Follow TV Tropes


Fanfic / The Evil Queen

Go To

"What if Shujin Academy was a nice place, free of corruption among the faculty? What if Mr. Kamoshida had long ago been exposed and ousted from the school? What if everything was nice and orderly? Not because that is the natural state of things, of course, but by somebody's design?"

The Evil Queen is a completed Persona 5 Fanfic written by vivvav and published July 17, 2017 on Archive of Our Own

It is an Alternate Universe Fic in where, instead of Kamoshida, Makoto Niijima ruled over Shujin Academy to the point that she developed her own Palace. As the student council president, Makoto holds all the real power in Shujin as she tries to shape everything into a utopia of her design. With the arrival of Akira Kurusu, a young man convicted of a crime he didn't commit, she'll not stand for a delinquent troublemaker tarnishing Shujin's reputation. Akira, for his part, only wants to keep his head down until his probation is served, but life has other plans in store for him.


WARNING! The fanfic has major endgame spoilers for Persona 5, read at your own discretion. You Have Been Warned.

Tropes found in The Evil Queen:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Makoto towards Akira. Unlike most cases, this comes down more to Makoto's personality more than anything else. She's thrown out several hints that she finds him attractive and ended up abusing her position as Student Council President to blackmail him into spending time with her as "her apprentice."
  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council: One pretty much played for horror, especially when the wrong person is in charge with too much power. Makoto and the student council make all the major decisions for Shujin Academy which earned Makoto the title of "queen". While there is a student council, it's clear Makoto holds all the power and they exist as a formality. This is all because of Makoto blackmailing the principal to let her have this much power.
  • Advertisement:
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Karasu and Ann make their entrance into Makoto's Utopia by going through the sewer system. The sewer is very large and only clean water flows through. This reflects the mental nature of the Metaverse since Makoto would believe her Utopia produces no filth, but would adhere to the logic that a city needs a sewer system.
  • Adaptational Badass: In Persona 5, Shiho was a Broken Bird under Kamoshida's hellish treatment. In this story, she becomes a Persona user.
  • Adaptational Heroism: The Traitor, Goro Akechi, rejects Yaldabaoth and becomes a good guy in this fic. The author has explicitly expressed that he has no intention of subverting this.
  • Adaptational Villainy: The premise of the fanfic is that Makoto Niijima is now a dictator within Shujin Academy with her own Palace rather than a well meaning Phantom Thief. Likewise, Ryuji Sakamoto is now Makoto's enforcer, bullying and strong-arming students to follow the rules and Makoto's standards.
  • Advertisement:
  • Adaptation Deviation: Mostly averted with Ann, who stands out as the only aspect of the Phantom Thieves from the main game that this trope doesn't really apply to. While she's not entirely the same since Shiho doesn't undergo her extreme abuse under Kamoshida, Ann's personality, characterization and role in the team are largely unchanged. When one considers that Akira now has a set personality, Makoto and Ryuji are antagonists, Shiho gains a Persona, Akechi is a genuinely heroic leader, and the rest of the Phantom Thieves don't appear, Ann escapes unscathed from having any major deviations done to her.
  • Adaptation Personality Change:
    • Makoto Niijima for obvious reasons. In this work, she's overly embraced the Iron Lady persona she occasionally had in the game to the point of becoming a borderline-sadist.
    • Although Akira was a Heroic Mime in the game, he still Jumped at the Call when the opportunity arose. Here, Akira is portrayed more of a Cowardly Lion, who takes more coaxing from both Arsene and Ann to get more involved.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • Joker's canon name per The Animation and Dancing Star Night is Ren Amamiya as it is in most of Vivvav's other fics, though for the spinoff he is Akira Kurusu.
    • Akechi's code name is "Karasu" as he originally intended since he wasn't outvoted by the Phantom Thieves and given the code name "Crow".
    • Since Akechi is the mentor and team leader, the Phantom Thieves are now known as the Phantom Heroes.
