Hey guys, Josh here, back again with yet another review of the prodigious awesomeness that is Persona 5: The Animation! Once again, I’m so sorry for the late write-up last week! I started a brand new job with brand new hours, so readjusting my schedule has been a bit of a challenge! However, I’m trying some new things with regards to scheduling my time out better so hopefully this review finds you well and timely! I thank you all for your patience and I thank you all again for your feedback!
So, episode 10 is yet another setup episode for the next palace that we’re about to get into! These kind of episodes are now pretty easy to spot now, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Having played through this particular story arc myself in game, and watching others play through it in Let’s Plays, I am both relieved and sad that quite a bit was cut and/or trimmed down from the original. I know, due to time restraints, they can’t fit in everything, and honestly, they would be pretty foolish to try, but there are a few things I really wish they made an attempt with, even if they would’ve taken an extra episode to get it all in. I’ll go into details later…
Come on, why don’t we spin the wheel and see whom it may call! I’m Josh, and this is my review of Persona 5: The Animation episode 10!
Last time on P5:A, there were shenanigans aplenty! First up, Ren, Ryuji and Mishima decide to check out a new “dial-a-maid” service where a girl dressed up as a maid would come to your house and do ANYTHING for you. However, the “dial-a-maid” quickly turned into “dial-a-teacher,” as the maid in question is Kawakami-Sensei, Ren’s teacher from school, working a second job. The next series of shenanigans involves Ryuji and his old track team buddies; it seems as though the bros still have a grudge against Ryuji, and they let him know that a new track team will be starting up without him under a new adviser, and that doesn’t sit too well with our blonde bro. Ren decides that mopey Ryuji is no good, and he decides to gather some intel. After questioning his teacher-maid, who offers some insight into Ryuji’s personality, while getting some insight herself, Ren goes undercover to reach out to the truth of the matter. Turns out the new adviser is just another Kamoshida lackey who stirs up discontent between the track members. Ryuji tells the track team about this, they beat him up to let off frustration, and everyone is happy. Are you happy? Good. Let’s get started.
Our episode starts off at school in the rain. Sadly, the creators don’t decide to play the instrumental version of “Beneath the Mask” here; that’s the PERFECT song for rainy days. Anyway, Ren and Mishima are having a chat about the Social Studies field trip. Ren hasn’t decided where he wants to go but Mishima decides to go to the TV studio on the off chance that he might get to meet a famous actress. Such a fanboy, bless his heart. The two boys then head to the train station and go their separate ways. Unbeknownst to Ren, Makoto is tailing him… and not doing a good job. Seriously, baby girl couldn’t be more conspicuous if she tried. She’s literally just holding up a magazine in front of her face as she follows somewhat closely behind Ren. She doesn’t even change her uniform to make herself blend in, bless her dopey heart. She goes to follow him on the train, but some random elderly person falls over, and darn her conscious, she decides to help, losing Ren on the Subway. Stupid old person! Roll credits!
So it’s the next day, and it seems as though Ren, Ryuji and Ann decide to head to the TV studio for the Social Studies trip. All in all, it’s a pretty good day with Ann being propositioned into being a TV model by a creepy producer, and our boys being made to haul cables around. After a bit of celebrity shogi player gawking, and Mishima wondering off fanboy over celebs, Ren, Ryuji and Ann meet up for lunch. Ryuji is complaining about how boring things have gotten, but Morgana rebukes him, reminding him that real phantom thieves maintain the illusion of living a plain ordinary life.
Later, the class attend a live taping of a talk show, and it just so happens that the guest in question is the Detective Prince Goro Akechi. Oh, how I wish it were Naoto Shirogane, I miss Naoto. She was adorable, and a helluva good dancer too. In any case, the interview soon drifts over to the hot topic of the day: The Phantom Thieves of Hearts. The interviewer asks Akechi’s opinion of them, to which he replies that if they were to exist and if they did have the power to manipulate thoughts, they should be brought to Justice. The reason being? Although Madarame did some horrendous things, the Phantom Thieves are just as bad as they are taking the law into their own hands and acting as Judge and Jury. Naturally, this does not sit well with Ann or Ryuji, but before we get to see what Ren’s reaction to all this is, a reporter comes up to him in the audience and asks what HE thinks about the Phantom Thieves. After a moment, Ren replies that the group is justice itself; Akechi then counters by asking Ren a question: what if one of his family members suddenly had a change of heart? Would it be the work of the Phantom Thieves? Ren replies that he wouldn’t. Akechi continues that the reason it’s so important to bring the Phantom Thieves to justice is that because, if the ability to change hearts is real, then that power could be used to do bad things, like the runaway subway train incident earlier for example. Akechi then states that because the Phantom Thieves pose such a dangerous risk, he has been working with the police department in order to bring a quick resolution to the matter.
