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

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#141
Part 55

Part 55: 6/21-6/25: The Face Of The Devil

Music: Beneath the Mask -Rain-


He prolly thinks his money’s just gonna come rolling in.
He does have the upper hand on us, after all…
If that picture got out, who knows what would end up happening to Maaku…
Guess worst-case scenario’d be he gets expelled.
No, there is a more serious alternative… He’s currently under probation, meaning… …I’m so sorry. This whole situation is my fault.
C’mon, stop that. I mean, you’re the one who’s in the most trouble right now.

For sure. Even the police are having trouble with that bastard. We’ll be heroes if we catch him!!
High risk, high reward…
You’re all so positive…
Hm… In a way, your recklessness is the only reason we are now able to pursue this change of heart.
Totally. We’re in deep shit, so we’re gonna do whatever we can to get out of it.
I… never thought of things in that way before.
It is quite strange hearing something so positive from Ryuji.
Shuddup!
All right, leader! You can decide when we meet up!
When your position changes, your view of the world changes too. It’s a shift in cognition. In any case, we’re in big trouble if we can’t change Kaneshiro’s heart. Let’s do this.1

We get those 20 Mental Flosses we ordered, which cure Forget. We probably won’t use more than five of them, but whatever.

At an event in the city, several people started feeling nausea and were taken to the hospital. The health department suspects food poisoning and is carrying out an investigation.
You should be careful too. Even phantom thieves would get dragged down by a stomachache.

What’s with all the weird food shit that’s been happening on the news?


If we head back to Shinjuku, we can buy some Mega Fertilizer for our plant. It’s pricey, but worth it.

We then head over to the diner. Maaku gains Guts +1 and Knowledge +3.


We even make it to Rank 3 Knowledge. Once we finish the Palace, we’re set to hang out with Makoto.

Anon: i hate Akechi, so YES???

Haven’t there been a lot of pictures leaked lately?
Want me to get you a job? It’s real easy.
So many weirdos lately… Is it that psychotic breakdown thing?
Been hard to meet my quota… I gotta find some suckers.

Anon: of course not. done
Anon: they’re allies of justice

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

Yeah, I read something about that online. The beautiful fortune teller, or something… I hear she’s pretty good. A lot of people say her predictions came true.
Some say she can divine your very destiny. Maybe she can tell me who my soulmate will be… …I think I’ll pay her a visit.
A fortune teller in Shinjuku, huh… Didn’t we see her when we met with that journalist? She seems pretty popular. She said she’s there at night. Should we pay her a visit, too?

Music: So Boring

He’s been demanding money, but I choose to ignore those messages.
Is that OK? Have any scary men shown up at your house?
No.
Kaneshiro still has the photographs in his possession, remember?

As you should be. Just like Yusuke said, those pictures are bad news for us.
We will need to change Kaneshiro’s heart as soon as possible.
Agreed. I will do everything I can to help.

Say, you ever think about working at a host club? A host like you could make a lotta money!

No thanks, I’ve seen this anime, and I’m not in the mood for wacky shoujo hijinks.

What? Underage? I thought you were so much older. You’re so mature for your age! Hehe!


Further down, we see this… mascot. It reminds me of death.

Music: Tokyo Emergency

I don’t think my bond with Ann will deepen just yet…


Inokashira Park? OK. I like it there too. Let’s go!

Music: What’s Going On?

I honestly enjoy just relaxing like this. It makes me think of a picnic… And now I’m craving sandwiches.

See, I think this would be a horrible thing to say to a female friend, but…

The game disagrees.

Then, is it OK if they’re the sweet kind? With whipped cream and custard inside…?

Anyway, it really is quiet here… I know! Let’s take a walk! I want to see what else is around… Want to come with?
I don’t think my bond with Ann will deepen just yet…
Thanks for today. See you!

Music: Beneath the Mask

She must have some kind of trick. Maybe we should check it out…

Wow, we’re really high up! The view from the observation deck feels like you’re walking on air!
I’m afraid of heights, so the street stalls in Asakusa might be a better fit for me… Hahaha.


You’re gonna use that one!? You must really care about this plant!

The Mega Nutrients we got from Shinjuku are even better than the ones we can buy at the flower shop Rafflesia, and Maaku gains Kindness +3.


And he ranks up for it.

Hey! You c’n tell, rrrright?

Aww, doncha be like that… burp Here, I’ll do anozher of my impressh… impressions. Thish one’s Akechi-kun, booooy detectivvve. “Hi, my name’s Goro!” Goro-ro-ro! Roro! Roro. Roll roll!

Another straight boy? Oh, you shameless homewrecker!
No, it’s not like that. I’m talking about a boy I saw on TV! Akechi-kun!
No way, you’ve got the hots for him too!? Stop it alreadyyy!

Man, everyone wants Akechi.

Huh? I’m fine. Yes, I know there’s been some weird incidents lately. Of course, I’ll be careful. Don’t worry about your big sis, she’s not going to let herself get tricked again. I promise. Once I become a singer I’ll make that money back and then some. No, I won’t be home for a while.


Sure, why not? I could use a laugh.

Music: My Homie

Anyway, my name is Chihaya Mifune. I will be reading your fortune today. You can begin by telling me your name.

I suppose I could attempt to divine it if you’d like. Let’s begin with your last name. Is it Yamamoto…? Or maybe Mishima? Or perhaps… Hamiru? Hmmm, this may take longer than I expected.

Uhhhh…

tells her
Ah, Maaku Hamiru-san… I see. Your name is quite lucky.

Being a Jedi is certainly lucky, I agree.

That aside, what type of consultation can I interest you in today?

Well, um… I use tarot cards to foretell the future. Now then, let’s start with an initial reading to test the waters of your fate. O divine power… Bring forth this boy’s fortune! Your first card is… Hm, I see. As for the second… Oh! Next is…

I see. There seems to be new wealth in your future. Your financial fortune is looking good today. This wealth of which I speak will come… from your house. Head home without detour, and precisely five thousand yen will await you there!

That’s… awful specific. That’s not generally how this cold reading shit works, is it?

As you should. Fate is absolute!

How strange, Hamiru-san, the general flow of your future seems to indicate… Ruin…? And an inmate, locked away in a lonely cell…

Oh shit.

You seem to be a good person, Hamiru-san… but are you perhaps mixed up with the wrong crowd?

If Ryuji’s the wrong crowd, I don’t wanna be right.

Beyond that… My… It seems… continuing on your current path will lead to your death.

Wait, what?

I cannot offer advice to that end… Hm. If the divination is coming to me this clearly, the truth of it is simply undeniable.

Although… Now that I think about it, there may be a way you can attempt to counteract your destiny.


With its power in your control, you can avoid even the most unfortunate of futures… probably!

I typically only recommend this to my more experienced customers, but your situation is too dire to ignore. You see, the stone itself is imbued with an aura of joy that will sap away all the horrible energy surrounding you.

This sounds almost too good to be true! Please, tell me more!

All you need to do is keep it wrapped in cloth and be sure to recharge its power in moonlight every three days.


Ha! All right, lady. Nice try, but I’m hip to your scam.

I-It’s legitimate, I promise! So… you really don’t want it? What a shame it will be to see the flames of youth snuffed out so soon… Well, come see me again if you change your mind. I really can help you, if you’d like.

Music: Break it Down


Hey Maaku, how’s your pocket money situation been looking?

I’ve got 163,000 yen on ha–I mean, I’m fuckin’ broke, duder.

Hahaha, you’re hopeless!

Here!
What? Is this… five thousand yen!?

what

I won some money from the lotto, so I don’t mind sharing my winnings.

See, I can be nice sometimes. Anyway, make sure you close up the shop like always.
Hey, so… does this mean that fortune teller was right…?

No. I refuse to acknowledge this. Let’s just forget this ever happened.

She even got the amount spot on! Maybe that Chihaya lady can seriously read into the future! Wait… This is bad! Didn’t she say you’re gonna die!?

This actually works out perfectly, because I’ve always said I’d sooner die than believe in fortune-telling.

Come on, we need to go talk to her again and figure out what to do! And maybe I can have her read my compatibility fortune with–

U-Um, never mind!
It seems like Chihaya Mifune can actually see into the future… Maybe I should go back and have her read my fortune again… And there’s the Holy Stone too… She said it costs one hundred thousand yen…

This is insane. In the bad way.

Music: Beneath the Mask -Rain (Instrumental Version)


Music: Everyday Days


Arsene always thwarted his pursuers, leading them around by the nose. He’s so cool! It seems this novel taught you about the kind of wits and tricks you’ll need as a phantom thief!

Maaku gains Knowledge +3.

Music: So Boring

Speaking of rain, did you know that the teru teru bozu was originally female?

What on earth???

Oh, that weird rain charm thing.

According to one theory, it came from a Chinese paper doll of a girl—the “Sao Ching Niang.” When it came to Japan, it looked like a monk praying for sunlight, and became male. In the history of the world, it’s not uncommon to twist people’s genders for politics or religion. Now then, Hamiru-kun, please look at this picture.


Correct. You must be quite a history buff to know about Pope Joan.

Nope! It’s a complete coincidence!

As such, she was a legendary figure, sometimes thought of as an anti-church symbol.

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

According to the legends, Joan was a cross-dressing girl brought from Athens to Rome. Praised throughout the city for her wisdom, she was eventually chosen by the people as pope. However, when it was discovered that she was a woman, she was stoned to death. This incident was regarded a taboo by the church. As a result, Joan was stricken from history books.
As long as they can do the job, it doesn’t matter if they’re man or woman. Sheesh, some people…

Music: Beneath the Mask -Rain (Instrumental Version)

First things first, let’s trade in our old book for a new one.

What do you plan on doing today?

So you wish to take advantage of our deal. I understand.
What kind of card do you want Yusuke to duplicate for you?


We choose Rakukaja. Where did I get all these skill cards? I got them from another of the free DLC packs like the filthy cheater I am! Don’t worry, I probably won’t end up using most of these and I’ll likely forget I ever gave him this one in the first place.

Now, we want Yusuke to have Baton Pass before the next Palace, so let’s hang out with him.

Are you sure we have time for that…!? What is your goal here?

Hm… You are correct. A nice break is necessary at times. I would like to speak with you about the painting I developed in Mementos. Do you have time?
It’s good to take a break every so often. Do you want to hang out with Yusuke?

chuckle I hope you do not find it too disturbing. Wait for me at Leblanc. I will bring the painting over there.

Music: What’s Going On?

How on earth did you get this giant thing here on the train, for one? Second, it’s raining!

I would like your honest opinion… if you would.


But… is that truly all you have to say about it? I would like something more concrete. A four hundred word review should serve that purpose nicely. Regardless, this is how I choose to interpret the idea of “desire.” It is the foul charm held deep within the abyss of the heart… To be honest, I believe my ability to capture desire so elegantly is all due to our Mementos foray. I have grown to understand the intricacies of the heart in a way I had once thought impossible… Maaku… I intend on submitting this piece to an upcoming public art exhibition.

More importantly, it shall be the spark that revitalizes my slumbering art career!


Hm, I’m sure this will be a most sensational experience for those who opt to undergo it. A raw, unbridled look into the depths of the human psyche… And I was the one who was able to bring it to life, all thanks to your assistance.

Nope, can’t see any flaw with this plan.

You have my sincerest gratitude.
I feel like my bond with Yusuke is growing deeper…

All right, we got what we came for.

Hm… I deeply anticipate the public reaction at the exhibition. But for now, I should be going. My apologies for disturbing you. Farewell.
I walked Yusuke back to the station…

Music: Beneath the Mask

It’s an interview with some kid from school. “Boy M tells all: Rampant abuse in the Kamoshida case!”

…Guess it might be him after all. I mean that Phan-Site thing’s been a huge help too… It’s prolly fine to leave him be. He ain’t doing us any harm. Seeya later.
That article… Do you think the reporter we met at Crossroads could have written it?

Just as I thought. The author is listed as Ichiko Ohya. …I see. This article might end up being useful for us.

If the Palace ruler sees it and his cognition of the Phantom Thieves changes… Hey, Maaku. We’d be missing out if we didn’t use this to our advantage. If we have her paint us in a positive light, public opinion of us will change for the better! You should go try and get her to write some more articles about the Phantom Thieves!

Consider the following… A: Paying a machine fake money/B: Ordering food without money/ Which one of these counts as fraud!? You be the judge!

The correct answer is… B! Ordering food when you don’t have any money!
Fraud involves deceiving a person. That’s why ordering food when you don’t have money counts as fraud. If you use fake coins on a vending machine or at the coin laundry, it’s considered larceny.

Do Japanese quiz shows just have lawyers on hand to explain things?

So doing a dine and dash is actually a fraud? Whoa, I should watch out for that…

Since when have you paid for anything?

It feels like I’ve improved my Knowledge.

Maaku gain Knowledge +1.

Yeah, yeah—the mafia. Relax, the city’s perfectly safe.
So is the country, thanks to Taro from next door!
You mean that idiot dog who plays with anyone who comes near him? Real good guard dog.


I know a job that’ll make you rich. I can hook you up, but you’ll hafta legally erase yourself.

When can I start?

Nahhh, I’m just messin’ with ya… chuckle I love it at night… I get to cut loose n’ be free.

Over in Shinjuku, we head back to the shady bookstore.


This is, unfortunately, the only thing for sale.

Back to Crossroads!

Music: Crossroads

Don’t blame me if you get eaten alive, OK?

How much did I drink today? What time is it? Ah, who cares. …Wait, I care.
She’s so drunk that she hasn’t even noticed you’re here. If we have her write articles, it’ll have an effect on the Metaverse. We might be able to use her if we do it right. Should we try forming a deal with Ohya?

Keep in mind that she’s drunk. Now, do a good job negotiating, OK?



Oh! It’s you!

I love this line read. She sounds so goddamn happy.

…Please, have a seat.

Or maybe… you’re just falling in love with me, hm?

You’re thinking of Alex Navarro.

No? Well, then you at least have some news on the Phantom Thieves, yeah? Thank god… My publisher just assigned me to be the beat reporter for the Phantom Thieves. Man… this will reaaally help me out.
Are you seriously going to use this child as a source of information?
Oh, don’t be such a killjoy. These kids nowadays know about things we adults don’t have access to. Besides, what’s most important is that I now have a reliable third-party source for my stories.
Whatever…
So, what do you want from me this time? Information about someone? Cold hard cash?

Huh…? chuckle Lucky me! My very own golden goose just appeared. Now I can take it easy… Maybe I’ll take a little vacation, with all my free time…

What do you want? Just tell me. Last time it was info on Kaneshiro, right? The office has been abuzz lately… I think it’s Kaneshiro related. Something’s fishy…

…Support the Phantom Thieves? …But I see what’s going on here. A hardcore Phantom Thieves fanboy, huh…?
Hey, I’m not gonna let you use this kid so you can take a vacation…

Can we form a Confidant with Lala instead?

A vacation? Oh, I was just kidding. I’m conducting a private investigation during my off hours. No one at work knows about it.
Don’t tell me you’re…
Hey, how ‘bout we do this… You supply me with info on the Phantom Thieves… And I’ll write articles based on what you tell me about them. You know, the Phantom Thieves who you love oh-so-much… Deal?

I will, I will. But the quality of the articles will depend on the info you provide me. …All right then. It’s a deal. I can create a lot of positive PR for the Phantom Thieves, so be sure to give me some good scoops.
I’ve made a deal with Ohya…

Music: Interrogation Room


Did you have an inside man in the media? Someone who could manipulate information for you? …What do you have to say to that?

Music: The Spirit


The Devil arcana represents being bound or chained down by malevolent forces in life like materialism or addiction, as well as sexuality. When reversed, it represents detachment, reclaiming lost power, and breaking free from those very same burdens.

Ohya’s abilities aren’t terribly useful unless you’re getting caught a hell of a lot, but they’re not totally worthless either, I suppose. Some people really don’t like them though because they make it more annoying to grind for Treasure Demons due to the lower increase in security level.

Music: Crossroads

OK, Lala-chaaan! Time to celebrate our agreement! Bring out my bottle! And two glasses please…! …C’mon! Please…? …Whoa, her silence is golden. Fine, fine, FINE! I won’t make the high schooler drink!

Ugh, I gotta use the bathroom…

I was able to pique Ohya’s interest… I feel like my Charm has increased…

Maaku gains Charm +3.

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

Whaddya wanna do today? We still got time, but shouldn’t we check out the area around the Treasure at least? So, wanna hit the Palace today?

Well, I’ll leave the timing to you. But don’t decide too late, man.

Music: Tokyo Daylight

Nah.

Music: Butterfly Kiss

But I’m not an optometrist… Oh, is it because I have an eye test chart on the wall…? So, what are you here for today?

Oh, the clinical trial… Sorry, I’m going to pass on it today. ……
Takemi is depressed… In order for her to depend on me, I may have to polish up my Charm as a person… Takemi would probably depend on me if my Charm were Charismatic

We need Rank 4 Charm to do any more clinical trials. Rats.

I don’t think my bond with Ann will deepen just yet…

Why don’t we hang out at the diner then? I could go for a nice chat!


I feel like my bond with Ann will grow stronger soon…
Seeya!

Music: Beneath the Mask -Rain-

You already said that. Get some new canned lines, old man!

The mafia is suspected of being behind a rash of scams, and we’ve interviewed one of the victims. What we found was a young person suffering in the depths of despair.
One of the victims is on TV. I guess Kaneshiro got him, too.

Oh jesus fuck no


sigh Let’s get this travesty over with.

OK, I’ll come over there right awayyy!

Music: My Homie


Nonononononono

I-I’m definitely not scheming anything! Meow! I just want to get requested more. :heart:

OH GOD KILL IT

…… Well? How was that?

…Sorry, I blacked out. What were we talking about?

The thing is, I talked to my boss about picking up more shifts… But he said that he prioritizes “younger” women!


I mean, age has nothing to do with cleaning a room! And I look damn good for my age, if I do say so myself.

Please don’t involve me in this conversation.

The girls in my neighborhood always tell me I’m pretty. And the latchkey kid who lives next door always asks me to tie up her hair. Thanks to that, I’m an expert with these pigtails now. See? So I’m damn good for-- …Wait, don’t tell me I’m the only one who thinks this way?

About your face? Because sorry, but right now it makes me want to die.

I look pretty good as a maid, don’t I?


I don’t really feel like I’m worth being loved.

That’s awful frank of you to admit.

But… you’re right.

Music: Alright (Elp Version)

What the heck am I saying…? You’re my student… My double life as both a teacher and a maid is so exhausting.

…This game is dumb.

Maybe I let my guard down because you know both sides of me. The more I come here, the more I feel like I can relax. As a maid, I’m supposed to help my master relax… but instead, I’m the one who’s being helped. Haha… Sorry I’m such a terrible maid.
I feel Kawakami’s kindness…

I have to confess something… I lied about the reason why I need to make more money… I don’t have a sick sister. All that stuff about the fees and charges was all a lie too.

I can’t get requested unless I make up those types of stories. See, you understand now, right? Nothing good will come from involving yourself with a terrible person like me. It’s a good lesson learned. sigh Let’s just put an end to this. Thank you for using our service…

Music: So Boring

We cannot afford to dally for much longer at this point.
Is Kaneshiro still demanding we pay up?
Yes, every single day.
Man, it’s gotta be tough dealing with that daily…
I’m used to it by now.
You are…? You’re amazing…
So far it’s only been emails, so it hasn’t been too difficult to put the matter out of my mind.

Yeah. If he sends out that photo, we’re totally done for. It would probably be a good idea to handle this sooner rather than later.

If they spread that picture, you guys are done for. Tell everyone to meet at the hideout. Let’s discuss what our next move should be.

Here’s an interesting foible in my plans: The game itself gets antsy if you refuse to meet up for four days after talking to Kaneshiro, and on the fifth day forces the meeting at the accessway. I was putting off the meeting for the purposes of pacing, but we’re gonna see it anyway.

Music: Suspicion

Things would get interesting if my sister ever found out…
There’s no time to be getting sentimental here.
Yes, I understand. I do have one request about all of this though. Can you teach me how to be a phantom thief? Like… about the Metaverse, for example.
Simply put, that world is formed of a person’s cognition. There, you can change people’s hearts.
Yeah, I’ve gathered that much just from going there once. But the method of transportation still eludes me… I mean, it’s a smartphone navigation app…
You only need a name, a location, and a distortion. After the first entry, the Palace is bookmarked.
You really just make it sound like an ordinary app… Aren’t there any dangers associated with it?
Don’t worry ‘bout that! We’ve already been a bunch of times and–
That’s not what I mean. It’s a navigation app, right? Couldn’t someone easily access our history on the server?

It’s basically magic, Makoto. I don’t think there’s a server.

Wait, why are you looking at me like that…? Has nobody thought of this before!?

We’re idiots, Makoto. Try to keep up.

I…
Now she’s catchin’ me off guard too…
And we don’t know where it came from, right? It showed up on my phone without any input from me… Do you know anything about it, Maaku-kun?

What…?
I want to tell her the truth, but it’s tough to explain that Igor has been sending out the app…
…I don’t fully understand, but I don’t think we have to worry about people accessing our data. From what I can tell, this app is incredibly special. It wasn’t made by any ordinary means.
True… An app that allows you to enter another world isn’t exactly commonplace… Well, Sis doesn’t know who the Phantom Thieves are, so I suppose our information is safe for now.
We’re still learning things ourselves. I hope your sharp wit can help us with that.
Thank you. I’ll do my best.
So, what’s our time limit this time? I doubt we have much time to spare at this point.
Kaneshiro’s henchman said the deadline is July 9th.
There’s no way high schoolers could really bring in three million yen…
And that’s why he’s threatening us. If we can’t pay he’ll do much worse than just blackmail.


C’mon, we just gotta take care of him before the time limit. We’ll bounce back from this.
Yeah, this is the perfect opportunity. We have to succeed, no matter what!

Well, I wasn’t planning on heading into the Palace so early, but we might as well. Next update, anyway.


#142

Kawakami really should take some of her maid job earnings and go see a therapist. :thinking:


#143

You know, in principle, I agree, but at the same time, getting paid to vent is probably a lot easier on her wallet than paying a professional.

Plus, when is she gonna go if she’s working from morning to night six days a week?


