The Cool Crime of Robbery: Let's Play Persona 5

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#221

I recently played through the game again, and this happened to me. In fact, it was Joker who got Hungry, and it was the last party member before the attack who did it, so I didn’t even have a chance to buff/debuff my way through it.


#222
Part 113.5

Part 113.5: Some Trivial Bullshit

There are a few things that we never got to show off relevant to the last update, just due to the structure of it as a boss fight update.

Music: Life Will Change (Instrumental Version)

First, we get ambushed.

But what’s this?






Why, it’s Position Hack, which not only gives us an opportunity to All-out Attack, but also gets us out of that pesky ambush situation by changing the “surrounded” formation to the normal line-up. Again, this can only proc when we don’t get the ambush. It’s also definitely more common when we get ambushed, seeing as how it procced twice in a row when I failed to run past these guys on one of my takes.

Also worth noting is that Hifumi’s Kakoi Kuzushi would have allowed us to get out of an enemy ambush instantly, as opposed to trying to escape when not surrounded.

Music: Blooming Villain

And so we end up back here, to see what happens when the timer runs out. It will involve waiting.





A lot of waiting.

Ah, here we are.


Weirdly, it doesn’t seem like the timer will actually expire until you take your last turn. Or maybe it’s just a weird quirk that gives you five extra seconds.

Music: Desire

What’s goin’ on!?


snicker There’s nothing here for you thieves! I’m going to launch you all out into space! Aaahahahaha!


Fuckin’ RIP.

Music: Blooming Villain

Finally, this is what happens when we let Mammon take a turn after killing the Executive Director. …Nothing! What a thrilling update this is and not a placeholder because I need a little more time before the contest ends!

Here’s his nameplate, in case you care (you don’t).


#223
Part 114

Part 114: 9/25: Tell Me About Your Childhood

Music: Regret

Yep, seems like it. You and your whole family all suck. Uhh… sorry, Haru.

(to Haru) I will contact your fiance and rescind the marriage offer. This may be the end for Okumura Foods…

sobbing
Father…

I admit, I spent large sums of money to help my company grow, and to crush business competitors…
Answer me, dammit! Did you do it or not!?
N-Not personally! I had a contract. All I did was make the requests to have them eliminated!

Holy shit! We just blew this thing wide open!

Requests…!? Then there really is a mysterious criminal in people’s Palaces after all!
So it’s true…
What kind of contract did you form… and with whom?
sobbing uncontrollably
C’mon, stop cryin’ and tell us!

Dammit, why now…!? Mr. CEO, can’t you stop that thing!?

Okumura does not respond.

Oh well… We can’t just throw our lives away like this.


Morgana grabs the Treasure out of the air.

We’ve taken your Treasure.
Huh?

What’s up, Ann?

There’s one more thing you need to tell us. Have you seen this criminal’s face before?

We don’t got time to get that outta him!
We’ll just have to inquire about it back in the real world.

Ann snaps back into reality and runs away with Makoto. I wonder what’s got her so distracted?

Don’t worry, he’ll be fine! We’ll end up dead if we’re not out of here soon though!

That is what you’ve taught me, Father.

Haru then leaves with the others, leaving Okumura alone in his ship.

Uhhh, what the hell is going on, cause it looks like he just got sho–

Music: Desire


Oh fuck.

Music: Run, Run, Run!

Probably not… Actually, I think it’s impossible!
We’re countin’ on ya, Mona!



Four… Three… Two… One… Goodbye.

I am so glad, after all that, to see this place explode. I don’t even care that we’re still inside.

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

sigh We did a great job in there.
You know Morgana, you seemed almost normal when you took the Treasure.

Oh, was that all you were so busy thinking about you almost died?

Oh…?

…And that’s the end of that conversation, I guess. No answers here!

Still, he did mention requesting people to be eliminated. He has to know who’s responsible.
Mm…
Mom…

Haru notices the object on the ground, which literally faded into existence in between screenshots.

His Treasure… was a plastic model kit?

Music: Alleycat

I remember Father telling me something before he changed… He said there was a model kit he really wanted back when he was a child. But no matter how much he begged my grandfather, he never got it.

Oh boo hoo, I turned evil because I never got the toy I wanted, don’t you feel so bad for me?

Your family could get like a thousand of those kits though.
Okumura Foods has been around for generations, but it was a small company until my father took over. My grandfather was a good man, but not the best businessman. He’d even lend money with no collateral… It seems the debt collectors were a frequent presence when my father was young…
That must be why… Why Okumura was so willing to pursue his own happiness at the expense of others.

Oh, so it’s actually the experience of being hounded by debt for his entire childhood that caused his desires to become distorted? And the model was just a metaphor for the promise of financial stability? And I’m kind of an asshole for making fun of it? Okay!

Whoa!?

It is a staggering price. I’ve heard this can happen to collector’s items, but still…
People’re gonna pay that much for a plastic toy!?
By the way… when exactly is the change of heart supposed to happen?
Soon. That’s all we know. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens until then.

It’s a real pain in the ass!

Once he has his change of heart, we’ll surely be able to find out who’s behind the mental shutdowns.

Music: Desire

Everything. From the Phantom Thieves targeting Okumura to them changing his heart… We’ve lost a convenient source of income, but I’d rather not risk his connection coming to light. Okumura was not fit for the political world to begin with. He should have just behaved himself… ……. Of course. Without fail, sir. I’ve requested that he handle the matter. Arrangements have been made. A sudden mental shutdown will occur at just the right time. We’ll dispose of our disappointing connection and the Phantom Thieves at once. Two birds with one stone.

Wonder what’s going on here?

evil chuckle

Probably nothing important.

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

And about how much of a dick you were? Good!

I was way too worried about who I am, and how I don’t compare to the other members of our group. Turns out I just don’t have any guts, huh?

I have the perfect remedy. We’re going to Big Bang Burg—wait, shit, they’re still evil.

Thanks. I think the reason I was so hung up on wanting to be human is because I needed a goal of my own. Well, not a goal per se, but something bigger… I guess more like… a reason to live. But now that I’m sure I belong with the Phantom Thieves, I know what I want to do. Do you know what it is?

Please god, move out. How am I supposed to cran—I mean, how am I supposed to get any with the cat watching?

That too, eventually. I’m going to do whatever I can to make sure the Phantom Thieves succeed. In other words, our goals are in alignment.

You’d better put some effort in too! Don’t make me regret my choice!
I feel like my bond with Morgana is growing deeper…

Protect is a great skill. Any time a single-target attack would kill Maaku, a party member with Protect can step in to take it for him. It can only proc once per party member per battle, though, and it won’t save you from attacks that hit the whole party.

Plus… I want Lady Ann to be happy.

God dammit, cat.

I hope you’re not thinking about how sappy all of this is…!

Same, Maaku.

Music: Beneath the Mask



Likewise.
You must surely be exhausted. I suggest you go to sleep early.
Hey, we should talk about Haru’s welcome party!
Didn’t we just say we would let her rest, you dimwit!?
I appreciate your concern, but I’m OK, I promise.
As long as you’re OK, Haru… Well, is there anywhere you’d like to go?
Actually, I’d like to walk around the school festival with everyone.

That reminds me, we still haven’t settled on a guest.
A guest!? Like, some kinda celebrity!?
Wait, does that mean the Phantom Thieves could be one of the candidates!? How ‘bout it? Wanna show up?
That’s a bit over the top…
You’re just getting way too carried away.
Don’t say such strange things.
What a shallow idea.
Oooh, a four-hit combo!
Sorry…

Poor Ryuji.



The internet is rampant with speculation over the claims made on the calling card. Awareness of the Phantom Thieves is extremely high, and the world will be watching their next move.
We took care of it, but… We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

Here’s what we’ve got for you today! Sonic Socks! They’re made with a special fiber that’s a revolution in thin fabrics!
They’re so light, it feels like your feet aren’t wearing any socks at all!
And it can be yours… For the incredibly low price of 4980 yen!

Nothing at all! Nothing at all! Nothing at all!

Why do I keep buying this crap? I never use it.



Hm, now that I think about it, we’ve really grown quite a lot.

Sometimes saving will give us a special message from Morgana depending on our progress through the game. It’s kinda neat.


Music: Aria of the Soul


…Contrary to our assumptions, it seems you have turned out to be quite promising.
Your powers continue to grow, as do the relationships you hold with your contractors. It seems the rehabilitation is proceeding at a fine rate.

“HEY IGOR WE JUST BEAT A CRIMINAL! IGOR? HEY IGOR! :D"

chuckle Allow me to warn you on one matter. Being at the peak may mean you are mere moments from your downfall.

The game’s really laying it on thick, isn’t it?

Unexpected situations are necessary in a “game,” after all. more chuckling

Music: Desire





What the hell…? I’m human… I have to be… I…

I kinda figured the existential crisis was done by this point, ugh.

There’s no way I was born like that…

What the hell are you talking about?

H-Hmph. I won’t let myself get worked up over some dream… I’m sure everything will be clear if we can get to the depths of Mementos…

I somehow doubt that, given that we’re running off a massive hunch of yours, but oh well.

(sadly staring at Maaku) ……

Don’t wake me up, cat, I’m hanging out with Igor in the decidedly unsexy dungeon.


#224

I remembered Morgana mentioned something about people whose hearts are not changed properly would lose desires, so I thought Haru would check on her father immediately after the operation. Having a shadow shot in cutscene realm seems way potent, or maybe the gun used by the mysterious figure is different.


#225
Part 115

Part 115: 9/26: Makoto Makes A Charming New Friend!

Congratulations to Haru for winning the romance contest! We’ll get right on that when the game actually lets us!

Something in me just loves the idea that these shitheads just immediately go “problem’s fixed, time for a burger!”

Anon: calling card! FIRST!!!

Also, this idiot.

Anon: its getting exciting!
Anon: Took you long enough!
Anon: Our savior’s made a move!
Anon: i don’t care, just do it

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

The Palace is gone, so I guess we’re waiting for a while. What do you guys do at times like these?

I see… I suppose it’ll do us good to take it easy every now and then. Still, don’t go overboard. You can’t forget your primary duties as a high schooler. It’s important to play the part of a diligent student, right?

Whatever, lame-o. I’m giving up on you. The people have demanded Haru, and by god, they’ll get her!

Music: Tokyo Daylight

That’s not an excuse to slack off! We should still use our time wisely!

Or, they would if it was possible right now. Haru’s got an annoying Confidant that can’t be initiated until rather late, and by “rather late” I of course mean “after this block of the game finishes.”


Also, every single person available to hang out during the day wants to spend time with us right now. It’s nuts!

Y-Yeah… I knew, but… Don’t say stuff like that so loud…
It’s so shocking though. I mean, it’s all connected to our school again. Now that President Okumura got that calling card, what do you think will happen?

But first, we’re doing another round of people-watching. Err, listening, rather.

‘Sup girl. How you livin’?

I’m sure the Phantom Thieves are watching the news too, but I wonder what they’re thinking.

They’ve been acting as symbols of hope, after al. I even hear people refer to them as saviors. If everything on that calling card is true, this might just be a turning point in history. Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself, but there’s no doubt of the attention this is getting.

I don’t blame them. Some people expect a bit much for the requests they send to the Phantom Thieves. If everything on that calling card is true, this might just be a turning point in history. Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself, but there’s no doubt of the attention this is getting.

I hope that’s the case. I’m a bit worried because some people can react irresponsibly to all this. If everything on that calling card is true, this might just be a turning point in history. Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself, but there’s no doubt of the attention this is getting.

I like Newspaper Club Member. She’s really mellowed out towards us and she supports the Phantom Thieves respectfully.

Her dad was on TV saying they called the police about it. Speaking of, you wouldn’t believe how huge their house is…
I dunno though. I mean, if he made all his money doing bad stuff, he deserves to be punished.

Hey, not so loud! Okumura-san’s probably going through a rough time right now…
Still, a man who exploited his employees is irredeemable. Perhaps the Phantom Thieves should finish him off. The world doesn’t need more people like him.

Holy shit! These people are bloodthirsty!

You know, I overheard that the president of that corporation is Okumura-senpai’s father.
Whaat? I didn’t know you were into girls like that. Huh. This whole time, you were a gold digger…
Stop messing around! We need to devote as much time as we can to our teams. We can’t let ourselves be distracted by women!

Poor Haru, getting gossiped about constantly.

The food there is cheap, but it’s filling. It might suck if Big Bang weren’t around anymore.
Nah, bad guys should be punished. And those press conferences where they apologize are fun to watch.

Hmm, it’s tough to say. I mean, I’m not really the hero type.
Ahaha! Maybe you’re right! Being a Phantom Thief must be hard. Just listening to everyone’s requests must take a lot of work.

I’ve heard his daughter goes to this school, but I can’t stay my hand. Evil must be defeated.

Heh, it must be nice to be so carefree. I wish I could live out a normal, quiet civilian life too.

I’m actually starting to get a little annoyed with this dipshit.

What do you think about the Phantom Thieves sending President Okumura a calling card?

So then, punishment is a matter of fact for companies that exploit their enemies. And you’re saying that this issue won’t be resolved until the president begs for forgiveness. And that concludes our on-the-spot coverage.

……
What’s wrong, Sun God? You look sullen…
The people only believe in the Phantom Thieves… What good is my power…?


Haha, I appreciate you trying to help. It’s like you really are some kind of phantom thief hero. However… I don’t even know who I’m even trying to target… Sorry, I’m just talking to myself.

You just now found that out? It’s all over the internet. He’s getting bashed left and right. Corrupt companies are the worst! The Phantom Thieves will do something about it!

Well, the Phantom Thieves sent out their calling card. Can’t be good news for the corporate bigwigs.
The police need to get off their fat asses and arrest those delinquents!
I thought you were a fan of the Phantom Thieves? Ohoho, I know times are tough right now, but…

But with the flak they’re getting, it’s tough bringing girls there. Where’re you taking your ladies?
All sorts of different places, naturally! There’s tons of places where you can take women…

I’m probably an idiot for just now realizing this, but I’m pretty sure now that Veteran Pick-up Artist is a total fucking fraud.

I met a really nice girl, lately. I hope I can take her someplace fancy one day.

Music: Tokyo Emergency

Not really. There are other places that sell them.
We can go with Kotaro again! Let’s go and cheer on the Phantom Thieves!
Yeah… I hope he feels better soon.


I used to go to Big Bang Burger a lot myself. They’re a big company with a good image, so I feel like I’ve been betrayed.
That’s just the way the world is. Not worth making a big deal over it at this point.

Music: Butterfly Kiss

I finally remember to pick up a fourth SP Adhesive 3.

Music: Tokyo Daylight

Oh hey, Fishy Hawker’s still on the streets! I was worried about you, ya giant scumbag.

B-But the price of the Okumura Foods stock I bought from my friend has plummeted…
All you have to do is make up for it! Actually, I’ve got this secret information…
R-Really!? Please, tell me what it is!

Danger could strike your company at any time. And just like that, your life as you know it crumbles. You never know what might happen, but at least you can give your home the very best protection. Wanna-B-Alert can help you! For a limited time, sign up with a zero-down contract!

What a horrifying scenario you have presented that your product doesn’t solve in the slightest!

Thanks to them, I’m getting tons of labor-related inquiries.
Unpaid and illegal overtime, abuse of position… I can’t believe they dealt with it for so long. People are standing up for their rights after the Okumura thing. I’ll be busy for quite a while.



And now, to Akihabara.


Don’t worry, we’ll keep visiting you at “Alice’s Apron”! It’s the promised land for guys like us!
Ew, gross. Who are you again, creep?
Waah! Harsh on the outside… and harsh on the inside. But why’s my heart beating so fast?

Well, it’s over for them if they piss off their sponsors. No network’s gonna bash Okumura Foods.
I wish the Phantom Thieves would take care of this already. Okumura’s 100% guilty.
Yep, our Phantom Thieves will take care of him!


I still have some capital left over. Yeah, the Phantom Thieves are where it’s at… I’ve got it. I’ll buy a crap ton of stocks for places making money off the Phantom Thieves!

Can’t see an issue with this plan!

Also, it’s hard to see due to the nameplate, but he’s crumpled into a ball on the ground. It owns.

Now that we’re done with eavesdropping for today, let’s go fill that Strength request we put aside a few updates back.

Music: Aria of the Soul

I see you have brought us the Hecatoncheires with Masukunda
You managed to do all three assignments, and you didn’t once try to give up! Not bad!

We might be getting close to finding out the hidden goal behind that list. snicker Y’know thanks to you, I’m actually starting to look forward to seeing what happens.
Your attitude has shifted quite considerably, Caroline. I see now that the harsh mask you wear during the fusion ritual is nothing more than a facade.

Perhaps in your heart, you have longed for the days the inmate would come to fuse the specified Personas.

And what about you, Justine!? You’ve been real talkative lately!
chuckle I suppose you are correct.

I-I’ve never heard you laugh before, Justine…
We have both clearly changed quite a bit recently. Perhaps my hypothesis is true after all.

We have thought that if we were to complete the list, we would bring to light the intent of its creator… We have overseen the inmate, all the while considering the changes that have begun to appear within him… However… can it truly be said that the inmate is the only one who has changed?

The completion of these tasks has also had a great impact on both my consciousness and my memories.

I have no proof of that. However… if this list represented the will of our master, why has it fallen into our hands and not his?
This has gotta be some kinda joke… You’re telling me somebody made it… so they could change us…? But… why?

……

W-Wait, I recognize this voice…! Urgh…!
Caroline!?

Does something trouble you?
O-Our apologies, Master.
Is the inmate proving to be too horrible a subject for you?

Aww man, I thought Igor liked us. We’re Rank 8, man! We’re bros!

No, the fault does not lie with him. If you must reprimand anyone… then let it be us.
Caroline…

On the other hand, Caroline seems to have thoroughly defrosted.

…I see. Very well, continue onward with his rehabilitation.

Now then, as you have completed three tasks, let us bestow upon you the next reward. We shall grant you permission to use the special Isolation cell.
You use it just like a normal Lockdown cell… but it’s a heck of a lot stronger! snicker How’s it stronger exactly? ‘Cause the Persona you pop in there will learn a stronger resistance skill!
We expect that you will put its services to good use.
nods

This is exactly how it was described in the tooltip and by Caroline. We can get stronger resistance skills from it. Hopefully now we can get something better than fucking Resist Dizzy. It’s still random and we’re still probably never gonna use this, but whatever.

Hmph. So I guess we’ve changed, huh… That much is clear. Strength… The eleventh arcana, which near-evenly splits the major twenty-two… The awakening of the unknown… A solitary woman calmly coming to face a lion…
Caroline. Let us assign the inmate his next task before we discuss this matter any further. If this list is meant to change us, that change must surely be important…
…Fine.

Oh, and your next reward is gonna be incredible, so you’ve gotta do two tasks before you can have it!

She’s not lying, at least in comparison to the other rewards.

Accordingly, these next two shall be the most difficult you have faced to this point.

Try to harbor a Bugs with Samarecarm within you.
We’ll be waiting for you. Though I know you won’t give up just ‘cause it’s hard!
nods

Music: Tokyo Daylight

Makoto’s Confidant is awful low for how much we use her. Let’s get to fixing that, especially now that we have enough Charm.

Oh, so I spoke with Eiko and she said her boyfriend was OK with the double date idea. She asked me to show her your picture though… Apparently, um… she thinks you look a little lame… She told me that my boyfriend isn’t in the same league as her Tsukasa… But I think she’ll change her mind once she sees you in person. Don’t worry, I’ll back you up.


Thank goodness. I’ll contact Eiko. Let’s meet at the diner, as I mentioned before.

Fine. But it’s strictly platonic. My heart is currently reserved for a burger heiress who is almost distressingly soft-spoken.

Music: Wicked Plan

I heard all about you two from Eiko.

Wait, this is her boyfriend!? I know Makoto said he was a host but this guy looks about thirty-eight! What’s wrong with his hair!?

So I heard you’re the student council prez, Makoto-chan? I totally wish I could be one of your council members.

I want to be far away from this dude right fucking now, and I want the same for Makoto.

Y-Yes, I am… Totally…
And Glasses-kun over here is your boyfriend, yeah?
Y-Yeah…
Huh. Looks like you guys don’t get along too good though. It’s like your love level’s rock bottom. Are you seriously datin’?

Dammit, he’s onto us!!!


Ohhh, I get it. You just don’t got any affection compared to us.
Mmmmmm-hm!
Hey babe, did you do something special today? I don’t remember you lookin’ this sexy.

It’s like Steve Buscemi in that 30 Rock “How do you do, fellow kids” gif except he’s also horny and also I can’t actually see the gif at all because I’m too busy vomiting.

Oh, Tsukasaaa! :heart:
……
Sorry, I hafta use the bathroom.

Um, there’s something I’d like to ask you… Are you serious about pursuing a relationship with Eiko?
Aha! I was wonderin’ when our honor student was gonna show her true colors! That reminds me, Eiko said you were real pumped about gettin’ to know me. Why’s that, huh?
…I just wanted to make sure you’re good for her.
Daaaaaamn girl, you really care about your friends! Good stuff. I always say, friends’re like, super important n’ shit. Speakin’ of which, a friend of my GF is totally a friend of mine. How ‘bout you tell me your digits?
Huh?
What’s wrong? C’mon, gimme your number.
I-I, um…

Nobody asked you, Glasses-kun. Anyways, Eiko already gave me yours, Mako-chan. We good.

Okay, first, you’re appropriating Haru’s nickname for Makoto and I’m gonna need you to stop doing that. Second, holy shit this dude is actually kinda scary.

I do have one more question to ask… You’re not going to bring Eiko to your club, are you?
What, you suspectin’ me? I wouldn’t dream of it. It’s a damn shame people think us hosts’re just flirts.

I mean, it’s kinda your job.

But my love with Eiko is pure as snow. Don’t twist the story.

Oh, I was just gettin’ to know your little friend here, honey. Welp, I should get goin’. I’ve gotta be at work soon.
Ah, me too! (to Makoto) Byeee!

But no matter what I might think, I still don’t have any proof… and above all, Eiko seems really happy. Am I just… getting in the way of their happiness?

That dude’s a certified creep, don’t worry about it.

I suppose so… I mean, I really am worried about Eiko here… In the end, I know this is just a hunch… but my father always stressed how important it is to trust hunches.


Ah, gross!

…What is this supposed to be saying? It’s full of emojis. “It’s meee, Tsukasa. heart emoji I no we just met but I cudn’t wait 2 phone emoji u. I’m so haP to b friends with u, MakoC. clapping emoji clapping emoji hot springs emoji

That was barely a coherent sentence, but I’ll need to get used to that if I’m going to help Eiko… By the way, I’m glad you were here with me. I would have really panicked had I been alone… I honestly despise how immature I can be sometimes… But I’m working through that with your help, so… thank you.
I can sense Makoto’s trust in me…

I’m actually kind of glad we didn’t have this for the last fight because it would’ve complicated things due to the Hunger mechanic.

We should get going too. I’ll let you know if anything else comes up. Goodbye.

Music: Beneath the Mask


He has been cooped up in his study, and his voice lacks energy.
That actually sounds quite similar to what Madarame went through.
And Madarame still had a change of heart in the end. Don’t worry, Haru.
Is that so…? Oh, my apologies! I don’t mean to doubt you or anything!
Nobody was accusing you of that.

Right. Hm, I feel better now after consulting with you all. Thank you.
Looks like this Okumura case is finally going to have a happy ending. All that we have to do now is wait for his change of heart.

I’m sure nothing will go wrong!


We get the Sonic Socks we ordered off the teevee.

And here, we get the Spyware-laden Gear, the Black Rock, the Hercules Ankle and the Black Robe from Tanaka’s Shady Commodities.

Heh. Cute.

Ever since the calling card was sent out, people have clamored for President Okumura’s punishment. President Okumura has not made an appearance, and his response to the calling card is still unknown.
We’ve done what we can for now. Now we just have to wait.


They ‘ere rotten fr’m the start. hic Yah, they should be executed. Executiiive theeem! They’re worse’n bad apples… They’re bad picklesh! You agree wi’ me, right? Executive theeeem!

Right!? Lemme buy ya some drinksh!

HELL YEAH

Jus’ who do they think they are? Those bad picklesh have no place in any sandwidge I’m gonna eat! You shee! It’sh a conspiracy! The bad picklesh, they made it sho Okumura’d get targetd…

What!? No, no! We hafta kill ‘em! We hafta kill those baaaad picklesh. The only good picklesh are th’ pickles Mom makesh… You shee! It’sh a conspiracy! The bad picklesh, they made it sho Okumura’d get targetd…

Lemme tell you… I’m a good pickle, yer a good pickle, but the bad picklesh’re ev’rywhere… An’ they’re not-- burp– they’re not jus’ hidin’ in sandwidges now. They workin’ out inna open. You shee! It’sh a conspiracy! The bad picklesh, they made it sho Okumura’d get targetd…

Me too! I did just good enough, so my parents will get me one too. Phones aren’t for calling… they’re for calling cards! Hehe, now we can follow the Phantom Thieves!
Let’s ask the Phantom Thieves to get our parents to buy us anything we want!

I hear he’s just throwing money at the problem—as if the company’s image could get any worse. I guess they deserve this. I think we should tear down businesses that abuse their employees.

Our company isn’t like that. We’re very much on the level.
I am not so sure about that… The internet and media are both skilled at starting fires.
In that respect, I sort of envy him. To think that could happen to us when we’re all working so hard.



If the CEO has a change of heart, do you think the burgers will get cheaper?

Wouldn’t the price actually go up slightly to accommodate for a likely increase in salary?

They opened one up back home not long ago. Huge lines—you’d think it was a festival or somethin’. I didn’t know Bangarang Burgers was so amazing.

Oh god, Rural Young Man is actually Skrillex, everything makes sense now


Yeah, I’ve got a lot more time on my hands now. I’ve been able to stay out longer, little by little. Looks like I’ll be free soon. The guy that’s got a hold on me, his heart’s startin’ to weaken. …Who am I talkin’ about? Someone real close to me! Haha!

Oh no, the weird Jekyll/Hyde situation with our good buddy Homeless Man is getting worse by the day…

Aw, don’t be like that. Look, there’s a buncha fun, interestin’ stuff goin’ on. For instance… You hear that hoity-toity bastard got a calling card? He finally got the Phantom Thieves’ attention. They’re punishing evil people that the law can’t reach. Those phantom thieves are just like me, hahaha!

Well, that’s a terrifying thought.

What’s she talking about? Is she worried that maybe you’re overworking yourself?
No. You know how Okumura Food’s stock price fell after their president got that calling card? She’s worried that if a big company like that can fail, ours might fail too.
She’s more worried about the company than you? Well, it’s kind of the same with my wife…

That’s kind of an interesting conversation to me. We haven’t really thought about the potential damage just receiving a calling card would do to a public company at this point, and it’s nice to see that reflected in some of these conversations.

I hope they fail! An enemy of Akechi-kun’s is an enemy of mine!
Goodness… If Akechi-kun found out about you, you’d be his enemy too. I know you use his voice as your alarm clock!

You wanna make your big debut, right?
Of course! I’ll work as hard as it takes!
Good, good… Never lose that drive.

This poor woman.

Music: Time to Repent

Let’s resolve this hanging matter with Hifumi’s mother.

…The thing is, something unexpected happened… Can we talk?
>Hang out with her
Please sit down so we can talk.

Music: Alleycat

She told me that… most of my matches thus far had been fixed in my favor. She also admitted that she was the one who sold that story to the weekly magazine…

Maaku, quick! Feign surprise!

I… I had no idea. I feel so ashamed… However, thinking back, I do recall some of my opponents making poor moves at odd times… …… I’ve always wanted people to recognize my shogi skills… but I suppose I never had any. I became so conceited as a result of all those fake victories… Why did my mother confess all of a sudden…? It’s as if she had a change of heart…

…That can’t be. Perhaps they eavesdropped on our conversation?
vigorous sweating

Yeah, I-I’m glad it happened, but it totally wasn’t because of any of those Phantom Thieves, who are probably really awesome and can do a pull-up and don’t smell like cat.

Well, at least she was cool with it! That retroactively makes it okay!

