[Persona 5] The Scammer: Chihaya Mifune - Road to Redemption

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3 years ago

Out of Persona 5's Confidants, Chihaya Mifune isn't my favorite, but she holds a special place. She's the youngest (and the cutest) out of the adult female confidants in the game. (Not as adorable as the youngest girls.) She has special powers, a good story and she's one of the most useful Confidants in the game, especially in the Royal version.

Chihaya works as a fortune teller & she gives pretty accurate predictions. Fitting as she represents Fortune Arcana in Persona 5's Confidant system. Her dialogue with Joker offers some foreshadowing about the game's story. Too subtle to notice in the first playthrough though...

She first meets Joker when he goes to ask for a Fortune-telling session. He and Morgana heard about her accurate predictions and tested them out. Upon the first meeting, shehe predicts that he'll get 5000 yen that day. (He does.) She also predicts that his current path will lead to death. (It would.) She offers Joker a Holy Stone to save his life, which he refuses at first. He comes back for it after her first prediction became true. Only to be scammed for 100,000 yen for a piece of salt!!

After that Joker helps her change the course of one of her customer's fate. Showing her that fate could be changed. They make a deal to help her with her customers in exchange for predicting things for him. (She introduces him to her regulars as her apprentice.)

Chihaya Confidant is probably the most expensive one in the game. As it requires money to start. Going to Mementos at different times to help the customers. It's both time and resources consuming, but the benefits of the confidant could easily break the game.

Her divination helps with money, relationships, social stats other stuff. In Persona 5 Royal, it can even trigger the velvet room's Fusion Alert outside of the dungeons.

The irony of these words~

After some point in Chihaya Mifune's confidant story, she realizes that Joker does have the power to change fate. He says completely normal stuff and fate changes. She begins opening herself to him more, telling him about the fortune-telling organization she's part of. The one behind the Holy Stone business!

Chihaya was born in a snowy village. As a child, she predicted a disaster after another with great accuracy. Praised for it at first, she was declared a monster by the villagers, accused of being the cause of the village's misfortune. She believed she was cursed. After moved to Tokyo, a kind chairman found her, assured her that her powers are real, saved her using his Holy Stones, and made her the maiden of the organization.

After meeting Joker, she realized that the Holy Stones don't work. Chihaya decides to give back all the money she scammed asked from customers for her services. That made her quotas take a hit, but she vowed to help everybody who was scammed by her and the organization.

As she tried to stop the business, Chihaya discovered that the Holy Stones weren't their main source of profit. The organization makes its money through seminars. From MLM fraud to drugging/brainwashing the members. The chairman finds desperate people and makes profit off them. She wanted to stop him herself, but Joker interferes before she becomes another target!

Joker defeated the chairman's shadow which made him turn himself in and admit to all responsibility for everything the organization has done. (You know, just another day for the Phantom Thieves.) I believe that's when Chihaya realized that this guy in front of her is the Phantom Thieves' Joker.

The loss of the chairman made the organization executives worry. Their savior is no longer there, and their maiden told them she was wrong about the power of Holy Stones. They demanded her to come back to her senses and accused Joker of brainwashing her. Chihaya got so pissed at them she started a stress-filled speech in her country-dialect.

"Whether yer gonna be miserable or not's all on yer shoulders! You don't need some divine power mumbo jumbo to be changin' yer fate! Y'all got that strength in yerselves! Fortune tellin' can't hold a candle to honest-to-goodness willpower! And heck, even if things're bad now, it'll all be fine so long as you keep yer heads up!" -- Chihaya Mifune

What I love about Chihaya's story is that she starts as one of the worst kind of people: "Scam artists." But she thought she was doing the right thing at first. By the time she suspected that her Holy Stones aren't very effective, she was too deep in the scamming business to get out.

I suspect many scammers in real life started similarly. (Even if most are there for the wrong reasons.) They got too deep in the lifestyle, that they lost all hope of becoming better people.

Chihaya only tried to get away when presented with clear evidence: "The path she's walking on is wrong!" What she did after realizing that is admirable. She returned the money to every customer she scammed. She worked to free the people from her agency who were like her. Now she uses her powers to advise people on how to change their future.

After all, only those who aren't so confident with themselves will turn to ask for their future to be foretold. You just need to give them a push, a chance for them to improve their willpower. A helping hand...

Fortune telling might (or not) work in real life. It does work in Persona 5's world. We learn in Chihaya's story that "Fate is not absolute." Some will power and a/or magical world maneuvering can change fate. The girl who thought scamming is her only way of life has become a full-fledged fortune-teller who uses her fate readings to help people fix their fate.

If there's one thing you can learn from Chihaya Confidant story: No matter how far in bad you've gone, you can change back to the good person you wish you were.

What do you think?

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