「I Want to See Justice with My Own Eye」

As the road to the third palace is being paved, Episode 10 keeps in the best and the worst of this arc’s beginning while also smoothing over some of its transitions. Since Akechi has appeared earlier as a patron in Leblanc, it comes off as far more natural for Akechi to single out Ren or be particularly focused on him and his friends instead of having him be gravitated towards him because that’s what fate dictates. We still get the infamous “pancakes” line from Akechi so they definitely didn’t skip a beat there, though they did help to blend in new details to give future events foreshadowing like introducing Togo Hifumi in-person as a celebrity invited to the TV station or having Kawakami scold Mishima for getting too close to Employee Only sections of the building. It all helps to set the tone for the rest of the game as Akechi keeps Ren and his friends within his cross hairs.

Also in hot-pursuit of our Phantom Thieves is the true star of the episode, Nijima Makoto. Although much of the more exciting aspects of Makoto’s growth look like they’ll be coming up in an episode or two from now, 10 marks where her resolve to stay on the rails of authority starts to waver. While she begins stalking Ren with only a large manga magazine as her line of defense, she finds herself on the opposite end of justice by having to be pitted against the Phantom Thieves. Her own definition of justice is challenged as the principal keeps pushing for her to find out who they are, yet, as she blackmails the Phantom Thieves into hunting down the mafia boss that’s been targeting students from Shujin Academy, she also finds herself at odds by having to align herself with the same authority that fought to protect Kamoshida and stamp out a movement that could potentially take down more abhorrent members of society. Ann’s pushback against Makoto as the head of the student council left impotent in the face of Kamoshida’s corruption helps kickstart the building resentment for authority that would eventually cause Makoto to find her own justice away from the powers that be that tell her to stay in line or else.

This episode also introduced us to Shinjuku, the red light district where Ren finds out the identity of mafia boss Junya Kaneshiro. They retained some of the best aspects of the area like the beginning of Ohya’s confidant, the introduction of her favorite bar’s owner Lala Escargot, and the debut of Mifune Chihaya, whose new VA Terui Haruka takes on the impossible role of filling in for the late and great Matsuki Miyu. She does a decent job, but this particular arc has the distinction of having lost the seiyuu for Chihaya and Kaneshiro, so it is a detail that sticks out after playing through with the Japanese voices.

However, the largest issue with the episode is what they didn’t leave out though with its worst characters, the two flamboyantly gay men of Shinjuku, making their appearance. Their existence is solely to be laughed at as they aim to take Ryuji out for a hot night out against his will. While they made sure Ren didn’t make light of Ryuji’s assault, they didn’t shy away from making it worse with off-screen smooching sound effects or having them tackle him to the ground. Not only is it a dramatic set-back to have a comic molestation scene in light of how serious Ann and Shiho’s sexual harassment was at the hands of Kamoshida in comparison to Ryuji getting assaulted by two burly gay men, but it does a disservice to the narrative itself by taking a story about fighting back against an unjust society when its only gay characters are comical molesters brought into the story twice for laughs. In the same franchise that has Kurosu Jun and the ambiguously bi Tatsumi Kanji, it is the hugest step backwards imaginable. And Lala is nonetheless an engaging character who has fun banter with Ohya and treats Ren fairly, so it’s less of a problem with the game’s opinion of LGBT people or drag, and more an issue with the reasoning behind the need to have a comical scene involving predatory gay men. Honestly, the game and the anime would have been better off excluding the characters because the outdated humor of gay sexual predators was really unneeded, and goes against much of what makes Persona 5 such a great game.

But outside of that, it was still an enjoyable episode with much of the important details retained and thankfully shortened for better cohesion. As an example, it made far more sense for the show to cut to Makoto showing Ren’s friends the evidence of them blurting out their activities as the Phantom Thieves right after her argument with Ann. It cuts to the chase and also cuts Ryuji some slack when, in the game, the complaints of his loose lips are tied mostly to the phone call he made to Ren right when Makoto showed him the recording where Ryuji left the incriminating message of wanting to meet up at the Phantom Thieves hideout for Phantom Thieves such as themselves. The same thing can be said about Akechi’s on-air interview and Ohya giving Ren information in exchange for starting her confidant as it helps to condense the need for information overload while naturally blending the extra details into scenes where they would fit.


  1. “However, the largest issue with the episode is what they didn’t leave out though with its worst characters, the two flamboyantly gay men of Shinjuku, making their appearance.”

    ATLUS gonna ATLUS, even in anime form. I’m not exactly sure if this is the idea the audience for ATLUS games wants to have about the LGBT in Japan, but it sure is tiring to see them shoehorn something like this in pretty much all their games as of late.

    It almost feels like it’d be better if they just… didn’t even try, kept everyone and everything hetero and said “no representation allowed” just so they didn’t fuck things up like this. Just saying.

    1. It sounds messed up, but they actually would’ve been better off just not trying to make anyone gay than have the two canonically gay characters of the game exist only as a joke.

  2. https://randomc.net/image/Persona%205%20The%20Animation/Persona%205%20The%20Animation%20-%2010%20-%20Large%2002.jpg
    “♪ I always feel like… somebody’s watching me
    And I have no privacy… (Whoa-oh-oh) ♪”

    Waifu wars are always messy business. That being said, I’m happy with the actual appearance of Hifumi Togo (though her chibi version was cute). There’s just something about girls who have a beautiful face, pale skin, long black hair and hime cut that makes them enthralling. (See also: K-On!‘s Mio Akiyama, Love Live! Sunshine!!‘s Dia Kurosawa, and Persona 4‘s own Yukiko Amagi, to name a few.) Plus, it’s amusing that she shares the same seiyuu as Shouko Kirishima from BakaTest. (Or so I read.)

