My Top 10 Favourite Confidant Arcs in Persona 5 Royal

Now, I have done posts on the best confidants, and I have done posts on my favourite personas… so I decided to let you guys know my favourite confidant arcs in Persona 5 Royal. It is different from the original game, so please be aware of that if you haven’t managed to play Royal yet. Also, there will be spoilers for all of these confidants, so if you don’t want to know about a particular one, just skip over!

10) Ann
This is one that was not going to include on the list. I don’t like Ann’s confidant arc as much as I probably would like to. However, I do like the passion in her heart that – while it is sometimes seen in the story – is mainly seen throughout her confidant. Ann’s confidant arc shows her jumping from one thing to the next while trying to better herself. It is a typical teenage thing to do. She just wants to be a better version of herself, as do most teenagers, and is struggling with how to express that or make that happen. I do enjoy this particular aspect of her confidant as it is probably one of the most relatable. I don’t like how she doesn’t seem to change much, a lot of it is centred around someone else (Shiho) who doesn’t appear a lot and she’s a model, which is something that relies on her looks. I think at the beginning of the game, it was made clear that all people saw in Ann was her looks and I think that they really did her a disservice by enforcing that in her part-time job.

9) Makoto
Makoto is probably my favourite original Phantom Thief. I love her, I love her persona and I love her perceptive. If only her arc was about her development more than saving her friend. Of course, this is purely my interpretation and thoughts on the arc and if you think differently, please leave a comment! I feel like the arc started off pretty strong, and I liked how Makoto quickly made a friend. The way she made a friend was believable and I could envision it happening in real life. However, she seemed to put her own personal development on hold just so she could ‘save’ her friend. Yes, her friend needed saving. There is no denying that she was in danger. However, the main thing I am not happy within the arc is how much time is taken up by Eiko’s issues. I feel like that time could have possibly been better spent exploring Makoto’s self-worth or even her relationship with her sister. Makoto was someone who wanted to please others and was willing to do anything to do so. When she became a Phantom Thief, that changed. I feel like that they had great potential to show what lack of praise can do for someone like that emotionally; she would have needed a friend and Joker was there. Although we did see Makoto quite vulnerable in parts of her arc, I don’t think it was as much a part of her character development but more about establishing her character.

8) Ohya
Keep in mind that I’m rating this on the arc, not the abilities. I actually adore Ohya’s arc. I love how she comes across as a selfish drunk when really she is someone who cares more about her friend than herself and is desperate to find her. So desperate, in fact, that she turns to alcohol to ease the pain. I am by no means saying that Ohya is a good person. Using Joker, pretending that she was in a relationship to try and get her boss off her back, that’s not something that a good person does. What I am saying is that her story was written amazingly. They clearly put a lot of thought and effort into a character that… I mean, they must have known how awful her abilities are! Not a lot of people get to rank 10 with Ohya, she’s probably one of the most ‘left out’ confidants. Yet she has this amazing story.

7) Akechi
So, this is based on Royal for obvious reasons (Morgana would be on this list if I was including automatic confidants). Let me preface this by saying that before going into Royal, I hated Akechi. I have this thing where I get way too invested into fictional stories, more so than my own life, and I feel a real, emotional connection to characters. I felt this with Akechi in the original Persona 5 game… but the emotion was rage. I genuinely have never hated a character more in my entire life (and that’s saying something because I read Mockingjay and literally could not stand Coin). Playing Royal (which would be my third time playing the story), I really wanted to at least try to give him another chance since at this point I had a fan account and everyone loved Akechi. By the second confidant rank, I was obsessed. I loved him too. It really made the whole betrayal thing that much harder to deal with. I have always said that the writing behind Akechi as a villain is phenomenal. I have never once had an issue with the writing. As a writer myself, I commended the writers purely for Akechi. I have spoken about Akechi’s writing in writer support groups, I have even thought about it while writing my own book. So, you could probably imagine my surprise when the writing for Akechi was so much better in Royal. I was taken on such an emotional roller coaster. Even though I roughly knew what was going to happen, I was still blown away. So why, I assume you’re asking, is Akechi’s arc so far up this list? Well, my lovely reader, that is because it wasn’t… satisfying. I felt like there needed to be more. It was probably the intention of the writers; they were probably trying to keep the suspense. In a game about social justice, can there be a satisfying answer in the world we live in? No. Not really. And I really think that this hit hard for me with Akechi’s arc. I do think, however, that things could have been done differently to make the arc a little more satisfying to the player. This is probably something that only I have an issue with, to be honest, and I am fine with that. At the end of the day, I don’t tend to play games for the gameplay. I typically just play for the story. Akechi’s arc was one hell of a story that obviously tied in well with the main narrative, more so than any others, but especially in the third semester… I felt like there was something off, I guess. 

