YMMV / Persona 5

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  • 8.8: Laura Kate Dale of Jimquisition gave the game an 8.5, a very positive score, though lower than the aggregate average of 9.4. Her biggest complaint, which she admitted was a personal one, was that it wasn't available on handheld devices. Immediately, people started criticizing her review, with the main reason being that she shouldn't have docked points for such a subjective complaint.
  • Abandon Shipping:
    • Quite a few people jumped ship on Joker/Akechi after it was revealed that Akechi was the traitor, and that in the bad ending murdered Joker. A lot of people jumped right back on after fully playing the game, with people discovering how he was actually a Tragic Villain with a Trauma Conga Line of a life and in the end managed to redeem himself. The divide still remains clear, however.
    • Joker/Mishima was very popular around the early Japanese release, but many fans jumped ship when his story arc revealed a far greater number of harder to brush off character flaws than they expected and as a result found him very annoying. While he still has his fans, and his Confidant skills are useful and easy enough to level very few players are likely to reach the end of the game before he finishes his Character Development, you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who wishes he was a Gay Option now.
    • Some players completely jumped from the Joker/Futaba romantic ship when in-game they found out she's Sojiro's adopted daughter, in favor of seeing this as a platonic Like Brother and Sister relationship since Sojiro is Joker's father figure of sorts as well, and now see the former as a type of Squick. See Broken Base below.
  • Acceptable Professional Targets: Police officers are depicted extremely negatively in this game. It's all but expressly stated that a sizable fraction of the Tokyo PD is in The Conspiracy's pocket, and the cops that aren't outright crooked are still exceptionally inept. Perhaps the only cop in the game who is both honest and competent is the one who helps Futaba in her Confidant link.
  • Acceptable Targets: Abusers are a frequent target for the Phantom Thieves.
  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • At the max rank of the Strength Confidant, the player is shown a fully voiced scene in which Justine starts to remember something and seems to have a headache over it. The problem is, while she seems to be wincing in pain trying to remember, her English voice clips instead sound like she's moaning.
    • Makoto at times says things that could be easily taken the wrong way, like "Let's do it in the student council room. I'll leave the back entrance open for you," or "Come to the library. I'll drill it into you."
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • While most agree that Madarame is an utterly terrible person, did he see Yusuke as nothing more than just another artist to exploit, or did he actually care for him to a certain extent? A few characters raise the latter possibility (granted, none of them had the same eye-opening look at Madarame's Palace that Yusuke did), and Yusuke, for all he hates Madarame for what he's done can't help but occasionally look back fondly on his time with his old teacher and see good along with the bad.
    • As detailed under Values Dissonance below (which plays a significant part in the conclusions one draws) does Kunikazu Okumura really care about Haru in spite of arranging her to marry a terrible person for his personal gain, or was his apology insincere at best?
    • Some theorize that Futaba has Asperger's syndrome due to her personality quirks, poor social skills, and tendency to get wrapped up in something she's obsessed with. Her English voice actor, Erica Lindbeck, also stated in an interview that she interpreted Futaba as possibly being on the spectrum. This is also a common theory for Yusuke, for much the same reasons.
    • Yusuke's sexuality. Is he gay? Bi? Asexual? Art-sexual? A straight or bi Covert Pervert who pretends to be art-sexual so he can see nude women consequence-free? Fans simply can't agree. This is complicated by the times that he stresses that he's not interested in women, but there have been a few scenes that implied that he had a crush on Ann.
    • Some players see the main character and Futaba as being Like Brother and Sister, especially since Sojiro is the protagonist's effective father-figure during his stay in Tokyo.
    • Kawakami as a potential romantic interest, given how a Teacher/Student Romance seems to conflict with her Confidant storyline about how she needs to find a healthy balance of her personal responsibilities with what she feels is needed of her professionally for the betterment of her students. Opinions range from remaining the total Woobie she seemed to be before the issue comes up who really could use anyone as a supportive significant other, which is why she's willing to take Joker up on his offer despite her own in-game objections, to yet another high school teacher in this game worryingly (and disgustingly) blasé about the issue of having sexual relations with a young teenager when Joker confesses his interest in her as she only brings up the teacher/student issue when trying to justify turning him down, with the swerve also calling into question how "innocent" all of the maid service calls made up to this point have really been on her side of this.
    • Much has been discussed about Goro's request to Shido that he not have to kill the Phantom Thieves all at once, his given justification being that the entire group of friends dying mysteriously within days of each other would look way too suspicious. Fans are split as to whether he meant what he said or whether he was trying to protect them from Shido in his own way.
    • Adding to this is the question of how much Yaldabaoth was manipulating him. Was Akechi filled with nothing but hate towards the world and wanted to see it burn, no matter the cost, or a a weak-hearted victim of societal stigma whose loneliness and anger was fostered into hatred by the malevolent entity. Akechi was 14 and living in a likely abusive foster household at the time and would have done anything to break free from such a situation (which in theory mirrors the Thieves situation except more hopeless). There's also how easily he ended up actually caring for the Thieves despite having learned his membership was a deception and not being in their company for a great amount of time. Nor possessing knowledge that stealing hearts was even possible until it was too late. A valid argument can be made that Akechi didn't have much of an option to be the hero. Not that it make any of his crimes less heinous.
  • Americans Hate Tingle: Goro Akechi is far more of a Base-Breaking Character in the west than he is in Japan; he enjoys far more popularity in the latter country and was even ranked first in some popularity polls. The likeliest factor behind the split, heinous acts aside, is the fact that his backstory as a neglected illegitimate child evokes some potent Values Dissonance (see his entry below); while his anger over his past in Japan is viewed with justification, westerners see it more as Wangst.
  • Annoying Video Game Helper:
    • While Persona 5 improved on the volume of navigation lines and made them significantly less inane/repetitive, Morgana still falls into this category for many players — not in his capacity as Dungeon Navigator (although his favoritism towards / prejudice against certain party members has been noted), but for his ever-present, Jiminy Cricket-style nagging about deadlines and bedtimes. When you're keen to rank up a social link or develop a skill that will allow you to rank up that social link, Morgana's "Hey!" followed by some variation on "you need your rest" as you head for the exit can become the Most Annoying Sound. He also puts pressure on you to complete dungeons as quickly as possible. It's clearly meant to stop you having to constantly check the calendar, but the countdown is right there in the corner of the screen! For players used to the taciturn Persona 4 protagonist and his ability to keep track of his own calendar, it can be grating.
    • Downplayed with Futaba. Most of her Confidant abilities are amazing and a great help in bad situations... but their completely luck-based activation can be a bad thing as there's one time you don't want her to buff the party: while multiple characters are Brainwashed. "Here come the buffs!" or especially "Ultra Charge" on Brainwashed party members can easily spell a Game Over if they end up attacking Joker.
    • Completely averted with Makoto, who acts as the party's strategist during battle. She'll only make comments while the player is looking at the enemy's status screen, and they're only ever said to help the player; unlike the navigators Makoto will only say what needs to be said, which fits in with her intelligent and methodical nature. However, some people find it mildly annoying that Makoto will only say the one line for mini-boss/boss enemies, and expect to hear it a lot if you need to keep scanning them throughout the battle.
  • Anticlimax Boss:
    • For someone who the game really goes out of its way to make you want to take down, Kamoshida's boss fight isn't particularly hard, especially for those familiar with the infamous Shadow Yukiko from Persona 4. Unlike there, you have a full party of four for this one, with Ann and Morgana capable of healing by default, and Kamoshida can't hit any party member's weakness. Pacing yourself and grinding up enough can not only net some useful support spells for your party members (At Level 11, Ann gets Tarunda, which lowers an enemy's attack, and Morgana learns the multi-healing spell Media, whose lack of presence is considered a major headache for the aforementioned Shadow Yukiko battle from 4), but the protagonist can potentially fuse two PersonasNote  that resist regular physical attacks, allowing him to shrug off most of Kamoshida's attacks. Granted, Kamoshida is only the first major boss battle, but considering how much of a Hate Sink he's made out to be in the story, it's a bit of a letdown.
    • Despite Kaneshiro and his Bank being presented as the heist that truly puts the thieves on the map, both his Palace and his boss fight are unimpressive. The bank's layout is non-complex, with the only major bump in the road being a simple ATM PIN puzzle in the Palace's basement. Shadow Kaneshiro himself isn't that powerful either; the only potential threats he can dole out (Fear Gas, which has a chance of inflicting Fear on the entire party, and Piggytron's rollout attack) can be swiftly dealt with: one of Makoto's healing moves cures Fear, and even without her you will likely have easy access to most healing items at this point in the game. As for the rollout attack, hitting Shadow Kaneshiro once (he rolls on top of Piggytron for the move) will knock him over and stop the attack. To make all of this even sadder, Kaneshiro's confession after his change of heart is offscreen.
    • The battle with The Traitor isn't particularly difficult for all of the buildup to it. The first phase is just two Shadows with Desperation cast on them that only use physical attacks, so if Joker has a Null/Repel Physical persona equipped, the enemies can't even damage him. When Akechi himself joins the fray, he's laughably easy to take down since he'll target the protagonist with Kougaon and Eigaon even if they have Null Bless or Null Curse. Akechi's second phase is a little harder, but he doesn't deal much damage without Desperation (which he'll only use if he knocks down a party member) and out of all the skills to use, he has... Maragion and Maeiga, which deal pitiful damage. He does have a powerful Almighty move, but he uses it at extremely low health and it takes a turn before he uses it, so it's easy to just guard against it, assuming you don't kill him before he uses it in the first place.
    • The fight with the boss of the Casino Palace is very straightforward and not very difficult, in spite of having the most buildup of all the pre-true ending bosses. One factor that goes into this is that you aren't allowed to send out a Calling Card and fight the boss until a set date right before the deadline. If you secured a route in the Palace early enough, you have a lot of time to max out Confidants, and grind in Mementosnote . Play your cards right and you'll go into this fight with a huge advantage. Even then, the fight on its own isn't anything that'll have you pulling your hair out. The game outright tells you how to deal with the boss's gimmicks, and none of the attacks are all that dangerous. The worst the boss can do is use stat buffs, but they are easily countered with Dekaja, and in addition to any buffs you can use, Futaba will most likely give your party a buff during this fight. At the end of the fight the boss does permanently buff itself, but by that point their HP is low enough that you'll be able to take them out before they can do anything, especially if you guessed correctly on the gamble that increases your attack.
    • The final Mementos request seems like it's going to be a real tough one, being the only S-Rank mission and at the very bottom of the 66-floor randomly generated dungeon... Too bad any sort of Attack debuff completely ruins him as he'll spend every turn trying to rebuff his Attack stat. Cue jokes about Mara not being able to raise itself up.
  • Applicability: While the game deals primarily with Japanese issues, many people around the world have found they can relate to the game's themes of systemic corruption, older generations not taking the problems of younger generations seriously, and frustration with the fact that anyone sufficiently powerful or famous is essentially above the law.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • After ages of western fans pestering Atlus for a dual audio option and eventually getting a hard "no", Atlus softened the blow of the April 2017 delay by announcing the Japanese voice track as free day-one DLC.
    • After the Persona 4 Arena debacle (where the game took nearly ten months to be released in Europe), Atlus confirmed that the European version of the game would be released on the exact same day as the US version. Of course, that's negated by the fact that the game took seven months to get localized.
    • Probably an unintentional one, but Persona 3 and Persona 4 were often criticized for the Mission Control characters being too annoying. In this game, the battle sounds and voices tend to drown out what Morgana or Futuba have to say, keeping them from getting too annoying like Fuuka or Teddie.
    • Atlus personally apologized for their harsh streaming conditions, and allowed streamers to post content up to the in-game date of November 19th.
    • Another thing Persona 4 was criticized for were the downtime scenes being superfluous and long-winded. While this game has a few downtime scenes of its own, most of them actually progressed the plot, and the ones that didn't add to the story don't drag on.
    • Sojiro seems like a response to the criticism Dojima got as a character. One scene in particular was his knee jerk reaction to getting a threatening letter by interrogating the Protagonist and leaving Nanako home alone and open for abduction. A similar scene occurs when he finds the Phantom Thief calling card in Futaba's room. Unlike Dojima, Sojiro's reason for panicking was a bit more justified, but he heard the Protagonist out and was understanding about the situation.
    • Persona 4 was often seen as having an accidental "conform to what society expects of you" message, with many Social Link characters eventually admitting that they never really wanted to subvert the role expected of them and the only people to speak out against society being murderous villains. The message of this game is the exact opposite.
    • It is significantly easier to max-rank every Confidant playing blind than it was in Persona 4 and especially Persona 3, where it was infamously considered nearly impossible without a guide and easy to screw up even then. Unlike previous games, many Confidants can be accessed even during summer vacation or days off (due to less emphasis on school social links) and Confidant abilities helps speed up the process. Chihaya's abilities allows the player to rank-up stats and Confidant points without passing time and Kawakami's rank 10 ability allows the player to go out and do activities despite going to a dungeon.
    • One common criticism of both Persona 3 and Persona 4 is the opening hours of both games border on Slow-Paced Beginning territory. Was especially a prevalent issue Persona 4 where the first three hours are essentially one gigantic cutscene with the tutorial fights being the only gameplay in that time. Persona 5 is still very cutscene heavy in the beginning but it is made less tedious since there are more sequences involving player interaction. Another improvement in the game's opening is that while the openings of the previous two games were mostly focused on setting up the plot, not only does Persona 5 begin In Medias Res raising questions right away but the first major plot element is introduced very quickly.
    • Another controversial aspect of Persona 4 was Nanako's death and resurrection, which some players felt was a huge Writer Cop Out. In this game, another character of the Justice Arcana dies, but they seemingly stay dead for the rest of the game. Unlike other points this example does heavily rely on what Atlus plans to do with Persona 5 after this game though, since the last time they killed off a very popular teammate players were given a non-canon means to "save" him in an Updated Re Release and this also has a case of Never Found the Body if they want to put him into a spin off game.
    • Achieving the best ending in this game is much easier than it was in Persona 4. To achieve the true ending in Persona 4 you had to select six specific dialogue options when the party is about to throw Namatame into the TV World. The game also gives you no indication that this scene determines the ending you receive. Even then, once you defeat the killer you can still miss the best ending especially since the game tries so hard to force you away from it. Here there are only two instances where your dialogue options determine which ending you receive and both of them make it clear. In fact during one of them, the game will outright tell you if you've chose the bad ending option and let you backtrack if you choose to do so.
    • After some backlash from Persona 3 and Persona 4 in regards to what came off as occasional moments of Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male, the relationships between girls and boys of the Phantom Thieves was done up in a more understanding manner. The boys for their part don't get their perv on all that often, and Ann (who gets this treatment the most) only really retaliates once, during the desert drive sequence, even though Ann's storyline could have already justified her being particularly sensitive about this type of behavior. Then when it comes to the actual beatings, the two that are delivered aren't done without a justifiable cause and thankfully have nothing to do with the guys being creepy towards the ladies in question (intentionally or otherwise): Ryuji getting his ass handed to him when he makes fun of the girls for crying at his near-death experience can be considered fair to some players, and of course, the epic beating Joker gets for romancing all the girls at once is considered completely fair to everyone.
    • Just as in Persona 4 there's an achievement for listening a lot of randomized navigator lines, as seen under the entry for That One Achievement, getting 250 of Futaba's lines can be a painstaking chore (especially with the issue of the temporary teammate). However, to tip the scales just slightly in the players favor this time around, Futaba has a lot of distinct lines - meaning that so long as you rotate characters relatively often, you may have a chance of stumbling into the achievement just by clearing the game at least once without having to go into a NG+ run.
    • After two main line entrees, plus several spin-off titles, having Hama and Mudo be instant kills with low chances of hitting, Persona 5 revamps the two elements into being, offensively speaking, similar to the other spells available in game by changing them to Bless and Curse respectively, allowing the player to use both elements on enemies weak to it without wasting SP on a unreliable instant kill. This also makes fighting enemies who use them less difficult since instead of only having instant kills, they can now be challenging without being unfair.
    • The shift from bubblegum J-Pop/Shibuya-Kei-laced soundtrack from Persona 4 to groovy Acid Jazz in Persona 5 has been well-received by fans, as many people were honestly getting tired of the P4 poppier style after having it to be the most recent thing for eight whole years.
  • Awesome Art: The menus and interfaces are incredibly stylish. Some standout moments include a shop menu where the silhouetted shopkeeper shifts around as you browse the menus, and the results screen which shows the final blow in the background while your rewards are tallied up as if they're points on a line.

