"Still, I'm glad I was able to save you in court. I've never felt so happy in my entire life. I'm not quite sure how to put it, but... saving your future meant more to me than my own career. I feel like you even taught me how to live."
Sae Niijima is a character from Persona 5. She is the older sister and legal guardian of Makoto Niijima since their father's death a few years ago. She now works as a public prosecutor of the Tokyo District Special Investigation Department at the Public Prosecutors Office.
- Persona 5 / Royal: Major Character; Judgement Confidant
- Persona 5 Strikers: Minor Character
Sae is a tall and beautiful woman with upper-back length ashen brown hair that is asymmetrically parted on the left right side and brown eyes that are sometimes depicted with a hint of mauve red.
She wears a black business suit with a black turtleneck. Her blazer's cuffs and the lower part have clamshell-like designs. Accessory-wise, she wears a necklace of a section sign (§) which references her judicial occupation (it also appears in the top right of Shujin Academy's emblem), earrings and a few dark hair clips can be seen above her right ear. She has violet fingernails and wears black or dark gray high heels. She is sometimes seen with a smartphone and a black bag slung over her shoulder.
Shadow Sae has yellow eyes, extremely thick black eyeliner and black lipstick. She still wears her earrings, but she now has a black choker with spikes and a hat that resembles an American flapper from the 1920s, with playing cards stashed behind a golden rose. She wears a revealing black dress with purple laces which exposes the center of her torso and her right leg. Her right leg is decorated with fishnet stockings and a derringer pistol and she wears purple high heels. She wears long black gloves. In addition, she also has tattoos on her shoulders and back which is a black dog's head wearing a choker surrounded by yellow roses.
While she does not initially transform into a demon form during her boss fight, she becomes Leviathan after the Phantom Thieves get past her cheating. Leviathan resembles a giant knight in black spiked plate armor, a helmet resembling a horned demon, several large firearms (such as a rocket launcher) mounted on her right hand and wielding a large red sword in her left hand.
"You don't have to do a single thing, and you're provided with food, clothes, a home... I've had no time to think on such ridiculous thoughts. Would Dad have been happy with them? I don't care. He died upholding some lofty sense of righteousness, leaving all his responsibilities on us. Isn't it about time you grew up and acknowledged our situation!? Right now, you're useless to me. All you do is eat away at my life!"
Sae is intelligent, professional and serious, although her actual maturity is debatable. A workaholic, Sae is very strict in both her work as prosecutor and guardian for her younger sister, Makoto, constantly telling her to focus on her studies and such. With many responsibilities, Sae is always working due to Japan's work pressure, and is very stressed and exhausted. She must care for Makoto, almost putting her in a single mother's role. Her father dying in the line of duty and forcing her to raise Makoto acts as her very sore spot. She resents Makoto, as the Niijima sister's father throwing his life away in the name of justice forced her to raise her sister alone. The resentment is so horrible that when Makoto asks for her opinion on whether she would think the Phantom Thieves of Hearts were just, Sae snaps and says a bunch of cruel things that she instantly regrets, up to and including that she views Makoto as a burden.
Because of her father's death, Sae views the concept of justice as meaningless. This has made her hyper-competitive and obsessed with getting ahead, to the point of telling Makoto that success is all that matters in life. This is to her detriment, as it results in many unjust prosecutions that she blatantly rigs in order to maintain the court's reputation, even if the people indicted by her are innocent.
The desire to frame at all costs also clouds her judgement and leads to her trusting all of the wrong people. Throughout the investigation of the Phantom Thieves, she remains completely unaware that her boss is taking her for a complete fool and while she doesn't get along with Goro Akechi, she nevertheless trusts his judgement regarding the Phantom Thieves and unaware that he is actually a double-edged sword. She also gets angry at every single NPC the protagonist makes a Confidant with because she suspects that they helped him commit crimes as a Phantom Thief, with many innocents that happen to befriend the protagonist such as Chihaya Mifune or Shinya Oda, or even people among her circles such as Makoto or Akechi being suspected as accomplices. The reasons for her suspicions are of a petty nature, such as Mifune giving him advice to evade the law or Yoshida teaching him how to make speechcraft for his calling cards. This also results in her more often than not getting into the way of innocents for the sake of getting a conclusion she wanted to present to her superiors, as she's easily willing to believe that Sojiro Sakura, the manager of a café she frequents, is abusing his daughter (though Makoto suspects the same thing for a time) and completely refuses to change her mind about the Phantom Thieves no matter what good deeds they do, to the point that she's willing to believe the worst of them at any time.
