As far as narrative goes, Persona 5’s opening Palace and villain serves as one the strongest and poignant introductory chapters of the game and even if it’s slightly altered, the story and impact of it is something I enjoy. The only problem is that this would make the 3rd or 4th time I’m going through it so the impact is somewhat lost on me.
At the very least, I’m hoping to see more casual moments with the cast because that’s honestly what we’re all here for.
Joker goes through a dream sequence where he meets with the Velvet Room denizens and shares with Ryuji that Kamoshida’s Castle holds the means to fight back against him. They decide to snoop around and ask the volleyball team members but they all spurn the interrogation attempts on finding any testimonies on Kamoshida. They decide to ask some of the girls on the volleyball team and happen upon Ann and Shiho where Ann defends Shiho from saying anything out of concern for her best friend. On the journey back home, Joker catches sight of Ann and overhears one of her phonecalls and approaches her. She gets angered that Joker eavesdropped on her but eventually agrees to let most of her worries out. Kamoshida has been asking about Shiho from Ann in order to “help her” perform on the team but Kamoshida has recently getting more bold with his demands. Ann is at a loss on how to proceed to either help her friend and give into Kamoshida’s demands or abandon her and compromise Shiho’s position on the team. Joker himself is at a loss for words as he goes home. That same day, one of the other volleyball club members, Mishima, notifies Shiho that Kamoshida wants to see her in his office again.
It turns out that after Shiho and Ann took their leave earlier in the day, Morgana appeared in the real world to suggest a plan for the duo to “reform” Kamoshida by utilizing his palace. Before they proceeded with that strand of thought, Morgana warned them that tampering with someone’s psyche so directly might have adverse effects, the worst of it being death. The two begin to have second thoughts and ponder over the idea for another day. The wait and decision quickly ends the next day when Shiho throws herself off the school roof and ends up in the hospital. Joker and Ryuji confront Mishima and is able to get a confession out of him and Ryuji storms into Kamoshida’s office where Joker stops him from punching their Olympian gym instructor. This transgression has Kamoshida announce that he will suggest to have all three of them expelled. With no other option, Ryuji and Joker take Morgana’s offer to infiltrate Kamoshida’s palace and trigger a change of heart. With only a couple days til they are expelled, Joker now makes the necessary preparations to-
Oh not wait, this is the anime adaptation and they clear the palace in a quick montage. The trio enter Kamoshida’s treasure room and Morgana explains that they’ve only succeeded in planning a route to it, their next steps will have them manifest the treasure and then take it afterwards. Their plans go awry when noises have the trio backtrack to the entrance where they find Ann wandered into the range of the Metaverse Navigator and got herself caught by the guards. Joker is once again the one to spur Ann’s heart to fight back against all of Kamoshida’s shit and awakens her own Persona just like Ryuji did. A quick fight scene later, they quartet leave the palace and reaffirm their joint effort to bring Kamoshida to justice.
Yet another divergent event in the games where Ann joins up with the Phantom Thieves AFTER their foray into the palace to map out the route to the treasure. The game of course had Ann’s awakening event occur before you’re allowed further entry into the castle and Ann joins you as the fourth party member when the game finally opens up to you with Free Days to plan out the operation against Kamoshida. Aside from those altercations, there isn’t much else to address in the story perspective. We got to see Akechi in there but he won’t be playing a big part until after the first palace. I’m somewhat looking forward to how they’re going to deal with all that freedom the game offers you and see if we’ll get any of the other confidants since their plots end up being more interesting than the main plot along the way.
Once again, the visuals during the fights never failed to disappoint me, it just isn’t anywhere near exciting and the shoddy animation work definitely doesn’t help that factor that all. The All Out Attacks seem shoddily done compared to the game so I ask if they bothered to rip some of the portraits straight from the game, why couldn’t they just take some more anyway?
I feel like all my weekly thoughts on the episodes are just going to be complaining about the animation.