"Are you being selfish again?"
Wakaba Isshiki is a character in Persona 5. She is Futaba Sakura's biological mother.
Wakaba's personality is largely said to be nearly identical to Futaba's. She is highly intelligent and knowledgeable in terms of cognitive psience and cooking, although she barely has any social skills to begin with. She is a workaholic and wouldn't let anyone disturb her from her research, especially when she knows that her researcher job is life threatening. Despite this, she genuinely cares for Futaba and became her most beloved parent, and anything about her regretted birthing Futaba is merely a fabrication made by Masayoshi Shido in a rather unnecessary and callous mean of trampling his obstacles. Much like her daughter, she's also quite childish, as during the brief week where she was revived in Royal, Sojiro said that she wouldn't stop teasing people when they made fun of her.
Futaba's initial cognition of Wakaba appears as a destructive beast who wishes for nothing but her death. It has a tendency to scream in a high and violent fashion. This is a mere lie however, as Futaba was naive enough to believe in the lie that Shido fabricated after he disposed of Wakaba using Akechi as a hitman.
Wakaba Isshiki was Futaba Sakura's mother and a prominent cognitive researcher focusing on a supernatural phenomenon about the cognitive world within the human's mind which she titled "Cognitive psience" (認知訶学?). Wakaba was very brilliant and talented in this field of study. She gave birth to Futaba out of wedlock and was her sole parent and caretaker prior to her death.
While a competent parent, she sometimes found it difficult to juggle her job and her daughter. Wakaba and Futaba had a loving relationship, and even though she occasionally had to scold her daughter like any parent, she always wanted the best for her. Via Futaba's reminiscence, Wakaba was very fond of a government official, Sojiro Sakura, who bridged between the government and her research facility. The signature curry and coffee recipes of Café Leblanc was originally invented by Sojiro but refined by Wakaba. She knew Sojiro long before Futaba was born, and always spoke highly of him. It is unclear whether she truly did not reciprocate his feelings or was too wrapped up in her work and her daughter for a relationship.
Two years prior to the game, on August 21, Wakaba supposedly killed herself by throwing herself into traffic in a fit of maternal psychosis. In reality, she suffered a mental shutdown caused by Goro Akechi. Before she was assassinated, she was annoyed at Futaba bothering her to go on a family trip when she was doing cognitive psience research, which might cost her life. Futaba responds to her with a tantrum, but she promised that she will take her anywhere she wants after she completes the research. Out of spite and to seize her research data secretly, Akechi's employers forged a suicide note and announced it aloud before Futaba and her relatives, in which Wakaba claimed she regretted giving birth to Futaba and as a result, she had destroyed all of her research and committed suicide. Shido forgot about Wakaba's death quickly after he killed her using Akechi.
The suspicious timing where Wakaba died combined with the derogatory contents of the fabricated suicide note devastated Futaba and eventually became so bad that it caused her to develop paranoid delusions and hallucinations of Wakaba telling her how disappointed she was, which eventually drove her to become a shut-in with suicidal impulses, psychological guilt, and trauma. After Sojiro discovered how badly she was being treated by her relatives as a result of the suicide note and their jealousy over Wakaba's success, in particular Wakaba's brother Youji, Futaba was finally adopted by Sojiro Sakura, taking his surname.
Her cognition in Futaba's Palace takes the form of a gigantic and spiteful Sphinx, keeping with its Egyptian theme. Unlike most other Palaces, Cognitive Wakaba is the only Cognition within Futaba's Palace to represent her loneliness. Cognitive Wakaba Isshiki is formed from Futaba's false belief that her mother resented her for being an obstacle to her career, and is known as the beast that rules the Palace. It is violent and furious and just wanted to see Futaba or anyone that invaded the Palace dead.
While Cognitive Wakaba proved too mobile with her flight capabilities and extremely high stamina at first, Futaba enters her own Palace mid way into the fight where her Shadow reveals to her that Wakaba's suicide note is a fake, resulting in Futaba's awakening to her Persona ability. She realizes that the Palace was formed from her desires and the focus on her desire to save the people who helped her gave her a reason to live again, summoning a massive ballista that cripples the Sphinx and leaves her an easy target for the Phantom Thieves. The Phantom Thieves of Hearts managed to defeat her false perception with Futaba's help.
After the battle, the image of a benevolent Wakaba appears before Futaba and confesses her love for her daughter then disappears. Whether or not this is truly Wakaba's spirit, or merely another changed cognition is left ambiguous.
