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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:
    • 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 stopped pairing Joker/Futaba romantically when they found out that she's Sojiro's adopted daughter, and instead shipped them 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. This is less of a problem in Japan, where Joker is seen as a caregiver of sorts to Futaba, not a brother figure (thus making the "lover or sister figure" debate a moot point), not to mention Japan does not consider non-blood-related siblings to be incestuous.
  • 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. Zig-zagged in that there are still a few good hearted ones. Perhaps the only cop in the game who is both honest and competent is the one who helps Futaba in her Confidant link. Makoto's father was also portrayed as being a good police man, and her desire to become a Police Commissioner is portrayed as a good thing.
    • Politicians and socialites. Aside from notable examples like Tora Yoshida, the majority are presented as corrupt and self-serving creeps, while others are elitist snobs who look down on the younger generation.
    • Bad Bosses who overwork or otherwise exploit their workers, most notably Okumura but also several Mementos targets. As noted under Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped, this is a big issue in Japan AND the United States.
  • Acceptable Targets:
    • Abusers are a frequent target for the Phantom Thieves.
    • Gamblers and gambling are also frequently cast in a bad light. Two major Mementos targets, Futaba's uncle and the parents of her friend Kana, are driven to abuse those around them because of the money they lost gambling. Then there's Sae's Palace, where all of the games are blatantly rigged in favor of the house and the only way to win is to out-cheat them yourself.
  • 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.
    • If you decide to hang out with Makoto or study with her, she'll often say things that could easily be taken the wrong way, such as "Let's do it in the student council room. I'll leave the back entrance open for you," and "Come to the library. I'll drill it into you." Some have joked that her not realizing the implications of her phrasing fits her awkward characterization a little too well to be a complete accident on the localization's part.
    • Pause the scene during the protagonist's love confession with Sumire when her flustering portrait starts blinking...And you will end up with something like this.
    • When merging with Adam Kadmon, Maruki says "I'm all yours...Use me...However you want..." While surrounded by tentacles, no less.
    • After creating the persona Kin-Ki, it will say "Me Kin-Ki" which pretty much explains itself.
    • A visual one: Joker's all-out-attack finishing touch makes it look a lot like he's slipping on some latex gloves in a stereotypical doctor-like fashion. Cue a moderate amount of "Prostate Exam" memes.
  • Adorkable:
    • Joker's got the spirit of a troublemaker, can be a bit of a Troll at times, and is given to theatrics, but in his public mild-mannered persona, he can be rather gawkish yet very humble. In between Metaverse escapades, he can spend hours playing retro video games on a crappy secondhand console, eagerly brew coffee, and work out, with his first attempt at using a treadmill ends in an Epic Fail. Case in point.
    • Ryuji tends to get overexcited when talking about upcoming plans for the Phantom Thieves, sometimes way too loudly for his/everyone's own good. Furthermore, for all of his bravado, he gets really nervous during actual sexual encounters. Case in point, the beach trip: Ryuji stares at Ann when she comes out in a two-piece (and even makes an outright 'grabbing' gesture with both hands), but when she laughs it off and even hangs onto his arm, he suddenly gets very quiet and won't look at her directly.
    • Normally Ann is pretty comfortable with sexuality, but it's when she's caught off-guard with it that she turns as red as a tomato. Special mention goes to Yusuke trying to make a nude painting starring her during the Madarame Arc. Additionally, despite actually wanting to be a Heroic Seductress, Ann gets easily flustered if she's actually in a relationship with Joker.
    • Yusuke's obsession with art and his other strange quirks (such as obsession with lobsters and his general obliviousness) help him come off as this.
    • Haru's introduction as a "rival thief" to the Phantom Thieves is full of it. She actually gets stage fright during her first encounter with them because she hadn't yet thought of a code name for herself and couldn't remember the script she'd prepared with Morgana beforehand. She also get's really giddy and excited when Baton Passing or getting a Baton Pass.
    • Akechi, before his exposure, happens to be obsessed with the Phantom Thieves to a fanboy-ish degree. He also has a tendency to ramble, before apologizing and getting back on topic. In a case of Story and Gameplay Integration, a lot of his animations and mannerisms when he initially joins the Thieves make him come across as something of a showy try-hard, like he really wants to make a good impression on the other Phantom Thieves, and his choice of weapons is among the goofiest of the bunch.
      • While this might be unintentional, when he rejoins during the Third Term events, he tends to scream out of his lungs in the most absurd and ridiculous ways possible, sometimes even going into Irony territory.
    • Like the rest of the attendants, the Twin Wardens have only a basic understanding of how people work and thus are awed by the most mundane things or misinterpreting things. However, they surpass the others in this department (barring perhaps Elizabeth) because of their youth and childish appearance:
      • Royal gives Joker opportunities to take the twins on outings to various locales and their attempts in trying to act so serious juxtaposed with their childish wonder makes them hilariously awkward and endearing. One notable example is when Joker takes them to Big Bang Burger and we see Caroline get excited at the prospect of getting a little toy spaceship in her kiddy meal or learning Justine does not like pickles (and her subsequent embarrassment when Caroline notes it.)
      • This goes further when they are one as Lavenza. As soon as you first meet her at Shujin during the third term, one of your dialogue options to her greetings is to ask her why is she so formal. If you do, she asks you if she should say "wassup" instead, then dozes off almost instantly while sitting on counselor room's sofa. When you go hangout with her in your attic, she got so frustrated by being unable to create an infiltration tool that she threatens to Megidolaon the table. Also just like during Shujin, when she sits on Joker's bed she dozes off almost instantly, but this time she was having nightmares with the Holy Grail and instantly wakes up, before dozing off on Joker's shoulders.
    • Maruki, in Royal. When he introduces himself to the students of Shujin, the microphone malfunctions. When he goes to bow, he accidentally smacks his head against it. A month after he's been hired at school, his attempt at cooking (or rather replicating the "Salt bae" meme) results in the wind just blowing the salt away and thus ruining his chance to appear cool.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • There is a division on how people feel about Joker's parents. We know nothing about them except for the fact that they passed him off on the friend of a friend after he was put on probation. So did they, as Sojiro said at the start of the game, dump him on someone else because they see him as a pain (we don't see or hear any contact from them for the entire story) or do they really care for him and think this is the best choice for him. It's possible they contact him off camera, but as far as we know they never bother reaching out to him for his entire stay in Tokyo.
    • 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.
      • Even then, Yusuke also admits during Okumura's palace that the emotional/mental abuse Madarame subjected him to made Yusuke desperate to please him and (almost) completely blind to his faults — it's also entirely possible that Yusuke is just too used to trying to see the good in Madarame to really stop. A lot of the genuinely good times that Yusuke (and other people who knew Madarame) can recall, however, happened when Yusuke was still a child — so was it the case that he started out as being a much better person and got a lot worse as Yusuke grew?
    • As detailed within the Values Dissonance page of this game (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 are a couple of scenes in-game that imply he's attracted to Ann.
    • Why did Yusuke threaten to call the police over Ryuji and the protagonist accusing Madarame of plagiarism if Ann didn't pose nude for him? Was this proof that he, like Madarame, was willing to exploit people for his art, and could have turned out just as badly as his teacher? Did he not realize that there was anything inappropriate about making the request of Ann? Or was he simply trying to drive the Phantom Thieves away for good(a possibility that Ann, who has the most sympathy for Yusuke, considers)? Compare the anime, in which he merely tells the Phantom Thieves to Get Out! and later apologizes for losing his temper.
    • Kamoshida's Freudian Excuse. Based on what kind of Jerkass, power-hungry maniac and sexual predator Kamoshida is, did his Freudian Excuse really meant it, or he's just doing it for the sake of begging the Phantom Thieves to spare him from certain death?
    • 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 Akechi'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 weak-hearted victim of societal stigma whose loneliness and anger was fostered into hatred by the malevolent entity? Akechi was 15 and in a child institution 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.
    • On the other note, seeing that the victims with on-screen deaths are not entirely innocent, that draws the question of Futaba's mom: Was she really a victim of the Conspiracy, or is it that she is complicit in Shido's plan? Keep in mind that the only things we heard about her is from Futaba and Sojiro, who are on good terms with her, and Maruki was also a Cognitive Psience researcher, yet Shido did basically nothing other than to seize his research and keep him in the dark. It is likely that Akechi sees her as another member of The Conspiracy and possibly a mastermind who Akechi believes to be responsible for the abuse of cognition. On the other hand, it's also possible that like Sae, she's unwittingly doing The Conspiracy's dirty work without being aware of their existence.
    • Kaneshiro appears to be a dreaded crime lord that the police refuse to even investigate because they can't track him down and it takes the Phantom Thieves a good while to even know that the Yakuza-tied scammer was Kaneshiro. Later on, we got to know that Kaneshiro's drug-trafficking scams are used to finance Shido's campaign. Finally, during Scramble, another financer of Shido's campaign, Jun Owada can get away with murdering Zenkichi's wife solely because of his ties with Shido letting him blackmail Zenkichi into uselessness. So was Kaneshiro really that dreaded because of his elusiveness and vast reserves of wealth preventing the police from investigating him, or he's only getting away with everything he did because he was fiancing Shido's campaign, which means that if the Police dared make such a move, the inspectors in charge of the case might risk getting blackmailed or even get a Mental Shutdown?
    • 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.
    • 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 Joker as a caregiver in their dynamic.
    • While Joker is less of a blank slate than the previous two player characters, and often makes decisions without the player's inputs, said decisions can still be subject to interpretation: to what extent is Joker a true believer in the ideals of the Phantom Thieves and to what extent might he be furthering his own ends by leading the group? Points for the former come from the proactively altruistic targets the group takes on, such as Madarame or the Mementos cases, which don't necessarily guarantee a reward and inherently involve some risk of injury or exposure. Points for the latter come from the impetus to continue the Phantom Thieves group after Kamoshida; to whit, the party is willing to consider the brain-washing of complete strangers for the sake of personal views and aspirations rather than out of necessity from an imminent threat. It is worth noting that, as opposed to the Accomplice Ending from Persona 4, which is implied to have come from the MC's naivete rather than deliberate malice, Joker can opt to side with Yaldabaoth and the ending gives no sense of regret on Joker's part whatsoever, instead having him grin snidely at the camera.
      • During the buffet at the Wilton Hotel, Joker thinks to himself that he hadn't considered continuing as a Phantom Thief after dealing with Kamoshida, and later notes that seeing Masayoshi Shido at the hotel helped convince him to continue. Was he initially reluctant because he was unsure whether it was morally right to change people's hearts because he was afraid of getting into further trouble, or because being betrayed by the woman he helped left him cynical about helping others? And when he did ultimately decide to continue, was it for the sake of changing the world, helping other people, or eventually getting revenge on the one who wronged him?
      • While Joker obviously doesn't regret cutting a deal with Yaldabaoth, when he cuts a deal with the new Arc Villain of Royal and sacrificing every last bit of thought from them in place of their well being, he clearly regrets it. Is he truly rejecting the deal for everyone's real well being, or is he rejecting it so he can continue to express his suppressed anger and regret on Shadows or other enemies?
    • Kasumi's scholarship revoked by her head teacher. Is the head teacher really acting out of completely Jerkass level elitism, or does he really know that this is an impostor and not the real Kasumi, as the real one doesn't get third runner ups or below on local gymnast competitions, so he's revoking it for the sake of "Kasumi"-Sumire violating competition rules for impersonating another contestant, and in particular, a dead one?
    • Related to the point above, the students in Shujin were apparently jealous of Kasumi getting a scholarship and didn't look at her in an easy way. When she's being exposed as Sumire by Maruki, he explicitly says that only Sumire herself thinks that she's Kasumi. So are the students actually jealous of Kasumi's talent, or they simply don't view her as worthy of scholarship based on how she was actually inferior to Kasumi and they were actually mad that the school giving a scholarship to a completely and utterly delusional impersonator and not the real talented gymnast, at least in their viewpoint?
    • A rather subtle one occurs right after Maruki confiscates Yoshizawa as a bargain chip for Joker and Akechi on February 2. Once you go back home from his Palace and meet Morgana, Akechi will phone you telling that he warned Yoshizawa's parents that their daughter might be in danger only for Maruki to had been manipulated them into thinking that she was in a training camp already. Could this be done by Maruki to lower their alert for their daughter missing for a week, or was it actually something that is done to make sure his bargain with Joker and Akechi is held private on both ends?
    • In Royal, the new Arc Villain makes two "We Can Rule Together" offers, similar to a previous enemy.
      • Once you reject the first, he drives Sumire berserk indirectly, then uses a tentacle-like device to make her Persona berserk and attack you. If you get around this, Sumire is snapped out. However, right before he attacks with berserk Cendrillon, one of his entry lines is "Be her guide, and help her escape from the nightmare!" So is Maruki legitimately trying to kill you, or is he giving you a chance to snap Sumire out yourself? Because he knew all of the others are snapped out from his reality, was the offer is because he knew that you did snap them out, so he is trying to use you to revert all of them?
      • The second offer happens after Maruki claims that Akechi is a fake made by him, and that the real Akechi is dead. Judging from Akechi warning of a setup once the party reaches Eden, there is absolutely no way that Maruki can know about the party's encounter with Akechi in Shido's Palace. Nor does Maruki know Akechi, having never met him before Akechi's supposed death. Furthermore, if Akechi was really affected, he wouldn't even remember killing Wakaba in the first place, since some deep thinking reveals that did indirectly lead to him confronting the Phantom Thieves in the cruiser, resulting in his ambiguous fate. Could this mean that the Arc Villain of Royal's expanded scenario is just straight-up lying to you to mess with your head and make you more likely to accept the offer? It should be noted however that Doctor Maruki didn't have an idea about Morgana's desires to become human (more or less to look like a human actor that Morgana saw on TV). Given how Doctor Maruki did turn Morgana into that human actor, could there be some truth to what he said?
    • When Maruki was "saving humanity" with the dream world, it's heavily implied that was because he's been driven insane by his Persona who was influcencing him to do such a thing, and there are also implications that his persona was a separate being altogether from him.note - spoilers!  further note - contains spoilers for Persona 1 and 2  He also seems to be one of the few targets to not mind having you change his heart and even asks you to do it sometimes (although he will still put up a fight, no matter what). He also seems to be more concerned about Joker's well being than anything instead of being flat out aloof and hostile like other defectors such as Akechi once they ever defect. So is he totally manipulated by his persona, or he still has some resemblances of his sanity left?
    • Some have taken umbrage with the Phantom Thieves themselves come certain revelations at the end of the game. Every single one of the hearts they changed throughout the story is discovered to have been put under Yaldabaoth's thrall, indicating that the Thieves' actions were largely responsible for why Yaldabaoth ended up as powerful as he did. None of the Thieves react much to it or let it get to them at all, and when they're nearly wiped from existence and end up in the Velvet Room, they lament more on how dependent they were on society's views of them rather than how they'd indirectly aided the Big Bad through Brainwashing for the Greater Good. All this, compounded with the fact that they then suddenly advocate for putting faith in society's capacity for change without the need of the supernatural, despite using supernatural means anyway to defeat the Final Boss, puts into question their sincerity as to whether or not they genuinely cared about helping the helpless. On the other hand, they set out to Mementos Core knowing that if they succeeded, they'd give up their ability to change people's hearts, and thus entrusted the ability to change the future to the people as a whole.
    • Also the people of Tokyo as a whole. Did they side with the Phantom Thieves in the endgame out of a genuine desire for change, or did they side with them on pain of death from Yaldabaoth?
    • Why did the woman who'd betrayed the protagonist before the start of the game change her heart and testify against Shido? Is it out of guilt over what she did? Or is it because she believes that it will ensure Shido's conviction? If it's the latter, it's possible that she didn't testify against Shido earlier because she was afraid, and/or that she's only doing so now because she has less at risk. The fact that it takes the Phantom Thieves (and Ohya, if her Confidant was completed), weeks to find her indicates that she is trying quite hard not to be found, and the only question is why.
    • Going by how Shadows operated in Persona 4, in that while they did represent what someone was like deep down they also tended to be greatly exaggerate their behaviornote , which matches with how the Targets go from a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing to a Card-Carrying Villain in the Metaverse much like the P4 shadows. This brings into question how much of the Target's Shadow's behavior is genuine and how much is them exaggerating their real version's vile behavior:
      • Did Madarame really leave Yusuke's mother to die when she had a seizure in front of him? Or did he simply panic and find himself unable to do anything, which wouldn't be surprising considering his age. For that matter, was he even there when she had a seizure in the first place or was that itself just an exaggeration of how bad him altering the work of Yusuke's mother and posting it under his name is? Or maybe even Survivor's Guilt in regards to her death?
      • In Royal during the revamped fight with Okumura, He will summon a Cognitive Haru to attack the Phantom Thieves and, if she takes too long, will simply have her self-destruct as a last resort. Does Okumura really not care if Haru dies if it means he can achieve his ambitions, or is this simply an exaggeration of how much he sees Haru as a bargaining chip brought forth by his Shadow manifesting his darker traits and would the real Okumura actually be horrified if Haru got killed?
      • How obsessed with winning is Sae really? While her Palace manifests as a casino and her Shadow frequently goes on about how winning is everything, how far is she really willing to go to win a court case? The worst she's seen to do, at least on-screen, is use aggressive investigations methods such as blackmailing Sojiro with threats to rescind his parental authority over Futaba. The comically obvious ways she goes about cheating in her Palace, such as the glass panel on the roulette wheel in her boss fight, also brings into question how willing she is to actually do it; Is it a sign that she's shameless about her morally ambiguous methods and feels justified in using them, or is it a sign of how risky or against her morals she views it as. There's also the fact that she's the only Palace Ruler whose heart wasn't changed by stealing her treasure, but by Makoto and Joker appealing to her morality, which implies that while it's strong enough to create a Palace, her distortion isn't as severe as most other Palace rulers. It's also worth considering her reaction to a Calling Card being found in Kobayakawa's office; was her excited "Yes...!" her being glad to finally get a lead, or her being relieved that she won't have to forge anything linking them to more murders now that she's got (at least to her) legitimate evidence.
  • 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 tends to rank first in popularity polls, as well as being the highest-ranked member of the Phantom Thieves in an official popularity poll covering every playable character in the Persona series from Persona 3 onwards.note  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 in the game's own page of that trope); while his anger over his past in Japan is viewed with justification, westerners see it more as Wangst and wonder how sympathetic they are supposed to be for a guy who tried to blow their brains out.
    • While not particularly popular in Japan, The Shinjuku Creatures are outright despised by a fair portion of the game's western LGBT Fanbase, who view their antics (harassing Ryuji and the protagonist) as unfunny, with some outright finding the two offensive. Their unpopularity amongst western LGBT fans would result in them being rewritten for the English release of Persona 5 Royal to downplay their stereotypical behaviour.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • Despite witnessing her father get brutally murdered, Haru's grief is rather glossed over. She surprisingly manages to bounce back in a couple of days. When the rest of the Thieves try and comfort her, she seems more concerned about the evidence used to frame them. Even in her own Confidant, the focus was more centred around her Arranged Marriage that it was coping with her father's death.
    • Strangely, it's the Silent Protagonist that has a case of this. Despite being brutally tortured and forcibly injected with drugs by the Dirty Cops under The Conspiracy's pocket, and narrowly avoiding getting killed by Akechi, he comes back to LeBlanc none the worse for wear. In fact one of the dialogue options you can choose is joking about the whole situation by saying "I mean, I died".
    • Downplayed with the Phantom Thieves regarding the moral ambiguity of changing a Palace ruler's heart. Despite initially hesitating to change Kamoshida's heart due to the potential ramifications, they don't seem to have any problems with future targets. However, this could be a case of It Gets Easier and that Kamoshida didn't die (the worst-case scenario proposed) after having his heart changed. Furthermore, their horrified reactions upon watching Okumura's gruesome death after changing his heart made them consider the possibility that they might have caused his death, though they quickly dismiss that line of thought.
  • Annoying Video-Game Helper:
    • While Persona 5 improved on the volume of navigation lines and made them significantly less repetitive, Morgana still falls into this category for many players — not in his capacity as Dungeon Navigator (although his prejudice for/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 at night, Morgana stopping Joker and telling him to go to sleep can become really annoying. Morgana also puts pressure on you to complete dungeons as quickly as possible, to the point of literally forcing the gang to do something about the Palace if you don't go for four or five days (which is very easy to do during the summer holidays, when pretty much all of your friends want to hang out with you). 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. Made even worse when in the sixth Palace, he won't let you send the Calling Card until a few days before as opposed to consistently pestering you to send it in any other Palace. Royal fixed this by making Morgana much less likely to stop Joker from going out at night.
    • 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. However, this can get very annoying during Okumura's fight, as she could potentially waste your valuable time giving buffs even if you might want them, as her Moral Support animation takes around 5 seconds.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Multiple:
    • Despite being a loathsome villain that the game goes out of its way to make you hate, Kamoshida's boss fight isn't particularly hard. You have a full party of four, 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 will yield some useful support spells — at Level 11, Ann gets Tarunda, which lowers an enemy's attack, and Morgana learns the multi-healing spell Media. Joker can also fuse two Personas that resist Physical, allowing him to shrug off most of Kamoshida's attacks. Granted, Kamoshida is only the first major boss battle, but considering all of the build-up he gets, 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. Even in Royal, which has Piggytron go first, Kaneshiro's new second phase isn't much harder, with his guards vulnerable to Sleep, making them easy to remove from the equation. After Kaneshiro uses his "Make It Rain" attack, he's pretty much helpless. To make all of this even sadder, Kaneshiro's confession after his change of heart is offscreen.
    • The fight with the boss of the Casino Palace is very straightforward and not very difficult, in spite of being a Disc-One Final Boss. 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 . 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. Even in Royal, the boss isn't much harder; though the roulette wheel now gives them a random elemental attack to potentially hit a weakness, they usually don't do much with it, often only casting Dekaja after a 1 More.
      • It's arguably made even easier in Royal, where the boss is changed so that Roulette time causes it to spam one particular element against a party member that's weak to it, while resisting all but that element's opposite. As long as you have good element coverage with your Personas, and can deflect weaknesses using Tetrakarn and Makarakarn, you should have no trouble.
    • The battle with Black Mask 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 Black Mask joins the fray, their moves are laughably predictable, since Black Mask targets Joker with Kougaon and Eigaon even if he has Null Bless or Null Curse equipped. Black Mask's second phase is a little harder, but they don't deal much damage without Desperation, which only gets used if they knock down a party member. And out of all the skills to use, Black Mask's ultimate form has Maragion and Maeiga, which deal pitiful damage. They do have a powerful Almighty move, but they use it at extremely low health and it takes a turn to charge, so it's easy to just guard against it, assuming you don't kill Black Mask before they use it in the first place. This is partially justified since the battle with Black Mask takes place immediately after a damage-heavy miniboss fight, which leaves you with very little breathing time.
    • 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.
    • The boss during January 9 in Royal isn't particularly tough to begin with even though Joker has to fight by himself. But should you realize that said boss only uses Physical and Bless skills and lacks protection from either, you equip a persona with Reflect on both and beat the boss without even attacking.
    • The final boss of Royal is this. His first form is legitimately threatening, and you WILL get stuck like you do against Okumura without a proper tactic against him. His second form however, is decidedly more straightforward and easier, and his third form doesn't even count as a real fight.
  • Anvilicious: In Kaneshiro's palace, people are literally represented by walking ATMs, which is already hugely unsubtle. The game still points this out, and explains what this means.
  • Applicability: While the game deals primarily with issues surrounding Japan, saving the worst of its criticisms for Japan's culture of apathy for individual problems, 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 who gets to a certain level of power or fame is essentially above the law.
  • Arc Fatigue:
    • The deadline for Futaba's Palace is extremely generous, and her dungeon isn't particularly long or difficult. It also occurs during Summer Vacation, limiting the number of Confidants the player can hang out with during that time.
    • Okumura's Palace arc, while not a long one in terms of time, is considered to be an absolute slog for players to sit through. The first stretch of the arc in which Morgana leaves the Phantom Thieves is a notable example, as it forces the players to sit through cutscene after cutscene of people passing the Conflict Ball around. Plus, night time activities aren't allowed during the arc for quite a while, meaning that time that could have been invested in grinding or raising Confidant Links gets wasted. As for Okumura's Palace itself, its tedious enemies and puzzles only serve to drag out the arc even more, and Okumura himself, while easy in the base Persona, was made to become one of the worst chokepoints in Royal, especially for new players.
  • 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.
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    B 
  • Badass Decay:
    • The Reaper, in previous games a terrifying and powerful Stalked by the Bell Bonus Boss, can be brought down by the common flu if it's going around, at least in the original game. 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.
    • Despite being fashioned as one of the most fearsome enemies in the vanilla game, Goro Akechi (as Black Mask) in Royal "technically" falls victim to this trope after his Heel–Face Turn. One of his skits in Mementos has him regretting his "Pancakes" comment that resulted in the exposure of his plan to take down the Phantom Thieves and Shido, although he's still quite as bloodthirsty and cunning as ever. The last time you ever see him, at least prior to the post-credits upon certain conditions is when he gets crammed into the Monacopter while being squeezed by Futaba, Haru and Sumire, with Futaba and Haru being two of the people Shido ruined their lives through him.
  • Best Level Ever:
    • Futaba's Palace has received this treatment. Not only is this is a Breather Level, but many fans found the Palace interesting due to the Palace ruler not actually being evil, making it a nice contrast to the Phantom Thieves having to change the hearts of Hate Sink villains. Not to mention the Palace starts out as a nice Call-Back to Persona 4, but it subverts people's expectations by not having Shadow Futaba be the boss of the Palace and having Futaba actually accept her Shadow.
    • The sixth Palace has also received this treatment. Unlike most Palaces where the Phantom Thieves have to sneak their way to the Treasure, Shadow Sae forces the Phantom Thieves into playing rigged casino games to reach her treasure. This causes the Phantom Thieves to have to rig the games in their favor to reach the treasure, making the Palace interesting. Not to mention how the Palace was way easier than the previous palace.
    • The new Palace in Royal, Maruki's Palace, is also very well received — while it is a fairly long dungeon, it's aesthetically pleasing, the build-up to it is fantastic, its soundtrack (Gentle Madman for the main Palace, Out of Kindness for the Twilight Corridor portion) is serene yet wonderfully melancholic, and it has plenty of challenge to offer players that have spent their time wisely in Mementos. Add in the fact that Maruki himself is a very challenging but fun True Final Boss (on top of the stakes and circumstances of the fight) and you have yourself one of the best final levels in Persona history.
  • Breather Boss:
    • The boss of the Bank Palace, Shadow Kaneshiro, 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.
    • The boss of the Space Station Palace in the Vanilla version, Shadow Okumura, 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.
    • In Royal, the boss of the Casino Palace, Shadow Niijima becomes this instead, as Okumura can become a major chokepoint if the player is unprepared or does not go after him with an appropriate routine in mind. While she still hits fairly hard, she doesn't have much special gimmicks on her aside that her Roulette determines her affinities and the element of her attacks, making her a more straightfoward and easy to deal with boss then Okumura.
    • Black Mask in Shido's Palace might seem intimidating, he is definitely no cakewalk and he can catch you off guard, but his durability is ridiculously low for an actual boss, unlike most other major bosses in the game he has no gimmicks on him at all save for targeting Joker on high odds, and just like typical Guard Captain Shadows he usually takes his turns in a fixed pattern in both forms, making him highly predictable and easy to outmaneuver.
    • The Third Term final boss is definitely no cakewalk; there is no clear explanation on how to get past it anywhere in the battle dialogue, the boss fight has the instrumental version of the boss theme to catch the player off guard, their attacks are generally annoying to deal with and they have a gimmick that prevents them from being properly damaged unless you know what you're doing. However, once you get past this... You are greeted by Maruki and the intimidating Adam Kadmon. Ironically, the second phase is much easier, since it doesn't take much to kill Maruki and he's the only target in Adam Kadmon's first phase. And while the second phase against Adam Kadmon itself looks scary because it's as big as the God of Control and you can't hurt it, neither can Adam Kadmon kill the Phantom Thieves. In any situation Adam Kadmon is about to kill anyone in its second phase, they will always endure the attack at one HP. To make things even better, all of your HP and SP are fully recovered after you defeat Azathoth. After getting through the battles with Maruki, the battles against Adam Kadmon are more like an extended Cutscene Boss than a true boss fight.
  • Breather Level:
    • Futaba's Palace is a lot more straightforward (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 Palaces 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. It's much better in Royal, as the party can simply use the Grappling Hook to land themselves next to the Sphinx's room without scaling the Shadow infested hallway. 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.
    • Similar to Haru, Maruki's Confidant is available often and has plenty of good conversation options, making him relatively easy to max out despite a month-long holdover period and a November deadline. This is justified, since you need to complete his confidant in order to even access the bonus events and the true ending of Royal.
    • The summer holidays can be considered as such from a scheduling standpoint. On days when you actually have control, as you have no school, you can spend a single daytime slot in any day of the week to make more infiltration tools than normal, saving time for Palace preparation. While the final week of the holidays is filled with cutscenes as the gang tries to get Futaba to open up, you retain the ability do your nighttime activities instead of being forced to sleep like what would normally happen in the earlier parts of the game.

