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Anime / Persona 5: The Day Breakers

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An anime special tying in with the release of Persona 5. It is a stand-alone episode that showcases the Phantom Thieves of Hearts performing a "routine" caper.

It comes bundled with a 41-minute Audio Play titled The Night Breakers including additional scenes with the Phantom Thieves and the outsider perspective of Makoto, Futaba, and Haru about the events of the OVA.

The show was created by Atlus and produced by A-1 Pictures. It will see a DVD and Blu-ray release in Japan. Overseas, the show's been licensed by Crunchyroll.

This anime special contains examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The OVA ended up adapting one of the potential side-missions of the game, fleshing out the backstory of the target, Kazuya.
  • And the Adventure Continues: Having successfully stolen from their target, Yusuke notes that the "next prey is huge," and it's implied that they're going after Kaneshiro next.
  • The Anime of the Game: In a looser sense than usual. It's not an adaptation of the full game, but of just a single side-story.
  • Badass Boast: The Phantom Thieves tell Kazuya's Shadow that they're going to show him what it's like to deal with real thieves.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Ann as in the game. In the Audio Play, she readily volunteers for the plan to get one of the burglars to eavesdrop her talking about Leblanc's subpar security, but Ryuji, Joker and Morgana — in increasing order of gentleness — try to talk her out of it because of her poor acting skills. Unlike the rest, Yusuke actually gets behind her idea. After all, he was deceived by her once before.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The plot of the OVA. It was heavily implied that the featured character, Kazuya, sent a request for the Phantom Thieves to target a gang that'd been pressuring him into committing petty crime, but he turns out to be the leader of the gang, who became the target himself when his younger brother sent in a request after his abuse became too much to handle.
  • Batman Gambit: In order to lure out the gang, Ryuji and Ann talk about how Leblanc supposedly has lots of money stashed with weak security there. When the thieves take the bait, Joker leaves the calling card at the cash register, Morgana hisses and shrieks, and Joker activates an alarm he got from Iwai to force them to flee.
  • Big Brother Bully: The Arc Villain is a young man who physically abuses his younger brother to the point of bloodying his fists on him.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Kazuya is a significantly worse person than the general public, viewers and even his accomplices initially realize- only Naoya realizes his brother's true character.
  • Black Comedy Animal Cruelty: In the Audio Play, Morgana let slip that he once accidentally fell into one of the washing machines near the public bathhouse at Yongen-Jaya while Joker was doing his laundry. He tried to pass it off as proof of his (potential) resilience to the most daring amusement rides in Down Town, but Ryuji remarked that he shouldn't feel so proud of that.
  • Bully Hunter: While the Phantom Thieves of Hearts generally go looking for an Asshole Victim anyway, this time they're targeting a literal Big Brother Bully.
  • Call-Back: Two of the members of the gang of burglars lose their jobs with the security company as a result of Madarame's arrest. Those who played the game may recall that Madarame had a private security company, which he called after Ann and Morgana found out about his producing counterfeit Sayuri paintings.
  • Calling Card: The Thieves have to deliver one to their target. By comparison, in the game, this isn't necessary for Mementos targets (who become aware that they're being targeted as a result of the Phan-site), and during the IM conversation about this mission in the game, the group actually rules out the plan of using Leblanc to lure the gang in, saying that it's too risky.
  • Chucking Chalk: While in class, Joker gets hit with this while he's spacing out.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: In the Audio Play, Yusuke sincerely praised Ann's Bad "Bad Acting" skills because she managed to deceive him during Madarame's Story Arc. Ryuji (correctly) snarks that Yusuke probably was too distracted by the prospect of Ann posing nude at the time to realize how bad her acting really was.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: The entire animated special is a dream of the future given by Igor to the Protagonist while he's incarcerated in the Velvet Room.
  • Evil All Along: The focal character, Kazuya, despite seeming to be a pushover and coerced into helping some criminals, is actually fully complicit in their crimes.
  • Foreshadowing: A lot of the bad crew's dialogue has different meaning knowing that the put upon lockpicking kid is in it by choice, rather than forced into the crew:
    • The apparent head of the crew calls him "boss." Sounds sarcastic, but it turns out he formed the crew and considers himself the boss.
    • The girl in the crew says something along the lines of "this guy will never rat us out." At first it seems like it's because he's too scared to, but it turns out he wouldn't rat out the crew that he formed. And lo and behold, he never does.
    • Kazuya himself says "I wish those guys would just disappear." It's not because he's scared of them, it's because he thinks they're holding him back.