Sae's most consistent flaw is her hypocrisy. For all her supposed disgust of the Phantom Thieves, she's perfectly willing to resort to methods similar to theirs in order to catch them, claiming that they "can't be caught by following the rules." Akechi even points out to her that, in doing so, she is no different from the very people she claims to hate. This trait of hers is especially prominent in her Shadow, who repeatedly states that she wishes to do things "fair and square" despite constantly cheating.
Envious of her sister and colleagues, Sae feels they have freedom to do whatever they want, while she is stuck in a dead-end attempt to defend the court's tarnished reputation. This envy, combined with her growing disillusionment and frustration with her profession as a concept due to being regularly strung along by political corruption, manifests as a Palace resembling a casino and a hyper-competitive and dishonest Shadow Self hellbent on winning, desiring everyone to feel as helpless as she does while stuck in an unfair and corrupt system. She forces the Phantom Thieves into rigged gambling games that are impossible to win fairly. Her distorted and pitiful worldview is shown during her battle quotes, claiming that a society must have rules and order to operate, and those who do not follow society's rules must be punished and penalized but also that it is natural and right to alter the rules to favor one side, then call the rigged victory "justice." After being caught cheating in her supposedly "fair" game, this is her final straw as she goes berserk and attempts to kill everyone, offhandedly revealing that she didn't think it was possible to be fair until she gave up on the game.
Regardless of her many flaws, Sae isn't without standards or moments of compassion, a prominent example being when the protagonist was feeling fatigued over the drug injections making her feel concerned for him despite him being labeled a criminal. There were even times when she would be worried the protagonist would pass out. She is also genuinely disgusted and even disturbed at the cops for inflicting such pain on the protagonist. Despite Sae's hard demeanor and bitter relationship with Makoto, she loves her sister deeply and has even shown consolation for her, as it's indicated that some of her stricter attitude is born out of a desire to keep Makoto out of trouble and ensure that she succeeds.
Furthermore, unlike most other Palace rulers, Sae is open to reason. After defeat, the Phantom Thieves convince her Shadow to let go of her jealousy without stealing her Treasure. As a result, Sae has an epiphany about how pointless her grudges and overcompensation are without fundamentally changing her personality by using her feelings in a more proactive way, even going as far as forming a confidant herself and helping the protagonist trick Akechi and Shido so he won't get murdered.
"Well then, let's move on. At last we arrive at your most recent crime. ...You know what I mean, don't you? This calling card was delivered to your latest target—the one you had decided would prove your innocence. It was addressed to "Sae Niijima." ...Myself. Now, explain everything to me."
After Sae's father, who was a police officer, died in the line of duty three years ago, she has been obliged to act as her minor sister, Makoto Niijima's legal guardian. However, she does not treat Makoto as anything other than a burden for her to take care of, and the sisters generally do not have a good relationship with each other prior to the second half of the game.
The Niijima sisters, Makoto and Sae, are raised alone by their father, since their mother died young. Unfortunately, three years ago, their father died when solving a case. Without a sole caretaker, Sae has to take care of Makoto alone and find a job. She found a job at the prosecutor's office, where she has to maintain an indiction rate of 99% at all costs, regardless of the defendant's innocence. She felt incredibly bitter about this fate where everyone else can have a normal life while she's stuck between rigging cases against her will and raising Makoto because her father died. As a result, she came to resent both her father and Makoto, viewing both of them as a burden.
By the events of the game, Sae is a public prosecutor of the Tokyo District Special Investigation Department (independent from the police department) responsible for the Phantom Thieves of Hearts' case. In the prologue of the story, she requests interrogation of the captured protagonist, despite her dismissal from the investigation by her boss. Disgusted that he has been drugged, she asks him to truthfully remember and recollect his side of the story. The majority of the game involves events based on the testimonies that he makes for her, and his goal is to have her stay as long as possible to prevent his assassination and formulate a plan to get around his demise. While mysterious, Sae seems to care for the protagonist's welfare.