    C 
  • Captain Obvious Reveal:
    • The fact that a traitor in the party sells Joker out, resulting in him being 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. 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, not to mention the fact that the characters and audience know the least about him out of the party members. By process of elimination, it simply has to be Akechi. The fact that the two previous games in the series had similar plot twists only compounds it.
      • If you're paying attention to dialogue at the time, you can catch onto Black Mask'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, Akechi 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.
    • 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 impostor. 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; the real Igor does have a new voice actor, but he makes an effort to sound like the original.
    • It's very easy to figure out how Maruki was the instigator of the abnormalities in the Third Term, such as Wakaba reviving, Morgana becoming a human, Shiho hanging out happily with Ann, etc. On top of him being overly sympathetic and easygoing, he also deliberately approaches Phantom Thief members for counseling and seems to be very worried about Yoshizawa as well. Sure enough, despite how much the game tries to keep his involvement a secret, everyone can guess it's him and it's really him. The only saving grace is that he is genuinely trying to make a better world, even if he's a pawn at worst.
  • Cargo Ship:
    • Akechi and Pancakes, due to him bringing up the topic of "delicious pancakes" to the Phantom Thieves when he first meets them at the TV station which later is revealed be a crucial piece of evidence that outs him as being Black Mask. Hilarious in Hindsight when in Royal, Akechi stated in a Mementos conversation he never wants to hear the word "pancakes" ever again.
    • Yusuke and any form of Art in general, due to his ambiguous sexuality and obsession over art. Yusuke and Lobsters is also a close contender, stemming from the scene at the beach where he buys a pair because he liked their aesthetics which the fandom naturally spun into "Yusuke is obsessed with lobsters".
  • 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.
    • Playing this game could also provide this in an out-of-universe way. All of the villains represent or derive from some kind of social ill plaguing not only Japan, but most other countries around the world. These include: a serial sexual predator who gets away with it because everyone around him turns a blind eye due to his position of authority and past achievements, a corporate CEO who reaps immense profits by horribly overworking and otherwise exploiting his employees, and a crooked politician who claims to stand for the masses but is really only looking out for himself and a small number of cronies. Chances are that you've been pissed off or even victimized by at least one of these types of people in real life, and this game gives you the opportunity to not only beat them to a pulp, but make them publicly confess to their crimes in order to wake everyone else up to how evil they really were.
    • Part of what makes Awakenings so gratifying is getting to see people like Kamoshida or Kaneshiro absolutely shit themselves as their former victims turn Super Mode and proceed to unleash an entire can of whoop-ass on them and/or their Mooks.
    • Depending on how you view him, Akechi's epic Villainous Breakdown can be immensely satisfying considering that he spends most of his screentime as an insufferable Smug Snake.
  • Common Knowledge: It's often claimed that Akechi isn't a Phantom Thief, which was likely started due to his Guest-Star Party Member status in the original game, the overblown hatred towards him from western fans as well as him often being absent from multiple crossovers including Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, with this claim often being parroted by those familiar with Persona 5 through the latter. This is despite Atlus listing him in popularity polls alongside the Phantom Thieves, as well as promotional material for the game's Updated Re-release outright listing him as a member.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: Due to the massive amount of extra time her abilities provide, expect any playthrough or walkthrough to max out Kawakami's Confidant as soon as possible.
  • Complete Monster: While Yaldabaoth may have set the plot in motion, these two villains prove that Humans Are the Real Monsters:
    • Masayoshi Shido is behind the atrocities of the game, profiting off the other villains. Using his abandoned and illegitimate son, Akechi, Shido has him assassinate both his enemies and allies who have outlived their usefulness to work his way up to becoming Prime Minister of Japan. Stealing the research of Wakaba Isshiki before having her killed, Shido also uses his influence to ruin peoples' lives, driving Isshiki's daughter into depression, getting Joker placed on probation for trying to stop Shido from harassing a woman. Using Akechi as a mole within the Phantom Thieves, Shido plans to have them arrested for getting in his way and for the Protagonist to be tortured and murdered. After Akechi is defeated by the Thieves, Shido is revealed to be planning to dispose of his son, and pins his own crimes on the mentally unstable boy. When defeated, Shido's final action is to destroy his own Palace in an attempt to take the Thieves down with him. While Shido claims to be acting for Japan's greater interests, in reality he values only power and glory for himself.
    • PE Coach Suguru Kamoshida is a dangerous sexual predator. Protected by the school administration due to his past fame as an Olympian, Kamoshida perversely extorts sexual favors from his female students. Forcing his male students into brutal training regimes, Kamoshida often beats them, resulting in students of both genders living in constant fear of him. Seeking to shut down the track team, Kamoshida provokes their star athlete into punching him and breaks the boy's leg in "self-defense". When his "favorite" victim refuses to sleep with him, Kamoshida rapes her best friend in petty vengeance, resulting in the girl attempting suicide.
  • Crack Pairing: Akechi and Haru sometimes get paired together by fans who pair Joker with other characters, in part due to both of them being celebrities and both of them having Archnemesis Dads, even though Akechi murdered Haru's father, resulting in her brief Heroic BSoD, and Haru makes it explicit during the confrontation with Akechi in Shido's Palace that she can't forgive him for it.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • This little exchange if you went down the romance route with Kawakami:
      Kawakami: "I'm a teacher… and you're my student."
      Joker: "That's the best part."
    • Literally anything involving the Camp Gay duo that you meet initially in Shinjuku. It may be messed up of Joker and Morgana to leave Ryuji behind, but the anime adaptation really crosses the line when Blooming Villain plays in the background as they show up!

    D 
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy:
    • Persona 5 is probably the most cynical installment in the franchise, even if it isn't the darkest tonally. Aside from the Phantom Thieves and the confidants Joker acquires, just about every major character is a terrible person, and most of the minor characters are petty and shallow at best or two-faced assholes at worst. Most of the Phantom Thieves supporters feel more like bandwagoners rather than true believers, something the Thieves themselves notice, and the majority of them quickly turn on the Thieves after they are framed for Okumura's death. To make things worse, unlike in previous Persona installments and in the Vanilla campaign at least, everything you run into here from how you end up in probation, to the aforementioned Phantom Thieves bandwagon, to the fervent Shido worship that never seems to wane and inversely increases after the Thieves take him down is rigged by a false god who only cares about deliberately setting up despicable people into power for you to burn them into the ground so he can remove you to make sure he's the only one capable of rule, and the Velvet Room, a place which used to be always neutral is hijacked here for his entertainment. It's actually hard to care about nearly anyone but the main characters because of this.
    • In Royal, when Kasumi first arrives at Shujin, the gossip you hear is positive about how great it is to have such a fine gymnast who is a great student improving Shujin's appearance, yet a mere few months later, the gossip turns negative as students start holding her in contempt for the very reasons they idolized her earlier, despite her being a genuinely good student and person in general. Yet, what happens in this scenario seems to be the Kasumi they actually admire was dead saving her sister Sumire, which is "Kasumi" in this situation, so they all felt scornful that such a lofty treatment was given to an insane person. They just don't speak it out loud because Kasumi passed away recently.
  • Demonic Spiders: Bear in mind that there's no need to go out of your way to kill these enemies — if you can knock them down to initiate a Hold Up, you can negotiate to quickly end the battle and minimize losses. Assuming you get to knock them down quickly.
    • 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 Joker 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.
    • Anubis in the Pyramid is about 10 levels higher than Joker 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. Downplayed in Royal where they still have a large amount of health and no weaknesses, but their instakill spells come after a turn of them "tipping their scales" meaning you have enough time to either use a skill like Dormina or Makajama to incapacitate them before they attack, or guard to make sure that the attack will fail to kill you and your team.
    • Dionysus in the final dungeon knows Thermopylae, 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. And Dionysus has no weaknesses, so they get quite a lot of use out of Thermopylae.
    • 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 Joker 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 Joker. Nebiros are only weak to Bless, a skill that only Joker 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.
      • Onis in Kaneshiro's Palace are the first such enemies you encounter, on top of resisting Physical and Gun attacks and possessing the hard-hitting Rampage to damage everyone, which is also their only attack besides regular melee attacks, making them a massive chore to take down.
    • The Fafnir in Maruki's Palace are the very definer of this trope, basically combining a lack of weaknesses, elite-tier stats and moves as well as outright repelling Gun and Physical, the only way to ever down any enemy without weaknesses and effectively preventing any form of negotiation bar Down Shot, Position Hack or abusing the buffed Technicals, essentially punishing players who have neglected Technicals this far into the game. Fortunately, they only appear in red Shadows, so it is advised to avoid any red shadows when exploring it. If you can somehow negotiate with them to let them join your side however, they become a highly useful persona due to having the same resistances and useful moves as the enemy variant.
  • Designated Hero: Morgana, despite being one of the protagonists, has been this plenty of times throughout the game through his Jerkass treatment towards his teammates, particularly Ryuji, that's Played for Laughs except when it's the other way around. There is also how he manipulates and puts Haru, who was inexperienced with her Persona powers at that time, in danger in the Metaverse at Okumara's Palace out of petty spite after leaving the Phantom Thieves. And despite this, Morgana has never been called out once for these things by the Phantom Thieves, (except Ryuji but the game paints him in the wrong regardless), nor does he really learn from this experience if his continued treatment of Ryuji is of any indication. And yet he is meant to be sympathized and seen as a heroic Phantom Thief.
  • Designated Monkey: Even by Butt-Monkey standards, some wonder whether the writers and the universe have it out for Ryuji. He constantly gets mocked and belittled by his teammates, and yet he's painted as the one in the wrong when his comments cause Morgana to run away while Morgana in contrast never gets called out for his treatment of Ryuji. And finally, there is also at the end of Shido's palace where he gets beaten up by the girls even though he had just saved everyone just moments ago, and proceed to leave him out cold on the streets whilst completely forgetting about his near-Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Die for Our Ship: There's a fair amount of Joker/Makoto and Joker/Futaba fans who outright despise Akechi due to his fondness for Joker, Joker/Akechi being a very popular pairing in its own right, and Akechi being responsible for the mental shutdown and psychotic breakdown incidents, as well as killing Joker in the bad ending. This results in Akechi having his Ax-Crazy traits ramped up and being turned into a psychopath who outright despises Joker and/or his partner, with his demonized personality used to justify killing him off or portraying his death in Shido's Palace as a good thing.
  • Disappointing Last Level: The vanilla 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 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.
  • 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. However, the second delay creating a release gap of nine months, combined with TMSFE having horrid sales, killed this.
    • 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 
  • Ending Fatigue:
    • Some criticize the vanilla ending of the game as such. After seemingly resolving all loose ends with the defeat of Black Mask and the Big Bad, the game suddenly shifts to two final dungeons and a long-drawn battle with The Man Behind the Man. The first such dungeon also has only two save rooms — in the middle, and at the end — and the second dungeon only allows saving at the beginning area, as opposed to after a large Info Dump, though you can quick-travel from the second dungeon's end back to where the Velvet Room is, if you need healing/to save.
    • Also during the final arc of the vanilla game, after the Phantom Thieves are erased from existence, you go around finding your teammates once again, reaffirming their faith in what they do and how they can fix society together, which gets diminished by the fact that you do this for every single teammate individually except Morgana, and each time it's the exact same "character feels down, pick any choice from a couple dialogue trees, and they get back up with determination". The first one feels awesome, but since they're all located right next to each other with no gameplay distractions between them, the impact of these scenes quickly gets undermined by their rapid-fire nature. If you happen to talk to Ann last of the group — which is very likely, since she's the furthest away from your starting point (alongside Haru) — you get this line when she responds to Lavenza calling out to you:
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Shinya gets this because of his cute little brother relationship with Joker, 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 Mishima's confidant.
    • 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, as well as being a Gonk person that's not a complete Jerkass 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 being best friends with Ann without bringing up Ann's Mixed Ancestry), her Woobie status and the impact she has on the story. Many fans hoped Shiho would get her own Confidant role in Royal.
  • 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, that speculation gained a few more teeth. Especially since Word of God referred to Futaba being a character critical to the narrative. He doesn't come back. This theory has gained new fuel with the release of Kasumi's Character Introduction trailer for Persona 5 Royal, which has her fighting against Biyarky, one of Nyarlathotep's servants who hasn't appeared in a MegaTen game since their debut in Persona 2: Eternal Punishment. A later trailer would then also show them fighting Hastur, another Persona 2 exclusive demon. He still doesn't return. While the final boss is Azathoth, the "father" of Nyarlathotep, its existence appears to be metaphorical and has seemingly nothing to do with him.
    • The Arcana of the main cast was, as usual, home to intense speculation from many fans before release.
    • The identity of the traitor was a magnet for fan speculation, with the one most suspected of being Goro Akechi due to how little was 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. The August 2nd livestream implies that Akechi survives the events of Shido's Palace, however Royal is a little more vague in regards to what actually happens. While Maruki claims that the Akechi that joins the party during the third term events is a cognition made by him and the real Akechi died in Shido's Palace, some people believe that he's lying through his teeth in order to force the protagonist into accepting his reality, as his statement contradicts previous facts. The True Ending for Royal shows a brief glimpse of Akechi (or at least someone resembling him) walking in the background before Joker leaves, adding further confusion.
    • A popular theory for Royal was that Kasumi will have some sort of connection with Akechi, due to their similar personalities and shared speciality in Bless skills, usually tying into the Lotus-Eater Machine theory. It turns out that outside these similarities and Akechi knowing her father due to him being a talk show host, they have no history with each other.
    • Another theory for Royal was that Tokyo is under the effects of a Lotus-Eater Machine. The first promo shots showed that Wakaba Ishiki is alive and Morgana supposedly has a human body. Ryuji's new character introduction for Royal throws a bit of a curveball as well near the end where he's talking to Nakaoka and Takeishi. Nakaoka is shocked to learn that Ryuji has been scouted by a university while the latter mentions that he was the champion of the National Convention, despite the fact that Ryuji's leg was broken by Kamoshida and ended his career. Ann's character trailer adds further fuel to the fire by revealing that Shiho is in Tokyo, very healthy and lacking bandages around her busted leg and seemingly very cheerful.note  Yusuke's trailer only seems to make the theory more credible as he shows Joker the Sayuri at an art museum...and by Sayuri, we mean the genuine article — the self portrait created by Yusuke's mother before she died and not the altered one that was claimed by Madarame as his masterpiece. Haru's trailer all but confirms this could indeed be the case. Why? Kunikazu Okumura is alive.
      • Building off this idea, many began wondering what roles Akechi and Kasumi play in this hypothetical Lotus-Eater Machine.
      • Many believe that Akechi himself is a product of it, being Joker's desire after Akechi's Redemption Equals Death moment. Others believe Royal will let Akechi be Spared by the Adaptation, and that he too is aware something is wrong, based on his questioning Joker if he'll continue to "live in this reality", and that the reason the two are aware of something being off is because they're both the Wild Card.
      • With Kasumi, many wonder if she is the cause of the Lotus-Eater Machine, based on the fact Joker hears her voice in the first trailer say "I'm responsible... for crushing that dream." as he stands amidst a crowd of people frozen in place, implying whatever is going on is her fault. It turns out that the scene itself is a Red Herring and "Kasumi" is not Kasumi, but her introverted and depressed sister Sumire Yoshizawa. And yes, she did crush a dream...she tried to run away from her sister, the real Kasumi out of jealousy for her uncontested gymnastic talent and accidentally got her to become roadkill as Kasumi protected her from being ran over by a car, so the dream of the siblings go to internationals as a duo can no longer be fulfilled.
      • And it turns out that this theory is real, although they all failed to catch the real culprit. It's actually Takuto Maruki being controlled by a rogue persona.
    • Of all things, even the Fictional Game Within a Game, Featherman Seeker, a new minigame added to Royal for the retro game console, brings some to the table. More specifically, the popular theory is that it relates to Akechi's backstory and the lead up to his sacrifice in Shido's Palace.
      • Firstly, Alya, known initially as Osagiri, is believed to be either Shido, Yaldabaoth, or even Wakaba Isshiki of all people, or some sort of mixture of two of them, if not all three. In Wakaba's case, this could either her being forced to do so, or she was Evil All Along (at least a downplayed case). She has the same speech patterns as Wakaba (in the Japanese version), desires an "executive seat" like Shido desires to become Prime Minister of Japan, and gets Gray Pigeon to awaken to his full power as both Shido and Yaldabaoth claim to have. In the case of Yaldabaoth (or Shido), there's also the fact that Osagiri doesn't exist as a separate entity, and Gray Pigeon's mentor is Alya using an incarnation all along, most likely alluding to Yaldabaoth playing mentor while taking the form of "Igor". Both Osagiri and Alya also act as Meaningful Names; Osagiri is "great thick fog" in Japanese, which might function as a Call-Back to Persona 4 where the Sagiri were the avatars of Izanami; to put in another way in this context, it can mean "great avatar of God," referring to Shido or the false Igor being fronts of Yaldabaoth. Alya is the Arabic name of the Theta Serpentis star, and Yaldabaoth, in traditional Gnosis, is often depicted as a snake with a lion's head. Samael is also often depicted as a snake in Shin Megami Tensei and Shido's Animal Motifs are those of lions, as well as being the Demiurge/Yaldabaoth's right hand.
      • Next, Gray Pigeon is believed to be an allegory for Goro Akechi himself, helped by him wearing a mostly gray outfit in the Featherman DLC. He is trained to fight "Abberants", which may represent him being trained for Metaverse trips to kill shadows and Shadow Selves, only for them to progress in difficulty when he fights the real deal. It turns out the whole process was to make him into an Abberant, perhaps symbolic of how Akechi was molded into a serial assassin/instigator for Shido and Yaldabaoth's machinations, and him being an Abberant-killing Abberant could reflect on how he served to elminate those Shido/Yaldabaoth no longer found useful.
      • Another significant one is how Alya as "Osagiri" claims that Gray Pigeon has not fully awakened at the end of the second part, and how he manifests to a power that nobody else has at the end. Some believe this is symbolic of either Robin Hood or Loki being an Artifical Persona, or at least artificially awakened similar to Persona 2 and Persona 3, both of which featured unnatural Persona awakenings and their consequences as a plot point.
      • Finally, the final part of the minigame has heavy similarities to Akechi's sacrifice, with both Gray Pigeon and Akechi being told to off their partners (the Feathermen/Phantom Thieves) as a favor to their final enemy (Alya/cognitive Akechi), only for the former two to both sacrifice their lives to save the heroes. Even more, both of their leaders in particular are saddened by the sacrifice, wondering if they'll ever meet their lost friend again. Then there's also Alya being Gray Pigeon's mentor, which just like Yaldabaoth, imprisoned Akechi by sealing his fate to have him and the Phantom Thieves forced to dispatch one and the other as a part of "the game".
  • 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. Fans seems to agree, as Persona 5 is the highest-selling title in the entire Shin Megami Tensei series, with over two million copies sold.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Shadow Sae, at least before her transformation. She wears a Sexy Backless Outfit that doesn't really leave much to the imagination. Concept art takes this Up to Eleven, where it's clear she was Going Commando.
    • Black Mask aka Goro Akechi also plays this straight. This is due to his Pretty Boy looks and the gentle and soft-spoken voice given by his voice actor. This is probably what contributed to his massive fanbase.
    • The Dreamer aka Takuto Maruki was already quite good-looking beforehand, but his attractiveness during the Third Term is elevated thanks to a sharp white suit and slicked back hair.

