|“||It's my turn to help out.||„|
|~ Futaba Sakura, Persona 5|
Futaba Sakura is a playable character from Persona 5.
- Persona 5: Main Character; Navigator; Hermit Cooperation
Futaba is a bespectacled girl with long bright orange hair and purple eyes. She wears large black circular glasses, and she is always seen wearing big headphones.
Her default outfit consists of multiple layers; she wears an off-shoulder white top with a red blood-like pattern on her chest with five white asterisks (*****) in the "blood", a black tank top underneath, a dark green jacket with a faux fur trimmed hood, black short shorts, black thigh highs and black knee-high boots.
Her burglar 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.
|“||We're gonna take them down...! Super move! Ultraaaa Charge!||„|
|~ Futaba Sakura, Persona 5|
With a case of social anxiety bordering on mild agoraphobia, Futaba is strongly discomfited by going outside, instead choosing to adopt a hikikomori lifestyle and communicating with the world remotely via the internet. However, even then, Futaba still encounters a lot of hate, anger, negativity and vitriol online. When she does go outside, she usually hides behind the protagonist so that she won't be seen in public, or wears masks to conceal her identity so that no one is able to recognize her. Her room acts as a sanctuary and a refuge from the chaos and noise of the outside world. She plays video games as means of fantasy, role-playing and escapism, but even then, this activity is starting to grow mundane and repetitive to Futaba.
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 develop a much more helpful personality than average, one who only desires Futaba's happiness.
However, she 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 Morgana and Yusuke Kitagawa.
Futaba is very talented in technology, and has an obsession with computers. She is also a skilled coder and hacker. This comes across in the design of her Persona, Necronomicon, which is a UFO, which she sits inside. Necronomicon could be symbolic of her "alienation" from everyone, as it is believed UFOs contain aliens who monitor humanity, yet rarely intervene, similar to how Futaba watches and interacts with humanity through a computer screen.
Futaba is a genius in computing, programming and hacking. However, a car incident that cost her mother, Wakaba Isshiki, her life causes Futaba to become a shut-in. Her relatives who have an eye on Wakaba's legacy blame the prodigy programmer based on Wakaba's suspicious testament. She has not attended school ever since graduating middle school. By her age, she should have been a first year student in high school. Wakaba's close friend, Sojiro Sakura has adopted Futaba and changed her surname to be his.
By the time of the game, her depression has worsened into outright suicidal impulses, and her desire for her own death causes a Palace to form in which the Sphinx, the representation of her self-loathing and belief that her mother's spirit hates her, fights Shadow Futaba for control of her mind.
Futaba finds out that the protagonist and his friends are the Phantom Thieves by listening to their conversation in Cafe Le Blanc through the bug she placed there. Knowing her own impulses and realizing she has to stop, Futaba sends a message to the protagonist under the alias Alibaba, asking him to steal her heart and in exchange she will help them deal with a group of hackers known as Medjiedo who are declaring war against the Phantom Thieves. However, when the protagonist demands more information, Futaba realizes that in order to steal her heart, they need to know more about her so Futaba cancels her request and promises she won't sell them out.
When the Medjiedo starts to get worse, the Phantom Thieves decide to ask for her help and after putting together the pieces of fact, Makoto correctly deduces that Alibaba is in fact Futaba herself. When visiting Sojiro's house, they find out she also lives there so they directly ask her about herself to get the keyword into the Palace. Since they do not force her to come out and allow her to communicate through chat, Futaba agrees to make the deal with them once more. Under her Shadow's guidance, Futaba enters her own Palace where she's forced to face her own fear as her Shadow urges her to remember her mother's death. Remembering that her mother's death was unnatural and realizing she has been deluding herself, Futaba awakens her Persona power and helps the party defeat the cognitive existence of her mother that she created.
After the battle at her own Palace, Futaba holds her end of the bargain, hacking into Medjiedo's website to stop them from further bothering the Phantom Thieves. She finally comes out from her shell, starts to go outside by regularly visiting Cafe Le Blanc, interacting with the protagonist and his friends and eventually joining the Phantom Thieves of Hearts to find the culprit truly responsible for her mother's death.
If the player can't complete her Palace in time, the police come to arrest the protagonist with charges of extortion and suspicion of being a member of the Phantom Thieves. This scenario is a false recollection made by the protagonist during Sae Niijima's interrogation, due to his mind being addled by drugs he was forcefully administered by the police. Sae proceeds to leave the room to give the protagonist time to recover, at which point Goro Akechi takes the opportunity to assassinate him.
- Futaba's name may be a reference to the Futaba Channel (also known as 2chan), an imageboard in Japan that inspired the popular English-language imageboard 4chan. As a hikikomori, Futaba could be seen as representing the Internet or otaku culture.
- Her life issue is a bit similar to Nanako Dojima, as both of them can't overcome their mother's death during their initial encounter with the protagonists.
- Futaba shares the same Ultimate Persona, Prometheus, with Baofu from Persona 2: Eternal Punishment whose Japanese voice actor, Jouji Nakata, also voiced Futaba's guardian, Sojiro Sakura.
- The allusion to Baofu also extends to the fact that she performs computer hacking and wiretapping which are important to the main plots of both games.