Persona 5 The Animation

January 13, 2019

From my last Persona blog (heck, it was the only one), I stated that Persona 5 was one of the good games (although not entirely perfect) to have graced 2018 (even though I didn’t play it and heard it mostly from all the hearsay over the internet) and hence why I started my Persona adventure with Persona 4 so that I can watch Persona 5 The Animation. Because I was never familiar with the Persona series, I thought the plot were related but it seems this series is just like the Final Fantasy series and each instalment are not really related in terms of story and characters although the basic setting is somewhat the same. So did I waste time watching Persona 4? Well, I did have some fun watching that prequel and I would at least have an idea of some of the workings of this universe while watching this one.

Episode 1
Ren Amamiya makes his steal as a Phantom Thief. However when he escapes, he gets ambushed by the authorities waiting. He is arrested, drugged and beaten up to spill the beans. Sae Niijima takes over the case and tries to help Ren. She tries to make him remember the events that transpired. The other world and the stolen hearts. Flashback shows when he arrived in town, he noticed a strange app in his phone. Yeah, some strange fire demon! Delete the app. Sorry, it’s still there. His destination is a café run by Soujirou Sakura who leads him to the attic storeroom where he will be staying. It seems Ren ran into trouble with authorities and now has a criminal record. The court transferred him here and his parents agreed (like as though they got rid of a nuisance). Sakura took him in partly because of money and warns the slightest trouble, he will kick him out. He will stay here for a year under probation. That night, he dreams of being in prison. Actually as explained by Igor, this is the Velvet Room and it reflects his heart. This doesn’t bode well for his future and only ruin awaits. Next day he is taken to Shujin Academy where he will begin his schooling. Is it me or does the principal look like Kingpin? On that day there was a subway incident and the first call card from a Phantom Thief. Everyone thought it was a prank but it wasn’t so. The target was the school’s alumnus who was an Olympic medallist and now the school’s gym teacher, Suguru Kamoshida. Ren remembers waiting with Ann Takamaki as she was picked up by Kamoshida. Soon after, he and Ryuuji Sakamoto head to school but they thought they took a wrong turn and entered a strange Palace. Strange knights knock them out and they are imprisoned. They are shocked to see Kamoshida as the king. He didn’t like how Ryuuji insulted him and orders his execution. Ren is so scared that he could only watch helplessly Kamoshida beating up Ryuuji. Before he is killed, Ren’s a voice asks if his actions then were a mistake. Since it wasn’t, Ren now has the resolve. The painful transformation into a Phantom Thief leads to the summoning of his Persona, Arsene.

Episode 2
The duo manage to escape and return to reality. With them being late for school, worse still, Kamoshida starts badmouthing them and there’s nothing they could do about it because it’s partly true. Nobody becomes Ren’s friend due to his reputation and looks like only Ryuuji is his ‘pal’ as they are birds of the same feather. Ren hears rumours to stay away from Ryuuji as he could bring trouble. There are also rumours that Kamoshida uses physical violence on his volleyball club members so Ryuuji wants to use something like that Palace experience to bust him. Well, Ren can bring him there again. That is what that app is for. To go to that alternate Metaverse. Inside the Palace, they see prisoners being tortured. They also free a talking cat, Morgana who tells them more about this place as well as the alter ego of their rebellious side called Persona. They come face to face with Kamoshida but as Morgana explains, this is not the real him but his Shadow, an embodiment of his true dark desires. Kamoshida reveals the truth about Ryuuji’s past. Once in a track club, he used violence against Kamoshida who was supervising the club then and as a result of his actions, dragged his friends into it and caused the disbandment of the track club. Ryuuji accuses him of using violence on them just because he didn’t like them. Ryuuji falls into despair and feels there is no way out of this. Until Ren tells him to stand up and fight did Ryuuji feel something rebellious inside him bursting out. Yup, he has his own Persona too, the pirate Captain Kidd. Even Morgana has his own Persona, Zorro. Together they defeat the guards but when a sexy version of Ann appears, Ren makes the call to retreat. Can’t defeat the king of his Palace in this state? Ryuuji hears out the truth of Ren’s probation. He tried to stop a rape scene and ultimately hurt the rapist who is a top cop. Ren was arrested on false charges as revenge and it didn’t help the victim stayed silent. Ryuuji is touched by his story and his righteousness. They become good friends.

Episode 3
Ren and Ryuuji try to talk about the guys about the abuse but they all brush it off and call it part of training. They think of talking to the girls then so they approach Ann and her friend, Shiho Suzui. However Ann refuses to allow them and doesn’t want her friend further involved. Later Ren overheard Ann on the phone with Kamoshida. It seems he is threatening to cut Shiho from the volleyball team if she doesn’t go out with her. Ann realizes Ren is eavesdropping and although doesn’t like it, pours out her troubles. From her story, it is definitely Kamoshida using Ann with the excuse to get Shiho a place in the team. Hence the rumours about them dating are somewhat true. Ren and Ryuuji are shocked that Morgana can enter this real world but in the form of a real cat. A talking cat! He tells them to use the Palace to ‘reform’ Kamoshida. However there is a risk and they might end up killing the real Kamoshida. The guys might not like that guy but they don’t want him dead either. They try to find another way when suddenly Shiho jumps off the school building! Well, she survived. Though in coma. At this point, Ryuuji confronts Yuuki Mishima of the volleyball club because he was the one who was seen with Shiho, asking her to see Kamoshida. They confront the jerk but they have no evidence of his abuse. Worse, Kamoshida will have them all expelled soon. This calls for desperate measures. Time to head into the Palace. Morgana explains how the Palace connects to one’s heart. So if they make it disappear, Kamoshida will become a good guy and even confess to his sins because he cannot bear the weight of the guilt. Good news, he won’t remember them doing this. Bad news, if they rid of the wrong emotions or everything in its entirety, he will die. However the Palace is on alert as the real Ann strayed into it and got captured. Shadow Kamoshida threatens to kill her as Ann falls into despair upon learning she will take the blame if Shiho dies. Time for Ren to work his magical words. Is she giving up? Do you not want him to pay for Shiho? And with that, Ann revives. A Persona of her own, Carmen. Whipping woman destroys the Shadows although Shadow Kamoshida escapes again. The quartet return to reality as they form a team to solve this case and exchange contacts.

Episode 4
Call cards are placed all over school indicating Kamoshida will confess to his crimes. Sorry, Ryuuji. Nobody is appreciative of your designs. Of course that gym bastard isn’t happy with this and suspects our heroes. But he believes this will not get far as they will be expelled. The quartet make some preparations before storming into the Palace. It seems they must steal the treasure which is the core to be successful. It has a time limit so they must be fast. Infiltrating the Palace, they need t a key to stop the traps. So happen this guard has this weird key (makes it stand out?). The guard turns into a fairy. It seems nice to them until she realizes she isn’t part of Kamoshida and drifted in the sea of human hearts. From now on, Pixie decides to live inside them. More accurately, Ren. In the throne room, it is not easy to steal the crown treasure as Shadow Kamoshida has got it heavily guarded. He transforms into his monster form to fight them. Ren got knocked out by an attack. This takes him to the Velvet Room where Igor agrees to help him. Yup, he is given a new Persona. With this, Ren fights back and Ryuuji knocks off the Shadow’s crown. Weakened and cornered, the Shadow begs for mercy. He gives excuse he was pressured to live up to expectations but Ann is not impressed. He gave in to his selfish desires and took everyone’s dreams away. She wants to kill him now but this will not prove his crimes. She wants him to admit and atone them. With that, the Shadow admits his loss and will do as she says. Time to get out before the Palace crumbles. Back in reality, Kamoshida shockingly admits all the wrongdoings. He wants to atone by killing himself but Ann tells him not to run. There were so many things Shiho pretended not to see before she jumped. All of them have to live with that regret. Kamoshida obediently agrees and will surrender himself to the police. The friends are delighted this worked well and the best news of all, Shiho has woke up.

Episode 5
Goro Akechi is a famous high school detective. Yeah, he’s handsome to boot too. I guess that’s why girls are approaching him and some asking about the Phantom Thieves case popping up in their school. Meanwhile our Phantom Thieves trio are splurging at the buffet. Kamoshida’s treasure turned into some gold medal that they sold for quite a sum. Even if it’s fake. But at the buffet, they stumble into impatient people and those who quickly blame them despite not in the wrong. This has them think the world is filled with such adults. You only realize that now? Hence they get excited to form a group to cleanse them like how they did for Kamoshida. Yup, they’re calling themselves The Phantoms and Ren is their leader. They even have cool nicknames like Joker (Ren), Skull (Ryuuji) and Panther (Ann). Mishima has somewhat created a website for Phantom Thieves called Phansite as apology for his actions. There are lots of people putting encouraging words as well as those putting in requests. So they try to take up a request like this stalker case. Morgana leads them into Mementos. Consider this alternate dimension a public version of a Palace. So it’s like a subway? And Morgana can turn into a bus? Did they take inspiration of this from Totoro? They find their way to the stalker, Natsuhiko Nakanohara who is upset he is only being persecuted while the other party gets away. But after a while, Nakanohara gives up. Just like that? His change of heart allows new passages to open up in Mementos. Morgana explains he has no memories of his origins. Trying to investigate this made him lost in Kamoshida’s Palace. He believes solving this mystery would return him to his original human form. The gang gets motivated as they lay down more ground rules for how they should operate. Ren helps out at Sakura’s café. Sae and Akechi come in as customers. Later the Phantom trio have a feeling of being tailed. Could it be Akechi? Morgana warns them to be careful as they are now leading double lives. When they smoke out the culprit… Who the f*ck is this gloomy dude?

Episode 6
Yuusuke Kitagawa has been taken in by Ann’s beauty ever since he laid his eyes on her. As the pupil of art maestro Ichiryusai Madarame, he wants her to be his model. Expecting something else? They are given free tickets to his art exhibit this weekend. Madarame sounds like a nice and mature guy. Yuusuke shows Ann around but there is one artwork he tries to steer her away and even though she praises how good it is, he doesn’t seem happy. Later on the Phansite, there is a rumour circulating about a certain artist plagiarizing his student’s works and taking full credit for it. Also, he abuses them physically. They pay a visit to his shack to confirm with Yuusuke about the rumours but he vehemently protests. Even Madarame is polite and humble answering this and allows them in. In Yuusuke’s room, he shows them Madarame’s maiden art of Sayuri (why do I feel is the Japanese version of Mona Lisa?) that swayed him to take up arts. Also, Yuusuke had no relatives and Madarame took him in as his own. You could see why he is indebted to him. Our gang is about to drop this case thinking the rumour is a dud but then the app resonates. Could there be another Palace at this place? Might as well check it out. It is a huge museum and as Phantom sneak in, they see several portraits. One of them being Nakanohara. Conveniently they hear the monologue of Shadow Madarame that he really steals his students’ works. Because they flee, he breaks them so as they won’t defy him. As for the only student left, he will work him until he dies. They again confront Yuusuke about this and Yuusuke once again doesn’t like them accusing his master. Though, he did admit his master is in a slump and offered his works to help him out. So that isn’t plagiarism? He kicks them out and doesn’t want to see them again. Back home, Ren gets a message from Mishima that Nakanohara wants to meet a Phantom to help solve this problem of changing someone’s heart. Incognito, Ren meets Nakanohara who reveals he was a student of Madarame. Not only he stole their works but takes full credit for it. There was another student too but he committed suicide. He doesn’t want this to happen to the last student remaining. He asked if it was painful to stay with Madarame and was told he wanted to leave if he could. So it’s no surprise Phantom is going to set things straight.

Episode 7
So did Yuusuke allow Ann back in just because she agreed to do the nude? While investigating, they find a strange door inside the museum that had to be unlocked in the real world (which is inside Madarame’s house). This might contain Madarame’s dark secrets. And hence Ann ‘agreed’ to do the nude. No wonder she is wearing so many layers of clothes. This is to buy time for Morgana to pick the lock. Seriously, a cat’s paw trying to pick a lock? No wonder it’s going to take time. So when he is done, Madarame just got back. Inside are all Madarame’s paintings and the most shocking ones are duplicates of Sayuri. Madarame claims he went into a slump after the original one got lost and started painting copies in hopes of regaining his former self. But then they uncover the real one. Yuusuke can tell it is so because he studied the art very well and this was the painting that inspired him to walk this path. Madarame threatens to call security. Good timing for them to fall into the Metaverse. Yuusuke is in shock and refuses to believe at first until Shadow Madarame pops up and rants like a true villain of his evildoings. Yup, he created false rumours of Sayuri being stolen so he could sell copies to the rich. It’s all about money. The kicker has got to be when Madarame reveals he took Yuusuke in not because of the goodness of his heart but to nurture his talents and milk him like a cash cow. Yuusuke is so disillusioned that with this realization he summons his own Persona, Goemon. After a short fight, Shadow Madarame escapes. The rest don’t want to give chase because even if they defeat this Shadow, it will not change a thing. That will only happen when they steal his treasure. Back in reality, Yuusuke talks to them of his dilemma. He is now kicked out of Madarame’s house and has nowhere to go. Although this looks like the case of biting the hand that feeds you, now that Yuusuke’s eyes are opened, he wants to pursue the truth and expose Madarame’s wrongdoings. So let’s welcome the newest member of Phantom.

Episode 8
Calling cards are left everywhere to announce their steal. As Phantom prepares to steal the treasure, Shadow Madarame has it heavily guarded. Everywhere except from the top! Yeah, just do a Mission Impossible and run! Too bad this treasure is fake as Shadow Madarame smoked them out. But he made the fatal mistake of showing them the real treasure. The original picture of Sayuri. It is slightly different as the woman is holding the baby. Shadow Madarame’s blabber mouth has him reveal Yuusuke’s mom was his student and she was the original painter of this picture. The baby here is of course Yuusuke. His mom had a frail body and had a seizure before Madarame. He thought of stealing her works and let her die. Yuusuke’s talent was a blessing and that’s when it dawned to him it is better to rob future brats of their works who don’t talk back. He transforms into a monster that shoots ink that weakens you upon contact. Solution? Splash it back at him! The weakened Shadow pleads for his life as usual but Yuusuke won’t kill him and tells him to end all this and use his own art for once. In reality, Madarame makes a tearful confession of his wrongdoings all on camera. The public is abuzz not because of this confession but rather Phantom has struck again. As Yuusuke can’t stay in Madarame’s place or the dorms (because lack creativity), he wants to stay with Ann! WTF?! Did he decide on that himself?! Morgana suggests living at Sakura’s place. That old dude easily agrees because another troublemaker doesn’t make any difference. The friends celebrate with their own mini party. Yuusuke wants to know about their past since they know about his. Ryuuji tells of his dream to join a track scholarship to ease his single mom (dad left the family went he was young). Then the incident of using violence over Kamoshida. Mom was called and all the teachers were against her. She sat there quietly and Ryuuji cannot forget that look on her face when she apologized. As for Ren, I guess it is too long a story so we won’t hear it now. Everyone agrees all of them had it rough and perhaps that’s why they came together. They make a vow to bring corrupt adults to justice and go as far as they can. Next day, Yuusuke decides to leave and stay at the dorms as he realized what he needs is more human interaction. He leaves the Sayuri painting at the café as thanks.

Episode 9
Although Phantom has been gaining more popularity, there are some still sceptical of their motives. Ryuuji finds a tantalizing maid service poster in his box and has Ren and Mishima join in on this ‘maid research’ (it is to let loose some steam since they need to study to avoid their grades dropping and hence people suspecting them of being Phantom). I WANT IN TOO!!!! Because Ryuuji’s next door neighbour at the dorm has moved out, it is the perfect place to call for maid service. So when they do so, Ryuuji and Mishima chicken out and leave Ren to face with the cute maid calling. But Ren recognizes that voice. Isn’t Becky his homeroom teacher, Sadayo Kawakami? While she is being a cute maid (F*CK!!! I WANT TO SWITCH WITH YOU, REN!!!!), Ren manages to keep his face hidden. I guess Ren didn’t want any service (WTF????!!!) so Becky is about to leave and frustrated Ryuuji (you tell him!) almost screamed and Becky thought she heard a recognizable voice. That is when she sees Ren’s face. She admits the truth and thinks he heard this from their other teacher, Chouno. Since this will be bad for both of them, she hopes this incident will be forgotten. Ren later tells Morgana of this and of course the cat is surprised his teacher is moonlighting. They wonder if Kawakami has a bad relationship with Chouno. Seeing which, Chouno is reprimanding Kawakami about not attending meetings. Ren goes to ‘help’ her under pretence he needs some questions answered. Chouno immediately believes Kawakami has been avoiding meetings to help her students. Because Ryuuji still has problems with his fellow track members who are trying to form a new track team, Ren calls for that maid service again. This time at his place but only after Sakura closes his café. He tells her about Ryuuji’s case of why he punched Kamoshida as his mother was insulted. Now Kawakami understands Ryuuji’s case better. She informs the new track team’s advisor is to be Yamauchi who was close to Kamoshida. Ren goes to spy on Yamauchi who seems to be doing some shady stuffs like leaking info on students that Kamoshida told him before. Because of that, the track students gang up on a supposed traitor but Ryuuji steps in to quell all that by showing his forgiving side. He has put that Kamoshida’s past behind him because the worst part is not having a place to belong to but to lie to yourself and be a crappy person. He must be so confident that he offers to be punched to make them feel better. Yeah, he didn’t expect them to take up the offer. Did he specify how many punches per person? No hard feelings but they’re even now. Later as Ren and Kawakami talk, she updates him that the new advisor will be a former track coach coming back after the track members told this to Chouno who used her influence to stop Yamauchi from becoming the new advisor.

Episode 10
The class is invited as guests to a TV station where they watch Akechi being interviewed. He talks about Phantom needing to be put on trial because they are taking the law into their own hands (even though exposing the villain is another matter). Had they believe in real justice, they should not be doing what they’re doing now. But the issue at hand is how they change people’s hearts. Was it forcefully? If they have that ability, there is a possibility they might use it to commit crimes. Of course our Phantom friends continue to believe in their own justice and will do things their way. Meanwhile, Makoto Niijima, the student council president has been tasked to find the identities of Phantom by the principal. She is disillusioned since she was never told why and not to further question. However she targets Ren and his groupie as they are gathering suspiciously. She confronts them after thinking they have some trouble and she could hear them out. Ann distrusts her because of Shiho’s case in which the council didn’t do anything. Likewise, Makoto throws it back to her as Shiho’s closest friend, she didn’t do anything either. Their views on justice clash. But after school, Makoto summons Ren. Ren has no choice but to bring her to meet the other Phantom members. It seems she has a recording that proves their identities as Phantom. But she will not report them and wants to make a deal. In exchange for deleting this, she wants them to show the justice they speak of. She wants them to change the heart of a local yakuza leader who scams and blackmails people. He also uses his men to force students hanging out in the alleys of Shibuya to be drug mules. Makoto and Ren test this out and the rumours are true. Because Makoto won’t give a name, the rest think of a way to get so. The internet and media won’t help. They remember the journalist, Ichiko Ooya who was trying to snoop around Madarame’s case. Ren goes to meet her and in exchange for a name, she wants to interview students who were abused under Kamoshida’s reign of terror. After suggesting Mishima, the name he is looking for is Junya Kaneshiro. Now they’ve got a name, they need to look for his Palace. It’s ‘easy’ to find because that guy considers the entire Shibuya as his source of income. Yup, the entire Shibuya is his warped Palace. Not to mention that high tower mansion right smack in the middle.

