Time to wrap up Yusuke’s arc.
— I like how the calling card made a crumpling noise like it was just any random piece of paper.
— Geez, you think they overdid it a bit with the placement of the calling cards?
— That looks like a bargain bin Morgana. In the game, even when Morgana is in the real world, his character portrait for the most of the dialogue — 99% of the dialogue — still resembles his Metaverse form. Obviously, we can’t see any of that in the adaptation.
— Even though Madarame’s Palace was one of my least favorite dungeons in the game, I really liked the setup at the very end. It was reminiscent of heist movies like Ocean’s Eleven.
— One of the more disappointing things about the game is that it stopped embracing the whole thievery aspect. The group continued to call themselves the Phantom Thieves, but you felt less and less like a group of good-hearted delinquents and more like, well, the last two Persona game.
— But here’s my biggest criticism of Persona 5’s writing as a whole: the writers failed to follow through on their vision. From a distance, the cast is supposed to be seen as a group of troublesome delinquents, but despite their flaws, they’re actually good kids if you get to know them. That’s the idea, anyways. Unfortunately, it felt like the writers chickened out and decided to make everyone pure. For instance, Ryuji looks like a punk, but he’s even a bigger softie than Kanji. There’s no edge to him whatsoever. He’s just a big ol’ goofball with bleached hair. Ann is seen as a slut, but she’s totally innocent. It would’ve been nice if instead of getting yet another bog standard virginal maiden, Ann was simply more comfortable with her sexuality than the average person in Japan. As a result, the moral of the story is that this is totally okay. She’s not a slut just because she isn’t ashamed of her body and inherent sex appeal. But no, the writers pulled their punches. They didn’t push the whole social rebellion angle as far as they could, which is why the social links are, for the most part, rather disappointing. Then after those two, it’s like they stopped even trying. There’s nothing problematic about Yusuke, Makoto, etc. At his worst, Yusuke is just eccentric.
— Damn, the seculity here sure is tough!
— Having Sae interrogate Ren as a framing device for the vast majority of the story is a neat idea, but boy is that a long interrogation.
— I never had any trouble with the Madarame boss fight, but maybe I was overleveled or something.
— So there’s the real painting… like I said in last week’s post, Yusuke’s backstory is tragic. As harsh as it sounds, it’s also the only thing that I like about his character.
— We also get to see an interesting side to Madarame’s character. He stole the painting, and even if he didn’t kill Yusuke’s mother with his own hands, he let her die. But despite everything, Madarame still raised Yusuke with a surprising amount of affection. More affection than he ever gave to any of his other pupils. Even Yusuke can’t bring himself to truly hate his sensei. Most of the bad guys in the story are unquestionably horrible, but this old man is not as big of a monster as he initially seems. Still an asshole and a criminal, but there’s a layer of complexity there. On the other, there was nothing redeemable about Kamoshida.
— The background music here sounds like something out of Persona 4.
— I also think it would’ve been cooler if you slowly uncovered the true extent of Madarame’s crime through the course of infiltrating his palace. The idea is that he has his deep, dark secrets hidden away within his heart, and you can only learn the truth by plumbing the depths of his being. Instead, the writers simply had the guy stand in front of you and monologue for like five straight minutes. It’s clunky storytelling.
— The boss track always pumps me up.
— Ooh, they actually employ the 3D effect here pretty well in my opinion.
— So the black gunk that Madarame spews at people makes them weak to all elements. I think he only uses if the battle goes on long enough. You also get the chance to paint him with the same gunk, thereby rendering him vulnerable to every type of damage. But I beat him too quickly, so I never actually experienced this part in my own playthrough. I only learned about it by watching other people play the game on either Youtube or Twitch.
— Kinda feels like Ann and Ryuji get a lot of time together.
— Ren summons Leanan Sidhe, so he’s at least level 19.
— I think this is where we’re supposed to learn about the other Metaverse intruder, right? Looks like the adaptation decided to leave this out. Odd.
— How disgraceful.
— But at least Mr. Bowl Cut got some closure. It’s funny how he got a character portrait despite playing such a small role.
— With Madarame’s defeat, it’s time for some pretty awesome developments. Obviously, Makoto is next. We should also discover something shocking about Ren’s homeroom teacher. I think this is when you finally meet Hifumi, but again, I never really cared for her.
— In any case, I really hope Ren starts spending some time with his friends. The adaptation has all but completely ditched the social links. As much as I prefer Persona 5 over Persona 4, I don’t feel the same way about their anime adaptations. For now, at least.
— Yusuke just learned the truth behind his mother’s death. I feel like he should be a bit more emotionally worked up. He’s as cool as a cucumber, though.
— Aren’t those keys for Madarame’s place…? What would he still need them for?
— Hm, that hotpot is not bad for anime food. The flower-shaped carrots are a nice touch.
— I had deep dish pizza today, so I feel the same way.
— At least they left out the part where both Ryuji and Morgana try to look up Ann’s skirt.
— So Yusuke wants to learn more about his teammates, and I’m not happy that the adaptation left out the majority of Ren’s backstory. This is where we’re supposed to learn what truly happened. He saved the woman from being raped, but her attacker turned out to be an influential member of society. He was able to convince the woman to submit a false account of what happened that night. In other words, Ren was betrayed by the very person he tried to help. I can’t believe they didn’t show this part. It’s important, because when most people played the game, they couldn’t understand why Ren would actually get in trouble for helping the woman out. It is only when they get to this point in the story that they finally get to see the complete picture. It’s rather lousy of the adaptation to leave out such an important revelation.
— Morgana is blushing through his fur…
— Ann mentions how she feels as though she’s known Morgana for a long time… I don’t think the story ever satisfactorily resolved this random plot thread.
— Ren’s the leader, but he rarely ever has anything to say. What a waste of Jun Fukuyama.
— Next week’s episode is even titled “Operation maid watch.” Finally.