    F 
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • Thanks to the Dueling Works status, Persona 5 fans and Final Fantasy XV ended up being at each other's 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.
      • A similar debate came up with Persona 4. How much you enjoyed this game could vary on whether or not you felt Persona 4 fell under Hype Backlash. Fans believe Persona 4's story suffered from serious pacing issues, comedy scenes that were dragged out, mean-spirited, and superfluous, and the characters playing Hot Potato with the Idiot Ball. This rivalry would only heat up even more in 2020 when Persona 4's own, Updated Re-release, Persona 4 Golden, was ported to Steam only a few months after the release of Persona 5 Royal.
    • 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.
    • When NEO: The World Ends with You was first revealed, an offhanded comparison to Persona 5 caused both games' fandoms to tear into each other, with The World Ends with You fans angry over Persona 5 overshadowing the long awaited sequel, while Persona 5 fans were angry over being stereotyped as clueless in regards to other games and real life locations like Shibuya Crossing.
    • A rather nasty one developed with Xenoblade in 2020. Initially, it started out in between the releases of Personal 5 Royal and Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, where fans would be arguing over which game was the better JRPG, though that calmed down for several months. However, after it was revealed that Persona 5 Royal was nominated for Best RPG at the Game Awards while Xenoblade wasn't, tensions immediately flared back up due to the bitterness of Xenoblade fans upset over not receiving recognition, with fans of both sides ragging on the other side. It could also be seen as an extension of the Console Wars, as Persona games mainly favor PlayStation platforms, while Xenoblade is outright owned by Nintendo.
  • Fan Nickname: Good boy Akechi for the character pre-twist when he's thought of as the second coming of the Detective Prince, if you can call it that and Darkechi for the character as he's depicted during the third semester in Royal.
  • Fanfic Fuel: Take any fictional (or real) villain from any medium, and you can be sure the Phantom Thieves will be there to change their heart.
  • Fanon:
    • Joker'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 Joker, 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 Joker's life.
    • Alternately, fanworks often jokingly feature Bayonetta as Joker's mother, due to both of them being dark-haired gunslingers who have powers associated with darkness as well as a few other similarities.
    • Since Joker is stated to hail from the countryside, a popular headcanon is that his hometown is Inaba.
    • Due to a case of Angst? What Angst? in the aftermath of Joker's arrest, some fan works depict Joker having to deal with PTSD as a result of his experiences while being brutally interrogated by the police. Others try reconstructing it since it was All According to Plan, to the point where he was willing to risk getting killed by Akechi if it failed.
    • 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.
      • Another popular post-canon occupation for Joker is that he takes over LeBlanc once Sojiro retires, or otherwise gets involved in the restaurant business — this also makes sense given how Sojiro teaches him the tricks of the trade and both he and the other Phantom Thieves admit that the coffee and curry that Joker makes are pretty decent considering that he's there for less than a year. It helps that the part-time job that's considered the best involves working in a bar, allowing him to learn other skills that would benefit him should he go into that sort of business.
    • Fans of Joker/Akechi tend to portray Kasumi as a Shipper on Deck who pairs the two herself likely due to the very strong Power Trio dynamic between the three, with some preferring to add her to the pairing instead.
    • Some interesting theories involving Akechi and Futaba. Specifically, the idea that 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+. While Akechi and Futaba potentially being half-siblings is still up in the air, the popular fan theory that Akechi's mother was involved in Wakaba's cognitive pscience research was jossed with the release of Persona 5 Royal, where it's revealed that she was a prostitute who was knocked up by Shido.]]
    • Speaking of Wakaba, her research into cognitive pscience has spawned many theories of her potentially being affiliated with groups such as the Kirijo Group or SEBEC, both of which were known to have dabbled in such areas.
    • Hifumi, one of Joker's many Confidants, shows slight Chuunibyou tendencies whenever she plays Shogi. Outside of that, she's fairly reserved in personality with everything else she does. Fanworks have taken that quality and ran with it, often portraying Hifumi as a full blown Otaku with many nerdy interests outside of shogi.
    • Thanks to Sae taking the revelation that Makoto is part of the Phantom Thieves rather badly, 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 a popular ship especially amongst the Western fanbase. To the surprise of absolutely no one, this gave rise to stuff like this and this. Further fuel for this headcanon comes from the fan databook, where it's revealed that much like Makoto, Sae also practices martial arts as a hobby, in her case kickboxing.
  • 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.
    • As far as same sex pairings go, Joker/Akechi is the undisputed fan-preferred gay ship for fanworks, due to their Foe Yay dynamic and Akechi's canonical affection towards Joker, which gets turned Up to Eleven in the western release. The pairing receives tons of Fan Art and Doujinshi from fans, and has the most stories out of all of Joker's potential pairings on sites like Archive of Our Own. It even reached a point where official surveys have received comments from fans in both Japan and the west who wished Akechi was a romance option.
  • Foe Yay: Joker and Goro Akechi, obviously. Although it's mostly 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 costumes pair well with each other.
    • After The Reveal, you find out that despite being responsible for the mental shutdown and psychotic breakdown incidents, Akechi has not lied to Joker about his feelings and his past.
    • During the infiltration of Shido's Palace, Akechi tells Joker that he admired Joker's prowess, and wishes 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.
    • More fuel gets added to the fire in Royal in which during the winter term events, Maruki compares Joker's desire to seeing Akechi alive again to his own feelings towards his ex-girlfriend, and the P5R Official Complete guide mentioning that Akechi doesn't care about anyone other than Joker, even comparing the dynamics between the two and Kasumi as a Love Triangle of sorts.
  • 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.
  • Franchise Original Sin:
    • One of the biggest complaints about the game is that Morgana stops you from going out and doing whatever you want at night, making you go to sleep. Except this is not new for the series, just the first time another character is preventing you from going out. Even in Persona 3 and Persona 4, you are told that you can't go out at night numerous times.
    • When the announcement came that the Updated Re-release Persona 5: Royal would be released as a PlayStation 4 exclusive, more than a handful of fans and critics decried what they saw as Atlus' attempt to get people to pay for the same game again on the same console three years after release. What these people tend to forget is that this is, in fact, the second time that Atlus has done something like this. Persona 3 FES, an updated rerelease of Persona 3, was released in Japan in 2007 and 2008 for the US for the PlayStation 2 only a little more than a year after its initial release (or the same year as release in other territories like the EU and Australia), and with less substantial changes than the ones announced for Royal. What changed was the rise of Downloadable Content in The Seventh Generation of Console Video Games, a function the PlayStation 2 lacked. Most fans expected an update in the form of FES or Golden, but assumed it would be an Expansion Pack due to the expanse of technology.
  • 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.
    • Where Persona 4 has this with Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Diamond Is Unbreakable, this game has it with Vento Aureo. While the similarities aren't as prevalent as with the former two works, both Persona 5 and Vento Aureo involve a gang of criminals comprised of young outcasts who desire to better society. It also helps that Persona 5's flamboyance and general sense of style is very JoJo-esque.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • This fancomic for Persona 3 has Minato act like a Jerkass 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 is relieved that you only moved to Inaba because of your parents' work, noting that she thought it was something more serious, as a dig at the Persona 3 protagonist's gloomy backstory.Note  The Persona 5 protagonist gets arrested and put on probation for saving a woman from assault, thereby causing him to be expelled from his previous school and is forced to move to Tokyo to attend Shujin Academy.
    • During the field trip to Iwatodai in Persona 4, the entire cast plays the "King's Game," which somehow results in the entire cast getting drunk despite their drinks containing no alcohol whatsoever. One such member of the cast, Yukiko, played by Amanda Winn-Lee, arguably gets her "drunkeness" played up for the most laughs in the scene. Come Persona 5, and Amanda Winn Lee plays the Devil confidant, Ichiko Ohya, whose alcoholism is decidedly not played for laughs, being treated as an addiction come about as a coping mechanism for being unable to stop one of her friends being blamed for murdering someone.
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    G 
  • Game-Breaker: See here.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • While one might be familiar with Leviathan, the second form of the boss fight with Shadow Niijima as a reference to The Book of Job, one might not be aware of its reference to Leviathan or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common-Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil by Thomas Hobbes, a 17th Century treatise on government (and trope namer for Hobbes Was Right) that, essentially, argued that man was naturally warlike and brutish and could only be contained by a strong government. Considering the line of work that Sae Niijima does and how they view criminals, the reference to the latter seems appropriate.
    • The Mementos overview screen recalls the graphical renditions of Inferno from Dante's The Divine Comedy, a multi-tiered abyss tapering down to the core of the Earth. According to Dante, the door to Inferno is found just below Jerusalem, considered the centre and symbol of human civilisation. Likewise, the entrance to Mementos is in Shibuya, home to the world's busiest pedestrian crossing and one of the busiest railway stations, a symbol of modern civilisation on its own.
    • The lowest point of Mementos Depths resembles a Panopticon, a model for a hypothetical perfect prison first described by Jeremy Bentham in 1791: multiple stacked circular rows of individual cells, all open on the inner side. A warden would then be able to monitor each inmate from a tower at the centre of the building. Of course, in this case the warden spot is occupied by the Holy Grail.
    • On the contrary side of the Depths of Mementos, we have Maruki's Palace, which upon close attention, has its floors arranged exactly like the Sefirot Tree of Life, starting from an entrance consisting of an extremely long elevator shaft heading straight into the yellow globe structure midway, to the Palace Center being connected right into the Path of Da'at / Heart of Mementos, and the structure leading all the way upwards into coming contact with "God" in the Garden of Eden aka Maruki, respectively representing the Sphere of Malkuth connecting to the other parts of Sefirot, the Sphere of Tipereth being associated with the heart and connecting to Da'at and the sphere of Kether being the topmost sphere of the Tree of Life and the ultimate realization of enlightenment. Last but not least, the facilities are also arranged in a zigzag-upwards fashion, matching the way that the Sefirot is supposed to be navigated.
    • The skull-like Will Seeds the player can collect in Royal resemble real-life snapdragon pods, only much larger.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The reaction to the Phantom Thieves in Japan is mixed, seeing as the archetype of the Phantom Thief is more associated with gaudiness and camp. Meanwhile, Western fans tend to think of thieves who target the powerful and help the powerless more as badass rebels, in addition to America's greater emphasis on personal freedom and battling corrupt institutions. As a result, audience reception in the West has been much more favorable towards the goals of the Phantom Thieves.
  • Goddamned Bats: In Royal, any enemy with no weaknesses and an immunity to Psy is very annoying to take down quickly, requiring either Psy Break or luck with Sleep or Dizzy for reliable Technical damage. It's even worse if they're also immune to guns or Physical, which were otherwise reliable ways of dealing effective damage. Kali in Shido's Palace fits both these criteria.
  • Goddamned Boss:
    • The former noble in Shido's Palace. He's weak against thunder, but that's his only saving grace. The thing that makes his fight such a massive pain is that he almost never attacks directly, and instead spams brainwashing moves to force your party to fight each other. And that's basically what he does for almost every. Single. Turn. Making the fight insanely monotonous. So not only do you have to constantly deal with brainwashed teammates, but you'll probably end up chewing through your stock of status-ailment curing items. By far the worst outcome is if he takes control of Morgana or Makoto, as you'll have undoubtedly unlocked Diarahan (instantly restore the target to full health) on both of them by the time you fight him. If they get taken over, there's a good chance they will use them and instantly heal the boss back to full health.
    • Shadow Youji is fought as a Duel Boss, greatly reducing the action advantage you have on him. He has a simple pattern of spamming Rising Slash, but if he catches on that you have physical immunity, he chooses to rain Megidolas on you. And while he's vulnerable to status ailments, he always recovers from them at a faster-than-normal rate, making it difficult to trivialize the fight. If you're rushing through Sojiro's Confidant on a New Game+ and engage this boss as early as possible, Joker's lower-than-usual HP and SP can make this boss a tricky stumbling block.
    • Under the wrong luck and circumstances, the battle with the boss of the Star confidant, Shadow Togo, can fall into this. Possessing not only Medium level multi-target spells but also Dyne-level single target spells in every elemental affinity save Bless, unless the player comes into the fight alone with themselves and a carefully crafted persona she will spam each affinity until she finds one that hits the weakness of one of your party members. Once she does that and knocks the party member down, she'll usually follow up with Mamudoon, an all-target Curse spell that insta-kills any party member that it hits. If it happens to hit the protagonist, it's Game Over.
    • Another Mementos target exclusive in Royal that falls under this category is Shadow Minamoto from Royal's new Mementos section. Unlike any other target, this guy transforms into a Yoshitsune. Yes, you read that right. To make things worse, this target has everything that your Yoshitsune most likely has, namely Charge, Heat Riser, Ziodyne and most importantly, Hassou Tobi, and this attack can kill literally anyone without Phys immunity unbuffed. With Charge or Technical by Ziodyne, this is surefire death. To make things worse, he has no weaknesses and blocks Physical and Bless while repelling Electric. While Joker would most obviously have a persona immune to physical at this point, your party members usually don't and Ryuji or Sumire will most definitely get shut down for good. While Joker may have no risk in this fight, expect anyone else to drop like flies when confronting him.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • The propaganda speech that plays on loop in the Cruise Ship Palace cuts out while he's saying "In order to make that natural course of action of reality, I will-". While this is usually attributed to a bug or an incomplete audio file, some players think it symbolizes how empty the political rhetoric and promises are pretty well.
    • In the vanilla game, the developers forgot to make Bonus Boss The Reaper immune to the Despair effects of flu season. As a result, it's trivially easy to enter a battle with the Reaper during Flu Season, wait out three turns, and watch the Reaper die on his own, all for a massive amount of easy experience points. Royal fixed this exploit so it no longer works.