    B 
  • Badass Decay: Downplayed. The Reaper, in previous games a terrifying and powerful Stalked by the Bell Bonus Boss, can here be brought down by the common flu...if it's going around. Otherwise, he's just as strong as he is normally. He also speaks like a "beast" type shadow if you try to negotiate with him, despite appearing mostly humanoid, so while he's one of the few to always blatantly refuse to be intimidated by you and his sentiments are still terrifying his awful grammar takes away from the effect.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Ryuji is both well-liked and hated for a variety of reasons. People who like him bring up his loyalty, chemistry with Ann, friendship with the protagonist, mindfulness towards his fellow teammates in general (not named Morgana), and just how plain over-the-top he is; while those who dislike him point to him as an Idiot Hero with No Indoor Voice who's constantly putting the Phantom Thieves' identities at risk of exposure because of how loud he is. His relationship with Morgana is also a divisive issue here, as the two of them spend much of their time insulting each other (and Morgana instigates this just as much if not more so than Ryuji does, which can make people more sympathetic towards Ryuji instead) but since it's Ryuji's put-downs that drive Morgana to temporarily leave the group at the start of the Okumura arc he often gets the lion's share of the blame for it. Those that like him further point out his negative qualities are a major part of his character development, Morgana later acknowledges that because the falling out happened he's the only one of the two of them to actually apologize for their behaviors towards the other, and he ultimately becomes a better person by the game's conclusion.
    • Ann, mainly outside of combat, her diminished role post Kamoshida's defeat and her airheadedness in her Confidant link have led some players to consider her a boring, passive character, while others still like her for being a Nice Girl who provides plenty of sweet and/or comedic moments. Her being the game's Ms. Fanservice, and the developers' decision to follow up Kamoshida's palace with Madarame's have also drawn considerable debate — some are uncomfortable with her treatment as a Lust Object and Yusuke's behavior towards her once he asks her to model for him (explicitly blackmailing her to pose nude for their second session when she made it clear she wasn't comfortable with the idea, and for a painting that would be made public possibly worldwide on top of that), seeing it as Atlus trying to have their cake and eat it too at the cost of her storyline as a sexual abuse survivor, while others are more forgiving of it since the game does give her more agency over herself after the first two dungeons.
    • Makoto. She placed third in a Japanese popularity poll so naturally she has a very large fanbase that considers her "the best girl" as a badass, intelligent girl who's also well-rounded, with a number of comical and serious character flaws. Her detractors, which could be a result of how overwhelmingly popular she is, consider her comparatively bland next to her sister Sae and think Hifumi (a popular shogi player) would have been a better fit for the role of team strategist and may have been intended for it back when she was slated to be playable. Her Confidant is often considered one of the weakest in the game, with the naivete she displays during it can be grating for some, while others either consider it endearing or a realistic consequence of her focus on her academic career for most of her life. Another point of contention is that her Confidant is mostly focused on helping her classmate Eiko, while Makoto's own development takes a back seat, and it's always presented in contrast to Eiko, rather than on its own merits. Not helping matters is the fact that some fans tend to get a bit too pushy about her and that Makoto also gets a lot of focus, dialogue and screen time in the main story line compared the other party members. Some fans feel it's justified as she's one of the more intelligent members of the group and the fact she's related to Sae; others point out that it means she overshadows the rest of the group, even in scenes where she isn't needed (like how she continued to play the 'navigator' role even after Futaba joins), and that she's the only person to get an 'ultimate weapon' that grants 10 + to all of her stats, leading to some accusations of dev favoritism.
    • Yuuki Mishima, for his cute design, apparent personality and Confidant abilities (increasing the overall XP gained as well as eliminating the need to grind benched party-members by having them level at the same rate as those currently in use) made him an Ensemble Darkhorse before the game was even released. After it did players found Mishima turned out to be selfishly using the Phantom Thieves to become popular, annoyingly needy and clingy on top of that, and his "big moment" (saving the Phantom Thieves by rallying Tokyo) is completely dependent on whether or not you finished his Confidant Link. While this would have easily made him The Scrappy his saving grace is that his use of the Phantom Thieves as a tool to social-climb happens entirely offscreen, and that the game doesn't hesistate to call him out on his flaws. The protagonist's dialogue options also show his growing irritation with Mishima, helped by how Mishima is one of the few Confidants who it doesn't matter how you treat them for his link to progress, before he finally loses his patiences and drags Mishima's shadow by the ear to smack some sense into him. But even then, his shadow is one of the few in the game that doesn't need to be fought for Mishima to realize his mistakes, because he ends up developing his own sense of courage and integrity anyway as the link is pursued. While people dislike him, certainly, others acknowledge his glaring flaws and overcoming them as legitimate Character Development. Besides that, given the aforementioned extreme usefulness of his Confidant skills and the ease of leveling them upnote , if you see the Floral Pants Man version of his big moment, it was either on purpose or you've mismanaged your time horribly.
    • There are three camps for viewing The Traitor, for being The Dragon and The Heavy for the Big Bad. Camp One acknowledges that while Akechi's actions can't be justified - indeed, the party never forgives him, they just come to understand him and sympathize with him somewhat - these fans think Akechi was a character that was severely manipulated by all sides, and as such, probably didn't have much of a choice but to be evil, even if he regretted his actions. Camp Two believes that while he had a tragic backstory, he still killed multiple people, including Haru's father and Futaba's mother, even helping spiral the latter into two long years of constant mental anguish and suicidal self-loathing, and caused a lot of other problems for the main cast, along with being very smug and rude towards them. Camp Three just plain hates the guy, treating him like a completely irredeemable scumbag and finding his many reprehensible acts to nullify any sympathy points he would otherwise get. This leads to another argument: whether or not he should turn out to be alive and have a redemption arc (Camp One and Camp Two supporters want to see him atone for his crimes, albeit in different ways), or stay dead (Camp One supporters believe that him turning out to be alive would undermine his sacrifice, while Camp Two and Three supporters believe that his death was justified). Needless to say, bringing The Traitor up in any discussion will most likely result in a huge fight.
    • Morgana. People either love him for his Badass Adorable status, his usefulness in battle as the game's primary healer, and his Funny Moments with the Treasure, as well as all of his snarky commentary when exploring Tokyo. Others hate him due to his tendency to dictate the Protagonist's free time, telling him he can't do something for sketchy reasons. In-character, there's Morgana constantly berating Ryuji for every mistake he makes, and then when Ryuji finally decided to fight back, Morgana left the team, making it seem like Mona could dish it out, but not take it. While Morgana was feeling useless at the time, these fans felt that he grossly overreacted. His detractors also point out his love of "Lady Ann" as many feel that it doesn't add anything to his character and just feels like a tacky comedic gimmick that gets in the way of the more interesting aspects of his character.
    • Haru gets this as a result of being introduced very late into the game. Some feel that because of not having a lot of screen time compared to the other Phantom Thieves she comes off as a boring character that doesn't contribute much narrative-wise. Her fans however love her simply for her kindhearted personality and that in spite of her limited screen time she still has a strong presence in the story and her Confidant is one of the stronger ones among the Phantom Thieves. There's also the debate over whether or not her father's death actually gave her ample character development or just was completely swept under the rug.
    • Shido, the game's main villain gets hit by this as well. Most of it stem from differing opinions on just how effective he is as a villain and character. Proponents find a good Hate Sink, and how his vileness is connected to almost everything in the game. Others find him a horribly shallow and ineffective villain whose only real trait is being a villain and whose evil is so overplayed that he's impossible to take seriously.
  • Breather Boss:
    • The boss of the Space Station Palace, especially since his palace bordered on Marathon Level with That One Puzzle right before the boss fight. He's a Flunky Boss who summons mooks that the player has already fought earlier in his palace, with the boss himself hanging out of reach providing support. The mooks all have weaknesses that the player can easily exploit, and once they're all defeated, the boss himself turns out to be a total weakling who goes down with just a few regular attacks.
    • The boss of the Bank Palace isn't a cakewalk, but he doesn't have any gimmicks backing him up that stop you from dealing damage to him, he doesn't debuff your party, and the normal attacks he uses aren't particularly powerful. His strongest move takes two turns to charge, and the battle gives you multiple different ways to stop it. Towards the end, you can even sacrifice relatively common items to make him skip his turn.
  • Breather Level:
    • The fourth palace; a.k.a Futaba's, is a lot more straight forward (both figuratively and literally) than the other palaces, with relatively easy puzzles, and while it does have two mini-bosses, both come at the very start and end of the palace, and both are against Mot, meaning if you made an effort to discover its weakness the first time, you should have no problem, and while the main boss of the Palace does have two stages, your HP and SP are refilled at the start of phase two, preventing it from being cheap. Combine this with you being given an extremely generous 26 in-game days to complete it rather than the usual 14-16 affair of other Palace's as well as going right in after you send the calling card and not having to wait an extra day, it, by far and large solidifies this trope. Preventing it from being a complete cakewalk however is the presence of a few enemies who can be rather nasty to players towards the lower or average end of the leveling curve, such as the Anubis, who can use Mudoon for cheap insta-kills.
    • Futaba's Confidant requires the player's Kindness (one of the harder stats to update) to be at level 4, but is otherwise quick to finish due to a lack of holdover periods.
    • While it may take some out of the box thinking to start it, Toranosuke's Confidant is one of the easiest to level up in the game. To begin with, the part-time job at the Beef Bowl Shop only requires permission to go out at night and Rank 2 Proficiency, which, by the time you have the former, you should be reasonably close to attaining as long as you haven't been intentionally neglecting it. Past that, he ranks up each time you see him, independent of having the right Persona Arcana and your choice of responses, and he is also the only non-party Confidant that doesn't have a Mementos request that is required to advance past a specific rank. The ease of his Confidant line may have to do with the fact that, unlike most of the others, it has a deadline (which he will warn you about just in case): November 17th, which is when in-story election campaigning begins.
    • Like Futaba above, Haru's Confidant requires a high stat check (namely, requiring the player's Proficiency to be maxed out), but is quick to finish due to a lack of holdover periods. Also, much like Toranosuke's Confidant above, there are very few responses that she doesn't like, especially late into her Confidant.
    • In a similar fashion to Toranosuke, Mishima's Confidant levels every time you see him - no matter what you choose to say and regardless of whether or not you have a matching Arcana persona on hand. The fact that he's the Moon to Toranosuke's Sun makes it quite fitting. The only difference is Mishima has no deadline so to speak, but due to his personality a number of players don't get around to finishing his Confidant anyway or only do it for the battle bonuses it gives.
  • Broken Base:
    • The return of the negotiation mechanic was welcomed by fans of the first two Persona titles and the mainline series, regarding it as a deeper, more-interesting system than random drops or reflexes-based minigames, while others find it to be tedious, time consuming, and needlessly-random even with the game's "hints" on how they work.
    • Upon the reveal of the 20th anniversary DLC for the game that included uniform costumes and Picaro versions of past protagonists' personas only showing the costumes and Persona from the last two games caused an uproar with P1 and P2 fans seeing it as Atlus just milking P3 and P4 again instead of showing off the entirety of the franchise's history with this "anniversary" celebration. While it turned out the Seven Sisters' and St. Hermelin's uniforms were included as DLC (along with the Karukozaka High uniforms of Shin Megami Tensei if...) despite not being advertised the fans of the first two persona games still have a point since Persona like Seimen Kongou/Vishnu and Vulcanus/Apollo weren't given the same treatment as the Persona from P3 and P4.
    • The identity of the traitor: Goro Akechi, which many have slammed as a blatant Captain Obvious Reveal, while others like it for serving as The Untwist. Others point out Akechi serves as a Red Herring to divert attention from events like the whole party having already come up with a plan to outsmart him, to an even bigger betrayal by "Igor", who turns out to have been the Big Bad posing the series' usual Big Good the whole time.
    • Unlike the past two games, which would tease the idea before shooting it down, this young teenaged protagonist is actually able to enter into a full-blown relationship with his adult female Confidants. One of them even being his homeroom teacher. This led to debates over whether it should be a big deal or not, whether or not it's ok because Values Dissonance, and whether or not Atlus USA should step in to tone it down just like they did the Ken Social Link in Persona 3 Portable. Sadayo Kawakami, the protagonist's home-room teacher in particular has been the focus of much of the debate especially because the romance seemingly undermines the resolution of her own Confidant. Defenders think the romantic version of her Confidant manages to strike a healthy balance between the Wish Fulfillment aspects of dating a teacher and does still point out that teacher/student relationships are taboo for a reason, while detractors claim that this being portrayed positively with only Kawakami really objecting is very much at odds with how Kamoshida's sexual interest in his teenage students is meant to be seen as a disgusting and predatory abuse of his authority. See Values Dissonance for more.
    • The localization. Some have accused Atlus USA of a subpar translation. The complaints include, but are not limited to: inconsistent use of honorifics; making up new words; baffling grammar mistakes in voiced lines; untranslated images and unsubbed voices in animated cutscenes; inconsistencies; and the use of the phrase "Take Your Heart" for things like the game's limited edition, believing "Steal your heart" would be a more fitting line for Phantom Thieves. What has many detractors baffled is not just the oddity of these lines, but the abundant number of them, especially from Atlus USA, who many consider(ed) the gold standard of localization publishers. Others are more favorable toward the localization, praising the quality of the translation as a whole, particularly the various changes that work better in English, and feel that even with the increased number compared to previous games, the errors are still too few and far between to be distracting.
    • While the game has received acclaim for taking socially progressive stances on a number of hot-button topics, its treatment of LGBT issues is, like its two predecessors, divisive. Just like the preceding two game's male protagonists you can't be gay and there are two gag characters in the form of a campy older couple who pop up briefly twice and sexually harass Ryuji. On the other hand, the tasteful handling of transgender Gay Bar matron Lala Escargot and her customers has been widely praised. Discussions include whether the jokes regarding the gay couple are offensively funny or just plain offensive, whether the localization should have removed their scenes (as with the face-stroking minigame in Fire Emblem Fates), if there's enough positive representation to make up for the negative ones (much like how some fans argue if this can be the case with Persona 4), and even whether or not the gay jokes undermine the game's progressive themes. Part of why the first part of this discussion comes up is that you could pursue a romantic interest of your same gender in Persona 2, with Jun, and as the female protagonist introduced in Persona 3 Portable Edition, with Aigis and Elizabeth (if you chose her over Theodore as your attendant), so there doesn't seem to be too much of a reason for them to have ignored this opportunity to have had another way the protagonist is at odds with those in authority and in game it teases at this more than in previous games though dialog options like being able to tell shadows you prefer guys during negotiations.
    • The inevitably of Atlus releasing spin-offs based on this game much like what happened with Persona 4. A lot of evidence seems to be pointing towards this possibility as the game ends with the Protagonist and the Phantom Thieves still on their road trip leaving things open for more plots, shortly after the game's international release Atlus registered many domain names that appeared to be spin-offs, and Arc Systems Works has already expressed interest in developing a fighting game. Some find that spin-offs would be a good idea since they would allow the Phantom Thieves to interact with both SEES and the Investigation Team and would generally give players more time to be spent with the characters. There's also the fact that in spite of the Persona 4 spin-offs being weak storywise, it was still generally agreed that they were good games. Some however are against the idea as they feel a barrage of spin-offs will cause the novelty of the original game to wear off and the possibility that much like what happened in the Persona 4 spin-offs, the characters from this game could potentially end up going through Flanderization. And then there is the third group comprised of the fans of the older games that are sick of the fact that Atlus keeps ignoring Persona 1 and 2 in said spinoffs just because their writers no longer work at Atlus and the titles are less popular overseas, often bringing up comparisons to other long-running, multi-creator franchises such as Final Fantasy and Gundam that have no problem giving their older works crossover representations and the like. Another cause of concern is the potential spin-offs getting in the way of a Persona 6 after the eight year gap between Persona 4 and this game.
    • Morgana running away. Who was at fault for the situation? Some blame Morgana because he tended to insult Ryuji for every minor mistake he made and coming off as Wangsty, but some blame Ryuji because he would keep egging Morgana on even if he didn't provoke him.
    • A month after the game's international release it was announced that this would be the last game in the series directed by Katsura Hashino. Some fans especially those who were introduced to the series with his games, are worried about the series' future as Hashino introduced a lot of elements that made the series great for them. Others however see this as the right step forward for the series especially given how this game perfected a lot of the elements introduced in the previous two entries. As such this group is more welcoming of a new director and seeing what they'll bring to the table rather than the elements from Hashino's games tiring themselves out. There's also the older fans who believe that with a new director, Atlus will be more open to looking back into some of the mechanics from the first two games and giving them some more polish in future entries. Another added argument in favor of Hashino leaving the series is that the next game could potentially go back to the more narrative driven approach that Persona 2 and Persona 3 had versus the increased emphasis on socialization features this game and Persona 4 had.
    • Whether Futaba works best as a Love Interest or a surrogate sibling to Joker is a subject of surprising virulence. The argument for the latter, in addition to the reasons given in Abandon Shipping above, is that it's also a valid way to keep their dynamics close in fanworks even if Joker is paired with someone else romantically. Supporters of the former argue that since Sojiro's only been Joker's guardian for less than a year (and even he sees nothing wrong with them being together if you pursue her beyond the fact that you want to date his daughter) claiming the two are siblings through not-actually-adoption is pushing it so it shouldn't be a cause of Squick in the first place. What doesn't help matters is that Futaba does develop an obvious crush on Joker as her Confidant link progresses regardless of how you feel about her, and is one of the most explicit girls about it too, which results in arguments ranging from the former using it as "proof" when accusing the latter of Fanon Discontinuity to the latter claiming it can be a variant of the Flirty Step Siblings trope so it doesn't necessarily disprove their stance. Values Dissonance also comes into play — in Japan, this pairing is more popular because it's way easier to see the protagonist as a caregiver in their dynamic.
    • The final arc of the game, especially when it is compared to the two previous games. There are those who think the final arc ends the game on a strong note. A lot of praise is given to the final three bosses, the Character Development given to the Phantom Thieves especially Makoto, Morgana, and Ryuji, and several endgame moments such as the Phantom Thieves resolving to defeat Yaldabaoth after he nearly erases them from existence, the summoning of Satanael, and the game ending on a very positive note. Others are a lot more critical of the game's final arc. Common criticisms include the last two dungeons being some of the weakest in the game, the game's themes of rebellion having very little payoff in the end, Goro Akechi's "role" representing Yaldabaoth's need to destroy and remake the world under his order (feeling that it was either tacked on, or the complete lack of reaction from the party regarding the fact), and Shido being a weak villain in spite of all the build up he was given. Fans of Persona 3 have been especially more critical due to how much payoff the final hours of that game had, while fans of Persona 4 have taken issue with how the ending is very similar to that game's ending.
      • Tied with the above is the payoff of the In Medias Res portion of the narrative, as the end of Sae's dungeon reveals that the protagonist's arrest was all part of an elaborate Batman Gambit meant to out Akechi as a member of The Conspiracy, get the name of its leader, and get Sae to relent and join the thieves' side. Some find it brilliant and satisfying, and compared to prior games the setup is pulled off fairly well (I.E Akechi getting spotted for listening to Morgana all the way back in June, despite his claims to the contrary). Others find it to be too contrived that shouldn't have worked at all, either due to the mechanics involved or the fact that the main crux of the plan involved the protagonist emotionally appealing to Sae (which he manages to do while drugged, to boot). In both cases, though, the aftermath in general is considered to be as weak as the rest of the final arc.
    • While the story as a whole has been well received, there's still a vocal group of people who consider it weaker than Persona 3 and Persona 4, particularly due to the way it handles some of its themes — see the Wall of Text under Values Dissonance for a full showdown. On the other hand, fans believe this game improved Persona 3 and 4's worst flaws (the tedious gameplay of Persona 3 and most of the bullets in the Author's Saving Throw section being dedicated to the improvements over Persona 4's narrative).
    • The announcement of the anime adaptation. A lot of the division boils down to the fact that the anime is being done by A-1 Pictures who not only made the infamous Persona 4 Golden anime but for the past few years has been one of the most divisive anime studios. Fans are already worried that the anime will be plagued with the same animation issues as the two Persona 4 adaptations or will only be 25 episodes long when the game's plot needs more than that. Others are just happy the game is getting an anime adaptation and point out that even if it is A1 Pictures they can still bring in a competent team to work on things.
    • Persona 5 was translated into Korean for the South Korean gaming market but caused controversy because Ryuji's shoes had the Imperial Rising Sun flag on them, which is still a major sore spot between both Japan and Korea. The South Korean version ended up editing the flags out.

