Persona 5: The Animation Episode 5 [The Phantoms]
Well… this episode actually felt a lot better compared to the first four episodes. The episode’s pacing felt a little wacky at certain points, but it was actually paced decently. I feel like this episode was the cool down and build up for the next arc episode and I was surprised on how well everything was handled it. While it wasn’t perfect, this just felt like a better episode overall. I feel like they’re learning from the past few eps on what they did wrong and are SLOWLY working to build this series back up… hopefully. I was half expecting the episode to immediately jump into the next arc, so seeing that they stepped off the gas a little gave me some hope for the series.
The episode starts off with another Akechi centered scene with him getting interviewed. I honestly don’t like Akechi all that much but I bet the Akechi fangirls are over the moon (considering he’s appeared in literally every episode so far…) but I digress. It’s pretty obvious that the anime is building Akechi up for something and the surprise they had announced is prooobably going to involve him in some way. So I guess we’ll see what they have in store for this guy, since he’s got a lot more development thus far compared to the game.
Ren and Ryuji go back to Untouchable to pawn off the medal they got from stealing Kamoshida’s treasure and after an intimidating moment, was given the money for it, which they spend celebrating their recent victory at this fancy buffet. It is a well deserved feast and I’m glad that they didn’t drag this scene out like they did in the game. So the three have separate run ins with different people and this was a part I both disliked and actually really liked. The guy that Ryuji and Ren bumped into in front of the elevator was… rather anticlimactic. In the game, it held A LOT of significance but here they kind of just swept it to the side as if he’s just this random no good adult. Which COULD work in hindsight, but the fact that Ren didn’t have much of a reaction when he saw or heard his voice compared to his somewhat anxious reaction in the game, left the scene feeling not quite right.
Now the next scene is what I actually really enjoyed. In the game, we only got to hear of Ann’s problem with one of the patrons, but here we actually got to see it and saw exactly what was wrong with society. So many people around Ann were putting her down just because of what someone who was of higher standing said and that she’s just a kid. The overall message of this entire scene was portrayed so well, I was really impressed by it. And from these two separate run ins, we can clearly see why the three want to help change society. Though someone commented how this ended up feeling like Kid’s Next Door. Which is kinda is lol. Got to stick it to those cruddy adults.
The scene where they discuss becoming Phantom Thieves was done quite well. I liked how it wasn’t just at the buffet but they talked about it overtime through out the rest of the day before coming to a conclusive decision. This entire composition of them talking over their future plans as phantom thieves while doing other things and texting about it, they really are learning on how to make better scenes. Shot composition is still a little questionable. Baby steps. And then Mishima abruptly approaches them, announcing his stance as a Phantom Thief supporter and also the one who created the Phan Site.
MAKOTO HAS FINALLY MADE HER OFFICIAL APPEARANCE. Outside of her cameo appearances, she has finally made her speaking role and… I honestly miss her english voice. But that’s just my preference. Anyways, she is now tasked by the principal to investigate the Phantom Thieves and the suspicious look she gave Ryuji, Ren and Ann was… oh boy. Can’t wait to see more of my beeb in action~
Now, this is when the episode’s pacing gets a little wacky, but not half as bad as the other episodes. Morgana brings the newly formed group, The Phantoms to a new area called Mementos, the collective unconscious of the general public. Also, the fact that Morgana can transform into a bus because there is a lot of people who associate cats with turning into buses gives me life. (That Totoro reference tho) Despite this being yet another info dump, the scene was made a bit more dynamic with showing off the tunnels of Mementos and the shadows that inhabit the area. They venture in to find someone who posted the name of their ex who had been stalking them since their breakup, asking for the Phantoms to help change their heart. The Nakanohara scene was fairly rushed as they jumped into that scene really abruptly with a single all out attack. And can I say, I got comically angry at the fact that they changed the All Out Attack screen to match the game. While it definitely looks “nicer” than how it was before, my question is why did they choose to change it NOW??? Still didn’t have the nice sound effects to match the timing but I suppose it’s getting closer to the game quality.
We got an interesting name drop from Nakanohara’s shadow being Madarame. Definitely something to remember. We also get more insight into what Morgana is currently going through with his missing memories and feeling like Mementos and palaces have the key to helping him return to his original, human form. What I didn’t like about this scene was only Morgana was stating the conditions when all of the thieves pitched in ideas to what rules to abide by. But that’s just a minor nitpick.
And then a little of Takemi and Sojiro’s confidants were crammed into the last remaining bit of the episode. I had hoped for a smoother integration of the confidants, but at this point, I can’t really hope for quality in this anime. So I guess I’ll be content with the surprise of actually well done scenes. Though it was pretty surprising to have met Sae and Akechi so early on in the story since they appear later. But Akechi being sketchy is already quite evident considering how wary Morgana is of him right off the bat.
But I think my biggest gripe was how rather randomly MA BOI appeared in the last moment in the episode. And yes, while seeing ma boi was quite the treat for me, I was a little disappointed that he wasn’t foreshadowed or even showing up in the background as he did in the game. They were doing so well with cameoing characters beforehand… But in the end, it’s just a minor nitpick.
Overall, I actually liked this episode a lot more than the past episodes and was I honestly impressed by some of the scenes. Hopefully it can keep up with this momentum as we spiral into the next arc.