    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.
    • 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.
    • 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 Black Mask as well as being a member of the Phantom Thieves.
    • 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.
    • In Royal, Kasumi displays odd quirks or even depressive episodes that she admits that she isn't supposed to have, with a big chunk of those being played for laughs. It turns out that Maruki made this "Kasumi," or Sumire, think that she was Kasumi, causing her to go into cognitive dissonance, which all of these depressive episodes or quirky behavior embody.
    • A Snack Pack is actually one of the worst possible post-hangout gifts that you may give to Sumire. Why? Because giving out snacks is something Maruki almost always does after any of his counselling sessions. You are basically reminding her of the traumatic experience where she lost Kasumi and got so depressed that she went to see Maruki and have her cognition changed.
    • This game about exposing corrupt people who project respectable veneers and are seen as heroes by many came out in the United States in 2017. Later that year, the entire American celebrity scene was rocked by scandal after scandal as numerous famous and much-lauded people, especially actors and directors, were exposed as sexual predators, costing many people in real life their idols as well.
    • In late 2017, the US Olympic Gymnastic team doctor, Larry Nassar, was convicted of doing exactly what Kamoshida was doing, using his position of power in a high-level sports team to sexually abuse the girls under him. All the while those in charge either were willfully ignorant of the situation or were actively covering it up.
    • In Chapter 4 of the Dengeki comic anthology, one of Akechi's fangirls ask Sae that if she was Akechi's mother. Sae then goes onto LeBlanc with a foul mood. In Royal, we found out that Akechi's mom is a stripper that Shido raped and she birthed Akechi out of wedlock during the protagonist's hangout with him in the bathhouse. The fangirls are ignorantly saying Sae was a call-girl; small wonder she's so mad.
    • Joker's VA, Xander Mobus, has mentioned his discomfort with jokes being made of the character going down the Harem Route, and doesn't consider it canon, feeling it makes Joker way too much of a jerk instead of a genuine hero. Dummied Out content in Royal reveals that, in Maruki's dream reality, all of Joker's potential girlfriends mindlessly love him and are shown to be obedient puppets to him. This unused scene portrays Joker as an unrepentant jerk who deep down was fine with manipulating his love interests and his desire to get away scots-free for cheating on them, which is probably why it was nixed from the final product. This makes any jokes about Joker's harem much harsher, and many have expressed serious discomfort over the matter.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Accepting Ryuji's invitation to hang out with him at the fishing pond on July 3rd is this once you realize from later canonical information that he did it to spend time with Joker on his birthday.
  • 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. This continued in the re-release with Royal, where Daymond switches gears to focus on Akechi's cold, condescending side and crazed bloodlust in battle for the Third Term. Fans have further praised his versatility and some have even wanted to keep Akechi on as the navigator with his Black Comedy commentary and unhinged attitude.
    • 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.
    • Erika Harlacher should get special mention for her delivery of the following line. And remember that this is someone who's known for voicing Nice Girl characters note , mind you:
      Ann: "(To Kamoshida) Shut up. I bet everyone told you the same. But you... you took EVERYTHING from them!!"
  • He's Just Hiding!: Fans have applied this to Akechi's "death", due to the sound editing and the event where he seemingly dies happening offscreen, as well as his popularity amongst the fanbase. Royal seemingly reveals that Akechi survived this encounter, only for it to be revealed that this Akechi is a cognition created by Maruki. Allegedly. The protagonist never told Maruki about Akechi (though he did turn Morgana into a human actor that he wanted to look like even though Maruki doesn't have that knowledge as well) and the method that the former uses to revive people means that Akechi wouldn't have remembered encountering his doppelganger in Shido's Palace, except this Akechi does. To add further condition to his final fate, Akechi (or at least someone resembling him) appears in the game's True Ending. Fans wonder if Atlus deliberately left the scene ambiguous in case they wished to bring them back for future games.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The player character is a Megami Tensei protagonist that dresses mostly in black, has a talking cat sidekick, prefers jazzy music, summons or investigates supernatural entities, and is in both a Lighter and Softer and Denser and Wackier game compared to the mainline SMT games. Wait, are we talking about Joker, or Raidou Kuzunoha?
    • 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 has 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 Shujin 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 be 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 lampshades this fact in her Twitter when she announced the role.
    • Joker being an expy of Lelouch was even voiced by Jun Fukuyama. While his English voice wasn't Lelouch's English voice actor, the previous protagonist Yu Narukami was.
    • 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 and gun (knifegun). Persona 5 uses the thief motif to emphasize the stealth and Joker 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.
    • Even better, the Hermit Social Link in Persona 3 is your teacher, who unknowingly tells the player that they have a crush on the MC.
    • 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, albeit this time from the army led by the very man Okumura's Shadow pays homage to. Not only that, but the game is heavily implied to take place in 2016, the same year Rogue One was released; the final dungeon even takes place in December, the same month as said film's release.
    • 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: Shadow of the Labyrinth became more ironic after the release of the game.
    • The MC in this game being called Joker has had many fans making references to The Joker of Batman fame. In the Batman Tell Tale series, one of the routes you can take in that game has The Joker himself becoming a vigilante fighting against a corrupt system that wronged him, just like the MC and the Phantom Thieves. The Joker's outfit in that route (purple longcoat and painted on domino mask) even resembles the MC. Also, in the Royal update, Laura Post joins the cast as potential love interest Kasumi Yoshizawa. Laura previously voiced Harley Quinn, the Joker's girlfriend, in the aforementioned Telltale game.
    • When beginning your first time working at Crossroads, Morgana muses about the possibility of the MC needing to cross-dress. Cue Persona 5: Dancing Star Night, where the MC gets a cross-dressing costume.
    • In Sae's Palace, Futaba makes a reference to Super Smash Bros. here. Fast forward to December 2018 at The Game Awards and Joker himself debuts as a fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Sufficed to say, a lot of fans never saw that coming.
    • One of the retro games that Joker can play in his room is called Punch Ouch, an obvious riff on Punch-Out!!. Now, as a fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Joker can go head to head with Little Mac, the star of the actual Punch-Out!!, and fight in the boxing ring from that game.
    • Futaba has frequently been noted to have a striking resemblance to an Inkling, specifically the orange-tentacled girl that's the unofficial mascot of the game. Futaba's Spirit Battle in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has her represented by the very same Inkling girl.
    • Joker being given an official Canon Name of Ren Amamiya became this after the seiyuu chosen to voice new character Kasumi Yoshizawa in Persona 5: Royal was revealed to be none other than Sora Amamiya.
    • Makoto's Phantom Thief biker outfit having some similarities to Kenshiro is amusing enough, especially considering that Atlus' parent company Sega released a few games based on the license, and shared a voice actor with this game in Lost Paradise. Then Royal came, and it was revealed that Makoto received a new finisher that's very similar to Ken's famous Hundred-Crack Fist.
    • Some of the DLC's included the ability to use the main Personas of Makoto Yuki and Yu Narukami. to be used by Joker. Come Royal, and while you can still use them, new DLC allows you to square off against both Personas separately alongside their true masters.
    • In the Proof of Justice OVA of the game's anime adaptation, Akechi mentions that he can't cook. In Persona 5 Royal, the Kitchen Set is one of the worst post-hangout gifts you can give him.
    • Phoenix Ranger Featherman was undoubtedly inspired by Super Sentai (most likely Choujin Sentai Jetman), but then a few years after Persona 5 had released, Super Sentai had a new series known as Kaitou Sentai Lupinranger VS Keisatsu Sentai Patranger. As you can guess by the name, one of the sentai teams have a Phantom Thieves theme.
    • Just when you thought Iwai was done with the Yakuza life, along comes Yakuza: Like a Dragon to pull him right back in. And this time, he's joined by none other than Sae herself!
    • This video shows a mod in Persona 4 where Adachi will be your navigator. In Royal, the Third Semester essentially has something extremely similar where Akechi briefly acts as your navigator.
  • Hype Backlash:
    • Despite loving the game, some fans don't think the game deserves all the praise it gets, commenting that, while the game had incredible art and music direction and vastly improved gameplay, the story and writing itself took a nosedive after the first boss, with the narrative being much weaker during certain palaces.
    • Sometime after the game's anime adaption finished airing, A-1 Pictures announced an OVA special titled Dark Sun..., and some time later it was announced there would be a teaser for an upcoming project named Persona 5 R at the end of the special, coinciding with the discovery of several Persona 5-related domains that had been registered months before. After "Dark Sun..." finished airing, fans got to see the teaser, which was thirty seconds long and served as an announcement would be another teaser released in March 2019. This caused backlash in the fandom with fans upset that the teaser was an announcement for another teaser trailer, but was mitigated slightly by Atlus announcing there were several other projects in the works.

    I 
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming: 'The Royal Trio' for the Kasumi (Sumire)/Joker/Akechi ship. 'The Royal Trio' is also used to refer to the three-person-group as a whole, even platonically, due to their shared importance in Royal.
  • Idiot Plot:
    • Morgana leaving the team during the first stages of Okumura's palace is considered by many as this. Fans criticized how poorly handled the characters are, particularly Ryuji and Morgana, who both seem to be playing hot potato with the Jerkass Ball. The rest of the Phantom Thieves also grasp the Idiot Ball for being completely oblivious to Morgana's own problems of not being useful enough until it was too late, particularly Joker, as players aren't given an option to speak in Morgana's defense or ask what was bothering him. The only person who could be seen as completely blameless would be Haru, since she is new to the whole experience and doesn't really have much power to decide one way or another. And at one point, the Phantom Thieves give up on going after Morgana in Mementos with the lack of vehicle as their reason, despite one of them (if you haven't maxed out Makoto's social link) having a motorbike as a Persona.
    • Whether or not it is justified is up to debate, but The Dragon's scheme which drives the game's plot could be considered this. The crux of Akechi's scheme is to ruin Shido's career out of revenge. As pointed out by the Phantom Thieves, he could have just killed Shido or induced a psychotic breakdown on him and be done with it. But instead, he goes the roundabout way of spending years propping up Shido's career while ruining many other people's lives in the process. This comes to bite him when Shido had long since anticipated Akechi's betrayal and had planned to have him disposed off once Shido wins the elections, meaning that Akechi's efforts would be All for Nothing.
  • Informed Wrongness:
    • The people that oppose the Phantom Thieves' actions that didn't have ulterior motives behind it. While you can make the excuse that their targets were irredeemable bastards that were too powerful to be dealt with by the authorities, many of the people that oppose them didn't know the circumstances. As far as they knew, the Thieves were brainwashing innocent people. By the end of the game, these people end up having their minds changed.
    • To some, the decision to steal Okumura's heart. After it's revealed that the Conspiracy tricked the Thieves by hacking into the Phan-Site and pushing Okumura to the top of the polls, in order to lure them into a trap and dispose of a member who'd become a liability, the Thieves lament that they've lost sight of their real goals. However, the group as a whole showed no signs of letting fame go to their head, and even hesitated about changing Okumura's heart despite popular demand until they met Haru. Ryuji was the only one who lamented at having to be a hero who works in the shadows, and everyone else lambastes him for wanting to be famous. Furthermore, Okumura had committed many of the same abuses of his power that the other targets had, and was the prime suspect for the mental shutdowns at the time. (Shadow Okumura confesses that he only ordered the assassinations as opposed to carrying them out himself, but that fact doesn't make what he did any better). Essentially, while the decision to steal Okumura's heart has disastrous consequences, it's hard to say that it wasn't justified.
      • And for that matter, it's not even clear that what happens to Okumura after the Thieves cause a change of heart wouldn't have happened without the Phantom Thieves, anyway. He'd clearly been set up to die by a powerful conspiracy, and even if the conspiracy couldn't have caused a mental shutdown on Okumura without following the Phantom Thieves into Okumura's Palace, Akechi shooting Joker clearly demonstrates that the conspiracy wasn't above old-fashioned murder if the need arose. It's hard to see a situation where Okumura lives, even if the Phantom Thieves had avoided being the patsy. In that light, Okumura dying isn't a consequence of the Phantom Thieves' actions, it's a consequence of the conspiracy putting out a hit on him.
    • The game makes a big deal of the Phantom Thieves' methods being morally questionable and akin to Heel–Face Brainwashing, but the Phantom Thieves can't do anything but make somebody feel guilty about bad things they've actually done. The Phantom Thieves can't frame somebody for something they didn't do, and they can't technically even force a confession; all they can do is make somebody feel really bad about what they've done. It's hard to see stealing hearts as that morally gray when it has less potential for misuse than a lecture from your mom. Even fans who find the whole "taking your heart" element odd fall into this, since the villains are so evil that there is no alternative way to do so.
      • That being said, there is an air of moral greyness to the Thieves' actions as a whole; the notion of changing hearts, as well as Morgana's statements concerning the act (namely that once a distorted heart has been stolen, the person affected by the heart-change will never experience a distortion again), indicate that the Thieves are essentially "stealing away" a fundamental part of someone's personality. Likewise, the act of stealing hearts does place those targeted in danger of suffering a mental breakdown if the act goes too far, which is what befell Okumura (at the hands of Akechi) and nearly befell Kamoshida (if not for Ann deciding to let him live). With all that out of the way, the public is largely unaware of the mechanics behind the whole "changing hearts" thing to begin with. So from their perspective, the Phantom Thieves are just making people feel really bad about things they've done, despite the actual circumstances centered around the Thieves' actions are more complicated than that.
      • And it turns out that there is a very clear reason why; They are all being tricked into fulfilling Yaldabaoth's goal of cleaning up personalized palaces whose owners he considers nothing more than a threat to his plan by spreading chaos; "Changing their heart" merely causes them to become Empty Shells which is what Yaldabaoth exactly wanted, because their heart is just nothing but evil, stealing it merely causes them to have nothing left. What happens next after everyone else is done for is that they will be imprisoned and executed for him to unleash his day of reckoning without any interference. This also explains why the change of heart of Takuto Maruki after Yaldabaoth's fall was of positive effect, because he still have a part of good in him, unlike most of the targets who are pure evil.
  • Iron Woobie: Joker. He goes through a lot of crap throughout the whole game. Whether it be treated like a social pariah for a crime he did not commit, being betrayed by his own teammate and mentor figure, or nearly getting himself brutally interrogated, killed, or erased from existence, it's all one big Trauma Conga Line. Despite this, he does not falter from his goals (discounting two of the bad endings) and takes all the abuse with stride.
  • It's Easy, So It Sucks!: A criticism against Royal was that the added features actually make the game much more of a cakewalk than it was in vanilla. While several quality-of-life changes and Anti-Frustration Features do make the game less frustrating, some fans feel it went way too far in that direction by stacking the odds so heavily in the player's favor that beating the game becomes trivial. Social Stats are easier to raise without a guide, Confidant links are easier to manage, and the new battle mechanics (like Showtime attacks as a Desperation Attack) heavily weigh victory towards the player.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: The confrontation with Black Mask in Royal plays nearly exactly the same as it did in vanilla, aside from a few small dialogue changes. Given how much Royal had extensive changes to the boss battles against the palace rulers who now have more gimmicks to make them either more difficult or more interesting, a lot of players hoped that Black Mask would get the same. This was especially disappointing for those who felt that Black Mask was a pitifully easy boss to handle in vanilla.
  • It Was His Sled: The plot point about Goro Akechi being the one who sold out the protagonist during the Casino heist became well known days before the game was even released, due to datamining of digital preloads of the game. Additionally, there is the reveal of their identity as Black Mask which as of 2019, Atlus no longer even considers worth hiding, as the pre-release trailers for Royal feature them in full view in that form.

    J-L 
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Goro Akechi. He has done a bunch terrible things, but he wouldn't have turned out the way he did if not for a 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.
    • Morgana. There are many times where he acts like a Jerkass, notably when he constantly heckles Ryuji and when he leaves the Phantom Thieves. However, he also has a lot of personal issues which includes an identity crisis and doubts of self-worth, especially when he felt that he wasn't useful to the Phantom Thieves anymore.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Joker, obviously, for being the main character. Popular gay ships include Joker/Akechi, Joker/Yusuke, and Joker/Ryuji, while the top hetero ships are Joker/Makoto, Joker/Futaba, Joker/Sadayo, and Joker/Kasumi.
  • 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.
    • A lot of lesbian fans seem to headcanon Makoto as being a Butch Lesbian despite her being a potential love interest for Joker, due to her strong "steel hiding velvet" type personality and the leather-biker image of her Queen outfit.
    • Some fanfic writers depict Ann as a Lipstick Lesbian as well, due to her being a model and the most relatively overt example of Ms. Fanservice of the main cast. In most of these cases, she tends to be paired with Shiho due to some interpreting their extremely close relationship as romantic instead of platonic.
    • The LGBT Fanbase is so strong that there are plenty of memes going around essentially treating the Phantom Thieves as a Cast Full of Gay.
  • Love to Hate:
    • Fans generally agree that Starter Villain Kamoshida is one of the best written and most delightfully despicable antagonists in the game. It's absolutely horrifying to learn that this monster gets away with all of the things he does because he's just too invaluable to the school's reputation; a situation that is nightmarishly realistic. Some have gone as far as criticizing the game for peaking too early due to just how much of a Hate Sink Kamoshida is, as well as the Catharsis Factor in taking him out.
    • The only other antagonist to rival Kamoshida in this category is Masayoshi Shido. He is responsible for ruining the life of The Protagonist over the pettiest reason and is willing to murder innocents or loyal lackeys, including his own son all to improve his career, while shrugging the incidents off almost instantly like they were nothing. Fans seem to enjoy his onscreen appearance and love hearing his speeches, though clearly not as much as they love giving Shido the ass-kicking he deserves.