Wakaba's death, false testament and the stealing of her research are revealed to have been ordered by Masayoshi Shido in an attempt to seize her research that would otherwise expose his crimes and damage his status. When Shadow Shido was questioned by Futaba about Wakaba's murder before fighting the Chariot of Human Sacrifices, he evades the question and instead compares the people he killed to ants being crushed on his way to fame. When Haru asked if he really believed the people he killed deserve to die, he again evades the question with a similar response before fighting the Thieves on foot, implying that Wakaba's death was totally irrelevant for him.
Taking Back Reality Edit
In the third semester events, Wakaba Isshiki is first mentioned to had brought Futaba her Yukata. During the Hatsumode meeting, Wakaba was also among one of the strange personalities mentioned by the protagonist's friends. On the next day, she was personally seen at Café Leblanc, sitting next to Futaba. This is revealed to be an illusion set by Takuto Maruki who rewrites history so her assassination never happened, out of the grief Futaba had for her.
If one wanders around the Yongen Jaya backstreet during January 3 to January 8, they will see Wakaba and Sojiro at the supermarket, where they will be buying ingredients for dinner and claims that there's no better time spending time together with Futaba. She also co-opts Sojiro as a part of their family and playfully calls it a "non-optional suckering."
Unlike past cases, this is not a mere Cognition. She never died to begin with in Maruki's reality. Despite this, Akechi still remembers killing her before. Sojiro, who is initially unaware of the cognition, mutually accepts Wakaba's passing and the existence of the cognition after the illusion is broken.
Before starting the fight, the player should prepare for the Despair status affect. They may want to buy Hope Shirts for the party which can be found at Untouchable and cost 23,200 each. They are unisex, although Morgana can't wear them. It is also a good idea to stock up on Relax Gels (at least 10 should be fine), which are cheap (900 each) and can be found at Tae's store.
The battle is fought in two rounds.
The first round has no particular benefits in attacking aside from apply small damage to Wakaba due to her extremely high HP, which is far beyond the reach of the party's firepower at this stage of the game to reasonably damage her. Defending is the best option because not only it reduces damage taken, susceptibility to any ailment is reduced as well. As stated at the beginning of the battle, only Magic and Gunfire can harm Wakaba and she is completely immune to direct attacks and physical skills. She mostly attacks with Physical skills that deal status ailments such as Dizzy and Despair. The technical combo of Dizzy and any attack is fatal in Merciless difficulty. She also can deal Wind damage with one of her attacks, so avoid using Personas who have wind weaknesses or Ryuji, who has a weakness to wind skills. Morgana and Makoto help tremendously in mitigating these status ailments (Morgana has Me Patra to cure the party's Dizzy, Makoto has Energy Shower to cure the party's Despair). If the protagonist is inflicted with Despair, cure it as fast as possible or it will result in a quick loss. After several turns, Wakaba will ascend into the sky, making her completely untargetable. If any of the player's characters has suffered damage, it is best to use the first round to recover as much health as possible. After one turn of healing, it is best to guard until she eventually descends. Any character that is not guarding will suffer severe physical damage. Once she has performed her diving attack, the first round concludes.
In the second round, HP and SP of all party members are fully recovered. Futaba restores a ballista on the platform, allowing the player to shoot down Wakaba. The player needs to send one character to man the ballista and spend their next three turns preparing and firing it. Once it is fired, Wakaba is damaged by the shot and is immediately brought down and can be attacked by direct attacks and direct physical skills. She also spends three turns unable to attack the party. While players are free to attack Wakaba while prepping the ballista, one possible strategy is to debuff her or buff the party as much as possible before taking her down. You will want to spend as much time dealing physical damage which is 5x effective compared to other attack types to her while downed as she cannot retaliate. Once she recovers from her downed state, the ballista must be re-prepped in order to use it again. When choosing a character to fire a second shot at Wakaba, it is best to use another character as using the same character again delays the shot by a turn. The player can also opt using Tetrakarn or Physical Ointment when Wakaba readies Sphinx Dive to repel the damage and take a huge amount of HP from her while keeping the Tetrakarn characters safe from harm. Characters and Personas with Counter can also offer a chance at reflecting the damage done by Sphinx Dive - while not fully reliable, it greatly progresses the fight when it triggers.
