Click Here for Update 77
: And now, it’s time for the game to go to shit. You are now entering a world of ass-pulls, last-minute attempts to glue several different copies of the game script together in the style of Ni no Kuni 2, and general shit that never gets mentioned in Strikers because even the writers at Koei-Tecmo realized how dumb it was.
: “There’s definitely a lot more people than last year.”
: “Well, yeah. This place got ‘famous’ and all. The Phantom Thieves, Kamoshida, Principal Kobayakawa. On top of that, we got Akechi as a guest.”
: Thank you, Ryuji, for summing up a situation we already know about.
: “There may be police officers in plain clothes too… actually, they probably are here. We better be careful about what we discuss.”
: “Acting like normal students is going to be important.”
: “What do you normally do at a school festival?”
: “Look around at the exhibits… and eat stuff?”
: “There’s no set rules for this kinda thing. Walk around and hang out, like when we went to the beach.”
: “I think I can do it if I’ve got everyone with me!”
: “You’re so laid-back… there’s a possibility your name and Ryuji’s have come up.”
: “A number of teachers had been questioned before, and even we were interviewed the other day too.”
: That sentence is so badly localized and out of place that it sounds like Allanson dialogue. Here’s a hint, Atlus localizers: you don’t need the “too” there because the “even” implies it.
: “Don’t let your guard down too much.”
: “It’s true that the initial members have been at this for a long time, making it easier to get tracked…”
: “All riiiight…”
: I have no idea what the point of this conversation was. All they really needed to say is that the police might be around.
: “Now, now. Let’s leave it at that. We just need to be mindful about what we’re saying, correct?”
: “Oh, um…”
: “You seem to be having quite a lot of fun, Haru. You did mention that you were looking forward to this.”
: “I want to go around with everyone and eat at the refreshment stands.”
: “This’ll be a great change of pace from all the nasty stuff lately!”
: “Shall we head off to the stands then?”
: “Oh right. This is your first time at our school festival.”
: “They’re pretty good - from what I’ve heard…”
: Wait, how would Ryuji not know? He’s been here at least a year, because the thing where Kamoshida broke his leg presumably happened a year before Joker got here for the timeline to make sense.
: “I know a great one! Follow me.”
: “Maid Takoyaki?”
: “New customers! I’ll show you all to your seats.”
: “…So it’s your class’s stand.”
: “It’s still a refreshment stand, isn’t it?”
: “It’s like a deserted island here…”
: “Well, I guess it’s good for talking since there aren’t any people here…”
: “And it was all bullshit.”
: “Here she comes… act normal.”
: “Who cares? There’s nothin’ ‘normal’ about this anymore.”
: “Take my order!? What happened to the maid atmosphere!?”
: Uh, what? How is that not a maid atmosphere?
: “There are a lot of odd flavors…”
: “Stick to a normal one. I bet they-”
: “The hell…”
: “Well then… I’ll have the mentai cheese takoyaki…”
: “Then, how about the squid-”
: “That doesn’t even sound remotely possible! Ain’t this whole menu just a sham!?”
: If you replace “maid costumes” with “battles” and “octopus” with “writing and localization” you pretty much have the design documentation for Persona 5.
: “I can see that!”
: “Ryuji, you’re making a scene…”
: “Then, what would you recommend with what you have now?”
: “We’ll have that, please.”
: “…Let’s forget the octopus and get back on topic.”
: “On that note, hearing Kamoshida being almost treated like a victim makes me wanna eat my stress away!”
: “I’ve even heard conjecture that the principal was targeted for reasons like ‘he knew too much.’”
: “I kept hearing about Goro Akechi’s popularity.”
: “All thanks to the Phantom Thieves!”
: “You know, did that Akechi guy agree to show up here 'cause he believes we didn’t kill anybody…?”
: “Or, he may simply love large gatherings.”
: “Oh, true. He didn’t seem like he minded being pampered by the media at all.”
: “We plan on stealing intel, but we might fall into another trap. I’m gonna be bummed if that happens…”
: “You’re so carefree… does it mean you have nerves of steel in any situation? Still, it doesn’t change the fact that we don’t know what Akechi-kun is planning.”
: “Ooh, it’s fresh made!”
: “Lies! I heard a microwave go off!”
: “Well, it’s not like I was expectin’ crispy takoyaki at a school festival or anything. So, what makes this a ‘Russian’ takoyaki?”
: “Could there be jam in it as a secret ingredient? That sounds quite delicious.”
: No it doesn’t.
: So… wait a second. You don’t have regular takoyaki, but you have what’s basically regular takoyaki with a spicy one added in. And you couldn’t just, say… take that out?
: “Dude, don’t tell me the ‘Russian’ part means…”
: “It’s like, going for the obvious one is manly?”
