Click Here for Update 73
: It’s time for the end of the Okumura arc.
: “I guess Okumura finally had his change of heart. That has to at least lift some of the burden on Haru’s shoulders.”
: I kind of wish they hadn’t shoehorned it so that the party is always together any time anything major happens. Persona 4 felt a lot more realistic, where something would happen and you’d get a call about it and then meet up later.
: “Hm? Wait, where’s Yusuke? …If he’s still asleep at this point, he’s definitely going to be late for school.”
: He’s still sleeping off the jet lag from Paris. Either that or he was up all night painting again.
: “That aside, Okumura Foods has been a hot topic recently. This much media coverage must be worth at least ten million yen.”
: I dunno, Subway’s had a lot of media coverage recently because of the whole tuna scandal (article might be paywalled, it’s the New York Times). I bet they wish they could pay 10 million yen (~$90,000 USD) to make that story and the existing lawsuits over it go away.
: On a side note, I read another article about them recently, and their former CEO sounds a lot like a real-life Okumura.
: “At first, I even thought that all this outcry was just some kind of elaborate marketing campaign. I guess it’s giving them too much of a bad image to be that, though.”
: “Advertising and public image are more important than anything else for a corporation. Are you familiar with a psychological test using these images? The idea is to give the two shapes names appropriate to their appearance.”
: " Kurusu-san."
: This test was originally performed in 1929 by a German (technically German-American, but he didn’t move to the US until 1935) psychologist named Wolfgang Kohler. Originally, the two words were “takete” and “baluba” - the modern “kiki” and “bouba” come from a second experiment in 2001 that was done in both the United States and India.
: “That’s correct. Most people named B ‘Bouba’ and A ‘Kiki’. Sharp sounds like K and T are linked to a spiky image. According to one theory, sounds and shapes are processed in the same area of the brain.”
: The groups that don’t tend to be people who speak a language where those sounds aren’t commonly used (it’s been tested on people in Nepal among other places). The test also has a much weaker correlation in people with autism.
: “Furthermore, this sense is the same worldwide. No matter the language, the result is the same. A product’s name impresses an image on people before they even use or buy it. Big Bang Burger exemplifies this. The voiced consonants and short syllables leave a strong imprint.”
: “Although with the news these days, it may also evoke the image of the strong oppressing the weak.”
: “Even the teachers have their eyes set on Okumura… well, he should be having a change of heart, so there should be nothing to worry about.”
: “So, about Dr. Maruki’s counseling… you’ve already gone to see him, right?”
: “I see… that’s good, then. I’m sure you’re aware, but Dr. Maruki’s term here will be ending pretty soon. The higher-ups told me to make sure you’ve received adequate counseling…”
: I don’t know if I mentioned this earlier (I think I did back when we first met him) but Maruki’s confidant must be at Rank 10 to get the expansion content for Royal. His confidant cuts off on 11/18.
: His confidant is also different from everyone else’s in that you cannot get Rank 10 before 11/18 - the game will automatically give it to you if you are Rank 9 on that date, otherwise you are locked into the base game’s ending.
: “Be sure to visit him so you don’t bring any unwanted attention to yourself, okay?”
: We will be doing his Rank 9 on 11/17.
: “Counseling, eh? But anyway, let’s go get lunch! Bring on the bread!”
: “I’ve been doing quite well. Are you also about to eat lunch, Kurusu-senpai? If it’s all right with you, would you mind eating together?”
: Dammit, game! Stop trying to set up the plot for the expansion this early!
: “Oh, would you like to join us for lunch, Dr. Maruki? We were just discussing eating together.”
: What the fuck is this, an episode of Seinfeld?
: “Are you sure? Well, maybe I will tag along, then.”
: “That doesn’t really…”
: “I have to eat this much to stay active! I always burn through everything I eat! From my point of view, it’s your two lunches that are the issue here. If you’re going to strengthen your body, you have to eat right. You should really work on your diets.”
