BREAKING NEWS! Game turned into anime, and it’s not utter crap! PERSONA -trinity soul- does the impossible and surprises us all with a paranormal action series, airing Saturdays at 22:30 JST on MXTV.

Hailed by some as the best Japanese RPG on the Playstation 2, PERSONA 3 was published by Atlus in 2006 and featured high school kids firing guns into their temples in order to summon magical beings known as “personas”. Apparently this was too edgy for television, so they’ve removed that part, but at least the sexy character design remains the same. I’m probably obligated to mention that the PERSONA series is a spin-off of Atlus’ Megami Tensei universe, but it was created way back in 1987, when most of the readers of this blog weren’t even born. Heading the anime is Matsumoto Jun, fresh from his very first directing job with random parts of Blood+ (like, well, the second ending bit). While this may be a bit worrying, I’m sure you’ll breathe a sigh of relief when you hear that the script writer is none other than Mutou Yasuyuki, who made the script for Bible Black.

The setting and plot seemingly take place 10 years after the outbreak of the game’s apathy incidents, but it’s an original story where the protagonists are a trio of orphaned brothers called Kanzato Ryou (age 28), Shin (17) and Jun (14). The eldest is police chief in the city of Ayanagi, and investigating bizarre student deaths referred to as the “Reverse Cases”, due to the corpses being turned inside out. In the midst of this, his two younger brothers decide to pay him a visit, returning to the parental home in which Ryou dwells. Unfortunately he’s switched the locks when they arrive, so they end up having to walk around turn reminiscing about their childhood, and mentioning Jun’s dead twin sister Yuki. On the other side of town, Ryou finally catches up with the killer, who’s about to absorb a girl’s persona into his own. To stop him, Ryou brings out his very own persona, and the two supernatural creatures battle it out on a rooftop. Ryou manages to save the girl, but the perpetrator sneaks away, injured. At the same time, Shin wakes up from a vivid dream, in which he and Jun meet a strange fortune teller, hinting of doom and gloom. Soon Ryou comes back home and lets the two younger boys inside, disappointed that they couldn’t find the hidden door key. As Jun goes to bed, sounding like he’s having a dialogue with himself in dual voices, Shin decides to take a walk. Hearing strange moaning from a building, he wanders inside and comes across the wounded guy his older brother just encountered. And guess what, it turns out Ryou didn’t have a monopoly on persona powers in the family.

This is a solid production, with good animation by A-1 Pictures, and along with the rocking music by Iwasaki Taku it makes for a very slick show to enjoy, although I wish it was made in HD. Perhaps the weakest link is the voice acting; despite the fabulous Koyasu Takehito (Keiki in Juuni Kokki) as Ryou, and the decent Okamoto Nobuhiko (Yorito in sola), my ears simply can’t accept that Jun is male, when he’s played by Sawashiro Miyuki (Shinku in Rozen Maiden), no matter how much I love her voice. I suppose it’s because she needs to manage the multiple personality disorder, but a 14-year-old boy is pushing it, even for her.

I’m always worried when I start watching a game adaptation, because so very many anime have come to suck because they couldn’t make anything decent out of it, but in this case they wisely decided to throw away the game plot and create something new, while still keeping the fresh style that made the game so attractive. Perhaps I should admit that I’ve only spent ten or so hours playing it, but I simply got sick of running through randomly generated floors. Does the combat ever change in the game? Anyway, the PERSONA anime works for me; it’s stylish, dark, has the possibility of an interesting plot, and while the action sequences reminded me a bit too much of Mai-HiME, I remain hopeful that this will become a great show.


  1. Sounds like this should be pretty good. Did enjoy the game so any tie ins for the characters would be appreciated in this one. But the current situation is curious so will certainly follow along.

  2. Sounds interesting, though disappointing to hear you won’t be picking it up regularly (also sad they did away with the Evoker guns, since I always found them amusing). And personally, I don’t think a direct game plot adaption would be bad, since the game plays out very much like an anime already.

  3. hypertoast – I mean games as in proper games, not “click next” slideshows.

    feez – No, see, I just blog the first episode. No one will be blogging this show, unless someone new magically appears with Japanese understanding and proper English grammar, who just happens to love anime and writing about it.

  4. great show was it. actually the only one i did enjoy out of all premieres. Did try Shigofumi but …. there was something…lol i could not even take it seriously… post angel and talking staff…also I did not like the fact that it is gonna be episodic in nature…seriously, thats what ruined Darker than Black for me…

    As for great game adaptations – there’s Tales of Symphonia. AS far as I can see its one of these few adaptations that are actually worth to take a look. Seen 7 OVAs so far and it was great quality.

    Unknown Voice
  5. are the OP or ED anything like the game intro? I really liked it, even though it’s not normally my kind of music. (here: )

    I played the hell out of P3; my clear time was ~95 hours, and that’s without much grinding – though I did abuse the persona fusion system quite a bit. Don’t think I’ll bother with new game+ though – unless the rumoured localisation of FES comes out.

    Tartarus can be a bit dull, but I just rushed through it as fast as possible each time until I got as far as you could go that month. The fight do get a lot more challenging – particularly boss fights – and you have to have your wits about you, and be good at managing the other party member’s AI.

    panda monium
  6. HAhaha!! This is so cool! And as an added bonus, you can hear the background music from Persona 3 “Changing Seasons” when Shin and Jun enter a cafe when its playing, I love that music! Its found in Persona 3 Reincarnation soundtrack.