: “I-Is that so?”
: “I’d prefer the most beautifully shaped one… but all of them are misshapen.”
: Yusuke fucking gets it.
: “Oh, aren’t you all going to eat? I think I’ll go for the ‘special’ one.”
: “Wait… is she honestly going for it?”
: “Do YOU wanna go for the red one?”
: Joker looks into the red takoyaki and sees Lucifer’s face staring back at him. “By the powers of hundreds of orders of fallen angels, I command this particular takoyaki to be REALLY, REALLY hot!”
: True bible fact: It wasn’t the rebellion against God that got Lucifer ejected from heaven, it was the hot sauce pranks he pulled on everyone within reach.
: “Oh, you sure? All right, then I’ll just help myself to it… NOT!”
: “Th-the panel isn’t until tomorrow though…”
: “I came to check out the venue. I can’t make any mistakes since a lot of people will be present.”
: “Someone’s eager.”
: “But, people ended up recognizing me. Everyone bombarded me with questions.”
: “That’s 'cause you were sloppy.”
: “I grew tired of the baseless rumors they kept bringing up, so I escaped to where there weren’t any people.”
: “Let’s just call this my performance fee.”
: “It’s fine.”
: “Mmm, it’s quite deli-”
: This scene might not seem bad, but here’s why it’s bad. As we’ve seen, Akechi is a character whose entire personality is more or less “I’m a fancy boy and also the Detective Prince”.
: What you have to understand is that in the base game, this is the only time you ever really see Akechi acting like this. There’s also the obvious slip from Update 27, but that’s less him breaking character than it is him making a mistake that just happens to be stupid.
: I feel like the writers for Royal really weren’t sure how they wanted to go with Akechi, so they did a bit of both (things like the scene in the cafe where Akechi wears Joker’s glasses) and hoped that they wouldn’t piss off his fans. You know, due to the whole Akechi ranking first in every single Japanese popularity poll thing.
: “Eating it in one bite is a bad idea…”
: “Ngh… my throat… urgh! This is…! Ohhh… oh, my stomach… it burns!”
: “Are you okay? Do you need water?”
: “I-I-I’m… I’m fine! I just love… uh… spicy-spicy stuff… haha…hah…”
: “Hey, does he sound broken to you?”
: It’s also really, really strange that they have the panel for the festival on a different day.
: “It’s like he wants to get picked up for some commercial or something.”
: “But… did he truly come to check out the venue? …This isn’t good. I keep suspecting every little thing.”
: “…I know what you mean. I’m doing the same too. I need to do my best tomorrow. We need to somehow get him to be our source of intel… I’m gonna pull this off no matter what!”
: She’s not going to pull it off.
: “That Akechi guy… when he got here, didn’t he say that everyone’s all here?”
: He did. I wonder how he’d know that? I mean, I suppose he can guess, given that he’s known since 06/09 that Morgana can talk.
: “You’re… you’re just imaginin’ things…”
: “Yes, but the associated mental fatigue was extraordinary. Being cautious takes a lot out of you…”
: “Seriously. I think I’m as tired now as I am after midterms.”
: “I didn’t mind any of that. I just loved seeing that detective gulp down the special takoyaki…”
: “I had fun as well, since I got to spend time with you all.”
: “What would you like to do now, Haru? Walk around a little more?”
: “I appreciate the gesture, but I’m satisfied with stopping here. Why don’t we go home and rest up? We’ll have to deal with Akechi-kun again tomorrow, after all…”
: “I have to agree. What will his next move be?”
: In the base game, this cutscene ends here. Keep in mind that we’ve been on nothing but cutscenes for the better part of 40 minutes at this point.
: What we’re about to see is Maruki flexing his extraterritorial rights in one of the most ham-fisted ways possible to ensure this cutscene doesn’t end. Seriously, Royal extends this and tomorrow by at least 10 or 15 minutes.
: “sigh Where’d he wander off to? Always doing whatever he pleases… think he’s still checking out the festival stalls? Well, I’m sure he’ll be fine - this is Yusuke we’re talking about. Let’s head home.”
: Wait… where’d he get that takoyaki from? Didn’t the person at the stand say they were out? That doesn’t look like the one with the red takoyaki in it either…
: “My name is Yusuke Kitagawa. I’m a student in the fine arts division at Kosei High. I do apologize for interrupting your day, but ever since Ryuji and Ann first spoke of you, I’ve grown quite intrigued… now I wish to speak with you as well.”
: “Ryu… oh, Sakamoto-kun and Takamaki-san? Well, I’m flattered that you’ve taken an interest in me. You’re here about the counseling, correct?”
: “Correct. Now, teach me how to unshackle the human heart and glimpse into its endless abyss!”