  • Adapted Out: Morgana doesn't appear in this story. Since Yaldabaoth was destroyed early on, Igor never needed to create Morgana.
  • Adults Are Useless:
    • Zigzaggged with the majority of the faculty of Shujin Academy, who are either oblivious or impotent in regards to Makoto ruling the school with an iron fist. The only exception is Kawakami, who while still in the dark in how severe Makoto has been with her actions, still sees how suffocating she is around Akira and continually gives him an out to get away from her.
    • Played straight with Sojiro as well, who sees Akira's desperation to avoid Makoto as him just passively trying to turn down a girl who is interested in him.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Akira proves this case to get his glasses back from Makoto, bowing as low as he can and addressing her as Makoto-Sama. Makoto crushes the glasses even after enjoying Akira debasing himself for her.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: Akira gives a good one to Makoto during his "The Reason You Suck" Speech in Chapter 21.
    Akira: You were just running to school to get her fired because I refused to be in a relationship with you! If I let you have your way, you would’ve wound up raping me!
    Akira: Oh come off it, Niijima! You haven’t been subtle at all! The constant comments on my appearance, the shared meals, the looks and touching, not to mention how you LITERALLY FORCED YOURSELF ON ME in my own home!
    Makoto: [Stunned Silence]
  • Anti-Villain: Ryuji isn't a bad guy, but he feels he owes Makoto for getting rid of Kamoshida, even if he's grown increasingly wary of her.
  • Artistic License – History: Played for Laughs when Kawakami wakes Akira from a nap, who incoherently thinks he's being ambushed in the Metaverse and needs Russian's help. He plays it off as a dream about fighting alongside Russian allies in World War II, and Kawakami dryly notes that Russia and Japan were enemies in World War II.
  • Asshole Victim: Makoto's internal justification for her various Kick the Dog moments is that they deserve it because they are criminals or delinquents. Shadow Makoto impaling Akechi horrifies her because he is clearly not an Asshole Victim, leading her to deny her Shadow.
  • The Atoner: Makoto, in the end.
  • Ax-Crazy: Being Made of Evil, Loki is most certainly violent and crazy, if the first words shouted out of his mouth didn't clue you in.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Makoto tries to force Akira to come to her apartment, which cannot possibly end well. Fortunately, Akechi appears and tells her he and Sae are working there before anything uncouth can happen.
    • Pre-He Who Fights Monsters Makoto saved Ryuji from having his leg broken by Kamoshida as in canon.
  • Black-and-White Insanity: Makoto's views on justice; she deems anyone convicted by the justice system to be a criminal with 100% absolution. This causes some internal conflict over how she views Akira due to both the holes in the story of how he was arrested and how his overall school records and grades contradict his supposed delinquent status. Makoto takes this to assume he's been putting on an act the entire time.
  • Blackmail: Makoto is blackmailing Principal Kobayakawa with the knowledge of his secret life as a drag queen to ensure her power over the school. Later on, she blackmails Akira into spending her birthday with her, with Kawakami's career on the line.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Makoto displays something of a misogynistic streak towards those engages, or she believes engages in sexual activities. She ends up snidely Slut-Shaming both Ann and Kawakami. The irony here being her complete lack of respect towards Akira's boundaries.
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • Shiho looked up to Makoto for exposing Kamoshida's crimes and is disheartened to see what she ended up becoming.
    • Makoto used to respect Kobayakawa as a Reasonable Authority Figure, but lost all respect for him after learning how far he was willing to go to protect Kamoshida.
  • The Brute: Ryuji is Makoto's enforcer, sent to muscle students who misbehave. He's regularly called Makoto's "attack dog", and even appears as a literal one in Makoto's Palace.
  • Canis Major: In Shadow Makoto's utopia, Ryuji appears as a giant black dog with Ryuji's face and sharp teeth. This reflects the real Makoto's cognition, proving she only sees Ryuji as her personal attack dog.
  • Captain Crash: Akira and Ann make their escape from Shadow Makoto by flying out of her tower with Arsene. However, they both quickly find out that Arsene was never meant to carry passengers when he flies, resulting in a crash landing against a police car.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Shadow Makoto engages in this activity with Akira in their first meeting. This triggers Ann's Persona awakening.