This understandably has our Phantom Thieves a little shook. After filming the class is dismissed, and the trio discuss the matter. Ann is understandably nervous, but Morgana reassures her, but reiterates that they have to be very cautious as their actions are now under police scrutiny. Ryuji is frustrated over the restrictions, but Morgana offers up a suggestion—they should check out a cool “pancake-looking” place they passed earlier. However, before anyone can clarify what exactly Morgana is talking about, Akechi comes from around the corner. He thanks Ren for participating in the talk show interview with him, as it’s always good to have a counter argument when conducting an investigation. He promises to come by and have more coffee at LeBlanc before going about his merry way. but before he leaves, he asks the group if they were going off to have some pancakes as he is pretty hungry himself. When Ryuji questions this, Akechi hand-waves it away and walks off, then Morgana pops up and states that Akechi is trouble. You can say that again.
Later, Makoto appears in front of Principal No-Neck again. If you recall, he tasked her with trying to figure out who was leaving the calling cards around the school. Sadly, baby girl has had no luck, but questions why in the world are they putting so much effort into finding the Phantom Thieves, but No-Neck tells her to do what she’s told. This clearly bothers baby girl as she zones out during the student council meeting during a discussion about the recent blackmail rumors involving students in Shibuya…
Meanwhile, Ren, Ryuji and Ann meet up to discuss how popular Akechi has been. Ren muses that maybe Akechi brought up his own involvement with the police just to curry favor with the public. Ann openly questions the idea if it’s okay for them to continue to operate as Phantom Thieves, but Ryuji counters that they shouldn’t let themselves be scared out of their duty as Phantom Thieves just because the cops are looking for them. Just then, Makoto walks up, asking if there was anything she could do as she’s always willing to help out her fellow students. However, Ann ain’t having none of that, lashing out against Makoto that nobody in the Student Council, the group that’s supposed to protect the student body, did anything to protect Shiho from Kamoshida. Makoto doesn’t take this lying down though, firing back at Ann with the ultimate guilt trip—if you were such good friends, why didn’t YOU do anything? Ann accepts this, but states that because she had support, she was able to stand up to Kamoshida. Before Makoto has a chance to fire back, the school bell rings, and she goes off. Ann takes back her doubts earlier—baby girl is fully on board with continuing her Phantom Thievery and fighting for justice.
That afternoon, Kawakami tells Ren that he has been summoned to the Student Council room. When he meets up with Makoto, she holds up her phone and says that she has something that she wants everyone else to hear. DUN-DUN-DUNNNNN…
Ren escorts Makoto to the meeting place where Ryuji, Ann and Yusuke are waiting. Naturally they’re all shocked to see the student council president with Ren, and they’re even more shocked when she plays a recording of Ryuji and Ann talking about being Phantom Thieves on her obviously-not-product placement Sony Xperia smartphone. Makoto hints at turning over the recording to the police, but she then makes an offer: she wants to see the “justice” of the Phantom Thieves by changing someone’s heart. But not just anyone… baby girl wants The Phantoms to change the heart of a crime syndicate boss who’s group has been taking advantage of quite a number of Shujin students, tangling them up in phishing scams and drug dealing. Sadly though, Makoto doesn’t have a name and all witnesses are too terrified to testify against them. Time to do some investigating!
While Ryuji, Yusuke and Ann go off in search of leads, Makoto takes Ren to the hot spot of mob activity in Shibuya, where many poor unsuspecting students are approached by mob lackeys and hooked into their dasterdly deeds with promises of part time jobs, only to be blackmailed later. Sure enough, after a few minutes, they are approached by two creepy looking guys. Seriously, these guys look like straight up mob guys; people you would not want to mess with or meet in a dark alley and look as though they have the intelligence of a very over ripened turnip. You know, like the people in Trump’s cabinet. Anyway, Makoto expresses interest in doing a job, and asks a couple questions about it, eventually asking to see their boss. The two goons decide this chick is too much trouble to deal with and they head off. Sadly the others aren’t having much luck either gathering clues and Makoto decides to head home, but not before swapping contact information with Ren.
