"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 group can be named, which will be written on calling cards, to others via online features, and in dialogue (although voice acting will always refer to them as the "Phantom Thieves"), with the default name being "The Phantoms" (ザ・ファントム?).
- Persona 5 / Royal
- Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight
- Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers
- Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth
- Catherine: Full Body: DLC
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 who have no right to forcefully change the hearts of people and Kasumi Yoshizawa expresses her belief on how people should not be dependent on the group to change society. This is further compounded by that many of the targets whom have experienced a change of heart of do not actually atone, but instead are reduced to apathetic, weeping husks of their former selves, making their behavior look more like criminal activity than justice. With the increasing numbers of changes of heart, the Phantom Thieves attract the attention of the general public, turning them into an international phenomenon.
However, due to the fame, the Phantom Thieves lose sight of their goal and 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, as well as the reason behind targeting them being linked to him being the highest ranked person on the Phantom Aficionado Website in terms of votes. In the end, it was found out that they were sponsored and manipulated by a conductor and are destined for ruin in the end, which explains their morally ambiguous activities and their targets not atoning properly after their Change of Heart. While public reception of them is mixed after the final confrontation against the conductor, they become less morally ambiguous, especially during the extra campaign of Persona 5 Royal and the events on Persona 5 Scramble, where they are willing to steal the hearts of anyone who attempts to cause disorder and stagnation within the public, including those doing so with well-intent, and actually make them atone as better people. Additionally, several members of the Police began to open up to them, those being Zenkichi Hasegawa and Miyako Kaburagi.
"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."
The Phantom Thieves of Hearts' goal is to confront "corrupt adults" by stealing 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 exploit the supernatural if it means bringing the masses freedom and liberation.
The group is formed by protagonist, Morgana, Ryuji Sakamoto and Ann Takamaki when they discover that the volleyball teacher of Shujin Academy, Suguru Kamoshida, has abused his students and molested Ann's friend, Shiho Suzui, leading to her attempted suicide which put her in a coma. However, since no other student, parent or teacher is willing to speak against Kamoshida due to favoritism by the principal, the team decides to put matters in their own hands and get him to confess his crimes on his own by stealing the distortions in his heart stored within 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 behind-the-scenes exploits of the supernatural as an official group. Morgana guides them to Mementos so they may find viable targets, eventually encountering and changing Natsuhiko Nakanohara's heart. Nakanohara, in return, leads them to an actual target, his former mentor Ichiryusai Madarame who has been known for exploiting his pupils to the point of them committing suicide, with one of them being Yusuke Kitagawa, the last of his disciples whom Madarame had taken to his care. Yusuke speaks highly on Madarame, although he was only in fear of retaliation. Finally seeing the truth of his mentor's maliciousness and vanity, Yusuke awakens a persona himself and joins the Thieves, designing the Phantom Thieves of Hearts' official logo and creating the Calling Cards from this point on. With Yusuke's help, the party manages to defeat and change Madarame's heart, but not before he warns them of a "Black Mask assassin" roaming around the Palaces.
Kobayakawa, knowing the possibility of the school sheltering the Phantom Thieves due to being pressured by his higher-ups, tells the student council president Makoto Niijima to investigate them. Makoto knew who the Phantom Thieves are, but nonetheless blackmailed them to reform a dangerous mafiia boss of unknown origin, whose scams are threatening the school's students. Ichiko Ohya reveals the identity of the mafia boss they are targeting; Junya Kaneshiro, actually a hiighly insecure and petty man who blackmailed the Thieves for 3 million yen simply because they appeared in front of him. The Phantom Thieves change hiis heart as well, with Makoto now on their side. However, Kaneshiro, before his defeat, also warns them of a Black Mask killer in the Metaverse like Madarame who was manipulating the Palaces for his own needs.
The victims of the Phantom Thieves often experience drastic and sudden personality changes that cannot be explained via normal means, usually drowning themselves in excessive self-loathing and apathy. As a result, 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 prosecutor 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 for his opinion on the Phantom Thieves of Hearts. His response is that they, whether or not they truly exist, 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.
The Phantom Thieves gain popularity and trust thanks to the reformation of multiple high profile criminals that the police failed to apprehend and track. Yet, this popularity earns interest from what seems to be a group of hackers, Medjed, who was declaring threats against them, threatening that they will target the Thieves' and their supporters for their false justice and launch a Japan-wide hacking attack that will crash its economy known as "the Cleanse." As Medjed seemingly declares an all out war against them, an unknown hacker known as "Alibaba" sends threats against them, telling them to change the heart of "Futaba Sakura" or he will reveal their identities to the public. In reality, "Alibaba" was actually the prodigy programmer Futaba Sakura, who fell into suicidal depression after her mother "committed suicide" and "declared that she should never be born." The Thieves steal her suicidal depression away and she joins the Phantom Thieves, putting an end to Medjed. They then spend their summer vacation adjusting Futaba to the outside world.