  • Cool Teacher: Just like in canon, Ms. Kawakami starts out as reluctant to take on Akira as a student but eventually reveals herself to be this. She takes his words about how it wouldn't help his rehabilitation if he was treated like he was incapable of being rehabilitated to heart and observing his subsequent academic performance has her conclude that Akira's situation isn't all that it seems, resulting in Chapter 17 where starts calling him to her office for "tutoring" just so he can take a break from being with Makoto.
  • The Conscience: Arsene is Akira's rebellious spirit and desire to do right made manifest. When Akira tries to back out and stay uninvolved with the Metaverse, Arsene is there to grill Akira about running away from making a difference for people.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Control Freak: Makoto rules Shujin Academy with an iron fist and expresses a desire to control every aspect of Akira's personal life, up to and including attempting to force him to quit a part-time job because it doesn't fit into her plan.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Makoto's Palace is a beautiful utopian city that produces no filth, but is also a Police State ruled by a woman who would have you executed for the slightest bit of disconformity.
  • Curse Cut Short: Makoto during her confrontation with Kobayakawa.
  • Dark Secret: Chapter 16 reveals what Makoto's dirt on Kobayakawa is: he's a closet drag queen nicknamed "Koko-chan".
  • Deadpan Snarker: Akira usually has a sarcastic response to the madness he's facing in life. Being part of Akira, Arsene can be just as sarcastic.
    Akira: Yes, well, as intimidating as the mighty steel undergods that you city people worship are to a country bumpkin such as myself, I found that I only had to sacrifice two of my three favorite cows to be granted swift passage to your mighty halls of learning.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Makoto is this for the typical anime Student Council President with an Absurdly Powerful Student Council in another way from her canon Persona 5 self. Rather than not actually having as much power as anyone thinks she does, this Makoto actually does have complete authority over pretty much everyone, and the results are unnerving when the implications are made clear. Her Ice Queen exterior and attempts to invoke Good Is Not Soft akin to Mitsuru from Persona 3 who also actually had an insane amount of power is shown to instead lead her to the path of Black-and-White Insanity as she's so assured of her own moral goodness and authority that it ends up caving the way to making her a Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist and a petty tyrant. Having an ultra powerful and strict Student Council President thus makes Shujin a prison in Makoto's attempts at making it prim and proper, and she thus needs to be stopped.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Averted. When Makoto forces herself on Akira and blackmails him into spending her birthday with her (with intent to have sex with him implied), it is treated with all the horror it deserves and Ann is so disgusted that she functions on pure rage to avenge Akira for the next few days.. Later on, during their confrontation in the Metaverse, Akira actually brings this up and asks her if her actions would be okay if she was a man and he was a woman.
  • Do Wrong, Right: When Akira threatens a cognition of Mishima for information with a pistol, Arsene steps in to stop him. He then explains that a threat only works if you go through with it, and a pistol means killing Mishima and providing no information. Akira changes tactics and holds a knife to one of Mishima's ears, which Arsene approves of as a maimed victim can still talk.
  • The Dragon:
    • Ryuji is the ground-level enforcer of Makoto's will in Shujin.
    • During Kamoshida's reign of terror, Mishima acted as his lackey in order to protect himself.
  • Edgy Backwards Chair-Sitting: Ryuji initially sits in his chair this way when offered a seat, but Makoto reminds him that's not how he should sit so he corrects himself.
  • Epic Flail: Russian's melee weapon as a Phantom Thief is a variation of a meteor hammer, a pair of spiked balls linked together by a long chain.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The first time we see Makoto, she is at a personal office desk in the student council room, cutting the drama club's budget because she felt that their choice to perform Oedipus Rex was inappropriate for school.
  • Fallen Hero: The respected student council president who freed the school from an abusive teacher has become the most feared person on campus. Downplayed with Ryuji, who is her muscle and quite a bit meaner than a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, but honestly believes this is cleaning up his act and grows increasingly alarmed with Makoto's behavior.
