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By now, Persona 5 has been out for some time, and The Royal has been released in Japan. But let's go back to September 2016, when P5 was about to be released in Japan, and was months away from a Western release, and we had this OVA about a sidequest in the game to tide us over until then. I enjoyed this sneak peek at the game back then, but is there any reason to watch it now that P5 has been released, along with anime and manga adaptations of the story?
This OVA takes place between the second and third main dungeons in the game, some time in June, and involves the Phantom Thieves going after one of their Mementos targets, the head of a burglary ring(from "Phantom Thieves vs. Burglary Ring"). While the event in the game was barely mentioned outside of a few IM conversations, it's the main focus of this storyline.
The OVA mainly focuses on Kazuya Makigami, a seemingly unwilling accomplice to the other burglars, and has a surprisingly well-executed plot twist about his true personality, albeit one that will be ruined if you played the game first. Unfortunately, most of the Phantom Thieves are little more than their basic personalities, and even that isn't always consistently represented; Ryuji, the most gung-ho of the Phantom Thieves, even proposes that they leave the burglars to the police. Some of their quirks shine through, but most of them aren't very memorable in this OVA; for example, the most we know about Yusuke is that he happens to go to the same school as Kazuya's younger brother. Goro Akechi, the detective investigating the Phantom Thieves, makes a few appearances, but unlike in the anime, his presence doesn't end up being a gratuitous way to fill the "Akechi Quota."
The OVA provides a preview of several locations visited in the game, such as Leblanc, Big Bang Burger, the accessway, Mementos and others. Of course, it also ends up having to take some liberties with the game, such as having the Thieves be forced to set a trap for the burglars in Leblanc (which was dismissed as a terrible idea in the game), so they could leave a calling card for them (when for most Mementos targets, a post on the Phan-Site is enough).
The art and animation, like with Persona 5: The Animation is highly lackluster, and it's possible to see characters drawn hilariously poorly if you pause at the right time. The OVA makes good use of music from P5, but "Last Surprise" (or at least the version used here) is too short for the fight scene inside Mementos.
The Day Breakers ultimately ends with the Phantom Thieves victorious and looking ahead to their next job, and while it doesn't require much knowledge of P5's story to understand, it also doesn't stand on its own very well. In short, while this was a decent promotion for P5, now that the game is actually out, there isn't much reason to watch it anymore.
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