Episode 11
Akechi wants to talk to Makoto about the Phantom Thieves but she is reluctant. Flashback shows her father was an upright officer but was targeted and killed in the line of duty. Hence it is a lot of stress for her sister, Sae who is working as a prosecutor. Because Makoto asks if their father would have sided with the Phantom Thieves as they make the bad confess their crimes, Sae snaps at her about being useless. Makoto goes to bug Phantom to see if there are any updates. Since useless is her taboo word and they find her pushy, she tries to prove a point by taking a risky action by meeting Kaneshiro’s goons and forcing them to bring her to them. Funny, they never check if she is using her handphone to record their conversation? Makoto meets Kaneshiro but is quickly outwitted when he knows what she is doing. It gets worse when Phantom come by. As they are in a bar, Kaneshiro takes a snapshot of them and threatens to send it to their school. If they threaten him or report to the police, he will ruin them and their families. Plus, he gives 3 million yen to his girl as excuse to relieve his stress and wants them to pay up or else. He lets them go as Makoto tells about her desperate case and situation. She realizes and admits she is useless. Morgana has an idea as they have become Kaneshiro’s ‘customers’, it is easier to access his Palace. They bring Makoto in so I guess it saves a lot of time explaining since she is a smart girl. Shadow Kaneshiro offers them to use their bodies to pay off their debt. Because he runs his mouth of wanting to make Sae his personal slave and then abandon her when he is done, this irks Makoto so much that she summons her Persona. Uhm, Johanna is a bike so that makes Makoto a hot badass biker girl?! A few kickass moments before they have to escape because security is tightening and now that they know how to access here, they’ll come back to steal his treasure next time. Back in reality, Makoto finds the irony of joining Phantom when she was supposed to investigate about them in the first place. It might look awkward between the sisters now since they are on opposing sides but she is confident normal investigations won’t reach this Metaverse.

Episode 12
in between trying to find the location of the treasure, we see Ann sincerely apologizing to Makoto for blaming her during the Kamoshida incident and they both call it even and become friends. Girl power when they both kick ass that it makes the guys shiver. Also, with Makoto being a bit socially awkward, Ren helps her to blow off some steam via hanging out. So when they have finally found the treasure, it has not materialized yet and must put forth the calling card so as to materialize it because the perpetrator will sense some danger to it and hence protect it. Phantom confront Shadow Kaneshiro as he turns into uhm, rapper fly monster?! Here’s his iron piggy vault. Cybertron? Piggytron?! Phantom cooperate to take down the Shadow and as usual, he confesses about all he wanted was a place of belonging and hence money was the only thing he has. But to take advantage of others? Looks like the place he will belong is the prison. However Kaneshiro warns them of another person who can enter Metaverse and taking advantage of it by doing what he wants. A person wearing a black mask who is more powerful than all of them. Back in reality, Phantom thought they have 30 million yen as reward from the treasure. Turns out to be fake money. Soon Kaneshiro calls Makoto to erase the debt and picture before turning himself to the authorities. Makoto presents her findings to the principal in which he is unhappy she finds Phantom as just. She resigns from this job. Back home, Makoto learns Sae isn’t happy despite Kaneshiro being caught. Because he confessed, nobody could take credit for his downfall and there goes her chance for promotion. Makoto thinks she has changed.

Episode 13
Some politicians have been arrested but it isn’t the work of Phantom. It is thanks to Akechi. Akechi visits Sakura’s café and talks to Ren. Again their opinions of Phantom clash as Akechi is still suspicious of Phantom’s methods. Yuusuke is in a slump so he seeks Ren’s help to find inspiration. He wants Ren to be his bodyguard as he finds his inspiration in Mementos. When he submits his work for competition, however Akio Kawanabe the director of the Japanese Art Support Foundation calls it mediocre and empty. But later he apologizes for his comments because he was hoping to give him some sort of motivation. Knowing Yuusuke is in a slump due to financial restraints, he is willing to provide materials and even a studio for his creativity to run wild. However Yuusuke realizes the catch that his art sells because of his good looks and this is not what he wants. Yuusuke will not allow this to taint his pride and the deal ends here. Later Ren is confronted by Akechi who has been doing some investigations after Madarame’s case. It seems Kawanabe is a shady person himself as he was friends with Madarame. After having young budding artists into a shady contract, he extorts them to cover costs of exhibits, etc. It would be a shame if Yuusuke falls into this trap again. But how is this related to Phantom? Because with such crimes, Phantom will no doubt move. As a detective he wants to nab this first and requires Ren’s help since he has no solid evidence. Ren agrees to help. So Ren finds himself juggling between helping Yuusuke finds his inspiration and Akechi solving the case but often hits a dead end as Akechi cannot trace where the money went. When Yuusuke hears the other Phantom members about their opinions on art, Yuusuke has his eyes open further. He realizes he will now draw to give hope to others. Next time when Ren sees Kawanabe and asks about several companies (supposedly where the money went), Kawanabe isn’t sure what he is talking about. The culprit turns out to be his secretary as Akechi nabs him before he could destroy the documents. Yuusuke enters another competition and wins it. Even Kawanabe admits he deserves to win. His provocation was to encourage Yuusuke. Admitting he was friends with Madarame, but they both had a fall out. Kawanabe offers to give him financial support with no strings but Yuusuke declines citing he has friends who will guide him if he is lost.

Episode 14
Now that Sae has heard what Ren says, it has become personal and believes in Phantom’s form of justice. We see Phantom change the heart of an online stalker. Although this episode sees how Mishima got screwed after meeting Ichiko in her drunk state (Ren’s answer to his grumbles: Off the handphone! Best function ever) and Yuusuke realizing it is hard to cut off Madarame totally even though he is scum because he is still family (for he raised him), the big bulk goes to Makoto still trying to find her place and expand her horizon as she hangs out more with Ren. In some shady parts of town, she inadvertently becomes friends with a fellow schoolmate who is moonlighting in this part of town, Eiko Takao. Makoto knows very well she is being scammed by her host club boyfriend, Tsukasa. Very much evident when she starts asking to borrow money. Makoto is bent on opening her eyes because it somewhat relates to her father’s death. He was investigating a syndicate preying on young girls when the accident happened. Despite the ‘proof’ Tsukasa only sees Eiko as an ATM as he cannot remember her name, Eiko still refuses to believe. And then Makoto slaps her to tell her she knows the truth but refuses to accept it. She complains she has nobody else. Only Tsukasa looks at her. With complaints about a certain host club guy scamming girls flooding Phansite, time for Phantom to move in as we cut to the chase to see them defeat Shadow Tsukasa. Eiko now finds her place with her friendship with Makoto. Makoto thanks Ren for everything as now she has finally decided how to live her life. She will become a police and help the weak like her father. Although the irony is that she is a Phantom Thief now. So uhm, she is going to catch herself?

Episode 15
An international hacker group, Medjed claims that Phantom is evil and want to bring them to justice. However they offer them to join their side and if they reject, the hammer of justice will find them. Of course Phantom is suspicious and unsure to take this seriously. Further info on Medjed shows they aren’t as just as they claim since they hack corporate info and use them as blackmail. In class, a strange phenomenon occurs. Everybody’s handphone except Ren’s start ringing for a short while. Back home, Ren gets a message from the perpetrator of this prank, Alibaba. Alibaba knows everything there is about Phantom and has a job for them. There is a certain person whose heart needs to be changed and in exchange, will do something about Medjed. Ren shows this to the rest and of course they are shocked. It is possible that Alibaba hacked their accounts since their chats are mostly online. Makoto advises to do important chats face to face. When Ren returns, there is a letter addressed to him. It is supposedly a calling card from Alibaba. However Alibaba seems not to be aware of the procedures and the things they need to know in order to steal hearts. First they require the target’s name. After thinking for a while, Alibaba says the target is Futaba Sakura. Alibaba wants them to do it now and threatens to expose them to public otherwise. As more info like keywords and Palace are needed, Alibaba thinks they are dodging the issue. After thinking, Alibaba decides to call off the case and will not expose them. Don’t pursue this any further. This leaves Phantom confused and unsatisfied. They ponder if Futaba is somewhat related to Sakura.

When Ren returns, he hears Sae threatening Sakura about some custody revoking thingy if he refuses to divulge some information. Something about abuse and domestic court and everything is in his favour if he just cooperates. Ren tries to ask but he is no mood to tell. The rest of Phantom is further puzzled because they think Futaba might be Sakura’s child and she is the one abusing him? Otherwise why change her heart? After all, they can’t imagine Sakura being an abuser. Moody and rude maybe but not an abuser. That night, entire Shibuya area has a blackout. Next day, Medjed claims responsibility on this. They claim Phantom has failed to respond and give them a last chance. Otherwise they will attack Japan via this method. It is possible that everyone will blame Phantom for this but as Ren notes if they give in, their justice will fail. Thinking if they could contact Alibaba again, Makoto reads again the chat. Could it be that Alibaba is Futaba? Needing more information, they head to Sakura’s house (since the café is closed). Good thing it is raining because it’s an excuse to barge into the seemingly dark house for refuge. Then the lights go out and they hear a scream. Makoto is most afraid as she clings on to Ren. Cheesy jump scare moment as Makoto meets eye with the ‘scary thing’. Don’t worry. Just Futaba. But so scared that they both screamed. Hilarious?

Episode 16
Futaba runs back to her hiding and Sakura just came back. Sakura feels it is time to explain things. Futaba is the daughter of an acquaintance. Her mom, Wakaba raised her as a single parent but is always busy with work. One day she killed herself before Futaba’s eyes and Sakura ended up taking custody of her. It was hard at first but slowly she opened up. However a few months back, she started getting scared and locked herself in, claiming she heard voices of mom looking at her. Investigating further, it is confirmed Futaba is indeed Alibaba and does have her own Palace. They try to talk to her outside her room (although, more like online chatting) but she believes her room is her tomb that she will die in. This is the keyword that takes them to her Palace. A huge Egyptian pyramid. It seems Phantom are not in their usual uniform since Futaba does not see them as the enemy. Inside, they see Shadow Futaba as the pharaoh queen. They also hear voices blaming Futaba as her mom’s killer. Shadow Futaba believes her mom is here and will die here. After she disappears, Phantom transforms into their uniform, a sign indicating she has considered them the enemy. Because of Futaba’s unstable state of mind, she leads Phantom deeper into the tomb and they almost get killed by traps. They see movies leading up to Wakaba’s death. Futaba blamed herself for wanting attention as she always had to eat alone but brushed her off citing work. In the final room where her treasure lies, Shadow Futaba says they need the real Futaba’s permission for it to open. Shadow Futaba appears before the real Futaba, asking her if she intends to blame and shut herself forever. Is she going to avert her eyes to the truth forever? If so, she will kill Phantom in the real world. Ren and co try to get permission to enter her room. They enter but she remains in hiding in her closet. After convincing her to trust them, she jumps out in awkward fashion, pleading them to steal her heart.

Episode 17
Apparently Futaba got the wrong idea about stealing her heart this way. Back into the closet. They leave their calling card before returning to the Metaverse. After Futaba reads it, it is like the permission Phantom need to proceed beyond the locked room. They face off with a sphinx with Wakaba’s face. As pointed out, this isn’t a Shadow but just Futaba’s cognition. Futaba cannot stand hearing those accusing voices as she barges out of the room and stumbles into the Metaverse and hence her Palace. With the accusations continuing, basically her Shadow is lecturing her that she knows the truth all along but continued to be in denial. She blames herself for existing, hence taking Wakaba’s precious time away from her research that would eventually result in her death. All the accusations are just excuses to justify why mom died. Once she has gotten over it, time for Futaba to get her own Persona. Uhm, tentacle rape into a UFO?! She creates cool weapons for Phantom to use against the sphinx until they defeat it. After it is over, the real Wakaba appears. The kind mother she has always been. They reconcile and Futaba moves on. As for her treasure, it is empty and Morgana deduces Futaba herself is the treasure. Back in reality, Futaba is fine but fast asleep. No major injuries. Just tired. Hey, this is commendable for a shut-in who just expended considerably a lot of energy! Sakura is so grateful he gives the gang tickets to Skytree. Enjoy yourself because today is also apparently the day Medjed will hack Japan. Nothing happens… When Ren returns, he sees Sae leaving. Sakura lets him know she is here to find out about Wakaba’s research. With a click of a button, Futaba hacks Medjed’s website and it’s all over the news! So easy?! Futaba explains she is the original founder of Medjed. Because she used her anonymity, others started using that moniker for themselves. She didn’t stop them because it was growing to be bothersome and let them be. She tossed away that name and now goes by Alibaba. In short, Medjed is probably a loose organization filled with weaklings. On to something more serious, Futaba believes her mom wasn’t killed in an accident but murdered. She wants Ren help bring the perpetrator to justice.

Episode 18
Futaba is invited to join Phantom and she doesn’t hesitate to say yes. Because Futaba’s social skills are still awkward, the friends take turn to hang out with her. Enough for her to ‘graduate’ to hang out at the beach. I guess it’s time we need our beach episode. At the end of the day, Futaba opens up more on her mom. She was into cognitive pscience. In short, she was researching a theory relating to the Metaverse about the other cognitive world that affects one’s behaviour in reality. Thinking she was trapped in that labyrinth and there was nothing she could do about it, that’s why she sought Phantom to steal her heart. Wakaba didn’t throw herself onto an oncoming car but rather she collapsed. Futaba tried to research and hacked online to find more about mom’s work but none was found. Like as though she never existed. Hence her reason to join Phantom is to find her mom’s killer rather than changing hearts. The rest don’t mind since she is one good hacker. Perhaps Futaba still has a long way to go to be independent socially. She thought she could hang out by herself at the mall but started to panic and freeze. If not for Ren and Ryuuji passing by, she could have cried until kingdom come. With Futaba joining them in Metaverse, it seems Mementos is growing bigger the more people love them. Their reputation skyrocketed after the Medjed incident. Sakura opens up to Ren about his regret that Wakaba told him she felt that she was going to die. Had he taken her more seriously, it wouldn’t have happened. Hence taking in Futaba was his form of redemption. But it looks like Futaba is not the only one having current problems. Ann got setup by a fellow model and her role usurped by her while Morgana starts having anxiety about being a cat. A cat has worries?! I guess this proves Morgana could be very much a human before.

Episode 19
Futaba gives Makoto a special USB that can bypass all passwords to copy whatever computer she inserts in. Thus Makoto uses it to download Sae’s investigation data. Meanwhile our gang is on a school trip to Hawaii! Aloha! Nothing really much going on here except them having fun like they should. An incident of Ren saving Hifumi Togo, a pro shogi player from American guys who want to flirt with her. Also, Ann got shut out of her own room so she had to sleep in Ren and Ryuuji’s room that makes it all so awkward. Meanwhile the principal is panicking as whoever is sponsoring him decides to cut ties. It doesn’t help when the media is trying to hound the school about Phantom ever since Kamoshida’s case. When the gang returns from Hawaii, they hear the principal has been killed in a street accident. We have seen that he has been hypnotized to the state of a mental shutdown that it made it look like he committed suicide. Of course no students sympathized with the principal’s death since it is an open secret he tried to cover up Kamoshida’s case. However the odd thing is that everyone now thinks this is Phantom’s doing and they are resorting to killing. Futaba reveals some of her findings of Sae’s investigation. Kunikazu Okumura, the CEO of Okumura Foods seems to be benefiting the most from the recent cases of scandals and competitors resigning. There are rumours that those around him have mental shutdown. Morgana and Ryuuji want to quickly take this guy down but the rest don’t want to rush in and do more investigations first. This leads to the group being split and oddly Morgana and Ryuuji getting into a heated debate. Morgana will take on this job himself. Too bad he fails. I guess no cat is an island. Meanwhile Sae and Akechi are in desperate need to turn around their reputations as the people still side with Phantom than them.

Episode 20
Morgana has a new Phantom Thief partner? Thanks to Futaba’s hacking, she manages to easily find keywords to access Okumura’s Palace. They see robots being worked to the bone and if they fail, they are thrown away. Then here pops up Morgana and his partner, uhm, Beauty Thief? At first they thought she is the culprit as she wears a black mask but after lots of bloopers between the cat and her, it looks more like one big goofy uncoordinated act. They have to flee when security arrives. Ren and co quickly deduce that Haru is the one behind Beauty Thief and she is Okumura’s daughter. It seems everybody has a lot to say about her father and hence she entered his Palace to find out the real him. That is when she stumbled into Morgana and they become a pair. When they offer to help her, she rejects them because they couldn’t even do anything to help Morgana. When Haru returns, it seems her father just finished making some calls that would allow him to enter the political foray. He wants her to get more acquainted with Sugimoto, the son of a politician whom she will marry just to advance his political goal. Yup, that’s what father shamelessly said. Phantom meets Morgana in the Metaverse in hopes of mending their relationship. It looks like everything is heading for the better until Ryuuji overdone it by saying that taboo word of useless. Back to square one. Sugimoto comes to pick up Haru (father approved putting GPS on her!). He doesn’t like her hanging around this parts and needs to teach her a lesson to avoid a scandal. But wouldn’t this cause a scandal? Morgana tries to bite him but got kicked. Ouch. Morgana’s cries must be so loud that Ren and co could actually hear and rush to the spot! Not wanting further commotion, he lets her go but will report this to her father. Back at Ren’s place, they nurse Morgana but the cat still wants to go his own way after viewing himself as a burden. When Haru asks why he wants to become human, Morgana says it is his reason to stay. Not being part of Phantom means having no place to belong. He wants to stay here forever. I’m sure the friends don’t need any reason for him to stay. And with more cheesy friendship assurance, Phantom is back as a whole. Haru also takes this chance to be honest as she blurts out how she hates that Sugimoto creep. And everyone has a good laugh. But more woes for Haru as her father has been indicted and he unofficially puts her in Sugimoto’s care.

