Persona 5 The Animation Ep. 9: Hot for teacher

Like Makoto, Sadayo is so close to being the best girl. What a shame. 

— C’mon, Ren… a Slime? You recruited a Slime? You know it has two elemental weaknesses right? While we’re on the topic, there are some pretty badass low level Personas like Neko Shogun that I hope we’ll eventually get to see. Black Frost is also pretty overpowered in every SMT game. I just got done playing Strange Journey Redux, and I think I used Black Frost for about 20 levels.

— At least the adaptation captures Yusuke’s eccentricity.

— The dirty equipment is a nice addition, too. But honestly, I rarely bothered with them in the actual game. I wasn’t going to waste my time doing the laundry, and by the time a certain someone could do it for me, I had stopped really worrying about equipment.

Oh my…

— Leave it to the adaptation to outshine the game in only one area: fanservice. In the game, she definitely declined the invitation. I guess the anime simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

— Looking over some of these LPs, we’re still missing the trip to the TV station as well as a handful of scenes with Makoto. I imagine we’ll get the latter soon enough, but I’m wondering about the former…

— So this is how Ryuji caught wind of the maid service…

— Look at these minor characters that we’ll probably never see again. As I was going through the game, I thought the aspiring reporter would have a larger role. Unfortunately, she didn’t.

This girl is kinda fun. There’s a similar thing in Persona 3 where a girl likes a guy all year long, but when he finally takes an interest in her, she stops caring.

— Oh hey, a Haru sighting. If the adaptation wants to get a leg up on the game, it should try and introduce her a little earlier. Haru’s biggest problem in the game was that she joined the team so late, and as a result, all of her character development occurs within her social link. She never felt like she became a proper member of the team. You only ever really get to know if you bothered to garden.

— That’s another thing that bugged me: gardening would’ve been so useful at the start of the game. By the time it was available to me, however, I already had plenty of ways to recover SP. A few of Persona 5’s mechanics are poorly implemented, which is surprising considering the game’s overall polish.

— See, the maid service makes me think of escorts, and y’know, escorts imply sex… but I’m not entirely clear whether or not sex is involved here. Are these prostitutes or not? I really wish games like Persona would stop beating around the bush.

— Mishima looks really scrawny here. Kid needs to eat some protein.

— At least Ren is showing a bit of personality. He’s still way too soft-spoken. If you think about it, Tae is the only person he’s been talking to aside from his teammates. This guy isn’t bothering to level up his social links at all.

— Operation Maidwatch is finally underway.

— Awesome, I picked the same dialogue option too.

— Sure sounds like she’s offering sex

— I also picked this line as well.

— So as much as I would like to woo a hot teacher, being able to date Sadayo is so inappropriate especially considering we just dealt with Kamoshida. Sure, sure, Kamoshida was a creep who threw unwanted advances on his female students. On the other hand, there’s nothing but consent between Ren and Sadayo. In fact, he’s the aggressor if you play out the social link. He has to convince her to be with him. But again, considering how a teacher just got busted for sex-related stuff, Sadayo is a special kind of stupid for getting involved with one of her students. If Ren was a college student, I’d be all for this relationship. I even like Sadayo’s character design. Her regular hair is far superior to Becky’s. I guess I kinda like the semi-messy look. Nevertheless, the fact that he’s only a high school student, though… yeesh. He’s not even a senior who’s going to graduate! Like most anime protagonists, he’s a second year, so she has to wait even longer to be with him… not that she waited at all if you went after her.

— Plus, this is a huge departure from the previous games. I couldn’t really date Ms. Toriumi in Persona 3 even though I guess Makoto kinda had a relationship with Maya in that online game. And as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t date the hot nurse in Persona 4 either. As a result, I was really surprised to learn that Sadayo was actually an option. In fact, all of the adult characters are. Neither Makoto nor Yu could even get anywhere close to the adult women in their games.

— After he helped Sadayo with Ms. Chouno, she was supposed to give him the okay to start requesting her personally from the maid service, but I guess that can wait.

— I guess we’re finally leveling up a social link with our party members, and Ryuji gets to go first. I don’t remember Ryuji’s side story being very interesting, though. Just more drama with the track team. I remember not finishing it on my first playthrough, because you needed to wait for Ryuji’s invitation to scope out a restaurant. By the time I got the invitation, I was already in December. Whoops.