  • Faustian Rebellion: After being granted the power of a Persona, and some encouragement from Robin Hood, Akechi refuses Yaldabaoth's offer and uses his new power to help destroy the god of control.
  • Feet-First Introduction: Karasu is first introduced in the story by kicking his way out of a police car in Makoto's Palace.
  • Female Misogynist: Makoto ironically developed shades of this even though she saved girls from sexual abuse, as she slut shames Ann and Kawakami for the attraction they recieve.
  • Forced Kiss: After Makoto finds out Akira lied about his part-time job to get away from her, she forcibly kisses him.
  • Foreshadowing: The start of Chapter 21 has a Call-Back to Persona 4 where Akechi recalls Igor indirectly mentioning Yukiko and Kanji and how they used a fan and folding chair against shadows. The chapter ends with the real Makoto denying her shadow and causing it to transform, merging the climax of a Persona 4 shadow confrontation with Persona 5 characters.
  • For Want of a Nail: There are a few key moments that are different than what they were in Persona 5, drastically shifting events to what they are now.
    • Makoto is able to learn from Shiho about Kamoshida's true nature and takes proactive steps to expose him early on and have him removed from the Academy.
    • Thanks to the above, Makoto was investigating Kamoshida and learned about his plans with Ryuji, which enabled her to prevent Kamoshida from breaking Ryuji's leg. Sadly this had the side effect of a still frustrated Kamoshida blackmailing and sexually assaulting Eiko, who unintentionally ran in front of a speeding car in despair, leaving her comatose and paraplegic.
    • Rather than attack and imprison Igor from the beginning, Yaldabaoth openly challenges Igor to his game to determine humanity's fate. When he tries to recruit Akechi to play his part, Akechi rebels and attacks Yaldabaoth, which leads to his failure and destruction at Igor's hands when he tries then to overpower him.
    • Since he didn't get talked out of it by the other Thieves, Akechi goes by "Karasu" instead of "Crow" inside the Metaverse.
  • Genre Savvy: Karasu notes that he watches a lot of battle anime and learned from it to never let his guard down until after the smoke settles.
  • Giant Wall of Watery Doom: When trying to infiltrate the Palace through the sewers, Karasu and Ann have to quickly escape as the sewer is flooded and a large wall of water barrels down on them. A cognition of Mishima saw the two and alerted the Shadows who flooded the sewers to flush them out and apprehend them.
  • Go and Sin No More: In the final chapter, Akira listens to Makoto talking about what she will need to do to atone, and encourages her against stepping down from the student council. "You’re not dumb. And while maybe you got it twisted, I believe that you once had the school’s best interests at heart. Maybe you should try pursuing all that without the corruption. Help tutor kids whose grades are slipping instead of having Sakamoto beat the fear of failure into them. Make it easier for the students to talk to the teachers. Encourage clubs to perform at their best instead of restricting them with an iron fist. Don’t just drop everything and let yourself wallow in misery. Do what you told your Shadow you were gonna do and try a better way. Try to make good for all the shit you’ve done and be the student council president that Shujin Academy deserves."
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Makoto is feared by the student body as the "Queen of Shujin Academy". Naturally, she is a literal queen within her Palace.
  • Good Costume Switch: After Makoto's Heel–Face Turn, she switches from her Red and Black and Evil All Over outfit to her classic outfit from the games.
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!: Ryuji makes efforts to censor himself, unlike in Persona 5 where he is Sir Swears-a-Lot. This is one of Makoto's interventions to try and make him a model student.
  • Great Detective: Goro Akechi is still a famous detective in this setting. He openly admits to Ann that he cheats by using the Metaverse to force a change of heart onto criminals, then works backwards from there to "catch" the criminal in the real world.
  • Groin Attack: After Makoto brought Kobayakawa under her heel in the Chapter 16 flashback, she gave him a kick to the jimmies in revenge for slapping her earlier.
