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Persona 5 the Animation – 17

「X Day」

Having a palace dedicated to one of the main characters in your party was bound to draw a parallel to Persona 4, where a majority of the dungeons you face are ruled by the darker thoughts manifested by a future party member’s shadow. Persona 5‘s palace rulers tended to be far less sympathetic with Kamoshida doing acts unbecoming of a teacher, Madarame doing acts unbecoming of an artist, and Kaneshiro doing acts that are becoming of a mafia boss. With Futaba, however, the game shifts the narrative to focus on using the Meta-Nav as a means of ridding Futaba of her self-destructive desires instead of anything sinister. As a twist on Persona 4‘s convention of having the party member refuse to acknowledge their shadow selves and the deeper secrets they lay bare, Futaba accepts the part of herself that is self-loathing too well, yet as a result, her palaces hazardous elements are brought out by the fears she’s kept inside her manifesting into real obstacles such as traps to prevent the Phantom Thieves from coming further or the monstrous Sphinx that Wakaba transformed into as the palace’s final boss.

As such, rather than having to face any distorted form that Shadow Futaba would take on, her shadow takes on a different form outside of what we’ve seen before as a life coach. Once the Phantom Thieves break through, her desires shift from wanting to perish to wanting to re-evaluate her mother’s death, finding that there are too many inconsistencies in both the circumstances of her passing and how the note she left behind was presented to her. Futaba’s epiphany and rage against those responsible for her mother’s death was exemplified well in the anime as her shadow pushed her to re-frame her mother’s passing as not a result of her being a difficult kid, but the work of an entity that saw her as an obstacle to reach her research on psience. A few things were lacking such as the inconsistent mural of her shadow showing her an image of the note reading when she told her to remember what her mother told her when she wanted to go on a trip and the laziness that came from them not animating Ann throw Morgana as they escape the pyramid avalanche when the palace collapses. Still, some of the additions were nice too like the final blow that Joker and Futaba give to Shadow Wakaba and the involvement Ann had in wanting to help Futaba as much as possible, volunteering to fire the cannon because of her personal investment in changing Futaba’s mindset.

With the conclusion of Futaba’s palace and the awakening of her persona Necronomicon, it was adapted fairly well, or at least above expectations with how well its additions worked with the month’s events. Thanks to a promotional tie-in with SkyTree, the “sky tower” you could visit in the game is now the real deal, giving our cast the chance to enjoy the scenery and live out Makoto’s dream of interacting with the SkyTree mascot and Buchimaru-kun. They also make Medjed’s hacking far more impressive as the location of the hack shifts from having Futaba pull an all-nighter in front of the party to pulling up next to Ren and activating the hack from her phone. Akechi actually putting in the detective work at the beginning was interesting too as it shows that he put in the effort to look into the treasures the Phantom Thieves traded in instead of having us assume he’s been tailing them based on intuition alone.

It’s newer additions were helpful in improving the story elements, but the pre-existing scenes were also done justice. We see the compassionate side of Sojiro with the heart-to-heart he has with Ren about helping take care of Futaba, and his immediate response to seeing Futaba walking from her room to LeBlanc. It was so easy to be taken aback by Sojiro choking up when we have seen him as a no-nonsense caretaker, but moments like these in the game helped solidify Sojiro as one of the game’s best characters with the development he gets as he starts taking the effort to learn how to be a better parent to Futaba. Seeing Futaba gorging on expensive sushi and tea was also fun to include, though it does set the tone for her motivations as she gains the resolve to uncover the truth behind her mother’s demise. Hopefully the next few episodes will be fine as the ending scene alludes to Morgana being slowly let-down as it moves into his sadness arc.

ED2 Sequence

ED2: 「INFINITY」 by Lyn

July 29, 2018 at 10:43 am
12 comments »
  • July 29, 2018 at 11:16 amJiCi

    Anyone here who wished that Futuba would be an actual playable party member in the original game?
    - The [original] Necronomicon has the power to summon monsters, that would have been a nice mecanic to have, coupled with the interrogation aspect of battles. Ok, maybe a little too much like Pokémon, but still… What do you think the Wild Card is, at that point :P ?

    - Sniper rifles are… not in the game… at all. Being the one with the night vision goggles, Futuba would be the perfect long-range shooter.

    - Data discs like in Tron could have been used as melee weapons.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    • July 29, 2018 at 2:41 pmLyfe

      But making Futaba have the ability to wield multiple Personas would make the wildcard aspects of the main characters in the Persona games have less special. And I don’t think she really needed to be playable as by her very nature she’s a support character.

