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Chapter 43: 5/31-6/3: I’m What The Kids Are Calling “Red-Pilled” (New)

In the course of producing this one, my internet connection threw an extended tantrum, my laptop charger broke, I had to record the last 13 Sentinels update like five times because my capture card’s long-running bizarre audio issues became even more severe, I bought the wrong replacement laptop charger, I had to retire that capture card and replace it with an older one, I got my third jury summons in like a year right after my previous obligation from 2018 expired, and I ate some bad General Tso’s chicken. Also, today’s my birthday. This is the fifth birthday in a row I have spent Let’s Playing Persona 5. Christ almighty. I’m having a great week, folks.


Music: Beneath the Mask

Also, I heard the owners talking… It sounds like Aino turned herself in. Once she pays for her crimes, apparently she’s going to volunteer to take care of stray cats.

I agree! …I doubt she remembers me, but maybe I’ll go visit her someday. I made a promise, after all.

Okay, the main word here is pretty blatantly “Japanese,” but the rest is pretty obscure stuff if you’re a filthy gaijin like me.

I do know what a kimono sash is called though, so that’s one point for me. The rest I had to look up.

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

Now, let’s make more Lockpicks since we used all of ours.

Maaku gains Proficiency +2, and a bonus Proficiency +1 for the double craft proc. I swear I’m not savescumming for the double craft proc, I’m just getting pretty lucky.

Anon: gtfo with that shit LOL

Early Morning

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

Sorry, I couldn’t hold it in. You’ll have to make some kind of excuse for me.
(Train Monitor) Now for today’s Train News. Today’s headlines are… “Employee Posts Nude Chef Selfie!” Wild-Duck Burger claims to have fired the employee in question. Those close to the man voiced their surprise, vouching for his seriousness at work.

You think Akechi is unaware of how the people he turns psychotic will act out, or did he know exactly what would happen here? I bet he thinks it’s hilarious either way.

“Is Shibuya Unsafe? Crime Rising!” The police are issuing warnings for people to be wary of scams. “Hotspots of Tokyo@” Tickets for the Madarame exhibit are available until June 5th!
The Madarame exhibit goes on until June 5th… That’s the end of this week. We’ll show him what a change of heart means!

Early Morning → After School

Music: Tokyo Daylight

Why yes, I did do that over a month ago. I figure I should at least start at all of the jobs because there are requests later in the game that take a bit longer to get if I haven’t done that.

We need some extra Kindness, let’s do this.

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

I’ll do everything myself today, so you can just observe me and try to learn the ropes. Well, let’s begin!

Sweet, got paid to do nothing! Gonna come back and pretend to be a series of different people with increasingly elaborate disguises because my first day is always just training!

Good work, Maaku-kun. Come back again when you have the time.

I either always or never have the time, depending on what your definition of “free time” is.

Still, I bet this job making gifts has boosted your Kindness.

Maaku gains Kindness +2.

All right, we should head home.

After School → Evening

Music: Beneath the Mask

Nothing has changed. Goodbye.
>Okay, *now* we can worry.
The exhibition’s ending soon…
It doesn’t seem like he shut down… but we still need him to call off that legal action BS!
Was it like this for Kamoshida?
>Are you asking if Kamoshida mysteriously fell silent for weeks at a time while we all stressed over the outcome as the deadline drew closer, only for him to miraculously swoop in and confess right at the last moment? Because yes, that did happen.
All we can do is wait…

There’s a laundromat next to the bathhouse, right? If we’ve got spare time, maybe we could wash them.


Stuff like that happening makes me not want to eat there, ever. There’s just no excuse for it.
(Diligent Office Worker) Besides, that guy says he doesn’t remember doing it, right? He doesn’t feel bad about it at all.
Thank you. The curry was delicious.

The scandal occurred just before a stockholder meeting, having dire effects on the fast food chain. As for the man behind the scandal, he claims that he was “fully nude at work before he realized it.”

We’ve all been there, my man.

Why would anyone do that? Did he think he was being hilarious or something?

I can’t do this anymore. I don’t even think all this studying is going to be worth it.
(Innocent Grade Schooler) They say if we keep working hard, it’ll be easier later. Then we can get good jobs when we grow up. How long are they gonna make us study though? I wish I could just play whenever I want.