  • Heel–Face Turn: At the end of Chapter 22, Makoto accepts her Shadow, develops a Persona, and regains her conscience.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Makoto used to be a lot closer to her canon personality, but by the time the story starts she's become the dictator of Shujin in all but name in her efforts to remove Shujin's corruption.
  • Hidden Depths: It turns out Shiho loves spy movies. Ann recounts a time when Shiho snuck into her home one night to cook her a proper meal.
  • Horseback Heroism: Joker ends up riding into battle on his newly acquired Bicorn persona to rescue Ann and Akechi from execution.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: When Akira brings Makoto to her Palace, Shadow Makoto assumes his plan is to use her as leverage to get his hands on her Treasure.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: At the end of Chapter 21, Shadow Makoto sticks Karasu like a pig.
  • The Informant: During Kamoshida's reign, Mishima was used as his messenger, punching bag, and "computer nerd". He was able to gather sensitive information on both Ryuji and Eiko on Kamoshida's orders. Since his removal, Makoto has made Mishima her personal informant while the rest of the school knows him as Makoto's rat.
  • In-Series Nickname: Ryuji likes to call Makoto "Miss Prez".
  • Ironic Nickname: In Persona 5, the codename Joker reflected his nature as the Phantom Thieves' trump card due to his Wild Card powers. In this setting, Karasu notes that it'd be the perfect cover for someone as serious as Akira to have a codename like Joker. Akira's protests fall on deaf ears.
  • It Amused Me: After fusing a Persona through a new method of "Couple's Counseling", Akira remarks to Igor that the process seems needlessly theatric. Igor admits that he could perform the fusion without the playacting, but says this new way is more fun for him than shuffling cards.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: After catching Makoto's cognition of Mishima, Akira threatens the rat for information first with his pistol then with his knife after some coaching from Arsene. Later the Phantom Heroes catch Mishima again and Ann threatens to roast him with Carmen's fire.
  • Japanese Delinquent: Averted by Ryuji. His hair is still black and he wears his uniform properly, since Makoto has been grooming him into a proper student by her standards.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Ryuji brings Akira to the roof on his first day at school to explain that if he doesn't behave, he'll be in trouble. He emphasizes his point by punching Akira in the stomach hard enough to make him vomit. Even Ryuji himself thinks he overdid it.
    • Makoto breaks Akira's glasses after making him her "apprentice" with the principal's help.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Makoto getting her way versus Principal Kobayakawa is brutal, but it's hard to feel sorry for him.
  • Knight Templar: Makoto desires to create a utopia in Shujin Academy, but enforces her goals like a totalitarian dictator. While she has done real good in ousting Kamoshida, she and Ryuji have been causing nearly as much suffering as he did.
  • Large Ham: Igor admits to having a flare for the dramatic. After redesigning the Velvet Room from a prison to a mental hospital, he has Caroline and Justine escort Akira to Igor on a gurney in a straight jacket and face mask a la Hannibal Lecter, simply for the theme of it all.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Ann and Shiho debate whether Makoto's reign of tyranny is really any better than when Kamoshida was around, with Shiho stating that she'd rather see her keep her power than leave the school altogether. By the time Makoto tries to blackmail Akira into a relationship, it can certainly be argued that she's lost whatever moral high ground she ever had, but even after everything Akira seems to side with Shiho, persuading Makoto to hold on to her leverage against Principal Kobayakawa.
    Akira: I don’t know all the details, but I know that Kamoshida guy was a sack of crap. Just as bad as you’ve been, if not worse. And I know Kobayakawa didn’t do anything to stop him until you blackmailed him. Maybe you’re ready to accept the possibility of him expelling you if you let him off the hook, and hell, maybe you do deserve expulsion, but I think letting the guy who was happy to let students be abused have his power back can only be a bad thing.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: When Ann calls Akira a brooding killjoy, Akira protests that he can be fun. Ann sarcastically calls him "a real joker", which Akechi latches onto as Akira's codename.