Episode 21
Haru tells her friends about the forced marriage. As to why her father became ruthless and cold hearted, the trigger is believed to go way back to when grandpa was still the company’s president. However he still run small cafes and prioritized the customers’ smile. Sometimes he even gave free food. Because of that, the shop closed down after losing revenue and he passed away shortly. Her dad started prioritizing profits after he took over. They venture into the Palace to see Shadow Okumura. Uhm, a space alien robot Dracula? He blatantly gives Shadow Sugimoto the permission to do whatever he wants to Haru so long he gets his foothold in politics. Shadow Sugimoto transforms into a robot to fight them. I suppose this part is necessary because Haru needs to awaken her Persona, Milady to kick ass. Returning to reality, the friends ask one last time if she really wants to go ahead with this because once her dad changes heart, there will be lawsuits and she will be branded as a criminal’s daughter. She doesn’t mind all that. When Okumura receives a calling card, he is not cowed and instead goes to the police. Phantom enters the Palace to steal his treasure. Shadow Okumura gives Haru one last chance to join him and of course she won’t, Phantom as usual combine their Persona powers to take him down. Shadow Okumura becomes very remorseful for his wrongdoings. However he isn’t the one behind the mental shutdowns and merely requested to eliminate competitions. Before they can grill him further, the Palace crumbles. But it is a guy in black mask that kills off Shadow Okumura. In the aftermath, Okumura becomes withdrawn and shuts himself in his room. The friends celebrate this success at the amusement park. Originally the company booked it for its employees but cancelled due to the scandal. Since no refund, might as well enjoy themselves. Yeah, the whole park to themselves. Conveniently it is time for Okumura’s live press conference. He confesses abusing his workers and everything. But before he gets to the important part, suddenly he bleeds black ink and collapses?! WTF?! Oh sh*t! Meanwhile Sae has become more engrossed and obsessed in nabbing Phantom and she thinks the recent incidents will be her ticket to glory.

Episode 22
Okumura is dead. Doom and gloom. Ren and co are feeling sad but it gets worse. Just when they ponder if they are responsible for Okumura’s death, people are now turning against Phantom and posting that they are criminals. People’s allegiance are so fragile thanks to the internet. Meanwhile Sae has been entrusted with the position to solve this Phantom Thieves case by her senior. It is a big job and she goes into overdrive mode to work hard (despite she is already overworked herself) as she views this as her big promotion chance. The police even starts interrogating students from Shujin and Futaba’s hacking shows that somebody used the Medjed’s name to hack into the Phansite to make it Okumura as the top target for them. Hence, the culprit had planned to blame them from the start. They literally danced into his palm for the last couple of months. For now they must lie low. Mishima is displeased with all this so he shows Ren a photo of an up and coming actor. He is cocky so he hopes Phantom could do something about this dude and restore their reputation. Ren is such a good listener that a chance meeting with Hifumi has them becoming shogi friends. She hears out what he wants to say. So as not to be all doom and gloom, Shiho even thanks Ren for all the encouragement he and Ann gave her. When Phansite makes a big announcement that anyone who attacks Phantom will be punished, it’s time for Phantom to head into Mementos to confront Mishima’s Shadow because Ren can tell it is Mishima’s cry for help. In short, he is jealous he too wanted to be noticed and be a hero. He wants them to change his heart but Ren tells him not to quit and face himself. Yeah, they just left like that. In reality, Mishima feels so much better. He doesn’t want to shut down Phansite as long as there are voices crying out for their help. On a bright note, he has also started writing a documentary on Phantom to record all their doings. He will always support them.

Episode 23
For the school’s cultural festival, it seems the students voted unanimously for Akechi to be their special guest. They’re tired of the constant police surveillance and interrogation and want this princely detective to help out. At first Makoto thought they should lie low and not attract any attention but then decide if they are going to need police intel, might as well try to talk to him via this panel. Recently Akechi who was suspicious of Phantom now seems to be supporting them as if gives his interviews on TV. A day before his supposed appearance, he visits the school grounds just to check out. This ‘funny’ scene where he ate a spicy takoyaki and he became so comical! WTF?! Abort mission. Time to go home. At the panel, the students quickly ask if Phantom was behind the murder of their principal. Quickly, Akechi dismissed that Phantom would murder and in fact he knows their identity. A well timed phone call has him take a break. But this is part of his plan to call Ren and co to discuss. He knows they are Phantom as he has photo evidence of them ‘disappearing’ into Metaverse. He knows they are not the kind to murder. Because recently he managed to enter Metaverse and stumbled into the man in a black mask who tried to kill him. Desperate to live, Akechi summoned his own Persona to escape. Because the police has decided Phantom is the culprit, Akechi would like to strike a deal to help them. In exchange he will turn a blind eye to all they have done. Otherwise he will hand in this proof to the police. Sae is now pressured to solve Phantom’s case and is only given a month. Because of that, it is announced there is a 30 million yen bounty on them. Phantom has no choice but to work with Akechi. He gets straight to the point that he wants to change Sae’s heart as he has discovered her Palace. At this rate she will fabricate evidence and pin the blame on an unrelated culprit. Changing her heart would also protect her because if the real culprit finds out she is the one investigating all this, they will target her life and she is perfect to place the blame on Phantom. Changing her heart will also restore Phantom’s reputation and a warning not to mess with them. With them backing off, it will only be a matter of time Akechi catches the culprit. This also means this would be Phantom’s last mission. They ask why Akechi is so hard up in pursuing this justice. He admits it is a petty grudge and contempt for a certain someone. It is a reason why he came to them for help.

Episode 24
Sae’s Palace is a courthouse and a casino? Because she thinks going to court is a must win. Unless you’re the house, you will often lose at the casino… Shadow Sae (is she auditioning to be part of KISS?) pops up before them and even tells them where the treasure is as she believes in a fair fight. But to get to the top of the building, they need to earn a member card. Their reconnaissance ends for today and we get to see Akechi kickass with his Persona, Robin Hood. But there is another problem brewing. Sakura found a calling card in Futaba’s room. Man, Futaba is running away and avoiding Sakura at all cost! Although Sakura acts normal, the rest feel to avoid treading on this topic if it is not brought up by him. But it gets worse as Futaba’s uncle walks in and is asking for money or he threatens to take Futaba back. He is confident the court will be on his side as blood related has higher priority than legal guardian. With Futaba in depression, she can’t perform as usual in Metaverse as Phantom keeps losing their bets in the casino! Sakura later talks to Ren about Futaba’s case. After her mom died, she was tossed around between the relatives for a place to stay. Her uncle was the last to receive her and treated her like dirt. Sakura couldn’t stand it and decided to pay him off to take guardianship over her. With this problem coming to light, Akechi personally wants to help Futaba because he too knows what it feels like from being tossed from home to home as he was from the orphanage.

The next time uncle comes to ask for money again, Sakura declines both options to pay him or give Futaba. Nice timing for Akechi to come back with his investigations showing he lost money due to bad investments. Stupid uncle tripped himself but blames Ren for pushing him and is going to sue them. Soon, his lawyers come knocking on their door. They look like they have the upper hand since Sakura wasn’t exactly a good guardian either. You know, that time Futaba was being a shut-in and he didn’t do anything about it. But luckily for them, Morgana tells Futaba that Sakura is in trouble. So she runs all the way down to the café to say how she has been happy living here since. Even Ren answers them that he too has been happy ever since living here. The lawyers are happy to hear that seeing they received unfounded nasty reports on him but seeing this for themselves, they believe he has not caused any trouble. Now that this case is solved, Sakura wants an explanation about the calling card. Futaba tries to explain without giving away too much. However Sakura hints he knew all about it. I mean, a shut-in suddenly wanting to go after meeting Ren? What about Yuusuke who came and left a painting? He knew something was up. But rest assured, he will keep this a secret as he owes it to them too for taking care of Futaba. And now that Futaba’s uncle has officially dropped his case to get Futaba or the money, Futaba is on a roll again. Phantom is now able to win their games and earn enough for a member’s card to challenge Sae.

Episode 25
However even getting the card and even upgrading it, they need coins to access the next floor. So, fight more monsters to earn coins? That’s like RPG grinding, right? Of course with risky games means higher rewards and Ren was able to pull off one big fight by himself and earn the necessary. However despite all the hard work and getting enough coins for the next floor, the coin requirements to the final floor is astronomically high. Their trial would never end (somewhat a reflection of Japan’s court cases that the accused is often 99.9% found guilty). But thankfully Akechi had foresight and initially had the original card and used it to make bets. With them winning so many trials, I guess they don’t have to slog and have just enough to finally reach the treasure room. All that is left is to place the calling card. Akechi suggests placing the calling card in the last minute because Sae is a realist and she would be on guard. Last minute infiltration will most likely to get her materialize her treasure. It is decided to place the calling card 2 days before the investigation. Makoto awkwardly hands the calling card to Sae, claiming it is from the mail. Sae is of course not pleased she is now branded a criminal by them. This only makes her go into overdrive mode to catch them first. Conflicted Makoto can’t help but cry but assures she will always be on her side. When Phantom finally face off with Shadow Sae, she complains about the injustice that befell her father that put a lot of pressure on her. That is why she is so certain justice will always win. Well, depending on how you define justice. Phantom attack together as Makoto tries to open her eyes and convince her to remember the reason why she went into public prosecution in the first place. Eventually they defeat her and her treasure is her father’s investigation diary. However it seems somebody tipped off Phantom and the enemies have surrounded the Palace. Ren decides to distract them while the rest escapes.

Episode 26
Riot police storm into the Metaverse to capture Ren. For the next few days, the news is abuzz about the captured leader of Phantom although Ren’s identity is still kept in wraps. As the rest of Phantom gather (naturally the sullen and gloom mood), Akechi has used his connections to determine where Ren is. He believes that somebody leaked info to the riot police about the Metaverse (how the f*ck do they even enter?! Do they have the app?!) and that the guy in the black mask could just be a pawn for the true mastermind behind it all. It seems Sae has also been taken off the case and now the police is fully handing it. Akechi’s plan is to sneak in and take Ren away. It’s the only option. As too many of them might make things harder. Now that Sae has finished her interrogation with Ren, she tells him she can get him a lighter sentence if he confirms the name of his accomplices (wasn’t she paying attention to his long flashback?!). Nothing but silence. Not even if there are any other partners he is working with or if Akechi had a hand in this. All he says is that this is for justice, sticking to the right path. Even if that means not ratting out his friends. Sae’s time is up and she knows from the direction of this case, she won’t get credit. Ren asks if she is giving up on justice. Then he tells her to show some person the Smartphone. This part is very unclear because Ren was collaborating with Morgana and Futaba on this particular plan that only Ren can pull off and it has to be precise. With Ren playing the pronoun game, Sae seems to realize what he is saying and cannot fathom his goal. Too bad I don’t! TELL ME! After Sae leaves, she bumps into Akechi and it is his turn to interrogate Ren. She shows him Ren’s Smartphone but keeps it as it is proof of the investigation. When the guard lets Akechi in, Akechi steal his gun and shoots him! Then Akechi shows his true colours. He shoots Ren in the head and makes it as though both killed each other and walks away.

Behind The Mask: The Art Of Stealing Hearts
What the f*ck?! WHAT THE FFFFFUUUUUUUU??????!!!!! This has got to be one of the worst endings ever in the history of anime?! It can’t end like that can it?! Is this what we get after sitting through one of the longest ever flashbacks of anime?! You thought Hinamatsuri or Tenjou Tenge was bad but this takes the cake. Of course I knew this couldn’t be the real deal because Akechi being the traitor wouldn’t just quite cut it. I mean it would have been the biggest shocking twist and fans would have poured scorn all over it. So of course to satiate my curiosity, I went to do a bit of research and true enough, there is more to meets the eye than this betrayal. So it is all linked to some up and coming rising politician. Yeah, Ren isn’t really dead. Just some illusion and whatever f*cking cognition Metaverse thingy. I suppose those who played the game will only understand and know about this as this would be the next target and arc in this series. But as far as the anime goes, it ends here and I would say it would be pretty much unfair to have that kind of ‘shocking’ ending and leaving viewers in a lurch. If this is some sort of way to get people to buy the game and find out, well, I just read the details over the internet so it didn’t work.

Well, the story if you look at it overall is pretty much the same and if I should say, somewhat bland. Just like its predecessors, a bunch of kids who believe they can rid the corrupted adult world with their concept of justice and do so by entering another world. This is a formula that stays largely the same in every arc even for this season alone. They just present it to us in a different way, using different characters (by putting them in the limelight) and using different settings. But at least this season is not as crappy as in Persona 4 because when they started bringing in that God thingy, yeah, that was the straw that really broke the camel’s back. Hence Persona 5 is somewhat tolerable because they didn’t bring in this God-like factor and everything that has been done was the direct effect and consequences of our Phantom kids themselves.

Of course when you continue to compare the setting with Persona 4, Persona 5 has a lot of things to deal with and hence you can’t really make up sh*t. I mean, not to say that this season is so much better but when you consider the previous season takes place in a very sleepy town compared to this season’s metropolis Tokyo, there are a lot of other factors to take into account to keep the realism. Because the backwater town of Inaba with hardly anything exciting going on in the townspeople’s lives, hence those kids in Persona 4 were able to run around as they pleased like as though they own the town. Sure, the ones in Persona 5 too feel like that but Tokyo is such a big city and really, who gives a f*ck?

This is perhaps the reason why nobody really gives a f*ck when Phantom departs from reality to enter Metaverse. I mean, do you not notice when they head into the Metaverse, it is often during daylight and in crowded public places? With so many people around, do nobody even notice this?! Sure, they want to give a different setting of the other world instead of being thrown into TV by midnight. Heh. Who watches TV these days? I guess everyone is so glued to their Smartphones that they don’t even see Phantom entering Metaverse. Not that Phantom wore any disguise when they head in. Just their usual plain clothes. I suppose when you have a big sprawling city, everybody is minding their business and don’t want to get involved even if they witness a simple crime. Not my business. Yeah, that’s the sad reality of today. No wonder the world is so corrupted.

And even though the internet was filled with fervour of supporting Phantom, this no-action by those very same people who instigate over the internet are the reason why Phantom is able to get the job done without anyone coming close to finding out who they are. It’s just so right under their noses. I wonder if time in Metaverse flows differently because if Phantom spend a lot of time there (assuming they do a lot of requests), won’t people in real life wonder where they have gone? Oh right. I forgot people don’t care especially Ren and Ryuuji are like outcasts so nobody is really going to bother.

Because of that kind of ending, unlike Persona 4, this season feels unfinished and have so many loose strings, you might even get lost of keeping track of them. Of course many of the questions would be answered if you play the game but let’s keep this focused on the anime side. Like the man in the black mask that is supposed to be the primary antagonist or another pawn, his identity is never really known. Heck, we don’t even know if Morgana was a human or Shadow or just some mutated cat. Ren’s so called rehabilitation in the Velvet Room is also left hanging. Did he manage to break out of the prison in his heart because of good behaviour or not? And since there is no extra episode like they did in Persona 4 , I guess as far as Persona 5 is concerned, anime viewers will definitely be left having a bad aftertaste in their mouth. Having no closure (at least in the season proper) is one of the worst things for a viewer to experience. (Edit: Actually they did release a special. I hope the Dark Sun special released recently would help clarify things).

Character wise, despite the entire casts are new, they feel like recycled and reshuffled from Persona 4. Ren = Yuu (main leading male character), Ryuuji = Ryousuke (the rascal), Ann = Yukiko (beautiful babe), Makoto = Chie (tomboyish), Futaba = Rise (the otaku, just switch from idol to hacker – but their Personas in the battlefield are similar: To obtain info), Akechi = Naoto (detective prince), Morgana = Kuma (animal mascot), Sakura and Sae = Doujima (I guess they needed to split the father figure as well as the overworked one hot on the heels of our heroes). I guess by elimination would Yuusuke be the alter ego for Kanji? Just swap out gay sexuality for abuse. Besides, aren’t many artists gay? Or at least they look so. So sorry, no Nanako loli this season but at least we got Makoto as imouto (barely).

But I believe this season the characters don’t feel as much annoying and retarded as its predecessor. For example, Ren who might still be as quiet and taciturn as Yuu, at least he does not feel like a retard like the latter. Although Ren does feel a bit gay because you know, he is soft spoken and with that kind of sissy bespectacled looks, it does give off that kind of impression. There is also less annoyance in Morgana compared to Kuma whom we all remembered as some weird bear whose other main role is to try to be a lady killer. Though, Morgana’s character suffers the most compared to the others because there is a lack of back story of who Morgana really is. Just a mind boggling question about Morgana: Is it some sort of trigger that once you enter Metaverse you will be able to hear this cat talk in reality?! Basically the characters in Phantom have their moment of spotlight but once their problem is resolved, it is unlikely they become in focus again. But a few distractions especially in the later arcs like that pertaining to Futaba’s family (her jerk uncle trying to take her away) try to give a bit more of the spotlight to them but then again, it feels nothing more like just distractions.

Futaba as a hacker feels more like a convenient plot device. Because since she is just so good in her hacking and could even fend off Medjed even though they’re just fake bully pussies (I wonder if this is a subtle reference to today’s Antifa…), I’m surprised that she didn’t even hack into the Pentagon yet just for fun. Even if the anime portrays Akechi as somewhat a traitor in the end, because after all, him being part of Phantom and as the latest member feels a bit shady. He is the only one who met the guy with the black mask and with him having connections in the police force, it makes him the likely to betray. But I just want to point out here that at least this detective is a better one compared to his predecessor. That’s you, Naoto. Maybe we don’t see him working on how he gets his clues but at least it is better than Naoto who was annoying when she was in a pinch after hitting a dead end. If only there were clues. or hints…

Some of the other supporting characters outside Phantom feel wasted. For example that Hifumi girl. I was wondering why they introduced her since she had no really specific role in the series. I am not sure if she has a greater role in the game but in this anime she really felt wasted and unnecessary. It’s like as though Ren needed some more female companions and I suppose she is the only one who gets to play shogi with him. I thought she would be a new Phantom recruit because it also felt quite formulaic that after every major arc that Phantom changed the heart of their target, the one they helped will usually join them. So I guess Hifumi didn’t have her own problems big enough for that to happen. Mishima also feels the same. Even though he is an ardent fan of Phantom and manages to help manage Phansite, he just feels more like a mini informant. I suppose Ren and co are too busy checking in detail the website so it must be a good thing they have somebody around to point out the important stuffs.

Also Becky feels really wasted. Just when I found a nice maid character to like, looks like she has no problems too that would warrant Phantom to help out. Becky, can you please leave your number so I can call you for a much needed maid service? And there was that nurse who sporadically checks on Ren’s health. Like what the heck is it for? And that Ichiko journalist? Can be done without. Even that good politician who gives speeches that nobody listens except for Ren? That fortune teller girl? Don’t try to put in so many stuffs that don’t matter! What happened to Sugimoto? Was that short fight of this sub-boss in Okumura’s Palace it? It’s strange how Okumura’s death, Haru doesn’t have to marry this jerk, which is good since she prefers hanging out with Phantom than be kept as his trophy wife or something. Many of these characters look like minor but important characters. They could be or they could be not (at least in the game) but sometimes I wonder if they are necessary since the anime was going to end like that.

