Petty Review: Persona 5 the Animation

Persona 5 is one of my favorite video games of all time. I pretty much love everything about the game. I played through the entire game twice. This isn’t a short game either, I’m talking about over a hundred hours devoted to a playthrough. I loved this game enough to look into the previous games in the Persona series, the other games made by Atlus, and the anime recreations of these games. I’ve already watched the Persona 4 anime series and Persona 3 anime series. I’m working on playing through Persona 3 and 4 on the PS2. Hopefully, I have established that these atmospheric, weird, story-heavy JRPGs (Japanese Role Playing Game) are my gaming niche. 

Naturally, when Persona 5: The Animation was released on Hulu I had to watch it. I had high hopes for this anime. It had the perfect source material to work with; high school life, dramatic fight scenes, and righting the wrongs of society by fighting in a supernatural world based on human cognition. All in all, this seems like it should be the perfect foundation for a good anime.  

Sadly that isn’t what happened. The story that had been so engaging in the video game became badly compressed in the anime. I would have been confused as to what the heck was going on if I didn’t have previous knowledge of the story. The show moved through the events so fast there wasn’t time to feel any connection to the characters or get invested in the plot of the episodes. All the little details that added to the experience were lost because there wasn’t enough time for them. 

Even the quality of the animation was just a pale reflection of the original anime cutscenes in the game. How ridiculous is that? The video game had better animation than the anime! That’s how good the game is, which is how bad the anime looked by comparison. 

There was one scene that felt like such a slap in the face with how laughably bad the animation was. In the game, there is a move called “All Out Attack”. This happens when you knock all enemies down and a flashy, stylized beat-em-up scene plays ending with a unique character graphic. Instead of fleshing out combat scenes that are limited by gameplay, Persona 5: The Animation put in a pathetic attempt at the same “All Out Attack”. They would have been better off just taking recorded video game footage. Words can only convey so much of this travesty so I have a link to a short comparison video here

I didn’t even finish watching the anime. I only made it to episode three or four before I gave up on watching. The whole anime felt unnecessary. It didn’t add anything to the Persona 5 experience. Don’t waste your time with this anime. Go buy Persona 5, start up your PS4 and start playing for the real Persona 5 experience. 

*The YouTube video belongs to Woozy Vids. The image used does not belong to me. Persona 5 belongs to Atlus and CloverWorks who produced the anime.

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