"Take Your Heart"
The Phantom Thieves of Hearts (心の怪盗団, Kokoro no kaitō-dan)?, also known simply as the Phantom Thieves, is a group of Persona Users in Persona 5 and Persona 5 Royal. Sick of the deception, hypocrisy and corruption around them, the Phantom Thieves are devoted to "stealing" the corrupt hearts of "evil" adults in order to change and reform society for the better. After their first heist, the player can name the group which will be shown on calling cards and online features with the default name of "The Phantoms" (ザ・ファントム?).
It is subjective whether or not the Phantom Thieves are "right" or "wrong." While some view them as heroes who fight criminals and save the day, Goro Akechi deems them to be criminals themselves who have no right to forcefully change the hearts of people. With the increasing numbers of their target's hearts changed, the Phantom Thieves begin to struggle with the question of whether the end justifies the means, questioning the morality of their "justice," and their determination to reform society often wavers as a result. This is especially true after Kunikazu Okumura's death, as the Phantom Thieves are labeled violent murderers by society and become despised by many.
- Persona 5 / Royal
- Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight
- Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers
- Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth
- Catherine: Full Body: DLC
"The bonds that you have reeled in are quite intriguing... In other words, they all have been unfairly labeled by society and are standing up against such fates. Have you noticed? Your heart seems to inspire theirs. *chuckle* Outcasts of society... In other words, you're picaresque. Deepen your bonds with them. Those will become the strength behind your rehabilitation. ...I look forward to it. I shall grant you an ability befitting of your newfound growth. Consider it a gift. May you continue devoting yourself to further rehabilitation."
The protagonist, Morgana, Ryuji Sakamoto and Ann Takamaki formed the Phantom Thieves of Hearts in order to target the "corrupt adults" and steal their "corrupt hearts" and change the world in order to rebel and fight against the complex, sophisticated and well-ingrained system of slavery they are trapped in. They are willing to perform illegal activities if it means reaching their own freedom and liberation. However, their powers can be used for different purposes, such as curing another's depression or punishing school bullies.
The group is formed when the volleyball teacher of Shujin Academy, Suguru Kamoshida, is revealed to have abused his students and molested Ann's friend, Shiho Suzui, which leads to the girl's attempted suicide. However, since no proof on his crime is available, as Shiho is in a coma, and no other student is willing to speak against Kamoshida, the team decides to make Kamoshida confess his own crimes by stealing the arrogance in his heart in infiltrating his Palace in the Metaverse.
They initially intend to end the Phantom Thieves once Kamoshida's case is over, but after encountering an arrogant politician, Masayoshi Shido, they decide to continue their 'Phantom Thieves' activities. Their name soon becomes known after making a corrupt painter, Ichiryusai Madarame, confess his own sins on live television. In addition to this, they also gain a new member, Madarame's former disciple, Yusuke Kitagawa. The victims of the Phantom Thieves often experience drastic and sudden personality changes that cannot be explained via normal means, and interrogating the victims for answers will usually have no effect. This makes the Phantom Thieves incredibly difficult to track down or investigate via normal means, which is further burdened by the fact that its members appear as normal and unassuming teenagers to outsiders and the knowledge of their methods are only handled by a select few. Their activities reach the police's attention, particularly investigator Sae Niijima, leading the team assigned to the Phantom Thieves case to be formed.
Furthermore, their methods are seen as questionable and unorthodox, and the Phantom Thieves have also received opposition and criticism for their actions. A high school detective, Goro Akechi makes an appearance on TV, where he is asked his opinion on the Phantom Thieves of Hearts. His response is that, whether or not they truly exist, they are criminals who should be brought to justice; he goes on to denounce their actions, and believes that forcing people to change what's in their hearts is wrong.
At the same time, people who support their actions also increased after the Phantom Thieves change the heart of crime lord Junya Kaneshiro, whom the police had difficulty catching due to a lack of evidence. Shujin Academy's student council president, Makoto Niijima, joins them as well after confirming that their justice is not wrong. From Kaneshiro, however, they learn of the existence of a third party who is manipulating the Palaces for their own needs. The increasing support they gain earns interest from a group of hackers, Medjed, who demand them to cease their false justice and give them a chance to right their wrong by joining them. As Medjed declares an all out war against them, the Phantom Thieves change the heart of a prodigy programmer Futaba Sakura, after she requested them to steal her suicidal tendencies in exchange for dealing with Medjed herself. Futaba joins the Phantom Thieves soon after.
The cleanse of Medjed has attracted attention towards the mysterious group, making them famous. During the Shujin Academy trip to Hawaii, they learn the Phantom Thieves have it's gone international, being mentioned by several locals. Due to these circumstances, they start a poll on the Phantom Aficionado Website, allowing people to vote for their next target.