We’ve been getting a lot of reports of extortion. You should go home before you get targeted.
(Drunken Souse) S’fine. I gets shtronger the more I drrrink. Let ‘em try n’ fight me. I’ll deshtroy ‘em. *retch*
Hey, don’t even think about it! These young punks don’t hold back!

(Rural Young Man) You can get whatever ya need in the country, too—just ask a neighbor! I can take ya on fancy dates! We can go for a drive! I’ll pick ya up in a limo or a luxury car!
You mean a tractor or a truck. Uh, no thanks. Not interested.

You’d seriously look like a criminal if you had one of those allergy masks to go along with your cool glasses!

Thanks, Mishima.

Oh yeah! As your strategic image management rep, I thought I should come up with more ways to help you. Do you have time today?

How does the diner sound to you? Come on.

But we’re meeting up with some Phangirls today.

Music: My Homie

All thieves are supposed to have some special ladies, right?

Mishima, don’t take this the wrong way, but… I’m pretty sure this is how all those YouTubers keep getting busted for grooming minors.
But… aren’t we also minors?
Is that better? I’m not sure that it is.
Oh, it’ll be fine… They don’t even know you’re a Phantom Thief, they think we’re just members of the Phandom.
I *guess* that’s alright… Also, I’m not a Phantom Thief, for the record.
Suuure… Though to be honest, I’m pretty nervous about this… I know all the proper etiquette!

Apparently if things go well, you might even t-t-take her home…

Okay, now I’m worried again.

It’s way past our meeting time…

About our meet-up…

Huh? What’s that? You want me to fuck off? Alrighty.

S-So… both of them apparently got sick? They’re just gonna stay home. Ahaha…

*sigh* Sorry about that…
Hey, relax. This has gone an order of magnitude better than the last time I hung out with you.
Oh yeah… what happened after Sakamoto and I left the apartment the other day, anyway?
Not gonna talk about it!
Oh well… to make up for this, I swear I’ll get some really good info for you guys! I’ll prove my usefulness to the Phantom Thieves!
I’m sure they’ll appreciate it. Whoever they are.

Mishima seems extra motivated…

It wasn’t supposed to turn out like this though… I bet those girls would never have flaked on me if they knew I’m friends with the real live Phantom Thieves. *sigh* Being a guardian of justice isn’t so easy, huh…?

Hm, this seems like a worrying development. Better keep an eye on this one.

Well, let’s head home.

People typically use an alias online, so a lot of them don’t hold back when they comment. Mmm, I thought it was going to be a great opportunity to hear their opinions on the Phantom Thieves…

Next time, we’re gonna get some real hot gir—I mean, intel! All right, I’ll get back to modding. Trust me, everything’s going to turn out awesome! See ya!

Anon: Who’s spreading this?

Early Morning

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

Why did Mr. Kamoshida change all of a sudden?

“In my professional opinion, he, uh… found Jesus?”

Is that your hypothesis? It’s still too sudden… I believe it’s only natural to think that something must have caused it. …Well, that’s fine. Thanks for your valuable opinion. I’ll take it into account.

No prob.

Early Morning → After School

Music: Tokyo Daylight

It’s not even anywhere on the forum yet… Anyway, do you remember that bully Daisuke Takanashi whose heart you changed earlier? Well… it turns out there was someone pulling the strings the whole time! It seems like Takanashi didn’t have a choice but to listen to what this guy told him to do.

I cannot believe a sidequest in this game is breaking up a multi-tiered high school bullying ring. This seems inordinately complicated for how petty it is.

Right!? It’s totally unacceptable. This person has to be somewhere in our school, right? You should go take a look around. In the meantime, I’ll secretly do a little more research too!
If we want to go after this target, we’ll need a name. Let’s go investigate the school.

(Foodie Girl) What are you talking about!? The rainy season’s the time to buy limited rainy day goods! In fact, there’s a limited-time Drizzled Natto that’s sold at Shibuya Station’s underground level!
Wow, you really know so much about specials. Okay, so it’s at Shibuya Station’s underground mall…

Wandering school, sneaking around… I saw her hanging out in Shibuya for some reason too.