Over the course of the game she recapitulates the Thieves' activities with him. She is skeptical of his supernatural claims, such as a talking cat who can turn into a bus, alternate realities, monsters, etc, demanding him to stop fooling around and get serious so she can know the truth, unaware that these childish fantasies actually are the truth.
Sae first appears while visiting Café Leblanc before the protagonist goes out on May 4th, where she expresses concern about the mental shutdowns and the Kamoshida case, wondering how could a person's mental condition change so quickly.
She then can be seen having dinner with Makoto. Makoto asks her if her dad would support the Phantom Thieves if he were still alive. This question greatly frustrated Sae, and she proceeded to throw derogatory terms at her, up until she called Makoto a burden. This greatly distressed Makoto and Sae quickly apologized to her. It was implied that she snapped because her father's death was what caused her to face extreme pressure to both uphold the court's reputation at all costs by rigging cases and having to become a foster parent for Makoto. She then tells her that she will be eating dinner tomorrow, causing the Niijima sisters to have a fall out. When combined with Akechi calling her a pushover and Ann scolding her as useless, this resulted in Makoto throwing herself into Junya Kaneshiro and getting all of the Phantom Thieves blackmailed by him.
On July 18th, in order to investigate the mental shutdowns, Sae turns to Sojiro Sakura, an old friend of Wakaba Isshiki for help, as Wakaba researched cognitive psience and Sae attempts to get information about Wakaba's research from him. When Sojiro refuses to cooperate, Sae threatens to bring him to family court, where he would almost certainly lose custody of his adoptive daughter, Futaba Sakura, resulting in the two having a falling out.
Early in September, Makoto uses a USB device prepared by Futaba to steal data from Sae's laptop. Sae later notices the intrusion and accuses Akechi of stealing the data, offending him. In truth, Sae realized Makoto was responsible, but was unwilling to admit it.
When Akechi forces himself into the Phantom Thieves, he suggests that the gang should steal Sae's heart to stop her investigation, as they were already suspected for the deaths of Kunikazu Okumura and Principal Kobayakawa.
Her sin is Envy, which turns her Palace in the courthouse into a massive, rigged casino where everything is going in the favor of the house due to rigging mechanisms, representing her view of every prosecution case as one that she must win at all costs. There is also a member's floor which contains a pitch black maze which has no easily accessible exit and an arena that claims to only offer one-on-one battles which only the protagonist could enter but repeatedly pits him against multiple enemies. As she does not see anyone in a distorted manner, the Cognitive existences of the Palace only appear as regular people. However, her Shadow appears as incredibly bitter, cynical and spiteful, which shocked her sister Makoto upon meeting her.
Upon receiving her calling card, Sae is infuriated that the Phantom Thieves would consider her unjust, but reassures Makoto that the case will be over soon and they can spend time together as sisters again, comforting Makoto when she tearfully promises to protect Sae. Sae takes a phone call, and is shocked to realize that the investigation has ordered that she be placed on standby.
Shadow Sae's boss fight takes place on a giant roulette wheel which she occasionally spins to influence the battle depending on whether the Phantom Thieves win a bet (healing the winner, damaging the loser, and so on). Initially, her wheel is just as rigged as her other games, with her placing a glass shield over the cups that prevents the ball from landing and ensuring she always wins. Eventually, a member of the Thieves is sent to use their gun to knock the ball into the cup. This surprises and angers Shadow Sae, who transforms into Leviathan and attacks out of rage, declaring that the Thieves won't be able to take the only power she has away from her, and removes the glass to prove that she can defeat them in a fair fight, transforming into a gray plated, heavily armed monstrosity. However, she was still no match for the Phantom Thieves and Akechi. Makoto then manages to convince Sae to repent and make her an ally of the Phantom Thieves. However, a massive fleet of heavily armed policemen are stationed in the Metaverse's casino, in which they catch the protagonist on his way to escape and send him to interrogation.
