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Fanfic / The Many Arrests Of The Phantom

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The Many Arrests of the Phantom is a Persona 5 Fix Fic series written by Josiah Scheidel (under the Screen Name of josiahstick) in cooperation with user Super_Big_Mac (or simply "Mac" for short).

Major spoilers for Persona 5 are found below. Read at your own risk!

The story was begun as a single fic, however the story's many plotlines quickly spun out of control. Due to this, and the author's dissatisfaction with some of the older chapters, the story was overhauled as a series of fics rather than one long fic. So far, this includes three stories/arcs:


  • A Leaf in a River: A prequel story dealing with Wakaba Isshiki and explaining the history of her research, and her relationship with Futaba and Sojiro. Mitsuru and Aigis from Persona 3 make an appearance as well.
    • This arc is currently on hold due to the writer hitting a block on this one and an apparent lack of interest.
  • Coffee and Dreams: The main arc which began the story. Akira Kurusu is having nightmares in which the Phantom Thieves of Hearts fail to steal their target's treasure (which resemble the Non Standard Game Over sequences from the original game). When Akechi begins to make an appearance in these dreams, a Battle of Wits begins.
  • The Newspaper Girl Arc: Currently unfinished and without its own standalone fic on AO3, though this is promised to come at some point. After defeating Shido, Akira happens to meet the Newspaper Club Member, who tells him about what's happened in the meantime and asks for his help. This arc began in chapter 26 of the original version, but is left unfinished and currently on hiatus while the author reworks the story as already mentioned.

The Many Arrests of the Phantom provides examples of:

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     Tropes applying to the updated version 
  • Adaptational Badass: Due to being in the dream world with them, Sae joins the Phantom Thieves when invading Shido's Palace, and Akechi's true nature infuriates her into gaining her own Persona in the form of Irene Adler.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance: Played with. Haru's Early-Bird Cameo from the source material is preserved, however, unlike in the game, the group briefly discusses her appearance and they remember her later on. Her conflict with her father is foreshadowed a bit further ahead of time as well, overlapping with Futaba's arc in the process.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the game, the Mementos request "Winner's Don't Use Cheats" simply involved a cheating gamer who got laid off from his job. In chapter 11, his character history is changed to involve him stealing money from his family to level up in Gun About.
  • Ascended Extra: The Newspaper Club Member gets an expanded role which was originally intended as A Day in the Limelight in chapter 26 of the original version of the work. However, her part in the story has greatly increased in importance.
  • A Wizard Did It: This ends up being a plot point when the Velvet Room being between "dream and reality, mind and matter" is further elaborated on to explain how the Phantom Thieves come Back from the Dead.
  • Back from the Dead: Akira and the Phantom Thieves travel through his Dream Land to circumvent Akechi murdering them and get back at Shido.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Subverted as Shido is elected Prime Minister of Japan but ultimately derailed (see Back from the Dead and Thanatos Gambit).
  • Battle of Wits: Between Akira and Akechi in chapters 4 through 14 of both versions. It comes to an end when Akechi launches an attack on Shido's Palace following the deaths of himself and the Phantom Thieves, intending to trigger a mental shutdown.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Played for Laughs when Ryuji and Akira go fishing in the revised chapter 6.
  • Continuity Nod: In chapter 9 of the story, Akira finds a couple of items of interest at the bookstore: a series of journal articles about the Kirijo Group, and a novel based on "an urban legend" written by Chie Satonaka.
  • Doomed by Canon: It's pretty obvious from the start that A Leaf in a River, the story's prequel episode, will almost certainly end with Wakaba Isshiki dying at the hands of Goro Akechi, since that's what happened before the events of the game.
  • Genki Girl: Original Character Misako Dekishi is this. She is described by Newspaper-chan as looking like "some sort of anime character."
  • I Am X, Son of Y: Eiichiro Chisaka is quite fond of this, believing that his status as the son of a Diet Member entitles him to pretty much whatever he wants. His insistence on making that fact known by whoever he is speaking to wastes time when trying to report Akechi to the police, ultimately resulting in his death.
  • I Can See My House from Here: Played for Drama. Akira claims that he can see his house from Shido's ship, but that it's underwater...
  • Inheritance Murder: Discussed but not actually carried out. After Haru's death, the general public is led to believe that she helped the Phantom Thieves kill her father so she could inherit Okumura Foods. It is however implied by Sugimura when he talks about his father and says he "can't wait" for him to die so he can take over.
  • Medium Awareness: Newspaper Girl occasionally addresses the reader in a semi-subtle manner during the segments which are seen through her point of view.
  • Mind Rape: Downplayed. Akira only experiences loss of control when he is dreaming, or when he is drugged in the interrogation room. He seems to function normally during waking hours.
  • Painting the Medium: In later chapters (and the revised version of the Akechi/Coffee arc), special symbols and coloring are used to emulate the color palette and style of the game in the fic. This is used for the date, text messages from the other thieves, and occasionally simply for dramatic effect.
    • Taken further as the story goes, as other characters besides Akira later get their own date/timestamps as well in their own color schemes, which signal their point of view.
  • Plot Tumor: The Newspaper Girl arc eventually went on far longer than expected and overtook the whole ending, to the point where the author decided to make it its own fic.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Akechi is saved by Sae in both versions. He's not very appreciative of it.
  • Thanatos Gambit: The one from the game is almost played straight but ultimately subverted when everyone is Killed Off for Real. This is Double Subverted as it turns out that Akira needed to die for real in order to free his dream world and fool Shido so that the team could come Back from the Dead and surprise him.
  • The Unfought: As of chapter 26, it's not clarified who or what the "entity" invading Akira's dream world was, since Akira's death simply kicks it out and reopens the dream world outside of Leblanc. This villain has not yet been encountered.
  • Withholding Their Name: The Newspaper Club Member refuses to give her name. She is referred to as either "Newspaper Girl/Newspaper-chan" or by her nickname "Pumpkin."
  • You Cannot Grasp the True Form: Invoked by Yaldabaoth when he comes to speak with Shido in chapter 3 of A Leaf in a River. Shido requests that he prove that he is a God by showing off his powers, but he refuses, claiming that Shido would be unable to comprehend his "heavenly glory."

     Tropes only in the discontinued version 
  • Criminal Mind Games: The thieves pull this on the police by filming their video calling card in front of the Diet Building... the dream world Diet Building, thus leading the police officers on a wild goose chase in the real world.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Averted in chapters 14-16. After murdering Makoto and Sae, Akechi has a Heel Realization which carries into him feeling bad about it in the following chapter. After this received mixed reactions from readers, the author retconned that chapter and changed direction, backpedaling Akechi's development by way of an Ignored Epiphany.
  • Parental Abandonment: Newspaper Girl's maternal grandparents abandoned her mother in an orphanage and never returned, causing the root of her psychosis that eventually results in the creation of a Palace.
  • Retcon: This first occurred with the subverted Heel–Face Turn above. However the author ultimately elected to retcon the entire story in favor of a more polished version, resulting in many scenes changed to suit ideas which were originally Contrived Coincedences designed to service plot developments which the author was making up as he went along.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Continuously invoked by Misako in response to Makoto indicating the absurdity of her plans should she become Student Council President, which she eventually does. (In the rewritten continuity, however, she is changed to a Stalker with a Crush.)
  • Soft Glass: Averted. When Newspaper Girl has to break through a window, she uses a heavy bed to shatter it and takes extreme care not to cut herself open with the glass shards.

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