Oh no, not Shibuya, the world-famous cultural center of our renowned city!

(Book-Loving Male Student) She was acting just like a detective, working on a case. Maybe she thinks she is one? She did check out some detective novels the other day. Maybe she’s just really into detectives now.

If the target is a student of Shujin, then they could be nearby. We should gather some information.

(Daisuke Takanashi) Fine! Just stop making me bleed people dry, Sakoda!
Hey, you did all that on your own. You really want me to show this to your teachers, huh, Takanashi-kun? Another word out of you and I’ll debut your film to the whole world. The “Yoshimori Sakoda Tapes” will be a huge hit.

Really forced insertion of his whole name here.

C’mon, you MADE me do it! Damn it…
So, a bigger jerk was pulling the strings all along. We gotta do something about this!

(Gentle-Looking Mother) A famous artist painted them. But maybe you’re too young to understand something like that.
So… Since Kotaro’s an old dog, do you think he’d get why those paintings are so good?
Haha, maybe. Kotaro is pretty smart. I’m sure he’d get it.

Oh hey, this cat’s back from getting catnapped!

(Kind Old Woman) Yes, I went to see Madarame’s exhibit. They were talking about it on Good Morning Japan.
There’ve been some scary accidents happening recently, so try to be careful.
Oh, you’re right. The one back in April was terrible. I hope that sort of thing won’t happen again.

(DJ) The year’s almost half over! Although it’s not the season for it, watch out for that pollen…
He’s got that right… Even the seasons are acting all screwy. *pause* Achoo! Ugh…

Music: Tokyo Emergency

We’re gonna stop by the bookstore and pick up the two new books, even if one of them is just unlocking a hangout spot.

Are you alone? Are you going to meet Sakamoto-kun and Takamaki-san?

Nah, I’m thinking about just taking some personal time today. Thanks for asking, though!

Hmmm… First to the pharmacy, then shopping at Rocinante…

Well, while you do that, we’re gonna head to the batting cages to work on our Proficiency.

Music: Everyday Days

Let’s try intermediate, why not?

As it turns out, the “why not” is that I suck at this minigame and get caught looking on the very first pitch. As a reminder, you need to get the slugger prize for hitting all five balls to get the full two points of Proficiency, so that sucks. Thankfully, in Royal you get the opportunity to try again up to twice if you’re not satisfied with your results. We don’t end up with the home run prize, but that’s not really an issue.

We do end up with the slugger prize though, a Harder Core S. Not even going to bother checking what that does because I know I’ll never use it.

Wow, you’ve got a really good swing. I’m impressed.

Maaku gains Proficiency +2.

After School → Evening

Music: Beneath the Mask

Now, when it comes to probation… A: Overseas travel is prohibited/B: Probation officers are unpaid/Which one of these statements is true? You be the judge!

(Boy) The correct answer is… B! Probation officers don’t receive a salary!
(Lawyer) Probation officers are civil volunteers. They are only paid the necessary amount when providing a report.

I think that’s actually more of an explanation of this absurdity than we got last time.

Since probation is intended to encourage rehabilitation, overseas travel is not prohibited.
You got it right! It’s pretty amazing that the chief is doing this for no pay, though…
It feels like I’ve improved my Knowledge

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

We’re also badly in need of Charm, so we’ll be taking a bath tonight even though it’s not a Sunday when we’d get three points instead of two. We’re busy with Yoshida Sunday nights anyway.

Music: Everyday Days

Maaku gains Charm +2.

Come on, we should get home before you get cold.

Anon: not even worth a laugh

Early Morning

Music: Beneath the Mask (Instrumental Version)

…Oh god, do we have to? We need the Charm, so… yes. We’re going to read the fucking PUA manual.

Music: Everyday Days

This picture of the author… That smug grin just irritates me.

Early Morning → Morning

Music: My Homie

I’m changing my lesson for today. Instead of a regular class, we’ll be reviewing last week’s materials. I suggest you listen carefully. But don’t think you can slack off, okay? I absolutely won’t allow it. No slacking off!
Weird. She’s going totally against the curriculum. All that stuff about slacking off was a little odd too… Wait a second… Is this what she meant by “ditch class”? I would’ve thought she’d let you leave the room or something… but I guess you can’t really complain.

