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YMMV / Persona 5: The Animation

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Why didn't Ren bother to help Youji Isshiki when he was getting beaten up by the loan sharks? Was it because Ren knows Youji's a terrible person and thinks he deserves it, because the incident with Shido and the woman made him less willing to help people who might end up betraying him, or some combination of the two?
  • Angst? What Angst?: There are some moments in which characters' emotional reactions are significantly downplayed compared to the game.
    • In the game, when Makoto hears about the plan to change Sae's heart, she admits that she'd long considered doing that, but hoped it wouldn't come to that, and she's briefly presented as a suspect for the traitor. In the anime, she agrees without question.
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    • In the game, when Sojiro learned that Ren and Futaba were involved with the Phantom Thieves, he was initially very upset, largely out of concern for them, but after a conversation about that, particularly Futaba's belief that the conspiracy they're fighting was responsible for her mother's death accepted this, on the condition that they not get themselves killed. In the anime, he's completely calm about it, much to the disappointment of those who'd praised his realistic but ultimately reasonable reaction in the game.
    • A relatively subtle example happens with Sae. In the game, when she reads the names of the suspected Phantom Thieves, her portrait switches to her "sad" sprite when she reads Makoto's name, and she does so in a halting tone. In the anime, she keeps her composure, even as she asks about whether her own sister is a criminal.
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    • At the very end of the game, Ren is somewhat disturbed by the idea that the only way to take Shido down requires him to turn himself in and serve a long sentence in juvenile hall for violating his probation, but nevertheless, agrees to do so. In the anime, he doesn't hesitate to agree to Sae's request after hearing her out.
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
  • Author's Saving Throw: A number of Headscratchers or questionable bits of characterization were altered for the anime:
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    • In the game, the Phantom Thieves meet with Nakanohara in the Underground Walkway, face-to-face. The anime makes it an anonymous meeting that starts and ends with a Stealth Hi/Bye, while Ann and Ryuji listen in on the conversation.
      • Somewhat similarly, during the Medjed arc, the Phantom Thieves meet in the relativenote  privacy of the karaoke place, where they'd once met to talk about the Kaneshiro investigation, as opposed to discussing their activities as Phantom Thieves in the accessway. The same goes for the meeting in which Futaba proposes stealing data from Sae's laptop, although the Phantom Thieves who go to Shujin meet up with Yusuke and Futaba in the accessway.
    • Yusuke no longer blackmails Ann into being a nude model for him, which was originally considered both inappropriate following Kamoshida's sexual extortion plot-line, and also weirdly out of character for him. Instead, he simply orders the three out of the atelier when he gets fed up with their accusations toward Madarame, and is apparently convinced to let Ann return when she offers to pose nude.
    • The scene where Ren and Morgana leave Ryuji in the hands of the Shibuya Creatures has been altered. Instead of being OOC and leaving him to get taken away, they are forced to leave by a text from Ohya or else they wouldn't get the info on Kaneshiro, making it more understandable for having to leave Ryuji behind.
    • If anyone is worried about Tsukasa, Eiko's so-called boyfriend getting away with his crimes like in the game, don't worry. In the anime, the Phantom Thieves get to take out his Shadow in Mementos and change his heart.
    • In the game, the trip to Hawaii was criticized by some fans to be senseless Padding as the Phantom Thieves don't really do anything there, something that the group lampshades.note . The anime shows them engaging in different activities together while in Hawaii, such as playing beach volleyball and surfing, although Ryuji still comments on how they're spending a lot of time on their phones, just like in Japan.
    • In the game, when Morgana has a falling out with the Phantom Thieves, Ryuji is forced to apologize to him for being the insensitive one, giving a very half-assed apology, which made him Unintentionally Sympathetic in the dynamic between him and Morgana. In the anime, no one blames Ryuji for the debacle, and he genuinely apologizes to Morgana, saying that the word "useless" was merely a slip of the tongue.