    C 
  • Captain Obvious Reveal:
    • The fact that a traitor in the party betrays Joker and gets him arrested is spelled out right at the beginning of the game. The identity of said traitor is treated as a huge mystery throughout the story, to the point where when you recruit a new party member, the game actually warns you that this could be the one who stabbed you in the back. But by the time it comes to pick out who you believe betrayed you, it's pretty easy to guess that it's Goro Akechi. He wasn't heavily promoted in advertisements, he joins the party in the dungeon where you know you'll be betrayed, his Confidant link is different from all the others as it's advanced by the plot a la Teddie's Social Link in P4, not to mention the fact that the characters and audience know the least about him out of the party members. The game's romance aspect makes it highly unlikely to be one of the girls, and Ryuji, Yusuke, and Morgana all have established motives for the joining the group that would encourage loyalty. By process of elimination, it simply has to be Akechi. The fact that both the prior games in the series had similar plot-twists only compounds it—and even the game acknowledges this, with it revealed in the Good Ending that everyone suspected Akechi was their enemy from the moment they met him, and actually mock him for being a poor liar.
      • Another blatant hint is in the Non Standard Game Over when the player fails to take a Target's heart in time. Much like in the Bad Ending, the Traitor shoots the protagonist, only their face isn't shown and their voice is filtered. The problem is that the filter doesn't do a great job at hiding the character's voice, so if you get a Bad Ending before the Traitor unmasks themselves, it's patently obvious who it is.
    • If you're paying attention to dialogue at the time, you can catch onto the Traitor's identity way in advance. During the school trip to the TV station, the Phantom Thieves have a conversation in the corridor after Joker and Ryuji assist with the camera cables. As the conversation reaches the subject of where they should spend their free time, Goro strolls by and comments about "delicious pancakes". Not only was food not on the agenda to begin with, but the only member of the group to mention the word "pancakes" was Morgana; Akechi shouldn't have been able to understand Morgana if he hadn't already become able to venture in and out of the Metaverse. The mockery he gets in the Good Ending is therefore kinda justified seeing as he basically outed himself.
    • In Yusuke's dungeon, it's fairly obvious to figure out that the woman in the paintings throughout it is Yusuke's mother and by extension that Madarame committed Murder by Inaction, especially since Madarame otherwise didn't seem that bad compared to Kamoshida.
    • In Futaba's dungeon, it's not hard to figure out that the boss is Futaba's cognition of her late mother, Wakaba Isshiki, as soon as you see it: throughout the dungeon, you need to recreate several murals as a part of puzzles, many of which depict Futaba's mom. Because of this, it's easy to notice that the Sphinx has the same face and hair as Wakaba on the murals.
    • It's very easy to figure out that Masayoshi Shido is one of the main antagonists. The game basically spells it out for you when Ryuji and Joker encounter Shido at the hotel while going out to eat and Joker suspects that the man holding up the elevator is the one who pushed false charges on him. There's also the fact that Shido has a character portrait during this scene and after Yusuke joins the party his character portrait is reused when Joker is recalling the situation. By the time Shido begins making his speeches on the TV at Leblanc many players can be safe to assume that he'll eventually be a target of the Phantom Thieves. And depending on how early you max one of the Confidants, you might see a big hint towards this very early in the story. Ohya's Confidant ends with Shido's name directly implicated in a political scandal involving a mental shutdown. It's not hard to connect the dots after that.
    • One of the hints towards the biggest twist in the game is considerably easier to figure out in the English version than it is in the Japanese version. The fact that Igor is an imposter. Igor's Japanese voice actor passed away, justifying his change of voice. So Japanese fans would be less likely to question the change. Igor's English VA, however, is still alive and available, which makes it a lot more suspicious that he'd now be played not only by a totally different actor, but one that doesn't even attempt to sound the same as the old voice. Naturally, False Igor's deep, menacing voice is because he was a villain all along, and the real Igor sounds just like he did in previous games.
  • Cargo Ship: Akechi and Pancakes
  • Catharsis Factor: To say it's satisfying seeing bastards like Kamoshida or Shido confess and beg to be punished for their crimes is an understatement, to say the least.
  • Complete Monster: While Yaldabaoth set the plot in motion, this duo proves that Humans Are the Real Monsters.
    • Coach Suguru Kamoshida, representing lust, is a former Olympian turned head PE teacher at Shujin High in Tokyo, and secretly a dangerous sexual predator. Protected by the school administration due to his past fame, Kamoshida sees Shujin as his own absolute fiefdom, and gets his jollies extorting sexual favors from the girls he teaches, often forcing one of his male students, Yuuki Mishima, to procure them for him. His male students fare little better, as when they do poorly in his classes he calls them to his office for "private tutoring sessions" that are really just excuses to beat the tar out of them; as a result both boys and girls live in terror of him. Kamoshida also indulges in pettier Jerkassery such as provoking the star of the track team into punching him as an excuse to get the team shut down, and leaking the Protagonist's criminal record to the entire school. When his "favorite" victim, Ann Takamaki, refuses to sleep with him, Kamoshida crosses the Moral Event Horizon and rapes her best friend as revenge; the girl in question feels so humiliated she attempts suicide. When confronted by the Protagonist, Kamoshida freely admits his crimes, but confident the system will protect him, types up a false assault report to have him expelled. Even after the Phantom Thieves steal his heart, he states his intention to commit suicide himself to escape justice, only submitting to arrest after a "The Reason You Suck" Speech from Ann.
    • Masayoshi Shido, a charismatic member of the Diet and representing pride, is in fact the head of The Conspiracy profiting off the other villains. Having illegitimately fathered Goro Akechi, Shido is approached by an empowered Akechi offering his services as an assassin. Having been involved in the research of Wakaba Isshiki, who found out about the Metaverse, Shido has Goro kill her so he can steal her research. Shido has a will forged blaming Wakaba's daughter Futaba for her "suicide", sending Futaba into a depression. Later, Shido sexually assaults a woman before the Protagonist intervenes, which prompts Shido to ruin the Protagonist's life in response, later remarking that he's crushed so many people he doesn't remember someone that insignificant. Shido and Goro go on to manipulate the people's faith in the government and the Phantom Thieves, with support for the government decreasing and the Thieves increasing. Once the Thieves steal the heart of Kunikazu Okumura, a patron of Shido's, Goro, under Shido's orders, kills his Shadow, ultimately killing Okumura on live television and pinning the blame on the Thieves, while Shido and Goro— outspoken critics of the Thieves— rise in popularity. Shido and Goro then hatch a plan to kill the Thieves by Goro acting as a Mole, which the Thieves see through and foil. At this time, Shido's other confidant, the SIU Director, is killed by the duo. After Goro loses to the Thieves, Samael— Shido's Shadow— reveals that Shido sees Goro as expendable. When the Thieves confront Samael, he mocks the weakness of his followers and reveals that Shido was going to kill Goro anyway despite suspecting that Goro was his son. Shido's final action before his forced reformation is to destroy his own Palace after Samael's defeat in a final attempt to take the Thieves down with him.
  • Counterpart Comparison: The game's characters have been compared to:
    • The Protagonist:
    • Ann Takamaki:
      • Junko Enoshima, due to her strawberry blonde hair and Girlish Pigtails. It also helps that Ann moonlights as a Fashion Model, which is Junko's Ultimate talent.
      • Yuka Ayase, due to the blonde twintails and use of whips in battle.
      • Lisa Silverman, due to both of them either being or being related to a foreigner that gives them their blonde hair and blue eyes.
      • Rise Kujikawa, due to both being of the Lovers Arcana, both being gregarious, cheerful, bubbly, and a girl who gets attention for the wrong reasons (most people outside the Investigation Team only like Rise for her idol persona, while Ann's picked on - and unfortunately lusted after - for her blonde hair).
    • Ryuji Sakamoto:
    • Morgana:
    • Yusuke Kitagawa:
    • Makoto Nijima quickly earned the name "The Woman in the Iron Mask"
      • Mitsuru Kirijo. Both are student council presidents, bear a burden of some sort originating from their family's histories, are a year older than the protagonist, and act as the more disciplined member of their group.
      • Their promotional poses and pleased expressions even LOOK SIMILAR!
      • Chie Satonaka. Both are Persona users who specializes in close-quarters combat, have an avid love for action films, gets scared witless by "spooky" stuff, have a female bestie who's a Girly Girl to her "Tomboy" while possessing some amount of Les Yay with each other, and both are Adorkable to the highest order when romanced. Similarly the Social Links for both characters end with them resolving to become police officers. Rather ironically, she's of the Priestess Arcana than the Chariot, which was the Arcana shared by Yukiko, Chie's best friend.
      • Has gotten some comparisons to Akihiko since both are Bare Fisted Monks who strongly believe in justice while speaking up against corrupt authority.
      • To a lesser degree has gotten some comparisons to Naoto as both are tomboyish characters in spite of secretly having a lot of lady-like qualities. It also helps that both characters play a similar role in the plot being the most plot important of the party members other than the protagonist while also having ties to the law enforcement in both games.
      • Her character arc is very similar to that of Akane Tsunemori. Both characters have had a very strong understanding of the law their entire lives. However, both characters learn that the society they live in is more corrupt than they think which leads to them finding ways to fight against the corrupt systems that are in place. If the player chooses to romance Makoto than her relationship with Joker becomes a lot like Akane and Kougami's.
      • Her use of a revolver as a gun has started causing a lot of comparisons to Revolver Ocelot.
      • As Miss Post-Apocalyptic Rider she certainly can remind one of Mad Max or the cover for the Judas Priest album Painkiller.
    • Futaba Sakura:
      • Has been compared to an Inkling from Splatoon due to the orange hair, glasses, and headphones.
      • Kinzie Kensington due to her orange hair, glasses, and being an apparent computer geek.
      • An anti-social teen genius becomes a depressed recluse who spends most of their time on the internet after a certain incident a few years back, dropping out of school. They're forced out of their seclusion when they join a mysterious group of teenagers with special powers, where their intelligence becomes a critical factor. That teen... is Shintaro Kisaragi. Oh, we're talking about Futaba Sakura here, my bad.
      • Chiaki Nanami, as they both are shy, anti-social, heavily associated with computers, and enjoy video games. Similarly, Chihiro Fujisaki (aka AI Chiaki's "father") has received similar comparisons for just about the same reasons with the exception of the last reason.
      • In some circles, she's been compared to fellow anti-social redheaded headphone enthusiast Neku Sakuraba.
      • Futaba has also been compared to Athena Cykes, due to both being Adorkable orange-haired girls who struggle with their murdered dead mothers and PTSD caused by witnessing said murders. When Athena was younger she was also an introvert and almost always wearing headphones to help ignore voices other people can't hear just like Futaba does.
    • Haru looks like a brunette Otome.
      • Just like Makoto, Mitsuru Kirijo. Both of them are 3rd years, heirs to wealthy families, uses Gratuitous French (though in Mitsuru's case, it was originally English), being of the Empress Arcana, having an Arranged Marriage with a Jerk Ass in a white suit, and their fathers dying late in the game.
      • Yukiko Amagi. Both are incredibly polite and graceful, have a love for horror films unlike their best friend, the heiress to a wealthy establishment they were born into, and both have a notable conflict of interests with said establishment. (Yukiko wants out of the Amagi Inn for feeling like she has no freedom in her life, while Haru's being married to a Bastard Boyfriend without her consent) Strangely enough, the way they handle their situations are radically different from one another, despite stemming from the same problem (Yukiko initially hated the Inn, but chooses to stay upon realizing how much it really means to her. Meanwhile, Haru was okay with staying in the first place, but takes life into her own hands than let it be decided for her - in other words, despite coming from the exact same problem, their initial stances and stances post-Character Development are the direct opposite.)
      • She has also been compared to Luna, for her similar design and sweet, caring personality.
      • Haru also shows some shades of Yurika Kirishima. Both are polite, curly-haired, tights-clad Ojous stuck in a situation with neglectful, if not abusive, loved ones (for Haru her father and fiance, for Yurika her younger brother) who gain the courage to take control of their own destiny after befriending a character named Akira. They also wield unlikely weapons (Yurika using a violin seems as improabable as a character like Haru wielding axes and grenade launchers) and sprinkle in some Gratuitous French when in battle (Haru in her codename and her ultimate attack, Yurika when performing one of her specials).
    • Akechi was for a while "Mike Wazowski" as when he was first revealed in the ad for P5's Special 20th Anniversary Special Edition, his face was constantly covered up by text and even the prices for DLC.
      • Also as "Ken Amada" or "Not Ken" before his name reveal, due to his similar appearance to Ken from Persona 4: Arena Ultimax. He even represents the Justice arcana. He also attempts to kill a party member, but while Shinjiro was the target of Ken's revenge, killing the protagonist is just a means to an end for Akechi.
      • After the game came out, it was more common for Akechi to be compared to Reiji, Jun or Adachi.
      • He's also been noted as looking incredibly similar to Light Yagami, which could be ironic considering that it's Ryuji who shares the same Japanese actor.
    • The traitor in the party is extremely similar to Crow from The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel, though the exact specifics are major spoilers for both games. Besides the obvious sharing of the name "Crow", both are Sixth Ranger Traitor party members who are seen as a black-masked antagonist throughout the story, both are primarily driven by Revenge against a more powerful villain, and both eventually realize they Became The Mask in their friendship with the party, which prompts them to redeem themselves via a Heroic Sacrifice. They're also both associated with darkness-element attacks in the brief time they're playable.
      • In Persona terms, the Traitor shares notable similarities with Tohru Adachi, as both are detectives, pretend to be friends with the protagonist to the point where a Social Link/Confidant is developed, wield a firearm as their primary weapon, are later revealed to harbor psychopathic traits, use their Personas to murder people, and were given their Personas by the true Big Bad.
      • Another character the Traitor shares similarities with is Leon Magnus especially his incarnation in the PS2 remake. The main similarity is that both of these characters are the sons of their respective game's Big Bad and their motivations are the result of his manipulation. Additional similarities include both characters actually showing genuine kindness towards the party in spite of their eventual betrayals and die via Heroic Sacrifice. This comparison would come full circle if it turns out that Akechi is alive and in future games goes through a redemption arc.
      • Another comparison could be to Jetstream Sam in terms of being a Fallen Hero with a red sword working to assist the Big Bad and his political campaign, being the main Foil to the protagonist, and a Redemption Equals Death moment after a climatic battle with him that ultimately allows the protagonist to go on and stop his employer.
      • Going off of the Psycho-Pass comparisons to Joker and Makoto above, the Traitor can be considered similar to the main villain of Psycho-Pass, Shougo Makishima. Both have similar motivations in that they want to cause as much atrocities as they can in order to cause the public to lose faith in the system of their society. Akechi even admits that he was going to dispose of Shido anyway to create chaos which is very similar to Makishima's plans with his subordinates. There's also the fact that in spite of both being very prevalent criminals society is unable to apprehend them due to Makishima being un-enforceable by law and Akechi posing as a detective on the side of the people.
      • The traitor has also been compared to Nagito Komaeda. Both are the main Rival characters to the protagonist character of those games, and they both bring a lot of Ho Yay/Foe Yay to the table in terms to their relationship with Hajime and Joker.
    • Due to their physical similarities, a lot of fans have compared Shido to the rapper Pit Bull. Case and point.
    • If Joker is Lelouch than Shido is very much Schneizel. Both are politcians who pretend to act in the interest of the people but in reality simply want to use the power to create authoritarian states where anyone who opposes them will be eliminated.
    • Samael's battle form has been compared to Senator Armstrong by many.
    • The Sphinx is highly similar to The Siren, given that both are born from how the characters in question- Futaba and Elizabeth- viewed their dead mothers as hating them (although Lady Comstock wasn't actually Elizabeth's mother). In life, both Wakaba and Lady Comstock were murdered by the Big Bad of their respective games, who proceeded to blame their deaths on others.
      • They also draw parallels to the fake Augustus Aquato from Psychonauts, both exist in a mental world and are monsters born from a character's false perception that their parent hated them. In both cases, the character in question quickly turns the tables on them once a positive mental force makes them realize their perception is a lie, and a mental incarnation of the character's real parent makes their true feelings for them known.
    • A good number of people think Sojiro Sakura looks a lot like Rusty Venture. Thankfully, he's nowhere near as bad as Rusty when it comes to looking after his kids.
    • The principal looks an awful lot like The Kingpin, albeit nowhere near as tall.
    • When she was first revealed in a trailer, a lot of people noticed how Sae was very similar to Mia Fey, both appearance and personality-wise. The fact that she slams her hands on the desk while interrogating the protagonist made the similarities more apparent. And then there's the fact that she decides to become a defense attorney at the end of the game. She also has some similarities with Lana Skye, since she's a prosecutor who cares for the younger sister she raises despite seeming emotionally distant.
    • Shiho has drawn some comparisons to Kate Marsh, due to both attempting suicide by jumping off a roof due to being sexually assaulted by a Sadist Teacher.

    D 
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Any enemy that's immune to both Physical and Gun skills is this, since you'll essentially be unable to damage it without expending SP. Girimehkala in the Space Station especially stands out, since his only weakness, Bless, is an element that only the protagonist can use at the time you first encounter him.
    • Speaking of enemies immune to both Physical and Gun skills, Arahabaki also found in the Space Station qualifies. While it is weak to the element used by the newest party member you will have when you encounter them and it's not that high leveled, it knows two moves that more than make up for it: Makarakarn and Abysmal Surge. Makarakarn allows it to repel 1 magic attack, making it temporarily immune to everything except Almighty which uses large amounts of SP. And then there is Abysmal Surge which can cause "Despair" on the whole party, which makes them unable to move AND instantly kills them after 3 turns have passed. If your entire team is suffering "Despair", it's game over. And they will spam it if Makarakarn in already in effect.
    • The Archangels in Kamoshida's Palace are your first wake-up call that you don't want to mess with red Shadows. They're at Lv 16, much higher than the player is expected to fight Kamoshida himself at, and can use an insanely powerful Makouha and strong multi-target physical attacks which can cause a Total Party Kill if you let it get a turn. It's weak to lightning and darkness, but they show up late into the dungeon when the player is likely to be running low on SP.
    • The Angels in the Bank Palace. They don't seem very threatening, being only Level 11, but if you don't kill them quickly, they'll unleash Hama on you. The Onmoraki in the Museum Palace are similar, with Mudo.
    • Anubis in the Pyramid is about 10 levels higher than the protagonists by the time you run into him for the first time, and he comes packed with several instakill spells (which he will likely use if you ambush him). He also has no weaknesses, meaning you need to rely on crits to get a Hold Up, and his level advantage means he can generally be expected to survive an Ambush and then retaliate with a vengeance. To top it all off in the later areas of the stage you can run into two or three at the same time.
    • Dionysus in the final dungeon knows Thermopalae, a full-party Heat Riser that only works when surrounded. It's a Useless Useful Spell in your hands since you generally want to avoid being surrounded, but since a player is likely to be Ambushing almost all enemy encounters at this point in the game, Dionysus will be able to use the move most of the time. This wouldn't be so bad if Dionysus didn't also have no weaknesses, meaning it's hard to kill them before they use Thermopalae.
    • Also in the final dungeon, Nebiros. One of the few basic enemies in the game to have Brain Jack, the full-party hitting Brainwash spell. This late into the game, Ann, Makoto and Morgana will all have full healing spells, and the protagonist likely will too, meaning Brainwash will lengthen the fight dramatically. And if you've been leveling Futaba's Confidant, Ultra Charge can spell a Game Over if brainwashed characters attack the protagonist. Nebiros are only weak to Bless, a skill that only the protagonist has access to, and often show up in groups along with the aforementioned Dionysus. In a dungeon with only two save points, random deaths due to brainwash are very punishing.
    • Following these, any enemy that has zero weaknesses. Not necessarily because of difficulty but more because of the added effort needed to take them down may force you to use more resources than normal since it limits your options: either try to bolster critical hit chances, hope a Bullet Hail is triggered (which will cut enemy HP to nearly 50%), gamble on insta-kills, maximizing status ailments (to aim for Technicals), or just trying to "brute force" them into submission. This only really gets bad at higher levels, where this can make otherwise quick encounters into grueling battles of attrition if the player isn't ready.
  • Designated Hero: The Phantom Thieves are considered these by some people, since the "stealing hearts" concept can feel like it's promoting a "the ends justifies the means" mentality to the entire story, and there aren't more serious consequences for the thieves as a whole for using such morally dubious means to solve their problems. The stealing itself is presented as a form of brain washing, but the effects and possible complications involved (such as potentially causing brain death rather than forced reformation) are only taken seriously in a discussion before the first target and then the game only pays lip service to the ethical and moral implications at best, or completely dismisses them at worst. The fact that violence is always seen as part of the brainwashing processnote  only makes matters worse here as while most targets do see "the error of their ways", it's only because you beat the crap out of them to take whatever was "corrupting" their way of thinking away rather than allowing them to resolve it themselves the way previous Persona games encouraged people to do. What also doesn't help matters is that while admittedly a large portion of the targets are awful human beings who warrant intervention, the people who object or point out the problems of "stealing hearts" either turn out to be assholes as well, or are presented to have an ulterior motive for confronting the thieves about their methods, and their questions are quickly brushed off in turn.
    • This is only mitigated by the fact that their targets are assholes and they have questioned their own actions on a few occasions.
  • Disappointing Last Level: The endgame runs into this territory in some regards:
    • The seventh dungeon is extremely long, to the point of being draining. The main gimmick of the dungeon is puzzles that involve turning into mice and pressing switches to continue forward, and they become very tedious and easily outstay their welcome. The dungeon also has at least five mini bosses, then a showdown with the The Dragon, culminating in a fight with the Big Bad. Unfortunately the Big Bad boss fight has effectively five phases to go through.
    • The final dungeon is Mementos, though if the player has been making regular trips throughout the game then it won't be too bad. The Mementos Depths on the other hand, is full of uninspired and easy yet time-consuming and poorly-justified Hamiltonian Path puzzles with only two save points in the entire area (making death a very steep penalty). The final sequence is just a boss rush of four archangels and then the two phase final boss fight. At this point, from the seventh dungeon and onward, that's around a dozen bosses to fight before reaching the end, with some of them being multiple phases..
    • The endgame takes place late December, earlier than the endgames of Persona 3 or Persona 4. The rest of Persona 5 consists of Time-Skips to Christmas, Valentine's Day, and then the ending, with all of the time in-between being unplayable just like vanilla Persona 4. There are plot related reasons for the time skips, as the protagonist is incarcerated between Christmas and Valentine's Day, though some feel that Atlus may be deliberately setting up for another Updated Re-release. It is worth noting though, that because the game has more night confidants available unlike the other two games, that extra month may not be needed.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Unsurprisingly, the traitor is getting this treatment since they are initially one of your teammates. Specifically focusing on Akechi's genuine desire for improving the world, developing a real affection for the team despite his conflicts of interest, and Trauma Conga Line of a past, and not enough on the fact that his motives were, by his own admittance, completely selfish and made him rack up an enormous body count which still included parents of some of the people he starts considering his "friends".
  • Dueling Games:
    • It was initially this with Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, due to the game being very similar in presentation to the series, them being on opposing consoles and, for a good while, it looked like the two games would come out quite close to each other. The second delay creating a release gap of nine months, combined with TMSFE having horrid sales, killed this however.
    • Its stiffest competition was with Final Fantasy XV, which was scheduled to come out worldwide two weeks after P5's Japanese release, with both games being high-profile and likely to be lengthy JRPGs. As mentioned on the Awesome page, Square Enix even opted to ask its Japanese fans which game they'd pick, and whether they would be willing to buy both in the same season, demonstrating that Square is wary of being unseated. Then FFXV was delayed by two months, negating the issue entirely. Indeed, the delay actually caused a 450% increase in pre-order sales for P5. The Western fanbases are more apathetic and friendly to each other though, due to Final Fantasy being released in late 2016 while Persona wasn't released until April 2017, over five months later.

