“We Just Despise The Police”: Persona 5 Strikers Is OK

“We Just Despise The Police”: Persona 5 Strikers Is OK
Screenshot: Persona 5 Strikers

If you’ve played Persona 5 you’ll know that, aside from a few notable exceptions, Tokyo’s cops are kid-torturing arseholes. So it’s little wonder that in the game’s kinda-sequel, the Phantom Thieves have no time for them.

By virtue of the original game’s youthful, rebellious themes, the police are framed throughout Persona 5 as authoritative villains, but also a group to at least be respected and feared. Now that they’ve grown a little older, saved the world and dethroned God, our heroes have, uh, a wider perspective on things, and couldn’t give two shits what some stuffy cops think of their ability to change hearts and kick arse. And I love it.

An early plot beat in Strikers involves Zenkichi, a member of the Kyoto Prefectural Police, snooping around the Phantom Thieves, trying to coerce them gently into either giving themselves up or assisting his own investigation. As an adult, he thinks he can just walk his way into the room and boss these kids around, but they are having none of it.

Here’s Haru:

Screenshot: Persona 5 StrikersScreenshot: Persona 5 Strikers

OK! Let me pause here for a second and say that, while I’ve struggled with Persona 5 Strikers for various reasons (which I’ve gone into elsewhere), one thing I’ve noticed and really enjoyed is Haru’s great redemption tour. When I ranked Persona 5’s confidants back in 2017, I had her near the bottom of the list, saying:

Much like Persona 5 itself lingers one Palace too long, it also adds an extra party member towards the end where no more were needed. Haru’s story may be tragic, but there is absolutely nothing compelling about her personality or tale unless you are really into knitwear.

I take it all back. Some time away from the latter-stages grind of Persona 5 and her own bad times has given this girl wings, and she’s now one of my favourite cast members of the new game. Not just because of how she treats cops, but then, it’s also because of how she — justifiably, given the events of Persona 5! — treats cops.

Screenshot: Persona 5 StrikersScreenshot: Persona 5 Strikers

Fair! I can’t and won’t speak to how this all shakes out, since that would be a spoiler, but at the start of this game at least, the kids are alright.

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  • Ah, Persona 5, the cast of edgy dropkicks only surpassed by the YouTuber who cares more for Likes than being in the right in Dx2.

  • This article is proudly brought to you by someone living in the safest city in Australia with the highest Police approval rating in the country.

    • You risk summoning the defense brigade to Lord Plunkett’s side?

      And apparently using facts as well! Madness!

      I’ll pray for you, sir.

      • Usually I’m more restrained and just don’t comment. I’m sure my moment of weakness will come back to bite me.

    • You two jumped straight from a passing glance at the author and headline into the comments section, didn’t you.

  • In the context of the game being set in Japan, that seems like a very reasonable stance for the kids to take. Japan is one of the safest countries in the world, and a large part of that is probably thanks to its famously collectivist society, but its policing is something else entirely.

    The ‘hostage justice’ system of indefinite detention and denying access to legal representation during interrogations until a confession can be secured is one of the utterly abhorrent and immoral tools that police and prosecutors have under their belt to secure their unhealthy 99.3% conviction rate that verges on extra-judicial, with a judgement being little more than a formality. 95% of these convictions are reportedly based on a signed confession. Even those who are later exonerated through DNA evidence.

    Japanese police are not your friends. Their ‘justice’ system is horrifically corrupt and unjust, and innocence is no protection if they have decided to indict you.

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