Later, in a Karaoke booth, the group contemplate their situation. Seems like finding a mafia boss is harder than it seems. Ryuji contemplates asking Makoto to change the target, as all they have to do is show her their “justice”, but Ann smartly notes that because the target in question is messing around with Shujin students, she won’t be quick to change her mind about the target. She is class president after all. Morgana theorizes that because this is a big target, he probably has a Palace like their last two targets, and because they have distorted desires, they are pretty much obligated as the Phantom Thieves to check it out. The others agree, but Yusuke brings up their original problem—lack of information and lack of a name. What they need is someone with an inside scoop on what’s going on… preferably someone in the media.
Well, let’s see… Rachael Maddow is really good at getting the inside story, but she’s busy with the Russia investigation… Sean Hannity is a reporter, but he probably has about a 50-story palace with his twisted desires… and I wouldn’t trust him to investigate if a 5 year old stole a cookie from the cookie jar… Anderson Cooper is pretty good too, but good luck trying to tear him away from CNN… Donna Britt on WAFB-TV Channel 9 in Baton Rouge is a GREAT reporter, but… dang it… she just retired today. Ah well…
Guess we need to go LOCAL. Where can we find a local reporter? Oh yeah! That woman outside Madarame’s place that one time who gave Ren her business card! Ichiko Ohya with the Maiasa Newspaper. Is it a long shot? Of course it is, but since the group has no other options, something is better than nothing. Ren sends her a message and she replies back to meet up in Shinjuku. One wonders if they’ll be passing by a certain bakery while they’re out there. I got a taste for some Guilmon bread.
And now, for something completely different: fun with the #YearOfDigimon Crew!
Give me a ring if they fight any red dinosaur Digimon voiced by Masako Nozawa. 😜
— Katie McAteer (@PikaHikariKT) June 14, 2018
Anyway, because Shinjuku is pretty wild at night, Ryuji and Ren opt to go on their own for the meetup. Unfortunately, Ryuji didn’t get the memo to change out of his school uniform so as not to look conspicuous. Though, honestly, Ryuji’s outfit deviates so far off from the normal Shujin uniform with his “No Mo’ Rules” red t-shirt, I doubt anyone would notice, unless they specifically knew that Shujin’s uniform consists of dark red and grey plaid pants. Though, brother man, DID YOU HAVE TO BRING YOUR SCHOOL BACKPACK WITH THE SCHOOL CREST ON IT?! I mean, come on! You could’ve gotten away with the outfit, but the school bag?! That’s just stupid, bless your little dopey heart. And right on cue, a cop notices the two of them. Ren casually walks with Ryuji down one alley out of sight of the cop. All’s good, right? Well it seems as though Old Man Trouble just won’t leave Ryuji alone.
As the group ducks in the alley, a very pretty fortune teller with her table set up off the street predicts impending woman troubles for Ryuji. And no soon as she says that, then two FLAMING guys approach Ryuji and begin fawning all over him. Seriously, these guys, self described “Shinjuku Creatures” are absolutely fawning over Ryuji, and one pounces on him to “eat him up”. Well, Ryuji, it seems as though these fine gentlemen are going to help you with your pants problem… by removing them. Prepare yourself. Ren decides that the best thing to do is to leave Ryuji be while he goes off for his meetup. However, our glasses wearing bro is not without a heart… he apologies to Ryuji, and Morgana wishes him luck and farewell. SOME PALS.
After a little walk, Ren walks up to a local bar; the place of their meetup with Ohya. He’s greeted by the cross-dressing bartender Lala-Chan who is not too keen on the idea of having a youngster in his (her?) bar. Ohya greets him, looking as though she’s already had a few too many in her system. She pulls him into the corner of a bar out of earshot. Ohya knows she has information that Ren needs, but much like the Trump Adminstration, quid pro quo is the order of business. Ohya, remembering that Ren is a Shujin student, believes that he knows loads about what really went down with Kamoshida and the Phantom Thieves and wants an exclusive with a student that survived Kamoshida’s abuse. Morgana secretly suggests that Mishima would absolutely love to be involved in a story like this, and Ren says that he may know someone to fit that bill. Ohya considers it a deal and lets drop a name—Junya Kaneshiro. She then quickly states that she’s not responsible for what happens during his own investigation.
