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Takuto Maruki is a major non-playable character in Persona 5 Royal.

AppearancesEdit

DesignEdit

Takuto is a bespectacled young man that has brown, short unkempt hair and wears a blue suit with a blue checkered tie along with a white coat. He also wears light khaki slacks held on by a black belt and brown sandals without any socks. In his suit's chest pocket, he has a yellow pen and a staff ID that's further tied around his neck with a red strap.

In the Metaverse, Takuto has his hair long and slicked back. He wears a white formal suit, gloves and shoes.

When fused with Azathoth or Adam Kadmon, he wears a golden priest garb with a cylindrical mask, a white cape and holds a staff.

PersonalityEdit

Takuto appears to be a counselor who cares about the students in the school and sympathizes with Suguru Kamoshida's victims. As a counselor, he is quite friendly to those who reach out to him. He is also highly clumsy, quirky and is prone to messing up in comedic situations, unlike most of the the other teachers who have no-nonsense, regular personalities. He is quite popular with the Thieves and even Yusuke from Kosei High School comes to Shujin to take his counseling, effectively making him a popular figure among students and one of the Thieves' greatest sponsors. However, he does not like Kobayakawa due to him using the students for profit. He also appears to be a skilled cook.

In reality, Takuto is a therapist with the magical power to warp cognition thanks to his Persona, who reached out to him because of his extreme grief of losing his ex-girlfriend and he used this ability to cope or neuter crippling mental illnesses by granting things that they wanted that would cancel out their depression, although if he is requested to transform a person into another, the subconsciousness of that person will interfere with the cognitive overlay, causing inconsistencies in their behavior.

Eventually after understanding what the Phantom Thieves of Hearts wanted, a combination of the loss of his ex-fiancee, an embargo issued to Shido, and the Day of Reckoning removing all wisdom from his Persona has caused him to become a madman with only fragments of his former self. He conducts his experiments after Yaldabaoth's fall, taking his place as the world's savior, unaware that his actions would lead to the revival of Mementos and make it impossible to remove, and a world like that is not very different from complete apathy and nihilism. Despite this, he genuinely wishes to make people happy. Instead of forcing his view on the Phantom Thieves, he tries to persuade them several times to accept the reality he created of their own will, only using force if he absolutely has no other choice.

It was heavily implied that his personality prior to the Day of Reckoning is his genuine personality, and he used to only utilize his powers to cure crippling mental conditions instead of for complete stagnation. This holds true even for Sumire Yoshizawa's transformation. His "Salvation Plan" also used to be validating his cognitive psience research and saving lives with it by preventing depression and other mental illnesses, and not anything as seen in the Third Semester. His deluded savior complex during the winter terms is merely a distortion courtesy of the Day of Reckoning driving his Persona berserk combined with the loss of his ex fiancee and the fund embargo on his research laboratory, causing his beliefs to be distorted into the form seen in-game. It is also implied that Yaldabaoth's advance might have engineered his insanity, as he shows no signs of distortion up until the protagonist maxes his confidant.

ProfileEdit

Persona 5 RoyalEdit

During his past, the entire family of Takuto's ex-girlfriend, Rumi was murdered in an indoor burglary, leading her to fall into a catatonic depression. Takuto tried to comfort her only to unwittingly invoke her trigger phrase by mentioning her family and driving her into a breakdown. When he was in extreme grief, he manifested Adam Kadmon as a Persona and made a deal with it. After the deal is made, Rumi fully recovered from her depression, but has also got her memories shuffled and consequentially forgotten about him completely. As to not remind Rumi of her grief, Takuto cut his ties with her. While he was already researching cognitive psience by then, this further motivated his research so he could help humanity as a whole.

His research was met with swift rejection by his university due to it being completely original and unprecedented, and his lifelong dream of opening a Cognitive Psience research center in place of a stadium in Oodaiba was crushed, as the fundraising was stopped midway because of a complete lack of proof of his research and it was seized by Masayoshi Shido, although the researchers do not know what they are dealing with his research. Therefore, his dream never came to fruition and he left university as a result. This further motivates him to investigate deeper in his research so he can validate that his own brand of work was true.

Eventually, his research reveals that use of cognitive psience might be dangerous. While at first terrified, he continues to use his cognition warping powers from Adam Kadmon to assist people and make a better world and opened a clinic, eventually using his power on a girl known as Sumire Yoshizawa, gaining an understanding that she lost her sister Kasumi and wished to live as her, transforming Sumire into Kasumi via his cognition manipulating powers as she requested him to do so. This has proven to be an effective halt on her suicidal tendencies even after the events that happened less than a year later, allowing her to regain her sanity back after interacting with the protagonist once her cognitive overlay peels off completely.