The outcome of this operation differs depending on the dialogue choices after the protagonist has finished his long reminiscence in the interrogation room with Sae when she starts listing his confidants and party members. If he sells out his teammates or confidants during the interrogation and has confirmed to do so, Sae will end her interrogation and leave, promising to reduce his penalty, but Akechi will appear and assassinate him after killing a police guard and plant the gun to his hand to pretend a suicide. The protagonist then finds himself in the Velvet Room, where its residents lament him for his failure and Igor imprisons him within it for the rest of his life. The credits then roll with "Freedom and Security" playing in the background.
Additionally, failure to meet a Palace deadline up to hers will result in the protagonist giving the wrong testimonies, and Sae leaves the interrogation room for him to recover, in which Akechi takes the opportunity to assassinate him.
If the protagonist did not sell out his teammates or confidants during the last part of the interrogation, it will be revealed that the Thieves already set up a plan to trick Akechi from the get-go, since they all knew he was a traitor when he heard Morgana talk about pancakes in the TV station as only those who encountered him in the Metaverse could understand him. As the nearby police station that would be used to interrogate the protagonist is uninfluenced by her cognition (and thus the police station would appear exactly like its real world counterpart) and she still has subconscious control over the surroundings as her Treasure is not stolen, the party thought of stealing an empty briefcase and escaping, while the protagonist deliberately lets himself get arrested using himself as a decoy. The only thing that might make the plan fail is the police drugging him before he was sent to Sae. Using this, they were capable of making Sae trick Akechi into killing the cognitive versions of the protagonist and the guard of the interrogation room after the apprehension, both born from a part of her Palace where she has little influence. Upon realizing the real reason for being appointed to the case and the true colors of her boss and Akechi, Sae cooperates with the Thieves and transports the protagonist safely to Café Leblanc. Sae apologizes to Futaba for putting pressure on Sojiro and reconciles with Makoto.
When the gang reveals that the mastermind behind Akechi is Masayoshi Shido, Sae admits that she had her suspicions of Shido because he gains the most from all the victims whose deaths are connected to the Palace.
When the Thieves publicize their video of the upcoming heist of Shido's heart, revealing that the protagonist is still alive, the police confront Sae, as she was officially the last person to have seen him prior to the "suicide." Sae feigns ignorance and mentions how she received a calling card from the Phantom Thieves, falling to her knees and feigning shock and horror that she had her heart changed, diverting suspicion away from herself.
After the conductor's fall, she is tasked with charging Shido after the latter's confession to his crimes, but because the Public Prosecutor needs a witness and Akechi has been reported missing, she turns to the protagonist which results in his confinement in the youth detention center for two months. After his allies try every way to prove his innocence in the street assault against Shido, Sae brings the good news of Shido's case and the release of the protagonist because Shido's victim who testified against the protagonist has changed her testimony.
Sae also reveals that after Shido's case has been completely settled, she will quit her current job and become a defense attorney. She believes that this is the better way to fight for justice than in the Public Prosecutors Office.
On the protagonist's last day, Sae can be found outside the café. She gives him her business card which states that she is now a defense attorney. She also encourages him not to become influenced by terrible adults, as the corrupt adults the Phantom Thieves despise are everywhere. Sae says he should call her if anything happens, although she is not worried about him, saying he will never lose sight of himself.
Sae retains most of her roles from the original version of the game.
While she still cannot be romanced, the protagonist will receive a chocolate from her during Valentine's Day no matter what, as the protagonist always maxes her confidant.
Taking Back Reality
Should certain conditions have been met to unlock the third semester, Sae would approach the protagonist and ask him to turn himself to the police as a witness like in the original game. However, Goro Akechi would reappear after his last appearance in Shido's palace seemingly unharmed and offer to testify against Shido as the culprit behind the mental shutdowns. Surprised by the turn of events, Sae asks the protagonist to forget what she said before as she walks away with Akechi to the police station.
Sae later reappears to celebrate on New Year's Eve by having a traditional meal of toshikoshi ("year-crossing noodles") with the Phantom Thieves, Kasumi Yoshizawa and Sojiro at Leblanc. While everyone is socializing and enjoying their meal, Sae offers good news of how the protagonist's verdict will be turned around thanks to the woman who acted as Shido's witness over the assault willing to change her testimony. She added that this is still not official as of yet, but it will eventually happen as soon as the case against Shido begins.