Probably why this season doesn’t feel as annoying as the previous one is because it lacks annoying running jokes as well as the lack of any romance. Persona 5 have their own small brand of weird jokes but it is nothing you’ll laugh out loud. Just maybe a little chuckle. I’m sure those who have watched Person 4 would remember that strange Chinese food delivery girl, Aika. There was this running joke she could delivery her beef bowls to you anywhere at any time without fail. And there is a super large serving of her beef bowl which is supposedly endless because nobody has ever finished it. Persona 5 has cut out that sort of nonsensical distractions and it is no wonder why I partly feel that this season is somewhat gloomier even though there was no mysterious fog. And of course no Kuma as a joker comical character to fool around, hence making it absolutely 100% no chance of ruining the scene with his fail flirting. Also, no other annoying characters like that slut teacher and proud ugly fatso in Persona 4…

I suppose with the kids being too focused on trying to change the hearts of corrupted adults, that is why there is no romance factor here. Not sure if it is refreshing but thankfully the plot was still interesting enough for me to not even notice there was none of the romance factor until the season ended! I can’t really imagine if Persona 5 really put in some romance factor because the one in Persona 4 was cheesy. There were some episodes there that subtly hinted the girls trying to vie for Yuu’s attention! I guess we didn’t want to remember how bold Rise was with her love for Yuu. Or that side love story of Ebihara girl for her Ichijou basketball dude (that Eiko one felt more like a friendship side story for Makoto). The closest the romance that I ever notice is Makoto for Ren. You’ll notice that a few scenes has them hanging out together and the final arc since Makoto was really torn about saving Sae but I might just be over reading things.

This season’s Velvet Room feels a lot lacking. It shows Ren being a prisoner as opposed to Persona 4 whereby it is a first person view in some limo. This Velvet Room also feels very disjointed to the story and I can’t help see how it supposedly connects Ren. But I suppose it is an excuse they need for him to get his Persona and proof himself. Yeah, so why the others don’t go through this same thing? Why does Ren get ‘special treatment’? And just when you could actually see Ren is doing well in his new life, he is still a prisoner in the Velvet Room. Like nothing has changed. So was he putting a mask to hide is true feelings all the while?

The fight scenes might be one of the staple elements in the Persona games but it is not a strong one in the series. I believe it is not really the focus here in this season too. Although you can see some of the visual elements of the battles borrowed and following the game closely, the fight scenes are just enough for Phantom to show us that single fight move their Persona does. Not that I can see the difference anyway. Besides, just like last season, it is never explained why Ren gets to have multiple Personas. I am not sure if it is a good thing but this season didn’t even explain at all. All of a sudden Ren shows off a new Persona which he never uses again. I know last season never explained it too but at least there was this moment to tell us he would be getting a new Persona. This time around, it suddenly appears. Not that I can see how important it is because as long as Phantom defeats their Shadows, it is all that matters. It is also a good thing that they replace glasses with masks because at least each has different designs unlike Persona 4’s same ol’ glasses that just makes them look nerdy and weird. It’s a nice reverse setting of instead of putting on glasses to see through the fog, you rip off your mask to unleash your full potential that your mask is holding you back. Cool.

For the art and animation, everything looks much gorgeous and better compared to Persona 4. The characters and backgrounds do look a lot better and with higher quality and as said, they borrowed some of the visuals from the game. Even the Persona and Shadow designs are much better. Although they still look ridiculous at some point, at least it is not as comical. At least they look badass and play their part to kick ass even if it is for a short moment. Persona’s 4 school uniform might look weird with those stitch lines so I can breathe easy that this season’s school uniform doesn’t look that weird. Okay, I take that back a bit because the pants or skirts have this plaids pattern and sometimes I thought they resemble more like pyjamas than school longs. Seriously. But is it me or does their school look like a prison facility because of the mesh wirings over the windows! Yeah, the school looks boring and gloom enough to even give off that feel. Kawakami’s clothes as a teacher is just weird. In the sense that she dresses so casual that it seems to ring this feeling that she doesn’t want to be here doing this teaching job. Yeah, I suppose she looks much better in a maid outfit! Huzzah for that!

I’m also glad that this season that they decide to use a real cat instead of a weird looking bear whenever the animal mascot comes to reality. I suppose everyone in a big city will eventually get suspicious if for example Morgana in reality takes the form of a very strange but cute looking cat. Sure, it would garner some fans but we saw how annoying Kuma was even in his handsome human boy form (I can’t complain then when Morgana transforms into some monster bus). So it is a good thing that Morgana remains a cat but I just have to live with the fact that a real cat is talking to the kids. Others might think weirdly of them because from an outsider’s perspective, it’s like as though this group worships the cat and ‘talks’ to it although others can only hear it purr. Although the other character designs are good with lots of bishonen and bishoujo, I have this odd feeling when I looked at Futaba. She looks oddly familiar… Aha! She looks a bit like that Inkling girl from Splatoon!!!! OMG! I’m serious! No wonder she is the most popular waifu among fans of Persona. Or maybe she is just so socially awkward and shy that it makes her irresistibly kawaii. On a side note, Ren’s bruises during his interrogation makes it look like he has some sort of incurable skin disease. Yucks. Looks awful (effect wise, that is). Really.

Probably the higher quality in animation is due to the fact that it is done by CloverWorks, a relatively new studio. Although Slow Start is the only work I have previously seen done by them, it seems they are trying to animate other anime series that no one expects will be having a sequel. At least not at this point. Because they are also doing the final season for Fairy Tail (although joined with A-1 Pictures and Bridge) as well as the second season of Gyakuten Saiban and the upcoming Fate/Grand Order. Persona 4 was animated by AIC A.S.T.A. and perhaps most of us then expected Persona 5 to be animated. Just not by this company.

For the voice acting part, when I say it feels like Persona 4, what I meant is that there are lots of seiyuus that I recognized! Persona 4 too had many famous seiyuus but that was way back in 2011-2012. In the current year I would have thought that there would be new ones taking over but apparently they decided to use veterans to please me. I am so delighted that I could really identify a big majority of the main characters like Jun Fukuyama as Ren, Mamoru Miyano as Ryuuji, Nana Mizuki as Ann, Tomokazu Sugita as Yuusuke, Rina Satou as Makoto, Daisuke Sakaguchi as Mishima, Yuuko Kaida as Sae and Jouji Nakata as Sakura. It is only Haruka Tomatsu as Haru that I failed to recognize as I haven’t been hearing a lot of her recently. So forgive me? Not! The only seiyuu who returned to this series is Aoi Yuuki. In Persona 4 she was Aika (who was of an anime only character) but now she upgraded into a main character role as Futaba. Lastly, Ikue Ohtani as Morgana. Ah, yes. It is good to finally hear her voice other than a yellow electric mouse or a tanuki. Oops, I mean tonakai. Although I have heard her voice in a few other series, but I guess she is only as memorable as Pikachu or Chopper. Hopefully Morgana would be added to this list because you know, a cat. The only other main character I didn’t recognize is Souichiro Hoshi as Akechi (Kei in Onegai Teacher, Goku in Saiyuki series, Nagi in Tenjou Tenge).

However there is one character whose voice that I seem not to find fitting or at least to my liking. That is Igor who is voiced by Masane Tsukayama (Gol D Roger in One Piece). The Igor in Persona 4 sounded mischievous despite his voice sounding very gay. And that’s not a bad thing. However in Persona 5, he has this very low and evil voice and even if they want to make him sound like a creepy character, it doesn’t. Because he still looks like that same ‘comical’ Igor. You see, Isamu Tanonaka who was the original voice of Igor passed away even before Persona 4 was animated. Hence his lines are fixed and that is why we needed Margaret to ‘explain and elaborate on his behalf’. Maybe that is why this season Igor doesn’t need any beautiful assistant this time and has 2 cute loli prison guards (which I just found out are voiced by Aki Toyosaki!) to keep Ren in check. Still, I didn’t really find this new voice for Igor fitting. Hmm… Doesn’t Sae look a bit like Margaret? Perhaps that was why when I first saw her I was confused and thought she was her.

The rest of the other casts are Mai Fuchigami as Kawakami/Becky (Nagisa in Ansatsu Kyoushitsu), Akemi Satou as Shiho (Shiori in Kanon), Yumi Uchiyama as Ichiko (Momiji in Binbougami Ga), Yuji Mitsuya as Kamoshida (Tofu in Ranma 1/2), Yukitoshi Hori as Madarame (Robert in Blue Gender), Hirohiko Kakegawa as Okumura (Mihawk in One Piece), Takahiro Fujimoto as Kaneshiro (Martinez in Oretachi Ni Tsubasa Wa Nai), Minako Arakawa as Wakaba (Judia in Ragnarok The Animation) and Tomomi Isomura (Shouko in Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu).

This time, all the songs are sung by Lyn. However they have this same feel like those sung in Persona 4. Many of the songs have this jazzy feel and beat to it whether it is fast or slow. It feels energetic but not enough for all that jazzy energy to burst out. Like as though in a way it is subdued. Also, the songs are all in English since the lyrics are written by Benjamin Franklin. No! Not the founding father of America coming back to life to give you words to the songs!!! Ah, such coincidences. Anyway, I prefer the first opening theme, Break In To Break Out compared to the second one, Dark Sun. Both are good but the former sounds cooler and fits the pace of the series much better compared to the latter which I feel suits better for a spy themed series rather than a phantom thief one. As for the ending theme, I also much prefer the first one, Infinity as it is more fun and catchier with those funky bass lines (although the synthesizers make some parts of the song sound a bit sissy) compared to the second one, Autonomy which just sounds too casual and relaxing. Some of the insert songs like this one, Life Will Change sounds more like a song fitting for your morning aerobics exercise and Last Surprise which is just too jazzy. Rivers In The Desert also feel it better suits a spy series or if you planning to do some workout than Personas fighting Shadows. They still sound good in their own right but I’m wondering if it is fitting to be put in battle scenes.

Overall, still a much better than Persona 4 and of course that dumb The Golden that comes after that. Although I did enjoy this season a lot despite some of the bland and same ol’ stuffs as well as things that were not fully explained, there were many comments I read over the internet that don’t seem to like it. It’s like the internet is split in liking this adapted series. I guess they played the game and found it way superior to the anime. Well, too bad for them. I know, this season is not perfect and there are a few other anime during that season that I liked better (Golden Kamuy, Hinamatsuri, Boku No Hero Academia S3, Shokugeki No Souma: Totsuki Ressha-hen, Overlord III, Jashin-chan Dropkick, Asobi Asobase, Angolmois: Genkou Kassenki and yes, even Back Street Girls: Gokudolls). Nice music, nice visuals and favourite seiyuus lending their talents can only go so far when the plot and characters are just so much just as average.

Well, it goes to show that with the power of the internet, it isn’t very easy to change the heart and even opinions of the public. Everyone has a different version of justice. Doesn’t it make you feel like wanting to go post on Phansite and just request Phantom to change the hearts of weeabo whiners?! All masking anonymously behind their keyboards… Like as though this show is doing them a favour by not living up to their standards. Where is the justice, man?! Me, I’d be a lot happy to have some little Becky maid service… YOU CAN’T CHANGE MY HEART FOR MY LOVE OF JAPANESE ANIME MAIDS!!!

Persona 4 The Animation

July 29, 2018

I heard that Persona 5 as the video game was one of the very few excellent games to have come out in recent times. If you’ve been following the video game industry even casually, you would know the state of the industry with all the anti-consumerism tactics and sh*tty and unsatisfying games that hit the market. Not to say that I have played any of the Persona games ever in my life, but with so many rave reviews even from the western side, I thought of giving this series a chance. Yes, Persona 5 even got adapted into an anime subsequently but I’m starting off with Persona 4 The Animation first. Persona 3 was adapted into an anime series as well but I’m too busy watching other animes to go back that far. Heh. After all, all the Persona sequels are not related to each other so I wouldn’t lose much. Oh right. I might be just plain lazy…

Episode 1
Yuu Narukami arrives in the sleepy backwater town of Inaba and is picked up by his mom’s brother, Ryoutarou Doujima and his daughter, Nanako. Back home while unpacking, he hears a strange voice in his head. Why do these kind of voices make you feel pain? At school, Chie Satonaka and Yukiko Amagi quickly become his friends. It seems everyone has to be careful because a woman’s body was found skewered on a TV antenna. Doujima a police detective is investigating this case. Next day, not sure how Yousuke Hanamura crashed into a garbage bin but with Yuu pulling him out, he wants to thank him with a treat. Chie wants in on this. They talk about the rumours of Midnight Channel in which if you watch alone the TV at midnight on a rainy day, your true love will pop up on the screen. That night Yuu tries out of curiosity and is almost sucked in! But could it be just a dream? He tells this to his friends but they find it hard to believe. Especially his TV was too small to fit him. Chie suggests getting a bigger TV and since Yousuke’s dad is the manager of an appliance store, well you can see where this is going. There, the news coverage is played over the recent murder. The witness who found the body was their classmate, Saki Konishi. It’s a reason why she was absent today in class after all the attention was on her. When Yuu touches the TV screen, his hand seems to go through. With Yousuke panicking, the trio get absorbed. They find themselves in a strange misty land. They start running from whatever they think is chasing them until they bump into this strange bear (balloon?) creature, Kuma. He tells to escape because the Shadows are here. He passes them a pair of glasses and runs away. Yeah, those Shadows are here. Yuu could see them when he puts the glasses on. When they are cornered by those perverted licking Shadows, it’s like Yuu knows what to do when the strange voice speaks to him. Yeah, he knows the magic word of Persona that summons his fighting avatar and kicks ass! Man, it’s like he knows how to work this thing all along. Feeling good about your new power?

Episode 2
Kuma accuses them for barging here and riling up Shadows. He throws them back into the TV and they return to reality. Yuu notices a poster similar as the one in the room of the other world. Misuzu Hiiragi is the wife of the man who had an affair with Mayumi Yamano, the murdered woman. Could she be connected to the murder? Next day, a creepy guy, Mitsuo Kubo bugs Yukiko to go out with him. She rejects him and he gets mad and runs away? An emergency meeting is held. The principal announces Konishi is dead. Yousuke is in shock because he has a crush on her. He tells his friends about the Midnight Channel. He was curious and tried it. He saw Konishi’s face. He thinks the one you see there will die. The only way is to go back into the TV to find out more. Yuu agrees to go with him. As they enter, Kuma is not pleased they have returned. He accuses them for throwing people here. He can tell when they do so because this place is foggy. When it is not, the real world is foggy and that is when the murders happen. Yousuke didn’t like his accusations and unzips him! Empty?! Putting this egg bear back together again, he agrees to believe them but hopes they could help him solve the culprit who throws people here. As they move along, they hear voices of people badmouthing Konishi as well as some family argument. But the one that cuts the sharpest is Konishi herself revealing she never liked annoying Yousuke and was only good to him as he is the son of a manager. Yousuke denies all this and this materializes a clone who is actually a Shadow. He reveals or the hurtful and embarrassing truths about Yousuke in which he denies. The more Yousuke denies all that, the Shadow becomes real and takes its own Persona form. Yuu summons his Persona to fight but Yousuke is still traumatized by all the hurtful truths. And then Yuu punches him! Because all that matters is he loves Konishi. That was enough to wake his eyes up. As Yousuke starts accepting himself, the Shadow ‘dies’. Now it becomes his Persona. The guys return to the real world and Yousuke wants to work with Yuu to solve these murders.

Episode 3
Chie is worried as she cannot contact Yukiko. Worse, she thinks she saw her in Midnight Channel. Thankfully she gets a call from her. She was busy attending to a surge in non-reservations staying at her family’s inn. To make sure if it was here, they watch the Midnight Channel again. This time a clear view of Yukiko in a princess outfit ‘announcing’ how she wants to snag a hot guy and a harem of them before running into a castle. Next day, for some dumb reason, Yousuke brings a couple of toy samurai swords to show it off to Yuu. Naturally they get arrested by the police station but get bailed out by Doujima. They learn Yukiko is now suddenly missing. A police detective, Tooru Adachi mentions they have been contacted by the family to look for her. He carelessly says about rumours that Yamano who was staying there got involved with the manager who is Yukiko’s dad. She might be laying low for some reason. Chie almost blows her top had not the guys calm her down and leave. The best way to solve it is to head back into the TV. Chie so eager to protect her friend rushes in as she leaves the guys to fight the Shadows. Inside a room, Chie hears Yukiko’s voice. She hates her name and existence until Chie came along and brought meaning to her life. In short, Yukiko views herself as useless while Chie as superior. Chie is surprised to see a clone of herself. The Shadow claims Chie enjoys being superior over Yukiko since she envies Yukiko’s beauty. As expected, Chie denies all that and this gives the Shadow its Persona form. Chie is paralyzed from the denials and the guys have a hard time fighting the multiple Shadows. Until Yousuke snaps her out by saying their friendship was real. Yeah, that was it. Although the Shadow becomes weaker, it is still a tough nut to crack. Because Yuu is the main character and so called chosen one, he gets a sign to summon another Persona. A chibi Jack-O-Lantern? It burns through the Shadow. Chie accepts this inferior part as herself and now gets her own Persona.

Episode 4
The friends are rushing to find Yukiko. They find her. Not. That’s her Shadow. The real one is of course being trapped in a cage as we see her mundane life of being busy helping her family inn or being saved by Chie. When the friends arrive, the Shadow relishes her princes to come save her. Time for Yuu to activate a new Persona so a cue for the Shadow to attack Chie. As expected, the more the Shadow rants about the truths, the more Yukiko denies and this materializes the Shadow into some monster bird. This is by far the creepiest Persona ever. It gets stronger as it claims Chie isn’t the prince she is looking for who will whisk her away from it all. Time for this episode’s Yuu’s words of realization: Chie may not be her prince but she did come to rescue her. Yeah, the Shadow just got madder. With Yukiko still rejecting herself, Chie has something to say. She admits she always envied her as she has everything she wanted. Good grades, good looks and guys hitting on her. That’s when she felt good when Yukiko depended on her. Yukiko continues to lament she is not strong as she thinks she is. Unlike her pet bird who escaped on its own when she forgot to lock its cage, Yukiko doesn’t know how to escape. Chie acknowledges they aren’t what they think to other is. She too has her own horrible side. All she wants is for them to be friends. And with the cliché power of friendship, the Shadow starts weakening. Yukiko breaks out of her own cage as the guys finish off the weakened Shadow. Both girls come to terms with each other as Yukiko admits she created this princess persona as a form of escapism. With her accepting her flaws, she gets her own Persona. I think this is by far one of the better looking ones.

