Based on the video game by Atlus, ‘Persona 5: The Animation‘ is directed by Masashi Ishihama and produced by CloverWorks with Aniplex dubbing into English.
Serving as a backstory to the video game, it follows the teenager Ren Amamiya (Xander Mobus) who is forced to move to Tokyo after being accused of a crime. After arriving, he accidentally gets pulled into the Metaverse, a spirit-world of sorts that surrounds the real world. Through it, people’s emotions, desires, and vanity manifest in demonic versions of themselves. While there, he meets Morgana (Cassandra Lee Morris), a cat-like being who teaches Ren about Personas and using them to defeat the Metaverse beings. He becomes Joker and from there he recruits fellow students Ryuji “Skull” Sakamoto (Max Mittelman), Ann “Panther” Takamaki (Erika Harlacher), Yusuke “Fox” Kitagawa (Matthew Mercer), Makoto “Queen” Niijima (Cherami Leigh), Futaba “Oracle” Sakura (Erica Lindbeck), and Haru “Noir” Okumura (Xanthe Huynh) work together to save friends, family, and even each other free their hearts from chains as the Phantom Thieves. However, a popular “teen detective” Goro Akechi (Robbie Daymond) is suspicious of them and their desire to see justice.
I understand certain fans had a problem with this anime, saying that it did not match the video game. I must slightly disagree as I think that the show serves as more of a prequel to the games. It introduces the characters, sets up some of the lore, and while it does take a few artistic licenses with the story, I think it matched up pretty well.
The story of Ren and his allies coming together to steal the “treasures” of people’s hearts in order to reform them kept my attention through the whole twenty-six episodes and two specials. I liked getting to know the characters, particular Joker, Panther, and Fox. Their arcs were some of the most interesting. I will admit, Joker’s “mind-prison” was a bit confusing, but it made it come together as the series progressed.
As for the animation, spot-on. The character illustrations, cityscapes, and the Metaverse are all designed with excellence. I also liked how they used specific scenes and attacks from the game to highlight their special moves or defeating the “boss.”
For the last point, I also want to say that Aniplex did an excellent job dubbing the voices. Most of the cast are the same as the video game so it felt natural and made the plot easier to follow. Everyone put their best foot forward with their respective roles and that was impressive.
Check out the trailer below:
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Violence, Foul language, Adult situations
This review is based on the dub.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my reviews of ‘The Way of the Househusband‘ and Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.