Persona 3: The Movie
Posted: Posted May 25th, 2017 by Jo Nathan
I wasn't 100% sure whether I should post this here or in the anime forum. In the end, I felt that it would be better here given that it's really more for fans of the Persona games and less for general fans of anime. Or that's the impression I get, anyway.
After finishing two playthroughs of Persona 5, I felt a void that needed to be filled. I thought maybe I should fill it by replaying Persona 3, but then I remembered that there are the four Persona 3 movies that I never got around to watching. I decided to give them a try, and I watched the first one last night.
I actually really enjoyed it. Even though it's basically just telling me the same story that I experienced in the game, it was refreshing for a couple reasons. First of all, it's interesting to hear the Japanese voice actors for the first time. I'm not saying the English voice actors are bad or even worse per se (personally I think Atlus has done pretty good with their localizations), but the fact remains that these were the original voices of these characters and that's kind of special to me.
It's also really neat to see them give the protagonist more of a personality, or maybe it's a lack of personality? How do I describe him... To say he has no personality makes him sound boring and that doesn't do him justice. I guess I'd say he lacks personality in a way that is kind of jarring, like he chooses to not care about anything so he doesn't have to experience pain and loss, which is a really depressing way to live. At the end of the movie, he observes Fuuka and Natsuki bonding as friends, and this causes him to crack just a hint of a smile - after his lack of emotion throughout the movie, even that hint of a smile felt like a big payoff to me, and Junpei and Yukari seemed to have felt the same way. I really dig that kind of stuff.
The fighting scenes are not really anything special, and I've read comments online stating that they're disappointing. They definitely feel sluggish compared to action scenes from other anime shows/movies, but I'm not really too bothered by that. Would it be nice if they were done better? Yes... but at the end of the day, I'm into Persona for the characters and the story. It's just like the graphical quality of the games - could be better, but doesn't really bother me.
Overall, I'm pleased with how this first movie turned out, and I'm excited at the prospect of watching the other three. It's a shame that they're not all readily available on digital streaming services or for purchase without paying a bullshit premium for them. $50+ for a copy of one of them? That's fucking horse shit. I won't tell you how I'm watching them, but here's a random, completely unrelated fact of the day: if you find DMCA takedown notices in Google search results, you can click on them and find the offending URLs listed within.
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