「A Beautiful Rose Has Thorns!」

The third part of the Phantom Thieves’ first cognitive heist animates the most harrowing part of the Kamoshida arc; Shiho’s assault and subsequent suicide attempt. As the reasoning for possibly “stealing Kamoshida’s heart” by removing his desires in the form of their most prized treasure becomes more and more justified, nothing sends Ren, Ryuji, and Ann over the edge to bite the bullet to steal his treasure than what happened to Shiho. While his physical abuse of the volleyball team and Ryuji had already made him out to be terrible, his treatment of teen girls made him into a monster. Although his shadow form revels in how he forced himself on Shiho in retaliation for Ann rejecting him, his real world behavior isn’t any better as he gleefully announces that Shiho fell into an inescapable coma and expels Ren, Ryuji, and Mishima in one fell swoop for coming after him. Although the anime charges through many of its details, the hastened build-up doesn’t diminish how punchable Kamoshida is, and how much tension is packed in the doomsday clock that is put on Ren to make a call-to-action in stealing his heart before he’s expelled.

On the flipside, the anime’s depiction of Ann’s development and awakening is hit-and-miss in some regards. They did well to incorporate parts of Ann’s confidant with her memories of Shiho as her only friend aiding in her push to fight back and showing a small blip of her modeling career when fellow model Mika weasels her way into getting Ann booted from a photo shoot. Similarly, I liked the liberty they took with Ren finding out about Ann being pressured by Kamoshida as it felt less weird to just transition from the streets to the restaurant instead of the game’s decision to have you chase after her at the subway station despite barely knowing her. Most importantly, the Awakening scene is very well done as her resolve to fight for Shiho’s justice and put an end to Kamoshida. Persona 5 does wonders with giving the Phantom Thieves awesome moments, and Ann’s empowerment and fury is no exception as she wipes through shadows and stands strong against tyranny in both the game and this episode. They even made sure to have the All Out Attack feel less sloppy with Ann’s splash screen having a lot less “quality”.

But sadly, much of Ann’s perspective is missing from the anime’s adaptation of this section of the game. Rather than directly confronting Ryuji and Ren about wanting to be involved with stealing Kamoshida’s heart after hearing both Shiho utter his name and Ryuji blab about fighting back against him, the anime has her merely tail them to their destination. Her own personal feedback and interest in tearing him apart after Shiho’s suicide attempt is removed from the equation. The same can be said for how the order they placed dungeon-crawling was way before Ann’s awakening. No one suffered all those hours trapped in Kamoshida’s dungeon without Ann’s agi and dia skills coming in handy!

But aside from that, without Ann’s perspective of going through Kamoshida’s palace, you miss out on half of the palace’s impact as Ann discovering a shrine room dedicated to Shiho and a library of other students he’s assaulted is as important to the dungeon as Ryuji’s experience seeing the volleyball team getting strapped down and tortured. The last episode had a similar flaw with how quickly Ann left Kamoshida to Shiho after showing concern for how exhausted she looks from volleyball, but with how difficult it was for the game to unpack the guilt Ann felt for not being able to stick up for her friend until it was too late, hope that the anime would expand on this dwindled for the time being after the decision was made to have Ryuji, Ren, and Morgana secure a route to the treasure without Ann. There’s still some hope in further elaborating on Ann and Shiho’s friendship in the next episode as they send out their first calling card to make Kamoshida’s treasure appear, so maybe it’ll give Ryuji and Ann more to work with as they face off against him.


  1. So far in, this is a nice adaptation despite cutting all the dungeon crawler yet again.

    It just lacks so much in presentation that it ends up being just “good” instead of being “great”, like the game. The All-Out-Attack is pretty bland, and the artistic choice being the same as the in-game animated cutscenes just doesn’t work in most of the scenes the gameplay takes place. It’s just… acceptable, but loses all the awesome impact the original had in those terms.

    1. Judging from P4A, I expect that they might be able to do a decent boss battle, but the current fights with the random shadows have translated to some goofy fight scenes like toilet shadow meandering into Carmen’s agi spell.

  2. Finally an Ann Takamaki episode <3 damn shes so hot!

    Im a bit curious about this part, was she gonna vomit blood or whats that darkish red inside of her oropharynx/throat? Her seiyuu Mizuki Nana really did an amazing job here, that screeching sounded so painful; damn whadda high grade performance.

    Anyway, Kamoshima is rotten to the core man. And i think this anime somehow censored his assaults on the girls and i dunno how to feel about it; them not showing the details and did the info dumping kinda made everything sounds more "brutal" cuz in the end, its up to our imaginations right. Im relatively new to these Persona franchise and dude i didnt know its this dark lol.

    onion warrior
    1. Back in Persona 2 we even had Show Spoiler ▼

      The Megami Tensei series as a whole is pretty fucked up, Persona Series is kinda one of the lightest btw (Persona 2 and 5 were the darkest ones however, and when they want, they go a LONG way into being dark).

    2. The VA’s for P5 were a really solid selection, and it was cool how in the English version they gave you both ENG and JPN voice options to work with because they’re both very amazing performances.

