While Persona 5 is an excellent and groundbreaking JRPG, it is not the best. That honor goes to its successor and improved version, Persona 5 Royal.
Royal is so fantastic due to the sheer number of new content and Persona characters, such as the star of this Takuto Maruki guide. Maruki is one of the newly introduced characters exclusive to Royal and one of the best parts of the Persona 5 version.
This Takuto Maruki guide shows you exactly why this is the case. In it, I will break down one of the characters that I think Atlus knocked out of the park when it comes to his writing and storyline.
Though a bit predictable in his path, his motivations are unique and worth it. In addition, I will let you know about his Confidant, how to upgrade it, and some other details.
Bottom Line Up Front
Takuto Maruki is one of the supporting Confidants in Persona 5 Royal. He is exclusive to that new version of the game, but he plays a massive role in the new content. In fact, you cannot play any of the new story content without raising his Confidant rank in Royal.
Maruki is the counselor at Shujin Academy, the school that Persona 5 protagonist, Joker, attends in the game. He plays a significant role in mentally and emotionally guiding the player during the school year while also playing a massive part in the story of fellow new character and party member Sumire.
Who is Takuto Maruki?
Takuto Maruki is one of the supporting characters in the massive Persona 5 Royal cast. What players should know, first and foremost, is that he is not present at all in the original Persona 5. If you want to check him out and his interesting arc, you have to play the Royal version of the game.
It is also worth noting that going any further in this guide is going to require some significant spoilers. Even the headers themselves will give away some details about Maruki, so consider this your fair warning moving forward.
When it comes to his role within Persona 5 Royal, Maruki is one of two new Confidants in the game, connecting with Joker. He fills the Councillor Arcana, which is a new one and fitting given that he is the school counselor at Shujin Academy that the player attends.
Furthermore, Maruki’s Confidant level is not technically required, but it might as well be. The only way that players can play any of the new story content in Persona 5 Royal’s third semester is by maxing out his rank and finding out more about the story. This makes him a vital part of the plot and someone who players should not ignore.
Here is a part of the guide that will delve into some spoilers territory. Turn away now if you do not want to know the multiple appearance styles of Dr. Maruki. The counselor has two prominent appearances, with one being his standard look in the real world while the other is how he appears within the Metaverse.
When it comes to Maruki’s appearance in the real world, it is pretty unassuming. He is a school counselor, so he dresses appropriately for the job. On the bottom of his outfit for work, he wears khaki pants that are nice and well-kept. He wears these alongside some surprisingly casual sandals.
He wears a belt that holds up his pants and tucks in his shirt. The shirt that he wears is a light blue one that looks nice and buttoned up. He wears a blue tie that matches but is a much darker shade. Over the shirt, he wears a standard white lab coat that gives away his doctoral position.
Dr. Maruki has a pretty calm and kind look on his face and hair. His eyes are dark brown, and he wears large rectangular-rimmed glasses on his face most of the time. His hair is a short-to-medium length, an interesting grayish-brown color, parted to the right side, covering up part of his eyes.
Of course, there is the Metaverse version of Maruki, given that he has his Palace in the game. There are a couple of different versions of his look, but let’s start with his initial one. The good doctor has a much more serious and almost arrogant design in his initial appearance.
His outfit is no longer the usual school counselor getup that he usually has. Instead, he has an all-white suit that is neat, nice, and looks very expensive. In my opinion, the suit almost gives off a cult leader type of vibe to him, which may very well be what he is going for.
This is especially seen in his face, where he has a much more hardened and furrowed brow look that is quite intimidating. It is the complete opposite of his gentle design in the real world. This is especially seen in how he slicks back his hair in a very fashionable but also noticeably cocky sort of way.
However, it does not end there. There is a final appearance version of Maruki that appears towards the end of his Palace. In this version, where he is essentially his Persona user form, he has a golden suit from top to bottom with black vertical stripes.
Over the golden brass suit, he wears a white cloak. Alongside this, he wields his signature staff which is his weapon of choice for battles in the Metaverse. He no longer wears glasses on his face and, instead, has a very tall mask that he wears. This is his boss form look.
The personality of Dr. Maruki can vary considerably depending on how you face him. Before all of the twists and the like, he is one of the kindest people you will meet in the real world. He is soft-spoken, gentle with his patients, and someone who is always there to listen.