Medjed's defeat has piqued intrique among the public, making them famous. The approval rate of the Phan-site poll increases twofold within the matter of a day, then steadily increases to close to 80-90% at the end of the month. It has went to the point where businesses have started producing and selling Phantom Thief merchandise. Due to these circumstances, Mishima starts a poll on the Phantom Aficionado Website, allowing people to vote for their next target.
During the Shujin Academy's trip to Hawaii, they learn the Phantom Thieves have become internationally known, being mentioned by several locals. However, upon their return to Japan, the Phantom Thieves are shocked to learn that the principal of Shujin Academy apparently committed suicide. The Thieves consider their next target according to the votes of the public: the president of a food manufacturing company who also runs Big Bang Burger, Kunikazu Okumura. However, unsettled by the abnormal enthusiasm of the general public, they begin to question whether it's right for them to act solely on their vote, and realize that due to the influx of their fame, they have lost sight of why they're Phantom Thieves in the first place.
They are joined by Okumura's daughter, Haru Okumura, who also wants to change her father's heart, in order to escape an arranged marriage with a sleazy playboy for no reason other than his political gain. They managed to pull the heist off and find that Okumura wasn't supposed to be this corrupt and may actually atone, only for a mysterious masked Persona user to kill Okumura's Shadow after the Phantom Thieves all escape. On the day the Thieves were celebrating in Tokyo Destinyland, the real Okumura suffers a mental shutdown during a press conference, after confessing his crimes but before he can reveal the mastermind behind the Conspiracy. Additionally, it turns out that Medjed was not actually involved with the Phantom Thieves, but the name was used by a third party to make blank hacking threats and to further increase the popularity of the group. They also artificially inflated the view counters and the heist requests of Okumura on the PhanSite, leading to the oppurtunity where he can be killed to frame the Thieves and to ensure Shido inaugurates uncontested. Furthermore, the principal's murder has also been pinned on the Thieves, as before the killer disposed of him, he placed a fabricated calling card on his desk. The Phantom Thieves conclude that those moves were predicted to bait them into arrest.
While trying to find a way to prove their innocence, Akechi reveals that he knows the protagonist and his friends' identities as the Phantom Thieves and the existence of Metaverse, as well as having photo evidence of their entrance. Believing they are not the ones who killed Okumura, he offers to help them clear their name. In order to do this, he suggests they steal Sae's heart to stop her from investigating the Thieves and to prevent the high chance of a false accusation. In reality, Akechi was leading them to their arrest, where they would be most certainly be put on death row. It's implied that he would induce a mental shutdown on Sae once the Thieves are done for.
After fulfilling their mission in Sae's Palace, information about their whereabouts has been leaked, so the protagonist uses himself as a bait, leading to his capture. While being interrogated by Sae, he tells her the group's history besides some key moments blocked out due to a drug. When Sae offers the protagonist to tell her about his accomplices, he refuses, and instead rats out Akechi as a traitor. He makes a deal with her to save himself and deceive Akechi, who comes to kill the protagonist. In reality, the protagonist never died, and the guard and protagonist within were all cognitive beings. Having successfully deceived him 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, alerting the rest of the group that he successfully fooled the traitor and the conspiracy.
In reality, the Phantom Thieves knew that Goro Akechi was hiding something since he was lured by a comment made by Morgana during their visit in the TV station, and being able to understand him can only mean that he has been in the Metaverse before. (Implying that he has been spying the Phantom Thieves when they were confronting Madarame) Therefore, the group formulated a plan to work against him. The only thing that had a chance to prevent the protagonist from executing the plan was him being administered with drugs. Futaba's investigation into Sae Niijima also included her programming an app to tap into Goro Akechi's phone conversations, which confirmed the plot to kill the protagonist.
In advance, they checked to confirm if the police building's interrogation room was identical to the one in the real world, allowing a modified Metaverse app to seamlessly transport Goro Akechi into the Metaverse to kill Sae's cognitive copy of the protagonist, which was in the interrogation room due to being caught on purpose. To make sure it goes through, they did not actually steal the treasure or have Sae go through a change of heart, but pretended to do so in order to hide their plan. Since this was the first time where Akechi actually saw their methods up-close, he had no idea that her treasure wasn't stolen. The "Treasure" was just an empty briefcase. However, he was presumed to be dead by the public and by the police force, due to Shido's conspiracy being so confident that they refused to even give him a death certificate. To avoid detection, the protagonist is no longer able to attend school.
From the recording of Akechi's phone conversation, they find out that the mastermind behind the conspiracy is Masayoshi Shido, who is running for election to become prime minister, and has been the one responsible for the protagonist's probation. He also manipulates Akechi to do dirty deeds for him, and he used to be a minor politician that didn't have much power or history in the past. By this point, every member of the public disregards how Shido actually is as a person and votes for him unerringly and exclusively as he makes charismatic speeches about steering Japan to a golden age to make himself more relatable and convincing.
When exploring Shido's Palace, the Thieves receive major revelations about the events that occured up to this point. Madarame and Kaneshiro are all tied to Shido by fiancing him with forgery and drug money, Okumura and Kobayakawa were assassinated due to being a thorn for Shido's campaign and to frame the Thieves, the IT company president issued blank hacking threats using Futaba's Medjed Moniker, artificially inflated the Phan Site's view count and votes to frame them and encrypted Wakaba's research after her murder under behalf of his boss' orders, and the Yakuza sided with Shido only because he had the best pay.
