Persona and Pokemon are two franchises that haven't actually mixed together in a crossover before, so we're just having a bit of fun here. The closest they've ever gotten is having their characters fight it out in Super Smash Bros Ultimate.
But what if they did have a crossover event? What would the Phantom Thieves from Persona 5 be like as Gym Leaders? Which Pokemon would they use in their teams? Those are some pretty interesting questions that I intend to answer.
This list only includes the main group, so any members that only join the party for certain moments are left off. It also doesn't include Morgana, because let's be honest: he'd probably fill a role on Joker's team similar to Team Rocket's Meowth.
Read on to find out what kind of Gym Leader each Phantom Thief would be and why.
Joker is not only the leader of the Phantom Thieves, but he also has the "Wild Card" ability. This means that he can use multiple Personas at once, allowing him to have a ton of strengths. A jack of all trades, if you will.
In the Pokemon world, that'd be more of a Champion than a single-type Gym Leader, but for the sake of this list's theme, Joker would be more of a Dark-type user.
The reasoning for this is that he's referred to as a Trickster that can use multiple elements, but his first Persona is the legendary thief, Arsene. If being a cunning thief doesn't scream Dark-type, I don't know what does.
With all that in mind, here's how his team would look:
Joker is one of the more complicated Phantom Thieves to choose Pokemon for. Ryuji's team is a lot easier to put together. His Persona's element is electricity, so naturally, he'd be an Electric-type Gym Leader.
He's an outspoken, energetic guy whose affinity for electricity makes perfect sense. He's quick to take action, with an act first, ask questions later kind of personality. Oh, and he's also a former track athlete.
Factoring in all of those facts, here's what his team would be:
Ann's Persona gives her mastery over fire. Her flames produce some of the hardest-hitting attacks in the entire game. Ann being a Fire-type Gym Leader is a no-brainer. As a character, she feels like a bit like a mix of Flannery and Elesa from Pokemon.
Ann seems pretty calm and quiet at first, but once you get to know her, you learn that she has a more lively and outgoing personality. She isn't as over the top as Ryuji, but Ann is quick to stand up and speak her mind in matters concerning her friends.
With all of the above traits, Ann would have a team like this:
Yusuke is an artist above all else. He's always looking for the beauty in his surroundings, even while on the job as a Phantom Thief. Art seems to be on his mind almost constantly.
His Persona gives him the ability to perform ice-based attacks, so he's our Ice-type Gym Leader. Given his sometimes cold and nonchalant demeanor, Ice-type Pokemon were made for him. Most of them are aesthetically pleasing to look at too, which I'm sure he'd love.
Here are the six Pokemon that he'd have on his team:
Like Joker, Makoto doesn't actually have an attack type that translates well if she were to become a Gym Leader. Her Persona gives her the ability to use Nuclear moves, and that's not at all helpful for this list.
Fortunately, I can think of a type just by looking at her. It's steel. It has to be Steel-type because Makoto's Persona is a literal motorcycle, she fights with spiked brass knuckles, and her mask is basically just a metal plate.
She's also a lot tougher than she initially appears to be, with a no-nonsense attitude. These would be her Pokemon:
Futaba is another tricky one because she doesn't participate in battles as a playable character. She's always around once she joins the Phantom Thieves, but she's in more of a support role. She provides intel for the team, instead of joining them in combat.
She's a bit awkward and a little shy, but once she joins up, Futaba becomes the brains of the operation. She relays information and even turns bad situations into good ones before disadvantageous fights can break out.
Futaba's weapon is her high intelligence, and because of that, she has to be a Psychic-type Gym Leader. These are the six Pokemon she'd use:
Finally, we have Haru. Haru is the last character to join the main Phantom Thieves group. Her situation surrounding her Gym Leader typing is a bit different than the other members.
Her Persona allows her to use psychic attacks, but that's not the typing I'd give her. It fits Futaba much better. Instead, Haru should be a Grass-type specialist. With her love of gardening and plants, I'm sure it's exactly what she'd be attuned to. She even grows her own vegetables on the roof of their school.
She's normally a very relaxed and reserved person, but when push comes to shove, she can really pack a punch in a fight. Here are the six Grass Pokemon that Haru would use:
Honestly, even though there hasn't been a crossover, Persona and Pokemon do have a few things in common gameplay-wise. Namely, the turn-based style and elemental attacks. Those slight similarities definitely help when imagining the Phantom Thieves as Gym Leaders.
If you think some of the teams should be different, share your ideas with us over on Twitter!