Atlus is a very smart company. They always make sure to put out only products that will be “on brand” and as such, have developed a very loyal following of gamers across the world for their long, deep gameplay, thousands of possibilities, and dungeons galore. They have also forayed into the anime and movie world as well starting with the Persona 3 series. Titled Spring of Birth, the first of four–that’s right there are four of them–anime movies, it introduces us to the world of Persona 3.
When the clock strikes midnight, the Dark Hour appears. No one knows about it other than a very small number of people. Most humans are simply trapped in coffins, which is fine because they are safe from Shadows which roam the globe. However, sometimes a human does find themselves in this other world and that happens again with our main character, Makoto. After being saved, he meets a secret group called SEES that fights against shadows by calling from a power deep within called Persona. Soon, Makoto learns that there is a deep truth not only behind the summoning of personas, but that he is going to have to work together with his fellow SEES members to protect the world from what happens during the Dark Hour.
If you’re a fan of the Persona series, love the fantasy that comes along with P3, or if you just love the concept of a reality or society layered on top of the normal, everyday one, then this is for you. As a plus, while they can go back and forth between reality, the Persona 3 movie also shares similar characteristics with the Isekai genre. If you loved it and are craving for more, check out six more anime movies just like it!
Similar Anime to Persona 3 the Movie 1: Spring of Birth [Recommendations]
1. Bakemono no Ko (The Boy and The Beast)
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: July 11, 2015
Ren is living a nightmare of a life to say the least. His mother died, his father is gone, and he lives with relatives that could not give a rat’s ass about him. At his wit’s end, he runs away to Shibuya to try and make a life for himself. That is when he learns about Shibuten, another world that sits right on top of our own full of beast people. Kumatetsu is one of those beast people and is a fantastic beast warrior. He is wanted to succeed the lord of Shibuten, but he is very antisocial and struggles with even keeping a disciple. Then comes in Ren who meets him. After being renamed, the two work together to learn just what they can teach each other.
Starting right off the bat with similarities, you have the fact that both Persona 3 and Bakemono no Ko show worlds that overlap the mundane, everyday life one. Mixing the supernatural with reality only lends further to a fantastic experience that makes the viewer question where the lines of reality blur. The core issue of a hero’s journey as well lets the viewer enjoy watching Ren and Makoto grow in both power and wisdom. And of course, you cannot miss the fights! There are fantastic fights in both movies meaning that your time investment is well worth it.
The Boy and The Beast Trailer:
2. Ao no Exorcist the Movie
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: December 28, 2012
Ao no Exorcist had a movie! This is a fact that seems to be overlooked frequently, but hey, it did. When Shiro is killed, Rin swears that he is going to become an amazing exorcist and beat Satan’s ass. When they are a bit older, it comes to light that Rin, along with his brother Yukio, have become exorcists and are preparing for a festival that is celebrated only once every 11 years. During a performance, something known as the Phantom Train goes berserk and the barriers that keep demons out suddenly falls. While they not only have to deal with the phantom train, they also have to deal with demons running amuck. All in the middle of this, Rin meets a little boy who is also a demon. Suddenly, their
fates become intertwined.
Now some might have a hard time connecting the dots between these two works, so let us help. Supernatural elements as well as another world layered on top of our own is present here. Both Rin and Makoto are school students, and for the most part, are considered the underdogs in the beginning. If anything too, you have the setup of LAST BOSS in each movie where Rin faces off against Phantom Train and Makoto and company go up against a boss shadow.
Ao no Exorcist the Movie Trailer:
3. Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: Jul 20, 1991
Four years after the Sword Art Online incident, there is now new technology that has arrived. Known as the Augma, it allows players to play online games while being conscious rather than going under like its predecessor did. Naturally it’s an overnight hit, and the masses flock to buy it. The game that is the most popular for the Augma is called Ordinal Scale. Of course, Kirito and Asuna want to dive into the game and get their hands on it as well. However, once in, they realize that nothing is what they thought it was and they are up against something that they couldn’t have even conceived.
