On May 5th, 2016, the Phantom Thief seized the Tokyo Tower in Japan, a moment that fans have been waiting for since its announcement a few weeks back. Many fans around the world got up from the comfort of their beds, sacrificing hours of sleep for the hope of Persona 5 news and a release date, eagerly watching the Tokyo Tower for two hours straight waiting for something to happen. Luckily, we received an amazing reveal of information that we have long awaited for, from a set release date to new party members, anime information to special edition reveals, and excitement that will last for weeks on end. This article will cover all of the information that was presented at the event, as well as analysis and speculation for each announcement and section.
See Also: Persona 5 Wishlist
PV 4: The Greatest Trailer Yet/Trailer Analysis
Usually at livestream events, Persona fans are given the opportunity to see more of the games through PVs, or promotional videos. For Persona 5, PV 1 drastically introduced the setting of the game with vivid colors and a “thief motif.” Back in February 2015 when PV1 was shown, fans were shocked, sparking a new direction in the fandom overnight. PV2 showed some minimal gameplay and was exclusive to Japan only, but fans were able to see it anyways. However, it lacked content. At the 2015 Tokyo Game Show, we were finally introduced to more gameplay, a new character, and cutscenes. With great information also comes great loss back in September 2015, as fans were sad to hear it was delayed to 2016. However, today’s PV4 was absolutely phenomenal, showcasing several elements and scenes of the game.
Note: The analysis is based on an untranslated trailer, so dialogue will not be considered just yet.
Trailer Breakdown/Analysis (In Order):
- The trailer begins showing all of the school emblems from the previous Persona games.
- A previous scene from PV3 is shown, Chair-kun (Protagonist fan nickname) sitting in a seat as if he is going to be interrogated. He has a serious look and demeanor.
- The trailer kicks off with new music, and the thieves run towards the screen to the player which is another continuation of PV3.
- The scene cuts to a dungeon, which are much more involved and have many more dimensions than past games. Instead of being a simple hallway, they include towering staircases, puzzles, and environments with more detail than ever before.
- As shown in PV3, players get to dungeons through paintings, which fit into the “thief motif” quite well. Many thieves in fiction and literary works have stolen paintings.
- When Chair-kun runs through the halls, there are both speech bubbles and exclamation points. This can mean anything from idle conversations to social links or events. They could also mean quests from students at school.
- The street is large and looks like there is room to navigate.
- In the street, there is a maid cafe, will that be a place of interaction for the characters? The setting is modeled after Shibuya in Japan, so this is a possibility. There seems to be a lot of shops. Can the player go in them?
- Shifting back to combat, the major enemies/bosses definitely are people who seem to transform or are influenced by the shadow’s power. Do people get so influenced by the demons that they transform into a version of their true self?
- There are new mechanics in combat including new physical attacks (gun and sword) as well as change order which may effect which characters go first in battle other than the party settings. There are also new weakness types, including nuclear that is returning from P1 and P2. How will this type play out against the other type weaknesses? Will it be the same as previous games or different?
- A man, with an appearance that resembles the fairy tale character humpty dumpty, makes his way through the street and seemingly has a stroke or heart attack. Is he being influenced by the shadow or simply a victim or target? This is interesting to analyze.
- A new character is revealed, a female with short black hair and a school uniform with “BJ” on the collar. It appears to be a summer uniform, so will she come in mid year or in the in game month of June? She also seems to look angry or passionate about something when summoning her Persona. Like the other characters, she seems like she is going through pain, but she does not bleed. Her fighting is very stylistic and seems very physical.
- Another new character is revealed, Futaba Sakura. She has glasses and long orange hair. She seems to spend a lot of time on her computer and resembles a hacker. Given the game’s theme, she could be the one who breaks through security to allow the thieves to break in. Her Persona is also a UFO and she appears to take the role of the analyst character who helps outside of combat. However, she also has a role in battle, as she is seen buffing the team with some kind of magical attack.
- When going around town, some characters are faceless, representing the sameness and crowds within a big city. Some NPCs seem to stand out. Are they social links or quest givers?
- Two part time jobs were showcased: a bar like setting and a fast food place. One was at night and the other appeared to be after school. This suggests that there will be different times the player can have jobs.
- One of the enemies looks like the owner of a large, swanky casino. Can the enemies be affluent, wealthy people who are overtaken by greed, etc? This would fit in with the seven deadly sins shown in PV 1.
- A new character, presumably named Adieu is shown. She has a steampunk-like look and appears to be very confident in battle.
- There is a swimsuit scene, implying a beach or school trip. Most of the characters seem to be present and the boy’s reactions, as well as Ann’s are hilarious. Why did the hacker girl have her head covered?
- The calendar has days pass by with a sword selecting that day. Is there symbolism behind this?
- A firework cutscene was shown, implying a Summer fireworks festival event or a New Years party.
- There seems to be a field trip, as Ryuji, a Spiky haired boy (Named Moon Moon-kun by fans), and the protagonist were sitting on a bus. Ryuji had a sleep mask, implying the trip is far away. Will it be a class trip to Inaba, as a reference to Persona 4?