      I would say they introduced the Haru character a bit late in the story. That and Hifumi was supposed to have more of a role in the story I hear but that was lessened considerably. Her strategic mind would have been an asset.

    • July 30, 2018 at 7:48 amChoya

      She fit very naturally as a navigator, but there are definitely things I’d like for any future updates, mainly things like giving her a splash-screen for victories resulting from her intervention like when she knocks out enemies that ambush you.

      The top item on my wish-list for a Persona 5 Arena would be to have her be playable like how Rise from P4 is able to play a combative role in Ultimax. Considering how she is able to knock down enemies, I’d think they could make a cool movelist with Necronomicon’s tentacles, lasers, and buffs/debuffs.

  • July 29, 2018 at 1:59 pmLyfe

    I was impressed with this episode, they adapted fairly well. The game spaced the getting Futaba ready for social situations in everyday life so she could visit the Beach(Among other things) over several days so I have no issues with them speeding that up a bit. That and I like the less serious stuff in the game, its a welcome break from the super serious things.

    The boss battle of course they had a lot of luxury there because besides the ballista the player could battle however they liked. I used Ryujis physical attack skills a lot here, I forgot the name but there’s one skill that does like 4 x hits. Sorry I guess I’m rambling a bit, the boss made me nervous at times with how close my HP came to zero ha.

    So it looks like next episode
    Show Spoiler ▼

    I’m struggling to see how they will fit the game in the amount of episodes they have left. They need to announce another season already, its selling really well at retail in Japan, well the first volume thats out. I also want a new game plus episode with the battle with Show Spoiler ▼

    • July 29, 2018 at 2:53 pmLyfe

      Hey Choya, speaking of ending points for this season if they don’t completely rush.

      Show Spoiler ▼

      They could do that couldn’t they?

    • July 30, 2018 at 12:23 pmChoya

      It struck a good balance by having the final episode of the pyramid palace being centered on Futaba confronting the lies she was told by those responsible for her mother’s demise and getting used to social situations enough to venture outside her room.

      I remember Wakaba’s fight being a massive pain when the fight was centered around enduring her attacks until Futaba gave you access to a ballista.

      As far as how much material they’d be able to get through, that’s a tough one. They’ll either have to rush everything from here onwards or maybe extend it into the Fall season to catch up.

      Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 30, 2018 at 1:32 pmLyfe

        So we’re looking at the Show Spoiler ▼

        I’m alright with that. It’s really hard to tell given the pacing, because if they go slow I could see it ending there. But if they speed it up and breeze through Haru they could feasibly get there. I just think it would be a nice way to bring the series full circle to end with the Show Spoiler ▼

        I just think if they bring the series back again, which it looks like they may going by this pacing they probably wouldn’t do another 24 episodes.

        And I agree about your Palace thoughts. Seeing Futaba get her confidence to fight in the anime so was satisfying to watch. She’s been through so much it was good to see her fight back.

  • July 30, 2018 at 7:40 amYanDaMan

    • July 30, 2018 at 10:42 pmIncognito

      I was laughing more at Ryuji’s take on Love Live‘s Kotori photobomb (Aqours version), but now that I see Makoto being adorable… I dunno whether to squee or chuckle. A bit of both.

      Also, the use of “Last Surprise” in that scene… “♪ I never saw that comiiiiing! ♪”

  • July 30, 2018 at 10:38 pmIncognito

    https://randomc.net/image/Persona%205%20The%20Animation/Persona%205%20The%20Animation%20-%2017%20-%20Large%2011.jpg
    “I’ve seen enough ‘off-brand anime/manga’ to know where this is going…”

    Also, I almost expected Futaba to spawn a couple more ballistas instead of just one like in the game. Then again, that would elicit a cheeky “Futaba OP, pls nerf” response. And nice to see the payoff to Ann’s earlier determination to help Futaba out–by volunteering to man the ballista.

    https://randomc.net/image/Persona%205%20The%20Animation/Persona%205%20The%20Animation%20-%2017%20-%20Large%2026.jpg
    Ah… Shame that the only view I got of the Tokyo Skytree during my trip was from far away–from a Keisei Line train bound for Narita Airport–on the last day I was in Tokyo.

    Anyway, I wonder how the anime will handle the back-to-back beach episodes? Show Spoiler ▼

    • July 31, 2018 at 2:36 pmLyfe

      The attention to detail when recreating these moments from the game is amazing. As for the Beach episodes I think one will get more importance over the other.

  • Yesterday at 9:39 amMwe hee hee hee

    I like how Ren’s looking at Makoto as she hugs Buchimaru-kun.

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