#144
Part 56

Part 56: 6/25: The Nice Meltdown

There’s some important news coming at the end of this update, everyone. Just read normally, you’ll understand in time.

Music: Tokyo Emergency

First things first, we need some stuff from Takemi.

Music: Butterfly Kiss


Some of these will greatly increase our survivability, but they’re not the only reason we’re here.


No, the main reason we came to the clinic is for SP Adhesive 3. If you don’t remember what this does, it gives us Invigorate 3, which restores 7 SP per turn on whoever has it equipped. We were only going to buy one of these, but considering that we have yet to actually incur the massive expense we went to Mementos to save up for due to the Palace visit getting pushed up, we can afford to buy two while still having plenty left over. Since the end goal is to have four of these, one for every active party member, we might as well buy a second one now. We’ll stick one on ourselves and give the other to Makoto.

Music: Tokyo Emergency

Now, it’s time to head to the Palace.

Music: Price

You all were using code names, weren’t you?
You’re quite perceptive.
This time’s a hard one… Maybe somethin’ like “Shoulder Pads”?
Why in the world did you focus on that…?
I refuse to be called that.
What about “Rider”?
Sounds too much like a smuggler. Next.
“Fixer”?
I’m not a mastermind though. Next. Won’t you give me something better to work with?
She reminds me of an empress. You got anything, Joker?

Whoa, I totally see it!
It fits so well that I’m at a loss for words here.
Queen… It has a nice ring to it. I like it. Let’s go with that. Now then, could you explain to me the strategy for this mission?
…Strategy?

This is approaching Naoto levels of not understanding that we’re all idiots.

Uhh… We pretty much look around the area, I provide navigation when needed, and then…
If we run into Shadows, we beat the shit outta ‘em!
Very well then. I feel like I’ll be useful for sure. It seems my role is to be the brain of this team. I’ll analyze Mona’s information and give out orders. Any objections?

I bet Skull’s definitely the type that’ll be under a girl’s thumb.
Mona, will you begin navigating us?

Him too, it seems…

Apparently we are acknowledged as customers who can be extorted.
…That’s fine. We can take advantage of his negligence.
Though I will say, it’s a little scary every time.

Approaching the front door reveals that it is impassable.

It seems as though they didn’t want to leave that gaping hole…
But… we can’t get in now…
Sorry… I… think I might have taken it a little too far…

That’s right. We would have been in serious danger had it not been for Queen’s actions.
Th-Thanks…
The details are no longer important. Let us search for a new infiltration point, Joker.

Let’s examine this suspicious pig statue.

Wait. I can feel a draft coming from underneath the statue… Doesn’t this seem strange to you, Joker?

…Especially that placard. I wonder why it looks so odd.
Why don’t we check it out?


The statue moves, and that weird Legend of Zelda chime plays again.

Let’s head inside… After we’re adequately prepared, of course.

I don’t remember seeing this place last time… Just where exactly are we…?
There has to be a map somewhere. For now, let’s try to explore and search for the Treasure.

We don’t got any business with reception anymore, right? Let’s try attackin’ some new places!
That should be OK, but there will be a lot of enemies. Try to be careful, OK?

These Nekomata are weak to Electricity and use Wind and Physical.

High Pixies are weak to Gun and Nuclear, and like to put party members to sleep, heal, and use Wind.

An elevator arrives.


The Shadow gets in the elevator, and it descends.

It looks like there are lower floors in here too…
Hm, but that elevator is lacking a control panel.
They probably control it from a security room. It’s a simple, but effective measure of screening.
That must mean they really don’t want anyone going down there…

Orobas is weak to Bless and uses Sukukaja and Fire attacks.

Angel is weak to Curse (not Gun, though, the first winged enemy we’ve seen that isn’t), and likes to try to instant-kill us with Hama and also blow itself up. Sure, why not? This place is hell.


I’m not sure I can handle that…
Y’mean ‘cause you’re a cat?
I meant ‘cause it might be quicker or smarter than other enemies! J-Just be careful, Joker!

I don’t know about smarter, but these things are definitely a hell of a lot faster than other enemies.

In a second, they’re on you. It’s really important to get the ambush, because if they catch you off guard they’re likely to get the advantage.

This is Orthrus. It’s weak to Ice and really, really likes Fire.

We see the ever-rare hostage situation once more here.




Let’s call in for help this time, just to see what it’s like.

A true hero by the name Vitam1nB…


A shot from offscreen forces the enemy to back away.

Finally, we see yet another Oni.

One thing Makoto can do is sub in occasionally for navigation duties. It’s pretty neat. It also won’t save us here!


Oni still loves using Rampage!

Now, fine, we just go do all that again and–

fuck

Okay, one more ti–

FUCK

All right, let’s think about this calmly and approach this with–

WHY

I’m not mad. It’s funny, actually. Just one more tr–

ha. haha. hahaha. hahahahahahhhaahahahahahahahhaahaghhahahahahahahhahahahahassdgkksdgdjkgfjksadfjkd

……

…….

…….

…….

…….

…….

…Nope, no more of this. I’m done. I’m not kidding. This is too much. All this work to appease you chattering imbeciles, but it’s never enough, is it? You think you know more about this game than me just because you constantly point out my countless grievous factual errors, huh? Well, maybe you do, but that’s not the point! You wastrels get off on this, don’t you?

Persona 5 has no chill. Just because you leave on the wrong Persona multiple times and refuse to change your strategy at all between deaths, it keeps happening? What bullshit is this? This is the worst gaming experience I’ve had since my heavily savescummed playthrough of XCOM 2!

And you realize I’m never actually going to finish this game, right? It’s been five months and I’m not even halfway done. This LP is an asymptote. I committed to this thinking it would be an interesting way to spend some time and get some e-cred. I never thought I’d spend most of my Sunday rewatching footage of me dying five times in a row in the first three rooms of this fucking Palace that smells like butts and oh god what am I doing with my life.

This isn’t worth it. Goodbye forever.


#145
Part 57


Hey, guys! No hard feelings, right? Hehe, of course not. I was obviously kidding, duh. Just ignore all that weird shit I said, because none of it was true! Isn’t that convenient?

Well, I’d post an update, but between some real-life circumstances I won’t get into, and lasting trauma from the last time I tried to clear out the Palace, I’m afraid I just didn’t get around to capturing any new footage. I’ll be sure to get around to it… oh, sometime in the next month. Welp, bye!

Wait… what the hell is this?


Dare I?

Well, that’s not happening. Wait… Hm… Yes… I’m being informed that I have to do it, or I’m grounde—Uh, never mind, let’s just… sigh …Let’s just get this over with.

What foul secrets might this document contain?

Oh god.

Part 57: 6/25: I Have No Idea What The Fuck Either

The first thing I notice before even opening MY VIDEO.mp4 is that yes, Ari seems to have put at least another three hours on the clock and gotten Maaku to level 26. I have yet to decipher the cryptic details of “READ THSI,” however. Whether he actually managed to clear the dungeon has yet to be seen; he could just as easily have spent three hours running around fighting Shadows. Does Ari think that “beating the game” entails finishing this Palace, or just leaving it? It’s too early too call, so further analysis will have to follow at a later date.

On the plus side, he was courteous enough to rotate the save file.

Music: Aria of the Soul

Once we actually start digging into this “update,” the first thing Ari does is a lot of fusion, starting with Suzaku from Pixie and Inugami.

The burning light that illuminates the future is now your new mask…

Suzaku is one of the four symbols of the Chinese constellation, representing fire, the direction south, and summer.

Ari wrote some… commentary of his own that I am obligated to include. It will be denoted through italicized quotes.

”From what I saw of my brother’s other tries he was getting killed by fire a lot so I picked something that couldn’t get hit by fire. I don’t know what most of these skills do but they seem cool.”

Stunning logic.

Next, this Orobas from Kushi Mitama and Mokoi.

I’ll become your mask and show you the truth of the future you want.

Orobas is one of the 72 demons of the Goetia, known as the Prince of Hell who answers questions about the past, present, and future.

”I like horses.”


Me mysterious. Now me new mask. Nice meet you.

”I wish I could talk like this guy. Seems easier.”

Nue is a legendary monster in Japanese mythology with the head of a monkey, the arms and legs of a tiger, the body of a raccoon dog and a snake for a tail. I’m not quite sure I see the resemblance.

This guy will be useful when we dance with the Angels.

Now, it’s time to head back in. I’d like to see how he deals with Oni’s Rampage spam.

Music: Last Surprise

What is he—oh.

I honestly never considered doing this.

”Despair is useful because it gives the enemies crippling depression, draining their mental strength (SP) and preventing them from acting! My mom says this is what my brother has, and this seems pretty accurate.”

Ignore that, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Well, that’s dark.

”After three turns, a foe with despair will succumb and die! Cool!”

I should probably talk to someone about this kid.

Here’s Makoto’s All-out Attack finisher. It’s pretty alright.

Music: Price

But look. It says, “No entry by unauthorized personnel.”

Oh goddammit he got bored and messed with my portraits

That just makes me want to go in more! Isn’t there anything we can do?

There’s another entrance in the form of a vent around the corner.

That Shadow’s in our way… What should we do, Joker?



”This fight is a joke”

When he’s right, he’s right. It’s four Orobases and it’s simple enough I’ve even dispensed with the usual video.

Music: Suspicion

This appears to be some kind of monitoring room. I hope we can find clues in here…

Hey guys, I think I found something! Ain’t this some kinda keycard?


I’d bet that’s where the Treasure is…

Unless we can obtain another map, we won’t know for certain.

It would probably make sense to head there first…
Shall we go on that elevator we found earlier then?
That should be our last resort. First, let’s see if there is anywhere to use this keycard.
Oh! Didn’t we pass by a door we couldn’t open on the way here?
Yeah, let’s go check it out!

Music: Price


Next, Ari tries to leave, but the exit is still closed off.


Hm, we may be able to use this in other places as well.

Music: Aria of the Soul

”I talked to the girl and she wanted this guy with… Magaru? Well, I got a Nekomata in the dungeon, and it knows that skill! I’m not sure why everything has such weird names in this game though.”

Instead of exploring further, Ari has chosen to return to the Velvet Room and fuse the Matador we need for the Strength Confidant using Nekomata and High Pixie.

This body of mine, born from the bloody throes of battle, shall be with you as a mask from now on.

Matador is just a matador. Not even like, a specific one.

Matador needing Magaru is a sly reference to Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, where Matador was a boss fight who would use Mazan (Nocturne uses Force instead of Wind) to push your shit in.

“I LIKE THE SKULLMAN”

That too.

So, you’ve brought us another Persona we asked for.
This is a Matador with the skill Magaru… I have verified it. That completes your current assignment…

What did he dooooo

It is to be expected of the human our master saw potential in.
You’re dedicated, I’ll give you that. Just keep it up, all right?

That is a fine attitude to have.
Talk’s cheap though. You’re gonna have to put your money where your mouth is. I’ve gotta say, Justine, it’s an accomplishment that he hasn’t thrown in the towel yet.


That task list you wrote. It’s not only keeping him on his toes, but helping him improve too.
Hm…? I am not the one who wrote it.

I had always assumed it was you…
What!? I don’t know anything about that thing.
…I suppose now that I consider it, that list is far too precise for you to have written it.

But wait… Who wrote it then? It wasn’t our master, was it?
No. I have not heard him mention anything of the sort… How long have we had this list…?


Just keep quiet and focus on finishing your tasks, Inmate!
Caroline, should we consult with our master about this?

All our master told us to do is oversee the rehabilitation, and it’s our duty to follow orders. We shouldn’t waste his time on something this pointless.
…Indeed. It does not matter who thought of the list.

Of course, we will continue to offer benefits to you if you can further fulfill our tasks. All that we ask is that you work hard in the duty you are assigned. …We shall do the same.
I feel like my bond with Caroline and Justine is growing deeper…

”I don’t know what any of this conversation means, but I wanted them to be eyepatch buddies.”

Lockdown is interesting. We’ll go into what exactly it is later.

You may now place a Persona into Lockdown and train it to learn new skills.
While you’re lazily wasting away, your Persona’s gonna grow all on its own. Talk about hospitality! …Anyway, time for your next task! According to the list, it’s… uh… What is it, Justine?
The next task is…

One more thing… the next privilege we provide for you will unlock great power. Therefore, we will need you to fulfill two more tasks before we can hand it over to you.
chuckle The world’s not so easy, is it!? First up, bring us a Flauros that has Tarukaja!
As always, speak to us once you have obtained it. We will know if the deed is done. Am I clear?

Back in the palace, Ryuji finally learns Mazio.

”I like pirates a lot. We learned about them in social studies and they’re really cool! Ryuji’s the best!”

Accurate.

Music: Price



Yeah, it has to be the one they’re controlling externally. So this is right above it…
So what, this is the control room or something? What’s the point of comin’ here?

Perceptive as usual, Joker. We should be able to ride on top of the elevator.
I see. We sneak atop it, then wait for it to move on its own.
It does sound like that plan will take us further down.
All right, let’s get on there!







Is that Kaneshiro…!?


”I don’t like the scary purple man! He looks like Hitler!”

…Huh, I guess I kinda see the resemblance. It’s nothing compared to this, though:

It seems painfully obvious where the Treasure is now…
But the map from earlier doesn’t show that much… I wonder if there’s another one somewhere.
In any case, heading down should be the best move. Let’s keep our eyes out for a map while we explore!

Up ahead, Ari finds our first safe room.


Joker, can’t you use your observation skills to see the camera’s range? Make sure it doesn’t catch sight of us!

You can see the camera’s range with Third Eye, as per usual.

What’s wrong, Joker?
Is that a device of some kind? Let’s go check it out.

The word “camera” is written on it…
Oh, this must be for the surveillance cameras! Let’s destroy it, Joker!

Nice kick!

A swift kick…

…turns the cameras off.

Ohhh, I get it! We can break this shit to kill the cameras!

Further ahead, there are two cameras blocking the way.


Ari kicks one power box, turning off the first camera.


And now the second.


Morgana learns Me Patra (Patra but multi-target) and Yusuke learns Counter (10% chance to reflect Physical attacks).

Further ahead, there’s a honeypot. Ignoring Makoto’s warning will cause you to run smack-dab into view of the cameras.

Kicking the power box around the corner solves that problem.


Finally, using the keycard here allows you to unlock a shortcut back to the safe room.

I’d love to say this weird bullshit was over, but, well…

”That’s all for today! I’ve got the rest ready, but I’ll save it for later. So long for now!

Also I drew this shark I hope you like it”

sigh What he said. See you chumps later. I’m gonna go rethink all of this.


#146

Well, you just said you weren’t a mastermind, for one.


#147

That’s a pretty good shark, TBH.


#148

:shark:


#149
Part 58

Part 58: 6/25: I Wish I Was An Only Child

Well, let’s get back to it, I guess. I managed to fix the portraits, at least, and hopefully there isn’t much in the way of further obstruction from Ari.

”I got bored during this part so instead of writing I just added a bunch of stuff I thought was cool to the pictures”

That doesn’t sound too bad, I guess.

Music: Price

There’s a staircase leading up near the safe room.

Ugh, he doesn’t even know what Undertale is, he just watched a video of Papyrus on YouTube and liked his music.

Following the stairs puts us back near the start. It seems pointless, but it serves the purpose of letting us return to the start without leaving the dungeon proper, because riding the elevator and dropping down from the rafters was a one-way trip.


According to the map, we should be able to head down from here.

what on earth

But nothing beyond this floor is on our map, right?
Yeah. We’ll need to find another one soon…
Why don’t we focus on finding a way downstairs? Hopefully we find the other map along the way…

Now, the path down is blocked by numerous cameras, so we’re forced to find a spot where we can jump down instead.

If I just ignore it, he doesn’t win.

According to the map, there’s a great deal more beyond here…
Then this is not a vault, but a partition of sorts. The terminals there must be how you open it.
B-But both of them have keyholes.
I suppose that means we’ll need two keys to pass through here…
For real…? Ugh, it’s a pain in the ass how secure this place is.

That must be where the Treasure is!
Yeah, you’re probably right… Let’s look for those keys!

Further ahead we come a room with a few interesting features. The first is the treasure chest.

The Black Kotagana is notably worse than our current weapon, oddly. However, it “possesses the power to transmute,” which we’ll come back to.

The other thing about this room is that it contains the power boxes for all the cameras in the neighboring hall.

We’re now free to explore the area.


Music: Tension

What’s wrong? Are you nervous? Don’t be. We have the keys they need, so things should be OK as long as we protect them.

I’m being terrorized by a 10-year-old.

It’s highly likely those are the way by which the partition opens.
What’re we gonna do then? Beat ‘em up and take the keys?
Didn’t you see those two? They’re obviously not ordinary Shadows. Anyone who’s been entrusted with a key that important would have to be extremely strong.
And there’s two of them; it would be tough dealing with both. Plus they could sound the alarm…

Hm… That’s a good question.
Then… why don’t we split them up and beat them individually?
And how can we do that?
Do you remember that monitoring room upstairs? The room we acquired our map from. There was some communication equipment there as well. We can use that to lure one away.

I agree. It sounds safer than fighting them at the same time!
OK, let’s leave this part to our intellectual!
Thank you! First up, we need to head to the monitoring room!
Hey, you think we should just head straight over, Joker?

This choice is just asking you if you want to be teleported directly to the monitoring room from before.

Music: Price

Oh, this one’s a little sad. Ari really wanted to be Spider-Man for Halloween last year but our stepdad Louis thinks superheroes and Halloween are too pagan. I don’t really get it either, but Ari was pretty broken up about it. I bet he’s really jealous of that random child.


Music: Tokyo Emergency

Come in, security room! This is the monitoring room! We’ve been ambushed by intruders! Requesting backup, immediately! One person would be perfect!

And there we go! All we need to do now is wait for the enemy.


Not exactly.

This was a trap!? You bastards!

Music: Keeper of Lust

Tornado Devil

It’s weak to Electricity and likes to spam Wind. This guy isn’t really a huge problem.

Music: Price

Oooh, he had a key!
Guess that went pretty well, huh?
That means there should only be one Shadow in the security room! Let’s snatch the other key from it while we can!
Joker, do you want to go right to the security room from earlier?


It’s honestly a little distressing to me how worried this dude is.

We’ll be heading right into battle when we charge in there! Are you ready for this?

All right, let’s go!

We’re here for the other key!
What!? Then that comm earlier… How dare you!

Floodbringer Demon

Music: Keeper of Lust

This guy is a joke. We’ve already fought one of them, so we know its weakness is Nuclear, and it’s alone this time. We take it down easily. Banana, motherfucker.

Music: Price

Perfect, we’ve now obtained both keys!
Oh, one second!


Maybe it can tell us what the bank is like further down.

Well, the most suspicious area would be the deepest part…

This map seems to indicate that the area beyond the partition is rather large as well…
I’m sure security will keep getting more intense from here onward too. We need to be careful.

Let’s head back to the partition, then.

On three! One, two…!

Yeah, he… really likes Spider-Man. I actually had to sneak him out of the house to go see the new one because Louis wouldn’t let him. We don’t really talk much, but I thought it would be nice. I probably wouldn’t have done it if I knew he’d go this nuts though.


Yes, I agree. The cooperation of our whole team is what helped us through this particular ordeal.

Except Yusuke and Morgana, who didn’t do shit.

Music: Price (Another Version)

So he took all of this from the weak…
…He’s going to pay for this.


No… These ones seem different from what we’ve seen before… They turn on and off.
It might be a surveillance system that switches between multiple cameras for efficient coverage…
That just means we gotta pass by when it’s not recordin’, yeah?
That should work… but there are guards to watch out for too. We should proceed with caution!

The gimmick here is that the cameras switch on and off frequently. The timing to pass through them can be pretty annoying to nail, especially when you take the guards into account. You can’t ambush through the path of a camera that’s on even if the enemy is within range, either.

Yaksini is weak to Nuclear like half the other Shadows in here, and likes to enrage party members, both with dedicated skills and Physical strikes.

To proceed, we have to walk out onto a nearby ledge and jump down to the lower floor.

From here, we can head down using the nearby elevator or explore the area a bit further.

Leanan Sidhe is the first source of Psy damage we’ve yet encountered (bad news for Makoto), and is weak to Fire.

Ann learns Agilao, the Medium Fire skill, at level 22. Astoundingly, she’s still nowhere close to gaining her next healing skill, meaning she’s still stuck with Dia. Ann is not a very effective healer.

The only thing of note on this floor is this hallway, containing a staircase leading to a door we can unlock that takes us back up, and this treasure chest behind a bunch of cameras. All that’s in it is an Ignis Ring, which we can slap on Yusuke to reduce the amount of Fire damage he takes. It’s really nothing special.

Heading back to the elevator, we take it down.

Okay, jeez, we get it. This LP isn’t your fucking trapper keeper.


It is difficult to hear what he’s saying from where we are now…

On our way down, Makoto gains Freila, a single-target Medium Nuclear attack.


We also open a chest with one of our Lockpicks and get a new melee weapon for Makoto, who seems to just be on fire tonight.



Y-You bastards… How did you get this far!? What about my security!?

how does he even know about the grimace

Sorry, that shit was a piece of cake for us!
…Well, I wouldn’t say it was that simple…
H-Hey, finish off these vermin here! Keep them away from the elevator at all costs!

Demonic Warlord

Music: Keeper of Lust

Here, we’re up against a new guy, plus the old guards. The Tornado Devil and Floodbringer Demon are both still weak against Electricity and Nuclear, respectively, so they shouldn’t give us too much trouble. However, the Demonic Warlord’s weakness happens to be Psy. Now, it’s unlikely that one will have a Persona with Psy unless they grabbed one of the Leanan Sidhes from earlier, but thankfully, Ari’s fusion of Matador gave him one such Persona.

From that fight Yusuke learns Rising Slash, a Heavy Physical attack that gets an extra boost from Baton Passes. Here we finally see Yusuke’s main gimmick, his Baton Pass moves. They do great damage against most enemies, yes, but they’re absolutely worthless in boss fights, where you can’t exploit weaknesses. The main drawback of the Baton Pass/One More system in general is ultimately Yusuke’s undoing, which is a shame. For now, though, Rising Slash is still going to deal more damage than pretty much anything else we have, with or without the boost.