      In the game, they don’t show you his abuse and don’t show you licking his lips, but are far more reliant on verbal implications (things like Mishima saying he could only imagine what he did to her and such) and hiding his actions behind vague hints as shown in the anime like making Shiho take Ann’s place. That element is still present where the horror comes from not having his crimes directly in-your-face, and because you’re not in deep with the volleyball team, your only insight to Kamoshida’s true nature is context clues from the palace and small things you notice in the real world like Kamoshida’s attention to Ann, Kamoshida spiking Mishima, or the bruised faces of your classmates.

      But the Megami Tensei and Persona series can get dark, especially the former. Both Persona 2 games on the PS1 didn’t have a school-life heavy schedule to balance out the game’s darker elements. Persona 3 had school-life and social links, but was probably the bleakest of the current games with a dire situations, a cast of mostly broken teens, death at every corner, and their version of calling forth a persona. Persona 4 was definitely the most light-hearted in the series with a heavier emphasis on school life, social links, and friendship, with it’s only darker moments happening within a murder mystery plot.

      Persona 5, however, can be seen as a return to form with P2 and P3 as this arc alone introduces some dark themes. Some target’s misdeeds are heavier than others, but Kamoshida set a precedence for the type of awful people the Phantom Thieves have to face and how far P5 is willing to go in exploring the darker underbelly of society.

      1. Maybe because im already attached to the characters or its just me hating Kamoshima, and whatever he did to the girls, i really really dont wanna know; its like, “dont tell me what happen because i dont wanna believe he actually did that” kinda fear, you know what i mean. On the surface i just wanna believe Kamoshima only punched Saki, not sexually assaulted her. But holy hell yea i read the wiki, so yea. Its kinda bothered me why no one reported that bastard at all, so what if hes the national champ or what. Saki is now in coma, thats solid evidence! And if indeed he assaulted her, theres proof all over her body right? Im baffled with the adults at that school.

        Im new to Megami Tenseis, and the Personas i remembered years ago were some gradient rendered kids wearing colorful clothes (gahh im feeling headache looking at the colors again) with Arcana-type power. And i thought all of these Personas are related, thats why i didnt bother to watch any. But now theres the famous Ann Takamaki, so why not. And now im glad i finally decided to pick it up.

        onion warrior
      2. “Its kinda bothered me why no one reported that bastard at all, so what if hes the national champ or what. Saki is now in coma, thats solid evidence! And if indeed he assaulted her, theres proof all over her body right? Im baffled with the adults at that school.”

        Maybe because it’s still considered shameful for a woman in Japan to admit to being a victim of sexual abuse. (The same thing can be said for victims of stalking.) Also, if I read those spoilers right…

        Show Spoiler ▼

        As much as I’d want to see Shiho get a much-needed hug at this point, whatever it is that Kamoshida has done to her might make her averse to being touched. Ann’s probably the only one who could give Shiho that hug right now.

      3. I think adults will suffer terribly if they have criminal records in Japan, like how they’ll be outcast by the society and having trouble in finding their next employment; thats why most of the sexually assaulted women in that country will act as if they’re being considerate for the future and the family members and friends of the accused (look at how Ren is being treated right now). But hell Saki is in coma, enough is enough! Wont her parents press charges? Well maybe im being too real here, maybe theres some supernatural interference that allows Kamoshima and even the principal to victimized their students, hence the Persona power etc. But idk, i realllly need that bastard to be arrested fast. I cant believe we’re already choked with such brute since the early episodes (and here i thought Kamoshima’s arc is just an introduction, explaining the world building and be done in 2-3 episodes). Damnnn whadda drag!

        Btw, is this a two cour anime?

        onion warrior
      4. I read that it’s going to be 24 episodes according to MAL, though I’m not discounting the possibility of a “True End” episode similar to Persona 4: The Animation.

        And while I was looking over at syoboi, I’m seeing 12 episodes listed for broadcast. So I’m also guessing it’s only the first half that will be broadcast for this season, but my guess is as good as yours whether they will continue into the next season or take a season break before the second half airs.

  3. https://randomc.net/image/Persona%205%20The%20Animation/Persona%205%20The%20Animation%20-%2003%20-%20Large%2010.jpg

    I was honestly a bit disappointed with the episode ending without explaining (or showing) how to “materialize” the treasure the newly-formed Phantom Thieves are about to steal. The show seems to vacillate between flying too quickly through the source material (and subplots) in some scenes and being a slow burner in others. Is 24 episodes really enough? Or would 26 episodes–like what Persona 4: The Animation did–be better? (With the last one being some kind of “True End”?)

    That being said, I do hope the next episode shows how Kamoshida’s treasure will “materialize” and that the actual heist makes better use of “Last Surprise” (if the next episode is the actual heist).

    1. Now that you mention it, it is messed up that they didn’t go further into the Calling Card method. Once you reach the treasure in-game, the party comes to a decision to use calling cards as a way to have the palace-keeper’s real self subconsciously prepare to be exposed by the Phantom Thieves, resulting in their treasure materializing.

      In this one, it just feels like an afterthought they jammed in as a teaser to allude to the next episode because they mashed up Ann’s awakening with finding his treasure so they couldn’t discuss sending out a calling card or who should write it. More episodes could’ve helped explain some of the dicier details that need more time to sink in or at least give the viewer time to learn about them.

  4. something to the game:

    After beating this “Stage” (and it feels very huge) the Game “transform” into something different. But perhaps i did not play to far. Lets see, it is fun to drive.. But lets see


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