Anime that are based upon games are usually not my cup of tea, but I decided to give this one a try nevertheless. Soon I found out, though, that a basic knowledge of the game was necessary in order to be able to understand the story at its fullest.

The brothers Shin and Jun Kanzato return to the city where they lived when they were younger. They meet again with their older brother, Ryou, but he is not so happy to see them again and warns them to leave the city, for strange occurences have been taking place there. Shin and Jun decide to stay, however, and before they know it, they are entangled in the mysterious happenings in the city.

26 episodes
Drama, action, mecha

At first, the story was very confusing. I haven’t played the games, and therefore I didn’t have any knowledge about the characters or the so-called “persona’s” they were talking about. Most things were explained near the ending of the show, but for me I felt that those explanations came a bit late. I think I would have enjoyed the show more if I had known more beforehand. I had to figure out everything by myself, and ultimately that became a nuisance.

I don’t have any complaints about the art: this anime looked very decent. The scenery is very detailed and often represents the mood of the show at that particular time. I like the character designs of the main characters. The colours are soft, with some exceptions: some characters wear brighter colours, to emphasise their personality or role in the story. One point of critique, however, is that the characters seem “apathetic”: they don’t show any emotion at all, not even at crucial points. This slightly improves as the show proceeds, though.

I didn’t feel any affinity with the characters. They went through all sorts of trials, heart-breaking choices and losses, but I never felt as if I should cry, or be happy for them. I think this also has to do with the fact that their facial expression never changed. Even though most the characters are given more than enough screentime, I sometimes also felt as if I simply didn’t know enough about the characters, and that I was just thrown in the middle of a story that I forgot to read the beginning of. The aura of mysteriousness that surrounds most characters adds to the suspense of the show, but certainly didn’t help to understand the story. As more is explained, however, it’s easier to see the relationships between the characters, and it becomes more enjoyable to watch.

The music was nice, but nothing extra-ordinary. The second ending theme (Found Me by Yumi Kawamura) was a very nice addition to the show. Its soft piano-sounds fit the melancholic vibe of the show very well; it seemed to me as if the song was a continuation of the episode. Also the opening themes were very good and showed the action part of the anime.

In the end I’m glad I watched this show, even though I felt like giving up on it a few times. The story gets better during the second half of the show, because then I finally understood what it was all about. I don’t think this is an outstanding show, but it is entertaining to watch. If you have played the game, Persona 3, then this will probably be easier to understand, and then you should definitely give this anime a shot. But if you, like me, had never heard of Persona before, then I’d advise to look up some information on Persona, because I’m sure that would have helped me. A lot of episodes leave you with even more questions unanswered than before that episode, but if you’re willing to see things through to the end, then I’m sure you’ll be as happy as I was to see an appropriate ending and at least some of your questions provided with an answer.