The REAL burning question of Persona 5.

I don’t care what you say anymore this is my waif(u)
Go ahead with your own waif(u), leave mine alone!

Okay, so the other constant big question in Persona 5 is: is there a canon or semi-canon love interest?

In general, in game, the Persona games don’t have a canon love interest. You can pick whichever girls you want to date or not date and not much, if anything, changes in game. However, Persona 3 seems to have broken that, both for its own game and for the previous game, Persona 2:

1) In Persona 3, there’s an S-link based around an MMO version of Persona 2 that links Tatsuya and Maya, and that S-link, when completed, links to a romantic interest (that is never consummated, even as an implication).

2) In the Answer, it seems at least clear that Yukari had strong feelings for the MC, and was jealous of Aigis for that reason (which is also what drives Yukari to want to go back and interfere in the final battle). The implications of that can also make Aigis a canon romantic interest.

Some will argue that this only means that they cared about the MC, not that the MC cared for them, but that’s a shaky argument. And there are some arguments that Jun might be more canon than Maya in Persona 2, but given Persona 3 I find that hard to swallow.

In Persona 4, there doesn’t seem to be a canon love interest. Yukiko is the one that is presented as being closest to the MC in story, but Rise is the one who is most aggressively pursuing the MC. There’s also Marie from Golden. But Golden and Arena didn’t make any strong hints about relationships like the Answer did, and so it’s pretty hard to determine if there is a canon love interest there.

So what about Persona 5? We don’t have any works that expand that universe yet, and so we don’t know if they are going to steer this towards a conclusion like they did with the Answer. But there are arguments for each:

1) Joker, when he first sees Ann, is struck by her looks. She also is said to be the most aggressive at expressing her feelings for Joker and pushing the S-link towards romance. The counters to this are that her main character trait is striking looks and in the other story sections she doesn’t really seem all that interested in Joker, and vice versa.

2) Makoto gets in story seemingly romantic scenes with Joker, like when she turns to him to protect and comfort him while frightened in Sojiro’s house and when he shoves her out of the way of a falling rock in Futaba’s palace. You can say that those are just scenes and aren’t canon, but her being the one in that situation has to mean something. Her S-link also treats the romance part like a bit of an aside.

3) Futaba’s S-link directly takes on the romance option. However, a lot of the interactions are more brother and sister than romantic.

4) Haru is probably the most upset if you turn her down for a romance. However, there’s really nothing else to indicate that she’d be the canon love interest.

My opinion? If there is one, it’s probably Makoto, because of the focus that she gets in the game itself and because of those extra scenes. Futaba would work as well, but the relationship with her and Sojiro really seems like Nanako and Dojima 2.0, so making that the canon romance might be a little awkward. I’ve always found Ann to have more chemistry with Ryuji, and again there is little in story to indicate that Joker and Ann might be interested in each other. And Haru comes across as too minor a character to make the canon romance. And the other, non-party S-links are too easily ignored to count as canon romances.

That being said, unless and until we get expanded universe works that make one of them canon, the Persona series has been incredibly good about making each love interest viable, which means that you can pick the one that makes the most sense for you and the story/character you are playing, even if that happens to be Haru. So go on with your own waifu … and leave mine alone [grin].

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