  7. According to the poll Persona seems to be the most popular. However if this isn’t your cup of tea maybe you can recruit another fellow blogger to do it? Higurashi was really popular so it was a shame it really didn’t get the same treatment here. Speaking of which what ever happened to Jaalin?

  8. Shonen’s always popular though. That doesn’t mean it’s good. And a lot of the popularity comes from the game. Being a fan of Persona 3, I’m disappointed that there’s not more connection. I hope that Aigis at least shows up at some point. If some of the cooler persona from the game are involved in the next few episodes, than I’ll continue watching.

  9. I remember playing Persona 1 for PS1 way back in the day (1990s), although I only played it for a bit.

    Anyway, this show also surprised me in that it turned out a lot better than I was expecting. I’m also a fan of any series starring Sawashiro Miyuki (沢城 みゆき) now, after noticing how talented she is last year. She can do a wide range of voices from Senkouji Hagino in BLUE DROP ~Tenshi-tachi no Gikyoku~, Souya Akira in Dragonauts The Resonance, Houjou Reika in Goshuushou-sama Ninomiya-kun, Hyuuga Mayuki in Suteki Tantei Labyrinth, Sekiutsu Maria Tarou in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Hotarabi in Basilisk, Nekane Springfield/Shichimi in Negima!?, and Sara Gallagher in Mai-HiME/Otome. The first 4 shows listed were starring roles she was in last season.

    Of course, having Koyasu Takehito (子安 武人), i.e. Mu La Flaga in Gundam SEED/Destiny, Nougami Neuro in Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro, Wakatsuki Shuusuke in Myself; Yourself, Kizaki Gamlin in Macross 7, never hurts!

    I’ve uploaded the OP here:

    ED can be seen here:
    (Note: people with animal/flower heads are kind of creepy)

    Please see the video descriptions for song/artist info.

  10. As for Sawashiro Miyuki playing a 14 year old boy, it works for me. I don’t have any gripes with the believability of her playing young males, just like I don’t have any gripes with Shiraishi Ryouko (Hayate in Hayate no Gotoku!, Takumi in Sky Girls) and Koshimizu Ami (Takuma in H2O, Nina in Mai-Otome (a deeper female voice)) playing young males.

    I firmly believe she can do almost any voice, with performances as the pet-like Shichimi, child-like Tarou, boy detective Mayuki, graceful Hagino, wild and wacky Nekane, rich ojou-san Reika, and now teenage boy Jun.

  11. from the winter anime listing, i see persona has the most potential. however from many experiences of watching game-based anime, it would usually turn out to be a letdown. but i am hopeful that this would be a good series. otherwise iwasaki taku won’t be composing BGM for this anime

  12. I’m still pretty much on the fence for this one. But like I had said before I was going to try it out and see if I can make it past one episode. I’m too in love with the P3 game itself to see a new story take place. But then again this is coming from a gaming nerd with no life and clocked 100+ hours on P3 lmao.

    Kazuhide Aeiji
  13. quote: but it was created way back in 1987

    I resent that I was 11 in 1987…. wait that just makes me look like a loser, and no I don’t still live with my Mom. (Although it would make buying anime stuff easier with out a wife and rent) never mind carry on

  14. waaah! can’t wait for the sub version! XD
    man! i just love the music of this anime! XD
    + those cool personas too though too bad they removed the evoker gun thingy XO
    i hope you can blog this and i’m sure everyone wants you t blog it 😀
    anyways thanks for the review! 😉

  15. I’ve been waiting for this..Interesting setting, the mood this anime gives is extremely effective and a bit sinister. The animation is decent; the character design and overall artwork are very stylish IMO.

  16. really loved the 1st episode, i did understand some parts but i didn’t see any hints of the other main characters (besides Igor and his WONDERNOSE)

    And, oh, almost forgot that somebody commented in youtube that Aikihiko will be in the series. Though, I’m not expecting some cameos anytime soon, I just hope there will be =)

    And GO FES! I hope they produce the English Version ’cause Kanji is getting a little tiring to translate (especially during VERY LONG dialogues X__X)

  17. YEAH for Koyasu Takehito in this series. It’s a let down though that there isn’t any shoot in the head to call persona thing coz I love that part a lot in the game. I wonder though that Jun is actually a girl or a guy… that one scene she did act like a girl, may be there ‘s something behind this.

    Anyway, I really hope Akihiko is in here coz the voice that talks to Ryou on the phone is actually Midorikawa Hikaru voice and he is Akihiko’s seiyuu. So there ‘s a chance we will see his cameo in here >w

  18. Well guess there is missing a connection between the game and the series if they aren’t using invokers to summon the Persona’s. May be using the drugs that was also present in the game so could be pretty interesting. Do hope there will be more of a connection though if Akihiko is remotely connected that will be good.

    Would be too bad if it doesn’t get blogged, but can’t really be helped.

    At least this should be a good one to follow this year.

  19. @daa: I think she looks way too young, considering it’s 10 years later, but could be a shot from the way past?? But then again there was another person in the ending that had long red hair and looked a lot older but was wearing a school uniform that wasn’t Gekkoukan’s. Hrm.

    I’ve made the decision to watch the 2nd ep and see where it goes. It actually turned out not so bad. 🙂

    Random aside (game spoilers): Show Spoiler ▼

    Kazuhide Aeiji
  20. I wouldn’t be suprise me if Mitsuru, Akihiko, Yukari and Aegis to make a cameo. Those four were more linked to the plot then all the other P3 casts, including the main character.


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