  • Lower-Deck Episode: The scenes centered on the robbers show how their lives had been affected by the actions of both protagonists and antagonists. For example, Madarame took it out so badly on his security firm for failing to catch Ann and Yosuke after they discovered what he was hiding under lock and key in his shack that the company was forced to downsize to keep itself in business, resulting in two of the gang members losing access to intel on restaurants with poor security. Likewise, Kaneshiro expanding his operations made Shibuya suddenly too dangerous for the robbers, motivating them to look for targets outside their usual hunting ground.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: After subduing Kazuya's Shadow and taking his treasure, the real world's Kazuya breaks down into tears as he cries about his crimes and abusive behavior, begging for the police to take him away.
  • Mythology Gag: Like Devil Survivor and the manga adaptation of the first Persona game, this has two related characters named Kazuya and Naoya. Like Devil Survivor they wind up becoming adversaries.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: A minor case, but in the anime, Ryuji's the one who suggests calling the police instead, whereas in the game, he's usually one of the Phantom Thieves more in favor of taking action.
  • The Profiler: Makoto shows off her profiling chops in the Audio Play when she easily figured out that the Burglary Ring was at least partially motivated by the thrill of committing a crime rather than just the profit. She pointed out to the Phantom Thieves that the Burglary Ring stole stuff they couldn't easily turn into cash, like booze, and took with them objects that likely were intended as trophies.
  • Protagonist Title: An odd, possibly even unintentional version. The Protagonist goes unnamed throughout the entire show, referred only by his code-name "Joker". However a Manga adaption of P5 began shortly after the games release that gave The Protagonist the name; "Akira Kurusu", with Akira being spelled with the Kanji for "Dawn" or rather "Daybreak". At this point it's unknown if ATLUS came up the name and named the short anime as such, but if not, then it's one hell of a coincidence.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Kazuya's actions in the first half come off very differently when you already know that he's the real leader.
  • Say My Name: Yusuke screams Joker's name while Joker's being attacked by Mithras.
  • Secretly Wealthy: Haru makes a conscious effort to keep her schoolmates from finding out she's rich. The Audio Play has her turning down an employee's offer to drive her to school and take the train instead, the tone of the conversation implying that this is an almost-daily occurrence.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: The Burglary Ring. The way how the Phantom Thieves handled what in the game is just a missable sidequest greatly affected how future members Makoto, Futaba and Haru thought of the team.
    • The OVA events take place during the time period Makoto all but blackmailed the Phantom Thieves to take down Kaneshiro in order to "prove their justice". The fact they still took care of a comparatively minor mission despite their limited time, and especially Yusuke's words telling her that they would of course do it given that someone (Naoya) was getting abused because of the target, shocked Makoto enough to start second guessing herself and realize that she had lost sight of what justice really was.
    • Futaba's surveillance rig on Leblanc made her realize that the "freeloader" and his friends were planning on using the café as bait for the Burglars. She considered calling the cops, but her suspicion that he could be involved with the Phantom Thieves made her take a wait-and-see approach instead. Her patience was rewarded when the Burglars' leader had his change of heart and confessed his crimes, upgrading her suspicion of Joker from "possibly involved" to "likely member" and she promised herself to contact him if they managed to take down another big target, which she ends up doing in the game's main storyline.
    • Haru turns out to be something of a fan of the Phantom Thieves. A conversation with Makoto brought her attention to the Burglary Ring, and then the change of heart of their leader made her wonder if the Phantom Thieves could help her out of her unwanted Arranged Marriage. She considers contacting them through the Phan-Site, but unlike Futaba she ends up deciding against it. This goes a long way to explain why Haru so readily went along with Morgana's plans to change her father's heart months later.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: When Haru speculates about what the Phantom Thieves are actually like in the Audio Play, she wonders if they wore dashing outfits or broke into cool poses before Makoto argues that was likely not the case. The very next scene has Ryuji pushing the idea of doing more cool poses when fighting Shadows.
  • Stupid Crooks: In the Audio Play, Futaba couldn't believe the Burglars would be stupid enough to let their phones auto-connect to Leblanc's free wifi network. This allowed her to hack several of them and access their cameras and mics in order to have a better idea of what was going on inside the café at the time.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: In truth, Kazuya doesn't think much of his gang's intelligence.
  • Wham Line: After the gang of burglars is forced to flee Leblanc, Kazuya, seeing the calling card intended for him, is shocked. At this point, a first-time viewer might assume that he was the one who informed the Phantom Thieves about his group, but then he says the following line.
    Kazuya: (thinking) And besides... In the end, I... I never posted anything onto that site.