    E 
  • Ear Worm: Quite a few, some of which has become a Memetic Mutation in the fanbase.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Tae Takemi became an instant hit when she was unveiled as part of the Cooperation cast, simply thanks to her bizarre behavior and excellent design. Once the game was released proper, Takemi continued to garner praise for her sympathetic backstory and for offering one of the steamier Did They or Didn't They? Rank 10 scenes in the franchise.
    • Sadayo Kawakami as well for having extremely useful confidant skills and being a rather interesting character despite her first impression. The skills in question also tend to revolve around her doing chores or favors for the protagonist, contrasting how most confidant skills give the protag themselves new abilities; this makes her stand out as someone who's working just as hard for the player's success as the player is. This includes one of the most useful skills in the game, giving the protagonist a massage that allows him to do something at night if he explored a Palace or Mementos that day. If you max out her Confidant, this ability carries over to a New Game+ as soon as your start her confidant again. However a part of this is also the wish fulfillment aspect of a student hooking up with a teacher, which is a ''very'' divisive issue among the fanbase and makes her being a romantic option the biggest area of complaint about her as a character.
    • Hifumi Togo was planned to be a party member, but was Demoted To Confidant due to the game's story already being packed enough as-is. She has a large fan following, with many people wishing she still had her original expanded role. It helps that she has one of the most useful Confidant gameplay bonuses, allowing party members to swap out mid-battle.
    • In a game full of Adults Are Useless or Adults are Bastards; Toranosuke Yoshida is a refreshing relief with a heartwarming S.Link story about the difficulties of redemption. He's one of the few adults who admits his wrongdoing after a major scandal (and laments it), and has his own change of heart. Yet despite the past, he strives to better himself and tries to fight for the people. The conclusion of his S.Link is also a wonderful sight to behold and his Confidant abilities are some of the most helpful in the game. Some within the US audience also compare his age, independent and underdog status, and concerned campaigning for the wellbeing of the country's next generation to that of 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, enough for them to nickname him "Japanese Bernie".
    • Munehisa Iwai won himself many fans due to his interesting backstory, Vitriolic Best Buds dynamic with Joker, and his genuine desire to become a good father for his adopted son. It also helps that he's second to Joker in being the game's Mr. Fanservice.
    • Shinya gets this because of his cute little brother relationship with the Protagonist, his sharp tongue, and for his "Get Smoked" hat.
    • Sojiro is fairly popular, due to having some of Dojima's better qualities as a Parental Substitute without his more controversial decisions.
    • "Floral Pants Man," a nameless character who shows up to cheer for the Phantom Thieves in the final battle if you didn't complete Yuuki's co-op.
    • Lala Escargot, the owner of Crossroads. More than a few people have lamented that she wasn't a Confidant, due to her personality, being a good boss who looks out for the MC, and being a respectful portrayal of a non-hetero-normative person (either a male crossdresser or a transwoman, and referred to with female pronouns), which many found refreshing after seeing the duo mentioned under The Scrappy below, as well as being a Gonk person that's not a complete Jerk Ass like the ones in Persona 4.. She placed first in the NPC popularity poll in Japan.
    • Shiho due to her kind nature (being one of the first students to actually talk to Joker like a normal person, as well as to talk to Ann without thinking first about Ann's Mixed Ancestry), her Woobie status and the impact she has on the story. Many fans hope that if there's an expanded re-release ala Persona 4 Golden that Shiho gets her own Confidant role.
    • In a surprising way, the Protagonist's Persona, Arsene himself. While Izanagi and Orpheus undoubtedly have some fans, as all three Personas have a history of players min-maxing them so they can be used throughout their respective games, Arsene has been received a lot better due to his Dark Is Not Evil design and him seemingly having an actual personality by having him speak to Joker at various points. The fact that he essentially becomes Satan doesn't hurt either.
    • The Newspaper Girl in the Shujin Academy hallway has gotten a lot of attention among fans. There are even some who would have wanted her to be a Confidant as she could have been an ally to the Phantom Thieves given her interest in the game's plot points. Some even go as far as saying that she should have been a Confidant over Ohya.
    • Lavenza, Caroline and Justine's combined/true form, only showing up at the eleventh hour, came a very close 2nd in the Japanese NPC popularity poll, losing out by just a single vote.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • The return of Nyarlathotep is a perennial Epileptic Tree that happens with each new Persona game. But when a new character was revealed to have the Necronomicon as a persona...well, that speculation suddenly has a bit more teeth. Especially since Word of God refers to Futaba being a character critical to the narrative. He doesn't come back.
    • The Arcana of the main cast was, as usual, home to intense speculation from many fans before release.
    • The identity of the traitor has been a magnet for fan speculation. As of now the one most suspected of is Goro Akechi due to how little they've revealed of him and one of the revealed shots revealing that, while he appears to be a fanboy of the Phantom Thieves, he finds their methods unacceptable. It turns out to be him after all, despite him being the obvious choice, though it does serve to divert attention from the game's second big bad.
    • Goro Akechi's ultimate fate. Is he dead or still alive? We Never Found the Body, so will he return in a future spinoff? Suffice to say, he's gained quite a lot of debate and speculation in the fanbase.
  • Even Better Sequel: It currently boasts a higher rating on Metacritic than its already highly praised predecessor, often being lauded for its many gameplay improvements, pacing and characters, creative dungeon design, and even its Darker and Edgier tone.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Shadow Sae, at least before her transformation. This is also undoubtedly part of why the traitor, AKA Goro Akechi gets Draco in Leather Pants treatment.

    F 
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Similar to Yosuke and Chie before them, there's a number of fans who felt that Ryuji and Ann had great chemistry, and should've became an actual couple in the game. It was enough to start a rumor shortly after the game's initial release, which stated that if the player didn't romance Ann she'd hook up with Ryuji. Even Ann's English voice actor thinks they're cute together.
    • Joker's most "preferred" partner is a cause of more division among the general fanbase.
      • Western fans overall prefer Makoto, and as a result makes her the girl who keeps topping in shipping threads and polls on various websites, almost always with hundreds of votes of advantage over the other girls, and receiving the most love on sites like Archive of Our Own as far as het pairings go. This (in addition to her general popularity) is helped a lot by having various bits of Ship Tease with Joker regardless of pursuing her in the story itself, and fans finding the Opposites Attract aspects about them endearing and interesting.
      • In Japan's fandom Futaba is the most popular choice, as they see less issue with her being the daughter of Joker's in-game father figure, with the pairing receiving rapidly growing amounts of Fan Art and Doujinshi that often showcases their cute Huge Guy, Tiny Girl dynamics while the other girls barely get any attention. This is helped by how this means she doesn't have the Platonic vs. Romantic split the western fandom has regarding her (since she's still a popular character on her own among both fandoms) and how she develops a crush on Joker regardless of your choices during her confidant.
    • As far as same sex pairings go Joker/Akechi is the undisputed fan-preferred gay ship for fanworks easily having the most stories with the pairing cited on sites like Archive of Our Own due to their Foe Yay dynamic.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • Thanks to the Dueling Works status, Persona 5 fans and Final Fantasy XV ended up being at each others throats, though this does mix in a bit with Friendly Rivalry, as liking both games isn't seen as a universal sin. It also helped that there was a large window between the release dates of the games.
    • For one within the series itself, fans of this game aren't in agreement with fans of Persona 3 over which of the two games is better. Fans of this game refer it to Persona 3 for having better polished game mechanics, proper cutscenes, a much larger overworld with more stuff to do, characters and narrative threads that are more relatable, a protagonist that's not just a wooden puppet sitting on the sidelines, better pacing in the main story, actual dungeon designs, and even a soundtrack that highlights the best aesthetics of previous games in the franchise. Persona 3 fans however, claim that its mechanics aren't as polished and that the Character Development works better in the narrative than this game, as well as the final arc having more payoff.
    • While the two fandoms are rather friendly, not all fans of Persona 5 and NieR: Automata get along. It all boils down to the fact that both were critically acclaimed JRPGs that came out in 2017 with many gamers already labeling both as "Game of the Year". Which game you like more all comes down to your gaming preferences. Those who just want a fun game with likable characters and a lot of heart and soul into it will most likely enjoy Persona 5 more. However gamers who value narrative more than gameplay and want emotional catharsis from their games will most likely enjoy Nier: Automata more.
    • A rivalry with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild developed in late 2017, when the two games emerged as leading candidates for Game of the Year at the Golden Joysticks.
  • Fanon:
    • The Protagonist's parents tend to get characterized as neglectful Hate Sinks similar to the minor Mementos targets, considering they seemingly believed the very flimsy accusation laid against him, dumped him off on a guy whose cafe is mildly frequented by a friend of theirs, and apparently never so much as called or wrote him. Others tend to write them to be much more sympathetic, in that they obviously didn't believe the accusations against the protagonist, but were powerless to stop his probation from happening, and were forced to send him away. The ones who write them as the latter tend to point out that we don't exactly see every single aspect of the protagonist's life.
    • Some interesting theories involving Akechi and Futaba have been slowly rising up: The first is Akechi being repeatedly forced to know his father in the biblical sense, given that it's shown that, on top of being morally repugnant, Shido has him thoroughly under his thumb. The second is Akechi and Futaba possibly being paternal half-siblings, since absolutely nothing is known about the latter's biological father, and Shido is shown to have been highly fixated on Wakaba's cognitive psience research. Relating to that is the possibility that Akechi's mother might have been involved with the aforementioned psience, or was at least more than some random lover Shido got knocked up, as when he's confronted about Akechi being his son before his boss fight, the way he refers to "that woman" seems to go beyond just merely recognizing him by his looks alone. The release of the Maniax book spurred the theory further, as it reveals that Akechi has type AB Negative blood, the same blood type as Futaba's (which was revealed in the official art book beforehand); this becomes more significant knowing that 99% of the Japanese population is RH+.
    • Thanks to Sae taking the revelation that Makoto is part of the Phantom Thieves rather bad, fans have taken to portraying her as something of a Knight Templar Big Sister, often doubling humorously with My Sister Is Off-Limits! since Joker and Makoto is such a popular ship. To the surprise of absolutely no one, this gave rise to stuff like this and this. Hilarious enough, this gets partially confirmed in the fan data book released after the game. Much like Makoto, Sae also practices martial arts as a hobby, in her case kickboxing.
    • Many fan works taking place post-narrative often depict Joker as aspiring to work in politics. Many fans believe he'd be motivated to do so after the Phantom Thieves and Shido's corruption drove him to change society. He also does have experience and a mentor figure through Toranosuke's Confidant. Especially popular among Joker/Makoto fans due to Makoto's Confidant ending with her resolution to become a police commissioner also being motivated to work in the government to correct society's corruption.
  • Foe Yay: Joker and Goro Akechi, obviously, although it's one-sided on Akechi's part.
    • Word of God states that they were designed to contrast like light and shadow. Akechi's thief outfit has similarities in design to Joker's, as well as opposite colors. Furthermore, their Dancing All Night DLC costume pairs well with each other, too.
    • After The Reveal, you find out that despite being the culprit and the enemy, Akechi had not lied to Joker about his feelings and his past.
    • On the cruise ship where you meet him for the last time, Akechi tells Joker that he admired Joker's prowess, and wish he could have met him a few years earlier, before Akechi had gone on his Roaring Rampage of Revenge. Akechi further admits that they could have been good rivals, culminating in another rank up to his confidant link.
    • Not to mention Morgana reveals later that Akechi has a fondness for Joker, which also happened to be the one thing to drive Akechi over the edge as he was in denial over it. This resulted in quite a few fans thinking Akechi also had Tsundere traits...
    • Akechi's feelings for Joker are rather complicated. It is a mixture of jealousy, admiration, and fondness. Sometimes one feeling may override the others, jealousy being the dominant feeling in their last battle.
    • The even bigger reveal at the end is that both Joker and Akechi were chosen by the Big Bad, Yaldabaoth and given powers, destined to fight against each other.
  • Fountain of Memes:
    • Pretty much everything about Akechi has given way to some form of meme within the fanbase.
    • Morgana for his Memetic Troll status and the fact that many fans have taken to quoting his overworld and battle lines.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With NieR: Automata another highly-anticipated Japanese developed game that's international release was around the same time. When Persona 5 came out internationally many were either finished with or wrapping up Nier: Automata.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment
    • This fancomic for Persona 3 has Minato act like a Jerk Ass to all his friends, preventing him from maxing out any social links, and in Keisuke's case, Minato takes credit for Keisuke's prize-winning painting. In Persona 5, Madarame has been stealing the credit for his students' work for years.
    • In Persona 4 Chie chuckles and is a bit relieved that you're only here because of your parents' work, noting that she thought it was something more serious. The Persona 5 protagonist getting arrested and put on probation for saving a woman from assault, thereby causing him to be expelled from his previous school and forced to go to school at Shujin Academy definitely counts as more serious.

    G 
  • Game-Breaker: See here.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • Evidently, the reaction to the Phantom Thief in Japan was much more mixed, seeing as the archetype is more associated with extreme gaudiness and camp. Meanwhile, western fans don't have as much exposure to the trope and, alongside that, tend to think of thieves more as badass rebels. As you might expect, audience reception in the west has been much more favorable.
    • Toranosuke Yoshida is more of an appreciated character in America, due to superficial similarities and some shared philosophies with 2016 Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders.

    H 
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • One of the nicknames fans gave to Akechi is "Not Ken" due to looking like grown up Ken. Like Ken, he ends up trying to kill one of the party members (in Akechi's case, the MC). Unlike Ken, Akechi will succeed if you get the Bad Ending. As detailed in the Foil portion in his entry as The Traitor, Akechi comes off as an older, more psychotic version of Ken.
    • In Persona 4, if you picked to spend time with Kou instead of Daisuke for the Strength Social Link, you learn that he's having a crisis about his (highly traditional) adopted family, wherein his parents, initially unable to have a child, give birth to a daughter not long before the start of the game. Although initially afraid of being rejected by them, he comes to terms with his status, manages to find something to do after graduation, and knows that his family loves him as he does them. Bastard child Akechi, unfortunately, isn't so lucky, having no real home for himself and no one to bond with about it for most of his life.
    • Also from the fourth game, Ai is on the verge of throwing herself off the roof over being rejected by the Strength Social Link, due to how the rejection essentially has convinced her that she's worthless if people don't value her for her beauty. In the fifth game, Shiho actually goes through with it after being raped by Kamoshida, surviving but being injured and hospitalized.
    • When Ryuji asks Makoto if she has anyone whose heart she'd like to change, Makoto coyly says it's a secret. Later on, it's revealed that that Makoto had known all along that her sister had a Palace, and while Makoto had always wanted to change Sae's heart, she'd hoped that they wouldn't have to steal it, so one can imagine she found the question more difficult than she let on at the time.
    • After the proposal of Dojima being the killer was rejected Atlus originally toyed around with the possibly of having Yosuke or Yukiko be the killer in Persona 4. Looks like Atlus revisited the idea of one of your party members being the villain as Akechi is the Traitor and one of the most prominent antagonists in the game.
    • From the game itself, after the fourth dungeon, the Phan-site adds a poll where users can vote for who deserves a change of heart. At one point, Akechi's name shows up on the list, just because he disapproved of the Thieves earlier. Turns out the Phan-site posters were Right for the Wrong Reasons. Akechi himself even jokes about being a villain.
    • After the big reveal at the end of the game, the voiced This Is a Work of Fiction at the start of the game takes on a very sinister new meaning, given the voice saying it is Yaldabaoth. In the final part of the game, he erases the Phantom Thieves from existence because the public believes they weren't real. It's possible that by forcing the player to agree the story is a work of fiction and the characters within aren't real, he's making YOU complicit in erasing them.
  • He Really Can Act:
    • Robbie Daymond, known for playing Nice Guys and teenage heroes, really shows off his voice acting chops as Goro Akechi. Daymond perfectly captures the smooth, focused, and intelligent side of the ace detective while also nailing Akechi's Villainous Breakdown scene, capturing the character's unhinged screaming with chilling effectiveness.
    • Cherami Leigh also faced something of an uphill battle with her casting as Makoto Niijima. Makoto is far from the Plucky Girl characters that Leigh usually finds herself playing, which initially caused a small bit of WTH, Casting Agency?. However, come the release of the game, and Leigh's performance was widely accepted.
  • He's Just Hiding: Some have applied this to Akechi in the game's ending, due to the sound editing and the event where he seemingly dies happening offscreen, with some wondering if ATLUS kept the event ambiguous in the event they wished to bring the character back.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Naoto Shirogane's social link in Persona 4 involved a manufactured Phantom Thief case. In Persona 5, this same trope becomes a major thematic focus.
    • Speaking of Naoto, her Valentine's Day event mentions that the Persona 4 hero stolen her heart. One of the romance options in this game literally has her heart stolen by the Phantom Thieves.
    • One of the alternate readings for Shuujin School is "Prison School", as noted on the main page, and it's almost certainly intentional considering the themes of the game. Hmm, why does that sound so familiar?
    • Michelle Ruff as the voice actor for Sadayo Kawakami brings a chuckle for anyone who knows that she played Yukari Takeba from Persona 3. It's especially funny when you remember that Yukari became an actor for the Phoenix Ranger Featherman show, meaning both roles have her character a Reluctant Fanservice Girl in their adult years. Oh and there's the fact that they both dress up as maids briefly.
    • Amanda Winn Lee as the voice actor for Ichiko Ohya. Cue the jokes from the fan base that Yukiko Amagi decided to secretly ditch Yasoinabanote , head to Tokyo and changed her name and career and enjoys her new fondness for beer. She lampshade this fact in her Twitter when she announced the role.
    • Two of Hiimdaisy's most known parody comics feature a Persona game and the Metal Gear series, the latter has a huge emphasis on stealth and going undetected by the enemy (not to mention one of the protagonists eventually starting with knife & gun (knifegun). Persona 5 uses the thief motif to emphasis the stealth and the protagonist is a Knife Nut with a gun. It's just a pity that Hiimdaisy has moved away from parody comics, otherwise we may get something like this.
    • One of the Social Links in Persona 3 involves a student having the hots for a teacher. Here, the player character can do exactly that and can romance Ms. Kawakami.
    • Thor being the final opponent of the 6th Palace's Battle Arena is sure to get a chuckle from players who've seen the Thor: Ragnarok trailer, which makes a big deal of Thor fighting in a gladiatorial arena.
    • No need for context, just this face swap of Joker and Akechi as Barney Stinson and Marshall Eriksen from How I Met Your Mother, respectively.
    • A real world example: During the Hawaii trip in September, Yusuke's plane which was originally set to fly to Los Angeles gets diverted to Hawaii because massive storms in LA made it too difficult to land. This takes place in September (and the in-game calendar corresponds to the year 2016 despite the "20XX" moniker). In real life September 2016, California was suffering from a several-years long severe drought that was impacting the entire state and causing all counties to enact water usage restrictions. However, in late January 2017, California actually did get hit by a series of massive thunderstorms that miraculously ended the drought, including Los Angeles, so Yusuke's plane scenario would have been right on target with reality had it occurred a few months later.
    • Another film example in that the genuine twist of the Phantom Thieves having been playing Akechi for a fool from the day they crossed paths without his knowing, can be quite amusing to anyone who has watched Ocean's Twelve which uses the exact same twist for its big reveal. Even funnier considering they're both about ensemble bands of thieves.
    • Even more film examples: Okumura's Palace takes place in a space station, with his Shadow self in particular being a Darth Vader Clone. The game was released in Japan before the international release of Rogue One, which focuses on another Ragtag Bunch of Misfits stealing stuff to rebel against evil forces.
    • As this video proves, Mitsuru Kirijo may have known some Memetic Mutation involving a certain cat telling you to go to bed way before this game was even out.
    • This comment Yosuke made in Persona Q became a more ironic after the release of the game.
  • HSQ: The first gameplay trailer was filled with this. An earlier trailer depicted the main character as a seemingly mild-mannered student. The reveal that the main character was not the standard Ordinary High-School Student but an over-the-top Gentleman Thief was quite the bombshell. The trailer also showed new ways of traversing the field and heavy usage of firearms in combat.
    • The fourth trailer was this in spades, revealing huge amounts of the in-game set-up, revealing three party members, several boss characters, the release date, box-art and more. Compounding the matter is that there was little to no news for close to eight months.
    • In the game proper, when you finally face off against The Traitor, Goro Akechi, who's gone batshit insane at this point, suffering no fewer than two Villainous Breakdowns, with his second form gaining his true persona, Loki, and revealing that he's a Wild Card, just like the Protagonist. Shortly after you defeat him and while you're trying to recruit him back to your party, suddenly a shadow manifestation of how the Big Bad views Akechi appears and both Akechis attempt to kill each other. There's a reason why the scene spawned so many memes...
    • The identity of the Big Bad caused this reaction in many fans. It's Igor. Or rather, the Igor you've seen all game was really the Big Bad in disguise all along, and they've been playing you ever since the opening narration.
    • While Joker summoning his Ultimate Persona with The Power of Friendship was expected, what wasn't expected was Satanael being so freaking massive! Satanael is the biggest Persona shown thus far, equaling or even surpassing the size of the Big Bad Yaldabaoth in height, and each of his six black wings are the size of skyscrapers. Satanael giving Yaldabaoth a Boom, Headshot is equally surprising and awesome.

