasn’t a great writer and spent a lot of his time being horny for idols, he at least wasn’t an asshole the way this guy is.
: Katsura Hashino, who looks like he’s wearing a shirt I threw out when I was in middle school, is the writer for most of Atlus’s games after EP. The exceptions are the Raidou games, Strange Journey, Devil Survivor, and SMT 4/Apocalypse. A lot of people do not like him.
: Let’s talk about the games he DID write. Catherine (and Full Body), both versions of this game, Persona 3/FES, and Persona 4. You may remember the first as being controversial due to transphobia and generally not treating trans people well (not to mention the remake), even after people complained.
: In general, Hashino is a homophobe and a transphobe, and doesn’t generally appreciate fat people either. He’s a shit writer and no longer works at Atlus. He left after P5, and probably should’ve been canned after Catherine. Say what you will about Satomi Tadashi, but at least he was only horny for idols.
: Persona 5 Royal had a controversy of its own involving a scene we won’t be seeing for a while that is generally really homophobic and shitty. It sparked a major backlash against Atlus, who made minor changes to it and that’s about it.
: One way you can tell that Hashino is a hack is that most of the characters in both P4 and P5 are just characters from P1 and P2 with the serial numbers filed off. This guy at his core is just Hanya but fat.
: Meet Sadayo Kawakami. She’s basically Ms. Saeko, and also one of the two most useful characters in this game. I’m not even kidding.
: “Here’s your student ID.”
: “Be sure to read the school rules. Any violations will send you straight to the guidance office.”
: “And if by chance you cause any problems, I won’t be able to protect you at all. …That IS your promise, yes, Principal Kobayakawa?”
: This seems… I dunno, kinda inappropriate.
: “If you’re done explaining things, mind if we get going? I got a store to get back to.”
: “Well, I’ll be sure to have a serious talk about the situation he’s in.”
: I’d like to remind you that Joker is roughly the same age as Tatsuya - I believe he’s 17, but people treat him like he’s either 12 or an adult.
: “Come to the faculty office when you arrive at school tomorrow. I’ll show you to your classroom.”
: “That’s what having a criminal record does to you. Turns out your past follows you wherever you go.”
: “By the way… if you get expelled, I won’t hesitate to kick you out. Got it?”
: One thing I don’t get is why Atlus didn’t give you the option of skipping the first few days if you have a Persona 5 clear file. Very little is actually different, apart from one line we’ll see in a couple of minutes. That’s about it.
: This reminds me of one of the negotiations in Innocent Sin, where the female demons will tell Tatsuya that he should watch out because he’ll be old before he knows it, and one of the responses is a very Japanese “I’ll be careful”.
: “Hmph… school never changes, huh? Come on, we’re going home.”
: Cue Hideo Kojima banging on the windows of an empty Japanese high school in early 2020 screaming “SCHOOL HAS CHANGED”.
: Meet Suguru Kamoshida, the gym teacher and also one of the worst written characters in this game.
: “I can’t believe they pushed someone with a record on me. A male teacher would be better suited for this.”
: “Why in the world was he admitted here?”
: “Who knows? It was the principal’s decision. I was told that it’s for the school’s reputation.”
: “I would’ve thought that my volleyball team has contributed more than enough to cover that.”
: “That’s certainly true.”
: “Be careful, okay? Then again, if anything were to happen, I’d kick out a student like that right away.”
: “I keep wishing that he’d just end up not coming to school. Still, that isn’t something I should be saying as a teacher…”
: Believe me, she’s actually Ms. Saeko. Everyone in this game starts out as an asshole and then basically turns into a completely different person overnight.
: “Well, I should be returning to practice.”
: “Oh, right. The tournament’s coming up, isn’t it?”
: “Hehe, having such high expectations placed on you by others is quite a problem in itself. We’ll have to work hard to make up for the track team too.”
: “You’re taking the train starting tomorrow.”
: “…So how was it? The school, I mean. You think you can manage?”
: “… Now listen up. Still, you were expelled once already. To think you’d re-enroll at a different one…”
: What was the point of this cutscene? What is he telling us that we don’t already know? In the original game, the answer is nothing. This is a pointless fucking cutscene. Also notice that nothing he says makes any sense here - I’m not leaving anything out.
: “…If that’s what it was like at school, people might say stuff about me in the future too. What a troublesome kid I’ve taken in.”
: “I was asked to do it, and I just… happened to agree to it. I’ve already been paid for it too, after all.”
: Remember how I said that it was weird that there was a train crash on the actual Sangenjaya-Shibuya line today?
: “…Another accident? So that’s why it’s so crowded. There’s been a lot of those lately.”
: This is that new line of dialog I was talking about.
: “Her parents have gotta be just…”
: I hope you’re ready for more cutscene! I still have like… probably 200 screenshots left for just this one day.
