「I`ll Guide You to Victory」

It’s shocking to say, but the anime did something better than the game; the beach trip. The initial reveal of the towel Futaba wrapped around her head did pale in comparison to the game’s animated segment as it was missing Ren and Yusuke’s shoujo-style shocked expression, but the sequence in itself felt like far more of a fun adventure on the beach. There was beach volleyball, sand-castle building, inflatable boats, and fun to be had all around. It actually did a service by improving on one of the game’s weak points with how its side excursions lacked the comradery or enjoyment they did in Persona 4. The game’s beach scene made the mistake of not having the cast react to your standard beach activities, resulting in an unmemorable short vacation where the and girls split up only for both groups to be hit on by creepy guys. While it did have the moment where Yusuke spent all of the money he had on-hand to purchase a pair of lobsters he enjoyed for their aesthetic, it was one of the only parts of the trip that felt like it had any of the fun you would expect friends to have on a beach trip. Meanwhile, the anime brings together a combination of making the Phantom Thieves feel like a group of friends and the efforts Ren made to fund the trip with his part-time work with the Underground Mall’s florist to improve on what should’ve been a relaxing, cute, and amusing time at the beach.

The game made it hard to feel like these are friends bonding together, but the anime’s attempt to make it look like they were all mingling together during the trip made much better sense within the context of getting Futaba acquainted with the outside world again. They did fast-forward through the days where she was getting used to the Phantom Thieves giving her objectives, but the parts of the game’s summer they kept in worked together well in making Futaba and Sojiro pivotal to the growth and attachment Ren has with the friends he’s made along the way. Sojiro especially felt like he’s built a larger trust in Ren since he’s been working to help Futaba as they are both getting comfortable with the idea of telling one another how they feel about getting to the bottom of what or who killed Wakaba. Seeing Sojiro teach Ren how to make curry was exciting on my end because of how much I enjoyed the small parts of the game where you can learn about curry and coffee the more you make them. As the guy who recorded the curry and coffee trivia on Reddit, I appreciate any opportunity the anime has to incorporate these aspects into the show. Even if Ren’s first efforts at making curry were to “go with his heart” to make overly spicy curry, he also has some growth to undergo before he can make anything on-par with Wakaba’s recipe.

This juxtaposed with Futaba’s motivation to stay by the Phantom Thieves as a means of uncovering the mystery behind the discoveries she’s made and track down the people responsible for her mom’s death helped to give them a clear presence within the narrative itself. Although she still has a ways to go with how she froze up in Akihabara, the episode takes measures to ensure that Futaba’s journey towards conquering her anxiety is only beginning, and she’s making great strides to build her confidence with the beach trip and her first venture into Mementos. There’s only so much the anime can cover, but with the game’s measures to take her battle with anxiety and agoraphobia seriously, the anime at the very least has been able to do justice to the growth she undergoes as she takes one step after another towards progress.

Because time is of the essence, the anime has had its work cut out for it as if moves briskly through trying to capture as much as it can of the game without feeling like they missed any beats that would undo any of the efforts they did with the anime’s narrative. From the framework of this episode, however, it does feel like there was a good amount of planning put into which confidant stories work alongside each other. As the upcoming arc where the Phantom Thieves become a cultural phenomenon and Okumura Kunikazu emerges as a target encroaches closer on the anime, they would have to show the group having to grapple with their role in changing the hearts of corrupt individuals. There are sections of levity like Ryuji and Ren catching Kawakami fishing during her downtime, but for the most part, we should expect to see some of the characters’ personal ethos be questioned like Mishima using the Phansite as a means to splurge on expensive meals and try to hook up with girls.

This episode also marks the point where it dives into Morgana’s burgeoning insecurities. With his role as a navigator being phased out with Futaba’s skills, his magic falling in the wayside in comparison to the others, and his nightmares giving him conflicting thoughts on whether he’d be able to become a human and sweep Ann off her feet, Morgana’s emotions become more erratic during this segment of the game, and it meshes naturally to have Morgana’s motivations be the center of attention for this section. They weaved other confidants relatively well with Morgana’s sadness arc as Ann’s confidant merged well into it. The discouragement she got from modeling after Mika sabotages her shoot causes her to question her own interests and whether she was really as passionate about modeling. And yet when Morgana offers to help, she is fine the way he is, feeding further into the lack of help he can really offer to the group. The sensitivity he has about how much worth humans have and whether he’d ever be able to parallel any of this with his own actions come out further with how little he can offer in his cat form in comparison to Ren or Ann herself as she sorts through her own personal matters of tackling whether she enjoys modeling. It would be great if they go further into Ann’s confidant, but with the Okumura arc coming at a quick pace, we’ll be looking into the Hawaii trip and Morgana getting deeper into his depressive state.


  1. I really enjoyed this episode. The beach trip was fun to watch and I agree that it was better portrayed here than in the game (which I saw through YouTube videos). The so-called picking up girls was poor compared to P4 because the main protagonist could not interact with the girls. I also agree with you about the friendship part.

    Ren had great development as well as Futaba and Morgana. He was more assertive and very endearing, working hard to fund the trip and showing concerns and giving moral support to Morgana. I liked how he was flustered about having his friends try his curry.