The Sphinx herself is nearly identical during her boss fight. However, there are two intervals where she will ask the protagonist a question before using Sphinx Dive. Should he answer correctly, Futaba will repel it. If the answer is incorrect, Sphinx Dive will hit the party and the ballista will take significantly longer to restore.
The Sphinx will ask a pair of questions at the start of the fight and another time after she recovers from being sniped.
The following are the questions and the correct answers:
|Nnnngh! After I did all to raise you...You dare neglect your mother like this!? I am your MOTHER! The only one in this whole, awful world!||
|2. That's not True|
|For a child to survive in your cruel world, they need a concerned mother figure like me! Understand!?||
1. Maybe You're Right...
|2. You're a fake.|
|After first recovery|
|Futabaaa! It's all because I had you...You did this...You screwed up my life! All you did is to get in the way of my research! I should've never had you!||
1. So that's how she felt...
|2. You're Wrong.|
|Q: No matter how much you struggle, you'll never escape me! You'll be tormented by your personal guilt FOREVER!||
1. We've got her back.
|1. We've got her back.|
- "Here I come!"
- "Do not approach the pharaoh's tomb! Misfortune will fall upon you!"
- "Die you brats!"
- "Get lost!"
- "I won't forgive you!"
- "Nnnngh...! How dare you...! Children that defy their mothers should... DIE!"
- "You little...! You goddamn braaats!"
- "I don't need a child who defies me! And children I don't need... should be killed!"
- "Nnnngh...! Futaba... Futaba...! If only I had never birthed you...!"
A vision of Wakaba haunting Futaba
A vision of Wakaba haunting Futaba
Futaba's mural with Wakaba's accident
Futaba's mural showing her pulling her mother's skirt
Cognitive Wakaba Isshiki boss
Cognitive Wakaba Isshiki attacking
Cognitive Wakaba Isshiki exhausted
Futaba facing her mother
Futaba facing her mother
|Persona 5 Royal|
A revived Wakaba celebrates New Year with Sojiro, Futaba and Morgana
A revived Wakaba celebrates New Year with Sojiro, Futaba and Morgana
"Together With The Family"
|Persona 5 Portraits|
|Persona 5 Royal Portraits|
Wakaba Sad (Unused)
Wakaba's Winter Outfit
Wakaba Smiling (Winter Outfit)
Wakaba Serious (Winter Outfit)
Wakaba Sad (Winter Outfit)
|Persona 5 The Animation|
Wakaba in a photo
Cognitive Wakaba seen in the anime adaption.
Wakaba Isshiki in Persona 5 The Animation
"Wakaba" (若葉) can mean "Young Leaf," compared to her daughter's name "Futaba" (双葉) which means "Two Leaves." "Wakaba" was also the title of three different Japanese destroyer ships which were sunk during the World War II. "Isshiki" (一色) means "One Color" or "Monochrome."
- Wakaba died on August 21st, two years before the events of Persona 5, as evidenced by dialogue from Futaba and Sae Niijima.
- August 21 is also the deadline for clearing Futaba's Palace.
- Since Futaba's name is likely a reference to the , Wakaba's name may be a reference to the software used to run the imageboard.
- In Japan, new drivers must display a (also known as a Wakaba mark). This may be a dark humor reference to her death.
- Her cognitive copy in Futaba's Palace shares similarities with her host's Shadow Self, despite not being one, such as the ability to be further angered when denied, the fact that she is a manifestation of her host's delusions and guilt and defeating and overcoming her is required to change the heart of her host.
- An unused security meter portrait for Wakaba can be seen in the files of the game.
- The Sphinx Wakaba can be killed during the first phase. Should this happen, the second phase will be skipped entirely.
- In Persona 5 Royal, Cognitive Wakaba now asks questions before performing Sphinx Dive. In Greek lore, Sphinxes are known for giving riddles to people who encounter it and will maul those who answer incorrectly.
- She is similar to Junko Kurosu from the Persona 2 duology. Both characters are maternal-figures who induce antagonistic psychological manifestations in their children, aside from sharing certain physical characteristics.
- She is also similar to Hikari's Father/Doe from Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth, as they were single parents that are well beloved and respected by their daughters and had cognitive copies of them based on their delusions and paranoia towards them appearing as bosses in their respective games. The fights against their cognitive copies are also similar, being fought in the embodiment of their daughter's distorted desires while having them step in at the middle of the fight to allow the party to deal sufficient damage against them in a case where they supposedly cannot. Coincidentally, their cognitive copies are fought in the fourth dungeon in their respective games.