During the third semester, she is shown in Takuto Maruki's reality, living happily with her father and sharing a close sisterly bond with Makoto, as she wished that her father had never died so that Sae would not have to bear the burden as her only family and guardian. As a result, history was rewritten so that the Niijima sisters' father has never died, just like Wakaba Isshiki and Kunikazu Okumura. Once Makoto chooses to deny Maruki's reality, Sae will be removed from it as well.
However, the altered reality still maintained Shido's incarceration as the result of trying to overthrow the government rather than his ties to the mental shutdown incidents, and Akechi being allowed to walk free due to his crimes being completely erased. These changes in history suggest that Sae never denied Maruki's reality herself, nor did she have the chance to build her case against Shido as planned at the start of the New Year.
Soon after the Phantom Thieves defeated Maruki and restored reality to its original state, it was explained to the protagonist by Lavenza that he would be in jail in the present due to the time that transpired being restored to what it once was, including Sae's request for himself to turn to the police like in the original game. Since Akechi's appearance on that day was only thanks to the altered reality, the protagonist must go through with his imprisonment to testify against Shido (just as the original storyline followed).
Once the Phantom Thieves and his confidants rallied support and helped to find the woman who testified against the protagonist, Sae returns to meet with him about the news. Having seen the protagonist in the altered reality for a while, Sae questioned if she had actually not seen him since Christmas Day before proceeding with the news.
Later in the epilogue, Sae is seen outside a real estate shop with Makoto. Helping her sister find accommodations to move out to for her time in college, Sae had a disagreement with Makoto's choice from the selection. The two got into a brief argument but seeing how her sister defended her choice and stood up to her for the first time only made Sae laugh together with Makoto over how much she has grown.
- Main article: Confidant/Sae Niijima
"...Then again, I am investigating a "thief who steals hearts." Very well. No matter how absurd it may seem, I'll reevaluate my stance on believing you for now. In return, speak the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It's a fair deal. ...Is that acceptable?"
Sae represents the Judgement Confidant which starts on July 9th and progresses automatically during her interrogation. None of her ranks offer abilities except rank 10, which gives you an ability called True Justice, an ability with no description but a row of question marks.
Her Confidant can only be maxed if the protagonist answers her second and third questions on November 20 correctly to avoid certain ruin and return to the present time. Her Confidant does not have Ranks 7, 8 or 9, jumping from 6 to 10 upon successfully surviving the interrogation and returning to the present. Maxing her Confidant unlocks the fusion of Satan.
The following are the list of available responses during the final part of Sae's interrogation which will affect its outcome. If the protagonist chooses the incorrect responses, a prompt will appear and ask him if he is really okay with the choice. Proceeding to agree with the prompt will result in a bad ending.
|Question||Correct Response||Correct Response 2||Incorrect Response (Bad Ending)|
|"Tell me honestly, whether or not the following are involved with the Phantom Thieves. [List of Party Member names]? Those are the accomplices in the Phantom Thieves case, are they not?"||No.||Never heard of them.||That's right.|
|"So you won't sell out your friends... Then let me change the question. [Question referring to the protagonist's non-party member Confidants]. Not to repeat myself, but remember that your life will be forfeit if your sentence is not lightened. You had the cooperation of people outside of your group, did you not? Can you tell me about them?||There were no such people.||-||I'll tell you everything.|
While the Confidant does rank up throughout the story and the menu displays it doing so, the protagonist cannot receive Arcana Burst bonus experience for Judgement Personas until after they max it out, due to the prior events taking place in the protagonist's flashbacks, and the Confidant actually being spontaneously ranked up during Sae's interrogation. Furthermore, unlike other female Confidants, the protagonist cannot romance Sae. (Although in Royal, she will always buy him chocolate during Valentine's Day, as her Confidant is always maxed by then.)
Sae's farewell gift to the protagonist on the last day after maxing her Confidant is her Business Card which has no known effect. The item description shows that her intention to become a defense attorney has become true.
|1||July 9th - After Kaneshiro's confession||-|
|2||July 24th - After the revelation of Futaba's past|
|3||August 22th - After the announcement of Medjed's defeat|
|4||September 13th - After the announcement of Principal Kobayakawa's death|
|5||October 12th - After the police inspect Okumura's house|
|6||October 28th - After Akechi suggests stealing Sae's heart|
|10||November 20th - After fulfilling the requirements for surviving the interrogation||True Justice|
Persona 5 Manga
Sae herself doesn't appear until Chapter 6 of the manga. Here she meets Akechi in a restaurant, asking him for help solving the Mental Shutdown cases.