    I also couldn’t help but feel a certain bittersweetness to seeing and hearing Chihaya Mifune in anime form, especially since Chihaya was one of Miyu Matsuki’s final voice roles (besides Shimoneta‘s Anna Nishikinomiya) before her untimely passing.

    And on a lighter note: Ryuji Sakamoto, your sacrifice for the Phantom Thieves will not be forgotten. (F) XD

    1. I always wished I could’ve called out Makoto on how bad she was at stalking people in the game, so I was glad to see them so blatantly make fun of it here.

      Also, I heard that in the early stages of the game there was a plan for Hifumi to join the P-Thieves, but then she was cut to a confidant because the game was already too long. Too bad, her chuuni side would’ve made for some fun infiltration moments and you know she would’ve looked great in costume.

      1. Man, this is like the third time in the show I saw stalking–or at least, an incredibly obvious tail (previous ones being Yusuke stalking Ann and side character Yumeko stalking Ikesugi). Though I wonder if it’s going to be the last time this thing will be done?

        Guess it’s not just the anime adaptation of P5 that suffered time constraints during production, the original game did too. I wish any concept art of Hifumi in her Phantom Thieves outfit hasn’t been disposed of by Atlus yet. (Or is redrawn by the artists.) On the anime front, I’d love to see Hifumi’s chuuni side manifest during her day in the limelight.

        Anyway, a question (slight game spoilers)…
        Show Spoiler ▼

      2. @Incognito: Show Spoiler ▼

    2. No lie, I absolutely loved the feature where during the months where Makoto is suspicious of you, she does the worst job at stalking you with nothing but a manga magazine to hide her from plain sight. It’s also fun to see the little tidbits they included in like having her scurry off in the background if you’re heading into the Men’s room. It’s up there with Kamoshida stopping you in the hallway if you pass by him after the expulsion scene to boast about how he’ll have you kicked out in no time or some of the other funny things the game does with the NPCs.

      It’s nice to see how much of Hifumi we’ve seen up til now because the most we hear about her beforehand is rumors on the subway or school about how good she is as a player. With the anime, we see how prominent she really is as a shoji player that has some star power as a young prodigy with an app game and TV appearances. I have the same feeling about Ohya, but in the sense of being one of the few people who thought she was waifu material. It is bittersweet to hear Chihaya as you say though because Miyu was such a great VA. It isn’t too upsetting to hear someone else try to match her voice in the anime, but it’s rough to hear her in the game because it really was the last time we got to hear her voice. I knew her as Hisui, but I was very upset because she passed away not long after Shimoneta ended, so seeing the news that someone who had just voiced this hilarious character Anna a month ago succumbed to a life-threatening illness was heartbreaking.

  3. Really? A whole paragraph about something as insignificant as two background comic reliefs? The offensive part of this episode can be lazy writing with main characters yelling about their secret identities without any concern about surroundings or really bland animation and overall poor production quality. Not two perverts used as a pointless joke… Sheesh, it’s like reading garbage articles on ANN all over again.

    1. It’s only a paragraph because I’ve played the game, and it’s something that is a part of the game that needs to be discussed because the only contribution Ryuji was able to make to the Shinjuku investigation was getting hauled away by the campy gay men.

      The “yelling about secret identities” was also something in the game, but the anime actually made it feel less ridiculous by leaving out the phone call Ryuji made where he blurted “LET’S MEET AT THE PHANTOM THIEVES HIDEOUT!” right when Makoto had Ren’s phone on speaker. I mentioned that. That’s nothing that’s shocking if you played the game because it shares this same issue, but the anime at the very least excluded some of the scenes content so that it isn’t as awful as just operating off the assumption Makoto walked away and wasn’t recording them from afar.

      The animation quality of the show was never going to be visually on-par with the games, but that’s something you could’ve deducted as soon as the first “All Out Attack” hit. That’d be more of a dead horse to beat to repeat how each episode’s animation quality wavers between acceptable and “buy the Blu-Rays!” quality.

      You’ll notice there’s five paragraphs, but only one of them is about what happens to Ryuji. I didn’t hijack the review by making it entirely about the two men, and go in-detail about the other pros and cons of the episode in itself. I’ve been relatively neutral about examining the content of the show without going on a soapbox or making a review all about one scene or bit, but it just seemed off that we would have a game that takes itself seriously about societal issues yet regulates the two guys to being a joke for their sexuality. That’s all I wanted to say about it, and it is something that does feel out-of-place in relation to the rest of Persona 5. I didn’t transform an episodic post into a think piece just because the fourth paragraph does confront the implications behind the scene in the game and the anime. They only show up one more time in a shorter role unless you chat with them as NPCs in Shinjuku, so this’ll be the only time I would have to bring it up.

  4. Ginobi47
  5. Eh, I just found those two okama annoying. It was eye rolling when they showed up at Shinjuku but hey, we get it.. The red light district is the red light district for a reason, And I thought that was that. But no, they show up at the beach with the same aggravating behavior and I wish those two characters were omitted completely. Don’t get me started on how grating their voices were. Props to the voice actors but apologies to their vocal cords. But I think a lot of people blow that scene and what they think those characters are doing out of proportion.


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