      • Furthermore, the reconciliation between Morgana and the other Phantom Thieves proves to be more natural and sensible than that in the game. Ryuji shows more concern over Morgana after Sugimura abuses him, even borrowing a first aid kit to use on Morgana. Ryuji also says in a more assuring way that Morgana is the Thieves' friend, and is never useless, before he apologizes. On the other end, Morgana also sincerely apologizes for his decision to leave the Phantom Thieves. However, the anime also removes a scene in which Morgana not only refuses to betray the Thieves to Shadow Okumura (who hadn't been aware of their reconciliation), but also saves his friends from the trap, earning himself congratulations from Ryuji and Futaba.
    • One of the complaints about the antagonists was that Kunikazu Okumura ended up looking too much like an Unintentionally Unsympathetic character. Thanks to Adaptation Distillation and some additional scenes, the anime could convey the intended feeling that Okumura was supposed to be a bit more sympathetic.
    • In "Dark Sun..." after Ryuji survives his Heroic Sacrifice, whereas in the game the girls of the group beat the shit out of him for making fun of their crying over his apparent death, here, the group merely shouts at him while crying about how worried he had them, followed by a cut to credits.
    • In "Stars and Ours", while Akechi's fate remains as ambiguous as ever, his voice can be heard by Ren encouraging him not to give up against Yaldabaoth, at least clarifying what he would have wanted him and the rest of the Thieves to do.
  • Awesome Music:
    • "Break in to Break Out", the first OP for the anime, combines an understated guitar melody with lyrics that discuss the inability to forgive the one who's wronged the singer. It perfectly describes the M.O. of the Phantom Thieves.
    • The anime's version of Kaneshiro's boss fight in Episode 12 uses "Blooming Villain ATLUS Konishi Remix", an electronic uptempo version of the boss theme, and "Life Will Change ATLUS Meguro Remix" — both songs taken from the Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight soundtrack — to great effect.
  • Broken Base:
    • As noted in Vanilla Protagonist below, there are many who are extremely unhappy with how Ren Amamiya is portrayed in the anime, with common criticisms being that he's a bland, Static Character who barely reacts to anything (with his lack of incentive to get Morgana back during the Okumura arc and leaving Makoto to deal with Akechi's blackmail and anything else involving it being two noted low points). His one notable showing of personality - aside from acting as "Joker" in the Metaverse - is him being overly protective of the Thieves' definition of "justice" and acting rather rude to Akechi, even when it's unwarranted. On the other hand, many have found that it makes sense for him to keep his head down, and the development that the rest of the cast gets mostly makes up for it. He also got first place in a Newtype popularity poll, for what it's worth.
    • Goro Akechi's expanded presence. On one hand, many have found that he seems to have a presence as an actual rival and a genuine bond with Ren, and some of the more awkward transitions that stem from his Confidant in the game being automatic are made to flow more organically in the story; the biggest one being revealing to Ren about his past when he decides to help Sojiro keep custody of Futaba; in the game, he mentions it after Sojiro treats him coldly for his association with Sae. There's also been praise for his more sympathetic portrayal. On the other hand are fans who dislike him due to his game portrayal and would rather have him gone, regardless of how the anime has handled him, or feel as though he was unnecessarily or gratuitously shoehorned into the early episodes, long before he becomes relevant to the story.
    • The pacing. Many people who played the game are upset over how much didn't make it into the anime, particularly when some of their favorite parts are left out, as well as the overall rushed feel, and strongly recommend that anyone interested in Persona 5 play the game instead. Detractors also noted that scenes would shift and give little breathing room to develop tension before transitioning to the next scene. Others, however, argue that a lot has to be cut out for a 100-hour RPG to fit into 26 episodes and two OVAs and that the anime tried to compress the story the best they could, and consider the anime a good way for those who doesn't have the time to play the game to experience the story.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: The random CGI student in the background while Ren was talking to Kawakami in Episode 2 has already generated a fan-following. There's even an fan-made ending credits sequence solely dedicated to him.