Cool of Kawakami to completely fuck up her lesson plan in order to give us a chance to sleep in class or whatever.

Kawakami’s been kind enough to give us this free time, so we’d better put it to good use. So, what’s the plan?

Let’s just finish off this book.

Openly reading this degeneracy in class can only help our tarnished reputation!

It was just a sleazy book about picking up girls, but it did have some good tips on being charming.

Maaku gains Charm +3.

We should thank Kawakami for this later.

Yes, it was quite based and Chad of her to do that for us.

Psst! I saw Hamiru reading a book by a pick-up artist in class!
Wow, I sure had him wrong… he’s an entirely different kind of scumbag than I initially pegged him as!

Morning → After School

Music: Tokyo Daylight

Maruki’s available today, so let’s drop in and see him.

My research is going really smoothly. It’s surprising how well it’s been going, thanks to our discussions. I was actually hoping you could help me out again today.
What’re you going to do? Are you going to help Maruki with his research?

Thanks! I’m so happy to hear that. Let’s talk in the courtyard. I’ve been stuck in the nurse’s office for the longest time, and I want a change of pace.

Music: Ideal and the Real

The trick is acclimation therapy. I’ve got just the cat to foist on you. Finally, I’ll be free!

Oh, it happened on my way to school this morning… I spotted a kitten that had gotten itself stuck up in a tree. I tried rescuing it since I felt bad for it, but I ended up with the clawing of a lifetime for the effort.

But I was able to rescue the kitten, so it was all still worthwhile. All I really have to do is make sure to put antibiotics on the scratches, anyway. Well, let’s move on and talk about a different kind of pain. We discussed this for a bit last time we talked, actually: the pain felt within one’s heart. There are all sorts of ways to identify and diagnose physical injuries and illnesses… But when it comes to pains of the heart, we’re working in unknown territory. There’s so much we haven’t learned yet. Treating trauma sure is difficult when it’s invisible… If only we could somehow directly reduce emotional pain in a healthy way—like putting antibiotics on a scratch.

Unfortunate as it maybe be, we all know there’s no topical medicine that can properly heal a heartache.

Here, allow me to demonstrate…

Oh, Hamiru-kun, woe is me!

…Sorry, that was a poor attempt at acting. Please don’t look at me like that…

God, my therapist’s even more of a dork than I am. I’m doomed.

That seems obvious, right? But it’s absolutely vital to understand. A person’s “heart”—their pain—cannot be seen. Even if they spent their whole lives expressing it to others… there is no way for them to truly grasp it. It’s not like we can directly look at their hearts and remove the root causes of their pain… But for me to do any good in that area, I need to conduct further research into the heart… More specifically, I need to learn how the heart reacts to the world around it. That’s the first stepping stone to a breakthrough in a field. Once that’s been figured out, we’ll not only comprehend psychological pains that were once unknowable… But we’ll even be able to perform more effective treatment for those people with wounded hearts.

But hey, if we can get rid of people’s pain, that’d be for the best, right? I’m no fan of pain, myself. On the other hand, people have laughed off my idea as just a silly, pointless dream… and I can’t say I blame them. But still, you take the time to listen to what I have to say, and you actually try to understand… Thanks to you, I can tell I’m actually getting somewhere with my theories… How can I phrase it… I guess I could say you’re making this hazy, hard-to-grasp idea finally appear before me? You know, you could very well become a counselor yourself someday. Say, would you like to try being my assistant? Of course, I’m on a shoestring budget, so I wouldn’t be able to pay you!

I had to fight myself not to pick option #2 here. This may sound a bit bizarre coming from a guy whose hobby is entertaining strangers over the internet for no compensation, but I don’t work for free! Fuck you, pay me!

Ugh, but I need the points, so…

Joking aside, I truly am grateful for your assistance. Thank you, Hamiru-kun.

Now! I know you’ve been waiting for this, so let’s get to the mental training.

Music: Break it Down (Elp Version)

Today got pretty one-sided… I just ended up rambling again. This keeps happening.