Music: Suspicion

Grrr, he took off while we were busy fightin’…

It’s a journal. Let us see what lies inside… “R=C=0, I=1, H=2”… What could this mean…?
The pages afterward have been torn out as well. Could it be a code of some sort?
If we’re not gonna figure this shit out now, we should just keep goin’ forward, yeah?
Considering Kaneshiro’s reaction, this elevator should lead us to the innermost part of the bank. If so, it’ll be the most secure area as well. Let’s make sure we’re ready for whatever awaits!

Music: Price (Another Version)

On the other side of the hall, we find a safe room. It would have been nice to have it before the last fight, but oh well. Keep it in mind anyway.

Now, we just head down using the elevator.

Music: Disquiet

Wh-What the hell!? Are these all vaults…!? How messed up is this guy!?
We’re supposed to check all of these for the Treasure!?

What’s the matter?
If my prediction is correct, we won’t need to check every single one of these small vaults.
For real!?
…That is, I hope. I’ll explain why once I’ve confirmed my theory.
I seriously hope so too…

Music: Price (Another Version)

Excuse me, I’ll be right back.

…….

…Sorry, I just had to go find Ari and yell at him.

And, we’re greeted with… another safe room! This Palace has three safe rooms, and two of them are right next to each other! Shit!

“That’s enough of the pictures. This dungeon is long though so I’ll finish it later. Bye for now!”

Why am I doing this to myself


#150
Part 59

Part 59: 6/25: Math Is Power

Next on our agenda is navigating this massive repository of vaults. This should also be the last update with interference from Ari, thankfully.

…I also fixed the portraits.

Music: Price (Another Version)


PIN…? So is this gonna open one of the vaults?
Hm, there’s something written above the number pad on here. “RICH”… This is disgusting. How obsessed can one man be with his money?
Wait, there might be something more than that! Do you think this is connected to that journal…?

You know what? This is fine. This is just my life now.

See? It has all of the letters in the word “RICH”!
Huh. That might be worth a try. Can you do it, Joker?

We will leave it to you. The Treasure may be beyond here.
If you get confused, just take a look at Kaneshiro’s journal. It’s among our belongings.

This just means “go check your Key Items in case you forget the clue.”

This may be worth trying out. Joker, can you do it?


R=C=0, I=1, and H=2, huh?


Simple. Ari seems to have gotten this remarkably quickly, even if it’s not terribly complex. Good for him, though he didn’t seem to write any commentary about it. …Weird.


The vault rotates, placing a gap in front of us.

So my deduction may be correct…

As long as I’m rich, anything will be possible…
That voice… It’s Kaneshiro! Is he watching us!?
That doesn’t seem to be the case. It sounds more like the voice of his heart… I guess all he really thinks about is money, after all.
So he blackmails people outta their savings and that’s still not enough? What a douche…
More importantly, the message in the journal was the PIN code!
Yes, it seems so… but I doubt it will be that easy from this point forward. The rest of the pages were torn out of the journal. Who knows what clues they may hold…
Well, let’s not get pessimistic. We should look around and try to find some other clues. Time to head further in and find those PINs!


The only option now is to head further into the vault.

This is Rakshasa. It’s weak to Physical and Bless and loves knocking the shit out of you with Physical strikes.

Along the way, Ryuji gains Bad Beat, a Medium Physical skill that strikes all enemies with a low chance of inflicting Despair. It’s pretty good, because Despair is fucking broken.

Inside this pig, we find a torn page. Sadly, this will not send us to Winnie the Pooh land, but it’s useful nonetheless.

Hm? There’s a note here… It says “P=I.”
…The hell’s that supposed to mean?
Wait, the edge of it is torn. Maybe it came from Kaneshiro’s journal?
Oh, so it’s the continuation of the code we found in there! This should be useful!

Further in, we find another one.

Hm? There’s a note here… It says “E=9 A=3.”
It seems to be the same as the one we found earlier. The edge here is frayed as well.
Perfect! The more hints we find, the closer we get to solving the code. Come on, let’s hurry over to the input machine!

And here’s the next panel.

Reap? Isn’t that like, to harvest? Why would he have that as a password…?
That man sees people as walking ATMs… He must think of collecting money from them as a harvest.
Kaneshiro is truly rotten to the core…
If this is the same kind of thing as before, the hints should help us find the password, right?
We’ll see about that. Why don’t we check the information we have on hand?

So we just have to make “REAP” into numbers like before, right?
Yes, if we can decode the hints.

REAP is only slightly more complicated… We already know R is 0. Adding on top of that, we know E and A are 9 and 3, respectively. Finally, P is equal to I, which was 1. Together, that gives us 0931.

Ari solves another one, in no time at all. And he’s still silent. Great!


All right, it worked!

Don’t gimme your excuses. Just go reap every last penny!
This voice again…
I’ll make you understand if you don’t get it… People who can’t earn money are worthless to me!
He’s completely distorted…
It looks like he really believes money is more important than human life… What a pitiful man.
Yeah… Let’s finish this quick. The door’s prolly opened up, so we should head back and check it out.
What do you think, Joker? Should we go straight over to the vault?


This is the second one… I wonder how many more there are…
I’m sure we’ll find out as we go. Let’s keep moving to our next one!


The next floor of the vault is covered with impassable gates of electricity.

To bypass them, we’re forced to climb up and around.

From there, we can jump across the shelves to proceed.

We use our second (and last) Lockpick on this chest, which contains a new revolver for Makoto.

It’s a rather dramatic improvement.

This is the same kind of note as before… It says “U=A.”
It’s just like the other codes we’ve been picking up. I think that’ll be a hint!

Aw yeah, another note. If I’m readin’ it right, it says “G=P.”
OK, we have one more hint than before. Let’s keep it up!

It says “HUGE,” you moron! Can you even read?

Don’t make fun of Ryuji’s illiteracy. It’s not nice.

So we’ll need to transpose this one into numbers too. I hope we can do it with the hints we have…

This one’s the third PIN. Uhhh… what’s the word again?
Ugh, it’s “HUGE”! As in, you’re a HUGE idiot! Anyway, this can be made into a number too, right?
I hope it’s not too difficult.

This one isn’t really any tougher than the last. U=A and G=P means 3 and 1, respectively. H is still 2 and E is still 9, giving us 2319.

…I’ve got a confession to make. It’s not that Ari just mysteriously stopped writing commentary. I know the reason.

I had to piece a lot of it together and ask him and my mother for the rest, but it seems that halfway through doing god-knows-what to my beautiful portraits Ari decided he would try to freak me out as payback for yelling at him. He wanted to replace one of the images with a flashing picture of a T-Rex because he heard I didn’t like Jurassic World very much (though he seems to have misinterpreted and thought I found it scary instead of just tedious). Anyway, during his Google Search he ran across this image:

And now he’s had nightmares for the past few days. He’s just been in no mood to ruin this LP, and probably won’t be again for a good, long while. In light of this, I’ve decided to take the notebook he used to write down various notes about the rest of this update and try to transcribe his thoughts as accurately as I can.

Well then, we should keep–

”Hitler-man is weird and pathetic.”

On that, we can agree.

What now?
I’m done having other people walk all over me… It’s my turn now…
He is beyond redemption… It seems he cares not for those he tramples upon himself.
Every step we take just keeps strengthening my resolve. Let’s push onward.
Wanna go back to the vault then?


This movement… There can be no doubt.
Hm? Did you notice something?

Wh-What do you mean…? Can you explain that a little more…?
The cylinder is the mechanism that judges if a key is the proper shape. If you use the correct key and all the discs align, the lock opens.
Now that you mention it, while the walls rotate, the path forward has remained facing the same way…
So you’re saying the whole floor is just one giant lock…?
That’s right. All the smaller vaults in here aren’t important. There has to be an area further in, locked away by the room itself.
And that’s where the Treasure’s gotta be! Sweet, let’s get goin’!

Up ahead, we run into another boss Shadow.

Look, behind it!

It seems like we’ll have to take it down to move on… Are you ready for this, Joker?


Well, Mr. Kaneshiro ordered me to absolutely not let anyone past this point. Accept your death!

”He ain’t got no arms!” is what it says here. I assume it’s talking about this, anyway.

Defeated Avenger

Music: Keeper of Lust

This guy is weak to Psi, and accompanied by two Oni, who we should have little trouble dealing with at this point.

Music: Price (Another Version)

I guess that’s why the Shadow was protecting it?
It doesn’t seem to require any keys, but there are buttons on the left and right of the box…
There must be a reason that thing was guarding it. Let’s try and figure out why.


The vault rotates, revealing… a dead end. So, that’s a bust. Let’s try the left button.



The vault rotates once more, placing the gap right next to us. Let’s see what it revealed.

Another panel, of course.



This time, the gap is where the dead end was last time.

Pushing the right button again reveals the path forward. Time to head down into yet another vault.

We don’t have a Lockpick for this chest, but we’ll make note of it for later.

We run into a normal version of the Take-Minakata from earlier, though it’s a fair bit above our level, preventing us from being able to acquire it.

Morgana learns Diarama, finally catching him up to Makoto in terms of healing output. Media’s pretty much garbage in battle right now due to our much, much larger health pools, so for most tough situations we’ll want both of them.

Ryuji also learns Assault Dive, a Heavy Physical strike. Not quite as good as Yusuke’s Rising Slash (especially because Yusuke currently has stat superiority) but enough to catch him up most of the way.

“I wanna be a pirate!”

Finally, Makoto learns Energy Shower, an amazingly useful skill that cures Confuse, Fear, Rage, Despair, and Brainwash on the entire party. Considering these are some of the more debilitating status effects, it’s great to have good ways to get rid of them, especially on the entire party.

Another pig, another note.

This note is a new one. It says “L = U + G, D=G”

Oh… Oh no.

Ugh, it’s like, algebra or something! I’m getting confused…

”I don’t… algebra? What?”

This is bad. Math isn’t Ari’s strongest subject, and it’s a little early to be introducing him to substituting variables.

Panther… This is really just simple addition…

Yeah, Mona’s right. I’m… I’m sure it’ll be fine.

Hm, there’s a note here… It says “O+H=10.”
So we’re getting into calculations now… Good grief.

I’m starting to worry that this game’s rating being Mature is actually because it contains copious amounts of math. Hopefully Ari manages to figure this out.

We have to backtrack a bit and climb up on top of the shelves to access a vent leading us to the keypad this time.

I’d expect it’s the same pattern we’ve followed so far. We’ll need to decode that word into numbers.
I believe you’re correct. I only hope we can do so with the hints we currently have on us.

The code this time is “GOLD.” Wanna give it a try?

Okay, so U+G = L, so L is 4 (3+1). D is just G, so that’s 1 as well. Finally, O + H = 10, which means that if we subtract H (2) from 10, we get O, which is 8.

Simple enough. Let’s see how Ari did from his notes.

Oh jeez.



The last vault moves aside and an elevator pops out of the ground.


Again?
This… This is the fruit of all my hard labor!
He thinks robbin’ people is something to celebrate? That guy needs to get his brain checked…
With this much, I will be invincible! Omnipotent! I’ve changed… I’m no longer the person I used to be…
The person he used to be…? What could have happened to make him so distorted…?
I don’t know, but no matter what kind of past he had, his actions are unforgivable.
That’s right. Now, if my deductions are accurate, that should’ve been the final mechanism.
All right then. Let’s head back and check out the vault! We know where it is, so going back should be easy. What do you think, Joker?


You’re like some kinda prophet, Queen…
It’s mostly thanks to that notebook. We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for that. More importantly, did you hear all those things Shadow Kaneshiro was saying?
Oh yeah, I was wondering about that! Didn’t he seem kinda… insecure or something?
Exactly. He kept bringing up how rich and powerful he wants to be.
So if he’s insecure about that shit… he thinks he’s really just some poor weakling, huh?
Maybe by thinking he was going to be a strong, wealthy man, he convinced himself it was true.
I wonder… Well, we will discover the truth for ourselves when we change his heart. Let us hurry, Joker.


I don’t see anything.

Doesn’t look like anything to me.

From here on we’re gonna need this callin’ card thing.

Making the target believe that the Treasure is in danger will cause it to materialize. That’s quite a bold trick.
Huh? She understood?
Joker, we’ll defer to you regarding its timing.
OK guys, let’s get ready for the heist!

In the end, that Kaneshiro only showed his stupid face once…
That doesn’t matter. As long as we steal the Treasure, we’ll change his heart.
Then let’s act as the Phantom Thieves should and send the calling card. It’s on you, Joker.
If you wish to train or explore further before sending it, that decision is purely yours.

Music: Aria of the Soul

Next up, we head back to the Velvet Room, because we can fuse Flauros using a Group Guillotine. It requires Andras, Eligor, and Berith, with Eligor supplying the Tarukaja we need.


I shall become a fiery mask of thine, with my powers to see the past and future…

Flauros is one of the 72 demons of the Goetia, who can see the past and future (but will always lie about them) and control fire.

This presence… I see. As we requested, you have brought us a Flauros with the skill Tarukaja.
chuckle Very well… Your assignment’s done.

…Huh, guess he didn’t get back to these before seeing the cursed image. Lucky me.

True… I guess we’ve gotta at least admit that. Your Personas are starting to get pretty damn strong too.
…… Is fostering Personas… truly rehabilitation?
What’re you saying that for?
It is… merely a thought I had. Will the inmate truly be rehabilitated if we help cultivate power within him…?
Keep it together, Justine. This is the job our master ordered us to do. Or… are you gonna try and disobey your orders?
That is not what I meant…
Don’t worry yourself too much over one measly prisoner. All we gotta do is get the most out of his wild card thing, and make him work hard at his tasks.

The wild card…
What is it now?
The more I consider this list, the stranger it seems. Its writer must have known that the one carrying out these tasks would possess the power of the wild card…
You’ve gotta be kidding me. How would somebody know that?
……
I mean, even our master didn’t know the inmate had that wild card thing before we met him!


Hmph. Either way, this’ll all get resolved if you just hurry up and finish your rehabilitation already! Justine, give him his next task so he’ll quit talking back!
…Very well. It seems that it is time for us to be serious.
I feel like my bond with Caroline and Justine is growing deeper…

As previously mentioned, here is the second task you must complete before receiving your reward.

You only need speak with us once you obtain it. We will be able to tell.
Go work up a sweat, Inmate!



And just like that, Kaneshiro’s Palace is done. All that’s left is to send the calling card and steal the Treasure.

We finally secured our route to the Treasure! All we need to do now is send the calling card.
Indeed… We have finished the prearrangements, and now we shall face the true test. But this is no time to panic, Joker. Let us ensure we succeed after having come so far.

Music: Beneath the Mask

I have to agree. The earlier the better in my book.
There is no assurance he will keep his promise, after all. What are your thoughts on the matter, Makoto?

I have nothing to say here, it’s just that I keep breaking down laughing at the thought of the phrase “nasty crimes.”

Hm, calm as always. Well, we’ll leave it up to you.
We’ll be ready to go whenever you are!

No villain can withstand the power of girls’ night! Revive and fight, Phoenix Rangers! Next episode… “I want a Love So Strong, It’d Bring Me Back from the Dead!”

I was moderately into Power Rangers in my formative years so seeing this stuff always gives me a chuckle. Anyway, I’m finally free from the diabolical clutches of my ten-year-old brother. I can’t wait for this LP to be boring again. Next time!


#151
Part 60

Part 60: 6/26-6/27: When A Fly Pigs

I fixed the portraits.

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

Nope.

You’ll understand what I mean when you can see clearly with eyes of truth.

Do not close your heart in shame of your ignorance. Truth shines its light on open minds. In essence, there are two kinds of thieves: the Robin Hood figures, and the mere criminals. Thieves like Robin Hood rebel against authority. The Phantom Thieves only target individuals. And so, the Phantom Thieves are nothing more than criminals. It’d be best you remember that.

Today they’re selling two Uji Matcha Flan for 2980 yen, gifts you can give to female Confidants to rank them up faster on off days. They’re pretty pointless but we buy them anyway because we’re flush with cash.

Music: Tokyo Emergency

We did actually remember to claim Yusuke’s skill card, gaining another Rakukaja.

I totally didn’t forget our weekly purchase of special drink and have to rerecord this entire update, no sir. Anyway, what’s with this game and the word “nasty” lately?

Maaku gains Guts+1.

Now, we have pretty much no options left today but to send the calling card. No one’s available today due to stat locks (Death) or because we haven’t sent the calling card (the entire rest of the party), so let’s just do that.

Music: Suspicion

I would agree, but it will not be an easy task this time.
Yeah, nobody actually knows him…
There’s so goddamn much I wanna write on the calling card too…

Huh, nothing happened. I must really be free.

Music: Tokyo Emergency

Anon: this is so immature.
Anon: they’ll improve the world!
Anon: i dont buy into that stuff.
Anon: Don’t be fooled, everyone!
Anon: i miss this sorta excitement
Anon: aww yeah, come back soon!!
Anon: JUSTICE! Jajajaja
Anon: they’re up to something

Music: Wicked Plan

Yeah, we don’t know where he lives…
Hm? Why not use the same method as before?

It sounds like Makoto has an idea in mind…

Music: Beneath the Mask

Makoto took Ryuji with her. She specifically mentioned that he would be fine and we have nothing to worry about.

I’m sure it’ll be fine if Makoto’s there with him. I’d definitely be worried if Ryuji was going alone though.
You have a point. I suppose we will find out tomorrow either way. For now, we should get some rest.
Yup, cya!
We’re finally going to strike tomorrow. Let’s get some sleep so we can be in tip-top shape!

Nothing goes your way in life. You’ll end up failing if you tense up like that.

Sojiro gives his usual response on calling card days.

Let’s make some lockpicks.

Music: Everyday Days

We get 2 lockpicks from one craft. That means we get a bonus to Proficiency at the end.

…And again.

Only one from this one though.

Maaku gains Proficiency +3 (including an extra Proficiency +1 from the double craft) and five Lockpicks. That’ll last us a while.

It says it’s from the Phantom Thieves…
Look, there’s a bunch over there, too!
Is this some kind of stealth marketing campaign?
Junya Kaneshiro? Who’s that?

Anon: Ends justify the means…

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

Nah man, I’m a fucking delinquent. I’m always late.

I can’t be late today too…

No, I was up very early, shooting a news show. I have much more work in television because of the Phantom Thieves. I have permission from my school, but it’s still tough to do both. …Ah, I can’t keep complaining. Well, let’s both do our best today.

Music: So Boring

Oh yeah. In Japan, when the rainy season ends, we say that it “opens.” But in English, it’s more common to hear people say the rainy season “closes.” Be careful!

I’ve never heard it either of those ways, but okay!

Expressions for the weather are totally different depending on what country you’re in. Now then… Mr. Hamiru! In English, what does the term “cat-and-dog weather” refer to?

Not to be confused with David Cage’s “masterpiece.”

That’s right! Raining cats and dogs. The strongest theory for its origin is that the sound of rain resembles that of dogs and cats fighting. Some other European languages describe bad weather as “dog’s weather,” too.

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

Additionally, in Norwegian they say it’s raining witches, and in Polish they say it’s raining frogs.

Gonna be honest, being a Norwegian sounds hilarious.

Just to say “heavy rain,” as many things fall as there are countries in the world.
Oh yeah, over here they say that when a cat washes its face, it rains. I clean my face every day because I like being clean, and lemme tell you, that’s a load of bull.

Music: Desire

Uh, I found this on the car. There’s something written on it…

This guy is named “Menacing Man,” but his voice actor is stuttering and playing it like he’s quietly freaking out this entire scene.

Hm? Read it.

This is really weird. As far as Kaneshiro knows this is some kind of ad. Why would he care what’s on it?

Um, but…
I said, read it!

Yep. Not greed, gluttony. All you people who guessed it was greed were off-base. Now, part of it is that this game’s conception of the sins is kind of warped, but if I squint real hard I can sort of see where they’re coming from, considering Kaneshiro is all about hoarding, rather than actually consuming. They still have to explain it a bit with that “money-devouring” line though.

“You indulge in scamming others with horrendous methods that target minors exclusively. We have decided to make you confess all your crimes with your own mouth. We will take your distorted desires without fail. From, #Millennials…” I-Isn’t this bad…?
What of it?
I-If something happened to you…! I mean, if the higher-ups find out about this…
Don’t waste your time worrying about this useless shit. Just keep quiet for now.
B-But it’s… posted all around the city… People’re talking about it online too…
Grr…

If you don’t surpass your quota… I’ll kill you.
Y-Yes, sir!




They’ll pay for this…

Music: Life Will Change (Instrumental Version)

A good idea, no? Given the theatrical nature of this one, Kaneshiro must surely have been contacted about it.
You truly are the brains of this Phantom Thieves operation! Ryuji, you should follow her example!
Y’know I’m the one who went postin’ it everywhere, right!? I even had to get all dressed up so they wouldn’t notice me!
Come now, we don’t have the time for idle chitchat. Let us get moving.
We’re going up against a truly horrible criminal this time…
That dick ain’t gonna stop us now that we got our awesome new member! Makoto! You remember how all this works?
Once we steal the Treasure, the Palace will crumble and the Palace ruler’s heart will change.
Wow, you got that quick! I think Ruji’s still struggling to comprehend it all…
Evil adults are nothing more than garbage, and I am no better… I will resolve this, I swear it!
Sounds like you’re fired up! All right, Joker! Give us the signal!


For today, we’ll be using Ryuji, Morgana, and Makoto. We want both Morgana and Makoto for healing, but as for why we’re using Ryuji over Yusuke… well, Ryuji has Tarukaja, which is great, but there’s one more reason. We’ll get into that later.

Here’s what was in that chest we couldn’t open. A Revenge Mirror replicates Yusuke’s Counter and a Chewing Soul gives 100 SP. I don’t consider this terribly worth it, so I reload after opening it.


He was waitin’ for us!

Music: Blood of Villain

A safe…!? This wasn’t here the last time we came…! He changed the entire room so quickly… Tch, I guess this Palace isn’t a bank for nothing.


