I was reading Anne Frank’s diary on transit (very uplifting tale), and I keep finding myself pronouncing her name as “OHN”. This game is ruining my concept of the English language.
Entry #1: Principal Berserk Demon
Man, what’s with anime high schools? The principal at Shujin Academy is this terrifying blob creature who manipulates his students to do his bidding with prospects of college applications. He uses Makoto by threatening her post-secondary education and her status as student council president. He takes no action by himself and commands others to do his own dirty work that he wrapped himself in.
But despite this, Shujin Academy is one of the more realistic high school’s I’ve seen in media. Why is it realistic? It’s boring.
Aside from the scandal with Kamoshida, it is a fairly average high school. It’s got some extracurriculars, it has clubs, it has all the standard courses on the curriculum, and the teachers seem like regular people. Modern high school is nothing like high school in the 1990s. Smart people aren’t vilified, they’re respected, and jocks aren’t straight up assholes.
It’s kind of like people are their own individuals and it’s incredibly unhealthy to lump large amounts of people into stereotypes in an attempt to simplify and mold the world into what we want it to be.
Anyways the point I’m trying to make is high school drama is stupid, temporary, and don’t take your grades too seriously. It will make the whole experience less toxic and stressful. (This is why I’m not studying to become a teacher anymore)
Entry #2: Apologies for The Thirst
So my thirst about Kawakami was uncalled for. She is not the weird, one-note thicc sensei that the internet has led me to believe. Much like every other confidant, you learn that the character is undergoing conflict that you must solve with correct dialogue choices. In the case of Kawakami, she feels guilt that a student she was tutoring got hit by a car, and needs to work as a maid/sex worker to raise extra money to pay off the child’s parents. This is actually really engaging drama, and it seems like a scenario that could happen in real life.
It’s also problematic because Kawakami is a teacher as well. If any students find out, she could likely get her teaching licence revoked. Reputation is everything in Japan, so her career would likely be in ruins if this secret was released. I genuinely feel sorry for her and want to help her. I don’t feel some weird, thirsty lust for her. Just empathy.
Still pretty t h i c c though.
Entry #3: Make Japan Great Again
June, otherwise known as the month where almost all of the remaining Confidants become available. This entry’s candidate is Toranosuke Yoshida (did I spell that right?) Yoshida is a politician with a corrupt past that needs our help to overcome. He is a changed man from this time, and in exchange for promoting his campaign, he provides us with methods on how to interrogate shadows properly. His confidant is, at this point, not particularly fascinating, but his ability is amazing though.
The conversations between shadows make absolutely no sense to me. It feels like a crapshoot half the time, and the other half is just me mashing the third option because that one seems to work the most consistently. I’m not sure if it is different for every possible Persona, or if it is limited to personality types, but regardless, I am very bad at it, so any help I can get is much appreciated.
I also enjoy that there is a gameplay and story benefit to confidants. Confidants flesh out the world of Persona 5, while also giving you amazing bonuses to make the game easier. It allows you to personalize your Confidants to fit the necessities you desire. Do you rank up a character out of obligation? Or do you do it because the benefit is good for you? I’m personally just taking everything day-by-day, not really stressing too hard about maxing every feasible confidant. If I want to do that, I’ll do it on my second playthrough in the future.
Entry #4: Narc’d Again
Seriously, I feel bad for her. I know she doesn’t want to spy on the Phantom Thieves, but again, the Berserk principal has her college applications on the line, and if you see Makoto’s sister’s value in financial gain, then you understand the pressure Makoto has on her. She needs to maintain being student council president, while also balancing great grades, and she needs to spy on The Phantom Thieves all the time, or else her effort will be for nothing. She LIVES at school, essentially.
This is a mini rant about the current high school system and expectations on adolescents to succeed. Did you know 25% of teens are suceptible to anxiety?
This isn’t “oh no I’m shy to present in front of the class”, this is, “I cannot leave the house because I am terrified for my life”, anxiety. A large part in this modern age is the pressure to be the absolute best, present yourself perfectly, and never let the competition of other students surpass you. High school is like a bloodbath for the best grades and extracurriculars. The current system dehumanizes everybody into a set of numbers, and does not consider factors which may be hindering somebody. Got a C- in math? You need to work harder and ignore all of your mental and personal issues! Those have no influence, it just means you’re dumb!