It was painful to hear the truth, but I’m glad that my mother had a change of heart. I’ve decided… …I’m not going to lose.

Oh, sorry! I was referring to the exhibition match… I’m going through with it, as planned. …However, before that, I’m going to confess everything.

I know I’ll receive a lot of criticism… but I must ensure the truth is known. This next match will showcase my true talents. I don’t know how it’s going to go… but I hope you’ll watch. As your teacher, I promise to put up a good fight so I don’t embarrass myself.
I feel Hifumi’s trust in me…

…I would be lying if I told you that I’m not scared. My kingdom is a house of cards… I’m not sure if it can withstand a true battle. However, I intend to fight with dignity to the very end, as a queen should. There’s a new move I’d like to test out for the exhibition… Will you stay for another game? Please come at me with all you have…

I feel like playing shogi with Hifumi has helped sharpen my Knowledge

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

…I see, so there’s still room for improvement. I’d like to do this again some time.

Hifumi’s a pretty good character, honestly.


#226
Part 116

Part 116: 9/27-9/28: Yuuki Mishima, The Hero

Anon: No apology yet? :[
Anon: Ooh, a calling card! Kekeke

Ugh.

Anon: I’ve been waiting for this

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

Yeah, it’s a new fall fragrance. It’s supposed to be mysterious, like the Phantom Thieves. I thought I’d wear it to show my support while they’re out there taking down an evil corporation.

Girl #2 here is explicitly described here as “Phangirl,” for the record.

A show of support, huh? I could post a photo online of all the Phan merch I’ve amassed. Maybe they’ll be motivated by how passionate their fans are.

I’m sure they will.

Music: Tokyo Daylight

Don’t know what you’re talking about, old man. I’m all about rock n’ roll—nothing else!
I saw some pretty hilarious videos of you online, but maybe I got the wrong guy?
I express myself best through music. My next song is a ballad praising the Phantom Thieves… I give you… “Phantom Thieves Jongara Bushi”! Haaa, appeeearing iiin Tooohhh-kyooohhh…

It’s occuring to me that this dude’s musical genre gimmick doesn’t really work in pure text form even in the original game, and double doesn’t work in LP form.

Well, you also lied to him about your age. Are you sure you have the right to complain?
That’s different. Anyway, I asked the Phantom Thieves to give him a change of heart.
Geez… I think maybe it’s you who might need a change of heart.

These CHATTER messages are getting intense.

Music: Butterfly Kiss

All right, I guess we should finally get to telling Takemi about her patient.

There’s nothing to talk about…
Why don’t you tell Takemi about Oyamada?

Oh fine… I’ll go to you, so wait there.

Music: Alleycat


Yes?
I wanted to speak with you right away! The hospital that was on the news is the same one you used to work at, right!?
The hospital on the news?

But I knew you weren’t capable of doing those terrible things.
…Wh-What’s going on?
Oh, my. You really don’t know, do you?
Chief of Staff Oyamada turned himself in. He was manipulating things behind the scenes. Turns out he was the one who made that terrible medical error, and laid the blame on his subordinate!

Is that… true?
It’s been on news channels all over the country!
I haven’t… seen it…
I just knew something didn’t quite add up about that story.
I never believed someone like you could have ever done something like that.
Hooray! Doctor! But… What’s a medical error?
What? Um… It’s something that shouldn’t be allowed to happen… I guess.

Girl’s Father and Old Lady begin chatting idly.

Oyamada surrendering himself… at such a convenient time… Why…? …It doesn’t matter. It’s too late. It doesn’t change the fact that I couldn’t save her…


There’s… no way…

Oh, it must’ve been difficult for her too. I heard she’s been moved to another hospital…

Music: Sunset Bridge

Are you OK, Doctor!?




I’ll compensate you well. Whatever you want, however much, just let me know.
nods It feels like my bond with Takemi is growing even deeper…

We’re going to have to move quickly today, so you may experience some pain during the examination. …Sorry. Just hang in there, OK?

Sad to break the “It’s for my exams” chain, but it’s worth it not to ruin this moment.

Once the medicine is perfected, I’ll introduce you to Miwa-chan and tell her how much you helped. All right, into the examination room you go.
I feel like cooperating in that shady clinical trial has increased my Guts

Maaku gains Guts +1.

That’s all for today. Take care.

Music: Beneath the Mask


His reaction was quite vague when I spoke to jim too… Is this what normally happens?
Madarame was in a similar state after we changed his heart.
It’ll be OK, don’t worry. All we have to do is wait.
…You’re right. I’ll just believe it’s going to work. Thank you, and sorry for asking so many times. I’ll message you again if there is more progress.

Just relax, Haru. I’m 1000% positive this’ll go off without a hitch. Why, I’d stake the Phantom Thieves’ reputation on it!

I get why Haru is worried… but let’s just wait for the change of heart to go through. Don’t worry, it’ll be just like it always is.

DO YOU GET IT??? DO YOU GET IT, YOU GUYS??? SOMETHING BAD’S GONNA HAPPEN!!!

Are you among those who are waiting to see the president of that company meet his judgment?

Haha, there’s no need to hide it. There’s no shame in projecting your suppressed hopes onto them. It’s clear that they have power. They have an ethical obligation to use it wisely. The pressure and expectations that burden exceptional people… I know it well, hahaha.
jerk-off motions

Former Okumura Foods employees who feel they are victims have formed an association and held a meeting. The association exchanged ideas among one another and vowed not to give up until justice is done.
Oh, they’re all working together. It’s tough to do something big all by yourself.

That’s nice.





Not enough to get Hifumi to the next rank, unfortunately.

Music: Layer Cake

We’re already flush with cash, but we decide to go to Untouchable to sell our Palace goodies.


Whereupon we’re treated with this message. I’ll probably actually try to take advantage of this at some point, but not just yet.

And it’s 50% off because we’re at Rank 5 with Iwai.

Music: Beneath the Mask

The worst. Even if I drive all day, I still barely meet quota.

Well, let me tell you about this great little startup called Uber—now, you have to supply your own car, and pay for gas, and you won’t make anything near a living wage, but hey, at least the company’s so awful in so many different ways they’re losing money too!

Yeah, well—don’t get me started on my bosses. These days they’re little more than slave-drivers…
Maybe we need to ask the Phantom Thieves for help.
I hope they take down my boss when they’re done with Okumura.


The Phan-Site’s blowing up!

Oh, hey Mishima. Guess we should hang, or whatever.

Oh, so I’ve been researching that actor, and I came across some substantial new info.

Oh. Perfect.

Are you free to hear what I found?

…Sure, buddy. Sure.

Oh, awesome, what fresh hell will prevent us from reaching the next rank here? Getting sick of your shit, Mishima.

sigh Let’s do this, I guess.

Thanks. Let’s head to the diner then.

Music: Suspicion

He probably just couldn’t live with himself after what he did to her… His reputation did a total 180 after he announced the marriage though. People used to hate him, but now all everyone wants to talk about is how sweet and manly he is. At any rate, we can’t oppose the will of the public. Good thing we decided not to change his heart.

Yeah, it is good we all decided that.

Support for the Phantom Thieves would’ve really dropped if we had. …I need to make sure our next target is one we can win against.

Uhhh…


Oh, by the way… I came up with a new plan of attack. If we really wanna make you guys famous, we need to do more than just answer promising requests. Right now there are tons of idiots out there doubting you, and trying to influence others to do the same. So… we’re gonna purge them.

Holy shit!


There’s not really any better way to phrase it though.

How about not phrasing it at all because we’re not doing that, you imbecile?

The truth is, I looked up some of these idiots who were criticizing you and sent them warning messages. You know, something like, “If you don’t change your wicked ways, you’ll be our next target.”

I’ll have you know, it’s been working wonders. They totally stopped dissing the P-Thieves!

Hold on, gonna send the brainwashing crew after my forums nemesis. What!?

There are still some people who say they don’t believe, but deep down they’re just afraid of you guys.

The audio clip for this line is a creepy-ass laugh and I hate it.

Plus now that all those haters are gone, people are putting a bunch more info on the forum. Post after post after post, it’s all “please” and “help me”… …This is so much fun.

Jesus, dude.


All I did was find my own way to change people’s hearts. I’m above the simple stuff like producing and advertising now. I can change the world. I have the strength to do that now…


Akiyama-kun…
Yo, Mishima… I haven’t seen you since graduation.
Hahaha… We actually saw each other here not that long ago…
…Oh yeah, I guess you’re right. ……
…Akiyama-kun?
What?
Are you OK?
…Whaddya mean? Does it look like I ain’t OK?
I dunno, you just seem… quiet.
…Shut your mouth, zero. I don’t got time to be listening to you.

Akiyama leaves.

He acts like I’m a total nothing, but he still takes time to try and mess with me… …… …I’ve changed though. I’m way better than a loser like him.

Sure thing.

I even heard he’s been hanging out with some shady people… They’re all scum. I wish we could change their hearts, for the good of our society…


All right, it’s decided! Your next target is gonna be Akiyama-kun!

Oh dear.

Let’s see, where’s his info…

…… Are you guys gonna come after me someday too…?

I should find this hilarious, but today I take no joy in this. Mishima, you gotta calm the fuck down.

…… H-Hahaha… Good joke, Hamiru. …… Anyway, I’m heading home. I’ll send you Akiyama-kun’s info later…

I should discuss this with the others…

Yeah, we really shou–

Wait, right now!?

Didn’t he give us some other weird request too? Something about that handsome actor? Is Mishima-kun trying to take advantage of us…?
Apparently he has also threatened anyone who dares speak ill of the Phantom Thieves on his forum. Perhaps we should enact a change of heart on Mishima, not this Akiyama fellow.

We’re really considering this? Holy shit, wow.

Whoa, wait up. He ain’t that bad.
Hm… I guess we could find out what’s happening if we managed to find his Shadow. I mean, he’s already worried that we’re gonna change his heart, right? We’ll probably be able to track down his Shadow in Mementos. All things considered, I think our best course of action would be to defeat it and change his heart.
Mishima-kun…? It feels almost wrong to consider such an option…

Haru, have you even met Mishima? You’ve been a Phantom Thief for less than two weeks. I’m not saying you’re wrong to be skeptical here, but don’t act like you have some great personal objection.

We can’t have him keep causing problems for us though.
Either way, we can decide whether or not we change his heart later. For now, we must meet his Shadow.

Yeah. Let’s head into Mementos and track down Mishima’s Shadow!

Okay, we’ll do it first thing after school tomo–


Okay, now this is just getting ridiculous.

Music: Desire


Could you be… the Phantom Thieves!? looks around Hahahaha! So you wanna change my heart, even after everything I’ve done for you guys!?

If you just shut up and listened to what I told you, the Phantom Thieves would get even more famous… And if you did that, I’d get some of the spotlight too. I wouldn’t be just some stupid zero anymore… There’s finally some hope back in my life… So why? Why are you so insistent on stopping me…?

I wanna talk to your leader… alone.

nods

The others leave. This seems like a great idea!

Before you came along, I knew my role in life. I was supposed to be the guy everyone messed with… I had accepted that I was a zero, embraced it even… But once I figured out you were one of the Phantom Thieves, everything changed… You just HAD to get close to me…!

I want to change society too… I want the world to notice me! If I can just make the Phantom Thieves famous, maybe I’ll end up famous too…!

I’m not sure… but I don’t have any other choice! I don’t have any special powers like you guys… Heck, nobody even pays attention to me…! In the end, that’s why I need you guys… You’re the only way I’ll be able to make a name for myself!

I can’t even make fun of this, it’s just sad, really.

But if I can’t push my way into the spotlight now, when will I…!? Anyway, just bring it on already! You’re here to fight, aren’t you!?
……


“Do it yourself” is one of my favorite choices in the game.

I’m sure he learned something if he’s been spendin’ all this time with us amazin’ heroes, yeah?

It’s rude to eavesdrop, Skull.


I need to be famous…! I need to… I…

Well, that was, to my knowledge, by far the longest Confidant event in the entire game. We didn’t even get a rank up out of it. Goddammit, Mishima.

Anon: Better run Mr. CEO XDDD
Anon: Here comes the apology rofl
Anon: They better not screw it up

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)


Music: Everyday Days

I love the sound of the word “chief.” I’d like to be called that too, someday.

I just imagined Sojiro with Morgana’s head. Yeersh.

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

Have you seen the Totem Pole at the diner in Shibuya yet?
Haha, yeah—it really is a Totem Pole.

I’m impressed by these students’ knowledge of the customs of the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. As for me, whenever I think of a totem pole, I think of that one episode of Hannibal. You know the one.

It’s so colorful. I just love watching people try to eat it!
I’m amazed whenever someone can eat it really neatly.
Eating a Totem Pole? Neatly? I wonder why they call it the Totem Pole?

I can’t imagine what kind of food looks like a totem pole… And eating it impresses people? The mystery deepens…

It’s probably just a tall, thin thing. Not some elaborate mystery, cat.

The Totem Pole at the diner, huh… OK… I’m interested.

Looks like the diner got a new item on the menu. We might have to stop in eventually, even if we don’t need the Knowledge.

Music: So Boring

It seems so many of us have experienced this that a term has been created for it. The English name for that particular phenomenon can be abbreviated to “PVS”… Would anyone like to tell me what that stands for? Mr. Hamiru! Let’s hear it. What is this phenomenon commonly called in English?
OK, let’s try to puzzle out this acronym! So “PVS,” referring to when you mistakenly think your phone is going off… What’s the P?

Right. It’s gotta start with “phantom,” since you’re only imagining it. So next is the V part. That means it’d be “phantom…” what?

That’s it! When your phone buzzes, you say it’s “vibrating.” Last is the S. So if we have “phantom vibration” so far…
you’re taking a really long time, dude. stop muttering to your meowing desk and answer the question

Good! The correct English term is “phantom vibration syndrome.” If you’re anxiously waiting for someone to contact you, your brain will apparently trick you. This is an affliction that can only affect a modern society, where being connected 24/7 is commonplace.

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

When I was a student, I’d get all worked up waiting for my S.O. to call me at night. Nowadays people complain if you don’t reply to a text you just saw. Kind of obnoxious, if you ask me.
Think it’ll ever get to a point where we’ll be able to read each other’s minds? …I’ll pass on that, thanks.

Music: Tokyo Daylight




Still nothing for Hifumi.

Music: Tokyo Emergency

Hey, are you free today?

Only one thing left on the promise list… “Being OK without you around.” But before that, there’s something I wanna show you, Maaku. Come to my room.

See, everything on here is marked off as being done.

Music: Alright (Elp Version)

But that’s kinda… wrong. There was one promise I lied about doing… One promise I never actually finished. It was “get along with Kana-chan.” This all started back when I was in elementary school.

Oh boy, bracing for a long story…

I used to get bullied pretty hard for how weird I was… The other kids always accused me of cheating because I’d get perfect scores on my tests. Then one time I turned in a test with nothing written down instead… but the school ended up yelling at my mom. My life at school was horrible. Sometimes during recess, I’d lock myself in the bathroom and cry… I didn’t have a single friend… I was always alone. But then a girl named Kana transferred to my school… She was absent a lot at first, then when she was there, the other kids bullied her… like they did to me. But one day, she said something to me: “Good morning.” She started saying it every day from then on.


To be honest… I completely ignored her the first few times. I thought the bullies had put her up to it. But without fail, she’d come over to me to say good morning… Then eventually, I decided to say it back. It felt like my heart was gonna shatter into a million pieces… But apparently, she’d been saying it to me that whole time because she thought we could be friends. She was the first person who didn’t mind how weird I was… I was so happy about making a friend that I told my mom. That’s when she added something to my promise list. “Get along with Kana-chan.” B-But… I couldn’t do it. One particularly windy morning, Kana-chan dropped her diary and the pages flew everywhere. I didn’t really mean to look… but I ended up seeing everything she had written down. And… once I see something, I can’t forget it… It was all so horrible… She wrote about how her parents hit her, how they made her take pictures in weird clothes… Kana-chan’s diary was full of stories like that… Then when I asked her about it… she got really defensive. I felt terrible, but she just kept yelling at me for reading it…

“Sounds like it was her fault.” Jesus christ!

I just… froze up… And then… I ran. I ran… and ran… I wanted her to stop yelling. I wanted to go back to how things were before… …Kana-chan ended up moving away pretty soon after that. I haven’t talked to her since. So… I lied to my mom. Even after Kana-chan left, I would tell her we were best friends. Every month, she’d write that promise on my list… and every month, I’d lie about it.

Music: Sunset Bridge

Sorry for not helping her, though she was going through even worse stuff than I was… Sorry for reading her diary… Sorry… for running away… I hate being such a coward… But I think I might be able to face my fears now that I’m a promise-settling Phantom Thief! “Get along with Kana-chan”… I’m gonna do it for real this time!
nods


Y-You have to help me now, got it!?

This is another part of our deal!
It feels like Futaba is starting to depend on me…

Active Support adds a few new moves to Moral Support, all of which are utterly fantastic. “Charge” here means “Charge/Concentrate,” as it adds both effects, meaning your next Physical/Gun or magical attack will deal 2.5x damage. SP recovery is always handy, too.

Oh, and… sorry I wasn’t too hospitable today. That’ll have to wait for next time! Now, make like a cheetah and dash outta my room!

Music: Beneath the Mask


The Phantom Thieves have been trending all over the country.
Not a day passes that I don’t hear people talking about the Phantom Thieves in the city too…
That just means people are really starting to count on us, right?
This fervor may be too extreme. It is a dangerous omen. We could face great danger if anyone manages to discover our true identities.
Don’t scare us like that! Ain’t no way somebody’s gonna figure that out!
Either way, this excitement has definitely piqued the public’s interest in the Phantom Thieves. We’ll need to be even more careful from now on.
Why do we gotta be the ones who sneak around? It don’t make sense…

People come to enjoy the beauty of nature, and a few come to pray for help in finding love. It’s also the most popular shrine on New Year’s and a great place to hang out near Takenoko Street.

I really thought we’d have max Kindness by now so I didn’t bother restocking on Mega Fertilizers, whoops.



There we go. Maaku gains Kindness +3.

I doubt a kid like you could possibly understand, but… Hm? You look like you know what’s up, unlike all those phonies. I think you deserve to buy my wares. My art. Look at that Charm… You can buy whatever you want.

Street Accessory Seller will sell us a bunch of (overpriced) accessories. Some of them unlock after getting to Rank 2 or 3 Charm, however. He also only appears on certain nights. I’ve just been ignoring him up until now.

The Vitality Sash gives 30 HP, the Stamina Sash gives 20 HP, the Chakra Choker gives 10 SP, the Soul Choker gives 30 SP. The three belts give Auto-Tarukaja, Auto-Rakukaja, and Auto-Sukukaja, respectively, which gives you the requisite buff at the start of battle. None of this is worth shit, except the belts, and even those are worse than SP Adhesive 3. We buy another Black Rock and probably never talk to this dude again.

Now, one may consider that the corporate culture of Okumura Foods hasn’t changed one fucking bit due to Okumura’s failure to confess his misdeeds as of yet, so the company is just gonna keep doing evil shit and buying from them is supporting a bad business. To that I say:

welp, time for a burg

Music: Big Bang Burger March


We first partake in one of the “autumn-only” promotions going on and buy a Moon Burger, which restores 120 HP to the entire party. Then, we go for the challenge, which is discounted to 500 yen because it’s night. There’s no further ranks, as the employee reminds us, but we’ll do it anyway.




As I’ve already explained, there are no more rewards…

That’s all right… I’m in it for the sport.

However, to commemorate your further challenge success, we will grant you some free burgers.

Woohoo! Free food!

Maaku gains Guts +3, and is an unholy eating machine. No bonuses to other stats because we’ve already completed the challenge, but still a useful way to increase our Guts.


#227
Part 117

Part 117: 9/29-9/30: A Second Chance You Probably Don’t Deserve

Anon: Evil needs to die!
Anon: Our savior’s made a move!
Anon: its gettin exciting!

It’s getting intense, is what it is.

The sooner they get it done, the better it is for society.
We’re counting on you, Phantom Thieves… Don’t let us down.
Those politicians and Okumura both deserve divine punishment!
Aw, this place is sold out of Phantom Thieves merch too?

Anon: SO MANY COMMENTS OMG
Anon: Here comes the apology rofl
Anon: Okumura’s got 5 sec
Anon: Don’t let us down!

Music: So Boring

It’d spell the end of this country if kids started wanting to become more like the Phantom Thieves. You’re already in your second year of high school. You should have a clear vision of your future. If you’re looking for safety and stability, a civil servant is a good option. Hey, Hamiru. Not all civil servants work in government offices. Which of these occupations is a civil one.

Uhhhhhhhhh…

Oho… I’m impressed you knew that. Only the cormorant fishermen of Nagaragawa are officially used by the imperial household.

“Cormorant” fishing? According to my incredible internet proficiency, I have discovered that a cormorant is a type of bird, trained by Asian fishermen to catch fish for them. That’s rather quaint.

Those fishermen are granted spots on the Imperial Household Agency’s Board of Ceremonies. That said, you can’t break into that industry even if you wanted to since it’s a hereditary occupation. If you want a government job, try for a spot in the Diet—though some may say that’s hereditary too.

Hyuk. Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

I’m honestly fed up with politicians these days. Isn’t there anyone who seriously wants to improve this country?
Oh yeah, they said on the news that the cabinet’s approval rating went down again. They’re the complete opposite of us. Our popularity and approval have been going through the roof.

And there’s no way it could ever stop…

Music: Tokyo Daylight




And Hifumi’s ready for the next rank.

They should leave reforming society or whatever to the people we elect and put in charge.
Maybe… Hey, shouldn’t we be doing something too?
What are you talking about? We’ve worked so hard up until now, so I say our work is done.


By the way, have you eaten yet, Hamiru-san? I’m starving… But the hunger doesn’t really bother me when I’m playing.

What!? Are you sure? OK, today’s training will be a “lecture.” If you pay for my meal, I’ll let you have the course for free.

I get my meal, and you get your training, so we’re both happy. Now, stop wasting time and take me some place to eat!

Music: Alright (Elp Version)


I gotta eat good because I’m fighting a war.

…Didn’t I tell you? I’ve been having serious battles with kids at school. They attack me in large numbers, so I can’t let my guard down. All they did today was throw eraser crumbs in my lunch, though, so I won that round.

This sounds like a problem!

…It’s a war. I’m on the defensive right now, but I’m looking for a chance to counterattack. I could finish them in a second if I put my mind to it. It’s just that… now’s not the right time. It gets kind of annoying having to watch my back all the time, though… Maybe I can ask the Phantom Thieves to take care of them…


Well, today you lost… So that means you’ll just have to try harder next time. Now, eat up and feel better.

…You’re not mad?
Of course not. You did your best, and that’s all that counts. Now, no more crying.
What a joke… Once you lose, it’s over.

“Goddamn kids today and their participation trophies!”

That’s what my mom told me. My mom’s fighting with the school… About how classes are taught, the way teachers treat students, the size of the classes… Since the divorce, my mom’s been taking care of me all by herself. She says it’s exhausting.

That’s a weird thing to say! I mean, it’s true, child care is exhausting and expensive, but it’s weird to put that on the kid.

She leaves really early to go to work. Then she comes home really late to take care of me. It’s no wonder she demands so much from the school, you know? But all my classmates make fun of her and call her a complainer… When I tell them to stop, they call me a momma’s boy… That’s how the war started. My mom gets made fun of because I’m weak! That’s why I gotta get stronger!

Shinya seems happy with her though.


But I’ve got a long way to go… Oh, before I forget, I need to show you something… Don’t tell anyone else about this, OK? But I’m going to show you a guaranteed way to win!
I feel like my bond with Shinya is growing deeper…

Warning Shot lets us potentially skip the negotiation process by firing a… warning shot. It apparently works a very, very high percentage of the time. I never got Shinya past Rank 2 in my original file, so everything from here on is uncharted territory, and let me just say that this Confidant gets us some amazing shit.

…I wish I could be a member of the Phantom Thieves and help them defeat the bad guys in the world.

Oh, it’s kinda late. I guess I should go home…
Interacting with Shinya has made my heart grow… I feel like my Kindness has increased…

Maaku gains Kindness +3.

Thanks for the food. Later!

Music: Beneath the Mask

Oh no! I accidentally did an INFORMATION CRIME!

No, but seriously, I’m cracking up at how stiff that reads.

Consider the following… A: Divulging someone’s crimes/B: Insult in an internet post/ Which of these counts as slander? You be the judge!

The correct answer is…A! Spreading around someone’s criminal history… is a crime!
If you publicly say something that hurts someone’s reputation, even if it’s true, it’s slander! Insults are usually not considered defamation, and even if it was, it’d be libel on the internet.
Oh, you got it right. So everyone who spreads rumors about you is guilty of slander, eh?
It feels like I’ve improved my Knowledge.

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

Music: Crossroads

You have any good stories? I’m takin’ a little break, so I’m all ears.

Lala-chan, two drinks please…

Both of them are for her, I presume.

Here, take a seat.

Wait, Lala actually gave it to Maaku!?

Thanks to my quota… and that shithead chief. But I made some progress on my personal investigation. I did some research on the Phantom Thieves. I’m starting to get the impression they might actually be the real deal. No signs of an internal power struggle, no dirty money changing hands…

Well, we just had an internal power struggle like two weeks back, and a lot of our revenue is technically from counterfeiting, so…

I can kinda understand now how someone like you became a fan. The more I get to know about the Phantom Thieves, the better I understand them…

I can relate to their sincerity. They remind me of how I used to be. I already know firsthand that fighting the evils of society is a never-ending, thankless job… But I still do it nonetheless. I bet the Phantom Thieves share that same type of passion.
giggle I never thought I’d hear you talking about passion, Ichiko-chan. Maybe all this talk about the Phantom Thieves has influenced you. Or maybe it’s just the kid.
Maybe… I mean, he is a pretty big fan of theirs, so…


…What? You found Kayo…!?

Music: Suspicion

Where is she…? What do you mean, you can’t tell me!? Why the hell not!? Hey! What’s going on!? Wait!


That was one of my journalist friends. He thinks he found Kayo. He followed up on a pretty far-fetched string of rumors for me, but now he’s saying he doesn’t want to get involved. …Dammit! Why the hell won’t he tell me what’s going on!? I can’t just give up now!
A-At least that’s progress! I mean, we didn’t even know Kayo-chan was still alive before now, so–

Music: Desire


Well, not anymore. I’ve cut off all your resources. I suggest that you drop this investigation if you don’t want to face the consequences!
Wait… You’re the one who pressured my contact to keep quiet?
I told you… This is where your wild goose chase ends. Oh, and I’ll be doubling your quota again. No more of this personal investigation. Got it?
What!? Are you trying to kill me?
Hey now, Mr. Chief… Can you really do that?
I don’t think anyone asked for your opinion, bitch.

I’m about to leap out of this fucking chair, man. You take that back.

Listen to me, Ohya. Give it up, unless you wanna end up just like that stupid friend of yours!

Don’t talk about Kayo like that…

If you even think about talking shit on Kayo again, I won’t hesitate to beat the living crap out of you!
Whoa, hold on…
Take back everything you just said… or I’m gonna do even worse.
It’s too late now! The higher-ups have decided to put that incident to rest, and that’s what we’re doing! You understand!?


What should I do? Should I go knock him out!?

Music: Suspicion

Hmph. I know I’d be playing right into his hands if I let him get to me, but… God dammit!

Just stay calm and think… Arghhh! This sucks! An even greater quota is gonna be a problem… but I can’t give up now! I promise, I won’t stop fighting! I’ll prove it to you with another great article! “Exclusive: The Phantom Thieves, Stealing Hearts and Changing Lives!” sigh Sorry, I really will try and calm down now…
I can sense Ohya’s passionate devotion…

Just further security level reductions. It’s a weird mechanic and this Confidant is weird for having its sole purpose be to avoid dealing with it.

…I’m still frustrated though. All that bullshit he said is really getting to me. I wish I was better at controlling my emotions. Like you are.



I actually didn’t mean it like that, but whatever.

More importantly, Ichiko-chan… how are you gonna manage having your quota doubled?
I’ll just work twice as hard! I should be fine as long as I keep getting good info from my favorite source here.

