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YMMV / Persona

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  • Awesomeness Withdrawal: While the games are very long and have a lot to do, there's always a feeling of sadness that comes over watching the credits. It's often known by fans as "post-Persona depression".
  • Better as a Let's Play: The games, especially 3, 4, and 5 are very popular Let's Play games in the JRPG genre, due to being very long and very story driven. It would be very easy to say that a lot of fans of the games never actually played the games themselves and simply watched a Let's Play of it. The main reason people prefer to watch Persona games rather than play them is because of the "Life Sim" portion of them, whereas the player has to choose what daily activity the main character will do. People watch other people play it because they either don't have time to do it themselves, the amount of choices is overwhelming for them, they outright dislike it as fluff to trudge through to get to the next dungeon, or they want to see how the choices/time management of the content creator play out.
  • Broken Base:
    • Since the Newbie Boom especially thanks to The New '20s ports, there has been a clearer divide between players that play at their own pace and players that prefer to use guides (especially for max Social Link/Confidant runs in the modern games). The former is tired of constant questions for guides including for very obvious solutions and considers use of any guide making playthroughs unfun. The latter argues that the games have plenty of Guide Dang It! moments that reduce the fun factor especially for accessing the (usually-advertised) bonus content that certain players would rather not waste another 100 hours to reach and not every player has 100+ hours to dedicate to a single video game because of jobs, other matters to handle, etc. and thus would rather experience everything in a single playthrough or two (considering New Game Plus-exclusive content).
    • There has been a debate among fans regarding the direction of the protagonist going forward. One side prefers how it is with Hello, [Insert Name Here], the protagonist being mostly silent, and varying tones of dialogue options, all of which fit the role-playing aspect. The other side would rather have the name entry taken out entirely and the protagonist's character be fully defined and properly participating in the story, considering the subseries' own Broken Base over Canon Name (except for the 2 duology where the names are clearly established in-game to begin with) and said side's feel that the current implementation poses more problems in storytelling due to Narm induced by the sillier player-inputted names and jarring interactions caused by the protagonist never speaking outside of dialogue options, voiced one-liners, or Voice Grunting. Naturally, the former camp thinks the latter's idea as unfair to the players already used to this system, while the latter thinks the former is part of the writing and enjoyment problem.
    • Whether the next Persona mainline game should keep the high school setting or take place in college/workplace (or just basically have all main characters be adults entirely) is up for debate with heaps of Values Dissonance. Some conclude that it would be impractical to have the calendar system for a working adult protagonist given Japan's notoriously long work hours, but others argue that having an adult protagonist would be a fresh approach for the series. The same controversy applies for whether to keep confining the main country location to strictly Japan or take place in another country entirely.
    • Except for the second and fourth games, where the names Tatsuya Suou & Yu Narukami are virtually agreed upon, the fanbase tends to get into rather intense debates about the names of the protagonists of Persona 3 & Persona 5, although nowadays, it's pretty much universally agreed by fans to be Makoto Yuki and Ren Amamiya respectively.

  • Common Knowledge:
    • Nyarlathotep is commonly stated to be the Big Bad of the entire series by the fandom, even though in the grand scheme of things his actual level of impact is minimal at best. He served as the main antagonist of the Persona 2 duology, and after that he has not been seen since, in spite of constant theories about his return in future games. And while yes he is the embodiment of humanity's darkness and directly competes against Philemon, he's not really that much different from any other Persona Big Bad, being an Anthropomorphic Personification of the negative aspects of humanity that intends harm on the world, with the only thing he has above them is successfully ending the world at the end of Innocent Sin (And even then, he just wins that battle, not the war). Hell, in his debut back in Persona, he was nothing more than a regular Persona used by the actual villain of the game, Takahisa Kandori, and the Persona 2 duology just Retcon'd him as using Kandori during those events, which makes Nyarlatothep the Greater-Scope Villain of the first game. Still, Nyarlatothep hasn’t been seen since Eternal Punishment, so while he’s technically the most reoccurring villain, his presumed status of being the Big Bad of the entire series is dubious at best.
    • There are six mainline Persona games, not five. Persona 2 actually consists of two games.
  • Complete Monster: See here for a page of the most despicable villains in this sub-series.
  • Crack Pairing: There is a trend where fans ironically ship a very unlikely pair of adult characters in the subseries, with the most popular being Adachi x Sae.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Mara is called "Dick Chariot", it's self-explanatory.
    • The protagonist of Persona 3 is commonly referred to as Door-kun.