: The best part is how this scene makes no fucking sense, especially if you’ve already done Yusuke’s Rank 10.
: “Whoa, whoa, hold on there! How should I put this… your enthusiasm is appreciated, but I suspect there’s a huge misunderstanding about what I do.”
: “I apologize - I simply couldn’t contain my excitement. Would you still permit me to witness your counseling skills in action?”
: “That’s not really allowed, haha… oh! But how about this? Why not try out my counseling yourself instead?”
: Man, that’s a cheap shot at Yusuke’s moveset. At least he has Charge now.
: “All you’d have to do is chat with me for a bit.”
: “Very well… you and I shall go head-to-head.”
: “I’m not sure what you think happens in counseling, but, uh, there won’t be any of that…”
: “It’s in the past. …How curious. I never imagined counseling to be like this.”
: “Well, I’d say this is less ‘counseling’ and more about building a rapport. When someone first comes to see me, we always start with them telling me a little bit about themselves.”
: “Hm, a method of self-reflection that relies on speaking with another person so as to sort through one’s own emotions…”
: “There really shouldn’t be any cross-examining in a proper counseling session, though… I just do my best to guide patients in a positive direction so they can improve their lives.”
: “At the very least, I talk them through their problems so they can make the correct choices for themselves…”
: “I see.”
: Isn’t that just the Law ending from most of the mainline SMT games?
: “In all honesty, I’m sure there are people who think that… but life in this world confines people to certain frames of mind sometimes, and without them even realizing it.”
: “If I can help lift the weight off their shoulders and free their minds, I believe the results are worth it.”
: Ends justify the means. Got it.
: “…Thank you very much for speaking with me. This has been a most valuable experience.”
: “Before you go, Kitagawa-kun - what would you say is your greatest wish in life at this moment? Would it be success as an artist?”
: Mine would be to LP an English translation of the PSP version of Eternal Punishment instead of whatever this shit is.
: “No, that’s not it. The only desire I have for my art is for it to improve through my own efforts.”
: “I see- then what would you wish for?”
: “Ah… I see.”
: “At any rate, I must be going now, so please excuse me. I hope we meet again someday.”
: We finish this day of nothing but cutscene by finishing Art of Automata, leaving us with… I think two books before Knowing the Heart.
: “Our guest of honor is Goro Akechi.”
: “I feel kind of bad, considering how many people have gathered… I’m sure you all would’ve been happier to have a singer or a mascot appear, wouldn’t you say?”
: “We’d appreciate it if you could tell us about your experiences with the notorious Phantom Thieves. It’d be wonderful if you could let us hear more about your actual investigative process.”
: “I’m not used to being the one interrogated… so please go easy on me.”
: It’s strange he’d even agree to this, given that they’re asking him to talk about an ongoing investigation. Back when I was a reporter, I interviewed cops a few times. They HATE that.
: “He talks of how the Phantom Thieves are dangerous, yet he says they haven’t committed any murders. Either he has an idea who the true culprit is, or he has uncovered the identities of the Phantom Thieves.”
: “C’mon, Makoto… you gotta get it out of him!”
: If you’re wondering what Makoto’s plan is, the answer is she doesn’t have one. I don’t really understand why she’d expect a cop to coment on a case in public like this.
: “Getting right to the point, I see. Well, if it’s as much as I’m allowed to say, then everything on TV and the internet is all of it. We don’t have any leads yet, and the methods behind their crimes are still unclear.”
: “I see… Even with this country’s power, arresting them is proving to be difficult. Is that the case?”
: Wouldn’t this be really strange for the audience? I mean, you’d think they’d be expecting her to ask him about his ideal date or something stupid like that.
: “I wouldn’t phrase it that way - but well, something like that.”
: “Thank you for answering that question. By the way, it seems you’ve denied a correlation between the Phantom Thieves and the murders… why the sudden change?”
: “Until now, haven’t you upheld your stance that the Phantom Thieves are dangerous? How are you so positive that they haven’t committed murder?”
: “Aren’t you a little too comfortable interrogating people? Why, it’s as if you’re a prosecutor.”
: “But won’t you tell us? What reason is there that you’d claim their innocence when you previously stated they were unjust?”
: “She’s pelting him with questions.”
: “Every person whose heart they changed have truly been criminals, including Okumura… why, then, was he the only one who needed to be killed…?”
: “Why is that?”
: “I must admit… I couldn’t deduce a reason. That’s why I believe that case should be thought of as if a different party is responsible. And if - this is all hypothetical, mind you.”
: “If the Phantom Thieves are the ones I know of, I can’t possibly imagine they would kill anyone.”
: “Your comment just now… does this mean the police have already identified who they are?”
: “Oh, no. The police haven’t gotten that far yet. But I have my own conclusions about the true identities of the Phantom Thieves.”
