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|“||Risking our lives to stop rotten adults! That's why we're Phantom Thieves!||„|
|~ Futaba Sakura|
Futaba Sakura is a major character in the video game Persona 5. She is a hikikomori (the Japanese term for shut-in), the adoptive daughter of Sojiro Sakura, and the biological daughter of Wakaba Isshiki. She initially approaches the Phantom Thieves of Hearts to get them to steal her distorted heart, which caused her to manifest a Palace. After her heart is stolen, she joins the Thieves as their new Navigator, in order to learn the truth behind her mother's death. Her initial Persona is Necronomicon and her Ultimate Persona is Prometheus.
She is voiced by Aoi Yuuki in the Japanese version of the anime, and by Erica Lindbeck in the English version of the anime.
Futaba is a bespectacled girl with hip length black hair dyed bright orange. Her brown eyes also seem to have some faint purple tones in them, appearing mauve. She wears large black circular glasses, and she is always seen wearing a set of AKG K845BT headphones with red earpads. She seems to be very short, even compared to other girls.
Her casual winter outfit consists of multiple layers; she wears an off-shoulder white top with a red splatter-like pattern on her chest with five white asterisks (*****) which are reminiscent of a passport input system in the red splatter, a black tank top underneath that, a dark green jacket with a faux fur trimmed hood, black short shorts, black thigh highs and black knee-high boots. The green jacket has A.F.K. on the back (for "away from keyboard"), although it is difficult to see because of Futaba's long hair.
Her casual summer outfit consists of a black tank top with a Tetris image in front, with a green tank top underneath. She wears grey baggy pants with black laces on the bottom, and green sneakers.
Her nightwear outfit consists of a black shirt with "JLMK!" (presumably "just let me know") over a white-and-black striped long sleeve shirt and the black short shorts she wears with her winter outfit.
Her Metaverse costume consists of a skintight black bodysuit with fluorescent neon green glowing strips and matching black boots with neon green soles. Her mask is a pair of big black goggles with orange lenses. This outfit was inspired by sci-fi movies like Tron.
With a case of social anxiety bordering on agoraphobia, combined with the trauma of losing her mother Wakaba Isshiki, Futaba is strongly discomfited by going outside. When first introduced, she is a hikikomori who does not attend school and almost never leaves her room. She communicates with the world remotely via the Internet, and her adoptive father Sojiro enables her lifestyle out of guilt that he could not protect her from trauma. Having disconnected herself from humanity and the world beyond her apartment, Futaba is lonely, lives without passion and enthusiasm, suffers from suicidal depression, and questions the point in her living. When first encountered, Futaba is so consumed with self-loathing that she suppresses her desire to live, causing her Shadow Self to represent her positive thoughts rather than her negative ones. When she first leaves her room after her change of heart, she tends to hide behind the protagonist so that she won't be seen in public, or wears masks which make it impossible to identify her. Her room acts as a sanctuary and a refuge from the chaos and noise of the outside world. Her Arcana is the Hermit, which fits with her desire for isolation and instinctive need to push people away from her.
Futaba begins to change after meeting the protagonist and the other Phantom Thieves, opening up to them more and becoming more relaxed around them. Once she's truly comfortable around others, she shows her childish side and likes teasing her friends, particularly Ryuji, Yusuke and Morgana, and sometimes Makoto as well. Although she still has occasional anxiety and odd habits, she comes off as bright, playful and cheerful when with her newfound friends. However, due to being socially inept, Futaba is often extremely blunt, to the point that she seems to have no concept of tactfulness. An example of this is when she insults Mishima by calling him an "NPC" due to his "overwhelming forgettable appearance" and "generic speech style," and says that it would be worse to lie about what he is. She also has a rather ruthless side to her; not only does she have zero qualms with hacking, to the point of bugging the protagonist's phone so she can keep an eye on them during their trip to Hawaii but she cares little for the group's main goal of reforming society; she only wants to find out the truth behind her mother's death, and get revenge on the ones responsible, which she admits is an extremely personal reason. Makoto even states at one point that she's glad she's on their side, with fear of what she'd do if she was their enemy.