Takuto later become the student counselor at Shujin Academy and one of the protagonist's Confidants. Takuto is hired by Kobayakawa in order to improve the students' mental health after dealing with the exposure of the Kamoshida incident. When he is presented in the auditorium, he makes a clumsy speech before being pushed aside by Kobayakawa to end the assembly. Before then, he also witnessed the protagonist, Ann and Ryuji exit Kamoshida's Palace, as when he was having an interview, he witnessed them appear out of nowhere. In-game, a glimpse of him can be seen after the party escapes into the real world after Ann's awakening.

Since then, he regularly meets up with members of the Phantom Thieves and has encountered all of its members save for Akechi. His goal is to collect information of the desires of students from Shujin in order to present an essay to his professor, who he was determined to prove to that his original research was true.

When he does a counseling session, he will start with typical banter to distract his guest with their goals, then lead them to main topic. He would also often offer sweets or juice to his guests, and he would sometimes suggest apple juice or bring in the topic of apples during his counseling sessions.

Takuto will leave Shujin on November 18th, during which he gives a speech for the students to avoid pain and negativity and live strong. He then personally bids the protagonist farewell.

On the 24th of December, should the protagonist complete his confidant before the November 18th deadline, he will publish his final essay to his professor, who chides him for trying to stop the powerful Masayoshi Shido alone and kicks him out of his room while Yaldabaoth's control plan began to appear. Yaldabaoth's activities accidentally causes Adam Kadmon to corrupt and manifest as Azathoth who tells him to carry out his plans. He now becomes insane and was partially taken over by Azathoth, and both entities ignorantly unleash mass salvation by warping the very cognition of humanity using a palace directly connected to Mementos and the real world from Odaiba after Yaldabaoth's fall, even going as far as outright reviving the dead instead of projecting them as mere cognitions. This makes him the main mastermind of the Third Semester events, where he delusionally attempts to end all of humanity's pain by granting them eternal happiness. When approaching him in his Palace, he warns Joker, Akechi, and Kasumi not to approach him or they will see the pain of reality.

As the party ignores his multiple warnings, he decides to play back the accident to Kasumi to let her fully recollect her memories and experience pain in an attempt to make the party reconsider their actions. The shocking revelation results in Kasumi transforming back into Sumire. After Joker and Akechi deny his reality, he takes Sumire via a Shadow and orders it to attack, transforming it into Hastur. After the confrontation, he requests them to see how the rest of the Phantom Thieves' lives are in the reality he created in hope of changing their minds and come back on Janurary 9th.

When the duo come back to meet him on Janurary 9th, he offers them a deal to allow the protagonist to accept the reality. Should the protagonist refuse, Sumire will be in full denial of the mass awakening and fights him alone as Kasumi due to Akechi backing off in fear that he would kill her. Once this gets through, Takuto will separate Cendrillon from her and make it go berserk, forcing it to attack the party. Once it is done for and Kasumi reverts into Sumire, he realizes that all speaking is worthless and tells the party to change his heart as he deeply realizes the errors of his ways. He then gives Sumire back to them because of a lack of choice and tells them to meet him on February 3rd, the same date as Rumi's birthday.

Should the protagonist accept any of his offers to accept his reality, regardless of directly or indirectly, it will trigger a new bad ending where Takuto's spell kicks in full effect as the Phantom Thieves celebrate Setsubun at full content, with Sumire's name reverting into "Kasumi Yoshizawa." After the celebration ends, the protagonist is allowed stay at LeBlanc until he graduates in Shujin by his parents. Makoto and Haru graduate on the 15th of March, where Takuto gives them a photoshoot. During the photoshoot, all of the protagonist's friends display bright smiles while he stands on the back with a discontent mood. After he leaves, the protagonist will sense something is wrong before returning to his friends, as he was the only person who was not fully affected by Takuto's spell. The credits displays the Thieve's desires being fulfilled and all of them content with happiness, and ends with a snapshot of them partying at LeBlanc with Akechi and the protagonist looking towards the camera. The snapshot then burns and fades, spreading out from the protagonist, Akechi and "Kasumi's" direction afterwards.

It was revealed by Lavenza that as he meets the Thieves on councilor sessions, he has realized what they actually want and their collective desires had gave him the idea to create this reality. The protagonist also told him about the collective unconsciousness on a specific meeting in his confidant, allowing him to fill in the gaps of Yaldabaoth after his fall and revive Mementos for his own use. If he is not stopped within a month, this new Mementos will completely fuse into the real world and become impossible to remove. By her persuasion, the Thieves made up the desire to defeat Takuto once and for all.

