Persona 5: The Animation is one of my most-anticipated shows for the Spring 2018 anime season. I fucking loved the video game, and I am a huge fan of the Shin Megami Tensei gaming franchise. So, when I learned that A-1 Pictures was adapting the title into an anime, with direction from Masashi Ishihama, I knew I had to jump on it as soon as I could.
Persona 5 is an action, fantasy series that follows the adventures of a main character named Ren Amamiya, who is the leader of a criminal organisation known only as the Phantom Thieves. One evening while infiltrating a casino to steal some treasure, Amamiya inadvertently walks into an ambush and gets busted. As he is sitting in a cell being interrogated, the scene flashes back to the first time that he moved to the city and the events that will eventually lead to his current position.
I am going to preface this entire thing by saying flat-out that I thoroughly enjoyed the pilot. For an introduction to a 24-episode long series, I think it was close to being perfect; there were very few things that I did not like about it. I mentioned in an earlier post that I had never found the anime adaptations for the Persona series to be my cup of chai, however, I think that is finally about to change.
The episode, which is paced excellently, covers all the main parts that it needed to to set up the foundation for things to come, as well as to give a basic idea of why Amamiya becomes what he becomes. It retains an air of mystery that will be revealed as the plot develops—providing room for speculation and questions for folks who are completely unfamiliar with the narrative—and it never leaves you unsatisfied. The finale, while being on a cliff-hanger, is timed impeccably well, leaving the watcher hooked and wanting more, yet it is not such an intense one as to incite frustration or feelings of inadequacy.
Other pleasant aspects include the music, which is ripped straight from the game. It fits the aesthetic and tone of the narrative wonderfully and helps to draw you into its very strange and sublime atmosphere. The animation quality is beautiful. When the more stylish elements of Persona 5 begin to appear, I have a feeling that the virtual cinematography will do it delightful justice (and it is the main thing I am looking forward to with the show). The anime also uses the same cast of voice actors from the video game, which was a brilliant choice as they captured the personas (pun intended) of the characters superbly in the JRPG. This brought everything together quite fabulously and enhanced my excitement even more.
If I could mention any flaw about Persona 5: The Animation, it would be of the minute details that have been altered here and there in the anime versus the video game. As a whole, and particularly regarding the structure of the storyline, I do not see these changes becoming an issue; it is more of a personal preference than anything else.
Aside from that, this was a well-crafted first episode of a title that I am passionate about and I highly recommend this to all watchers, whether you are a fan of the game, or someone who is simply looking for a good story that will grow to be sensationally action-packed and stylish as all hell.
You can watch Persona 5: The Animation on CrunchyRoll on Saturday mornings.
Are any of you fans of the game or anime franchise? Will this be on your list of Spring serials to check out? Share your thoughts with me in the comments!