Even before her mother's death, Futaba was quite a lonely child growing up. Part of this was due to her isolation for being a genius, with other students thinking she was a freak due to her eidetic memory (things she's reminded of when she's given a tour of Shujin), while the other part was due to her mother working long hours to support her, meaning the two hardly ever got to spend time together. It got to the point where Futaba would sometimes think her mother cared more about her research than she did about her, an insecurity that only worsened when her mother died and she was read the fake suicide note. Because of her desire for her mother to be alive again, and the belief that she deserves to die, Futaba ended up creating a Palace where her mother wants her dead. With the help of the Phantom Thieves, however, she realises that the suicide note was forged and manages to remember the real Wakaba. Futaba is also very fond of sushi and Sojiro's curry, both of which were meals she shared with her mother.
Despite being easily the least physically fit member of the Phantom Thieves, to the point that she often sleeps for days at a time, Futaba is also, by a wide margin, the least stereotypically feminine of the female members; she almost always dresses in boy's clothes, seems to have zero domestic skills (judging by her extremely messy room and her frequently eating instant noodles), is obsessed with computers (if the protagonist claims he built his own PC, she asks for details on the GPU, CPU, RAM, etc.), often plays video games, which she sees as a form of escapism, is into sci-fi, as shown by her Phantom Thief suit and her Persona being a UFO, and shows a very perverted side at times, commenting on the other girls' thief suits and the size of Ann's breasts. She is also shown to be heavily reliant on the Internet; she doesn't see the point in going shopping since you can buy anything online and even claims that she can use the Internet as a substitute for going to school. Her lack of refinement is evident in the fact that she addresses Sojiro by his given name, which is considered very impolite in Japan even in the case of adoptive paternal figures. This is probably due to the fact that she has known him her entire life as her mother's close friend, or simply due to her lack of social skills. Sojiro refers to himself as her father, and while he never insists on her calling him "Dad," he becomes very pleased when she begins to occasionally.
Futaba also has a soft spot for cats, a trait she shares with Sojiro, and when she realises Morgana is a part of the Phantom Thieves, she begins teasing him regularly. She is a fan of the show Phoenix Ranger Featherman R as evidenced by her posters and figurine collection and is quite upset when they are fiddled with without her permission, as Yusuke discovers when allowed into her room during the Thieves' attempts to get around her social anxiety. While the resultant argument ends happily, this does cause Yusuke and her to get off on the wrong foot, and she is easily irritated by him. Likewise, Yusuke makes several disses at Futaba. As a result of their constant bickering, Futaba usually calls him "Inari". Nevertheless, they are very close friends, with Yusuke being very considerate regarding her slow growth. Makoto also notes that Futaba has little problem talking to people as long as the subject interests her; the reason she couldn't talk to her normally at first is because she brought up mundane topics like food and the weather, the latter of which means nothing to Futaba since she had been a shut-in for the past few months.
- Her codename Oracle is a reference to Barbara Gordon, who, like Futaba, is a bespectacled super-intelligent red-haired girl with multiple computers.
- Futaba is also extremely similar to Frau Koujiro:
- Both are introduced as hikikomoris, which they became after an incident involving their mother.
- Both are very sloppy and have extremely messy, dark rooms.
- Both know how unhealthy their lifestyle is, but feel trapped in it due to serious trust issues.
- Both are genius computer hackers.
- Both are socially inept and frequently speak in Internet slang.
- Both dye their hair.
- Both are the youngest members of their respective groups.
- Both have a perverted side (though Frau's is much more blatant).
- Both attempt suicide, but are stopped upon learning that there are people who care for them.
- Both have a goal separate from that of the rest of the group's i.e. to learn the truth behind their mother's disappearance/death.
- Her life issue is fairly similar to that of Nanako Dojima, as both of them can't overcome their mother's death during their initial encounter with the protagonists. Additionally, both are treated as a little sister by every member of the team, unless Ren chooses to date her. Unlike Futaba, however, Nanako never becomes part of the protagonist organisation.
- Her father was never seen or mentioned, suggesting that Futaba's parents are divorced or that the man died.
Persona 4 Arena