: “Hahaha, touche. And you’re right, yours does look nutritious. You know… you seem to be giving off a different vibe lately.”
: “Yes! I was able to put my problems in the past and move on.”
: “Ah, so that’s what it is. You don’t seem to be overexerting yourself, either.”
: “I’m sorry I’d worried you.”
: “Oh, not at all. It’s wonderful to hear how you’ve been. I must admit, I’m a bit surprised. If you don’t mind my asking, was there some kind of reason for this breakthrough?”
: “Well… it’s all thanks to Kurusu-senpai and his acquaintances. I suppose you could say they gave me a reason to rethink things - or, more like a reason to stand up to my problems. Isn’t that right, Kurusu-senpai?”
: I have to wonder how she’d know who the rest of John Persona is, given that she’s only met them once. I’m sure she could guess on some of them.
: “Stand up to your problems, eh? You’ve grown to be very strong, Yoshizawa-san.”
: “Mmhm, I’m totally over it now! Sorry for talking so much. Why don’t we focus on our lunches? Itadakimasu!”
: They translate it as “thanks for the food” but let’s be real here, anyone who has watched anime for any period of time knows what itadakimasu is.
: “I should get going. Please excuse me!”
: “Yoshizawa-san really does seem to have found her footing. She seemed absolutely tormented about her situation just the other day… I have to say, this drastic change has really knocked me for a loop. Perhaps the Phantom Thieves changed her heart?”
: “Haha, I was just joking. Looks like time’s up. You should head back to class as well. See you around.”
: “You can just call me Haru. The seasons are changing soon, so I thought it’d be nice for the plants to change as well. This time, it’s a Yusuke Kitagawa production.”
: Yusuke is slowly devolving into Jun. Soon, he will replace his katana for a flower and sending messages to Joker via thrown bouquets.
: “Furthermore, Haru chose the flowers herself. It will surely be a great bed no matter the arrangement.”
: This is pretty much Haru’s confidant ability - she can plant things. It takes time and the rewards from it aren’t anything special, so I never touched it in the base game.
: “Hm, I’m looking forward to it.”
: “Why don’t we plant you, Mona?”
: “Weren’t you a shut-in until just recently? You’d better photosynthesize while you’re here.”
: “That’s not gonna make a difference!”
: “Hey, y’know how we’re thinkin’ of the school festival as our celebration party? Anyone else think we should have a real celebration on top of that?”
: “I must agree. It would be not only a celebration, but a welcoming as well. I’d like to do something among ourselves.”
: Yusuke has to cover to stop all the questions about where he and Joker were all weekend.
: “Let’s do it then! A joint party to celebrate and to welcome Haru!”
: “Oh, you don’t have to do that. The school festival is more than enough.”
: “How is everyone else supposed to get excited if the star of the party’s not into it?”
: “By Destinyland, do you mean that kingdom of dreams?”
: “It would be a bit late, but there are some plans that allow us to rent out the park for the night.”
: “The entire park!? You’re talking about THE Destinyland, right?”
: “Didn’t you say you’d like to do something amongst ourselves?”
: “I did, but…”
: Yusuke’s like “If you had told me you could rent out Destinyland for an entire night I would have asked you earlier so I could confess to Joker there.”
: “Hold on. I’ll go check.”
: “She really thinks like a celebrity…”
: “The heck’s she gonna check?”
: “We’re really gonna have it at Destinyland? Not like, one of the restaurants, but… the entire park?”
: “Even for just one night, the price is insane…”
: “Oh, that won’t be a problem. We had originally booked it for a company party, then had to call it off because of the scandal… we’d barely get anything back if we canceled the reservation, so why not take advantage of it?”
: It’s weird how at first she seems to insinuate that the company has some kind of deal with the park where they can do that on short notice, and then it’s suddenly this planned thing that just happens to be tonight.
: “Wouldn’t that be oddly conspicuous though?”
: “It’s still officially under the company’s name. We needn’t worry.”