Unlike those fake counselors who are just pretending to care, I do not doubt in my mind that Maruki genuinely adores his patients and is willing to take the time to help them with their needs. He is engaged in listening when necessary and responding excellently when the time is right.
This kind and gentle nature is his genuine personality, and this is still even seen in the Metaverse. He is one of the most unique villains I’ve ever seen, as his motives and attitude are still somewhat genuine, despite the change in appearance.
Even when it is revealed that he is a “bad guy,” his composure remains essentially the same. In his opinion, his goals are still the right direction, and he still treats even his enemy with respect and care. With that said, though, he is a bit more steadfast and slightly more strict when in the Metaverse, not as willing to listen to others.
There are a few key relationships that Takuto Maruki has with some of the main characters in Persona 5 Royal. Interestingly enough, he only has a minimal relationship with most of the Phantom Thieves. There are times that he meets everyone, and they all know him, but they are surface-level relationships at best from what we get to see.
However, there are three main Phantom Thieves that I want to note. First, there is the weakest relationship, which is with Goro Akechi. There is not much to this one, honestly, but Akechi knows of Maruki, and he is with Joker and Sumire when they first meet. Akechi immediately sees through his facade and dislikes him for his fake kindness and reality.
Joker has a much stronger relationship with Maruki since it is canonically required to see the third semester. The relationship between them is a rather deep bond as both characters end up sharing much of their personal lives with one another.
For Joker, Maruki is that of a loving counselor who wishes to see him open up and grow as a person. For Maruki, Joker ends up being someone that even the doctor can confide in regarding his past. Though he does not share everything about his life initially, Joker is almost like a counselor for Maruki at times.
And lastly, there is Sumire. Their relationship is the crux of the entire new story content in Persona 5 Royal. Sumire is almost unable to exist as a person unless she has the guidance of Dr. Maruki. Because of him, she can live and go to school despite traumatic events in her life.
That said, the relationship between the doctor and his patient is quite toxic. His methods to help Sumire with her issues are incredibly problematic and cause more harm than good. Even still, their relationship with one another is fascinating and unique.
The Japanese voice actor for Takuto Maruki in Persona 5 Royal is Satoshi Hino. You may know Hino from some notable anime and game roles in the past, such as Kamui in Gintama, Mikhail in The Ancient Magus’ Bride, and Prince Castor in Bravely Default 2.
On the English side, which has an excellent dubbing, in my opinion, the voice for Dr. Maruki is Billy Kametz, who does a great job of matching Hino’s performance. You may know Kametz from his previous English dubbing roles like Naofumi in The Rising of the Shield Hero and Josuke in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable, among many others.
There are a couple of primary abilities that Dr. Maruki has at his disposal. This is another place where there will be some significant spoilers, so skip this part if necessary.
First and foremost, Dr. Maruki has counseling abilities that are more powerful than you might think. At the same time, he also has his Metaverse abilities, including summoning his Persona and much more.
Being a kind and brilliant person is a valuable trait on its own, but Maruki certainly takes it to a whole new level. For one, there is the fact that he makes such a significant impact on each of the characters that he deals with when he is counseling them. He has immense talent at that.
However, this talent can be used in negative ways, which is arguably, what happens. Maruki’s brand of counseling is almost too good, allowing him to effectively manipulate those around him without a care in the world. This is a problem since he is basically brainwashing some of his patients.
This is especially seen in Sumire’s case, where he is brainwashing her into believing something to be true that isn’t. No matter how he tries to justify it, this is a horrible act but, unfortunately, one of his most powerful traits. His ability to wield power over someone’s mind is immense and disturbing.
The worst part about it is that it has nothing to do with Personas or the Metaverse or anything at all. Even if none of those existed, this ability would still exist for him. This makes Maruki one of the most dangerous and influential people in Persona 5 Royal.
That is all before bringing up the other main power that Maruki possesses, and that’s that he is a Persona user. Like the other main characters in Persona 5 Royal, Maruki has a Persona and can use it in combat when in the Metaverse.
In his case, he even has a Palace of his own that he rules. There are a lot of unique aspects to Maruki’s Persona abilities that make him quite different from the heroes and villains in the game. For one, there is the fact that he has complete control over his Palace and knows that he has one in the first place.