Lucky? Don’t be ridiculous.
We’re gonna change your heart and make you confess everything you’ve done. That’ll save all those people who’re suffering ‘cause of your shitty actions. Even the police’re strugglin’ to deal with you, so this’ll make the public believe in us too!
Those in power work the ones below them to the bone for money. Such is the hierarchy of the world. Just accept your fate as a source of my wealth!
We’ll never agree to that!
And hierarchy? You have to be out of your mind.
All of that was forced on me too, you know!? I went through shit until I crawled out of the dregs! Now it’s my turn to profit on everyone else!
Still! Don’t you think you’re getting back at the wrong people?
What a pitiful man.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re clean or dirty! Only the clever come out on top! The strong and the smart devour the weak. That is the natural order of things. You damn brats who think you know the world through the shit you read online will make perfect prey.
Hmph. He is utterly hopeless.
It’s always the fools who get tricked! Fools who have to pay for their foolishness. And if those fools don’t learn, well they have to suck it up and stay as plain, stupid fools!
Will you just shut it already!?
I guess there’s not much point saying anything to you fools! This is where my gracious lecture ends. Now then, I hope you’re ready to work as slaves here for the rest of your lives.
That’s outrageous!



Boss: Junya Bael Kaneshiro










Uhhh…

You filthy fly on dirty money… Get the hell out of my face!

These are certainly lines of dialogue.

Music: Keeper of Lust

Huh, that’s not the usual track.

Cry all yeh want, but I ain’t gonna forgive yeh!

They’re naive, they’re reckless, and on top of that, they don’t even realize how stupid they are. Now I couldn’t just sit back and not cash in on those idiots, right?

Okay, so the explanation of “Bael” is a little complicated. Bael, or “Baal,” was a goetic prince of Hell. This version, however, is a lot closer to the similar (or identical, based on your source) figure Beelzebub, which means “Lord of the Flies” (yes, that is where the name of that book came from). German bishop and theologian Peter Binsfield’s classification of demons associated Beelzebub with the deadly sin of gluttony, and here we are.

For this fight we’ll be using pretty much unfailingly the Flauros Ari fused. We might switch to Matador once or twice for Media, but it’s one of our best Physical attackers, and it knows Tarukaja and Rakunda.

Bael gets two actions, but his health pool is rather tiny. He’ll start generally by using Evil Touch to inflict Fear, and attack physically. Makoto’s Energy Shower gets rid of Fear easily enough, so it’s nothing to worry about.

No more games then. I ain’t gonna forgive yeh punks for this.
That’s our line! You had better be prepared!

He can also use Eiga or Maeiga to inflict Curse damage. It’s still rather pathetic unless you have a Curse-weak Persona equipped.

Keep at it, Joker! Corner him!

D-Dammit…! Yeh goddamn punks…!
Show no mercy! Let’s finish him!


Looks like I gotta bring out my big guns…!
You’re all buzz and no bite!
Hehehe… We’ll see about that… Time to roll out…! Here he is… My guardian robot!

Music: Blooming Villain

Oh, there it is.



A pig!?
It ain’t a pig, yo! This is my Palace’s swine-model defensive mechanoid, Piggytron! Goin’ against me’s a real bad crime, yeh know? It’s time for yeh all to go to hell!
Dammit…! I didn’t expect he’d have something like this up his sleeve!
Joker! Make sure you have us regroup if you think we’re at a disadvantage! That thing’s a giant… If it attacks us while we’re at low stamina, we won’t survive!

We’re now in the meat of this fight. And before we really get into it, I should say: this is the easiest boss in the game. That’s not to say it’s impossible to die, but once you know how to deal with his bullshit he’s trivial to counter, and some of his moves seem just designed for Makoto to handle. Sure, I had less trouble with Kamoshida, but that’s as a veteran Persona player who knows about debuffs and had a Persona selection to complement that. Here, we’re just using Flauros, because we don’t have a Persona with Tarunda and to take advantage of his Rakunda and great Strength (Evade Phys and his null Fire affinity also help a lot). Tarunda would be really nice to have, because this boss does, admittedly, hit like a truck. Perhaps we should have upgraded our frankly pretty shitty armor, though he does shitloads of damage even to Makoto, who starts with better gear than any of us have. But as long as we got Morgana to level 24 for Diarama, and brought both him and Makoto, we’re fucking golden. I said Media was useless recently, and that’s not entirely true. It’s still useful to have someone topping up multiple people with low health just in case. Diarama is still going to be our bread and butter though.

For some context: I fought this boss four times (which will explain why the screenshots differ so heavily from the video). The first time I actually killed him too quickly and had to reload so I could show more of the fight, the second time is the take you’ll see in the video, the third time was because I realized I forgot to buy that fucking aojiru and had to rerecord, and the fourth time was to test some stuff I hadn’t tried for the purpose of better explaining the fight.

Thankfully, this form of the boss only gets one turn.

Metabolic Wave sends Piggytron crashing into the ground, causing damage to the entire party.


Ocular Vulcan does a ton of damage to one party member.

Were yeh talkin’ about me too when you said that? If you were… Imma tear yeh all to shreds!

Imma fix piggytron

Go, Piggytron! Super VIP Fooorm!





Piggytron is now spinning, preparing to roll into us. We keep attacking it.

On the next turn, it begins spinning even faster. It’s definitely about to hit us, and attacking it didn’t make it stop.

On the next turn…

\

Yikes.

Now, you may be thinking, “I’ll just guard that attack. That’s why they give you two turns to prepare, right?” And that’s one way to deal with that… though I can’t recommend it. In my infinite wisdom, on the fourth attempt I mentioned earlier, I thought to see if it was possible to survive being steamrolled by guarding. Well, it is. But only just barely. It does upwards of ~400 damage to each party member, and guarding should about halve that. Let’s look at Morgana, who has both the lowest HP and the lowest Endurance in the party. He currently, at level 25, has 240 HP. Unguarded, it did about 550 to him vs 400 for the others. Now, while the other party members were able to guard and survive with HP that didn’t even approach the critical range, from about 80-120 left (and that 80 wasn’t even from full health), Morgana was left with only sixteen. Considering Morgana is critical to trivializing this fight (unless you want to bring Yusuke or Ann instead and make Joker the other primary healer, which would take a lot longer still because that’s way less Rakunda going out), and he only barely manages to survive even while guarding, I don’t think it’s a viable strategy, especially because you probably won’t be at full health for that attack and RNG may very well determine if he survives it at all. Again, you could probably Tarunda this, but I didn’t have that option, and while Rakukaja from Makoto is great, it only affects one person (and Makoto should probably be healing anyway).

So, what do you do? Well, you can try to guard the first one and wait for the game to tell you what to do on the next use of Super VIP Form… or if you press left or right on the D-pad, you can switch targets to Kaneshiro, who has quietly become targetable. I forgive you if you didn’t notice this, because he’s barely fucking visible.

Let’s do that instead.

Kaneshiro, with his HP pool reduced even further, gets knocked off in a few hits.


He is then flattened by Piggytron when it rolls over him. Now, as Kaneshiro is not the real boss here, this is completely meaningless in terms of progression, but it’s kind of funny I guess.

He then gets back inside.


Missile Party deals considerable Fire damage to the entire party (which is why we didn’t bring Yusuke) and has a chance to inflict Burn.

What’s the plan? Should we knock him off like earlier, or do you want to find another way out?

As you know, Kaneshiro is a money monger. Tossing an expensive item his way might draw his attention and serve as a distraction…! Let’s give it a try, Joker! It’s your call what item we throw!
All right, Joker! Time to get that bastard lookin’ over here!

This is the single most worthless one of these special actions in the game, and the one most people cite when saying the mechanic feels half-baked.



A few things here: I have no idea how the game decides what is and is not an acceptable item. All I know is that there’s no point in ever trying any of the “I’m not sure” items, because to my knowledge they always fail. Here, Ryuji will always provide an item that will pique Bael’s interest, but I don’t know why some items are in the pool and some aren’t. One time, one of the “bad” items was a fucking Soul Food, an item that completely restores your SP. Another time, one of the cheap items was a Recover Oil, an item that serves the exact same function as a Hiranya (curing all status effects on one ally), which is in the “expensive” pool. My only guess is that it’s based on how much the item sells for.

Either way, I’m not willing to part with a Hiranya, so I use Morgana’s Life Stone.


Ngh, he’s not interested at all… Do we need to use something worth a little more…?

It doesn’t work.

My Piggytron’s gonna lose…? No, that’s impossible!
It’s already been decided… You are going down.


This has a chance to inflict the entire party with Fear. It’s also gross. As my good friend Freakazoid once said, “I don’t wanna go down into the sewer. It smells like poo gas.”


On the next go around, we get a Magic Ointment (reflects one magic attack). What the hell, let’s throw it.





Th-This’ll make us a fortune! Damn good find, yo!
D-Did it work…!? We don’t need to worry about getting rushed now! Nice work, Joker!

Maybe I can pick up a girl or two once I pawn this thing off…
Kaneshiro’s completely engrossed… Attack him while he’s off guard! It’s only right that a money monger like him is destroyed by money!

It only incapacitates Bael for two turns, after which he’ll go right back to attacking. If you’re really getting your ass kicked, I guess it might be handy, but otherwise there’s absolutely no reason to bother with throwing an item. It’s just a waste.


And that’s Bael down.

Music: Triumph

Morgana learns Garula to replace Garu.

Ann learns Fire Break, a pretty much worthless skill that negates Fire resistance (except the skill Fire Wall, which adds Fire resistance). On Ann, it’s not quite as bad as usual because she lacks any source of damage outside of Fire, but Break skills are hot garbage across the board.

Finally, Yusuke learns Mind Slice, which deals Medium Physical damage to all enemies with a low chance of Confuse.


#152
Part 61

Part 61: 6/27-6/28: Makoto’s Crippling Time Crisis Addiction

Music: Regret



You stole it all from innocent people!
Fine. I’ll call off the debt…
Fine? You’re still soundin’ pretty condescendin’.
You’re right… I’m a poor, ugly… idiot… How am I supposed to live a normal life like this…? It’s all because of our society! Weak people can’t lead a happy life, no matter what they do! I’m a victim too, you know!? Yeah, none of this is my fault!
The more you talk, the more pathetic you sound.
I just wanted a place where I could belong! You get that, don’t you!?
Bullshit! All you did was surround yourself with people you could use, solely for some easy money!
And you think you’re the only one who’s gotta deal with bein’ labeled…? Me… and all these other guys… We’re all fightin’ against that!
But don’t worry. You’ll finally have a place you belong. Somewhere you can make amends, for the rest of your life.
We’re gonna do something about that distorted heart of yours… Free of charge.

Five bucks says Ryuji rehearsed that.

Now hurry up and return to the real Kaneshiro.

These Palaces could net you loads of cash! You could do whatever you wanted to people’s hearts!

Uh, I’ve got 200k on me right now.

We’re not like you!
Where do you find meaning in that naive sense of justice…? You know, there’s already someone out there taking full advantage of what Palaces have to offer…

Music: Disquiet

What…?
I’ll let you in on a little something… There’s a criminal using other people’s Palaces to accomplish whatever they damn well please. They don’t care about consequences. Psychotic breakdowns, mental shutdowns… Anything goes.
Is that… the same person Madarame’s Shadow spoke of…?
Spill it! Who’re you talkin’ about!?
snicker Don’t even bother. You are nothing compared to them… Better be careful… A chance encounter with them could prove fatal…


Music: Run, Run, Run!

We can think about that later! Grab the Treasure; there’s no time!
In that case, we should take that large one… …Wait, what!?

T-Treasure…
What’s gotten into him…!?
This is sooooo coooooool! Wowwweee, being a human is greatttttt! It’s… It’s… It’s… shiny shiny golddd!

Morgana leaps onto Ann’s face for some goddamn reason.

Hrgh!? L-Leff ho off mee!


Ann then chucks Morgana like a football.

Enough, already! Let’s get it in, everyone! Hurry!


Grrr… Fine!

screaming

Music: Suspicion

Ouch!

You guys are so careless… thud Mew! Meowww….

I think I cracked my ass…
Ann, are you all right!? Is yours cracked as well…?
Of course not!
Isn’t it supposed to be though?
Urgh, that’s not what I mean! More importantly, it’s dangerous for us to just charge out like that! Ack! Everyone’s staring at us!

Thank goodness nobody was hurt.
Uhhh, I wouldn’t say nobody…

Music: My Homie

RIP catte, I wish I could say it’s been fun, but well…

It appears to have been the cause of Morgana’s demise…
That’s not what I meant! Isn’t that Kaneshiro’s…
You mean his Treasure…!?
Hey, the light’s red!

How about at karaoke?
We’d have security cameras to worry about there.
Oh, I got the perfect place.

That’s right!
I was just in the mood for some coffee too.

So… warm…

Music: Wicked Plan

Ann is tending to Morgana.

Have you learned anything new?
It’s sealed by a rotary lock. We’ll need the combination to open it.

Morgana interrupts with a scream of pain from Ann’s treatment.

A rotary lock, hm…?

Makoto fiddles with the dials.

The latches open.

…I knew it.
How did you get that?
I simply memorized the combination. I saw him open and close it so many times, after all.
W-Well that’s… scary. But amazin’ too!
Urghhh, that burns… Hey, hurry up and open it.

gasps

H-How much is this!?
I believe one stack is one million yen… …Hm?
One, two, three… Uhh, there’s thirty of them in here!?
Thirty million yen… Even after splitting it, we still each get five million…!

Um, what? The cat can’t spend money. I should get double.

Holy shit… It’s gonna be deluxe pork soup combo for me from here on out!
You have to think bigger than that…
Not to bring down the excited mood… but does this money look real to you?



F-For real…!?

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

I guess this represents… how everything he did was an act to make himself seem tough…?
Nooooooooo…!
Well hey, at least it feels like we totes busted this case, right?
What do you mean? Is busting a case good or bad…?
Both!
Snrk… chuckle Ahahahaha! To think the reward for the Phantom Thieves is feeling they “totes busted” the case… Ahhh… How funny!
Hold on a second. Even though the contents were nothing more than trash, the case itself is quite nice.
All right then, let’s sell it! Glad we got that sorted!
By the way Morgana, have any of your memories returned?
No, not at all…
C’mon, did that hit to your head make you forget even more?
It’s easy for you to talk. You’re not the one who lost your memories.
You have amnesia…?
Something like that. He does remember searching for Treasures though.
Hm. I hope your memories return soon then. So… what happens next?
First, we wait for Kaneshiro to have his change of heart.
It’s gonna be big this time. People’re gonna make a huge deal out of it, for sure.
Hey, you know what Kaneshiro said at the end there…? About that “criminal using the Metaverse…
Yes, I was bothered by that as well.
No point mullin’ over it now. Let’s wait and see how Kaneshiro’s change of heart goes first. We should prolly just lay low for a while.
I never thought I’d hear those words coming from you.

Music: Disquiet

How long is it going to take? This incident happened at the school you’re supposed to be presiding over… sigh

School?


…Fine. I hope you remember who gave you that position to begin with. Our other operative gave us a list of candidates without delay. How different from a certain someone… …Yes, of course. Please continue your investigation.

Is he talking with Kobayakawa? Seems like something nefarious is afoot.

Music: Beneath the Mask

All we need to do now is await the results.
I wonder what’s gonna happen when he has the change of heart. Do you think he’ll turn himself in?
That seems likely.

Right? We were going up against a real criminal, after all.
Yes. We managed to steal the heart of a notable lawbreaker.
I can’t wait to see Akechi’s face when he hears the news!
Honestly, I just hope that people who see it get some courage from the news.
There’s still one thing that worries me though…
Do you mean how someone is using the Metaverse for evil?
It would be seriously unforgivable if someone was really doing that…
Eh, we can think about that later. For now, let’s just wait for Kaneshiro’s change of heart.
Very well. Nicely done, everyone!
All we need to do now is let the results come rolling in. We did great today though! Public opinion of us should skyrocket after this!

There’s been markedly more damage than a typical year, and people fear public safety has worsened. People are calling for people to be careful, but have yet to enact any effective countermeasures.
That Kaneshiro… He’s really done it now.

We already changed his heart, Morgana, keep up.

Now all we have to do is wait for them to have a change of heart. Tonight, you can take it easy.

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

Same with Kamoshida, and Madarame too. They hurt and exploited others just to satisfy their desires… Still, there were people around them who noticed their terrible deeds, weren’t there? I wonder why they turned a blind eye… Why doesn’t anyone help?

But they don’t have the courage? Humans are so weak. Humans… Hey, do you think I’ll really be able to become a human? When I touched the Treasure… some memories came back. I tried to force myself to forget, but… I really may not be human…

Who do you think you’re talking to? Now that I think about it, I gotta be human. I am the core of the Phantom Thieves, after all!
I feel like my bond with Morgana is growing deeper…

Pickpocket is a neat little skill. You probably still won’t be using melee all that much, but it’s a nice surprise for when you do.

Come on, it’s not good for you to stay up this late. Let’s go to sleep.

Music: Aria of the Soul


You’ve defeated the repulsive fiend of gluttony this time. chuckle Well done. I am glad to see you have devoted yourself to your rehabilitation.
You are not worthy of such kind words, Inmate… I suggest you treasure them.
Do you recall the whispers about that strange man?

Even a chicken could remember something that important! Don’t sound so cocky about it!

Just can’t win with these two, can I?

…This is about the cases of those people who shut down, is it not?
Indeed… I speak of another with powers similar to yours. If you are to complete your rehabilitation, you may encounter him eventually… chuckle Yet another thing for me to look forward to. I shall grant you an ability befitting of your newfound growth. Consider it a gift. It would be greatly troubling if you were to not strengthen your abilities.
I feel like my bond with Igor is growing deeper…

More experience when we fuse, all right.

It’s time, Inmate!
Return to your world.

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)



I assume it’s OK if you’re able to make such jokes. There’s something I feel I should let you know. Kaneshiro contacted me.
Kaneshiro!?

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

And, um… My sister and her team have taken him into custody.

What!?
It appears they did not want him to… disappear, if you know what I mean.
His group was called a mafia, after all… I wouldn’t put silencing him past them.
Does this mean we were successful in changing his heart?
It’s hard to say for sure yet.

What the fuck are you talking about? It’s plain as day! What possible reason could you have to doubt that it worked?

I see… What about those psychotic breakdowns that Kaneshiro mentioned…?
I’m not sure… but I assume he was talking about the incidents that have been all over the news lately. It really may be related to the other person who has been entering Palaces…
True. That said, all we can do now is wait until Kaneshiro’s change of heart becomes clear to us. Thank you.

Music: Tokyo Daylight

We seem to be fine for now, but we can’t let our guard down. I ask that you try not to stand out for a while. By the way, I usually spend my time in the student council room. If there’s ever an emergency, feel free to come find me there.

Sounds like Makoto’s available to hang.

Hey, shouldn’t you tell the others about what Mishima told you?

Nah.

Akechi-kun should deal with the mafia instead of the Phantom Thieves, but maybe he’s too busy.
What are the Phantom Thieves trying to achieve? They’re only targeting bad guys, so far.
Maybe they want to do it for fame. I guess they’d want to show up Akechi-kun after he said those things on TV.

Well, you’re not affected because of your bad rep. If you want to ask me about something, go for it.

She’s the ideal honor student. Excellent grades, exemplary conduct, trusted by teachers… She ran for class president and won on her own merit. Well, no one else wants to do her job though.

He’s still highly regarded for his passion for education, even though he’s criticized for scandals now. Ever since the incident involving Mr. Kamoshida, he’s been working to restore our school’s prestige.

I hear fraud is on the rise, and there’s even rumors of drugs and prostitution… The police can’t do much because they have too little info. Most of the time, the victims stay silent.


The calling card was sent to that criminal organization, but I haven’t thought of any furth-- …Oh, no. I’ve said too much. For your own safety, I can’t risk exposing any more top secret info.

This big scary guy looked like he was panicking while tearing them down. It was hilarious!
Is something going to happen again…? Oh, and you guys, try not to go out too late, OK?
Whaaat? It’s fine. Plus, if that calling card is real, things will be safer around here.

So, wait a minute. Did Makoto and Ryuji have to get those things printed? How much would that cost? And how did nobody notice them either at the print shop or posting the calling cards?

I stayed up reading about it, and didn’t get much sleep. I sooo don’t wanna go to practice…
What are you doing!? It’s up to us to bring pride to Shujin Academy now that the volleyball team’s been disgraced!
You’re right. The third-years all retired, so I gotta take my role as captain seriously.

Music: Tokyo Emergency

Yes, I must save Shibuya from the surge of darkness. It is all the will of the Sun God.

Wait, this dude’s the Sun God? I’m kind of losing the plot here.

So you really do control them! I thought you’d just been idling the time away.
Y-You fledgling… It is merely my plan to throw them off guard! As we speak, my apostles go forth!


I keep hearing about the calling card that the Phantom Thieves sent out. The underworld is nothing but thugs now. It’s pathetic. What happened to their code of honor?

What!? Are the Phantom Thieves at it again? …By the way, who’s Kaneshiro?
He’s the mafia boss running Shibuya. It’s all over the internet!

Music: Tokyo Daylight

Yeah, I saw. Their logo is pretty cool. But aren’t the Phantom Thieves like, bad guys? I can’t believe they’re in Shibuya!
That’s what Akechi-kun said—that they’re dangerous. I hope someone puts a stop to them.

Do you need something on the third floor? Have you come to study in the library, perhaps?

It seems your studies have paid off. Have you been working hard?
It seems I have enough Knowledge to invite Makoto out… This may be a good opportunity to deepen my bond with her…

The requirement was Rank 3, which we actually did meet the last time we tried to talk to her, but it gives you the rejection anyway if you do it pre-Palace.

There’s something I want to ask you. If it doesn’t get in the way of your studies, that is.

Thank you. Now then, let’s find somewhere better to talk. The courtyard should do.

nods

Music: Alright (Elp Version)

Up until now, I’ve been the quintessential honor student. I believe I’ve been handling my position as student council president with ease as well. A-And I don’t mean that in a boasting way, that’s simply how I’ve thought about it. …But in the end, I was unable to make any kind of impact with either Suzui-san or Kaneshiro. Turns out there’s no use for a rule-abiding honor student when things get rough. Now that I’m a member of the team, I want to do everything I can to help you all. All my studying up to this point has kept me quite narrow-minded. I think… I-I will need to broaden my horizons somewhat.

My first step will be to learn more about the other students. But… I struggle with that. There seems to be a disparity between my tastes and those of my peers…

Maaku… teach me how to eat a hamburger.