  • Epileptic Trees: One common theory is that the anime will deviate from the video game by having Akechi somehow survive. Not only does the anime have greater focus on him, but in the anime, Akechi manages to kill his cognitive self (which is implied to have killed him in the game), and some people are less convinced that he died fighting the other Shadows. Ultimately, it's only implied, with Ren hearing his voice telling him to get back up to face Yaldabaoth and him only appearing physically in the Proof of Justice OVA during flashbacks. With the announcement that Ren will have a mystery date at the opera house in the A Magical Valentine's Day OVA, another popular theory is that said mystery date will turn out to be Akechi, due to a combination of the above and him being added back into the credits of Proof of Justice.
  • Internet Backdraft:
    • Shared with Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight, but much like with Persona 4: The Animation and Persona 3: The Movie, some people are none too happy that the manga name for the protagonist (Akira Kurusu) is not the name used for adaptations (Ren Amamiya), while others have embraced the change.
    • Episode 26 ending with Goro shooting the protagonist, and saving the final stretch of the game for two OVAs has been met with significant criticism, with many fans feeling disappointed with the overall quality of the show.
    • The fact that the final arcs of the game are being made into two OVAs in and of itself has been met with criticism, as many fear that, like with other parts of the show, it will be rushed through too quickly. This also ties to an interview revealing that the alleged Interface Spoiler that shows episodes beyond 26 was revealed to have been misleading on purpose, which angered fans further.
    • With the anime ending the way it did, many fans were afraid that the "twist" that Masashi Ishihama alluded to would either be The Un-Twist or no twist, and nothing would be changed for the OVAs. These fears were confirmed after both OVAs aired, where the endgame is identical to the game with no significant deviation. The only notable difference is a voice-only cameo of Akechi that appears in "Stars and Ours", where he encourages the Thieves to stand up against Yaldabaoth.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!:
    • One of the most common complaints is the fact that the anime has a mere 26 episodes to adapt a game that's dozens of hours long and full of Confidants and other sidequests that, while optional, are essential in developing the characters and setting. A lot of heavy content is compressed to the barebone minimum, with the series skimming through most of the confidants and the more complex elements of the Palaces.
    • The OVAs were heavily criticised for this as well, due to having to compress each of the final two dungeons and the ending into two separate OVAs that are less than an hour long each. As a result, the climactic battles with Akechi, Shido and even Yaldabaoth are ridiculously short, with the fight against the Holy Grail being completely omitted.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Akechi quotaExplanation 
    • QUALITYExplanation 
  • Moe: Both Yusuke and Makoto in their flashbacks as children are absolutely adorable. Small Haru appears in episode 21, and is just as cute.
  • Narm:
    • In episode 1, Kawakami drops a flyer for her maid services during Ren and Sojiro's first visit to Shujin Academy. It was supposed to be some Foreshadowing to Kawakami moonlighting as a maid, but the execution is unintentionally funny for just how nobody except Ren bats an eye over it.
    • Many fans have found the wonky quality of animation in Episode 2 to be hard to take seriously. One of these main gems is the use of random CGI students in the background which makes it extremely jarring in comparison to the traditional hand-drawn animation in the foreground. This video pretty much sums up the fanbase's reaction.
    • The All-Out Attacks depicted here are lackluster compared to the game. Already combined with the choppy animation, the flashy wallpapers are instead kept as blank red backgrounds in Episodes 2 and 3, despite panning the camera across the first four members in the latter. However, Ren's All-Out Attack background did get adapted in Episode 5, and so were Haru's and Morgana's in Episode 21.
      • Averted in Episode 25 with the All-Out Attack that finishes off Leviathan: all nine Phantom Thieves get in on the action - even Futaba, who can't usually attack - and it ends with Ren, his eyes glowing scarily red, summoning Seth to land the final blow.
    • Episode 4 has Tae Takemi, upon introduction, immediately offer Ren some of her experimental drugs, in front of Sojiro no less. In the games, Takemi only reluctantly takes on Ren as a test subject for her drugs, and it was only after grilling him on what his motives actually were. Sojiro also doesn't sound as concerned with this as he normally would or should be. The abruptness here was so Out of Character that it became unintentionally hilarious.