Wouldn’t getting your quota doubled twice result in the amount of work rising like, exponentially, though?

Oh, that reminds me! Lemme hear all about today’s scoop.
I spoke about the Phantom Thieves in a way that somehow piqued Ohya’s interest… I feel like my Charm has increased…

Maaku gains Charm +3.

I should be going… See you next time you have info for me.

Anon: They finally made a move
Anon: no more big bang burg, lmao

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

Hey, are you keepin’ up with comments online? There’s a lot of hate for Okumura, and a lot of expectations for us. I hope Haru’s dad has a change of heart soon.

I know! Ain’t it awesome!? This’ll be a huge uproar again. As usual, it’ll be a while before we see some results, but maaan, I am SO lookin’ forward to this.

Yes, I’m sure everything will be fine…

Music: My Homie

Um… Mr. Inui, please come to the faculty office at once.
Oh…? …I’m going to the faculty office, so make sure you take this time to study.





Ah! The teacher’s back…!

Music: Tokyo Daylight




And we can rank up Shinya next time.

Meanwhile, I am here to observe the public in an attempt to refresh my mind. Do you need something?

Let’s hang with Yusuke.

chuckle You must have a wealth of free time if that is your decision. Do you remember Director Kawanabe of the Japanese Art Support Foundation? …The man who offered his support to me at Madarame’s house.

Oh, yes! The time we broke into a place and then he broke in after us!

I would like your assistance with him. Do you have time to spare?

You are truly kind. I find it quite suspicious that he would offer money to a mere high school student like myself… I am grateful for his offer… but I am unsure of what to do.

…Indeed. I must cling onto any semblance of hope I can find in this world…

Geez, you’re a downer.

Very well. I will call him.

…I would appreciate it if you could join me, Maaku. Your presence could help ease my societal discomfort, as well as diffuse the temptation of money. Furthermore, your composure will allow you to tell if he is truly attempting to scam me. Kawanabe-san is waiting for us at the sushi bar. I already told him that you will be coming, so let us go.

Music: Alright (Elp Version)

We’d better eat up before the sushi gets cold.

Before that… there is something I would like to ask. …Just who are you?
Hm… An interesting question. My work involves gallery management, but my hobbies are diverse. The foundation is but one of those hobbies. Broadly speaking, we’re responsible for scouting and nurturing talented youth involved in the art world. We offer free scholarships, mediate study abroad programs… and we also connect young artists to customers. …At a time, even Madarame participated in our organization.
Sensei… I-I mean, Madarame?
Indeed. A good many benefited from his time working with us. We were aware of the dark rumors about him… but we could never have seen his confession coming. I suppose it’s likely he was deceiving us that whole time…

…This is all because of him. It is his fault I can no longer view paintings with a pure heart…
Hm…?
In the past, simply the desire to paint led me to seek beauty. But now, I find myself constantly weighed down by the search for awards or the praise of others… An ugly attachment has fastened itself upon my work… I can no longer paint how I used to. My art… is tainted.
…I see. However, it would be wasteful to let your talent dry up. Our foundation would gladly support you. Not only a former student of the infamous Madarame, but someone with those looks… There is definitely a market for you. We’ll sell you as the “tragic, handsome artist.”


Music: Suspicion

Exactly as it sounds. Having your ideas stolen by Madarame, losing a place to live, hungry for food… That unstable air about you makes for the perfect tragedy. A story like yours will sell even to those who don’t understand art.
A story…?
If you don’t have one in the modern climate, nobody will even mention your name. …Don’t worry, we’ll handle the details. But in return, you must sell your work through my gallery. We will take a mediation fee, but you’ll be granted steady revenue and a nice customer base as well.

This seems sketchy, but I wonder how much of that’s just the track literally named “Suspicion” playing in the background. When you think about it, most of it’s really rather benign. Oh no! They’re going to promote him and his work in exchange for… a fee!


In the end, this is only about money! That which taints pure beauty…
How immature…
Excuse me!?
It seems you haven’t learned anything after all. You’re not looking at reality objectively. Is wealth really that horrible?

Well, yes, but whatever.

And beyond that, how long will you continue to chase those illusions of yours? Purity… Art…

Oh, I see the issue here. This dude doesn’t believe in ~the power of art~. It’s just a means to an end for him. For shame.

Sh-Shut your mouth! I reject your offer!
Hmph… I thought you of all people would have the resolve to use art to make a living.
I have that resolve! However, I also believe such a life should only come via proper assessment!

This is a really fancy way of saying “he thinks that you should have to think really hard about shit before you have money” or something, I dunno, I thought I understood.

It probably actually just means that he should understand art or money or both before he tries to use art to make money, it’s just not phrased well.

Hm? In that case, I have an opportunity for you. My foundation will soon be holding a competition for young artists from around the nation. The prize shall be our support. We’ll bring customers from around Japan to see the next great talent. …There will be a great deal of pressure on you, should you enter. Or perhaps… are you too afraid?

“I’m a 65-year-old man calling you a chicken! What are you gonna do about it, art-boy?”

What did you say…!?
I wonder if you have what it takes to withstand a skill-based assessment of that magnitude. …I look forward to finding out. Now then, it seems there’s no use in any further discussion. You can have them send the bill to my office.

Why is it that all artists talk about is money, money, money!? Has the true meaning of art been lost!?

Look man, I got 500k on me right now. Maybe I ain’t the best person to talk to about this. I’m just telling you what you want to hear at this point, money’s fuckin’ great!

You are correct… My passion can change the world. However… I would starve to death without money. Passion alone may fill my heart, but it cannot fill my stomach… What a troubling predicament… Anyhow, I am quite glad that you chose to accompany me here. I may have bit my tongue off in anger had it been only me. In other words… you are a soothing force in my life.

Yeah, all that sentiment is so embarrassing, Maaku. Aren’t you so above it all?

I feel like my bond with Yusuke is growing deeper…

And now there are no skill cards we cannot duplicate. Rad.

I… I will partake in Kawanabe’s exhibition. I am going to display my ability and prove him wrong. …Come, let us go home. …… Actually, we should eat first. The sushi has done nothing wrong, after all.

Now then, let us head off.

Music: Beneath the Mask


“Just a heads up: nothing’s changed. Just gonna keep stressing you guys out by worrying about this constantly. Okay, laters!”

I appreciate the consideration.
I’ve yet to truly speak with him though.
As I’ve said before, this is just what happened to Madarame. There’s no need to worry.

If you’re having trouble reading it, the bottom option says “No need to get hasty.” I misread it as “nasty” several times.

He’s right. We don’t need to be worried.
In that case, ain’t it time to be talking about our next celebration party?

You know, those things that always go well!

Too soon. Too stupid.
What was that!?
We can talk about that some other time. For now, let’s wait patiently.
Yes. I’ll contact everyone if anything comes up.

Our reporters succeeded in getting an interview with a man who used to work for the company. What he described was a harsh work environment where employees are not allowed any freedom.
Whoa. Having a job sounds like a lot of hard work. What are you gonna do when you’re an adult?

I’m an anime, Morgana. I’m never going to be an adult.


sigh …Hey, Mishima.

Oh, right. Do you think we can talk about last time again?

Fine. I can’t believe I’m not done with you after your most recent escapade, but I’m so close to dropping you completely, just give me a damned excuse.

Thanks. I want to go somewhere I can talk to you alone… How does the park sound?

Here we go, he’s probably going to send us after this dude again…

Huh!? W-Well, actually… I was just gonna say the same thing.

Hm?

I mean, going after him wouldn’t even help you guys get famous. It’d practically be pointless.

For real dude, it’s bad for you.

…Wait, how’d you know about that!?

I crawled inside your soul, dipshit. Not that I needed to do that to see how much you wanted to be famous.

Music: Alleycat

Of course a thief who steals hearts would see what’s going on in the depths of my psyche…

We almost went through with it, too! Was really close, but you were just too pathetic. It wouldn’t have been sporting, really.

You know, I first started the Phan-Site so I could spread your message of justice to the world… But before I knew it, the only reason I wanted to help you guys was so I could get famous myself. Though maybe that’s always been the real reason… I don’t know… I thought I was doing it out of respect for you guys… Yet deep down, I think I really just wanted to show the world I’m more than some stupid zero. Look where that got me though… I’m just a selfish loser clinging desperately to your popularity… I don’t deserve to work alongside the valiant Phantom Thieves.

Well, at least he’s realizing it and doing some serious introspection. This is good for you, man.

Huh?

Wait, dude, you don’t need to–


Goddammit man, you gotta ruin every moment, don’t you?

Music: Alleycat

For some reason Alleycat restarts here despite the fact that it was already playing.

Welp. That’s Mishima for you. Even when he’s doing something right it’s somehow pathetic. sigh That’s just him, though.

I’m suck an idiot… Hahaha… I can’t even run away right… sigh Working alongside the Phantom Thieves has made me feel like I myself can change the world… But it’s only ever been you guys… I’m still just as powerless as always. That’s the truth… Hahaha… I wonder if there’s really any way a pathetic guy like me can help you…

Am I… really doing this?

…Dammit, Mishima. I’m… I’m giving you another shot. You haven’t really earned it, but… it’s worth a go, at least. Just… try. Try and be better. Hopefully I won’t regret this.

Thank you… I’ll just have to think of what that might be… Wait, that’s it…! The Phan-Site! How could I have forgotten something as important as that!? I don’t want it to be about public relations anymore though. First and foremost, that site needs to be a safe haven for people in serious trouble. After all that happened to me with Kamoshida, I know how hard it can be to speak out against injustice… So… as long as there are voices crying out to the Phantom Thieves, I’m gonna help them be heard.

This seems like a good first step. Good thinking, man.

Mishima seems to be showing renewed motivation…

Even more experience, great! Even if Mishima isn’t always on the ball as much as we’d like, his Confidant abilities are at least top-notch.

I’m still worried about some of the rumors I’ve heard about him, but I’ll do some more research. By the way, he’s not as bad a guy as he pretends to be. Apparently he’s super sweet to his girlfriend. Can you imagine that? They’ve been talking about getting married even since back in middle school. …I’m honestly kinda jealous.

Good on you Mishima, acknowledging that even your tormentors contain multitudes.

Anyway, I’ll see you later.

…And that’s probably one of the better Confidant events in the game, totally turning around (for me at least) a character who mainly exists to get rightfully shit all over constantly. Mishima’s still not a great person, but he’s a good character, at the very least.


#228
Part 118

Part 118: 10/1-10/2: Turtlenecks Are Back In Style

Anon: Karmic justice!

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

What? We’re back to winter uniforms already? Gonna need to get reacquainted with the old turtleneck.

Well, even if the CEO has a change of heart, the company’s image is still in ruins… I imagine their stocks plummeted.
Do you think Okumura really exploited his employees? Every little rumor goes viral these days. What if it was all just a lie? If so, the real victims here are the employees themselves.
Nah, the rumors about Okumura Foods were all well-known in the industry. You’re overthinking it.

Music: Tokyo Daylight


Thanks. Well then, let’s step inside the student council room.

Music: Alright (Elp Version)

His days and his nights are reversed due to his work, so he often sends me a “good morning” late at night…

I’m not sure. I’d definitely tell Eiko if he asked me on a date… But for now things are generally pretty normal. Mostly messages like “how’s your bf” and “hope u had a gr8 day 2day.”

Imagining Makoto trying to pronounce these messages is giving me life.

…Do you think their relationship could actually be serious? Was I just biased to think that all he wants from Eiko is her money?

He’s at best like, what? Early-to-mid twenties? Dating a girl who probably isn’t even eighteen yet? It’s fucked, girl!

I mean, it does sound like a TV show. A lying host that tricks women into debt, then forces them to sell their bodies…

I’ve probably gotten wrapped up in this exact C-tier Substory five or six times at this point with all the Yakuza I’ve played. When’s Kiryu show up to trash this clown?

But… those kinds of things exist in reality as well. Immoral hosts, human trafficking rings… My father even mentioned to me about gangs of men that look specifically for depressed women in Shinjuku… They take advantage of the loneliness those girls feel to force them into horribly abusive situations…. Then after ensuring the girls are buried in crippling debt, they make them sell their bodies to pay it off. There are other ways they force girls into it as well. Blackmail, illegal immigration…

This is getting awful specific, ah geez.

There are countless victims of schemes like that… Countless gangs as well. My father was going after a particularly notorious one when…



A truck!? Sorry, that’s just not where I thought that story was going.

…The impact killed him instantly.

Music: Confession/Secret

At first it was thought to be an accident… But at the funeral, I overheard my father’s supervisor speaking with my sister. He was saying my father had likely been assassinated. They suspected that the gang he was investigating hired the driver…

This seems like an awful complicated method of murder versus using like… a knife or something.

I don’t know. The driver died on impact as well… but apparently they found drugs in his bloodstream.

So, the plan here was get this random driver hopped up on the good shit, somehow convince him to get in his truck and ram a pedestrian at enough speed to absolutely kill him, and hope both of them die? Any number of things could have gone wrong here! What if the driver didn’t recognize Mr. Niijima, a man he’s likely never seen before, or killed the wrong dude due to all them drugs? What if he missed? It’s already kind of implausible that he managed to pick a single guy off the street while doing forty or whatever and ram into him. Hell, what if the driver had survived? Then they have a witness, you idiots!

It seems to me like they wanted something that could be framed as an accident, but the circumstances are ridiculously absurd, sorry.

Either way, that gang has been pushed back into the shadows thanks to the Shinjuku clean-up operation… I’m not sure any of that would have happened if not for the incident with my father…

I kind of want to say “That’s a horrible story,” because jesus christ, but I settle on trying to console her with “He was a noble man,” which is almost a worse option in retrospect because I don’t know her father and he was a cop. I justify it to myself by remembering all those times I heard about incidents of Japanese men threatening people with knives or being violently drunk or whatever and the cops showing up and rolling them into a big futon. Man, Japanese cops are way better than American cops (do not @ me about this, I know all cops are bad, and I’m sure there’s some Japanese version of me who thinks Japanese cops suck and American cops rule because of all the murder they get to do).

I wish I could be a little more like him myself… Instead, I’ve just been hesitant. That’s actually why my sister became a prosecutor to begin with. She couldn’t stand by and watch as evil prevailed over justice… That passion undoubtedly came from our father. Our mother passed away many years back, so when father was killed, we had to survive on our own. The responsibility… The pressure of that all fell on my sister. Because of that, she can’t help but talk down on our father at times… She says death is no different than surrender…

“Getting murdered is for the weak, Makoto.”

But… I still look up to him. I was often lonely because of how much time he spent at work… But seeing him tirelessly pursue one case after the next was nothing short of incredible. That was how my father chose to live his life… Trying to bring justice and order to the world around him.


Come to think of it, there was something he used to say to me all the time… “The most important part of your life is how you choose to live it.”

Kind of empty, that.

Hm… ……. How have I chosen to live…? And more importantly, how do I want to live…?


To be honest, I’ve been determined to follow the path my sister laid for me… After my father’s death, I wanted to lighten the burden on her as much as I possibly could… O-Oh, we were supposed to be talking about Eiko here.

Yeah, and you made it all about yourself. Tsk tsk.

Sorry for going so off topic… You know, I’ve never actually talked to anyone about my father. It’s such a painful memory to look back on… But I feel comfortable discussing it with you. And beyond that, I think I understand my life a bit better now… So… thank you.
I can sense a deep bond of trust from Makoto…

Shadow Factorization is kind of a weird throwaway skill that doesn’t seem that handy, but it actually really is. Not having to constantly check enemies’ Analysis pages and knowing exactly which enemies currently have Tetrakarn/Makarakarn up can be incredibly useful.


“Mayb I’ll like, skip college n just get married 2 Tsukasa instead.” I guess she’s choosing how she wants to live too. As long as she’s sure she’ll be happy…

Music: Alright (Elp Version)

Oh, another message. Huh…? “U serious abt Hamiru-kun?” “Wanna hav a double wedding?”

My heart is set on another, regretfully.

I mean, I couldn’t even begin to think about marriage at this point in my life.

That’s the best method I have of keeping tabs on Eiko and Tsukasa. At any rate thanks for listening to me today. I’ll let you know if anything urgent comes up. See you later.

Music: Beneath the Mask

Gah! Again!?

My apologies for spending so much time here. It’s just such a calming place for me.

Haha, sorry. I will be on my way. One more thing though… I heard a calling card has finally been sent. If the rumors of internal affairs at Okumura Foods are true, their president should surely be judged. However, it should be up to the government or police to do so… This is an unfortunate situation.

It seems they have yet to find anything though… I suppose we will have to see what happens. I must be going now. The coffee was delicious.

On these irregularly broadcast specials, we share limited-edition items that are all the rage! Today we’re going to be talking about the relaxing and therapeutic scent of Refresh Aroma! With its special mix of autumn ingredients, this item has been flying off the shelves.
This is from Body Chop, right? I hope the one in the underground mall in Shibuya still has some.

Big Bang Burger’s in a tough spot, right? Let’s show ‘em some Japanese spirit and lend ‘em a hand!
Look, the Japanese only like to show solidarity when obligated to do so. No one wants to be seen working with a company known to exploit their employees!

Oh, Foreign Barker, your heart’s in the right place, but…




And Yusuke’s ready.


I’m still in shock. I don’t know where to start explaining… There’s other stuff I want to ask you about, too. You’ll request me today, right?

OK, thanks. I’ll head over right away, so just wait for me.

Music: What’s Going On?

Takase-kun’s guardians came to my house today and apologized to me! They told me I won’t have to send them any more money! And that they’ll return everything I paid them. It’s like they’re completely different people… like what happened with Mr. Kamoshida. …Hey. You wouldn’t be, um…

Anyway, it’s such a relief. They apologized about Takase-kun… and admitted that what they did was terrible. They even told me that I am a good teacher. And so, I decided to really quit my part-time maid job today. I’ve been talking to my boss about it ever since I was hospitalized. It took a while to work out who would cover my shifts. I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone. Now I can finally make a fresh start as a teacher. I can take care of my students and earn their trust. That’s the ideal teacher I aspire to become. I bet I’ll be an old woman by the time I achieve my dreams.


…I was always able to rely on you, Master.

After everything, we’re still doing the “Master” shtick, huh? I thought now that we’re at the end of this we might drop it. Just creeps me out, is all.

You helped me come to a lot of realizations, because you were such a good listener.

This really just means she needed someone to talk at until she came to those realizations herself. I didn’t do shit. Well, besides free her from indentured servitude.

Thanks again. …Oh crap!


GAAAAAAAHHHHH

One last time, eh? Still gets me. It’s not just the hollow, soulless eyes, though. I think a lot of it is the lips, which suddenly become way too prominent. Yeergh.

Today marks the day I graduate from being your maid. :heart:


I feel a deepened connection with Kawakami…

Music: Alright (Elp Version)

Can you handle the cleaning on your own? I’m pretty worried about the state this place is in. I feel like you don’t put much thought into your diet either… Besides, won’t you be lonely? Hm?


But I guess I’m not surprised. It must be so bizarre, having your homeroom teacher in your bedroom.

Phrasing!

But you won’t mind me visiting the cafe area downstairs, right? We can chat over curry.
nods
Despite how I am, you never gave up on me. So, as your homeroom teacher, I’ll always protect you. Oh, and of course I’ll keep my initial promise too. The one about slacking off in class. I’ll see you at school!

Huh…? Who could that be at this hour…?

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

You have tomorrow off, right? Have any plans? Let’s go see “Back to the Ninja”!

We don’t need any points with Futaba, and the movie gives points in Knowledge, which we’re maxed on. We must therefore regretfully decline.

You’re turning her down? Well, it IS your choice. yawn We should go to bed.

Anon: They better not screw it up
Anon: stop fuckin around

They should just execute everyone who causes trouble for society.

Yikes.

Ooh, maybe they could take down my boss!
Politicians who knock the Phantom Thieves are just sore losers.
What about Akechi-kun? Is he too afraid of backlash to comment?

Music: Tokyo Emergency

I’d like to ask them to target some people I know, too. I deal with far too many ignorant fools.

Ah, it’s those ignoramuses who can only insult me after they fail to comprehend my film critiques. Like the Phantom Thieves, I have a policy as well. The masses will never dictate my convictions. Of course, I know I am alone, thinking this way. But such is my destiny, and I humbly accept it.

Here’s what we’ve got for you today! Donut-Worry! Eating these mysterious doughy rings soothes the heart! Order now and get 20!
It’s true! Sweets are like a mental tranquilizer!
And it can be yours… for the low price of 1980 yen!

I don’t need this, but also let’s go for it.

Music: Time to Repent

First order of business on this gloomy Sunday is to head over to the church. Why, you ask? Well, there’s something special that happens at the church on Sundays that the game is loath to tell you about.

All of them regain something important by reflecting on their past. By the way… You’ve come at a good time today. We are currently accepting small donations from people who wish to support our church and its work. If you donate, you will receive an item suitable for the amount of your donation.

So, this is the church “shop.” We can get two of the first two items and one each of the latter two.

The Baptismal Water, as you can see, lifts all stat buffs for all foes. The Exorcism Water lifts all debuffs on all allies. The Sacramental Wine fully restores everyone’s HP. The Repentance Ashes heals all ailments on all allies. All of these are quite useful, as most items that have similar effects have either nasty drawbacks or are only single-target. We decide to clean house and buy this place out.

Music: Tokyo Daylight

Next, we head over to buy some aojiru we don’t want for a stat we no longer need. We’re also behind a week in the rotation because we fought Okumura last Sunday. Maaku gains Charm +1.

That reminds me, I would like to speak with you and the others. Do you have some free time today?

I would like other opinions as well. I shall send out an invite and see who has time to meet. I wish to do so at Leblanc, if that is all right with you.

Music: Break it Down

Oh hey, what a coincidence, only the pre-Yusuke party members were able to show up! Also, Ryuji brought his manga for some reason.

Boss was even kind enough to serve us coffee before he went shopping… Now then… I have a vital request.
Hit me with your best shot! All the tough problems’re gonna have to go to Maaku though.

Oh, you dick!

Hmm, I can help with any subject that’s not math.
Hm…? Do you two honestly believe I would ask you here for help in my studies…?

Rude, Yusuke.

The truth is, I am planning to display my work in a competition. The one organized by Kawanabe of the Japanese Art Support Foundation. You remember, yes Maaku?

That dude we met two days ago? It’s a little hazy, better refresh my memory.

I must win and prove not only my ability, but my intense passion for art as well. However… I am having quite a bit of trouble determining what my next subject should be. I have given this painting a fair amount of thought, but nothing has come to me yet. Hence… I was hoping to hear your opinions on an ideal subject.

god DAMMIT

Yeah game, how long are you gonna keep bringing that up?

Anyway, maybe you should paint something people find pretty.

Thanks, Ann. You’re a great help.

Hm… So in the end, we return to the concept of beauty. Maaku, what subject do you think would most capture beauty?

I don’t know if the Ann option here is a joke, or if it has nothing to do with the ongoing “stripping” joke, but I’m not picking it. Enough of that gag. Now, the issue is that it’s actually the “correct” option, and picking the one I chose will require us to go to Chihaya a bunch to get more points with Yusuke. Derailing the LP over a minor dialogue choice once again!

Hm? You think Morgana is beautiful…? …Well, I suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But honestly… him?

Where have all of my studies gone…?
You know, I’m not really sure what you mean by pure beauty. I mean yeah, it’s a pretty painting. But… I’m not sure I really consider it a pure beauty or whatever.

Christ, Ann! That’s his mom! Show some respect!

Hm…?

Music: Sunset Bridge

I dunno, I guess it just feels more gentle to me. …Honestly, I almost cried the first time I saw the “Sayuri.” It felt kinda like I was a baby again in my mother’s arms. She was watching over me, telling me everything was gonna be OK… That was the gentleness that painting made me feel.

I assume she’s talking about the first time she saw the “true” Sayuri and not Madarame’s awful-looking paintover because otherwise this makes no sense in reference to motherhood.

…This is coming from someone with absolutely no art knowledge though!

Really? Because it felt like you kinda “got” it.

Gentleness…? That is yet another aspect the “Sayuri” captured that I cannot… …Is my heart too cloudy?
It ain’t cloudy, dude.
Are you sure about that? Painting used to be all my heart desired… I needed nothing else in life. But now…? What now!? I have become overwhelmed with a need to prove myself to Kawanabe… to prove myself to the world. I looked down on Madarame for focusing so sharply on fame and money, yet I too yearn for the praise of others! In truth, often times I regret declining Kawanabe’s offer…

Again, it was like two days ago. That’s not much time to really regret it.



Maaku’s right, dude. Ain’t nothing wrong about doin’ your best to make a livin’.
And you just want someone to acknowledge your work, right? That’s some serious passion.
But… how can passion be born from these repulsive thoughts…?
Listen here, dude. I was totally like you back on the track team.

Gross, dude.

But, y’know, even through all that… I was tryin’ to help my team out. Sure it’s a solo sport, but nobody’s gonna run ‘til they puke if they don’t got teammates they wanna inspire. I guess what I really wanna say is, you gotta do stuff for people beyond just yourself if you wanna succeed.
Hm… Is that how it is…? ……. So the sincere gentleness held within the “Sayuri”… The warmth of its heart… It was all for the sake of those who gaze upon it…? How interesting…

Huh? Whaddya see!?

It is something that wells up within the heart until it breaks free…! It is a gift, given by a subject unto its viewer…! Yes, I finally see the truth…! The three of you have my sincerest gratitude! You have been a truly tremendous aid!
U-Uh… …How exactly?

We somehow managed to help Yusuke out…

I dunno, I feel like I generally understand the arc of the conversation and how we managed to help Yusuke, even if Yusuke’s dialogue itself can be pretty fucking inscrutable at times.

I feel like my bond with Yusuke is growing deeper…

Music: What’s Going On?

If you’ll excuse me!

Wait, you’re leaving?

Uhhhhh

He looked pretty inspired though, so he’ll be fine… right? Anyway, are you guys hungry? I might ask Boss to make me something once he gets back. Hm, maybe curry this time.
God, you eat so freakin’ much… Oh yeah, and what was that crap about bein’ good at everything ‘cept math? It ain’t nice to lie, y’know.
I wasn’t lying! It’s just really hard to get good grades at Shujin!
If you’re not gettin’ good grades, you shoulda known Yusuke wasn’t gonna ask you to study with him!

To be fair, you also thought that, Ryuji.

Ann, Ryuji, and I enjoyed the rest of our time together… …… It’s getting late… I should probably take them to the train station…

Music: Beneath the Mask


This is utter chaos.
The public dislike of Okumura has grown exponentially as well. How are you holding up, Haru?
We’ve been receiving anonymous threats almost every day now…
That’s scary…
But our security is tight, so it’s been OK so far.
I believe things will calm down once we finish this, Haru.
And what about us? Are we gonna get all popular and shit again?
Let us not concern ourselves with that for now. I only pray that things calm down.

It’s getting nuts out there.




No rank up for Yusuke in the cards today.

Music: Layer Cake


…I got a security escort task for you. This is somethin’ I can only entrust to you.

Oh shit! Finally, some real action!

Will you do it?

Fuck yeah I will!

The person you’ll be escorting… is Kaoru. Get dinner with him at that diner in Shibuya.

FUCK.

Now, go. I gotta take car of some business with Tsuda. I’ll be there after I handle that. See ya soon.

Music: Alright (Elp Version)

And so we’re stuck… babysitting.

You know, it’s pretty rare for him to invite people out like this. He must see something in you, Hamiru-san. I doubt he’d ever actually admit it though… …… By the way, um… has he said anything to you? About me… weighing him down?

…To be honest, he’s been acting super weird recently. More than anything, he seems stressed out. I’ve even heard him mentioning my name on the phone a few times… But then every time I’ve gone to ask him about it, he’s told me there’s nothing to worry about. I dunno, it just makes me anxious somehow… I mean, we’re supposed to be a family. …… I’m not sure if you know this, but… he’s not my real father. He just took me in after my parents died in a car crash. Apparently he was a good friend of theirs.

Well, it’s at least an interesting lie.

Honestly, I can’t remember a single thing about them… …… I wonder if my dad even considers me to be a part of his family…

You think so…? ……. Now that I think about it, um… have you ever seen his tattoo?

