More Makoto? Sure. Don’t mind if I do.
— It’s Akechi 24/7 for the adaptation, and I guess I don’t mind it so much. The anime does a better job of portraying Akechi’s cult of personality. You know he’s popular in the game, but certainly not to this extent.
— Oh hey, a new OP. It’s fine, I guess?
— We also get to see the Phantom Thieves handle one of their many requests from the Phan-site. This involves going into Mementos and taking out a mini-boss of sorts. I actually prefer Persona 4‘s questing system to what we have here. The problem with Persona 5‘s requests is that there’s no variety to any of them. Like I said, you go to Mementos and you kill a mini-boss. Each and every single time. It’s boring, and as a result, none of them are memorable. In Persona 4, you often had quests where all you did was simply talk to the NPCs in town. I wish they had brought those back, because Persona 5 has its own colorful cast of NPCs.
— I’ve never had a yakisoba pan. Plus, I think the ones that I can get in the US probably wouldn’t be very good.
— This is a sneaky episode. It actually doubles as a recap episode, and while CloverWorks does a decent job of disguising the flashbacks, I’m still not keen on them.
— Afterwards, Ren and Makoto decide to hang out some more. Ren has formed a close bond with both Ryuji and Yusuke already. He’s about to max out Makoto real soon. I guess Ann is the odd girl out. I wonder why they’re delaying her story. In the game, you can actually wrap up Ann’s story relatively early. Makoto, on the other hand, is actually a bit of a challenge. Curiously enough, you need a very high charisma stat to finish it, but I’ll get to that in a bit.
— Makoto tells Ren to follow her from a distance, because she wants to feel as though she’s experiencing a red light district for the first time all on her own. Our hero, however, is literally right behind her.
— Getting to know Makoto better also means getting to know Eiko better. Unfortunately, I don’t think the game gives the anime much material to work with. Eiko’s character is paper-thin in both iterations of the story. In any other series, Makoto’s mini-arc would probably take at least two or three episodes to complete (I’m thinking of how much time a character in a show like Clannad would get, for example). I guess we just don’t have the luxury of time on our side. It would’ve been cool to see a 50-episode version of Persona 5, but that would never happen. Persona 4 is more popular than it, right?
— That’s one sad panda. This adaptation makes me a sad panda sometimes too.
— When Ren returns to Leblanc afterwards, Yusuke gives us more flashbacks to chew on. But hey, you get to see a shota version of the guy.
— I got a real problem with this particular scene. Sae isn’t supposed to know that Makoto is a member of the Phantom Thieves yet. You actually get one of the worst bad endings for selling out your teammates. You need to protect their identities until the very end of the interrogation. This way, you can convince Sae to help you out with a certain little scheme. Plus, Ren isn’t actually telling her every single little detail. He’s only telling her about the bad guys and why they were targeted. I mean, c’mon, did you really think he would tell her about Kawakami moonlighting as a maid-for-hire.
— I spy a Catherine reference in the background. I want to get the upcoming remaster, but I hate puzzle games. They’re just not fun for me to play. At the same time, however, I really like Catherine‘s story. Hmmm. Oh wait, they’re adding another girl to the story, huh?
— Every time Atlus tries to add a new character to their remastered games, it’s been a mixed bad. P4: Golden‘s Marie is a joke of a character. Strange Journey Redux‘s Alex isn’t as bad, but she doesn’t really fit into her game’s overall feel and aesthetics either. She looks like a generic anime character dropped into the SMT universe.
— C’mon, Makoto, getting into a top university has a lot of obvious benefits. It has a lot of cons as well, but she should be smart enough to know that connections are everything. Nobody cares what you actually learn at Harvard. They only care that you went there at all.
— Makoto’s story isn’t super complicated. Like a priestess, she’s duty-bound. She has done her best to live up to other people’s expectations. Unfortunately, you have to trust that other people have the right expectations for you. Since she wasn’t happy with her life up until this point, she’s now questioning what she wants out of her own life.
— She begins to open up to Ren about her father. He apparently became a police officer to fight society’s corruption. It’s funny, because I see the police as nothing but corrupt. Obviously, recent incidents in my own country has colored my impression of our public servants in blue. All I know is that I’m not necessarily safe around a cop.
— There’s a throwaway scene in which Mishima meets up with the worst girl in the game. I think somebody needs to have their heart stolen. Y’know, it would’ve been fun to explore a Mishima-themed palace.
— We also see Ren and Morgana enjoy watching some movies on his new CRT TV (I can’t get over that). This is yet another activity that I personally ignored while playing the game. I simply never bothered to rent tapes. When my friend (who was also playing the game at the same time) mentioned how she kept forgetting to return her tapes, I was so confused. What tapes?!
— Eiko, Makoto’s new friend, falls for a male host, and we later find out that he’s just trying to scam her. But in order to get closer to the new couple, Makoto has to pretend to go on a double date with Eiko. This means Ren has to up his charisma. This was the reason why it took me so long to max out Makoto’s social link on my first playthrough. And here I thought she would want me to be super smart or something. In the adaptation, however, it looks like all Ren has to do is buy a gaudy necklace.
— In the end, Makoto is able to protect her friend from the predatory asshole. Still, I like Eiko’s reaction to everything. When you show people the truth, they rarely take it with a smile. The only reason she fell for the guy in the first place was because she has problems of her own to deal with. Problems that can’t be solved with just a slap.
— Afterwards, the rest of the Phantom Thieves confront the male host in Mementos. I don’t actually remember if this happens in the game or not. I definitely know you don’t need to complete a request in order to max Makoto out. Ah well, like I said, the requests are not memorable.
— Ren calls forth Suzaku, which is odd. It’s a level 19 Persona, so we’re actually going backwards.
— These cards are odd, too. They don’t blend in with the rest of the animation, and why are they so flat looking? Why is he just standing in front of a blank, red background. This does not match Persona 5‘s aesthetics at all.
— In the end, Makoto decides to become a police officer like her father. So she doesn’t want to live her life by other people’s expectations, but she’s going to more or less follow her father’s footsteps. Eh. Plus, Chie also wanted to become a police officer, so I feel like Atlus’s writers need to vary things up a bit.
— This angle just looks weird. It’s like she’s missing an eye.
— But that’s all for this week’s episode. Looks like we’ll finally meet our big nerdbait the next time we reconvene.
— As for me, I need to take a break. I’ll be back later to talk about some of the newer shows.