Persona 5 The Animation Ep. 17: Matricide

Haha, yeah… adults suck. As an adult, I should know.

— The cold opening has Akechi interacting with Iwai. I guess this makes sense. The Detective Prince whould ideally look into the strange goods being bought and sold at Iwai’s shop. If Atlus ever goes back and do a remaster of the game, they should fill in the narrative gaps. Persona 5 is a long, looooong game, but it still doesn’t feel as fleshed out as it could’ve been. A lot of the runtime is often just your team going over their strategy ad nauseum. Some gameplay balances would be nice, too. Oh, don’t forget a new superboss. Sorry, but um… the twins were kinda pathetic.

— After convincing Futaba to unlock the door to her heart, our lovable Phantom Thieves can finally tackle the next major boss: Futaba’s mom in the form of a gryphon. Well, I think she’s supposed to the Sphinx, but I don’t remember the Sphinx ever having wings.

— As a boss, I didn’t like Wakaba very much. She’s probably my second least favorite behind the very next bad guy (we’ll get to him when the time comes). What I dislike about this fight is just how slowly it unfolds. You can’t do any real damage to Wakaba while she’s in the air, but you also have no way to get her down to your level until Futaba shows up midfight. Then even once you reach the second half of the fight, you waste turns waiting for one of your teammates to fire the ballista. If Wakaba tries to do her dive bomb move, she flies up so high into the air that not even spells can reach her. At that point, you have no choice but to just buff up and get ready to defend. Basically, I hate slow-paced fights.

— The animation is looking good as always. I know they’re fixing it in the blu-rays, but c’mon…

— Morgana makes a big deal out of Futaba entering her own Palace, but nothing really comes of it.

— So if you haven’t been paying attention, Futaba just needed to remind herself that her mother never hated her. Her mother never abused her. Though to be fair, Wakaba neglected Futaba a bit, but what’s important is that Futaba was not responsible for her mother’s death. Unfortunately, a bunch of evil guys from the government read a fake suicide letter that pretty much pinned the blame on the poor girl. It was kind of overkill, though. They already managed to make Wakaba’s death look like a suicide (nobody else knew anything about the Metaverse back then), so they didn’t need to break Futaba’s mind as well. By pulling this little stunt, the bad guys just went from evil conspirators to moustache-twirling idiots.

— After finally realizing that she isn’t at fault, Futaba awakens to her Persona. Aaaaand here comes the tentacles. Oh, Atlus. I mean, when was the last time you saw a UFO that had tentacles? Usually, they say everything looks sexual in anime if you take it out of context, but even with context, this scene is an eyebrow-raiser.

This is a static shot and CloverWorks still can’t get Ren’s face right.

— For some reason, we don’t even get to see the ballista arrow puncture Wakaba’s chest. I guess that would’ve been too gory for Persona 5?

— Ren whips out White Rider, so his level is at least 39. Our Fool is growing up so fast! Too bad his face is still busted.

Speaking of busted faces…

— After the evil Wakaba is defeated, the good one shows up to say a few nice words to Futaba. I’m inclined to think that she’s nothing more than yet another product of Futaba’s cognition. The fact that she shows up at all means that Futaba has fully recovered from her trauma. On the other hand, it would be silly if a fragment of her actual mother somehow persisted within the girl all this time. Still, the idea of the girl being praised by an aspect of herself is also amusing in a different way.

— Futaba’s overall design is alright, but I’m not fond of her helmet.

— Look at that janky-ass Makoto standing there off the right. Sigh.

— The team takes a peek at the sarcophagus and sees that it is empty. Morgana comes to the conclusion that Futaba herself was the treasure! So she entered her own Palace, awakened to her own Persona within her Palace, fought a evil version of her mother born from her cognition, and last but not least, the treasure is… her. Umm… I mean, it’s possible I’m misunderstanding how this whole Metaverse thing works, but at the same time, I don’t think the execution here is as clean as it could’ve been. This part of the story definitely got a little too convoluted for its own good.

— We immediately jump to the Phantom Thieves escaping from Futaba’s fast collapsing Palace. Unfortunately, CloverWorks left out the weird part where everyone pretty much jumped into Morgana’s asshole. No, really. The adaptation doesn’t have to copy the game scene for scene, but if you’re going to change things up, you shouldn’t remove personality from the story. They didn’t even bother to replace this scene with something equally zany.

— While the team anxiously waits for Futaba to recover in the real world, Sojiro hands them tickets to the Skytree. This is new to the adaptation, and I like it. This is what I was talking about earlier. If you make changes to the story, add personality. Watching everyone hang out as friends is a big plus. These moments of camaraderie are largely what the game was missing anyways. Your team rarely ever hung out unless they had a mission to tackle.

— Playing up Makoto’s love for Buchimaru is also amusing.

— When Futaba casually strolls into Leblanc without issues (she had been a shut-in up until now), Sojiro is moved to tears. But again, because the show has devoted almost no attention to the guy, there’s little to no emotional payoff here.

— With a single push of a button on her smartphone, Futaba turns the tables on Medjed. But for some reason, even office workers are caught up in the situation. They’re just trying to do their work!

— This is where we learn that Futaba is the original Medjed. Like I said in the previous post, this plays into the idea that vigilantes are always in danger of losing their identity to someone else. She used to be Medjed, but now she’s not. If a shady individual also has access to the Metaverse, they can certainly do terrible things under the guise of the Phantom Thieves.

— But from another point of view, I just felt like the game pandered to hard with Futaba’s character. Hot nerdy type who likes anime, games, ramen, and is also a genius hacker. Oh yeah, she even likes to meme it up. Eh.

— Oh well, at least they left out the silly part where the girl claims that every programmer’s code is like their fingerprint and thus recognizable. Yeah, no.

Poor Morgana… you never get any sushi. To be fair, raw fish isn’t ideal for cats. And with that, our episode comes to an end.

— I just don’t see how we can fit the rest of the story in the remaining seven episodes (assuming that there are only that many episodes left). We still have three and a half dungeons to tackle. The big operation following the casino should probably take an entire episode by itself to cover. The big plot twist at the very end would take another episode. Ren hasn’t even touched most of his social links. If they devoted so much time to Makoto, Ryuji, and Yusuke, then they also need to give Ann, Futaba, and Haru the same treatment. All this in the next seven episodes? Sorry, but how can this be done without CloverWorks judiciously lopping off major parts of the story?

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2 Replies to “Persona 5 The Animation Ep. 17: Matricide”

  1. The sphinx Wakaba looks even dumber in this anime. Anime’s attempt to make its characters creepy always only able to make them look dumb or braindead…

    “By pulling this little stunt, the bad guys just went from evil conspirators to moustache-twirling idiots.”

    Yeah, I remember that I stop playing for a moment to facepalm when I get to this point like wat… If Atlus is doing this to make sure no one is rooting for the bad guys (or at least that is what Persona fans told me), they really should just make the bad guys ugly as f*ck.

    “Sorry, but how can this be done without CloverWorks judiciously lopping off major parts of the story?”

    The most logical answer is obviously a brand new season, but I’ll be surprised and amused if this anime just end after recruiting Haru or the betrayal and just told its viewer to play the game to find out what happen next. Lol

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