The gecko on his neck.

Oh, you mean his sick gang tat—SHIT

The truth is, I have a really bad scar in the same spot from my parents’ car crash.

Hmm… I don’t see shit. Either someone was lazy, or forgot, or the model team was fighting with the writers because of all the incidental character models in this fucking game and this was their one act of rebellion! …It’s probably just the first one.

Back when I was a kid, everyone picked on me for it. My dad would always come home to find me in tears.

My god, children are cruel. Kill all children, that’s what I always say. …Shinya can live. Maybe.

That’s why he got that tattoo. He said it could be the new Iwai family crest. Oh, and I did some research on geckos. It turns out they symbolize protecting one’s home and family. I had almost forgotten about that, to be honest. Maybe he cares about me more than I realize…

We don’t often get to see Iwai from the left, so holy shit that giant peace sign on his jacket caught me by surprise.

You two look like you’re havin’ fun. What’ve you been talkin’ about?


Guess there’re worse things you could be talkin’ about though. Wait… did you get a girlfriend, Kaoru?
Th-That’s not what we were talking about!
Anyways, I can’t stay long. I’ve got errands I need to take care of. Figured it’d be nicer to at least drop by instead of tell you over the phone.
What errands? …Or can you not tell me?
What’s that s’posed to mean? It’s just work stuff. (to Maaku) Ain’t that right?


Order anythin’ you want. It’s on me!
O-OK…

Music: Suspicion

Ix-nay in front of Aoru-kay, genius.

I’m goin’ now to meet with the guy who set it all up. I’ll have to fill you in on the details some other time. Anyways, this is all thanks to you, kid. It’s real nice havin’ a reliable part-timer to help ‘round the shop.
It feels like my bond with Iwai is growing even deeper…


Dangerous? ‘Course not. Well, I’m outta here. You can hang onto my wallet, Kaoru. Eat as much as you want.
See you at home…
Kaoru and I ate dinner together…

It was unbelievably awkward!


#229
Part 119

Part 119: 10/3-10/5: The Dumbest Girl In The Universe

Music: What’s Going On?

I saw a lot of errors on the previous test, so please be more careful in the future.

Today’s examples will be on your entrance exam, so make sure you know them.

She usually looks so tired…
I talked to her this morning about my future… and she was super polite. Friendly, even.
Yeah, I know what you mean. She even gave me advice about my girlfriend.
Now that she’s back on her feet, Kawakami seems to be working hard as a teacher…

Kawakami’s rested and reinvigorated. Good for her.

Music: So Boring

Stealing hearts? Social reform? Don’t give me this Phantom Thieves nonsense. It’s all so unscientific. I mean, how could they target Big Bang Burger and Okumura Foods? They’re criminals! That artificially consummate flavor… Enough volume to fill a small universe.

I see Mr. Hiruta went to the Code Talker school of burger appreciation.

Are the Phantom Thieves trying to steal the galaxy called junk food from me!? That said… Hamiru-kun. The night sky may be filled with countless galaxies… but in the entire universe, which of these is closest to its density of stars.

Imagining three watermelons in the sun is giving me a right chuckle, I tell you what.

Hehe. I expected as much out of you. Yes. The correct answer is three watermelons in the sun. Three bees in the whole of Europe works too. In other words, the universe is essentially empty. There are countless stars in the sky, but the universe is even more vast than that. Even within our galaxy, the stars are separated by a great distance even though you can see so many.

How bleak. Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

Close, but yet far… Hehe, you could say the same of our hearts.
Ugh, if he only knew the places we’ve been…

Music: Tokyo Daylight




And no rank up.


I’m getting worried about the public’s reaction to all this.

You’re going to train today too, right?

Okaaay… Let’s just play a game then.

Music: Alright (Elp Version)


Sounds like they had another success, huh? That’s cool.

It’s probably because they think I’m weak. If only I was as strong as the Phantom Thieves…


Hah, my bad. I didn’t mean it like that. I just thought we should be friends, since we’re both gamers. The name’s Takekuma. I make a living from gaming, more or less. Ever heard of me?


…Yeah, you’re the guy from all those videos online!

And you’re the one they call the King, right? I’ve always wanted to play you… But I don’t know if it’s a good idea… I mean, if I beat you, your rank will definitely drop. And I don’t need people bashing me for beating a kid.


That’s it! We’re playing! I won’t lose!
As I expected of the King… OK, let’s get this started.

Music: Suspicion

Christ, look at Takekuma. What is that hand supposed to be, a scouter? What a fuckin’ dork.

Also, shout out to this lady, reading her phone over someone else’s shoulder:

And this dude, trying to cop a feel:

How…?
The King is getting destroyed…
That’s Takekuma, isn’t it? He’s awesome!

I missed!?

…Th-That doesn’t count! Let’s play again!
You got it.

The King got slaughtered! Ha! That’s hilarious!
One more… One more game!
No matter how many times we play, the end result will be the same. We should probably stop, for your sake.
Shut up! You cheated, didn’t you!?

Cheer on the child throwing a tantrum! This is a good idea!

Man… I guess the King is just a little kid after all… Looks like I overestimated your ability. I’d feel bad beating you again, so I’m going to go. Make sure you practice for the next time we play.

You’ve gotta be kidding me…

Maybe encouraging him in this situation isn’t the greatest plan, but I feel kinda bad. He’s just a kid.

I’m the one who’s gonna win in the end! If I lose, it’s all over for me!

I’m gonna beat him next time for sure. This isn’t over. The strongest always win in the end. Just like the Phantom Thieves… Watch, I’ll win for sure next time! I’m not a loser, you’ll see!
Shinya is more motivated than ever before…

That’s not necessarily a good thing. I may be grooming a young Eric Cartman in the making.

…Crap, it’s late. I gotta go… Man, that Takekuma though! Telling me to practice for next time… A grown-up shouldn’t spend so much time playing video games!

I feel personally attacked.

Interacting with Shinya has made my heart grow… I feel like my Kindness has increased…

Maaku gains Kindness +3.



Oh hey, we maxed out Kindness while we’re at it. Nice.

…Today tired me out. I’ll see ya later…

Music: Beneath the Mask

Hey Sojiro, I hung out with a kid today and he was such a shit that I basically turned into the fucking Buddha incarnate! I can help you with your problem now!

We get the 20 Donut-Worrys. They cure Fear.

…Criminal Affairs, OCD, 5th Organized Crime Countermeasures Section, Special Task Force.
…Oh, so you’re a cop, huh?
The heck? That’s like a tongue twister. Does he have to say all that in every episode?

Music: Crossroads


OK… Sit down.

Music: Suspicion

All my connections who knew where Kayo was are gone, thanks to the chief and my publisher… …Well, say something.


Well, I guess it is pretty obvious. sigh Pulling all these consecutive all-nighters is really wearing me down.
At this rate, you’re going to work yourself to death. You’ve been meeting your quota, right?

The chief really wants me to mess up, but I’m not going to give him the satisfaction. Haha…
He’s like some kinda tyrant.
Tell me about it. It’s a race to see whether I can find Kayo before he crushes me…
That’s not good! Shouldn’t you do something about the chief before you keep chasing Kayo-chan’s case?
There’s nothing I can do about a guy like that. He’s rotten to the core. And despite how he acts, the higher-ups like him. I have no one to go to. It’s over.
Yeah, he didn’t seem like the kind of guy to change his mind… But at this rate, you won’t be able to continue your investigation… What do you think, kid?

I need to do something about the chief and help her…
Ughhh, I’m gonna die…

Why? You gonna try to find his weakness? His name is Shinpei Honjo. I heard that he’s a good husband, and he used to cover economic foreign policy…

Don’t go trying anything heroic.
She’s saying this for your own good. Got it, kid?
I wonder where Kayo is… Sorry, but I don’t feel like getting any info from you today…

Uhh, with your quota as it is, can you really afford not to ask me anything?

Thanks for coming all the way out here though. I’ll see you around…
I need to free Ohya from her chief’s oppressive demands…


Music: Beneath the Mask -Rain (Instrumental Version)

C’mon, they aren’t gonna murder him. Besides, I’m pretty sure the principal killed himself.

Student #2 here is named “Slightly-appalled Guy” and I love it.

No way, that was the Phantom Thieves sending a message! “Wake up, people. It’s time to atone!” Or something like that. I’d kill for that kind of power…

Light Yagami here just openly admitting he wants the power to murder people.

Today, we decide that if Ann’s not going to have an SP Adhesive 3, she can at least have better Fire on the off-chance we use her, so we visit the accessory shop 37 Degrees Celsius in the underground mall.

Do you think you could maybe come with me to see her?

Thank you. It is reassuring to know you’ll be there with me. She’s waiting over at Big Bang Burger. Let’s go.

Well, um… I was wondering if you could maybe lend me some cash.

Music: Suspicion

Ah shit.

It’s nothing real major, but I need it like, right now… I’ll pay you back though, honest! Pleeease!

Makoto and Maaku turn to each other, then look back at Eiko.

…Does this have to do with Tsukasa?
Mm-hm… He dropped a super expensive bottle of sake at work, so the club’s making him pay for it… but he needs help.

Oldest trick in the book.

…He’s lying to you, Eiko. Don’t give him any money.
He’s not lying! I know you’re all weird about the fact that he’s a host, but my Tsukasa’s not like that! He’s really gentle, and honest too… He even calls me “princess”! I’m the only one he says that to, y’know. He says it’s ‘cause I’m special.
So he calls you his special princess… What do you think, Maaku-kun?


Every girl who gives him money is his “princess.” That way he can never get their names mixed up.
Don’t accuse him of that stuff! You don’t have any proof!
…You’re not wrong about that. But did you ask anyone at his club about the broken bottle?
W-Well, um… no… He told me not to talk to them about it though! He’s too proud to have me go crying to his boss.

Man, this girl’s dumb.

…Please, Makoto. You’re the only person I can trust. All my other friends would rather focus on cram school and entrance exams than take time to help me… And who knows what my parents’d say if I tried to ask them… Please. Even a little…
…I think you should end your relationship with him. If you don’t put a stop to this, he might try to drag you into some suspicious line of work.
Oh, he already got me a job. It’s nothing weird though. I’m just serving drinks at a bar to help him pay off that broken bottle. He said I’ll be number one in no time. Maybe I’ll just keep doing it after I graduate high school though. I mean, it’s not like I’m gonna go to college.

Man, this girl’s duuuuuuuuumb.

You can’t just do what he says! He’s trying to deceive you…!
…A smart person like you totally wouldn’t understand what it’s like. You’re just gonna go to a good college, work at a fancy company, and then what? At the end of the day, your life’s gonna be totally boring. I mean, is that seriously how you wanna live?
I… I’m not sure yet. But be that as it may, you should still stay as far away from him as you can.
…So you’re not gonna help me? Ugh, just forget it. I can make it up if I just let some customers take me out on dates after work.

Jesus christ!

Eiko, wait! I didn’t want to have to tell you this, but Tsukasa has been texting me almost constantly. Recently, he’s been asking if my sister and I live alone, and that he’d be glad to help us out. Even today he asked me if I’m still happy with my boyfriend… Listen to me, Eiko: He’s not serious about you.
Don’t gimme that crap! Tsukasa’s just so nice that he’d worry about my friends for me… Wait, you were texting him behind my back? What the hell, Makoto!?
It was mostly him texting me…
Ugh! You have the grades, the looks, a cool boyfriend… and you seriously still want more!?

Thank you for the compliment! I think you’re swell too!

Tsukasa is all I have…! You can’t take him from me!

Yeah right. Just keep your hands off! I’d never forgive him if you stole him away, Makoto…!

You know, I think she’s exactly the kind of girl those gangs in Shinjuku are on the lookout for. Lonely, depressed girls who have nowhere to vent their frustrations…

What is it with this city and its sea of predators lying in wait to victimize women, monetarily or otherwise?

Eiko’s family is quite well off. Her multi-talented younger brother seems to be the sole focus of her parents’ attention though. I’m sure that’s why she fell for Tsukasa in the first place. He treats her like she’s special. But… asking a high schooler for money isn’t normal boyfriend behavior. She needs to realize that. You’re going to help, right?


nods
Eiko’s blessed to have both money and a family… yet she’s still trying to break free from them. She’s almost the exact opposite of me. …But I guess in a sense, watching her now is almost like looking back at my past self. I was so blinded by my own convictions that I never stopped to consider other alternative viewpoints on the world. But… that’s not the right way to live. I want to show her that, just like you did for me.
I can sense a deep bond of trust from Makoto…

I know she wants me to stay out of her business, but I’d never forgive myself if I let this come to pass. …… What is the right way to live…? …At any rate, we’re going to catch that horrible host. I’ll let you know once I’ve thought of how to do it. Thank you again for today. I’ll see you later.

Music: Beneath the Mask

Their influence has expanded beyond Japan—even foreign nations know about the Phantom Thieves. Some countries are even taking bets about what the Phantom Thieves will do next.
They even knew about us in Hawaii, right? We’ve really gotten famous.




Finally, Yusuke’s ready. And it only took an extra 15k after we intentionally picked the wrong option!


There’s something I’d like to talk about. The ADP case is more complicated than I thought… sigh What am I going to do…?

Music: Suspicion

I’ve been trying to use this as an opportunity to investigate into the ADP’s seminars so I can expose him… But the deeper I dig, the scarier everything becomes.

The ADP apparently doesn’t profit at all from sales of the Holy Stones. It’s nothing more than a front.

Wait, so not only is this organization somehow not managing to profit off of selling hunks of rock salt for 100k a piece, it’s only a side business? Why in the hell are they so insistent about her selling more of these giant pieces of nothing if they don’t tangibly benefit from it in any way?

Most of their revenue actually comes from the seminars.

Self-help’s a lucrative business, man. Why work to improve yourself when you can have someone talk at you until you feel like you’re doing something to improve yourself?

There, they give their patrons some sort of mind-altering drug…

That took a turn! Holy shit!

After which, they’re encouraged to donate their life’s savings to the “benefit of the ADP.” People have gone missing after seminars… Families have been torn apart by this madness…

This is like an unholy amalgamation of five or six different conspiracy theories about cults, many of which have little factual basis but are just kind of fun to think about in a scary way, so they endure. I actually took a class recently on the subject of cults and new religions in general, and while I think the teacher may have been a bit too even-handed on the subject when most of us really just wanted to hear about the gnarly shit like the sick fucks we are, I learned a lot. Brainwashing’s not really a thing, for one, and brainwashing facilitated by mind-altering chemicals is just hilarious nonsense.

I’m pretty sure Scientology is still a scam, though, I don’t care what she said. Speaking of scams, back to Chihaya’s Kooky Kult! (Khihaya? No, that doesn’t work)

And I… I was a part of it all. By selling these fraudulent stones, I was in direct support of their horrible actions.

In what way? It’s still unclear.

I know this doesn’t make up for what I’ve done… but I want to help the others come to their senses. Barely anyone within the ADP will talk to me though, and those who do won’t actually hear me out. What should I do, Hamiru-san…? These people are all heading down a path toward great ruin…

Right. I’ll just have to admit to everything that’s been going on, even if I get dragged down too… That’s… the only way…
It looks like Chihaya’s not sure how to approach this issue… She might do something rash at this rate… I should take care of the chairman before that happens…
I’m the only one who can stop him… right?

Oh, the chairman…? It’s Yuichi Fukurai. Why do you ask…?

I love just picking the most suspicious responses possible. “I can’t tell you because then you’ll be an accessory.”

O-Oh…

My future is in line with that of the Trickster… What does that mean…? Even so, my fate remains unchanged. I am destined to stay a monster… Hm…
I need to take care of the chairman for Chihaya…

I’ll have to think on this for a while. Let’s finish for today… Well then, goodbye…

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

The day Haru’s going to get sent off is almost here… We took the Treasure, so all we have to do is wait. Still, I wish we could do something in the meantime. Why don’t we go to Mementos today?

I don’t waaaaaanna.

You have something else to do? Well, I won’t force you. If the president has a change of heart, maybe our reputation will go up and we’ll get more requests. So I want to get the requests we currently have out of the way at least.

Music: My Homie

…Ahem. Ms. Usami, please come to the faculty office at once.
…What could it be? …Everyone, make sure to study on your own while I go to the faculty office.

How does it take so long to go to the faculty office?



We’ve unfortunately already maxed Kindness, but we need to finish this book anyway.


Did you want me to call you “Chief” now? I’m just kidding.

No, do it.

Did you learn more about chiefs and their big hearts? Even in the underworld, there’s kindness…

Maaku gains Kindness +3, which is really +4 because it’s one of the longer books.



Music: Tokyo Daylight




And Shinya’s ready.

Hey, you know how I said I was gonna take the world by storm with my modeling? Well, I was thinking of getting in shape first. And who better to help with that than Ryuji, right? He said he’d be glad to train with me. What about you, Maaku? Do you wanna join us?

All right, let’s go work up a sweat! It’s pretty close by. Oh, and I’ll let Ryuji know.

Music: What’s Going On?

Oh shit! A Confidant interaction acknowledged! Perhaps the only time in the entire game that’ll happen!

It’s pretty sweet, huh? Not too many people gettin’ in your way. Anyways, uh… what’re you tryin’ to do here?

Huh. You tried joggin’?
Aerobics alone aren’t enough! I want to tone up too, so I need to start lifting weights. Plus my shoulders are drooping, I wanna make my biceps leaner, and I need to straighten my back out!



Uh, what the hell’s that even supposed to mean…? Anyways, motivation’s good n’ all, but you’re not gonna be able to move tomorrow if you do all that shit.
Then you come up with a training regimen for me.
Ugh, you’re such a pain.

There are many things I find offputting about this pose, but the one that sticks out right now is the way her hand clips through her sweatpants.

Quit thinkin’ you’re some sexy character in an anime. It’s sad watchin’ you like this.


First off, one of them sexy characters’d never come to the gym in their PE uniform.

This failed seduction is one of the best character beats in the entire game, and makes me like both characters way more. It’s a shame the animated cutscene leadtime led to Ryuji just being Horny All The Time in those because it’s way more interesting to see him like this, rejecting her attempts to play him because he knows her too well.

How am I supposed to know that!? I’ve never even been to the gym before today!



Huh…? It fell through? Yeah… Uh, I guess that’s OK… Mm-hm…

It was a black-and-white shoot, so they said I wouldn’t stand out. It sounded like fun though. It was about the everyday life of models…
Guess you just gotta find somewhere you do stand out then.
Huh… There has to be somewhere my vibrant charm will shine, right!?


Uh, where…?

Hey, speakin’ of magazines, there was a real pretty girl in that one you said you were starrin’ in. She’s got this innocent vibe, but she’s sexy too. Now that’s what real charm looks like to me.
…Were there photos of me too?
Uh, yeah.
…And did she have long, brown hair?
Yup, that’s the one! You know her!? You gotta introduce me, dude!

Ahahahahahaha

Of all the girls you could have been talking about, it just HAD to be Mika! Urghhhh, I’m so pissed!

Come on, which machine are we using first!? I’m gonna break it!
The three of us trained until we had reached our limits…

But for some reason… I feel… satisfied…
That’s what workin’ hard feels like. Not bad, huh?
Yeah, that was actually… pretty fun. I think it was because the two of you were here with me. I had to prove I was working extra hard.
It’s simple stuff like that that’ll help you keep pushin’.

Dude, cut me some slack!
You thought you were being so cool too…

I actually thought it was pretty cool and don’t know why that option was even there, but far be it from me to ignore an opportunity to dunk on Ryuji.



Mom forgot to buy stuff for dinner, so I guess I gotta head home now. Seeya, guys.

…I’m actually a little jealous of the relationship they have.

I mean even growing up, my parents were super busy. They always told me I was strong, that I’d be fine on my own. I was free… but I was lonely. I’d make friends, but we moved a lot… and every time, I had to start all over again. I actually got used to the loneliness… But all that changed once I met Shiho… The world seemed so hopeful…
nods
I heard her rehab is going well… She’s going to be officially transferring schools soon too… I need to show her that I’m working hard… and that she doesn’t need to worry so much about me.


She needs to see how much I’ve learned from her…!
I can sense a strong resolve from Ann…

Come on, let’s head home. …I might have trouble moving though. My legs are killing me.

Well, see you later.

Music: Beneath the Mask


Nothing, unfortunately. Father is still indisposed.
How are things with you, Haru? Has anything happened with the media?
I hope they haven’t been horrible to you.
Thank you. They will surely say a great deal about my father, but I am determined to push through it.
Society doesn’t care what may be going on as long as it is enough to kill their perpetual boredom. They don’t even consider how their words may hurt others.
They think caring about people is someone else’s job. It makes me wanna puke.

Man, the people we’re doing this all for sure are shitheads!

There’s nothing we can do about that though. And… everything they say about Father is true.
But it’s important to remember there was someone else in the shadows behind the shutdowns.

Yeah. It’s gonna be a hella good victory when we expose that criminal for who he really is.
We’ll have plenty of time to ask him about it then.
The one behind the mental shutdowns… It has to be someone dangerous. Now that we’re getting closer to the truth, we need to be ready for absolutely anything.

The popularity of phantom thieves is as strong as ever. More people are becoming fans every day. Some, however, might be going too far with comments like, “I want them to destroy all evildoers.”
I’m glad that we have fans, but not if they’re genuine fanatics.

Music: Time to Repent

And so… Oh, do you have some time? …I’m feeling a bit anxious.

Thank you… …After I confessed, I was scorned by the media. I bet everyone wants me to lose. However, I’m not going to give them the satisfaction. I’m going to win… with these very hands.


I will! Well, it’s time. I have to go to the venue. You won’t be able to go inside the match room, but you can watch over the internet, if you’d like. Well then, I’m off.

Music: Alleycat


The men at the table in the background, a journalist and his editor, discuss the match.

She’s getting pushed back quite a bit. It’s only a matter of time now…
Hifumi is biting her lip. She doesn’t seem to be doing so well…

There’s a large commotion throughout the room.

Perhaps her skills ARE of genuine article?
Oh, no, that’s not good. The next move will surely result in checkmate.
Hifumi looks troubled as she’s being pushed around the board… She hasn’t made a move…
I’m thinking “Phony Princess, Real Defeat” as the headline for our next article.


It was as if an ant had challenged an elephant. A shogi player should know her limits.

I was so ashamed of myself. I didn’t want to hurt the pieces any longer…


One must lose with grace… With dignity until the very end, as a queen should… But I confess I am confused… I mean, naturally I am disappointed that I lost… …But I still feel happy… as if a demon has been purged from me. The moment I realized that victory was impossible… I felt a strange peace. What’s important is what I do from this point on… I played so disgracefully in front of you… Perhaps you can just view it as an example of what not to do… …And understand that there are times which require one to forfeit with valor and grace.
I feel Hifumi’s trust in me…

Touryou lets us instantly escape any normal battle. We already had the ability from an earlier skill of Hifumi’s to escape from ambushes instantly, but this extends that to everything. It’s useful even if you’ll pretty much never run from a fight, especially at this late stage of the game.

Um, I’ve been thinking about this for a while… Let’s make today your last lesson…

What?

Spending time with me has only brought you pain…
Hifumi is thinking hard…

This message appears when we arrive at a crucial dialogue option. I’m sure you all know what I mean by “crucial”: girlfriend time. During each Rank 9 Confidant event with a romanceable Confidant, we may get this popup, meaning we have to pick the right option or set of options to start dating that girl. We didn’t see it with Kawakami last update because I decided not to even entertain that option and picked a choice that bypassed the process entirely. Also, yes, Kawakami was dateable, fuck me.

…So this is goodbye.

…Shame we won’t be picking her romance option. Part of me wishes Hifumi had actually won, but it seems it was not to be.

The things you say sometimes… Perhaps I should take a lesson from that ambitious nature of yours…

There may be things I can learn from you as well. I suppose this is a friendly rivalry for both of us… as irreplaceable shogi friends. Well then, let’s go home…


#230
Part 120

Part 120: 10/6-10/8: The Hero Yuuki Mishima

Anon: hurry up n apologize, damn!

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)


I actually fucked up here by not immediately purchasing the next book from Jinbocho, so we go for Cry of Cthulhu to compensate.

Music: Everyday Days

This is very detailed for a story about a fantasy world…

Music: So Boring

Having executed the royalty, the revolutionaries proceeded to take the courts under their control… All who opposed the revolution were executed. However, the revolutionaries, too, were then reviled as depots and executed by the public. All in all, more than two thousand nine hundred people were executed over the course of the revolution. The fac that this many executions were possible was actually due to one specific invention. Hamiru-kun. Take a look at this.


This might be my pick for easiest question in the game. You don’t have to know any metaphors or anything, just what that thing Caroline and Justine use to fuse Personas is.

That’s correct. By the way, the name “guillotine” comes from Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, the doctor who proposed the idea.

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that it embodied the French spirit of equality.

Maaku gains Knowledge +!.

Revolution is sometimes a bloody thing… The revolutionaries that rose up for freedom became despots themselves… It’s a common tale.
Our social reform doesn’t hurt anybody in the real world… It’s a bloodless revolution!

And it will all go perfectly as a result!

Music: Tokyo Daylight



We already have max Charm, so this book won’t really help us. We still buy it, though. We want the one available after it.




Iwai’s ready now.


After our training, I want to talk about the rumors surrounding Takekuma.

Music: Alright (Elp Version)

I mean, I couldn’t do anything to him… There’s just no way.


It is pretty weird that this kid couldn’t even seem to hit Takekuma, but there’s plenty of reasonable explanations for that. Still, let’s play along.

I’ve been practicing a lot, after all. I’ve heard rumors about Takekuma! People say he uses cheat armor! You know what that is, right? He totally broke the rules by equipping it… I bet that’s why my usual shots didn’t work against him! That has to be the reason! But the next time we play… I’m definitely…



I’m gonna win next time! Just watch! The thing is… I told my mom about what happened with Takekuma… But…

She didn’t… really care. All she said was, “OK.”

Well, to be fair to her, most parents don’t really give two shits about the video games their children play.

It’s probably because I lost… She doesn’t like kids who lose.

My mom once told me that… We need to be strong, because it’s just the two of us. She said no one helps the weak. They just get preyed on… That’s why I wanna get stronger. Strong enough that we won’t get preyed on… Strong enough that WE’D be the predators…

This is getting uncomfortable!

That’s exactly who the Phantom Thieves are… the strongest… who can prey on anyone. Once I become the strongest, my mom will be able to count on me… The only way I can win is through games… That’s why I can’t lose. …… What should I do about Takekuma’s armor…? The strategy I used last time didn’t work…


…Thanks. …You’re kinda like a big brother to me. I can talk to you about anything… I heard that that’s what it’s like to have a sibling…
I feel Shinya’s brotherly affection…

This one is straight-up incredible. It increases everyone’s number of bullets by a hell of a lot:
[list]
[]Maaku goes from 16 bullets to 32.
[
]Ryuji goes from 8 to 16.
[]Morgana goes from 15 to 25.
[
]Ann goes from 36 to 60.
[]Yusuke goes from 24 to 48.
[
]Makoto goes from 12 to 24.
[*]Haru goes from 6 to 12.
[/list]
Now, it doesn’t improve anyone’s clip sizes, but it’s still really great. We haven’t been using guns too much because they’re honestly kind of lame for anything other than hitting weaknesses, but this is a great excuse to whip them out (uh, phrasing) more often. It’s also a great way to justify using Down Shot more often.

Takekuma better watch out…


Interacting with Shinya has made my heart grow… I feel like my Kindness has increased…

Maaku gains Kindness +3.

See you later!

Music: Beneath the Mask

Today, we take an in-depth look into Kunikazu Okumura, the man who made the chain what it is today. Mr. Okumura is well-connected in various industries, and it’s even rumored he may enter politics.
The news is talking about Haru’s dad. It seems he’s got influence in all sorts of different areas…

Ugh, my head hurts…
Sojiro seems concerned about Futaba’s uncle… Is it OK for me to stick my nose into Sojiro’s and Futaba’s problem…?

It’s never stopped you before, man.

…Hm? You look like you have something to say.

Well, I guess there’s no point in worrying. Help me clean up.

