This episode starts off immediately after last week. The group ask Futaba whether she would like the join the Phantom Thieves and she immediately says yes. Things get a lot more friendly and fun when the group decide to help Futaba out with her lack of social skills. She’s not really open to them and opts to wear a mask when around them. She’s been a complete shut-in for awhile now so she hasn’t had much experience in just being out and around people. So they end up doing different things. In the game we get to see her do this stuff, but the anime made it all a montage moment which I think was a good idea since the anime is seriously running out of time. This part is sorta kinda filler? Making Futaba help out at the cafe, etc. But the beach was relevant in that Futaba had a heart to heart with everyone on the beach and we learned some much needed plot details.
The beach moment was pretty fun. The girls are cute in their swimsuits, they eat lots of food together, Futaba is actually having lots of fun, and Yusuke thought the lobsters he saw on sale were so beautiful he had to buy both of them, but now he has no money. Yusuke you damn fool, but he always makes me laugh. After they have all their fun and watch the sunset together, Futaba suddenly turns serious and talks about how much she loved her mother. She brings up cognitive psience, something her mother was researching that’s connected to the Metaverse. A cognitive world. Futaba mentioned last time that she thought her mother was killed and this time she confirms it. Reading her mother’s notes, it said that if the cognitive self should die in the cognitive world, the real self would become unconscious. Futaba recounts the fateful day of her mother’s death. It definitely wasn’t suicide, more so like she lost consciousness. Wakaba had been acting strange, not answering Futaba when she spoke with her. Instead of jumping into oncoming traffic, she passed out. Even more telling when we learn later by Sojiro that Wakabe knew that she was going to die. She’s tried looking for her mother’s research, tried searching for answers but came up with nothing. Futaba admits to joining the group because she wants to avenge her mother, and the group is more than happy to have her. Wakaba’s research is important in that it’s connected to the Metaverse somehow. Also, the research being out and hidden has a connected with the person with the black mask Kaneshiro had warned them about. Also, the unconscious effect is also connected to the train and bus accidents that’s been rampant throughout the city (even though the anime has hardly talked about it). It’s a serious but warm moment when the group show their support for her, and it’s just a nice moment for Futaba’s character that she was able to open up to her new friends after having a fun time at the beach.
I really like Futaba a lot, and to some extent I can relate to her anxiety being around people, and her being a shut in. We see her have issues going out to try and buy a video game, so it’s sweet to see the gang help her out and accept her as she is, and it makes me proud to see Futaba willingly depend on others and just be happy. Because she deserves it! Futaba’s great! Even though she went to the beach, she still has issues being in public, but that’s okay because she has support! I love it!
Another thing that was important was the start of Morgana’s self-doubt and Ryuji being an ass. This is extremely important, but with how ignored Morgana’s kind of been, his sudden self-doubt isn’t as strong. Back at the beach, Ryuji comments that Futaba is really dependable and makes a snide remark at Morgana and basically telling him he’s not dependable. When they first take Futaba to Mementos, she summons her Persona and is able to pull up a map of Mementos and tell everyone that it’s expanding, and she was easily able to figure out the reason why it’s expanding is because of the recent popularity of the Phantom Thieves. Basically, the more popular they get, the more Mementos grows for them. This whole time Morgana brought them there but didn’t know much about it, so obviously he felt pretty down that Futaba was able to figure it out so easily when he couldn’t. His mood dampens as Ann calls him a mascot (not in a mean way), and is jealous of Ren and the others for being humans. What’s worse is that Morgana had a scary dream where he manifested like a Shadow. In the game, this is a recurring nightmare that shakes Morgana up a lot. In the game, he also talks about himself a lot more compared to the anime. He talks about his strong yearning to figuring out his real identity as he doesn’t have any memories. He strongly believes that he’s a human and he’s working with Ren and the others to find his answers, which are most likely in Mementos. Over and over he talks about wanting to be human. In the anime, he’s hardly talked about himself and his mysterious past. I feel like the anime has kinda ignored him and just left him to make explanations when it comes to Palaces and Metaverse. Which, yes, he does that in the game but in the game he also had some spotlight sometimes. Either way, Ryuji’s words and Futaba’s attention and admiration, along with the nightmare, scare and hurt him. Ren gives him a reassuring pep talk before going to sleep and Morgana feels a bit better.
Next week we’ll move on to the next villain, and finally the anime will introduce my second favorite female in the series. She’s fluffy and adorable and things are going to pick up fast when she appears~