    I-L 
  • Internet Backdraft: The western release has been filled with these reactions:
    • The game's release date. It initially was going to be released American and European areas on Valentine's Day, 2017, a full 5 months after Japan's release, a move that has already enraged the fanbase, especially those who wish to go into the game blind and will now have to dodge spoilers for months on end. And then it was delayed further to April.
    • Adding to this is that the west won't be getting the 20th Anniversary Special Edition but a completely different Premium Edition. While it includes a soundtrack CD, the artbook from the Japanese 20th anniversary edition (albeit with a different cover) as well as a few things not found in the Japanese edition such as a Morgana plush, a Shujin High School bookbag and a Steel Book case for the game, it lacks the "All the Best" soundtrack CD containing tracks from all the Persona games as well as all the DLC.
    • Dual audio has made people argue more often than not. Before it was included as a DLC, a lot of people were mad considering the Japanese's All-Star Cast. However the announcement of the free dual audio DLC as an apology for Atlus USA delaying the game again to 4th of April has made quite a few fans angry thinking that the delay was caused by including Dual Audio.
    • Another cause of backdraft was the confirmation that the game lacks positive representation of LGBT culture (lack of a Gay Option for the protagonist, gay NPCs are depicted as stereotypical Camp Gay men, etc.), which was also a major complaint about Persona 4. Polygon's review even accused the game of having a Clueless Aesop for not depicting a major issue of the characters' generation positively despite having a central theme of social reform and youth being misunderstood. This is mitigated as, as mentioned elsewhere on this page, Lala Escargot is either a transwoman and is portrayed as a positive character. She's even referred to with the pronouns of her preferred gender, and gets a ton more screentime (playing heavily into the Devil Confidant's scenes, and being the MC's employer if you choose to work at her bar) than the Camp Gay NPCs (who don't get names or any real sort of importance).
    • With the release of Persona 5 internationally, many streamers and Let's Players found to their annoyance that Atlus Japan will not allow the game to be streamed after the 7/7 in game date, and that the in-game screenshot, vidcap, and streaming functionality native to PlayStation 4 would be automatically disabled after proceeding past a certain point in the game. And even before that, Atlus USA advised against uploading content due to risk of copyright takedown, unfortunately using phrasing that was construed by both players and journalists as outright threats. The reason for this they claimed was that Atlus Japan didn't want spoilers going out, even though the game was released six months prior in Japan. Predictably, many people posted spoilers of the game out of protest.
  • It Was His Sled: Akechi being The Mole, along with his murder of the protagonist in the bad ending, became well known days before the game was even released, due to datamining of digital preloads of the game.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • The Traitor, as detailed under Goro Akechi's entry below. He's done some terrible things, but he wouldn't have turned out the way he was if not for his horrific childhood.
    • Natsuhiko Nakanohara, the first Mementos target. He might be a stalker toward his ex-girlfriend, but he's also suffering a great deal of bitterness from Madarame using and discarding him, as well as guilt from not being able to stop his senior apprentice from committing suicide. It helps that, once he admits he was wrong, he actually has the courage to speak face-to-face with the Phantom Thieves and ask for their help in taking down a bigger target than him.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Joker, obviously, for being the main character. Popular gay ships include Joker/Goro, Joker/Yusuke, and Joker/Ryuji, while the top hetero ships are Joker/Makoto, Joker/Futaba, and Joker/Sadayo.
  • LGBT Fanbase:
    • Whatever reason it may be, due to androgynous design, or his dynamic with Joker, Goro Akechi seems to have a sizeable portion of fans who identify as somewhere on the LGBT Spectrum.
    • Gay male fans also tend to find Iwai a total Silver Fox.

    M 
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • The Traitor AKA Goro Akechi who shows his colors as a Manipulative Bastard on both sides of the conflict. Not only does he manipulate the Phantom Thieves into getting arrested but even admits that he was also going to turn his back on Shido by stealing his electoral victory away from him. The fact that some fans actually felt his motivation of doing this just to show the weaknesses of the political system was a perfectly justified motive cements him into this status.
    • Joker and the Phantom Thieves themselves for figuring out that Akechi was going to betray him and setting up a plan to counter his betrayal. Made even more surprising that everything went as planned for them.
    • Fake "Igor" or Yaldabaoth, who used you and Akechi as his puppets the entire game. Not only was he the true mastermind behind the Conspiracy, but he also managed to imprison the real Igor and trick you into thinking that there was nothing out of the ordinary regarding him. For many players, this was the best plot twist in the game because of how unexpected it was.
  • Memetic Badass: Despite not having a Persona herself, popular Fanon has taken to portraying Sae Niijima as a Knight Templar Big Sister who is the one person capable of intimidating Joker.
  • Memetic Mutation: Has its own page here.
  • Memetic Psychopath: Haru's Blood Knight tendencies and her occasional quotes in Mementos (that even freaks Makoto out) causes some to characterize her as this.
  • Memetic Troll: Morgana, who has gained a reputation amongst players as "that asshole who keeps forcing me to go to bed."
  • Misaimed Fandom: A decent-sized segment of the Western fandom wishes that you had the option to flat-out execute the targets despite A) The idea defeating the entire premise of stealing a target's heart as Phantom Thieves and making the team downright assassins instead making them no better than The Dragon of the game, B) Ann explicitly shutting it down when Kamoshida suggests it in favor of what is pointed out to be a Fate Worse Than Death for all targets with a better chance of positive side effects on top of that (since it makes them better people which is why they willingly confess), and C) the fallout from the Okumura arc demonstrates exactly why this is a very bad idea.
  • Misblamed: The announcement of the free Japanese dub DLC and the announcement of the delay to April 4 were right next to each others, causing some fans to accuse the Japanese dub, or rather the fans who wanted it as the reason for the extended delay when the reality is the script took longer than usual. It got so bad that John Hardin, PR Manager of AtlusUSA, had to go onto the ''Persona 5'' subreddit and explain this.
  • Moe:
    • Futaba Sakura. With her odd but cute quirks and mannerisms, her Shrinking Violet nature, and her diminutive stature, she's incredibly endearing. She gets especially adorable should the player romance her, as once Joker confesses his love to her, she gets incredibly flustered around him, to the point that she completely shuts down for a good eight to nine text boxes. Additionally, she also has a rather tragic backstory which explains why she's a shut in. With all of this in mind, one can't help but want to give her a huge hug.
    • Haru Okumura. Her fluffy hair has brought comparisons to a sheep with a cute voice to match. She has a sweet personality, and her mannerisms in battle are adorable to watch. Her introduction to the Thieves as a rival "Beauty Thief" was her attempt at being a cool thief, only to keep messing up what lines she rehearsed, making the scene just kind of awkward, but in an endearing sort of way.
    • Makoto Niijima. She gets adorably flustered and hesitant whenever out of her rather narrow comfort zone. For instance, despite her seemingly tough exterior, she freaks the hell out when the Thieves are at Sojiro's house and the lights go out. There's also her tailing of the protagonist prior to joining the team while she hobbles around with a big manga book in her face.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Fitting to the Darker and Edgier tone, this time the villains do not play around, to the point that two of them (Kamoshida and Shido) actually have an entry on Complete Monster above.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • Whether your navigator is Morgana or Futaba, they each only have one line for each party member knocking down an enemy. If said character uses their One More Turn to knock down another enemy, and then another, the same line is repeated over and over again, which quickly becomes incredibly grating. The lines for Morgana knocking down an enemy ("It's almost scary how good I am!" and "Bona Fide Monafied!") are generally agreed to be the worst.
    • "The opponent is strong, don't do anything reckless!" This is Makoto's analysis line for every boss and miniboss after she joins, so expect to hear it a lot if you need to check their affinities and moves. Even in battles with multiple enemies, she'll say this line for each one.
    • "Ooh, we can do this!" During the school exams, Morgana says this every single time you correctly answer a question. If you know the answers, expect to hear that soundbyte several times in quick succession.
    • For some, Mementos's background music, which is a ten-second loop with no chorus or bridge. Regardless of your actual opinion, hearing it over and over may wear out its welcome real quick.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The shattered-glass sound effect of an impending critical that accompanies a Super Move Portrait Attack, moreso when the same effect is used to announce one of Futaba's support interventions. Few things in the game are quite as satisfying as getting caught in a surprise attack only for Position Hack to trigger and turn the tables, and who doesn't love free heals and stat buffs?

    N 
  • Narm:
    • Ryuji's use of "effin'" sounds very weird and out-of-place. He's a Sir Swears-a-Lot who casually peppers his sentences with "shit", "bitch", and "asshole", yet he seemingly arbitrarily draws the line at "fuck". It ends up sounding like the voice actor really wasn't comfortable saying that specific word out loud. What's jarring is that his All-Out Attack cut-in has his quote saying "Freakin' boring" which sounds more natural than "effin'".
    • Every time you unlock a new Confidant, the story will flash-forward to the interrogation, where Sae will absolutely grill you in an attempt to get you to reveal the accomplice who, for instance, taught you how to handle a gun (i.e. a grade school kid who plays light gun games at an arcade).
    • The villainous Shadow Selves, for all of their cruelty and wickedness, are so gaudy and ridiculous-looking that it can come off as this. The most egregious offenders are Shadow Kamoshida, who's naked bar a cape and a pink speedo, Shadow Kaneshiro's non-threatening demon transformation (and battle robot), and Shadow Okumura's Darth Vader suit.
    • After The Reveal that Goro betrayed you, his Confidant levels up to Rank 8. While it's nearly identical to Adachi's Social Link from the Golden re-release in how it plays out (the player's bond "deepens" after their big betrayal), it still feels kind of silly, especially considering that in this game, you hear the protagonist's thoughts on what happens around him instead of the second-person narration 4 used.
    • The game's "sadness" theme is a blues track that sounds almost lighthearted compared to those of previous games. This isn't an issue when in plays during Confidants as it fits with the style of the rest of the Confidant music. But it really doesn't fit many of the story moments it plays in, such as Goro Akechi's Redemption Equals Death.
    • The scene toward the beginning of the game's last act where the Big Bad and the Traitor longwindedly describe their own backstories to each other is often singled out as the worst-written scene in the game, as it serves absolutely no in-universe purpose and exists entirely for the benefit of the audience.
    • During her interrogation to Joker, Sae constantly points out that "their time is short", and she often checks her watch and complains that they're running out of time. However, you spend around 100 hours of gameplay reliving the entire story up to that point. Even if Joker isn't actually telling her everything in-universe, it still feels like the longest short interrogation ever!
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Ryuji's No Indoor Voice tendencies nearly got the Phantom Thieves in trouble twice but fans tend to treat it like he does that on a regular basis.
    • The time where Morgana ended up leaving the Phantom Thieves. To this day, fans debate on who is to blame for what ended up happening then and it became huge reasons why both Morgana and Ryuji ended up having a mixed reception among the fans.
    • At the beginning of Kaneshiro's arc, Makoto will follow you around the overworld while pretending to read a manga magazine. The game will even have her run up to Joker if he stops walking. Not only is this what Makoto is most remembered for by some fans, but some Makoto/Joker shippers interpret it as her crushing on Joker.
    • Yusuke's fascination with the lobsters during the beach scene. It's only one small scene, but that hasn't stopped fans from believing that he is interested in lobsters.
    • Haru's colorful comments about the Shadows in Mementos and her reaction on Valentine's Day if you cheat on her has given her a reputation in the fandom of being Cute and Psycho.
    • Similar to Adachi and cabbages, fans have taken to making Akechi obsessed with pancakes all of because one line he stated.
    • Akechi's Alas, Poor Villain moment in the game is often considered to be poorly executed, and as a result, he gained a huge amount of detractors just for that moment.
  • Nightmare Retardant: The Reaper is an intimidating and very powerful Bonus Boss. Except during Flu Season, where he can automatically die to despair. He also talks in You No Take Candle.
    The Reaper: Me not want to talk to you. Me just want to hear your screams!
  • No Yay: There's a subset of the Japanese fandom that ships Akechi with Masayoshi Shido. As noted on the Character Page, Shido is Akechi's father, something that both characters know about.

    O-R 
  • Obvious Judas: You know from the beginning of the game that someone betrayed you, so the only question is who. As detailed under Captain Obvious Reveal and The Untwist, it isn't hard to figure out that it's Akechi, who's the last person to join your party, has his Co-op rank up automatically via story starting months before he shows an inkling of desire to join the Thieves (besides Morgana, even your first rank with any other party member isn't always a freebie), suddenly gaining all of the little extra abilities at once right when he joins, but not showing that he can get Second Awakening on his stats menu like every other character, something every other party member has, is the one most vocally opposed to the Thieves' methods, the one who didn't get a commercial and the one who ended up being suspicious in several other ways. Hell, even before he joins it's apparent since he is the only member to not be in the game's opening video and his very introduction in the game is him being recruited by the police for a mission. Even his DLC custumes don't even try to hide the fact of his role, with him having costumes such as Ideo Hazama, Jun Kurosu, Thomas Mutton and General Munakata, all major antagonists of their respective games.
  • One True Threesome: Being the founders of the Phantom Thieves and a very strong Power Trio, Joker/Ryuji/Ann is one of these with Morgana usually on the periphery but not involved in the dirty particulars for obvious reasons.
  • Older Than They Think: Many mechanics from the older Persona games and even from other Shin Megami Tensei titles have re-entered this game in some capacity.
    • The Kouha (Light) and Eiha (Dark) magic spells are from the original Persona. While they're classified as "Expel" and "Death" spells in that game, the principle of Light and Dark still applies, as Hama and Mudo also fell under those categories in that game. The Frei (Nuclear) line of spells was also used in both the first Persona and in Persona 2, and finally, Psy (Psychic) originates from Devil Summoner; technically, the Psy prefix came from Megami Tensei but it was the original name for the Zan line of spells.
    • Ailments are now divided into Physiological (curable with Patra) and Psychological (curable with Energy Drop). Ailments in Persona 1 and Persona 2, as well as some other titles like Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, were also divided into different categories, albeit under different titles (Mind, Nerve, etc.).
    • Using guns as a separate melee attack is present in almost all of the mainline games, some spinoffs, and in Persona 1.
    • The most damaging single-target ice spell is named "Diamond Dust," a spell from Persona 2. Same with Inferno and Deadly Burn for Fire magics.
    • After Persona 3 and Persona 4 used more of a drop / chance mechanic in terms of tarot cards for gaining Persona personally, the negotiation system from both the first two titles as well as the main Shin Megami Tensei series returns (albeit revised in that you can only negotiate with Shadows when they're all knocked down).
    • In the West, some have confused Anne's persona, Carmen, with Carmen Sandiego as opposed to the character from the eponymous novella/opera due to Sandiego's well-established reputation as a classy Gentlewoman Thief among Westerners in their thirties and and younger.
    • Dungeons inspired by the Seven Deadly Sins was already done in its Spiritual Predecessor Shin Megami Tensei if... if it can be considered a Persona game.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • The Conspiracy, which can travel to another world and make almost any person go berserk or mentally shut down with no warning whatsoever. After Shido's defeat, the remaining members reveal they planned on doing this on a global scale to make Japan a world power. So no one, not even people living outside of Japan, is safe.
    • The Reveal of the true Big Bad. He's been right there, watching you the whole time, in the guise of Igor. Every time you entered the Velvet Room to fuse Personas, you were staring a malevolent Eldritch Abomination in the face. And that "rehabilitation" he kept referring to? An excuse to keep tabs on you all the time.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Morgana was a Base-Breaking Character at first, with some people not liking that this game has another mascot character after Teddie proved to be a divisive element in the last game. This has died down now that the game has been released, where Morgana was found to be a genuinely funny comic relief who lacks a lot of Teddie's more annoying qualities, and especially after gameplay came out, where Morgana was found be one of the most useful party members. On higher difficulties where enemies and bosses hit really hard, Morgana is a borderline Disc-One Nuke and almost mandatory because he's the best healer in game. This is due to fact that Zorro has access to Media (which Carmen lacks) and learns Diarama and Mediarama earlier than Johanna and way before Haru joins the party. At higher levels, he's the only one that learns the best healing spell, Salvation. He also has the extremely useful Lucky Punch (as well as its upgraded Miracle Punch), which has a higher than normal chance of landing a critical hit, enabling him to easily knock down enemies and start a Baton Pass.
    • Goro Akechi, though in this case it was due to most early judgments of him post-release being based on misinformation or people jumping to conclusions. Pre-release, all we knew about him was that he was a teen detective, which got him hated for being a blatant rehash of Naoto. Early leaks revealed him sadistically murdering the protagonist in the game's Bad Ending, and nothing else. Fans assumed he was simply a Knight Templar who wanted to kill all criminals without reason, embodied the typical SMT Law alignment, and hated him for both that and his betrayal being way too obvious of a plot twist. However, once more information came out due to people actually playing the game, it was revealed that not only was the fact that he was a traitor far from the biggest Plot Twist about him (in fact, the protagonists suspected him right from the start) but his motives were a lot more complex than people originally thought, see The Woobie below and he became a Fountain of Memes and a straight-up Ensemble Darkhorse among stream followers, with a lot of fans thinking he deserved better than how the game treated him. He still has his detractors, but he went from near-unanimous dislike to having a very dedicated fanbase. He even won the first popularity poll, beating all of the other characters including the protagonist.

