Makoto Niijima Guide

Makoto Niijima Guide


Makoto Niijima is one of many Confidants in Persona 5 Royal who represents the Priestess Arcana. Makoto will be met before her formal entry into the Phantom Thieves, but her Confidant will begin shortly after you complete Kaneshiro’s Palace.

Makoto takes the role of the advisor of the Phantom Thieves going under the code name “Queen”, and provides much needed knowledge and direction for the team. Her Confidant is also about exploring her knowledge of the real world, her naivete and learning to express herself confidently. Before we get on with our complete Makoto Niijima guide, here’s a complete overview of this Persona Character.


Makoto Niijima is a 3rd year student at Shujin Academy and she is also the Student Council President. She is intelligent and hardworking, but has low self-esteem and is insecure about her ability to take initiative.

At the start of the series, you will learn of Makoto’s status as the Student Council President as she is assigned to an investigation of the Phantom Thieves.

While she initially tries to do a good job of investigating the Phantom Thieves, she is soon burdened by accusations of her inaction against Kamoshida and a growing problem of students being involved in drug smuggling.

Makoto also has a tense relationship with her older sister, Sae Niijima, who has been pushed into the role of caretaker after their father passed away. The relationship between the two becomes fractured when Sae unintentionally blurts out her view that Makoto is a burden on her life, which pushes Makoto to make herself useful.

The combination of low self-esteem and feeling like a burden push Makoto to make drastic actions in order to prove that she is reliable. Once she becomes a Phantom Thief, her self-esteem improves and she feels more confident now that she has a group of friends that she can rely on.

The Priestess Confidant is about exploring Makoto’s admittance of her lack of real-world experience, changing her viewpoints when talking to others and getting the confidence to stand up for what she believes in

Starting the Priestess Confidant will give Joker access to better combat information when fighting enemies, along with increased support during battle.

Key Moments

Makoto Niijima

Makoto is formally introduced when Shujin Academy’s principal summons her to investigate the Phantom Thieves that “stole” Kamoshida’s heart and have apparently done the same with Madarame. She manages to locate the Thieves and narrow them down to Joker, Ryuji Sakamoto and Ann Takamaki.

She eventually confirms the trio as the Phantom Thieves when Ryuji accidentally mentions it on a phone call to Joker when he is meeting with Makoto in the Student Council Room.

However, as this is coming at the same time Shujin Academy students are starting to unintentionally get involved with drug smuggling. Makoto gathers the Phantom Thieves and asks them to investigate Junya Kaneshiro, the criminal leader in Tokyo.

Awakening Johanna

During a dinner chat with her older sister Sae, Makoto begins to ponder whether their father would have supported the Phantom Thieves.

Sae, who has been burdened by taking care of Makoto and the pressures of her job, snaps at her and unintentionally calls Makoto a burden in her life. While Sae quickly retracts the statement, this affects Makoto due to her low self-esteem.

When Makoto reunites with the Phantom Thieves to track their progress (they have been able to locate Kaneshiro’s Palace but can’t enter), Ann vents her frustrations on Makoto, calling her useless.

This causes Makoto to act rashly and get herself deliberately captured by Kaneshiro’s men. While this reveals Kaneshiro’s location to the Phantom Thieves, this also gives him the ability to blackmail the Phantom Thieves.

In a twist of good fortune, Kaneshiro’s recognition of the Phantom Thieves as “people who owe him money” allows them to enter his Palace. Makoto accompanies them into the Palace and after meeting Shadow Kaneshiro, she is sufficiently angered enough to summon her Persona, Johanna.

Here’s our complete guide to Persona 5 Palaces.

Assisting the Phantom Thieves

After leaving the Palace to regroup, Makoto then joins the group as the advisor of the group, gaining the code name “Queen”. Shortly after, Makoto organizes a meeting with Ann to apologize for her helplessness and previous attitude. Ann takes the opportunity to apologize as well and the two become friends.

With Makoto’s help, the Phantom Thieves are able to steal Kaneshiro’s heart and remove the threat of blackmail.

Makoto’s work with the Phantom Thieves goes without a hitch until a mission concerning Kunikazu Okumura goes wrong and he ends up dying.

Public support for the Phantom Thieves begins to dwindle, and Makoto decides to bring Akechi Goro, the famous detective, as their guest for the school festival in order to strike an alliance with him to save the Phantom Thieves.