Episode 5
Chie has Yuu help out her friend in the basketball club, Kou Ichijou. It seems they are short on members. Yeah, that guy is so obliging. Worse, everyone else in the team isn’t interested in basketball especially the manager, Ai Ebihara. So obliging Yuu is that he ditches school with Ebihara to go shopping with her! Okay, so he thought she was going to get stuffs for the basketball team, but still. He learns she likes Ichijou and is forced to find out his type of girl. He obliges. Guess what? Ichijou likes Chie! Ebihara heard that and is so depressed that she wants to kill herself! After Yuu stops her, he learns about her bullied past and hence the reason she did what it takes to become popular. Ebihara wants him to take responsibility and date her. Yeah, he obliges even though he doesn’t want to. Is no a hard word in his vocabulary? Heck, they even ditch school to go date! More like queen control. You know something is wrong when Yuu hangs up on her! But he has to be that good guy so he shortly calls her back to apologize. WTF. When Chie thinks he is being mistreated, Yousuke misinterprets she likes him and tries to set them up. So she pops up at the basketball club and receives those piercing stares from Ebihara. In the locker room, Yuu hears from Ichijou he might quit after the next game since he parents don’t approve of being in the club. So if he wins, he will confess to Chie! Oh dear. As the match gets underway, Ebihara and Chie start arguing and get into a slapping fest! OMG! Why isn’t anybody noticing this b*tch slap and focusing on the one-sided match? Until Yuu spots this and tells them to stop since this is Ichijou’s last match. Too bad their team lost. In the aftermath as they eat, Yuu apologizes for not living up to his expectations. But Ichijou is okay since he changed his mind. He loves this game and will not quit. So until he wins, he will confess to Chie. Looks like I can see a losing streak… With Chie opting out since she isn’t compatible with a certain person, Ebihara has turned over a new leaf and tries to be a better manager. She thanks Yuu for it and gives him those photo prints whereby she tried to kiss him. Ugh. You can keep that.

Episode 6
Kanji Tatsumi is rumoured to beat up a motorbike gang and became their leader. Such badass guy holds a cute bunny strap?! So weird… Doujima calls Yuu that he will be working late on the case and cover for his colleagues so he won’t be home. This means Yuu has to take care of Nanako. Don’t worry, she gets to hang out with Yuu’s friends. She shows her mature side when the friends learns her mom died in an accident. She doesn’t mind it all since she has dad and ‘big brother’ and that she is having fun now. Later the friends converge to talk about the murders. Yousuke deduces the targets have something in connection with Yamano. They agree to keep watch on Midnight Channel as they believe it is a warning for their next target. Not sure about who got the balls to interview Kanji because the camera crew got attacked. Yeah, he appeared on the news. And what are the chances he appears on Midnight Channel too? The friends know his family runs a textile shop and as they head there, they see Naoto Shirogane just leaving. Kanji isn’t back yet and Yuu notices a familiar scarf. They remember it from Yamano’s room in the other world. Kanji’s mom tells them Yamano specially ordered it. When they leave, they see Kanji speaking to Naoto. Kanji misinterprets Naoto is being gay for him!!! He spots the quartet spying on them and getting the wrong impression so they flee. It is suggested they keep watch on him and his shop. Yuu and Yukiko keep watch over his shop while Yousuke and Chie spy on Kanji and Naoto. Because they are bickering, Kanji spots them. Time to run. It becomes one farcical chase and even more nonsensical when some beef bowls Chie ordered from Aika Nakamura, she really come delivering them on her scooter! Scooter can match their running?! Even got time to pay and get change?! Oh, screw this. They manage to lose Kanji and Chie gets to enjoy her meals. Just leave the bowls… Where to leave them? If you think that was bad enough, wait till Yuu sees this shocker on Midnight Channel. Kanji acting as some macho gay guy!!! WTF???!!!

Episode 7
Doing more investigation, Kanji’s mom says her son recently beat up bikers because they were too noisy around the area. Outside, a boy is looking for Kanji. Apparently he lost a bunny strap his friend gave him. Kanji promised to make him one. Yes, he made this almost perfect duplicate with his own hands! He is here to thank Kanji but too bad he isn’t around. Talking to Naoto, he says he was just asking Kanji about his recent activities. Because he point out bluntly he is acting weird, this makes Kanji acting even weirder. Naoto feels as though he is trying to hide a complex. Letting Kuma smell the bunny strap, it leads them to a gay bath… Oh sh*t… The guys have a bad idea about this. Yup, Shadow Kanji is being so gay that they summon their Personas! Better get this sh*t over quick before they lose their minds. Meanwhile Kanji is faced with his Shadow. The latter as usual spouting the truths about him disliking girls and likes boys instead. All of course he denies. Yuu and co are hesitating to open the door to this but I guess the inevitable has to happen. They’re here to save Kanji, right? Their worst nightmare with the gay Shadow being even gayer. When Kanji denies it, as expected the Shadow turns into its gay Persona. Oh God. More Shadow gay macho men! Is this going to be something like Chou Aniki?! Those gay guys are masochists too so whatever pain the girls deal them, they love it! More serious gay sh*t when the macho men loves swiping the guys’ butt and they piss off the girls by showing no interest in them. It’s already so hot in this sauna and it’s getting hotter with their blood boiling. Also, time for Yuu to do his usual because now he gets to combine his cards to create a special Persona. Also, he tells Kanji he likes his bunny strap because it is cute. It makes Kanji happy as he beats and defeats his own Shadow! Kanji accepts the fact he fears being rejected and trying to be a coward making everyone hate him. He then gets his own Persona that looks manly instead of gay. Phew. Kanji now joins Yuu’s groupie as he wants to find out who pushed him into the TV.

Episode 8
The school goes on a camping field trip. Yousuke almost died thanks to the curry Chie and Yukiko made. Apparently they went to buy everything spicy and other stuffs they think should be in curry. Like coffee. No wonder. As Yuu brings Yousuke to get some medicine, Naoki Konishi who is in charge of the supplies is not happy to see them. Right off the bat he tells them he hates them. They return to the rest and looks like they called Aika for delivery help. Lunch is saved. They talk to Kanji about Naoki. He knows him as they are childhood friends but doesn’t know more about him since they are in separate classes. He does admit after his sister’s death, he seems to be acting different. So what better way as Kanji brings Naoki himself to them and ask directly. With Yuu being too straight, Naoki is glad of this change in pace as he explains how everyone is trying to be overtly nice to them but keep their distance. He feels better after letting this out and apologizes for hating them for not even knowing them. The friends now discuss the patter of the murders and it seems those who appear on TV being interviewed are the likely targets. At night as they sleep in the tent, the guys are worried with Kanji sleeping with them! Didn’t they accept him? Yes. But not at night. Together! To prove he is a manly man, he decides to barge into the girls’ area. Yeah, they’re encouraging him. Meanwhile Chie and Yukiko can’t sleep because their fat classmate, Hanako Ootani is snoring like hell. So when Kanji crashes into them, they run to Yuu and Yousuke’s tent. The teacher is passing by so they have to hide under the covers. Close proximity. Then they put a barrier in between when they sleep. As though it wasn’t cram enough already. Yeah, they can’t sleep either. But is this better than being gay? As for Kanji, he is a dead guy as Ootani crushes him and uses him as a bolster. Next day, Yousuke forces the girls to wear swimsuits from his shop as penalty for the curry incident. Yuu’s comments blushes them before making them outrage (because their body still has the potential to mature further) as they kick the guys into the river. Kanji nose bleeding not because of the sexy babes… Then they notice upstream the teacher who drank too much last night is vomiting… Oh sh*t! On the way back, Ootani confronts Kanji. Is she going to confess? Unfortunately she turns him down as he is not her type. WTF???!!!

Episode 9
Rise Kujikawa is a famous idol. Then she suddenly quits! Shockwaves! So she goes back to her hometown Inaba because her grandma runs a tofu shop there. I know she shouldn’t overdress to make herself more suspicious but she’s like walking everywhere without any disguise so naturally everyone knows her. Then of course she feels somebody is stalking her and she quickly runs. Turns out to be Yuu returning her dropped handphone. I guess he didn’t want to attract attention by screaming out to her. Yuu and co talk about Rise who might also be a murder target as she fits some criteria. They feel keeping a watch on her would also help debunk theories that the murderer is targeting only those related to Yamano. That night, Rise appears on the Midnight Channel. The friends are split if it is her. The difference? Boobs. The guys go to talk to Rise at her tofu shop just to warn her she might be stalked. But she’s not alerted or anything because she is used to this kind of stuff. Later Doujima comes by to warn her of the same thing but she already knows thanks to those guys. This only has Doujima suspicious about high school kids coming to warn her before he does. So the friends now watch her and think this otaku nerd watching her in a suspicious way is the killer. They chase after him and tackle him down before the inspector arrests him. Case solved? Yeah, something doesn’t feel right. Is the murderer this nerdy and wimpy? Meanwhile Rise was left in Yuu’s care. Conveniently a thrown away magazine with her as the gravure idol in it. They rip off pages and make origami. Yeah, Yuu does it better. She tells him that idol version is not her and no one looks at the real her. That night, Rise still pops up on Midnight Channel. Back to the drawing board. They think it is a form of warning from the killer or his mind of the person he wants to attack next. Rise will be transferring to the local school and is here to do the paperwork. With reporters outside, thanks to Yuu, he shows her another escape route. Naturally her tofu shop is also swamped with reporters. Then they meet her manager, Inoue. He cannot accept she quit although she is adamant she won’t go back to being an idol. When he says the movie she was supposed to star in now goes to Kanami Mashita, Rise gives that worried look. He is now her new manager. Rise is being a dick when Yuu tries to ask nicely if she is lying to herself but is blamed for being like everyone else and that he doesn’t know her. Well, that idol you was fake, right?

Episode 10
Rise is on the Midnight Channel again. This time she is teasing us she’ll strip and bare it all! Next day our friends head into the TV only to find Kuma depressed because they haven’t been visiting him often enough. Must be beary lonely… Anyway, helping them to find Rise’s scent leads to a strip club. Oh sh*t. Shadow Rise continues to tease everyone with her strip show. First she starts off with pole dancing. Since nobody is getting a boner, the Shadow introduces the real Rise as her special guest. Others summon their Persona to fight but are kept at bay by other Shadows. Rise rejects herself and makes her Shadow upset as she claims if none of them is the real her, which one is then? Finally when Rise fully rejects it all, her Shadow becomes a Persona. It can scan the weaknesses of other Personas and give their just desserts. While our heroes are getting owned, Kuma suddenly turns Super Saiyan?! He is worried if they die, he’ll be alone again. So he charges straight into it and explodes? Don’t worry. Kuma lives. But he is now like a limp balloon? I guess everyone is praising about his bravery as Rise comes to accept that there is no real her. All of her other personalities makes her, her. Yup, she got herself her own Persona. Just when you think it’s over, Kuma’s evil creepy Shadow rises and threatens to destroy everything. Heck, it does so anyway as it questions what the truth is. Kuma is sucked into it as Rise uses her Persona to track Kuma. Inside, Kuma rebuts his Shadow about being lonely and finding his true self. When Yuu destroys the core, Kuma returns. Kuma laments he doesn’t know who he is and hopes to find an answer. The friends assure he is not alone and will help him find the answer. Oh, Kuma gets his own Persona too. Yuu sends Rise home as she agrees to join them to find the culprit. She is glad she has made this place her home as she hugs his arm. I think I know her motivation to stay…

Episode 11
Kinshirou Morooka is found dead. He is Yuu and co’s teacher. The friends are now demoralized since he didn’t appear on Midnight Channel. They get a shock to see Kuma in their world. Apparently there’s an exit and never thought of going through until now. So nobody else is freaked out with this mascot? Okay, cute enough not to be suspicious. Asking him about Morooka’s death, Kuma has never noticed him being thrown in. This has them wondering if the killer got impatient because they have been thwarting murders from the TV and he decided to do it on the real world. More shock when Kuma takes off his head and there is a cute boy inside! It seems he grew a body so he could score with Chie and Yukiko. WTF. I guess for convenience of the plot he can now wander around in this world without suspicions. As Nanako shops and is about to take a food, Kubo cuts in front of her and takes it while calling her rude. Something untoward would have happened had not Yuu stepped in to send that guy running away. The friends stumble into Naoto again as he explains he is a detective being hired by the police to help solve this case. He asks Yuu about Morooka not appearing on Midnight Channel but he too isn’t sure. Morooka’s replacement is Noriko Kashiwagi. She looks more like a slut and porn star… Damn this class is always screwed. From an idiotic moron teacher to a sexy slutty one. Kubo once again tries to get Yukiko to come with her but with her other friends, Kubo is chased off. To vent his frustration, he posts on the internet that he is the killer but nobody takes him seriously. This makes him even more pissed and determined to prove it all. The friends feel sad for Morooka dying like that despite never liking him. Then here comes Naoto to tell them the culprit is identified. Yeah, he doesn’t know who it is except he is a high school student (I won’t be surprised who). Too bad it is game over for Naoto since the police has terminated his services. The friends now wonder if their gathering will end too since there is no more they could do. Not if Yuu would have it otherwise. No harm checking out Midnight Channel again. What do you know? Kubo pops up and taunts everyone to catch him if they can.

Episode 12
It’s time to go hunting. Since his castle is like a video game, they have to clear the level to get to him. When they do, they see Kubo trying to deny all that his Shadow has done. Suddenly change in scene. The case is over and the friends are now shopping for ingredients for their own aftermath party. Though the friends assure they will still meet up like this, as the days and weeks pass, slowly they drift away with their own stuffs like Yukiko busier than ever helping her family inn and Rise suddenly closing down her tofu store and moving away without telling anyone. Yuu all this while could feel something is off. One night the Midnight Channel just didn’t appear but what appeared is a creepy baby (cousin to the one in Half Life?) claiming he is empty. Scared Yuu tries to summon his Persona but nothing happens. Before he gets killed by the baby, he hears Yousuke’s voice calling him and is pulled out of this illusion. Yup, we’re still fighting the boss baby. It’s like Yuu’s revenge as he summons all his Personas to showcase and defeat it. Hey, since when did Yuu obtained a whole load of new Personas? With them being victorious, Kubo returns to his normal state. They ask him if he did the murders and he admits them all. Once he did that, his Shadow vanishes. He is arrested and the case is closed. It is said he did the murders for attention. Yuu worries the friends will disband seeing there is no more incentive for them to gather. On the contrary, they still want to gather like this. I mean, they’re friends, right? With that, they have their aftermath party celebration via omelette rice cooking competition. All the girls suck to say the least. Not sure if Nanako has a zombie taste bud since all of theirs taste nice. Of course the best and the winner of it all is Yuu.

Episode 13
Nanako sees a lost fox in the rain and leaves her umbrella (and apron) with it. She then notices that Yuu has been coming home late and tired. I’m sure she doesn’t want to bug him and hence the excuse for her to follow her favourite anime detective, Loveline to go snoop about. She should know better than to follow Kuma’s nose because all he smells is great food! Next day, she bumps into Yuu’s groupies and they too are worried about him since he has recently not hang out with them. They look for him all around town but nothing. But they stumble upon weird Kuma who talks and acts funny before bolting. The next time Nanako spots Yuu, it is with a woman! So young already starting to get depressed? She tells the guys and the next time they go spy on him, he is indeed with a woman but a different one! And she has a child! Now the girls find out and they’re bent to get to the bottom of this. What woman they see him this time? A really old granny! Things are getting weirder. But it gets more depressing for Nanako since she has a chance to ask him but just couldn’t. If not for that accidental bumping with Naoto who advises her that detectives don’t give up, she wouldn’t have gotten her detective spirit back. So during the festival as Nanako looks for Yuu, she helps many others along the way. When she finally finds him, great timing for the great fireworks display. Though not explained, I’m sure Yuu was helping others. Nanako understands this and believes Yuu has been putting smiles on everyone’s face.

Episode 14
This episode explains what Yuu has been doing all along. After learning Nanako lost her umbrella, he decides to buy one but realizes he has no money. What to do? Part time job. Which job? Strangely, the fox hands him a wish plaque as well as the notice board seeking help for a private tutor. The troubled kid, Shu doesn’t like school as he is a bully victim. This leads to Yuu also landing a day care job after a friend learnt he is tutoring. A fight broke out between rich boy and poor boy regarding a broken toy. When Yuu tries to break them up, looks like he broke the toy further. He takes responsibility to pay for it. Yeah, it’s going to cost him… On another day when all the kids start fighting, he pacifies them by dressing up as Kuma. Yeah, it was hell. Even more so bumping into his friends. At the shrine, he hears an old lady falling down after being victim to a snatch thief. He sends her to hospital and her injuries aren’t serious but the cute nurse tries to hit on him. Too bad his job is more important. Next day when he is about to visit granny, the nurse on her off day flirts with him and brings him to a bar where she rants about her troubles as a nurse and is contemplating quitting. Yuu resumes his visit but is now met with poor boy’s mom. She too tells him her woes that this is not her real son but from her husband’s previous marriage so it’s awkward for her trying to be his mom.

Now that Yuu is ready for the visit, granny is discharged. She tells him about wanting to leave this town as it has too much memories of her late husband. She throws away the comb from her late husband. Yuu sees it stuck to a giant fish. Hence he orders a fishing gear from the TV shopping channel and fishes all night! Yeah, he might have cleaned up the entire river pulling out junk. Eventually he needed his Persona to take the comb. At the festival, he sees granny and returns the comb to her. He noticed she became sadder after throwing it away. He then sees Shu stealing the fireworks because his friends continue to taunt him so he wanted to ruin their fun. He gives him a board game that he could play with a friend instead and will go return the fireworks and apologize with him. Poor boy and rich boy get into a fight. Rich boy’s mom mocks poor boy’s mom for being a poor parent. Poor boy tries to beat her up but backfires. His mom protects him as she starts bleeding. Yuu calls the nurse on how to apply first aid. The night is saved with Yuu returning the fireworks in time. All that he has helped thank him as well as helping them realize what is most important. Yuu finally joins his friends at the festival but Kuma steals the show by dating all the girls. In the aftermath, Yuu has enough money to buy the toy. But what about the umbrella? The fox shows a hidden stash of money underneath the shrine’s donation box. Enough to buy Nanako’s umbrella. The fox then gives the umbrella to Nanako and even puts back her original strap on it. What a wonderful day indeed.