However, upon their return to Japan, the Phantom Thieves are shocked to learn that the principal of Shujin Academy apparently committed suicide, though no rumors have been spread. The Thieves choose their next target according to the votes of the public: a president of food manufacturer, Kunikazu Okumura. They are joined by Kunikazu's daughter, Haru Okumura who also wants to change her father's heart. Unfortunately, things turns to worse when a mysterious masked Persona user kills Kunikazu's Shadow, causing Kunikazu to die as well in the real life during a press conference before he can reveal the mastermind behind the Conspiracy, and the Phantom Thieves are blamed for his death.
While trying to find a way to prove themselves, Akechi reveals that he knows the protagonist and his friends' identities as the Phantom Thieves and the existence of Metaverse, and believing they are not the ones who killed Kunikazu, Akechi offers to help them clearing their name. To do this, he suggests they steal Sae's heart to stop her from investigating the Thieves. After fulfilling their mission in Sae's Palace, someone leaks information about their whereabouts, so the protagonist uses himself as a bait, leading to his capture. While being interrogated by Sae, the protagonist reveals that Akechi is a traitor and makes a deal with her to save himself and deceive Akechi, who comes to kill the protagonist. Having successfully deceived Akechi using the reality-altering ability of the Metaverse and with Sae's help, the protagonist safely escapes his confinement and goes into hiding after his apparent death is broadcasted.
From the recording of Akechi's phone conversation, they find out that the mastermind behind the Conspiracy is Shido, who is going for election to become Prime Minister and the one responsible for the protagonist's probation. Entering his Palace, they once again encounter Akechi who is revealed to be Shido's illegitimate son and defeat him. Akechi, feeling remorseful for betraying them when learning Shido already knew who he is and planning to betray his own son after being elected prime-minister, sacrifices himself to allow them to proceed stopping his father. Reaching the end, the Thieves hijack the entire television to show their video that reveals Shido as the culprit behind the recent incidents in Shibuya, and declare war against Shido. Confronting Shadow Shido in his Palace, the Phantom Thieves succeed in stealing his heart and makes him confess his crimes at the live press conference when he is elected Prime Minister.
The Thieves celebrate their success and think it's now over for good. However, Shido's henchmen and personal doctor use the excuse that Shido currently has an unstable mental disorder and won't allow anyone to meet him, which means he cannot be judged despite having already confessed. They also manipulate the media to make people believe that the Phantom Thieves are deceiving them. In order to reform Shido's subordinates and change people's opinion of Shido, Morgana suggests they go to the Mementos' core. Since Mementos is the Palace of the people, the entire Metaverse will cease to exist once Mementos is destroyed. To bring Shido to justice, the Phantom Thieves agree to make this their one last heist.
When they reach the depths of Mementos, they are confronted by a being called Holy Grail, a manifestation of humanity's desire to be ruled and the conductor of the Conspiracy. He disguised himself as Igor to watch the battle between the protagonist and Akechi, using that to determine whose will is stronger. Despite he is the conductor of the Conspiracy, he has no regard for any of its members and merely sets them up for the Phantom Thieves to dismantle so he can prove that no corruption or chaos will exist as long as he reigns over humanity. The Thieves never actually change their target's hearts to make them better people as they believed that they were doing, but the targets are merely made unambitious and submissive to the Grail's control. Once the extermination of the conspiracy is successfully carried out, regardless of outcome, he erases anyone who won his game from reality, in this case the Phantom Thieves by manipulating the masses' cognition to make them think that they never existed, although the protagonist is offered a way out by him, where he gains fame but he becomes the Grail's enforcer while the other members of the Thieves are still erased from cognition. As the real world is merged with Mementos, the Phantom Thieves confront the Holy Grail who transforms into his true form: Yaldabaoth. With the help of people who believe in them, the Phantom Thieves receive enough power to defeat Yaldabaoth, resulting in the Metaverse to disappear for good.
On Christmas Eve, Sae asks the protagonist to turn himself in so he can testify against Shido since there's a lack of witnesses or solid evidence. However, this means the protagonist may have to be imprisoned in a facility, due to his history with Shido and because the police and prosecutors are desperate to restore their own reputation and prevent anyone from seeing the Phantom Thieves as heroes. To change the world and protect his friends, the protagonist agrees to Sae's request. In response to his arrest, his friends try their best to prove his innocence and eventually succeed in doing so two months afterwards when they find the woman he saved, who retracts the testimony Shido forced her to make and resulting in the initial charges of assault being expunged, allowing the protagonist to be freed earlier. However, since the protagonist's probation has been dropped, this means the protagonist has to go back to his hometown next month. With the leader leaving Tokyo, the protagonist and his friends officially disband the Phantom Thieves of Hearts, though they can still keep in touch or hang out with each other.
