OP Sequence

OP: 「Break In to Break Out」 by Lyn

「Let`s Take Back What’s Dear to You.」

With Ren’s persona Arsene awakening, the anime mercifully doesn’t have a lengthy tutorial section. Instead, Ren and Ryuji’s escape is followed up with the editing structure of the episode booting them out of Kamoshida’s palace. The editing so far has been a prevalent issue as some of the game mechanics that are portrayed in the anime are left in with little to no explanation on how they work. From having to leave palaces outside to the Safe Rooms that are safe spaces to offer players the chance to save, heal, and regroup, it’s all thrown in so quickly that there’s hardly any time to understand how the mechanics of a palace work. It’s understandable given how it isn’t supposed to be as gratuitously video gamey (animating the use of save points would be overkill), but within the context of the universe the anime paints, it needs to have some cohesion that doesn’t require playing the game to understand. There aren’t as many of these moments outside of the palace other than how mismanaged the Velvet Room and interrogation transitions have been, but the palace scenes could have benefited more with a little bone thrown towards newbies like explaining that shadows can’t get them through the Safe Room’s barrier or show them leaving the castle before making it back to the real world. And it especially would be in the best interest of the anime to not do anything like that fight scene in the future. The replication of the All Out Attack mechanic looked outright horrifying, and they would’ve been better off just putting the sequence from the video game. The poor animation comes out in full force during this fight sequence, but it is something I expected with how awkward the faces and actions in the P4 anime looked.

Now that we have the negatives out of the way, the anime’s depiction of Shujin Academy is still relatively faithful. One thing that made the initial playthrough of P5 a fun experience was how much it seemed like the world was against you. Here you are just this meek new transfer student, and not only does everyone know you have a criminal rap sheet, but they’ve already painted you as a sociopathic thug. You can’t go into the library and rent a book without students acting shocked a criminal like you can read, and treat you like you’re never going to return any of your books. And then when you return to the dusty old attic you call your room, Sojiro regularly threatens to send you to juvie or kick you out until you get to know him more. They got the oppressive nature of the game’s introduction constantly kicking you in the face down to a T with how quickly rumors spread of Ren’s probation, how startled everyone is when he walks down the hall, and how students are quick to try to build rumors around Ren and Ann.There are some minor liberties taken such as introducing Okumura Haru and Niijima Makoto earlier on (though you can still meet Makoto studying in the library during this point in the game), and Kawakami seems less burdened by the idea of being your supervisor, but it’s nice to see all three of these confidants get some screen time in this episode, as well as the small cameo from Kanami Mashita from P4 Dancing All Night.

Now onto the main target of the game’s first arc, Suguru Kamoshida. This first arc in particular is effective not just because of the treatment that Ren gets from his fellow students and Sojiro, but because Kamoshida is easily one of the more realistic and frightening video game villains to have popped up in recent years. He appears to be a down-to-earth gym teacher on the surface, but a culture of fear and secrecy covers for him as he mercilessly beats and abuses his team, abuse other teams, and use his leverage to abuse other students as well. The game drip-feeds us his worst aspects in the real world the further into this arc we get, but as soon as we enter his palace and explore around, we see his desires manifest from the metaphorical to the figurative as he has torture chambers dedicated to the students he loves to exact his abuse on. It was unique for the anime to have included his abuse of Shiho in the real world as it intercuts Ren seeing the volleyball team trapped in his palace’s torture chamber with him throwing punches at the poor girl in his office. One anime exclusive moment that didn’t work so well as Kamoshida spiking Ren in the face with the volleyball during gym class. Having him outright boast about abusing his students by spiking Ren does give him a personal vendetta with Kamoshida, but it was more effective when you only got subtle hints of him being horrid before encountering the torture chamber rather than outright having him wrong Ren right off the bat. In a similar way, showing Shiho’s abuse might’ve also gave too much away by not having you truly confirming your suspicions of Kamoshida until you see how he acts around Ann shortly after Ryuji’s awakening. It might not be 100% accurate, but the depiction of Kamoshida in the anime has been on-point so far, and the palace’s events matches with it’s in-game moments with Ann appearing as the scantily clad queen of his palace and how he taunts Ryuji with how he broke his leg during Ryuji’s awakening scene.

