Spoilers for Persona 5: Strikers.
Until I’ve completed the game, I’ll refrain from writing hundreds of words about this particular topic until I’ve got the content and knowledge to back it up. But this week, upon completing the second jail of the game, Yusuke Kitagawa has captured my attention. He is, easily, the best Phantom Thief.
Yusuke is all about art.
The community frequently squabbles about Yusuke’s introduction to the Phantom Thieves in Persona 5/Royal and I’ll admit, I wasn’t exactly endeared by the character at first. But things aren’t as cut and dry as casual viewers may assume. There is nothing Yusuke cares more about than his passion for art. His conflicts stem from the manipulation of his sensei Madarame, who took Yusuke in and (put simply) tutored him in the visual arts. With complete access to his students’ talents, Madarame used him to further his own fame and fortune, all the while claiming he was suffering from an artists block.
Long story short, after an elaborate plot by the original Thieves to break into Madarame’s store room, controversially involving Ann “stripping”, Yusuke sees the deception by his sensei and takes a stand.
Yusuke’s role is considerably minor when compared to the other Thieves
Yusuke’s talents lie firmly in creating and interpreting art. His mind is key when analysing palaces, and he duplicates skill cards with his confidant, but outside of this, Yusuke might be considered one of the Thieves’ more ‘minor’ members. He served to anchor the Thieves. Where Makoto and Morgana serve as the PT’s voices of strategy, Yusuke’s is seemingly one of wisdom (if maybe a little whimsical at times). Because of this, it is easy to overlook his precense, or even call it unnecessary. Of all the PTs, Yusuke sits with Haru as the least utilized.
But Yusuke shines brightly in Strikers.
Yusuke’s handling of Ango Natsune was downright inspiring.