One franchise we have absolute love for here at Honey’s Anime is the Persona series. You can name any game/spin-off from Persona, whether it’s about dancing or saving people from a twisted TV world, and we can tell you we played it. Our love for Persona stems back from the original PS1 game to the most recent Persona 5 Royal so that’s easily three decades of love and admiration. However, as much love as we have for the game series, there’s a realization that the anime adaptations of the franchise have been both good and quite bad. Persona 3 the movies, quite good. Persona 4 Golden…not so much. That ho-hum feeling for the anime versions wasn’t changed by the most recent animation—Persona 5 the Animation—which was quite weak despite being handled by studio CloverWorks. That got us thinking, is there a way to save Persona 5’s anime adaptation? Without missing a beat we looked at Personas 5 Royal—a newer version of the Persona 5 game—and realized we might have a solution.
Persona 5 the Animation should have been the next big game adaptation but it fell short and we need to look at those elements first before we fix this anime’s heart. The first major weakness of the Persona 5 anime lies with its questionable animation. At times, Persona 5 the Animation looked quite nice and we loved the fights from the game being adapted into anime format. The problem, though, was CloverWorks clearly was busy with some other anime during this release as a lot of corners were cut. Shibuya and numerous locations from the Persona 5 world fell flat and that wasn’t just in the setting designs. There were times Persona 5 the Animation used an almost still framed set up for character interactions/dialogue that truly made the series feel cheap. This might seem unfixable but if we do what Persona 5 Royal did for the original game, we might have a means of saving the day.
Persona 5 Royal might seem like the same game—as it largely is—but Atlus made sure to add a nice amount of new content to make fans want to return to the Phantom Thieves world. Apply this level of care and addition to Persona 5 the Animation and you’d quickly see some changes being made for the better. Fix all the setting scenes to have a bit more life to them and add a bit less talking head frames—we love Ren Amamiya but need him to move a bit more—and you’ll quickly feel the world of Persona 5 the Animation become more immersive. Likewise, with the numerous story elements and settings added in Persona 5 Royal, you wouldn’t need to use the same format as the original and could make a more robust world for the Phantom Thieves to occupy. The bottom line here; add more and you’ll notice a big change in Persona 5 the Animation.
As admirable as it was, Persona 5 the Animation committed a cardinal sin. Creating two endings by splitting the last major sequence into two episodes. This can’t happen again, folks! Almost universally agreed upon, the split finale was considered just strange and unneeded. If a Persona 5 Royal anime airs, remove that horrible split finale and instead just add the true ending from the get-go! This will work without any issues thanks in large part due to Persona 5 Royal having a different “true ending” than the original game.
Finally, let’s avoid a mistake seen once before when a new version of the game became an animation. Persona 4 Golden the Animation was considered quite weak compared to the original anime adaptation and for good reason…it was. Persona 4 Golden’s anime creation not only cut the number of episodes to focus on the newer content but it felt cut in numerous ways such as weaker animation, fewer Persona fights, and less dialogue. Whoever takes Persona 5 Royal as an anime needs to stay close to the source material of both the original and the newer version to avoid angering fans and creating an ultimately weaker adaptation. Again, the idea of ‘more is better’ works quite well in this scenario and needs to be the central idea in fixing the laundry list of issues when it comes to Persona 5 the Animation.
Persona 5 the Animation wasn’t horrible but it was far from good. Maybe we are a bit biased since we loved the game so much but, equally, we knew that Persona 5 the Animation could have been handled with more love and care. As long as the mistakes of the past are avoided—we don’t need another Persona 4 Golden the Animation—we believe a Persona 5 Royal anime could be truly incredible! What do you folks think? Did you love/hate Persona 5 the Animation and feel a Royal version could save the day? Comment below to let us all know! For even more articles like this one be sure to keep stuck to our Persona loving hive here at Honey’s Anime!