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception: Referring to Persona 3, 4, and 5 as "the Persona series" is sure to hit a sore spot among more hardcore fans, given how Persona 1 and both Persona 2 games tend to be forgotten while the more recent titles get tons of attention and spin-offs.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • With JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, due to both having a spirit like entity each character can summon that represents their "true selves", and in Stardust Crusaders, having an Arcana theme. The biggest example is the rivalry between Diamond is Unbreakable and Persona 4, due to them having similar premises (high-school-aged protagonists trying to solve a murder in a small town, and at least one of the murder victims was hung from a telephone wire).
    • With the main series, due to its popularity overshadowing it and everything else Atlus makes. There are those who actively dislike the spin-off, accusing it of watered-down gameplay and thematic compromise. Simultaneously, some fans are only fans of the spin-off and dislike the main series for its stagnant, recycled "order vs. chaos and both are jerks" plots, flatter characters that contrast heavily with the spin-off's heavily character-focused narratives, and its archaic difficulty and gameplay. There are those who enjoy both, but the two series are different enough from one another that there's less overlap than one would think.
    • With the fandom itself, there's a split of Persona 1/2 fans vs. 3 and beyond. Katsura Hashino took over as the series director starting with the fourth game, retooling the series both gameplay and tone-wise in the process. While Persona 3 contained a few easter eggs to the early games, it was essentially a Soft Reboot of the franchise. The side effect of this is all the spin-offs moving forward draw from these modern Persona games leading to a rivalry of the fanbase.
    • Additionally, even among modern fans, there's a divide between those who like 3 and those who like 4 and/or 5. From a gameplay perspective, the former camp believes that the fourth and fifth games dumbed down the mechanics too much, while the latter camp supports the addition of Anti-Frustration Features and other improvements. From a story perspective, the former camp prefers the darker story and more focus on Character Development in the story (e.g. having Persona evolutions be tied to in-story development), while the latter camp prefers the Investigation Team and Phantom Thieves being tighter-knit than S.E.E.S. was, and doesn't like the inability to do Social Links for male S.E.E.S. members in the third game, which they believe results in the characters getting less development than they should.
  • Fanon:
    • People arguing that the canon love interest for every "Fool" bearing protagonist is whoever happens to be represented by the Lovers Arcana in their respective game.
    • The debate over whether or not there even is a canon love interest qualifies as this.
  • Fridge Horror: The Social Link system introduced in Persona 3 can easily be read as you deliberately cultivating "friendships" solely for the purpose of amassing more power for yourself. This is toned down in Persona 5; most of your Confidants befriend you with the explicit understanding that you're getting some material benefit out of the relationship- for example, Sojiro asks you to help out at his café in order to earn your keep, and offers to teach you how to make coffee as a perk- and a throwaway line by Morgana indicates that he is aware of Social Links and has no issue with it.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • Though there have been spats of a Fandom Rivalry as noted above, the fandoms of the Persona series have started to grow tight with JoJo's Bizarre Adventure due to several similarities, especially since both series involve Fighting Spirits but take the concept in very distinct directions. Fans of both series also love to point out similarities between Persona 4 and Diamond is Unbreakable involving a team of high school students hunting down a serial killer while Persona 5 and Golden Wind both involve a group of criminals who aim to improve situations for others.
    • The Persona and Super Smash Bros. fanbases got along following Joker's addition to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate; the Persona fanbase was excited to see representation in a major fighting game series, and the Smash side have gotten interested into the Persona games.
    • As noted above, there are hardcore those who love one but not the other, but the general majority of Shin Megami Tensei fans are also fans of Personanote , particularly more casual fans. Furthermore, most mainline fans got into the franchise through Persona, and a number of entries like the Devil Survivor duology and Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse draw elements from both Persona and mainline SMT.
    • In The New '10s, when both series achieved significant Newbie Booms, fans of Persona have started to grow fond of Fire Emblem and vice versa, because both series are some sort of RPG, both series center on The Power of Friendship and The Power of Love as Central Themes, and both series are considered pioneers of Relationship Values in video games. Persona series fans were particularly fond of Fire Emblem: Three Houses, given that it seems to take several hallmark elements from the Persona series such as the school setting, time management life sim elements, and Tarot Motifs while seamlessly working them into Fire Emblem's established aesthetic. It helps that both franchises are represented in the aforementioned Super Smash Bros. as of Ultimate, and Fire Emblem fans and Persona fans alike welcomed the idea of the two series sharing a console once Persona 3 Portable, Persona 4 Golden, and Persona 5 Royal all became multi-platform. The series got additional respect from Fire Emblem fans once Katsura Hashino revealed that Persona 3 saved the series (and Atlus as a whole) thanks to their efforts to make it more accessible to mainstream audiences, which is exactly what Fire Emblem: Awakening accomplished for its own series seven years later.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The games managing to earn international acclaim, especially since the release of Persona 5 (not that the previous games do not apply, they just remained relatively niche outside Japan until then), is obvious enough, but an interesting case is from the modding community which is dominated by the Western fanbase. Japanese fans may take interest in the Game Mods and ask for permission to convert them to their regional version. The most notable example is the "Manual Skill Inheritance Mod" for the Steam version of Persona 3 Portable, which began in English only before it got translated into multiple languages and made the Eastern fanbase rejoice considering Persona 3's notoriety as the "OX game."
