Original Release: May 12th, 2018
Much to my surprise, I found this episode to be the least painful to watch in a while.
The episode moves forward at a quick but still steady pace (at least compared to the other episodes so far) and hits many of the story’s beats pretty well. For the sake of keeping this review shorter than the others, let’s just bullet point what happened this episode.
-Yusuke asks Ann to be his model
-Makoto confronts the Phantom Thieves on the roof
-The Phantoms go to the Madarame art exhibit
-Yusuke shows Ann around and steers her away from a painting that he himself drew
-Ren (still hurts to type that) digs up some dirt on Madarame from the Phan-Site
-They go to Madarame’s shack and confront Yusuke
-They enter Madarame’s palace and discover proof of his heinous crimes
-They confront Yusuke again whilst he’s drawing Ann and he kicks them out
-The guy from the previous episode asks them to steal Madarame’s heart and save Yusuke
-End of episode
Amazingly, none of these beats were extremely damaged. They all hit the mark that the game did reasonably well. All of them were at least a little different from the game, but they were never so different that they ruined the point. In fact, the changes were precise enough to still lead into future scenes, just like the game.
For example, let’s look at the scene where Yusuke is drawing Ann. He finally stops, declaring that ‘he just can’t draw her without her being in the nude’. This sets up for the scene we’ll inevitably get in the next episode: Ann ‘stripping’ for Yusuke just as effectively as in the game, in which Yusuke demands that Ann do it.
Scenes like this are aplenty in this episode. All except Madarame’s Palace. Here, we get a scene of Madarame monologuing to a pair of Shadow Guards about tricking the Phantoms and how his abuse isn’t a bad thing. It’s incredibly forced, annoying and boring. It adds nothing to the episode nor the story of the arc.
Still, this episode was actually… pretty good. Decent pacing, good enough adaptation changes, and best of all: it doesn’t hurt me to watch.
If the Persona 5 Animated Series keeps going with this level of quality for every episode here on out, then the show will become perfectly okay. Not spectacular, of course, but a decent enough show. Will that happen?
I doubt it, but I’d love to be proven wrong.