Nolan what is this anime weeaboo garbage post?
Persona 5 is likely going to consume most of my life for the next few months. Having a full-time job + other life commitments means that I am unable to fully devote myself to many other things during this time frame.
So, I thought it would be a really fun idea to document my journey in Persona 5 as I go! The game goes through real-life months, starting in early April. So, to compliment this, I will make a post for every month I experience in Persona 5! I will likely skip over many story details, as that is universal for every player, and mostly discuss the choices I made, how I spent my days, and my opinions on a lot of the moments within the game. I hope that, if you haven’t played Persona 5, this post will be somewhat coherent, and I also hope those who have already beaten the game do not criticize me for potentially wasting time/spoil everything for me.
Think of this series as a weird amalgamation of a review, a personal journey, and my own thoughts on the game as a fan of the series.
Entry #1: I’m a criminal in this game?!?!
Whenever a game allows me to play as a beautiful anime boy, I am always grateful. However, when all of my peers in Shibuya categorize me as a delinquent, then that is less desirable. Persona 5 immediately starts off with a different tone than its predecessors. In Persona 4, you are a beautiful boy who lives in the a big Japanese city who moves to the rural village, Inaba, because your parents had a business trip and you needed a Guardian. You move in with your loving Uncle and Niece, you’re super popular, and you make friends with equally beautiful anime boys and girls.
In Persona 5, you are framed as assaulting a man who was harassing a woman, and you get EXPELLED from your previous school. This gives you a criminal record, severely limiting your future, and the high schools you get to attend. And in Japan, this is a huge issue, because Education is essential for obtaining a career in the country.
But don’t think the main character is an violent scumbug. He attempted to stop a woman from getting attacked by lightly touching the assaulter’s shoulder. But for some reason, this causes the man to collapse. And due to a corrupt legal system, the rich person beats the high school student in a case, causing the main character to go to the only high school that will accept him: Shujin Academy.
Think that’s bad? The person who volunteered to be your caretaker is a friend of your father who runs a curry cafe called Leblanc. You can tell it’s important because it has a French name that means “the white” (citation: Google Translate.) His name is Sojiro Sakura. He has no real care for you. Big surprise. He is neglectful and just pushes you to do well in school and not cause any trouble. The main character is on probation and Sakura doesn’t want any slanderous rumours to his cafe or his name. Leblanc is also in sad shape, as Sakura doesn’t get many customers due to being located in the back alley of the suburbs, and having a generally sarcastic demeanor. Despite this though, Sakura puts tremendous effort and passion into his creations. His animosity about rumours in a culture that relies heavily on reputation is understandable. Sakura claims he took you in because your dad asked you to, but is there a greater reason?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?
I don’t know yet, I just started.
BUT THINGS GET EVEN WORSE. Your classmates, teachers, and faculty at Shujin Academy call you the “transfer student”. They all talk behind your back with hyperbolic rumours that range from thievery to outright murder of people. None of these are true. You’re immediately vilified before you even had a chance to establish your character.
But I like the tone that Persona 5 is setting. I was worried that Persona 5 would be too thematically similar to Persona 4, but it isn’t. Persona 4 is a more cheerful game with optimism and a lot of funny moments. Persona 5 starts off surprisingly bleak before others finally begin to open up and accept the main character. Which, in my opinion, makes Persona 5’s humourous moments that more powerful.
Persona 5’s initial tone works wonders for depicting the main characters as societal outsiders who were never truly accepted for who they are. The main character, a misunderstood, ostracized loner, ironically becomes the leader of “The Phantom Thieves”. It is a great setup for what seems to be turning into a great narrative. I love what I see so far!
Entry #2: Cafe’s are the best ever and I wish I lived in one
I got a confession. I rarely get personal on this blog, but I have to say this:
I A M A C O F F E E F I E N D
My journey to developing an unhealthy habit started when I was 16 and discovered the drip coffee my parents made for the first time. From that point onward, I loved caffeine and different types of coffee. The balance between bitter and sweet, the texture, the different types of flavours that can be evoked from beans and ingredients, all of it is my absolute jam. Because of this, I always like to experience new cafe’s and the recipes they conjure themselves. My real-life workplace is in the heart of downtown, so I witness plenty of cafes, and I have been testing them frequently.
