Every now and again it takes a side character to truly touch our hearts. Today, on Father’s Day (ok so it’s actually tomorrow) I want to throw a special shout out to one of those characters. The dad who didn’t have to be a dad, Sojiro Sakura of Persona 5. Lovingly referred to by fans as ‘Coffee Dad’.
Upon starting Persona 5 (or with any knowledge of the two that came directly before it) we know that our protagonist Akira Kurosu is new to town. This time our hero is staying with a family friend, namely Sojiro owner of Café Leblanc.
Sojiro is fairly gruff at first, not exactly trusting our young hero, and who can blame him Akira does have a criminal record after all. After just a few days though he begins showing Aki how to work in the café, this starts a fairly endearing confidant link.
Furthermore as you progress through the story you find that our gruff father figure took another child in as well. When the love of his love Wakaba Isshiki died a rather untimely death he took in her rather troubled daughter Futaba. Now Futaba here was traumatized by the events of her mother’s death, Sojiro still took it upon himself to take her in. At one point he confesses he was afraid of losing her.
Before I started playing this game I had run into the synopsis “Sojiro adopts a cat and seven kids.” It’s true, he lets them all practically live in LeBlanc, they hang out there, they eat there, they leave very conspicuous paintings hanging on the wall there, and eventually he closes the place down so they have a hideout there. Hell that’s more effort then most biological parents in fiction do.
So this rag tag group of teenagers help out Sojiro’s adopted daughter Futaba, befriending her and helping her change her life for the better, and Sojiro instead of getting angry, yelling, or raving he thanked them and offered them his support in return. He also cried the time that Futaba called him ‘dad’. Another warm confession was when he spoke in confidence to Yusuke explaining that he took Akira in “because it was like looking in a mirror” Sojiro in his youth was apparently a lot like our defiant young hero!
So this was just me wanting to give a shout out to Sojiro Sakura the man who not only makes damn good coffee but that adopted a cat and seven kids too. It’s partially in response to his actions that our protagonist is able to smile so freely in the true ending. Thanks Coffee Dad for everything you did.
Also for a little extra Sojiro love this fanfic by MilesAboveFantasy captures him really well: Phantom Dad