I know it’s asking a lot, but it’d be great if we could keep—

Hold on, er… Shinjuku station? And you… oh, you’ve got no money, huh…

After School → Evening

Music: Beneath the Mask

Eeurgh. Wait, if I’m going through all this trouble to keep her service out of my call history why is she texting my cell phone? And why is her chat icon her as a maid!? This seems poorly considered, Kawakami!

Even those who only came out of curiosity find themselves entranced by his delicate imagery. The exhibition is scheduled to continue until June 5th.
That exhibition is ending soon, eh? I wonder what’s going to happen.

We’ve actually got another crossword to do today. Two in one update!

Music: Everyday Days

This one is honestly pretty easy. You might struggle with this first clue, but “Rembrandt” was literally the first painter that popped into my head and I didn’t even remember he was Dutch.

And then the next two clues are just trivial.

Maaku gains Knowledge +1.

Music: Beneath the Mask

Have you been studying? Don’t start slacking off just because you’re done with exams, okay?

Says the woman who’s giving me time to goof off in class. Seriously, your first Confidant perk is literally called “Slack Off”!

I’ll be heading over right now then… I’d appreciate if you cleaned up a little first. That’ll make my job easier for sure! ♥

Music: What’s Going On?

But then, doesn’t it pain your heart to see such a cute maid all dirty?

I wish I could pick the second option, it’s so funny to me. But alas…

Awww, Master! ♥ Even though your room is messy, your heart is so clean! I’ll go ahead and get this over with then!

And now, cleaning is complete!

Ugh… I have to rush over here on weekdays right after class… Not to mention the extra prep work I have to do in my off time as a teacher… *sniff* Wait, why does this place smell like cat?

This bit of summary is missing the subtle detail that most of Kawakami’s customers seem to have little interest in the “fetish” part of the fetish roleplay and are having her do shit like walk dogs for them.

…I was surprised that you requested me. I didn’t think you actually would.

This was your idea! I had to pay to do this!

You weren’t expecting to do anything weird with me, were you?

*involuntary shriek of pain*

As long as you understand… I know I’m in a maid outfit, but I’m still your teacher, so don’t get any funny ideas. Besides… I try not to get too involved with my students, so…

I mean, in the way we were just talking about, sure, that’s great. But in a broader sense, it’s kind of a hilariously callous thing to say, even if I know her backstory and why she thinks she has to be that way.

I’m so tired… Ohhhh… Juss five mooore minuzzz, Moooom…

…Oh, hey, do you know of any part-time jobs that pay well? I assume you make a lot, since you can afford a maid service… Well, let me know if you do.

I actually have three part-time jobs that I never go to. I make most of my money through extremely-questionable means. Now that I think about it, it almost certainly qualifies as counterfeiting. Sorry, what was the question?

I just need the money for… my little sister! She’s… very sick, you see. Medical expenses and the like. Cough cough.

Yes, I made the transfer…

Music: Suspicion

Wait, it’s not enough!? But it’s the same as last week! ...What? You need a new boat? Well, I suppose that’s reasonable… All right, goodbye…

Oh! W-Wrong number!

You’re a really good liar.

Hey, sorry to ask you this out of the blue, but… do you happen to have one hundred thousand yen I could borrow…?

Sure, I have that on me. You want, like, a receipt or something? Though again, it is probably counterfeit.

Wait, n-never mind! Owing one of my students money would be the worst… Hey, you may have some money, but be mindful of how you spend it. You shouldn’t be wasting it on services like this…

What? I keep telling you, this is what you wanted from me! Is this that *tsundere* thing I’ve heard so much about?

…I need the money, so I do appreciate you requesting me. However, you’re my student, so if we were to get involved further, things would get complicated…

How much more complicated could things possibly get?

I did warn you! The rest is your responsibility! You’re a high schooler after all.
I can sense Kawakami’s trust in me…

…Well, I’ll see you later, Master!
Kawakami left…

Music: Break it Down


…No, you’ve got the right idea. Still gotta hit my quotas for the week. ♥ ……

Okay, this is driving me insane, so I’m just going to drop the sales talk—

…Um, well, I hope you’ll request me again sometime! Bye byeeee!

Didn’t you just say you wanted me to stop doing this!? Make up your mind!