There is something endearing to the setting of a cafe. I am enraptured by the calming atmosphere, the heartwarming drinks, the tasty pastries, and the great conversations with friends. Cafe’s are always decently priced and what you pay for almost always delivers on that promise. I hate going to Starbucks now, because all of their machinery is so loud, they have walls that somehow amplify and echo voices right into your ears; it is an unpleasant experience.
The reason I bring all this up, is because Leblanc is my ideal cafe. At the end of everyday in Persona 5, when you open the cafe door, you hear the welcome bells chime, and the smooth jazz start playing, I feel like I’m at home. I forget I’m playing a video game and not working a full-time job preventing me from making posts/videos/passions wait wh-
Entry #3: Ryuji is a Doof
So the first person who actually accepts the main character is a blonde-headed knucklehead named Ryuji (yes, I unironically called him that.) He is also seen as a delinquent by the rest of the school, while simultaneously being misunderstood. The two of you start a ragtag group of misunderstood beautiful boys. But instead of becoming exceedingly popular through our rebellious nature, we are seen as weirdos to the general public.
But Ryuji…I don’t know how to feel about this character. I like his enthusiasm and extroverted behaviour. He serves as a great foil and contrast to the other characters. But I also think he’s rash and often makes inhumanly stupid decisions and remarks. At best he is a generic jock dude with a kind side, but at worst, he is a Captain Planet stereotype.
And yet, he’s a homie. He reminds me of Jake the Dog. He’s loyal and dedicated to the main character. He is ultimately a cool, endearing guy. But he just makes so many stupid decisions. Much like Cartoon Network for purposefully gutting Adventure Time by reducing its run time on their channel when it easily could have continued to be their flagship series wait wh-
Entry #4: Moar coffee
So if you work for Sakura, he agrees to teach you how to make coffee. This has me ecstatic, because I have always wanted to be a cool, slick barista dude who’s smooth talking and always knows what to say and make…until I realized I’m not very attractive, I lack the charisma to do this, and barista’s don’t exactly get paid a living wage.
BUT I STILL ENJOY BREWING MY OWN COFFEE! I like to grind my own beans and extract my own flavour, I like to get experimental with spices enhancing the flavour. Try cinnamon, nutmeg, and a smidgen of cardamom in your coffee. Trust me.
Unfortunately, I always say the wrong things near Sakura so I struggle to rank up his confidant. Thankfully, brewing coffee also brews me friendship points with Sakura. But most importantly…
I get Coffee Bean Trivia!
If you take anything away from this post, I hope it is this.
Entry #5: Keener Life
My phone is buzzing with Ryuji’s requests to hang out. I scoff at his claims, and head to the diner to drink even more cups of coffee and study.
Side note, how do people study in Starbucks? Or any diner? Doesn’t the clanking of dishes and loud chatter distract you? I’m not judging, everybody has their own place that simultaneously lets them focus and be comfortable, and if yours is in a diner, then go right ahead. I’ll stick with libraries and obscure cafes.
But apparently I am better at studying within a fictional video game than I am in real-life for midterms, because in Persona 5, I started 3 weeks before the midterms began. I would never be that prepared in real life. I have better things to do! Like, play Persona 5.
Entry #6: Da Dungeon
I suppose I should genuinely discuss the game itself. One of the weakest aspects of Persona 4 was the dungeons you visit. They were procedurally generated, which meant that they often consisted of long hallways where nothing unique occured. Persona 5 ditches that random generation for pre-made dungeons that are the same for every player.
I personally like the pre-made dungeons more. An argument can be made that it makes people’s general experience feel too similar, but I felt that the random generation in Persona 4 never got more complex than what hallways form when you walk. I like that areas are crafted delicately with small touches of symbolic imagery to represent the villains’ psyche.
I also enjoy the new stealth system. It isn’t very refined, but it genuinely makes me feel like an underdog, sneaking into an opponent’s base. It is like all of the enemies and obstacles are against me and I’m genuinely struggling. It doesn’t feel like I am trotting along like in Persona 4, that’s for sure.
So after about 10 hours of Persona 5, how am I feeling about it? It was everything that I expected. It has that signature ATLUS polish and addictiveness. It expands and improves the systems I loved in Persona 4 with a stylish flourish.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you stay while I continue to document my journey in Persona 5! I will just about finish May in-game soon. I really appreciate everyone’s support! If you would share this to social media or with your friends, it really helps! Have a great day everybody.