    • Kamoshida's confession in episode 4 is seen by many to lack the emotional intensity that the game was able to effectively convey. While Kamoshida in the game evokes his guilt by actually grovelling on his knees, he simply just stands on the spot in the anime with a rather bored expression on his face for most of his confession, only groveling for a moment when he offers to kill himself.
    • During Ryuji's argument with Morgana in Episode 18, Crunchyroll's subtitles for one of Ryuji's lines says, "Aren't you actin' for your own benfit here, too?!" an embarrassing typo that takes away from the scene. There are other typos, but none in a scene this dramatic.
    • In episode 20, Sugimura meets Haru in an alleyway and grabs her arm forcefully. But in the background, there's Product Placement for Pasela Resorts, which becomes distracting and awkward to see.
    • In Episode 22, when Ryuji and Morgana talk about the possibility that the conspiracy lured them into a trap, their expressions are unnaturally calm, especially considering that even the possibility of the Phantom Thieves being an Unwitting Pawn is disturbing them.
    • In Episode 24, when the two investigators are questioning Sojiro over whether he "did anything specific for Futaba," Ren says, in as many words, "He made curry." It Makes Sense in Context, considering what the curry means for Futaba, but since Ren doesn't explain that to the investigators, it's an unintentionally hilarious non-sequitur that doesn't really help Sojiro's case.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Downplayed. While not entirely rescued, Eiko from Makoto's confidant is viewed in a more positive light compared to her game counterpart. In the game, she simply breaks up with Tsukasa off-screen and disappears from the game altogether, since the final event with Makoto is a date in your room (if you romanced her) or a meeting in Big Bang Burger (if you didn't). Here, she takes it further by posting his name on the Phan-site, allowing the Phantom Thieves to change his heart, and also apologizes to Makoto (Makoto mentions they reconciled off-screen in the game)
  • So Okay, It's Average: The production values and visuals of the first few episodes have inspired this reaction, that it really just sort of looks like any other game-anime. This can come off as especially disappointing since the breathtaking aesthetic design is universally considered one of the game's highest points. Later episodes were noticeably better about this, though, although there are still more than a few cases of poorly drawn characters, particularly those in the background.
  • Tainted by the Preview:
    • Some fans are concerned over the fact that the anime is being done by A-1 Pictures who not only made the infamous Persona 4 Golden anime but for the past few years has been one of the most divisive anime studios. Some of the more gratuitous animation errors have already gained borderline meme status, and the anime's sloppy rendition of an All-Out Attack early on in the series, combined with the finishing poses of Ren and Ann, were already considered to be major low points.
    • The director mentioned in an interview with the magazine PASH! that Akechi will be receiving more screen time in the series (along with Fanservice for all the characters). True to form the fact that Akechi has appeared in nearly every episode as of this writing in some manner has made it more annoying for people who aren't fans of him, since it invokes the negative feelings fans had about how Marie, another polarizing character was handled in Persona 4 Golden: The Animation.
    • While the quick pacing for the anime (which was slated to be a 24-episode project like Persona 4: The Animation) was expected, some have complained that even by gaming-adaptation standards the pacing is too fast, especially during the Palace sequences (which are far more involved and elaborate compared to the more generic dungeons in Persona 4).
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Yusuke and Makoto as little kids in their respective flashbacks.
  • Unexpected Character: Episode 2 has an unexpected cameo from Haru, months before she makes her first appearance in the game.
  • Vanilla Protagonist: Ren Amamiya. In contrast to Yu Narukami and Makoto Yuki, Ren is treated mostly as a non-entity throughout the series and he only speaks short sentences in response to other characters, nor does he really undergo any significant character development like his predecessors did. Instead, the series places more focus on the development of his fellow Phantom Thieves as well as his confidants. It's only until the final stretch of the anime does he take a more active role in the story rather than take a backseat, though some consider it too little too late.
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