Persona 5 The Animation
Sae's role in the anime is identical to her game counterpart. In addition, Sae interrogates Ren about other events too, such as the subway crash that took place the day he moved to LeBlanc. During the Phantom Thieves' attempt to steal Futaba's heart, Sae is shown confronting Sojiro more to learn about Wakaba's research. During the A Magical Valentines Day OVA, she invites Ren on a date to the opera house.
Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight
Sae is mentioned during Makoto's Social Events when Ann and Makoto talk about her book of law.
Persona 5 Strikers
Sae is a minor character in this game. Makoto calls her to get Zenkichi Hasegawa out of interrogation, although she is not happy with the situation Makoto and the others have put themselves into. Nonetheless, she honors her request and gets Zenkichi out of police custody. After the group clears the Kyoto Jail, Sae informs the group that the warrant against them is voided and the police would be unable to deal with them due to Zenkichi's involvement with the Phantom Thieves, wishing them luck on their task.
Shadow Sae's fight has two separate phases, which begins on a roulette wheel. The player is allowed one free turn to attack her prior to starting this phase's unique gimmick. However, this is mostly pointless and it is better to conserve the party's resources as this phase can be completed without attacking. After the player has done whatever they desire for the first turn of actions, Shadow Sae will begin a roulette spin, forcing the player to either gamble HP, SP, or Money. She will also warn you not to attack her during the spin as either attacking or forcing a debuff on her will immediately result in that character having their HP reduced to 1 so guarding, ally buffing, or healing are the only options for this phase. No matter whichever choice is made for your roulette bet, she will cheat on the first spin. Morgana will ask you if you caught on to her cheating and will prompt you to give your answer. You must affirm that you caught on and you noticed she is using a glass screen to manipulate the results. If you do not, more rounds will go by and you will waste time and potentially resources until you do. You will have a Special order given that has an ally get to a vantage point to stop the cheating, allowing your remaining allies to reap whatever benefits the wheel allows (either heal HP, gain money, or recover SP in that set rotation) once the player has identified her cheating method.
Once her ploy is discovered, she will immediately move on to the second phase where the real fight begins.
Shadow Sae's Leviathan form possesses a mixture of physical, gun, and almighty attacks. Once her HP hits the 2/3 mark she begins reusing Roulette Time without any cheating method - bet accordingly to make the most of the situation.
At the 1/3 mark she begins using Desperation, a buff that drastically raises her offenses at the cost of defenses, cannot be erased by Dekaja, and can even stack with Heat Riser. Take this opportunity to end the battle quickly before she out damages the party. Whenever she casts Desperation, she is telegraphing Berserker Dance in the next turn, and will lay waste to the party. If the protagonist's current party has reached Confidant rank 8 at minimum, which lets them endure a lethal hit, it provides a good safety net if things would go awry with Desperation; otherwise, have everyone guard against it, preferably with buffs and debuffs active.
Sae's first phase is exactly the same as the base version, so the strategy above works exactly the same in Royal.
Her second phase has changed slightly as her fight is fairly straightforward, possessing a wide range of Physical, Gun, and Almighty, as well as using self-buffs to make her more dangerous as the battle drags on. It is safe to attack her with any element as she has no resistances nor is she weak to anything, though she does resist physical attacks. Her new gimmick during this phase is her Roulette Wheel imbues her with a new element to her attacks. If she shifts her elements, make sure that your party members can properly deal with them. If the Star confidant has been established, it is wise to swap out any party members who has a weakness to her current affinity to prevent her from gaining follow-up attacks and the protagonist should mind his Personas to prevent her from exploiting their weaknesses. Once she is under 50% she will shift to Almighty attacks for the rest of the fight, thus she is for the most part a slugfest of a fight. Use self buffs as needed and maintain everyone's health in the event that she scores critical hits or technicals.
- The following stats are for Shadow Niijima's second form. Her first form has identical stats as her Persona 5 counterpart.