: “In that case… let’s do this. We’ll just celebrate twice as hard today!”
: “I’m sorry for disrupting everyone. You did come to help me, after all. Well, let’s get back to it!”
: “So seriously. How much does it cost?”
: Money. Loads of money.
: “The food was arranged on my plate as though it were paint on a canvas.”
: “I thought if we were going to dine together, it would be better to do it somewhere with a view.”
: “The VIP life is incredible! Not that I’d expect anything else from a private rental!”
: “There really is no one else here.”
: “We are the rulers of the kingdom of dreams!”
: “That’s right.”
: “It’s beautiful…”
: Yusuke glares at her SO FUCKING HARD.
: “Almost anyone would fall for that line in front of a sight like this!”
: Morgana is then ejected from Destinyland for being horny.
: “You say that like you’re not tapping into your inner child too, Ryuji.”
: How hard can that be? You’re all only 17, apart from Makoto and Haru.
: “This is just ‘cause Futaba kept naggin’ me to put 'em on!”
: I’d mention something about Ryuji’s constant hatred of adults, but we haven’t heard about that in a while. Hashino abruptly drops it and I don’t think we hear him talk about it again.
: “My, this is so heartwarming!”
: “Honestly, I would’ve liked to see the parade as well. But given how sudden the request was, they couldn’t get enough staff together to do it.”
: So now we’ve got two lines in the “Okumura Foods can rent out Destinyland on a whim” camp and one in the “Okumura Foods had already rented out the park but didn’t go due to the scandal” camp. Which is it!?
: “Perhaps that will have to wait until next time.”
: “Either way, this party’s totally the best one so far! It’s freakin’ amazing!”
: “I’m glad to see you’re enjoying it.”
: In my mind, the answer is that Haru is like the love interest from Lupin III Part 4, who wants to be a thief but doesn’t want a criminal record, so she merely buys entire banks on a moment’s notice to rob them. She just straight-up bought Destinyland on that rooftop.
: “Be careful, Haru. You’ve shown these guys what luxury means. This’ll really raise the bar for our next celebration party.”
: “You’re already talking about our next party? Don’t you think that’s a bit premature?”
: What you’re witnessing here is the high point of the game - not necessarily in writing quality, but in terms of the rise of John Persona.
: “Still… how do I put this? I met Mona-chan, I got to know you all… isn’t everything going a little too perfectly? It’s actually a bit frightening…”
: “You worry too much.”
: “…I must just be overly cautious because of my circumstances up till recently. I’m sorry for bringing it up.”
: Who talks like that? Seriously, who? “It’s probably just me. Sorry for bringing it up.” Fixed your fucking dialogue. And yes, I understand they’re trying to do the Elly thing with her, but still.
: “Hey, isn’t it almost time? You know, for the press conference.”
: “Today, I’d like to elaborate upon the whole truth behind my company’s labor situation. How my employees were forced to work under severe conditions, how… lax we were with sanitation…”
: And then the camera cuts away to Valley of Defilement, or Blighttown if you haven’t played Demon’s Souls.
: “And how my corporation acted as a whole to… cover up every facet of this scandal. For all of this, I wholeheartedly apologize.”
: If I was writing this, Okumura would go “Oh, that’s because our company name is actually…” and then it cuts away to the Okumura Foods building where part of the sign with the company’s name on it is obscured by a tree, which blows to the side in the wind to reveal the actual name is “Okumura Food Poisoning”.
: “About that… I have a critical piece of information to announce here today.”
: Shadow the Hedgehog is a bitch-ass motherfucker. Anyway, Okumura’s about to die and it gets a little graphic, so you can skip this part coming up. Just ctrl + f “nice boat”.
: “Okumura’s going to say who’s really behind the mental shutdowns.”
: This entire thing is EXTREMELY inconsistent. We know from Persona 2 that having your shadow die doesn’t actually kill you - it just renders you braindead.