    S 
  • The Scrappy:
    • Among the Confidants, Ichiko Oya is disliked for having one of the weaker backstories, for being The Alcoholic, and for having the least useful Confidant skills. Her cute design, insistence on uncovering the truth and her Confidant having Lala Escargot as a supporting character are generally cited as her only positive qualities. It is extremely noteworthy that she came in last place in the Confidant popularity poll from the Persona 5 Maniax User Handbook with only two people voting for her.
    • The Camp Gay NPC duo that the player encounters in Shinjuku and the beach. While the jokes about Kanji's sexuality in Persona 4 were polarizing, many players disliked the pair for being unfunny stereotypes, especially in their beach scene. Due to Atlus' previous experiences with non-stereotypical LGBT portrayal (Kanji and Persona 2's Jun, an openly gay party member who was also a romance option), the pair come across as a glaring step back. To make matters worse, they are implied to be attracted to minors.
    • Eiko from Makoto's Confidant is not very well liked among players. The main criticism is that most of the Confidant is more focused on her with most of Makoto's Character Development in it being reliant on her. She is also widely disliked for not listening to Makoto as a result of becoming blinded by her love for Tsukasa and in spite of being one of her first friends, treats Makoto very poorly.
    • While the players desiring to either punch Sugimura in the face or steal his heart was most likely intentional, he becomes this trope to all of those who are raging because of one VERY infuriating thing about him: we can't do either of those things to him.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Free time matters in Persona games and Persona 5 is no exception. Just like previous Persona games, however, there are still moments—mostly evenings after days with plot-related events—when the protagonist is sent straight to bed by Morgana because he's "probably sleepy". Or worse, only because Morgana himself is sleepy. Apparently, he needs to follow the protagonist everywhere he goes. The most glaring cases of this is during mid-May and early July, two points at which the player spends almost all day doing story related content, then heading home and having to go to bed. Worse yet is that these two examples are not just one day, but include multiple days straight, with early July having the player go almost three weeks straight being unable to do anything after classnote . People have expressed their frustration at not even being allowed to quickly return hired DVD'snote  or read a book at home. Unlike Persona 3 and 4, this was only bad when it came time to talking to certain characters just to initiate certain S.Links such as MAX knowledge/academics for Naoto/Mitsuru respectively; but in Persona 5, almost all of them require a maxed or very high attribute stat at some point in the game to finish. A number of players have noted that this could have been mitigated to a certain degree with a simple change of delivery; if it was the protagonist claiming he was exhausted and calling it a night it could at least be seen as personal decision and not one pushed on you by Morgana.
    • The inability to turn Confidant skills off. There are several skills, such as Ryuji's Insta-kill and several of Yoshida's later skills, that could potentially hurt more than they help, thus meaning you can't ever proceed with their Confidants if you feel the negatives outweigh the positives, something that would be easily negated by allowing every ability to be toggled on and off.
    • When you secure a route to the Treasure and get the ability to send the calling card, you can't hang out with any of your party members until you've sent the card and beaten the boss. In a game that requires so much time management, this can be a pain. However, this can be worked around: if you go your hideout and trigger the one-time meeting discussing said calling card, then when available, exit the hideout without sending it, everything will go back to normal (if not that day, then either that evening or tomorrow at the latest).
    • Whenever you leave LeBlanc, no matter the situation, you can't go back in without advancing the day, even on Sunday and summer vacation, where you usually start in LeBlanc. Curiously, this only applies during the day. The player can freely leave and return during the evenings.
    • The high attribute requirements themselves have been commented on as being a particularly annoying aspect of the game for some players. As noted above, almost every Confidant will require one, and some seem ridiculously high for the point at which the Confidant appears in the game. For example, Makoto appears in the middle of the game, but not only do you need Rank 3 Knowledge just to get started, you'll require a maxed Charm stat to get past Level 5. Haru is the last team Confidant, and you better have your Proficiency maxed before she joins, or your chances of max ranking her Confidant are close to nil, given the limited amount of time you have. If you're playing blind, there's no way to know which stat(s) you should work on first, and many of the Confidants that the stats are tied to are somewhat unintuitive (for example, Haru seems as though she'd be tied to Kindness or Charm rather than Proficiency).
      • Some Confidants really rub the players nose in it too, what with continuing to reward players with points in Stats that, by neccessity, would already be maxed.
    • The total stat cap makes it much more tedious to customize the Persona you want. Unlike previous games where you can max Personas through items, this game imposes a stat limit based on the Persona's level (a total of 304 stat points to work with). While this adds more balance to the game, it can also potentially make higher-leveled Personas worse than lower-leveled Personas due to having less room to level them up with the stats you want and possibly having more weaknesses than lower-leveled Personas.
  • Ship Mates:
    • Ryuji/Ann is a popular ship that goes well with many other ships, so you often see shippers who prefer Joker with other girls or guys allying with them.
    • Besides the above, many Joker/Makoto shippers rub shoulders with Yusuke/Futaba shippers. Bizarrely, they also sometimes Pair the Spares by throwing in Akechi/Haru of all things.
    • Joker/Futaba shippers like to ship Makoto/Haru instead. Yusuke, meanwhile, is often shipped with art.
    • Among the series as a whole, Joker/Ann shippers are usually those who shipped Yu/Rise in the previous game.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat:
    • The main one is between Joker/Ann and Joker/Makoto. Points that often show up in arguments range from (but are certainly not limited to) Ann being this game's Lovers Arcana and one of the first love interests you meet, to Makoto being the game's secondary point of view character who's relevant to more dungeons than Ann is (having Kaneshiro's act as her introduction but her sister Sae's being more personal for her) and status as the most popular girl according to western online polls.
    • Joker/Futaba can get thrown in there too. There's even fighting among the people who like the interactions between the two, as some people prefer presenting them as being Like Brother and Sister (so they see her and Joker's closeness as not being in conflict with any romantic pairings) but since she's also a genuine dating option she's fairly popular as a romantic relationship as well, which does come into conflict with fans of Joker/Makoto or Yusuke/Futaba.
    • A particular nasty one goes on between shippers of Joker/Akechi and those who ship Joker with others (usually, but not always, another guy), mostly on Tumblr, mostly due to Akechi being The Mole and trying to murder the protagonist. Some go so far as to harass others at conventions and there's even a blog dedicated to hating on Joker/Akechi fans.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night:
    • Makoto/Ann has a fairly strong following among the fandom especially those who support Les Yay couples. In the game proper however, Makoto and Ann barely interact one on one with the only moments of doing so being the apology after Makoto joins the team, eating flan together, and buying Futaba a swimsuit. There's also the added fact that Makoto is shown to be closer to Haru than she is to Ann, making this ship seem even more odd.
    • Despite interacting only a few times, Yuuki and Shiho tend to get paired together a lot, mostly due to the abuse they both suffered at the hands of Kamoshida.
    • Sojiro and Iwai are frequently paired up together in fanworks, despite never interacting with one another; it's entirely possible that they've never even met. Their popularity stems from the fact that they're both seemingly gruff older men with a heart of gold, who are raising a child who isn't biologically theirs, and who happen to become a father figure to Joker throughout the story.
    • There's even a group of fans that ship Ryuji with Goro of all people, using his blantant, loud hatred for Goro, as Tsundere Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today? material, though largely getting over it when he finds out that he and Goro have similar pasts. More fuel includes the fact that Ryuji is the first person to reach out to him after his boss fight.
  • Signature Scene:
    • For those familiar with the story, the scene in which Akechi shoots the protagonist (or in the good ending, who he thinks is the protagonist) is quickly reaching this point, inspiring parodies and memes.
    • For those not familiar with the story, April 15th has the scene where Shiho attempts suicide due to how emotionally powerful it is.
    • For those who have completed the game, the summoning of Satanael, and his subsequent dispatching of Yaldabaoth via headshot is a truly epic grand finale.
    • The shot of Joker's face covered in blood while giving a Slasher Smile alone has become very iconic to the Persona games. The in-game cutscene itself has him ripping his mask off to make his face bleed in the first place, followed by him being engulfed in flames before his persona Arsene reveals himself. It's arguably even more memorable.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped:
    • The game is very clear about its message of defying unjust authorities in favor of blindly supporting it for some greater sense of "order", as respect is a thing that needs to be earned instead of forcefully taken or "required" of people. The Thieves all have problems with how their social superiors have tried screwing them over in various ways, which is why all of them have needed to become criminals in order to rectify these wrongs and keeping them from hurting anyone else, with stand out examples being Akechi, who ignores his sense of morality to follow his father simply to be acknowledged and suffers greatly for it, and Caroline and Justine, who need to "betray" Igor when they realize that he's been abusing his powers. This is particularly relevant in Japan, where the game was made and is set, since respect for social superiors is hard-wired into the culture to the point that many have problems standing up to people who abuse their power. All of the game's villains are the kind of people Japanese society demands respect for, which is why in game it's important to see how the ones who have done nothing to deserve it, and by extension are abusing this system for their own ends, have no way of being redeemed without fundamentally changing who they are as people.
    • On this subject, the idea of seeking approval from society or one's superiors as a means of determining one's actions is heavily criticized. The Bystander Syndrome demonstrated by Ann and Yusuke early in the game, where they seek to placate the desires of their corrupt authority figures so as to not anger them, is an obvious example. But a more subtle example comes from The Phantom Thieves as a whole, seeking approval from society and being baited into targeting Kunikazu Okumura primarily due to his popularity as a target on the Phan-Site, and suffering because of it.
    • Relating to this theme is the emphasis on the importance of Japan's younger generation. Several scenes make it apparent that, rather than looking towards the future, most of Japanese high society is looking to comfort the old at the expense of the young. It's heavily visible through Madarame's plagiarism, Yoshida's goal of looking towards the younger generation, and the response that the team gets at the high-end diner where they spend their first victory party that the old guard is all too reluctant to pass the torch.
    • Okumura's dungeon is also a statement against the traditional standard of Japanese work, I.E. being worked to a point of near death (in Japan, you can actually die from being worked to death). The workers being run into the ground is a reflection of the culture of work in Japanese society and many of their own citizenry considering it very unhealthy to be worked as hard as they are without having any time for themselves or their families. Ties into applicability as well, as many western viewers, particularly BUT MOST CERTAINLY NOT LIMITED TO, younger players can sympathize with being exploited into working more and more hours with smaller and smaller pay, the reduction of overtime and the lack of health benefits while some out-of-touch CEO makes millions, belittling others about what hard work and sacrifice entails.
  • Squick:
    • As if Kamoshida's lust and sexual harassment of students wasn't bad enough, one of the minibosses of his dungeon is a slime Mara. Shadow Asakura, a man whose misdeeds- forcing prospective idols to have sex with him in exchange for his assistance- are similar to Kamoshida's, also turns into Mara when fought.
    • An in-universe example occurs when Joker, Skull and Mona find Kamoshida's topless harem in the Palace, writhing and moaning in ecstasy (remember, these are high school students):
    Ryuji: This is effed up... Is that what he thinks of the girls on the volleyball team...?!
    • The concept art of Kamoshida's boss form is even more disturbing than the final version, as the "Trophy of Obsession" (full of female legs) is not only positioned in his crotch area, it's also seeping white liquid.
  • Superlative Dubbing: The script itself has issues in terms of writing quality and a lot of the lines, especially in the main quest, can be wooden or a bit poorly written, and some of the direction is also working against them (Atlus reps themselves dictated the strange pronunciation of a number of the Japanese names as per Word of God), but god damn if a lot of the cast members aren't working their hearts out trying to sell it all anyway. Max Mittelman, Erika Harlacher, Cherami Leigh and Erica Lindbeck (as Ryuji, Ann, Makoto and Futaba respectively) are often cited as particularly excellent performances, despite all the hurdles in front of them, and Leigh's in particular is a contributor to Makoto's high standing among the English fanbase.

