The Persona series has always been home to an abundance of features I never knew I needed in a game. Things like battle mechanics, an amazing score, and balancing the life of a high school transfer student while saving the world in the Metaverse. It is also home to a variety of characters.
Some who join your party, and some who give you skills and abilities that help through the game. Early on, I thought using brute strength would be my best friend, but you have to prep before diving into the dungeons. Persona 5 Royal is my entry into the franchise. I wish I knew the proper knowledge to help me through the opening months of the game.
In Persona 5/Royal, you are introduced to your caretaker for the year, Sojiro Sakura. He runs Café Leblanc, which becomes headquarters for the Phantom Thieves later in the game. It may be controversial, but I believe Sojiro is one of the best confidants early in the game.
He’s very annoyed having to take care of you, but I promise the things he teaches you help with the early dungeons. Not to mention, you can’t leave anywhere early in the game anyway. So, allow me to dive into the Sojiro Sakura guide for all newcomers to the series.
Bottom Line Up Front
Same as Persona 4 Golden, you’re switching schools in the middle of the year. Upon doing so, you meet the guardian that watches over you for the remaining school year. At first, I thought Sojiro came across as a crotchety old man. Kind of like Harrison Ford. It makes sense. Joker’s framed for assaulting someone, so Sojiro has this set in his mind you are nothing but trouble.
Sojiro is serious from the start, and makes sure Joker’s restricted from going anywhere but school and home. As time passes and you spend around the café, he opens up to you, much like most people. He comes around to allow you to go out at night, allowing you to keep Morgana, and your secret of you and your friends being the Phantom Thieves.
Sojiro Sakura is the guardian of Ren Amamiya, who will be known as Joker. He is the owner of Cafe Leblanc, which feels like a ghost town when you first arrive. The only two things on the menu seem to be curry and coffee, which sounds like a horrible combination. He’s usually seen in his work attire and is always talking about women. I mean, he’s reluctant to add you to his phone because it’s not a woman’s number. Sojiro does not want to be bothered, and I felt the same towards him.
He is straightforward when talking to Joker until he gets a phone call from time to time. At that moment, his walls come down as he is very attentive to who is on the other end of the phone. As time passed, I started to see slivers of Sojiro’s kindness. That first moment was when he let Yusuke stay with them after the Phantom Thieves exposed Madarame. Yusuke and Sojiro have a conversation in the morning. Yusuke asks why Sojiro decided to take in Joker even though they aren’t family. Sojiro replies, “he reminds me of a young me.” So, regardless of what he displayed toward us, he cares.
He hardly cared about the Phantom Thieves in the beginning because it didn’t pertain to his life. That is until Futaba Sakura has a change of heart. He realizes that Joker is the leader of the Phantom Thieves. It ultimately sends Sojiro into a spiral, but Futaba helps him see that what they do is the right thing and not what the media makes them out to be. Here was when I saw the change for Sojiro, and no one had to steal his heart to make it happen.
Sojiro, from this point on in the game, completely changes. You see him becoming more and more of a father over Futaba. We find out that he adopted her from her abusive uncle after her mother died. Progressing through the confidant brings the uncle back into the picture as he demands money from Sojiro.
Best dad shows tough love to you. In the beginning, I honestly did not expect Sojiro to contribute to the game at all. But Atlus always makes a way to show, every person you interact with can affect what happens with you. The most stubborn characters in this series always have the big soft spot or the saddest backstories. It’s something that made me fall in love with the game and gives it more replay value, but back to Sojiro.
Sojiro doesn’t become a true pivotal character in the story until Joker and friends enter the Sakura household. At this moment, the gang finds out someone else is living there. Sojiro explains that he knew Futaba’s mother Wakaba long before Futaba was born. After Wakaba died, Futaba lived with her abusive uncle before Sojiro adopted her. Futaba blames herself for her mother’s death so much that she distances herself from everyone.
It makes sense why Sojiro never let Joker stay at his home or even come over. He was afraid of how she may have reacted to another person coming around. Under the name Alibaba, Futaba requests the Phantom Thieves to steal her heart. After another successful heist, Futaba would sleep in her room for many days, leaving Sojiro worried.
Sojiro, on the day of Wakaba’s passing, opens up more. He tells Joker how he thinks Wakaba’s death has been ruled a suicide but doesn’t believe it. Wakaba was a cognitive researcher and may have found something that could warrant her death by others. He doesn’t have the evidence to back it, but Sae Niijima pressuring him about the information confirms his theories. Sojiro also admits Wakaba told him she thinks she may die, but he brushed it off as a joke. He regrets not taking her seriously, but he sees taking Futaba in as redemption.
Sojiro still looks great for his age. I’m guessing 50’s since it’s never said, and frankly, I’d be too scared to ask. His hair has started receding, and there are no signs of him getting any gray. Or he could be using some product to look younger to the ladies in his life, do you Sojiro.