: The problem is that the way having your shadow die works in this game makes no sense. First there’s the kind who just go braindead - we saw that with the train conductor at the beginning of the game.
: Then there’s the kind who go full-on The Happening and attempt to kill themselves with whatever they can find - this was Futaba’s mother and Principal Evil.
: Then there’s… whatever this is, which I think they just kind of stole wholesale from Death Note.
: Come to think of it, isn’t this that scene from Ni no Kuni 2? The one with Roland’s son that happens right around the final boss?
: So does having his shadow die also fuck with the cameras, or is that unrelated?
: I’m very surprised they didn’t do the whole “nice boat” thing.
: “Wh-Why did he collapse!?”
: “That didn’t look right at all… don’t tell me…!”
: This scene might’ve actually been effective if we hadn’t known for two weeks that Okumura was dead.
: “You’re right. We followed all the same steps! We made sure we just took the Treasure too…”
: Is this an aspect of the dungeons we haven’t seen? That at the end, the party gets together and goes “Okay, did we accidentally kill anyone?”
: I’m picturing them doing this at the end of a palace and Ryuji is visibly nervous and sweating. Morgana calls on him. “Ryuji, how many bodies? One? Two?”
: Ryuji shakes his head. “Three? How many bodies, Ryuji?” and then Ryuji mouths “Twenty.”
: “Twenty people!? How the hell did you kill twenty people!? There weren’t even twenty people in this dungeon! How do you even manage to accidentally kill twenty people!?”
: Then it cuts to Ryuji in front of a control panel in Okumura’s palace with a big red button labelled “EMERGENCY ATMOSPHERE PURGE” right in the middle. The next cut is to the Okumura Foods building, which is suddenly on fire.
: You know what, basically just this scene with the Persona 5 cast, only the pizza is a pile of bodies.
: gasp “I should call home!”
: “This - this isn’t our fault… is it? It’s been okay all four times so far - ever since Kamoshida!”
: “If we let the Shadow live, the real person won’t undergo mental shutdown… right?”
: “That’s how it should work…”
: “Yeah… i-it’s gotta be…”
: “What’s wrong?”
: “Th-This is… the same… I remember now… it’s just like… what happened to my mom…”
: “So this is the moment when mental shutdown occurs…”
: “But why did they target Okumura-san?”
: “Dammit! The hell’s goin’ on here!?”
: “Um… I have to go. I’ll talk to the staff before I leave. Feel free to take your time…”
: “This ain’t our fault, right?”
: “I’d like to think so…”
: “Some welcoming party, huh…”
: “I’ll get in contact with Haru later. But for today, I think we should all return home.”
: I like to think that Caroline and Justine snuck in and they’re just riding whatever the Destinyland equivalent of Splash Mountain is, completely oblivious to what’s going on.
: “What are you watching? gasp That’s-”
: “This is just a hypothesis… but perhaps Okumura was bitten by his lapdog.”
: “Are you implying that the Phantom Thieves triggered a mental shutdown on Okumura?”
: “There might have been a falling out of sorts, so the Phantom Thieves abandoned a useless employer. And to cover their tracks, they dealt with Okumura.”
: “I hate to bring this up, but I’m actually here about that.”
: “Did you find any evidence?”
: “How do you mean? You were suspecting the Phantom Thieves as well.”
: “It is still hypothetical at this point… but I don’t want to rule it out.”
: “We’re searching the Okumura residence tomorrow. Same with Shujin and its principal. We will find evidence on this… no matter what it takes.”
: So what you’re telling me is that the principal died almost a month ago, you suspected the Phantom Thieves were behind it… and didn’t think to search his office until just now?
: “…By the way, I wanted to ask you something.”
: “…You haven’t looked at my laptop or taken files from it without permission, have you?”
: “That’s quite out of the blue.”
: “There were traces that someone transferred data from it. It was only a small error pop-up… but I noticed it immediately after I had that argument with you last month.”
: “And that’s why you suspect me? Oh please, give me a break.”
: “Are you saying you didn’t?”
