Have you ever heard of a game and wanted to know a little bit more about the title before you pick it up? Maybe you are new to a series and have no idea what the game will be like. Although just reading details about a particular game may be enough to buy it, it’s nice to get a taste of it beforehand. Some games offer downloadable demos while others reveal exclusive footage. However, one trend many Japanese games/JRPGs have been doing is an original video animation, or OVA. Rather than being a full-fledged series, OVAs showcase the story, characters, and theme of a particular title. OVAs for games are meant to serve as an introduction to what the game may be like, especially with the story/setting.
Today, Persona 5 The Daybreaker’s, an anime OVA for Persona 5, released with English subs on Crunchyroll, and was a great introduction to the game. Below you will find a mini-breakdown, as well as a link to watch and enjoy the animation before the Japanese and American release.
- The animation begins with unknown criminals stealing from a facility, and Morgana the cat appearing before them.
- Four of the main characters stand at a train station, discussing investigations. The protagonist then pushes a button that leads them to another world (and costume change). It seems to be that the focus of the OVA will be on a possible side quest/story in the game rather than the main plot. This is a good choice that would avoid potential spoilers. It is also worth noting that it takes place a little bit past the beginning of the game after Yusuke Kitagawa joins.
- Goro Akechi, a high school detective, is shown briefly on a talk show. He will be the one investigating the Phantom Thieves of Hearts with the goal of bringing them “into a court of law”. He will be a reoccurring character who tries to stop the thieves and is implied to join them later.
- The side story focuses on one of the criminals from the opening, a red-haired man who resorts to stealing and associating with the group. He is very mistreated and the story seems to have a very dark undertone.
- The thieves go through a normal day in school and receive a request from the Phantom Thief channel/app. Someone wrote “I am going to end up dead…”. It seems that players will be able to take requests as they come in on the app and travel to the Mementos dungeon via the train station and Morgana.
- The protagonist listens in on a conversation and Morgana crawls up a tree to listen more. Will this be a gameplay element where you control Morgana or eavesdrop on people in the city?
- The goal of the Phantom Thieves of Hearts is revealed. They are to track down corrupted people and reform their hearts. Yusuke mentioned that if they let the police handle it, they will just escape jail and stay the same. The Phantom Thieves of Hearts must confront a person’s other self and reform it completely.
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- Using his caretaker’s shop as bait, the protagonist leaves a calling card for the red-haired man (Kazuya) to find, who immediately picks it up. This is reminiscent of picturesque literature and classic thieves tales in which they left calling cards.
- Kazuya is drawn into the other world in which the thieves confront him in order to reform his heart. A very dark story of domestic abuse is revealed, and Kazuya transforms into a monster-like version of himself. This seems to be very similar to Persona 4 in which characters confronted their “shadow self”. However it is different as the character actually turns into the monster/demon rather than having their physical body behind. However, the shadow self could still apply to the main cast, as they will gain their personas by some means.
- The fight is very awesome between the cast and Kazuya’s aka the “boss” for that mission. It is an exaggerated version of the turned based battle system, showing fights between multiple enemies and particular spells that the characters will have. Baton Touch! and other elements of the gameplay are shown.
- The protagonist finishes off the enemy with a gunshot to his heart, which reforms him in the real world. This is shown by Kazuya sobbing in the middle of the street, feeling regret for what he has done to his brother. He turns in his group of robbers and admits his guilt.
- At the end, the protagonist meets his friends in the street via the app, and they say that their next “prey is huge”, implying that the next quest will be the main story and will involve gaining another party member.
- The very end is the most interesting. Like in the prologue of the actual game, the protagonist wakes up in the Velvet Room which is shaped like a prison. Igor says “this is only one possibility” but the future is “up to you”. This implies that it depicted a favorable outcome of a sidequest OR the players will have more choice in the game than ever before. This could mean multiple endings and outcomes based on player choices.
- “What’s your name?” is asked to the protagonist, and before he can answer, the credits roll. The protagonist has not been officially named yet, so that may be what’s revealed later on.
Overall, the OVA was a fantastic way to show off Persona 5 with the characters, investigations, side quests, setting, and more. It did not spoil anything and is recommended for those who are interested in purchasing the game.
WATCH the OVA here. If you do not have a Crunchyroll account, sign up for a free trial or membership. The OVA is only available to premium members.
You can pre-order Persona 5 here.
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