: “Pipe down!”
: “He’s lying, right…?”
: “But if it’s the truth…”
: “You’re not going to ask me who they are?”
: Makoto figures she can just SMART GIRL her way out of this shit.
: “It’s only my personal opinion, so announcing that here wouldn’t pose a problem. However… there is a possibility that everyone present will hear the truth before the police or media.”
: “The truth…?”
: “What’s he planning on saying?”
: “That’s quite the confidence you have. If you’re so certain, then very well. I’d like to ask you then: Who do you think the Phantom Thieves are, Akechi-san?”
: “That idiot!”
: “No… there’s no way he could have any evidence…”
: So, okay… did he plan that? Did he have someone in the audience planted to call him just in case this came up? How did he know Makoto would ask him that?
: “Would you mind if I step away for about… ten minutes or so?”
: “I’m terribly sorry, everyone, but we’ll be taking a break. We’ll resume the panel in ten minutes.”
: “Please don’t troll me online for this interruption, okay?”
: “There’s the PE faculty office.”
: “I want you to come too. There’s a matter I want to discuss. Your friends from yesterday are here, aren’t they? Can you bring them too, if that’s all right?”
: I mean, no shit. He’s basically Light Yagami.
: Congrats, you’ve got uh… a couple of photos that could easily be explained by Photoshop filters. In fact, I’m pretty sure you can do stuff like this with one button these days.
: I really wish they’d give Joker an opportunity to snark this. “Hey Akechi, congratulations, you saw Yusuke emerging from the Elemental Plane of Boyfriend.”
: “That’s gotta be 'shopped!”
: “I have video footage too. Please, let’s not feign ignorance. All of you can go to that other world too, yes?”
: “As I just said, I know everything. I also know that when you traverse over there, your appearance changes as well. It’s because of those mysterious powers, isn’t it?”
: An obvious lie. We already know he knows about Morgana, and that was in June.
: “Dude, it’s the Nav…”
: “When the app activated on its own, the scenery around me suddenly changed. Quite frankly, I still can’t believe it myself. But from the look of these photos, all of you seem quite used to it.”
: "We’ve been listenin’ to you blab on for a while now, but cut the delusional- "
: “All of you are acting as Phantom Thieves in the Metaverse. I can say so with conviction because I have the same power as you.”
: We could already infer this from him being able to hear Morgana, but now we know that Akechi has a Persona. We also know that he’s had it since at least June, if not earlier… and that he was in Okumura’s Palace.
: This would mean that Akechi fits all the criteria for being the killer, and it’s fucking stupid that Joker doesn’t point this out. It’s not like he’d even have to reach back that far, because Akechi is admitting this shit now.
: “I’ll take your silence as confirmation. In all honesty, I’ve been curious about you since the time of the Madarame case. But to think it would end up like this…”
: “I believe that as well…”
: “…How can you be so sure?”
: “For real!?”
: “Who was it!?”
: “I couldn’t identify his face… he had a mask on, after all. Actually, when I took these photos, I entered that world too.”
: “He shot at me the moment he noticed me.”
: That’s funny, because you’d think someone would have heard the apparently unsuppressed gunshots. Also, how do you know the shooter’s gender?
: “That’s who killed President Okumura?”
: Now, here’s the real question. Why isn’t Makoto asking these fucking questions? This would’ve been a great opportunity to make it obvious that she can do shit.
: In fact, I’m going to be real here when I say that if Makoto asked a couple of pointed questions, the plot would be resolved right here.
: You might be wondering if this is actually a trap on Makoto’s end, and… no, it’s not. At this point, no one is even vaguely aware of the possibility that Akechi could be the killer.
: “Most likely. At the very least, I was almost killed by him. ‘I can’t die here… I need to determine the truth…’ When those thoughts overcame me, I awakened to that power - a most fortunate accident.”
: Fuck you, Hashino. Fuck you. He stole that straight out of Eternal Punishment. We’ll hopefully see that when the translation is done.
: “This guy has a Persona too?”
: “Morgana. Our teammate who taught us about the Metaverse.”
: “…Really? This is unbelievable… but it IS true that you know things that I don’t… say, Morgana. Were you also the one who instructed them on how to change people’s hearts?”
: “I experienced that world too, but I still haven’t solved that mystery yet.”
: “We go in the Metaverse - we call them Palaces - to steal the core of their desires: their Treasure. And those whose Treasure has been stolen have a change of heart.”
: “Hahaha… there’s certainly no way anyone could figure out such an MO.”
: “Anyways! Back to what you were talkin’ about! Are we in this mess 'cause of that guy!?”
: “Although I don’t completely understand the method, all you do is simply reform people. Someone else is behind the murders. However, the police have decided that the Phantom Thieves did it… they’ll arrest you at this rate.”
