Amamiya Ren has it rough. First he was sent to juvie for accidentally injuring a man he was trying to stop from assaulting a woman. Now he’s been moved away from his home in the countryside to Tokyo while on parole. An old café owner named Sakura Sojiro begrudgingly takes him in, but it looks like things are going to be rough. On his first day of class, he somehow stumbles into a supernatural world with Sakamoto Ryuji. Inside the off-kilter world, the two discover a castle that exposes the not-so-hidden desires of the school’s P.E. teacher Kamoshida Suguru. Ren and Ryuji vow to stop Kamoshida’s madness in the real world with the help of a strange cat monster named Morgana.
The original Persona 5 for the Playstation 3 and Playstation 4 made a lot of waves when it came out in Japan in 2016. Then, when it released in the West, it got even bigger. The game spoke to people in a way that few games manage to due to its focus on social issues that rarely get discussed. The success of Persona 5 was naturally going to lead to an anime. Part of what elevated the Persona franchise to the mainstream was the anime for Persona 4 after all. So, since you’re looking for more, we’ve got 6 suggestions we think you’re gonna love.
Similar Anime to Persona 5: The Animation
1. Lupin III Part 4: The Italian Adventure
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Oct 2015 – Mar 2016
Lupin’s finally getting married! Not to Fujiko, though. He’ll be marrying the beautiful heiress Rebecca Rosselini, and everyone’s invited; even officer Zenigata! However, this being Lupin, there’s much more going on behind the scenes. Zenigata quickly figures out that this is all just a scheme to steal the Royal Crown of Liberty, which is lent out to the women of San Marino on their wedding day. Not everything goes as planned though. Afterwards, it’s all about the various adventures of the Lupin III crew and their attempts at glory.
While the story of the gentleman thief is well-known around the world, it somehow missed out on the US. To Japanese fans, though, Ren summoning the spirit of Arsene Lupin works as a well-known symbol of youthful rebellion. However, what introduced Japan to Lupin was the massive popularity of Lupin III, which is about as iconic to anime as Astro Boy and Doraemon. Lupin III Part 4 was a revival of the series to remind people what they loved about it in the first place: the roguish charm of Lupin and the grand heists. Anyone who’s into Persona 5 for the thievery and atmosphere would do well to check out this installment of Lupin III.
Lupin III Part 4: The Italian Adventure PV:
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Jan 2010 – Jun 2010
Ryuugamine Mikado grew up in a small town, but naturally, he wanted to see more of the world. Inspired by a childhood friend’s invitation, Mikado finally takes his first step and moves to the Ikebukuro district of Tokyo. To his dismay, it’s not that nice of a place in spite of everything he’s seen in anime and manga. Ikebukuro is actually infested with crime. However, nothing compares to the myth surrounding the headless motorcyclist “Black Rider”, which may have more truth to it than anyone could imagine…
Anime in the Western world is generally seen as an alternative take on traditional animation. While that’s still true in Japan, being an anime fan is often viewed as being part of a rebellious counter culture. Persona 5 has brought that aspect of anime fandom to the forefront, addressing issues like sexually abusive teachers that everyone knows about but no one wants to talk about. However, Durarara was one of the first modern anime in some time to look at the ills of society, like the rampant gang warfare present in the Ikebukuro district that gets glossed over. Also, much like Persona 5, it makes it a little easier to take in by adding a supernatural element so that the reality isn’t as hard to handle.
- Episodes: 4
- Aired: December 2014
The ever venerable Koyomi Araragi has been hard at work preparing for his college exams. However, if the stress of that wasn’t enough, Araragi’s also noticed that his reflection isn’t showing up in the mirror. He’s been afraid of his vampiric side taking over for some time, and now it looks like that’s happening. Araragi looks for help from a master named Yozuru Kagenui, but the diagnosis is grim. Araragi is going to have to make a decision. He can either give up using his vampiric powers ever again to prevent his transition, or he can just accept his inevitable fate.