Whoa, what in the hell are you wearing, young lady!? Cover yourself up, good heavens!


Music: Alleycat

…How’d you get your hands on this stuff?
Hacking, of course! Uncle’s in loads of debt! He’ll never win in a suit against us now that we have all this data!

But…!
I’ve known all along how badly in debt he is. He’s not gonna try and take custody back, so don’t go doing stupid crap like this, OK?
But Sojiro…! I-I only did it ‘cause of all that stuff he said to you!
About that… I’ve been thinking. When push came to shove, I wasn’t there to help you… So, you know… maybe there’s somewhere better for you out there…
S-Somewhere better…? Am I not supposed to be here…? Am I just in the way…?

Smooth, Sojiro. Real nice.

You don’t want me either, Sojiro…!?
That’s not what I meant! I just think it might be better, for your own sake…

You can just stay here and play with your stupid coffee beans!

Hey! You get back here and apologize to the coffee beans right now! They are not stupid, and they’ve done nothing to deserve lip from you!

Makes sense though… You’re the ones who saved her, after all. …Where did I go wrong?

I really did try to care for Futaba. …Look where that got me though. I told myself she was the reason I kept making Wakaba’s curry here… but deep down, I think that was just an excuse to stay distant… At the end of the day, the coffee and the curry people love so much are both just… excuses.


I’m gonna go out for a smoke, try to cool off a bit. Sorry to lay this on you… but can you go after Futaba for me?



Yeah… Thanks… Y’know, Mom used to talk about Sojiro tons when I was little. How good he was at making curry, how interesting he was to talk to… I remember everything. I even remember how she smiled when she talked about him… Mom really liked Sojiro… …… I said some real mean stuff tonight. It’s not his fault Mom’s incident happened… It’s not his fault I shut myself away from the world… And because of me… Sojiro lost a crapton of money… I just thought I’d be able to stay here with him if my hacking worked…

Yeah… Yeah, you’re right.


Mm-hm…

Look, I’m sorry about what I said just now. And well… if it’s OK with you… I want you to stay here, forever.
Forever… ……
I know it might be more fun living with people your age like Maaku… But I’ll do my damnedest to see things from your perspective. So… will you stay with me?


H-Hey… Quit your laughing! sigh You’re as exhausting as ever.

Music: Sunset Bridge

I know I’ve caused you a lot of trouble… but I really do wanna be here. So, let’s keep living together.
Futaba…
Sorry for not saying that sooner. Oh, and… thanks for taking in someone as horrible as me.
…Are you sure I’m good enough?
I wouldn’t want anyone else.
Heh, no hesitation… Don’t come complaining to me if you regret it. …… Actually, I’m not gonna let you regret it. If you ever need help, just tell me. I might not be graceful… but I’ll be there to protect you. And you can stay with me for as long as you’d like. Forever, if you want.
Mm-hm, I will. …Forever. I can’t wait to keep sorta living with you too, Maaku!

One big weird fake family we’ve got going on here. It’s fucking great. :3


I’m outta here! Byeee!

I didn’t stand up for Wakaba when I knew something was off… and I didn’t stand up for you either.

Instead, I went on and on about how you can’t fight back against the laws of our society… How you should just accept the hand you’re dealt in life… But those were mere excuses I made to keep myself in line. They gave me the easy way out I wanted so badly… …Maybe instead of all that coffee crap, I should’ve been teaching you not to make the same mistakes I did. There I go, ranting again. But… I feel like I managed to put a lot behind me today. …Thanks, for making me realize what’s really important in life.
I feel like my bond with Sojiro is growing deeper…

All right, I better head home too. Don’t stay up too late, OK? I don’t want you oversleeping.

And that’s one of my favorite Confidant events in the entire game. Except for this part:

I can see the compassion hidden beneath Sojiro’s actions… I feel my Kindness growing…

Motherfucker, I needed max Kindness just to get here. Maaku gains Kindness +3.

Anon: Took you long enough!
Anon: Our savior’s made a move!

What about the cops?

Anon: cmon, beg for forgiveness!
Anon: Here comes the apology rofl
Anon: stop fuckin around
Anon: an apology isn’t enough.

Really though, who are they?
If I met them, it would be love at first sight!
What are they waiting for? Hurry up and do it already!
Heroes have an obligation to rescue the weak.

Music: Tokyo Daylight




Hifumi’s a no-go.

Music: Butterfly Kiss

It’s easy to get sick in that in-between period as the seasons change, so be careful. You came because you saw my messages, right?

I’ve made progress with the medicine. Could you tag along for a bit?

I’m going to meet someone at Inokashira Park. It’s close, right? Let’s go.

Music: Sunset Bridge

Let me know if you need anything else.
Based on what I read in the findings summary you sent me, the results are truly amazing. We’ll perform one final exam with our equipment and we’ll be ready to treat Miwa-chan with it.
…Excellent. Then the rest is up to you.
So, this is the kid from your study, hm?
Yes, he’s my little guinea pig.

Still sends a chill down my spine even after all this time.

You certainly walked a dangerous line, but I’m sure you implemented the strictest of safety protocols.

I passed out several times, dog!

Please put some thought into the offer we discussed, will you…? All right, I’ll call you later.

He just so happened to be a year ahead of me in college. I told him everything since I was so close to perfecting the medicine. I have to thank you again. All this is thanks to you helping me with the clinical trials.


Although it was really fun for me. From my tour of their medical facility and discussions I had with their development team… I’m confident this will be a success, and they’ll complete development on schedule. The final result will be out of my hands though… if I don’t accept their offer, that is.

I was… recruited. He offered me the position of head of research and development at his hospital. …Which means I’ll have to close my practice.

I start first thing next month. Unfortunately, Takemi Clinic of Internal Medicine will be gone.

What!? Where the hell am I gonna get drugs under-the-counter now?

I’ll urge my patients to transfer to that hospital, and I’ll be sure to give them priority there.

…Just kidding.

Music: Alright (Elp Version)

The part about being recruited is true, but I don’t intend to close my practice. I kind of like being a general practitioner. I’ll still work with them to develop new medicine though. Once the medicine’s perfected, I’ll be able to see Miwa-chan… and receive my reward: her smile. Oh, I need to give you your reward too. I’ll think of something to give my little guinea pig for holding up his end of the deal.
It feels like my bond with Takemi is growing even deeper…

You were really concerned when you thought I was going to close this office. I know you said it was for your entrance exams, but come on, really? I think it’s about time you started being honest with me. It’s OK. You can tell me. Why did you keep coming to me?

Here we go…

Why don’t you tell me the truth about why you kept coming to me?

IT WAS FOR MY EXAMS.

Is that so? Well, I can take a hint. It’s getting late… You should get going. Come visit anytime. I’ll see you later.

Music: Beneath the Mask

It’s all about looking fabulous and mysterious at the same time! Girls really like this look, huh?
Oh, sure. If I were twenty years younger, I wouldn’t mind a phantom thief stealing my heart… Hahaha.

The Phan-Site’s blowing up! Hey, I’d like to talk to you today about how I’m helping you guys. Do you have time?

Yeah, sure. Part of Mishima’s second chance has gotta be actually making time for him, after all.

Let’s go somewhere close then!


He said he wants me to stop by. Apparently he’s pretty close. It sounded serious… I don’t think we should ignore him. Can you come with me?

Music: Tension

…Mishima.

Look, Akiyama-kun says he’s not gonna be able to pay up this month. How ‘bout you spot him? That’s what friends’re for, right?
F-Friends?
Huh…? You guys ain’t friends?
Don’t try n’ mess with us, Akiyama… Is this loser s’posed to be the “friend” who was gonna help you!?
……
If you don’t got anything to do with this little bitch Akiyama, I suggest you get outta here. …C’mon, Tohru. Looks like we’re just gonna have to go have a nice chat with that girlfriend of his.
P-Please, no! I’m begging you…!
Sorry, but you broke our promise. Now she’s gonna be the one to pay us back… if you catch my drift.

Ugh.

This is just what you get for tryin’ to screw us over.
Ahahaha! You’re so cruel, Yuuta-kun!
A-Akiyama-kun…

I don’t like where this is going…

Hahaha… I’m not sure. I can’t just abandon Akiyama-kun though. …I think I have an idea. It’s risky… but it might just work. If anything happens to me, take care of Akiyama-kun, Hamiru.


Oh, for fuck’s sake! Really, dude!? …Sorry. I know you’re trying.

Huh? You’re still here…?
Run away, you idiot…

I’ve been taking a video of this whole conversation!
…Huh?
If you do anything to Akiyama-kun or his girlfriend, I’ll bring it straight to the police! Oh, and don’t get any ideas about breaking my phone. It backs up to the cloud automatically.
H-Hey, what should we do?

I like that the sidekick here is a total wuss.

We’ll be fine. The police ain’t gonna do shit ‘cause of a stupid little video. …Why don’t you run along home to your anime girls? We don’t got time to deal with losers like you.

He besmirched the honor of the anime girls! He must be stopped!

Urgh…

Believe in yourself, Mishima!

Eh…?
Look, I know you guys are supposed to be tough and all… But are you sure it’s really worth getting arrested again over something like this? I mean, this video is definitely enough to get you guys busted given your previous criminal records.
How’d you know about that…!?
It doesn’t matter how. Just leave Akiyama-kun alone and we’ll be even! Then if you keep your word, I’ll delete the video. The backup too.
You’ll delete them now.
N-No!
……
U-Uh, Yuuta-kun…
…Tch, I’ve had enough of this shit.

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

My whole act would’ve broken down if they didn’t back off when they did. Hahaha… I really suck, huh?

Nah, you did good.


Dammit, man, why you gotta ruin it?

The truth is, I’ve dealt with enough bullying to know guys like that have probably been arrested at least once. Oh, and… thanks for sticking by me, Hamiru. We can’t let injustice like that go unchecked. I think I get it now… This feeling is what made me want to help you guys to begin with. That’s why I started the Phan-Site… To make sure that nobody has to go through stuff like this again!
Mishima seems extra motivated…

Akiyama-kun, are you OK? It looks like they really laid it on you…
Mishima… Why’d you help me?
Huh?
You didn’t need to get involved…
S-Sorry. It looked like you were really in trouble though… so I stepped up.

Sure, why not? They’re comparable levels of nerd.

…… …Is that so?
Anyway, can you walk? Do you need us to call an ambulance?
…I’m fine. Just go.
…All right. Come on, Hamiru… See you later…

Anon: let’s hear from the workers!

Music: Tokyo Daylight

Mishima has new information for us. This will be the last request we receive from progressing his Confidant. Contrary to what I previously believed, you do not need to complete the requests as you receive them to progress the Confidant. Instead, you need to complete a certain number of the requests he’ll send you (so not ones for other Confidants) to unlock his final rank event. For context, we’ve done eleven such requests, which is already enough, but we’ll be doing the rest too.

Apparently this post was made by someone with ties to the banks and the finance sector.

Yeah, apparently even the police are having trouble catching him. He keeps changing his name and appearance to elude them. I guess he’s basically the man of a hundred faces. Not bad, huh? According to one particular post, he’s currently going by the name Fumio Akitsu. I went ahead and made a warning post about it… Is that OK? Either way, I’m sure it’ll be easy for #Millennials!
Wow, this is some good info, even for Mishima! Let’s discuss whether or not we go after this guy over at the hideout!





And Hifumi’s finally ready.

Music: Tokyo Emergency

Over by the batting cages, this guy informs us that the expert machine is now available.

I dug up all sorts of dirt… About Kana-chan, that is. Are you free? I wanna talk to you about.

…Thanks. Come on over to my room then. I’ll tell you there.

But… she never continued on to high school. I decided to do some digging into why that might be, and… well… The more I dug, the worse it got…


Music: Suspicion

Her parents are in heavy debt due to a gambling addiction. So… instead of sending her to school, they make her work to help try and pay it off. …Apparently, they’re still having her model in strange clothes. They’re even selling the pictures now…

Man, this is… fucked.



She did!? Well, that settles it.

Based on the IP and other tracking data, I’m 99.9% sure it’s her. The post was basically just her asking us to make her parents have a change of heart… But she didn’t put their names. She might be a little hesitant. Or… she doesn’t totally believe in the Phantom Thieves yet. Either way, I have a solution.

Kouta Magario and Asami Magario. I got a hit for them from the Meta-Nav too… We can fix them. I’ve decided, Maaku… I wanna go to Mementos and change their hearts.

We could do that… or maybe we could just, like, kill them. I think it would work out great for everyone.

We can’t let them keep treating Kana-chan so horribly, right?



Oh, and since you’re gonna help me with this, I’ll have to return the favor. Hmhmhm… I’ll look extra hard for valuable stuff when we’re in the Metaverse! Well? Pretty good, huh!?
I can feel a strong bond of trust from Futaba…

This is honestly a pretty annoying ability. “Search objects” are objects in the field that spawn sellable loot (or occasionally a consumable item) that can be stolen. With this ability, they have a chance to respawn after every single battle. All of them. We’re going to see this a lot, is what I’m saying. The animation takes a few seconds, too. However, the real issue is that in Palaces we’re not actually backtracking all that often, meaning we’re not really going to have many opportunities to take advantage of this.

Welp, I’ll be counting on you! Let’s save Kana-chan!
I need to help Futaba put an end to this horrible parenting…
…Oh shoot, it’s getting late. Let us adjourn for today!

G-Goodnight.

Music: Beneath the Mask

Oh goddammit

You don’t even have anything new to say, piss off!

What could be in the food tray he had delivered to them!? Revive and fight, Phoenix Rangers! Next episode… “Grilled Gizzard is My Favorite—But it’s a Trap!”

Music: Layer Cake


…There’s somethin’ I need to talk to you about.

All right, come to the back.

Music: Suspicion

While you and Kaoru were over at that diner, I was out gettin’ info from a reliable source of mine. Turns out I guessed right. Tsuda was the one on the other end of that Hong Kong mafia deal. Apparently he paid them off for a huge arsenal of guns.

If he was smugglin’ all that shit in, why would he come to me askin’ for modified guns? I mean, don’t somethin’ about that seem off to you?


That piece of shit’s tryin’ to lord his position over me… but he ain’t got shit now! What I’m really sayin’ here is… I don’t think those Hong Kong guys ever delivered on their end of the deal. They prolly just took his money and flat out stiffed him on the guns. Masa told me somethin’ real weird back when you and Kaoru were over at the diner though. Apparently, the clan’s been treatin’ that Hong Kong transaction like some kinda massive business success. That means Tsuda’s been lyin’ to ’em this whole time… And now he’s tryin’ to use me to cover up his mistake.

Uhh, I thought you didn’t sell real guns? Y’know, they only look real? What is the yakuza gonna do with a bunch of airsoft weapons?

Even if I’m totally misunderstanding this dude’s plan, which seems likely, it doesn’t actually seem that smart to me. Even assuming Iwai is getting them real guns somehow, for the deal Tsuda likely had with the Hong Kong mafia you’d think there’d probably be a sizeable quantity of hardware. How would Iwai manage to replicate all that, on short notice, for free?

…Don’t matter now though. Everything’s gonna change once I tell the clan what’s up. Tsuda’s not gonna be able to keep intimidatin’ me anymore. And I’ll make sure Kaoru won’t get labeled, like I was… He’ll be a regular, respectable adult. Somethin’ I coulda never even dreamed of… I’m gonna have to talk to Tsuda himself first though. Gotta follow the yakuza code.

What!? No, this sounds like a great plan as long as your end goal is to be somewhere deep in the ocean. The fucking “yakuza code,” are you kidding me!? You’re not even yakuza anymore!

…… Hey, I got a favor to ask of you. If anythin’ happens to me, take care of Kaoru, OK?

I’m seventeen, my dude. I’m not sure what you want me to do here.

…OK?

Yeah. I’d like to think he’s above thug shit like that… But if he wanted, he could get rid of me no problem. Unless I had some kinda witness with me, that is…

Oh fuck no.

Wait a sec. I’ve got you.

SHIT

I want you to come talk to Tsuda with me. He’s not gonna dare lay a finger on a civilian kid. It’d cause way too many complications for him.

Are you sure about that? Because I’m not. I’ve got a record, you know. The authorities ain’t gonna give two shits about me.

If you come as my witness, things’ll be miles safer. …All right then. It’s settled.

I didn’t say shit, asshole!

Oh, and lemme think of a reward. Gotta thank you for the info, and for bein’ my witness. How ‘bout I work even harder on that special menu? That should be good for you, yeah?
nods

sigh Goddammit…

It feels like my bond with Iwai is growing even deeper…

We really gotta customize some guns at some point.

Well, I’ll hit you up when it’s time. Let’s do this, kid. Thanks for today.

Huh…? Who could that be at this hour…?

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

Okay, I know I decided to lighten up on you, Mishima, but I’m not sure I want to go to “Dome Town” with you.

Earlier I got some info that I can’t turn a blind eye to. I got us two passes. Wanna go and check it out tomorrow?

Actually, let’s do it. Mishima deserves something nice after playing hero and I deserve something nice before my imminent fitting for concrete shoes. Also I feel bad that he already bought the passes like the poor, lonely fool he is.

Dome Town is an amusement park, right? Tomorrow should be fun.


#231
Part 121

Part 121: 10/9-10/11: This Should Go Well

Music: Break it Down

He gets his opponent to bet money, and then cheats to win it all…

Oh, hey bro. What’s up?


Man, that’s so good… Perfect for a superhero.

Shut up, dude!

…Superhero?
Yeah! We want to do something about that cheater who comes here.
Cheater…? Oh, maybe it was that guy I just beat. I handed his ass to him and he ran home crying. I was rusty at first since it wasn’t Gun About, but it was easy once I got the hang of it.
Wh-What. Really!? But you’re just a kid…
…So what? Age is irrelevant.
So, uh… You know, I’ve seen your face somewhere before… Oh! Are you… Shinya Oda, the gaming prodigy!?
Don’t address me without an honorific. Who are you, anyway?
Y-You don’t remember me!? We fought one time in a tournament. It’s me, Mishiman!

That’s like one step beneath “THRILLHO.”

I don’t remember. I’ve fought way too many people. You’d only stick in my memory if you were something special.
Wow, you really are the King! The way you talk sounds so cool!

He’s insulting you, dude!

(to Maaku) …Who is this guy? Your friend?

What is that supposed to mean!? We are friends!

That was the nicest option, man. Chill.

Hamiru-san, do you have some spare time? Wanna go check out the theme park? There’s no Gun About here, and I’m getting annoyed with all the people watching me. Let’s go.

Shinya and Maaku begin to walk away.



Wow, so kind! I knew the King had a big heart!

And so they spent an enjoyable day at Dome Town. There’s really no point to that event because we were full up on points with Shinya, but I wanted to indulge Mishima for once.

Well, see you!

Music: Beneath the Mask

Ugh, it’s a rerun.

Music: Layer Cake


Welp, time to die!

I wanna settle things with Tsuda. Will you come with me as a witness? I’ll do my best to protect you. But… I can’t guarantee your safety. …You can say no.
Should I go with Iwai to meet with Tsuda as his witness?

Whew! I would go, Iwai, but I’m just too much of a cheese-boned coward!

…What? “Cheese-boned?” “What the hell does that mean?” I don’t know, man. I just made it up.

I don’t feel like I can go with Iwai until my Guts reaches Lionhearted

Well, we can’t do that yet!

Music: Beneath the Mask

Let’s head over to Rocinante, then.

Due to the Phantom Thieves boom, they’re selling more Phantom Wafers here, in addition to the Thief Masks (+1 Agility, garbage) and a Calling Postcard, an item which we might not actually get to use in this run but I’ll try to show off anyway.


We’re about to run out of time, so let’s see some of these messages.



You know what has a big bang—my anger! I’m gonna sing a new song called “Death by Black Burger”!
Hey, you’re the guy from those videos! You’re the Rock Parody Singer, right? Sing me a funny song.
Parody!? What are you talking about? I perform authentic rock n’ roll!

Glad to see Young Rocker getting some well-deserved fame.

And Tora’s getting some of that, too! Good for him!

Depression and suicide are on the rise, and the young workforce is being crushed on a daily basis. The evil that permeates the corporate world has filtered down into society… Hello, Hamiru-kun. Stamina is important for public speaking as well. You’re still young, but take care of yourself. Come to think of it, I haven’t told you about what I aspire to do. I’m starting to uncover various behind-the-scenes situations. I want to tell you about them. Would you care to listen?

Thank you. Let’s talk before the speech.

Yoshida Rank 10

Music: Alleycat

Old man Kuramoto will likely be forced to retire from the political world. The police can’t do anything because it was 20 years ago, but he has a moral obligation. I hear his grandson Benzo resigned from the party as well. It could be due to Matsushita’s influence, or perhaps it’s just the party’s way of atoning… Now it’s all up to me… and my abilities.

To think that people would be excited to hear me speak… The article mentioned I didn’t want the real culprit to be named even though I knew who it was. Apparently, people admire me for having quietly accepted a false charge for 20 years. I didn’t intend for any of this to happen though…


I’ve struggled for the past 20 years… but I can put that all behind me after the election. …Oh, look at the time. I should get started. Today will be the last day I’ll request help from you…


WHAT!? How did you…!?

Music: Sunset Bridge

I don’t intend to meddle. Everything I’ve told you has been based on assumptions, but if you’re still willing to listen… Then I think you should focus on your “work,” because the time is now. I can’t think of anything else to teach you. You are now an expert on giving speeches. I taught you all I know about the art of public speaking, in return for you supporting a guy like me. And over time, you became someone who shared my beliefs. Thanks to you, I was bale to overcome my crisis these last few months…

But if you ever find yourself in harm’s way on your journey, I will be there to help you. We’ll be comrades who reform the world… together.

Tora…

I feel a strong bond with Yoshida…

Music: The Spirit


This is flat-out incredible. We’re no longer limited to forming contracts with Shadows at or below our levels. The world is our oyster! No more of those annoying high-level Shadows we can’t nab! We still can’t fuse higher-level Personas, but it’s still great.

And that’s it for Toranosuke Yoshida, my favorite Confidant in the game. His nickname “No-Good Tora,” while no longer having any reason to be used, was apparently “Failnosuke” or something similar in Japanese, which is a lot less good. It wasn’t known who voiced Yoshida for a long time, but recently people seem to have figured out it was William Salyers, probably best known as Rigby in Regular Show. You can’t really hear it in that role (dude’s got a ton of range) but I looked up a video of him as Reverend Putty in Moral Orel and it’s a dead ringer for Tora. Anyway, Tora’s Confidant can seem weird and complicated, but he’s just a great dude.

And our bonus for completing this Confidant is the ability to fuse the ultimate Sun Persona, Asura.

Music: Sunset Bridge

Thank you for everything. All right, it’s time to begin.

I cut my date short so I could watch this, you know!
Does anyone out there have something they aspire to do? I met a certain young man… Through a method that differs from mine, he was trying to reform the world.

“It’s not the young man standing right next to me, though. Not a chance.”

As you know, that is a very large mountain to cross. Unfortunately, I am unable to travel the same path as him. …However, I will not say goodbye. Because we will surely meet at the peak. He is desperately doing what he aspires to do. So I encourage you all. Please find what it is that YOU aspire to do. And I will support you. Because that is what I aspire to do.
Way to go, Toranosuke!
I believe in you!
I feel like listening to Yoshida’s speech has served to increase my Charm

Maaku gains Charm+3.

I’ll listen to Yoshida’s speech a little longer, then head home…

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

I’ll bring it to the hideout. You have tomorrow off for Health and Sports Day, right? It’ll definitely get your adrenaline pumping… I really wanna read it, but I’ll wait til tomorrow! See ya!
I guess Futaba’s coming here to show us a magazine tomorrow. It sounds like fun, but… I’m going to bed.

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

Sounds like Futaba’s here. Come on, let’s go downstairs.

The exhibitions reflected the students’ personal desires, and many memories were surely made.
A culture festival sounds fun. Does your school do anything like that?


Traveling is too much trouble. Isn’t it good enough to just relax here?
You’re right, it is pretty nice here. We usually relax here for hours at a time.

Oh, I have enough for you, by the way. There’s some seriously ingenious stuff in these things.
I may be able to improve my Proficiency if I read the computer magazines with Futaba… Furthermore, this may be a good chance to deepen my bond with her…

What a coincidence, I was just looking to go out to see if any movies today would help me increase my Proficiency!

So, you wanna just relax and read if we’re not meeting up with the others?

OK! Today’s a readathon!

Music: My Homie

And this keyboard is too curvy! How would the keystrokes even work…? This is great! This “self-built PC competition” is really amazing! Have you ever built your own PC before, Maaku?


We’ll put together a beast of a machine! We’ll pick out every component for this custom build! Hehehe… We should go together to Akiba sometime, Maaku!
I read with Futaba, while talking about computers… I feel that learning more about intricate PC components helped me gain a bit more Proficiency.

Maaku gains Proficiency +3.



Yo, I read this magazine and now I have the dexterity and reflexes of a trained monkey.

Oof, I hunger… No wonder I’m in power saving mode. I want curry…
Should I spend some more time with Futaba…?

Aw, never mind… Guess I’m just gonna make like a bee and buzz off… Thanks for bringin’ me home! Lates!

Music: Beneath the Mask


I’ll be OK though. The state my father is in has put that on hold for the time being.
Woo! We accomplished one of our goals!
That doesn’t mean my marriage has been called off though. My father agreed to do so in that other world… but I’m not so sure now, given his current condition.
Hm, so that too will be on hold until the next change of heart.
Well, sounds to me like we’re totally in the clear!
Yes, and it’s all thanks to you guys.

Woohoo! Sweet victory!




We actually forgot to do this yesterday, oops. Takemi’s still not ready.



Also, we decide to boost our Guts acquisition tonight.

Let’s take the challenge once more. Maaku gains 10 Big Bang Burgers and Guts +3.

Music: Confession/Secret


It seems my father will be holding an urgent press conference.
I guess Okumura finally had his change of heart. That has to at least life some of the burden on Haru’s shoulders.
For real!?
Congrats!
When is that going to be?
8 pm tonight.
I wonder if he’ll talk about the mental shutdowns.

I don’t really have a reason for meeting up, but it still might prove beneficial.

“We just needed a reason for the next scene to happen, that’s all!”

Anyway, how does the Shujin Academy rooftop sound?

You know, that place 2 of our members don’t actually have access to? That was also locked off last we heard?

I actually happen to have some business up there.
Sounds good to me. It’s been ages since I was last there.
Wait… The school…?
Futaba, make sure you come in through the front entrance. See you all there after school.
Hm…? Wait, where’s Yusuke? …If he’s still asleep at this point, he’s definitely going to be late for school.

How very strange. And suspicious!

Music: So Boring

That aside, Okumura Foods has been a hot topic lately. This much media coverage must be worth at least ten million yen. 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? You show these two images to people, and then ask them to name one “bouba” and the other “kiki.” Hamiru-san.


That’s correct. You should have instinctively felt that A is “kiki.”

According to one theory, sounds and shapes are processed in the same area of the brain. Furthermore, this sense is the same worldwide. No matter the language, the result is the same.

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

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 on Okumura… Well, he should be having a change of heart, so there should be nothing to worry about.

Yep, that’s what should be occurring.


Rooftop? What is this about?
Oh yeah, you weren’t there.
Can you come to our school rooftop after your classes today?

How the hell are Yusuke and Futaba going to get onto the roof without attracting attention? Yusuke’s wearing a damn Kosei uniform!

I don’t quite understand what is going on, but sure.
Is Haru at school?
I’m heading over now. Things were a little hectic this morning.

That’s right! The season is good, so I’m thinking of transplanting them sometime soon.
Flowers are an excellent hobby. I will gladly assist you.
We’ll help too.
Really? Thanks! All right. I’ll see all of you after school.

Music: Break it Down

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.

I really like Haru’s weird sweater.

This time, it’s a Yusuke Kitagawa production.
All I did was add some… how do I put it… aesthetic simplicity by balancing the color placement. Furthermore, Haru chose the flowers herself. It will surely be a great bed no matter the arrangement.
Hm, I’m looking forward to it.
Why don’t we plant you, Mona?

It’s cloudy, Morgana. That wouldn’t work!