: “Th-They’re going to treat me as my father’s murderer?”
: “I can’t overlook such a grave mistake. Which is precisely why I want us to strike a deal. I may be able to save you from this situation.”
: “A deal?”
: “I would like you to cooperate with me on investigating the truth.”
: “And if we decline?”
: “Then I think I’ll have to inform the police about all of you, along with that video I mentioned.”
: “This ain’t no deal! It’s blackmail!”
: “Say what you will. This is the method that I believe is correct. The justice I uphold will not tolerate criminals who kill people at their leisure.”
: “You’ve heard that Sae-san is the one spearheading the investigation about you Phantom Thieves, correct? The higher-ups are concerned only with settling the case.”
: “They want to capture the culprits behind the psychotic breakdown incidents and end the commotion. Those are the ones who are putting pressure on Sae-san. I can only imagine her impatience.”
: “Even if there is no objective explanation of the method, it’s over once causality is established. Sae-san can’t make rational judgments at the moment. If she were to be cornered, well… she may even make up a confession.”
: “Make it up?”
: “So they’re gonna make it all our fault!? Just 'cause they feel like it!?”
: “We haven’t killed anyone though! …And we’re still going to be arrested?”
: “You’ll be found guilty if you’re caught, and it will be treated as a very serious crime.”
: “Bullshit! None of that makes any sense!”
: “Unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do alone anymore to stop the flow of things…”
: “And that’s why you want our cooperation?”
: “Yes. In return, I’ll turn a blind eye to what you’ve done. Those are my conditions. That said, I ask that you disband the Phantom Thieves after this.”
: I dunno, kill him? Dump his body in the Metaverse, where it’ll never be found? He’s already threatening murder charges - what’s one more murder when you’re already accused of at least three?
: Seriously though, Tatsuya or Jihei would’ve already lit Akechi on fire at this point.
: “I see… I thought I was making a lot of concessions myself. Well, you don’t have to decide at the moment. Considering this is you we’re talking about, I believe you’ll come to a favorable reply.”
: “I’m glad we could talk. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to spend such a meaningful time like this.”
: “Spend such a meaningful time like this?” What the fuck kind of localization is that? Oh right, I forgot, this is the part of the game where it goes to shit.
: “I look forward to your answer. It was definitely worth coming today - for various reasons. We should be getting back. … About that, I’m sorry. Would it be acceptable if we ended the panel here?”
: “The reason why you called for me in the first place is because you wanted intel, correct? My business is concluded as well.”
: A good writer would have had that last line be a plot point where Makoto was working with Akechi the entire time, which would explain why she’s so fucking incompetent. Hashino is not a good writer.
: “I’ll deal with it somehow.”
: The game then fades to a blur. This? Right here? This is where I checked out on the plot the first time I played the game, and just wanted it to be over.
: This scene sucks for a bunch of reasons. It feels stupid because it’s taking your agency away, but also because by the time we see what happens here, we’ll already know everything it has to tell us.
: This scene (and the other three like it) are trying to patch a massive ass pull that Hashino makes in late November. You’ll know it when you see it, and it ruins the entire goddamn plot.
: David Cage pulled this exact shit in Heavy Rain, and it was just as dumb there as it is here.
: Anyway, here’s how I’m going to handle these. Underneath this update, you will see a second “summary” box. That box will contain the full text of the blurred scene. You can view it if you’d like, or wait until November when they’re revealed normally.
: I will warn you that there’s a couple of cutscenes in November that will not make any fucking sense if you read the blurred scenes early… but they also won’t make sense if you read the blurred scenes afterward.
: “So, I truly apologize about this… but I’ll have to end things here today.”
: “To make up for the time that was planned for this panel, the rakugo research club will instead be-”
: Wait, what? Rakugo… what? How do you research a comedy style? Why did this need to be here at all? Seriously, why would you not just cut to the post-festival date?
: “I can’t say anything in detail regarding the Phantom Thieves investigation… but I feel another great stride will occur again soon. I hope you all continue to pay attention to what happens.”
: “Let’s have a big round of applause for today’s guest, Goro Akechi.”
: “He totally used Makoto’s suggestion against us.”
: I swear, there must have been a draft of the script at one point where Makoto was a traitor and actively working with Akechi. It’s the only thing that explains how utterly incompetent Makoto is.
: Just think about it though. What’s one time where Makoto has been right on anything, barring the handful of times where she points something out in a dungeon?
: “Indeed. We intended to get intel out of him, but to think it would play out like this.”
: “So what? We’ll just accept his deal?”
: “He’s got evidence on us. We really don’t have a choice…”
: “Dammit, what’re we gonna do!?”
: “Calm down, Ryuji.”