  • Made of Evil: Loki is described as such by Robin Hood, being not Akechi's true self, but his madness made manifest.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Makoto has worked constantly to groom Ryuji into her personal attack dog, best demonstrated when she eases his conscience over punching Akira and convincing him he did the right thing.
  • Mentor Archetype: Akira has three mentors through the story. Igor, the master of the Velvet Room, Arsene, his Fighting Spirit, and Goro Akechi/Karasu, a veteran Phantom Thief.
  • Mr. Exposition: Igor and Akechi both play exposition to explain to Akira and Ann why events are the way they are now.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Ryuji can't help but feel guilty for punching Akira when he was laying down the law per Makoto's instructions. Makoto plays her part to ease Ryuji's sense of guilt and convince him that he did the right thing.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Igor drinking wine, and what he drinks it out of, is something taken from another of vivvav's fanfics, "Alleycat".
    • Makoto uses the phrase "unbecoming of an [x]" when describing Kawakami's maid job.
  • Nice Girl: Ann and Shiho are instantly friendly with Akira on his first day and stick by his side regardless of the rumors or his criminal record.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: It's implied that Akira's attempt to persuade the cognition of Makoto to let Ann escape her palace is what spurred her interest in him in the real world.
  • No Indoor Voice: All of Loki's lines are screamed in a loud, distorted voice.
  • No One Could Survive That!: The Mishima rat reveals that the reason he cracked for Akira the first time he was interrogated was because he was certain Akira would get himself killed and didn't expect him to actually save the others. When he comes back for round two, Mishima goes tight lipped.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Makoto, when it comes to Akira. In Chapter 13 it becomes apparent that she's using her "mentorship" of him as an excuse to be around him and experiment with touching him.
  • No Social Skills: Downplayed with Makoto since it comes more into play with how she deals with romance. There's been several hints that she's attracted to Akira, but her method of dealing with this attraction has been to blackmail him into spending time with her and then invading his personal space, poking him and playing with his hair. She's acting like a little kid experiencing a crush for the first time rather than a teenager.
  • Now You Tell Me: After Makoto's Shadow reveals its true self:
    Akechi: I was hoping we would be able to avoid this.
    Ann: You knew this was gonna happen!?
    Akechi: Well, it was certainly a possibility. If you can’t steal a Treasure without attracting the Palace owner’s attention, they’ll transform into a monster and you have to fight them for it.
    Ann: So how often does that happen?
    Akechi: (looking away from her shamefully) In my experience? Every time.
    Shiho: And you didn’t think to warn us that this would happen!?
    Akechi: I thought we’d be able to avoid it this time!
    Akira: Based on what logic!?
  • One-Winged Angel: Shadow Makoto goes berserk when the real Makoto denies her in true Persona 4 fashion, becoming a parody of the Lady Justice on top of a monstrous motorcycle.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Neither Shadow Makoto nor the real Makoto have any trouble identifying the Phantom Thieves through their disguises.
  • Pet the Dog: The one time Akira sees a shred of humanity in Makoto is when she reminisces about her dead father and how he wrote a posthumous letter to her for each of her birthdays until she turns 21.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Akechi neglects to inform the other heroes that Shadows have a tendency to go One-Winged Angel and that Palaces collapse once the Treasure is stolen or the owner of the Palace accepts their Shadow. Akira calls him out on this.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • Double-subverted by Makoto. When she tried to convince Kobayakawa to suspend Kamoshida only to get stonewalled, she eventually lost her temper completely, but was cut short. In the next chapter's flashback, she got her strike in, though it was less severe, and more in line with the one she gets in the actual game.
      Makoto: That’s for the other day, you bloated asshole. Don’t you ever lay a hand on me again.
    • Akira gets to drop the f-bomb when he calls Makoto's bluff about the possibility of getting him expelled.
  • Press Start to Game Over: How Igor and Yaldabaoth's "game" went down. Akechi rebelled against Yaldabaoth and helped to defeat him before Igor even had a chance to put his own player on the board.
  • Protectorate: All of the Persona awakenings in the present day are triggered by the user's desire to protect someone else.