After all invitations from the Shadow Selves of his five noblemen associates within his Palace have been taken, Akechi steps in to stop them per Shido's orders. Akechi reveals himself to be disloyal, merely taking advantage of him so he may expose his identity as his bastard father when the time comes. (Due to Shido heavily implied to have been birthed Akechi from a one-night stand with a call-girl, this will be absolutely detrimental to Shido's standing.) The Phantom Thieves try to bring him back to his senses, but he was too frenzied to the point that he's now officially trying to dispatch them for personal reasons instead of for Shido.
Despite displaying his ability to cause psychotic breakdowns on Shadows, fighting the group in his "Prince" Robin Hood outfit, and finally revealing his Black Mask form of Loki as well, he was defeated. Before he can actually atone, however, a cognitive Akechi appears and tries to kill the real one. The fake reveals that Shido already knew who he is and planned to betray his own son after his election as well, and Akechi begins to feel remorseful for betraying the Phantom Thieves. He seemingly sacrifices himself in an ambiguous fate to allow them to proceed stopping his father. Securing Shido's treasure, Futaba hijacks the nationwide broadcast system to expose Shido as the culprit behind the recent incidents in Tokyo and declare war against him. The Phantom Thieves enter a daunting final battle against Shido and emerge victorious, and he confesses his crimes on election day.
The Phantom Thieves celebrate their success, assuming it's all over for good. Seeds of doubt were also spread within the public that if Shido actually meant it, or what will happen to Japan without Shido as the leader. The conspiracy was largely pulverized save for several scurrying remnants, and Sae began to establish a case against Shido. Unfortunately, on the 23rd of December, things suddenly take a deep dive for the worst. Not only does the public believe that Shido has a chance of comeback to the point of worship, the Phantom Thieves were treated as if they never changed the hearts of several high-profile targets, and Shido's condition is labeled as "mental instability." Despite the Thieves' expectations, the election was also postponed instead of reset. Shido's henchmen and personal doctor also use the excuse that he currently has an unstable mental disorder and won't allow anyone to meet him, which means he cannot be tried despite having already confessed. They also fire Sae off the prosecution process, much to her shock and dismay. In order to bring people back to their senses, Morgana suggests they go to Mementos' core. Since Mementos is the Palace of the people, destroying it will cause the entire Metaverse to cease to exist, and doing so will probably make them unable to steal the hearts of criminals and expose their crimes, potentially forcing the Phantom Thieves to retire. To reform society for good, the group agrees to make this their one last heist on the next day.
As they enter the Depths of Mementos, the Phantom Thieves find that they never actually made their targets better people: in fact, they were merely made unambitious and returned to be a part of the Prison of Regression, and they praise it just like other of the inmates. This, alongside the heavy security present within the Depths of Mementos, alerts the Phantom Thieves that it might not be the public's Palace, but was most likely supervised by a higher being.
When they reach the core of Mementos, they confront its treasure, which turns out to be a godly being called the Holy Grail, the true master of Mementos and the Conductor of the Conspiracy, being formed by humanity's desire for perfect rule under one. The Grail drains from the "Will of the People" to render himself unbeatable, and chides the Phantom Thieves for being intoxicated by an unwanted form of justice. It kicks them off to the real world, before it merges together with the Qliphoth World. Nobody other than the group and their allies can notice the changes, and they quickly cease to exist from reality due to the Grail's manipulations.
Back in the Velvet Room, Igor goes completely out of character and orders Caroline and Justine to execute the protagonist. Once exposed thanks to the protagonist and the Twins' combined form, Lavenza, he reveals himself to be the Holy Grail impersonating Igor to sponsor the protagonist in his "rehabilitation" (an excuse to keep tabs on him). The protagonist is offered a way out by himself, where he gains fame, but becomes the Grail's enforcer, while the other members of the Thieves are still erased from cognition. However, this offer was refused and the Grail awaits confrontation, as well as releasing the real Igor from captivity.
Lavenza reveals that, while Igor believed that a trickster will appear and lift the world's distortions, the Grail laughed at this aspect, defeated Lavenza and imprisoned Igor while taking his form. He then came into contact with the protagonist because he sensed a potential of him to be the "Trickster." Supposedly, his goal was to see if the protagonist's desire to rebel against distortion, or Akechi's desire to bring forth destruction and recreation of the world is stronger in a "game." In reality, this was a ruse, and he sought to use the "conspiracy" he set up as a mockery against humanity, believing that they do not deserve freedom for sponsoring Shido no matter how much misery he would inflict upon all of Japan if he were to be elected. At the end of the day, the Grail will not hold its end of the bargain, and he would turn the public against the trickster and cast him into despair in order to prove that humanity needs his perfect rule or they will drive themselves towards ruin with their indolence.