: “How am I s’posed to calm down!? What are we gonna do!?”
: “What’s done is done. We’ll have to cool our heads and think more on this. We must make up our minds by the time he contacts us again.”
: “We need to give this a lot of thought…”
: Well, shit. I have to wonder, though: how would he know that’s a real one when there were places all over Tokyo selling fakes?
: There’s still the plausible explanation that John Persona bought a fake card, made it look like a real one, and then used the threat of a brainfuck to get Futaba to change without actually doing anything.
: “I knew it… she’s… oh god…”
: And now it’s time for the date cutscene, with absolutely no one else jumping in to assert their extraterritorial rights and extending this entire mess by say… another several minutes.
: “Post-festival party? I thought this thing was over… eh, nobody invited you to it, so let’s just go home.”
: Oh look, it’s Atlus’s Lightning. Are you here to sell us your custom Louis Vuitton bag?
: “Since we’ve run into each other on our own, why not go together? People say these kinds of events should be enjoyed with others, so let’s go have some fun!”
: Kasumi being here makes this scene kind of stupid. In the base game, you had the scene with Akechi and then you did the festival date and went home.
: In Royal, you instead go to the party with Kasumi, leave, go back with someone else, and then then go home. You know, instead of just making her a choice and giving the player a save point that doesn’t require them to go through multiple days of shit to get back to it.
: “Let’s get in there, Kurusu-senpai!”
: This is more or less how all of the other date cutscenes start.
: There is a long dancing animation here and I don’t know why they did it. Seriously, I timed it on one of my re-records and it’s like 15 seconds long.
: You may also notice the sign that says “Syujin Academy”. I’m pretty sure that’s how the name of the school is actually spelled, and it’s this kind of thing that makes your localization look bad.
: “Kurusu-senpai - let’s do it!”
: As you may be able to guess, this entire cutscene exists for one reason: to justify the showtime attack that Joker eventually gets with Kasumi. I believe you have to be Rank 10 with her to get it, meaning it’s basically limited to that mystery palace.
: Her Showtime Attack is called Dances with Phantoms, and is the only one where the film reference actually makes sense. It’s less a showtime attack with Joker than it is a solo attack, because she’s Atlus’s Lightning.
: In the More Like Yusu-Gay route, this scene instead happens with Yusuke. We might not see that for another update or two - Salty Vanilla is working on it.
: There’s this short scene where they’re dancing together, but it looks like crap in still shots. Fortunately, I took a video of both this and the anime cutscene we’ll see shortly.
: “Hmm… got it. I’m in!”
: “Just wait here, and watch what happens!”
: I love how whichever studio did these anime cutscenes can never get Morgana on-model. It just can’t be done.
: The way this studio can never get anything on-model, even when it’s the only thing in frame, reminds me of the 70s Lupin III anime where they had animations that played for 10 seconds or more but were only two or three frames long.
: Animation studio boss: “Shit, we need something to hide the fact that we can’t draw Kasumi on-model… anyone got any ideas?”
: Animator: “How about we just put a three or four second animation where the shot is going through people’s legs, so the viewer sees our horrible off-model animation as little as possible?”
: Animation studio boss: “Brilliant!”
: I mean, I guess I can’t blame them, given that anime creators usually don’t make all that much money, but still.
: Animator: “We don’t need to be on-model for any of these close-ups, do we?”
: Animation studio boss: “Fuck no! Just be as off-model as possible and we’ll call it an art style.”
: Animator: “Boss, how do I draw a cat? The client says they want a cat in this scene, but I’m not qualified for that.”
: Animation studio boss: “Hell if I know! Call Fred! He was on that project with the catboy, right? That’s practically the same thing.”
: Animator: “Boss, the client says they want this scene to be like a minute long and I’m already out of ideas! What do I do?”
: Animation studio boss: “Shit, if only Fred was here. Uh… you’ve got that leg shot from earlier, right? Just copy-paste that a couple of times.”
: “Ah, thank you!”
: “It’s my dad. He’s telling me to come home before it gets too late. Sorry to leave you like this, but I have to get going.”
: There should have been a line here where Kasumi goes “Oh, no, we’re all done with the scenes where I’m being harrassed and you have to step in to save me.”
: “Thank you. I’ll be all right, though. The post-festival party was so much fun! Especially with you! See you soon!”
: I… don’t know why they put this line here. The writers knew that there was a festival date thing coming up. I mean, they presumably had the game’s script to work with. You know when they have trouble keeping shit like this straight that it’s a sign of bad writing.
: Just like the Hawaii scene, we have three scenes that require Rank 9 and being on the romance route (those being Ann, Kawakami, and Makoto). Ryuji’s scene needs you to be Rank 10, and Haru is the fallback if you don’t meet any of those.
