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|“||You know what? I'm not some cheap girl you can toy with, you scumbag. You stole everything from Shiho. You destroyed her. Now it's your turn! I will rob you of everything!||„|
|~ Ann to Kamoshida, after awakening to her Persona|
Ann Takamaki, also known as Panther, is one of the main protagonists and party members in the video game Persona 5. Ann is a quarter-American teenage girl who has lived much of her life abroad; a second-year student at Shujin Academy; and one of the founding members of the Phantom Thieves of Hearts. She joins the group to get revenge on Suguru Kamoshida for the sexual abuse of her friend Shiho Suzui, which led to her attempting suicide. Her initial Persona is Carmen and her Ultimate Persona is Hecate.
She is voiced by Nana Mizuki in the Japanese version, and by Erika Harlacher in the English version.
Ann has bright blue eyes and ash blonde wavy hair styled in bushy pigtails, with parted side bangs on the right side of her face. She accessorizes with a single yellow hair clip above her left ear, as well as small circular earrings on both ears. It is implied she is of mixed ethnicity; her surname is Japanese implying partial Japanese descent, she mentions she used to live in Finland possibly implying she is of Finnish descent, and her profile mentions she is 1/4 American. She is a relatively tall young woman, standing taller than both Haru and Makoto, who are both a full year older than her.
Her winter school uniform is modified to fit her taste; the standard black blazer over a white varsity-like hoodie worn long to cover most of her short plaid skirt. Her hoodie has a zipper, a red stripe between two blue stripes at the bottom, and S symbol near the front bottom on one side, and a green four-leaf-clover symbol on the back of the hood. She wears red tights and brown boots with yellow laces. Her summer school uniform is a white shirt with a blue jacket wrapped on her waist and the skirt is more visible. She has black socks with white lining and dark brown shoes. Her hairpin is now red instead of yellow and she wears a silver necklace. Her summer casual clothes consists of a black tank top with "U2O" on it over a white shirt, with red sunglasses hanging from the middle of her chest. She wears blue denim short shorts with a red plaid shirt wrapped around her waist, black cropped socks, and red sneakers. Her winter casual clothes consists of a lavender blue button shirt covered with a red and white jersey jacket with an S symbol near the front bottom on one side. She has a white skirt, black leggings, and red converse shoes. She wears big red round earrings. Her thief outfit consists of a skin tight red latex catsuit worn with a matching red panther mask, cleavage cutout, zippers, pink gloves, dark red thigh-high boots, and has a clipped on tail in he back.
In Persona 5: Dancing Star Night, she has bright pink highlighting on each pigtail and retain some part of her Shujin Academy school uniform except she wears a red long sleeved shirt that reached above her stomach, red fingerless gloves, fishnet stockings, and red sneakers. She wears a pair of silver headphones around her neck, a black basketball hat, light-blue nail-polish, golden hoops earrings, a spike bracelet on her left wrist, two matching gold bracelets on each wrist, and a pink bracket on her right wrist.
|“||Are you really a bad person as the rumour says?....You just don't seem like it.||„|
|~ Ann to the Phantom, seeing past the rumours spread about him|
Ann is a very kind, sweet and compassionate girl, enough for it to be noted by both Morgana and Sojiro. Years of isolation due to her looks has left her very withdrawn and with a belief she's lost her place in the world, but that doesn't stop her from opening up to the people close to her and making jokes. This is because she's learned not to care what other people think of her, a lesson taught to her by Shiho Suzui, who was her only friend before joining the Phantom Thieves. She is shown to be a good judge of character, as she was the first person able to look past the rumours of the protagonist and see him for who he really is (while Ryuji befriended him before her, it was because he saw him as just another "troublemaker" and didn't learn his full story until later). Her good judgement of others is also shown by her willingness to forgive Makoto after learning her side of the story in the Kamoshida incident, namely that she wanted to do something but felt powerless to stop him, having realised it wasn't too different from her own situation. She also comforts Makoto when she calls herself "scum of the Earth" due to her failure to help Kamoshida's victims, saying that if she really was scum, she wouldn't call herself such.
As a Phantom Thief, Ann becomes far more lively and energetic with a stronger will to never be used or abused again like a subservient slave. The reason she agrees with Ryuji's desire to help those in need is because she believes that if she doesn't, she'll go back to being the same as she was before; although she understands that Kamoshida is ultimately the one at fault for what happened to Shiho, she can't help but feel partially responsible herself, due to the fact that she kept pushing Shiho to keep with the volleyball team despite the effect it was having on her. She also believes that she should have dared Kamoshida to take Shiho off the team when he threatened, as he wouldn't have done anything that would risk costing him games, but ultimately feels that she didn't believe in Shiho's ability. She also reacts better to being told that she may be right rather than she can't blame herself, implying that she prefers people to be honest rather than sympathetic. Her Confidant deals largely with Ann's attempt to become a stronger person and come to terms with her guilt.