The Phantom Thieves scale the Qliphoth World manifested by the Grail and bring the public back to their senses by defeating shadows of Uriel, Raphael, Gabriel and Michael, causing them to panic as they finally notice the obvious abnormalities around them. They finally reach the Holy Grail and defeat it, and he transforms into his true form: Yaldabaoth. As the administrator of the collective unconsciousness and the true master of Tokyo, he believes that humanity will guide themselves into ruin by abusing their freedom and only he can guide them into proper development by ruling over them with an iron fist. The Phantom Thieves deny him and commence their first true rebellion by declaring a final confrontation against him. Despite Yaldabaoth ultimately managing to overwhelm the Thieves, with the help of people who believe in them, the protagonist manages to awaken Satanael and defeat Yaldabaoth once and for all, resulting in the Metaverse to disappear for good, and public view of Shido being corrected to a negative light.
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 viewing 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. Since the protagonist's probation has been dropped, he has to go back to his hometown next month. When the protagonist leaves Tokyo during the 20th of March, he rides on Makoto's new Citroen H van and goes back home with his friends. However, men in black began to tail the van only for Morgana to have broke their spark plugs. Now a free man again, the protagonist and his allies drive back home.
Persona 5 RoyalEdit
As the Phantom Thieves were dealing with their increased popularity, the protagonist and Morgana attempt to return a charm to Kasumi Yoshizawa, but the three are accidentally transported into an unknown Palace due to an offhand mention of a laboratory. There, Kasumi awakens to her Persona, Cendrillon. After they escape, Morgana offers Kasumi the choice to join the Phantom Thieves; she declines, citing her need to focus on gymnastics. Back at Leblanc, the protagonist and Morgana conclude that they shouldn't burden the rest of the Phantom Thieves with the additional stress of knowing there's a new Persona user, and decide to not tell anyone.
If the protagonist maxed out Takuto Maruki's Confidant before November 18th, an alternate sequence of events will occur.
After defeating Yaldabaoth, the Phantom Thieves find themselves trapped within a cognitive reality where everyone's deepest desires have come true. Every one of them, save for the protagonist, Goro Akechi and Kasumi, are satisfied with the results and unable to rebel, forcing the trio to explore the mysterious Palace. Inside, more and more evidence of Kasumi's true self is presented, up until they encounter the Palace ruler, Maruki.
He reveals himself as the creator of the cognitive reality, and that he made it to end all of humanity's suffering. As a warning, he shows the group Kasumi's memories, which reveals that she is in fact Kasumi's younger twin sister, Sumire. After blaming herself for the death of her sister, she came to Maruki for therapy. During a session, he used his cognitive warping abilities to make her believe she was Kasumi. The revelation lifts Sumire's cognitive overlay and sends her right into despair and denial.
As the protagonist denies Maruki's ideal world, he captures Sumire and summons a Hastur to attack the boys, only for them to unleash a Showtime and defeat it. Maruki then tells them to reconsider, giving them a week. The protagonist uses this week to snap out the rest of the Phantom Thieves trapped in Maruki's reality. Once the protagonist and Akechi return at the end of the week, he gives them a mercy offer to accept his reality as the only one. They refuse, so he manipulates Sumire into attacking them. When that falls through, Maruki then removes Cendrillon from Sumire and causes the Persona to go berserk. Cendrillon absorbs all of the Byakhee that Maruki summons and is virtually invincible, up until Ryuji appears to block off its finishing shot, before the arrival of the other Thieves. Once they defeat Cendrillon, Maruki gives Sumire back and tells them to come back on February 3rd for the final battle.
It turns out that Maruki is being partially controlled by his Persona, who is said to be able to manipulate cognition itself. However, he is also channeling power from Mementos, and if not stopped after a month, Mementos would merge with the real world with Maruki 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, with Sumire joining the party as "Violet." When 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 awakening their third tier Personas, the initial seven Phantom Thieves regret and feel ashamed for being so easily manipulated by Maruki, and resolve to change for the better, no matter how painful reality, admitting that facing these traumatizing events head on are a part of their growth. They also lament being caught off guard by their subconscious desires, being rendered unable to protect the protagonist as a result, despite that being their utmost priority, having drowned in their blissful ignorance all the while when he was in danger.
It is also heavily implied that the events surrounding Maruki 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 that the protagonist invites Maruki to Leblanc to directly give him the Calling Card. On February 2nd, Maruki comes to Leblanc of his own volition, followed by Akechi. He then explains that, due to the protagonist regretting Akechi's death and wishing to keep his promise to him, Maruki made it so that Akechi is alive in this alternate reality. However, if this reality were to be destroyed, Akechi would go with it. Akechi was aware of this from the start, having no memories after his encounter with his cognitive self in Shido's Palace.
After receiving the Calling Card, Maruki leaves to prepare for the final battle. Akechi has resolved to fix reality no matter what happens to him, and asks the protagonist if he can do the same. If he admits he would stay and has confirmed to do so, he indirectly accepts Maruki's offer. Akechi's fate in the true reality remains unknown.