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Persona 3 introduces the series's take on The Grim Reaper, who dual-wields guns. Guess what later property features a dreaded-in-universe character with "Reaper" in his name that dual-wields guns?
  • Moral Event Horizon: See here.
  • More Popular Spin-Off: The Persona games are the most popular commercially and critically acclaimed about of the whole Shin Megami Tensei franchise, specifically the games from Persona 3 onward, with each new main installment surpassing the previous one in both sales and critical acclaim. Persona 5 in particular has become Atlus's best-selling game ever, and its main character Joker is a DLC fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It's to the point that during Shin Megami Tensei's 30th anniversary, it was pretty much all Persona content with the main SMT series barely even being acknowledged.
  • My Real Daddy: Kouji Okada was the original director of the series, with Persona originally envisioned as a more accessible alternative to the other highly complex Shin Megami Tensei games. However, Katsura Hashino not only gave the series its own identity, but helped it eclipse everything else Atlus would put out before and since, as his direction was responsible for adding the popular Social Link Relationship Values system, the life sim segments between dungeon outings, and the limitation of non-protagonist party members to their starting and ultimate Personas.
  • Never Live It Down: Has its own page.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: One of the most common ones present in just about each game is the "Starter Persona run". The idea behind it is that you have to beat the game using only your starting Persona, meaning you can't switch to any other Persona. This generally involves using each games various methods of powering up Persona's outside of fusion to give them skills that remove their Achilles' Heel, buff their stats to the limit, and give them endgame skills, such as Skill Cards, Strengthening via the Velvet Room, or using some form of Loophole Abuse to empower them by the end game. It is possible to do this depending on the game, but it tends to be restricted to New Game Plus because of the limitations of some games making this run harder than others.
  • Sequel Displacement: How many people knew of Persona before the fourth, fifth, or sixth games? For that matter, it's rare to meet a Western Shin Megami Tensei fan that wasn't introduced to the series by those three games. This was taken even further when Persona 5 achieved mainstream success. Persona 3 and Persona 4 were popular JRPGs, but JRPGs as a whole are a rather niche genre in the West.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: Despite them not even being from the same game, or even having the opportunity to meet each other, Adachi x Sae has a rather strong following.
  • Subbing Versus Dubbing: Despite both East and West versions being good in language and voice acting aspects, the fandom is divided into those that like both, some that prefer the full original Japanese for what the games really are, some that prefer Japanese VA but localized text for convenience while preserving the original voice, some that prefer dub only, and some that prefer fan translations both for convenience and full context preservation. It does not help that the entire thing is a Broken Base caused by either voice acting (Teddie from Persona 4 being a common contention), Bowdlerization that often results in Dub-Induced Plot Hole or Lost in Translation (or petty censorship especially caused by social media outrage, which Atlus West are more than happy to obey), Woolseyism prone to the same results, and the games' demographic. The East (including the southern Asian regions, where the games are not as niche as in the West but not as big in popularity as in Japan) tend to not tolerate the Western changes to the games, while the West is again a Broken Base because common players play dubbed for the most convenience points especially helped by stellar voice acting in most cases, while those that appreciate the original Japanese version either go the popular route of nabbing an undub/fan-translated ROM, mod the games themselves for the same result, or learn Japanese.
  • Values Dissonance: The view on the protagonist differs greatly between the East and the West. In Japan, along with South Korea, China and Southeast Asia, the silent protagonists from Persona 3, 4, and 5 frequently ranks first place in official character surveys, which can seem baffling to the audience in North America and Europe. This is because Easterners simply see it as a way to role play as a defined hero like any other typical JRPG, with how they pick the dialogue choices and progress through gameplay or schedule being a reflection of these players, combined with experiencing the hero's journey while Westerners are divided on this idea, and consider a Self-Insert being a fully-defined character by the player, often bringing up character creators and even more personal projection.

Alternative Title(s): Shin Megami Tensei Persona

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