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  • Writer's pictureIndy Goodwin

Persona 5: Hoes Before Bros

If you've been following my socials then you'll have seen a lot of Persona 5 activity. It's my current obsession - I love this game. There is so much to do. There are people to befriend, collectibles to get, dungeons to grind! There are many different kinds of girls to romance!

It's pretty great; my only issue with it though that befriending the girls feels like a consolation prize. I recently got Ann Takamaki up to rank 9, ready for her to be a romanceable target and I said no. Like most of the girls you can romance, she reacted with disappointment that you don’t want to go out them. Like this was the end goal of their friendship all along.

This reeks of incel patter. With this game finally you can be the one to friendzone the ladies in pursuit of BEST GIRL! (Which is, according to Reddit, Makoto. The intellectual's choice is Kasumi of course.) Or you can romance every single lady like the alley cat you are.

Let’s be honest though, if you’re familiar with Altus’s previous work they’ve has never had a great progressive view of how relatonships should work. Look at Catherine.


Going for monogamy and children and a nuclear family with your really far too patient girlfriend Katherine is actively encouraged by the game. The fiendish traps and puzzles our hero Vincent goes through are designed to kill off men who don't shape up and impregnate somebody. Basically reducing women down to their reproductive systems, and not just women, men too. As a childfree 30 year old this rankles with me a little bit.

Persona and Catherine presents a very straight male fantasy view of sex, Panther in particular being a prime target with her red PVC cat suit. The girls are never heard discussing who they like and instead the boys are horny on main all the time. It’s a very sheltered view of sexuality, and that's without getting into the whole BDSM lite aesthetic going on quite a lot.

The relationships with the female characters in the game also seem odd to me. It seems odd that Kasumi relies on you so much when we barely hung out. It seems odd that Ann and Makoto confide in you so easily despite their hangups. It seems odd that shy, sweet Haru would want anything to do with teenage Joker. It especially seems weird that Futaba would see Joker as anything other than an adoptive big brother.

I do really appreciate the relationship Joker can foster with his male cohorts though. His interactions with Ryuji, Yusuke and Sojiro are so lovely. They trust each other and confide in each other. They help each other with their problems. They laugh and cry together. It’s adorable.

Sojiro’s relationship with Joker is also a delight. He starts off as a gruff, distant guardian and grows to care for Joker as his own son as the game progresses. They needed each other. Joker needed someone to care about him after being branded a criminal and shipped off to Tokyo to lay low. Sojiro needed Joker to bring him out of his rut and realise what’s important.

If they can portray the male friendships so well why not extend the same to female friends? Every woman Joker can get close to is a romance candidate. Even improbable candidates such as teacher Kawakami and doctor Takemi. Ann and Makoto and Haru and Futaba have so much more to offer than just romance. I wish they’d show it.

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16 févr. 2021

Interesting you bring up Katherine in this review! I personally loved the game but definitely agree that the way they approach monogamy in the base game can seem at times a bit, one dimensional. I feel Kathrine Full Bodied however was a deep dive into love and tropes on love, (not posting any spoilers, such a plot twist,) and was wondering if you had any thoughts on that?

*PS5 spoilers*

As far as all the ladies being romancible I agree some of the options were a stretch, looking a Kawakami and even my bae Takemi. Late stage career women aren't usually looking to fawn over juvenile delinquents. I personally think its a little awkward to enter these relationships just for…

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