The story focuses on the 16-year-old Protagonist after he is transferred to Shujin High School in Tokyo. Staying with friends of his parents, he meets up with two fellow students, problem child Ryuuji Sakamoto and withdrawn An Takamaki, and a talking, shape-shifting cat-like creature known as Morgana. During his time there, feeling suppressed by their environment, the four form a group known as the "Phantom Thieves," working together to carry out heists and encountering mysterious phenomena along the way.
As always Shoji Meguro has done a wonderful job composing. With his music playing, during well-directed - yet lacklusterly animated - scenes, I couldn't take my eyes off of the screen. Even if you aren't interested in Persona, I'd suggest to just watch this for that fight scene.
This special doesn't serve as much more than an introduction for a videogame - Persona 5, as you might have guessed - and logically we don't get a deep, nor resolved plot (we only see a short subplot). While the setting and themes are really interesting, the story (of the special) isn't much new. However, within 24 minutes
it does a good job establishing the characters - again, without too much depth.
It definitely did what it was supposed to do: hype me up for Persona 5, which is coming out on February 14th in the west. The only lover I need, is whatever character the Lovers arcana will be assigned to.
As a person who started with Persona 1 on the Playstation One, I have been a major Shin Megami Tensei fan since. I hold it as a series dear to my heart. The series is a Japanese Role Playing game that follows its themes around demonic entities and mythology. Persona is a sub-series of the Shin Megami Tensei franchise that pretty much is just that but with a high school setting. In recent entries there have been the additions of social links and dating. The series has only recently gained a larger following as it's been very niche for quite some time until Persona 3
and Persona 4. It is still pretty niche but now with the advent of Persona 5 many newcomers are flocking to the series to experience the greatness of the Persona series for the first time. The series just keeps growing year by year.
Now the ride to Persona 5 has been a tough and almost excruciating one. The game has been delayed a plethora of times thus giving off many red flags. All you Persona fans were aware of some of the crazy stuff that was going on with the game's release date. That, however, is a completely separate topic. What I want to discuss today is the single episode 24 minute animated short for Persona 5. First things first, I'd like to state that the short is very good. Honestly it's not enough to keep you occupied until the game is released(especially for us who are waiting on the release outside of Japan) but what I love about it is that it gives Persona 5 a more "Shin Megami Tensei" feel. That is, the modern Persona games are generally more lighthearted than the mainline Shin Megami Tensei games. Persona 1 and Persona 2 play very similarly to the early Shin Megami Tensei games on the NES and SNES. Heck, Persona 1 and 2 are related to a game named Shin Megami Tensei: If which is a spin-off of the original Shin Megami Tensei games. The newer Persona games are more cheery and not as dark as the early Persona and Shin Megami Tensei games. So when I see this I get pumped because I did not want another Persona 4 clone. Persona 4 is my least favorite in the series. I love the game but the other entries are just better in my opinion. The mood and tone that the short gave off were the selling point for me. It felt darker and more gloomy. A feeling Persona 3 and 4 did not give me.
Now let's talk about the quality of the actual story and characters. It's very hard to say anything as this is just a 24 minute short and it's a standalone episode. The writing overall was done well. They really did a good job at trying to give fans an idea of what Persona 5 will be about. All perspectives for each character were earned rightfully. Plus Morgana is pretty cute... :D
The art and animation are very good. Very stylish approach and beautiful color palette. Honestly I give a lot of flack on the animation/art in newer anime and I have to say that is just gloriously animated. Everything about the animation is great. The battle scene in the short was also awesome and perhaps the peak of the animation. It was honestly the best looking piece of motion in the short.
This music is just... wonderful! Jazz on crack is what I would describe it as. Persona and SMT games generally have good music but this is just fantastic. Really fits the mood well, even the gloomy portions which is strange to say but they manage to balance it out quite evenly.
Overall, your enjoyment of this anime does not matter if you are a fan of the games or not. The animation, art style, and the music alone is just enough to sit down and watch this. It's just so jazzy and fashionable. And for those of you who are fans I highly recommend checking this out. This won't spoil for the game. If anything, it'll actually give you a glimpse of what the game will be like. September 15 for Japan and Valentine's Day for the Worldwide release. So if you are lonely and don't have a Valentine's you'll have this game to service you. :D
This will be coming from someone who is overwhelmingly hyped for Persona 5, and a large fan of Shin Megami Tensei in general.
As a standalone OVA the story is a bit less than you'd expect. It has its interesting points and a decent, if a predictable, twist. It certainly sets up a good atmosphere that never fully breaks, but that's about it. There's no real pay off in the end as it sets us back to the Velvet Room at the end, making it a "possible" path rather than one that we should just assume happens in the future game.
The characters are alright, if you've
been keeping up with the trailers. As a half hour OVA should, it wastes no time on introductions and goes right into the plot. There's certainly potential for the characters in the game, but they're rather one note in this OVA, to the point I'd argue the trailers had more character to them.
The sound and music, as expected of an Atlus product, is fantastic however. Most of the music is from the game (I'm assuming, as it's in the trailers), and it fits well with the fast paced action they try to form. It's also just very nice to listen to in general.
The animation however is extremely poor at times. Never to the point that I couldn't look at it, but definitely to the point that the impact of scenes was lessened. The best example of this is the Persona summoning scene. While the scene itself is very cool, showing the Phantom Thieves working as a team and showing off their powers, the animation is just too poor to leave the impact it was supposed to.
Designs over all, also expected of an Atlus production, are amazing though. Characters look fantastic, powered or not, and the Personas look much better than Persona 3s and a bit better than Persona 2 and 4s in my opinion, especially Arsene and Goemon and Kidd. The world they enter into seems much more interesting than the Midnight Channel, and possibly more than Tartarus, making me think more of that in SMTIII and IV, which is a very good thing. I'm a bit disappointed that the enemies fought end up being generic demons instead of something unique. At the very least, while the grunts were immediately recognizable, I can't immediately place what the boss Demon is even though I know I've seen it a few times, so it's less used at least.
Overall, it was a decent OVA that did its job, it got me more excited for Persona 5. It gets a 7.
Also, shoutout to the Devil Survivor/Persona 1 reference in the Kazuya/Naoya brothers.
This is a not necessary but still pleasant anime to watch. This comes before the game so watch this before playing P5 if you want to be a perfectionist. This is the first Persona 5 entity to experience.
Most of this episode is focused on one character but it does all give you the basics of how the story will work for Persona 5 while not giving too much away that you can guess from promotional material.
The art and and animation is rather varied is this. It goes from decent/good and has certain moments that absolutely stunning but these are few and far between. The story
isn't astounding but it isn't bad it's for the most part throwaway but it isn't boring.
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