— Wuuuuut? Ren’s going to call Sadayo anyways? Despite everything I said above, however, leveling Sadayo’s social link is well worth it. The benefit you get when you max her out is probably the best one in the game. Basically, doing Mementos or a Palace leaves you too tired to do anything at night. Sadayo lets the player have their nights back. That’s a huge boon in a game where you have a limited amount of time to get stuff done.

— But interestingly enough, the adaptation uses this opportunity to merge a bit of Sadayo and Ryuji’s story. Ren calls her up because he wants to learn more about the disbanded track team. That’s taking liberties with the story that I don’t mind so much. Better than him calling his teacher just to have her clean his room and subtly flirt with him for money.

— Oh man, speaking of the restaurant that I had to scope out… Like I said earlier, you had to wait on Ryuji in the game. In the adaptation, however, Ren takes the initiative even if he wants to act all cool about it. Eh, I like the change. He’s being more proactive about helping his friends. One of the biggest complaints people had about Persona 5 was that the group never felt as close to each other as Persona 4’s group. Then again, I’d argue that Persona 4 had too much fluff. I don’t want any hypothetical Persona 5 Special Edition to come with another painful idol concert.

— Damn that former coack.

— At this rate, however, it looks like we’re going to max out Ryuji’s social link in a single episode.

— I dunno, though… wouldn’t Ryuji’s breakthrough make more sense at the end?

— Sadayo’s far off to the side, but nevertheless, the adaptation includes Sadayo in this scene. I think this makes sense. In the game, she starts trusting Ren too easily. Seeing the kid go to such lengths to help Ryuji out, however, is a strong argument in his favor. She can’t ignore that. This should also move Sadayo to be a better teacher, because up until this point, she’s been writing both Ren and Ryuji off as troublemakers. Obviously, you can’t judge a book by its cover (even though that’s what covers are for…).

— Then again, she’s smiling as she listens to Ryuji’s former teammates beat on him. Japanese teachers are weird, man.

RYUJI WILL NOW TAKE A MORTAL BLOW FOR YOU BUT JUST ONCE SO DON’T GET CARRIED AWAY

— Ren finally has a crappy novelty item to decorate his room with. I can’t wait until he puts up the chocolate fountain that runs all day and all night.

— Why are you guys talking like that at school?

— Well, she said she’d do his laundry.

— Okay, okay, next week’s episode is gonna be all about Makoto.

— And we’re probably headed for the TV station while we’re at it. The writers must be antsy since Akechi hasn’t gotten any screentime lately.

— Oh hey, Ren is at least level 20 now.

— I don’t remember this.

— Personally, I think they made Kaneshiro look too chubby to be intimidating.

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6 Replies to “Persona 5 The Animation Ep. 9: Hot for teacher”

  1. I see you are a man of taste as well… Kawami Kawakami is definitely my favorite alongside Makoto and Tae. Gunsmoke Junpei is pretty rad, too.
    But really, I felt like all the adult characters were significantly more interesting. I also get the feeling the game could have been set in a college at one point but someone came in and jammed all the usual highschool stuff into it. Then someone watched “Kids Next Door” and rewrote 80% of the party’s dialogue. I like the game but there’s such a tonal schizophrenia where it reaches for sharply mature subject matter while simultaneously handling it and the overall plot in the most childish way possible.
    The adults didn’t have the problem and maybe that why I liked them. Also because the character development in the party’s S.Links/Confidants felt like it happened in a bubble. Ryuji was insufferable outside of his confidant.

    Looking forward to Makoto aka “That one party member who could have been deeply interesting but they scrapped it in favor of a confidant primarily about some no-face NPC’s poor taste in men”. Hopefully they do her justice in the show.
    That we never got to see development between her and Sae, how she handles her father’s death, why she’s so keen on yakuza and Kamen Rider stuff, etc. but have to infer all the character she genuinely has through snips of conversation and side-details is annoying. What is this, Dark Souls? Just give us the character, don’t pigeonhole her into the designated “smart one” role and practically drop everything else about her so we have to dig through the scraps.
    Ryuji’s abusive drunken father and his attachment to his single mother, Ann’s absentee parents, Futaba being literally abused and treated like a dog as a child by a vicious uncle and hateful family, etc. SO MUCH could have been dealt with, handled and gone through. SO MUCH!
    But no, let’s be quirky and focus on ancillary things instead like Ann’s terrible idea to be a model or Futaba’s not-very-real agoraphobia (Watamote pulled it off better, that’s sad), etc. Ryuji’s is closer to something deeper but felt cheap to me after Kamoshida, like some kind of rehash that was never mentioned in the main plot at all, but maybe that’s just me.

