Sep 18, 2016
ArchStanton (All reviews)
This anime is basically an advertisement/preview for Persona 5 and as such it does its job well. We get to see the characters in action along with how they access their new shadow realm (it's an app!) all with the beautiful art style and character designs developed for the game. The animation's not quite as good as that in the game, but it's still well above average. The plot is pretty basic and takes place within the game without ruining any of the plot for us. Apparently people can put in requests for help to the Phantom Thieves online. One guy, a lockpick and thief who's unhappy with his life, goes onto this site and the team decides to investigate his case. They follow him around and do various investigatory things before deciding to take action. It's basically like one of the regular bosses in the game except abbreviated to the point of a subplot. In other words, the anime is rather narrow in scope. It works fine, especially when viewed as an extended trailer, and there are one or two twists to keep things interesting. And it reveals next to nothing about the main story. Characterwise it's also very much a teaser. We don't really get to know anything about the characters except that they seem to slavishly follow the lead's lead. They seem rather more sinister or angsty than in previous Personas but they're rarely given time to develop outside of plot exposition. And there's no time for such development either. The anime is pared to the bone.

As a trailer this anime works very well. As a standalone episode it's less strong but still admirably clear for an introduction to the series. There's a lot we're not told but it's never allowed to come between us and our understanding of the plot. I'm very excited to play this game and the anime merely whet that excitement. It's limited in scope by necessity, but displays enough cleverness in telling a fairly simple story that the potential for greater stories is easy to imagine.