Following after the screams of last episode, Sojiro steps in concerned for Futaba to be confused to see the whole group at the front door. It was hilarious seeing Makoto cling to Ren’s leg freaking out and saying “I’m sorry” over and over and Ren….just stood there. I’m just glad they showed the scream scene again so I could get a good laugh.
Sojiro and the group return to Cafe Leblanc and he apologizes for not telling them about Futaba. The truth is, she’s his foster child. He was acquainted with her mother when they used to work together. Futaba’s mother was a single mother but she did her best to raise Futaba until one day she committed suicide by jumping in front of a car, right in front of Futaba’s eyes. Ever since that incident, Sojiro took in Futaba. However, Futaba thinks it’s her fault her mother committed suicide. She hears voices in her head making her become so fearful and depressed that she eventually became a shut in. She doesn’t open her door, not even for Sojiro, no matter how hard he tries to. He doesn’t force her to, as he doesn’t want to make her worse because he cares for her a lot. Still, he blames himself and thinks he’s not doing well as a foster parent. Futaba has a way to hear into the cafe however, probably by planting bugs in the cafe, and hearing Sojiro say that about himself angers her. She probably doesn’t think that way at all. But Futaba has her own issues, and seeing the condition of her room and the way she suffers broke my heart.
The mission to change Futaba’s heart is more dire than ever. They find out that she has a Palace and decide to go to her and speak with her directly outside her room to get more information out of her. She mentions her room being her grave and when they say it out loud, they get a hit. They enter the Metaverse and I absolutely loved their reactions to the desert. Ryuji’s face was especially hilarious. Morgana transforms into the car and they all head to where the Palace really is, a giant pyramid. Futaba’s palace was one of my favorites in the game because of the ancient Egyptian architecture and just the aesthetic in general. Ancient Egypt is just amazing in general.
They go inside and reach the top of the stairs, where they meet the distorted Shadow Futaba dressed as an Egyptian priestess. Her shadow self is different in not wanting them to steal her treasure, and I couldn’t help but laugh when Yusuke called her tsundere. Actually, Yusuke made me laugh a lot this episode. The voices Futaba hear echo throughout the room, and suddenly the gang transform into their thief gear as Futaba’s mental state is all over the place. A giant ball drops and rolls after them Indiana Jones style and they’re forced to leave her palace. But they don’t give up of course. I was looking forward to Futaba’s palace because I thought the anime would really highlight the actual interior of the palace, but seeing as how they rushed through the other palaces I didn’t get my hopes up at all. But let me just say that this Palace was a pain in the ass in the game, and that Anubis murdered me countless times. Or maybe I just sucked at the game. Whatever.
Futaba’s palace was always a special case this time the group doesn’t have to deal with someone evil. Futaba is just a girl that’s in a horrible state mentally and emotionally, and learning how she sees herself and how others pointed fingers at her for her mother’s suicide was one of the hardest things to go through in the game. The blame for Futaba’s mother’s suicide from the people around her was because of her being a needy child. We see a hieroglyph painting where child Futaba vies for her mother’s attention. Her mother responds harshly, and along with the other hieroglyphs, it’s really sad. It’s normal for any child to want to take a trip with their mother, and the child should never be at fault for their parent’s suicide. My heart is with Futaba, alright?
The Phantom Thieves make their way through the Palace and finally get to a door, but it’s sealed off. Futaba’s Shadow appears and congratulates them, but tells them that the real Futaba needs to invite them in for them to continue. In the real world, Futaba needs to invite them inside her room. They beg her to and she actually lets them in, but she hides in the closet. It won’t work because Futaba isn’t actually inviting them in. The group make themselves clear one more time, and Futaba makes a hilariously dramatic reveal from her closet. Just…Futaba is so good.
It’s pretty huge that Futaba revealed herself to everyone considering how mysterious and private she was. Now that they’re officially invited in, we’ll see how Futaba’s palace and her issues conclude. And maybe, Futaba will change for the better.