Cafe Leblanc is the spot we see Sojiro almost a hundred percent of the time. While working in the cafe, Sojiro has a generic work outfit. Sporting his notorious pink shirt and khaki pants underneath an apron, because let’s face it, that job could get messy with curry and coffee.
When my man steps out, he steps out! Yeah, part of his outfit is the same pink shirt and pants, but he also stunts with a white blazer and a fedora that matches. Clean from head to toe, we hardly get to see it since he’s always working.
Hierophant Confidant Benefits
Now for the benefits of the Hierophant Confidant. You can immediately start ranking up with Sojiro almost at the end of the first month you arrive, which is perfect because, as I said before, you can’t do much in the opening part of the game any way.
Rank 1, just like most the confidants, doesn’t unlock anything for you. It just opens the gate to you hanging out more with Sojiro on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights. Rank 2 is when you get the first benefit that I think helps a lot early on, it’s being able to brew coffee. This coffee helps restore a little bit of SP to one party member. I recommend using this a lot since the melee is weak at the start. Not only does the coffee restore SP, but brewing it gives you a charming boost in your social skills too.
The next benefit won’t come until you get to rank 4, and this is great once you start adding party members. Sojiro gives you the skill to cook curry at Leblanc, which again comes in handy. Making curry restores a little bit of SP to the entire party. This way, you don’t have to waste turns healing your party. The part I like about making curry is that it also adds guts to your social stats. Guts is a social stat you need to help open confidants Sadayo Kawakami and Munehisa Iwai.
After four, you are locked off on progressing until after Futaba’s palace has been cleared, considering it’s a big part of the story. Rank 6 unlocks the coffee mastery, which increases the potency for, you guessed it, coffee. Now it will restore a big chunk of SP for one of the allies. Again another great resource, and I didn’t have to spend money!
The last two benefits don’t come until Sojiro is maxed-out, and they are essentially the same. At rank 9, you get another boost to making curry, where it moderately restores SP to all allies. While rank 10 gives you curry mastery and allows the curry to greatly restore SP to all allies. I get why they did this because throughout this time of hanging with Sojiro, he’s telling you it’s hard to make the perfect coffee and curry. So, while you think you are getting better, it isn’t the best.
Sojiro’s Requests: Money Grubbing Uncle
By rank 8 in the Hierophant confidant, you should have noticed a man coming by the cafe to harass Sojiro. This man is Futaba’s blood uncle briefly took care of her after her mother died. This man is scum and abused Futaba before Sojiro legally adopted her. This time he demands money, but when Sojiro calls him out on failing to pay debts on time, the uncle resorts to trying to strike Futaba again. Joker intervenes, and the uncle falls to the ground, his own doing. He threatens to sue and leaves.
It leaves Futaba uneasy, but she has the idea to locate the shadow version of her uncle in mementos and change his heart. This moment is where you get the request for “Money Grubbing Uncle.” She will be waiting outside of the cafe and will directly transport you right to the location of the shadow.
Joker will be the only person in your party minus support from Futaba. I can’t stress this enough, for this fight, make sure you have a persona that either null physical damage or repels it. I would suggest a Girimekhala if you can swing it because physical attacks don’t work on the uncle. He deals heavy physical damage to you since you are the only one. Fight smarter, not harder, my Phantom Thieves.
Sojiro Sakura’s Hierophant guide
Below are the best answers for each conversation to rank up this confidant.
- Got it!
- Making Coffee.
- That guy seemed suspicious.
- I want the ladies to love me.
- Followup(P5R) Got it!
- Is it trouble?
- Followup(P5R) I’m ready to work. Or. Thank you in advance.
- Tell me more.
- Call Sojiro’s phone.
- Followup(P5R) Understood.
Rank 5 (Restricted until after 8/22):
- I think I’m addicted!
- She wasn’t normal, huh?
- It really paid off in the end.
- Followup(P5R) She needs a balanced breakfast.
- To each his own.
- Shut your mouth.
- Saving Futaba was no mistake.
- Followup(P5R) If I can help somehow…
Rank 7 (Max Kindness required):
- You might be right.
- Any answer.
- Any answer.
- Followup(P5R) Feel like a real dad now?
- Something with curry.
- I was just protecting Futaba.
- Any answer.
- You have a great daughter. Or. Congrats.
- Followup(P5R)You did great. Or. Futaba did great.
- Any answer.
- Any answer.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
Question: Can you romance Sojiro?
Answer: As much as he has a big fanbase that loves him for being the best dad, you, unfortunately, can not romance Sojiro.
Question: Is Sojiro only available at night?
Answer: Sojiro is mainly one of the confidants you can only hang with at night. The only exception is if it is raining.
I’m standing behind what I said earlier. For the first few palaces, Sojiro is one of the best confidants to invest in. Plus, if you max him out and start a new game plus, his skills carry over.
This man is making sure you are, set on any game you start. When I first played Persona 5 Royal, I did not capitalize on these benefits. So for all my newcomers, I hope this guide helps you and gives you a leg up on your heists.