Much like with how Persona 3 and Ao no Exorcist the movie were similar, the same is true for Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale as well. A fantasy reality is superimposed over our own, the characters naturally power up and get stronger, and if it couldn’t be better, they also have a last boss that the characters in both movies find themselves up against. Furthermore, while SAO is set in a game, Persona 3 is a game, so there are enjoyable elements between the two. Not to mention too, there is a lot of stressing of bonds and memories, something Persona fans are well aware of.
Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale Trailer:
Any Anime Like Persona 3 the Movie 1: Spring of Birth [Recommendations] ?
4. Persona 4 the Animation: The Factor of Hope
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: July 9, 2012
After the Persona 3 movies were such a success, it makes sense that Atlus would cash in on its extremely popular series, Persona 4 as well. Persona 4 is set in Inaba where our main character, Yuu Narukami, has just moved to live with his uncle for a year. There, he meets a lot of new classmates and everything seems to be going okay until someone is murdered. Then when another happens, it’s clear that this is the pattern of a serial killer. He hears a rumor that if you look into the TV at midnight on a rainy night, you will see a program called the Midnight Channel. When Yuu does check it out, he sees one of his classmates on it! When they go disappearing, a voice guides him to a TV? Suddenly Yuu, Yousuke, and Chie now have to save Yukiko while all learning to be true to themselves and saving others from being killed.
Full disclosure: This is the movie version of the Persona 4 series. So, what can you expect? Well of course, if you are a Persona noob or have only seen the first movie, then there is another reality, but this one is lurking behind our own. While the characters of P3 instantly move into the midnight hour and proceed to dungeons, the characters of P4 need to hop into a TV in Junes to make it to their world. Shadows, being honest with oneself, summoning persona and more are what drive our characters further in pursuit of the truth, an overall theme in the persona series. If you loved P3, then the natural progression is to check out Persona 4!
5. Kyousou Giga (Kyousougiga)
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: December 1, 2011
Kyoto is a city that everyone knows. However, did you know that there was an underbelly to it as well? There’s another Kyoto within Kyoto known as a mirror capital. There, humans and youkai live together. It is ruled over and protected by three individuals. However, one day, a geek girl obsessed with mecha known as Koto accidentally wanders in along with her two younger brothers. Suddenly the entire balance of the world is thrown into chaos.
Here with Kyousou Giga and Persona 3, we yet again see the reality of two worlds overlapped with only a select few knowing about it. The balance of a world is threatened in both series where Kyousou Giga has the other world threatened while reality is threatened in Persona 3. Both shows have characters searching for truth among a world that they cannot trust. This is actually an OVA, but it is worth checking out and if you like it, there is also a TV anime that comes after it!
6. Persona 3 The Movie 2: Midsummer Knight’s Dream
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: July 4 2014
While the last one does feel a bit like a cop-out, hear us out. The problem with movies made in the past, is that people tend to miss them entirely, and if online rankings are to be believed, then roughly half of the people who saw the first Persona 3 movie have seen the second. Now whether or not they did not like the first movie or they just forgot about the rest of the series, the next movie really does literally give you what you liked about the first Persona 3 movie because it continues the story. It sometimes happens with these movie series where they are forgotten about since the release dates are so far apart. This movie was released 8 months after the first making it easily able to be missed.
The second Persona 3 anime movie dives into summer, good timing for the release too, and shows the rise of the Strega enemies who want to make sure that the Dark Hours sticks around. At the same time, we are introduced to Aegis, an android who is there to fight shadows as well. The team accepts her as an ally but it seems that her fate is more closely entwined to theirs than previously thought… You definitely do not want to miss this movie either.
Persona 3 The Movie 2: Midsummer Knight’s Dream Trailer:
While you are hopefully inspired to look for a world that overlaps our own as well as search for a truth, our list comparing the first Persona 3 movie to other movies comes to a close. While there is a lot to unpack, shared themes such as supernatural/fantasy, another world on top of or next to our own, as well as persona growth were just some of the points mentioned. Who knows, by checking out these series, you may just find another you love! Till next time!