If you’ve played Persona 5 you’ll know that, aside from a few notable exceptions, Tokyo’s cops are kid-torturing assholes. So it’s little wonder that in the game’s kinda-sequel, the Phantom Thieves have no time for them.
By virtue of the original game’s youthful, rebellious themes, the police are framed throughout Persona 5 as authoritative villains, but also a group to at least be respected and feared. Now that they’ve grown a little older, saved the world and dethroned God, our heroes have, uh, a wider perspective on things, and couldn’t give two shits what some stuffy cops think of their ability to change hearts and kick ass. And I love it.
An early plot beat in Strikers involves Zenkichi, a member of the Kyoto Prefectural Police, snooping around the Phantom Thieves, trying to coerce them gently into either giving themselves up or assisting his own investigation. As an adult, he thinks he can just walk his way into the room and boss these kids around, but they are having none of it.
OK! Let me pause here for a second and say that, while I’ve struggled with Persona 5 Strikers for various reasons (which I’ve gone into elsewhere), one thing I’ve noticed and really enjoyed is Haru’s great redemption tour. When I ranked Persona 5's confidants back in 2017, I had her near the bottom of the list, saying:
Much like Persona 5 itself lingers one Palace too long, it also adds an extra party member towards the end where no more were needed. Haru’s story may be tragic, but there is absolutely nothing compelling about her personality or tale unless you are really into knitwear.
I take it all back. Some time away from the latter-stages grind of Persona 5 and her own bad times has given this girl wings, and she’s now one of my favourite cast members of the new game. Not just because of how she treats cops, but then, it’s also because of how she—justifiably, given the events of Persona 5!— treats cops.
Fair! I can’t and won’t speak to how this all shakes out, since that would be a spoiler, but at the start of this game at least, the kids are alright.