So we start where we left off last episode with Futaba barreling out of the closet, shouting for them to hurry up and take her heart. Once the Phantom Thieves leave Futaba the calling card (after she hid back in the closet), they come across a giant monster that had the head of Futaba’s deceased mother created from her cognition. I remember being horrified when I saw that thing for the first time in the game. Unfortunately, the anime didn’t really deliver with the reveal of the monster since in the game, had a lot of still, eerily quiet moments where you wonder what exactly is out there and then it starts destroying the tomb’s outer layers in a flurry of destruction and movement. In the anime, everything happens way too fast to get a sense of dread. However, I do like how they cut to Sojiro looking at Wakaba’s photo, kind of as a way to confirm that yes, this is Futaba’s mother.
I have always felt so sorry for Futaba ever since first being introduced to her story in the game and the anime was no exception. While they did speed through her story a lot, I still felt for her and it just shows how very messed up the situation was. I think this shows how terrible mental health issues can be and how they eat you up from the inside out. While the party tries to reason with Futaba that this isn’t how her mother truly feels, there’s still the voice in the back of her head, along with the jeers of those who looked down on her and pinned the blame on her that tell her otherwise.
Can we all just take a moment and appreciate how helpful Futaba’s shadow is? I honestly love how her shadow is actually trying to help Futaba out of this self destroying situation and show her that “No, this is not your fault. This whole thing was NEVER your fault.” Futaba was never the one to be blamed for her mom’s death and it’s just TERRIBLE how all the adults around her, (save for Sojiro, bless his soul), blamed her and used her as a scapegoat. However, her shadow helps Futaba remember what her mom actually said to her, that once her research was finished, she’d take Futaba anywhere she wanted and they could spend more time together again. Now, I wouldn’t give Wakaba “mother of the year award” since she put her research before her child. However, she did her dang hardest to raise her child alone while also being a working woman. So I got to commend her on that. And it was pretty obvious that Futaba loved her with all of her heart.
I always found it a little weird how Futaba remembered certain things wrong or omitted certain details. However, given the stress of the situation and the adults around essentially breaking her with their words, you probably would misremember things and believe what they were saying were true. The fact that the men in suits essentially blamed Futaba for her mother’s death was all kinds of messed up. How do you even have the heart to do crush a little girl’s heart even more after the loss of her mother? HOW?!
Anyways, Futaba awakened to her persona (which is a freaking UFO lol) and materialized a ballista to shoot down the distorted cognition monster. Honestly, I was a little disappointed with this fight. Coming off of the pretty dynamic fight with Kaneshiro, I had hoped they would have learned from it and made the fights from then on more interesting. Unfortunately, it seemed they went back to energy shot after energy shot as if it were Pokemon again. And while there were obvious restrictions on how to fight this opponent, the aerial combat could have been more interesting. Like in Persona 4 the animation, the Persona’s would actually go in and physically attack the opponent while throwing in some energy shots, making the fight really diverse and interesting to watch. But I digress. #mitsuo’sshadowfightwastheactualbestbossfightinP4anime
Hearing Futaba say “I will live” felt so powerful. To hear someone on the brink of suicide say those words just hits your heart. They’ve pushed through the pain and sorrow, they’re trying to move forward, picking themselves out of the depths of their despair and choosing to live on. THAT’S POWERFUL.
Futaba’s arc has to be my absolute favorite. Probably because parts of it hit really close to home in my family’s life and you just want the Phantom Thieves to save this poor, broken little girl’s life. I honestly started tearing up when Futaba said “I love you, mom.” muffled screaming That part ALWAYS gets me so bad, be it from the game or the anime. MY FEELS. And then she just freaking turns around and goes “oh yeah, Medjed.” Talk about mood whiplash lol. But I guess that’s the point to which is emphasized by Yusuke commenting on how she just marches to the beat of her own drum. I agree with Ryuji, Yusuke, you of all people shouldn’t comment lol.
But man, I’m a bit disappointed how we didn’t get to see the Phantom Thieves run for their lives out of the collapsing palace and end up piling on top of each other into Morgana’s bus form like in the game. That part always made me giggle while playing the game. SPEAKING OF DISAPPOINTMENT. Now, I kind of had a feeling that the scene where Ren jumps in to save Makoto wouldn’t happen from the game and I was right. It really didn’t add anything to plot and was just essentially fanservice so I can see why they took it out. A part of me is a little disappointed, but honestly, it’s fine that they overlooked the scene. However, I cannot excuse the fact they skipped over the Yusuke x Ann moment when she ended up landing on him after they escaped the palace’s collapse. Just kidding… or am I?
The part where Futaba sleeps until she’s feeling better was a funny thing in the game. Depending on when you beat Futaba’s palace, she could be asleep for like a month. The anime decided that’s not very logical so had them beat the palace right before the deadline. Which makes more sense lol. Sojiro tells them not to worry about Futaba, she just needs to recharge and gives them tickets to the Skyline tower. This part… felt weird. YOU COULDN’T BE BOTHERED TO ADD MY TWO OTP MOMENTS BUT YOU PUT IN THIS FILLER, A1 WHAT?! Ahem… anyways, while this moment came so out of left field, I couldn’t help but laugh at how forceful Makoto said she was taking a photo of the buchimaru stuff and Yusuke’s comment on how he “senses an oddly powerful eagerness” just killed me.
When Ren comes back, I was just staring at that thing he bought wondering WHAT THE HECK DID HE BUY??? Sojiro tells Ren a little about Wakaba and her research when Futaba surprisingly comes in. This moment has such an emotional impact since until this day, Futaba had not left the house, much less her room for years. (unless she snuck out and put the calling card in the mailbox last episode) Even Sojiro started tearing up after Futaba apologizes for worrying him. SOJIRO JUST WANTS TO BE A GOOD FATHER UGH.
I like how casually Futaba just completely destroys Medjed like it’s no big deal. Though it’s revealed that Futaba was actually the founder of Medjed and comments how the people who took her name are scrubs lol. Futaba pls. I do have to admit I was sad they cut out her just hacking away in her room and then pulling out her pillow and falling asleep right there.
The episode ends with Sojiro taking Ren and Futaba out to dinner to celebrate Futaba’s recovery and her finally feeling well enough to leave the house. Though it was pretty hilarious how Ren excluded himself from going by saying “take care” initially since he thought Sojiro wasn’t including him. Boy please lol.
Futaba is such a cutie. I definitely would rank her as my third favorite character after Makoto and Yusuke because honestly, how can I not love her? PROTECT THAT SMILE. I laughed pretty hard when Futaba literally got up to go to the bathroom one moment and once Sojiro got up to pay the bill, she sat down. That was the fastest bathroom break I’ve ever witnessed. However, things take a serious turn when Futaba states how her mother’s death wasn’t suicide and someone must have murdered her and asks the Phantom Thieves to help her find the perpetrator.
Whelp, that wraps things up for this arc and we get a new ending. Though I’m really sad to see the old ending go because of how sleek and clean the animation for next episode was. The new start of the ending… is pretty bland. They could have kept the old ending animation for the first part of it at least. SIGH….