: “Why’d that guy bite me?” and then it’s Resident Evil 2.
: I think one choice I don’t like stylistically about this game is that it feels too much like a movie. I think P5 has the highest amount of cutscenes where the party isn’t in them out of all the Persona games. On one hand, I know why they did it - it’s because they didn’t want a repeat of Innocent Sin where you get to the end and you’re like “Wait, who are all these people?”, but on the other it’s using a lot of time that could’ve been used on gameplay on this.
: It’s also weird to me that they’re mocking up CNN’s logo. I know CNN airs in Japan, but you’d think for a local story like this they’d be watching FujiTV or NHK or something.
: Looking back at this, these last two lines are incredibly awkward and don’t make a lot of sense. ATC stands for automatic train control - so basically, the SIU Director is blaming an equipment failure, even though at this point the entire reason Sae is here is to investigate a series of cases of people becoming zombies… and the director knows or should know this because he’s her boss.
: See, this is why this game’s writing is kind of insidious. YIIK was blatantly bad - you could tell from one look that nothing half the characters were saying made any kind of sense. P5 is the kind of bad where your brain just kind of shuts off after a while and you just go with it because you’re not sure whether it’s bad writing, a localization failure, or both. Trust me, it’s both.
: I also have to wonder why they didn’t flip the Japanese text to English. I don’t mean replace it, I mean the way that some Japanese news sites will have the news in both Japanese and English. Like, have the graphics “flip” to English for a minute so I can read this.
: He just said he thought it was an equipment failure! None of this makes any fucking sense, and I know what the plot is! I think I just shut my brain off around here and didn’t turn it back on until one scene near the end of the game when it got so stupid that I just started skipping cutscenes.
: And here’s Goro Akechi. He’s consistently the most popular character in polls. No surprise there since he looks like a character out of an otome game. He’s basically the NPC version of Naoto Shirogane from P4, because none of the characters in this game are original.
: I should mention that if you buy the Innocent Sin skin pack, Akechi’s outfit is replaced with Jun’s in scenes where his actual model shows up… though really all they do is color his jacket blue.
: I am very surprised this never became a meme of some kind.
: “I wasn’t able to open the cafe today.”
: There’s this one song I had to look up that used to play on the radio all the time and I hear it every time a character in an RPG says that. The song is “Tonight Tonight” by Hot Chelle Rae.
: “It’s been a hell of a week. Couldn’t open the cafe, adopted a kid and I’m like 43… too old to be a protagonist in an RPG… and I’m like dot dot dot whatever. Dot dot dot whatever. Dot dot dot whatever. Dot dot dot.”
: “It used to be mine, back when I was an RPG protagonist in '98. They used to call me Squall, but I had my name legally changed because it was dumb. Back in my day, we had to junction spells to our stats because we were out of other gimmicks, and spent hours grinding trading cards because levelling up was bad.”
: “You may be under probation, but there’s no special limitations on what you do in particular. Besides following the law, that is.”
: Okay so not only do they move Joker to some random cafe in Sangenjaya, they also… just straight up don’t have any kind of rules for probation? I’m starting to doubt there was actually a court case. Joker’s parents just wanted to get rid of him.
: “However, I’m obligated to report on you, which is why I’m having you record your daily activities.”
: “…I’m about to leave right now. Don’t worry, I’ll be there in no time. …Uh-huh. I’ll see you soon.”
: “Well, I’m off. I’ll lock the place up, so do whatever you want for the rest of the night. Oh, but don’t mess up my store. If something goes missing, I’ll hand you right over to the cops.”
: “You got school tomorrow… you better head off to bed, all right?”
: In an awkward bit of ludonarrative dissonance, Joker uses the diary as a save point in this cutscene… but in the actual game we can save anywhere so long as it’s not in a dungeon.
: “Anyway… I closed up shop, but I forgot to flip the sign to “closed” when I left. It’s too much trouble for me to come back just for that. Think you can do it for me?”
: “I doubt any customers are gonna come now even if the sign’s flipped to Open. And I have to say, this is quite a relief.”
: I actually have a clip of someone reading the design documents for Persona 5 written by Hashino himself.
: “I’m glad you actually picked up. Anyway, I’ll leave the shop sign to you.”
: In an awkward bit of gameplay, we have to go outside and flip the shop sign manually. This isn’t something we’ll ever do again. Mostly what this is doing is making you aware of the fact that Leblanc has a telephone. We can use it later… even though Joker has a cellphone.
: It’s weird to me that Joker never turns the TV off. I’d go nuts if I had to sleep above that.
: I already looked at the TV and the rest of this monolog is Joker talking about stuff the TV already showed.
: And that’s it. Next time, we go to school and get introduced to the life simulation part of Persona 5 Royal.