: “As a detective myself, I honor the value of information - as well as the effort invested in it. I take pride in what I do. I thought you of all people would understand such values, Sae-san.”
: “…I apologize. But then… who stole my data?”
: It wouldn’t be cardiac arrest, that was a heart attack right out of a movie.
: Does anyone remember her actually saying that? I sure don’t. But yeah, this is the point where Hashino realizes he just did an ass-pull and is desperately trying to justify it.
: This is far from the only time he does this. I feel like this part of the game happened because the writers realized they were five dungeons in, only barely had a plot, and needed to pull something off fast if they were ever going to finish it.
: In fact, by the end of the next dungeon, we’ll have seen the part that made me check out on the plot when I played the base game.
: “It should’ve been okay! It… should’ve been…”
: “Dammit, this doesn’t make any sense… why he suffered a mental shutdown is one thing… but what are we supposed to do from here on out?”
: Tonight’s another night where the plot forces us to sleep.
: “Our master has an important matter to discuss with you. Heed his words well.”
: “…Or so I’d like to say, but something odd seems to have happened.”
: “Who knows?”
: I feel like this last exchange was an email between the writers that accidentally got added to the script. “Okay, so Okumura dies… now what’s supposed to happen?” “Who knows? We’re just throwing shit at the wall at this point.”
: “However, don’t you sense it? The malicious will of another… it seems a contingency has occurred. At this rate, your rehabilitation cannot be completed… though I doubt that will be the case.”
: “I truly look forward to seeing how you overcome this predicament. …We shall meet again.”
: The opinion bar is dropping. It’ll continue to do that over the next few days.
: “Will you quiet down!? We’re in class right now! Not to mention, you have midterms starting on Monday! Focus on studying!”
: We will be coming in first place on those exams.
: “…Things are getting pretty bad.”
: “I see.”
: “We’ve confirmed the victim’s connection to the Phantom Thieves, at least. Thank you for your cooperation.”
: I had to re-record this bit because I missed a crossword (we’ll see it at the end) that should’ve been at the end of the last update, and I only just noticed the two cops in the background interrogating that chair.
: Cop 1: “Chair, where were you last night at 8? Why are you in this weird corner area that doesn’t really have anything in it?”
: Cop 2: “It looks suspicious. Dust it for ass-prints and sent it to the lab.”
: “I’m sorry to ask again, but your father hadn’t said anything abuot the Phantom Thieves, correct?”
: “Please contact me if something catches your attention. It doesn’t matter how trivial it seems. …You don’t have to force yourself though. Just anything that comes to mind.”
: The date change on the film reel effect bits before the Sae cutscenes have been slowly changing. This is as far as this one goes… though we’ll know EXACTLY when the Sae cutscenes happen pretty soon. Can you guess why?
: “And even the death of Shujin’s principal, who we found a calling card for, was the work of another?”
: Oh, one fuckup I found with these Sae cutscenes - if you look at the one from the start of the Kamoshida arc, it has the Phantom Thieves logo on it that Yusuke designed, even though he wasn’t there for that.
: “You don’t sound like you’re lying… if you wanted to deceive me, you could’ve easily made up a much simpler lie than this ‘Metaverse’. Moreover, your account coincides with my own investigation. Is that even possible if it were made up?”
: “And I hate to admit, but… with my line of work, I know a false testimony when I hear one. Still, if you set your sights on Okumura based on my intel, it’d be before his name was even ranked.”
: “You could’ve ignored him and targeted some other famous person. Why would you go so far as to further investigate and pursue this criminal?”
: “Heh… simple enough. There’s still no proof that another suspect exists. That said, it’s safe enough to say that you aren’t the murdering type.”
: “But with the subsequent deaths of Okumura and Shujin’s principal, the public’s opinion changed. Pressed to prove your innocence, your next objective was…”
: “If what you’re saying is true, you must tell your side of the story to the end. We’ll both be in trouble if your testimony becomes unreliable. Well then, let’s move on.”