- If Roulette time is anything but Almighty (HP above 50%), all affinities save for the opposing affinity are resisted. The opposing affinity does neutral damage, and the same affinity as Leviathan's will be repelled. (For example, if Roulette Time's affinity is Nuclear, Leviathan's affinity becomes Neutral to Psi, Repels Nuke and resists anything else.)
- If Niijima's HP is 50% or below, the Roulette time will land on "Almighty" and all affinities on Leviathan become "Neutral." She will also stop using Elemental Strike attacks.
- "Let's do this fair and square!"
- "Now, let us play a game of roulette. The stakes will be... our lives. Of course, acts of violence are forbidden here. One must follow the rules."
- "That's fine by me. Such troublesome people will just face the penalty..."
- "Ah... So you've broken the rules. In that case, it's time you be penalized! This is your penalty! Those who cannot follow rules are not to be tolerated. That is simply how society operates."
- "Breaking rules will be punished!" (Penalty)
- "Very well, time to make your bet! Well, how will you bet?"
- "Hopefully your prediction will be correct this time. *chuckle*"
- "Shut up... SHUT UUUP!"
- "Goodness me, you just keep losing. It seems luck isn't with you." (if protagonist is alone)
- "...! Why would I cheat...?" (if protagonist is alone)
- "You only dare talk like that because you can't beat me..." (if protagonist is alone)
- "You're the one who needs to shut up!" (if protagonist is alone)
- "Cheating!? Unfair!? Silence! This is MY world! If you want a fair fight, then to hell with the game! I'll crush you by force. Fair and square, just as you like!"
- "Behave yourselves."
- "Take this!"
- "Die on my blade!" (Severing Slash)
- "Die! Die! Die!" (Gatling Gun)
- "What was that?" (dodges an attack)
- "Hurry up and die!"
- "I will win!" (performing Roulette Time)
- "This is your penalty!" (penalty attack)
- "As long as you win, it doesn't matter what methods you use! Don't you all think the same!? You're controlling the hearts of others to achieve your own goals! I never lose, even in games of pure luck! Let me prove it!"
- "I will win! Justice can only be on the side of the victor!"
- "Winning is all that matters!" (Berserker Dance)
- "I... I just need to win... As long as I can win... that's all that matters..."
- "I... I..." (defeated)
- "How many times must I endure your failures? Hurry up and get rid of them!" (Enemy flees on its own volition)
- "No one can change the system that I made."
- "I won't let you spoil my win streak."
- "Say whatever you like...I am going to come out on top."
- "I am the ultimate champion...I am success in kind."
- "You only get one chance. Once you lose, it's all over."
- "The only thing that matters in the end...is securing my victory."
- "For success I'll do anything I have to."
- "The victor gets the final word. The only thing the loser contributes to is pathetic excuses."
- "There's no future for losers."
- "Without success, there's no point to anything."
Shadow Sae concept art.
Leviathan concept art.
Sae on her laptop.
Akechi and Sae.
Shadow Sae front.
Shadow Sae back. Note her dog and yellow roses tattoo.
Shadow Sae as a monster, Leviathan.
Sae receiving a text from Futaba.
|Persona 5 Royal|
Leviathan's Thieves Den decor.
"A Harmonious Dream"
|Persona 5 Portraits|
Sae happy cut-in
Sae surprised cut-in
Sae sad cut-in
Sae serious cut-in
Sae serious cut-in
Sae harmed cut-in
Shadow Sae (Leviathan)
Shadow Sae shocked
Shadow Sae smiling
Shadow Sae sad
Smirking Shadow Sae cut-in
Shadow Sae cut-in
|Persona 5 Royal Portraits|
Sae's winter coat
|Persona 5 (Manga)|
Sae in Persona 5: Mementos Mission
|Persona 5 The Stage|
Niijima with Akechi on the Persona 5 The Stage cover
Sae Niijima In Persona 5 The Stage
|Persona 5 The Animation|
Sae Nijima in Persona 5 The Animation
Sae's formal dress
Sae on the cover of Persona 5 the Animation Volume 10
Sae on the reverse cover of Persona 5 the Animation Volume 10
Sae in the P5A Artbook
Sae in the P5A Artbook (2)
Sae (冴え) is the Japanese verb stem for "to be clear/skillful." Niijima (新島) is a common Japanese surname meaning "New Island."