This is quite wild since the other villains are seen to have shadow versions of themselves that they are unaware of, but Maruki does not need that. Even then, though, this is by far still not the most potent ability that he has. The power that Maruki has over reality is unbelievable.
With the help of his Persona and the Metaverse, Maruki is literally able to have direct command of the fate of the entire real world. We see this when he recreates the world in his image with the reality that he wants.
While it is seemingly “perfect,” it is without the consent of everyone else on the planet. Maruki is definitely one of the most potent Persona users of all time.
As one of the prominent cast members in Persona 5 Royal, Dr. Maruki is also one of the two new Confidants in that game version. The relationship with him is one of the most important for Joker since it directly affects the story itself.
I would even go so far as to say that building the Confidant with Maruki is a requirement for players since there is no way to access the third semester and the new story content in Royal without him.
Unfortunately, the game does not necessarily make it super clear that this is the case or make his Confidant automatically part of the story like Sae Niijima.
Players should know that you automatically unlock the first rank of Maruki’s Confidant level on May 13 in Royal. This is your formal introduction to him and your first connection. From here on, though, it is entirely up to you to pursue a relationship if you want the new Royal content.
Here is the general schedule for meeting Maruki after May 13 to rank up his Confidant:
- Monday-Friday (excluding Thursday): Daytime
- Rainy days: Both day and nighttime
The game is pretty flexible for the first five ranks of Maruki. For rank five, you have until September 20. You must reach this max rank by that deadline, or you will not be able to see the third semester. Once you do, September 20 is when you will unlock the final five ranks of Maruki.
The problem with this is that you have only until November 18 to finish ranking him all the way up to rank ten if you want to see the new story content.
That is less than two months to do that, so players should prioritize this Confidant above all others at this point in time. The days that you can meet up with him generally remain the same, at least, which is quite often.
The story of Takuto Maruki is intertwined with every piece of the new story content in Persona 5 Royal. While it will not necessarily spoil the main story from the base game, telling his history will spoil literally everything about the third semester and what happens with Joker, Sumire, and Akechi then. This is your final spoiler warning for the next section.
“Helping” Sumire and Joker
Just before the start of the Persona 5 Royal story, Sumire goes to counseling to get help for the recent traumatic death of her older sister, Kasumi. She arrives at Dr. Maruki’s doorstep, and he attempts to find a way to make her happier.
Unfortunately, his solution for making Sumire happier is to have her take the place of her dead sister, Kasumi. This insane idea stems from the fact that Sumire is always jealous of her sister and wants to be like her. This disturbing idea leads to Sumire believing that she genuinely is Kasumi.
At this point, she changes her looks to mirror her sister’s appearance, including removing her actually important eyeglasses, and even acts like her to an extent. This is something that some people, like her own family, seemingly see through, but she keeps this facade up where it matters, like meeting Joker.
Because of Dr. Maruki, Joker and some other classmates believe that Sumire truly is Kasumi Yoshizawa. Soon after meeting Joker, Sumire even convinces the protagonist of Persona 5 to meet with Dr. Maruki to get help with any issues that he has.
When Dr. Maruki meets Joker, he begins to counsel him through the various events that have happened in the Phantom Thieves’ leader’s life. He coaches him through things like his run-in with the law at the beginning of the game and more.
The two connect with one another on a deep level and, in the proper path for Royal, develop an unbreakable bond with one another. This bond matters a lot when it comes to the third semester that happens later on.
Creating a False Reality
Without Maruki even realizing it, a Palace is formed for him in the Metaverse. When the Phantom Thieves complete the main story of Persona 5, the good doctor awakens to his Persona right around the same time and eventually discovers his Palace.
There, he rules over his Palace since his shadow is presumably his Persona. With the power of the Palace and the end of the main villain of Persona 5’s original story, Maruki can use his powers of wishing for the perfect reality to make that happen.
In the end, everyone in the world (or at least Japan) eventually wakes up to a perfect reality with no memories of the previous one. This includes all of their wishes coming proper, like dead family members being alive or, in the case of Sumire, truly becoming Kasumi.
Maruki’s wish for this perfect reality is due to the tragic loss of his beloved years before. He has searched for a way to bring her back. To hopefully do so, or at least make up for his failure in protecting her, he wishes to create a world where there is no suffering and everyone can be happy.