The next day, everyone meets up in downtown Shibuya Ryuji is understandably upset at being left at the hands of the “Shinjuku Creatures,” but before he can talk further about his Fantastic Voyage, the group get down to business. Yusuke put in Kaneshiro’s name in the Meta-Nav and got a hit, but they needs a “Place” and a “Thing”. The group spit-ball several ideas around, until Ren comes up with the correct idea that Kaneshiro’s palace is a “Bank”–a place that collects money. Now for the “Thing”… what does Kaneshiro see as his bank? Much like Kamoshida saw the school as his castle and Madarame saw his atalier as his art museum, what does Kaneshiro see his bank as being? Again the group runs several ideas up the flagpole to see who salutes. As it turns out, Ryuji stumbles on the correct answer—ALL of Shibuya is Kaneshiro’s bank. The group is then transported to the Metaverse…
…which is the entire town of Shibuya. The only difference is that this Shibuya has cash floating around like being in a cash tunnel, and it’s all going to one key place…a large, floating Bank high above Metaverse Shibuya. Behold, our target. Roll Credits!
After the end credits, we see a man sitting alone, looking out at Metaverse Shibuya through large windows, complaining that he doesn’t “have enough” yet and that he must rip off more people. He then proclaims that all the money in this town is his for the taking. Meanwhile, a figure watches him from the shadows… red eyes glaring in the darkness.
So, that’s the end of episode 10 and it was a pretty good episode. As usual, this is just a setup episode for the next big palace, and the show executes it well. The anime did cut out quite a bit of material from the video game, but I guess, due to time constraints, they didn’t feel the need to put it in, and the creators did a good enough job cutting and pasting around the stuff they cut to make a good episode. There are some things that I’m glad they trimmed, but other things, I really wish they would’ve found a way to keep in.
I actually liked the moment when Ren is asked the question about what he thinks about the Phantom Thieves. It was really well done—it was a way to have Ren speak up for his group as not only a Phantom Thief but their leader. The back and forth between Akechi and Ren, while it does feel a little dry, is still pretty powerful if you really break it down. For once, The Phantoms are being challenged on their beliefs, and are being called upon to explain it. Who better than the Fearless Leader Joker to speak up on behalf of the team?
No lie, I was so excited to see the scene after the talk show aired, when the group is talking in the hallway, and Akechi walks up. Having played the game through to completion, I was wondering how they were going to pull this particular moment off, because this scene is so pivotal to how the rest of the series plays out. Thankfully they did it justice. I just hope that the English dub does it equal justice… if and when we get one.
Speaking of Justice, let’s talk about our red eyed cutie Makoto. As a character, she is delightfully complex. Here you have this girl who is put in the awkward situation of doing things that are WAY above her station. Not only does she have her own life to deal with, but she also has her Student Council duties and Principal No-Neck applying undue pressure on her to produce results in her investigation and go against what she feels is right. We actually see all this come to a head in the next episode, and there’s one scene in particular that I’m HOPING AND PRAYING they do not cut, as it is really a defining moment for Makoto and acts as a catalyst for certain events.
Speaking of things being cut, I am very sad that the big revelation involving Makoto’s recording of Ann, Ryuji, and Ren’s conversation was handled differently than in the original source material. In the game, Ren goes to the student council room, has a seat across from Makoto, and she plays the recording with Ryuji and Ann speaking. After a few lines of dialogue, Ren’s phone rings, and of course, it’s Ryuji saying, in his typical loud-mouth Ryuji way, and I quote: “Hey, where you at? Takin’ a leak? Let’s meet up at the usual spot to hold our Phantom Thieves Meetin’!” Bless… His… LITTLE… Heart… Makoto and Ren then meet up with the group and the scene proceeds as we see in the anime. I would’ve loved to had seen this scene animated and to see what options from the game the creators would’ve picked.
I was also disappointed with the moment when Makoto ASKS for Ren’s phone number. Again, this is a moment that they changed from source. In the game, Makoto actually went to LeBlanc and asked Sojiro for his number. I know this is something small, but I felt that this would’ve been a great way to show just how smart Makoto is and how good a detective she is.
All that being said, that’s it for episode 10. A good episode, but it had some room for improvement. Episode 11 promises to be pretty freaking awesome, and I really hope that they do this particular one justice as it involves the awakening of one of the most beloved characters in the Persona 5 series with one of the most awesome personas ever seen in the franchise. Please don’t screw this up, guys.
Time to remind you where you can watch this… as though you didn’t already know. Anyway, Persona 5: The Animation is currently being streamed on Crunchyroll with new episodes dropping every Saturday at 1:00pm EDT/12:00PM CDT. You can also stream the series on Hulu, but I can’t say exactly what time each episode will drop. Also remember that the game, Persona 5, is readily available for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 if you wanna check it out.