Once the protagonist refuses the second and indirect offer, the Thieves will reach the top of the Garden of Eden to fight Maruki, in which the Persona's true form is revealed; the blind idiot god Azathoth, a golden cross laced with tentacles. Once Maruki is defeated, the party steals his Treasure, only for him to steal it back it and restore 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, the group gathers to block the attack. Futaba orders the protagonist to shoot it in the head head while it's distracted, knocking off Maruki's crown and destroying Adam Kadmon.
The Palace quickly collapses. Morgana, unable to move with his vehicle form, transforms into a helicopter to transport the Thieves away. However, Maruki 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 Odaiba.
Once the party returns to the original reality, the protagonist has been sent to Juvie, with Akechi no longer there to take his place. His maxed Confidants, including ones he maxed in the third semester, will support his release under Sumire's suggestion. Akechi remains missing. When the Phantom Thieves all met altogether on the next month, they decided to disband the Phantom Thieves and part their own ways; Ryuji will go back to his hometown to receive physical therapy so he can recover his leg, Ann wished to go to overseas and study fashion, Yusuke wished to stay in Tokyo and study art, Makoto and Haru will be moving far away from their current location, Futaba will return to high school and will strife to go to college and study Cognitive Psience, and the protagonist wishes for everyone to connect no matter what. While not stated, it's also implied that Morgana no longer wishes to become human unlike in the original ending. Once the protagonist was about to go to bed that night, Sumire confesses and gives parting words to the protagonist on her break at gymnastic meet via SNS, before she too goes on the path she chooses.
On the 19th of March, the protagonist is tailed by men in black as he attempts to leave Tokyo. The other Thieves distract them and Maruki, now a cab driver, escorts him to the train station. At the station, the protagonist says goodbye to Sumire and boards the train. He briefly sees himself as Joker reflected back at him in the window. If Akechi's Confidant is maxed out, a glimpse of what appears to be him walks past the train.
These events mark Maruki 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 5 Scramble: The Phantom StrikersEdit
Despite the Phantom Thieves's disbandment, the group still maintains close bonds with each other; Ryuji, Ann and Yusuke are now in their last year of high school, Futaba enrolled as a high school student, and Makoto and Haru are now in college. They arranged plans to travel all over Japan during their summer vacation. The protagonist also comes across a popular digital assistant known as EMMA, known for its highly accurate decisions in improvising daily life.
However, this was momentarily cut short when Ryuji, the protagonist and Morgana went to buy camping utensils. The trio encounter Alice Hiiragi, an uncannily popular idol hosting an event near the 705 building, who grants the protagonist a card with her EMMA keyword "Wonderland" written on it. When Ryuji inserts the keyword however, he accidentally triggers a Metaverse Navigator secretly mounted within the application, sending them to a distorted version of Shibuya where a malicious form of Alice with scant clothing tells the crowd to give up their desires and the trio in their Phantom Thief outfit once again. This is followed by hordes of Shadows encroaching the crowd, extracting a diamond-like object from them. The trio fights hordes of Shadows and attempts escape, only to be surrounded by a massive Shadow horde and sent to interrogation by Shadow Alice.
She stomps the protagonist into the ground and aggressively flirts with him, only to get nothing, so she decided to just dump the trio into the underground sewers where they encounter Sophia, an AI of unknown origin who claims to be humanity's friend. Displaying the ability to combat Shadows, she escorts the party in escaping the Jail. Once they go out, Sophia manifests in the real world as an application, and the crowd within the Jail before received a Change of Heart, becoming mesmerized and obsessive with Alice. They explain everything to the rest of the Phantom Thieves, prompting them to investigate Alice before starting their trip.
After some investigation, they found out fans of Alice were causing property loss and violent incidents all over Shibuya, namely people buying Alice merchandise until they go bankrupt or buying them with loaned money, people who dislike Alice being fired, and street fights against anyone disliking Alice. In order to investigate her personally, Ann, Morgana and the protagonist go to attend the "Good Morning Japan" talk show on the next day. While Alice's behavior is seemingly normal at first, as soon as the host starts talking about her boyfriend he was abruptly silenced, before breaking into a fervent confession of love in front of her despite he's supposedly married.
The broadcast ends abruptly, with Ann, Morgana and the protagonist lurking within the hallway. They eavesdrop Alice's manager following and questioning her, only for her to physically attack and verbally humiliate him, even remarking that the previous manager refused to leave his room because of this and it isn't the first time that she did this to the current manager. Ann and the protagonist temporarily convinced her to stop, in which she tries to hand the protagonist her keyword again only to recognize him in the 705 building, which alerted her because he wasn't mesmerized.
The trio reports the incident to the rest of the party members, officially reforming the Phantom Thieves with 9 members. Back home after their first investigation, they also encounter a police inspector known as Zenkichi Hasegawa who frames them as suspects for the Change of Heart incident against the TV Manager a day ago. Apparently, the police are still attempting to capture the Phantom Thieves to save their image as a public failure, with the opportunity arising when Change of Heart cases, similar to those from the Phantom Thieves, began to appear nation-wide. This investigation is spearheaded by officer Miyako Kaburagi and Zenkichi, who lists the protagonist as a lead suspect of the cases.
