The stage is Ayanagi City, a city near the Japan Sea. It is a futuristic city that was built to carry out the recovery from the calamity caused by the "Apathy Syndrome" ten years previous. High school student Shin Kanzato with his little brother Jun, meet with their elder brother Ryou, who is the chief of the Ayanagi City Police, again after ten years. At that time, a series of strange incidents happen in Ayanagi City such as the crew of a submarine that suddenly disappears while in their submarine, or a spiritless symptom which disturbs the world after ten years, or the case of the inside out corpse where a student took on a cruel appearance. Ryou tracks down the organization behind the string of incidents, and having become involved in the incidents, Shin awakens the "Persona."
The Shin Megami Tensei brand has been taking away hours and hours of my life after having played my first Persona game and Digital Devil game 2 years ago. But, and what I enjoyed most, was the transition after I finished Persona 3 and started Persona 4. So, after coming back to the Persona world (encouraged by the Persona 3 Portable game latest release) I thought about watching this series that I had stored on my hard drive since about one year ago. After I finished watching it I was very dissapointed. I definitely expected a lot more from Persona –trinity soul-, an anime adaptation
of one of the best JRPGs ever made.
So, welcome to Ayanagi City, a futuristic metropolis where Persona users seem to be more and more frequent. Here is where the young Kanzato brothers, Shin and Jun, are returning to reunite with their elder brother, Ryou, after the disastrous incidents that ended with their parents and their younger sister lives 10 years ago. Ryou happens to be the chief of the Ayanagi police Department. He has been on the track of a Persona criminal group known as Moribito, who he beliefs are the cause of the incidents 10 years ago. This group was apparently inactive, but when Shin and Jun arrive at Ayanagi City the group suddenly starts to take action. This and other events trigger the awakening of Shin’s persona.
Most Persona fans must be familiar with the “Apathy Syndrome” and “Persona” terms so I’m not going to explain those. Also, and to clarify, I’ll be making lots of comparisons with the Persona videogames (3 and 4) just because I consider it to be pertinent. This being said, the viewer must know that this is a spin-off story from Persona 3 that holds almost no relation to it.
As for the story development goes, the producers failed miserably. The incoherence and slow pace is a constant element that makes the whole story pretty much boring. Most episodes of Persona trinity soul- don’t start “right off” when the previous one ended; this makes it a little confusing for the audience and tends to be tedious, since one will have to wait to the near end of the actual episode to be able to realize what’s really going on. Sometimes there is not any explanation of what happened previously whatsoever.
At the end, the story has it good moments and some awfully and constant monotone passages. The battles are short and a disgrace to those who played the Persona videogames because of the lack of complexity featured. The plot focuses more on the characters as a whole and on their problems. Some episodes might be (to some extent) entertaining to watch, but each episode definitely doesn’t shine on its own amongst the others. The storyline is nothing near engaging or memorable.
On the other hand, the animation is very well done. Somehow the quality and style makes me remember Persona 4, since the characters and locations are drawn pretty much alike. Also the high school male uniform it’s similar to the one used on Persona 4 by the main leads. This makes sense, considering that the Persona 4 game was released in Japan one month after this anime started airing on June of 2008.
Ayanagi City also looks familiar. One can associate the city town district with Gekkoukan City (Persona 3) and the rural area, where the Kanzato residence is ubicated, with Inaba City (Persona 4). Ayanagi City might be, in fact, a hybrid resulted of the combination of both cities.
My only concern with the animation design does come to surface when the personas are ‘summoned’. Fans hoping to watch little Jack Frost freezing an opponent or gorgeous Angel casting a healing spell will be greatly disappointed. The persona’s design on Persona -trinity soul- seems to be taken out from a mecha genre anime and practically all of them look almost the same with some slight differences in contextures and colors. Plus, the personas don’t have an identity or name, they’re just "personas"; this really blurs the whole perspective for the viewer who could wonder: “are these ‘personas’ THAT important to the plot?” At least visually the personas are just a nuisance and might anger more than one.
If I were to point at the best attribute (and probably the only one) that Persona -trinity soul- haves, I would say without a doubt: that’s gotta be the soundtrack. While the show follows the usual fast and strong Opening single and slow and tranquil Ending theme sequence that shounens usually tend to use, the tracks are far above average. Especially the second Opening single, “Word of voice” performed by FLOW, needs a special recognition for its quality. The original BGMs are very good and definitely add more sentiment when the moment requires it. There are some remixed versions of some Persona 3 BGMs that can be heard on most of the episodes. Also an old character from the same game makes his appearance half trough the series.
Sanada Akihiko, probably the most popular character from Persona 3 amongst the ladies, appears from nowhere exactly when the anime reaches its second season. Surely a fanservice alternative from the producers to please the audience has to be the case, taking into consideration that Akihiko doesn’t really take any part in the “action”. Even so, he might be one of the few characters that are actually “alive” in the plot.
All the main characters and the majority of the secondary characters are lifeless or, simply put, lame. There isn’t a single moment to break into laugher or a single sad moment because the characters don’t really ask for the viewer’s sympathy. Junpei, Aegis, Yukiko, Fuuka, Yosuke… Persona gamers can find all the previous stereotype characters in this anime roster. Of course, none of the characters share the original’s charisma or seem to be developed to the videogame’s possible extend. The characters could disappear one after another and the viewer probably wouldn’t care or even notice the “change”.
