Takuto Maruki is a non-playable character and boss from Persona 5 Royal.
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 brown slacks and sandals.
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 repeated failures in his cognitive research 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, as well as making him no different from Yaldabaoth himself. 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 multiple personal and professional failures, causing his beliefs to be distorted into the form seen in-game. It is also implied that Yaldabaoth's advance might had been engineered his insanity, as his palace never appears in Oodaiba prior to Kunikazu Okumura's death.
Persona 5 RoyalEdit
During his past, the entire family of Takuto's ex-girlfriend, Rumi was murdered, leading her to fall into a catatonic depression. This motivated his research of cognitive pscience so he could help. 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.
Since then he has been running his very own cognitive psience studies in order to prevent Shido from seizing it again. Unfortunately, it 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 Shido cannot do anything with his research at all due to it heavily deviating from the official narrative. 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 being talked to the protagonist several times 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.
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.
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, he published 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. After Yaldabaoth's fall, he erects his Palace and was partially taken over by Azathoth, transforming him completely into a madman that is merely a shadow of his former self. Azathoth also began to ignorantly unleash mass salvation by warping the very cognition of humanity, even going as far as outright reviving the dead instead of projecting them as mere cognitions.
Takuto was later revealed to be the main mastermind of the Third Semester events, where it was revealed that he is a Persona user who was delusionally attempting to end all of their 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 changes Sumire back into Kasumi just to allow the party a fighting chance, and tells them to meet him on Febuary 3rd.
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." Makoto and Haru graduate on the 15th of March, where Takuto gives them a photoshoot as the protagonist still senses something is wrong 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 consultant sessions, he has realized what they actually want and the thoughts had increased his powers, to the point that he began to fill in the gaps of Yaldabaoth and revives 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 of the infiltration of his palace is 30 days; If the party fails to meet this deadline, on 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 cowebs, he has no motivation to do anything and even Lavenza fails to contact him.
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 Feburary 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 was 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 comfirm the decision, it will result in the same bad ending as Takuto'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 it 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 wisdom that he uses to restore Azathoth into Adam Kadmon. Once in the real world, it reveals itself to be actually a newsletter about Rumi's murder. 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.
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.
"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.
- 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 is unmarried while nearly everyone he knew in his university were.
- 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 character to be completely controlled by a rogue persona.
- If Takuto overwrites the cognition of an alive person into those of a deceased person as seen in Sumire's case, other people would treat that person as if they were the alive person instead of the deceased one, although the alive person will still believe that they are addressing their cognitive overlay.
- Takuto does not actually revive the dead using Azathoth. Instead, he rewrites history as if the events leading to that person's death and/or corruption never happened in the first place, resulting in the person being alive and more akin to how they were in the past.
- Takuto is the only Confidant in the game to be affected by Yaldabaoth's distortions even when it is maxed, although it affects him differently from other people due to unique circumistances.
- Takuto's Persona behaves in a drastically different way from other personas. Not only its ability can be used in the real world whenever its owner pleases, it is extremely unstable when it is used to do so as seen in its ability to cause memory loss and cognitive dissonance as drawbacks to its powers. Unlike other personas, it can also go rogue courtesy of other beings of the collective unconscious and display its own initiative and separate sentience, such as Azathoth advising Takuto to continue his plan when he begins to have doubts. Additionally, when he summons a persona, the persona is tangible instead of only appearing when attacking.
- When Tokyo is affected by Takuto's cognition warping powers at the third semester, the black and white on the in-game dates invert.
- Takuto is the only Human to be the master of a palace instead of a shadow.
- 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.