the Persona series has become a major player in the world of JRPGs, with the franchise eventually going beyond video games to hit it big in other mediums. Anime was one particular venue that Persona traveled to, which made sense given that the series has essentially been a sort of interactive anime ever since the PS2 game Persona 3. However, Persona 4 was where the Atlus series really jumped into the limelight, resulting in both a great game and an equally good anime adaptation.
The same can’t be said for Persona 4‘s follow up, however. while Persona 5 was lauded as one of the best turn-based RPGs in decades, the anime adaptation was seen as incredibly lacking compared to both the game and the show’s predecessor. This mainly stemmed from the writing, namely that involving the main character, with poor animation and worse pacing being other issues that kept the Persona 5 anime from finding much quality beneath the mask.
The Persona 4 Anime Had a Much More Interesting Protagonist
One major improvement that many of the Persona spin-offs have is characterization for the protagonists, and the Persona 4 anime was no exception. It did so by making Yu a much less silent protagonist, giving him a genuine personality in the process. This helps to have him stand out among the cast, which is filled with otherwise far more vibrant characters. There are even times when the gray-haired teen is downright hilarious. Sadly, that trend wasn’t followed in Persona 5.
There, Joker was as stoic as ever, even when the story practically demanded that he say more and be a more active participant in the story. Ironically, there’s actually more focus on Joker, but this doesn’t result in his character being given any more depth. This also stems from another issue with the anime’s version of the game’s events when it comes to the writing department.
The Persona 5 Anime Is a Bad Cliffnotes Version of the Game
the Persona 4 anime was a treat for both those who had played the game and those who had never even heard of the Atlus title. It not only retold the game’s story from a narrative perspective befitting the medium, but it also expanded upon many of the slice-of-life social elements that developed the characters and their friendships. If anything, it might be the optimal way to enjoy the game’s story, especially since Persona 4 is still a while away from being rereleased on modern consoles.
On the opposite end of this spectrum is the Persona 5 anime, which basks in bad pacing and rushed storytelling. The series almost feels like it wants to be done with itself, rushing through the game’s story as quickly as possible without really focusing on its themes or character development. While its predecessor can be watched without playing the game, Persona 5: The Animation might bewilder or outright bore anyone who doesn’t already know the game’s plot.
Persona 5: The Animation Had Particularly Poor Animation
Even back when it was first revealed, many could already tell that Persona 5 was going to offer a unique JRPG experience due to its vibrant and unique art and animation. Its beautiful cutscenes essentially were an anime, and when combined with the color palette in many of the palaces, it offered a look that many Western games and even fellow titles from the East didn’t have. In comparison, the animation and especially the fight scenes in Persona 5: The Animation are downright snooze-inducing, lacking any of the energy or life of the game. When said game is a better-looking anime than the actual show, it’s no wonder that even the most ardent Persona fans hate the anime. This mediocre animation quality, when combined with the rushed and poorly done storytelling, also makes the series feel like a cheap cash-grab that lacked much in the way of thought or care.
Persona 4: The Animation had the exact same level of energy as the game, if not an even higher one. This made its fight scenes stand out in particular, whereas these sequences are choppy and boring in Persona 5: The Animation. With so many pivotal elements done in a hackneyed fashion, it’s no surprise that the Persona 5 anime disappointed the game’s many fans, with the poor comparisons to its predecessor only making the quality worse.