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You are held captive.
A prisoner of fate to a future that has been sealed in advance.
This is truly an unjust game...
Your chances of winning are almost none.
But if my voice is reaching you,there may yet be a possibility open to you...
I beg you. Please, overcome this game...
...and save the world.
—The Mysterious voice
Persona 5 is an Urban Fantasy Role-Playing Game, and the fourth numbered sequel in the Shin Megami Tensei JRPG franchise's Persona sub-series, developed by Atlus for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. It is the first mainline entry in the Persona franchise following Sega's purchase of Atlus in 2013 and the first numbered Persona game to launch on multiple consoles. The game was released in Japan on September 15, 2016, in Traditional Chinese on March 23, 2017, with an English dub in the Americas and Europe on April 4 2017, and in South Korea on June 8 2017.
As of 2020, two other Persona 5 games have followed the original one:
- Persona 5 Royal: an Updated Rerelease exclusive to the PlayStation 4. It was released in late October 2019 in Japan, and became avaliable for the rest of the world in March 2020.
- Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers: an action-based sequel released in February 2020 in Japan and in early 2021 in the rest of the world.
There are also manga and anime adaptations.
It is the year 20XX. The world is not as it should be. In Tokyo, psychotic and mental breakdowns are becoming more common amongst the general public, leading to a string of high-profile accidents and crimes. Public confidence in the government and justice system is falling, and the powerful elites of the city plot to turn these incidents to their advantage.
The Player Character (named Akira Kurusu in the manga and Ren Amamiya in the anime) is an Ordinary High-School Student who has been falsely convicted of sexually assaulting a woman and sentenced to a year-long probation in Tokyo, under the watch of his family's old friend Soujiro Sakura. On his first day attending Shujin Academy, he and a fellow outcast named Ryuuji Sakamoto accidentally stumble into a mysterious Mental World known as the Metaverse: a place where cognition becomes reality, and real-world locations are twisted by the thoughts of humans. Within this world, the most corrupt humans have subconsciously created mental fortresses called "Palaces" where their innermost vices and desires are allowed to run rampant. If someone is able to steal the "Treasure" that forms the heart of the Palace, then the Ruler's vile desires will be erased and they will stop abusing other people in the real world. . .
Seeing this as a chance to strike back at the corrupted adults and start cleansing the world, the Protagonist, Ryuuji and the talking cat Morgana start to gather people also willing to take the risk: the model Ann Takamaki, the artist Yusuke Kitagawa, the top student Makoto Nijima, the shut-in Futaba Sakura, the rich heiress Haru Okumura and the Kid Detective Goro Akechi - plus the gymnast Kasumi Yoshizawa in Royal. They form a group named The Phantom Thieves of Heart that will start righting what's wrong, reforming the corrupted criminals and protecting everyone from corruption and defilement -- while, at the same time, they also see how this affects their own lives, and wonder if what they do ACTUALLY is justice or if they'll have to start reconsidering their methods...
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- Academic Alpha Bitch: Makoto, the Student Council President, is believed to be this. She isn't.
- Action Girls: All of the female Phantom Thieves, plus Sae Nijima on occasion.
- Average in One World, Powerful in Another: The Phantom Thieves not only gain superhuman abilities but they can also use toys as weapons along with summoning their Personas.
- Badass Normal: The Phantom Thieves are this, as they live double lives as students and Phantom Thieves.
- Dark Magical Girl: Goro Akechi aka Crow aka Loki/The Traitor is a Rare Male Example
- Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Several of the targets claim in their Motive Rants that whatever they did wasn't really their fault; society made them gain distorted desires and create Palaces. Ranging from unrealistic expectations due to previous accomplishments, to their horrible pasts, or simply believing themselves to be better than others. Even the Traitor of the party blames how society treated them for being an illegitimate child and having big-time angst for his very cruel father (Japanese culture has this be a much more serious issue than in the West and the Traitor's mother committed suicide, leading for him to be bounced around foster homes). The Phantom Thieves always hold the belief that this never excuses the actions of their targets, especially if one recalls how badly society has treated the Thieves themselves, and none of them chose to shrug their shoulders and just blame someone else.
- Guile Hero: The Protagonist can take this Up to Eleven
- Hate Sink: Kamoshida might be the first target, but he certainly is unlikable. He personifies the worst aspects of gym coaches, at least in fiction. And he also has a nasty lecherous streak, as Ann herself realizes when she tries to get Shido on his team. He really gives the Phantom Thieves a reason to exist.
- The Heartless: Shadows found in the Metaverse that are the manifestation of people's repressed aspects of their personality. They appear as demons, monsters, and other beings from legends and mythology.
- Heel Face Brainwashing: This is what the Phantom Thieves do, strictly speaking: via entering the Targets' mind spaces, fighting the monsters created by their inner demons and stealing the corruption in the Target's hearts, they force them to realize and admit their sins. It's also discussed more than once, with some people wondering if these people's changes of hearts are sincere or just mind control. (Plus one of their Targets, Haru's Corrupt Corporate Executive father, ends up dying during their attempt to reform him, and logically poor Haru feels horrible about it) In the end, they conclude that this method may not be perfect, but there REALLY isn't another option - doing it is the Lesser of Two Evils
- Hundred-Percent Adoration Rating: Played with, using the Phan Site.
- Likes Older Women: Save for three, the Protagonist's potential girlfriends are all older than him. If he romances the Fortune Teller Chihaya, she can lampshade the trope via asking him if he likes older ladies - and one of the options is pretty much a "FUCK YES, I DO!"
- Mental World: The Metaverse is the collective unconscious along with Palaces (manifestsations of negative thoughts warped by the perception of the Phantom Thieves' Targets) and Mementos (whihc is described as the Palace for everyone) that has Shadows roaming throughout the dimension.
- Metaphysical App: The Metaverse Navigator ,or MetaNav for short, is an app giving to the Protagonist and the other Phantom Thieves that allows them to access the Metaverse by using keywords spoken to it.
- Updated Rerelease: The Royal game.
- Super-Powered Alter Ego: The Phantom Thieves gain powers and outfits when they have awakened to their Persona in the Metaverse.
- Your Cheating Heart: The Protagonist can date many girls at once. And then they find out in Valentines. And they all kick his ass.