I absolutely love Persona 5 if you couldnt tell from my profile. Though it might not be the largest numbers I have put over 350 hours into the vanilla version and 130 hours and counting into Royal and I enjoyed every minute of it. The everyday life simulator combined with the dungeon crawling and turnbased RPG the overflowing and elegant visual style the absolutely godlike soundtrackit is hard to understate how much I adore this game. Then I was reminded a few months back that this game had an anime adaptation and even though I knew that people said it was horrible I for some reason went and watched it. The whole thing. I forced myself to finish it. I do not know why. In general I like the story of Persona 5. Its certainly not perfect with certain moments and arcs that feel weird and plot holes that arent filled but its a story that is compelling makes sense and is ultimately satisfying and cathartic. Persona 5: The Animation retells the story of Persona 5 though it changes elements to fit the medium. Some of the confidant relationships were handled decently well in the anime considering the confidants were a core gameplay element that would be difficult to adapt. The anime has golden moments that werent in the gameeveryones favorite example is the scene at the school festival where Ren tries to unmask a ghost in his schools haunted house out of habit from his Phantom Thieves shenanigans. Additionally the anime also explores the relationship between Ren and Akechi much more in depth than vanilla Persona 5 did which was interesting to see. But the elephant in the room regarding the animes story as I think anyone who knows about it can tell you is the god awful pacing. The vast majority of the time the story is incredibly rushed. Events that take time to occur in the game are presented at breakneck speed with whole arcs in the game being crammed into a fewer number of episodes than you can count on half a hand. Many scenes are painful to watch with how rushed they are with characters following each others lines up with almost no time to breathe. Half of the entire games content infiltrating and exploring palaces is substituted for mere minutes of badly animated sequences showing the Phantom Thieves running around with the occasional reference to unique portions of the palacethere was so much that could have been done with the Metaverse exploration that wasnt. I could go on but the bottom line is that the storytelling in Persona 5: The Animation is pretty garbage and it definitely doesnt the do the games story justice. If this anime were given more episodes and more time it certainly could have been a good retelling of Persona 5. Alas it was not. 3/10. The characters in this adaptation largely suffered as a direct result of the bad writing. Given the vast amount of characters including the Phantom Thieves themselves and Rens confidants and the limited timeframe the anime was pigeonholed into its not surprising that the majority of the characters in the anime are sorely undeveloped uninteresting and in the case of most of the confidants dont make much sense unless you already know who they are from the game. Theres honestly not much to say here. Some people argue that Ren Amamiya the protagonist actually has a personality in the anime as opposed to in the gameas should be the case considering the games protagonist is meant to be an insert for the player. In my opinion Rens personality isnt even strong enough in the anime. Sure he can still maintain the cool and quiet persona but theres no reason for him to be as silent and passive in the anime as he usually is in game. Line choices in the game for Ren are often witty and funnysome of this spirit was captured in the anime but not nearly enough. But again given the quality of writing having strong characters is a bit of a tall order. 3/10. And then there are the visuals. Persona 5 is a game renowned for its gorgeous visual style yet the animation in the anime adaptation is nothing short of embarrassing. A simple comparison of the AllOut Attack animation in game and the meager effort to reproduce it in the anime is a pretty good summary of the disparity in quality between the two mediums. That also isnt to mention the awful fight choreography in the anime which might as well have not existed. The cutscenes from ingame look better than most of the content in the anime with the occasional exception usually in the form of character expressions. Put simply the visuals suckand thats even speaking from an objective point of view without comparing it to the game. 3/10. One of the potentially redeeming factors for the anime was its music and its mostly just because it took much of the soundtrack directly from the game whose music as mentioned is godtier. Granted there were some soundtracks that were exclusive to the anime that also were pretty great: one that comes to mind for me is the track that plays when Ren and Akechi play chess for the first time. The first opening Break In to Break Out was also a certified banger. That being said potentially is in quotes because occasionally the timing and moodsetting of songs felt a little off but this is a pretty minor problem compared to everything else. 7/10 because Persona 5 music absolutely kills it. Its honestly really unfortunate that Persona 5: The Animation was as much of a mess as it is. I genuinely believe that if this anime was given a few seasons of time to develop it could have been an absolutely amazing adaptationafter all the source material quality is there. And even aside from that the anime itself had as mentioned before moments of brilliance that could have been even better had the rest of the adaptation held up. It seems blatantly obvious that this anime was rushed through production to capitalize on hype around Persona 5 which is almost made more apparent by the fact that the dub version was released on Bluray not too long ago from the time of writing for a whopping 300 or for streaming on Funimation to which the point still stands. The bottom line is: if youre interested in Persona 5 at all just go play the game. Please.
38 /100
7 out of 10 users liked this review