Akechi agrees to help the Phantom Thieves and suggests that they target Sae Niijima’s Palace and steal her Treasure, as she is the main investigator trying to track down the Phantom Thieves. As the Phantom Thieves explore Sae’s Palace, Makoto begins to see how her sister truly feels.

Protecting Sae Niijima

Makoto Niijima and Sae

Around the same time, Makoto and the rest of the Phantom Thieves realize that Akechi is using them and plans to betray the team, having lied about getting his own Persona and trying to help the Phantom Thieves. She comes up with the strategy to not only save her sister, but prevent Joker from getting killed by Akechi.

When Shadow Sae is fought and defeated, Makoto tries to change Sae by talking with her Shadow, trying to influence her directly to get her to change.

The plan to save Joker from Akechi succeeds, and the Phantom Thieves turn their attention to Masayoshi Shido, the mastermind controlling Akechi and trying to rule Tokyo unopposed. After Shido’s defeat, she and the rest of the Phantom Thieves fight and take down Yaldabaoth, who is controlling the desires of Tokyo.

Persona 5 Royal

Should the game enter the 3rd semester, Makoto’s desire is to have her father back in their family, with a closer relationship with Sae. She manages to realize her new reality is fake and reunites with the rest of the Phantom Thieves to help Joker and Akechi save Sumire Yoshizawa.

The Phantom Thieves gear up for one more mission to take down Maruki and give everyone the chance to live their own lives.

Persona 5 Strikers

In Persona 5 Strikers, Makoto returns from college to meet with the group after Joker visits from Tokyo. They eventually run into Alice Hiiragi and learn of the reappearance of their powers thanks to the return of the Metaverse (in the form of an app called EMMA) in the form of Jails.

The Phantom Thieves join forces with Sophia, an AI who can summon her own Persona, in order to solve the mystery behind Alice’s Jail.

After defeating Shadow Alice, Makoto and the Phantom Thieves accept Zenkichi Hasegawa’s deal to travel across Japan to take care of Jails that have appeared around the country.

During their travels when the group stops in Kyoto, Makoto is able to bond with Zenkichi’s daughter, Akane, and is able to relate to her as their parents both have a police background and a family member has been forced to become the sole caretaker due to deaths in the family. Makoto’s words eventually get Akane to try to warm up to Zenkichi more.

Eventually, as the group is traveling to Kyoto from Okinawa, Makoto is too tired to drive and is forced to pass the driver role to Haru Okumura, who demonstrates her fast driving skills and makes the Phantom Thieves fear for their lives.

Makoto and the rest of the Phantom Thieves manage to solve the mystery behind Sophia and her relationship with EMMA and stop the being Demiurge from taking over all of Japan.

How to Begin the Priestess Confidant

Makoto Niijima

While Makoto will join your team shortly after entering Kaneshiro’s Palace for the first time, you will not be able to begin the Priestess Confidant until Kaneshiro’s Palace has been completed.

Once Makoto has the time to meet with you, you must have your Knowledge at the Scholarly level (3rd level) before Makoto will begin the Priestess Confidant.

Priestess Confidant Benefits

Starting the Priestess Confidant gives Joker more information during battle while also increasing Makoto’s support options in battle.

  • At Rank 1, the team gains Shadow Calculus, which allows you to see enemy skills and item drops when viewing their information during battle.
  • At Rank 3, Makoto unlocks Black Belt Talk, which gives her a chance to save a failed negotiation with any Shadow associated with martial arts.
  • At Rank 4, you unlock the Follow Up attack for Makoto, which allows her to perform a follow-up attack if Joker hasn’t been able to KO an enemy.
  • At Rank 6, Makoto unlocks Harisen Recovery, which allows her to potentially heal a team member with a status ailment if she has hit an enemy’s weakness, inflicted Technical damage or gotten a Critical.
  • At Rank 7, the team gains Shadow Factorization, which allows the team to see if an enemy Shadow can nullify, drain or repel an attack, though this requires that the team already knows the enemy’s resistances.
  • At Rank 8, Makoto learns Endure, which allows her to withstand a fatal attack with 1 HP.
  • At Rank 9, Makoto learns Protect, which allows her to protect Joker if he is about to take a fatal blow.
  • At Rank 10, Makoto’s Persona Johanna will evolve into Anat and you will be able to gain her New Game Plus item in March.

