Persona 5: The Animation Episode 15 [I am Alibaba]
I’m dying… I’m literally dying. The fact that they ended the episode like THAT. I was in tears. What a way to kick off this arc. But before we get into that we essentially start off glossing over school tests and them going to the fireworks festival. Where we see a quick cameo of Haru. Which feels a lot better narrative wise since we’ve seen Haru around before this point. She’s important. We just don’t know why yet.
And then we got the silly scene of the guys having secretly ogled Ann while she squeezed out her yukata. I love how Yusuke just hides his face with his fan. What a pure bean~ Not to mention Morgana’s expression after Ann catches them. Hilarious~
With the Kaneshiro case boosting the Phantom thieves popularity, I think this is the point where I started getting super aggravated with Ryuji’s rather loud proclamations of them being the Phantom Thieves and wanting to be recognized for their actions. This will definitely come into play later, but enough on that. Not only had the Phantom Thieves been recognized by the public, they also attracted the attention of this international hacker group called Medjed. Medjed wants to bring down the Phantom Thieves seemingly out of spite by how popular the group has become instead of the justice they claim to be upholding. Though it also seems like they initially helped people, they soon started doing things out of self interest. Seeing as the group had not been very active until their proclamation of war, the Phantom Thieves decide to just call their bluff and leave it at that.
The scene where everyone’s phones went off in class except for Ren’s was actually pretty good and definitely gave off an eerie feeling. Though things get even more eerie when someone by the name of Alibaba contacts Ren, revealing themselves as the one who set everyone’s phones off and also how they know he is the lead of the Phantom Thieves. I remember getting super creeped out during this scene in the game and I think the anime did a good job with the creep factor, especially since they contacted him in the dark waiting room of Takemi’s clinic. They then demand the Phantom Thieves’ cooperation of stealing someone’s heart. However, they weren’t going to do it for free and offered to stop Medjed if they agreed.
Alibaba seems to know a lot about their operations as they know they have to come to a unanimous decision before going after a target and that they have to send a calling card. They even send them a blank one to prepare them. But while they know certain things, they don’t have the full picture. After a long conversation of texting with Alibaba, they find out the name of the person Alibaba wants to change the heart of. Futaba Sakura. They even threaten to expose their identities if they do not cooperate. However, their conversation is cut short after they ask to meet up with Alibaba and they just end canceling the deal. They get strangely defensive about meeting in person and it just feels so abrupt, especially since they just made the deal the previous day. I honestly felt like Alibaba’s threat ended way too fast and I had to go back and check to see how much time passed in the game. Needless to say, the anime sped through that part a little too fast in a day while it took about 3 in the game. There wasn’t any build up to Alibaba canceling their deal and it just felt like they made the deal and immediately called it off. But I should be used to this anime’s terrible pacing… won’t stop me from complaining about it though lol.
This next part left me feeling a bit empty though. They soon realize that Sojiro might have a connection to this Futaba Sakura. However, it later becomes clear there is a connection between the two when Ren overhears Sae threatening to take Sojiro to domestic court over his custody over Futaba, to which she’s probably hounded him over this matter for some time. Once Sojiro reluctantly concedes and Sae leaves, Ren tries to gently bring up who Futaba could possibly be. However, he’s met with the Sojiro I’m familiar with in the game and not the anime. He threatens Ren to behave himself or he’ll throw him out in a rather defensive and aggressive manner. This scene didn’t have the same impact as it did in the game. Since it doesn’t really feel like Ren and Sojiro have really bonded that much and he wasn’t all that aggressive and cold to him in the beginning. In the game, it made a lot more impact, especially since it felt as if you were truly getting closer to Sojiro and when this scene rolled around, it’s as if he suddenly went back to how he treated you at the very beginning of the game.
I feel like the anime TRIED to make the whole questioning whether or not Sojiro was abusing Futaba feel personal to Ren, but considering how the build up just wasn’t there, it fell flat to me. I loved the idea, but the execution was poor. Especially since it would have been so meaningful when everyone agreed with Ren after him stating he couldn’t view Sojiro as an abuser. While all that was going on, someone from Medjed (in reused animation might I add), cut out all the power in Shibuya as a demonstration that they mean business with the Phantom Thieves and demand they reveal their identities or else they’d attack Japan. It’s a pretty cowardly play if you ask me and terribly petty. However, the Phantom Thieves decide to take them on to uphold their own justice. But for that, they’ll need Alibaba’s help.
After deciding to go to Sojiro’s place in search for him and possibly Futaba, who they are suspecting is Alibaba. They sneak in to go investigate, especially since the door was unlocked. After the power goes out and a scream echoes through the house, Makoto and Ann start screaming as well and desperately just want to leave. I mean, I don’t blame them lol (says someone who was also afraid of the dark).
I honestly didn’t think that the Makoto clinging onto Ren scene would happen considering at the beginning of the scene she immediately grabbed onto Ann. But my hopes and dreams were realized. I found it hilarious how Ren just kind of, walks into her and she has this look of absolute terror on her face as she asks to hold onto him. Makoto please. And then the mother of all scenes takes place with someone slowly creaking down the stairs and Makoto is freaking the heck out until her legs just give out and she’s just kind of sitting on the floor while still holding onto Ren. Makoto turns around just as lightning flashes, revealing who we can only assume to be Futaba. And the episode ends with them just screaming at each other and I cannot deal with this because it was just so hilarious that I actually started crying. Ugh… it was so good. And the fact that the episode just ends there makes it even better. wipes away a tear
While this series is super… unnecessary considering just playing the game will give you so much more, I do have to admit there are some little gems scattered throughout. And I suppose it’s getting better? Not by much, but it seems like it’s trying. Sometimes…
Also, can we just talk about this randomly adorable cake they’re having at karaoke???