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: Flashback sections in the fic show exactly why Makoto ended up turning from strict but fair to an outright tyrant.
  • Purely Aesthetic Glasses: Akira's fake glasses become a plot point since Ryuji and Makoto see them as validation for Akira being a delinquent trying to hide his true nature.
  • Race Against the Clock: Chapter 18, appropriately titled "Deadline", gives the Phantom Thieves 8 days to change Makoto's heart before she either forces herself onto Akira as a birthday present to herself or gets Kawakami fired.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Akira spends most of Chapter 21 giving a long and brutal one to Makoto after he removes her power over him by taking her to her Palace.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Makoto's predominately black Shujin uniform features a lot more red than it does in Persona 5, red buttons and a red hairband, highlighting a more aggressive personality.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After learning Makoto intends to force Akira to go on a date with her for her birthday, Ann is so utterly livid that she has to ask Akechi to knock her out if she tries to kill Makoto.
    Ann: I want to set this whole place on fire. I wanna take her precious utopia and turn the whole thing to ash. I want her to come out and try to stop me. And I want to burn that bitch to a crisp.
  • Sailor Earth: The first original Phantom Thief, Russian (Shiho), follows the trends set by Persona 5. Their Persona, Sonya, is based on Sonya Golden Hand, a Russian con artist from the late 1800s.
  • Sanity Slippage: Akira's biggest fear is that he's going crazy as he's exposed to all of the supernatural stuff around him. This feeling of going crazy overpowers his feelings of being imprisoned to the point that Igor redesigns the Velvet Room from a prison to a mental hospital.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After surviving their accidental entry into Makoto's Palace, Akira refuses to enter again. Rather than risk his life for something as trivial as a high schooler on a power trip, he decides to leave Akechi and Ann to the deed without him. Arsene calls Akira out on his cowardice and tries to warn him that Makoto can only get worse if left alone.
  • Ship Tease: Akechi has a crush on Sae, even knowing he's too young for her.
  • Shoe Phone: Russian's ranged weapon is a tube of lipstick that shoots bullets when twisted.
  • Shoot the Hostage Taker: When Shadow Makoto takes Akechi hostage, this is Akira's solution. He misses, and Akechi is impaled for his trouble.
  • Skewed Priorities: Arsene accuses Akira of this. Akira won't attempt to make a real change in the Metaverse, but was ready to fight Ryuji to keep him from breaking a first year's gaming handheld.
    Arsene: THIS is the great cause you will stand and fight for? A child’s toy? You would damn the whole school to a year’s worth of tyranny, but a single boy’s suffering drives you to heroism?
  • Slasher Smile: Upon getting info about Ryuji's abusive father, Kamoshida leaves to confront Ryuji with what Makoto describes as the most wicked smile she'd ever seen in her life.
  • Start of Darkness: Chapters 14, 15, and 16 detail what exactly spurred the change in Makoto that led to how she is currently and why she developed a palace. Makoto started off much like she did in the original game, but took an interest much earlier in trying to stop Kamoshida's abuse of the students only to get blackballed by Kobayakawa. That combined with Eiko suffering similar abuse at Kamoshida's hands and then getting put into a coma after an accident was what caused Makoto to finally snap.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: In the end Shadow Makoto is defeated and forces Makoto's reform, but it can't undo the physical, mental, and sexual abuse Akira had to endure. The ending thus makes it clear Joker will keep his distance from her as she tries to fix herself, with friendship or even the lightest of good terms out of the question. This is pretty much a natural and recommended action for people coming out of abusive relationships as it is still ill advised to be around your abuser even if they genuinely have reformed. This is also why Joker and Makoto don't hook up despite Author Appeal of the ship.
  • Sweet Tooth: Ann, per the norm. Shiho is openly concerned about Ann's unbalanced diet.
