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|Japanese Name||新島 冴|
|First Appearance||Persona 5|
- "When and where did you find out about "that world"? You'll most likely be given life imprisonment or the death penalty... Unless you accept my proposal. That's why I need you to answer me honestly... ...if everything you've said is true."
- —Sae Niijima interrogating the protagonist, Persona 5
Sae has long gray hair and red eyes. Her hair is asymmetrically parted on her right side. She wears a necklace of a section sign (§) which references her judicial occupation, earrings, and a black business suit with a black turtleneck.
Shadow Sae has a different hairstyle and wears extremely heavy makeup and black lipstick. She wears a revealing black dress, a black choker with spikes, and hat that resembles an American flapper from the 1920s, with playing cards stashed behind a golden rose.
Sae is professional, serious, and seems to be a no nonsense woman. She is very strict in both her work as prosecutor and guardian for her younger sister, Makoto, constantly telling her to focus on her studies and such. She is also capable of being aggressive, yelling "SHUT THE HELL UP!" at the protagonist.
It is later revealed that deep inside, Sae is actually envious and jealous of her sister and colleagues. This Envy, combined with her growing disillusionment with her profession as a concept due to being regularly strung along by political corruption, manifests as a Palace resembling a casino and a Shadow Self who desires everyone to feel as helpless as she does while stuck in an unfair and corrupt system, forcing the Phantom Thieves into rigged gambling games that are impossible to win fairly. Unlike other Shadow Selves who form Palaces, Shadow Sae is open to listening to reason-after being defeated, the Phantom Thieves convince her to let go of her jealousy without stealing Sae's Treasure, leading the real Sae to have an epiphany about how pointless her grudges and overcompensation are without fundamentally changing her personality.
- "Shut the hell up! This isn't something you can decide upon!"
- —Sae Niijima to the protagonist, Persona 5
Sae is a Public Prosecutor of the Tokyo District Special Investigation Department (independent from the Police Department) responsible for the Phantom Thieves of Hearts' case. In the prologue of the story, she requests interrogation of the captured protagonist, despite her dismissal from the investigation by her boss. Over the course of the game she recapitulates the Thieves' activities with him.
When the incidents of mental breakdown in Tokyo has begun causing casualties, Sae is looking for researches about mental diseases which leads her to the now deceased cognition scientist, Wakaba Isshiki. She visits Sojiro Sakura's cafe for investigation, but in order to protect Wakaba's daughter, Futaba, from any harm, Sojiro refuses to cooperate. Sae instead threatens to remove his custody over Futaba if he insists.
After Futaba has come out of her shell and joined the Phantom Thieves, she asks their teammate, Makoto Niijima who is Sae's little sister and is aware of Sae's investigation of their case, to install a spyware in her laptop in order to obtain information from her investigations. Sae later notices the spyware and aggressively inquires Goro Akechi for the hacking.
When Goro forces himself into the Phantom Thieves, he suggests that the gang should steal Sae's heart to stop her investigation, otherwise the Public Prosecutors Office may hold them responsible for the deaths of Kunikazu Okumura and the Principal. The outcome of this operation differs depending on the dialogue choices after the protagonist has finished his long reminiscence in the interrogation room with Sae.
In the good ending route, the Thieves realize that Goro is actually the traitor and pretend that they have taken away Sae's Treasure with an empty suitcase, getting Makoto's help in calming Shadow Sae and enlisting her as an ally-which means the Palace never actually collapses, and the real Sae still has subconscious control over the police station's reality through it. With her ability, they trick Goro into killing the Cognitive existences of the protagonist and the guard of the interrogation room after the apprehension, both born from Sae's Palace. Upon realizing the real reason of being appointed to the case and the true colors of her boss and Goro, Sae cooperates with the Thieves and transports the protagonist safely to Cafe Le Blanc. When discussing with the gang about the mastermind behind Goro, Sae deduces that Masayoshi Shido being the most likely culprit because he gains the most from all the victims whose deaths are connected to the Palace.
When the Thieves publicize their video of the upcoming heist of Shido's heart, Sae is blamed by the Police Department for the protagonist's feigned death but she begins to pretend that her heart has been stolen. In the end, she is tasked with charging Shido after the latter's confession to his crimes, but because the Public Procurator needs a witness and Goro has been reported missing, she turns to the protagonist which results in his confinement in the youth detention center for two months. After his allies try every way to prove his innocence in the street assault against Shido, Sae brings the good news of Shido's case and the release of the protagonist because Shido's wife who testified against the protagonist changed her testimony.
Sae lastly reveals that after Shido's case has been completely settled she will quit her current job and become an attorney. She believes that this is the better way to fight for justice than in the Public Prosecutors Office.
Sae represents the Judgement Confidant which progresses automatically during her interrogation and does not offer any ability. Only in the survival routes, the player can reach max rank of the Judgement Arcana and unlock the fusion of Satan.
Sae Niijima interrogating the protagonist
Goro and Sae
|Persona 5 Portraits|
Shadow Sae (Leviathan)
- Sae shares some similarities with Katsuya Suou from Persona 2: Eternal Punishment:
- Both are public servants who are investigating homicidal cases.
- Both are older siblings of a playable character.
- Their Shadow Selves are envious towards their siblings.
- Both are betrayed by their colleagues, and have bosses who are part of their respective conspiracies.