Music: New Beginning

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.
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?
Well then… how about a night party? At Destinyland.


Now, this is an obvious riff on Disneyland (specifically Tokyo Disneyland), but Destinyland actually has some history. In the very first Shin Megami Tensei, Destinyland is where the alignment lock occurred.

Also Makoto’s dialogue here is incredibly awkward and stiff. It’s like she turned into a five-year-old upon hearing about this theme park.

It would be a bit late, but there are someplans that allow us to rent out the park for the night.

You’re talking about THE Destinyland, right…?
Didn’t you say you’d like to do something amongst ourselves…?
I did, but…


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 just for 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…

What kind of company party books an amusement park?

We’d barely get anything back if we canceled the reservation, so why not take advantage of it?
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!


For real!?
It seems like we’ll be having our celebration at Destinyland tonight…

Music: Alright

The food was arranged on my plate as though it were paint on a canvas.

Oh god, half the cast’s got weird novelty headgear.

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.


That’s the kinda stuff couples say, right?
Almost anyone would fall for that line in front of a sight like this!

Lady Ann, this view is not as beautiful as–


Oh, too bad, cat. You missed your chance. Better luck next time.

You say that like you’re not tapping into your inner child too, Ryuji.
This is just ‘cause Futaba kept naggin’ me to put ‘em on!
I did not!
…You said somethin’ like that!

What was that!?
chuckle 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.
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.
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 somewhat premature?

The group chatters happily.

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.


Father…

Music: Regret

Today, I’d like to elaborate upon the whole truth behind my company’s labor situation.

Sanitation? That’s not even one of the things we heard about!

And how my corporation acted as a whole to… cover up every facet of this scandal. For all of this, I wholeheartedly apologize.


…Yes. I… am solely responsible…

Furthermore, these happened to be officials who stood against your proposal for overseas expansion. The same thing also happened to executives at competing companies who were looking to expand abroad. Is all of this true?
Yes.
Was it all coincidence?

We’d like some answers.


Okumura’s going to say who’s really behind the mental shutdowns.

What’s gonna happen…?

Okumura Bares It All (Watch this)












…Fucking finally, jesus christ.


#232
Part 122

Part 122: 10/11-10/12: A Foregone Conclusion

Music: Desire

When last we left off, Okumura finally bit it like two full weeks after his Shadow died, goddamn.

Good to see in this shocking, heartbreaking scene that our cast is still wearing the fucking animal ears.

Wh-Why did he collapse?
That didn’t look right at all… Don’t tell me…!
Mona-chan, what’s going on…?
No… That’s impossible!

I want to know that myself! We made sure we just took the Treasure too…
gasp I should call home!
This-- This isn’t our fault… is it? It’s been OK 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… it’s gotta be.

What’s wrong?

I remember now… It’s just like… what happened to my mom…

Oh shit.

So this is the moment when mental shutdown occurs…
But why did they target Okumura-san…?
Dammit! The hell’s goin’ on here!?

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.

What are you watching?

Akechi begins retching.

This is just a hypothesis… But perhaps Okumura was bitten by his lapdog.

Are you implying that the Phantom Thieves triggered a sudden 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?

Aww, Akechi believes in us! Well, sort of! Whatever!

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.

Yes?
…You haven’t looked at my laptop or taken files from it without my permission, have you?

Uh-oh, looks like Makoto fucked up somehow.

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.

For someone who values information so much you’d think you’d be better at conveying it in a reasonable way. Jesus christ, this argument is stilted.

I take pride in what I do. I thought you of all people would understand such values, Sae-san.
…I apologize.

:siren: SAE ADMITTED FAULT :siren:

I let my guard down. They’re mine… I’m the one who will catch them…!

Did you see? He collapsed during the interview… This is serious!
That was gruesome… Wish they put some sort of warning on the video.
They said President Okumura died!
Really!? Whoa, you’re right! I just saw a news report about it!

Anon: KL;ASD;’H DOTN’ PANIC
Anon: Too bad! It had to happen
Anon: good shit for us plebs lol
Anon: Did they make a mistake…?
Anon: whoa wtf
Anon: There better be a statement
Anon: That was all an act, right?
Anon: Well that was disturbing…
Anon: Is he really dead…?
Anon: die capitalist pigs!!!

I’M THAT LAST GUY

Music: Confession/Secret


The news said it was a cardiac arrest…
There’s a chance he’ll pull through, right…?
I hate to say this… But usually after such a report, the only thing that follows is a confirmation of death…
No…!
Haru…
Why is this happening!? Can someone die simply from having a mental shutdown!?
I don’t know! I suppose it’s possible that the shock could kill a person… Haru did mention how her father wasn’t in the best of health…
But… for him to just up and die? This has gotta be some kinda joke…
Haru…!

Futaba, you gonna say anything other than Haru’s name?

…Are we responsible for his death?
But I thought it was supposed to be fine as long as we didn’t kill their Shadow! Ain’t that what you said, Morgana!?
It should’ve been OK!

Well, it wasn’t! It was very much not!

It… should’ve been…

Great, the cat’s not even sure anymore.

We did everything the same as always too…
In any case, let’s compose ourselves for now. We need to act normally in public. But keep Haru in our minds…
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…?

Music: Beneath the Mask




The president of Okumura Foods collapsed during his conference and was taken to the hospital. However, we just received confirmation that he passed away. Truly a shocking turn of events.
I can’t believe he died…

Well, ain’t you chipper!?


Music: Aria of the Soul


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.

Oh god, Igor, we fucked up big time, man. We need a place to lie low for a while, you dig?
Yeah, you really botched that one, my dude.

Who knows…? However, don’t you sense it? The malicious will of another… It seems a contingency has occurred.

Why does everyone in this game talk like a fortune cookie?

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…
I feel like my bond with Igor is growing deeper…

…We shall meet again.
Time’s up, Inmate! Hurry up and return to your world!

And our approval went down, but that’s kind of to be expected, isn’t it?

Anon: his face, holy shit

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

He collapsed during his press conference, right? I wish I’d been watching when it happened.
You’re probably better off. It was a total disaster. I never imagined seeing a heart attack would be so unsettling…
The news says it was because of illness, but either way you spin it? Still bizarre. Damn. Wish I’d seen it live…

Kids today are sick.

Music: So Boring

Did you see that interview? I thought it was gonna be some hidden-camera show at first.
I was so scared I changed the channel…
He really looked like he was in pain… That was sick.
Will you quiet down!? We’re in class right now! Not to mention, you have midterms starting on Monday! Focus on studying!
…Things are getting pretty bad.

Later in the day…

The police? What for?
Your sister hasn’t told you about any of this?
Nothing at all.
Could this be related to Okumura’s death in some way?
But there’s no connection between our school and Okumura Foods.
Think they came to talk to Haru?
She’s… absent today.
Then seriously, what’re they here for?
I can’t even begin to fathom the reason. Anyway. let’s be particularly careful not to stand out. And head straight home once school ends. Understand that, everyone?

Music: Suspicion

I see.
We were hoping to find something more than the calling card too.
We’ve confirmed the victim’s connection to the Phantom Thieves at least.

I’d have assumed Okumura would have already turned the calling card over to the police, but whatever.

Thank you for your cooperation.


Huh!?

WHAT!?

Music: Disquiet

Yes…!

That’s right…
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.

Music: Interrogation Room


And even the death of Shujin’s principal, who we found a calling card for, was the work of another?
nods
sigh You don’t sound like you’re lying… If you wanted to deceive me, you could’ve easily woven 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.

Is it really? That’s kind of a big leap there, Sae.

I feel like my bond with Sae is growing deeper…



Pressed to prove your innocence, your next objective was…
shakes head


What in the world did the police inject into you?


Sae’s voice sounds far away…

Maaku Hamiru! You need to stay focused!

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.
nods
sigh

At last we arrive at your most recent crime.

You know what I mean, don’t you? This calling card was delivered to your latest target—the one you had decided would prove your innocence.

Now, explain everything to me.

OH SHIIIIIIIIT


#233
Part 123

Part 123: 10/12-10/13: It’s A Setup

Music: Beneath the Mask

Maaku, do you just spend all your unoccupied time sitting on your bed staring at Morgana until someone texts you? That’s kinda weird, man.

Speak of the devil.

No luck here.
Me neither.
She won’t pick up.

I mean, if you were her, would you trust us right now? We might have killed her dad, and unbeknownst to all of us she now thinks we murdered the principal too.

It doesn’t look like she’s seen any of our chats either.
I’m worried about her…

I just said that, Ann.



She wouldn’t, right? …Right?

I’m surprised the cops aren’t already here, cat.

Today, the police investigated President Okumura’s home and other places he visited. They’re looking into whether this was a crime or an accident, but what caused his death is still unknown.
Sounds like the police even went to your school… What are they going to do?



Is there an illness that could cause that…?
Nah, no way…
So it was murder? That’s terrifying…
This might be the biggest event of the century!

Anon: That was all an act, right?
Anon: Is he really dead…?
Anon: what is the press thinking
Anon: Well that was disturbing…
Anon: Now, who’s next? : )

We’re dropping precipitously at this rate…

Anon: eh, good riddance
Anon: I can’t believe anyone now!
Anon: Evil has perished.
Anon: So, whodunnit?

Music: Suspicion

Maaku, you need to get dressed, buddy! You have school today!


Yes… Thank you. Um, there’s actually something that’s caught my attention. I think I need to discuss it with everyone though. We should meet at the hideout after school.
It looks like Haru is managing… somehow. All right, let’s meet up with everyone after school.

But that was a live broadcast, wasn’t it?
If it wasn’t an illness… then it has to be murder!
Didn’t he kinda deserve to die anyway?
Still, I feel bad for him, going out like that…

Anon: killing ppl’s a no-no
Anon: ohhhhh shiiiii!!!
Anon: KARMA, BITCH!! lolol
Anon: dont fukkin murder ppl
Anon: Aww, what a waste

Music: Desire

The public has praised them as “allies of justice,” before they strike them back to the ground… Now then, she’ll be next…

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… …Haha, indeed. They’ll become the criminals we’ve set them up to be… just as you instructed.

Music: Suspicion

There’s a muffled-yet-loud voice coming from outside, seemingly that of a man giving a speech.


Summoning the cops to beat our asses down, I assume!

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…


Yusuke with no reaction.

Wh-What’s up?

Music: Tension


Okay, Yusuke’s completely stonefaced for two in a row? That’s funny and weird. Maybe they just forgot to set his reactions properly?

Still, this was inevitable due to the circumstances, we shouldn’t be all that shocked.

Also:

Something about his completely deadpan “shocked” face is hilarious.

So it’s begun already…
What!?
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!

Calm down. Not everyone is necessarily saying that…
But there’s no way to vindicate ourselves. ……

I’m sorry I’m late. I’m the one who asked you all to make time for me too…
…My condolences. It must be rough.
I’m OK now.

Did you all target the principal?

Yusuke, man, react to something here, you’re freaking me out!

Huh? The principal? …You mean ours?
Yes.
What makes you say that?
Yesterday, a public prosecutor came to my home. Um… it was a woman named… Niijima-san.
That’s–
I overheard her saying that 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.


Huh?

It may just be my imagination… But I feel as if… things are escalating far too quickly after President Okumura’s incident.
…Whaddya mean?


It’s Yusuke! Yusuke did it! I don’t know what he did, but it’s the only explanation for why he’s so goddamn chill about all this!

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.

I’m going to assume it was “ruin our reputation and prevent Okumura from spilling the beans,” dude. You know, the two direct consequences of his death thus far?

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?

Everyone turns to look at Futaba.

Got something on my mind. Gonna go home and look into it.

At any rate, we need to behave and not draw attention to ourselves. Understood?
nods

For some reason, probably just because she’s not facing the camera, Haru doesn’t nod. Morgana doesn’t either, but he’s a cat.

They’re heroes! They would never do that!
I’d be disappointed if they just turned out to be criminals…
It has to be some kind of trick! They would never do that!
…I can’t think of any other explanation. That has to be it!

Anon: actually, im ok w/this lol
Anon: they’re in a tough spot now
Anon: This is a murder case?
Anon: we need dox on these guys
Anon: but Madarame’s alive, huh

Music: Beneath the Mask

But that’s impossible!


Why are people doubting the Phantom Thieves over what happened to President Okumura?

Yeah, I trust them! Anyway, it seems like everyone’s forgotten all that they’ve done up to this point. That won’t stop me though. I’ll continue cheering them on. Make sure you tell them that! Well, see you later!
Mishima is a bit narrow-sighted, but he’s a good person deep down. We can’t betray him…

You have to be kidding me! How could they accuse us of that!?


Stock prices are low—it’s almost certain Okumura Foods is pressured to restructure their management. The public is watching to see how they handle the issues Mr. Okumura addressed in his press conference.
What’s going to happen to Haru’s company? I’m worried about that, too.


Seems like it!


#234
Part 124

Part 124: 10/14: Strictly Platonic Massages

Anon: Police were negligent too.
Anon: i never trusted them
Anon: got anything better to do?
Anon: wat do they want, anyway?

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)


I won’t be able to respond for a little while longer.
You don’t need to mind us.
More importantly, are you doing all right?
I’m more worried about the people at the company, to be honest. It seems everyone’s having difficulty with not only clients, but the press as well. They’re even handling the preparations for my father’s funeral. I just feel so guilty that I’m unable to help out at all…
You shouldn’t. Everyone understands this is a trying time for you.

Thanks. Talk to you later.
Bless that girl, worrying about others even at a time like this…

Music: Suspicion

Why else would they kill him during a press conference?
I read somewhere that Okumura raised his daughter alone. Maybe he wasn’t a great manager, but as a parent I feel for him…
Murdering someone to make a point is textbook terrorism. Like Shido and that Akechi kid say, the Phantom Thieves are a menace.
……

It has to be a setup! The Phantom Thieves aren’t like that…
They’re not heroes! They’re just criminals!
I believe in the Phantom Thieves! They wouldn’t do that…

Aww, thanks random disembodied voice #4!

I’m really disappointed… Were they just lying?

Anon: their fans are guilty too
Anon: they def crossed the line
Anon: Hurry and arrest them
Anon: criminals should die
Anon: lel. regret backin em yet?

Music: So Boring

Does anyone have any idea?
Course not.
If I were to guess, I would say the culprit behind the mental shutdowns.
Wait, how do we even know we got set up to begin with?

Is Ryuji even paying attention? God damn.

They found a calling card in Principal Kobayakawa’s office.
Someone else had to have planted that, obviously.
In the worst case scenario, it’s possible they know our identities.

How’re we gonna do that though?
It looks like our only choice now is to find the true culprit. Although, we don’t have any leads…
Dammit, why’s this gotta happen to us…?

Music: Beneath the Mask -Rain (Instrumental Version)

We’ll just have to keep laying low and wait. Let’s not do anything conspicuous, OK?

I know it’s been tough after what happened to President Okumura and all… But this is the perfect time for smaller changes of heart to restore your reputation. Anyway, here’s the info I have… If true, this one is pretty crazy. Apparently an ex-mercenary who works as an assassin is hiding out in the Shibuya underground.

What!?

It’s not… it can’t be!? Our buddy Homeless Man!?

Never thought you’d have to change my heart, did you sonny? Ohohoho!

Right!? I can’t breathe easy knowing he’s out there. Well, according to the rumors, his name is Yohei Kiritani. I’m pretty scared. I don’t want anything to do with this… I’m leaving this to you, #Millennials!
Mishima really does get some amazing info for us sometimes…

I’m starting to wonder how that nerd lovable scamp gets his hands on this information. That guy would probably kill to keep that quiet.

Our reputation may have taken a hit after Okumura’s death, but we can still prove our justice in Mementos. We should discuss this with everyone when we have time. Oh, and we have to meet up with Haru before we can go in!


Poor Okumura-san…
They’re murderers! Someone needs to capture them already!
We should never have turned our backs on Akechi-kun. All we can do now is ask him for help…



President Okumura died ‘cause of the Phantom Thieves, right…? I heard they’re behind all the weird shit that’s been going on… They tricked us good, huh… Does that guy not watch the news or something? Way to bring the mood down…
They’re treating us like villains or something… Damn it…





I figured as much, but I wasn’t sure what angle I would use when I write it… Do you think the Phantom Thieves are responsible for President Okumura’s death…? I can’t think of any other possibilities… Hmm…

That might be a good idea since we’ve got the school festival coming up after midterms. We have a guest coming to the post-festival party, so it should be a lot of fun.

You’re right. Sorry… I got a little depressed. I bet people will start slandering the Phantom Thieves. The public is so quick to turn on its heroes. It’s extra disappointing for me… I had such high hopes for the Phantom Thieves too.


The Phantom Thieves did it, right? I really hope that rumor about them going to Shujin isn’t true…
They could be right next to us for all we know!? This school’s too much!



Is it confirmed that the Phantom Thieves did it? I can’t think of anyone else that could, though.
After people called them saviors or even gods, perhaps they let their power get to their heads. When people lacking in character or education gain power, it always leads to tragedy.



I guess it is better to try to get popular through sports than to act more like those guys.
I thought those guys were really something, but… Maybe I had the wrong idea about them. I guess if they really were determined to carry out justice, they wouldn’t hide their faces.

I’ve been hearing that he got murdered. You think whoever did it was…?
I’m not sure if the principal’s death was a suicide now. The same guys were probably behind it.
The mass media might come to our school again. Now’s not a good time to be focusing on sports.

I know you must be worried, but the police can handle it. Geez, though, it’s been a busy year.
I kind of like it busy. There’s lots to talk about, especially with my friends back home.
Maybe you’re right. In ten or so years, all this will become a memory we’d all share.

What? You don’t believe me, either? Stop it! Stop looking at me with those accusing eyes!

Ah, sorry… I overreacted. I just got too angry at society talking bad about them like this. The Phantom Thieves must feel so betrayed. Er, and I would know. Because I-I’m a Phantom Thief.

Why? Oh, right? As a Phantom Thief, I-I should really consider turning myself in! There has to be a good reason for all this. I really want to believe in them…

Geez, now I just kinda feel bad for this dipshit.


No, it appears that the people from the bank have given up.
I’m going to take all the money I saved and move overseas to start a business. That way, we can keep making money and live a life of leisure forever!
I’ll be by your side all the way, Akitsu-sama!

Looks like one of the targets we have is planning to bail. We should take care of it when we can.

He had it coming after lying to everyone like that. I wonder if that’ll happen to me, too…
Lying about your age isn’t that big of a deal. Apologize, and you should be fine. This poor man. Killing him was just too much.

I asked the police, and that guy in the black suit I talked to the other day, but no one knows… Someone… Someone please tell me. What’s… What’s my name…?

Homeless Man seems completely gone at this point. :frowning:







You think so? There were people who committed suicide because of that guy. Don’t they deserve your pity? Talk about double standards.
…Even so, there has to have been a better way…

It’s a rainy day, so we can’t hang out with anyone at all (besides Takemi, who isn’t ready) or even go to Chihaya to boost a Confidant. So, we decide to go to the hideout for a Mementos visit, because why not?

…Oh, right. Because we actually can’t. See, the “unanimous consent to change a heart” rule is still in effect, and Haru isn’t here. Considering that our number of unconfirmed requests is >0, we can’t go to Mementos until she gets back. The game actually ingeniously uses this against us by enforcing it; Mishima just so happens to give us a text message we can’t ignore with a new request today, meaning it’s impossible to go to Mementos no matter what, even if we’d already confirmed all these other requests before. It’s an interesting way of getting around not having Haru here for story reasons.

So instead, let’s do something we’ve never done before: go to the library and read a book during the day.

Music: Alright (Elp Version)


The grimoire Necronomicon… I wonder if its author also wielded great power? The world in that book is so frightening, though. It must have taken a lot of courage to read it.

Maaku gains Guts +3. Still no rank up.

Music: Beneath the Mask

God, even Sojiro’s heard about this? We’re fucked.

It seems extremely likely #Millennials was involved in the incident with Mr. Okumura. We’ve received reports that police are investigating them under suspicion of attempted murder.

Well, it’s not “attempted,” now is it?

They’re blaming it on us. Everyone’s changed their minds about us so quickly…

What? Phantom Thieves? What are you talking about?
Those popular and glamorous Phantom Thieves are recruiting! If you take this class…
Class? You’re kidding. Those guys are criminals. I want nothing to do with those creeps.
Gah, this Phantom Thieves fad fizzled out too fast! In a way, it’s kinda funny.

Murdering someone in cold blood! That’s so scummy!
You’re right, they went too far this time. I’m traumatized by the look on that man’s face…
Yeah, I’d rather look at the face of a gorgeous boy. Bring on the era of Akechi-kun!

Why am I even transcribing this







Are you talking about the conference? I dunno if they had to be so harsh. He was trying to apologize… I guess what that Akechi dude’s been saying is true after all.

We must create a country that can give birth to life. And we must create a country that can nurture that life. The power of this country lies with the power of its people…


I wonder if the Okumura empire is over now without him at the helm.
Many people sympathize with him. Their stock price hit rock-bottom, but it has since rebounded.
So then he was a sacrificial lamb for their business… What a world we live in.


Yeah, that president just collapsed all of a sudden. Was it because of stress?
Nah, those phantom thieves must have done something. I heard they tortured and drugged him.

What the fuck!?

So they’re a dangerous group after all… It seems like there might be other victims too.

meow…
He was just trying to apologize, but they punished him anyway… Are the Phantom Thieves pissed off? Do they not accept apologies?

Foreign Barker, no! You have to believe in us!

You talkin’ about Bangarang? I bet the whole company’s goin’ under. That CEO’s face was… terrifyin’. Those Phantom Thieves are ruthless.

It’s actually not as fun as you’d think.

Was he tryin’ to stop me through suicide or something? Heh, looks like he doesn’t have the guts. Well, whatever. That guy’ll disappear soon enough. Then, it’ll just be me in this body. chuckle


Everyone’s saying that. Even my cram school teacher says the Phantom Thieves are bad guys.
Really? Man, I never should have thought they were cool. I feel so dumb now!
Akechi is totally cooler than them. I hope he can catch the bad guys.

God, the theme of today is “everyone fucking hates us.”

Let’s wrap this up with a nice chat with our old buddy Drunken Souse.

Right, I’m a police officer. Come on, let’s get you home.
The po-po-police are here! And now, I’mma call over th’ pershon you wanna meet…
OK OK, I’ll call for help. You just stay put.

He’s gonna get one of the big futons!!!


Not as your maid, but as your teacher. Could I visit Leblanc later today?

OK, I’ll head over right away.

Kawakami Rank 10

Music: Break it Down

That’s actually been happening a lot lately… I wonder if they see me in a new light now…? I need to work hard so I can make up for all the times I let my students down in the past.


What!? No! That’s not what I was getting at in the slightest!

So, um… Now, this is coming from me as your teacher… An awful thought occurred to me the more I spent time with you. …And I can no longer overlook such a grave “danger.”

Oh god, please no. I avoided that option!

You…

Music: Sunset Bridge

And the state of your room! You need to stop slacking. I mean, look at how dusty this place is. I put up with the mess because you were my client, but you need to thoroughly clean in here!


Well, it’s very important stuff. There are just some things you have to prioritize over your studies, you know? Oh yeah, there’s one more thing…

BUH

That whole thing with Takase-kun’s guardians worked out way too good for me. And you’re the only one who knew about my situation.

Hm, well… Don’t worry. I have no intention of telling anyone. There are a lot of stories about the Phantom Thieves but in the end they help people like me, right?

I just thought you were a problem child with a criminal record… but now I know better.

You’re not just a student to me. You’re someone special who helped me realize my path as a teacher.

…A little much, but whatever. I get the motivation behind it.

A new path where I’ll never abandon any of my students…


For my students… and for you!

Again, reiterating that I’m not just one of her students. This is kind of weird to me.

I feel a strong bond with Kawakami…

Music: The Spirit


We’ll go into the perk in a second.

Sadayo Kawakami is… interesting. I’ve made it clear I don’t really care for some of the overtones of this Confidant, but she’s a good character. She’s voiced by Michelle Ruff, who was Yukari in Persona 3, and in this last Confidant rank she really sells this infectious renewed enthusiasm that makes me like the character a lot more.

Music: Sunset Bridge


Ughhhhhh, why is this so sexual!? I turned her down, game! I turned her doooooown!

The massage is actually incredible and most people blitz her Confidant for it ASAP because if you’re going into the Metaverse with any frequency you’re lamenting that lost time. Also worth noting: because Kawakami is no longer a maid, this and all other services from her are now free.


I don’t want you to flunk your exams. I’m going to go the distance with you!

Phrasing!

I received a special lesson from Kawakami… I grew tired all of a sudden…


#235
Part 125

Part 125: 10/15: Children Are Monsters

Today’s my birthday and I bring you this fresh post.

Anon: There was no need to kill.
Anon: That was traumatizing…
Anon: wat do they want, anyway?
Anon: Talk about unlikely heroes.

I guess Akechi was right after all…
No, I still believe the Phantom Thieves!
They’re murderers, right? Hurry up and arrest them!
How long are the police going to let them run loose?

Anon: meh i dun care either way
Anon: trash talking feels risky…
Anon: well now im interested
Admin: No hate-slinging, please!

Oh, poor Mishima.

Music: Suspicion

It must be tough, organizing the funeral for a bigwig CEO. Okumura-san is usually pretty quiet. Do you think she’s OK? Hard to believe the dad of such a nice girl could be so evil…
I didn’t expect this from the Phantom Thieves… That was a full-blown public execution…

Music: So Boring

They’re just calling us a bunch of murderers.
All the celebrities who supported us are being criticized now too.
It’s all gone up in flames… People are posting about this stuff everywhere.
I highly doubt that anyone who supported us did so honestly. There must have been many who simply went with the winning side.
I get mixed feelings about this when you put it that way.
It does make me rethink a lot of things…
That aside, we need to deal with our situation first. Our state of affairs continues to worsen.
We can’t just sit back and watch this happen.
Still, we can’t make a move when we don’t have any leads.
What’re we supposed to do then?
Right around when your exams end will be the perfect timing.
Uhh, for what?
Don’t worry about it. Anyway, just wait and see what happens.
For the time being, let’s discuss things after our exams end.
Ugh, there’s no way I can focus on exams like this.
Can you ever?

Music: Everyday Days

Hey, Hamiru! You! Pay attention! Is that how you listen when someone’s talking to you!?
I feel a murderous intent…!


That was nuts… Is he a ninja?
Tch… Well, whatever. Moving on.

You shouldn’t fucking throw chalk at people, dude!

Ooh, you’ve got the entire class’ attention! Your Charm has definitely increased.

Maaku gains Charm +2.

Music: Tokyo Daylight

The public are fickle and stupid. What else is new?

We’re going to start bashing the Phantom Thieves, even though we lack any credible evidence?
Yes. Our viewers quickly forget the past. As long as we properly incite them at the start, they’ll be easy to influence later.

Case in point!

It’s finally happening… My rock n’ roll legend is about to begin!
Not quite. We had to drop the Phantom Thieves feature after the stunt they pulled. You, on the other hand, would make for a perfect entertainer.
No way, that ain’t rock n’ roll! You gotta be kidding me—I’m a rock star! Get outta my face!

The malfeasance of my apostles, the Phantom Thieves… Is the “Apollo Wave” weakening…? Furthermore, am I even truly the Sun God…?
What are you saying, Sun God!? You are the savior of the world!


One girl I know got really scared. She made me stay by her side, all day and all night.
Are you serious!?
It must’ve been really tough for you though. Your phone must have been ringing nonstop.
Y-Yeah… It got really annoying, having my phone ring all the time… Haha.

Oh yep, this dude’s absolutely a fraud.

You need to relax. I’m sure the company will be fine. I mean, I’m sure there’ll be massive downsizing, not to mention demotions…
But… But… My hubbers JUST got promoted! Damn you, Phantom Thieves!

Quite a few of my fares were pretty angry today. They feel betrayed by the Phantom Thieves.
What are the police and government doing? Those guys need to be arrested, ASAP.
I heard Kasumigaseki’s quite abuzz with this country’s higher-ups scrambling to handle this problem.

Is the person next to you someone that you can really trust? Replace all your anxiety with assured confidence by signing up for our security guarantee plan!




