Beneath the Mask: A Review of PERSONA5 the Animation Eps. 1 and 2

Joker anime shot

Hello, dear reader! Before I get to the review, I have something to confess. 

I haven’t yet finished playing PERSONA5

GOT shame
Yes, I accept the shame.

However, as I review the series, I’ll be evaluating PERSONA5 the Animation as an anime series and not strictly examining it for whether it succeeds or fails as an adaptation (though I will do a little bit of that). That being said I have played up to Makoto’s story arc, so I do remember the early parts of the story well.  

persona-5-2.jpgPERSONA5 the Animation is an adaptation of ATLUS’s mega popular 2016 video game PERSONA5. As far as I can tell from the first two episodes, this is a faithful adaptation that follows the same story beats as the original game. The story is introduced through a flashback as our main protagonist, Ren Amamiya, tells prosecutor Sae Nijima about the founding of and the “crimes” committed by The Phantom Thieves. The first two episodes set up the Metaverse, the Velvet Room, and the first antagonist, Suguru Kamoshida, the volleyball coach.

So far, the characterizations remain faithful and on point. I hope that as the series moves forward, it is able to keep the personal story arcs of The Phantom Thieves as intact as possible (ie. Ryuji’s story with his former track teammates) as these stories give the characters depth and better understandings of their personality quirks and traits. That being said, even though PERSONA5 the Animation is slated for 24 episodes, I wouldn’t be surprised if certain storylines and characters are cut from the anime due to time constraints.

Kenji and his former track teammates

Production is being handled by A-1 Pictures, who did not originally produce the anime cutscenes for the game, but don’t worry because they do a great job adapting the game’s aesthetic and character designs into the anime. 

joker game shot 2
Joker anime shot 2

My biggest fear is the fight scenes. The first battle in the castle dungeon is too fast paced for my liking. The change is understandable from a storytelling perspective since turn based combat would take up too much of the episode runtime, but I hope the pacing of the battles don’t become a blur of special effects to save time. 

Overall, PERSONA5 the Animation is a faithful adaptation of the video game, if you wanted to enjoy the story of P5 without the dungeon grinding and time management that comes with having to play it. Also, if you are looking for new stories with the P5 characters or a sequel to the game, I’d look elsewhere.

Bill’s Random Thoughts

  •         Ren Amamiya is such a generic name.
  •         The same great music from the game is also used in the anime YAY!!!
  •         The new opening theme is ok but I wished they just used the song from the opening of PERSONA5. 
  •         You don’t need to watch PERSONA5 the Animation -THE DAY BREAKERS- as that is not tied to this series.

P5 meme of the week:

PERSONA5 the Animation is streaming weekly on Crunchyroll.

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