When you’re playing a JRPG like Persona 5, a social element is all but a given. Like previous Persona games, you’re able to spend free time with your teammates, if you so choose (and you definitely should — the more they like you, the better their abilities).
But while we’ve all got our preferences for Palaces, what would they be like to actually hang out with? They weren’t dungeon-crawling all the time; we got quite a few scenes of everyone hanging out and being pals. Between that and their individual Confidant hangouts, you get to know them pretty well, so I know I can’t be the only one who had my favorites.
9/9 Makoto Niijima
Makoto seems to be who the internet considers Joker’s canon love interest, and she was a staple in my Palace team, so I and everyone else seem to have spent a lot of time with her. But the more I got to know Makoto, the less I liked her.
I can respect that she wants the best for her group, but nobody likes having a hard-ass mother as a friend. She comes down on the group for what she perceives are their shortcomings (like Ryuji with school, for example), instead of just letting them be themselves. I do not have the time, energy, or patience for that.
8/9 Goro Akechi
I know his place as a Thief is temporary, short-lived, and grating to most, but I’ve vouched for Akechi before and I’ll do it again. Is he a cocky, arrogant pain in the ass? Yeah, absolutely. But goddamn it if his story isn’t really compelling.
Don’t get me wrong: Akechi is definitely this low on the list for a reason. But I do think, someplace under all his callous coldness, he’s just a misunderstood kid. It’s with Joker that Akechi gets some semblance of normality for the first time in a life spent largely in the public eye, so maybe more of that might tame him a bit.
7/9 Sumire Yoshizawa
The source of the bonus content in Royal, you meet Sumire as Kasumi Yoshizawa — she’s trying to work through the trauma of losing her sister by becoming her deceased sister. Hers is a tale of impossible self-standards, inferiority, and survivor’s guilt, and even if she seems a bit hypocritical saying people can’t rely on the Thieves to help them, she definitely improves after you help her.
I’m not into the idea of becoming another person to console yourself, but I’m glad she’s working through her stuff somehow. Just sitting with depression isn’t healthy, and Sumire is proven to be great as herself, too. If she can stay as Sumire, then she can be a friend.
6/9 Ann Takamaki
While Ann wasn’t my favorite of the Thieves, falling firmly in the middle of the pack and not often accompanying me into dungeons, I really did enjoy her. She’s definitely one of the most human-feeling characters in the game, and your friendship with her is all about helping her overcome the feeling that she has to do better in order to fight for a place in the world, stuck as a pretty girl who feels more like she’s more eye candy than human.
I’m hardly a fashionista myself, but her interests in video games and all things sweets, I can work with. She said her grades weren’t that great because she gets distracted playing games instead? Same.
Is it lame to put the cat on this list? Maybe, but I’m doing it — he’s a member of the Thieves just as much as anyone else. Mona was a quintessential part of the team and wore a great many hats for you all: he was your guardian, your guidance, and sometimes even your vehicle.
He’s smart, caring, and shockingly good at all things to do with the Metaverse. He knows all kinds of neat tricks help you out, and he’s willing to share to advance the goals of the team. As long as he can get a hold of telling me when I can and can’t go out of my own house, he can stay.
4/9 Haru Okumura
I’ve gone on record saying I feel bad for Haru, but more than that, I respect her for her perseverance. She’s trapped in a loveless, arranged engagement when you meet her, but she blossoms so wonderfully into her own person with the love and support of the Thieves. She’s much more soft-spoken than the company I usually keep, but she’s just as loyal and spirited.
For having been through the wringer with her dad, her fiancé, and her business prospects, Haru came out on the other side surprisingly well-adjusted. Watching the most formal parts fall away from her as she settled into the group was heartwarming, and if I could help her further, I would.
3/9 Ryuji Sakamoto
Brash, brazen, and unendingly spunky, I think Ryuji has an energy that simply can’t be beat. What he lacks in book-smarts, he more than makes up for in courage, morality, and understanding. You learn eventually that the whole reason his beloved track team was disbanded was because he stood up to Kamoshida’s injustices — and that was before Joker and the Metaverse got involved.
Ryuji is just an all-around good dude. He cares deeply about the people in his life — his mom, the Thieves, and others — and he’s always willing to go the extra mile for them. Ryuji, frankly, is the friend we should all aspire to be.
2/9 Futaba Sakura
It’s pretty impossible not to feel bad for Futaba, and that feeling only increases the more you learn about her story. When you meet her, she’s a complete shut-in, but it’s with Joker and the Thieves that she really blossoms into her own as a person, and she’s indispensable to the team as well.
Futaba is clever, once you get her out of her head. She’s convinced her mom hates her and her room is the only place she feels safe when you first meet. But cracking that outer shell brings you into the center of a girl who, outside of her anxieties and agoraphobia, is actually amazing.
1/9 Yusuke Kitagawa
Yusuke is easily the most ridiculous, most colorful member of the team, but his peculiarities are what make him so fascinating. It almost seems like the world is different to Yusuke than it is for most people — in art and aesthetics, yeah, but also outside of it. He tends to see the beauty in everything, and that’s admirable as hell.
But isn’t that just an artist, though? Any creative is bound to be a little strange, and Yusuke’s brand of quirk is both reliable, consistent, and totally authentic. There’s no pretense to him — what you see is what you get. He’s passionate, ambitious, level-headed, and understanding. He might be weird, sure, but some of the best people are.
NEXT: Persona 5 Characters I’d Be Willing To Have As My Roommate
- Persona 5’s Phantom Thieves, Ranked By How Much I Actually Want To Be Their Friend
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