Persona 5 RoyalEdit
After defeating Yaldabaoth, the Phantom Thieves found themselves trapped within a cognitive reality where everyone's deep desires came true. Every one of them save for the protagonist, Goro Akechi and Kasumi Yoshizawa are satisfied with the results and unable to rebel, forcing the trio to explore a mysterious structure in Odaiba. Akechi is now in Black Mask form and fights exclusively in the Black Mask's brazen, feral attire, as he is now a criminal and no longer a detective prince. As they enter, more and more proof that what appears to be "Kasumi Yoshizawa" is merely a mockery of the real person is presented, up until they encounter the Palace ruler, who is actually one of the protagonist's confidants and acquaintances Takuto Maruki who has now been half a madman with some of his original self remaining. He reveals himself as the very creator of this cognitive reality and he created it to end all of humanity's pain. As a warning, he displays a damning evidence that "Kasumi" is not Kasumi but her inferior sister Sumire Yoshizawa, one of the people who had received his cognitive therapy so she can escape the survivor guilt of her sister sacrificing herself to stop her jealousy and inferiority complex-fueled fit or suicide attempt that nearly resulted in her being ran over by a car. The revelation lifts Sumire's cognitive overlay and sends her right into despair and denial.
As the protagonist denies Takuto's ideal world, he confiscates Sumire as intimidation and summons a Hastur to attack the boys, only for them to unleash a showtime and defeat it. Takuto then tells them to snap out all of the Phantom Thieves trapped in his reality within a week. Once they do and return at the end of the week, he mercy offers them to accept his reality. If he accepts, a bad ending will play where Takuto's reality has became the only reality. Should they refuse, he indirectly manipulates Sumire to attack them, followed by forcefully restraining and removing Cendrillon to attack the duo, with both of the attacks being of a warning nature. The berserk Cendrillon absorbs all of the Biyarky that Takuto summons and is virtually invincible, up until Ryuji appears to block off its finishing shot and the other Thieves snapped from his reality arrive. Once they defeat Cendrillon, Takuto restores Sumire's cognitive overlay and tells them to come back after a month.
It turns out that Takuto was being partially controlled by a persona who is said to be able to manipulate cognition itself, and by its power images of people got overlaid onto other people, supposedly dead people are revived as if they never died and/or got corrupted by rewriting history and the behavior of people had been manipulated to their most optimal. However, he is also channeling power from Mementos using the same cables that made Cendrillon berserk, and if not stopped after a month, Mementos would revive in the real world with Takuto as its master. Due to the lack of any rebellion, strife or progress, not even the Velvet Room is able to save a world like this.
The Thieves now step into Maruki's Palace in which Sumire joins the party using the codename "Violet." When being attacked and surrounded by several Shadows, Sumire tears off her mask only to have nothing happen, as the old Cendrillon has been destroyed. She receives a new mask and as she tears it off, the real Kasumi's soul reaches out to her and replaces the old Cendrillon, officially marking Sumire as a rebel against her old, cowardly self.
Upon their hangout in their very own rooms with the protagonist to awaken their third tier personas, all of the first seven Phantom Thieves regret and felt ashamed for being manipulated by Takuto so easily and resolve to change for the better, no matter how painful their traumatizing moments are, admitting that facing these traumatizing events head on are a part of their persona growth. They also apologize to the protagonist for being caught off guard by their subconscious desires.
It was also heavily implied that the events surrounding Takuto and his cognitive reality are all unintended aftermaths of Yaldabaoth's plan.
After locating the Treasure on top of the Garden of Eden, the Thieves propose the protagonist invite Takuto to LeBlanc and send him the calling card there on the 2nd of February. However, Akechi warns of a trap set up by Takuto, and advises him to be careful. During that day, Takuto claims that Akechi is a cognition and the real Akechi is dead. After he gets the calling card and leaves to prepare for the final battle, Akechi asks him if he would stay in the reality if this were true. If he admits he would stay and has confirmed to do so, he indirectly accepts Takuto's offer. It is unknown if Takuto's claims were true or are just blatant lies based on Akechi's warning and he never creates straight cognitive copies of people in the real world.
Once the protagonist refuses the second and indirect offer, the Thieves will reach the top of the Garden of Eden to fight Takuto, in which the persona's true form is revealed; The blind idiot god Azathoth, a golden cross laced with tentacles. Once this is done for and the party steals his treasure, he confiscates it and restores Azathoth into Adam Kadmon, the almighty being who is the giver of human wisdom, appearing as a massive and brilliant humanoid robot. While Adam Kadmon is virtually invincible and threatens to decimate the thieves with its fists, the Thieves gather to block it off while Futaba orders the protagonist to shoot its head while its distracted, knocking off Takuto's crown and destroying Adam Kadmon.