    M 
  • Magnificent Bastard: From Royal: Takuto Maruki is the mastermind behind the events of the third term. When his girlfriend Rumi fell into a coma, Maruki awakened to a Persona that granted him the ability to alter other people's cognitions and used his power to help Rumi, and later others, cope with their trauma. Among his patients is Sumire Yoshizawa, who later believes herself to be her older sister Kasumi thanks to Maruki's power. While at Shujin, Maruki uses his natural charm to get the members of the Phantom Thieves to open up their heart's desires to him. During the Day of Reckoning, Maruki gains the ability to change reality itself and uses it to create a stagnant reality where everyone has what they want. When the Phantom Thieves discover his involvement in the new reality, Maruki is briefly able to lure Sumire to his side and drives her Persona berserk to fight the rest of the Thieves. Later during the final battle, Maruki uses sheer will power to prevent his Palace from immediately collapsing. After Joker saves him from falling to his death, Maruki expresses admiration for the young man for always keeping his head up.
  • 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 Loser:
    • Mishima gets this treatment both from fans and In-Universe, as he is treated as The Friend Nobody Likes by the Phantom Thieves, despite him being the admin of the Phan-Site. A lot of options the player can take during his Confidant involve Joker showing irritation towards Mishima, and even Futaba mocks him via Brutal Honesty during Rank 5 of her Confidant by calling him an NPC.
    • Within the wake of the announcement of a new party member in the Updated Re-release, Hifumi has gotten this treatment given how she was supposed to be a party member but became a Confidant instead while a brand new character ended up joining the Phantom Thieves and Hifumi was still not a Phantom Thief. It doesn't help much that pre-release footage made it seem like P5R's story will diverge from the original Persona 5.
    • While still a well-liked character, Haru has become this due to suffering the major problems of Late Character Syndrome, with jokes among fans centred around her comparative lack of screentime as compared to the rest of the Phantom Thieves, not helping matters was how her arc was overshadowed by Morgana during the Okumura Palace arc. After the release of Royal, fans took it further by commenting that new additions Kasumi and Maruki were better integrated into the story than Haru was.
  • Memetic Molester:
    • Tae Takemi. Her confidant starts off with her giving Joker an experimental drug that knocks him unconscious. Combine that with the fact that, should she be romanced, Takemi actually drops some Casual Kink foreplay. Naturally, it didn't take long for the fandom to have a field day with it. The anime adaptation takes it a step further by having Takemi preemptively offering Joker drugs rather than him having to convince her to take him on as a test subject like in the game.
    • Sadayo Kawakami gets this treatment too from people who can't stomach the idea of a Student/Teacher Romance.
    • Futaba Sakura also doubles between this and Memetic Troll due to her bugging of Leblanc and even Joker's cell phone. Many jokes has been made of Futaba monitoring everything Joker does, and even his search history.
  • Memetic Mutation: Has its own page here.
  • Memetic Psychopath: Several of Haru's Mementos skits have her talking aloud about how much she enjoys fighting shadows, coupled with her having one of the more aggressive reactions despite remaining somewhat calm and composed should you cheat on her during Valentine's Day, has naturally lead to fans characterizing her as Cute and Psycho.
    Haru: "Why is it that I get a shiver of excitement whenever the Shadows plead for their lives?"
  • Memetic Troll: Morgana, due to him dictating the player's time and refusing to let them do anything but sleep during several parts of the story, and after coming back home from the Metaverse. He quickly 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 a player had the option to flat-out execute the targets. This is despite a few key issues. Firstly, the idea of killing a target defeats the entire premise of stealing a target's heart as the Phantom Thieves; it makes the team into assassins instead of thieves, making them no better than those who oppose them. Second, Ann explicitly shuts down killing a target when Kamoshida suggests it in favor of what is pointed out to be a Fate Worse than Death, with a better chance of positive side effects on top of that. Finally, the fallout from the Okumura arc, wherein Black Mask kills Okumura by killing his Shadow, leaving the Phantom Thieves to take the fall and ruining their reputation, demonstrates exactly why this is a very bad idea.
    • The endings of Royal being a bad ending and a Golden Ending. According to the Persona 5 Official Complete Guide, neither was designed as the true ending, and were internally referred to by the development team as the Stay Ending and the Return Ending, with the belief that there's no single path to justice.
  • 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.
    • Additionally, some were mad over Royal rewriting the Shinjuku Creatures to remove the homophobic implications, with some going as far as to say that social justice warriors are now running the industry. However, the scene was just poorly translated in the English version of the original game. In Japanese, they just offered to buy Ryuji a drink because they assumed he's in the gay hookup district for the same reason they are. Ryuji freaks out over it because he's underage and doesn't want to get caught and there is no implication of molestation at all.
  • 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 and gentle 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.
    • The Royal edition of the game gives us Kasumi Yoshizawa (a.k.a. Sumire Yoshizawa), an Adorkable gymnast who at one point tries to spook the protagonist by yelling "Konnichi… Wa!" while displaying odd and quirky behavior all around. When her true identity is exposed in earnest, she was also exposed to have one of the most tragic backstories and circumstances in the Persona series, one that most certainly explains her odd behavior and would most likely make one want to give her a hug as well. In a manner more extreme than Futaba, she also acts very flustered if the protagonist decides to start dating her.
  • 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.
    • Kamoshida did a lot of terrible things, including causing Ryuji's Career-Ending Injury, spreading rumours of his home life (thereby provoking Ryuji into punching him and using that as an excuse to get the track team shut down just to make the volleyball club stand out more) and of Joker's record (thus turning him into a social pariah), and also harassing Ann. However, the one thing that makes Joker and the players conclude that he's crossed the line is his sexual assault on Ann's friend Shiho, which resulted her suicide attempt.
    • Madarame crossed this when he reveals that he allowed Yusuke's mother to die, all so he could claim the painting she had made as a memento for her son as his own work. While they're gathering intel on him, the Phantom Thieves are also told that Madarame's emotional abuse of his students was so intense that at least one of his students was Driven to Suicide — with the implication being that Yusuke could do the same if the abuse isn't dealt with.
    • Kaneshiro crossed the line in one of the bad endings, where it was implied that he kidnapped, drugged, and forced Makoto into prostitution. It doesn't actually happen, given that it's a false memory caused by the drugs, but when he makes comments about how Makoto might earn the money she needs to pay him off, it's clear that this is not out of character for him.
    • If Kunikazu Okumura did not cross it when he was implied to be a client of the Black Mask who had his competitors assassinated via mental shutdowns, or his lack of regard for the welfare of his employees, he definitely crossed it with the horrible treatment of his daughter. Despite knowing that Haru's fiance is a Domestic Abuser, his shadow shows that he doesn't care and even encourages such behaviour as long as it benefits him.
    • Black Mask crossed this when he murdered Joker in the bad endings (something he attempts in the good ending route, but is tricked into killing a body double) as well as when he murdered Haru's father, and possibly Futaba's mother. As a hitman working for the main villain, they would have crossed the line before the series began, as they were also involved in the mental shutdowns and psychotic breakdowns, causing dozens of people to be seriously injured or killed over the period of about two years.
    • Shido has so many Kick the Dog moments it's hard to list all of them, but the biggest one is not only causing Futaba's mother's death, he also created a fake suicide note to make it look like Futaba's mother hated her and blamed Futaba for her death, in front of the rest of her relatives. While his crimes usually have the purpose of covering his own tracks to reap the benefits or a case of You Have Outlived Your Usefulness, the fact that he deliberately chose to ruin the life of an orphaned girl just shows how needlessly cruel he is.
    • The Dirty Cop who was interrogating Joker in the beginning of the game crossed it when he beat the crap out of Joker. including grinding his foot on his head and forcibly injecting him with truth drugs. He then proceeds to threaten to break Joker's leg if he refuses to sign a False Confession, and should you refuse, he makes good on that threat.
    • Yaldabaoth may have long since crossed it when he bestowed the power of Personas to Goro Akechi, knowing full well of the atrocities he may commit while abusing that power, then manipulating the public's cognition into outrageous extremes, potentially leading to Joker being put into multiple life-threatening situations. However, his definitive moment would be his Hope Crusher moment when the Phantom Thieves first confront the Holy Grail, where he slowly and painfully erases them from existence one by one. Afterwards, he as Igor orders Caroline and Justine to execute Joker in a case of You Have Outlived Your Usefulness, all the while gleefully watching them from the sidelines. Of course, considering how close you came to finding out the truth, he's also simply smart enough to know that he should get rid of you while he still can. It's interesting to note that in contrast to Shido, his We Can Rule Together offer is actually genuine.
    • The Protagonist himself can cross it by accepting Yaldabaoth's deal to restore the real world but without the free will. Later on, the Protagonist displays a sinister smirk, indicating malicious intent.
  • More Popular Replacement:
    • While Sojiro is seen as similar to Dojima from the previous game, Sojiro ends up being more popular for a few reasons. He tries somewhat harder to close the gap between himself and Futaba than Dojima did, although his success is limited by the fact that Futaba's issues are far worse than Nanako's. Late in the game, after learning that Joker and Futaba are Phantom Thieves, Sojiro asks for the full story and agrees to shelter them, in contrast to how Dojima decides to bring Yu in for questioning after getting the threatening letter. It also helps that Sojiro has a good amount of Character Development and gradually warms up to Joker.
    • While Shido was criticized by fans for being a bland Hate Sink, the new antagonist of the Third Term in Royal, Takuto Maruki, was much better received for being an Anti-Villain with genuinely good intentions. Helping matters is that in contrast to Shido, whose motives were never explored beyond his lust for power, Maruki's motivations are far viewed as far more complex and sympathetic.
    • Kasumi can be seen as this in comparison to Marie from Persona 4: Golden. Marie has been criticized for being awkwardly put in the story and having an increase presence to the point where fan see her as a real life example of Poochie. Kasumi in contrast has been praised for having some excellent chemistry towards the other characters, not taking up too much time, and an excellent twist of actually being her sister who became the actually dead Kasumi. Some were even upset that she played no part in the spin-off The Phantom Strikers.
  • 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?
    • Sojiro's "Let me explain!" sound bite which accompanies his coffee and curry trivia.
    • "Here come the buffs!" — It's already nice when your party receives a free group buff, but all three at once is really gratifying. Just as nice to hear is "Super Move: Ultra Charge!", which is a free Charge and Concentrate for the whole team.
    • The popping in of character portraits after a battle, showing that they (or one of your Personas) have just leveled up. The more the better — and it's even more satisfying when it's then followed by a jingle indicating someone's learned a new skill.
    • Strangely, a lot of players enjoy hearing Shido's speeches while exploring his palace. The sound of his voice blaring adds a lot more ambience to the palace's atmosphere.
    • In Royal, hearing the whistle at the start of someone's turn means their Showtime attack is ready, complete with a quote and a close up of the character. When you hear that, you're ready for a show, and you'll pack a big punch at that.
    • The echoing reverb when an individual awakens to their Persona, which is followed by the Phantom Thief declaring themself free of all doubts and ready to kick ass. Which is why it becomes an Oh, Crap! moment in Royal when you hear Maruki do the same...
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    N 
  • Narm:
    • The Translation Convention in the English dub which permeates the entire Shin Megami Tensei series is here, too — it is to be assumed that everyone in Persona 5 is speaking Japanese, with the game presenting things in English for the sake of the anglophone viewer. This leads to a few moments where characters say that they can't read English while speaking in English, which is a little jarring no matter how many times you hear it. This also leads to characters in Hawaii, an American state, also speaking in Japanese without so much as a Hand Wave.
    • 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", "bastard", and "asshole". Yet he arbitrarily draws the line at "fuck" for no reason. It ends up sounding like the voice actor really wasn't comfortable saying that specific word out loud, considering there's a few uses of the word "fuck" by other characters that go uncensored. What's jarring is that Ryuji's All-Out Attack finishing touch has "FREAKIN' BORING", which looks (and 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.
    • Just like the Shadow Selves, Maruki's Metaverse form comes as such. His alternate outfit as a villain is fine, but when he prepares to fight you, he wears a King in Yellow outfit that looks like something from a Jojo cosplay and you can even see his hips outlined across the outfit.
    • The scene before said reveal of Black Mask. The game drags out the "suspense" of who Black Mask is. The game even outright plays you a recording of the character talking about how they're going to kill you after they betray you, without any real attempt to disguise their voice. And yet you are still subjected to several minutes of the pronoun game before it is dramatically revealed that yes, Black Mask was Akechi the whole time. Even the reveal of the real twist following that may not be enough to make players overlook it.
    • 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. To be fair, though, what you're playing may be Joker cycling through his memories in his head, not a narrative on what he's telling Sae.
    • Both times you personally meet Shido in the real world qualifies as this. For all accounts, the guy filed you onto probation for a minor assault case and ruined your future by sending you into Yaldabaoth's game and he doesn't even remember you. The second time is just ridiculous beyond belief; when he's rallying in Yongen-Jaya, your standing right in front of him, he looks at you and you aren't even wearing a face mask. Guess what? He doesn't even know that it's the guy he thought Akechi disposed of.
    • Haru's father's death and its aftermath takes place while you're at the game's version of Disneyland, complete with some of the characters wearing goofy animal ear headbands in front of a giant pink castle with fireworks in the sky. To say it's jarring is an understatement.
    • The whole vanilla campaign's terror effect only works for the first time around. Once you realize that the whole event that tricked you into the interrogation is a deliberate ploy on your part to outsmart The Conspiracy and the Black Mask which you obviously know as soon as you meet him and the fact that nearly everything that happened in the game from the fabricated crime against Shido, to the Phantom Thief bandwagon with no purpose other than to trick the Thieves off guard, to the increasingly snowballing popularity of Shido even during situations where it isn't supposed to happen are all rigged by a false god who's making sure that you beat the Conspiracy he personally set up just to rationalize him as the perfect god fit for ruling over the ignorant masses. Heck, the god even taught you how to survive that interrogation and you are expected to survive it!
    • In Royal the Will Seeds can be hard to take seriously since they look like giant potatoes from certain angles, most notably when Joker holds one up after collecting one.
    • The week where you have to investigate your friends in Maruki's ideal world. You literally have to walk around looking for your party members, talk to them and snap them out of the dream world, then return home right after checking a party member. It's so repetitive and long that you might actually get annoyed, especially when the music loops at the exact same order every day.
    • The Persona Q2 skins in Royal are really hard to take seriously if not every party member is wearing them, because the thieves' chibi models are actually larger in scale than their regular forms, making it look as though they're wearing giant mascot costumes.
      • If you equip Akechi's Q2 skin during the third term, he's still wearing his Crow outfit, which will make his Showtime look absolutely ridiculous.
    • In a scene at the end of Royal, Maruki tries to make one last deal with Joker to stay in his actualized reality, and leaves Joker and Akechi with the implication that if Joker returns to his original reality, then Akechi will truly remain dead. Akechi tells Joker not to waver, telling him to deny Maruki, even if it means Akechi's possible demise. The scene is incredibly serious, and yet one dialogue option is for Joker to say "This isn't small potatoes!" which just sounds very silly. Thankfully, this was fixed in an update that changes it to a more fitting line being "This isn't trivial!".
    • If you make it to the end of Shido's palace the first day it's available, Akechi's greeting of "Long time no see..." can come off as unintentionally funny because it will have been only 5 days since you last saw him.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Ryuji's No Indoor Voice tendencies nearly got the Phantom Thieves in trouble twice: once with Makoto blackmailing them after recording him and him speaking too loudly on the phone, allowing her to hear him, and once as a slip of the tongue in a sushi restaurant. But fans tend to treat Ryuji as if he loudly announces that he's a Phantom Thief at every moment he can. In fact, during the first time it happens, Ann's voice is recorded as well, but she doesn't get as much attention as Ryuji does for this.
    • The time where Morgana ended up leaving the Phantom Thieves for a short while due to an argument with Ryuji. To this day, fans debate on who is to blame for what happened, and it became a huge reason why both Morgana and Ryuji wound up having a mixed reception among the fandom.
    • Sae will forever be seen as a heartless, abusive sister to Makoto due to her hateful rant about she hates having to be the one to take care of her younger sister. Never mind that Sae regretted this as soon as she said it.
    • At the beginning of Kaneshiro's arc, Makoto will follow Joker around the overworld while clearly pretending to read a manga magazine. The game will even have her run up to Joker if he stops walking. A lot of fans remember her for this alone.
    • Yusuke's fascination with the lobsters during the beach event. 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 when he met the group at a TV station. Albeit said line did reveal he was lying to the Phantom Thieves, since Morgana was the one who said it, and Akechi shouldn't have been able to understand him. Still, it was only one line. Referenced by one of Akechi's 3rd semester Mementos lines in Royal where he mentions never wanting to hear the word "pancakes" again.
    • Sojiro is only known among the fandom by two words: "hoo boy." Just before Joker's date on Valentine's Day, Sojiro notes that it's Valentine's Day, saying "when I was young, hoo boy..." This turned Sojiro into something of a Memetic Sex God who could bed any woman he wanted in his youth. In-game, Sojiro only says this once, and his dating life isn't brought up anywhere else.
    • In a harsher sense, it's not uncommon for the fandom to give Mishima the Ron the Death Eater treatment due to his role in leaking Joker's record to the school and being Kamoshida's unwilling errand boy. The fact that his Confidant also highlights his more negative traits led to an unfortunate amount of people who take this as proof that he was less of a vicitm.
  • Nightmare Retardant:
    • Shadow Kaneshiro. His transformation is one of the most disturbing in-game as he goes limp while he twitches erratically like a fly, then the cognitive hitman start to run away as he transforms and the camera even closes up to his compound eyes to emphasize the terror. After the transformation is complete, he just screams out slangs and acts in an incredibly ridiculous and silly manner. One can say even his "human" form is acres more terrifying than his One-Winged Angel form.
    • The Reaper is an intimidating and very powerful Bonus Boss. Except during Flu Season in vanilla, where he can succumb to despair after three turns. He also talks in You No Take Candle.
    The Reaper: Me not want to talk to you. Me just want to hear your screams!
    • The Palace Shadows in Maruki's Palace look and act terrifying. If you think that the Persona 4 Heaven shadows are terrifying, these will give you the creeps even more; They are basically black-ish purple, vaguely human blobs sprawling around a research lab or paradise. And then when you tear off their masks...They pop up into several lovecraftian gods that look like rubber toys or MegaTen characters you are basically familiar with like Nebiros, Alilat or Baal.
      • One particularly obvious case happens when Maruki summons a Shadow to attack you once you refuse his view of a perfect world. The Shadow starts limping, twitching and dripping liquid while walking towards you...And then it pops into Hastur, which looks like a giant rubber toy than anything remotely disturbing or intimidating.
  • No Yay:
    • There is a subset of the fandom that ships Kamoshida with Ann or, less commonly, Ryuji or Mishima or even sometimes Shiho, all characters who have either been sexually harassed or physically abused by him.
    • Shido/Akechi has a following in the fandom, despite the fact that Shido is Akechi's father and both of them are aware of this fact. This ship gained traction as Shido is shown to not be above manipulating people for his own gain, and has had Akechi under his thumb as his personal assassin for at least two years. Akechi's supposed Uncanny Family Resemblance to his dead mother and attitude towards Shido doesn't help matters.

    O 
  • 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 Un-Twist, it isn't hard to figure out that it's Akechi, who's the last person to join your party, his Confidant bonuses not showing him being able to learn Endure next, 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 he doesn't appear in the opening movie despite his presence on the game's box art and title screen. Even his DLC costumes don't try to hide this, with him having costumes such as Ideo Hazama, Jun Kurosu, Thomas Mutton, and General Munakata, all major antagonists of their respective games.
    • Another one is Yaldabaoth. He impersonates as Igor and he doesn't do a good job at it. His voice is extremely rough unlike the soft spoken Igor, and he acts absolutely nothing like the real one. note  He doesn't even try to speak like the real deal, most notably "Welcome to my Velvet Room" instead of "the Velvet Room" as his introductory scene. Joker also meets him right during the night after the Shido probation incident, as if the incident has the sole intent of dragging him right into his schemes.
    • Maruki from Royal somewhat qualifies. He just seemed overly nice and sympathetic... and sure enough, he's the final target you have to fight in order to save the world. The only different thing is that he's not actually evil, just controlled, and even then he had noble goals at best.
  • 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.
    • A masked Persona-user named Joker who menaced society was done back in Persona 2. Even better, Eternal Punishment's JOKER also had a Red and Black and Evil All Over colour scheme. While 2's Joker isn't the protagonist, Jun Kurosu, ''Innocent Sin''s Joker, becomes a party member as well after his Heel–Face Turn.
    • The Kouha (Light) and Eiha (Dark) magic spells are from the original Persona 1. 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).
    • Yaldabaoth shares a name the final boss of Shin Megami Tensei NINE; all other Shin Megami Tensei games simply refer to the entity as the "Demiurge".
    • Sumire is actually the name of the Chaos heroine of Shin Megami Tensei: NINE.
    • In the West, some have confused Ann'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.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Black Mask has two.
    • His true persona, Loki. Its only appearance is during Akechi's Villainous Breakdown and his boss battle. Yet in those short moments, it received praise for its unique design and how it suits Akechi's character. Fortunately, in Royal you get to use Loki for the entirety of the third-term events unless the player fufills the requirements to upgrade it into Hereward.
    • During Royal's 3rd semester, Akechi briefly takes over as Navigator when the rest of the Phantom Thieves (including Futaba and Morgana) are incapacitated by Maruki's Lotus-Eater Machine. His performance was a huge hit with the fans due to nearly all of his lines being infused with Comedic Sociopathy, with some even wanting an option to keep Akechi as Navigator full-time.
  • One True Threesome:
    • Being the founders of the Phantom Thieves and a very strong Power Trio, fans have taken to shipping Joker/Ryuji/Ann together, with Morgana usually on the periphery but not involved in the dirty particulars for obvious reasons.
    • Joker/Akechi/Kasumi is also popular among fans due to the latter two having an admiration for Joker and being the only two characters in the game to be able to perform Showtime attacks with him, as well as the strong Power Trio they form during the third-term events of Royal. The fact that all three have Personas that specialize in either Bless or Curse skills (with Akechi specializing in both), as well as the P5R Official Complete Guide comparing the relationship between the three to a love-triangle also helps.

    P-R 
  • Padding: The part of the Okumura arc where Morgana temporarily leaves the Phantom Thieves after Futuba takes over his role as the team's navigator and after Ryuji jokingly calls him useless, is this for many fans. With Morgana still having his knowledge of the Metaverse and the ability to investigate Mementos as many fans don't buy his uselessness, the fact that it adds nothing to his character since he goes back to being an annoying Jerkass especially to Ryuji, and the fact that it adds nothing to the story especially during when it was supposed to be Haru's arc, this really wouldn't affect the story if this conflict was removed from the arc entirely.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • The Conspiracy led by Yaldabaoth, who has a Black Mask assassin who can travel to another world and make almost any person go berserk or mentally shut down with no warning whatsoever. It doesn't help when you are being unwittingly manipulated by the same guy who made this Conspiracy to induce Apathy-based brainwashing onto the very same force of terror he imposed upon Japan. After Shido is defeated it becomes even worse as the true leader begins to step into action himself, and it shows. Not only the remnants revealed that they have plans to take over the world with the Metaverse so even if you are outside Japan, you are not safe, the media begins denying your hard work and support for Shido inversely exaggerates to cultish levels despite it should not happen, and the next thing you know is that Yaldabaoth has decided that the public thinks that Phantom Thieves do not exist...and then you and all of your comrades suddenly writhe in pain and got Ret-Gone.
    • 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.
    • Hanging out with Goro Akechi in Royal. You knowingly hang out with this dangerous man with full knowledge that he's the Black Mask assassin that every other Palace Ruler tells you to watch out for, meanwhile when he maintains a friendly facade up until the 8th Confidant Hangout where he explicitly tells you to fight him and after the fight, he says that he will defeat and kill you. After he's reformed, he still has the Black Mask outfit and fights exactly like the Black Mask assassin you fight before, complete with the feral verbal tics during combat while snapping back to being unusually calm and stoic right after the fight. It doesn't help when even after his Heel–Face Turn, your other seven party members still treated him like a dangerous beast out to kill them.
    • While Nyarlathotep doesn't actually appear in this game, the true final boss of Royal is Azathoth, which is Nyarlathotep's father in Lovecraftian mythology. While in this game Azathoth is completely something else and is most likely unrelated to Nyarlathotep's deal, it will not make you stop thinking about it considering that two of the common enemies that you encounter in this dungeon is Biyarky and Hastur, both being Nyarlathotep's cronies in Persona 2.
  • Polished Port: Royal contains some graphical updates on the PS4 version of the game, including new portraits in dialogue and refined aesthetics for the UI, as well as an entirely new semester and incidental story cutscenes. But the game still runs smoother than ever, and the load times for everything are much quicker, even in spite of all the updates and additions.
  • Realism-Induced Horror: Part of the reason why Suguru Kamoshida is considered by players to be the best antagonist of the game is that people like him do exist in real life. Kamoshida is a realistic portrayal of a sexual predator who is given free rein to do whatever he wants under the protection of the system, simply because his talents make him a valuable asset. And unlike future palace rulers who are influential members of society such as a famous artist or head of a company, Kamoshida is just like any other ordinary school teacher that people can encounter on a daily basis.
  • Relationship Writing Fumble: Ann and Ryuji are supposed to be Platonic Life-Partners, yet they bicker so much that it starts to come across as Belligerent Sexual Tension. It gets to the point that even if you enter into a relationship with Ann, there's gonna be some cutscenes which can make it look like she has feelings for your best friend.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • A lot of players dislike Sae at first, particularly when she, in a fit of anger, calls her own sister useless and nothing more than a drain on her life out of nowhere. Toward the end of the game, however, many of those players warm up to Sae, when she proves one of the more sympathetic targets, then becomes a highly useful ally to the Thieves after changing herself without having her heart stolen.
    • From a gameplay perspective, Royal does this with the Lucifer persona. In the original game, he inexplicably had no defensive bonuses despite being a level 92 persona that required the fusion of six other personas to obtain, three of which were advanced fusion personas themselves. Royal gives him a serious upgrade, with immunity to Physical, Gun, and Curse damage along with resistance to Fire, Ice, Wind, and Lightning damage. If you level him up enough, he also covers his Bless weakness up with Repel Bless. It also gives him the extremely powerful Allure of Knowledge trait that drops the SP cost of all spells by 75%. This makes Lucifer a proper end-game persona that's worth using instead of just part of the recipe for Satanael and item fodder for Joker's best pistol.
    • Royal also gives one to Goro Akechi for various reasons. The first one was through his revised confidant in Royal. Unlike in the vanilla where his confidant automatically ranks up as the story progresses, his revised confidant allows Joker to spend genuine bonding time with Akechi that gives him a lot more Hidden Depths, making him a more compelling character. There is also during the events of the third trimester when he rejoins the Phantom Thieves, which plays up his role as the Thieves' Token Evil Teammate and gives him a dynamic with Joker akin to that between Yu and Adachi in Persona 4. Not to mention his short, but hilarious stint as navigator.
    • Royal buffs Ryuji's Confidant ability to allow you to gain experience and money from insta-kill victims, see affected enemies glowing green when you use your Third Eye, and only trigger when you're dashing, turning it from an active liability when grinding to a full-blown Game-Breaker.
  • Ron the Death Eater:
    • While the game doesn't attempt to justify their actions, a large segment of the Western fanbase demonises the Black Mask as an outright monster who is just as bad, if not worse, than the Big Bads, and ignore any of their redeeming traits.
    • In Royal, one of the side conversations while exploring Mementos during the third trimester when Akechi rejoins the team. Akechi thanks the Thieves for fulfilling his Last Request to stop Shido, only for Ryuji to coldly dismiss Akechi by saying that the Thieves did it for Joker, not for him. This has a lot of people to start calling for Ryuji's head for his needlessly cold behavior towards Akechi.
    • While the Black Mask/Akechi is by no means a saint and Royal does show that if the Phantom Thieves were to team-up with him again the relationship would be a bit vitriolic, the Thieves are shown to sympathize with the reason behind his actions, citing them as Not So Different, and during the aforementioned team up in the Third Semester, they are shown to be able to get along with him enough to chat with him while his two biggest detractors, Futaba and Ryuji, are capable of showing him some kindness, with Futaba giving him the usual praise and calls for support she does everyone else despite admitting to be uncomfortable with him around and Ryuji including him in the unanimous vote to steal Maruki's heart despite having some harsh and taunting comments aimed at him in Mementos. Despite this, writers who view Akechi as Unintentionally Unsympathetic tend to depict the Thieves as being much harsher towards him than they're in-game actions would imply to reflect their own feelings on him.