Really? I hope you’re right… But I don’t even know where people like to go for fun… It would be nice to have a grasp of such concepts. Plus, the student council must be responsible for understanding the student body they serve, right? I-I don’t mean that in a surveillance way, I just want to know them as people. I may be a phantom thief, but that’s no excuse for me to start ignoring my presidential duties. Now, back to the topic at hand… Where do people usually go for fun?

I enjoy the movies myself, sometime. I think I’d prefer somewhere I’m unfamiliar with… Oh, I know! How about the arcade? I’ve never actually been to one. Do you think you could take me? I’m not sure if it will broaden my horizons per se, but simply studying won’t get me anywhere.

Thank goodness… I think I would have been totally lost in there had I gone by myself. Well, let’s get going.

Music: What’s Going On?

There are more girls here than I expected.

You play by aiming the gun at the screen, right? That actually seems somewhat realistic. ……


I-If it’s OK with you… Do you think you could teach me?
nods

Time to give Makoto a taste of blood.

Huh!? …… No way! …… Ahhh!
Makoto’s loud play is garnering quite a bit of attention… She seems to be too engrossed in the game to even notice though…


Of course that was just a game, but… I wonder if I could apply some of the techniques I learned here during battle.

Perhaps going somewhere I don’t normally frequent is what helped me come up with that idea. You know, it may only be a little bit… But I think I’m starting to understand how people pass time. Interesting. I would’ve never even thought about coming here before.

I… Hey, do you think you could help me out again later? I might be able to give the team more ideas if I can gain increased knowledge outside of my studies.

I need to live up to your expectations now that I’ve taken up your time. Perhaps it won’t be immediately… but I’m sure I can be of use.
I can sense a strong resolve from Makoto…

Music: Interrogation Room


You managed to overcome them because you had someone who specialized in analyzing enemies… …Isn’t that right!?

Man, Sae’s an idiot.

Music: The Spirit


The (High) Priestess arcana represents intuition and the subconscious, as well as mystery and higher powers. It’s all about knowledge, some of it secret. When reversed it foretells hidden agendas and deception.

Makoto’s Shadow Calculus lets us see the skills and items enemies have, which is very useful.

Music: What’s Going On?

By the way, you went to the red-light district when you were chasing after Kaneshiro, right? I’d like to go there as well. No! N-Not for my own purposes…

To tell you the truth, I recently got a report that one of our students was spotted there… I’m skeptical, but… I’d like to confirm firsthand for myself. Well, it’s getting late. Let’s go home. See you…


#153
Part 62

Part 62: 6/28-6/30: A Ton Of Salt

Music: Beneath the Mask

What’s Kosei like? Is it filled with guys like Yusuke?
I imagine there are a lot of “different” people there.
Now that you mention it, I have one very interesting classmate. She is a female shogi player, and seemingly quite the skilled one at that.
Are you talking about Hifumi Togo? I remember hearing she’s a student at Kosei. They say she’s the most beautiful shogi player around right now.
Dude, that sounds too good to be true! Gimme some more info!
I do not know much about her. She is not the kind of person to let others close to her.
It sounds like she only focuses on her shogi pursuits. After all, it’s said she is a lone genius…
However, I have heard she is commonly seen at the church over in Kanda.
For real!? We gotta go!
You’ll probably get struck down by a bolt of lightning if you’re going for that ulterior motive.
That ain’t it! This is for the Phantom Thieves!

Oh, this should be good.

I mean, shogi’s a kinda battle, right? She’s gotta know all sorts of insane strategies and stuff!
Uh…
That is quite the stretch.
Churches are supposed to be holy. Don’t do this, Ryuji.
Urgh, you guys’re gonna pay for this one day! Maaku, you go spy on her for me! Find out if she’s really as cute as they say she is.
sigh Let’s ignore that idiot. Anyway, a shogi expert, huh? Striking an enemy with but a moment’s inspiration, skillfully strategizing toward victory… Those might actually be good tactics to know for our work as the Phantom Thieves. They said she’s at the church in Kanda, right? We should check it out when you have the time.

I like how we completely dismiss Ryuji there and then do exactly what he wanted for the same bullshit reason he suggested.

We can go to Kanda now.

It’s the two Uji Matcha Flans we ordered! They’re pretty worthless!

Ah, yes, I’d have to say Hifumi Togo. She does a very good job of balancing offense and defense. Not to mention, she’s very pretty.
Yes, I’ve heard she’s started doing some modeling work recently.

Well, let’s head over to Kanda and see Hifumi, then.

Music: Time to Repent

In Japanese this track is called “Penalty Time,” which always makes me think there’s like a hockey rink or some shit before I remember what track it is.

This is the church. It’s rather tiny.

Lambs who’ve strayed from their path and lost sight of their goals in this life are welcome here. Simply put, I offer solace and advice to those with worries or who wish to reflect on their past.
Hmm, this seems like a convenient place to-- Wait, did he say “reflect on their past”?

This feature returns from P4G, though now we can do it whenever we want instead of only on specific days for each party member. We still won’t be making use of it, because it’s better to get it right the first time.

That might be quite useful to you if you had something that you wanted to remember. …Just make sure you don’t offend him or make him angry by brushing off his advice.

Maybe she’s Hifumi Togo, the one Yusuke mentioned… Why don’t you go ask her?


My overflowing Charm seems to have reached Hifumi.

This is a Rank 3 Charm gate, which we clear.

I’m Hifumi Togo…

I’m doing some research, so… Experimenting with new tactics is best to do alone in a place like this. …Well, I suppose that doesn’t sound terribly plausible to someone who doesn’t play… Don’t mind me; please go ahead and pray.
Hifumi Togo seems to take a very tactical approach to playing shogi. I feel like I can learn some tactics for the Phantom Thieves from her shogi expertise. I should ask her if she’ll teach me…



Music: Alright (Elp Version)

…Huh? Um, you don’t necessarily have to learn from me, you know… There are other options… such as playing online.

Maaku bows.

Well then… Um… So… you like shogi?

Like me…? You’re a bit strange… but thank you. Um… OK, just a quick game then. Twenty seconds per move… If that’s all right with you.

…Saying that will likely make her lose interest. I guess I’ll have to play her. I’ll just move the pieces randomly…
I’ll start.

Music: Wicked Plan

The dragon which governs the blue sky has fallen into my hands. How do you intend to survive this?

Um, what

Hifumi slams the piece down onto the board with a resounding CLAP.

…It’s checkmate no matter how you look at it. Please concede.

To concede is an act of admitting that you have lost, with grace. If you aspire to become a shogi player, I recommend that you take your study of the game to heart. Thank you for playing… Well then, that will be all for today… If it’s all right with you, may I request another match sometime?

I feel… a gambler’s spirit emanating from you. Which is strange, since your style of play is that of a complete novice…

Huh…!? Oh, I-I’m sorry… However, I will instruct you under one condition… You become my playing partner so that I can research new moves. Is that agreeable?

Thank you very much… Well then, it’s a deal. I’ll teach you how to play, and you’ll assist me with my new moves.
I’ve made a deal with Hifumi…

Music: Interrogation Room

Ah shit, twice in one day!?

And yours weren’t by the wit of an amateur. You had a professional who regularly deals with such tactics. …You have an idea on who that is, don’t you!?

Music: The Spirit


Star is the arcana of hope and inspiration, and represents lack of faith and despair when reversed. It’s all about idealism.

Hifumi’s skills don’t have a whole lot to do with each other, mostly just being a random grab bag of Confidant skills they wanted to shove in somewhere. They’re still pretty useful, though. I didn’t end up using Koma Sabaki much because it costs a turn (and also because all my main party eventually had SP Adhesive 3s on at all times), but I can imagine it being helpful to get yourself out of a jam or just make it easier to cover all your bases in terms of elemental affinities.

…I shall see you again, if the fates allow.
I feel like playing shogi with Hifumi has helped sharpen my Knowledge

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

Music: So Boring

A young woman wearing all brand clothing and an older man with gold accessories were arguing. Both were on their high horse, and even though they dressed fancily, it felt nouveau riche. Speaking of, the Japanese words for “high horse” and “nouveau riche” both originated as shogi terms. A lot of people aren’t familiar with shogi, but it’s good to know a little bit about it.

Goddammit, what is it with shogi right now?

So, Hamiru-kun. Have you seen this piece before?


This game has been localized well.

That’s right. This is the cursive form of the kanji for “gold,” which is written on the back of the pawn.

A weak piece like a pawn can become gold if you get it into the enemy’s camp, hence “nouveau riche.”

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

By the way, nouveau riche like to wear expensive clothes because of a desire to be acknowledged. Once humans fulfill the basic needs of clothing, good, and shelter, our next desire is recognition. That’s why people try to make themselves seem bigger by flaunting their power through money.
Making yourself seem bigger… Reminds me of a frilled lizard.

Music: Tokyo Emergency

Already? I applied months ago.


So what are you going to do here today?

Music: Break it Down

I’ll do everything myself today, so you can just observe me and try to learn the ropes. Well, let’s begin!


Maaku gets 3200 yen.

Good work, Maaku-kun. Come back again when you have the time.

I bet doing this gift-making job has boosted your Kindness.

Maaku gains Kindness +2.

All right, we should head home.

Music: Beneath the Mask

The server went down because it was attacked from somewhere, I heard.
I hope they get caught soon. They’re really causing a lot of trouble for us!
I heard they’re some kind of scary foreign organization. Our police wouldn’t stand a chance.

The ISP has announced that the problems were caused by an external attack. The perpetrators did not issue a statement, but they are suspected to be an anonymous hacker group.
Attacking as a group… It must suck to be on the receiving end of that.

Seems like hackers are becoming a problem. Yikes.


Busy studying, eh? With these amazing study reference books, you’ll pass any exam you want!

Yeah! You better go buy… these awesome study reference books! If you’ll just sign here…

What!? You use up my time like this, and then you say you don’t want any of my products!? Why didn’t you just say so from the start!? Go away, you idiot kid, you’re wasting my time!

The ones who steal hearts? Ah, I wish they’d steal mine…
No! Akechi-kun says they’re dangerous. And he knows what he’s talking about!
You always fall for people too hard, too fast. You’re too clingy! That’s why you keep getting dumped!

Well, you see… I was already scammed once. And with all that’s happened, I’m a little cautious.
Look, lemme produce you. You’re absolutely fabulous. I’ll take care of you—you have my word.
I do really, really want to be a singer… But, can I trust you?

I’m gonna take a wild swing in the dark here and say the answer is no!

We pick up Flowerpedia from the Shinjuku bookstore while we’re out. It’ll come in handy for our job at the flower shop.

I remember you… You had a very abnormal destiny, as I recall. Please, take a seat.

For that much, it’d better not only change your fate, but also give you incredible luck. If you do end up buying one, we should go home and test it out. Well, what do you want to do?

What the hey, I’m a total dumbass and this seems like a great idea.

Thank you very much! Here you go.

It’s the smart thing to do, considering this is the only way to avoid misfortune. It’s already charged with a happiness aura, so you’ll feel the effects right away. Don’t forget to recharge it with moonlight every three days. Please stop by again and let me know how your fate changed. Goodbye…
I should head home…

Music: Break it Down

I was just about to close up shop, but I forgot to turn the stove off. I guess you start forgetting things more the older you get…

I wonder what kind of luck we’ll have this time around. It should be awesome, right? I mean, we paid a hundred thousand yen for this Holy-- Ow! What the heck!? Hey, can’t you keep this thing a little cleaner? I can’t be comfortable with all this gravel at the bottom of the… …Wait, Maaku. I have a bad feeling about this.


Music: Tension


GOD DAMMIT

What’s gotten into you?

Huh? This tastes… salty!

Why are you tasting it!?

Hey, the Holy Stone is just salt!

I live a cursed existence

…Maaku? What’s going on?

You’re salty…? That reminds me, I was just about to head out and grab some salt for the shop. I’ll be back in a bit.

Wait, in that case… maybe the Holy Stone is supposed to help you get better at cooking!

This stupid cat

B-But if that’s not it, then what’s it for…? …Hold on a second, the Holy Stone was supposed to change your future, not improve your cooking skills!

That fortune teller’s name was Chihaya, right? She clearly has some kind of mystical power… but this is just unacceptable. …We need to go complain to her!

Or, and hear me out: we could slash her tires. Your idea’s great, but I like mine a lot too.

It turns out the Holy Stone I bought from Chihaya was a fake. I should go talk to her and try to figure out her true intentions…

This is what I deserve, isn’t it? For being so stupid?

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

By the way, June’s almost over. We defeated Kaneshiro, so we can rest easy for a while… I guess? So, what do you want to do today? Maybe something like a trip to Mementos?

I mean, breaks are important… But we have those requests on the message board, so don’t forget to answer them.

Music: Beneath the Mask -Rain (Instrumental Version)


We head over to the diner. Maaku gains Guts +1 and Knowledge +3 from the rain.

Music: Beneath the Mask

Today, we interview a man who was once a con artist. In our talk with him, we’ll cover the skillfull methods of con men, which are constantly evolving.
They really put a lot of thought into these scams. I wish they’d put all that effort to better use.

Yeah, I saw that! They’re so cool! They’re like Featherman, taking on the bad guys like that!
When I said that, my parents got mad at me. They said there’s no way the Phantom Thieves are real.
Parents just don’t get it. All they do is nag and nag, telling us to study all the time.

Oh boy, time for the recurring adventures of our favorite elbow-bender!

Oh, sorry. This man just decided to lie down here.

No, he’s just drunk. Doesn’t he realize that it’s still dangerous around here?

Buuuddy!
Haha, who’re you imitating now? That’s one helluva quote.
The Phantom Thieves! You gotta check ‘em out, bro!

Yes, they’re the ones with the “calling card.” I heard they had an altercation with the yakuza.

Um, it’s the “mafia,” thank you.

They seem to be very popular among young people. Though I don’t know why.

There’s no telling why these days. However, I believe they may be able to build their own business.

How? Why, with the magic of Squarespace! Build it beautiful!™

curious meow
Oh, I mean… Excuse me, sir, but do you happen to know who put these dope—damn it! What I mean is, the flyers have this cool mark on them. Are they for a store that’s nearby?

Foreign Barker’s quest to be polite with the help of a cat is one of my favorite subplots in this game.


The thugs in Shibuya are actin’ up since the Phantom Thieves sent out that calling card of theirs. Aw, hell, it’s not all bad. I’m havin’ a lil’ bit of fun taking out a few of ‘em… chuckle

We need more Mega Fertilizer for our plant, so we pick some up.

Oh? She’s with a rube client.

Hm? She’s with a client… Sounds like they’re talking about the Holy Stone. Do you wanna eavesdrop on them?

Music: Suspicion

I-I’m fine. It’s my fault anyway, Yuya said so… He says he doesn’t want to hit me, but I just make him so mad…

Oh! Fuck this!

I suggest you break up with him. Things are only going to get worse at this rate.
B-But I’m the only person that cares about him! If I leave, how will he survive…? Please, is there any other way?
…Let us ask the tarot. O divine power, shed light upon her fate…

Yes, I’ve seen everything. Hm… I can sense a dark presence within your boyfriend. His heart seems to be possessed by a demon. This demon may hide itself away at times, but when it strikes, it will bring with it great misery.
Wh-What kind of misery…?
You will be hospitalized for severe injuries suffered in a domestic abuse incident, and he will be arrested.
What? Hospitalized!? A-Arrested!? I knew I shouldn’t have let Yuya throw my Holy Stone away! He said I shouldn’t be wasting my money on some dumb rock… that I should be giving it to him instead. This is my punishment for letting him do that, right? Please, let me buy another one from you!
Wh-What…? You want another?
My next stone will need to be even bigger. I’m a little low on cash at the moment… but you said I can pay in up to thirty-six installments, right?
Um, truthfully, I feel breaking up with him would be the best–
I can’t abandon Yuya!

There’s no way that could be true… right?

Man, this cat is dumb.

Right. It would make our jobs way easier if you could really change someone’s heart with a Holy Stone. It’s clear that Chihaya has some fortune telling skills, but that stone isn’t going to do anything… …Hey, Maaku! Why don’t we change that “Yuya” guy’s heart ourselves? I mean, he’s hurting this woman here, right? This is the perfect chance for the Phantom Thieves to save her!


H-Hey! Were you eavesdropping on us? That’s an invasion of privacy, you know!



The demon within your boyfriend’s heart… cannot be exorcised by normal human methodologies. Fate is… absolute. A-Although, I guess you might be able to control the demon’s temper if you bought another Holy Stone… ……

This is Chihaya. Chihaya is a terrible person.

U-Um, I’m not entirely sure who you are… But do you know of any other way I can approach this problem…?

Mine? Oh… You’re talking about Yuya, aren’t you? It’s Yuya Uchimura… Um… why do you want to know? What are you planning on doing?

I’m surprised her immediate assumption isn’t just that I’ll fucking merc this dude.

Y-Yes! What do you expect to change with that meager information…?

What…? You honestly believe you can do something!?
…… I… I trust you.

Excuse me!?
It feels like he’s telling the truth. Besides, Yuya has all my money. He’s going to pay me back someday… But for now, I would rather put my trust in this one boy than in thirty-six payments for a Holy Stone.

Boy, you sure changed your mind about that Holy Stone quick.

What!?

You! What do you think you’re doing!? If you keep making false accusations like that, the divine power will rain punishment down upon you!

…Um, I never accused anyone of anything.

……? You look so pleased with yourself… Hm, I’ve seen everything. A vision of you groveling on the ground… Fate cannot be changed… and I will prove that fact to you! If that woman stays with her abusive boyfriend, she will meet a horrible injury within a year’s time. Now, if you honestly believe you can change her destiny, go ahead and try! But once you realize the error in your thinking, come back and let a true expert handle things. I will save her… with a Holy Stone…!

Christ, what an asshole.

Well then, are we done here? I’m way too busy for this!

And we get a new request, which we’ll have to make sure to complete some time in the near future.


#154
Part 63

Part 63: 7/1-7/3: Mishima’s Getting Arrested For Fraud

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)


Music: Everyday Days

A legendary female pope, huh? Do you think she really existed?

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

I want something filling, but with summer coming up I’m worried about having too many calories…
Why don’t we get tea? The diner in Shibuya serves Frui-Tea. It smells good, it’s great for your skin, and it totally increases your charm!
Frui-Tea? What a cute name! Sounds yummy! Being stylish starts from the inside out, after all. Guess I’ll try some.
Frui-Tea, huh… Sounds like a hip drink that’s real popular with the ladies. You want to try some?

I see… Well, you should keep an open mind. If it tastes good and makes you more stylish, might as well, right? It might be a good idea to boost your charm by drinking Frui-Tea whenever you’re at the diner.

Music: So Boring

A variety of heroes battling for dominance—truly an epic time. Charismatic rulers and warlords with the command of a thousand men may have their own appeal… …But personally, I think that the strategists who support them can’t be ignored. Now then, Hamiru-kun. In the book, Zhuge Liang of Shu is famous for his exploits during the Battle of Red Cliffs… …But do you know what Chinese dish Zhuge Liang is credited for inventing?

I’ve never heard of half of these!

That’s right. The answer is baozi. At the time, one region would use a person’s head as an offering to quell an overflowing river. But Zhuge Liang made a baozi in the shape of a head as a substitute.

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

These days, you can find baozi with cute faces on them. If you think about their origin, it’s not too off the mark.
I never knew strategists came up with cooking, and not just strategies…

Music: Tokyo Daylight

The target should be in Mementos. Let’s hurry up and deal with ‘em.

We’re not going to deal with them until after the next block opens.

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)



Maaku gains Charm +1 and Knowledge +2.

Music: Beneath the Mask

Popular idol Rise Kujikawa is releasing a new song! This time, the theme is “mature love”!
She’s really gained a lot of sex appeal since she hit 20. And look at how sexy her outfit is, too.

Aww, good for Rise. Bad for her that people are still creeps, though.

…You understood what I told you last time, right? And you still want to request me?
>Call her over
Fine… I guess I’ll have to talk to you properly about it. Just wait for me there.

Music: Alright (Elp Version)

I told you that the story about my sick little sister was a lie… You know you’re being used for money… and you still request me?


Are you… an extreme masochist or something? You really are one strange kid… I’m a mediocre teacher and a mediocre maid… And yet, you listen to everything I have to say… …You’re the complete opposite of me. I don’t even properly attend to my students’ needs. ……

…An “apology.” There was a student named Takase at the school I taught at before Shujin. Takase-kun was considered a problem child, since he had the lowest grades and skipped school a lot. So I was put in charge of guiding him… or rather, pushing him to transfer to another school. But when I got to know him, I realized that he wasn’t a problem child after all. …In fact, he was working several part-time jobs just so he could cover his living expenses. His relatives took him in when his parents died, so he had to make money to support himself. He couldn’t attend school every day, but he was motivated to study. That’s why I decided to tutor him. After I started working with him, his grades started to improve, slowly but surely. But I was told that it was wrong to only help certain students and not others… Then a strange rumor about him being a juvenile delinquent began to circulate. And on top of that, I got called into the principal’s office… He threatened me… saying that I’d be dismissed if I continued to tutor Takase-kun.

Yikes.


But you could say the same about me. I got scared… of losing my job, and of having rumors spread about me. So… I canceled our upcoming tutoring sessions… Takase-kun was on his way to one of his part-time jobs when I told him…

Uh-oh.

Out of all days, it was New Year’s Eve, and it had been pouring rain all day… And… he died in a car crash.

Well… fuck. This got absurdly depressing.

Music: Confession/Secret

He sounded so depressed when I told him that I couldn’t tutor him anymore… But then he said that it was no big deal because he had to work anyway, so I wouldn’t feel bad. If only I had kept my promise to him…

Takase-kun was exhausted from the tutoring sessions and working at all his part-time jobs… His guardians blamed me for the accident, saying it was all my fault that he was so tired… They said that they were going to sue me and take the issue to the media and Board of Education. I wouldn’t have been accused of a crime, but if word had gotten out, the school would’ve been done for. …I wanted to continue teaching, no matter what. So I ended up paying them the “apology” money so they wouldn’t sue me or say anything.

It was my indecisiveness that backed him into a corner, and I blame myself every day. I know paying them isn’t going to bring him back, but it’s the only way I can atone for my sins.

