What’s the show? PERSONA 5 the Animation, Episode 3.
And are the problems you highlighted in Episode 2 still evident? Unfortunately, yes. The video game stylings and transplanting of the visuals still feels lazy and uninspired, but another problem has presented itself…
Oh? The pacing in the first two episodes was fast, to the point of being confusing for those who haven’t played the game however it was something that could be perhaps overlooked. The pace in this third episode however is way too fast to the point that the show’s hard to follow even for people who’ve played the game. It’s so bad that twice during the episode I had to pause it not only to explain what was going on to the irl waifu, but also just to collect my thoughts. Because of the sheer amount of information that was being imparted and the rapid pace at which it was being imparted.
That doesn’t sound good at all. Like I get they need to get a lot of information across, but there comes a point where it almost feels like there’s no breathing room between vital scenes. Even things as simple as exterior establishing shots between the scenes last like 1 second instead of 3 or 4 seconds, it might seem like a simple thing but it makes the whole endeavour feel annoyingly rushed.
I can understand that. And what’s more annoying is that there’s some genuinely affecting scenes in this episode but they’re not given the amount of time they deserve to fully cement their impact. The one exception was (and obviously spoilers here) was when Shiho attempts suicide after being abused by Kamoshida, it’s a genuinely impactful moment and the framing and use of silence in this scene shows a lot of restraint on the part of the show’s creative team. I just wish more scenes in this show were given this kind of treatment.
Anything else of note? I appreciated an early scene (which I don’t think was in the game, or if it was it was perhaps framed differently) where Ryuji and Ren are talking about what’s going on at the school while getting on the train and Goro Akechi, the junior detective character is just casually listening in. It’s good that he’s involved, even in a background capacity as it will make his integration into the story later all the more natural.
And that’s it? Pretty much, I might end up making these reviews every two weeks because there’s not that much to talk about, at least not a lot of positive things. Which is a shame because the story and characters are worth talking about, I just wish they were being handled in a way that gave them the time they needed to sink in. With the wealth of content from the game this could have easily been a 50+ episode series and not have felt slow. This episode had some really beautifully animated scenes but that was entirely in the scenes set in the ‘real world’, most if not all of the stuff inside the ‘palaces’ didn’t look nearly as good, but maybe that’s intentional to help differentiate. The biggest problem at the moment is the pacing and I’ll keep watching in the hope that the pace is rectified soon but I’m not holding out much hope given how far we’ve still got to go in this story.