The deadline for the infiltration of his palace is 30 days; If the party fails to meet this deadline, the next day Takuto will consult the protagonist and tell him about his pain and sleep forever. When he wakes up, his phone runs out of battery, his room is ridden with cobwebs, he has no motivation to do anything and even Lavenza fails to contact him.

His sin is Cavum, or emptiness/melancholy, as stated on his Will Seed. While he himself has elements of melancholy such as losing Rumi to catatonic depression and his newfound powers, it also alludes to him creating a world of empty happiness that kills and stagnates all of humanity's potential of development, amounting to nothing short of nihilism.

After locating his treasure, the Phantom Thieves decide to let the protagonist send a calling card to Takuto on his own. The date is locked at February 3rd regardless of prior completion. Once the date comes, he will personally pay a visit to the protagonist, in which he insists that his methods are correct and reveals that Rumi is living happily in the reality he is in. As Akechi comes in, he also claims that the current Akechi is a fake he created based on the protagonist's regret. If his claims were true or were merely a trap to set up the protagonist for accepting his reality was left unclear, as Akechi warned of a setup by Takuto once the party reaches Eden and his claims are contradictory to his method of reviving dead people via reality warping. Takuto then tells him to meet him at his Palace for a final fight. Once he leaves, the protagonist will have another chance to accept his offer on his own accord; Accepting it will result in a double confirmation by Akechi. Should he confirm the decision, the heist would be cancelled, resulting in the same bad ending as Maruki's direct offer.

He then invites the party to battle him on top of the Garden of Eden, in which he manifests his Persona Azathoth to attack the party as well as making him nearly invulnerable. His Persona manifests behind him consistently and must be destroyed in order to end the fight. To further compound this, he has three tentacles that constantly buff him or render Azathoth invulnerable. Once Azathoth is defeated the party escapes the collapsed palace while holding his treasure, a torch, only for him to combat the party again by transforming Azathoth into Adam Kadmon. He fights the party on foot, then fuses himself into Adam Kadmon and renders himself invincible until Futaba located his weakness. All of the protagonist's party members help fend off Adam's final attack while the protagonist targets its head and destroys it. His Palace then collapses, although he is still capable of using a cable to pull down the protagonist and in disbelief of his salvation plan, he confronts him by fist, as when a Palace collapses the Metaverse cannot be used anymore.

Takuto was outmatched by the protagonist in a fist fight and slowly drops to his death, although Joker rescues him by holding his hand. Both Takuto and the protagonist leave Oodaiba via Morgana's helicopter form afterwards.

Due to the destruction of his incredibly powerful cognition warping powers, all are reset to normal; The protagonist is now in Juvenile Hall making a testimony against Shido, with all of his maxed confidants (Including ones that he maxed on the third semester) supporting his release, Akechi vanishes as he is presumed to have indeed died (alongside Futaba's mother and anyone else who was alive due to the palace's existence) and Sumire no longer has Kasumi overlayed on her.

His treasure is a fire torch that represents the wisdom that he uses to restore Azathoth into Adam Kadmon. Once in the real world, it reveals itself to be actually a newsletter about the murder of Rumi's parents. It was picked by Sumire near where his Palace was and handed to Futaba, and the protagonist keeps it as a memento with him.

At the end of the game, he is shown to have become a taxi driver and assists him and his friends to drive the protagonist back to the train station while the others are distracting the agents following the protagonist. Takuto reveals that he decided to face his life head-on like the protagonist and his friends are before bidding him farewell.

ConfidantEdit

Takuto's Confidant is enacted after his speech in the Shujin auditorium. He can be met at any time after school and does not require a matching Persona, although he will not be available past rank 5 prior to the 19th of September. Additionally, the final rank is automatic on November 18th should the protagonist advance his Confidant to Rank 9 prior to that date. His Confidant mainly unlocks bonuses in combat and increases the protagonist's max SP every time he consults him. Maxing this confidant unlocks Vohu Manah and is required to play the Third Semester events. All of his abilities activate once unlocked, even when he becomes hostile.

MusicEdit

"Ideal and the Real" plays in all of his counseling sessions, including the one with Sumire in his clinic.

A remixed version of this theme, "Ideal and the Real -end version-" can be heard during the credits of the third semester bad ending which happens if the protagonist decides to accept his version of reality, regardless if he directly offered it or not.

"Throw Away Your Mask" and its instrumental version, "Keep Your Faith" plays during the final fight with him, with "Keep Your Faith" for Azathoth and "Throw Away Your Mask" for Adam Kadmon.