After an intense fight against a massive horde of Shadows, the Phantom Thieves storm Alice's castle and locate the topmost area. Unlike in Palaces, there is no treasure. Instead, all of the desires Alice stole manifest as a pink fog cluster, and a blockade prevents access to the King's Throne. When Ryuji investigates the blockade, a flashback of what seems to be Alice being bullied at school starts playing. When they exit the Metaverse, Zenkichi gives them a clue to Alice's school; she graduated from Shujin, prompting the Thieves to infiltrate an isolated area of the Jail in Shujin Academy, where they realized that Alice is not intentionally malicious, but was driven by a desire of retribution against bullies who humiliated her, walked all over her and took away her boyfriend out of jealousy. They then combat a powerful Lock Keeper shadow and defeat it, which results in the blockade within Shibuya's Jail vanishing and send a calling card to Alice using a grandiose broadcast hijack to signify their triumphant return.
Once the Thieves return to the unlocked Bird Cage, they encounter Shadow Alice while thinking how to take the desires to the real world despite its massive size. Alice, despite initially maintaining her usual composure, snaps quickly after being confronted by Ann about her trauma and attacks the Thieves by transforming into a monstrous rabbit-like creature. Once defeated, Alice gives up after some banter from Ann and the protagonist, takes off her crown and vanishes, releasing all of the people she mesmerized. The real Alice can be seen confessing on the next day.
However, the broadcast hijack on the previous day had resulted in the police being alerted and believing that the Phantom Thieves were behind the nationwide Change of Heart cases, with a part of the justification being trying to save their faces from their previous defeat. This mindset was heavily implied to have been triggered the failed pursuit against the protagonist during the end of both Persona 5 and Royal. Zenkichi himself suspects that the Phantom Thieves didn't do it, but takes advantage to use the Phantom Thieves' summer vacation to help him investigate the suspicious Change of Hearts all over Japan. When he reports back to his superior Miyako Kaburagi, she warns that if Zenkichi found any proof of the Phantom Thieves responsible, he must arrest them at all costs.
When stopping to Sendai and Sapporo, the Phantom Thieves encounter several nearly identical cases as the Change of Heart case instigated by Alice in Shibuya, people who felt disdain against being wronged or taken advantage of using the application to artificially inflate their popularity so they take back what they had lost. During their first dinner in Sendai, a mysterious woman known as Kuon Ichinose also approaches them. After defeating Natsume and attending Konoe's talk in Ichinose's university, she overhears that the teens are the rumored Phantom Thieves. Ichinose exposes herself as the creator of EMMA and accomplice of Akira Konoe, the maintainer of EMMA, then makes a deal with them to assist their investigation. Due to a lack of a Prison of Regression, all targets that the Phantom Thieves changed hearts of reform as intended and provide valuable info against the case.
During their midway stop to Kyoto, they meet Zenkichi's daughter, Akane Hasegawa, who do not hold him on a high regard because her mother was killed in a planned murder, and the crime was blamed on a patsy who quickly committed suicide. To top it all off, Zenkichi gave up on the case and considered her a burden, forcing her to live at home alone for most of the time. She developed an obsession about the Phantom Thieves and even broadcasts the hijack directed against Masayoshi Shido. However, this was done in hopes that they will crush the police.
In Okinawa, they also found that the locals went berserk due to having their heart changed by an experiment to grant EMMA psientific knowledge. The King, Shuzo Ubukata committed suicide by jumping off a nearby cliff due to a mastermind telling him to "hand his desires out" (functioning as a calling card). A voice resembling Sophia's tells her that she's worthless at the Bird Cage before a Lock Keeper combining the previous three attack them. When the Thieves return to reality after killing the Lock Keeper, the islanders gained back their senses.
The Phantom Thieves make a brief stop again to Fukuoka only for Zenkichi to warn them about something important. Makoto was not feeling well, so Haru rushes them back to Kyoto instead using Makoto's van within a single day. Zenkichi informs the party that he found the culprits of the case, namely Jun Owada, a former lobbyist for Shido and Akira Konoe, who deliberately induced Change of Hearts against Owada's political opponents and various police officers, many of them which were involved in scandals themselves and all of them entered Osaka before, which was also the location of Konoe's Jail. Konoe also framed the Phantom Thieves for hacking into EMMA and killing Ubukata, which are all blatant fabrications, and Owada bribes Kaburagi into raiding the hot springs hotel that the Phantom Thieves are in. She quickly commands a horde of police in riot gear stationing in front of the hotel, only for Zenkichi to take her place instead.
Due to suspicions that Zenkichi made himself an accomplice for the Phantom Thieves, Police inspectors search the Hasegawa household, who tell his daughter, Akane Hasegawa that her idols, the Phantom Thieves are working with the father that she absolutely hates, shocking her. She then absentmindedly tells "someone" to save her after the inspectors emptied her residence, only for EMMA to respond unprompted, creating a Jail and dropping Akane into a coma. Konoe consults EMMA on a way to capture the Phantom Thieves. The AI suggests using a Jail formed by one of their associates and turn her into a King, without telling him about Akane at all. Konoe follows suit, and EMMA fabricates a distress call from Akane, luring them into the newly formed Kyoto's Jail where all combat members were trapped by a resentful Shadow Akane who was furious about them assisting Zenkichi. Futaba escaped thanks to her low physical strength and Zenkichi was freed by Sae Niijima.
