Persona Anime Review | Should You Watch It?

Persona
Persona

As a devoted fan of the Persona game series (or at least, I’ve played P3 and P4 and consider them by far the greatest games I will ever play) I had been meaning to get around to watching the anime for a long, long time. Finally got around to it.
But this is kind of a lazy review, to be perfectly honest.

The Basics

Anime NamePersona
Episodes26
GenreAction, Sci-Fi, Supernatural
AiredJanuary 5, 2008, to June 28
Aired2008
Directed byJun Matsumoto
ProducersA-1 Pictures, Aniplex
Opening ThemeBreakin’ Through by Shuuhei Kita / Word of the Voice by Flow
Closing ThemeSuicides Love Story by Nana Kitada / Found Me by Yumi Kawamura

The Review of Persona

The Story of Persona

Shin Kanzato and his younger brother Jun move back to Ayanagi City, their hometown, a place they haven’t been in ten years. Basically, they’re moving in with their older brother Ryou, who has become Chief of Police in Ayanagi. He doesn’t really want them there—at all. He tells them to leave. But they can’t do that. Instead, the brothers get involved with the creatures known as “Persona”, an inner form of self.
Pretty much, with their Personas, they start learning what’s going on with some secret organization and there’s a lot that I can’t get into here without completely ruining the storyline, and we know I like to avoid spoilers. So sadly, this section has to be short. Too many complications to the plotline. Seriously, I got lost midway through the series and it took me a while to figure out why I was confused.

The Characters of Persona

I was never quite sure what to think of the characters in Persona. Of the three brothers, I really couldn’t bring myself to adore any of them. Shin seemed sorta bland to me like he was only there to tie the other two together. Jun is one of those characters where I kept thinking you’re too nice, stop that. And then with Ryou, it was a matter of wanting to like him because he had some serious badassery going on, but at the same time, he was also a Grade A douche. Don’t get me wrong—he had his reasons for being a douche. Those reasons though, were pretty typical of anime older brother figures, way too overused, so they just didn’t cut it for me.

Then there were the side characters. I think I kept unconsciously drawing parallels between them and the characters from both Persona 3 and Persona 4. The thing is, the anime characters just didn’t leap out at me the way the game characters did. They just seemed so much blander. And also annoying. Megumi isn’t too bad; of the secondary characters, she’s probably my favorite if only because she shows a spine. Takurou reminded me of a disturbing mix between Junpei (P3) and Yosuke (P4), which is to say he annoyed me as much as Junpei but also had some of Yosuke’s awesomeness going on. Still, he just didn’t stand out. Their other friend, Kanaru, just made me rage.

But saying why would be a spoiler.

The Connections

Honestly, Persona -trinity soul- is in no way connected to the games. It’s kind of like how P3 and P4 were completely unrelated but did take place in the same universe. Same deal here. -trinity soul- is in the same universe as the games; the storyline has no relation. There were really some unmistakable connections though.

Music of Persona

The first I noticed was the music. A lot of the BGM for the series was new and purely for the anime. Still, there were several scenes where I would perk up and be excited because I would hear them using a song straight out of the games.

Then there was Igor. If you have played Persona, Igor is unmistakable. He has the longest nose in the history of noses. I showed it to a friend and she proclaimed a desire to hang Christmas ornaments off of the thing. I can’t say I blame her. I mean, look:

Now for all his creepy looks, Igor is seriously one of the coolest characters in the Persona series. I was hoping he’d end up with a bigger role. But no. It just flashed over him a few times.
My favorite thing pulled in from the games though?

Oh, Akihiko Sanada, I do love you so. The man is gorgeous, and 100% badass, and also not a jerk. Plus, in the games, he’s most definitely paired with Shinjiro. I am sticking to that.
So those were the parallels from game series → anime series.

Conclusion

If you want to watch a mindscrew, watch Persona. Seriously. When I say it lost me, I mean it lost me. I spent a good 10-15 episodes sitting in front of my computer screen going, “Whaaaaat? What am I watching? Why did he just—wait, but, no, it’s…WHAT?” And that was me.
If you’re a fan of the Persona games, give it a shot. If you’re a fan of supernatural things in general, give it a shot. If you’re a fan of series that you don’t have to think about at all, BACK THE HELL AWAY FROM PERSONA.

Oh, and if you want to just sit and stare at Akihiko for a while… well, I view that as a perfectly valid reason for watching this series. It was always best when he was on-screen. Then he would leave and I’d have to cry for a few minutes.

(Please note that the last statement was a lie.)

My rating for Persona

5/10. I wanted to enjoy this series. Really, really I did. And I went into it with an open mind, but I was frustrated by the plot. Not saying it was an awful plot—it just didn’t live up to the game plots for me. And when a series has the name Persona in it, it damn well better have a Persona-worthy plot. This anime didn’t.

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