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The Woobie / Persona 5

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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?
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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 Shujin 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, it's implied that she kills 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, 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.

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