- Combat seems to feature more combo moves that appear to be more in-depth that Golden’s. Partner team ups included Ann giving Ryuji a high five. Instead of the random teamwork system in Golden, will there actually be a partner system?
- The Velvet Room twins appear to punish Chair-kun while he is in “prison”, smacking the prison bars. Do they punish him for how he uses his power?
- The last scenes deal with an alarm going off, much like a break in alarm. The characters nearly get caught and escape into the streets in their “normal” clothes, contrasting their thief and “normal” selves.
- We finally get a release date! Rejoice!
- Other notes: there was also a motorcycle shown, is this similar to Golden’s scooter attack? There was also a new sneak function during battles, which is an interesting element. Instead of sampling attacking, will players be able to avoid combat depending on the actions they take?
- The hype can’t be more real.
The Japanese Release Date and Special Edition
After years and years of waiting, we finally have a Japanese release date, September 15, 2016. There will be a preorder for both the PS3 and Ps4 versions, which are opening tomorrow May 6th. Although it’s great news that we finally have a release date, keep in mind that we do not have a Western release date as of yet. Unless you know Japanese, it is not recommended to buy these versions, as Persona is best experienced with full understanding, especially since the games always have a lot of text and story elements you do not want to miss.
Based on analysis from past game releases and the fact that Atlus USA has already been working on a localization, we can probably assume P5 will release in the west either simultaneously, Holiday 2016, or next year (please not the last one!). A simultaneous release is very far fetched, but the localization process has gotten much faster over the years, so it is not a possibility to rule out just yet. More than likely, we may see a release in either November or December 2016, depending on how long Atlus has been working on the localization. However, there is still a sad possibility that we sill might not see it until next year. We can only hope we can get it as soon as possible.
An awesome announcement was also made regarding the 20th anniversary special edition of Persona 5. Fans are really happy with the offerings, which include:
- A copy of Persona 5
- Persona 5 art book – B5 size hard-cover Shigenori Soejima-illustrated special binding
- Persona 20th Anniversary All-Time Best Album (five discs)
- Disc 1: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona, etc.
- Disc 2: Persona 2: Innocent Sin / Persona 2: Eternal Punishment
- Disc 3: Persona 3 (FES), etc.
- Disc 4: Persona 4 (The Golden), etc.
- Disc 5: Persona 5
- Special Collaboration DLC Set #1: “Orpheus Picaro” and “Izanagi Picaro” Personas and special skill set
- Special Collaboration DLC Set #2: Persona 3 “Gekkoukan High School Uniform” costumes and Persona 3 battle BGM single set
- Special Collaboration DLC Set #3: Persona 4 “Yasogami High School Uniform” costumes and Persona 4 battle BGM single set
- Shigenori Soejima-illustrated Special Custom Theme
- Special Persona 5 Art treasure box
This edition will definitely not be cheap, but considering Persona is known for its beautiful music and art, this is absolutely fantastic. Fans of Persona 3 and 4 are also happy with the DLC outfits and special Personas. However, since it is a 20th anniversary edition, there really should have been Persona 1 and 2 uniforms to go along with the theme. With hope, maybe we could see those at a later date. Take a look at the outfits below:
The Anime Release Date: September 2016
One trend that games seem to be adopting are the usages of animated cutscenes, especially in JRPG settings. We saw this with Final Fantasy XV, a game that will have several mini anime episodes detailing the setup for the story. It is confirmed that Persona 5 is going to have an anime OVA, airing in September, the month of its release. During the livestream, a flash of images revealed storyboards, and although we did not get too much information on the anime OVA, we know that it will air that month, be thirty minutes long, be produced by A-1 Pictures, and will be titled Persona 5 The Animation: The Day Breakers.
What’s Next?: The Facts
- There will be a symphony orchestra concert of Persona music in Japan on August 13th, 2016.
- There will also be a Persona 20th Anniversary Festival in December at Arts Chiyoda in Japan.
- Persona 5’s next appearance is confirmed to be at E3 2016, which suggests that a Western release date is not far from reach and that there will be more of a presence outside of Japan.
- Preorders open for the Japanese game May 6th.
- There will be a magazine out next week in Japan covering the new information from the PV.
What’s Next?: Speculation
There will be a Western release date or update soon, which is suggested by a secretive Atlus USA post. We could see one at E3.
The website will update with character bios and more information as the release date approaches.
Character trailers? Persona 4′s spinoffs had character trailers nearly every week up to the releases of the games, and it wouldn’t be wrong to assume the same would be done for P5 to get to know the characters a bit better before the release.
More DLC? Whether its costumes or Personas, perhaps there will be a DLC schedule after the release.
The Persona anime could possibly have a series, based on comments from the Persona Stalker Club After Show.
Shout out: To Atlus and Atlus USA for making this game possible, to all of the amazing Persona fans I skyped with for hours, and the amazing fandom that makes every news release fun and exciting.
September really cannot come soon enough.