    S 
  • The Scrappy: 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 Eiko. She constantly acts stupid, shallow, and spoiled, and is also widely disliked for not listening to Makoto as a result of becoming blinded by her "love" for Tsukasa. Even after Makoto and Joker prove that Tsukasa is a lying, cheating, backstabbing loser who was just using Eiko for his own selfish whims, Eiko still yells at Makoto for getting involved in her business, making Eiko get viewed as an Ungrateful Bastard by the fandom. Not helping matters is the fact that Eiko's alleged apology to Makoto and decision to become responsible happens completely off-screen, so the player never sees her as anything other than her negative traits listed above.
  • 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 Joker 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 Joker 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 rented DVDsnote  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.
    • Reading books is considered one of the poorest, if not the poorest, ways to spend free time in the game. The problem arises from the fact that, like in previous games, nearly every social stat-boosting book requires multiple chapters to be read before completion but unfortunately, books only grant their stat boost after the book has been completed, and even then usually a measly three "notes" for what took up to three days to complete. Contrast this with other stat boosting activities such as DVDs, old video games, movies, or even spending time in the library or hot baths which grant their bonus every time they are done, and stat books become a waste of time by comparison. There are certain books that unlock potential hangout spots or make certain mini-games easier/more beneficial, but these are usually only one chapter long and can be read in special instances on the train or in the classroom. Royal fixes the issue slightly, in that while books still take multiple chapters to read, changes to the Speed Reading book, which is now available for free from the school library before the summer break and now only takes one chapter to read, books can now be read in only one sitting more efficiently.
    • 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. Royal fixes the former skill issue slightly by removing Insta-kill from ambushes and instead requiring the player to go out of their way to trigger it by dashing into the enemy.
    • 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 social stat requirements are a particularly annoying aspect of the game for some players. Almost every Confidant will require a stat to be at a certain level, and some seem ridiculously high for the point at which the Confidant appears in the game. If you're playing blind, there's no way to know which stats you should work on first, and many of the Confidants that the stats are tied to are somewhat unintuitive (for example, Nice Girl Haru seems as though she'd be tied to Kindness or Charm, but she needs Proficiencynote ). Some Confidants really rub the players nose in it too, what with continuing to reward players with points in Stats that, by necessity, would already be maxed.
      • Makoto appears in the middle of the game, but not only do you need Rank 3 Knowledge just to get started with her, you'll require Max Charm stat to get past Rank 5.
      • In Royal, Akechi requires Rank 3 Knowledge and Rank 3 Charm to progress to his Rank 3 Confidant, since the Justice Arcana's confidant is no longer automatic. Even though his Arcana only becomes available in June, the stats required for such a low rank are absurd.
      • You need Rank 3 Charm just to start talking to Hifumi, despite her Confidant revolving around strategy and more akin to Knowledge. And she's easily one of the most useful Confidants in the game, so you'll be going to the bath house every night to grind your Charm until it reaches the rank. She also requires maxed out Intelligence to progress past Rank 7 alongside undertaking a Mementos Request. Even then, you're still rewarded with Intelligence after the fact.
    • Even more irritating than the high social stat requirements is that the in-game reasons for these requirements are so arbitrary that Gameplay and Story Segregation kicks in hard. The in-game reasons why you cannot help these people progress in their personal quests just seem unfair, and many feel like a Hand Wave as to why you can't go further.
      • You need to be Rank 2 and Rank 4 Kindness to hang out with Ann and Futaba because you need to lend a sympathetic and sensitive ear to their problems, despite having helped them through much more challenging emotional crises in the regular story. The Gameplay and Story Segregation is especially egregious with Ann, as one of the first interactions Joker and Ann have with each other is Joker lending a sympathetic and sensitive ear to her problems, at a point in the game when all of his social stats are at Rank 1. Yet in Ann's Confidant, there's an arbitrary roadblock from doing the exact same thing a second time.
      • You need to have Max Charm to get to Rank 5 of Makoto's confidant because Eiko apparently has very high standards for her friend's boyfriends, despite dating the greasiest-looking man to ever exist.
      • You need to have Rank 4 Proficiency in order to finish Yusuke's confidant because the door to Madarame's shack is jammed, and Max Rank Proficiency just to get past Rank 1 with Haru because Haru might need Joker to move around bags of compost (despite how most of Haru's Confidant takes place locations besides her garden).
    • 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. Royal fixes this problem by the addition of incense items and Gallows Accidents which can boost a Persona's stats without giving any EXP.
    • The scene right before The Very Definitely Final Dungeon on December 24th, where Yaldabaoth offers a "We Can Rule Together" deal to Joker, but Joker refuses, with Yaldabaoth leaving him trapped in the Velvet Room. You have to go around the area and talk to six of your teammates to snap them out of their Heroic BSoD apathy and re-ignite their will of rebellion. Not only is the area where you have to do this fairly large, but there's also a long dialogue with each of the Phantom Thieves with "Regret" and "Swear to My Bones" being played in order while talking with them, causing the BGM to loop through the same tracks over and over. There's also no enemies or battles to break this up. It takes at least thirty minutes to finish this event if you want to see everything, and while each of the Thieves can give a nice "World of Cardboard" Speech, it gets repetitive quickly.
    • During the early game, Morgana serves as your Navigator, much like Mitsuru and Teddie before him. Unlike Mitsuru and Teddie, however, Morgana actually is a controllable party member during this time, and provides valuable support as a healer. However, since he's the Navigator, he can't just die if he's knocked out during a battle, and has go through a short but nonetheless annoying animation of him retreating to the sidelines until the player can resume control of the battle. And since Morgana is a VERY Squishy Wizard, expect this to happen often during the first palace.
    • During the early part of the third trimester, Joker has to talk to the other Phantom Thieves in order to snap them out of the Lotus-Eater Machine-like dream reality that Maruki has crafted for everyone by convincing the rest of the Thieves that something's off. Sumire is undergoing a Heroic BSoD, Akechi is already aware of what's happening, and Morgana's talk happens automatically. But that still means you have to talk to seven of the Thieves. It's a straight week of doing this, and it eats up the entire day once you do it each time. You can't do anything else to advance the clock, and the night activity slot is automatically filled in on each day by Joker repeating more-or-less the same dialogue every night. Just like the above event, the music also loops between two tracks over and over with "So Happy World" and "Suspicion". Plus, the city-wide fast travel mechanic is inexplicably disabled during this segment; you have to manually navigate the subway system every single time. It's not hard to do and you get a nice understanding of what each of the Phantom Thieves considers ideal, but it gets very tedious very quickly, and it can take over an hour to get through it all. You'll be glad it's over once you're finally done.
  • Self-Fanservice: Fan-art of Goro Akechi specifically of him wearing his Black Mask outfit tends to exaggerate his butt, likely due to a moment in Joker's character trailer for Persona 5 Royal where it unintentionally gets emphasized by the lighting during a Baton Pass with Joker.
  • 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, people who pair Joker/Ann together tend to also be fans of pairing Yu/Rise in the previous game, another ship pairing the protagonist with their respective game's Lovers Arcana character.
    • People who ship Joker with either Akechi or someone outside the main party often end up shipping Ryuji/Ann, Yusuke/Futaba and Makoto/Haru as a variation of Pair the Spares, in which "the spares" consists of the entire rest of your party.
    • While it mostly happens amongst the Japanese fanbase, there tends to be an overlap in fans of Joker/Akechi tend to also ship Shido/Akechi.
  • Shipping Goggles: There's a group of fans that ship Ryuji with Akechi of all people, despite Ryuji making it very clear that he's never liked Akechi and Akechi's true colors implying he hates him just as much. Fans of this ship tend to use Ryuji's blantant, loud hatred for Akechi as Tsundere Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today? material.
  • 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.
    • Akechi/Makoto is fairly popular amongst those in the fandom who pair Joker with Haru or another character due to both of them having a connection to law enforcement, despite only interacting with each other a few times, and one of these instances being Akechi acting needlessly snide and condescending towards her.
    • 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.
    • Ryuji and Shiho also has become a popular pairing, even though neither of them had interacted with each other on-screen. This is partially due to both of them being close friends with Ann, were among Kamoshida's biggest victims, as well as Ryuji's pissed off reaction upon realising what Kamoshida had done to Shiho.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat:
    • This is most common 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 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 her popularity in the Western fandom.
    • Joker/Futaba is an odd case, as even though fans end up in conflicts with those supporting Joker's other pairings, as well as Yusuke/Futaba fans, there's even fighting among people who like the interactions between the two. Some fans of the pairing prefer presenting them as being a platonic Like Brother and Sister relationship due to Futaba being Sojiro's adopted daughter, the youngest of the Phantom Thieves, as well as Sojiro serving as a father figure of sorts to Joker. A few fanworks often employ Joker and Futaba as pseudo-siblings to ensure that both of them are portrayed as very close to each other while allowing them to pursue other ships. Since she's also a romance option, pairing her romantically with Joker is also popular. This fighting is exclusive to the Western fanbase, as Japanese fans see Joker as Futaba's caregiver of sorts and not a big brother figure.
    • A particularly nasty one goes on between shippers of Joker/Akechi and those who ship Joker with others (usually another guy or Makoto), mostly on Tumblr, due to Akechi's Americans Hate Tingle status and him murdering Joker in the bad ending. People belonging to the latter group have even gone as far as to harass Akechi cosplayers at conventions.
    • Akechi/Haru fans often come into conflict with fans who ship either half of the pairing with other characters, usually Joker/Akechi and Makoto/Haru fans, due to Akechi killing Haru's father and Haru making it explicit that she can't forgive him for it.
    • Joker/Akechi vs. Shido/Akechi gets nasty from time to time, although this conflict usually comes from people going out of their way to harass Shido/Akechi fans. It reached a point where an infamous "block list" circulated around Twitter listing every artist and fan of Shido/Akechi. While this list seemed to have been created to protect people from potentially upsetting content due to Shido being Akechi's father, the block list also included people who weren't fans of Shido/Akechi, who were only on the list because they were nice to Shido/Akechi fans.
  • Shocking Moments:
    • 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.
    • For Royal. The last Morgana Report drops something no Persona fan was expecting — namely, as part of DLC, players have the option of fighting previous Persona protagonists Yu Narukami and the P3 Protagonist.
    • 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 Black Mask, 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 Joker. 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, with his main body and all six black wings being the size of skyscrapers. Satanael giving Yaldabaoth a Boom, Headshot! was equally surprising and awesome.
    • Unlike his predecessor in Golden, Joker is confirmed to have a third-tier Persona alongside the rest of the Phantom Thieves, called Raoul, albeit as DLC.
    • It's fair to say that you will be shocked about what they offer you in Royal.
      • Kasumi is often thought as a god, a new Arc Villain or Big Bad, or even the instigator of the Third Term events prior to the game's release because of her opposing stance against the Phantom Thieves. But when the game's full scenario is presented...surprise. Not only is Kasumi actually a human who is a loyal ally of the Phantom Thieves with absolutely no antagonistic intent, this Kasumi is actually Sumire Yoshizawa, Kasumi's depressed and mentally unstable younger sister with many issues on her sleeve.
      • You might also think that the final boss of Royal is some epic Eldritch Abomination, probably something worse than Yaldabaoth or even Nyarlathotep himself since the latter's henchmen are actually in this game. They aren't; It turns out that this is Takuto Maruki, one of your most trusted confidants who has became a special victim of Yaldabaoth's world domination plan, which for some reason corrupts his persona instead and it proceeds to partially take over him. And out of all of his misguided intent, he actually only wants to make everyone happy and content, ignorant of what his reality warping can actually cause.
  • Sidetracked By The Golden Saucer: In the Thieves Den, players can engage in a game of Tycoon with the other Phantom Thieves. It's highly addictitive to the point where you'll find more than a few letsplayers on YouTube having several videos of them playing the game. It also helps that you can get coins by winning a game of Tycoon, which is the currency needed to buy soundtracks, cutscenes, artworks and statues in the Den.
  • Signature Scene:
    • The bad ending in which Joker is shot dead by Akechi in the interrogation room became one of these when the game was released, inspiring parodies and memes.
    • 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 Arsène reveals himself.
    • April 15th gives us the scene where Shiho attempts suicide due to how emotionally powerful it is.
    • Shido's Calling Card and his boss fight.
    • 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.
    • In Royal, there are a plenty added to it.
      • In the main campaign, Asmodeus-Kamoshida now has a Cognitive Shiho in playboy bunny outfit that he outright calls a slave. This just makes Kamoshida even more disturbing, because this means that he literally treats Shiho as a sex slave and nothing else.
      • The first one during the third term is when Maruki displays you the truth of Kasumi's death, revealing the "Kasumi" you are with to be actually her depressed and mentally unstable sister. Based on how Kasumi tries to Red Herring you into thinking her sister died, one might be actually shocked when they see the "Kasumi" they are hanging out all along is just a Tomato in the Mirror. It's also very gory and Kasumi's blood can be seen spilling all over the rainy road.
      • The extra bad ending where the protagonist accepts Maruki's reality is just outright disturbing, by the way that it twists a happy ending into a whole, new warped meaning. While the cheery tracks like "New Beginning" play during its sequence and everyone seems to be content and happy, everything just seems wrong, such as Morgana being completely human or Sumire reverting into "Kasumi" (And thus metaphorically murdering Sumire for real) or some of the dialogues and portraits, such as "Kasumi's" "Let's stick together forever" and Ann's blushing face during the graduation ceremony sounding outright creepy, the protagonist becomes the Only Sane Person, some of the first dialogue choices upon triggering it imply that he knew that his choice is wrong, but he nevertheless tries to conform to it. When Maruki goes in to make a photoshoot with the protagonist and his friends, he even makes an expression that looks like he's about to murder somebody before sensing something is wrong after Maruki leaves.
      • The final bonus phase of Maruki's boss fight is just Joker and Maruki fighting each other in a fist fight, something completely unheard of in a MegaTen game.
      • Sumire's face when Joker confesses his love to her. It's literally nothing like the blushing faces of the other girls and looks more like a tomato than anything. Based on how she used to give a completely different impression for most of the game, this can actually shock players. See it for yourself -- Spoilers warning! note 
  • 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, deaths caused by working too hard are so common there's even a word for it). 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.
    • Royal's Third Term story adds a big one about accepting pain and moving forward. The main antagonist of the campaign, Takuto Maruki, traps all of Tokyo in a Lotus-Eater Machine where everyone's desires and dreams come true, including having deceased relatives brought back to life and free of all corruption. The Phantom Thieves (with the exception of Joker, Akechi and Kasumi/Sumire) have their memories and cognitions altered to believe this new reality, but in the process, forget all their struggles and the true meaning behind their intimate friendships with one another and Joker, destroying their personal development and unknowingly betray their promises of moving forward with their lives. Living a life free of strife sounds ideal, but those struggles, losses and pains are essential to human growth and development, and through those struggles people mature and gain new connections that are irreplaceable. Running away from problems and future pain won't solve anything, as Maruki's reality stagnates growth to the point that no one can truly live for anything anymore, and removing that struggle removes the true love and intimacy shared between the bonds of friends. This Aesop is also evident with Sumire's cognitive overlay; it allowed her more time to get out of her suicidal depression, but she was still running from herself and still had to accept the situation and move forward once it broke away. It's okay to step away from a problem to feel better in the moment, but avoiding a problem won't truly make you happy; only by moving forward and making your own genuine happiness will you find peace.
    • Compared to the ideal-but-false Bad Ending in Royal, the new True Ending drops the hard truth that sadly, life and society can never be perfect for anybody, and not everything can stay the same. Even though Maruki's reality allowed everyone's wishes to come true, it was only an empty facade that can never be real otherwise, and Phantom Thieves snapping out of the illusion forces them to confront that there are some things they can never get back. The ordeal they faced also made them realize that they'll all have to go their separate ways eventually, since holding onto their subconscious wishes prevented them from fully accepting their new paths to the future. One the other hand, the True Ending also empathizes that while you shouldn't be tied down by past regrets or desires, you should still remember them as a form of motivation. Cherish those happier times and use them to fuel your growth and new dreams in a healthier way. Even if the Phantom Thieves are no longer together everyday, they'll never forget their time with one another and will meet again someday, and they use that as their strength to push onward. After being defeated, Maruki finally understands that he needs to let go of his regrets, and start his life anew for himself, the ones who saved him, and even for Rumi. Instead of trying to force change to validate himself, he'd use his newfound hope to make the most of his second chance.
  • 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. They couldn't make the party fight an endgame-tier demon like Mara in the first dungeon, so they put in just the tip.
      • Speaking of 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...?!
    • Kamoshida happens to be even of even higher Squick value in Royal than in the base game. When you fight Kamoshida, there's one more part that absolutely qualifies; Shadow Kamoshida also summons a Cognitive Shiho in his boss fight to cast a second killshot for him. Said Cognitive Shiho is a scantly clad playboy bunny that acts as a obedient sex slave to Kamoshida and if the party kills the cognition or hits Kamoshida hard enough, his dialogue implies that he will still go and abuse her. Remember a while ago he basically beat and sexually harassed the poor girl to the point that she tries to off herself. To say nothing of his Will Seed chamber dialogues, which basically consist of sleazy come-ons against Ann and Shiho.
    • 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 Japan themselves dictated the strange pronunciation of a number of the Japanese names, as per Word of God), but god damn if the main cast don't work their hearts out and sell it all anyway. Max Mittelman, Erika Harlacher, Cherami Leigh, Erica Lindbeck, and Robbie Daymond (as Ryuji, Ann, Makoto, Futaba and Akechi respectively) are often cited as particularly excellent performances, despite all the hurdles in front of them, Robbie Daymond in particular being praised for his performance when Akechi snaps before his boss fight. For NPCs, the voice acting done by Elizabeth Maxwell, Jamieson Price, Michelle Ruff, and Kirsten Potter (as Sae, Sojiro, Kawakami, and Takemi) have received notable praise as well, with their great acting contributing to them being among the most popular characters in the game on par with the main characters. The antagonists also get a fair share of praise, with D.C. Douglas, and Keith Silverstein (as Kamoshida, and Shido) earning high praise for how entertaining they make their villains sound and help bring them up from Hate Sink bad guys, to Love to Hate villains.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:

    T 
  • Tainted by the Preview: For most of the game's marketing phase, Kasumi wasn't that well received of a character mainly due to her being outright portrayed as too perfect in the game's trailers, far beyond the game's worldview of a Crapsack World. Furthermore, an added scene during the game's tutorial (escaping the casino palace) features her hogging most of Joker's spotlight during that scene which was supposed to be the focus. When most of the game was known however, Kasumi, or in reality, Sumire quickly gained popularity because of her unique tragic past (as compared to other Phantom Thieves) and her Adorkable antics, making her a much more pleasant character to interact with than Marie for many. Furthermore, the aforementioned Casino scene didn't actually hog Joker's involvement a lot with context considered.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: While more of a Base-Breaking Character than a full-on scrappy, Mishima gets a lot of these moments. With the exceptions of Kasumi and Akechi (who both never get any significant interaction with him, the Phantom Thieves treat Mishima as The Friend Nobody Likes, and his Confidant is one of the few that will always rank up regardless of how you treat him, and the game gives you several dialogue choices to express irritation towards him. Mishima even gets brought in during Rank 5 of Futaba's Confidant, and she mocks him via Accidental Misnaming and Brutal Honesty.
    Futaba: Ah, I've got it! This overwhelming forgettable appearance, generic speech style, and total lack of sex appeal... Nishima... Are you an NPC!?
  • That One Achievement:
    • The trophy for "Hear 250 Navigator Lines" that was also present in Persona 4. It's difficult to achieve due to the huge variety of quotes needed, the lack of any sort of list or progress meter to aid the process, and the highly contextual requirements for some quotes. If it's anything like it was in Persona 4, a player may go through the game several times and still not get the achievement. It doesn't help that Akechi is a Guest-Star Party Member, so if you don't take him to Mementos before the end of the Palace in which he's playable, you'll never hear his 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, but the lack of any sort of progress meter is a pain.
    • 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 requiring 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, it can be a struggle. 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. The Featherman game, added in Royal, requires you to memorize increasingly complex button combinations.
    • While Royal keeps most of its PlayStation trophies rather easy — the only ones that are really difficult are beating the game, beating the Reaper, and the platinum trophy — it adds its own system of in-game awards for the Thieves Den, some of which can take a mind-numbingly long time.
      • "Avalanche", awarded for winning a game of Tycoon on Cutthroat difficulty while each of your opponents still have 10 or more cards. Doing so all but requires the player to not only lead off the game, but also have a certain amount of high-ranking card combinations that cannot be topped by anyone. If any of the other players lead with anything better than a pair, it's next to impossible to achieve.
      • "All Powerful," awarded for raising all the stats of any Persona to 99. Most of your Personas will only have stats in the 70s at max level, so getting a Persona to 99 across the board requires a fair bit of grinding from Alarm Fusions bonuses, though this can be eased somewhat by creating a Persona during an Alarm and then sacrificing it to the Gallows, which doubles the stat gains. It's not hard to do, but it's tedious and takes awhile, and even only using the lowest-level Personas can take a fair amount of money as well.
      • "Ladies Man" requires you to get into a relationship with all ten romanceable Confidants, which will take quite a lot of time if you don't choose to go the "harem" route.
  • That One Attack:
    • The Final Boss has "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 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.
    • When Shadow Sae gets low on health, she will unleash a devastating attack called Berserker Dance. It's capable of dealing immense amounts of damage, meaning it can completely crush you if you have already taken minor damage, or even if you're at full health if you aren't at a high enough level. And while Futaba does warn that the enemy's power is increasing, warning you to guard, it's entirely possible for player to assume she is merely warning you about the Desperation status buff she had applied to herself on the last turn.
    • In Royal, there's a very subtle but equally nasty case during the improved Okumura boss fight. If you reach the waves with the Division Manager or General Manager robots, he will cast a Rakukaja on one robot. However, not only Okumura's boss fight is put on a thirty minute timer, the robots will flee and he will reset all of them if they are not wiped out after two turns. It is usually impossible to kill any robot with a defense buff on within that window, allowing the stray robot to flee and Okumura forcing the player to start over afterwards, locking them into a loop until they time out. Sure, it's ridiculously easy to counter that by debuffs and buff removal, but most players do not think about using those at all especially on a stray Rakukaja. Word of God even admits that this is a deliberate move to make sure the player abuses the Baton Pass mechanic.
      Kigawa: After we did that, we can't skimp on the difficulty by doing the same thing in Okumura palace so we had to put a spicy boss in there... just in time for when you've progressed with your confidants, upgraded your weapons, and fused better personas. Thus, he was put together as someone formidable, but at the very end, in his last-ditch effort to seem tough, casting a "Rakukaja."..
      Wada: That was pretty spicy though (laugh).
      Kigawa: Things get hot if you add even one drop of spice. But in all seriousness, this is where you need to do your best. We want to give players the idea that if you don't focus, you might get bested in this fight.
  • That One Boss:
    • Madarame is generally agreed to be one of the harder Palace bosses at least in Vanilla, 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 each other 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.
    • Samael 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 either 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, Samael will score several knockdowns and you'll be in for a world of pain.
    • In Royal, Shadow Okumura is much harder than he was in the vanilla game. Word of God is that the developers wanted to give players a real challenge and make them use the Baton Pass mechanic; one might say they succeeded in the "challenge" part a little too well. Okumura summons waves of four robots, with five waves in total before summoning Execurobo. And it's the last of those four-robot waves consisting of MDL-GM robots that's generally the choke point. Okumura will resummon a wave of robots at full health an infinite number of times until you beat them in two turns or less. But he'll also cast Rakukaja to boost one robot's Defense, casts Rakunda to lower your Defense on top of that, and might use Famine to decrease the Thieves' attack power with the Hunger status effect. If you don't lift Rakukaja and Hunger, it's a sure bet that one robot will only have a sliver of health left at the two-turn limit, and Okumura will just reset the whole thing. This can even occur despite following Baton Pass procedures correctly if your setup isn't just right. And even if you knock down all four robots, you can't use an All-Out Attack, since Okumura can't be targeted until all of his waves are gone. Finally, Okumura also makes the waves of robots target only one of the Phantom Thieves at a time. If the enemies are allowed to fire off their attacks (especially if even one robot hits a critical), you can kiss that Thief goodbye. And if that party member is Joker, it's game over. Since Okumura is a Time-Limit Boss, you've got thirty minutes to beat him; the endlessly-spawning waves of robots will really wear you down fast, especially if you have to take turns healing and applying buffs, and there's conversations in the middle of the fight to eat up even more time. (You can fast-forward through the conversations by button mashing, but the timer never stops once the battle begins.) While the MDL-GM robots are weak to Psy and Curse, don't resist Gun, and can be affected by Dizzy so the party can get Technical Hits with physical strikes, there's no way of knowing that beforehand. Once you get to Execurobo, you'll probably be pressed for time. And as one final surprise, there's one more unique enemy added right after Execurobo for Royal, just to further twist the knife and wear out those last few precious minutes on the clock. Okumura himself won't attack you and will go down in only one hit once you can finally target him, but just getting there is a headache.
    • 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 each other 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're 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 which is the move you don't want to see. And the very tip of the iceberg? He's at Level 47 with a whopping total of 65 Magic. So unless you have Null Brainwash, Null Psy, Null Curse, Null Physical, or all of the above, you know there's a problem.
    • In Royal, there is an Arahabaki defending the blue Will Seed in the second Palace, and that thing is just as bad as Shadow Fukurai from sharing a similar tactic. Not only is this Arahabaki incredibly durable for that stage of the game — it blocks Physical and Gun, forcing you to use SP — it's got Brain Jack AND Mapsio for technical damage. The party most likely won't have the ability to cure Brainwash easily by the time it's encountered, and the status itself means that party members may do things like attack their allies, waste your items, or heal the enemy. While this Arahabaki is weak to Nuke, Joker is the only Phantom Thief who might have that element, and an All-Out Attack probably won't be enough to defeat it alone. This all adds up to a very tough fight in the second Palace's home stretch.
  • That One Level:
    • Although Futaba's Palace is a Breather Level, the final section after sending the Calling Card is absurdly difficult. With the previous Palaces, the player had a straight-shot to the boss fight by going to the Safe Room closest to the Treasure. Futaba's Palace, however, throws in several enemies that the player can't ambush since they're all on high alert. The enemies will almost certainly weaken the Phantom Thieves if you're caught. Worse is that there are some chests scattered about, but getting to them and not wasting your resources is almost impossible since the enemies are in places where the player has no cover to ambush the enemies from. The layout also prevents players from just running to the boss since the enemies are in tight pathways. So it's very easy for a player to rush towards the boss, get ambushed, and either die in a few turns or be so banged up that they'll need to spend a lot of resources getting back to full strength. Thankfully, you're given an option to skip this section completely with Joker's grappling hook in Royal, but if you want those treasure chests, it's going to be one hell of a time dealing with the enemies when you've got a fight with the Sphinx looming over your head.
    • Okumura's Palace is a headache. Several of the enemies resist or reflect physical damage, most of the areas lack proper cover to utilize stealth and ambush opponents, there's a tedious segment where you have to acquire multiple keycards from specific enemies, and a very confusing and difficult airlock puzzle at the end. Okumura also gives you a time limit of thirty minutes not just to defeat him, but also getting to the launchport on time and fighting the Shadows en route, owing to some very tough enemies to fight before getting to Okumura himself. Royal eases that timed launchport corridor significantly by letting you use the grappling hook to go straight to Okumura, but the player may not find it out unless you go out of the Shadow-infested corridor instantly and there are treasure chests behind that part. While in Vanilla Okumura himself is relatively easy, in Royal, this very boss can be the single worst chokepoint of the entire game if one goes in unprepared or without proper foreplanning. In addition to the gameplay, the conflict between the Phantom Thieves where Morgana feels useless is considered the weakest part of the game's narrative, Okumura himself is Unintentionally Unsympathetic due to his heinous actions especially when viewed by a westerner, and not much time is used to build him up before the Thieves decide to go after him. Combine all of this together, and you've got an arc widely considered to be the worst part of the story.
    • Samael'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 Boss Rush on you towards the end; after facing a difficult mini-boss, you have to fight two powerful Shadows with Desperation, Akechi with Robin Hood, and then Akechi as Black Mask using Loki, all without saving or healing.
  • That One Puzzle:
    • The airlock puzzles in the last third of Okumura's Palace, particularly the final one. 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. It can easily take more time just to get through this one section of puzzles than the rest of the Palace without a guide.
    • 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.note 
    • The mice puzzles in the Cruise Ship Palace. They aren't particularly difficult but are lengthy and repetitive with a good deal of backtracking involved. There are also FOUR 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 to worry about not running into enemies as doing so will trigger a battle where everyone in your party has the mice ailment and is thus unable to do anything.
    • In Royal, the photosynthesis puzzle of the Laboratory Palace is the last major puzzle you encounter, and it's a doozy. The puzzle involves mixing colors of Red, Blue and Green light; turning on the colors generates bridges of the corresponding color. However, turning on the colors will also cause vine barricades to form, so you can't just turn on all three colors and call it a day. Some photosynthetic units can only generate one color, and the whole area will be affected by toggling the units. The second part requires you to deal with bridges and barricades that are Cyan, Yellow and Magenta (on top of still dealing with Red, Green, and Blue ones). While heading straight to the topmost corridor is easy and there are only a few Shadows around that area, the real trouble comes when you're trying to explore the entire map to get loot, especially the last Will Seed on the southmost corner, which requires you to turn off all colors to disable the three barricades while the surrounding areas are all bridges. Even if you get the basic concept down, opening a route to the switches you need is going to take a while. Then, once you do clear the barricades, you have to beat the Fafnir guarding the Will Seed. The Palace ends more-or-less right after you reach the staircase to exit the photosynthesis puzzle, but getting there can take more than an hour if you want to collect everything.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • Chihaya's Confidant takes a lot of time and money to establish. You have to get a fortune telling from Chihaya, pay one hundred thousand yen for a fake "holy stone" — a very steep price early on in the game — then complete a mission in Mementos, and finally talk to her again to start the Confidant link. It also has a particularly difficult Mementos mission needed to pass Rank 7. She pays you back the yen later, but only on Rank 9 of her Confidant. By the time you get your money back, there probably isn't much left to spend it on.
    • Kawakami's Confidant requires you to pay five thousand yen every instance that 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 until September. Worse, if you progress the Confidant too late, you'll be at the point where Joker stops attending school because he's faking his death, 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. Max Proficiency is required to progress past Rank 1 with Haru, meaning if you don't already have Max Proficiency when she joins, your chances of hitting Rank 10 with Haru are slim to none. Even with the added third trimester in Royal, you still have to rank up Kasumi's Confidant to max since it only opens up in the third trimester, along with hanging out with each max-ranked Confidant in the party one last time to unlock their third-tier Personas and their Secret Arts. You'll want to do this because the sheer power of these third-tier abilities makes it absolutely worth it, meaning Haru will get lost in the shuffle if you haven't maxed her out before the third trimester starts. You might get away with it if Haru is Rank 8 or so at the beginning of the third trimester, but it's going to be by the skin of your teeth if you do it at all.
    • Sojiro's Confidant begins fairly early on. Not only do you need to wait for Futaba to join in order to progress to the latter half of Sojiro's Confidant, you also need Max Kindness and to defeat a Duel Boss that takes up its own afternoon to complete it. What also stands out is Rank 3 to 4 of Sojiro's Confidant being abnormally slow to advance — you might need to spend five nights with Sojiro to nudge that rank up, even if you're doing everything right.
    • 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 just to start it, and Max Guts to complete it. The requirements are steep enough that you may not be able to start until late in the game, and probably won't finish it on a first playthrough.
    • Progressing through Makoto's Confidant requires having to max out Joker's Charm stat to get past Rank 5, one of the hardest social stats to max out. 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.
    • Yoshida's confidant, while guaranteed to go up a rank each time like Mishima, can also be tricky to complete if the player did not manage their time the best. To start with, his Confidant requires you to take on a job at the Beef Bowl and work there two nights before he finally takes an interest in Joker. Then his Confidant is actually largely limited to only being available on Sundays. And finally his Confidant actually has a hidden deadline and cannot be completed after 11/13.
    • In Royal, collecting all of Jose's stamps is quite tedious. Each floor of Mementos will yield one stamp the first time you reach the staircase, and every once in a while you might get a floor where another stamp is hiding behind a breakable wall. Your first run through of each section of Mementos will likely yield about half of the stamps available in said section, meaning you'll have to spend a lot of time going up and down the same floors to reset the layout, just to get a chance of finding that extra stamp that could randomly spawn on the map. Futaba's Mementos Scan ability helps, but the chance of that ability activating is random.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • There was a fair amount of consternation over the anointing of "Ren Amamiya" as Joker's canon name despite the presence of "Akira Kurusu" for the manga a year before the anime and Dancing canonized the former. This brought about shades of how the previous two Persona protagonists had their names changed and canonized away from their manga adaptations. That said, simply referring to this character as "Joker" is a compromise both sides seem to have agreed on, especially for non-fans who are only passingly familiar with the character through crossovers like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
    • Some fans took issue with Royal's final cutscene and how different it was compared to the original, particularly the protagonist's farewell with his friends. Many considered the ending to Royal to be just a Sequel Hook for Scramble note  due to how many plot points were left un-concluded. Some fans even mistook this for the bad ending, or worse, that the bad ending should you accept Maruki's offer to be a more satisfying ending.
    • With all of the quality-of-life changes and new features that Royal added, some fans feel that the game leans into being too easy. With Baton Pass being available from the get-go, ways to permanently buff both Baton Passes and Technical Damage, and the randomly triggering Showtime attacks that do heavy damage, Royal is a fair bit easier than vanilla Persona 5. For a beginner to the Persona franchise, it will still probably put up a challenge; to a veteran, they'll find themselves cruising along without much trouble, even on Hard difficulty. In addition, Merciless mode now increases the money and EXP you earn from combat instead of decreasing it, which can make most battles significantly less difficult.
  • 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 (although in Royal, they do interact in one optional cutscene).
    • Shiho. The opening hour of the game sets her up as a fairly important, or at least a reoccurring side character, what with her status as Ann's best friend and the conspicuous amount of voiced lines she gets. However, her primary role is to show how terrible Kamoshida's physical and sexual abuse are, and as a motivation to let Ann join the Phantom Thieves. She basically disappeared from the plot afterwards, with Ann only mentioning her in passing a few times. A lot of people wish Shiho was 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. To rub salt in the wound, said event where she reappears reveals she's leaving Tokyo for good.
    • Many feel so much more could have been done with Goro Akechi, especially given he outright disappears from the story after the events of Shido's Palace and is completely absent for the final battle against Yaldabaoth. A common example of this is that many viewed his Bolivian Army Ending scene as being poorly written, leaving those who were expecting Akechi to rejoin the Phantom Thieves and redeem himself disappointed. Fortunately, Royal gives them a lot more screentime and character development.
    • To some extent, Haru suffers from Late Character Syndrome. While she has a significant role in the plot and receives a fair amount of Character Development and characterization, she has less room to develop (especially with how steep requirements are to progress in her Confidant). By comparison, Naoto joins in early October (shortly after Haru), but had been a recurring character since May, whereas Haru gets only a scant handful of appearances. Moreover, the rewards her Confidant yields give 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 to grow the items. By the point she can be accessed, this potential source of SP restoration will never be able to be used to its fullest potential, especially in a game where Magic Is Rare, Health Is Cheap. It also pales in comparison to using the coffee and curry made from Sojiro's Confidant, which the player can have Kawakami make for them, freeing them up to do more tasks that night, and improve at a good rate.
    • Kaneshiro is largely viewed as a Filler Villain by the game's fandom. He's certainly a scumbag for the Phantom Thieves to take down, and doing so finally puts them on the map. But Kaneshiro has a much less personal connection with Makoto than any other Palace Ruler does with their Phantom Thief. It's less about what Kaneshiro has done to Makoto and more what he threatens to do — sell her into sex slavery to pay off a manufactured debt. And even then, Makoto quickly figures out that it's not even about Makoto herself, but Makoto's older sister Sae, who Kaneshiro wants Revenge by Proxy on because Sae is a public prosecutor who's breathing down his neck. The only real plot advancements that happen during his arc are Makoto joining and the Thieves becoming more popular; Kaneshiro's change of heart occurs entirely off-screen, and his name barely comes up again after his arc is over.
    • For an example of a Persona getting this treatment, Azathoth. In the Cthulhu Mythos proper, Azathoth is both the father of Nyarlathotep and the Ultimate Chaos, stated to have unlimited power. In the Persona 2 duology, Nyarlathotep is established as the manifestation of the negative aspects of humanity, and throughout the story of those games manipulates reality so that rumors come true and even successfully brings about The End of the World as We Know It. With all of this in mind, Nyarlathotep's dad could easily become a severely major threat not just for the Persona series, but Shin Megami Tensei as a whole (Sure, he already debuted in Giten Megami Tensei: Tokyo Mokushiroku, but 1) That game is extremely obscure, 2) He made no reappearance for years until Persona 5 Royal, and 3) He was only a regular enemy in Giten Megami Tensei). And so here he comes, becoming a major antagonist for Persona 5 Royal...and he's nothing more than a decayed form for Maruki's persona, and its true form is from Gnosticism instead of Lovecraftian Lore. While something is obviously off since the persona can act up autonomously, the fact that he has seemingly nothing to do with Nyarlathotep's deal (And in fact, does exactly the reverse things as said Nyarlathotep) To say that fans were underwhelmed wouldn't even begin to describe the reaction.
    • In Royal, Joker's third-tier persona, Raoul, gets relegated to DLC in contrast to the rest of the Phantom Thieves. Many fans were hoping that Raoul would play an important role in the third semester, especially in the final battle against Adam Kadmon.
    • Adding on to the list of underused Personas, the third tier personas for Akechi and Sumire can only be obtained on the date that happens before fighting the Final Boss. So, unless the player does last minute grinding right before they fought the Final Boss, those Personas are likely to be only used for fighting the Final Boss.
    • Despite a lot of Royal's marketing focusing on her character, Kasumi does not join the party until the third semester in the final dungeon which roughly lasts a month, meaning that you won't have as much time to play with her as compared to the other characters, and at that point the plot is centered around Maruki, leaving her with comparatively little influence on the main story. Worse, even though she had awakened her persona by the time of Shido's palace, she was flat out refused by the Thieves from joining them under the justification that its too dangerous for her. This comes off as contrived considering that they took no issue with their newest members joining them during their palace heists.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Despite the character's popularity, Makoto's Confidant is considered to be one of 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 deceased father, a character who greatly impacted both her and Sae. Although it does at least touch upon Makoto's father and how his death affected her, this occurs only in the main story and a few points towards the very end of the Confidant. This causes the Confidant to have an issue with the pacing since 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 focus on any of those plot points in order to explain why Makoto would make such a choice. Made more apparent by the fact that her relationship with Sae in the story proper heavily relies on their father, with some saying that the Character Development that Makoto receives in the main story is a lot more interesting and relates better to her chosen goal. In addition to that, Sae herself never appears in Makoto's Confidant, which would've helped reinforce their relationship and give the chance for Sae to be shown in a more positive light after several hours of her being framed as an antagonist, even if she couldn't interact with Joker directly to keep from conflicting with the interrogation scenes.
    • Like Makoto, Ann's Confidant is often seen as one of the weakest stories. The Confidant starts with Ann wanting to understand how Personas work better, which is something that very few characters in the series that aren't associated with the Velvet Room or antagonists ask. The initial focus is Ann trying to be more understanding of people, in the hopes that it would help her better grasp her Persona. Not long into the story, it abruptly becomes about Ann trying to become a better model and her rivalry with a fellow model named Mika, a shift that feels very disconnected from Ann's original reasons for wanting Joker to help her out. Jarringly, the Confidant deals with her relationship with Shiho, and has Ann help her through the trauma she suffered from Kamoshida, but this occurs only at Rank 9 before shifting back to Ann's modeling rivalry. The fact you don't get to go after Mika and change her heart means she gets away with ruining a lot of young models, which isn't helped by the fact that the game railroads the player into agreeing with Mika. And as much as Mika's words might be true towards Ann, this leaves many with a sour taste since the player is effectively told they have to agree with Mika. Had Ann's Confidant focused on her trying to empathize and understand people better to make up for her own admittance of shame for not helping Shiho, it would've been debatably one of the best Confidants; instead, it feels like a confusingly-structured story with a poor "villain" the player can't go after.
    • 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. What's 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 on Valentines Day. Yet Sae gets nothing at all.
    • Sojiro's history with Shido and the reveal he knew about Wakaba's research on the Metaverse. For the former, the game drops various hints of their past history with Sojiro's knee-jerk reaction whenever he hears Shido's speeches on television, yet the game's explanation of their history serves no real purpose in the storyline outside of Flavor Text rather than an attempt to flesh him out. For the latter, Sojiro's knowledge about Wakaba's research is a pretty big reveal, but ends up being pointless since it really doesn't accomplish anything in the story beyond giving him ties to Futaba. It would've been great to see Sojiro help out the heroes by offering his experience and know-how of the various problems they face, or even help the group's motives or plans based on what happens to them. Instead, both ideas seem to exist to justify why Sojiro knows Wakaba and explain why he would've adopted Futaba, which wouldn't have been an issue if both ideas were somewhat important and actually had an impact on the story in some way.
    • Ryuji 'Dying' during the escape from Shido's Palace could have been an interesting idea for the finale, with it being the trope of a character perma-death in a cutscene.The way it was handled felt too dumb and slapstick-y, and he could always come back in the post game, so everyone would be happy.
    • Some feel that 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 brainwashing, but the effects and possible complications involved (such as potentially causing brain death rather than forced reformation or leading the victim to commit suicide out of guilt) 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. Ultimately, the problem lies with the fact that the Phantom Thieves aren't given more room to discuss the ethical implications of their actions, regardless of whether or not they're necessary. They're given little time if at all to really think about the worse implications involved in Brainwashing for the Greater Good, and are consistently put in situations where stealing the Treasure is often the ''only way'' to proceed. Worse, as explained in Informed Wrongness above, many who oppose the Phantom Thieves or their methods are often presented as being massive jerks with ulterior motives anyway—and those who don't have ulterior motives end up being converted regardless. By contrast, there are fans who believe that the final Yaldabaoth arc does address many of these issues, with the Last-Second Ending Choice hinging on whether or not Joker gives into the temptation of becoming a Knight Templar who takes his philosophy to the logical extreme of taking everyone's free will away.
    • Shido's entire scheme hinges on using the Metaverse for his own ends, even having Futaba's mother killed to steal her research into the subject. When the Phantom Thieves finally invade his Palace, he's defeated just like the other Palace rulers with no real advantage or difference given to him by his scientists' knowledge of how the Metaverse works. The only thing he's able to do is temporarily kill himself in an attempt to destroy the heroes before they steal his treasure, which fails as the Phantom Thieves escape before his Palace collapses. The wasted aspect is that because Shido knows more about the Metaverse, there could have been more usage of him to stop the heroes, such as Shido himself entering his own Cognition to stop the heroes, or Shido taking precautions such as setting up traps that pressure the heroes. Instead, Shido only does the above mention near-death pill, and nothing else.
    • As explained in They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character above, despite Royal giving Akechi some expanded screentime, it's never outright addressed (not even in the Thieves' Den) how practically everything he's done with his powers turned out to be part of Yaldabaoth Fixing the Game, especially from his perspective, even if the Third Semester heavily implies how he must feel.
    • While Persona 5 Royal's Showtime attacks were well received by the fandom, many considered it a missed opportunity that there were not more of them between some of the pairings, notably between Ryuji with Ann or Morgana. And to add on, Joker is limited to only having one with Sumire and Akechi and many were upset that Joker didn't to have a Showtime with the other Thieves.
  • 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 Confidant abilities are considered to be the least useful in the game. Her perks make the alertness meter in Palaces increase slower and decrease faster, which isn't much help unless you have trouble avoiding being detected. Even in Royal, which changed how security levels start and where Ohya's abilities are expanded to include easier ambushes, she's still the least useful Confidant!
      • Iwai of the Hanged Man Arcana isn't really disliked 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 just to start his Confidant, and Max Guts to complete it. Also, 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 as a sort-of Infinity -1 Sword for guns. (Morgana in particular actually does get his most powerful slingshot from Iwai.) Royal changes the customization system entirely, Velvet Room-made guns can now be customized as well, and maxing it out makes the service free. His Confidant also unlocks Attis, who's unremarkable in vanilla but in Royal comes with a trait that allows use of ambush-only skills all the time, allowing Thermopylae to become a full-party Heat Riser with no drawbacks; both of these make him much more useful.
      • Makoto's only unique Confidant abilities are an upgrade to the analysis screen to show enemy skills and item drops, and the target cursor changing if an enemy won't take damage from an attack or special move. The former has some tactical value and the latter is certainly convenient, but otherwise, her abilities aren't that useful compared to other Confidants. It doesn't help that on New Game+, any enemy that you 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 helpful for 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. Plus, insta-killing an enemy doesn't grant any EXP, items or yen, and automatically adds their mask to your Persona list unless it's full. While it's useful to avoid fighting weaklings as well as gathering early-game personas that you missed and are too weak to try to knock down without killing them, the fact that you can't turn this ability off to ambush enemies for extra money and experience is annoying, particularly since non-Mementos enemies are very hard not to ambush without raising the security meter. Fortunately, this isn't the case in Royal, where instead of ambushing enemies, you have to dash into them to use this ability, making it much harder to use by accident. Even then, you now also get (partial) experience and money for using the insta-kill on top of the free mask.
      • Hifumi's confidant abilities meanwhile are on the opposite side of the spectrum; they are instead criticized for the fact that they were so essential and yet still locked behind her Confidant. note  The true kicker here is Hifumi's confidant is not availabe to the player until around the half way mark of the game, so by the time you unlock all of the perks that improves the battle format, the game is almost over. Hifumi's confidant is often ranked along with Kawakami's and Yoshida's as offering the best perks for the player, but Hifumi's are such a game changer many were left wishing that she would've been made available earlier in the story.
    • The Speed Reading book in the vanilla version of the game. 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 three 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. By comparison, the version in the previous game was much more useful, since many books required three or four free time periods to finish. The version of the book in Royal however is a lot more useful, available for free from the school library well before the summer break and has been reduced to only one chapter, turning it from a waste of time to a must-have. Royal changed things so now it just becomes available to check out from the school library in June regardless of what you have read up to that point (with 3 segment books not even being available yet.)
    • Ryuji and Yusuke are both physical powerhouses, but Ryuji tends to be used far more than Yusuke for the party's physical hitter because Yusuke lacks Ryuji's optimization for physical attacks. While Yusuke has the highest Strength, Ryuji is second-best in this area, and the gap between their Strength stats isn't that wide. The majority of Yusuke's attacks are more ideal for targeting groups of enemies, and some of his better single-target attacks only power up after a Baton Pass. What's more, none of Yusuke's passive abilities make his attacks stronger since he doesn't gain Boost or Amp for his element like everyone else does. The one passive set Yusuke learns gives him a chance to reflect physical attacks, but the abilities don't stack with each other, and the best one gives only a one-in-five chance of reflection. It also doesn't help that bosses who use multiple elements tend to use Fire attacks early in their cycles, allowing them to get extra turns if Yusuke doesn't forefeit his first turn by guarding. Late-game, Ryuji learns Matarukaja and Charge to buff his damage even more, whereas Yusuke only learns Masukukaja, further widening the gap between Ryuji and Yusuke. Royal helps close the gap a bit by giving Yusuke access to Charge and Matarukaja via the Jazz Club, severely nerfing Swift Strike (thereby greatly weakening Ryuji's ability to hit multiple targets), buffing the Baton Pass mechanics to make Yusuke's single-target moves much more devastating, and having his third-tier Persona learning a full-party Heat Riser. Even so, Ryuji's Persona trait grants a chance to randomly amp up the party's physical damage while Yusuke's only increases evasion against physical attacks, and Ryuji's third-tier skill is a full-party Charge. Not to mention, Joker can beat Yusuke at his own game by using Attis (or fusing his Thermopylae skill and Vitality of the Tree trait onto another Persona) to grant the same effect for a third of the cost. All of this means that while Yusuke is not necessarily bad, he's going to sit on the sidelines in favor of Ryuji for quite a while, and it's going to take a few specific time slots to get him closer.
  • Too Cool to Live: Occurs in Royal in Kasumi's backstory. Kasumi Yoshizawa. Not the one that Joker meets personally, the real Kasumi. A honor student who was a gymnastic prodigy that virtually never loses competitions, in addition to having overflowing optimism and kindness? Sure enough, she died before the game began. And the "Kasumi" that Joker personally meets? That's Kasumi's sister Sumire, who suffered from suicidal depression because Kasumi was so perfect that she drove her into the wrong mind without knowing it, eventually degenerating into Sumire having a total breakdown and Kasumi sacrificing herself to prevent her sister from being killed by incoming traffic.