And speaking of Ryuji, the his first fight with Captain Kidd might not have been impressive, but the anime is handling his own story very well. The scene with them gathering for lunch was a solid addition as it gives him a shot to bond greatly with Ren, and share their wrongful public persecution in common. He even came up with the nickname “Renren” for him after he is mutually outraged by his probation circumstances. Having a short segment of Ryuji meeting with the old Running team also sets up his confidant events to be told at a sooner or later date. Similarly, the introduction of Morgana (Ootani Ikue) was cute as Ryuji fights off the temptation to pet him while Ren ruffles up his fur. They also didn’t have him deliberately single out Ryuji for criticism, so it gives some good leeway of having Morgana be a little more mellow around him. Although the animation, editing, and the OP/ED sequence could have been way better, the anime so far is depicting almost everything it’s touched upon properly, and it’ll be interesting to see where they go from here, how they’ll continue with the Kamoshida arc as we gear up to tear him a new one, and what other changes or additions they’ll make throughout the adaptation.

ED Sequence

ED: 「Infinity」 by Lyn

Because the game is still fresh and new for many viewers, please use the <> spoiler brackets near the comment box to hide your spoilers like so:

Show Spoiler ▼


  1. Oh yeah, I just couldn’t help myself but to be bothered by the editing in this episode, so much so that at some point, the words “I’d rather just play the game again.” came up on my mind. And Morgana just doesn’t look good here, too blocky. Still though, the anime provides tidbits of characterization that I don’t think will be found in the game, and that’s my main goal with this anime. And the OP and ED are so cool!

  2. Apparently the OP is just a placeholder. The real opening will be used from episode 4 onwards according to the show’s website, probably to prevent spoilers of some sort

    1. Yet the ending gives spoilers to three party members? I think it might be because the director did not have enough time to finish the animation for it. He has a unique style, so he must be working hard on it.

  3. The images from the OP are taken from the japanese artbook of the game, and animated slightly.
    The ED also follow the style of some of the promotional material. Quite like the approach.

    That all out attack though……..

    Redjuice Fan
  4. Damn, I remember how much this part of the game stung. The entire time I was fuming because I’m sure there really are schools as bad as this out there, with students so beaten down they convince themselves that being sheep is the only way to survive. What’s even worse is that when the administration is against you in a “don’t ask, don’t tell” environment like this one, they really don’t have anywhere to go unless their parents are willing to help, and that isn’t always the case.

    1. Yeah, the reception I’ve seen of the Kamoshida arc has been resounding in how horrifying it is because Kamoshida and the ironclad defense that he gets from those aware of his abuse are things that we’ve seen in real life.

      Show Spoiler ▼

      1. He really was a champ
        Show Spoiler ▼

  5. https://randomc.net/image/Persona%205%20The%20Animation/Persona%205%20The%20Animation%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2026.jpg
    And I had this uneasy feeling that the kind of abuse Kamoshida inflicts on Shiho is of the “R-rated”/”I’ve seen enough H to know where this is going” kind… *shudders* While I’m glad it didn’t get that far(?), it still does a good job of showing how reprehensible Kamoshida is.

    Is that the real Ann, or…
    Show Spoiler ▼

    But Ryuuji awakening to his Persona–Captain Kidd–to the tune of “Last Surprise”… Ummm…could be better, but still the best moment of the episode, hands down. So all of the main characters’ Personas are named after or inspired by famous thieves, pirates, and outlaws? (Historical and fictional?)