That’s some hot bullshit.

It seems like his guardians are satisfied with our arrangement, so…


I have to keep my distance to avoid hurting others, so I don’t meddle in my students’ lives. I’ve been coming here because of a random twist of fate, but we should say goodbye as well.

Hamiru-kun… You’re really not the type to back down, are you? Haha… I guess we’re in this together, now that I told you the whole story, right? …Yeah. I’ll see what I can do about the other teachers so you can get free periods with them, too.

Oh yeah, those free periods you’ve been giving me have been so helpful, all zero of them.

…I look forward to continuing our relationship.
I feel like my relationship with Kawakami has deepened…

All righty, time to clean. I’m going to put more energy into it than usual today! :heart:

A mild cough? Welp, it’s been nice knowing you Kawakami.

Oh my, this room is sooo dusty! Even though I wipe the place squeaky clean every visit… Well, I guess it’s all for you, Master. I’ll work hard to earn my keep! :heart:

It’s worse than I thought. She clearly has days to live.

Oh, uh, wooow! It’s so dusty! If my cough is already this bad… Maybe we’d be better off tearing this place down than trying to clean it? Well, the shabbi-- I mean, chicness of this room is truly its charm, so let’s keep it as-is! All right, I have to go. :heart: I’ll be eagerly awaiting your next request, Master! :heart:

Music: My Homie


Mr. Ushimaru, please come to the faculty office at once.
What…? I don’t know what business this is… …You better study on your own until I return!

Wasn’t that Kawakami on the PA? There’s no way that announcement was real… It must have been the signal! Kawakami’s graciously given us this free time, so we’d better put it to good use. So, what’s the plan?

We finally get some time off in class. This isn’t scripted, we just got extremely lucky that an opportunity arose the day after we unlocked this Confidant ability.

Reading lets us read a book, making infiltration tools lets us craft (and gives us Proficiency, as per usual), sleeping gives us points in a random Confidant (including story-based ones like Igor and ones that don’t require points like Tora or Mishima, both of which end up being useless) or, apparently, points in a random stat, and studying on your own gives you Knowledge.

We’ll finish The Illusory Popess.


Maybe the people of that era made up this mysterious female pope, but she’s an inspirational figure. Pope Johanna, loved by so many… Reading about her must have taught you the value of forgiveness…

Maaku gains Kindness +3.

Ah! The teacher’s back…!

Phew, that was close. Kawakami helped us get a good chunk of free time though!

Music: Tokyo Daylight

Um, about our trip to the red-light district. Do you have time today?
So, what’s it going to be? Do you want to hang out with Makoto?

Great. Let’s meet up after we change out of our uniforms.
Well, I’m gonna go take a walk while you’re busy with her. Let me know when you’re ready to leave.

Music: Alright (Elp Version)

Yep, good ol’ Kamurocho Shinjuku!

Apparently this place was a hotbed for criminals and illegal immigrants before they installed surveillance cameras… I heard there were quite a few brothels as well.


This is the first time I’ve actually been here myself though. Regardless, it’s become far safer now than it used to be. Of course, the surveillance cameras played a substantial role in that… But it was mainly thanks to the police efforts to clean up the area. Even so, there’s no way to eradicate crime entirely. It seems the operations nowadays are only better hidden… Anyway, seeing is believing, yes? Come on, let’s have a look around.

…… Countless men tried to start conversations with her…

Music: Wicked Plan

That guy was so persistent… He must have been a scout for a hostess club. He mentioned how “his girls” get paid a lot to wear cute dresses… All I wanted was to ask if any Shujin students worked there… but he nearly dragged me inside with him. If you hadn’t been there to rescue me, I…


I’m glad nobody had to get hurt though. Hm, I guess that’s how they do it… I’ve learned something new today. Oh, and thanks again. It seems you have a knack for helping me out. I hope I can do the same for you someday.
I can feel quiet motivation from Makoto…

And we get Baton Pass for Makoto.

That aside… Even though this is a shopping district, there are absolutely no students around here. And definitely no Shujin students… though I guess they wouldn’t come in uniform either way. Well then…

Hm…?



Music: Suspicion

I used to be in the same class as her! But why is she here…?


I’m not sure… but it seems suspicious. I’ll have to ask her about it. Oh, and I’d like you to be there too, as my witness. Would that be OK?
nods
Well, we’ve spent quite a bit of time here. Let’s head back to the station. Thank you for today.

Music: Beneath the Mask

The Japan Meteorological Agency announced that the rainy season is expected to end next weekend.
It feels so gross when it’s this humid. I also really miss the sun…

Mishima moves to Shinjuku for some reason after a certain point in the story.

And that Ohya-san? She’s the devil incarnate! It was horrible!

Hehehe, awesome.

She’s pretty, but super scary too. Though the drag queen she hangs out with is even scarier…

Lala-chan is a perfect soul and I won’t hear this insensitivity.

But anyway, I did my best to promote the Phantom Thieves! Remember that when you’re reading a glowing article about you guys, OK? So, you did the request I asked you to do. Thanks! Hey, so I figured out another way I can help as your strategic management representative. It’s a great deal for you, of course. Are you free today? We’ll be going to an expensive buffet over in Shibuya. chuckle Don’t worry about the price though! Come on, follow me!

Music: My Homie

Phantom thieves are all about fancy stuff like this, right? That’s why we’re here! Oh, and it’s just the two of us, so don’t be afraid to go all out! What do you wanna eat?


Yeah, sure, whatever you say.

By the way, this place is all-you-can-eat, so let’s make sure we get our money’s worth. Anyway, I posted on the Phan-Site that I had connections to you guys. The Phandom really ate that up.


I did end up talking about how expensive it is to run our little organization though. The donations I got after that were pretty… generous, to say the least.

Oh jeez, Mishima…

But I guess our loving sponsors just wanted to show some support! Not bad for strategic management, huh?

What do you mean? Everyone was glad to donate if it meant supporting the Phantom Thieves. Speaking of which, the bill for our meal here is a fine place to start taking advantage of that support.

I’ve seen on the news that using donations for stuff other than what’s publicized is a serious crime…

Your only thought here is that you might get in trouble? Jesus, Mishima.

Food is definitely an acceptable business expense… but can the same be said of an expensive buffet…? The more I think about this whole thing, the less I think we should use the donations here. I mean, people would get mad at a politician for using tax money for personal affairs. The same probably applies to the Phantom Thieves. I guess returning the money would be the best choice…

Yeah. We really need to make sure we keep the image of the Phantom Thieves clean in our fans’ minds. I think I’ll return the money and thank the Phandom for their generosity. They’ll love that! It might be a waste of some nice resources, but it’s all good as long as it boosts our popularity, right? Man, maybe I was born to do this strategy stuff… I’m honestly getting pretty good at it.

Right.

Don’t worry, I’m still gathering info on the forum too. I actually have a few solid leads right now. Everything so far has been close to home, but these next ones are gonna blow your socks off!
Mishima seems particularly enthusiastic today…

So if we’re returning the money… how are we gonna cover our meal? …… I’m flat broke…

I guess let’s just go home.

Every day with Mishima is a disappointment.

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

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

We’ve been busy lately, so I wanna be able to at least relax on Sunday. Where would be a good place to go…? I know. Wanna try going to the fishing pond in Ichigaya?
The fishing pond, huh? Sounds fun! So are you going there with Ryuji?

Sure, why not?

I hope the other fish’ll bite this easily! Let’s meet in Shinjuku tomorrow then. Night.
They have lots of fish at the pond, right? I can’t wait!

The Ichigaya fishing pond lets us fish in our free time. I didn’t accept or didn’t receive this invitation in my first playthrough and never ended up unlocking this, though there are other ways. We probably won’t end up revisiting this place, so I should mention that we get Proficiency for fishing, and our current Proficiency determines how many times we can fish. There’s a trophy for catching the biggest fish, but again, we won’t be bothering.

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

Hey, doesn’t meetin’ in a place like this look like we’re talkin’ some shady business…? I like it.


Man, this is getting’ me pumped up!

If only there was a master fisher around. Then we could steal their ideas…

…Oh crap, she’s comin’ this way.

Why are you sitting around like old men? Why don’t you go out and do something more exciting?
Wha—Look who’s talkin’!
sigh Adults need time to themselves to unwind and clear their thoughts. You’ll understand soon enough, when you start working in the real world.
Wow… Soundin’ real old there, Kawakami.
That’s MS. Kawakami to you!

She’s hookin’ fish like crazy…!
It’s easy. Just clear your mind and free yourself from negative thoughts.
So the trick is not to think! …How am I supposed to do that?

I see. So when you get jaded like Kawakami, you’ll just naturally attract fish… …Uhh, I don’t think that’s right.
It’s a nice, sunny Sunday. I didn’t think I’d be stuck fishing with you two on my day off. sigh Two troublemakers, and their no-good teacher… I guess we’re perfect for each other.
She keeps gettin’ fish even as she nags… I’m impressed!


Once again, it’s MS. Kawakami.
Didn’t think I’d see somethin’ like that today… Guess we’ll head back.

We got a bunch of points with both Ryuji and Kawakami, so that was a productive enough day.

Music: Beneath the Mask


They’re selling ten cans of Freeze Spray for 3980 yen, which we buy.

Mishima has a new request for us to complete before we can rank him up again.

The truth is, a younger student came to consult with me about something the other day.

Right!? From what he told me, money went missing from the register he was supposed to be in charge of. As such, he’s been falsely accused of stealing money from the store.

Yeah, this guy is like the most honest person I know. There’s now way he’d steal all that money. And well, I did some research into the store online… According to some rumors, the manager might be the one stealing the money… He’s the only person who checks the registers, after all… On top of that, some other staff members saw him taking cash out when he was calculating totals. Anyway, the guy’s name seems to be Nozomi Odo. I found it out when I looked into the store. Please, you gotta help this student!
So the manager himself is taking the money, and then blackmailing the kid to pay him for it… That’s a dirty trick. Let’s talk about it at the hideout when we have the chance, OK?


Next, we head over to buy our aojiru. I don’t know how it’s making me kinder when every time I buy it I want to punch someone.

Maaku gains Kindness +1.

How’s your schoolwork? I’m scheduled to give a speech today, but one thing about it will be different… I could use your help, as usual. Do you mind? There will be cameras coming today, apparently. I don’t feel good about that, but I couldn’t decline… Regardless, we will do as we have always have [sic] done.

Music: What’s Going On?



OK, we should be able to get a lot of interesting footage. It IS No-Good Tora, after all.
Advocate an overly optimistic policy, only to lure in voters during the election season… That’s how No-Good Tora thought and operated 20 years ago, making unachievable pledges.
Hm, this isn’t how I saw this going…
If you make a promise, you must keep it. If you make a mistake, you must atone for it. These are basic human principles that we have all learned from the youngest of ages…
Boring.
He’s making some pretty good points, don’t you think?
That’s why it’s all useless!

Tora, be my best friend

However, I’ve been distancing myself from that. Do you think I’ve regained my confidence?

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

However, I will never forget the disgrace I suffered as No-Good Tora. Can I tell you a story? I mentioned this before, but 20 years ago I was lucky enough to become a Diet member. However, I wanted to be a politician for all the wrong reasons. I wanted to be in a position of power, and I was obsessed with the glamorous lifestyle. I thought only of being popular. I truly was “No-Good Tora”… Learn from me. Don’t let being a member of the Diet be your only goal in life. Voters are much more sensible than we give them credit for. Being ambitious and striving to advance in the political world will change your outlook on life.
Yoshida eagerly gave me advice… I feel like my bond with Yoshida is growing deeper…

I never ask for items so Manipulation isn’t great.

You’re… Mr. Kuramoto’s grandson?
That’s correct. I’m his grandson, Benzo.
Does he know that you’re here speaking with me now?
I’m aware that you and my grandfather are on bad terms, but that doesn’t concern me. This must be your secretary, huh? I heard he’s been helping you out a lot lately.

You know about him?
My grandfather was recently hospitalized, and you’ve become the topic of our conversations. I’d like to talk with you again sometime. I learned a lot from your speech today.



Sorry, I have to take care of some business. Let’s wrap this up for today.
[i]I feel like listening to Yoshida’s speech has served to increase my Charm

Maaku gains Charm +3.

Good job.


#155

I don’t know if I can pinpoint why exactly, but I just love the fact that Kawakami loves to fish on her days off.


#156
Part 64

Part 64: 7/4-7-6: Hifu-Mi-Oh!

Music: Beneath the Mask -Rain (Instrumental Version)


Music: Everyday Days

If you learn more about flowers, it’ll be useful for when you work at that florist job.

That book covered the language of flowers at great length. That’ll be handy for that florist job!


We’ll go into what this means later.

Music: So Boring

The humidity is what kills me about Japanese summers. I miss the dry heat of California. Not to mention, July and August both have thirty-one days. Summer is long… Now then, Mr. Hamiru! Do you know the reason why July and August both have thirty-one days?

No really, that’s the correct answer.

Great! That’s right. You may already know this… But the months of “July” and “August” are named after the Roman emperors Julius and Augustus. Augustus named a month after himself, just like Julius. However, he felt like he would be losing if his month was shorter than Julius’, so he added a day. It’s a mystery why men are so stubborn and prideful over silly things like this.

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

Well, as far as you’re all concerned, you’re just lucky to get a long vacation. But before that, you have exams. They start on the 13th of next week. Don’t forget, OK?
Next Wednesday, huh… You’d better make sure you study.

Music: Aria of the Soul

We head over to the Velvet Room and fuse this Jikokuten from Orthrus and Rakshasa to free up a slot to resummon an Eligor.

Peace and security are my duties… I shall be your mask and grant you my power!

Jikokuten is a Buddhist guardian deity that protects the east of Buddha’s realm, associated with the color white.

Music: Beneath the Mask -Rain (Instrumental Version)

Anyway, now that we’ve gotten that done, we can get the boost for having an Emperor Persona for Yusuke’s Confidant.

Meanwhile, I am here to observe the public in an attempt to refresh my mind. Do you need something?
>I came to see you.
chuckle You must have a wealth of free time if that is your decision. I have some news for you. My piece “Desire” has been accepted into the public exhibition. It is on display as we speak. Would you like to come see it with me?
>Hang out with him
Then let us head to the museum. To be honest, I have yet to actually go there myself. This should be quite lovely. chuckle

We can now take people to the art museum in Ueno.

Music: What’s Going On?

Hm, I believe my piece truly stands out among the sea of art here. And yet, nobody has come to see it… Perhaps they are so afraid of the truth held within that they dare not take a closer look.

Yeah, I’m sure it’s that, buddy.

There’s a dark, almost sinister aura emanating from it.
Hm, the title is… “Desire”? I see no desire here. Ah, I understand now. This area is for students. The artist likely decided to paint this on a whim.
Indeed. There is neither elegance nor emotion in this piece. Come, dear. There are much more detailed paintings over there.

…There is no need to worry. I am not bothered in the slightest. That was nothing more than the drivel of unrefined commoners. I needn’t pay any mind to them. As long as those who are in the know understand my work, I will be happy.



Hm…?
I would like your opinion, sir… What are your thoughts on this piece?
I can see quite clearly why it was accepted into the exhibition. The technique is excellent. However… The composition as a whole is mediocre at best.

Music: Suspicion


The title is listed as “Desire”… but that idea is quite overused. Some may even call it stale. If you want to paint an abstract work with such an old theme, you must inject some individuality into it.
What…?
Take another look. Try to remove yourself from the artist’s bias. These brush strokes are splendid given your age… but does this painting really tell you anything? It is empty, devoid of meaning.

…Well, I liked it.

I suggest you take a more critical eye to your work in the future if you truly want to progress as an artist.



But… why? I put my heart and soul into this piece, captured the very essence of desire… It was supposed to lay bare the reality of the world…! Perhaps… Perhaps he was right. It may be empty after all… These colors, these brush strokes… They do not convey the true meaning of desire, only my conception of it…! I haven’t captured desire… Desire has captured me…!

Music: Alleycat

Ah geez. Please don’t make a scene, dude.

It is as though I have been forsaken by the gods of art! This grave mistake shall be the end for me…!


What is going to happen to me now…? Without art, what will remain of my being…!?


You are correct. Surrendering myself to fate after only one failure would be very much unlike me.

Music: My Homie

But that is all the more reason I must break out of my slump. I must prove my ability to him…!


That is the only way I will learn to capture the essence of emotion. After all, you can only accomplish so much in using logic to analyze the contents of the heart. …I hope you allow me to continue my skill card services as well, Maaku. I shall conquer this!
Yusuke seems especially motivated…

Now then, let us head home. I wish to start anew.

Music: Beneath the Mask

That’s what he said.

BOOM! Nice one, Makoto! Haha! [sub]I don’t get it[/sub]

You think we can trust him?
I doubt he’d lie if he really had a change of heart.
Looks like we’re all clear then.
We can’t be sure of that just yet.
You mean he might not have had a change of heart?
No, I’m relatively certain he did. That is not the issue. Despite Kaneshiro’s change, his organization remains intact. I can only hope they don’t abscond with the photographs.
Y’mean like, run off with it? I guess that is possible…
After all loss of the leader does not necessarily spell out the demise of the group. That is merely common knowledge.
But the opposite sometimes holds true as well.

It’ll be fine, you goddamn worrywarts.

All we can do now is pray the pieces fall in our favor.
Hopefully Kaneshiro’s confession motivates the police to crack down on the mafia… I would love nothing more than to see them defeated once and for all.
That part’ll be up to Makoto’s sis.
That aside, we’ve done everything we can for the time being. All that remains now is to wait until the result becomes clear.

It’s our ten Freeze Sprays, which inflict 50 Ice damage on an enemy. They’re pretty garbage.

\

…I meant “dying message.”
Was that a Freudian slip, just now, defective—I mean, Detective?
Ooh, that was brutal… Even that hard-boiled detective flinched when he heard that.

Junpei’s a cop now? Good for him.

Music: Aria of the Soul

We head back to the Velvet Room because we need a Star Persona for Hifumi and we don’t have any in the Compendium yet. First we fuse this Clotho from Orobas and Eligor.

Spin and spin, the thread of fate… I am the mask which can see your past…

Clotho is one of the Greek sisters of fate (also known as the Moirae sisters), who are personifications of fate. Clotho is the youngest and spins the thread of life. Their threads control the life of every mortal being, including the gods.

Also because we don’t have the Fortune Confidant yet we don’t get the end screen, so just know I gave her Maragi, Marakunda, and Garu in case you care.

From there, we can fuse Suzaku and Clotho for Fuu-ki, a Star Persona.

I’ll become one of your masks and work as though I were a raging thunderstorm within your heart!

Fuu-ki is one of the four Oni summoned by Fujiwara-No-Chikata, who can harness powerful winds to blow away enemies.

Music: Time to Repent

Ideal placements on the board bring the pieces to life… That is art at its highest form. Do you remember our promise? You become my playing partner so that I can research new moves… In order to do so, I would like you to start off by learning the basics of shogi. May I ask you for a match right now?
>Hang out with her
Well then, I look forward to this match.

Music: Wicked Plan

You think to protect yourself with that paltry defense? Hahaha… It’s useless! Awaken, dragon! Let your shadowy hellfire consume them all! Dark Inferno Rook!

Hifumi’s such a fuckin’ dork. She’s great.


With an incompetent king, a soldier cannot show his true bravery. Time for you to suffer!



…Check.

I’d watch this anime, sure.



Music: My Homie

It’s an embarrassing habit I have. During a match, I, um… I tend to get very aggressive. It’s as if I assume the role of a queen of a kingdom…


…You’re a strange one, indeed. My father had me do image training exercises when I was younger, to help me learn the rules… I gradually began to view the shogi board as if it were my own kingdom… I had fun coming up with stories and strategies for my, um, subjects… However… I’ve heard that people make fun of me on the internet.

People think I’m weird, or that I’m an otaku, or that I’m just crazy… I mean, I can’t blame them… Certainly, I think I’m weird too.

Your positivity is… a welcome relief. I may be able to learn more from our matches than I thought.
I can sense a deep bond of trust from Hifumi…

That will do for today.

Do you read weekly magazines…?

Um, well, I’m doing a photoshoot for one…


I thought you’d be surprised if you saw it on the newsstand, so I wanted to let you know beforehand. In all honesty, I’m very reluctant to do it… But… Maybe if I can draw more attention to shogi, maybe the sport will become more popular… At least, that’s how I’m justifying it to myself… I have an interview scheduled for tonight as well, so let’s end here for today…
I feel like playing with Hifumi has helped sharpen my Knowledge

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

Until our next match. Goodbye…

Music: Beneath the Mask -Rain (Instrumental Version)

By the way, Kaneshiro’s deadline is this weekend, isn’t it? His change of heart draws near…

Wait, there was nothing explicitly tying the change of heart to the deadline other than a bullshit gameplay contrivance, Yusuke! You’re breaking the masquerade!

The Phantom Thieves will be even more renowned than before when this goes public.

This is true… With the added attention, we may receive more requests on that message board. I think we should take care of all the cases we have now while we still have the chance.

Music: Tokyo Daylight

>Hang out with her
Thank you. It will be nice to have you there when I talk to her. Wait for me in the student council room. I’ll call her in.

Both myself and Hamiru-kun here saw you there. Based on where you were heading, we assume you’re working at a store called the After School Salon. How is it, working there?

Music: Wicked Plan

Whaddya mean? It’s just a normal cafe. They make me wear a costume and stuff, but that’s it. Oh, and I don’t hafta do anything weird, if you know what I mean. It’s all totally legal.
Hm. So you’re sure nothing strange is going on?
Yup yup, the worst I get is some weird old guys gawking at me.
I see… Beyond that though, why are you working there? …How’s your financial situation?
Uh, fine? I mean, I can just ask my parents for cash whenever I want.
O-Oh, I see…
But they’d totally bug me about what I’m buying if I did that. That’s why I work at the salon. I got some good spending money, plus the guys who come in there like, mega pamper me.

It’s nice having people treat you like you’re special, y’know? I’m sure a super honor student like you gets that all the time though. Anyways… are you gonna tell on me? You even brought a witness today… Hold up, doesn’t that mean you were in Shinjuku together? What’s up with that, Miss Prez?


