Anime, Archive, Persona 5 The Review

ARCHIVE Persona 5 The Review E13: why are all the good episodes filler?

Original Release: June 30th, 2018

As the title implies, this episode is yet another filler story focusing on a side quest from the game. In this version, however, we also have an added subplot starring Akechi and Ren.

Because the audience isn’t sick to death of Akechi by now, right?

This episode is entirely focused on Yuuske’s Confidant quest; him working through a slump, being tempted by an old man running an art foundation, overcoming his slump and growing as an artist. It’s a simple quest and, honestly, one of my least favorites from the game. Plus, the fact that most of it was told through montage in this episode was extremely weak and uninteresting to watch.

On top of this, the whole quest is completed within a single episode, whereas the Kawakami story line only began in hers. In comparison to that episode (which is still the best one by a landslide, by the way) this one was way too rushed. And that’s with a whole new side plot added in on top of that, I might add.

Allow me to explain. Running alongside Yusuke’s struggle to overcome his slump is Akechi investigating the old man who is tempting him with money and success without genuine effort. Stuck in a rut, Akechi asks Ren (god I still hate that name compared to Akira) to help him with the investigation, to which Ren agrees.

Initially, I had hope for this. I thought it would be a cool attempt from Akechi to corner Ren into revealing he was a Phantom Thief. I thought he’d try to pressure him into changing the old man’s heart in order to confess, and Ren would have to think of a way around that to prevent being exposed. Y’know, some genuine wit battles like in the first few episodes of Death Note.

Nothing like that happens. Apparantly Akechi wasn’t even suspicious of him in the first place. Hell, he offered to make Ren his partner after the credits, to which Ren declines. So… what was the point of this subplot?

It could’ve created some tension and dramatic irony if it were done the way I thought it would’ve. The audience would become a little more tense whenever Akechi was on screen because we knew that he suspected Ren, thus every scene between them would become a battle of wits. Doesn’t that sound thrilling and engaging?

Well too bad, you’ll never get that. Fuck you.

Still, this was a decently entertaining episode. There were a few little touches that made me smile, like Hifumi entering the church while Ren and Yusuke are hanging out only to leave immediately when she sees their ridiculous antics. It’s a nice nod to a social link that I doubt will appear, and it’s a pretty funny scene (even if it has no narrative relevance whatsoever). Plus, having Akechi and Ren hang out in the batting cages is a nice reference to a mini game that normally would’ve had no place in the show. It’s a nice nod to people who played the game.

But that’s all the good I have to say. The rest was you’re typical P5A fare: poorly paced and animated mess. Still, I can safely place this as the third best episode so far, because it does everything slightly less poorly than everything else has so far.

I get the feeling I can look forward to the next episode. From the brief preview, it looks to be another Confidant episode, this one focusing on Makoto (and if you’ve read my previous reviews, you know how I feel about her) which is one of my favorite quests in the game.

Please don’t fuck it up…

Spoiler alert from Current Jonah: they fucked it up.

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