Episode 15
Naoto will be a transfer student at their school and will be staying here due to family issues. The school soon goes on a field trip to an artificial island but it isn’t anything like the school trip they imagine. Long boring lectures and tours of the facilities and then their lodging is what seems to be an ex-love hotel. Yikes! The girls are okay playing around with the rotating waterbed but the guys… Can’t shrug off that gay prejudice of Kanji, eh? Next day, do we need some Yuu-Chie time after he witnesses her saving a weak kid from being beaten up by ruffians? Rise brings them to a bar where they see Naoto drinking alone. They serve alcohol to minors? And let high school kids enter? Oh well, it gets ridiculous because some of them really get drunk like Kuma, Rise and Yukiko. Yuu is like having the best talent to be a host club guy. Too cool! So drunk that they play the king’s game that includes an awkward moment of Chie having to sit on Yuu’s lap before the other girls tussle over Yuu. So weird… Then they want Naoto to reveal his embarrassing past and in exchange he wants them to tell theirs. So he is just the fifth generation of family detectives who help the police. Sorry if you’re expecting more. He asks them about their involvement in the TV murders but he isn’t going to believe them about being thrown into the TV and fighting Personas. Can’t blame the alcohol because he confirms this place hasn’t been selling them for a year after some drunk incident. So WTF did some of them get drunk with then?! Next day, some of them have a hangover as they eat ramen before their trip back. Because Kuma ate too much and being a dick, they threaten to leave him behind. Yeah, he can’t cover his ticket back…

Episode 16
Naoto appears on TV to discuss about the recent murder cases in Inaba as he feels something is off. The friends also feel something off because he isn’t the kind of person who would attract attention even if it’s for a case. Naoto explains to them his theory of what he finds off. With a long period between the second and third murders and with some of the friends being kidnap victims but somehow managed to survive, he initially believed one of them was the culprit. But Morooka’s death broke the killer’s pattern as he wasn’t kidnapped nor has he been on TV. He is the only one whom the police identified how he died (Yamato and Konishi’s cause of death is still unknown). Like as though the police wanted to quickly close the case. Naoto noticed the interesting thing they said about going into the TV to rescue kidnapped people. Midnight Channel is back with Naoto appearing on it. He claims of doing experimenting on himself and walking a new path in life. With Naoto now missing, the friends discuss reopening the case. They believe Naoto made himself as a bait to be kidnapped. They also wonder if Kubo took the fall for the real killer. They split up to go find more clues about Naoto but nothing conclusive. Yukiko notices the townspeople acting strangely. They’re like happy and talking about others but also afraid of something. Inside the TV, they manage to sniff out Naoto’s whereabouts. A secret lab? Oddly, they see Naoto interrogating his Shadow and make it cry! Of course the tables are turned when the Shadow pinpoints about truth and delusions. Something about still being treated like a child when his detective abilities are not needed. Then the biggest revelation of them all: Despite his masculine name, Naoto is actually a girl!!!! Naoto is taunted that he can never become an ideal man when he is never one to begin with. With this rejection, the Shadow takes its own Persona form. But don’t get zapped. Because you’ll turn into an old hagged person!!! Old man Yousuke…

Episode 17
Yuu fights the Shadow until he too is turned into an old man. The Shadow now wants to operate on Naoto as it rants about Naoto’s ineptness to make friends since young. Time for plot convenience as Kuma knows a way to reverse the aging. Some Persona power of his to revitalize the youth back. The counterattack is successful and with the Shadow defeated, Naoto comes to terms with herself. It isn’t that she wants to become an adult or a male. She wants to become the best detective. With her own Persona, welcome to the gang. Naoto remains the same male dressing despite everyone else knowing her true gender and some mocking her but she ignores them. With Naoto’s kidnapping, it proves the real culprit is still out there. Naoto could faintly remember his kidnapping. Someone grabbed him by the back and covered her mouth. She was thrown in a sack and carried. Though not a word was spoken, she could tell the culprit is male and is working alone with no accomplices. There was also a short time between she was kidnapped and thrown into the TV. As for Kubo, he killed Morooka out of jealousy and perhaps trying to be a copycat killer for attention. But the question remains how he knew about the TV world. If Kubo knew about it, why didn’t he kill Morooka the same way like the rest? He might not know how the real killer operates and nobody in their right mind would view that world as suitable for murders. Kubo’s act verifies that the position of corpses are just what happens when someone is killed over there. More clues could have been revealed if Naoto had the courage to ask Kubo himself but couldn’t because she was scared. Wait. This activates some crush in Kanji? Oh wait. He has been showing such signs ever since they met. Naoto has everyone undergo a medical check-up to see if going to the other world has some sort of effects. Everyone is clean. Except for Kuma. X-ray shows he is empty! So how the heck does he stand upright without bones? Don’t tell me it is air because he doesn’t move like a balloon. We take a short distraction with the possible revelation of the girls’ 3 sizes but are left to our imagination when it is hinted Naoto’s measurement isn’t what is stated on paper and in reality. Also, Kanji admiring and singing praises about Naoto feels weird. This prompts him to be himself and help others understand him better. Naoto receives a love letter in his locker from a girl. But since it isn’t related to the case, she isn’t interested in reading it.

Episode 18
There is a hit and run in town. Though it is of course but won’t cause any waves, such cases are close to home for Doujima since his wife, Chisato was killed in a similar fashion a year ago. When Yuu tries to get some bandages, he finds a hidden photo containing Chisato. As Nanako explains, after her death, dad hid away all her photos and never talked to her about it (Nanako is unaware of how Chisato died). Doujima is so focused on this case that he is willing to return to work while Nanako is in the midst of having stomach cramps! Don’t worry it’s not lethal but still… She wonders at this rate if he could attend her PTA. Yuu goes to talk to Doujima about it and learns why he didn’t tell his daughter. Chisato was on her way to pick up Nanako when the accident occurred. By the time he found out, Nanako has been waiting at preschool all by herself. You mean the staffs just left a single kid there? As there was no cold witness on a cold day, Doujima was worried as a detective, he had no clue till this day on catching the culprit. More ‘woke’ questions from Nanako as she asks Yuu what happens when you die. You go to heaven. I bet that’s where mom is. She also wonders if her dad is the real one as he treats criminals more important than her. Man, she’s got a point. One night as Doujima comes home tired, when asked about the PTA, as usual he can’t make it. This is the final straw. Nanako starts crying about him caring about criminals more than her. A little arguing ensued. Then she overheard her mom died in a hit and run. It hits Doujima when Nanako says he isn’t a real father. This is mind boggling because she runs away and 2 adults lost her?! How far can that kid run???!!! I MEAN SERIOUSLY!!! They think she wants to go to heaven but thankfully find her at the riverbed, the place where the family used to pick flowers. Doujima wants Yuu to talk to her as he is more family to her than him. But he asks if he is going to run away again. Doujima mans up and talks to her. Get ready the tissues for an emotional father and daughter reconciliation. In the aftermath, Doujima spends more time with her, even turning this random day today to be their family day. Uh huh. The day they become a real family. And he is also available to attend her PTA. Wow. Conveniently happy ending is so conveniently happy.

Episode 19
School cultural festival. Yousuke suggested their class to do a group dating café as a joke and everyone except Chie seems to accept it! If that is not bad enough, Yousuke without permission enters the name of his female friends in a pageant contest. With Yuu’s 30 minute explanation on pageants, I guess the girls can’t back out now. As revenge, Chie enters the guys’ names in a cross-dressing contest. This is sure going to be fun. During the preparation, Yuu befriends a struggling trombone player, Ayane Matsunaga. She is having troubles trying to get her act together since her club will be playing during the festival and she is supposed to replace the role of an injured senpai. Yuu and co try out the group dating café. It’s so weird when they all know each other. It gets weirder when Yousuke asks their ideal type only for himself to almost start falling for Yuu!!! WTF?! They’re not even drinking alcohol! Time for more trombone drama with Matsunaga continue to screw up in practice. Luckily her senpai returns and with everyone’s approval, she gives her role to him. Yuu can tell she isn’t happy with this so what else this nice guy has got to do but listen to her love for music. He takes her around the festival until Ebihara hijacks him so she could do some love life fortune telling? The event we’ve been waiting for! Okay, not. Time for our guys to step up for their cross-dressing. Kanji is the worst Marilyn Monroe ever, Yousuke a creepy high school girl, Yuu a delinquent girl (somehow the girls love his badass-ness) and Kuma as Alice In Wonderland. It’s no surprise Kuma wins it and since he’ll be the judge of the beauty pageant, he announces it will be a swimsuit contest. Oh yeah! See the girls in their swimsuits! Now this is what we’re waiting for. However the hall isn’t filled with people since Kanami is in town doing a shoot so many ditch this to watch that. Yeah, only losers see this pageant, right? Ironically we won’t get to see Naoto in her swimsuit because she is so shy (but enough to give Kanji nose bleeds) and she won!!! WTF?! Power of imagination? While Rise accepts her loss and even says whatever Kanami does isn’t her business, she can’t help feel disappointed. Yuu as usual tells her it is natural for her to be upset. Being Rise is part of who she is. This gives her motivation to return to showbiz next spring. She invites him to be her manager but he declines.

Episode 20
Yukiko invites Nanako to stay at her inn seeing Doujima had to be away. The rest misinterpret this and invite themselves along. The guys notice something strange in their room but couldn’t put their finger on it. When they decide to hit the baths, they are shocked the girls are in there. I wonder if there are endless supplies of wooden buckets for them to throw at them. Why the hell does Yuu think standing their ground is such a good idea?! Retreat! Eventually Yukiko realizes it was her fault since she mixed up the bath times and it is supposed to be the men’s turn. So the guys later try again at another section and end up in the wrong one again. Did they not read the sign this time? Yukiko is faced with a bunch of reporters who are trying to coax her into doing a special programme of her cursed inn. When she refuses, they badmouth the inn and this causes her to snap and tell them off. They threaten to air this but had to back off when she threatens back about complaining to their sponsors. Since the girls still haven’t got over the guys trying to peek at them, they continue to label them as perverts. Even Nanako is starting to think Yuu and Kuma are one. Back in their room, they realize this was the room that Yamano stayed. Now they can’t sleep. With everything not going their way, I guess Yousuke gets this last ditch attempt to sneak into the girls’ room. They get excited when they first go through their stuffs before lying next to them. Then something feels odd. The girls sleeping there are actually fatty classmate and slutty teacher!!! OMFG!!! In fact they are so deprived of men that they want them to stay!!! Monsters unleashed! It didn’t take long this time for Yuu to issue the retreat order. Phew, that was close. Their chastity still intact. Thank goodness. Later Yuu talks to Yukiko that she is going to take an exam to obtain a licence to run this place. The irony was how she wanted to leave this place. After the battle with her Shadow, she felt she wanted to protect it even more. Flashback a few days ago, Yuu received a letter ordering him not to save anyone anymore.

Episode 21
Naoto tried tracing the letter but its source cannot be determined. Seeing that it was sent directly to his mailbox, it could be the perpetrator is closer to them. That night, Midnight Channel pops up but it is unclear who the person is. Next night, Yuu receives another letter. This time it warns him if he doesn’t stop, someone close will be killed. Doujima sees this and wants an explanation. Wow. Even if he is family, Doujima won’t break protocol and interrogates him at the police station. Yuu tells the truth about Personas and Shadows but obviously Doujima thinks he is lying. So Yuu is going to stay in the lockup tonight?! Nanako calls Yousuke about Yuu receiving a weird letter before dad took him to the police station. Oddly, there is a TV in the lockup because it is Nanako’s face who pops up!!! As deduced by Naoto, Nanako may not be seen on TV but heard. A politician who often appeared in the news and visited Nanako’s school used to quote her anonymously. She is on his way to check if Nanako is still in. By the time the guys come to get Yuu, they tell him Nanako is missing. Doujima rushes to go find her. I don’t know how weakling Adachi could lock up all the other guys in the same room. The girls want to bust them out but I guess it makes more sense to explain what’s going on than resort to violence. When Naoto checked the place, there was no break in. Hence the culprit is someone she knew and Nanako opened the door herself. Also, the culprit must be carrying a huge TV in his car. But who would carry something big without others noticing it? Yuu realizes it is a delivery truck. Coincidentally in this small town, the local delivery company only has the same deliveryman every time. It seems that guy matches the police profile too. Taro Namatame was a city council secretary before becoming a deliveryman. The guy who also had an affair with Yamano. With the puzzle of the pieces together, Adachi lets them out. He then calls Doujima about it. Super coincidence the delivery truck was just passing by. Police chase! Delivery guy is so panicky that he swerves his truck to force him off the road. By the time the friends come, Doujima is lying bleeding on the ground. The culprit is gone. There is indeed a TV in the back of the truck. Yuu becomes desperate to save Nanako. He is calmed down that if they fail, who else is there to save her. Naoto discovers a notebook left behind. It contains the names of all the victims (except Morooka). It also states he discovered the existence of a new world and must save people. Yuu is determined to save Nanako after seeing the letter she dropped that congratulates him on his test. Even more determination when Doujima leaves it to him to save her.

Episode 22
What is this heavenly garden space? Namatame takes Nanako and run. How far can he run? I can’t believe he runs faster than the group of young people. Anyway, they still got time to talk. Namatame claims they are the killers and he is the one saving them. Cue maniacal laughter so an immense amount of Shadows could absorb into him and transform into a terrifying Persona. Yuu rushes in to save Nanako but gets mind controlled. Namatame uses his Personas to keep the rest at bay. I guess Nanako’s voice gives them the much needed distraction for the rest to pound Namatame. The power of lolicon is strong with Yuu rescuing Nanako from Namatame’s clutches. At this point, the other friends are mind controlled. Not too sure about this spirit of Doujima giving extra power to Yuu to power up and summon a golden dragon? Is this Dragonball reference? With everyone free again, they take down Namatame for good. However Nanako is unconscious and is wheeled into ICU. Everyone is anxious and starts blaming themselves if they hadn’t listened to Namatame’s rant and instead went straight rescuing her, this wouldn’t happen. Yeah, in TV world, everyone always talks first action later. So I don’t blame you guys for that… But it’s the power of believing in her because many days later, Nanako is recovering and police interrogation has Namatame admit to the kidnappings and killings. He regretted to all he did and was just scared. Adachi lets in a little secret from their investigation that it seems Namatame was also trying to make advances on Konishi. The fog is thicker than usual in their world. The people are concerned and some have gone a bit crazy thinking it contains some sort of virus. When the friends put on their glasses, they see a clear view. Could it be the fog is leaking from the TV world? Kuma is sad that since the case is over, there is no more reason for him to stay. Of course they welcome him to stay anytime and this makes him happy. Hey, I thought they’re supposed to help find his origins too? As the friends discuss the Christmas present they should pick for Nanako and the party for her release, Yuu gets a distressing call. Nanako’s condition has suddenly turned for the worse. Yuu is allowed to be by her side as he tries to desperately assure they’ll always be together. But Nanako’s heart stop beating… Nanako!! NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Episode 23
Let the tears flow… :’(. Doujima heads to Namatame’s room and is going to kill him! I guess screw being a detective once your only reason to live is gone. The friends hear something going on in his room and enter. Hey, what happened to the police guys stationed outside? They think he is trying to escape. All get mad at him when Midnight Channel pops up. A Shadow version of Namatame taunts them that the law cannot touch him. He dares them to kill him because alive or dead makes no difference to him. Naoto gets this idea to throw him into the TV. Yuu picks cowering Namatame up and is prepared to do so. The girls are against this but the guys want him to continue. In the end, Yuu couldn’t do it because it would make them no different than him. They must calm down and rationally think about this. So far, they have not heard from Namatame’s point of view. They discuss about Namatame’s motive to kill Yamano but couldn’t deduce anything motive since he was separated from his wife then who also knew about Yamano. It’s getting late so Yuu calls it a day. He then breaks down in a way we never seen him before. Only Yousuke’s around to lend a shoulder to cry on. Next day, the friends continue their investigation despite realizing Kuma has not been with them ever since. They wonder if he ‘saves’ people by killing them but if so, doesn’t that make the rest after Konishi failures? Yuu notices something strange about the warning letters. Like as though they were written by different people. They go talk to Namatame and he is willing to tell them the truth since the police refused to believe him. After his scandal was exposed, he returned to his parents’ house to hide. He saw Midnight Channel in which Yamano was seen in danger. After she was killed, he thought Midnight Channel was an SOS from her. When Konishi popped up, he recognized her as the daughter of the liquor store. He tried to warn her but she refused to listen because obviously any normal girl would think he is some sort of crazy dude. After she died, Namatame got this idea of throwing victims to the other world and then take them back out once things blow over and went around his rescue mission as a deliveryman. As the rest continued to live, he thought his mission was a success. He realized too late that one from inside could get out on their own. Kuma realizes he doesn’t belong anywhere and vanishes. Then a miracle happens. NANAKO LIVES!!!! Plot convenience???!!! Who cares?! She’s alive so the rest can breathe easy and have motivation to solve this case. As Naoto thinks the culprit is one who has connections to Yamano and Konishi as well as in a position to observe their investigating actions periodically, Yuu thinks he knows that person who fits all that criteria. I think so too…

Episode 24
Kuma now remembers. He is a Shadow from this world who took on a form of its own and made himself forget he was a Shadow. He is back to being happy after learning Nanako survived. Do we have time for Yousuke telling Yuu how much he envied him? So the make them equal, he wants to be punched? Wow. Yuu did just that! But does it change anything? Heck, he even says equality for them is when they both punch each other! Do we have time for fist fighting?! Must be their weird way of reconciling. When the friends and Doujima head to the hospital, they hear from Adachi that Namatame has been relocated. They start asking him several questions about his meetings with Yamano and Konishi and the warning letters. He plays dumb but when they accuse him of being the culprit. Because when Naoto read the notebook, Adachi felt relieved. At this point the police had no idea there were other attempted murders related to the case. Adachi brushes it all off and runs away. Where could he have disappeared in this room? See that TV? Ah… Inside the TV world, they cannot find Adachi but Kuma. He tells the truth about himself but you think they care? They welcome him back and this motivates Kuma to help find Adachi. They find him or at least his Shadow. He claims this world will soon seep into reality and humans will turn into Shadows. Adachi shows us what happened. When he confronted Yamano, he knew she lied about the affair with Namatame. After all, Adachi liked her. When she resisted, he threw her into the TV. He then talked to Konishi and tried to blackmail her about her meeting with Namatame. She resisted and got thrown in too. After Konishi’s body was found, Namatame called the police. Of all the people who picked up, it was Adachi. So he called his story a bluff and told him to save them himself. He did all this because it was interesting. So when Kubo wanted to take the blame, Adachi feared the game would be over. He threw Kubo inside the TV so the game would continue. Adachi and his Shadow clones fight the friends just to see whose world will come out triumphant.

Episode 25
Adachi claims the world is such a boring place. That’s why everyone is going to turn into Shadows and live like a zombie. Isn’t that even more boring? He talks about people fearing reality that is why they yearn for all the fakeness. He claims the friends are the same like criminals. They seek some thrill to their boring lives and hence playing this detective game. Even if Adachi is caught, so what of it? Everyone will still think Namatame as the killer. Of course the friends deny all that bullsh*t and call him a kid throwing tantrum. So cliché that bad guys lose their cool and hence their dominance. Plot convenience for them to fall and good guys to win. They beat the crap out of him. Adachi knows this is the end and tries to kill himself but the Shadows possess him. The big boss of all Shadows, Ame No Sagiri is a giant eyeball and the master of the fog. He claims all this doing is because this is what humans desire. More talk on how humans turn a blind eye to reality and rather live on in darkness and false imagery. Everything was his doing and went according to plan. Except for the parts they beat up their own Shadows and turn them into their own Personas to fight. That’s why he wanted to test them and see if it is worthy to put his trust into it. Everyone fights in vain as Yuu gets absorbed. But thankfully with all the bonds with his friends, this allows their Persona to evolve and become better looking versions to help pull Yuu out. Then he gets the honours to summon all his cards into some demon Persona and dismantle the eyeball! Now that he has seen their proven potential, he backs down. But warns if mankind so desires again, he will return any time. The real Adachi prepares for the worst to be killed by the kids but of course they tell him to be punished by the laws of their world. That’s how it works. In the aftermath, the friends see off Yuu at the train station. So he is leaving? As though he came for a case and left when everything is over. Nanako so sad that she confesses she wants to marry him when she grows up?! Okay. But no shady stuffs while she is under-aged.