GalleryEdit

Persona 5 Royal
 
Maruki in Shujin
Takuto is briefly seen after escaping from Kamoshida's Palace after Ann's awakening.
 
P5R EncounteringTakuto
Takuto in Shujin Academy
 
P5R TakutoCounseling
Takuto and the protagonist at counseling
 
Takuto Maruki Concept
Concept Art
 
Takuto Portraits
Portraits

VideosEdit

Persona 5 Royal
 
『ペルソナ5 ザ・ロイヤル』Cooperation キャラクター「丸喜拓人」

『ペルソナ5 ザ・ロイヤル』Cooperation キャラクター「丸喜拓人」

Maruki's Trailer
 
Persona 5 Royal - New Alternative Ending

Persona 5 Royal - New Alternative Ending

Accepting Maruki's reality via the 9th of January encounter.
 
Persona 5 Royal - Bad Ending - Feburary 2 Trigger

Persona 5 Royal - Bad Ending - Feburary 2 Trigger

Triggering Maruki's bad ending via the 2nd of Feburary indirect offer.

EtymologyEdit

"Takuto" (拓人) could mean "developing man" and his last name, "Maruki," could mean "circular or pure joy", both which heavily contrast his actions and involvement during the third semester despite his intentions.

TriviaEdit

  • According to an interview from Persona 5 Royal Official Complete Guide, Maruki is designed to be sympathetic unlike the other heist targets, so the development team took care and made sure that he didn't act in a henious way or make mocking expressions just like most of the other targets.
  • Changing the PS4's main menu theme to Takuto's theme will also change its music to "Ideal and the Real."
  • Up to this day, Takuto has remained unmarried while nearly everyone he knew in his university hasn't.
  • Takuto has trouble preparing dishes with apples, unlike Sumire.
  • Takuto is one of the very few final bosses in the Megami Tensei franchise that are completely human.
  • Takuto is so far the first human character to be completely controlled by a rogue Persona. When accounting for non-human characters, Elizabeth is the first, having been overtaken by Zeus in Persona Q.
  • If Takuto manipulates the cognition of an individual to make them believe they are another person, such as in Sumire's case, their perception of others will change to make them believe they are being referred to by the name of the person whom they are impersonating. This implies that, without complete control of Mementos, Takuto's abilities can only manipulate his targets' memories and perceptions of themselves and others.
  • Takuto does not actually revive the dead using Azathoth. Rather, he rewrites history as if the events leading to that person's death and/or corruption never happened in the first place, resulting in their present-day counterparts being altered or restored accordingly.
  • Takuto is one of the very few people who crossed Shido's path without being assassinated or threatened with legislative action by him.
  • Takuto is the only Confidant in the game to be affected by Yaldabaoth's distortions even when his Confidant is maxed, although the way in which it affects him is vastly different from the rest of Tokyo due to his unique circumstance.
  • Takuto's Persona behaves in a drastically different way from other Personas. Not only can it manipulate the Metaverse from within the real world, it is extremely unstable when used to do so as seen in its ability to cause memory loss and cognitive dissonance as drawbacks to its powers. It is also highly susceptible to cognitive manipulation from beings born of the Collective Unconscious and displays an initiative and sentience separate to Takuto as a result of that, such as when Azathoth pressures him to continue his plan when he begins to have doubts. Additionally, when Maruki summons his Personas, they must remain tangible and vulnerable to attack, rather than appearing only momentarily when attacking, a trait shared thus far only with Asterius (excluding navigation Personas).
  • When Tokyo is affected by Takuto's cognition warping powers during the third semester, the black and white on the calendar dates inverts.
  • Takuto is the only Palace-ruler who personally maintains his Palace in place of his Shadow Self.
  • A box of apple juice can often be seen on Takuto's desk when he was a part-time counselor of Shujin.
  • Takuto is so far the first major adult target for the Thieves' heists to be genuinely made a better person as designated instead of being reduced into a weeping husk like the others.
  • Takuto's motives after becoming insane are extremely similar to Nyx's.
    • Both seek to end all matters with a swift blow that ends all of humanity's pain, with Nyx wiping out all life on Earth and Takuto drowning humanity in eternal happiness and taking away all of their growth using Mementos as a control device. If the protagonists accepts either of their deals, humanity will remain ignorant as their plans come to fruition.
    • Both are brought into action without their own consent; Nyx is reawakened by the Kirijo Group's experiments, while Takuto is driven to insanity when Yaldabaoth maddens Adam Kadmon and degenerates him into Azathoth.
    • While Nyx is related to death, Takuto is related to overabundant and stagnating life.


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