6) Haru Okumura
Okay so, Haru’s confidant abilities are amazing and sincerely underappreciated because she comes in so late in the game. I think we, as a fanbase, was hoping that this issue would be solved in Royal, but it is not. In my playthrough, Haru was the only Phantom Thief I did not get to Rank 10 before Christmas. I have previously got her to Rank 10 in the original Persona 5, but her abilities are notably better in Royal, which excites me and makes me want to get her to Rank 10 in my next playthrough. However, we’re not talking about abilities in this post. Haru’s confidant arc was well written, in my opinion. However, it is still lacking. There could have been so much more surrounding her fiancé, to the point where I felt like there should be. Like, I was expecting it. I was expecting to have to change the heart of Sugimura. I wanted to, even. I think it was just… obvious. It would make sense for us to have to change his heart. At the end of the day, even if (when) Haru would not have to follow through on the marriage, he would just move on to someone else. Changing his heart would stop that and, by extension, save other potential victims. Even putting that aside, Haru’s confidant – while rushed – makes sense, almost. This girl just lost her father but has to deal primarily with business matters, when it is pretty obvious that she does not care about the business. At the end of the day, the business had caused Haru a lot of pain in her life and therefore, her reaction to this situation almost makes sense. Her want to hold on to it because it is essentially part of her father, whom she loved dearly, despite everything that he put her through, is shown through her confidant several times. She wants to do what is best for the company because that is what her father would want to do. It’s not, however, what he would want her to do and that is shown heavily through Haru’s lack of business knowledge. Haru’s father clearly intended to marry her to someone who was more knowledgeable about business, because otherwise, he would have either educated her himself or put her in some kind of business class. But he never intended for her to run the business, and that is how they added to his character after his death. He never wanted his daughter, his only child, to run his business. He only saw her as someone to marry off to someone who knew how to run a business successfully or to help advance his career in some other way.

5) Maruki
I loved the first half of Maruki’s confidant. I really enjoyed it overall. I do, however, believe that there was a point where it just started… lacking. Okay, let’s be honest here, doing this list is hard for me because I love this game so much and it’s hard to point out any flaws, especially with the new characters. I do appreciate the effort that they went through to set up the third semester. Like, I think that would have taken a lot of hard work and creativity. However, I think it was just after Hawaii that I went from loving Maruki (he was literally my favourite) to just thinking he was… meh. And that was disappointing for me. It’s even more disappointing because I cannot exactly pinpoint why it happened. There was not anything apparently wrong. It just felt different. I did enjoy Rank 10. I also liked how it fit in with the third semester. As far as I remember, being pretty active on Instagram due to my Persona 5 fan page, everyone knew Maruki was important to get up to 10 before Sae’s deadline day. It’s just a lot of us didn’t know why. I think finishing a non-phantom thieves confidant as early as Sae’s palace felt a little weird, but having the knowledge that it was important to unlock the third semester made it all worth it.

4) Takemi
I have actually got Takemi to rank 10 in every playthrough. She was one of my first Rank 10s, and she usually still is. The main reason for this is because… Alice is one of my favourite personas and the earlier I can get her the better. Apart from that, I enjoy Takemi’s story. Her later abilities aren’t as good as the ones in the middle in my opinion, but her story is worth following through on. In a similar, much less unpopular, situation to Ohya, Takemi’s story far outweighs her abilities. That being said, she is one of the most useful confidants to have up to Rank 10. I know my confidant analysis post was long and not about Royal, but Takemi came out on top. But even if she didn’t, I’d still do her story, like I still do Ohya’s. Takemi was basically ostracised from the medical community for a mistake that she didn’t even make. She knows this, yet she seems to embrace her bad reputation. Near the start of her confidant, she turns down an ambulance by citing her reputation. Instead, she works on her medicine. The exact medicine that got her ostracised in the first place. Despite Takemi’s seemingly harsh and uncaring attitude, this shows that she cares about her old patient and she cares about her work. And that’s only in the first few ranks. As time progresses, you see Takemi – with Joker’s help – being more open about treating patients. She even becomes the town doctor. It’s almost like Joker helped her through an emotional hurdle, making her realise that treating people isn’t bad, and that she won’t mess up. Or at least, that’s my interpretation of it. You see, I think there was much more going on with Takemi at the start. I think she was afraid of treating patients until she corrected ‘her’ mistake. Whether that be because patients didn’t want to be seen by her or just because she was afraid of making things worse. In my interpretation of the arc, Takemi was scared, and Joker slowly helped her realise her great abilities of treating and helping other people.