    T 
  • That One Achievement:
    • The trophy for "Hear 250 Navigator Lines" that was also present in Persona 4. It's difficult to achieve due to A: the huge variety of quotes needed, B: the lack of any sort of list or progress meter to aid the process and C: the highly contextual requirements for some quotes. If it's anything like it was in 4, a player may go through the game several times and still not get the achievement. It doesn't help that one of your party members leaves forever, denying you some character-specific lines if you haven't gotten them already. One one hand, the lines you get in a playthrough don't carry over to the next, but on the other, it's not limited to battle lines; any voiced line from Futaba that appears in the upper-right corner (including Mementos driving conversations, scanning a floor, etc) does count toward the trophy.
    • The trophy for buying every kind of drink from vending machines can be a bit tricky to keep track of, mainly because you will often have drinks that you didn't buy from a vending machine and they do not account towards the trophy. There's also various vending machines throughout the city that carry different drinks.
    • Another trophy that's somewhat difficult to obtain is the one for freeing a hostage through negotiation. Since it requires one of your party members to be knocked down (either via critical hit or weakness exploitation) without being killed, it can be difficult to trigger the necessary conditions for a hostage negotiation. This achievement usually comes from getting lucky in the first dungeon, as after that weakness hits will either KO your party members outright or do too little damage to prompt a hostage situation. It's not uncommon for players to play the entire game without realizing the hostage mechanic even exists.
    • The play-all-the-retro-games achievement can be this for players who don't also play fighting games. One of the games, Power Intuition, requires the player to execute a few combos requring quarter- and half-circles on the D-pad. If you're a fighting game fan, it's pretty basic. If you're terrible at fighting games, though... Train of Life is also very annoying, as even with the in-universe Cheat Code it's still entirely luck-based, which forces a lot of Save Scumming.
  • That One Attack:
    • Yaldabaoth's "Rays of Control", the boss's Last Ditch Move. The first time he uses it, he revives all of his Cognizant Limbs, then he spends a two turns charging up before hitting your party with an amount of damage dependent on how many arms are left. Given that this is an attack that the boss charges up, many player's first instinct is to do nothing but block. However, doing so means that all the arms are still alive, which means that most likely the attack will be powerful enough to KO the entire party, meaning you have to start the whole fight over again. Also, even if you survive, you'll still have to deal with the revived arms.
    • The Hama and Mudo spells return and still have a chance of causing an instant kill. All it takes is a single enemy getting lucky for it to instantly kill a party member, or worse Joker, and force a restart.
    • Status ailment skills in general have been given a significant buff to their success rate compared to earlier games, and while this is a good thing for you (see Game-Breaker), it's not so good when enemies use them. The two worst by far are Brain Jack and Abysmal Surge. The former inflicts Brainwash, which is essentially the Charm status from Persona 3 but somehow even worse as not only can Brainwashed characters heal enemies (including full heal spells), they can now also cast buffs on them. Additionally, it opens them up to Technical damage from Psi skills (Which many bosses capitalize on). The latter inflicts Despair, which causes affected characters to be unable to move for 3 turns, losing SP each time, and then outright die. Items to cure it are rare, and Makoto's Energy Shower won't help if she also gets hit with Despair. Abysmal Surge hitting the whole party is essentially an automatic Game Over.
  • That One Boss:
    • Madarame is generally agreed to be one of the harder Palace bosses, after the Warm-Up Boss that was Kamoshida. He's fought as 4 separate portraits, all of which get their own turns and can revive eachother if they're not defeated at the same time. The eyes absorb fire, ice, elec, and wind, the mouth absorbs physical and bullets, and the nose absorbs nuclear, bless, curse, and psi, limiting the effectiveness of multi-hitting attacks that would otherwise make the fight easier. He also has the full array of elemental spells to hit your party's weaknesses, can buff his Attack and lower your Defense, and from the second phase onward he can inflict an ailment that makes one character weak to everything. He loves to follow this up with a Defense-debuff, essentially forcing that character to waste a turn guarding or die. You have to go through at least two rounds of this with the only saving graces being the pieces coming back with less HP each time and the third phase letting you turn his weakness paint against him.
    • Shido can be a pretty huge roadblock as well. He has FIVE different phases, the first four of which serve to soften you up for his brutal final phase. To wit: he gets an extra turn for throwing party-wide damage from every element in the game at you, fishing for weaknesses in addition to doing everything the fourth phase does (a physical Fear-inducing attack and several (de)buffs); if he gets a knockdown, he'll follow it up with a One-Hit Kill attack, another Fear inducer, or Heat Riser to buff all his stats, all of which are really bad because he already hits like a truck on steroids. Your saving grace in the fight is that his rotation for the party-wide skills is predetermined, so having mass party-swap (max Star Confidant) or magic walls at the right times can lessen the sting, but if you lack both, Shido will get three guaranteed knockdowns over the course of the fight, which can snowball into a Game Over very quickly.
    • For Mementos bosses, Shadow Fukurai. He's the boss required for the Fortune Confidant, and is a LOT harder than any other C Rank target. He has huge defence and a lot of HP, even with his Ice weakness he takes a while to bring down. Worse, he has the ever-annoying Brain Jack, which inflicts Brainwash on the party, causing them to attack eachother or heal and buff him. Even worse, he can follow it up with Mapsio, hitting Brainwashed characters for Technical damage. The worst part about this is that Makoto, the one party member at that point who can cure Brainwash, is weak to Psi. And he will always follow up a One More with Marakunda, ensuring your party won't survive another Mapsio. If you've unlucky, he can open the fight with Brain Jack before you even get a turn, and if it hits the whole party you're at a major disadvantage right from the start. He also has Eigaon, the endgame-tier Curse skill... and when that's the move you want to see, you know there's a problem.
  • That One Level:
    • Although Futaba's Palace is a Breather Level, the final section after sending the Calling Card is absurdly difficult for people on their first play through. With the previous Palaces, when the player sends the Calling Card they had a straight-shot to the treasure and boss fight, avoiding any enemies and fighting the boss at full health and SP. Futaba's Palace though throws in several enemies that the player can't ambush since their all on alert, and while the enemies are extensions of the previous areas, the enemies will almost certainly damage the party and even kill a few if you try to avoid them. Worse is that there is some treasure and a chest but getting to it and not wasting both HP and SP is almost impossible since the pathway splits but enemies are set in places where the player has no cover to use. The set up too prevents players from just running to the boss since the enemies are in tight pathways and little cover, so it is very easy for a player to rush towards the boss, get ambushed, and die in a few turns as a result.
    • Okumura's Palace has gotten this treatment due to several of the enemies being resistant/reflective of physical damage and/or gunshots, having most of the areas lacking in proper cover to utilize stealth and ambush opponents, and a very confusing and difficult Airlock puzzle at the end. Okumura also gives you a time limit of 30 minutes not just to defeat him, but also getting to the launchport on time and fighting the Shadows en route.
    • Shido's Palace has mouse puzzles which are lengthy and have tons of backtracking, narrow hallways that make it difficult to avoid enemies, and five minibosses that have to be completed in order to clear the way to the treasure and it springs a two-phase boss fight on you after the last miniboss.
  • That One Puzzle:
    • The airlock puzzles in the last third of Okumura's Palace, particularly the one just before the Treasure. To elaborate, you'll have to deal with airlocks that alternate between being opened and closed, some of which change when you flip a switch and some of which change when you pass through them. There's several different colors, making it fairly difficult to unlock the ones you need in order to proceed.
    • Also in Okumura's Palace, finding the Chief Director and obtaining his key card. This involves you traversing an area of his Palace where there are several offices each housing giant robots that look similar to one another. However only ONE of them is the guy you need to face and the others do not have to be fought. How do you figure out who the Chief Director is? You have to listen in on the conversations of robot workers who will provide very specific details about him that you must remember. You can avoid fighting the optional ones... provided you choose the right dialogue options.
    • The mice puzzles in Shido's Palace. They aren't particularly difficult but are lengthy and repetitive with a good deal of backtracking involved. There are also THREE of these puzzles that must be completed in order to progress through the dungeon making it feel even more tedious. While you're turned into mice, you still have worry about not running into enemies as doing so will trigger a battle where everyone in your party has the mice ailment thus is unable to do anything.
  • That One Sidequest: A few of the Confidants qualify.
    • Chihaya's Confidant takes a lot of time and money to establish. First, you have to get a fortune telling, then pay 100,000 yen for a "holy stone" (she pays you back later but this is a steep price, especially early on in the game), then complete a mission in Mementos and finally talk to her to start the link. It also has a particularly difficult Mementos mission needed to pass Rank 7.
    • Sadayo's Confidant requires you to pay money every time you spend time with her, even visits that don't result in a rank-up. The Mementos request required to finish it can also be tricky, in that it requires her to approach you on a school day once you've reached Rank 8. If you reach this point during Summer Vacation, the Confidant will be stalled for a long time. Worse, leave the Confidant too late and you'll be at the point where Joker stops attending school, cutting off your chances of completing it.
    • Like with Mitsuru and Naoto, Haru's Confidant is the last to open up, and has steep stat requirements (maxed out Proficiency is required to progress past Rank 2).
    • Sojiro's confidant begins fairly early on, but not only do you need to wait for Futaba to join in order to progress to the latter half of the confidant, but you also need to max out your Kindness and defeat a Duel Boss that, unlike other Mementos bosses, takes up its own afternoon, to complete the confidant.
    • While Iwai's confidant is available around the start of the second dungeon (since you only need to be able to travel outside Yongen-jaya at night), it requires Rank 4 Guts to start, and maxed out guts to complete. The requirements are steep enough that you may not be able to start it for several months, and might not finish it on a playthrough.
    • Progressing through Makoto's Confidant requires eventually having to max out the protagonist's Charm stat, one of the hardest stats to max out on the first playthrough. However, once you have the stat requirements leveling up her Confidant itself isn't terribly difficult since as long as you answer her Confidant answers correctly, you will not have to go through any holdovers.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • As always in Persona games, fans like to speculate about the supporting characters gaining personas and becoming playable, but Hifumi Togo stands out, as she was originally planned as a party member. In addition to this, despite enrolling in the same school as Yusuke, they don't interact at all, and Yusuke simply mentions her once while Hifumi never talks about him at all. Instead, it's Makoto who can interact well with her due to both being smart and bookish girls and showed more concern to her when Hifumi's mother becomes a Mementos target.
    • A lot of people wish Shiho were a confidant outright, but her only role in the plot after Kamoshida's arc is resolved is a brief appearance in Ann's ninth-rank conversation.
    • Some fans feel that Lala Escargot should have been a Confidant. She averts the tendencies of making Gonk characters jerks being a legitimately nice person and a Benevolent Boss for the protagonist as well as trying to keep Ohya in check. She is also mentioned as the best example of LGBT representation on the game, which is a touchy subject for western fans.
    • Many feel so much more could have been done with Goro Akechi, especially since he outright disappears from the story and is completely absent for the final battle against Yaldabaoth. A common example of this is with The Reveal that he's a Wild Card Persona user they could have made for a great boss fight where he switches out Personas. Instead, he only has two Personas.
    • To some extent, Haru. While she has a significant role in the plot and receives a fair amount of Character Development, she only becomes involved late into the game, giving her character less room to develop (especially with how steep requirements are to progress in her social link). By comparison, Naoto joins in early October (shortly after Haru), but had been a recurring character since May. Moreover, the rewards her link yields is access to the only other source of free SP curatives in the game (the other being Sojiro's coffee and curry)- but her method is a garden which takes a few days at the very least to grow the items; meaning that by the point she can be accessed, this potential source will never be able to be used to its fullest potential.
    • In a surprising way, the Protagonist himself. Unlike the previous two main characters who were working to save people without really an end goal in mind, Joker pushes forward with the bigger picture constantly in check, not only managing to be the most calculating and proactive MC in the series, but also the first to desire change at a social level rather than just individually. Unfortunately, him being another self-insert Heroic Mime as per series tradition has not gone well with many fans (particularly series' newcomers), since he is also a surprisingly tragic character with a more fleshed out personality than the previous protagonists, leaving much of his character as well as his reactions to all the terrible things that happen to him through the entire game up to interpretation. Thus, many fans agree that giving him a consistent voice would have been incredibly tantalizing to anyone who enjoys character analysis and development.
    • Toranosuke Yoshida. Considering that the lategame centers largely around Shido's attempts to run for prime minister, and that early in his confidant line his entirely-earnest rhetoric is unfairly called a rehash of Shido just saying what the people want to hear, he very easily could've been given some sort of role in the actual plot.
    • In the lead up to the final boss, the Phantom Thieves fight the four archangels (Uriel, Raphael, Gabriel, and Michael) before the final confrontation. However, Metatron and Sandalphon are nowhere to be seen, despite them also being at the top of the angel hierarchy. They could have been used as bosses to fit the theme as well.
    • Ichiko in terms of her ability. Her Confidant role was to be a rumor monger yet all her ability could do is reduce the Alert level in Palaces. Those who remembered the rumor system in Persona 2 felt that she could have had an ability that would have affected the cognitive world in a similar way to said games.
    • While Futaba's confidant is often sighted to be one of the best Confidants of the game, many fans felt that her subplot with Kana was slightly rushed and felt underdeveloped as some fans prefer if Kana were to make an appearance in her Confidant.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • There has been some disappointment that Yusuke and Yuki are not romanceable despite their Confidant links being absolutely dripping with Ho Yay.
    • The entire final legs of the game, including the true final boss and the plot surrounding them, is generally felt to be told a little too fast, and a little too vaguely to really be appreciated. Some players also worry it may make many of the proceeding plot elements into a "Shaggy Dog" Story, as the entire Japanese public gets their treasure stolen, and has a change of heart, and it's not clear what, if anything, this means for the earlier villains like Kamoshida and Madarame, or what the world is like after this is done.
    • Despite her popularity, Makoto's Confidant is usually considered among the worst in terms of story because of its focus on a fellow student named Eiko and her slimy boyfriend Tsukasa rather than focusing on Makoto's diseased father, a character whom greatly impacted both her and Sae. Although it does at least touch upon her father and how his death affected her, it never goes beyond Makoto resolving to follow in his footsteps by studying law to become a police commissioner at the end, a decision that comes a bit out of left field since the Confidant doesn't tie into this end goal in a natural way. Made more apparent by the fact that her relationship with Sae in the story proper heavily relies on her father with some saying that the Character Development she receives in the main story is a lot more interesting and it does better relate to her chosen goal. In addition to that, Sae herself never appears in Makoto's Confidant, which would've helped reinforce their relationship and gave the chance for Sae to be shown in a more positive light, even if she couldn't interact with Joker directly to keep from conflicting with the interrogation scenes.
    • Considering that the game uses Sae Niijima's interrogation of Joker as a Framing Device to explain How We Got Here and that one of Joker's potential love interests is Makoto Niijima, many players were disappointed that Sae never once reacts to the revelation that the prime suspect of the Phantom Thieves case could be dating her younger sister. Whats worse about this is that the game has a few instances of Developers' Foresight where who you are in a relationship with is commented on or factored into even in voiced dialogue, such as Sojiro reacting differently if the player spends time with Futaba, or Kawakami.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Some Confidant abilities are much more useful than others making the ones that can't measure up into these, regardless of the characters or the quality of their storylines, and starting others can be rather difficult which doesn't help matters.
    • Ichiko Ohya's abilities (making the alertness meter in the major Palace dungeons increase more slowly and decrease more quickly, and finding extra info on targets) are considered to be the most useless in the game, since they don't help much unless you have trouble avoiding being detected by enemies.
    • To a lesser extent, Iwai of the Hanged Man Arcana; not really for his story or abilities (weapon/armor discounts and gun customization), but because of the steep requirements needed to start his link (It opens early in the game during May, but you need Level 4 Guts to actually start it, and that same stat needs to be maxed out to complete it) and, to a lesser extent, the customization he provides. The problem with his gun customization ability is that the guns you can make by itemizing high-tier Personas in the Velvet Room are all far stronger than any of the custom guns he can make, with two of the Persona weapons (one for Joker and one for Makoto) providing some of the highest item-based stat buffs in the entire game. However, you need mutable guns to make them, which can be very hard to find, and the financial cost of making and summoning said Personas in tandem with a potential time crunch makes Iwai's customization a solid option to fall back on.
    • Makoto's only Confidant abilities, aside from the ones all party members get, are an upgrade to the analysis screen to show skills and item drops, and the target cursor changing if the enemy won't take damage from your next attack. The former has some tactical value, and the latter is convenient, but otherwise her abilities are largely useless compared to other confidants. It doesn't help that seeing as how the enemies in this game are your Personas, on NG+ any enemy who you a have as a Persona will have this information readily available when you analyze them.
    • Ryuji's Confidant ability allowing you to one-hit kill weaker enemies. While it is helpful when you are backtracking the earlier parts of Mementos, in the game proper it is generally useless. This is because unlike past games you can't revisit any of the storyline dungeons once you've completed them and when you get to a Palace's boss you'll usually be around the recommended level to fight them giving you less reason to grind in a Palace especially if you've been leveling up Mishima's Confidant.
    • A non-Confidant example is the Speed Reading book. Unlike in Persona 4, you get it relatively late in the game, and it only becomes available after reading three other books that each take 3 sessions to complete. By the time you have the speed reading ability, there's very little left to read in the game, making it feel more like a Bragging Rights Reward than anything.
  • Tough Act to Follow:
    • Downplayed but still present. Even though the game follows in the footsteps of Persona 3 and Persona 4, which both became Cash Cow Franchises for Atlus, Persona 5 is almost universally agreed to be an Even Better Sequel to the point that many critics and fans alike already consider it the best of the series, being frequently praised for cherry-picking and perfecting the best gameplay elements from all the previous games and for having a better pacing and a storyline that allows more mature themes to be discussed while addressing real-life issues without being preachy. Story-wise the game has faced some criticism, but that's not to say Persona 3 and Persona 4 didn't had their own share of flaws either.
    • A rare example of this happening to the game's trailer. The high quality of the gameplay debut trailer led to it becoming one of Atlus' most popular videos and earning high praise around the world, even earning a rare 10 out of 10 from Gametrailers.com. It was only natural that the next trailer would be met with unrealistic expectations.
    • Averted with a passion by the fourth trailer, which showed up the original trailer with the updated main theme, footage of combat, not one, not two, but THREE character reveals, and a clearer image of the overall feel of Persona 5.
    • Kamoshida is the first villain that the player has to take down. The game does a great job at detailing Kamoshida's abuses of power and depicting the effects that they have on the helpless individuals who must deal with the consequences. From his physical abuse on the male students, to his sexual harassment towards the female students, to holding the threat of expulsion on our heroes, Kamoshida is shown to be a horrid scumbag, making it incredibly satisfying to put a stop to him. This is all done within the first month of the game, so his villainy sort of sets a high bar for the rest of the villains to follow. While the rest of the villains aren't weak, Kamoshida usually ends up being the most hated despite him being a small scale threat in the grand scheme of the game's plot, all because the game does a great job of how awful of a mark Kamoshida left on his victims. It also doesn't help that Kamoshida is the only villain till Shido that has an extremely personal reason for everyone to target, including the protagonist. Meanwhile all the other Targets are really the archenemy of one member of the group at a time to justify said character joining, while having a group wide punishment that comes across more as an afterthought.

    U 
  • Underused Game Mechanic: Hostage negotiation. When one of your characters is knocked down with an elemental weakness (except for Joker), the negotiation mechanic forces you to either pay that enemy something, talk the enemy into letting them go, or do nothing and watch that party member get one-shotted. However, the mechanic doesn't trigger in boss battles, and only rarely triggers in random encounters. A player might go through all of the seventy-plus hours of gameplay and never see this happen, despite getting passive bonuses that make it easier to get away with negotiation. New Game+, which lets you retain monster database information, makes it even less likely.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • One of the Personas you can use is Bugs/Bugbear, a minor enemy from Devil Summoner Soul Hackers. No, really.
    • A few of the Ultimate Personas have appeared previously in Shin Megami Tensei, yet not terribly often. These include Satanael, the Protagonist's Ultimate Persona, whose only seen form previously was in Soul Hackers while possessing Spooky, and Mercurius, Morgana's Ultimate Persona, who was previously a Breather Boss in the prologue of Shin Megami Tensei II and was meant to be destroyed by Cerberus. There's also Astarte, Haru's ultimate Persona, who actually did appear in the Persona series before. That is to say, she was the persona of Kanaru Morimoto, a character from the now considered non-canon anime Persona -trinity soul-.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • Downplayed with Madarame. While it's clear he's still a horrible person, his villainy pales in comparison to the other targets and how much of his affection for Yusuke, despite abusing him, was genuine is unclear. He's stated to have abused his former pupils and treated them like objects, to the point of driving one to suicide and the reason another student sent you to try and save Yusuke from the same fate, and by the time the party confronts him all but Yusuke have left. Since everyone else is gone and Madarame's on-screen interactions with Yusuke are minimal, if you don't talk to the local homeless population (several of whom are his understandably bitter former students) it's not hard to think of his crimes being more of a past issue than a current problem. His main crimes are art fraud, plagiarism, and slandering/blacklisting the artists who tried to reveal those first two crimes, which while still awful is being sandwiched between Kamoshida (who was obviously physically and sexually abusive and was being protected by the school) and Kaneshiro (who set up students for blackmail and implied he'd force Makoto into sexual slavery). That being said his worst crime, Murder by Inaction of Yusuke's mother, was only revealed right before his boss fight, so it had no impact on them deciding to change his heart. It also ends up being the only crime he doesn't confess to onscreen after his change of heart, despite Yusuke telling his Shadow to do so in no uncertain terms, leaving it ambiguous how honest the Shadow was in promising to confess his crimes. Yusuke also later wonders whether Madarame actually cared about him, despite how Madarame made him live in near squalor for the sake of appearances and was stealing his life's work, since most of the information around his adoption came from Madarame's Shadow (which naturally exaggerated his worst qualities) and a character in his Confidant supports this by revealing Madarame desperately looked for someone to treat Yusuke when he fell ill with a fever as a young boy.
    • Ryuji gets this at times, as he rarely deserves the misfortune and some of the harsh treatment he often goes through. In combat for example, his successful criticals and any weakness appropriate hits that down enemies are rarely met with genuine praise (at best he gets backhanded compliments) unlike everyone else. However the most prominent example is when Morgana ran away. While you can say Ryuji did seem to go out of his way to get under Morgana's skin, it's hard not to feel sorry for him when Morgana spent the majority of the game berating him, the fact that he was the only one forced to apologize, and that Morgana would continue to insult him after making amends.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Okumura, for reasons highlighted under Values Dissonance. Even without his treatment of his daughternote , he's still fully aware of his abuses towards his employees, viewing them all as robots to work themselves to death for his sake, and his company's questionable and cost-cutting sanitation policies could potentially give countless people food poisoning, and even his own shadow tries to trick the team by lying about wanting to make up for his wrongdoings. On top of this, like the human Big Bad, he was planning to break out into politics with this same mindset. Okumura was such a menace to the public welfare that there probably wasn't any real need for Shido and co. to rig the poll to have his name come up. The main problem is that the Thieves sympathize with him more than the first three targets, when he isn't actually any more sympathetic. However, this could also be the result of him being the only target to die, unlike all other targets thus far.
    • Morgana, when he briefly leaves the group. While many feel that Morgana's feelings of inadequacy were built up thanks to Futaba joining the group, Ryuji's comments, and Morgana being unsure of what he is(and he does ultimately apologize for his actions in order to ensure that Haru can stay at Leblanc for the night), some feel like his outbursts cross into Wangst. Additionally, because Makoto's arc also dealt with feeling useless, it comes across as a rehash. Additionally people lack sympathy for Morgana because he treats Ryuji like crap for the entire game, but apparently can't take what he dishes out making only Ryuji responsible for apologizing when he unintentionally pushes Morgana too far instead of having both apologize for their bickering escalating to this, and that he brushes off any attempts to talk to him on the matter.
    • Goro Akechi has gotten this treatment from a lot of fans. A lot of fans believe that his Dark and Troubled Past does not excuse how he killed multiple people including Futaba's mother, Haru's father, and Joker in the bad endings. Additionally, most reprehensible things Shido did, and his horrible rise to power, were only possible with Akechi acting behind the scenes. In addition, a lot of people felt that his Alas, Poor Villain moment was heavy-handed and poorly executed as the Phantom Thieves asked him to be back on their team after he committed all of those murders. As a result, he became a massive Base-Breaking Character.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: With the Phantom Thieves receiving All of the Other Reindeer treatment, a few of these are bound to happen. However, these people deserve special mention-
    • The other students at Kosei High treat Yusuke differently due to both his association with Madarame and because of his behavior in general, and after Madarame is arrested, he's actively shunned. However, he manages to be one of the most popular characters in the game due to him being a Comically Serious Cloudcuckoolander.
    • Upon her introduction it is clear that Makoto is not very well-liked among her classmates. In fact, it's implied that she didn't have any friends before joining the Phantom Thieves. While some do see her as a Base-Breaking Character, she has still gained numerous amounts of attention. She ranked number 3 on a popularity poll in Japan and after the game's international release got even more popularity with increased amounts of fanart and being one of the most popular shipping options with Joker.
    • Prior to Futaba being a shut-in, she was almost completely friendless at school with her Only Friend having to be a girl named Kana in which their friendship ended up falling apart. On the other hand, fans really like her due to her Moe personality, having huge amounts of Character Development, and her lacking the Annoying Video Game Helper tendencies that past Mission Control characters have.
  • The Untwist: Akechi being the traitor. He joins right before Sae's dungeon, where the player knows that Joker will be betrayed, acts very suspiciously prior to his recruitment, already has a Persona before he meets the Thieves, and has established that he hates what the Thieves are doing. His betrayal is so obvious that almost none of the other Thieves actually trust him, and end up catching him in a ruse that reveals his boss.
    • Similarly, Shido being the main villain or at least an important one. Not only does he have a portrait in the dialog boxes, just about every time he shows up the game drops hints he's a corrupt person in a position of power.
  • Uncanny Valley: There's something off about Morgana's face in his cat form in the real world. He has large, piercing blue eyes and the way his mouth moves when he speaks looks very unnatural.
    • The Sphinx sports the head of Wakaba, in a way that makes it look very off, and utterly terrifying.
  • Unfortunate Implications:
    • The game lacks any Gay Option for romance, despite letting Joker indicate he's interested in guys outside of Confidant links, but has no issue allowing your 16 year old character to enter possibly sexual relationships with adult women including a highly scandalous romance with your teacher. To make matters worse, a few NPCs implied to be gay act as campy and perverted as the worst possible stereotype. This led the LGBT Fanbase won over in Persona 4 with Kanji's ambiguous sexuality (for obvious reasons) and Naoto's issues with gender (which resonated with a lot of trans, questioning, or non-binary fans despite her not being trans herself) to be very pissed off at P5, since it decided that multiple romantic options that, depending on the country would be considered statutory rape, are perfectly acceptable and even "beautiful" (with the Teacher/Student Romance being the one to draw the most concerns in game), while being gay is little more than a joke, especially considering that the game is about the generation being misunderstood and how the society's views on some things might be wrong, which gay people can highly relate. While not all of the possibly gay or bi characters here are portrayed as poorly as the ones mentioned above the game treating the player's opportunities to show an interest in men as him apparently just "joking around" is telling, and it's not like there aren't male Confidants in the game that could have easily been made romantic options.
    • Ann Takamaki being the source of Fanservice has also fallen under criticism, most notably during the Madarame arc when she is blackmailed into posing nude for Yusuke and the infamous bikini scene noted below. In the case of the former, it can be argued that not only does it contradict the previous story arc, since sexual harassment and extortion go from being very serious issues to something now primarily being Played for Laughs, the boys can seem to be acting out of character for no reason, insofar as pressuring Ann to do it despite her objections. note  Meanwhile, Yusuke doesn't get any ire from anyone for what can be considered another attempt at sexual extortion directed towards her and nothing he does is this intentionally disrespectful towards anyone else's personal boundaries afterward, though he was under circumstances that some fans think his actions were still in line with his character at the time.

