Why Maruki’s Arc Plot is Flawed


Persona 5 Royal is a great game, introducing three new confidants that weren’t previously in the base game. These three confidants are Takuto Maruki, Sumire Yoshizawa, and Goro Akechi. Maruki has the councilor arcana, Sumire the faith arcana, and Akechi the justice arcana. Takuto Maruki is introduced into the game as a counselor for Shujin Academy after Kamoshida was exposed for his wrongdoings by the Phantom Thieves. During his counseling sessions, Maruki explains how he’s working on a research paper for his studies in cognitive science and asks if you would be willing to help him conduct his research. 

However, there is one plot hole that falls here. On New Year’s Day, the protagonist decides to go to the Temple with Sumire, but after he wakes up and goes downstairs; he’s met by his cat in the form of a human. When the protagonist does end up going to the temple it is suspiciously quiet, and he runs into the rest of the Phantom Thieves. Furthermore, one of the members of the Phantom’s Thieves parents is somehow alive, despite being seen dying. It turns out, Maruki has warped reality so that nothing has gone wrong at all, and everyone is living what he thinks is their best lives. For example, without the death of the members’ parents, they would have fallen into a period of depression and wouldn’t have become friends with the protagonist. In another situation, one of the members did not break their leg, so the track team didn’t fall apart and he wouldn’t have been such good friends with the protagonist because they wouldn’t have bonded over the hatred of the man who broke their leg. 

The problem with this plot is that if Maruki truly gave everyone what they wished for in this warped reality, it would leave a huge room for conflict. The idea that Maruki gives everyone is that dreams are to be clashed and cancel each other out. Iif Maruki sided with one dream, it would leave the other out. Throughout the game, there is this a character, Masayoshi Shido, that takes extreme measures to become the Prime Minister of Japan, but if one of the people Shido employed and worked with wished to win the position of prime minister, Maruki would be inclined to make that come true because of his morals. However, Shido probably ALSO wishes he was the prime minister of Japan. In this case, who would Maruki make the prime minister if there were two people who wanted a one-position job?

 To further my point, I bring up another plot hole brought up with the character Goro Akechi. Goro Akechi is a detective that has been investigating the Phantom Thieves and acts as an antagonist in Persona 5. During an Akechi cutscene, he confesses that he actually hates the protagonist, so if Goro wished that the protagonist didn’t exist, and the protagonist wished that Akechi didn’t exist those wishes would cancel each other out. If Maruki were to choose one over the other then it would create a loophole of canceling out Finally, what if someone just flat out wished they didn’t exist? How would Maruki approach that situation?  And if one of the Phantom Thieves wished that Maruki wasn’t the counselor of Shujin or wished that Maruki didn’t take over the world, would Maruki just step down? Or would he warp reality so that they had never thought that in the first place? Theoretically, if that was their only wish, Maruki wouldn’t be able to do anything about it but make it come true, but why would Maruki sacrifice his position for that.

These situations cannot happen for the game to progress, but it does have the player wondering what would happen to the game if they did.