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Webcomic / Persona 5 Adult Confidant AU

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In another world… another time… the players come together as the game is set in motion…note 
"Nothing can stop us now."

A series of comics and character concepts designed by Twitter artist ScruffyTurtles, the Adult Confidant AU revolves around the core concept of swapping around the ages of the core cast and adult confidants of Persona 5, and turning the largely passive supporting cast into the protagonists of the story.

Starting out as a couple of concepts of Sojiro and Futaba Sakura with their ages and positions reversed, the concept got a lot of positive attention from the fandom and quickly grew into a more fully realized concept, with Scruffy himself admitting that he plans to make it into a full-fledged webcomic. It was eventually released in comic form on February 27th 2020 via Webtoons, which you can view here.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Adaptational Angst Downgrade: The adult protagonists are all fairly well-adjusted adults, and while Shiho had her teaching career ruined by Kamoshida, she has recovered and is currently a successful fitness trainer who is dating Ann.
  • Adaptational Badass: The main characters were all ordinary adults in the original game (with the exception of Takuto Maruki), but are now badass Persona users here.
  • Adaptational Curves: Compared to the original artwork, several female characters such as Sae and Kawakami are bustier.
  • Adaptational Dye-Job: Inverted: Ryuji doesn't have dyed hair here, with it remaining his natural black.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance: In the main comic, during Sojiro's first trip to the Metaverse, the Reaper makes an appearance to attack him, only to be chased back by Sojiro's unawakened Persona.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • In the game, Madarame and Kunikazu were both despicable enough to form a Palace. Here, this doesn’t appear to be the case, with them both being shown to be concerned about Yusuke and Haru, something they have never shown in canon.
    • In canon, Robin Hood was an alternate Persona used by Goro Akechi, with his true Persona being Loki, and it served as the reflection of his affable public persona as opposed to the vengeance-filled nature that Loki reflects. Here, Robin Hood is the initial Persona of Sojiro Sakura, the main protagonist of the ACAU.
  • Adaptational Wimp: The main characters of the original game were all badass Persona users in canon, but are now ordinary adults here.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Since he's Shido's father in this story, the Goro Akechi in P5 is now named Goro Shido.
  • Affectionate Parody: Hifumi's entire family runs on hobby manga tropes: she and Keto are both enthusiastic duelists to the point where she puts on fake scars for intimidation and he gives Dub!Kaiba's infamous "third rate duelist" speech. Two of their kids are stern disciples, while the third became an equally as enthusiastic Gamer Chick instead.
  • Age Lift: Given the concept, this was more or less a given. Most of the adults from the original game are now teenagers or young adults, while most of the original teenagers are now adults, including Caroline and Justine.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Makoto, as Chief of Police, is this to Sae. It's even more emphasized compared to canon; while Sae is likely six to eight years older than Makoto at most there, there's nearly a 20-year age gap between the college-aged Sae and the late-thirties Makoto in this story.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Futaba tends to embarrass Sojiro in various ways — for example, gifting him 30 gigs of her personal hentai collection for his birthday because she figured he'd need it at his age.
  • Appropriated Appellation: Kawakami got picky choosing a codename, since all the ones Sojiro and Iwai came up with were either dirty jokes or something she didn't like. Sojiro sarcastically replies with a "Well excuse us, madame!". Kawakami likes the sound of that.
  • April Fools' Day: For April Fools 2020, Scruffy announced that he would be scrapping the ACAU in favor of an ACAU version of Persona 4 called the Adult Social Link AU, or ASLAU for short. Among other things, Teddie and the Fox were swapped, leading to the mascot Foxy and a Real Fucking Bear. An actual scene from the ASLAU was made after Persona 4: Golden was ported to Steam, which had Ryotaro traveling under the rain with transfer student Izanami.
  • Atrocious Alias: When Tora is forced to rap battle an Ose shadow, he's appalled to find that his group wants him to use the name "Big Dick Tora".
  • Batter Up!: Ohya uses a baseball bat in combat.
  • Berserk Button: Sojiro is pissed at the suggestion of stealing Futaba's heart.
  • The Bet: Ohya makes one with the boys during the Hawaii trip that leads to the ACAU's version of "Operation Babe-Hunt"; Sojiro, Iwai, and Yoshida had to get one girl's phone number each, with the losing party having to treat the other to a food truck feast out of their own pocket. Despite banking on the language barrier and their character flaws stopping them, Ohya loses. Badly. note 
  • Blackmail: Sojiro's attempt to help his classmate Hanekawa get away from Kamoshida is halted by the latter's threat of revealing an unknown secret about the former, though he does manage to whisper a warning of a sort to her.
  • Brain Bleach: Sojiro's reaction when he accidentally walks in on Futaba putting on some Pink Argus Ranger cosplay.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": The Persona series' habit of doing this with Shadows is lampshaded by Ohya, pointing out that the creatures they fight are way too monstrous to be the inner feelings of a person and they'd be better suited to being called Demons. The rest of the Thieves think this is the dumbest thing she ever said.