    V 
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Ann's bikini shot in the fourth trailer creeped a few western fans out, echoing the reaction to Rise's commercial at the start of Persona 4. Fanservice involving high schoolers is very common in Japanese anime, which the Persona series has always closely rubbed shoulders with.
    • The game's Central Theme is a big one. In Western cultures (particularly America as even the tagline about being a "slave" and wanting "emancipation" in earlier development brought up some concerns over the phrasing being in poor taste in addition to being a ridiculously awkward case of Engrish), "stand up to corrupt authority rather than blindly following it" comes across as a Captain Obvious Aesop, but it's extremely relevant (and actually quite radical) for Japan, where respect for social superiors is heavily ingrained into the culture (to the point of being hard-wired into the language itself). All of the Phantom Thieves' targets are in positions that Japanese society demands respect from, which is why they got away with their actions for so long.
    • Akechi's status as an illegitimate child. Illegitimate and adopted children in Japan face far more discrimination compared to many western countries, as a family's image and prestige holds a lot of weight, and simply being a bastard is considered an irredeemable flaw. Under Japan's koseki family registration system, which is gradually becoming less relevant but is still a major aspect of Japanese family law, discrimination against illegitimate children in family law situations was completely legal until 2013. While the stigma of shame for having a love child exists in many countries, the consequences/shame Shido potentially faces should his relationship with Akechi come to light would put a swift end to his career and outright ruin his life. His mistress and Akechi, meanwhile, have already suffered the consequences; the mistress let herself die because of the shame and stigma, and Akechi had to put up living in a string of abusive households because of his parentage. And since Akechi's a popular TV personality on top of being a detective, that portion of his career would likely be destroyed if his status got out. All three of them have had/still have the right to be afraid of exposure.
      • As a somewhat more positive contrast that many Anglophones still miss, Futaba and her mother Wakaba would be in a similar position legally, but this is meant to make them and their relationship remarkable. A lot of Futaba's initial guilt comes from the fact that she "killed her Mom"... with the other implication being that she and the world around her thinks that of course a dirty bastard would do such a thing, and she ends up passed to abusive relatives who see no reason not to treat her like dirt until Sojiro rescues her. Wakaba's in-actuality love for Futaba, though, is meant to be astonishing - when she becomes pregnant with Futaba, she just takes it in stride and loves her daughter with all her heart, no strings attached, which is almost absurdly romantic for Japanese society and Sojiro's account of it, by itself, is meant to cement in the player's head that Wakaba absolutely did love Futaba and was a good person, all by itself. It still works to a degree in English, but the sheer impact isn't the same, since single parents, even successful ones, aren't uncommon in most Anglophone countries.
    • Japanese society's reluctance to intervene in cases of abuse comes up from time to time, particularly when one of Chihaya's clients talks about her abusive boyfriend, with neither woman considering reporting the boyfriend for his behavior. That said, people who abuse their partners, children or siblings are often targeted by the Phantom Thieves (for the record, changing someone's heart requires unanimous approval from the Thieves), and the game seems to consider this the right thing to do.
    • Haru's father, the fifth target, is meant to ultimately be more sympathetic than many of the other targets, in large part due to how thoroughly he recants and apologizes at the end of his Palace and how he truly cares for Haru, deep down, as well as the fact that he's assassinated on live TV after his change of heart. However, his original sin is arranging Haru's marriage for political gain. While arranged marriage is still decently common in Japan, especially among the well-to-do (and thus it's not too unusual for him to be doing it either way), and while the game is still unambiguous that the situation is cruel and unfair to Haru, in Anglophone countries not only has the practice become universally reviled and makes Haru seem like nothing but a bargaining chip (which the Palace emphasizes at points), but Okumura's initial willingness to force Haru into a marriage with a man who is two drinks and a bad day short of being a physically violent rapistnote  puts Okumura squarely into the Kamoshida tier of bastardy for many, with his apology not doing much to mitigate things (it doesn't help that his pre-battle "apology" was a lie to get the Thieves to lower their guard). Opinion might've softened on him if he had more time to follow up on improving his relationship with Haru and making her life better, but since he isn't given the chance...
    • Sadayo Kawakami's romance is meant to be seen as, while certainly taboo (which she takes great pains to remind you), to be more of an issue of age than a Teacher/Student Romance on principle. What is supposed to make her different from Kamoshida is that the student approaches her, and the affection is explicitly confirmed up front as mutual and consensual, as opposed to Kamoshida, who resorts to emotional blackmail and abuse of his authority. That doesn't cut it with a lot of fans, who still see it as a huge Double Standard relating to the power a teacher is supposed to have over their students
    • The Protagonist in general having the option to romance older women in the game while still being a High School student. Ignoring the fantasy aspect and assuming that real-life laws carry over into the game's legal system, the age of consent in Tokyo prefecture is still 18, and the game implies Joker is only 16 since he doesn't correct Haru (who is 17) when she assumes she's older than him based on their school years. Despite this, while there's certainly a taboo aspect to all of these relationships with Ohya even citing how dating him would be illegal in her general confidant, it doesn't seem to carry quite the same implication in Japan as it does in the West.
    • The fact that the Phantom Thieves are able to buy realistic toy guns legally. In America, it's illegal to sell fake firearms unless they have an orange tip on the barrel. At the same time, the protagonists are very leery at the idea of owning firearms at all before they learn they're just toys. Ironically, while fake guns without obvious markers have legal issues, it's perfectly legal in most states for high schoolers to own firearms and even relatively common in many for someone to own a beginner's pistol or rifle. (Grenade launchers, though, are a bit of a question mark in either country.)
    • A common complaint from Western critics is that, despite the game heavily dealing with the nature of youth being misunderstood by the previous generation, the game has no Gay Option (unlike previous Persona games) and not much in the way of positive LGBT representation. This is in part a fundamental misunderstanding of the theme, as while America heavily associates such issues with discrimination (which LGBT topics fall under), Japan is far more routed in social corruption (which the game deals extensively with).
    • The story doesn't linger on it, but the significance of Iwai's gecko tattoo doesn't tend to connect with Western audiences. In the West, small, personally-significant tattoos like his are common. Japan, on the other hand, frowns upon tattoos, to the point where just having visible ink can get you kicked out of shops in some places. Irezumi, traditional Japanese tattoos (the kind that you'll see in every yakuza story ever), are usually designed to be hidden completely by a proper business suit for exactly that reason. That gecko shows that Iwai gave up a criminal life and then branded himself a criminal anyway, just to do right by his son.
  • Values Resonance: While some of the more specific power dynamics differs between cultures, the conflict between older generations and younger generations is a general one that's applicable, especially with a recent divide between baby boomers and millennials.
    • Power disparity issues aside, Kawakami's romance is a lot healthier than anything Kamoshida had in mind with Ann, as Kawakami doesn't resort to bullying or dominance tactics at any point, lets the protagonist live his own life without real interference from her, and is extremely hesitant to do anything that might rob the Joker of his agency-all signs of a healthy form of affection in Japan and Western countries.
    • Regardless of culture, nobody likes Miscarriages of Justice.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: The two new Velvet Room assistants when they were first introduced. Almost everyone already agreed that one was female, but the fanbase was split as to the gender of the second one, until it was revealed that she's also a girl.
    • Until it was clarified in the game, a lot of people thought that Morgana was also a girl, when in truth he is very much a male cat. The name was the biggest cause of confusion, being voiced by a woman in both Japanese and English didn't help either. This is Lampshaded in the game itself, where even the Phantom Thieves themselves are initially unsure of Morgana's gender until he explicitly spells it out for them, and even then he's the only character whose DLC costumes allow him to crossdress by giving him dresses (like with the Maid/Butler set) or having him cosplay as female characters.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: While the previous Persona games were good looking, the Playstation 3 and Playstation 4 really allow Shigenori Soejima's art style and Kazuma Kaneko's Persona designs to shine. The in-engine cutscenes, in particular, look absolutely gorgeous.

    W 
  • What an Idiot:
    • Ryuji exclaims quite loudly about how he and his friends are part of a wanted criminal group several times throughout the story. In public. Naturally, this comes back to bite the group in the ass at one point when Makoto records him saying it and again when Makoto confronts the protagonist over the recording at which point Ryuji calls the protagonist and once again says quite loudly about how they need to have a Phantom Thieves meeting. Later everyone calls him out on this. He even does it again after the Makoto incident when the group is celebrating at a sushi bar after their latest heist, which makes Ryuji's actions border on Too Dumb to Live.
    • Right before Makoto's recruitment, she confronts one of Kaneshiro's goons while out on the street, openly stating that she knows that they're targeting high school students, and demands that they take her to see Kaneshiro himself. Fortunately the Phantom Thieves follow Makoto when she's taken, and are arguably a large reason why Kaneshiro doesn't hurt her there and then. However, it means that the entire group ends up getting blackmailed, all because Makoto was thoughtless enough to try and take on a ruthless crime lord on her own. While she had been under a lot of pressure to get results in her investigation, as well as just generally being in a foul mood, it's still such a rash decision that Makoto herself immediately regrets it. And despite this, Makoto is swiftly forgiven, and even gets appointed as chief strategist of the Phantom Thieves, though she does pick up the slack later on.
    • Some people criticize Goro Akechi with his plan. His plan was to have Shido acknowledge him, and after he does that, Akechi would have killed him. However, given how Shido is a very dangerous person who would have you killed the second where you are no longer useful to him, many fans believe that Akechi's plan was very idiotic, and he would have better off just outright killing Shido instead being involved in his schemes.
    • During the final boss, you would have probably expected for somebody to immediately notice that the supply lines are healing the enemy, and would have asked somebody to take them down to prevent him from healing. Instead, somebody only notices during the second round of that boss fight after the Phantom Thieves was nearly Ret Gone out of existence causing a case for the Phantom Thieves being Too Dumb to Live to be made.
  • Wangst
    • While Ryuji winds up pushing it too far calling Morgana "useless," many have found his throwing a tantrum and leaving the team during the Okumura arc to be this. Not only is his crisis frequently brought up a slew of times beforehand, but when the time to apologize comes, Ryuji gets the lion's share of the blame, and the party apparently isn't bothered by the fact that Morgana has been treating Ryuji like garbage from the beginning of the game for absolutely no reason. There's also elements of scrappiness involved, as this takes place during what many consider to be the weakest story arc in the game, and you cannot do anything at night (including activities that you can do in your room, like making infiltration tools or watching a DVD) until Morgana rejoins, wasting the player several days of precious free time.
    • Detractors who either don't like Akechi or don't understand the implications of his backstory find him to be this. His causing the breakdowns and the several deaths he's caused are very much unjustified, but some believe that his angst over his past - a pointed lack of guidance being a big factor of it - and his hatred of Joker to be extremely overblown.
    • There's also some detraction towards Makoto, at least as far as the way her pre-Phantom Thief self treated her situation as a pressured model student. While sympathetic, some people find that her dilemma (doing the right thing vs good college recommendations) failed to carry the same amount of weight as the other thieves' own personal problems, and even with the harsh words of disapproval she received from the likes of Akechi and Ann, didn't warrant the level of desperate behavior she had placed upon herself. The criticism mainly comes from her (self-admittedly) boneheaded move to storm Kaneshiro's hideout just to prove her usefulness. While it does get Kaneshiro in the thieves' sights, the ramifications of blackmail toward the thieves and the potential fate Makoto herself faces are damn extreme, as the player can find out at his or her peril if they don't complete Kaneshiro's Palace in time.
    • The Shadow Selves of the villains, except for Sae, what with all of them being victims of society, but have taken whatever power was given to them and abusing it heavily and all. The biggest case, as noted under Values Dissonance, is Okumura - the struggle he had in dealing with his father's debts (which were made due to misguided benevolence and a lack of financial acumen, mind) gave him an overblown "kindness is for losers" mentality. Apparently, this not only justifies turning his organic-friendly business into a massive fast-food corporation with overtaxed workers and horrendous pay and conditions, but also gives him the authority to treat his only daughter like a bargaining chip and serve as a key into the world of politics, which he has absolutely no business being in.
  • The Woobie: Hoo boy. Pick a Phantom Thief at random and hug them-odds are they need it.
    • Joker himself. Over the course of the game, he is framed for assault after stopping a drunkard from sexually harassing a woman, said woman backstabs him not three seconds after the police arrive, he is expelled from his high school and sent to live with a man who (initially) sees him as nothing but a pain in the ass, he is nearly expelled from his new high school after standing up to the resident Sadist Teacher, he is framed for the murder of one of his friend's father, he is backstabbed and arrested, he is beaten in captivity, drugged, and nearly murdered, he is forced to go into hiding for the better part of a month, he is nearly wiped from existence, he is backstabbed AGAIN by the man who had been guiding him the whole way, and when all is said and done, he has to turn himself in to make sure Shido goes to jail, and spends a month and a half in the slammer. Trauma Conga Line much?
    • While Ryuji looks very much like a standard delinquent, his history with Kamoshida and his Career-Ending Injury both show that he has very good reason to be aligned against the corrupt authorities. It also doesn't help that he comes from a household with an abusive father, something that Kamoshida shared in order to ruin his reputation shortly before breaking his leg. The game unintentionally adds to it with his inherited Butt-Monkey role from his archetype (The "Impulsive Comic Relief" type seen in Brown, Eikichi, Junpei, and Yosuke). Ryuji is made fun of by every single one of his teammates (Potentially barring the protagonist), sometimes to uncomfortable ends, and even the navigator lines show surprise that he's not falling on his face all the time.
    • Ann very quickly hops the train to Woobieville once she has to watch one of her only pre-Phantom Thieves friends attempt suicide via jumping off a school building, which she blames herself for because she didn't sleep with the creep that was the cause of the suicide, in full view of the player. She's just broken once Shiho jumps, and you as a player desperately want to help her to recover.
    • To say nothing of her best friend in question as Shiho's life hasn't been much better. Given her volleyball coach has been treating her horribly while she was on the volleyball team and then when his attempts to "woo" her best friend failed he turned to sexually assaulting her instead because he thought he could get away with it. It's so bad she tries to jump off the school's room during the middle of the day, with everyone watching, and it was a marvel she survived her fall with no permanent injury. At least it sounds like things do start improving for her after that, but little is seen of her at that point beyond her involvement in Ann's Confidant.
    • Morgana doesn't remember who he is and is in such denial of his true identity that he forces himself to believe that he was once a human. As the game goes on he begins to recollect some of his old memories which point in the direction of him not being human no matter how hard he tries to reject them. Later on, he laments about his inferiority to the other Phantom Thieves as his growing disbelief that he was once human makes it harder for him to relate to them and once Futaba joins temporarily leaves the Phantom Thieves because he feels useless. He'll even point out to Joker at times that he just wants to do things the other Phantom Thieves do such as going to school. He does get better though as while it turns out he isn't human he is accepting of it with him and the Phantom Thieves resolving to not look at Morgana as an Animalistic Abomination but a friend like the others.
    • Yusuke. His guardian/mentor profits off of his artwork while he's overworked, suffering from anemia, and barely gets enough to eat. And then it turns out that said mentor let his ill mother die to steal the painting she made for him as a baby.
    • Makoto has an insane amount of pressure put on her, being coerced by her principal to investigate not only the Phantom Thieves but also some unknown criminal organization extorting Syujin students for money (both issues a Student Council President has no business touching) and being thought of as a burden by her sister Sae, despite all her hard work to be as independent of her as possible. On top of all of this, she has to maintain an image of being the perfect student, resulting in her classmates viewing her as stuck-up. And then she gets blackmailed herself. To make matters worse, while becoming a Phantom Thief enables her to make friends and fight for justice, it also results in her coming into opposition with her sister (whom she loves dearly, even if their relationship is strained), especially when Sae turns out to have a Palace.
    • Calling Futaba's life traumatic is putting it mildly. Her mother died in a car accident protecting her, but she blamed herself for it, so strongly in fact that she suffers from hallucinations of all the adults around her saying she murdered her mother, and she even thinks her mother herself felt that way. Before living with Sojiro, she lived with a horribly abusive uncle who denied her basic necessities because he only cared about taking Wakaba's inheritance. Not to mention, while Futaba had a relatively good relationship with her mother while Wakaba was still alive (even if Wakaba didn't always have time for her), she was all but friendless at school because of her intelligence, and unwittingly drove away her Only Friend. Her issues are so crippling, she'll kill herself if you don't finish her dungeon in time.
    • Poor Haru. She's stuck in an Arranged Marriage with a Smug Snake fiancé that doesn't care about her at all. Then she has to fight her own father to change his heart, only to watch him die horrifically on live television, offed by the villains for attempting to reveal their identities. She then inherits her father's shares, leaving her in yet another position in which everyone tries to get on her good side to manipulate her, and she doesn't even know who to trust.
    • Akechi might as well be called "Suffering: The Character", even if he turned out to be the traitor in your midst. Born as an unacknowledged bastard child and abandoned by his father because of it? Yes. Having his mother die when he was still young, and then lived on the system for years before eventually having to live alone? Yes. Friendless Background and feels unwelcome anywhere he goes? Yes. Given the power of the Wild Card, but in the end unable to fully utilize it because he had no bonds, and in truth was given the power just so the True Final Boss can play him, The Conspiracy and the Phantom Thieves like a fiddle? Yes. Seeking for revenge and recognition from his evil father, but ended up manipulated and ordered by his father to use his power to eliminate whoever his father wanted gone? Yep. Finding out that his father is only using him as an expendable pawn and is planning to kill him anyway? Yes. And in the end, Dying Alone in a palace with only Shadows for company? Yes...maybe...Alas, Poor Villain nevertheless...
    • Sae is horribly stressed from both having to care for her younger sister after their father's death and trying to prove her worth as a prosecutor while her bosses and colleagues are more or less expecting her to use unethical means to get ahead. What she's been through definitely explains why she has enough bottled up negative emotions to create a Palace representing the sin of Envy, even if she's a significantly better person than the others with Palaces.
    • A good deal of the Confidants also qualify to varying degrees, from Sadayo Kawakami, who is forced to run herself ragged working two jobs because the parents of one of her students blamed her for their child's death to Tae Takemi, whose reputation was destroyed because of a problem with a drug trial that wasn't even her fault and many others.
  • Woolseyism: Some of the gamey Gratuitous English terms from the Japanese version were changed to more accurate terms overseas.
    • The "Baton Touch" mechanic where you pass your turn to another party member is changed to the more accurate "Baton Pass".
    • "Co-Op's", the replacement for the previous games Social Links were renamed to "Confidants".
    • When initiating a pre-emptive attack in the Japanese version, a large message reading; "CHANCE!" appears onscreen, the English version changes the message to the more fitting "AMBUSH!".
    • The "Sword" command is changed to the much more fitting "Attack", especially seeing as how out of the nine Phantom Thieves, only three of them; Morgana, Yusuke and Akechi, actually use Swords, and even then only Yusuke and Morgana use traditional blades as Akechi's are kid's toy inspired "laser swords". Not even the Protagonist fights with a "Sword" as in game they are all easily identified as types of knives.
    • Futaba's code name "Navi", an abbreviation of Navigator, is changed to "Oracle" which carries the same meaning and manages to be an extremely fitting Barbara Gordon reference. "Navi" is a rather redundant name in the Japanese version—the Metaverse Nav app is also called Navi, and on the Status screen Futaba is given a large stamp reading "NAVI" for her role (i.e. in Japanese the status screen says "NAVI - NAVI" while in English it now says "ORACLE - NAVI").
    • When the thieves decide on their code names in the Japanese version, they come up with a Japanese term, and in order to better keep up their disguises, another character (usually Ann, who can fluently speak English in-universe) comes up with the equivalent term in English, and chooses it as their name (I.E "karasu" for Crow, Akechi's codename, or "dokuro" for Skull, Ryuji's codename). Since this is impossible to replicate in English, the translation angle is dropped and they just pick their names - although it comes back slightly for Akechi, who actually wants to go with "Karasu" as his codename at first. Everyone then notes it'd be the only Japanese codename among a bunch of English titles (Despite one of the members having the codename Noir) on the team, and they go for Crow instead.
    • One of Shadow Madarame's unique attacks is his own variant of Megido. In the Japanese version, the move was written in kanji that phonetically read as "Megido" (The normal Megido is written in Katakana). Since this is imposssible to replicate in English, the localization turns it into Madara-Megido.
    • During the trip to Hawaii, the original Japanese version has Ryuji making a humorously pathetic attempt to speak English with the customs official. In the English dub, where there's no language barrier, Ryuji instead misunderstands the man's question in a way that would be possible if they were both speaking English.
    • Futaba would often quote internet memes and other franchises. For an anti-social computer geek like her, being a Meme Lord isn't too far out there for her. (The Japanese artbook even hints at such)
    • Futaba's "Me near, okay?" during her Confidant was a "Blind Idiot" Translation, but it arguably worked because of Futaba's awkwardness.

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