Zenkichi and Futaba infiltrate the Jail and Zenkichi confronts Akane about the incident. Akane tells Zenkichi that Owada murdered her mother and he admits being thrown a death threat. Due to Owada being associated with Shido which is a god-like figure with full control over the jurisdictional system, it is impossible for Zenkichi to investigate. However, Akane was controlled fully by EMMA and wasn't in the right mind to reason, being more concerned about the patsy Owada killed than her family and announcing that after the Phantom Thieves she will go after Owada and change his heart herself. Angered about the truth and Akane being used by Konoe and EMMA for nefarious reasons, Zenkichi gives himself in to the Phantom Thieves and awakens Valjean, who dispatches the Shadows that Shadow Akane sent against him. Shadow Akane reveals herself as a projection, and Zenkichi frees the other combatants with Futaba. Zenkichi is given the codename "Wolf" and uses non-elemental moves alongside buffs. The Phantom Thieves, now with 10 members, confront the real Shadow Akane who deliriously calls the Phantom Thieves "fakes" and summons a group of cognitive copies of the original 8 Phantoms whom she calls the "real ones" against them, with the protagonist fighting a copy of himself known as My Dear Joker. Once it's gone, Shadow Akane reforms and Zenkichi goes back to his home to confirm Akane's condition. It turns out that she never left her room, and she now genuinely recognizes Zenkichi as a good parent while stating that she never left her room since she contacted EMMA.
The Phantom Thieves, with assistance from Zenkichi and Ichinose, arrive in Osaka so they can apprehend Konoe. During the end of this Jail, they were shocked to find out that Konoe had a bird cage, and that he was not a malicious target, but all of his actions are genuinely motivated by altruism. When Konoe was a child, he was abused by his father who tried to kill him after killing his mom. Konoe only survived because he murdered him, accidentally mistaking that he was a burglar. When he got EMMA in his hands, he wished to modify it with psientific functions so nobody would end up like him, although by full fledged mind control instead of respecting free will, and his plan to set Owada as the next prime minister is heavily implied to be a plan to trick him; once the Thieves are done for, he will induce a change of heart on him immediately. After sending the calling card to Konoe, they confront him for the incident, chiding him that his plans to systematize the Phantom Thieves' methods rob the Kings and the public out of their free will and Sophia even states that the many that he "saved," Kings and the public included, do not look happy. Enraged by Sophie's words, he transforms his attire to match his childhood hero Zephyrman to confront them, first on a robot, then on foot, but was defeated. The real Konoe confesses and willingly turns himself to Zenkichi and Kaburagi next day, with the latter whom Zenkichi requested to reform.
The Phantom Thieves, believing that they had won, makes their way back to LeBlanc, going detour to a fireworks festival at Yokohama as Zenkichi makes his plans to disable EMMA's servers. However, before they can make their way back to Yongen-Jaya, Sophia discovers that a massive Jail spanned all over Tokyo with Tokyo Tower being its core. Zenkichi also dials the protagonist, telling them that the Police cannot shut down EMMA due to an unknown error, and it fired back up without any human interference. Once the party and Zenkichi rush to Tokyo Tower, they encounter an abnormal crowd of people yearning EMMA to guide them to the destined land, and the EMMA application now resembles an autonomous entity, dragging the Thieves into the Jail of the Abyss unprompted. When they reach the Jails' central tower, the party found that the EMMA application has evolved into a Physical God known as the Holy Torah, who briefly greets them and vanishes, followed by Kuon Ichinose arriving to confront the Thieves herself.
Ichinose explains the truth and logic behind EMMA, revealing that EMMA was only using Konoe to spread the application's popularity. The AI genius deliberately created EMMA for the very purpose; to decide the one and only answer to humanity's happiness. The Change of Heart events instigated by Konoe are largely unrelated to EMMA's current state, and it was daily usage of the application that resulted in it trying to remove all desires. While Ichinose harbors no ill-intent and was largely motivated by altruism when she created EMMA, due to the denial that she was a human with a heart, she did not bother giving it any proper empathy or understanding. Therefore, it didn't actually collect any desires other than people asking the application for advice, and was mistakenly led to believe that the answer to humanity's happiness is when she decides everything in their place. Ichinose moves on to wipe out the Phantom Thieves, first by proving that Sophia is a failure by forcing her to attack the Phantom Thieves with one vocal input command, only for her to snap out very quickly and drop off the cliff. Ichinose now claims that her friendliness is an act and claims that she is in fact a "heartless doll", then summons a diamond-like weapon to blast the Phantom Thieves off a cliff herself.