: Keep in mind that we haven’t been able to save since the night of the 25th - meaning we have to go through the entire day to get back to this choice.
: For this update, we’ll be doing Haru’s date. All the others will be filed under the “Alternate Scenes” header.
: “I’m sorry. I can’t stop thinking about what Akechi-kun said…”
: giggle “It feels like nothing bad could ever happen when you say that.”
: “Sharing…? I never knew we had such an event.”
: “Ooh, he’s going to choose? I wonder who it will be…”
: “Huh…? Is he… looking this way?”
: “He’s talking to me… isn’t he?”
: “Well, I’m going.”
: “Um, yes…”
: Haru’s version of this scene is easily the most awkward of them all.
: “Oh, please don’t worry!”
: I wonder if it’s easier to take the death of a parent if they were a moustache-twirling cartoon villain.
: “Something to share… I have too many things…”
: Now, I get that awkward moments like this happen a lot, but something tells me this goes beyond the usual degree of social ineptitude.
: Yeah, you know what, let’s just take this situation from bad to worse.
: “Th-that wasn’t what we were talking about…”
: All of the date cutscenes are basically identical to this, but with Ann or Makoto. The only one that’s significantly different is Kawakami’s, which is probably the one I like the best.
: I just wish that they had written an alternate version of it for if you’re not dating her, because it would have had a thousand times more impact that way.
: “It turned out to be more like an interview party, huh? I still can’t believe you said that…”
: “Huh…? Right… at any rate, I’m not sure what I would have done without you. Thank you for saving me. You’re a mysterious person, but you’re so reliable.”
: “Who knows what may lie ahead. For now, I’m worried about what happened with Akechi-kun… but I have to say, my first post-festival party was quite fun. Though… I guess it’s my last too.”
: “Here, I’d like you to have this.”
: The reward for all of these dates is the same - the item has a different name, but in all cases it’s an SP restorative.
: “I… bought it earlier…”
: By this, he means “I can’t wait to never use it.”
: giggle “Now then, let’s go home.”
: You thought this day would just end? Oh no.
: “You took off somewhere during the festival, huh… I tried to find you, but I gave up pretty quickly.”
: “Futaba? What are you doing here in front of the store?”
: “I needed to calm my brain. My thoughts were getting out of hand. Not just Akechi, but other stuff too. We’re in deep trouble unless we can do something soon.”
: “But anyway, I was just thinking about going inside, so your timing is perfect. Let’s go.”
: “They’re saying whatever they want. So, how’s the investigation going? Any clues yet?”
: “Nothing that leads to a firm conviction yet…”
: “What’s going on here? Didn’t you say that you were sure about closing this case? And I thought I told you that failure won’t be tolerated.”
: “Well, this is troublesome. If this continue at this rate, never mind a promotion… we’d have to let you go entirely.”
: “I had high expectations for you, but it seems this task was too much to handle for someone so young. We may need to reform the operation as well since the selected personnel for this-”
: Has it even been a week since he put her on the case?
: “Please let me see this through to the end! This case is something that I’ve always-”
: “I know that you’ve been at this for a while now, even before the police spared us the staff for it. If you can manage an arrest, I’ve made special arrangements so that you can question them personally.”
: Here’s the game justifying the use of the secret murder room, though it’s a mystery why they’d let Sae interrogate Joker if they were planning on killing him anyway.
: “…That’s what you want, isn’t it? The leadership of this country is about to change. We can’t let this case carry over into their term. I’ll make myself clear again: failure isn’t an option. We need results.”
: And now we know who he works for. It shouldn’t have been hard to guess.
: “…I understand.”
: “You’re allowed to take some… bold measures if you need to. We need good results, no matter what. Oh, one more thing. If the unexpected happens to occur, contact me immediately.”
: If you are at all thinking about the plot, you might ask why Akechi hasn’t simply given the names of the party directly to the SIU Director. There’s a reason for that.
: “…To you, sir?”
: Could this guy be any more cartoonishly evil?
: “This is a calling card, right? I’ve read about it online too.”
: Sojiro saw one of those “How to tell if your teen is John Persona” segments on the local news.
: “Y-You went into my room without my permission!?”
: “I’ll apologize as much as you want later. …So, what is this?”
: “Is it something to get flustered over? I knew it. This isn’t just some game you’re playing. Why aren’t you saying anything?”
: I ask that question a lot of this game’s script.
: “Why did you keep it!?”
: “I mean… it was memorable…”
: “Can’t tell me?”
: “I’m talking to Futaba here, you know… I’ll get right to the point. Is this a ‘real’ one? Did they… trigger a change of heart in you?”
: “How about it?”
: “Futaba… here… sit down. I can at least listen to what you have to say.”
