This anime is the first long-term exposure to Persona 5 fans have had, so basic world building was a must. I won’t go into the details of what was learned since this isn’t an analysis post, but I think enough of the world was established within the required timeframe. The story for this OVA was a mystery plot with action sprinkled in at the end. The mystery was told in a way that you weren’t lied to, but the visuals were deceptive. In the end, it all came together and made sense. A second viewing is recommended to make full sense of the plot, but you can probably get by with one viewing if you’re paying enough attention.
The main character felt like the usual from-video-game-silent-protagonist type. You know the one… doesn’t talk much, knows what to do, generally is the coolest person in the group. That is a natural weakness when shifting mediums, and there only is one OVA, so I don’t think it’s a problem overall. Disappointing, yes (especially if a full animation series airs), but nothing out of the ordinary. The rest of the characters didn’t get much development besides knowing their general attitudes, only the main antagonist seemed to have gotten the most attention. This is arguably a non-issue, as the antagonist is supposed to be a one-off side quest character who only had that much time to develop. But, it still would have been nice to see more of the game’s characters.
The art is in Shinegori Soejima’s signature style, so if you’ve seen previous game cutscenes and Persona 4’s animes, you’ll have a good idea of what to expect. Daily life scenes felt choppier, but the main action scene was smoother and exciting, making it a worthy tradeoff. There were some cuts with the game’s red-black-white color schemes that looked really cool, and I’m glad that they kept this prominent aspect of the game’s UI in.
I believe the music present was already heard in existing promotional material, although I think this was the first time I heard the lyrical version of this song, plus the calmer one at the end. Shoji Meguro’s music is very good at creating a unique atmosphere for the Persona games. For this entry, it seems like there will be a heavier guitar presence and jazzier feel. This theme was a very nice addition to the ending and felt like it added pleasant closure to the episode.
While it’s certainly not ground-breaking, Persona 5: The Day Breakers is an entertaining watch for fans of the series waiting for the games to come out. Even if only to get a small taste of what’s to come, this is at least worth your time to accomplish that much. Do note, the show seems to assume knowledge of the universe Atlus has built, so it may be a confusing introduction to the Persona series with no prior exposure.