“Looks like it’s finally gonna start raining for real tonight.” — Chie
Today’s entry is brought to you from a 24-hour bakery/coffee shop that is far too nice to be open for 24 hours. It’s a relatively recent discovery of mine, especially considering that it’s a literal two-minute walk from my front door. This is a place that will sell me sandwiches and white hot chocolate at any time. I, unlike Yu, have free reign to stay out as late as I want. Whenever I want. Consequences be damned.
Consequences are an emerging theme of this series, as Yu dodges his responsibilities at every turn. We’ve seen him struggle to find jobs, friends, god — all in the name of willful denial. Yukiko needs saving. Investigation team, go!
Close your eyes. Just get through the day. School is boring. We get it. Close your eyes. Wait for lunch. Avoid everybody at lunch. Close your eyes. Leave school as soon as you can. Go buy a new sword. Go into the TV. Rescue Yukiko.
Listen, Yumi. Here’s the thing. The first drama class was… intense. I need a little space. You get that, right? I’ll make it to the next practice. Promise. We good? Good? Good.
And Yu can finally breathe a sigh of relief. The calm, cool, collected exterior he works so hard to maintain is crumbling under pressure. The rain is coming. After the rain, the fog. And when the fog comes, you can try as hard as you want, but you’re bound to get lost in it (sorry, sorry, sorry).
Almost through lunch! …shit.
Kou! Buddy! Don’t think I’ve forgotten about you! I’m planning on making the next dunk sesh, for sure. I’ve just got a… uh… thing. A thing I need to do. Sorry, I’m talking too much. Catch you later!
Next up, the metalworks. This goes swimmingly. For a guy who’s only smart enough to make envelopes alone in his room, Yu is quite probably the richest high-schooler in Inaba. He buys some new armor, and the aforementioned new sword. From there, we speed over to…
The Velvet Room, where Yu registers his Personas and talks to Marie a little bit. Elizabeth suggests that Yu should take Marie out on the town sometime. Noted, Elizabeth. Unfortunately, today isn’t the day for such frivolity. Cut to…
The Junes food court! Chie, Yosuke, Yu. Everyday’s great when you’re with friends. (If you just read that line aloud to the Junes jingle melody, then you’re as qualified as I am to be writing this right now.)
As fearlessly as we’ve tread before, let us tread again. Into the television! And to Yukiko!
…okay, so. Bad news.
Well, wait. Bad news is a little harsh. Good news! The Investigation Team made it to the top floor of the castle. They stood outside the final, largest, meanest door. Yukiko was right there. So why didn’t Yu go in?
Because Yu is smart.
Yu has spent this last week running. He’s tried to drown out the fear with frivolous pleasures. In a lot of ways, Yu seems scared of growing up. He’d rather hang out at basketball practice than fulfill his destiny. And that’s fine! That’s not something you should be able to criticize! No matter what JRPGs might have you believe, it’s not easy being a teen with a dangerous responsibility. People have their weaker moments. If Yu never had a weak moment, Yu wouldn’t be human.
So, then, let’s examine the gap between what Yu wants to do in this moment, and what he decides to do. Yu wants to open that door and save Yukiko. Fair point. He’s a sensitive person, and he wants to help. He’s also feeling really, really guilty. That is a potent cocktail called “Bad Decisions.”
Yu gets this. He’s sensitive, but more than that, he’s self-aware. He can stop himself from making Bad Decisions. Bursting into that room? Trying to face Yukiko’s Shadow? While Chie and Yosuke are exhausted? While he’s exhausted too? Just because he feels bad?
No fucking way. Yu only has one shot at this, and he’s going to make that shot count. He has to swallow his heroic impulses and return home early.
Nanako is there, watching the TV, like always. Dojima isn’t home, like always. That sense of dread is creeping back into his brain. Did he make a mistake? Will Yukiko die before the fog settles?
Yu decides there’s only one way to clear his mind. A real long shot. He opens the fridge.
There’s something in the fridge! White miso! But…
…ugh. Sick joke from the gods. But you know what? If the gods are going to treat Yu like this, then he’s going to match them. Serve it up. Self-destruction never felt so good.
I leave you, dear reader, with the immediate aftermath. A culmination of everything I’ve written thus far, in a way. This is Persona 4, in five acts.
I just ran out of hot chocolate, so I think I’ll get some sleep, too.