Once the Phantom Thieves return to her, she sends a massive amount of Shadows against them to buy time so she can recharge her weapon, only for her shot to be blocked single-handedly by Sophia. Once she partially goes back to her senses, Sophia attempts to convince Ichinose to stop obsessing over her misguided creation. Ichinose explains her past, where people basically treated her as a freak. It turns out that Sophia was created to let her understand why she was a freak, only for her to push Ichinose's buttons, motivating her to create EMMA to see the heart was even needed. To change Ichinose's heart, Sophia awakens Pithos into its true form, Pandora. Now further pushed in denial, Ichinose confronts the party one last time with a Hecatoncheir before officially declaring her reform, assisting them in stopping her misguided creation once and for all.
When the party and Ichinose returns to the surface world, all of Tokyo goes into a blackout and the Tree of Life and Wisdom physically manifests over Tokyo. The public standing in front of the Tokyo Tower willingly goes in and gives in their desires to the EMMA application for eternal happiness, similar to an incident that happened half a year ago as remarked by Morgana.
With Ichinose unable to directly interfere, the party storms to the top of the tower where they encounter the Holy Torah, who traps them in a forest of fog that only permits escape once the protagonist repeatedly moves sideways into the corner. The Torah leaves a Desire fog and the only way to summon it back to action is to hack into the EMMA application and use it to send a calling card. Despite facing major difficulties, Ichinose comes in and cooperates with Futaba, successfully hacking into the system and hijacking it with the Calling Card, allowing the Torah to be summoned into action. Once she's summoned into action, the Torah manifests as the False God Demiurge but was defeated in a grueling battle and a 10-man All-Out Attack.
After the evolved EMMA application is destroyed, the destruction near Tokyo Tower lifts as if it never happened, and the crowd near it vanishes. Back to LeBlanc, the Thieves use the day to open a celebration meal.
At the next day when they are going to leave, Ichinose offers to meet the protagonist. The television broadcasts Owada's arrest made possible thanks to Kaburagi and Zenkichi's efforts and valuable testimony from Konoe, but Ichinose was late. It turns out that she turned herself to the police because she was the true culprit, although due to the supernatural circumstances of this case, the police set her free because they do not believe her testimonies. She then requests the protagonist to transfer Sophia so they can travel to parts unknown and investigate humanity. During the post credits scene, Zenkichi arrives to Owada's residence to witness his arrest. The Thieves disband and part their own ways once more, stating that they shall meet again at this year's winter.
Persona Q2: New Cinema LabyrinthEdit
The Phantom Thieves are the main focus in the game with Joker being their leader. At the beginning, they are sent into the Cinema while Goro Akechi a member of the team, but his stuttering near the end of the game and his absence from the post-credit events implies that he is still 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 on a wall 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. They are later freed by the remaining Phantom Thieves and the P3P heroine.
Later, after going through all four labyrinths and defeating Enlil, the Phantom Thieves, alongside S.E.E.S. and the Investigation Team, were able to change Hikari's heart, allowing her to be free from the Theater District, as well as many others like her. However, because the Theater District was destroyed, each of the three teams, including Hikari, had to lose their memories.
After losing their memories and arriving back in their original times, the Phantom Thieves sans Akechi are back at the hideout in Leblanc, with Ann bringing up a movie festival, and Ryuji and the others feeling compelled to go to it. After watching the movie, titled "New Cinema Labyrinth", the director Hikari appears, and the protagonist smiles upon seeing her. Whether he remembers her or not is left ambiguous.
|Member||Code name||Role||Comical title|
|Morgana||Mona||Attacker, Navigator*||Acting Guide|
|Ryuji Sakamoto||Skull||Attacker||Charge Commander|
|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|
On the official Japanese site of Persona 5, those who the protagonist can form Confidant bonds with, besides the core members, are also considered part of the Phantom Thieves, or collaborators, 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||-|
|Sae Niijima||Interrogates the protagonist||-|
- * 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 splash screen
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 in Starlight|
|Persona 5 Scramble: The Phantom Strikers|
|Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth|
The Phantom Thieves in Persona Q2
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 (or Initial Persona in the case of Joker's Arsène) 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.
- The logo for the Phantom Thieves of Hearts serves as the symbol for the Persona series in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Appearances in Other MediaEdit
- Super Smash Brothers Ultimate
- Identity V
- Sword Art Online: Integral Factor
|Super Smash Bros. Ultimate|
The Phantom Thieves Spirit Battle in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Illustration of the Phantom Thieves as part of the 2nd Identity V collaboration event
|Sword Art Online: Integral Factor|
Costume of the Phantom Thieves in Sword Art Online: Integral Factor
|Playable||Ren Amamiya - Morgana - Ryuji Sakamoto - Ann Takamaki - Yusuke Kitagawa - Makoto Niijima - Futaba Sakura - Haru Okumura - Caroline and Justine|
|DLC||Shinjiro Aragaki - Goro Akechi - Theodore - Lavenza - Sho Minazuki - Labrys|
|Tokyo||Café Leblanc - Shibuya - Shujin Academy|
|Palace||Kamoshida's Palace - Madarame's Palace - Kaneshiro's Palace - Futaba's Palace - Okumura's Palace - Niijima's Palace - Shido's Palace - Mementos|
|Other||Velvet Room - Hawaii|
|Songs||GROOVY - One Nightbreak|
|Albums||Persona Dancing P3D & P5D Soundtrack Advanced CD|