In Other Languages
|Japanese||新島 冴 (Nījima Sae)|
|Korean||니지마 사에 (Nijima Sa-e)|
|Traditional Chinese||新島 冴 (Xīndǎo hù)|
- A possible reference of Sae's name could be Yae Niijima (新島 八重*)?, a fierce woman from the late Edo period who fought with a firearm in a siege and later worked as an army nurse during war-time. For a long time, Yae was criticized for her proud attitude over her second husband (which was the male spouse's idea to demonstrate gender equality) and westernized wardrobe, these led to Yae's isolation by her late husband's allies.
- The prominent yellow roses in Shadow Sae's design and her tattoo of a dog head both represent her envy: yellow roses symbolize jealousy in Japanese flower language, and envy is often associated with dogs.
- The dog tattoo may also symbolize guardianship, ritual, loyalty, and spirit. Wolves make quick and firm emotional attachments, and often need to trust their own instincts. This ties in with her undying loyalty to the Phantom Thieves.
- Sae's unused voice lines imply that her Confidant ranking originally might have allowed the protagonist to more readily interact and possibly even engage in a romantic relationship with her akin to other female Confidants in the game.
- If the protagonist fights Sae alone (or refuses to acknowledge Sae's cheating), he has to keep gambling and losing for exactly 10 turns. After these turns have past, Futaba will automatically call out Sae for her immaturity and anger her, initiating the true fight.
- If playing on Easy Mode (with a lot of revives), it's entirely possible to defeat her human form in spite of her massive 65,535 HP. If one somehow manages to do this, there is no extra dialogue for this as her cheating is exposed regardless and she automatically assumes her true form once her HP hits zero.
- Sae is the only Palace owner who does not have her Treasure revealed. However, it was theorized by Makoto to be their father's police journal.
- If one looks closely at the location where the treasure is before sending the calling card, it appears to indeed be a notebook/journal.
- Sae enjoys motorcycling and kickboxing.
- Incidentally, Makoto's Persona, Johanna, is modeled after a motorbike and she's seen using fists and kicks in her main melee attacking animation.
- Unused dialogue from the game's files indicate that Sae was initially designed to play poker with the Thieves at some point before her boss fight.
- While some may construe this dialogue as a replacement for her roulette-based boss fight, Shadow Sae's line at the end "Let's take this elsewhere! I'll beat you at a different game!" suggests that she would then flee to the roulette wheel.
- Sae has a habit, especially when a flash-forward occurs during a Confidant meeting, of using some variant of "Explain yourself!", "Answer me!", "Isn't that right?", "Spill it!" or "What do you have to say to that?"
- In the original script for Persona 5, Sae was going to be the guardian of the protagonist during his probation.
- During the fight with Shadow Sae, the party can incur penalties by attacking at the wrong moment. However, if a party member's health is down to 1, the penalty is ineffective.
- In Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight during one of Makoto's Social events, Ann mentions how Sae passed the bar exam while she was still in high school. Additionally, Sae's looks also garnered enough attention to be featured on a TV interview when she first became a prosecutor. Makoto, however, says that Sae was upset with the story when it broke out, due to the attention and rumors that were brought up.
- During a Special Screening in Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth, Makoto shares that their father taught them both aikido when they were young. By the time of the game, Makoto has apparently never been able to beat her sister during their sparring sessions.
- In Persona 5 Strikers, Sae is the only character to have portraits but no character model.
Appearances in Other Media
- Kyoutou Kotoba RPG: Sae (Enemy > Can join as Kotodaman); Shadow (5-star), Leviathan (6-star)
- Persona 5 Royal height chart
- Persona 5: All Confidant Cheers, Support, and Farewells. Youtube.com. (June 3, 2017)
- Persona 5 - Sae Niijima Quotes (Unused?). Youtube.com. (May 31, 2017)
- Persona 5 - Unused Casino Voice Lines (SPOILERS) Youtube.com. (March 26, 2018)
- 'Persona 5' Main Character, Locations And Personas Cut From Final Release, Director Reveals. Player.One. Groux, Christopher (September 1, 2016)
- Special Screening #32: Let Your Fists Do the Talking