PERSONA 5 the Animation Episode 4 – Anime QandA Review

An Anime QandA review for PERSONA 5 the Animation Episode 4.

What’s the show? PERSONA 5 the Animation, Episode 4.

Ah, the show about the game that’s too much like the game but not the good parts of the game? Very succinct, also and I’m super happy to report this but almost every issue I had with the previous episodes and specifically the very flawed episode 3—has been fixed!

What? Really?! I know it might seem hard to believe but it’s not like we were so far gone that the show couldn’t fix itself, I was just sceptical if it ~could~ and in my opinion it absolutely fixed most of the issues I had! Imagine my surprise and delight!

These characters are so great, but there’s even better ones coming!

Well that’s good. Want to go into detail about how? It starts off with a small but appreciated change to the opening credit visuals, among some of the best of any anime this season and much improved from the first 3 episodes. I’m not sure why they changed it but I’m super glad they did, it fits the song a lot better.

Unless you play on the easiest difficulty 😉

And the episode itself? Well the pacing is exponentially better, rather than skipping from new plot point to new plot point with every scene this episode is razor focused on a single plot thread, namely stealing Kamoshida’s treasure and changing his heart and having him confess his crimes.

Demon Kamoshida is gross.

What about the issues you had with it feeling visually too much like the video game in the scenes set in the palace? Also better! Relying less on the video game visuals, having the action feel more cinematic and less like just watching scenes from the video game in anime form and one of my favourite things was how they introduced several mechanics from the video game such as buying airsoft weapons in the real world to use in the cognitive world as well as healing items, acquiring new personas and fusing personas to create different ones. All of these features could have easily been mishandled but they executed the explanation and implementation into the story perfectly!

Fake guns are real in the fake world.

Wow, sounds like you’re impressed. I am! Plus, it hit all the emotional beats of the story as well as the game did, it’s pretty much all I could ask for! The scene with Ann confronting the defeated Kamoshida both in the palace then later at the school assembly in the real world were powerful and raw. Also the sexy, alternative looking Doctor character gets a little introduction, can’t wait to get more of her in the show!

Uh, hey Doc, I’ve got something I’d like you to look at, but I’ll have to remove my trousers.

Right, so you’re more confident in the show’s adaptive abilities going forward? I am, hopeful but still not 100% confident, there’s a lot of plot lines to adapt and it could easily fall back into the pacing problems from episode 3, so I’m fully expecting that to happen but fingers crossed it doesn’t because if the show keeps up the quality that was this episode I will be a happy boy!

PERSONA 5 the Animation Episode 1 – Anime QandA Review

An Anime QandA review for PERSONA 5 the Animation Episode 1.

What’s the show? PERSONA 5 the Animation, Episode 1.

Oh, ‘the Animation’ that means it’s based on a video game doesn’t it? Indeed, and I’ve even played the video game this is based on!

So you already know all about the plot and characters and where it’s going, huh? Sure do!

No spoilers! I’m not an asshole, of course no spoilers.

So what’s the show about? Well broadly it’s about The Phantom Thieves, a group of social justice vigilantes who seek to undo the wrongs did my ‘shitty adults’ by entering their “palaces” and “changing their hearts”.

Huh? “Palaces”, “Changing Hearts”, what’s all that about? Well it’ll be explained in future episodes so I don’t want to go into too much detail but basically our protagonist Ren Amamiya discovers a magical app on his phone that allows him to enter people’s ‘palaces’ which is like their cognitive world manifested as a hyper stylised fortress filled with enemies which reflect the worst aspects of their personality. Inside these palaces are a treasure, which if obtained makes the person have a ‘change of heart’.

I feel like you probably spoiled more than you should have… Maybe, I mean if I had to guess you’d probably find out most of this within the next 3 to 4 episodes, but there’s a lot more to this show than its central premise.

So having played the game does that make your viewing experience different? Absolutely, because it’s so faithful it does kind of feel a little bit boring to watch. But that’s because I only finished the game in February of this year so it’s still fresh in my mind. But the story and the characters were the best part of the game so I’m still happy to watch it all unfold in an animated form.

And how does it compare so far? Well as I said it’s very faithful so far, and it looks great and has some great audio cues from the game but I played the game with the English voice acting so hearing all these characters in Japanese is a little jarring, especially since I put like 80 hours into the game so I’m very used to the English voices. Having said that, Sojiro’s voice acting is great and it’s good to have a voice to the protagonist who was mostly voiceless in the game, but I already can’t stand Ryuji’s voice actor. Everyone else sounds pretty similar to their English counterparts, but Ryuji sounds so different it might be hard to get used to. But that’s entirely my problem and not a problem of the show.

Fair enough, so what’s the final word on episode one? If you haven’t played Persona 5 I recommend the show, it might seem confusing and dense but this is definitely a show where you need to see more of it to fully appreciate the stories and characters, all of which are great. I can’t wait til the show introduces Makoto and Futaba, my two favourite characters in the game, and of course Morgana who we got a glimpse of at the end of episode one. I’ll be interested to know what people who haven’t played the game think and those who have how do you think it fairs so far as an adaptation.