The current mentality around education is that it is a necessity. Which, I agree, education is incredibly important in developing a human being, but don’t put an entire child’s self-worth into a few numbers on a sheet. There’s a lot more to a human being than academics in the real world, trust me.
Entry #5: Mafia Berserk Demon
DID THAT BOY CLONE HIMSELF? IS BERSERK DEMON PRINCIPAL A GANGSTER WHO MANIPULATES YOUNG’UNS?
Because if not, how is Berserk Mafia Demon never in the same room as Principal Berserk Demon?
Just a thought.
Entry #6: These friends are better than real ones
To any real life friends who decide to actually read this post: I apologize if I blow you off for a get together, or do not hang out as much. I have found myself a new set of friends that are not real whatsoever. This is a notification that you have all been replaced by anime characters.
I’m of course joking, but whenever a game has any form of socialization, I’m all on that. I loved talking to the villagers in Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing, but I was disappointed with their lack of dialogue and scenarios. Thankfully, Persona 5 has novels worth of text and fantastic writing. The only confidant I am not personally thrilled about is Ohya.
I don’t really like her character or find her particularly interesting. I couldn’t even tell you what her abilities do off the top of my head, and I can do that for every character. But, 1 out of 20 confidants are a dud? That’s nothing, and I can pretty much ignore her to prioritize other people.
Although, prioritizing anime characters over other anime characters…over real life friends…isn’t very healthy, so maybe I should put the controller down every now and then.
Entry #7: 100000 yen for Snake Oil?!?!?!
So, if you’re like me and blew all your money on lotto tickets that you forgot to check, and gifts that you never gave, then you didn’t have 100000 yen reserved for Chihaya’s magical stone that begins her confidant. At this point in the game, that money is better spent on stat-increasing items, weapons, and medicine. I have plenty of other confidants to worry about…
…which is what a sensible player would do, but me having this nagging feeling had to see this fulfilled immediately. I grinded in Mementos for dat cash, utilizing Yoshida’s ability to get me more Yen from enemies…
…and then it broke. The snake oil stone, shattered. The powder inside was just salt. Which made me salty. All of my effort was for nothing. All of this to get a fortune told. I don’t even believe in fortune telling personally, and you’re telling me this girl charges strangers the equivalent of $1128 Canadian dollars to get a fortune read?! I can get a used car with that kind of money. I can pay off the majority of a University semester. If I want my fortune read, I’ll just look at a horoscope or something. I don’t need this crap.
And what does she provide? She belittles me for helping one of her clients. Well, you know what? I have plenty of waifu’s to talk to Chihaya, and you’re second last on the list.
Yes, I have a list, and yes, that is pathetic.
Entry #8: Tone it Up!
I’m going to do the laziest thing you can when discussing a sequel in a franchise: compare it to a previous game in the same franchise!
I really do feel like Persona 5 evokes a completely different tone than Persona 4. Persona 4 took place in a tiny, rural town called Inaba. Persona 5 takes place in the heart of Shibuya. It is in the most populated cities in the entire country. While Persona 4 emphasizes small-town connections, everybody feels really distant in Shibuya. It feels that everybody leads a different life. The main character is an outsider to society, and nobody is willing to accept you, aside from a few individuals.
One thing I am personally not a fan of is the lack of hijinx the main group gets into. The Fireworks Festival is a prime example of something that could have been great, but got rained out for, seemingly no narrative reason. I understand that more focus wants to be on the main plot, but I also feel the side stories can be improved. I understand that a serious tone further compliments the different tone this game is going for, but I think humourous moments could have made the character interactions more endearing.
I feel that Persona 5 wants the main group to feel like a band of misfits who came together despite their differences. More entertaining special events that do not get spoiled could have amplified this purpose.
BUT TO END ON A POSITIVE NOTE, WE GOT MAKOTO THO.