Episode 26 (Special)
This adapts the true ending from the game. The friends are preparing a farewell party for Yuu. Oddly, the day restarts again and this time Yuu reads a letter for him. It is from Adachi serving his time in prison as he mentions about someone giving them strange powers to enter Midnight Channel. Yeah, why write such a vague letter with no answers? I suppose this is to prompt our friends to do their own investigation. The day restarts again as this time as he remembers when he first came to Inaba, he had a strange dream. He remembers stopping by the gas station and the gas attendant talked to him. He makes his way there and it is revealed the attendant is the one who gave them this power. All by just shaking hands. He transforms into his true form, Izanami and reveals he created the Midnight Channel although he has only been observing after that. It seems Midnight Channel shows what you want to see and the hidden side that everyone wants to show others. Hence a ‘window’ to peek and cater to both. Because like what that eyeball said, humans only want to see what they want to see. This is what the fog represents. With Yuu refusing to believe it all, Izanami shows him the truth. He is fighting a monster Persona in which all his friends have become victims of Shadows. This is the truth. Because Yuu cannot handle this, he chose to live in his own version of the fog and happiness. Hence Yuu succumbs to this and continues to relive that Groundhog Day over and over again. He looks ‘happy’. Until Margaret snaps him out of it and is disappointed in him. Not sure what is happening because it’s like she is sending Personas to attack him but with Yuu hearing the voices of all those who support him, he gets back all their Personas. Then he sees his own Shadow who admits his fear of being alone. That’s why he doesn’t care if it is all an illusion as long as they’re with him. After accepting his Shadow, he returns to fight Izanami. This time nothing could stop Yuu. He is no longer alone and will show mankind’s true potential. With his evolved Persona, he defeats Izanami and dispels all the fog. The TV world returns to its original beautiful state. The friends are alive and happy to be reunited with him. Now that Yuu is free to see the world, hence he leaves Inaba on a journey. His friends bid him farewell and promise to wait for him, believing in the bonds of their friendship.

The Golden Animation

Apparently there is an alternative version of this series that came out 2 years after the original aired.

Episode 1
This first episode plays out in the exact same fashion as the first original one. From Yuu’s arrival to Inaba to the school he enrols, to watching Midnight Channel, entering it, meeting Kuma and summoning his Persona for the first time to kick Shadow ass. Only difference is the appearance of a new character, Marie from time to time. In the epilogue, we see Margaret officially introducing a bashful Marie to us and Yuu is tasked to show her around Inaba. He just got here too so is it like the blind leading the blind? Anyway, Marie is a bit distrusting since she has no memories of her previous life whatsoever (why does this sound so familiar). Since she likes the wide space of Inaba, she puts herself in Yuu’s care.

Episode 2
Yuu introduces Marie to his friends and goes along with the premise that she is his old friend from his old school. A month down the road, Yuu has gotten his bike licence. Doujima gives him his old scooter. Yuu receives a call from Chie to accompany the girls shopping next Wednesday. Unfortunately Yousuke shortly calls him after that to fix next Wednesday to ride their bikes to go pick up girls. Since he isn’t given any space to reply, looks like he is double booked. But he has the perfect plan. As Yousuke’s plan starts first, he will go with him. He is supposed to meet up the girls in the next hour and will give a few minutes provision to go to them. And then he will return to Nanako and have dinner with her. Yeah, a perfect plan that will offend nobody. It starts out fine at first but the guys fail at picking up any girls. Just when it’s time for Yuu to leave, Kanji won’t lose out and it becomes an hour-long battle to see who can hit on the most girls. Yousuke is in a pinch but he decides to use that hour-long battle to go to the girls instead. When he arrives, he sees Chie and Ebihara fighting over the last skirt left. They enter an hour-long fashion competition and make Yuu the judge. Oh boy. So Yuu has to run in between both places, trying to hit on girls while judging their fashion sense (he is calling all of them as draws!). In the aftermath, he is dead tired and knows he is running late for Nanako’s dinner when she calls to tell him that dad is going to return for dinner too. In the end, Chie and Ebihara’s fashion contest is resolved by Marie who coordinates suitable clothes for them. Now they’re best of friends. Yousuke wins the pickup contest with a single number. However that number belongs to Ootani! Did he slip up somewhere?! The moment she sits on his bike, it breaks apart!!! And she got the cheek to tell him to up his game if he wants to date her. Double loss? By the time Yuu returns home, he is close to dead and has missed her dinner.

Episode 3
Beach episode. Our friends (minus Naoto) head to the beach during the summer vacation. Looks like everyone has got bike licence now. Time for our girls to parade their cute swimsuits. Until Kanji had to ruin our eyes with his Speedo. ARGH! MY EYES!!! Perverted Kuma tries to make nip slips but end up doing one on Kanji!!! Damn this guy is now indecently exposed!!! Are you trying to rape my eyes???!!!! When the girls are coming back, they have to quickly use seaweeds to hide his modesty. It only serves to enhance his perverted image. During the break, everyone tries to ask Marie lots of questions to get to know her but this upsets her. She runs away but Yuu talks to her about things and before your know it, they reconcile. Marie talks to Margaret about being aware of one’s true self. Because of that, she uses a video camera to record the friends’ answer regarding about their true selves as well as other stuffs. Each giving their own version of what it is that also serves as some sort of motivation to Marie. After watching the fireworks, they play their own sparklers. Yousuke is now talking about their next winter vacation plans and everyone is surprised but happy that Marie seems enthusiastic to join them next time.

Episode 4
Marie discloses to the friends that she is an amnesiac character. Of course they are eager to help her uncover her memories since the cops aren’t interested in such trivial cases. The only clue she has is a weird comb. They see Daidara the craftsman’s thoughts. He can’t pinpoint its era and feels it is out of this world. It is then Marie starts feeling pain in her head and collapses. She wakes up only to hear the friends talking to a granny about a comb not a suitable gift as it contains the words death and suffering. Next day, Marie seems okay enough to go shopping in her friends. However she got distracted by a comb stall and before she knows it, she is lost. She panics, worried to be alone. The friends start looking for her and Yuu eventually finds her at the reception. Immediately she takes his hand and walk away. She tells him she was scared because the person was asking about her real name and other stuffs. All of which she knows nothing of. She is afraid because she can’t remember anything. When Kuma is seemingly working to fix a quiz show stage, Yuu gets this idea. When he goes to talk to Marie, it seems she has almost given up on finding her identity and doesn’t care. So he ushers her down to the stage where Kuma as the quiz show host and the rest are participants. At first Kuma asks weird questions that Marie doesn’t know. But soon she is able to answer familiar ones. In the end, Marie wins the quiz and she realizes these are what memories are supposed to be. She is happy with the new ones she made and does not bother too much with the unknown.

Episode 5
Yousuke might be in trouble. He might be transferring school! It all began when Kanami was supposed to be a temporary local police chief at Inaba but it got cancelled. His dad was already planning sales and promotion from his store and with this cancellation means the end of them. He hopes Rise could be Kanami’s replacement. At first she didn’t want to buy after hearing this, I guess she relents. But with a condition that all of them join them on stage as her backup band. Hence our friends pick up and practice music instruments. They are all amateurs except for Marie who seems to be natural with the electric guitar. With Naoto deciphering how to read musical scores, everyone is motivated to play on. WTF?! Can you read scores that easy?! Marie is so obsessed in making memories that she won’t stop practising, causing her fingers to be sore. After some pro advice from Rise to take care of herself and be on tiptop condition, the practice continues until they really nail it. On the day of the concert, Rise is late to show up. Yuu gets a call from her that somebody has posted fake news she is making a comeback and holding a hand shaking event, hence a large fans gathering outside her house. Chie has an idea so she runs down there and points out to this fake Rise to give those dumb fans a wild goose chase. With Rise still not turning up, the rest hit the stage with Marie taking on vocals duty. The bewildered crowd soon accepts her and before you know it, Rise joins them on stage. In the aftermath, the friends celebrate a successful concert as well as the good sales the store made. The fake Rise turned out to be Ichijou in drag. I guess he isn’t the only one who is happy. Marie realizes she was so absorbed into this that she didn’t realize she was making memories. Eventually all this will become memories. Later when she watches Nanako leave, she starts to feel pain.

Episode 6
Why do they even need to give Adachi his own episode which is just a poor flashback one? We see Adachi arriving at Inaba as a new police officer stationed here. He has got this look on his face that screams I-wish-I-wasn’t-here. Late on his first day, Doujima lectures him about principles in which he doesn’t even give a damn. You know, the usual Adachi shrug. He follows Doujima to solve local cases and it is clear his heart isn’t in it. Heck, during the briefing, he mispronounces names so much that the team had to correct him all the time! Then one night he discovered Midnight Channel and it sparked some devilish thoughts. We briefly see scenes of him confronting Yamano and throwing her into the TV, subsequently doing the same to Konishi when she rejected his advances. Fast forward to present day, we see Marie chasing after Adachi (the source of the pain, she thinks) but loses him. When Yuu asks why, she isn’t sure and warns him to stay away from him. Then this weird scenes of a grandma treating Adachi like her substitute son as he coincidentally shares the same first name and almost looks like him. Good things come to an end when some other hot guy takes over the role. It wasn’t that Adachi was happy when she treated him, but it sure looks like he isn’t either now that this bugging old woman is out of his life. Because of that, Yuu accompanies him because he wants to help those in need! He even makes him lunch! At this point I think Yuu is the creepier one. One night, he tells and asks Adachi about Marie’s warning so Adachi talks about betrayal and stuffs. Hence it is better not to get involved or do anything from the start since it might later turn out worse. So when the kidnapping of Nanako happened, we hear Adachi’s monologue that he blames Yuu for it for trying to play detective. Did he make a pun on his name? As in, I told Yuu… Yeah, that’s the title for this episode too.

Episode 7
We’re still continuing this? Heck, even the episode title is warning and insulting us, “It’s cliché, so what?”. Taking place during the events of Nanako in coma, Yuu has got a hunch that Adachi is the culprit. So he goes to see him in the other world where Adachi tells him off that he was the one who believed in whatever version of Adachi he saw and now he gets disappointed when he isn’t so. After half a season gone, finally we get to see some Persona fight. As they clash, we have a glimpse of Adachi’s lifestyle. Not to say he was a loser but he doesn’t achieve much and is always on the side-lines. Underachiever. Since Yuu has a glimpse of this too, I think he is overwhelmed by it all so when Adachi fires a warning shot telling him to go home to his friends, he did just that. Too easy. Then he talks to Marie as she tells him about how searching for her memories became creating new ones. More about bonds and trusts but hey, they warned us about being cliché. She gives him her comb to keep because whether searching or creating memories, it is definitely going to be with him. With renewed confidence, Yuu and his friends return to fight Adachi. More about bonds and believe. Yeah, what did they tell us about being cliché? So Personas fighting turn into fist fighting. Yuu turns Adachi into a punching bag. Man, his cheeks are so bruised! Adachi even feels lame that it ended this way since they have the same power but why did he lost? Bonds. Ah… Cliché… Before they can go home, the giant eyeball hijacks him but it doesn’t take long before he defeats him. Meanwhile Marie is being told that the fog is her place. Looks like she remembers now and she fears she cannot stay with her friends anymore. So much about making new memories. She disappears along with the comb.

Episode 8
Yuu tells separately each of the girls (including Naoto, minus Marie) to keep their schedule open on Christmas Eve. This makes them nervous as they start thinking if he wants to confess. Naoto overthinks that Yuu wants to kill them?! Even more so when she sees Yukiko with a knife (present for Yuu), Rise wanting to blow him away (cooking, that is) and Chie ‘killing’ Kanji (she is watching a crappy kung fu movie with a character that sounds like him). Of course the plan is for the guys to cook on Christmas Eve and not let the girls turn this into a poison night. On that day, it seems the other guys have their own commitments and are unable to help Yuu. Kuma is kind enough to send some help. Each of the girls arrive at different times but instead of finding out Yuu’s feelings, he sends them to do errands. The help Kuma sent is Ebihara. A moth freaks out Chie as she accidentally throws tomato at her. A fight breaks out and with all the clumsiness, tomato spills everywhere. Oh, I can see where this is going. Finally Naoto arrives in a protective headgear. Sure she didn’t forget to wear the thickest armour? She misinterprets this ‘bloody’ scene as the girls being ‘killed’ and only made worse when Yuu returns with a knife in hand. Time to freak out. The murder scene might turn into a zombie scene with the girls waking up. The event is postponed next day. At least they get to celebrate with Nanako. But our disgruntled girls secretly take it out on Yuu for all that misunderstanding. The friends enjoy New Year’s Day and playing in the snow. Too bad Yuu got sick a few days later. I know the friends are kind enough to accompany him when he is sick, but it feels like a weird ritual that all of them are sitting around him. I mean, give this dude some space! Then he dreams of Marie. He doesn’t remember him but she does about him. Sadly, she promises she won’t forget about him and disappears. He wakes up in cold sweat and tears.

Episode 9
As Yuu will be moving away in the spring, the friends go on a skiing trip to make their final memories. In the hotspring, they remember the times spent together but it feels like there is something missing. Then while going through the photos of all their outings together, they find it weird that there is a gap in the middle of the group photo. They start to get scared it is a ghost photo of something. Remember that video that Marie took that interviewed all of them? Yeah, they’re watching it too and it brings back memories. But… Who is recording this video! Freak out time. Cue for blackout to stir up some screams. When the lights come back on, they see Kuma trying to eat all their snacks. The girls think this is his prank and beat him up. But Yuu believes there is someone else besides them that they have forgotten. Instead of being gloomy and racking their brains, they return to the snow for more skiing. Yuu spaces out and crashes. He is lost and the snowstorm makes it misty like the other world. Then he sees a familiar figure and goes after her. He starts to remember memories of Marie (though it is just her silhouette). Then her comb is somehow in his hands and he remembers her. Good thing there is a cabin nearby. Good thing all his worried friends manage to find this cabin and are relieved he is alive. Comb is still in his hand. Yeah, they remember who Marie is. Oh, conveniently it’s Midnight Channel time. Why the hell is there a TV in this remote cabin???!!!

Episode 10
Yuu hears Margaret’s voice that leads him into the TV. I wonder how he can fit in if the TV is quite small. Margaret tells him about bonds and truth. Not that I want to understand anyway. Yeah, I’m averting my eyes at this point. As his friends have arrived in this world but separated, Yuu uses Margaret’s power to help reunite. Along the way, the friends notice this strange surreal place. They are like places they have been with Marie. As Margaret continues to lead Yuu, she tells him about this Hollow Forest ahead. Marie has sealed herself and will forever cut herself from the rest. This is proof she has remembered all her lost memories. Because this forest isn’t completed yet, this is a reason why the friends are still able to connect with her. But once it is done, nobody gets out. Forever. This means if Marie seals herself for good, they will all forget her for good. The friends stumble into Marie (is she a clergy?). As usual they tell her to come back or tell them whatever problems because they’d be willing to listen to but she remains stubborn. She reveals her reveal name as Kusumi No Okami and is the same as that eyeball creature. In short, she is a spy sent by the gods to check on the humans. That is why she is in human form to blend in. Yuu reminds her about that comb promise she made. It descends into a childish baka argument before she has had it. She believes she is doing this for their good and out of her own consideration. I guess it’s not appreciated. She summons a few Shadows so that we can see some Persona fights. After the tough battle, they still insist to bring her back. Marie is even more annoyed. I think even more so when they spew that because-we-are-friends crap. Her denial is so strong that her Shadow engulfs her. Oh well, time for another round for their Personas to bust her out. But what’s this?! Everybody gets owned?! That’s unexpected. So much about the power of friendship. For now.

Episode 11
Marie further reveals about the fog. It is the gods’ goal to control it. Ever wonder why it never go further than Inaba and fog the entire world? That’s because Marie’s body absorbs them. Each time she dies so, it starts killing her and she feels like going insane. Hence her ‘consideration’ of saving the world and dying all alone in this Hollow Forest. BS. Even Yuu knows it. He wants Marie to say what she really wants. And after all that bugging (but of course) she finally says she doesn’t want to die and for them to help here. There. There’s your cue and permission to go save her. The power of friendship revives the other friends as they evolve their Personas again to kick ass. Yuu being the hero of course jumps into her Shadow, cuts down whatever stands in his way to rescue Marie. Gee, Marie looks so happy to be rescued by him. As though she is expecting and wanting it so badly. Now that she is saved, the epic hug could last longer had not Rise b*tch about it and this cliché of the place collapsing. As they all run out, they start laughing over Marie’s usual complaints. Yeah girl, you so funny when you tsundere. Just in time when they get out, the TV breaks. Phew. I guess nobody is going back there ever again. Marie lets Yuu know about the voice she heard in her head. She doesn’t know who but finds it familiar like the same voice she heard after they defeated the eyeball monster. She brushes it off and thinks it might be her own voice. They play snowball fight with everyone timing up against Yousuke. Great team effort. Some naughty fanservice potential when the guys try to peep at the girls in the outdoor hotspring. The fence comes down and both sides see each other naked. No prizes to guess what happens. But does Marie have lightning powers as she zaps them?! I didn’t know she had that. Nanako gives Yuu a ghostly chocolate for Valentine’s Day. Yeah, the girls thought her how to make it… Run, Yuu! But seeing how innocent she is, he feels bad if he doesn’t. The clincher is when she thanks him and says how much she loves him. Yeah, don’t worry. He eats everything! It’s a miracle he survived. Then he goes to see Marie who has her own Valentine chocolate for him. The box is pulsating… Is it something living?! Oh boy. What you gonna do? Because she is so cute and shy trying to give it to him, leave it to Yuu to finish it all. I’m starting to believe Yuu might be a demon (not god) since he survived that too. When Yuu hopes she won’t go away again, she tells him the irony of him going away in spring. She hopes to stay here forever.