Guide to the Priestess Confidant

Rank 1

You need your Knowledge to be Scholarly (3rd level) in order to start the Confidant with Makoto. She will be outside the Student Council room.

Answer with the following responses:

  • Let’s go again sometime

Rank 2

Answer with the following responses:

  • You’re very well informed
  • You should have known better
  • Why is it called a salon?
  • Couldn’t agree more

Rank 3

Makoto Niijima

Answer with the following responses:

  • You have the wrong idea
  • You can change
  • Sounds like you two get along

Rank 4

Answer with the following responses:

  • That’s unlike you
  • Eiko?
  • What about college?
  • Why do you use it?
  • It’s an amazing goal

Rank 5

Answer with the following responses:

  • He sounds suspicious
  • I got this
  • Try to reach out to her

Rank 6

You need your Charm to be Debonair (the max level) in order to continue the Confidant.

Answer with the following responses:

  • Love comes in many forms
  • Here, have my number instead
  • You worry too much
  • Tell him you’re on a date

Rank 7

Makoto Niijima

Answer with the following responses:

  • Does Eiko know about this?
  • He’s definitely suspicious
  • Who was their leader?
  • He was a noble man
  • I’m sure he was happy
  • Do you have an answer?
  • Refuse her, please.
  • It’s the role I always hoped for

Rank 8

Answer with the following responses:

  • He says that to all his girls
  • Absolutely

Rank 9

While investigating Shinjuku, talk to the host outside the Shinjuku Bookstore to continue.

Answer with the following responses:

  • Get away from her!
  • We should get out of here
  • That was the right move
  • I’m a regular here
  • You’ll find someone someday (Friendship)/I’ll be your study partner (Romance)
  • If you chose Friendship:
  • No problem at all
  • If you chose Romance:
  • I do

Rank 10

Respond however you like, you will complete the Confidant.

How to Use Makoto in Battle

Makoto Niijima

When Makoto starts out, she has a little bit of everything: healing, physical skills, Nuclear magic and support skills. Makoto’s healing will develop along with her Nuclear magic, but her physical and support skills will begin to fall behind as the game goes on.

Fortunately, Makoto’s diverse skill set tends to be more useful in the early-mid game, as she is able to adapt to any situation that is thrown at her.

Later on, it is better to bring her in as a Nuclear spellcaster and backup medic since those abilities develop further. You can choose to keep Marakukaja if you like, as it never stops being useful, but you may choose to discard it in favor of a Nuke Boost/Amp skill.

Makoto has the highest Agility out of all the Phantom Thieves (apart from Joker with high Agility Personas), and she will often have the first turn. Her physical and magical stats are evenly distributed and she can do well as a regular physical attacker against enemies who are resistant to Nuclear.

With the expansion of Technical damage in Persona 5 Royal, Makoto is able to deal increased damage to Burning, Frozen and Shocked enemies with her Nuclear skills, making short work of those enemies.

In Persona 5 Strikers, Makoto largely takes the same role but since skills do not disappear, she can switch her diverse moveset as needed. Nuclear continues to be effective against Burned/Frozen/Shocked enemies, and Makoto’s stats are good enough that she can use both physical and magical skills to hurt enemies as needed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Question: Is there a Deadline for Completing Makoto’s Confidant?

Answer: The cut-off date is December 24th for Persona 5 and February 2nd for Persona 5 Royal.

Question: Is there Anything Special about Makoto’s Confidant?

Answer: Makoto’s Confidant is unique in that starting the Confidant requires your Knowledge to be Scholarly (at the 3rd level) before you can even begin. You will also need your Charm to be Debonair (the highest level) in order to complete the Confidant.

Keep those social stats in mind as you are advancing the Confidant, since forgetting about the requirements can ruin a well-planned schedule.

Question: Are there any Benefits to Romancing Makoto?

Answer: Gameplay-wise, you do not get any different abilities or benefits from the Confidant if you romance Makoto.

Question: Why doesn’t Makoto’s New Game Plus Bonus Appear when She Joins the Team?

Answer: Makoto’s New Game Plus benefits only appear once you start the Priestess Confidant, which means she will only grant those bonuses once you have completed Kaneshiro’s Palace and begun the Priestess Confidant with her.

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