DISCLAIMER: Do not read this if you don’t want to be spoiled on P5. Not because it’s going to be right for sure, but on the off chance it is, then I can’t be held accountable.
After PV#04 dropped on 5/5/16, the search began for reliable translations. The Persona community is extremely passionate, so it’s no surprise it was done. That allowed me to make my own high quality cut of the trailer.
A lot of good stuff is in there and some interesting lines. However, the beginning of the crazy theory doesn’t start with the trailer, but rather, the DLC that’s been announced. You see, during the May 5th stream, the DLC for the Gekkoukan and Yasogami uniforms was shown on screen, but the final party member – a male with brown hair – had his face intentionally obscured because he hadn’t made his formal debut yet. However, on the following day, detailed images of the DLC were released online allowing us to get a better look at him.
Why? Why did Atlus choose to show off three new ladies in PV#04 but intentionally keep one male character from the public? Why keep one character hidden this long at all? Unless of course, there was something special about him.
THEORY: That’s Ken Amada. Yes, Ken Amada formerly of Persona 3’s SEES and the Shadow Operatives of the Persona 4 Arena arc. There is a strong resemblance between that character and Ken’s last appearance in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax set in 2012.
Ken’s official birthday is in June of 1998. It should be noted that at this time, Persona 5 does not have an official year in which it takes place. In fact, in PV#04, the calendar shows the year as “20XX” to intentionally obscure that detail. However, if Persona 5 is set in 2016, which would make sense due to its clear theme of being a commentary on modern society as well as the dates matching up to the days (like April 20th being a Wednesday this year as well as in P5), then Ken Amada would turn 18 during the course of the game.
Other than a passing resemblance, what leads me to believe this? Well in PV#04, we learned an interesting role about Morgana in that she seems to act as a recruiter for the Phantom Thieves. From Hashino’s interview with the Persona Magazine in February, we heard that Morgana is the one that reaches out to the protagonist. In this new trailer, she also is directly responsible for introducing the group to the third new girl; the “Beautiful Thief.” So say, in accordance with expanding the group and finding valuable assets, Morgana finds this nice 18-year-old boy who happens to have already awoken to the power of Persona. Ken, fitting with the age and demographic of the group, joins the Phantom Thieves as the final party member. However… He does so with ulterior motives.
In the ‘Episode P3′ epilogue of Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, Ken turns in his Shadow Operatives badge to Mitsuru Kirijo saying that he’ll get it back some day, but wants to live the rest of his youth normally. Let’s speculate and say by 2016, whether Ken is technically out of high school by now or not, that he’s since returned to the organization.
At the end of PV#03 and start of PV#04, we see the protagonist in an interrogation room. He’s being questioned about the Phantom Thieves’ activities. What’s interesting is the nature of the questions. These are not normal crimes he’s facing, but rather he’s being asked directly about the existence of another world. Meaning, whoever is asking likely knows full well that what the protagonist is doing involves Personas/Shadows/demons or however you want to put it.
Towards the end of PV#04, there are lines that say a plan of the Phantom Thieves’ was “leaked” and now they’re in danger. If the leak came from within the group, who would be responsible? Well, perhaps the covert Shadow Operative.
THEORY: Ken Amada is the final member of the Phantom Thieves and infiltrates the group leading to the arrest of the protagonist.
That feminine voice at the start of PV#04? It sounds a lot like Mitsuru Kirijo.
What other organization could possibly bring someone in on such a bizarre case? An organization that knows of Personas and other worlds, a mysterious male party member that looks strikingly like Ken Amada, and an authoritative woman leading an interrogation that sounds like Mitsuru?
Persona 5 is a sequel to Persona 3. And that… Is… Awesome!
I’M ABOUT TO SPOIL PERSONA 3, IF YOU HAVEN’T PLAYED THAT FOR SOME REASON
THEORY: Persona 5’s theme of societal change is a tie-in to the dilemma set at the end of Persona 3 FES The Answer.
At the end of The Answer, the former members of SEES defeat Erebus; the being born of mankind’s apathy towards living which calls out to Nyx to bring about “The Fall.” As anyone who’s finished Persona 3 knows, the protagonist of that game gives his life to become the Great Seal to prevent The Fall and man’s calling out to Nyx. However, the threat of Erebus persists, leading to the climatic battle of The Answer. Though SEES is victorious, it is speculated that Erebus, because it is the embodiment of mankind’s collective will, can only truly be defeated by all of humanity changing and no longer being apathetic towards living.
In Persona 4 Arena, that speculation is confirmed. It is revealed that the reason Elizabeth left the Velvet Room following the events of Persona 3 is to gain power that would defeat Erebus permanently so that she could save her former guest, the hero of P3, from the fate of being the Great Seal. Ever since, she has been periodically destroying Erebus just as SEES did in the The Answer only for it to return again and again.
That brings us to Persona 5. P5’s setting of being in a real city, Tokyo, and (likely) being set during the present year, unlike its previous two predecessors had been, all seem to fit into the theme of commenting on the state of real life society. This also brings us back to the opening theme of the game:
“Can we make a difference?” “Why does nobody want change?” “If you hold on life won’t change.”
Societal change would seem to be the purveying theme of Persona 5.
THEORY: The grand events of Persona 5 are meant to lead to a world where Erebus no longer exists and the Great Seal is no longer necessary.
Now, I admit, this is one of the craziest things I’ve ever written. I’m basically suggesting that at the end of Persona 5, be it blatantly or to be interpreted by the player, the protagonist of Persona 3 will be freed of being the Great Seal. Whether that means coming back to life or resting peacefully, I have no idea. I’m also willing to admit that of all the things I’m theorizing this is the most farfetched and downright fan-fictional of them all. I’m not writing this because I want this, but simply because these are the crazy connections my brain has pieced together.
How would we even get from point A to point B? Again, I’m not sure. Though, to be quite honest, I’ve been suspicious of whatever Morgana’s motives are since Hashino’s interview in February. According to translations, Hashino states that Morgana has a specific goal she looking to accomplish – one that predates the formation of the Phantom Thieves. That sounds similar to Elizabeth’s journey, though it’s a stretch to say the two are one in the same.
CONCLUSION: There you have it. That’s my crazy P5 theory. Granted, I feel a lot less confident about the second half of all of that than I do the first. Perhaps I’m right, but instead of P3 connections being the focus of the end game, they’ll instead be a side story or something that only appears in new game plus, which is similar to how the nature of Elizabeth’s absence was revealed in the original Persona 4.
Or maybe PV05 will come out at E3 next month, we learn the mystery guy’s name, and all have a good laugh about this.