  2. The social link level is very game-breaking in this game. My favourite in term of passive ability is the Temperance (more night time), Moon (inactive member gained EXP), Star (being able to switch member in battle is a HUGE improve)…In fact all of them are interesting gameplay-wise. I don’t really care about the gun upgrade guy and the Empress gardening stuff though. Like you said, it’s too bad the SP-vegetables came so late in the game. It does feel like some stuff they should put in the beginning part, like gardening in P4.

    Speaking of which, how was Strange Journey Redux?

    1. Speaking of which, how was Strange Journey Redux?

      Way more forgiving than the original. Waaaaay more forgiving. There are new sub-apps that pretty much break the game. Enemy Banish means you can avoid random encounters if you’re high enough level. This makes exploration a breeze if you’re revisiting old areas (and the game has a ton of backtracking as it is). There’s a sub-app that lets your demons keep fighting even if the MC is knocked out. Even Persona 5 doesn’t have this! There’s a sub-app that warns you if you’re about to walk into a warp/hole. Most of all, the MC now has “commander skills.” They’re pretty much party-wide buffs that are, again, game-breaking. One of them will block all status ailments on your team for three consecutive turns. No more worrying about Asura Roga charming your entire party. Another one nullifies enemy’s resistances for one turn. So even if, say, a big bad boss nullifies gun damage, you can still have your best demon do a Charge-Riot Gun combo with Gun Boost and Gun Amp for about 5k damage. Utterly broken.

      In terms of new content, there are three new endings that you can get by doing the extra optional dungeon. It takes about 10 to 15 hours, I guess? The new endings are… slightly better than the old ones? But it’s SMT and not Persona, so the endings are maybe like five minutes tops.

      People don’t like the new art, but I like that most of the NPCs now have a portrait. They’re also voiced, but only in Japanese. This doesn’t bother me, but I’ve seen a lot of complaints in reviews.

      All in all, I had a lot of fun with it. I’m about done with the game, though. I have no desire to beat the game a second time just to fight the four extra secret bosses. I’m actually thinking of grabbing the fan translation for the SNES SMT games and giving them a shot.

      1. Nice to see the main char has something to do in battles other than attacking physically and throwing items this time. One of my problem with Strange Journey (I actually find the original charming) is the fact that your main character frankly could not do much during battle.

        I played the original before, but just like you, I don’t feel like beating the game again for extra endings. The only ending I got is the Neutral one, only because I find myself attached to the crew too much to let them be brainwashed by the force of Law and Chaos…It’s funny as most of them have no portrait, let alone personality, and the one who interact with you the most (aside from the law and chaos heroes) is probably the AI Arthur, Dent – the dude who gave you various quest, Irvings who is nothing more than an item/weapon shop, and Anthony, that loser who keeps trying to score demons…But spending hours and hours grinding somehow made me feel some odd sense of comrade for them :))

        Have you tried the Devil Summoner sub-series? If not, I think you might find the setting (The “Taisho Democracy” time period before WWII) quite interesting.

        1. I own all of the SMT games on the PS2. After Persona 3 and 4, I kinda went on a binge and bought them all. But I was really bad at the games back then, so Nocturne and Digital Devil Saga 1 kicked my ass. I never got around to actually playing Devil Summoner even though I bought it. I’m kinda terrible with money like that. But yeah, I plan on getting around to them one day… maybe even now since I’m done with Strange Journey Redux. I have an urge to give SMT IV another shot, though. The last time I played it, I wasn’t thrilled with the story or the gameplay (I hate the smirking system).

  3. I honestly really liked this episode. I’m glad they gave Ren more of a personality. I understand that he is supposed to be a silent MC in the game, but for the anime, it doesn’t really work. I agree that he is still too soft-spoken compared to the game, but maybe that will change.

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