  • Take a Third Option: With Makoto using her ties to monopolize Akira's time, he's left in a tough spot. Either play along and never escape or risk ditching Makoto to travel to the Metaverse and get himself expelled. After bouncing off ideas with Arsene, Akira comes up with a way out. By taking an official night job in LeBlanc for his guardian Sojiro, Akira has a valid excuse to not serve Makoto as her "apprentice" and she can't overturn it since Sojiro is in part Akira's parole officer.
  • Take Me Instead: When Makoto's Shadow tries to imprison Ann within her Palace, effectively erasing her from the real world without a trace, Akira pleads with Shadow Makoto to take him as her servant if she'll spare Ann. Makoto humors him, but violently rejects his offer, saying that as queen she can take whatever she wants and never has to settle for anything less.
  • That Was Not a Dream: Shiho ends up in the Metaverse by being too close to the others as they enter, and initially thinks she's dreaming. The delusion ends when a shockwave throws her down and causes pain.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Kawakami ends up warming up to Akira far quicker than she did in the game.
  • Undying Loyalty: The cognition of Mishima refuses to give the Phantom Thieves any real information, completely willing to die rather than betray Queen Makoto and suffer her punishment. Since this reflects Makoto's belief that Mishima would never betray her, Akechi decides they need to create a scenario to change Makoto's cognition so they can get the info out of the rat.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Principal Kobayakawa's refusal to punish Kamoshida for his obvious crimes, even one that resulted in Eiko's permanent injury, caused Makoto to snap and make her abandon any sense of "innocent until proven guilty" and instead adopt a view of Black-and-White Insanity where anything she did to punish what she saw as trouble was justified in her view, beginning her Reign of Terror with her first step being stealing power from the principal.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Akechi and Shiho say that Makoto used to be more compassionate. Chapters 11, 14, 15, and 16 detail how she went from the kind individual she was in canon to the Knight Templar she is now.
  • Villainous BSoD: Akira spends most of Chapter 21 driving Makoto closer and closer to one, but it's Shadow Makoto impaling Akechi on her sword that finally pushes her over the edge.
  • Villain in a White Suit: Shadow Makoto wears a white suit with white heels and a tiara in her Palace.
  • Villain Takes an Interest: Makoto slowly becomes more focused on Akira the longer he's at school. Concerned with the school's reputation, she takes it on herself to "rehabilitate" Akira to her standards of perfection. It's also been mentioned, through interactions with Makoto and her Shadow, that she finds Akira attractive, inviting all kinds of unfortunate implications.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Makoto, despite being a tyrant and ruling the school through fear and intimidation, essentially has a sterling reputation at school.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 20's ending. With no other recourse to prevent her from getting Kawakami fired, Akira drags Makoto into her own Palace.
  • Why Are You Looking at Me Like That?: This is Ann's reaction when the Phantom Heroes get the idea of using her to charm Mishima into a scenario that will change Makoto's cognition of him.
  • Willfully Weak: invoked Word of God explains in the last chapter that the reason Karasu is roughly equal in power to the other Phantom Heroes despite being a veteran Persona user is because he had been relying on Loki's power in his early career, but recently gave up Loki to preserve his own sanity, forcing him to use the weaker Robin Hood.
  • Wine Is Classy: Igor is regularly seen drinking either red wine or white wine out of the holy grail that was once Yaldabaoth.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Since Loki is Akechi's madness given form, the stronger Loki gets, the more unstable Akechi becomes. It got to a point where he had Igor remove and imprison Loki to keep himself sane.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • Kamoshida, as in canon, is a serial abuser and molester.
    • When Makoto pushed Kobayakawa too far about Kamoshida, he slapped her in the face.
  • Yandere: Implied to be the case with Makoto towards Akira. Makoto drops several hints, both in person and her shadow in her Palace, that she finds him attractive. Of course, since this version of Makoto is a sociopath her ways of showing affection is quite twisted.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Robin Hood gives this speech to Akechi in his awakening, convincing him to not give into Loki, but to become a true hero.
  • You Dirty Rat!: Makoto's cognition of Mishima is a rat with Mishima's face and a high pitched voice, reflecting how she sees him as a spineless lackey who worked for Kamoshida, willingly or not.