    Also, I can’t help but wonder if Persona 5 is also an allusion-filled commentary on Japan’s stigmatization of mental illness. I mean, it’s just this commenter’s impression, but I take it that despite advancements in technology and pop culture, Japan still lags behind in the field of mental health care–with low awareness of the subject, to boot. All those pressures to perform well at school or at work, not to get on the bad side of your superior or friends, et cetera…those things can take a toll on one’s sanity, and everyone knows what would happen if it snaps and there are no safe outlets available. (Answer: Nothing good.) OK, I’ve digressed enough.

    Time to wait for the “make-or-break” third episode.

    1. It’s always been my understanding that Japan in general was never as concerned with helping mental health issues as it was sweeping them aside so the more positive stuff would get seen instead. I won’t look up the suicide rate because those numbers always horrify me, but as a country it leans much more towards a personal responsibility to take care of yourself than the West. Unfortunately I hear that often means much less sympathy for the mentally afflicted and victims of abuse.

    2. The Cat-Girl Ann in that world is a manifestation of Kamoshida’s desires as were the other students. In a palace, people’s unsavory desires and lust can create alternate versions of people based on how they see them in their mind, so his interest in Ann created the Cat-Girl representation of her. You can kinda see how he thinks of her when he glances at her before spiking Ren in the face during gym class or how Kamoshida picking Ann up to go to school fuels the school’s rumor mill. That’s why Morgana was trying to get Ryuji to get a move on in the torture chamber because Ryuji wanted to save the volleyball players that were being tortured despite them being merely cognitive representations of his team that he sees as deserving of the abuse he dishes out.

      Yeah, the motif for the player persona’s are based off of mythological tricksters of legend so the ones available at the moment are Arsene, Zorro, and Captain Kidd. Over time, more references to mythology and fiction are brought up with the main characters’ own personas along with the actual mythological motifs that the other shadows/personas throughout the game embody.

      There is definitely a theme of confronting some of the societal issues within Japanese society. With Kamoshida alone, we get the stigmatization of coming forward about abuse or admitting to anyone about crimes committed by an authority figure. Throughout the game, there are further examinations about the state of mental illness, workplace issues, conformity with an older status quo, and the responsibility one has to take to avoid victimhood or bear with exploitation, but that something that will come eventually.

  6. So we can’t have our waifu wars here but we can have our husbando wars Choya?
    Either the next episode or episode 4 will have some heavy stuff if they are gonna show what happens to shiho and her boyfriend afterwards.
    Still funny with how Sojiro said that he would kick you out the moment you get into trouble again and he never actually does that, no matter what kind of trouble you get into besides a game-over 😛

    Never liked the upcoming second palace though as it kinda spit in the progress they made in the first one regarding the characters. This first one however was mainly annoying thanks to it preventing me from leveling up a lot efficiently thanks to how the story is paced there.
    Here it is all about abuse and the like being bad, but the second palace has it going backwards where they actually try to pressure Ann into doing stuff that she doesn’t want to. Thing i remember best is where you are trying to force Ann into doing the nude modeling that she doesn’t want to.

    1. Waifu and husbando wars are alright as long as people aren’t at each other’s throats. Things have been pretty civil so far so it’d be fine to talk about best girls, especially since this episode had some Makoto/Haru appearances that are bound to get fans excited.

      Sojiro’s tough act is pretty great as he does repeat how he’ll kick you out, but he’s quick to make life easier on you by giving you privileges to go out at night or travel to places that cost money to visit.

      The second palace does feel like the odd one out because it doesn’t have as in-depth linkage to the main plot save for some lines at the end, and it does start the game’s bouts with hypocrisy like laughing at Ann’s expense. Admittedly, it is much funnier than I thought it’d be because of how it wasn’t executed as a full-on fanservice moment, but it was strange how we go from the first palace’s development to the next with that in-tact. But yeah, that first palace is the worst one to go through in the first playthrough because it’s such a pain to progress through, especially if you’re planning on clearing it in a day.


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