Because of her kindness, Ann initially acts as the Thieves' sole "moral centre," i.e. the only one to never lose sight of the bigger picture. While Morgana only cares about restoring his true form and Ryuji often gets worked up over becoming famous, albeit in order to give people courage, Ann acts as the common sense of the group, considering helping people to be the number one priority and often wondering whether what they're doing can actually be considered right. She's also the one to suggest the "unanimous decision" rule, since she didn't like the idea of just picking a target at random. Despite all of this, Ann can also be rather sarcastic when annoyed or upset, particularly during her early encounters with Makoto, and isn't even above using profanity when pushed over the edge. Additionally, although she spares Kamoshida's life so he can confess his crimes and atone, she reveals later that she did it not out of kindness, but so he would end up suffering and begging for forgiveness for the rest of his life, which she considers to be a fate worse than death, much to Ryuji's shock.
Ann's hobbies include shopping and playing video games, and she in particular considers the former to be "a great stress reliever." When Futaba points out that you can buy anything online, Ann is shocked and says that "seeing and feeling it are the most important parts." She also has a massive sweet tooth and love for food such as cake and has a weakness for crepe special menus like "extra extra cream." It gets to the point that she will sometimes eat nothing but dessert and neglect normal meals. However, she dislikes carbonated drinks and seems to prefer soy milk over cow milk.
While not as bad as Ryuji, Ann is rather book dumb, doing poorly in every subject except English, which she mainly aces due to being bilingual. She can also be rather air-headed, particularly when it comes to her attempts to "strengthen her heart." Nevertheless, Ann is very smart in her own right; in addition to being a good judge of character, she also has a keen eye for detail, such as when she senses anger and frustration coming from a painting at Madarame's exhibit, and finds it hard to believe such a "cheerful and gentlemanly" man could have painted such a piece. Ultimately, she figures out that it was actually painted by Yusuke, who gave it to Madarame to pass off as his own. She's also the one to figure out that Haru and the Beauty Thief are one and the same due to their similar features, something even the far more book smart Makoto wasn't able to do. On a side-note, her acting skills are noted to be terrible, yet somehow fool people often. In Mementos, she reveals that her poor grades are actually the result of a lack of willingness to study, saying that whenever she tries, she ends up playing games instead.
In the beginning of the game, Ann has a modelling side-job as a hobby, although she doesn't want to make a living out of it just yet, as she is unsure how serious she wants to take it. Despite this and being generally confident about her body and physical appearance, Ann becomes flustered and embarrassed when she is forced into a situation that exposes her skin without her prior consent or desire. She has a tendency to mock or prank people who are ogling her, like Ryuji, and is disgusted with the idea of being used as a nude model for Yusuke's art. Ann can't stand it when people superficially value her for her body and nothing else, as if she is a thin-shelled, hollow doll with nothing on the inside or no other redeeming qualities. She is also embarrassed by her Phantom Thief outfit at first, believing the tail is the only fine part of it, and commenting that she could never wear something like it out in public. Ann also vehemently rejects the Phantom's attempt to give her a "classy cat burglar" codename, instead deciding on the name "Panther," as it sounds "more ferocious." Her outfit is implied to be inspired by an anime Ann watched, in which she admired a "sexy" villain who was strong and confident, and took whatever she wanted whenever she wanted. In Mementos, she states that she likes using whips, and has gotten pretty good at handling one, before adding that she's not sure if that's something to be proud of. Ryuji even compares her to a dominatrix.
- Ann acts as a contrast to Yukari Takeba. Both have a Persona of the Lovers Arcana, are the first female member the protagonist meets in the game, have an interest in fashion and are in the same class and age group as the protagonist. However:
- Yukari is a model student who makes friends quite easily, but is afraid to let anyone get too close to her with fear that they'll find out about her shady past. Ann, on the other hand, is isolated by everyone, doesn't make friends easily but opens up to the people close to her.
- Yukari gets average grades in nearly all subjects, while Ann does poorly in most subjects but aces English.
- Yukari made a choice to live alone, as she considered it easier than living with her mother, while Ann lives alone unwillingly due to her parents' job taking them overseas.
- Yukari's parents both play a big role in her story and personality, while Ann's parents are barely even mentioned.
- Yukari is fairly self-absorbed and often fails to consider other people's feelings, while Ann is far more empathetic and can easily connect another's situation to her own.
- Yukari gets extremely angry at Mitsuru Kirijo for keeping secrets from the rest of SEES, to the point of holding a grudge against her for months on end, while Ann immediately forgives Makoto after learning her side of the story in the Kamoshida incident.
- Finally, while both have known Ryuji/Junpei Iori since middle school, Yukari and Junpei have been friends for years despite bickering frequently, while Ann and Ryuji don't truly become friends until they both join the Thieves and, overall, they argue a lot less, with Ann's side being limited to playful teasing.
- Ann's Zodiac sign, Scorpio, which is noted for being a sign representing mysteriousness, may align with the fact that Carmen, her initial Persona, was a gypsy woman who used her charm to win over the hearts of unsuspecting men and then twist them to her will, and her Ultimate Persona, Hecate, was the goddess of magic and witchcraft in Greek mythology.
- Additionally, much like all of the Thieves' starting Personas, Carmen is symbolic with Ann's own story; Carmen foresaw her fate in her cards, namely that she would be killed by a former lover of hers, but accepted her fate as she refused to let herself be controlled by anyone. Similarly, Ann was well aware of the consequences of going against Kamoshida, but did so anyway as she refused to be his slave, which led to Shiho being sexually abused to the point that she attempted suicide.
- Ann's Metaverse outfit is based on Catwoman's costume. When the group are coming up with a codename for her, one of the options Joker can suggest is "Kitty Woman."
Persona 4 Arena