: “It’s the same as Mom’s research… they changed… my cognition…”
: Here’s what I hate about this scene. Futaba is basically two separate people - there’s the more somber one (which we see near the end of her dungeon and right here) and then the epic gamer memelord anime gremlin we see in her confidant.
: This, right here? The sort of somber, brooding Futaba? This is the Futaba I like. If she were like this the entire game, she would be the best girl with virtually zero competition. I’m not saying she has to never be happy - that’s not the point. They could’ve just dialled back the memes and it would’ve been far better.
: Now, a good writer would’ve realized what they were doing and either made it a plot point that she acts like two different people… or just give her a single coherent personality. Basically, they should’ve stuck with their initial plans to just make her a goth.
: “Seriously? …Wakaba’s research about altering one’s cognition… I wondered about it myself too, but still…”
: “When she said she was gonna go to the beach out of nowhere. Even the doctors had thrown in the towel.”
: “At first I just chalked it up as other kids being a better support for you than any adult. But as I kept watching the tabloid shows here day in and day out, a thought crossed my mind…”
: “I thought… your case kind of seemed similar to what these Phantom Thieves were doing.”
: “I’m still your guardian, you know. I’d never overlook such a drastic change in your behavior.”
: “But to think that Wakaba’s research and the Phantom Thieves changing hearts were about the same thing.”
: “She said something odd when we were out drinking… that one of these days, she might die a bizarre death. Who wouldn’t take that as a joke? I just laughed it off.”
: “But… it happened exactly as she said. If anything were to happen to you, I’d feel like I let her down.”
: “There’s something I want to ask you, Akira. Judging from your attitude, you knew about this calling card, didn’t you? You should’ve known that Futaba had a change of heart through the Phantom Thieves as well.”
: “…Is there a connection between you and them? The first incident of a change of heart was a teacher at your school. The kid who brought that painting here was a pupil of that artist who had a change of heart, wasn’t he?”
: “And then there’s Futaba… you always seem to be linked to these incidents somehow. Got anything to say?”
: The entire Japanese police force can’t figure this shit out, but one random cafe owner can.
: “…You think this is a game? You know what people call them? Criminals. Why did you introduce such dangerous people to Futaba!?”
: “I asked them! That’s why Akira saved me! He stole my heart!”
: “…Asked? Stole?”
: “Oh… uh… ummm…”
: “Wait, are you saying that he’s the one who changed your heart? He doesn’t just deal with the Phantom Thieves… he’s actually one of them? You’re pulling my leg, aren’t you?”
: “Are you serious? You… really are a phantom thief? For crying out loud…”
: “So basically, I’ve been sheltering a phantom thief for the last six months? And on top of that, Futaba’s involved too… what the hell…”
: “I…I want to find the culprit who killed my mom!”
: “Wait, killed?”
: “I… remember it now.”
: “Stop this nonsense!”
: “Why won’t you believe me!? Are you the same as everyone else? Didn’t you know already!? The way Mom died wasn’t normal!”
: “Didn’t you notice that her research was stolen by someone!? Sojiro…!”
: “…When she passed away, I did think it was odd. It was awfully fishy. But what could I do? …All I was able to do was run from it all. Run away, hide… and end up here, as some old guy running a cafe.”
: “To be frank, I took you in for my own good. Like it’d somehow make up for what I’d done. It’s basically my fault that you got burdened with all this crap.”
: “It’s not your fault, Sojiro.”
: “I acted all big, lectured, even yelled at you kids… and I end up getting consoled by her. God… real pathetic, aren’t I?”
: “I mean, the one who killed Mom is the one at fault!”
: “…I see. Don’t worry.”
: “Let me just say one thing though. Immediately back out of a fight that you can’t win.”
: “If by chance you pissed off the same guys that killed Wakaba… then they’re not someone that kids like you can deal with. Listen to reason, all right?”
: “We’re done talking about this. C’mon, time to eat. All that yelling’s gotten me hungry.”
: “Phew… if he turned us in, that would’ve jeopardized our operation. …Still, we should tell the others about what just happened.”
: It should be pretty obvious to everyone involved who the actual killer is. I mean, given that we already know one person who meets all the criteria.
: “We’re gonna win, no matter what!”
: I mean, yeah, Futaba could be an Inkling. She’s got the hair and general build for it, even if she’s a bit tall.
: “All this happened because I kept the calling card… it’s so late already… is Sojiro still awake? This is kind of awkward…”
: Joker has a very strict rule: no anime gremlins allowed in the bed.
: “…I’m gonna go home. Night.”
: We’re forced to go to bed tonight, which I suppose makes sense given how many people jumped in to assert their extraterritorial rights. Next time: More cutscene and a goth mom. Before I finish this, there’s an optional IM conversation I didn’t even notice until my second or third re-record.