  • The Cameo:
    • Yukari makes a brief appearance as an actor playing the role of the Pink Argus Ranger (a holdover from her appearance in Persona 4: Arena Ultimax). Apparently, Futaba met her at a convention shortly after Wakaba's death, and the experience was a sorely-needed cheer-up for her.
    • Belladonna and Nameless briefly talk to Sojiro when he asks Caroline and Justine why there's always music playing in the Velvet Room.
    • One comic features Tae, Sae, and Toranosuke attending a Gas Chamber concert, with an older Eikichi Mishina headlining.
  • Captain Ersatz: Hifumi's husband is clearly Seto Kaiba, with only the first letters in his name swapped.
  • The Casanova: Sojiro is charming to the point that he's even able to render the much more antagonistic Caroline and Justine smitten with him.
  • Closet Geek: Sae is this regarding Neo Featherman.
  • Code Name: The Phantom Thieves, as usual. Sojiro is "Boss", Iwai is "Gecko", Kawakami is "Madame", Ohya is "Scout", Takemi is "Doc", Yoshida is "Titan", Chihaya is "Sibyl", and Sae is "Ace". Also, Shido is "Swan", and Takuto is "Rook".
  • Composite Character: Sojiro's Persona, Robin Hood, which bears similarities design-wise to both the canon Robin Hood and Arsène.
  • Cool Bike: Sae's Persona, Jeanne d'Arc.
  • Cool Teacher: Shiho was the volleyball coach at Shujin before Kamoshida forced her out, and was helpful and encouraging towards Yoshida. Ryuji is the current coach, and by all accounts is just as good.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Caroline and Justine tend to get flustered whenever Sojiro turns up the charm during punishment.
  • Dominatrix: The Velvet Twins carry shades of this. They're now tall, busty bombshells in addition to wearing their usual warden clothes, and Justine pulls stunts like using Sojiro as a human chair and whipping him with her crop.
  • Doting Parent:
    • Ryuji is one to his daughter Rika, even going as far as to show pictures of her. Many often compare him to Maes Hughes because of this.
    • The author has implied more than once that Goro actually dotes on Masayoshi, a very sharp inversion to how Shido as a father treats Goro in canon.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In the first chapter, Ohya can be seen in the background while Sojiro is walking to and from school.
  • The Ghost:
    • Counterparts for the original Persona 5 protagonist and Igor have yet to be seen. Igor is shown at the end of the first chapter, but the protagonist has yet to make an appearance.
    • The identity of Sojiro's Persona remained a secret for a long time. This comic finally revealed it as Robin Hood.
  • Goth: Tae Takemi.
  • The Gunslinger: Unlike his allies (or the original cast), Iwai, AKA Gecko, can use multiple types of guns.
  • Halloween Cosplay: The Phantom Thieves and Futaba cosplay for Halloween. Sojiro is Dracula, Iwai is Kazuma Kiryu, Ohya is Lilith, Kawakami is Jill Valentine, Takemi is Trish, Yoshida is Isaac Clarke, Chihaya is 2B, Sae is Viewtiful Joe, and Shido is Ninja Theory's Dante.
  • Happily Adopted:
    • Sojiro was adopted by Futaba in this story, and unusually, Futaba changed her own last name to accommodate him.
    • Almost like in canon, Iwai and Kaoru.
    • This is also the case for Kunikazu. He's so grateful for Haru that he's willing to defend her in the face of the rumors surrounding her and Okumura Foods.
  • Happily Married: In this AU, Mishima is married to a woman named Ranju.
  • High-School Hustler: Tanaka is an elementary school version. He's too poor to buy supplies to sell, so he steals them instead. His theme song in this universe is just something he made up during recess.
  • Hunk: In the few images he's in, Goro Shido is this, inverting his Bishōnen looks in canon, being broadly-shouldered and square-jawed with a dignified beard.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • Most of the original Palace targets have become nicer people as teenagers, as detailed in Adaptational Heroism. Kamoshida, on the other hand, is still a nearly-untouchable star with a crooked heart, and still got involved in an event that deeply hurt Shiho.
    • Despite the change in roles, Futaba still forms a Palace, and for almost the same reasons as well.
    • One of the first cases the Thieves work on consistently portray a Shuujin authority figure as a molester, with one of the Thieves' friends getting hurt by that authority's actions to the point of suicide (Shiho in canon, Ohya's friend Kayo here).
      • Speaking of Shiho, she's still forced to leave Shujin thanks to the machinations of Kamoshida, though it's more mercifully in the form of Malicious Slander rather than her canon self's fate.
    • On a more positive note, Kawakami still works at the cafe.
    • Many of the sections about the canon Phantom Thieves indicate that Futaba is still friends with them all in this timeline.
  • Japanese School Club: Lala is in the Fashion Club, and Kawakami is in the Academic Success Club with the AU teachers.