Takemi’s finally ready.

The Phantom Thieves don’t want to better the world. They want to tyrannize people with fear.
How can you say that as a lawyer? You’re saying they’re guilty without having any proof? But if there is proof, the police will find it. Their investigation team just added a star player.


The Phantom Thieves did that, right? And I don’t think I can eat at Big Bang any time soon…
Yeah. It does seem like the Phantom Thieves took it too far.
Wha–? But it was guys like you who fanned the flames and made it into a witch hunt!

That was traumatizing. It was deleted right after, though.
Even the phantom thief sites were horrified. They all say there had to be some other way.
Oh, that one site’s comments section is really bad. The people defending them are so creepy…

I’ve got no time for that! Data is everything in trading! I need to hunt for information! Thanks to my efforts, I sold off the stocks that depreciated because of the Phantom Thieves!
I wish you’d get a normal job… You know we already reserved the wedding venue, right?

Girl, SEVER.

It costs 500 yen each try, so I can only play once in a while. You and I both have to get stronger, and to do that, we gotta practice. So let’s train hard today.

All right! We’ll have a thorough training session today!

Music: What’s Going On?

The games are on me today… Just be sure to keep up.

Don’t worry, I have a lot of money on me today!

Now, let’s get to it! Get into your stance!


Shinya is playing erratically…

Music: Suspicion

Give him his money back.

Ah, christ.


Oda! You took his lunch money, didn’t you!?

Shinya, no!

He forced you into a battle, right?
…Yeah. And when I lost… He told me I owed him money.
Who do you think you are!?

…Huh?
I didn’t take it… I earned it. That money is for my war fund, to help get me stronger.

Fuckin’ kids, no sense of right and wrong.

What the hell does that mean? You’re crazy, just like your mom.

I don’t like where this is going.

I heard your mom was being weird at a restaurant the other day, too. A waiter caught her leaving without paying, and she said she just forgot. She even snapped at the manager and told him his employees need to be better trained.
Sh-Shut up…!
My mom says that your mom is a bully! And you’re just like her!

Oh shit, this is bad. He took off his hat, that’s like his limiter, right!?

If you want your money back, you’ll have to beat me!
He’s not making any sense… Somehow, some way, you’re gonna pay us back!


You’re just like the bad guy in a movie! I hope the Phantom Thieves get you!

At this point in the game he’s basically saying “I hope you get brutally murdered!” Holy shit, kid!

Music: Alleycat

I mean… yes.

I’m not a bad guy… am I…?

But I won… I’m the stronger one…! So how am I… the bad guy…?

Man, kids are idiots. And I still like Shinya.

…… I guess I… I already knew that… I felt bad… even when I was winning. I won’t do it again… I don’t wanna be a bad guy.


Hey… Um… do you… hate me now?

“A little bit.” Yeah, go ahead and tell the kid who’s acting out and considers you his brother that you hate him, see how that goes.

Oh, that’s great! I don’t want you to hate me too… The Phantom Thieves are strong because they defeat strong enemies, right? Beating up on weak opponents… that’s bullying… That’s what bad guys do. I was wrong. Thanks, Hamiru-san… I wouldn’t have realized this on my own.

Glad I was here to help you learn this obvious moral lesson. Next up, why climbing in abandoned refrigerators to play hide-and-seek is a bad idea!


Now we can use Down Shot even more. Nice.

I’m gonna head home now. I need to think about what I did…

After you give the money back, right? Right?

Interacting with Shinya has made my heart grow… I feel like my Kindness has increased…

Maaku gains Kindness +3.

I’ll see you later… Bye.

Music: Beneath the Mask

I guess all the praise they got before doesn’t amount to much now…

You’re a supporter of theirs, yes? I would love to hear your opinion on this matter.

Yes, I’m having a hard time composing my thoughts as well. Given the presence of the calling card, doubting their involvement would be… unnatural. However, something doesn’t feel right. I will have to think the matter over some more later.

Glad Akechi’s on our side. Wait, shit. Never mind.


After the press conference was broadcast, people are now calling them “criminals” and “murderers.” On the street, people have also been expressing their concerns and fears about the Phantom Thieves.
Dammit! How could they… How can people just hate us like that so suddenly!?

Posting Online is my favorite form of civic engagement.

…No. There’s no point sitting around complaining about it now. I’m sure you’ll be able to turn the tide if you just keep changing the hearts of horrible criminals. Oh, and I’ll do whatever I can to help you guys out.

Good to hear, buddy.

Are you free right now?

Let’s talk at the diner then. It’ll probably surprise you… but we can talk some more over there.

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

Well, it turns out they really were dangerous. I looked them up… and found some seriously scary info. Apparently they’re part of a gang that’s involved in extortion stuff like that all the time.

Welp, better hope they don’t come looking for you for revenge!

I wish I had known that going in… One slip of the tongue in that act I pulled, and I would’ve been dead.


Goddammit, Mishima, why do you always gotta ruin this by talking about pissing yourself?

Honestly though… you’re amazing. You weren’t afraid in the slightest. Maybe it’s only natural after all the nightmares you’ve been through…


Oh shit, it’s Akiyama and his buddies, back to harass Mishima some more.

Whoa, it really is Mishima!
Dude, right? Nobody else could be THIS boring.
……
Hey, you figured out what you’re gonna do afer high school?
U-Um, not yet…
How ‘bout the military? Nobody’d ever notice a zero like you stealthin’ around.
Hahaha, too true1 I bet you could sneak in anywhere, huh? You’d be Japan’s ultimate weapon!

Akiyama-kun…
Huh? Something wrong?

Music: What’s Going On?

Er, not exactly… C’mon, let’s just forget him. It’s no fun messing with Mishima anymore.
Whaddya mean, no fun? You’re always the one screwin’ with him the most.
I dunno, guess I got tired of it.

I’ve been thinking, well… I should prolly thank you.
Huh? Something happen with you two? Y’know, you HAVE been actin’ weird lately, Akiyama… Don’t think I haven’t noticed all them bruises you’ve got.
I-I… ……
Um… “before”? I don’t really know what you’re talking about.

Dammit, Mishima, you’re actually kinda cool.

Mishima… …My bad, guess it was someone else. …… …You’ve changed though.
Huh…?
Yo, glasses. I always see you two together… You been coaching him?

Heh… That so? I’m kinda jealous. Anyways, seeya later.


And… I really have changed, huh?

Not much, but yes.

Do you think maybe now I’m starting to be like the Phantom Thieves…?

No. Don’t get ahead of yourself, sport.

I’m gonna work even harder now to make sure I live up to your legacy!
Mishima is showing a passionate resolve…

You know, I always used to think I couldn’t amount to anything. But I somehow managed to step up and help Akiyama-kun with those thugs. It made me realize… there really are things I can do to save people. That’s why I’ve started writing a documentary on the Phantom Thieves. The research I did on that gang Akiyama-kun was wrapped up in was actually what pushed me to do it. And now I’m basically putting together a massive log of all your activities from the Phan-Site.

Sounds neat.

That’s some serious pressure… but I’ll show you what I can do! I mean, I won a composition contest back in 5th grade, so this shouldn’t be any more difficult, right?

Screw the fountain drinks… Let’s go straight for the fancy fruit juice! It’s three times the price, so it’s gotta be three times better!

But I only have so much money… If you wanna order anything else, it’ll have to come out of your own pocket, OK? Anyway… let’s party until we have to go catch the last train!


Catch you later!

Yeah. Catch you later, Mishima.


#236
Part 126

Part 126: 10/16-10/20: A Test Of Patience

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)



I’m eating now. Maybe I should respond later…

I guess we can respond once the dishes are done. And make sure you thank the chief for breakfast, OK?

I don’t care how they do it. Just throw them in the slammer already.
It’s too scary to have murderers on the loose…
I wonder what kind of people the culprits are.
They’re murderers. Don’t give me any of this “justice” crap.

Anon: I’m scared to go outside…
Anon: Police were negligent too.
Anon: awful. they betrayed us
Anon: their fans are guilty too
Anon: they def crossed the line

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)


I am.

You sure are strong. I’ll come back, don’t worry. I think I’ll be able to rejoin everyone around when exams end. Umm… Well, see you.
Haru… She’s the one who should be in pain right now, yet she’s still trying to cheer us up…

We’ll get to work once your exams are over.



Big Bang Burger had been planning to hold a charity event. However, the event has been canceled due to the recent incident.
Things must be pretty chaotic for Haru right now. I’m starting to get worried about her.


Yes, only the tip of the iceberg is reported on the news. No one is aware of the truth. Simply put, the psychotic breakdowns are a government conspiracy to destroy humanity.

Gee whiz, mister! That sounds like some hot bullshit!

Oh, the Phantom Thieves are part of it, too. In fact, they were hired by the government all along. Ah! But you must not reveal this to anyone. You would only incite mass hysteria.

Sure thing, dude.




Music: Tokyo Daylight

The world was crazy to treat them like heroes!
Come on, calm down. The police will catch them.
sigh But why did this happen out of nowhere? They were helping people…

Did you see that press conference? It was a little disturbing… We’re seeing the effects of it on our show, too. There’s a lot of criticism of the Phantom Thieves.
See? I told you we didn’t know anything about them.

whine
Um… Kotaro says that he’s really hurting right now. We better have the bet take a look at him.

Music: Butterfly Kiss

I don’t know if fall is the season for sports, but consider your age and don’t overexert yourself. Well, I guess a kid like you doesn’t have much to worry about there… You came because you saw my messages, right?

There’s no need for a clinical trial. You came at the perfect time. Come in.

The girl that I’ve been treating is coming in soon. I want you to see how she is doing.

Takemi Rank 10

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

This girl sounds about forty-eight.

…What are you talking about?
There’s a boy I like, but my friend told me… …That I have to let her have him, because she liked him first…
Oh, that’s not true.
Really!? Then why did she say that?
It’s likely because she’s jealous of you. Just be cateful because it might result in pandemonium.
Pandemonium…?

She even comes in on days she doesn’t have to. It appears she’s nearly fully recovered.

Music: Sunset Bridge

Which reminds me, the new medicine will be completed soon.

…Thanks?

You’ve been a splendid guinea pig… I mean, participant.

Yep, still gives me the willies, even after all this time.

So, thanks again. By the way, how have I been doing? Have I been helpful?

Goddammit, me! I cannot fucking believe we’ve tripled Ryuji’s count for people we accidentally let figure out we’re Phantom Thieves!

So, yeah. If you haven’t figured it out by now, every non-party Confidant ends with the person stating that they’ve realized you’re a Phantom Thief. Really, it just makes Tora that much more impressive because he’s the only one who figures it out without us needing to change anyone’s heart. He’s just that cool.

…Come on. You and I both know that you were lying about needing to prepare for the entrance exams.

No, really! It was for my exa–snicker–exams!

I visited Oyamada in jail. A swing of fortunes like that could only have come at the hands of the Phantom Thieves. And to have it happen when it did… Isn’t the only logical conclusion to think that it’s you?



The point is that without you, I wouldn’t have been able to complete my mission. I would’ve never finished the new medicine… while I was being deceived by Oyamada. And I would’ve never met any of the townspeople…

So, I’ll go out on a limb for you. I’ll have even more powerful medicine ready for you… I trust that you’ll use them appropriately.
I feel a strong bond with Takemi…

Music: The Spirit


Resuscitation adds a few new items to the clinic’s selection. They’re great items but they’re also exorbitantly expensive even in comparison to the SP Adhesive 3s, so we’ll go into them some other time.

Takemi is a terrifying human being, but a good character. She’s voiced by Kirsten Potter, who I’ve literally never heard of.

Music: Sunset Bridge

So you better make some money in the name of “justice.”

giggle Now, go. Take care.

Music: Beneath the Mask


But I think I’m going to go back to school, starting tomorrow. I’m sorry for worrying all of you until now.
Are you really OK though?
Be sure not to push yourself too hard in this time of grief.
No, I actually need to push myself. My mind always wanders if I have nothing to do…
Yeah, I totally get you.
Besides… there’s nothing I can do while I’m at home.

Um… To be completely honest… When I ended up alone… I did doubt you all a tiny bit.
We cannot blame you for that.
But it’s so horrible for me to doubt you. I mean, I’m the one who asked you all to do this.
Your father just passed away, Haru. It’s natural to feel a flood of emotion at such events.
Yeah, it’s really hard when you lose someone like that…
But I’m OK now. You’ve all helped me out so much.
Right back at ya!
Thank you. Those words are truly reassuring. Well then, I’ll see all of you at school.
Haru… I’m not surprised she seems down. You should keep her in your thoughts, Maaku.

Of course.

Still, despite how she looks, Haru has quite the backbone. I’m sure she’ll be OK.

You wanna help out?

I’ll make a snack for you. Futaba said she’s coming too.

Let’s help Sojiro. Now, you may notice that for the last couple of weeks we haven’t been buying any aojiru. Well, there’s a good reason for that: I forgot We don’t really need to anymore. We’ve only got one parameter left to max out, Guts (and while the me playing the game believes us to be pretty close to maxing that out, the me who went back and checked realized we have a lot further to go), so buying into the rotation is just going to be a waste of money most of the time at this point.

Music: What’s Going On?

Hmmmmmm… Maybe curry spaghetti! And curry udon! Oh, and curry croquettes, and curry pizza!
You really like curry that much…? Well, I guess it’d be pretty easy given the current menu. I’ll give it some thought. How about you? Anything you’d wanna add to the menu?


Of course he is! That stuff’s super addicting, man!

Music: Tension

…Leave now, or else I’ll be forced to contact the police. I’m not giving you a penny.
What was that…? Quit fucking with me!

Shut your mouth, brat! It’s your fault I’m in this mess!

Really making a good case here, buddy.

We can take it to court if you really want. Don’t underestimate how hard I’m willing to fight.
What…!?
Not only do you have massive debt, but I heard you failed in your most recent business venture. How do you think the court would respond if they knew how wasteful you were with your money…?
Goddammit…! (to Futaba) This is all your fault, you bitch! You cursed little…

Smooth move, Ferguson.


What are you talking about? You clearly fell down on your own.

This cafe’s finished, you hear me!? I won’t let you get away with this!

Music: Suspicion

God damn… What a pain in the ass. Don’t you have enough problems already?


Are you OK, Futaba?
Mm-hm… But Uncle said he’s gonna sue…
Don’t worry… No matter what ends up happening to me or this store, I won’t let them lay a finger on you two. I’m your guardian, after all. I have a duty to protect the both of you. So don’t go doing anything like that again, you hear? I appreciate the spirit you showed though.

Man, Sojiro’s great.

I feel like my bond with Sojiro is growing deeper…

Anyway, I’m done for the day. Take care of closing up for me. Let’s go, Futaba.

I’ll message you later…



I looked up my uncle’s name in Mementos…

Really!? Thanks a bunch! My uncle’s name is Youji Isshiki. Let’s go to Mementos and change his heart. But, uh… I have a favor to ask. I don’t really wanna tell everybody about the time I spent living with him… Maybe someday, sure… but today’s not that day. So I was thinking… can we maybe go just the two of us? I really need your help here, Maaku! Pleeeeeeeeeeeease!

This kinda breaks the whole “unanimous consent” thing… but what the hell. Anything for family.

I need to take care of Futaba’s uncle and help Sojiro…


Anon: tbh i just wanna troll, lol
Anon: they even steal LIVES???
Anon: p quick to switch sides lol
Anon: There was no need to kill.

Music: Beneath the Mask -Rain (Instrumental Version)

At least the school festival’s soon. It’s the thing I’m looking forward to most right now…
Yeah, but… Are they still going to hold it? It might get canceled…
Don’t say that! You’re bummin’ me out before the exams… Things are bad enough as is. If they cancel the festival, the students will riot!

I’d explain what the culture festival is, but all of you have definitely been exposed to enough anime (read: any) that I don’t actually need to.

Did you hear those rumors?
I wonder if they really are from our school…
Really? No way…
But what if…

Anon: What about the politicians?
Anon: Hurry up and execute them!
Anon: Ugh. We were fooled.
Anon: They must be punished.

Music: Suspicion

I thought they were gonna change that CEO’s heart… but they ended up killing him instead.
Haven’t people been saying they killed Principal Kobayakawa too? I thought they were bad, but I never expected they’d turn out to be murderers…
Oh man, does this mean anyone who gets targeted is screwed!?

Music: Life Goes On



That sounds about right.

This looks tough, but let’s calm down and think it through.

First of all, who proposed the idea of the guillotine?

Yeah! I think he was named Joseph-Ignace Guillotin. So, from his perspective, what was the advantage of the guillotine?

There were thousands of people executed during the Revolution… Looks like… “they needed a method of execution that was quick and impartial.” You finished in time!


Anon: awful. they betrayed us
Anon: they def crossed the line
Anon: Hurry and arrest them
Anon: criminals should die

Music: Suspicion

You know they’re murderers, right?
That doesn’t mean that criminals should be left to do whatever they want…
Still, couldn’t they have at least left the principal to the police? And I mean, did you see that press conference? No way allies of justice would do that.
I wonder if Akechi-kun has been right all along…
He’s so admirable, sticking to his guns even thoguh so many people were against him.

Music: Life Goes On



That sounds about right.


That sounds about right.

Anon: well now im interested
Anon: their fans are guilty too

Music: Suspicion

Isn’t this insane!? There are murderers among us!
Now that you mention it, there was a guy in Shibuya who told me he’s a Phantom Thief the other day.
For real!? You gotta report that.
Oh crap, you think so? I snapped a pic, so I should probably put it online just in case. I hope the cops catch him!

Music: Life Goes On



That sounds about right.


That sounds about right.

Anon: meh i dun care either way
Anon: trash talking feels risky…
Anon: We can’t leave them be

Well, it shouldn’t be a problem for you. This has been so easy I might start yawning. …… You did perfectly. I can’t wait to see your score.

Fuckin’ aced it.


#237
Part 127

Part 127: 10/20-10/22: From Bad To Worse

Well, exams are done, time to rela–

Music: Suspicion

Yeah, seems like it’s for real this time. Apparently one of our students is a Phantom Thief.
Seriously!?
I read the same thing online. Apparently Public Security is already on the move…


Futaba!? You’re the Phantom Thief!?

There’s something I want to talk to everyone about. I’ll be at the hideout… I mean, our place.

Oh.

Music: Tokyo Daylight


There’s still some time until we meet though, so I am going to go take care of my flowers first. See you later.
I suppose plants do need watering, after all… Ah, I know. You should go help Haru, Maaku. I’ll let the others know.

Music: Alright (Elp Version)




You, um… heard that, didn’t you? I’m not worried about the garden, in case you were wondering. It’s just… so much has happened to me lately.

…… Well, perhaps I could share this with you… I mean, it would be nice to have someone who is aware of my current situation in life. The source of my worries is my father’s company. Dealing with the aftermath has been… difficult… Given how unexpected the accident was, my father didn’t have a will. All of his stocks transferred to me… Which means suddenly, I’m the biggest shareholder in a company of over one thousand employees. But… I don’t know the first thing about business direction or fund management…

Sounds like a B-tier Disney Channel sitcom.

I am. Sorry, I didn’t mean to worry you. It’s just… I know I’m the president’s daughter, but I never thoughts I’d actually end up involved in company business… Because of that, I’ve been meeting with all the various officers and lawyers my father employed lately. They’ve been giving me advice on all the things I’m not entirely sure about. Assets, stocks… shakes head It’s clear some people only want to get on my good side though. I don’t know who I can trust… They try to sound comforting by saying things like “don’t worry,” or “leave it to me,” but… It feels like they’re really only being nice so they can get their hands on my bank account. I… I never realized I could be this distrustful of other people…

Ah, I’m sorry for ranting on about this matter. I feel as though doing so has helped me calm down a bit though. The only people I’ve consulted up to this point have been employees… But I think what I really needed was someone closer to my own age… closer to my own viewpoint. …… Um… if it isn’t too much trouble, could we speak about this again some other time?
nods
In return, I’ll… Hm… What can I do to help you…? I don’t have any unique talents…

How about this? You know, gardening. I’m actually quite skilled at it. A few years ago I even managed to grow a tropical fruit on the balcony at my house… To be honest… this is what I do when I’m alone to take my mind off of everything that’s happened… …… Oh, that’s right. I stored some vegetables in the refrigerator down in the home economics room. …You still have some time, yes? Would you mind waiting here a moment?

There’s not much consistency to their colors or shapes, but…

giggle You like vegetables, Maaku-kun? That’s good to know. …But to tell the truth, I have a favor to ask of you.

I’d like to get Sakura-san’s opinion on my vegetables.

Have you even met Sojiro? I mean, I guess you must have talked to him once or twice on the way to the hideout, but we never saw any of that.

Do you think I could bring my next harvest over to your cafe?

Thank you. I’m sure Sakura-san will give me his honest opinion. I’ll make sure this next harvest is particularly good.
nods
Well then, shall we head over to the hideout?

So, despite all that dialogue and Haru’s promise of aid, we have not formed a Confidant yet. A bit annoying, but whatever. Also we never actually ended up helping Haru, oops.

Music: Suspicion

sigh I think I’m screwed for real this time. I couldn’t concentrate at all…


The same speechgiver from the other day continues outside.

More importantly, what’s this you want to talk about?
You said that something was on your mind before, but were you able to figure out what it was?
The Medjed that I banned… wasn’t the real one.

Huh? Aren’t you the real one though?
Oh, uhh…


The code written by that guy the other day is different from any of the past Medjed.

A code is like your fingerprints. No matter how you try to disguise it, your own quirks appear in it. The one from the other day was all cut and pasted with no consistency. No skill at all.
But aren’t there multiple people across the world that are part of Medjed? Couldn’t it have been done by someone that joined recently?
How do I put it…? That code was so not done by anyone interested in cracking. At all. At the very least, there’s no way it was an official Medjed member.
So someone used the Medjed name to provoke the Phantom Thieves…? For what purpose?
Could they have been doing it for fun…? It was around the time our group started getting popular, so maybe they wanted in on the hype…

Wait a moment.


Hm?

Music: Disquiet

Perhaps they used the Medjed name to make the Phantom Thieves known…
What? That makes no sense.
I actually thought the same as Makoto.
Why’s that?
Know how I just said that code is like fingerprints? I found those same fingerprints somewhere completely different.
Where’s that?

It was Mishima! I knew it! You son of a bitch!

There were traces of it being illegally tampered with from the outside.

Oh.

For real…?
Before summer vacation, the access counter was made to be much higher than the actual number. Same with the rankings. Particularly the time when President Okumura ranked first.
So then, the one who provoked the group and the one who tampered with the site are the same person?
…I think I’m starting to see the big picture. Both Medjed’s provocation and the tampering of the website brought attention to us as a result. On top of that, our reason for targeting Okumura was influenced by the public and the rankings… The perfect timing, and the perfect target. If both of those had been set up…
…It would all make sense.

No way…
This is all hypothetical. We lack any hard evidence…
But if all your deductions happen to be correct… That would mean we’ve been playing right into their hand for the past two months or so…

W-We gotta be overthinkin’ things. I mean, we’re talkin’ both the rankings AND Medjed…! Everyone made a big deal about it! If this was all set up… Then… what kind of guy did we make an enemy of…?

The group takes a moment to ruminate on this.

…There’s no point in getting anxious over speculation. Regardless, we’ll be falsely charged at this rate, and with murder. We must overcome this.
But, we don’t even know who we’re up against…
Hey… you think we’re fallin’ into another trap, even at this very moment?

Yeah. This doesn’t mean that we’ve lost yet.
Even if this is the actions of a meticulous enemy, we’ll just have to get back at them. We need to find clues… No matter what.

The group nods.

Music: Desire

I was told you recommended this reassignment yourself, sir. Why would you choose someone as inexperienced as myself…?
When the case of the Shujin principal was ruled a suicide, you thought to reopen it… And you proved its connection to the Phantom Thieves. This is based primarily on that achievement.
…I’m honored, sir.
The Phantom Thieves issue is now a national crisis. Expectations are exceedingly high for us public prosecutors, as we are the executors of justice. Personnel and planning will be up to you on this case. You will also have the police under your command.

I’d like you to oversee this operation.
(in disbelief) …….
You’ve yet to give an answer… Will you accept the task of eradicating the Phantom Thieves?
I will give it everything I have.
We’ll have to prepare a higher position for you as well in the event that you succeed. I don’t wish to apply extra pressure on you… But I assume your odds of success are high. Naturally, failure to accomplish this task is unacceptable… Do you understand?
Of course! I will live up to your expectations, no matter what it takes!
That is all then. I expect good results from you.

Welp, we’re boned, the SIU is after us. …Wait, what is the SIU and what exactly do they do? It’s not really clear, game.

According to a quick Google, the “Special Investigation Teams” (SIT) are groups of specialized detectives armed with cutting-edge technology and tactics to capture criminals in serious and often lethal cases such as bombings, aircraft hijackings, and kidnappings. So uh, a bunch of supercops with all the gear, weapons, and training they need to find us and kick our shit in. Great. The SIU in P5 is, I guess, a fictionalized version of this, though they don’t seem to actually do anything as of yet and their director is not just hopelessly corrupt but an active member of a political conspiracy. So just like real life! I also have no idea why Sae, a public prosecutor, seems to answer directly to this chucklefuck, but whatever.

I also just learned that Japanese prosecutors have the ability to direct police for investigation purposes and investigate themselves, Ace Attorney-style. I guess that series was even more accurate than I give it credit for.

Music: Days of Sisters


Should I warm up dinner for you?
No, it’s OK.

No need. I just came home to get a change of clothes.
Are you going to stay at work then?
I’ve been entrusted with a very important task.
You look awful though… Aren’t you tired?
As an adult, there will be times when you will accept an assignment for which failure will not be tolerated. It’s all over for me if I can’t win this.
Still, if you were to collapse from exhaustion…

…… I heard detectives have been coming to your school. That must make it hard to focus on your studies. Don’t worry though. It will all be over soon.
What do you mean…?
I’m going to catch the Phantom Thieves myself.
Is that the important task you mentioned?
It’s none of your concern.

Sae then immediately turns around and walks back into the black void directly outside the front door. Didn’t she need a change of clothes?

Sis has her sights set on the Phantom Thieves… and on Shujin Academy in particular… This is bad… I need to let everyone know…!

Music: Disquiet


Just try to stay calm.
What’s wrong?
Sis told me she’s been entrusted with an important task regarding the Phantom Thieves.

Wait, weren’t they already investigating us though?
The police were doing so in secret. This operation is on a much different scale.
Hold on a sec. What’s this SIU thing anyways?
The Special Investigations Unit. An elite team that deals with huge cases like government scandals.
I have heard that name on the news. They make headlines often.
The real insane part is, they haven’t lost a case against a suspect in like fifty years. If they come after you, you’re screwed. They’re the best investigation force in Japan.
Are we going to be arrested…?
Hm, doesn’t this countermeasure seem somewhat extreme?
Right or wrong, I think we’re just way too famous at this point. As this is a country governed by laws, they can’t afford to ignore us for any longer.
We may be the Phantom Thieves… but this is miserable…
They probably have a pretty narrow suspect profile by now too.
Hey, don’t scare us like that!
It’s OK though. They don’t have any evidence.
Yes, I expect they’re frantically searching for some as we speak.
No way they’re gonna find anything though.
It’s only a matter of time. We have to hurry and do something about this…
…E-Everything’s going to be fine. Unless they know about the Metaverse, there’s no way they’ll get any info on us.

Yeah, it’d really suck if that was the case!

Music: Beneath the Mask



I’m always in the mood to go out, you just never let me!

The cause is thought to be discontent with how the government is dealing with #Millennials. Evidently, Mr. Okumura’s death has had severely adverse effects on the government as well.
I can sympathize. Our approval rating has gone way down, too…


We’ve gotta get through this, no matter what it takes!

Anon: got anything better to do?
Anon: criminals should die

Music: Suspicion

The government and the police are useless. Are they even trying? I wish they wouldn’t spend tax dollars just to sit on their asses…
A mysterious group of murderers, an inept government… What’s the world coming to these days?
Everyone’s talking trash about us…

How many times has this been, now?
Our school’s gotten famous.
Yeah, in a bad way.
I wonder if the culprit really is from our school…

Anon: wow, public murder huh
Anon: Could still be coincidence.