Persona -trinity soul- wasn’t enjoyable, of course being I a Persona gamer. I seriously don’t have the slightest idea if a non-Persona gamer would fully understand the anime scenario. But, I can say this for myself: a Persona gamer will feel angered, disappointed or just will not feel anything at all. I wouldn’t recommend it to Persona gamers, knowing that this is simply a mediocre rip-off of a great theme and I wouldn’t recommend it to non-Persona gamers, since I don’t want them to have a bad impression of the saga. There is a slight chance that the last mentioned group might enjoy it though.
I’m sure the producers tried to make this anime somehow different to the usual content that the fans are used to. As they say: “different is not always bad”, the contrary could as well be applied: “the usual is not always bad”. A shame that the staff couldn’t realize that: “when things go well, why change them?”
Persona -Trinity Soul- is a nice addition to the Persona story, and like Persona 3 before it, focuses a lot on character develpment. Even though this anime is considered a sequal to Persona 3, besides having a supporting character from the game, and the occasional mention of the "event 10 years ago," it doesn't entirely connect with the game, and is better considered a story of it's own.
At first, the story is slow and confusing, but the explanations and speed picks up partway through the series. For people hoping to see a lot of Persona versus Persona fighting, sorry. The focus is more on story
Overall, though, it was a very great anime, with sometimes surprising plot twists and touching flashback scenes (which I usually hate). The music is always fitting with the scene that is occuring. Character design and art is great, and the studio did a great job of perfecting the same dark atmosphere that the Persona series is known for.
- Persona 3 fanservice (it features one of the characters from the video game midway through the series)
- Great soundtrack
- Beautiful art style
- Convoluted plot
- Seriously...what's up with the whale feathers?
- Can be too emo at times
- Episodes never start exactly where the last episode left off. Annoying.
Persona tries to draw you into their world, and into the dark histories of its characters, but only partially succeeds. Fans of the video game will surely find reason to like this anime. Those who have never played the game, however, will probably find it average at the least.
How cool is it when you put a gun to your head, close your eyes, pull the trigger... and out comes a mask of your personality, a figure of your other self, a being of great power that you can summon...a Persona?
Very cool indeed.
That's the theme of the quite popular Persona 3, an Atlus game for the Playstation 2. Persona: Trinity Soul, is a spin-off to the awesome RPG. Sadly, it turns out to be a disgrace to Persona 3, and all of its fans.
Trinity Soul has absolutely no relation to the game whatsoever (thankfully). Save one recurring character from the RPG, the rest of
the series is unrelated to the original game's plot. It's not a sequel, but an independent anime based on the theme of Personas stolen from the game.
The only excuse I found for watching this series (as i'm sure is also the case with the other persona 3 fans) is solely because it followed the theme from my all time favourite RPG.
What I did not expect was the complete butchering of Personas, their summoning, their power and the over all story in Trinity Soul.
The story, if it can be called a story, takes place 10 years after the occurences in persona 3 and centers around the young 17 year old Shin. A normal highschool student who gets transferred along with his younger brother, to live with their older brother who works in the police force. Strange things seemed to be happening in the city, and as Shin becomes aware of them and gets involved, he awakens his other self, his Persona.
That is all which is notable in the series, the rest is crap.
There's no actual plot, just a gang of bandits experimenting with persona users. The plot, at times, becomes difficult to follow and I can honestly say that I still didn't completely comprehend the ending.
The art was somehwat decent. The characters were built nicely but they look like a mixture of the old 'cute' anime faces and the new 'real' looking ones. The eyes somewhat disturbed me. Apart from that, the backgrounds and sceneries were quite impressive I admit and the city highlights were heart warming and the only pleasure I could derive from the series.
The OP and ED themes were actually very good. But I never noticed the background music much (which are extremely important and if used correctly, can make the moment 10 times more enjoyable). Either because they never used anything decent (or maybe none at all) or maybe because I was desperately waiting for the series to finish quickly.
This was just...bearable. Shin always exaggerated his feelings and sometimes, didn't show them at all. The characters never expressed at the right places and behaved very abnormally. I feel that one of the side characters, Yuki, was barely necessary but the series has stressed quite much on her. Then the way a few characters are dealt with is just plain PATHETIC. A moment which was supposed to make the viewer feel sad and depressed brought a reaction of 'WTF!?'
Need I say more? You might be able to relax your eyes on the sceneries and on one of my favourite characters who made a return in this (why HIM of all the people?). But forget about the main theme: Personas. They are designed like personas but are almost transparent and their summoning is bull. No backstory on personas or their history. They are more like giant colourful flying robots. YES. EXACTLY like that. Utterly obliterated. And what's with the whale and the feathers?
Fellow fans of the Persona RPGs, expect nothing from this. I highly recommend you ignore this series if you don't want to see the lovable and awesome personas turned into garbage right in front of your eyes. Continue enjoying the awesomeness of the games Persona 3 and 4 and their brilliant story lines, characters and plots. Don't indulge yourself into this nightmare like I did, thinking that it's worth watching since it's related to Atlus' Persona 3. You might enjoy this series more if you were unaware of the original games, but you wouldn't understand anything to begin with.
Very Poor. Nothing like the Persona brilliance, which is in a whole different league. A big let down for Persona fans.