    1. They did put effort into giving Ren a little more to work with as far as his personality. He might not be as goofy within the past 18 episodes, but he seems to be positioned as the ideal leader of the Phantom Thieves with his dedication to helping those around them whether its wanting to avenge Wakaba, working for the florist to get enough yen to treat his friends during their beach trip, or trying to cheer up Morgana while he’s at a low point. Incorporating his attempt to put a spin on Sojiro/Wakaba’s recipe was pretty funny too, albeit sad because he really did follow his heart to make curry that ended up being too spicy for his friends.

      Yeah, it seemed disappointing in the game because Persona 3 and 4 had great summer scenes. P3’s Operation Babe Watch was memorable in how funny it was to see Akihiko and Junpei have to interact with one another while P4 had alot of fun with its cast, especially the girls you were interested in. Meanwhile, P5 seemed to have thrown it in there without getting a feel for what they wanted to do with it. The anime gets the general idea that P4’s friend scenes were important enough to beef up for the P5 adaptation, but it’s something that the game would probably need an update to be able to flesh out.

      1. I would love to see an updated Persona 5, but I think besides any spinoff titles that may come out that Atlus are done with the story and are focusing on Persona 6. I think they’ve laid the foundation for a great Persona 6 should they improve on the dungeon designs and things to do with your friends/confidants/events.

        One thing I think where western RPGs excel is allowing the player more interaction in story events. We’ve moved past the watching long cutscenes, Japan needs to catch up there.

      2. Oh and..

        Show Spoiler ▼

  2. The Hawaii trip showed Atlus didn’t have the budget to do it any sort of justice. It was such a weak effort and you barely could do anything. Would it have killed them to model small sections where you could actually explore and get some unique items? I remember think wow this is a total waste of time, time that could have been spent doing some usual things(Leveling social stats, making stuff etc).

    The first beach trip was poor too. If they produce a Persona 6, and I’m sure they will. Give the player greater freedom during things like this and actually put the money into making these environments intractable.

    Besides some questioning dungeon designs, I think the storytelling and the level of player interactivity during events like these let the game down badly.

    1. I remember hearing about Hawaii being leftover from the game’s original theme of traveling the world along with the desert town in Futaba’s palace. It’ll be something I get into next week, but the field trip had very little to offer other than dating your character-of-choice from your small pool to work with, hearing about how famous the Phantom Thieves are abroad, and visiting their Big Bang Burger location.

      Hawaii in itself wasn’t given any cool exploration or anything to spice it up, so I can’t imagine it’d be any longer than this episode’s beach trip unless they had more they wanted to include.

      1. That’s interesting, I didn’t know that. But I do think Atlus should have crafted a mini arc in Hawaii for the cast with more in the way of exploration. The entire week was like one long extended cutscene which was very underwhelming. I hope the anime can make it more interesting.

  3. https://randomc.net/image/Persona%205%20The%20Animation/Persona%205%20The%20Animation%20-%2018%20-%20Large%2015.jpg
    Ren: “Do you have enough money for the train fare home?”
    Yusuke: *gasps in shock*

    Aw, they didn’t include the “Call her ‘Master Kawakami'” skit… 🙁 That scene was hilarious in the game for two reasons: 1) it catches Kawakami off-guard, and 2) that response gives a high relationship boost to both Kawakami and Ryuji (the only other scenario I remember where a similar thing happens is when Ren and Makoto run into Hifumi on their way to a bookstore). Also, I would have loved to see “Master” Kawakami’s leet fishing skills in action. (Probably Grander Musashi level? Hehe.)

    “THOT detected!”

    For a moment, I thought that they were splitting the Futaba beach episode and the Hawaii trip in this episode. But after watching this episode and mulling it over, it does make more sense to condense all summer vacation activities (and Confidant routes) in one episode as the Hawaii trip is a school trip.

    On a different note, that scene with Futaba in Akihabara… They based that store on Yodobashi Camera, didn’t they?

    1. The game definitely made the Master Kawakami segment funnier with how we see her completely wipe the floor with everyone using her fishing mastery. I did think they’d do a parallel between the two beach trips too, though it works out a little better to have the second half focus on some of the confidant stuff that would easily tie in with Morgana’s mood shift.

      Yodobashi Camera looks like it’d be the basis for the store as Futaba visits to grab alot of the hardware for her computer along with some games she wanted.

      1. Well, it was either that or the Bic Camera building located near Akihabara UDX (Love Live‘s UTX building IRL). I still have my two maps of Akihabara that I got from the train station, including one (Japanese-only) map featuring the Walkure idol group from Macross Delta. 🙂

        Although according to expat Japan vloggers/YouTubers who frequent the area (like Tokyo Lens) and Akiba natives, there’s at least a 10% markup on electronics being sold at Yodobashi Camera, making them rather pricey. (And I’m assuming that’s without sales tax.) It’s probably justified if the goods are of high quality, though.

        That being said, veteran electronics buyers looking for the same items at discounted prices will go for electronics shops located in the back streets of Akiba instead. But considering Futaba still has agoraphobia and hasn’t gone out by herself in a long while, she’s probably not too familiar with the physical layout of the place despite having all the information she needs via the Internet.

        On a different note, the anime seems to be leaning toward the “Like Brother and Sister” route for Ren and Futaba (if Ryuji’s comment is any indication). That might be a thorn for Ren x Futaba shippers…


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