Music: Suspicion

Yeah… Who do those damn cops think they are? They can’t just stare us all down like that.
Maybe the rumors are true? Maybe there’s a Phantom Thief at our school…

Music: So Boring

The police are here at the school, so be sure not to get in their way. Oh, and… For various reasons, the school festival got moved to the 25th. There was talk of canceling it, but we couldn’t just do that. I’m sure the preparations will be rough, but don’t push yourself too hard.
Really? On a weekday? What kinds of reasons are there?
With all this stuff about the principal and Kamoshida this year, I guess it can’t be helped…

Music: Disquiet


Seriously!?
The police are at Shujin? They haven’t come to my school.
It seems they’re calling students individually out of class to speak with them.
Wait… Does that mean we’re gonna get called in too!?
Second-years will start in the afternoon. Make sure you prepare yourselves mentally for this.
They’ve gotta be looking for the culprit, right…?
Who knows…
Be careful, guys. You should probably try to not say much. They’ll see through any lies you try and make.
I know.
In any case, don’t tell them anything unnecessary.

Well, fuck. We’re getting questioned.

You two will go together.
Huh? Why together…?
Why…? They’ll probably have one of you wait outside. That’s how they’ve been doing it so far.
Oh yeah, right…
Those are the instructions the detectives gave us. Just don’t say more than is necessary, and try and get it over with quick.

Kawakami knows what’s up.


Why thank you, “Nice Detective.”

Let’s see… Maaku Hamiru.

I’m innocent! You can’t prove I’m a Phantom Thief!
Uhh…
Fuck, you know what? I give up. Gimme a deal, I will rat out every last one of those motherfuckers, especially the cat! My teacher’s a maid! I help a sketchy ex-yakuza dude make and smuggle illegally modified airsoft guns! Mishima runs the Phan-Site, which you should probably actually know already if you’ve done any research whatsoever!
What?
Let’s just start over.

Ah yes, you’re the one currently under probation. It says here you had a dispute with Mr. Kamoshida?

buuuuuuuuuuuh………yep

You’re more hot-blooded than you look. …You spend time with an interesting group. Yusuke Kitagawa and Haru Okumura? The more friends the better, right?

How do they even know about Yusuke?

…I’m sorry to have taken your time. You’re free to go now. Oh, I almost forgot. There’s just one more thing I have to ask you. Do you think the Phantom Thieves are associated with this school?

Oh geez, I sure hope those scary awful Phantom Thieves with rad superpowers aren’t involved here, that would just be awful.

Don’t worry. We’re here to keep all of you safe, OK?

Oh, thanks so much. Fuckin’ cops.

Thank you for your time.
Your responses will serve as great reference material. Takamaki-san is next. Could you ask her to come in?

Music: Suspicion

It seems we were all asked the same questions.
That’s how they get you. They do that on purpose, then wait for someone to slip up.

Well, they weren’t asking very good questions, if so! One of them was about an event specific to me (and Ryuji), another was about who I hang out with (which the cop answered for me), and the last was just asking me to speculate. How would they have caught a lie? I wasn’t given much of an opportunity to lie in the first place! Also it completely torpedoes the premise that we were all asked the same questions, but whatever.

I hope you didn’t.
…It was prolly fine. I woulda been done for if they saw how sweaty my hands were though.
To think my name would come up as well…
Sounds like we can’t take the police lightly either.
Hey, didn’t you think that detective guy was scary?

Have you guys forgotten? It’s not exactly Maaku’s first rodeo.

Not to me… He looked like someone who’s dealt with dangerous criminals.
I’m sorry for all of this… It’s because of my sister…
That’s not true, Mako-chan.
It’s not as though I hadn’t predicted this would happen… But now that it’s become reality, I’m unsure of what to do…
We need to make sure we don’t draw suspicion, and work to clear our names… right?
…Right.
It ain’t your fault, Makoto.
I’m gonna try to see how far along this investigation really is.
I’m worried about the police too, but as of now, anyone in this city could be a mole…
We were so popular too…
Haru, can I ask you to search your father’s belongings for clues about a possible culprit? I… I know it may be tough on you…
No, it’s OK. Now isn’t the time for me to look away.
As for everyone else, you need to be cautious of how you spend your time at school. So, I’ve decided to have you three second-years join me on the school festival executive committee.

It will allow us to gather without drawing suspicion. Plus, trying to blend in will only do the opposite.
Ugh… Fine.
I agree. The more time I have to kill, the more time I’ll spend worrying about all this stuff. No matter what happens… I don’t want to regret my decisions.
Don’t jinx it!
It would be no surprise if they came directly to our homes for questioning. They showed up at your school, after all… I should remain cautious.
For now, the best option is to stay on the defensive… but we won’t make progress at this rate. Let’s try and figure out who the real culprit is somehow, OK?
Of course… ……

Makoto looks around the room at everyone, and then nods. The rest of the group then nods as well.

Music: Beneath the Mask


Think, Morgana, think!


Those in the know say authorities are undergoing major restructuring to prepare to arrest the culprit. We’ve also heard they’re willing to resort to unorthodox methods. More on this as it develops.
…This is getting pretty bad. Make sure you don’t let your guard down.


Music: Desire

Oh boy, more of everyone’s favorite character!

The rest will go as you mentioned… chuckle

Somebody needs to give this guy a fuckin’ Snidely Whipdash mustache for him to twirl with his finger. I feel pretty confident saying this is the least compelling, most thinly-sketched character in the entire game if you only count people with portraits. Kamoshida was pure evil, too, but he was a real kind of evil. Hell, it’s implied Madarame and Okumura seemed to have some genuine affection for Yusuke and Haru, and even fucking Kaneshiro at least had the thin layer of insecurity revealed in his Palace. This motherfucker just seems like he should be tying helpless damsels to the railroad tracks in between bulldozing orphanages to make room for his oil drills. No, you know what? That’s not right. This obsequious shithead couldn’t massage his nuts without prior written instructions, so forgive me for presuming he could show some goddamn initiative. The only things he’s done in the entire game so far is be sexist at Sae and chuckle evilly at the magnificence of this dreadful plot to exterminate the Phantom Thieves. This character is such a lame plot device that despite him being the sole face of the conspiracy and one of like three characters Sae interacts with to any real frequency, they never actually give him a name. It’s like Hashino knew.

Anon: just turn yourselves in pls
Anon: Hurry up and execute them!

Probably some idiots with a misguided sense of justice.
Look, can they just arrest those guys already?
Special Investigations is on it. I’m sure they’ll be caught soon.
What kind of people are they? I wanna see what they look like.

Anon: well now im interested
Anon: I kiiinda sympathize…

Music: Suspicion

How much longer are they gonna do this? We should be busy preparing for the school festival right now.
Why’d the school decide to have the festival so late, anyway? I mean, changing the date just because our school’s all over the news? Moving it to next Tuesday only makes more work for us!
We won’t be able to invite friends from other schools now that we’re holding the festival on a weekday. It’ll also be an inconvenience to anyone we already invited. And what about the post-festival party? Will there be enough people for the Student Sharing Special? sigh It’s gonna be a real weird festival with morale so low…

Music: So Boring

The absurdity of it all… “Who exactly are the Phantom Thieves?” That’s what we want to know. We really have no clue what method they’re using… Killing someone without directly interacting with them is like magic. Speaking of magic, did you know that there’s magic in math too? A magic square! It’s a square in which adding up the numbers in any row, column or diagonal gives you the same total. Hamiru-san. Please look at this.


Correct.

In a 5x5 square, there are more than 200 million. Can you believe that?

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

If you had to choose, would you try to find the Phantom Thieves or solve 200 million magic squares? I’d choose the magic squares, hands down. They might both be magic, but magic squares can be calculated. And math doesn’t kill anyone.

It’s killin’ me!

Having everyone out there looking for the culprit is getting me down…

Later in the day…

I’ll need some help with the questionnaires.
What questionnaires?
The ones regarding who people want to see as the guest of honor.
Oh right, that thing they do every year.
You mean how those lame guests come to do a panel, right?
The festival’s dates were changed because of the situation. We need to hurry and tally the results.

It seems like we should probably have done this more than three days before the festival, but that’s just me.

Come to the student council room once classes are over.
Ughhh, that’s so damn boring.
Don’t be like that. It’s so we can meet up without standing out. Let’s do what we can at the moment.
I’m making sure to work hard at home!
But you do that all the time.
I can look stuff up! So, did you find anything, Haru?
About that…
No good, huh?
I’m sorry. It’ll rouse suspicion if I ask too many detailed questions.
No worries! I’ll manage on my end somehow!
We’re counting on you.
I can’t go, but message me if anything happens. I will leave this to you guys. My apologies, but I cannot be of much help in this situation.

Music: Wicked Plan

You don’t need to keep mentioning it. We’re doing this to keep suspicions off of us, remember?

This one too. “Akechi.”
They’re mostly the same over here as well.
Everyone’s so eloquent when they can be anonymous. It’s like they never accepted us to begin with…
It would be nice if you did some work too, Ryuji-kun. You came to help us count these, right? Come on Leader, can you tell him too?

You too…?

“Criminal profiling”…?

This game doesn’t contain nearly enough gratuitous sexual assault for an episode of Criminal Minds, sorry.

The acts of thievery committed by the Phantom Thieves are mere fakes.

sigh So now they’re accusing us of being a bunch of killers…
This is so effin’ stupid! Dammit!

Don’t worry, Ryuji. I say “fuck” enough for the both of us.

First place is Goro Akechi.
What!? Akechi…!?
What’re you so surprised for? We’ve been mentioning him this whole time.
Seriously? Not some singer or an idol?
It’s because of us that his popularity has skyrocketed.
We’re the ones countin’ the results! Can’t we just make ‘em up? We don’t hafta get him…
People will figure that out. He won by a landslide…

I mean, he’s probably busy, right? Also we have no way of contacting him. I think it’s pretty unlikely in the first place that we get him.

I knew people would vote for him, but this is way more votes than I was expecting.
It would be best for us to avoid inviting such a clear danger upon ourselves… I’d like a little more time to think about who to ask…
That reminds me… how is Futaba-chan doing? She seemed like she was looking into something on her own… Has she told you anything?

It’s not that I don’t trust her, but…
Even one clue would work wonders for us. We should let her continue with her own investigation. I hope she finds something…

Hey.

Music: Disquiet

However… I believe the recent series of suspicious deaths is unrelated to their actions.
Wh-What!? Did I hear you correctly? But Akechi-san, you were the first to caution everyone about the Phantom Thieves… were you not?
This doesn’t change the fact that they are indeed a dangerous group. That said, I would like to express that immediately linking them to this case is far too hasty. There are still many questions to be answered here… It feels as though there is more to this.
After this conference, Akechi-san announced he will be limiting his media appearances and–


Seriously? Even you’re having trouble with this shit?
What should we do…?
Let’s meet up and discuss our options as soon as possible.
Tomorrow?
The earlier the better, right? Though I still haven’t come up with anything myself…
It’s said two heads are better than one, so I can only imagine what eight heads may produce.
That’s a good way of thinking.
It’s totally an Inari idea.
OK, let’s do everything we can right now. Even if it means crossing some dangerous bridges. Considering how far we’ve come, we can’t be particular about our methodology…

I don’t like the sound of that…


Are you trying to show off? Don’t get cocky, kid. By the way… you haven’t been causing any trouble, have you? I heard the police showed up at your school…

As long as you’re not getting involved…

Well… fine.

Music: Beneath the Mask

Yesterday, they spent the entire day conducting an investigation at a high school. However, it is unclear if they found any clues, and unease among citizens is at its peak. The government has been criticized by the public for allowing such a dangerous group to run free…
They think we’re dangerous!? Why’s this happening to us?

Music: Time to Repent

This means at times, retreating is an effective strategy in order to attack with your next move. It may be good for you to remember that as well. From a teacher to her student, there’s something I’d like to ask you… Will you play a match with me?

Thank you. Please take a seat.

Hifumi Rank 10


Music: Alleycat

There were a lot of people who covered for me by saying that I was just being used by adults. But I’m the one who was most at fault. I was overconfident.

If only I had taken a look at myself and properly assessed my shogi skills. I believed that with my skills, I could overcome being treated like an idol. …There’s nothing I can say about my mother. You didn’t abandon me, even after you learned about the fixed matches… …Now I know how encouraging it feels to have someone believe in you. At first, this was just a deal… You help me develop new moves and I give you shogi lessons. But before I knew it, you became… someone I couldn’t do without. I’m not gonna pay attention to all the criticism anymore.


The reason I’m able to think this way is because you stuck by my side. …I’m really grateful.
I feel a strong bond with Hifumi…

Music: The Spirit


Togo System lets us do the ol’ party swap on anyone’s turn now, which is great because Maaku’s turns are generally too powerful to waste.

Hifumi is one of the better Confidants and ultimately one of my favorite characters in this game. She’s just full of charm. She’s voiced by Eden Riegel, who voiced Marie in Persona 4 Golden, and I did not recognize her until I looked it up just now! Fun fact: Eden is the sister of Sam Riegel, who is the current voice of Teddie!

Fucking LUCIFER, HOLY SHIT

Music: Alleycat

Music: Sunset Bridge



I feel honored to be told that from one of the Phantom Thieves. I spoke to you about my mother, and then my mother changed…

“It’s kinda fucked up, now that I think about it.”

I knew that couldn’t be a coincidence. If there’s anything I can do to help, please know that you can rely on me.

I will support you in whatever you want to accomplish. Now, let’s play a match. I have a lot of new moves I’d like to test out. I hope you’re OK to stay here a while longer. Thank you… from the bottom of my heart.


#238
Part 128

Part 128: 10/23-10/24: The Akechi Gambit

Anon: world-famous fail loool
Anon: hurry up and end the world
Anon: got dox on the thieves yet?
Anon: Shut this site down!!!

He’s just trying to get popular, isn’t he? He wants to stand out.
Just hurry up and arrest the Phantom Thieves already…
I’m curious… It seems like he knows something.
I bet he found out some really juicy secret!

Anon: support went to shit lmao
Anon: Officer, look!
Anon: low expectations, ho!

Music: Disquiet

Well… Sis actually stopped mentioning anything about work in front of me… It’s possible I made some sort of mistake…

Yeah, you sure fucked up that data transfer.

Regardless, I thought over the matter of who we’re going to invite for our school festival… I’m considering asking Akechi-kun.

For real!? Weren’t you talkin’ about how you didn’t wanna draw danger to us or whatever?
I understand this is dangerous. But without a powerful source of intel, we won’t be able to win against the police network. And I can no longer rely on my sister for information…
Wait, is this because of Akechi-kun’s police connections? You’re going to use him as your “powerful source of intel”…?
Bold move. I’m surprised to hear that suggestion coming from you, Makoto.
Did you see his press conference yesterday? One of his comments defending the Phantom Thieves stood out to me. “There is more to this.” I think he said that knowing for certain that the Phantom Thieves would be watching.
Still, there will be so many other students at the school festival… What are the odds of success?
It’s a gamble. And the odds are less than favorable… But we can no longer afford to hesitate. (to Maaku) What are your thoughts? Should we invite Akechi-kun?

Music: Suspicion

In that case… I’ll do it. Is everyone else OK with that?

The group nods.

I’m good… Whatever he says has gotta be more reliable than what I’ve been able to come up with.
It would be reassuring to gain him as an ally, rather than simply a source of information.
Hold on, how’re we even gonna get in touch with him? It’s not like we got his contact info…
We have all the data from the PC of a public prosecutor! Finding his phone number was a no brainer!
Damn, you’re real impressive…
But then, wouldn’t he wonder how we acquired his number?
I’ll just say my sister had it. That isn’t even technically a lie.

Ha, devious. Though if he ends up asking Sae about it we’re totally boned.

Can you send me the number, Futaba?


You already agreed, Ryuji. Shut up.

Now’s no time to be petty.
Just think of him as a source of intel, nothing more.


He says, “Let me think about it.”
Wait a sec. Didn’t he say he wasn’t gonna do any more stuff for the media?
That’s likely why he’s so hesitant.
What’re we gonna do if he turns us down?
I’ll keep trying. It may be frustrating, but he’s all we have at the moment. We need him to do it, no matter what.

What if he refuses? Are you just gonna wear him down with “pleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease”?

We’re counting on you, Makoto…

Music: Beneath the Mask


I wonder if he’ll really be interested in our offer…


Stock prices of security companies are on the rise due to growing concerns about public safety. Overall stock market performance, though, is down, and phantom thief goods companies are suffering…
I never expected that even the economy would get worse… This isn’t our fault!

You’re not at fault. Still, he might try to harass you…
I have Futaba’s uncle’s name. I promised Futaba we’d change his heart together. I should talk to her during the day…

All right, Akechi-kun, let’s get you home. Your family is probably worried about you.
Hmm, there’sh an inshident, offisher! Which way’s yer car? Heeey, taxi!
Geez, my patrol car isn’t a taxi.

They only target high-profile people like artists and CEOs. And who could believe they’d have a change of heart, anyway? I’m sure it’s all staged! Scumbags deserve to be destroyed, not have a change of heart. The world’d be better off that way.

What? Are you going against the grain just to be cool? You don’t have to push it. Just be yourself. Isn’t that what you promised when you changed your image and moved out here?
I haven’t changed anything! But perhaps I have forgotten who I am, deep down inside…






And this, children, is an example of how an errant comma can completely change the meaning of a sentence.

Murder’s a step too far. My friends in class were shocked.
OK, OK, enough worrying! We got more important concerns, like when our next party’ll be!

I see you’ve been practicing. Your Japanese is much better.
I no longer fear prejudice, now that I’ve learned to be sincere and hospitable! I wonder if the Phantom Thieves are struggling with he same thing. I don’t think they murdered anyone.

Aww, Foreign Barker! You do believe in us! :unsmith:

So, we need Guts to advance Iwai, and pretty much all of our night Confidants are gated by Mementos. This means that we’re going to be consuming a lot of burgers to increase our Guts instead of advancing Confidants.

Maaku gains a boosted Guts +3. This is about where I start getting concerned that we haven’t ranked up yet.

Anon: They were screwing with us.
Anon: I reported this website.
Anon: lol dont be fooled so easy
Anon: throw em in the slammer!

Music: Suspicion


WISE GUY STUDENT

Also, how the hell did that leak? I doubt Makoto was going around telling people, unless the faculty jumped the gun.

I kinda saw that coming. Everyone I know voted for him.
Didn’t he say he wasn’t gonna make any more appearances though? Why’d he agree to come here?
It probably has to do with the Phantom Thieves. Wasn’t Akechi going around saying how evil they were before?
Oh yeah! That proves they’re connected to our school somehow then!
Hey, you’re right! Maybe he’ll tell us some stuff about the case! No way am I gonna miss the panel this year!
Hmph… They just say whatever they want with no thought… But for now we’ll just need to endure it. At least until we can get some more intel…

Music: So Boring

I’m the advisor for the ESS, so I’ll be busy helping them today. ESS stands for English Study Society, by the way. We need to advertise that Shujin’s a school that provides an education you can use anywhere in the world. Hey! Mr. Hamiru! There are tons of three-letter acronyms like ESS in the world. Can you tell me what the S in SOS means?

Correct. SOS is often said to mean “save our ship.” “Save our souls” is another interpretation too… …But in reality, it’s not an acronym of anything. It’s just the simplest thing you can send in Morse code in an emergency. If you haven’t finished preparing for the festival though, it’s too late to send an SOS now.

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

The school festival isn’t just a time for you students to goof off. It’s an important event where we invite prospective students, PTA members, and the like to attend. This time, we have Akechi-san for a panel. There will be twice as many guests even though it’s a weekday.

Did I miss something? Did he already agree?

I’ll have to spend twice as much time on my makeup tomorrow too… Be on your best behavior! Got it?
The school festival, huh… Is Akechi really going to be there…

How’d you do?
Damn… I’m dead…
Hey, look at that! Look who got the top score!
I wonder what score I got…

That’s amazing! Everyone’s gonna have their eyes on you now!

Maaku gains Charm +3.

Music: So Boring

Nothing.

Then why was everyone talking like it was a done deal!?

But tomorrow is the start of the school festival. Will this be OK? If Akechi-kun declines our offer, we won’t have a guest…
Huh? That’s what you’re worried about?
I appreciate the concern, but it will be fine. I just need to get Akechi-kun to agree to this somehow.
Yup.
What’s that bastard up to anyways?
He hasn’t done anything since he said he was gonna go into hiding.
I’m not sure. I’ll try explaining the circumstances surrounding the school festival to him again. Hopefully he can give me a response by the end of the day. I’ll let you know if I make any progress on that front.

Music: Everyday Days




Yadda yadda yadda, he throws chalk at us and we dodge. Maaku gains Charm +2. Geez, they really want us to max Charm.

Music: Suspicion


There’s really only one option here.

Jesus christ, he played along!

Take a look around. …Is the Niijima lady doing well?

Last time you saw her she threatened to revoke your custody, dude.

Unfortunately, we haven’t seen each other lately. We had a… difference of opinion.



This dude again!?

Music: Disquiet

And because they’ve targeted only prominent figures, our government leaders have been hesitant to act. I apologize for any concern they may have caused and will henceforth search for an apt countermeasure.

Saying he’s gonna do it all fast means he’s lying, you simpleton.

The selfish criminals enacting this “social reform” are in fact the ones most deserving of reformation. Answering to the interest of the people as hastily as possible is my natural duty as a politician.

What a fuckin’ rube.

We must resolve this problem, and I assure the people of this noble country that I will do just that.


Yeah, you also thought that the last time you saw him. Jesus christ, what a dope Maaku is.


Standing here’s my job.
That politician is honest and carries an overwhelming amount of charisma. It feels like a trustworthy leader for Japan has finally come forth. Don’t you think, Boss?
Sorry, wasn’t listening.

However, that is ignorant of their true nature.

It may be somewhat of a stretch to say I’m “on their side.” Having said that, I won’t deny that I empathize with them on some level. If this Okumura incident was not the Phantom Thieves… If they only change the hearts of criminals… Then even though they can’t be considered “innocent”… Perhaps my goals are not so different from theirs.

Hahaha. I knew there was something special about you, ever since the first time we met. I feel as though I could tell you anything during our conversations.

Man, Akechi’s really into me. Shame we didn’t pick that route. And also that he’s a cop.

I feel like I understand Akechi a little more now…


Oh wait, I’m sure you know that already. Considering it’s such a good opportunity, I’ve decided to accept the offer.

Glad you liked it.

I’ll be going now.

Music: Beneath the Mask

Okay first off, “prolly”? Don’t think I didn’t catch that, localization team. Sojiro would never say that, you clearly just ran out of space. Second, I’M TOP OF THE CLASS, DUDE.


Hm? Really?
Either way, the real issue is what we do next.
The lecture is on the afternoon of the second day, yes?
Wait, you’re coming to our school festival?
It’s during my exam week, so I’ll be able to go in the afternoon.
You wanna come too, Futaba? C’mon, it’ll be fun!

That sounds incredibly suspicious. yo!

This is the perfect chance for us to relax though.
Haru, um, are you sure you’re OK? This seems a little soon.
I am, thank you. I’ve just always dreamed of walking around my school festival with friends.
I suppose if you say it like that, I can resign myself to enjoying our time there too. Thanks, Haru.
It’s my pleasure.

We conducted a survey about the Phantom Thieves, who have been the target of intensifying criticism. Close to ninety percent of respondents said they do not support the Phantom Thieves.
The whole world’s against us now… This could be bad.


I guess you can’t judge a book by its cover. Then maybe you didn’t need this… Oh well. Take it.

I made it myself. It has the finest coffee bean I have in it. I wanted to give it to you before the exams… but well, you still have more tests. Don’t let up on the finals.

The Leblanc Charm nulls Sleep. Not great.

This country’s got a first-rate economy with a cut-rate government. He’s a rare specimen. Our souls resonate on the same frequency… That is, exceptional people can always recognize one another. You’ll see one day, hahaha. Well, I’ll be going home then.

The real question is, how do we get info out of Akechi…?






And another burger. Maaku gains a boosted Guts +3.


#239
Part 129

Part 129: 10/25-10/26: The Akechi Reversal

Anon: I told you so…
Anon: They need to be executed.
Anon: yeah… this is terrorism
Anon: Murderers deserve to die!

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

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.
There may be police officers in plainclothes too… Actually, they probably are here. We better be careful about what we discuss.

Maybe we should be avoiding having this suspicious conversation in the entrance, then!?

Acting like normal students is going to be important.

So no talking to cats. Got it.

What do you normally do at a school festival?

The group pauses.

Look around at the exhibits… and eat stuff?
There’s no rules. Remember when we went to the beach before? Why not go about it like that?

I-I know that.
There’s a possibility that both your names have come up during the course of the investigation.

A number of the teachers had been questioned before, and even we were interviewed the other day too.
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…

Like, you know, what Makoto did.

All riiight…
Now, now. Let’s leave it at that. We just need to be mindful about what we’re saying, correct?
i[/i] 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.

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…

What does that mean? Did you skip your last one?

I know a great one! Follow me.

“Maid Takoyaki”…?

Music: Wicked Plan

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.

May I take your order?
“Take my order”!? What happened to the maid atmosphere!?
There are a lot of odd flavors…
Stick to a normal one. I bet they–
I’m so sorry. We sold our last normal one to the previous customer.
The hell…
Well then… I’ll have the mentai cheese takoyaki.
I’m sorry. We’re out of cod roe.
Then, how about the squid–
Um… We’re currently out catching squid. It’ll probably be another five or six hours…
That doesn’t even sound remotely possible! Ain’t this whole menu just a sham!?

Ryuji sounds angrier than he has for most of the rest of the game here.

Actually, we spent most of our budget on making the maid costumes look nice. We didn’t put too much effort into the octopus.
I can see that!
i[/i] Ryuji, you’re making a scene…
Then, what would you recommend with what you have now?
That would be the Russian takoyaki.
We’ll have that, please.
This will take a little time.


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!

Music: My Homie

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.
Well… one of these is “special.”

Dude, don’t tell me the “Russian” part means…

Gotta admit, this is a really solid, dumb joke.

I-Is that so?
I’d prefer the most beautifully shaped one… but all of them are misshapen.
Oh, aren’t you all going to eat? I think I’ll go for the “special” one.
Wait… Is she honestly going for it?

HARU’S FUCKIN’ HARDCORE, NICE

(to Maaku) Do YOU wanna go for the red one?

Uh… well, yeah.

I love this line. He sounds so defeated by my idiocy.

Music: Disquiet

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.

You’re wearing your normal clothes, dude. Not much of a disguise.

i[/i] 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.


gasp The “special” one…!

That’s for Haru, you bastard! Put the takoyaki back in the box!

Let’s just call this my performance fee.

Akechi eats the special takoyaki.

But–
It’s fine.


Eating it in one bite is a bad idea…

Music: Wicked Plan

Ohhh… Oh, my stomach… It burns…!
Are you OK? Do you need water?

Hey, does he sound broken to you?
W-Well then… I’ll… I’ll see you… uh… t-t-t-tomorrow.


It’s like he wants to get picked up for some commercial or something…
But… did he truly come to simply check 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!
That Akechi guy… When he got here, didn’t he say that everyone’s all here? “Everyone”…?

He’s met most of us, minus Haru, before. Couldn’t he just be talking about that?

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

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…?

Music: Beneath the Mask



Criticism against him is not only coming from the opposition, but from the ruling party as well. If the ruling party does split, then a snap election may be a real possibility.
I don’t know much about politics, but it sounds like there’s a lot going on in the government.




Anon: world-famous fail loool
Anon: lol, ppl still like them?
Anon: you’re guilty too tbh
Anon: got dox on the thieves yet?

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?

The crowd begins laughing and cheering raucously.

We’d appreciate it if you could tell us about your experiences with the notorious Phantom Thieves.

“You know, all those experiences you’ve definitely had.”

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.

The crowd laughs.

Music: Suspicion

This might be kind of a confusing scene because it involves multiple conversations happening in different parts of the same room. I’ll try to make it as clear as I can.

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 outta him…!