Episode 12
As everyone prepares to celebrate Yuu’s farewell, Marie realizes she is turning translucent! Kuma has this idea of everyone writing down their wish and put it in a time capsule. When the loudest thunder strikes, Marie again becomes translucent and is now possessed by Izanami who claims Marie is part of her. She tries to strangle herself to kill Marie but since there is resistance, Izanami decides to test their faith. So Yuu is summoning his Persona for one last Shadow fight. Yuu cannot believe the truth about Marie and Izanami originally as one being. Yuu is in a dilemma to save his friends caught in her Shadow grip. With Izanami spouting more crap about averting eyes to the truth, she tells him the only way for him to live the way of life he wants with Marie is to shield his eyes from the truth and live a lie. It sounds tempting but before Yuu could give in to that, Marie tells him not to fall here. She tells him only the truth can defeat Izanami but he is not willing to do that because Marie will disappear. She assures him she will not. She will become one. A God. So that is not good enough for Yuu because she won’t be with her friends? Oh, don’t worry. She’ll always be around watching them. You know how God is always omnipresent, right? With this resolve, Yuu won’t hesitate anymore. The duo walk towards Izanami and their light barrier dispels any Shadows that try to attack them. Marie realizes she wasn’t disappearing but was merging with Izanami. Marie’s wish to protect wishes and Izanami’s wish to grant them made them separated due to their conflict. Yuu’s wish is for everyone’s heart to light up so as to lift the fog covering their hearts. Marie and Izanami become one. Marie vanishes with her last smile to him. The day soon comes for Yuu to leave. But a few months later, he returns. Apparently Doujima was so busy that he forgot to pick him up. Yeah, go hang out with his friends. Too bad their ploy to surprise him failed since he noticed the commotion on how to do so (note, Doujima was also in on this surprise). Looks like all of them have a little change. Like Naoto looking a bit more feminine. But the biggest change is Kanji. He looks like a nerd! Almost unrecognizable! Everyone celebrates his return at home as they show him another surprise. On TV, Marie is now a weather girl. In precise timing, she takes this chance to confess her love for Yuu! She must be damn confident he is watching this right now. Kuma wants to open their time capsule but Yousuke disagrees. A struggle has the lid open. Everyone officially welcomes Yuu back. Yuu’s wish reads he wants to stay with everyone forever. Hardly surprising.

Persona: Through The Looking Glasses
I keep wondering why Yuu had to leave Inaba in the first place only for him to come back a few months later. Heck, it’s not even a year and his return is greeted like as though he has been away for years. Yeah, the town must be so boring besides him, huh? So did he go to other towns and liberate them from their local fog and gods? Or this could just be the so called happy ending because Yuu gets his wish and everybody gets to be together again in the end. Happily ever after. Yeah, they ‘killed off’ Marie but somehow turn her into a weather girl. I am thinking people’s memories must be manipulated along the way for them not to question her origins. She just popped up like that. Now she’s telling us the weather. It’s always sunny here. And in our hearts! Just kidding.

Personally, the story seems pretty ordinary and nothing special. A group of kids in a small town playing detectives because the local authorities couldn’t be bothered in solving the mystery. I guess even when you have a workaholic like Doujima but the rest of the department are so useless, things can never get done. So having teens go into another world to summon an alter ego of theirs sounds like some sort of action battle fantasy. An excuse to put up some fights for entertainment value. But more on that later.

The original Persona spends its first half gathering the usual suspects for Yuu’s groupie. It always follows the same predictable pattern because who else in this world doesn’t have problems? If we could only face our problems and accept them so easy like them, the world would have been such a better place. Unfortunately in reality there is no such conveniences. Escaping to a fantasy world through a TV is only possible in our heads. So once all that is done, the second half tries to focus on catching the real culprit with a few fillers in between. Even halfway through the series, I could guess who the real culprit was. I’m not kidding. Because having a kid doing all those murders doesn’t seem to add up and you can sense something amiss when Kubo has been acting so strangely that even kids can tell he is a bad actor. But not our high school heroes here. Not until the plot tells them something is wrong that they start thinking the real culprit is someone else.

So when they pop up Namatame as the supposed culprit, I was pretty sceptical because if you do a murder mystery genre, it would be very unfair to the audience to suddenly introduce a character we never knew of as the killer. Yeah, so Namatame might look crazy but him being the perpetrator? Who the f*ck is he, I asked. Even pinpointing lesser casts who are close to non-existent like Kanami (who again?) or perhaps bringing back to dead like Konishi for super shocker effect would be so unfair. And true enough when Namatame wasn’t the real culprit, the true culprit, the final boss came to light. And he it came to no surprise to me. In fact I was going, “I told you!” repeatedly in my head. Mind you, I didn’t read any spoilers. The fact that Adachi has always been acting strange in the sense that he is carefree and slacking on his job, plus given the fact that he is one of those few characters who appear decently enough, makes him the biggest indicator to be the perpetrator. The cliché of the culprit is always the one right under our noses. I know Aika could be it but for this series, how can you make a cute takeout delivery girl the baddie! That’s too cruel! Yeah… So wow to myself. I could go solve murder mysteries now. Move over, Naoto. I’m the new detective prince in town!

But the oddest and weirdest plot of the story has to be the gods watching over the humans. Yeah, the world is such a huge and big place and they choose this sleepy small town as their main observation for humans?! Earth may be a small tiny place to the gods but then again, why not pick at least like Tokyo? So by summing up the general behaviour of mankind based on the actions of a few in this small town, it really makes you think if the gods were just trying to find the lamest excuse to destroy Earth. And of course based on the script, we must have a good ending and hence the incredulous logic that a group of high school teens using the power of friendship and trust, to even make the gods change their minds and let mankind live longer! Damn! These kids should just be gods.

If the original Persona’s story was just okay to me, Golden was even worse. Yeah, I don’t even know why they needed to make this alternate setting so that we could have just a new character and a bunch of fillers in that season. Yup, even though half of Golden’s episodes feel like fillers, they are ‘essential’ to the plot because it is a reason to make Marie feel conflicted about the memories she made with her friends. Even if that is the ‘plot’ for Golden, it still feels pretty weak. No wonder I read many Persona fans didn’t like this Golden spinoff alternative in the first place. It was crappy and only serves to increase the power of friendship BS. Besides, with half the number of episodes than the original Persona, with all those fillers you don’t even get to see any decent Persona fights until the final few episodes. Not even cutie pie Marie could save this disastrous sequel. Heck, she didn’t even want to save herself until her friends ‘forced’ her to.

There are quite a few no brainers or questions to ponder in the plot but by the end of it, I couldn’t remember them. Blame the fog? Me being lazy? Okay, here’s one. About Midnight Channel. It is said to appear at the stroke of midnight. Sure, it never fails to pop up on a rainy day. But what if I adjust the clock forward or backwards? Can I still watch Midnight Channel? And I’m not sure if it is a joke because Yuu has multiple times said he could record it. We never see proof because he could have just showed the police but then again, the kids want to solve them themselves, right? Then there’s the time Yuu and Doujima lost Nanako because she ran away from them after hearing the truth about mom. How far can a little girl run and 2 adults loose her who was within their sight a second ago? Oh right. Who could forget the super unbelievable miracle of Nanako coming back to life. Nanako is God!!! Then there’s that ‘drunken’ bar episode and everything else in Golden relating to Marie… Oh boy, better leave it as it is.

The characters are a mixed baggage. Each of them has their own personalities and traits. They’re both likeable and annoying at the same time. Like Yuu as the main character, he has this dense aura around him. He is also blunt and honest to your face. He is no saint either. Because when the guys get naughty like wanting to go peek at girls, Yuu doesn’t hesitate to actually join in! As Yuu isn’t a talkative character, sometimes the way he speaks makes me feel that it is as though he is some sort of retard. Even Kuma sounds better than him. Really. Go listen to Yuu’s way of talking. I bet this is why it matches his blunt personality so well. So in the initial episodes when Yuu was giving his soon-to-be-friends his honest advice, that is like supposed to be the lesson of the story or episode, I guess. Yuu could be a good counsellor or something since his words always gets through. If it doesn’t, he’ll make sure until it does!

As for the other characters in Yuu’s groupie, we can sum it up for them like this: Yousuke the best friend and joker of the group; Chie the tomboy; Yukiko the cool beauty with a laughing fit thanks to her bad sense of understanding jokes; Rise the washed up idol that nobody cares anymore; Kanji the manly gay boi; Naoto the cross-dressing failed detective wannabe; Kuma the cute animal mascot that could also double as another comic relief character. And Marie, I guess they needed some eye candy and cliché amnesiac character. I want to note something on Naoto as a detective. She basically fails in her job. At times she might sound she has a clue but that’s mostly stating the obvious or something so general that it doesn’t go anywhere. She is practically the most useless character in terms of relevance to the role among the groupie and perhaps only exists to serve as Kanji’s boner material and to prove he isn’t 100% gay. Yeah…

Too bad for anyone hoping to see some romance or love triangle but I had a feeling it would happen. No it didn’t. If it did, perhaps it would have diminished further the quality of this series. There are a few moments of Yuu having a short moment with one of the girls during those fillers but nothing really conclusive. Save for Rise who is the boldest in declaring her love for Yuu. If she was still an active idol, I bet Yuu would have received lots of death threats. Perfect for more Midnight Channel cases. But that’s another story. Now with tsundere Marie in the picture, the competition might just get heated up. Oops, ran out of episodes. Maybe next season with more fillers would do. If there are any. Now that Marie has confessed on TV and the whole town know, Rise better step up her game if she wants her senpai so badly. Oddly, all the girls are bad cooks and this has become a running joke of the series because they really make killer dishes. Not sure they really know their cooking sucks but I think they do because I am suspecting that they get their kicks by tormenting the guys with their food. Kashiwagi and Ootani might be a great complicated factor if they got added into this love mix equation. Slutty teacher wants to f*ck to prove she’s still available while fatty girl thinks she is so damn high standard that guys don’t deserve her unless you’re qualified. Yeah, those 2 are like the minor running gag and a big danger red alert signal to our guys.

Then there is the super innocent and cute Nanako for those who are lolicons. I want to believe that Nanako is a strong girl for her young age because she seems to be taking everything in stride. From her mother’s death to whatever problems her onii-chan is facing. Not sure if she is a kid and is not aware. But I remember the part the girls were having a cooking contest and she was tasting them. Didn’t feel anything. Is she a mini god or something? Heck, she did come back from the dead once. In many cases I believe Nanako is the central pillar to everyone because see how worked up Yuu became when she got kidnapped? His friends treat her like their little precious and even workaholic daddy changed his ways to spend more time with his home alone daughter. Yeah, screw work. Not that the cases can be solved anyway. Lastly about Aika, I thought she would play a prominent role and be part of Yuu’s group but I found out that she is an anime-only character. So I guess the running joke about her is how she can deliver her takeouts anywhere without fail and some mega beef bowl that is so endless that nobody has ever seen the bottom of the bowl.

I also want to mention about the Velvet Room that is often served as the starting and opening scene in many of the Persona episodes. We see that long nosy guy, Igor and his beautiful assistant, Margaret (literally beauty and the beast) talking to us. Actually it is the first person view of Yuu. Not sure what crap they are talking about bonds and trusts created on our journey because I certainly do not really get it. Maybe Persona fans can understand but a casual viewer like me, I’m so lost. Sometimes Velvet Room will be empty and you know some serious sh*t has gone down. Then for the first half of Golden, we get to hear Marie’s narration of the poem she likes only for her to snatch it back in embarrassment and reprimand us for reading it without her knowledge. I guess this part is only necessary so we can fawn over how cute Kana Hanazawa sounds being a tsundere. Kawaii!

On a trivial note, I wonder if there was a spelling error because in the original Persona, the next episode preview is termed as “Next Scent”. Wait. What? You mean, next scene. Maybe they’re trying to hint this about Kuma’s sniffing abilities. Not that I can see how useful it is either. Sure, Kuma’s sniffing might lead our friends to where they needs to go (because the plot says so) but I find it weird that this is so. A play on words? At least the next episode for Golden is termed as “Next Memories”. Also, not sure about that ability link for Yuu as the original Persona’s mid-intermission. Every episode we see Yuu’s ability of either courage, knowledge, diligence, expression and understanding go up by one level until everything is maxed out. Not that I can see how he increased those stats in the anime but even at the end whenever he is at maximum level, he still feels the same. Uh huh. Even before that he could pull out so many Personas so I’m not sure if this radar chart is accurately accurate. But hey, he is the main character so he has to be.

Originally the Persona game is an RPG-like game mixed with simulation but they also spawned a couple of fighting games. What I want to say is that when the friends summon their Personas to fight, the fight scenes are not that entertaining. Just a few oddly designed oversized characters slashing and slicing their way through various plainly designed Shadows. Short enough for it to be over and get on with. But the oddest part is how Yuu has managed to gather so many of his Personas (based off from the tarot cards) without even us knowing. I guess those scenes from Velvet Room must be it. Because it is like when conveniently needed, Yuu will power up and use that new Persona. Too bad they are used mostly once or twice and then never used again. It is annoying because it makes him look so powerful with so many weapons at his disposal and yet he uses them for a short while. Yeah, we can’t even remember many of them.

On to the art and drawing, I find them mostly satisfactory but the one thing that kept bugging me in the original series is the tone and colouring of the characters’ face. What do I mean? When I first watched this series, I find it really obvious and odd that there is some sort of weird shade on their face. Imagine this. Like as though the characters went to the beach to tan but only covered their eyes. Yup, it looks like they had tan marks over their face except for their eye regions. Are they some sort of reversed raccoons? If this is the series’ art trademark, it certainly feels weird. However come the Golden, the good news is that this is done away with and although the art and drawing are much brighter compared to the original (because it is mostly foggy and dark), the quality takes a dip. Like as though the characters are now looking slightly simpler and Kuma who is already looking comical in his bear suit, looks even more comical with the simpler drawing. No wonder this season feels crappy.

As for the designs of the Personas, I have to mention that they are the weirdest looking ‘monsters’ ever. They could even be creepy in my books. Maybe except for Yuu’s main Persona because he is main character so his Persona has got to be designed like main character-ish too. It’s like the group sat down and tried to brainstorm for some designs. They want them to look badass and mighty but with time running out, they just go with whatever they had. So watching the bunch of Personas even in action sometimes made me think that this is what happens if this was a darker version of Pokemon if they evolved even further. To be fair, their evolved version designs look much better although it is a shame that they are not often used. I suppose it is fair in the sense that your first being won’t be that good looking but when you try harder and level up, your stats in terms of abilities and aesthetics would also look better.

As for the human characters, no qualms about their bishoujo and bishonen design. But I’m just wondering why Chie and Yukiko are allowed to wear a different set of clothes as their school uniform because nobody seems to be complaining. Sure, it’s to make them stand out but really, the school authorities don’t seem to care? Okay, upon closer look they might be wearing a different coloured sweater over it but all the time? Also, I find their school uniform design a bit funny because it has this lines all over that makes it look like it is not completely sewn or the sewing wasn’t done properly and hence you see all those ‘stitch lines’.

On a trivial note, having them wearing glasses so they can see better in the fog and as a device to summon their Persona, I thought it makes them look a bit like nerds… I think the idea of having glasses is symbolic for one to have a clear view if everything looks blurry but I have perfect vision and putting glasses on only makes me dizzy! Also, if everything else fails, maybe they’ll just look smarter in glasses…

There are many recognizable seiyuus lending their talents here. Probably since this is an ‘old’ anime where most of my favourite recognizable ones are still around as compared to recently where they are slowly retiring one by one. Yeah, feeling old and having nostalgia. Anyway, the recognizable ones include Yui Horie as Chie, Ami Koshimizu as Amagi, Showtaro Morikubo as Yousuke, Rie Kugimiya as Rise, Romi Paku as Naoto, Kana Hanazawa as Marie, Sayaka Ohara as Margaret, Tomokazu Seki as Kanji, Aoi Yuuki as Aika, Yuko Kaida as Yamano and Tsubasa Yonaga as Naoki. I also recognized Kappei Yamaguchi as Kuma but I want to note that throughout the series as that beary character, he sounds so gay ~kuma! Maybe that is how the character sounds but I can’t help feel with that kind of fun voice, it makes Kuma so gay even though he is a (almost) lady killer. Perhaps Ichijou is a minor character, I didn’t recognize Daisuke Ono behind it.

Other casts include Daisuke Namikawa as Yuu (Rock in Black Lagoon), Akemi Kanda as Nanako (Asuna in Negima series), Unshou Ishizuka as Doujima (Bunta in Initial D), Mitsuaki Madono as Adachi (Kon in Bleach), Kouji Haramaki as Namatame, Kanae Itou as Ebihara (Sanae in Shinryaku! Ika Musume), Hina Nakase as Konishi (Ran in Tayutama), Hitomi Nabatame as Kashiwagi (Rokumon in Kyoukai No Rinne), Tsuyoshi Takahashi as Kubo, Ryou Agawa as Ootani and Osamu Ryuutani as Morooka. A special mention for Isamu Tanonaka as Igor. I read all his lines are taken from previous recordings because he passed away a year before the original Persona went on air and hence he is credited as special performance in the credits. Rest in peace.

Many of the songs in the series are sung by Shihoko Hirata (unless stated). Honestly, the hip hop and funky beat songs seem to fit the series’ themes better. Like Pursuing My True Self (special opening for first episode), Sky’s The Limit (first opening), Beauty Of Destiny by Shihoko Hirata featuring Lotus Juice (first ending), Next Chance To Move On (Golden’s opening), Shadow World (Golden’s special first episode opening) and Never More (final episode 25 ending) but this one sounds more like slow hip hop. They are mainly sung in English. Therefore I somehow feel rock pieces don’t feel right. Maybe in battle scenes but for opening and ending themes, not so much. Like Key Plus Words (third opening), Dazzling Smile (Golden’s ending), True Story by Rie Kugimiya (special opening for episode 9). The special ending theme for that Loveline episode, Koi Suru Meitantei is as cute as you would expect Yui Horie to be.

But slow pieces like The Way Of Memories -Kizuna No Chikara- (second ending) isn’t too bad. True Feelings is a slow piece that is okay as special ending theme. However when they play this in a couple of important battle scenes, it sounds so out of place. I think they want to prop up the feels but I still feel weird hearing this slow song played during heated battles. Believe it or not, Subete No Tamashii No Uta by Shoji Meguro is an instrumental piece. No, it is more like an opera piece with the soprano belting out quite a nice one.

Overall, the series is just average. Just slightly above average since I’m feeling generous. Kids going around solving murder mysteries and fight mysterious beings with their strange alter egos is definitely not the best ingredients for an anime out there. Maybe it works in the game but when you adapt it to anime, it loses its shine. This is why video games and TV or movies cannot and do not mix or go well with each other. The anime has its own funny moments for laughs but otherwise the blatant power of friendship saves the day, saves the people, saves the world feels kinda ridiculous. But it doesn’t stop me from wanting to go watch Persona 5. I’ll still go watch that and expecting more or less the same thing. This series might try to teach us about accepting who we are and not give a damn about what naysayers say about you. So with that said, can I accept this series as just average then? Everybody wants to live a lie that suits their preferences, right? Yeah, what the fog ~kuma?!