However, Kasumi, Akechi, and Joker catch on to his Palace and challenge Maruki’s rule. The counselor is able to persuade Kasumi to join him for a time until she realizes the truth and rejoins the Phantom Thieves. Once all of the Thieves remember the fact, they join together to take down Maruki once and for all.
Maruki’s story ends in one of two ways, with neither one technically being the canon answer at this time. The Phantom Thieves either agree to his perfect reality and live in it, or they reject it and defeat him for good.
Boss Fight Tips
The final boss fight with Takuto Maruki is one of the toughest in Persona 5 and one of the longest with multiple phases. That said, while it is difficult, I do think that if a player has gotten to this point in the game, they should be victorious in the end.
Before the fight, it is worth noting that February 2 is the final day that players have a chance to stock up on items, and this is only during the daytime. The nighttime is when you strike on Maruki’s Palace, so settle your debts and prepare with as many items as you can get beforehand.
As for the fight itself, the initial part has two bosses that you have to worry about and three adds. Maruki and his Persona, Azathoth, are quite powerful, but Maruki himself will not attack. The three tentacle adds are the ones you should worry about at first since they each make the match harder or even heal.
Defeating all three tentacles will allow you to damage Azathoth itself entirely, and the general goal is to either beat Maruki or his Persona. Once one of them is destroyed, the fight is over. Given that Maruki does not fight himself, it is best to focus on Azathoth, in my opinion.
Once one of them reaches a fourth of their health, the tentacles will change resistance, so keep an eye on that. I also recommend having protection against dizziness and fear, as those are the main status ailments that Azathoth will use against you in the battle.
If you win this fight, the second will commence with Maruki and his other Persona, Adam Kadmon. You can only fight Maruki, who heals himself quite a lot, but just take him out over time.
Then you will fight Adam. This final fight only lasts for a little while before you pretty much automatically win the battle, so there is nothing to really worry about here.
Fun Facts about Takuto Maruki
Here are some fun facts about Takuto Maruki that you may not have known about before:
- Maruki holds a unique place as one of the only final bosses in a Persona and Shin Megami Tensei game to just be a normal human being. Most other bosses are humans fused with a demon or Persona, a massively influential shadow or Persona, or even a straight-up god. While Maruki has some elements of those characters, he is pretty much just a regular guy.
- Oddly enough, there are multiple endings in Persona 5 Royal like in other Persona games, but the problem is that the two new ones in the third semester have no correct version. They are both considered equals of sorts, either choosing to break free of the reality Maruki created or choosing to live inside of it.
- Because of the fact that both endings for Maruki’s reality are seen as equals, this seems to hint that the actual canon story for Persona 5 disregards these events entirely. This is possibly the case but unconfirmed at this time.
- Maruki has multiple Personas, hinting at a possibility of him being a wildcard or simply showcasing his powerful summoning abilities.
- Maruki is also the only ruler of a Palace in Persona 5 who knows of its existence and rules over it himself, rather than having a shadow to do so.
- Furthermore, Maruki does not have a shadow at all.
Question: How do You Get to Level 10, Maruki Confidant?
Answer: Maruki, as mentioned, is one of the essential Confidants. He is necessary for the new story content. You automatically unlock the first rank and then can level up him to rank five.
It is recommended you get to five before September 20. From then on, you have to get him to rank nine before November 18 so that he will automatically hit max rank ten on November 18.
Question: How do You Unlock Maruki Takuto Confidant?
Answer: You do not have to do anything special at all to unlock the Maruki Confidant. This will automatically happen within the game’s story when you first meet him on May 13.
Question: How do You Spend Time with Maruki?
Answer: You can spend time with Maruki by visiting him anytime after unlocking his Confidant on Monday-Friday, except for Thursday, after school. You can also spend time with him on rainy days and nights.
I highly recommend to anyone reading this to play Persona 5 Royal. It is one of my favorite games of all time, and it somehow improved upon the already excellent Persona 5. Much of the reason why this is the case is due to the fact that there are new characters like Takuto Maruki, who the new story content revolves around.
Dr. Maruki is a fascinating character who breaks the general mold for his archetype and role within Persona 5 Royal. Another person who does so within Royal is Goro Akechi.
Though he is actually in the original Persona 5, unlike Maruki, his story seems set in the base version. However, Persona 5 Royal somehow provided Akechi with an improved story arc that makes him one of the best Persona characters of all time.
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