Persona 5: The Animation [Review]
“In April, Ren Amamiya transfers schools for mysterious reasons—something to do with him getting a criminal record for committing grave bodily harm, with the conditions of his probation being to attend a new school far away. A friend of his parents named Sojiro Sakura agrees to take the boy in for reasons of his own, so a reluctant Ren begins his new life. He deletes a mysterious red app from his phone before arriving at Sojiro’s house, but the app reappears as he’s going to bed for the night. He dreams of a strange place known as the Velvet Room where a man named Igor tells him that there’s a way to break free of the chains binding him. The next day, when another red screen on a new classmate’s phone leads them into a trap, a persona know as Arsène appears to help Ren. Somehow, all of this will lead to Ren falling back into police custody by November.” -ANN
For those of you that have played the Persona 5 game, you already know what’s going on. For those of you that haven’t Persona 5 the Animation is based on a game (Persona 5) and is an excellent game. This anime adaptation follows the story of the game to a T, aside from a few tweaks and variations on a number of scenes. Analyzing the anime on its own, the story is choppy jumping from plot point to plot point without adding the information in between to make the story flow. This could result in a somewhat confusing story, especially for those that haven’t experience the game.
Artwork & Animation:
The artwork was one of the most disappointing things in this show. The low quality and distortion in multiple areas such as the body frames, the facial expressions, etc. really distracted from the story. The fighting animation with the personas was better, but they were short and way to simple. Each persona user would use one attack each and that’d be the end of the big bad boss.
There’s a lot of characters in Persona 5 and for the anime to at least hint at all of them is actually quite commendable. Although they are hinted, it’s not guaranteed that they’ll be explained on what part they play in the larger scheme of the things. Our main cast gets most of the character development, including some events from their confidant events (Storyline in the game) as well!
Sound (OST & Voice Acting):
Not surprisingly, most of the soundtrack is pulled from the game itself. which brings back the vibe of when you’re playing the game. The modern jazz vibe is dominant throughout the soundtrack. The exceptions are the opening and ending themes that are exclusive to the anime itself.
Persona 5 is one of my favorite games and to get an anime adaptation was very exciting. And while it was great to relive the game through the adaptation, it’s obvious to see that the anime was made purely for fans that have already played the game as a lot of things are implied and not actually shown. The execution in the art was also very lacking, if you enjoy the Persona series then I would highly recommend playing the game.
Overall: Score 4
While it does follow the story of the game, the anime adaptation misses crucial details that were needed to keep the flow of the story. A poor direction in art and simple animation deteriorates the immersion that is needed to really pull the audience into the world of Persona.
Best Girl: Makoto Nijima
While all of the Persona 5 girls are fantastic, Makoto pulls ahead just bit because of her responsible and dominant personality. Pair that with being easily scared and always being curious about what “having fun” is outside of studying and we’ve got ourselves a winner!
Honorable Mention: Tougou Hifumi
I’m really sad that Hifumi hardly had any screen time in the anime. She was my favorite while playing the game and going through her “confidant”. Smart, collected, and brave Hifumi easily beats the rest and with a cute character design to top it off!