Anime: Persona -trinity soul-
set as a very loose sequel to the popular game Persona 3
by Atlus, Persona -trinity soul-
is set ten years after Persona 3
ends, approximately taking place in 2021. However, certain plot points in the actual
sequel, Persona 4
, and official information
have basically made the series non-canon, even if it includes characters from the original game.
The plot starts as thus:
After ten years living with their aunt, brothers Shin and Jun Kanzato return to their birth city Ayanagi to live with their older brother Ryou, as their aunt has finally found herself a boyfriend and they don't want to get in her way. However, Ryou is a very cold, almost nasty individual who quickly makes it known that he wants them to leave as soon as possible. To further that insult, he doesn't mean the house — he means the entire city
and won't explain why.
Their first night in-town is spent unpacking, and when Shin takes a few minutes to check on a dream he had outside and to ultimately clear his head, he runs across a suffering individual in a warehouse. When he tries to help the man, he's attacked by a gigantic spectral monster that brings out one of his own. Between that, the group that's now attacking him, and the two largely traumatic incidents going around Ayanagi City, it looks like it's going to be a very crazy ride...
The series was released in 2008, running six months (from January to June) in its initial run. It consists of 26 episodes and was recently licensed and released on DVD by NIS America as part of its new anime campaign.
This anime provides examples of:
- All There in the Manual: You WILL need a manual for this.
- Aloof Big Brother: Ryou is a fantastic example of this, straight out.
- An Aesop: More like two made through Does This Remind You of Anything?, Shadow Extraction is used to hammer the viewer with aesops regarding responsible sex and drug-taking.
- The Atoner: So very Ryou.
- Blessed with Suck: The Marebito, and arguably Ryou. The Marebito have functioning Personas, but because of the Kagenuki, their Personas are incredibly unstable to the point where their Personas will murder them in nasty ways if they so much as miss taking a suppressant by a few hours, apparently. Ryou, however, hates Personas and everything to do with them and not only has one, but he must keep it active so he can help fight the Marebito. Oh. And it doesn't help that if his Persona, Cain, uses its shoulder cannon at any time, it will kill him flat-out. And he knows it.
- Body Horror: The Reverse cases absolutely, completely fall right into this. It's even worse when you actually see two of them happen to an almost complete degree.
- Cain and Abel: Intentionally played in the case of Ryou and Shin to compare their status as brothers. The third brother, Jun, actually gets Seth as his Persona, to add onto this trope.
- Canon Discontinuity: -Trinity Soul- now is this with regards to Persona 3 due to both Persona 4 contradicting it, and Word Of God declaring it non-canon. Though to be fair, it already had traces of this thanks to the liberties taken with Persona mechanics (though some of it could be chalked up to playing up the Summon Magic aspect of Persona), in particular the not-established-anywhere-else rule about adults losing their Personae (which was completely contradicted by both Persona 2 and Persona 4).
- The Chew Toy: Oh, Takuro.
- Classical Mythology: Like the rest of the series, the Personas all have a basis in mythology, with the Kanzatos' Personas referencing Biblical figures — Ryou has Cain, Shin has Abel, and Jun/Yuki has Seth.
- Cool Sword: Shin's Persona Abel wields one.
- Creepy Child/Teen: Ayane. Good grief, Ayane.
- Despair Event Horizon: Ultimately, there's one that happens ten years previous to the story in the form of Ayane's attack and the start of the Fall, but Ryou gets hit with a particularly powerful one around episode 13.
- Also, see the section here about Heroic BSOD for Shin's approach towards one.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The similarities between Shadow Extraction and sex or drugs, can be very Anvilicious. For the first half of the series, they won't stop parading Shadow Extraction and making connections to acting responsibly with whichever comparison they're choosing to play up for the episode.
- Enemy Scan: In the official materials, this is stated to be one of Jun's Persona's abilities, although he never demonstrates it in-series.
- Expy: At least two obvious ones. Jun Kanzato is a very, very obvious nod to the similarly-named Jun Kurosu. The parallels are almost overlapping there. Ryou Kanzato's design was obviously influenced by Katsuya Suou from the same games: a policeman that first appears as an uncaring bastard-type towards the protagonist, who is his younger brother, complete with glasses and strict demeanor (at least in regards to Innocent Sin).
- Evil Counterpart: Shin and his friends have one of these in the form of the Marebito, whom they are constantly at-odds with and fighting against, with help from the police.
- Fortune Teller: Igor makes a cameo as one.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: How almost everyone perceives Ryou, which... really isn't that far off the mark, all things considered. Depending on your opinion, he could either (or also!) be a case of Stoic Spectacles.
- Half-Identical Twins: Jun and Yuki are a lesser example of this. They're obviously very similar, but there are more differences between them than most.
- Wakasa and Shiiba Kusu are actual identical twins, in contrast.
- Heroic BSOD: Shin kind of gets one of these towards the end of the series. It's so bad he ends up going down to the beach with all the other citizens waiting to be taken away/die and ends up envisioning a very LSD-esque What Could Have Been scenario for his family.
- Iconic Item: Yuki's charm, the whale feather. It's also an important little plottybit. Shin's an artist and thus has several clay sculptures carved in his room, two of which are proven to be sort of special. His good-luck charm becomes slightly important later on, as well.
- Jossed: As stated above, the series was considered canon until certain quirks in Persona 4 clashed with what -trinity soul- depicted. This was further proved wrong by Word Of God when the Persona 3 Portable fanbook said that -trinity soul- wasn't considered canon, even with one of the main characters from Persona 3 involved.
- Keet: Shin crosses into this territory very easily. And it's incredibly cute every time.
- Mind Screw: The whole freaking ending.
- Names to Know in Anime: You've got Takehito Koyasu as Ryou, Daisuke Namikawa as Touma Shikura, Mamiko Noto as Ayane, Mai Nakahara as Kanaru, Sanae Kobayashi as Eiko, and Tomokazu Seki as Inui, to name a few.
- Older and Wiser: Akihiko, the only Persona 3 character to appear aside from Igor's cameo.
- Pragmatic Adaptation: Not only did some of the Persona qualities get tweaked out—they fight for you and don't have to be recalled for every attack (they don't even really have "attacks" or elements at all)—some of the general mechanics are kind of wonky, like "adults-can't-have-Personas-without-side-effects". It doesn't match up to what was already canonized over a decade ago at this point in the Persona 2s.
- Promotion to Parent: Ryou suffers this, essentially, after the accident. However, because he had taken entrance exams to a Kyoto university not long before coming home for that time period, he couldn't take care of Shin or Jun, so they had to live with their aunt. He never returned to take care of them until the series start (which was then essentially 'forced' on him) out of, presumably, guilt over Yuki's death and the measures he took to resolve everything after the disaster.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Kanaru, although not in the dangerous way. In a subversion, a Persona-user's eyes glow whatever dominant color their Persona is as they're summoning their it. Also, Ayane — her eyes are even drawn in purple ink to accent this.
- Summon Magic: The Personas, as said above, although they're more self-capable, necessary (for fights; the protagonists aren't capable of fighting with weapons in this series, for the most part), and plentiful than they were in the games.
- Artistic License - Biology: Just the whole brain transplant thing.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Most characters have relatively normal hair styles and colors - or at least workable ones - but Megumi and Kanaru are decidedly different, with pinkish-red and blue hair, respectively. Ayane also falls beautifully into this.