The Palace quickly collapses and Morgana was unable to move with his vehicle form, only to transform into a helicopter instead and transports the Thieves off Oodaiba. However, Takuto now pulls the protagonist off the Monacopter and challenges him to a fist fight. Once both lie on the ground, he attempts to commit suicide by falling off one of the glass panels only for the protagonist to save him and the Monacopter transports the two out of Oodaiba.
Once the party returns to the original reality, the protagonist is send to Juvie and his maxed confidants, including ones he maxed at the Third Semester will support his release from it and Akechi remains missing. On the 15th of March, the protagonist departs Tokyo with men in black trying to pursue him while Morgana breaks the spark plugs and the other members distract them, as Takuto drives him to the train station where he bumps into Sumire, who gives him a vague warning that he's getting pursued. Once the protagonist is in the train, he sees his reflection on the windows and should the protagonist fulfill his promise with Akechi after defeating him in Shido's Palace, a glimpse of what appears to be him can be seen walking past the station.
The events mark Takuto as the first adult target of the Thieves to be genuinely made a better person, as this is the first heist they made after being freed from Yaldabaoth's control.
Persona Q2: New Cinema LabyrinthEdit
The Phantom Thieves are the main focus in the game with Joker being their leader. Unlike in Persona 5, Goro Akechi is a permanent member of the team, but his stuttering near the end of the game and his absence from the post-credit events implies that he might actually still be the traitor.
The group goes into a regular exploration session in Mementos and suddenly the Morgana van loses control, dropping them into a TV screen which leads into a movie. They escape from the movie and into a theater, but a chicken-like F.O.E kidnaps Makoto Niijima and Haru Okumura when they escape.
|Member||Code name||Role||Comical title|
|Morgana||Mona||Attacker, Navigator||Acting Guide|
|Ryuji Sakamoto||Skull||Attacker||Captain Foodie|
|Makoto Niijima||Queen||Attacker, Navigator||Advisor|
|Futaba Sakura||Oracle||Navigator||Hacker Prodigy|
|Haru Okumura||Noir||Attacker||Noble Daughter|
|Goro Akechi||Crow||Attacker, Navigator*||Charismatic Detective; Merciless Akechi*|
|Violet||Attacker||Bottomless Pit (by the protagonist)|
In the Japanese official site of Persona 5, those (besides the core members) who the protagonist can form Confidant bonds with are also considered part of the Phantom Thieves as most of them are mentioned during the protagonist's interrogation by Sae Niijima.
|Sojiro Sakura||Takes the protagonist in||Guardian of Spongers|
|Chihaya Mifune||Provides accurate divination||Prophetess Who Sees Fate|
|Munehisa Iwai||Supplies equipment||Defective Weapon Provisioner|
|Tae Takemi||Supplies barely legal drugs||Dark Physician|
|Sadayo Kawakami||Provides domestic services and|
allows the protagonist to skip classes
|Ichiko Ohya||Reports in favor of the gang||Paparazza|
|Shinya Oda||Teaches gun skills||Young Marksman Never Misses|
|Hifumi Togo||Teaches battle strategies||Crafty Female Shogi Player|
|Yuuki Mishima||Creates and manages|
the Phantom Aficionado Website
Public Relations Officer
|Toranosuke Yoshida||Teaches speechcraft||Unyielding Politician|
|Takuto Maruki*||Conducts therapies with the protagonist and the rest of the Phantom Thieves||???, Gentle Madman (theme)|
- * In Persona 5 Royal only.
Wanted poster promotional artwork
Illustration of the Phantom Thieves of Hearts by Shigenori Soejima
Illustration by Shigenori Soejima
PERSONA5 20th Anniversary package visual of the Phantom Thieves of Hearts by Shigenori Soejima
The Phantom Thieves of Hearts
Illustration of the main members of Phantom Thieves of Hearts
Persona 5 Maniax User Handbook Cover Illustration of Phantom Thieves of Hearts by Shigenori Soejima
The Phantom Thieves of Hearts
The Phantom Thieves in the main menu
The Phantom Thieves in the main menu
The Phantom Thieves in Niijima's Palace
The Phantom Thieves on Shido's Palace
|Persona 5 Royal|
|Persona 5 (Manga)|
Persona 5 Character Anthology
Illustration by Persona Q: Side P4 manga author Mizunomoto
The Phantom Thieves of Hearts in the manga adaption
|Persona 5 The Animation / The Day Breakers|
The Phantom Thieves of Hearts on the cover of Persona 5 The Animation The Day Breakers
From The Animation
|Persona 5: Dancing Star Night|
Illustration of the Phantom Thieves of Hearts by Akaume (PQ Roundabout author)
- The gloves worn by the Phantom Thieves (except for Morgana who does not wear any) correspond to the elements or roles their Personas primarily represent:
- The Phantom Thieves of Hearts share the unique distinction of not bearing a bond associated with the Fool Arcana, in contrast to S.E.E.S or the Investigation Team. Rather, the Fool Arcana bond is with Igor.