At any rate, don’t mind him. As for you… I don’t plan on telling anyone.
Ohhh, I get it! So we’re like, protecting each other’s secrets? Oh crap, and I just realized your boyfriend’s that rumored criminal… You’re a real badass, Miss Prez!

I was just worried you were getting wrapped up in some shady business, so I asked him here for support.
Hmmm… Eh, whatever. Btdubs, I was wondering…

Huh? You know Buchimaru-kun…?
I had like, tonnns of Buchi stuff back when I was a kid. What a blast from the past! Wait, why’s it so beat up!?
Well, it was given to me when I was still in elementary school… I’d like to buy a new one, but they’ve stopped selling Buchimaru-kun merchandise.
OMG, this is too hilarious! The student council president has an adorable pencil case? My image of you has done like, a complete 360 today.
Um… isn’t that a full circle?

that’s why they call it the xbox 360

Mmm, I dunno, I’m just real surprised. You don’t really look like the kinda person who’d be into that stuff. I mean, I always thought you were kinda like a robot, but I guess I just had to get to know you better. Hey, why don’t we trade phone numbers!? I really wanna talk to you more about Buchimaru-kun… and your boyfriend.

Wait, he’s not my boyfriend…
Aaand saved! Oh crap, it’s this late already? I’ve gotta get to work. I’ll send you tons of pics of my Buchimaru-kun collection later though. Bye byeee!

Music: Alright (Elp Version)

Honestly though, I’m in shock. She thought I was a robot…

Now, I know you want me to pick “Beep boop,” and trust me, it’s killing me that I can’t. I’ve picked that option before, because it’s amazing, and I’d do it here but I can’t, because Makoto gets mad at you and you don’t get any points, and we need those points to unlock the next rank. All she says is “Don’t tease me!” which isn’t worth spending an extra day unlocking the next rank. Still, Makoto needs to loosen up, because if she can’t appreciate how funny “Beep boop” is, that’s a real shame.

You know, I believe what Takao-san said about me is how others think as well. I thought I had changed after the incident with Kaneshiro, but perhaps it wasn’t enough… That aside, it was almost inspiring to meet someone so distinct from myself. I’m going to try to look at things a little differently from now on. And, well… I think that will help me break out of my shell. I hope you’re ready. I’m going to show you how useful an honor student can really be.
I can sense a quiet resolve from Makoto…


Perhaps I can correct her misconceptions about you… And as always, I’ll let you know if anything important happens. Well, see you later.

Music: Beneath the Mask

Today, we’ll be sharing the story of a woman who was a victim of such fraud. After she was scammed out of her money, she became emotionally unstable.
Emotionally unstable…? Those scammers are relentless…

We haven’t been here in a while.

Maaku gains Proficiency +2 and 3600 yen.

Music: My Homie

I’m changing my lesson for today. Instead of a regular class, we’ll be reviewing last week’s materials. I suggest you listen carefully. But don’t think you can slack off, OK? I absolutely won’t allow it. No slacking off!
Kawakami’s graciously given us this free time, so we’d better put it to good use. So, what’s the plan?

Kawakami’s giving us some time off in her own class, finally.


Is this book really about cleaning? Or is it training you to become a monk?

We should thank Kawakami for this later.

Music: Beneath the Mask -Rain (Instrumental Version)

Or can we?

Maaku gains Guts +1 and Knowledge +3 from the rain.

Music: Beneath the Mask


As before, the ISP has confirmed that this was the result of an external attack. After examining the methods used, it’s likely the attack was by an anonymous hacking group.
An attack by hackers? Does this kind of thing happen often around here?


I need to tell her to lay off with the double entendres, this is really bothering me.

Would you like that for 5,000 yen?
>Call her over
Thanks for always requesting meee. Well then, please wait for me till I get thereee!

The second e in “there” is silent! You can’t emphasize it like that! I refuse to put up with this tomfoolery!

cough cough

Oh, and Kawakami’s dying, I guess.

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

You listened to… my secret. I’ve been feeling more at ease since then. I’ve never been able to tell anyone about it, so… I figured I should actually do some housekeeping today, to say thanks…

Sorry… I need to take a break…


Ughhh… I’m at my limit. Sooo exhausted…

Sorry… I can’t stop coughing…


cough Haha, just kidding! I just wanted to slack off a bit. I mean, there’s nothing left for me to hide from you, so the truth comes out, you know? Now that I think about it… I’m glad you’re the one who found out about me being a maid. Are YOU going to be all right in this dusty room? And have you been eating well? You need to eat fresh vegetables, and none of that instant stuff. Vitamins are super important! You’re going to turn out like me if you don’t take care of yourself!

That Kawakami is now mothering me is not making this situation any better.

I guess I should get more sleep. I feel all achy…

Takase-kun’s guardians said they need more money, so… I had my boss give me more shifts. I had to beg him for them, but…

Oh, it’s fine! Nothing you should worry about. I feel more at ease, now that I have someone who knows about what I’m going through. …I’m talking about you.

…I don’t like where this is going.

I feel Kawakami’s trust in me strengthening…

Uh-oh, time’s up… cough cough I have to get to my next job, so I’m going to head out. Thank you for using our service…


#157

Yusuke, the Phantom Thieves give up if Maaku gets punched too hard.


#158
Part 65

Part 65: 7/7-7/8: Flower Power

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

Kaneshiro’s deadline is drawing near. We did all we could. I hope we can avoid problems now…

Of course I am. Palaces, changing hearts… It’s hard to tell what’s reality anymore… Still, the only thing I can do now is believe.

Music: So Boring

Not like that means I’ll put up bamboo decorations and write my wish on a piece of paper though. I’m not feeling it this year. Oh, but there’s a traditional food associated with Tanabata, just as chocolate is to Valentine’s Day. OK, Hamiru-kun! What’s the traditional food of Tanabata?

Obviously.

Right. Wow. I’m kind of surprised. You actually care about seasonal holidays and stuff? Originally, in China they ate a baked good that we call sakubei in Japanese to appease demons. Over time, that pronunciation went from sakubei, to sakumen, to soumen—a wholly different food.

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

Going with the theme of calming demons, soumen on Tanabata is sometimes called “demon guts.”

Alright, I’m way more interested now.

Go restore your strength with some seasonal food and get ready for your exams.
Oh yeah, it’s almost finals time… They start on the 13th, right? There’s less than a week left. Are you gonna be ready?

Music: Tokyo Daylight

It feels like I just don’t know anything anymore… Um, let’s talk more inside.

Music: Alright (Elp Version)



The truth is… recently I’ve started questioning the entire point of my education. What do I stand to gain from getting good grades and living up to the high expectations my sister has set for me? I spoke to Eiko about this matter as well, but the answer hasn’t become any clearer…

You don’t remember? Eiko Takao. We asked her about the job she has at the “salon” in Shinjuku.

That was like three days ago. Are you okay, Maaku? You feeling all right?

Anyway, we’ve been calling each other every so often since we exchanged contact information. Because of those calls, we’ve actually grown somewhat close. When I voiced my concerns to her, she asked me how I would benefit from going to a top university. But… I couldn’t come up with a good answer. As for Eiko, her grades are… not the best, but she claims she doesn’t even think about that stuff. Apparently her parents can use their connections to find her a job… But isn’t that a little irresponsible? It’s nice she can rely on her parents, but this is her life, not theirs. …I guess that’s just a different way of approaching things. Even at that, her vision of the future is still clearer than mine.

…I used to think doing what others expected of me was the best way forward. I was going to major in law, just like my sister did. And after that, I would simply have headed down whatever path society had made for me…

I’ve realized now there are more important things in life than being a prim and proper honor student. Honestly, I would have looked down on Eiko’s line of thinking in the past… but I know better now.


Lately, Eiko’s been telling me whenever she buys makeup or finds a cute new outfit. That reminds me, she asked me the other day what hand cream I use. I sent her a picture… and it’s apparently the same brand they use in the nurse’s office at school.


My father used to use it all the time. …Did I ever tell you he was a police officer? He detested the corruption in our society, and worked tirelessly to bring it to justice… But despite the rough exterior, he was extremely gentle deep down. When I was little, I told him I wanted to grow up to be a police officer, just like he was.

Are we gonna have a problem, Makoto?

He was glad to hear me say that, but quick to point out that he didn’t want me doing something so dangerous. I had completely forgotten that dream, to be honest…

…if you’re a fuckin’ snitch. Jesus christ, a whole family of pigs. I shoulda known better!

Either way, after everything that happened… I have no intention of working with the police.

Good. Let’s keep it that way.

Besides, they’re trying to stop the Phantom Thieves. What am I supposed to do, arrest myself? Hm… I think I need to reexamine what my goals for the future are, outside of just plain studying. You know, it feels like I remembered something important today thanks to you. I guess you could say my viewpoint has been broadened yet again.
I can sense a quiet resolve from Makoto…


I only just learned recently that a chemise is now called a camisole, and a button-down sweater is a cardigan…

That’s a little esoteric, but whatever.

Why does the same thing have to have multiple names…? I guess in the end, I’m just becoming more aware of how little I really know. So… please, help me keep fighting back against that ignorance. Thank you again for today. See you later.

Music: Beneath the Mask

On these irregularly broadcast specials, we share limited-edition items that are all the rage! Today we’ll be talking about Melon Pan, which is made by using lots of fresh seasonal melons! Apparently they’re the pride of Yon-Germain, the bakery over in Shibuya Station.
Oh, that looks like quite a luxurious snack. I’d love to try one next time I’m in Shibuya.

Can’t wait to take my girlfriend down there for a delicious sandwich.

Music: Crossroads

Time to reacquaint ourselves with our second favorite alcoholic.

But I guess that doesn’t have anything to do with you… Have you heard any good gossip? My deadline’s coming up, and I’m all out of material. Sit down. I’ll treat ya.
>Hang out with her
For real? From the look of it, you must have good info, huh? Give me the details about the Kamoshida incident.

So the calling card they used for Kamoshida was different… Now that’s a scoop. That kind of information usually doesn’t see the light of day. …You have any photos or videos of it?

Sorry, Mishima!

chuckle But seriously, the “Phantom Thieves of Hearts”? They sound like kids on a playground, not valiant fighters for society… I mean, they act all high and mighty, but I’m not sure they’re really worth very much in the end.

Hah, that’s hilarious! You think they’re actually virtuous? In my line of work, there’s no clearer sign of deception than goodwill. You know, like the shady actions of a charitable organization, or the actual criteria of a peace prize. Same goes for the Phantom Thieves. You just have to learn to take some things with a grain of salt.

Man, Ohya, you’re really kind of a drag.

C’mon, don’t be such a downer…
Why? It’s the truth.
There you go again… You used to be so positive.


…Gimme some sushi.
We’re all out. …Hey, why don’t you go back to covering politics?
No can do. I’ve been permanently reassigned to the culture and entertainment department.
sigh What a crappy company… I mean, it’s already been over a year since the incident.

Oh, by the incident, I mean–
Don’t say another word. That has nothing to do with my source.
Right, sorry…
Urgh, dammit! I’m already sobering up. Gimme a refill, Lala-chan!
…Geez, you’re such a child sometimes.



Anyway, why are you coming to a bar if you can’t even drink alcohol?


You’re a true believer in the Phantom Thieves. Well, at least now I know you’re gonna be pretty useful. I’m not all that interested in the Phantom Thieves myself, but keep the info coming, all right?
I feel like my bond with Ohya is growing deeper…

…What’s taking so long, Lala-chan!?

We’re all out of booze… A certain sloshed reporter drank it all.

Man, Lala should really have her own portraits.

Can’t you just go buy more? I’ll wait for you… forever. :heart: Just kidding! Ahaha!

I feel like my Charm has increased…

Maaku gains Charm +3.

See ya later… Don’t forget to bring me more juicy info, ‘kay?

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)


Music: Everyday Days


Cleaning as a way to speak to your heart… I’ve never thought of it that way… Reading this book must have taught you how to contemplate and think more efficiently, huh?

Maaku gains Proficiency +3.


And he ranks up!

Music: So Boring

This must be global warming. We are all destined to fade away like the ice at the South Pole.

This is a little fuckin’ morbid for a high school science class.

Speaking of ice, shaved ice is one of the symbols of summer.

That was certainly a segue.

Usually sold at festivals, they come in many varieties such as melon and strawberry. Hamiru-kun. Let me ask you a question. What is a common trait of almost all shaved-ice syrups on the market?

Correct. The truth is, almost all kinds of syrup have the same flavor. The ingredients used are corn syrup, fragrance, food coloring… it’s essentially sugar water. Try closing your eyes, plugging your nose, and tasting shaved ice with just your tongue. You’ll likely be unable to tell what flavor it is. That cold, sweet strawberry flavor is just a deception of summer produced by color and smell…

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

But before you can enjoy the sweet illusions of summer, you have very real exams waiting for you. They start next week on the 13th. Well, good luck.
Less than a week, huh? Have you been studying?

You’ve been with me the whole time, cat.

Music: Tokyo Emergency

Let’s head back to the flower shop.

Music: Break it Down

Oh right, I didn’t explain things to you last time. We’ll occasionally get orders for bouquets, in which case I’d like you to pick out the flowers. I’ll vary your pay based on how pleased the customers are with what you chose… Oh, and if you get stuck, I suggest you study up with the Flowerpedia. You can do it!


The customer is looking for large, brightly-colored flowers. Pick three that fit the description.

Music: Everyday Days

This request is for large, brightly-colored flowers. I bet light colors or white would even work too. Which flower will you pick first?

Every other time you go to work at the flower shop, you’ll be asked to make a bouquet. This is why we read the Flowerpedia earlier, even if we technically didn’t need to. The Flowerpedia, for the record, shows us additional details about the flowers, like what they represent and their aromas. I don’t think the first request requires it, asking you to pick from easily identifiable traits of the flowers. If we succeed, we get a considerable pay boost and an extra point of Kindness, so we definitely want to get this right.

Okay, so Morgana says that you can pick light colors or white to fulfill this request. This is technically accurate, in that you can make that compromise once. Picking two that aren’t bright colors (like, say, light pink and white) will give you a “satisfactory” result and you won’t get the extra pay or Kindness boost.

OK, pick the second flower now.

On to the third and final flower.

There are other flowers that would have worked, but these three are fine.

The order was for large, brightly-colored flowers. Is this OK?

I hope the customer likes it…

Music: Break it Down


Well, here’s your pay for today! I gave you a little bonus because of how well you did!

Good work, Maaku-kun. Come back again when you have the time.

Living surrounded by flowers might be your true calling… and you were good with the customers too.

Maaku gains Kindness +3.

All right, we should head home.

Music: Beneath the Mask

The pictures are gone. He has no avenue to threaten us anymore. That is, if we’re able to trust what Kaneshiro said.
Don’t say such scary stuff.
We can’t relax just yet. He may still end up released from police custody…

True, there does seem to be some movement. Sis actually sent me a message saying she won’t be home tonight. There’s a chance that the police have found their breakthrough.
Ooooh, does that mean it happened!?
The timing is perfect. I guess let’s just hope for the best?
I’m gonna stay up all night watching the news to find out!

Many claim the government’s response is inadequate—this will likely affect approval ratings.
I guess that means we’re the only ones who can fight back against someone like Kaneshiro.

Time to feed the plant.

Maaku gains Kindness +3.

Music: Crossroads

>Hang out with her
Seriously, where do you get this stuff from? True believers are scary… Hey, you want a drink?

I didn’t know it was so popular with high school kids. I haven’t been paying much attention to it. But if it’s newsworthy, I guess I should keep tabs on it. The Phantom Thieves must be really bored if they’re going after small-time criminals now. I have a theory that they’re all minors, and their leader is some simpleton dying from boredom…


Plus if it only takes a second to change a person’s heart, they totally wouldn’t be bored. Well, I’m not really interested in writing entertainment articles about whatever fad’s caught on.
But they do really well, right? Some journalists who were in here seemed frustrated about that.
Journalists…? Oh, you mean Nakao and the others?

People at work call them paparazzi behind their backs… but me? I’m a real journalist!

Hey, I wasn’t looking for some kid to butt in! Entertainment articles are all about selling copies… The truth doesn’t even matter. Nobody wants to read real news…


…Never.
But at this rate, you…
If I quit now, it’d be the same as declaring my partner guilty.

That’s why I can’t quit… and why I’ll never give up.


…I mean, never mind! Hahaha! But… thanks to you, I’ve had more time to focus on my own investigation. I’m going to write an article that you’ll really enjoy! Think of it as a sign of my appreciation! I can see it now! “Exclusive: Behind the Incredible Phantom Thieves! Dial 911 for justice!” …How’s that sound? Haha, don’t worry! I’ll take it seriously. After all… that’s what I promised you.
My deal with Ohya seems to be progressing smoothly…




I can talk with him? Really? OK, I’ll be right there. Work? Nah, I’m already off the clock. Sorry, I have some urgent business I need to attend to. Just put this one on my tab, Lala-chan. (to Maaku) See ya!

Anyway, shouldn’t you be getting home too?
I was able to pique Ohya’s interest with stories of the Phantom Thieves… I feel like my Charm has increased…

Maaku gains Charm +3.

Looks like they’re searching the premises…
Another psychotic breakdown? I can’t handle this…
Does it have something to do with those posters we saw?
Did they arrest the Phantom Thieves?

What’s going on? Are we in trouble? Join us next time to resolve the least effective cliffhanger in history!


#159
Part 66

Part 66: 7/9-7/10: Maaku Hamiru’s Time-Traveling Burglary Club

Anon: who do they think they are
Anon: dunno what they want. NO
Anon: C’mon, show us your faces!
Anon: Who needs police anymore?

And our notoriety increases yet again.

People are saying it was foretold by a calling card…
Oh, I know about that! I saw them in Shibuya!
That Phantom Thieves forum is super active.
There’s a forum!? What’s it called? I wanna see!

Anon: get rekt, scumbags lmao
Anon: jokes on the cops! rofl
Anon: lel. Kaneshiro was a pig
Anon: p thieves, can u see this?
Anon: could this really be it?

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

Did you catch the news report this morning about the mafia boss getting busted? Apparently, someone scattered calling cards all across Shibuya just before his arrest. Remember the Kamoshida scandal? They say the same thing happened, that someone left a calling card. Madarame too, if I’m not mistaken.
Do you think it’s the Phantom Thieves? If so, I’m impressed. I can’t believe they actually steal hearts!

Music: Disquiet


And yet he simply turned himself in—even confessed all his crimes. The Phantom Thieves…

…Depending on the means, yes. He’s absolutely right.
Even if it makes someone admit their evil deeds and helps make them pay for their crimes?

sigh

…Damn it!

Music: So Boring

It seems like some of our students had been victimized by them, so we can breathe easy for now. I’m thankful to the police for arresting the perp, even though they’re just doing their job. By the way, “perp” is police slang. You might have heard the stars in police procedurals say it. It’s short for “perpetrator.”

The sec with the mo’s got a perf al.

Speaking of stars… Can you answer this question, Hamiru-san?

No, no. Fuck off. I’m not letting you get away with that bullshit segue. Try harder.

That’s correct.

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

By the way, there are rumors that the Phantom Thieves took down the perp this time—Kaneshiro. I remember their name with that bit on Madarame, as well as the incident in May. Is this a new urban legend? Anyway, please prepare for your tests starting Wednesday, and don’t be distracted by rumors like that.
Looks like we succeeded in changing Kaneshiro’s heart! A lot of people are talking about the Phantom Thieves too!

Music: Alright

Hell yeah! Kaneshiro finally confessed! People’ve been makin’ a huge deal of it since the police announcement!
It’s difficult to accept that the authorities are taking all of the credit for his arrest.

It’s all comin’ together for us!
This is quite the turnaround. All of a sudden, people are expressing their long-standing belief in us.
So this is why Makoto told us to post the calling card anywhere that might stand out.
Pretty smart move on her part. Oh… where is our amazing Miss President?



I’ve been called into a meeting with the principal. There’s no need to worry though. More importantly, there is a special on TV about the Phantom Thieves!
Huh? What did it say!?
They were talking all about our calling cards.
For real!?
Anyway, my apologies about today. I’ll have to see you all another time.

Maaku tells them.

Really!? That’s freakin’ crazy!
I hope all this excitement doesn’t place us on the police’s radar.
It’ll be fine! No way they’d fine out about that weird other world!
True, but… Do you remember what the fake Kaneshiro said towards the end?

Yeah, he said we’re not the only ones who are doing it…
Eh, not gonna let it bother me. Far as we know, he was just pullin’ that shit out of his ass.
I hope that’s the case…
Anyways, in your face, Akechi! Now whaddya wanna do about our next target!?
Don’t get ahead of yourself. Still, people might expect a lot from our next move considering how excited they’re getting.
We can’t just pick any old schmo now.
There is no need to hurry though. Counting Kamoshida, we’ve claimed three consecutive victories, right? We should just lay low and wait for all this excitement to blow over.
In that case, how about we have another celebration?
Good idea! We can make it a welcomin’ party for Miss President too. By the way, that briefcase? It’s pretty damn expensive! Let’s sell it and drop the cash on our party.

Sorry, Ryuji. I already sold it to finance my health drink habit.

Wow… Seems like the “lay low and wait” idea has gone completely out the window.
So we can count you out then, Morgana?

Hahaha, that’s the spirit. Well, I’m gonna let Makoto know!

Oh…
What’s wrong?


If you wish not to stand out, you had best not get bad grades, OK? That is something I simply would not be able to overlook as student council president! For now, behave and concentrate on your studies. We can have fun once finals are over… Understood?

Urrrgh…

Music: Disquiet

I believe in what I wrote… “The Phantom Thieves are just.”
Have you figured out who they are?
No, I’m nowhere close. However, after considering all the facts, I concluded there are no errors in their acts or principles. Thus, upon deeming them to be on the side of justice, I have decided to end my investigation.
But that’s impossible!
Impossible…? May I see the evidence you have that leads you to believe so?
I was just speaking to the director of a prestigious college about your letter of recommendation too…
There will be no need for that. I intend on getting into a good college by my own merit. Please excuse me.



About that… Yes, I am making progress. However, I have stumbled upon some difficulties… Still, why would someone as important as you be interested in a petty case like this…? N-No! That’s not what I meant…! I will investigate with all the resources available to me. Of course… Um, I should be able to let you know relatively soon. Yes, I will bring good news… Well then, thank you for your–

The person on the other end abruptly hangs up.