  • Lighter and Softer: While this universe's Phantom Thieves still have to deal with some nasty people, circumstances are somewhat better than the original game. Shujin Academy had a guidance counselor from the start instead of getting one in the third semester during Royal, many of the original Palace targets grew up to be decent people (with a couple exceptions), and the grown-up version of the old world's Phantom Thieves don't take on the corruption that a few of their counterparts did.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Ann in this universe, who is currently dating Shiho.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Following a battle, Sae pulled in Ohya and Tae for a side hug. Ohya ends up protesting with her face pressed against Sae's buxom chest, while Tae is blushing and trying to keep her cool
  • Mascot: To answer the question of whether or not there is one, Ohya puts on Kawakami's cat ears and tail and declares herself mascot.
  • Mood Whiplash: ScruffyTurtles posted a series of pictures featuring the original Phantom Thieves interacting with their counterparts. They're pretty lighthearted and humorous...except for the bonus one, which features Canon Akechi attacking AU Shido in a blind rage while AU Shido gives him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Madarame and Kunikazu retain some of the character flaws of their canon counterparts (desire to make money off of art for Madarame and contempt for the underclasses for Kunikazu), but genuinely love their parents and are basically good people.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Other Me Annoys Me:
    • In a meeting between the ACAU Phantom Thieves and their direct counterparts, ACAU Ohya is annoyed that her canon self is drunk (the younger girl has a disdain for alcohol).
    • ACAU!Shido is horrified that his canon self is bald.
  • Original Character: While the original cast of the game do appear here one way or another, there's also a few new additions:
    • Rika Sakamoto, Ryuji's baby daughter. Her mother could also be one, since there's no indication she was a canon character.
    • Hifumi's family, featuring her husband Keto Saiba, and their children: Ryoma, Tomoe, and Nobunaga.
    • Ranju, Mishima’s wife and a former delinquent.
    • Many of the AU's Palaces are ruled by original villains:
      • Takamine Murada, Shuijin Academy's principal who has a string of abuse and sexual assault despite appearing as a caring figurehead.
      • Hinahara Sakimaru, a seemingly compassionate doctor who is secretly involved in human and organ trafficking.
  • Original Generation: The Personas of the Phantom Thieves here are based on different figures than the ones in canon. This is subverted with Sojiro, who has Robin Hood, who was previously used as one of Goro Akechi's Personas.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: In an inversion to canon, Wakaba is Futaba's daughter, and she passed away several years prior.
  • Related Differently in the Adaptation: This is the case for all of the parent-child pairs due to the AU-wide Age Lift.
    • Wakaba was Futaba's daughter instead of her mother. Futaba later adopted Sojiro as her son instead of the other way around.
    • Kunikazu is Haru's adoptive son instead of her biological father.
    • Kaoru is Iwai's adoptive father rather than his adoptive son.
    • Goro is Shido's father in lieu of being the latter's illegitimate son.
  • Rule 63: One post by Scruffy included genderbent versions of Sojiro, Sadayo, Mune, Ichiko, and Futaba.
  • Running Gag: "Max Charm!" To elaborate, a few of the comics hinted that Sojiro outright starts the story with Max Charm. This carried into the main comic itself.
  • Schmuck Bait: One doodle has Ohya wearing a shirt reading "Ask Me About Ligma". Sojiro falls for it, despite Kawakami and Iwai's desperate attempt to stop him. Fortunately, another comic shows Tae is immune.
    Tae: Let me guess, you have "Sugma" too? Oh you poor thing. How about I prescribe you a month's worth of 'suckondeeznutz' to help with the 'burn'?
    (Ohya freezes up)
  • Ship Tease:
    • There seems to be quite a bit for Sojiro/Kawakami.
    • There’s also some for Iwai and Nobunaga.
    • There are comics that portray Yoshida and Ohya's dynamic as almost a case of Belligerent Sexual Tension.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Stacy's Mom: Assuming she's not messing with him, according to Futaba some of Sojiro's classmates seem to think of her as this. He's less than amused.
  • Starving Artist: Yusuke is now a street artist who Futaba isn't afraid to call a hobo during his visits to the cafe. His student, Madarame, expresses great concern over this.
  • Super-Deformed: All of the main characters have appropriate chibi designs should they be thrown into the Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth universe.
  • Support Party Member: Initially downplayed with Ohya, who serves as the team's initial navigator. Later, Chihaya takes over the role full-time.
  • Tarot Motifs: While most characters' associated arcana have gone unchanged from the original game, Sojiro's has notably swapped from the Hierophant to the Fool to fall in line with the series' previous protagonists. Sae has also changed from the Judgement to the Justice.
  • Teens Are Monsters:
    • Undoubtedly the case for Kamoshida. Here, he's a student rather than a teacher, but that doesn't make him any less of the scumbag we have come to despise in the game.
    • This is also the case for Shido, who is just as despicable as he was in canon. It's implied that he's also manipulating his own father to go along with whatever he has planned here.
  • Tempting Fate: One comic has AU!Shido making of fun of AU!Sojiro's main counterpart only to stop laughing after one good look at his canon self.
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Sojiro has this relationship with Kawakami. One of his taunts during their usual exchanges ends up giving her the idea of calling herself "Madame".
  • Wham Line: In the comic introducing Sojiro's Persona, who up until this point was The Ghost, reveals his name;
    Boss: After all... What's a party without a little flare? Let's give it hell... ROBIN HOOD!!