Persona 5 isn’t just known for casting light on unspoken social issues and fun heists. There’s always been a metaphysical bend to the Persona franchise, which, to many, has served as a fun introduction into philosophy. The Monotagari franchise does something very similar, using mythological creatures and relating them to character stories. Really, you could go with the whole franchise as a recommendation, but Tsukimonotagari is a bit more straightforward with its morale quandaries, making it a better transition title before jumping into the entire Monotagari series.
Tsukimonotogari Coming to Blu-Ray:
Any Anime Like Persona 5: The Animation ?
4. Bungou Stray Dogs
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr 2016 – June 2016
Despite legally being an adult, Nakajima Atsushi still lives at the orphanage he grew up at. Well, at least he used to. There’s been a rash of tiger attacks that no one knows what to make of, so Atsushi ends up taking the blame. He’s been booted out of the only home he’s ever known with no idea where to go next. However, Atsushi isn’t without company for long, as he ends up saving a drowning man by the name of Osamu Dazai. Dazai works as an investigator of the supernatural, and has been looking into the tiger attacks himself. This investigation leads Atsushi into a new life as a paranormal investigator!
Part of the charm of Persona comes from its wild depictions of mythical and literary figures. Persona 5 took that a step further by emphasizing the “literary” aspect more, with Ann gaining the powers of Carmen (as in from the opera) and Ryuji from Captain Kidd. Much of the fun of Bungou Stray Dogs taps into that same curiosity, with many recurring characters coming straight from the world of writers. American authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald show up, and sometimes they’re even forced to face their own creations. It’s the natural progression of Persona 5 for those who like seeing modern interpretations of classic literature.
Bungo Stray Dogs PV2:
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: July 2007 – Nov 2007
It’s a twisting tale that transcends time and space! First, in 1711, we have a group of alchemists who are studying immortality and learn the consequences of their research. Then, in 1930s Chicago, the legendary transcontinental train Flying Pussyfoot makes its departure. Finally, around the same time in New York, a scientist by the name of Szilard is researching the location of some long forgotten elixirs that are said to hold the power of immorality. All these seemingly unconnected events are connected by Isaac and Miria, two good-hearted people who also happen to be thieves.
Persona 5’s music draws a lot of its inspiration from jazz and big band music of the 1930s. Well, if you love Lyn’s jazzy tunes and compositions, go a little further with Baccano, where you don’t just get contemporary re-envisionings of the style, but honest-to-god swing. Of course, the heart of Baccano isn’t just the jazz, but the strange underbelly that lies underneath. It seems like it’s just a simple story of two thieves working together until they uncover a much darker, more sinister plot. We won’t spoil the story of Persona 5 the Animation for those who never played the game, but anyone who has finished the RPG can easily see the similarity there.
6. Cat’s Eye
- Episodes: 73
- Aired: July 1983 – July 1985
Rui, Hitomi, and Ai run the Cat’s Eye café. Unbeknownst to the rest of the world, however, these sisters are secretly art thieves. They aren’t in it for the money, though. Instead, they’re searching for clues regarding the whereabouts of their father, the artist Michael Heintz. They only steal paintings related to Heintz in hopes of finding clues to his location. But there’s one catch; Hitomi is dating Utsumi Toshio, the lead investigator on their case!
Cat’s Eye is considered the classic heist anime, and it’s easy to see a lot of parallels between it and Persona 5. Ren living and working in a café during the day is a pretty clear nod to Cat’s Eye, but the similarities go a little deeper than that. Both deal with a thief group where both teams are investigating the circumstances that led them to crime, which resolves with grand revelations. Plus, you get tons of fun 80s-style heists over a lengthy 73 episodes. What’s not to love?
This should see you through for a while. At the very least, you should have plenty of new, lengthy series to work through each week while waiting for new episodes. And, hey, we recommend these same titles if you’ve only played the game and are looking to get back into some anime.
Do you have any other ideas in mind? Don’t just hide your feelings. Share them with the world! Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below!