: “At last, we arrive at your most recent crime.”
: Yes, this means exactly what you’re thinking.
: “I hope Haru’s okay…”
: Tonight, we’ll be reading to get ahead on that. I think I mentioned earlier that the guide has us do Knowing the Heart before the next dungeon - it doesn’t.
: The good news is that because we have all these nights where we can’t do anything else, we’ll have just enough time to finish all those books before the next dungeon, because this is an LP where we are ahead of schedule and under budget.
: “Did you want me to call you ‘Chief’ now? Heh, I’m just kidding. Did you learn more about chiefs and their big hearts? Even in the underworld, there’s kindness…”
: Wait… it was a book about the yakuza? Figures.
: We’ll keep going even though we’re technically at the start of the next plot arc, because there’s even more cutscene here.
: “It looks like Haru is managing… somehow. All right, let’s meet up with everyone after school.”
: “The public has praised them as ‘allies of justice,’ before they strike them back to the ground… now then, she’ll be next…”
: “Yes, I’ve already spoken to human resources about it. It will be a heavy responsibility, but I’m certain it’d be an honor for her. The culprits behind the mental shutdown cases she’s been pursuing all this time…”
: The SIU director went to HR and was like “Hi, I’m part of an evil, shadowy cabal and I need to brain-murder my subordinate. Are we all good on that? Yes, I understand that this would make my third brain-murder in a 30-day rolling window.”
: “It’s so damn loud…”
: “Hrm? Where’s Haru?”
: “She’s the one that called us, so she’ll show up eventually.”
: “Well, even though things have calmed down, she must be occupied with what happened to her father…”
: “Wh-What’s up?”
: “People are posting that we killed President Okumura!”
: “So it’s begun already…”
: “Think about it. The CEO collapsed the way he did, during an apology conference that our group caused.”
: “Still…! They were raving about us so much, and now they just treat us like murderers?”
: “What a lightning-fast change of attitude!”
: “They don’t know a damn thing about us or our situation!”
: “Calm down. Not everyone is necessarily saying that…”
: “But there’s no way to vindicate ourselves.”
: “I’m the one who asked you to make time for me too…”
: “…My condolences. It must be rough.”
: “I’m okay now. Um, I called everyone together because there was something worrying me. Did you all target the principal?”
: “Huh? The principal? …You mean ours?”
: “What makes you say that?”
: “Yesterday, a public prosecutor came to my home. Um… it was a woman named… Niijima-san.”
: “I overheard her saying a calling card was found in the principal’s office. Considering that this was right after what happened… it’s got to be Shujin’s.”
: “That’s the first I’ve heard of it!”
: “Doesn’t this all seem weird to you? It may just be my imagination… but I feel as if… things are escalating far too quickly after President Okumura’s incident.”
: “For real!?”
: “That could be…”
: “Then we need to catch them as soon as possible.”
: “Hold a moment. Can we assume we’ve been set up though? We don’t even know their objective.”
: “What else are we supposed to do then!?”
: “Let’s all calm down for a moment. From what Haru said, even the police are suspecting that the Phantom Thieves are murderers… it wouldn’t be wise to carelessly make a move at the moment.”
: “We need to act as normal students for now. In addition, we have midterms next week.”
: “Exams? At a time like this? Rgh… I envy you, Futaba… Futaba?”
: “I wonder what that could be. At any rate, we need to behave and not draw attention to ourselves. Understood?”
: “But that’s impossible!”
: Did the writers forget that Mishima knows who the party is? I think they did.
: “Mishima is a bit narrow-sighted, but he’s a good person deep down. We can’t betray him…”
: Tonight, we’re going to continue to be ahead of schedule on books. We’re going to have a lot of nights in October where we can’t do anything else.
: “Stories about great people from the past, huh? I’m just a little suspicious of how true they are…”
: Next time, we’ll go through an entire week in one update. We’ll also start picking up our next batch of Mementos requests.