Persona 5: The Animation Is Oddly Underrated

Persona 5 was one of the biggest games of the last console generation, finalizing the franchise's push into the mainstream and revitalizing interest in turn-based RPGs. It also inspired a wealth of spinoffs and side projects that were equally as successful in their own right. The same cannot be said, however, for its anime adaptation.

Unlike the preceding anime for Persona 3 and Persona 4Persona 5: The Animation received more mixed reviews for a variety of reasons. While many of its criticisms are certainly valid, the anime adaptation itself is still decent in its own capacity. This has resulted in Persona 5: The Animation ironically being a bit underrated. While it still might fail to reach the heights of the game, it certainly isn't nearly as bad as some have made out.

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Persona 5 The Animation
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Last Surprise

One of the show's biggest successes is its music, which sets a noir tone just like the Persona 5 game. Unlike many video game adaptations -- including anime -- which often refrain from using their source material's iconic music, the Persona 5 soundtrack is composed by Shoji Meguro himself. Having worked on the music for the majority of modern Shin Megami Tensei games, his work on the Persona series in particular has been highly praised.

This has the effect of not only providing the show itself with incredible music, but allowing it to be showcased in a more active, dramatic way than it was in the video games. The music perfectly encapsulates the Jazz-inspired vigilante fiction setting, combining with the characters and art style to create an unquestionably unique aura.

Succinct Story

A lot of JRPGs can be very time consuming, and Persona 5 is no different in that regard. Even its spinoffs are known for being fairly lengthy, meaning that only dedicated gamers can fully enjoy the title's storyline. The anime solves this by hitting all of the game's 100-hour+ long story's high notes across 28 episodes and two OVAs. While some of the tertiary stories involving the social links might not be given the spotlight, the general gist of the plot is wrapped up in a bow despite the series' relatively short length.

While actually playing the game and experiencing the narrative in a more interactive capacity is the better option in terms of understanding all of the nuance, this might not be feasible for everyone's schedule. There's also the fact that the game is not available on all consoles, meaning that even some of those who want to play it can't. This makes the Persona 5: The Animation the perfect gateway to stave off that hunger for more of the series.


One criticism of the series is Joker's characterization, or lack thereof. Throughout the show he comes off as something of a blank slate -- but to be fair, this is accurate to the games. There, he was an almost completely silent protagonist, which is the norm for Persona games. For as much as the anime is criticized, he does speak a good bit more in the series. In fact, he's even given the canon name of Ren Amamiya. This has the effect of fleshing out the now-iconic character a bit more than in the game while still keeping him a quiet, mysterious person.

This all adds up to a series that truly brings the game to life in a more fluid way. It works as both an entry point for those who haven't played the original game, as well as an addendum to the story for those who have.

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