3) Yusuke
Yusuke’s confidant, like the other original characters, didn’t change. However, the third semester has given me a lot to think about. Yusuke, like the others, falls for Maruki’s illusion. His was Madarame being out of jail and having the Sayuri in a museum or art gallery under Yusuke’s mother’s name. This shows that despite all of his confidant arc and him having to tell himself over and over again that Madarme is bad and not the person he thought he was, him being that person is what Yusuke wants more than anything. This was a great addition to Yusuke’s confidant arc because his original confidant shows him finally accepting Madarame was a bad person all along. This shows that there’s still a little doubt in his mind, a part of him that still can’t accept who Madarame was and what he did. Once Yusuke snaps out of it, the Sayuri shows up at Leblanc again. That’s a nice touch. But in all seriousness, Yusuke’s confidant is one that people tend to laugh at when I think they really shouldn’t. I get that Yusuke is a humorous character, but he’s also very hurt and very much struggling during his confidant. His art is the only thing he has ever known, and the person who introduced him to that turned out to be an abuser. His abuser. Yusuke is in pain. He is suffering. And he does what a lot of abuse victims do a lot, which is throwing yourself into something you’re passionate about. Yusuke’s confidant is one of my favourites because it deals with the trauma that comes after the abuse in a way that none of the other confidants really do.

2) Futaba
Futaba… I remember disliking her because she was a bit too much like me. A traumatic background, thinking you’re going to die in your room, blaming yourself for the traumatic event. It ticks all the boxes. But in terms of her confidant… It is very real. It shows the baby steps that you have to take, the want to help others that you go through. Royal was the first time I completed Futaba’s confidant. I always got to like 8 or 9 but then ran out of time. But I prioritised her over Haru this time, and I tried to do her alongside Sojiro (another confidant story I love but didn’t make it on the list). Her confidant arc may not seem like much to people who haven’t gone through anything traumatic, or who don’t suffer from mental illness, but at least to me it was a pretty accurate portrayal of a young girl trying to recover. Sometimes, you just need a friend and Futaba was lucky enough to have Joker. Atlus did a really great job with this confidant arc, and with Futaba in general, so I really applaud them on that. It is much appreciated.

1) Kasumi
Now… you really do not want to read this if you don’t want to know probably the biggest twist in Royal.
Still here? Good.
Sumire’s confidant arc is beautiful. I’ve brought my mental health and traumatic past up so much in this post but I think it’s important for you to know why I relate to certain characters. Sumire’s confidant arc is just one of those. I’ve mentioned before that I have DID (if you want to ask questions, I’ll try my best to answer them! Just drop a comment or message me on Instagram), so I heavily related to going through a traumatic event and not being ‘you’ anymore. But it’s Sumire’s passion and determination to get better that makes this confidant so amazing. The first half was fun. Hanging out with (essentially) Kasumi was great and looking bad, it’s interesting to see the comparison. But Sumire pushing to be herself at the end- that’s the cherry on the cake. That’s what makes this confidant so beautiful.
The whole third semester was about your past and pain making you a better person. Sumire really focuses on that, which makes it so great. I really do not have the words to explain how amazing this confidant fits in with the third semester and how it really ticks all the boxes of an amazing confidant arc. The only thing I didn’t like was the ending. She finally had her place to belong with the Phantom Thieves but she wasn’t with them when their leader goes away and that upset me but the overall arc was great so it’s fine!

Well, there you go! The list is different from my original Persona 5 list, but I hope you enjoyed! Happy Gaming 😊

Published by eleanorreeswriting

Hi, I am an autistic gamer in my 20's who loves to share my experiences and thoughts about games, characters and everything about gaming.

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