    U 
  • 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.
    • In-Universe, Sae Niijima is tipped off that something is off about Goro Akechi by their unsettling behaviour.
    • The Will Seeds introduced in Royal appear as ghoulish, skeletal faces. Even Ann mentions that they look creepy.
  • Underused Game Mechanic:
    • Hostage negotiation. When one of your characters, except for Joker, is knocked down with an elemental weakness, 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.
    • Gun skills are really rare in comparison to the standard spread of Physical skills. Compared to the 40+ Phys skills in the game, you only have four Gun skills to choose from, and there's large gaps in availability between each. On the bright side, it also means each and every one of them is great for the level.
  • 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, Joker'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-.
    • Another one that no one saw coming was Slime Mara, an alternate form of Mara from Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne that was little more than a hidden one shot gag.
    • Kasumi's Character Introduction trailer for Royal has her, Morgana and Joker fighting against Biyarky, whose only and last appearance in the MegaTen franchise was as one of Nyarlathotep's minions in Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, released over a decade ago. This was then followed by Hastur a few trailers later, who was also one of Nyarlathotep's minions in Persona 2: Eternal Punishment.
      • Because of their appearance, this led fans to assume that Nyarlathotep was was going to come back as the Greater-Scope Villain. But nope, we instead get his dad Azathoth, who previously only appeared in Giten Megami Tensei: Tokyo Mokushiroku. And he's Takuto Maruki's Persona, no less! What's more, Maruki later evolves it into Adam Kadmon, who previously only appeared as a regular enemy in Paradise back in Shin Megami Tensei NINE!
    • Likewise, pretty much no-one predicted that Kasumi's Persona would be Cendrillon, especially since Cendrillon herself is not a thief, although the story of Cinderella is about rising above oppression and injustice which fits in line with the story themes of Persona 5.
    • Another unexpected face popping up in Royal is Vohu Manah, the Ultimate Persona of the Consultant Arcana, a Persona that last appeared in the original Persona.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Ann Takamaki being the source of Fanservice has also fallen under criticism in the West, most notably during the Madarame arc when she is blackmailed into posing nude for Yusuke. 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.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • Madarame. The worst of his crimes was being responsible for Yusuke's mother's death via Murder by Inaction, his plagiarism indirectly driving a former student to suicide, and the protagonists only learned about the death of Yusuke's mom after they sent Madarame's calling card, meaning they were willing to change his heart without knowing about his worst crime. It does not help that even after Madarame's fall, Yusuke largely reacts to Madarame with a mix of denial, anger and self-loathing; this does not change when his desire of an ideal Madarame genuinely reforming and becoming his ideal mentor was "granted" by Maruki and Joker snaps him out of it, where he becomes noticably enraged that he's been tricked in comparison to the other Phantom Thieves, indicating that Madarame never took Yusuke in for good will to begin with. While Madarame's actions are certainly reprehensible, his villainy pales in comparison to the likes of Sadist Teacher Kamoshida and yakuza crime boss Kaneshiro, the two villains his arc is sandwiched between. There is also ambiguity over whether or not he really saw Yusuke as more than a tool, having one Pet the Dog moment when he desperately looked for treatment for Yusuke when he fell sick. On another interpretation, he can be seen as doing so for implanting Stockholm Syndrome into Yusuke. (Which actually indicates that he is even more dangerous and cunning than he presents himself to be.) Whether or not this is the case, people still see him as more sympathetic than Okumura, who had no such Pet the Dog moments shown on screen and whose acts of villainy will actually induce issues on western audiences.
    • 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 even after making amends.
    • The Mementos targets are all treated like utter scum by the Phantom Thieves even though the crimes of a handful of targets are hardly crimes at all. Most notably is Yoshikuni Nejima, whose misdeed was that he was cheating at video games. And while Nejima was being a complete jerk about it, he's in league with the likes of serial abusers, perpetrators of child neglect, and former hitmen. Their Shadows do imply that they at least committed them for their own amusement, but cheating in a video game is small potatoes compared to a lot of other targets.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Kunikazu Okumura is portrayed in a more sympathetic light because he did used to genuinely care for Haru on both first-party and third-party accounts, his most personal crime is arranging a marriage with her and a sleazy playboy for the sake of political gain (with the sleazy playboy being the main focus) and his gruesome death at the hands of The Conspiracy to frame the Phantom Thieves. Unlike with Yusuke either, Haru was genuinely saddened by Okumura's assassination, all but pointing to him going off a slippery slope which led to over-ambitious investments that caused his demise. The problem is that Okumura's on-screen actions do not win him any sympathy points. First of, he's a Bad Boss who shows little to no regard for the welfare of his employees whom he forces to work under terrible working conditions, as seen by his palace's cognition of his employees as mindless robots. Secondly, there were implications that he was a frequent patron of Black Mask whom he has several of his competitors assassinated, which is confirmed when you infiltrate Shido's Palace. The last reason, mentioned in the Values Dissonance page of this game, is his horrible treatment of his daughter Haru, with no on-screen Pet the Dog moments to back it up bar Haru's ideal Okumura manifested by Maruki, which can mean basically anything. He wants to use her as a bargaining chip in an arranged marriage, and a Japanese audience will have less of a problem with the latter than a western. What's worse is that Okumura's Shadow is fully aware that Haru's fiance is a Domestic Abuser and unfaithful, yet encourages his behaviour for the sole reason of political gain. In Royal, it's revealed that the Cognitive Haru in his Palace is a robotic drone assistant that does as it's told without any objection, even when it means that Okumura tells her to self destruct for him, indicating that he didn't see her as any better than an obedient asset to his political glory. He's no different from any of the other Hate Sinks in Tokyo whose hearts you change, except that he used to actually treat Haru as if she were a daughter instead of a bargaining chip, unlike Madarame who was most likely taking care of Yusuke for the sole reason of implanting Stockholm Syndrome to him.
    • Morgana, when he briefly leaves the Phantom Thieves. Many feel that Morgana's feelings of inadequacy were built up thanks to Futaba being a better navigator than him, Ryuji's Innocently Insensitive comments, and Morgana being unsure of if he's human or not. However, Morgana's outbursts cross into Wangst for many players. Morgana is a vital member of the party due to his knowledge of the Metaverse and his ability to help the group explore Mementos; never once does it seem like he's useless. Additionally, Morgana treats Ryuji like crap for the entire game for not knowing things about the Metaverse, despite Ryuji being justified in his confusion. However, when Ryuji and Morgana get into an argument, Morgana throws a temper tantrum and quits the Phantom Thieves, apparently unable to take what he dishes out. Making things worse is that both Joker and Futaba expressed concern over Morgana's feelings, yet he rejected both of their attempts to talk to him about it. And even more damning, Morgana rushes into Okumura's Palace, while leading a civilian into danger on top of it all. (Haru awakened to her Persona while there, but only partially, and Morgana had no way of knowing that was going to happen.) Combine all of this, and many players didn't feel any sympathy for Morgana's behavior during the Okumura arc.
    • Black Mask has gotten this treatment from fans, mostly in the West, who believe their Alas, Poor Villain was heavy-handed and poorly executed, as the Phantom Thieves asked them to rejoin even after multiple people died from their own selfish whims, including Futaba's mother, Haru's father, and even attempting to betray and kill Joker, in addition to causing mental shutdowns that ruined a lot of Tokyo and hurt a lot of innocent people undermines how the Phantom Thieves treated most of their targets, where they force the targets into a life of atonement, while making it clear that no matter how much they atone, they can never be forgiven for their crimes. Even though they aren't actually making an exception for this person either, they just knew that they're being used by The Heavy to kill off anyone whom he perceive as his enemies for his very own dystopian plan, thus making a difference between "Hitman" and "Killer". In fact, the aforementioned heavy takes most of the blame for the Black Mask's acts.
    • Eiko from Makoto's Confidant. While it's revealed that her boyfriend Tsukasa is a scammer who ropes in girls to sell their bodies to pay nonexistent debts, Eiko does little to earn the player's sympathy because of her refusal to acknowledge the situation. Eiko adamantly refuses to believe Makoto when she tries to warn Eiko that Tsukasa is clearly bad news; other hosts in the Red Light District hate Tsukasa's guts for giving them a bad name. Even after learning that Tsukasa has been texting multiple other girls behind her back, Eiko jumps to the conclusion that Makoto is a "bitch" who's trying to steal her boyfriend away. And after Tsukasa backs down the moment that Joker and Makoto stand up to him, the only explanation Eiko offers for her behavior is that Tsukasa was the only person who paid attention to her, tacitly admitting that she knew his charm was all an act. For fans, this excuse didn't cut it; many other characters in the game are shown to be handling much worse circumstances than Eiko's with much better attitudes, including Makoto herself. And while Eiko was clearly in a bad spot, the fact that she not only stayed with Tsukasa after figuring out what he was planning but tried to drag innocent people down with her means that she comes across as a petulant child who's upset that she can't get everything she wants. When Makoto slaps Eiko for refusing to accept any responsibility for such selfish behavior to the bitter end, it doesn't feel like a Moment of Weakness on Makoto's part; it feels like well-deserved karma for Eiko.
    • Sae Niijima. She delivers an extremely harsh "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Makoto over an offhand comment at dinner (that was Innocently Insensitive at worst), threatens Sojiro with dubious charges of abuse over Futaba to get him to testify about Wakaba Isshiki and cognitive psience, and is implied to have forged evidence or rigged trials because she believes winning is the only thing that matters. She's meant to come off as an Anti-Villain who's Slowly Slipping Into Evil, but the problem is she shows little to no guilt, apprehension, or remorse for any of this. This could have been cleared up via her Shadow, a la Shadow Futaba, but Shadow Sae proves to be just as vehement in her pursuit of victory and completely ignores Makoto, not even having a cognition of her. Much like Okumura, Sae comes off as a Jerkass at best who is Easily Forgiven because Makoto is on her side.
    • Mika from Ann's Confidant. While the game shows that Mika is going way too far, it still uses her as a way to call out Ann for not taking her modeling job seriously, something Ann ends up agreeing with. While it's true that Ann isn't thinking about how hard the modeling industry is, the game railroads the player into agreeing with Mika. This is despite Mika sabotaging the careers of other female models, yet acting like Ann is an idiot for not taking it "seriously enough" by stooping to that level. Plus, it isn't Ann's fault she can eat whatever she wants without gaining weight; that's something Ann has no control over. Ann was also unfairly judged by her classmates because she's quarter-white, something the game ignores in favor of Ann agreeing with Mika. By the end of the Confidant, Mika is portrayed as Ann's rival despite Mika being a terrible person, and unlike with many other characters like her, the game lets Mika get away with everything she did to other people, without the opportunity to change her heart.
    • The girls for beating up Ryuji after they thought him to be dead escaping Shido's palace. While it's clearly done out of Anger Born of Worry and Ryuji was making fun of them crying, many players disliked the scene as it came off as Disproportionate Retribution and another case of Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male that the previous games already received flak for. Not helping matters is that Ryuji risk edhis life to help his teammates escape despite his leg injury, making the girls appear as Ungrateful Bastards.
    • Upon learning of Kasumi Yoshizawa's backstory, she came across this way to a few people. That is to say, the real Kasumi, not Sumire. While Sumire is meant to realise that her big sister ultimately cares about her, it's understandable for Sumire to perceive Kasumi as being a Big Sister Bully despite Kasumi not intending to be. Sumire goes on about how Kasumi was the perfect older sister, but Kasumi was very flawed as a guardian; she constantly controls Sumire's life and decisions, which from the latter's perspective can come off as patronising. Kasumi also never directly encouraged Sumire to stand on her own, and Kasumi's way of trying to cheer up Sumire is to joke how she as the older sibling would always be better than her, which should be the last thing said to a girl with fragile self-esteem. There is also the hypocrisy of her belief that Helping Would Be Killstealing, given how she always controls Sumire's life which makes Kasumi appear as a selfish Hypocrite instead.
  • 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.
    • 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 most of the Annoying Video-Game Helper tendencies that past Mission Control characters have.
  • The Un-Twist:
    • Akechi being Black Mask. He joins right before Sae's dungeon, where the player knows that the plans for the heist will be leaked to the police, acts suspicious towards the Thieves prior to joining them and has established that he disagrees with their methods. Played with since the twist is ultimately that the heroes realized this early on and used it as part of their gambit.
    • 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.

    V 
  • 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 Joker live his own life without real interference from her, and is extremely hesitant to do anything that might rob 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.
    • Okumura's Palace shows the criticism of the workplace in Japan but this is also something many American fans can relate to as there is an alarming number of workers in America who feel the need to work even when they are not feeling well because of being underpaid and either having no benefit or the ones they have don't cover their health problems.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • Caroline and Justine 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 Play Station 3 and Play Station 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.
    • Being the last big title for the Play Station 3, the game is well-known for pushing the aging system to its limits. And it shows.

    W 
  • Wangst:
    • Many have found Morgana's tantrum and leaving the team during the Okumura arc to be selfish whining. While Ryuji pushed it too far by calling Morgana "useless," when the time to apologize comes, Ryuji gets the lion's share of the blame. The party apparently isn't bothered by the fact that Morgana has been treating Ryuji like garbage from the beginning of the game for 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 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. Causing the mental shutdowns and the several deaths he's responsible for are very much unjustified, and the game makes no attempts to excuse this behavior. But some believe that Akechi's angst over his past - a pointed lack of guidance being a big factor of it - and his hatred of Joker (just not Shido) 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 Makoto received from the likes of Akechi and Ann, it didn't warrant the level of desperate behaviorMakoto had placed upon herself. The criticism mainly comes from her (self-admittedly) boneheaded move to storm Kaneshiro's hideout just to prove she wasn't useless. While it does get Kaneshiro in the Thieves' sights, the ramifications of blackmail toward the Thieves and the potential fate Makoto herself faces are extreme, as the player can find out if they don't complete Kaneshiro's Palace in time.
    • Eiko, from Makoto's confidant. She's hooked up with a host named Tsukasa, but one look at the guy shows that he's bad news, even to Joker and Makoto in-universe. Makoto later finds out that Tsukasa is going to rope Eiko into selling her body to pay a non-existent debt, and has done so multiple times before with other girls. After Tsukasa is driven away, Eiko admits that she knew what he was going to do, but that he was the only one who paid attention to her because of a bad home life. The way Eiko comes across made her Unintentionally Unsympathetic to a lot of players, since she was willingly walking into a trap because she was so starved for attention. Couple this with Eiko treating the friend who was trying to save her from a life of sex slavery like dirt, and Eiko is generally disliked by a good portion of players.
    • 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. The biggest case, as noted in the Values Dissonance page of this game, 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) 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. This is even the reaction by the Phantom Thieves in-universe, as none of them are particularly moved by their justifications.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Ryuji, being 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 Joker over the recording at which point Ryuji calls Joker 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. It's gotten to the point where Ryuji declaring that he's a Phantom Thief is one of the biggest memes in the game.
    • 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.
    • The Conspiracy all grab the Villain Ball with both hands late in the story. After Joker is supposedly assassinated by Akechi, the coroners classified Joker as dead without even bothering to check that there was a body. Had anyone on the Conspiracy bothered to check, they would have discovered that there was no body in the morgue or interrogation room, and that Joker is still alive. This careless oversight makes it all the easier for the Phantom Thieves to fly under the radar. And by the time the Phantom Thieves have publically revealed Joker's survival, it's already too late to stop them, since the Thieves have successfully infiltrated Shido's palace.
    • After taking down the final target, Shido's followers are clearly aware of what is going on with him following the theft of his Treasure and they state that they intend to try and keep him out of the public eye. And yet, when Election Day rolls around, they are shown to have done nothing and then for some reason seem surprised and visibly panic when Shido spills the beans, something they should have seen coming. To make them even more idiotic, despite knowing that his heart has been stolen, they still let him attend Election Day. Surely nothing can go wrong, right? They're lucky that the public has been acting strange lately and don't actually lose their support for him just yet.
    • 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.
    • In Royal, Joker, Morgana, and Kasumi discover an unknown Palace on the third of October... and never bring it up again. Morgana's reasoning is that it wasn't a Palace that they were supposed to target. However, absolutely nobody even thinks to investigate who the Palace belongs to and what that person is doing in the real world afterwards, especially since the Palace owners encountered up to that point had been either hurting people, or suffering from a crippling mental illness. The kicker? The Palace turns out to belong to Takuto Maruki, someone that the Phantom Thieves never suspected as a threat and inversely, formed a genuine bond with. As a result, Maruki ensnares all of them in blissful ignorance, something that could have been avoided had Joker or Morgana thought to look at Kasumi's MetaNav history.
  • Woolseyism: Some of the game-y 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 Yusuke and Morgana use traditional blades as Akechi's are kid's toy inspired "laser swords". Not even Joker 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").
      • While almost certainly unintentional, "ORACLE - NAVI" does make for a clever Bilingual Bonus, especially given the Persona series' repeated use of Hebrew and Kabbalistic jargon for their mystical phenomena: "Navi" just so happens to be the Hebrew translation of "Oracle".
    • 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. Morgana points out the Gratuitous Japanese, 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 note  was a "Blind Idiot" Translation, but it arguably worked because of Futaba's awkwardness.
    • The bar in Shinjuku was named "Nyuukama" ("Newcomer"), with "nyuu" short for "slippery" (hence the snail in the logo) and "kama" meaning "drag queen." The English version changes it to "Crossroads", which not only preserves the spirit of the original name, with "cross" being a pun for "crossdressing," but also adds a reference to Western folk mythology since it is at "Crossroads" where you make a deal with Ichiko Ohya, the Devil Confidant.
    • The magazine Ann gives you at the end of the game isn't named in the original version — it was named "Magazine with Ann's photoshoot." In the English version, the magazine was given the name Vague, a parody of Vogue.
  • Writer Cop Out: Morgana being brought back to life after the destruction of Mementos made him fade from existence. While it is sad for the Phantom Thieves to watch him fade away, Morgana is given an amazing send off of which he gives a very heartwarming speech to the Phantom Thieves about how the world and reality can change based on how people see and feel things, and that people like them will give the world infinite potential. Even those who didn't like him because of his annoying ego and his treatment of Ryuji thought that this was a great and noble way to send him off as a character. But once it's revealed that Morgana is alive, it really made that whole scene fall flat for some people, especially with him returning to his annoyingly vain personality that has caused him a number of detractors in the first place.

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