Persona 5: The Animation Episode 9 [Operation Maid Watch]
Oh man… I was really worried about what this episode would bring after seeing what the title was last week. And those worries became reality because this episode just felt super random and out of place. Anyways, we start off with the group taking down an enemy in mementos and end up with dirty clothing that they wash in the real world to sell off.
At school, we get to see that people are still wary of Ren and gossip about him is still flying around. Though definitely not as bad as it first started out… I think? I honestly have to go back to the early episodes to see if the rumor mill was that bad or if the show even demonstrated how bad the gossip was. I had a small giggle when they showed the stalker chick and I’m amused that they even gave her a small part in the series.
Operation Maid Hunt kicks off with Ryuji pulling Ren aside to show him a leaflet for this Maid Service, which strangely catches Ren’s interest. What’s this? Are we actually getting a little more of a personality out of Ren? Despite how strange it may be? Well, better than nothing I suppose. Anyways, they devise this rather weird plan to get this “service” and Mishima enters the fray, wanting in on it as well for “research purposes.” I don’t know what sort of research you’re after but there’s no way I believe you’re “it’s to catch the bad guys” ruse. What even is this…?
The three end up in an empty room of a tenant that had just moved out in Ryuji’s complex and call the maid services. Though Ryuji and Mishima end up chickening out at the last moment, leaving Ren to have to deal with the maid. And after a series of weird interactions, (“I’m a dad” killed me) the maid ended up being Kawakami-sensei, which was hinted in the first episode upon her appearance. Everyone ended up being found out with Ren having to swear to secrecy. Honestly, I never really liked Kawakami’s confidant. I like her as a character, but her whole story with moonlighting as a maid was just really weird to me. Her overall story is fine, but the maid business was just too strange for me. Back to the episode, Ms. Chouno ended up cornered Kawakami to question her about her leaving early and missing most of the faculty meetings. Thankfully Ren saved her by saying that he had a lot of questions and often required Kawakami’s help in his studies.
Now, the second half of the episode left me kind of baffled as we just delve straight into Ryuji’s confidant like out of nowhere. It felt so random and contrived with Ryuji’s former track teammates just show up out of nowhere to tell him it’s his fault again that the track team disbanded. Though what was interesting was that Ren called Kawakami to talk about the situation with Ryuji and that instead of just kind of being there while Ryuji did his thing, he actually decided to look into the situation himself and try to help him because they’re friends. What I also liked about this scene was that Kawakami started having second thoughts about Ryuji and started to understand him a little more instead of just continuing to pass him off as some delinquent who swung at Kamoshida because he lost his temper. She then passes off some information to Ren about the new track coach who was apparently very close to Kamoshida, prompting Ren to take more action.
Ren and Ryuji follow the new track coach, Mr. Yamauchi as he goes out to eat with one of his colleagues. Ren overhears him saying he’s using the track team as a mere comeback story and boost his name. And in the process was planning on throwing one of the current track members out because he’d be difficult to handle. When said track member was being confronted by the others, Ryuji steps in and tries to settle the matter. Things end up with Ryuji letting the past go and even having the other members take a swing at him if it’ll make them feel better. Now I understand that they’re old teammates and feels responsible for taking their chance at scholarships in track away, but I still can’t wrap my head around with Ryuji trying to help them out despite them being pretty douchey people in general. I mean, come on, after everything that he said and did, the team essentially beats him up. Screw those guys, seriously.
The fact that they literally sprinted (pun intended) through Ryuji’s confidant in less than half an episode blow my mind. And not in a good way. Too many things are just going on in this episode that I literally can’t grasp what I just watched. What it all boils down to is that this episode was filler and not even good filler. It felt like they were just shoving all sorts of confidants in this one episode. A little bit of Takemi (that felt like it had no business even being in this episode), the start of Kawakami’s confidant and Ryuji’s entire confidant story. Maybe it’s my cold talking, but I literally cannot fully comprehend what I just watched.
The few highlights I can garner from this episode was Yusuke being his typical silly self as he just immediately starts sketching on the ground in Mementos and wondering how much the treasure they got would go for and reminding himself it’s for the Phantom Thief funds. Out of everyone in the group, I think Yusuke is the only character that actually felt like himself from the game. Sure, he’s a little watered down compared to the game, but at least his character mostly feels intact. (Also the fact that Yusuke of all people is getting flustered over Ann taking a bath in the room over at the bathhouse lol) And did I see a Haru sighting? Good to see that they’re still cameoing her doing stuff at school. I actually also liked how Kawakami came to an understanding of Ryuji and she was able to see firsthand that he isn’t what she thought he was. And while it wasn’t a lot, we actually get SOME personality from Ren that made him feel like an actual character rather just a stand in to help move the plot along.
Overall, this episode kind of left me with a headache. Whether it’s because of the terrible pacing or my cold, or maybe even both, who knows. All the events just felt all over the place with so many different confidants just kind of shoved into the episode because they don’t know where to fit it all in the regular plot. However, the preview for next episode has me EXCITED because a certain someone will be stepping into the limelight for this next arc~