Man, poor Richard Epcar principal. I know Double-Stuf Albino Ving Rhames here isn’t exactly on the up-and-up, but yikes. He’s about to let out the saddest “HOLY SHIT” of all time.

Music: Days of Sisters

Hi, Sis. You look tired… Is everything OK?
Don’t worry about me. How about you, Makoto? Have you been keeping up with your studies?
Yes, of course. Though… what is the point of studying?
…What do you mean?

:siren: SAE FREAKOUT INCOMING :siren:

I was just wondering what will be waiting for me at the end… Even if I manage to push through tough entrance exams, I’m still thrust into a competitive society.
What else is there besides success? Don’t ask me such childish questions.

Even the police couldn’t figure out why. It really… was out of nowhere. This would only make sense if his personality changed… but that would be impossible.
Why does it matter? The police still caught him in the end, right?
I had plans set for a promotion, but no one can take credit for his arrest now with that confession. …Not that a child would understand.

Christ, what an asshole. Anyway, Sae leaves.

Promotion… You’ve changed, Sis. But… I’ll be OK. …I finally found a place where I belong.

Aww…

Music: Beneath the Mask

That doesn’t mean you can slack off because summer’s on the horizon, got it?

It is only natural that people are surprised. Even the police were struggling to catch him.
Yeah. By the way, you said you were called in by the principal? Did something happen?
It was regarding my investigation of the incident with Mr. Kamoshida.

I will. I’ve graduated from my role as the exemplary honor student. From now on, I’m going to be more honest with myself. It’s quite a refreshing feeling.

It’d actually be a big problem if you didn’t stick with us.
We should allow her to join us. It would be greatly convenient.
Well then, I hope I can continue getting along with all of you.
An advisor, huh…? This new teammate of ours is pretty promising! We’ll be able to do even more now!

Many people are surprised that such a major criminal was suddenly arrested. Police are also reasserting their stance that the “Phantom Thieves” weren’t involved in the arrest. However, some outlets are reporting otherwise.
The police should just be honest. Why play dumb?

Hey-looo, lil cricket. I mean, shee… cicada. What’re your summer… summer memoriesh?

Chirp chirp! Girlsh! Oh. Oh, I fergot! I should really find a… a wives. Wife. Mother! Faaatheer! I’m shooorry! I can’t make you a grandkid jush by mysheeeeeelf!

Homework? Yesh… I’mma busy too, wi’ veryyy impurtant researsh in sciencsh, y’know. Centrifugal. Inertia! Gravitation fieldsh! H-Hamilton Jacobi action angle variaaableeeesh!

And the third choice is boring.

They steal people’s hearts, right? You think they can steal the tests for our summer classes?
No, dummy. If they steal anything, they’ll steal the hearts of our teachers and parents. They’ll make ‘em cry on TV and say they’re sorry because they make us study too much.

In honor of the Phantom Thieves, I give you… “Sometimes Blues”! My heart hides behind tears/Will you steal it/Steal it away in eternal night/Hey, is it possible to change/And make the debut of my new/Self/The Phantom Thieves/Are the greatest/ Thank you so much. How was my performance?

Haha, happy to hear! The blues is all well and good, but I need to live a rock n’ roll life like the Phantom Thieves!

We need to get home and get studying—exams are coming up. Aren’t you screwed otherwise?
Naw, bro—I’ll just flex my connections like a boss!

A lot of business executives appear to be nervous about his arrest.
I didn’t know he was such a big deal… Bravo to the Phantom Thieves.
We shouldn’t celebrate them just yet… They still remain suspicious.

It is imperative that we resolve this situation, and social reform must be led by the government. However, who can the people currently depend on…? Yes, the Phantom Thieves!

Aww, Tora’s the best.

The fact that they’re being lionized is proof that the government is malfunctioning! The mismanagement by authority figures is what has led us to this terrible condition…

I’d like your help on my days off. I’ll contact you again soon to discuss.

He appeared in court on his own, didn’t he? That doesn’t make any sense.
Maybe, behind the scenes, he made a deal with the police or something.
Ahhh, OK, I can buy that. The police can’t really be trusted either.

How do I put it…
sad meow
Stuff like the forced smiles and sensing the mood? There’s just still so much for me to learn!

This place ain’t safe! There’s those creepy Phantom Thieves or whatever runnin’ wild. What if they snatch ya up in the dead of night? C’mon, let’s go back home.
I said drop it already! I’m so sick of hearing about the country!


chuckle Hey, I work at night. If you got a job for me, just leave a letter in that trash bin. If there’s any annoying trash you want taken out, I’ll dispose of it for ya. Hahaha!

No way, my parents are scumbag gambling addicts! And as their son, I’m a natural scumbag too!

FUCK YEAH, EMBRACE YOUR GENETIC CURSE

You’ve got other worries! People are saying the Phantom Thieves do better work than the police!
Hmph, what a rotten bastard… I’ll get you one of these days.

Hey, careful with how you say things! You’ve got such a dirty mind, you know that?
Look who’s talking! Lusting after a boy at least 20 years younger than you!
Oh, lay off! I can’t help it! Besides, I’m not really me if I’m not in love with somebody, right?

Just go for the fresh meat from the country. They’re nice and innocent—by which I mean naive! Bring ‘em in, even if you gotta use force. Got it?

Wait, is this considered playing at night? Or worse? Well, it’s under my supervision. It’s fine.
I don’t think my bond with Kawakami will deepen just yet…

Music: What’s Going On?


Oh, that’s right. I have something Kawakami might like… I should give it to her as a gift…

Maybe I shouldn’t give any gifts for now…

These gift items can be given to girls to get bonus points to speed up the arrival of the next rank. Kawakami doesn’t seem like the kind of woman who’d be into whatever an Uji Matcha Flan is, though.

I feel like my bond with Kawakami will grow stronger soon…
Well. See you… sigh


Music: Interrogation Room

This new ally you gained was Makoto!? Just tell me the truth!

Makoto… That’s preposterous. If what you say is true… …Was Makoto also running from the police when you were arrested…!?

Now that I think about it… she did start talking a lot about the investigation from summer onward… …… Makoto aside, you mentioned one other important detail. Did Kaneshiro really say there was someone using the Metaverse besides the Phantom Thieves?
nods
Those words could just be taken as you shifting blame to this other person, you know.

…… But why would you fabricate such an elaborate story and then shift the blame elsewhere…? There are two possibilities: either you’ve simply been trying to confuse me with your lies… …Or everything you’ve stated is true.

Huh, so I’m either lying or telling the truth? Wow, you’ve really gained a lot of concrete information, haven’t you Sae?

Have you been telling me the truth from the very start…?

That’s the plan. …Then again, I am investigating a “thief who steals hearts.” Very well. No matter how absurd it may seem, I’ll reevaluate my stance on believing you for now. In return, speak the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It’s a fair deal. …Is that acceptable?
I’ve made a deal with Sae Niijima…

Music: The Spirit


Judgement is a card that represents making a decision, rebirth, and absolution, and when reversed, self-doubt. It’s about the moment of reflection at the end of a journey.

In Personas 3 and 4, Fool and Judgment were linked arcana that represented the bonds between your teammates as the game progressed. When Fool ended, Judgement would step in and take its place. This was because Fool is the first card, 0, and Judgement was the twenty-first and “last” (not counting The World, which is another special arcana that doesn’t get a corresponding Social Link/Confidant in any of the games, or Aeon, which is just Judgement from the Thoth deck stapled onto the end of the deck to make an excuse for another Social Link in the rereleases of 3 and 4). Persona 5, obviously, does not do that, with Fool going to Igor and Judgement going to Sae.

But, yep, we’ve got a Confidant with Sae. There sadly isn’t a flash-forward for this one, heh. Also, you may have noticed that we didn’t get an ability from this level. As you may have guessed, Sae’s Confidant, being Judgment, is a little special. We still get the Arcana Burst experience when we fuse Judgement Personas, though… which is hilariously confusing. You know how The Flash time-travels into Batman’s dream in Batman v Superman? Well, first, you shouldn’t, that movie’s terrible. But anyway, it’s kinda like that but slightly less nonsensical.

Music: Interrogation Room

…I stand corrected. It was they who targeted your group first, wasn’t it?

…Medjed? What’s that one dumb Egyptian god who looks like a sheet ghost got to do with this?

We have no pictures. Even their names and identities are unknown. If what you told me is true, then this “Nav” thing you’ve mentioned wouldn’t have worked in this case. How did you target them? Tell me everything.

Anon: thx admin!!!
Anon: cmon, next target plz
Anon: i wanna know more bout em
Anon: Oh god, Akechi lol

Seriously!? The Phantom Thieves are amazing!
Isn’t it so cool how they steal people’s hearts?
How do they make them repent?
I’m really curious… Who are they?

Anon: They’re surely in the right.
Anon: YES! take em down a notch
Anon: YES!!! fan club plz
Anon: think they got chicks?

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)




Huh? It’s not right? …Not cute? That was the one the staff recommended to me though… Won’t that printer do? Huh? It’ll do, but it’s not it? …OK, I’ll be right over.

Sojiro hangs up the phone and sighs.

Lock up for me if I don’t come back.

Something like that… Sheesh, what a handful…


This case is said to be a result of the Phantom Thieves’ actions, but what do you think?

This dangerous group tampers with people’s hearts. It’s no different from brainwashing.
I see. You’re absolutely correct.

Who was it again? You know, that famous artist…
Ah, Madarame, was it?
They punished those awful people, didn’t they? The Phantom Thieves aren’t at fault then.
That may be true, but…
(to Maaku) Don’t you think so too, deary? The Phantom Thieves aren’t doing anything wrong, are they?

See? Even he says that they’re doing good. Oh my, look at the time. We should probably head home.
Ah, you’re right. Thanks for the drink.

Music: Disquiet

But to think the Phantom Thieves would honestly attempt an absurd idea like social reform… …You’re absolutely right. I’m not pleased about the general public’s support of them either. There’s also the danger of the Metaverse being exposed with their continued actions…

……………WHAT!? These chucklefucks know about the Metaverse?

…Actually, there is one countermeasure he brought in that seems usable. It involves having the Phantom Thieves destroy themselves without our direct intervention…

…Ah I thought as much. I had a feeling that it was too brutal for it to be his own idea. Still, to think you’d go through such elaborate detail to crush them… Their actions must be that much of an eyesore for you. I sympathize with what you’re going through. Well then, we’ll clean this up quickly and put it behind us. Yes. A grand undertaking like social reform is beyond a group such as the Phantom Thieves. Only a few people are entitled to change the world… like you, “future” Prime Minister. sinister chuckling

Uh-oh. Looks like this goes way bigger than we possibly could have imagined…

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)




Pfft! Don’t be such an ass! I bet you’re at home, right? We’re gonna come over right now about the you-know-what. Seeya!

I don’t know what, for the record.

Music: Alright

That’s not why we’re here! We need to study for finals!
sigh Why am I here too…?
You’re one of us now, so of course you gotta help us. We’re in trouble if you don’t teach us, you know?

Ohoho, oh, I’ll hold you to that! Wanna see who gets the higher test scores?
Let’s leave those guys be…
sigh I couldn’t ask the last time I was here… But what is this place? The storekeeper doesn’t seem to be around…


He’s got complicated circumstances… We can tell her about it, right? Actually, tell her yourself.

Ann, Yusuke, and me are pretty much the same too. I mean, it’s not as bad as this guy’s though. There’s just something we can’t ever put up with. That’s why we all became Phantom Thieves.
Hey, don’t forget me.
I know, I know. We’re all part of the team. By the way, Makoto, ain’t there someone you can’t forgive either? Like, a heart you wanna change?
…That’s a secret.
Ooh, there’s someone like that? You could just tell us, you know. You don’t gotta be so cold.
That aside, do you have any intention of studying for the exam?
Not really…
It’s fine if I leave then?
N-No, I’m just joking! Please teach us…

I think it’s a fear of open spaces. You don’t hear it that often, though.

Leave vocabulary and long sentences to me. I suck at proper grammar, though…
Even if we study English, it’s not like I’m gonna use it in the future.
When it comes to you, your Japanese is questionable too.
Aw shuddup!
Explain the writer’s feelings…? What point is there in that?

…Why don’t we take a break?


This case is said to be the result of the Phantom Thieves’ actions, but in actuality, is this true?

The question is what the Phantom Thieves actually did. If they tampered with a suspect’s heart, it casts doubt on the authenticity of any confession.
So then, by tampering with hearts, the Phantom Thieves are fabricating crimes that may not exist?
We can’t deny the possibility. There’s no doubt that the Phantom Thieves are exposing hidden injustices in society. However, if this is done by sidestepping the law, their way of thinking is very dangerous.
So in a way, they’re outlaws.
Yes. They’re no different than the criminals they target. This cannot be overlooked.
I see.

Music: Break it Down

Just let them say whatever they want. More people are starting to understand that what we’re doing is right, after all.
When I’m walkin’ around in town, I hear a lot more people talkin’ about us too. And the forum’s been full of hype! Do you think we made it big time?
Don’t get pompous over dealing with some street thug. Save it for after we deal with a bigger target.
We just gotta take down a bigger one, yeah? That was the plan from the start, anyways!
True, it may be best if we start thinking about it.
I bet we’ll find one in no time. The wind’s blowin’ in our direction and everything! I feel like we won’t lose to anything right now.
Well, we’ll decide on that eventually. We need to overcome our exams first. Now then, break time’s over! Let’s get back to–
That reminds me—the celebration party. Weren’t we gonna do it after exams?
Yes, I believe so.
Where should we go? I feel like I’ll study better if I got something to look forward to.
The last one was a buffet at a hotel. We haven’t gone anywhere since.

…Hm!? A buffet!?

Oh, Yusuke’s here. I didn’t notice him because he’s been completely silent for the entire scene, popping up only for his requisite “starving artist” gag.

Where would be good…?

Hey, what about fireworks!? A fireworks festival!
Oh yeah, it’s that season, huh!
That sounds good to me.
It’s hard to ignore a buffer, but I’ll take the beauties of summer. Still, I demand that we feast during the festival as well.
Do you guys own a yukata? Will you wear a yukata!?
Doesn’t a fireworks festival sound good? You think so too, right?

All right, fireworks festival, it is! Let’s look for a good one!
Study comes first, though. I won’t let you off if you fail any of them. Are we clear?
Y-Yes, ma’am…

Somewhere else, someone is listening to our conversation…

Study comes first, though. I won’t let you off if you fail any of them. Are we clear?
Y-Yes, ma’am…

The girl chuckles.

Music: Beneath the Mask



Yeah, it seems like she’ll do something real bad someday, right? And, it gets even worse. As it turns out, she’s a Shujin student. You know a girl named Yumeko Mogami? She’s always up near the classrooms on the second floor… Please, you have to do something before things get worse!
Heheh! This is a good opportunity for us! Kaneshiro’s change of heart has probably opened up some deeper parts of Mementos. Let’s make some time and talk about it at the hideout.


Just before his arrest, “calling cards” with the suspect’s name were posted all over the area. Pictures of these were spread on the internet. Some claim these are proof the “Phantom Thieves” exist.
Putting calling cards up all over town was really effective. Getting famous might keep us pretty busy.


Are they just choosing bad people to steal hearts from?
Maybe someone’s asking them to do it.
Oh yeah, don’t they have a forum or something?
What if you make a request on there and they follow through?

Anon: jokes on the cops! rofl
Anon: i wanna know more bout em

Anon: omg they got the mafia lol

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

…I didn’t expect the Phantom Thieves would suppress a man that even the police had trouble with. The fact they have so much support online is worrisome. I’m in a bind since I previously denounced them. All the interviews these days ask me about that. …Still, can we really say the Phantom Thieves are on the side of justice with just this example?

Haha, thank you. But… I notice that you’re not saying that the Phantom Thieves are right. …I suppose that was an unfair way to phrase it. I was originally investigating the mental shutdown incidents. …Don’t you think it’s similar to the change of heart that the Phantom Thieves are doing? …… Now that I think about it, their actions mirror the mental shutdown cases, with the rate of victims. It’s impossible not to see a connection there… …Ah, sorry. I don’t want to make you late. I’ll see you again.

My god, this dude can talk your ear off.


“Shibuya Crime Ring Reveals All!” The leader’s confession has led to the arrest of other key members. “Sudden Rampage? Highway Accident!” The driver’s death has been confirmed, taking the total count up to four. “Hotspots of Tokyo!” Come see the summer fireworks show on July 18th!
Thanks to Kaneshiro spilling the beans, that organization is falling like a house of cards. Hehehe… We’re getting more and more famous!

Music: So Boring

In this internet society, every silly little thing gets its five minutes of fame. But just like a fleeting firework, they are destined to be forgotten once summer ends. Now that I think about it, there’s an organism that has its own short-lived glimmer. That’s right—fireflies. They’re probably something akin to magic creatures to you city kids. Hamiru-kun. You haven’t been completely tainted by city life yet, so here’s a question. What is the name of the light-producing substance in fireflies?

I picked the one with “Lucifer” in the name.

Correct. When luciferin combines with oxygen, it undergoes oxidation and emits light. A firefly cannot cry, so it burns its body… or so they say. Their light is actually a chemical reaction called a cold light—it doesn’t produce heat like fire.

Uhh, the second law of thermodynamics would like a word with you.

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.


We ranked up in Knowledge just in time for finals!

Now that I think about it, there’s a fireworks show next week. It may not be a bad idea to go see them. However, don’t become so blinded by the far-off lights that you can’t see the exams in front of you.
I wanna go relax somewhere after exams end!

Finals end on the 16th, so that should be good, right?
What are you talking about?

I’ll do that tomorrow.
Hey, we’re in the middle of class. Talk about those things later.
Yeah, yeah.

Music: Tokyo Daylight


It looks like they saved me again. I guess I’ll become a fan of the Phantom Thieves, after all.
I hope Akechi-kun isn’t too shocked from all the backlash he’s been getting online… I’ll still believe in Akechi-kun, though! I mean, he’s so handsome! Like, ridiculously handsome!

I suppose I’ll ask you this too, just in case. Who do you think will be their next target?

Well, if they want a bigger target, maybe the government? That’d be really interesting. I have no idea what they’ll do next. I’m a bit excited, but it’s also kind of scary.

I see… So rather than acting right away, they’re carefully observing society for now? It might also be that the criminals have been scared into hiding by the Phantom Thieves.

She says she knit her boyfriend a scarf, which made him super happy. Maybe that’s you, Ikesugi-kun?
Ah, stop it… That scraf freaked me out, so I threw it away. That’s only a coincidence.
Maybe you should ask that genius detective Akechi-kun to get to the bottom of this? Juuust kidding.

Oh, wait… When I marry him, I’ll be Yumeko Ikesugi… giggle I’ll post online about anyone who gets in my way. And they’ll bleed! It’ll be a blood storm!

Well, we found our target.

People are all about them right now. I totally voted “YES” in that online poll!
Yeah, I think Akechi-kun might’ve jumped the gun a little by saying they’re dangerous.
They should team up and take out Tokyo’s trash together!

Heroes like them must get all the girls. Maybe I’ll quit basketball to join the Phantom Thieves.
The Phantom Thieves are just a fad! You’re not seriously thinking of quitting your team, are you!?
I just don’t think it’s gonna work out. There aren’t many talented people I can get to join our team.

Be careful not to spread weird rumors. Students should concentrate on studying, anyway.
Oh, crap! It’s almost finals! I don’t want to fail and have to take remedial classes. I wonder if the Phantom Thieves can steal test questions. Hahaha! Nah, that’d be impossible!


Heh… Who could have known that Kaneshiro had that up his sleeve…? I can hear the people’s cries for a hero to fight evil… But for now, let me rest a bit… Heh.

Yeah, I’m not doing too shabby. People really fall for these “too-good-to-be-true” stories. Just butter ‘em up a little, and it’s a cinch. There are so many gullible people everywhere!

It’s up to you to protect what’s really important. You can’t take risks in these dangerous times. But what can you do to protect yourself? Don’t worry—our security systems are the answer! Please contact our company for installation services!

What are the police doing, letting those fishy Phantom Thieves steal their thunder!?
He was still arrested in the very end. It all worked out, didn’t it?
Come on… Can you really trust someone who hides their face like that!?

Hmm… I’m not sure. It seems like they only fight the bad guys.
Woof! Woof!
Kotaro says he likes them!
Oh, really? They must be good guys then.

There’s been a running subplot with this kid and her sick dog that I’ve been skipping because it’s both not terribly relevant and also because it’s pretty depressing.

grunt This too is thanks to the power of the Sun God and his blessing of the Phantom Thieves.
Um, I don’t mean to dispute you, Sun God, but I thought your power was weak during the rainy season?
Th-The power of the Sun God cuts through the darkness! Heal your battle wounds, my apostles…



I see. No comment then, hm? He is so pessimistic about the country’s future that he sees no point in sharing his opinion! And that concludes our on-the-spot coverage.

I’m the romantic phantom thief, here to steal your heart… The Love Thief of Pounding Hearts!
Love Thief… of Pounding Hearts…? Isn’t that a bit corny?
Idiot, that’s the point! Just give it a try!

I completely support the Phantom Thieves now. Hopefully they bring more bad apples to justice!
I can only imagine what the police are doing. They haven’t seemed very reliable.
I agree. Although I’m sure they’re reevaluating how they handle crime prevention.


Everyone runs away as soon as they see my face, but I’m not really sure why… Hey, can I ask you something? Do you think it’s possible that someone’s personality could change overnight…? No, sorry. Never mind…

Don’t trust the cops. The real calling card was posted online!
I guess it doesn’t really matter who did it, as long as they’re getting rid of the bad guys.
You’re so nonchalant, as usual…

He’s been talking about Egypt and stuff… But is he really working on deals with people overseas?
Is it because of Medjed? That thing on the internet, right?
Yeah, that! He was getting frustrated about being stuck at work since he can’t take his computer home anymore.

Well, we’ve got five requests on deck, so next time we’re gonna go take care of them. Mementos update! Fuck!


#160

“After you were arrested, someone must have interrogated you. A prosecutor, perhaps? Don’t bother hiding it, I’ll figure out who it is.”