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The Persona 3 movies adapt every little thing, for higher or worse Categorical Instances

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Persona 3 Reload, a remake of the traditional 2006 RPG, is because of launch on February 2. Between 2013 and 2016, AIC ASTA and A-1 Footage launched 4 animated movies on Persona 3. The query is: are they price watching earlier than Reload‘s launch?

For a lot of, myself included, seeing your favourite franchises tailored into a brand new kind is thrilling. So once I heard there have been 4 full-length animated movies based mostly on Persona 3, I knew I needed to watch them. It’s too good to be true! Effectively, in a method, it sort of is.

Spoiler alert for Persona 3 and the movies.

What are the Persona 3 films?

Let’s give a little bit of context right here. The Persona 3 movies, underneath the banner Persona 3: The Film, had been principally made by A-1 Footage (with AIC ASTA doing #1). A-1 additionally tackled the animated scenes in Persona 4, in order that they’ve labored with Atlus prior to now.

The movies got here out over 4 years, beginning in 2013 and ending in 2016. They launched theatrically in Japan, and whereas they by no means made it to the West by way of dubbing, you should purchase them subtitled off Amazon Prime for round $5 every.

In honor of Persona 3: Reload‘s launch, I made a decision to observe all 4 movies and accumulate my findings right here for you all to see. I’ll discuss how the movies adapt the supply materials and make it higher, or in some circumstances worse.

Screenshot by way of アニプレックス チャンネル (Aniplex Channel) YouTube

For Higher

As somebody who performed Persona 3 Transportable, which had no animated cutscenes, the films made up for that. Seeing the occasions of Persona 3 performed justice by the good animation by AIC ASTA and A-1 Footage is satisfying. The model is in step with the unique sport and outmatched the animated cutscenes in-game, in my view. The struggle scenes are additionally given a one-up, feeling simply as snappy and rewarding.

The movies additionally give Makoto Yuki, the once-silent protagonist, a full voice and contours. This helps pace issues up story-wise and offers him extra of a persona and arc. His character growth all through the 4 movies is fairly good and goes deep into the themes of life and demise. Moreover, Yuki’s humanization in Persona 3: The Film #3. Falling Down with Ryoji creates some nice moments of friendship the sport by no means had, if I keep in mind appropriately.

From the beginning, you possibly can inform the movies had been made by Persona 3 followers. All through the 4 movies, you’ll see cameos from Social Hyperlinks like Akinari and Chihiro, in addition to Makoto utilizing fan-favorite Personas like Jack Frost and Thoth.

The S.E.E.S members even have their moments within the highlight and translate effectively onto the display. Junpei remains to be that cute goofball, and Akihiko punches something and every little thing close to him. We even get an “I’ve been ready for this”, which is a should for any Persona 3 title.

For Worse

The story of Persona 3 is an extended one. I imply, the sport takes a minimum of 88 hours to beat, and that’s simply sticking to the narrative. Whereas the bottom story stays, small character moments and occasions are shaved to their naked bones or reduce totally. Even nonetheless, it hurts characters that didn’t get a lot time within the unique, like Shinji and Jin.

Whereas what it provides is sweet, it doesn’t elevate issues as a lot as they may’ve. For instance, the idea of Personas turning on their customers is glanced over, being resolved the identical method for each troubled characters.

One other factor that felt off was the unchanged ending. I do know some individuals didn’t just like the pacing of the ending and the occasions that transpire. And, whereas I used to be confused and stunned, it felt proper. Persona 3: The Film #4: Winter of Rebirth didn’t change that, and it’s a missed alternative.

Screenshot by way of アニプレックス チャンネル (Aniplex Channel) YouTube

On that be aware, the pacing was fast and went too quick. This drawback got here up lots, as occasions occur and finish inside minutes and get pushed to the facet. The sport had this situation, and to see that tailored doesn’t swimsuit the movies effectively.

I do wish to level out that every movie has a special director. Whereas the visions for them didn’t change a lot from every model, it appears like there wasn’t quite a lot of wiggle room to discover. For instance, Persona 3: The Film #1. Spring of Start coated the start as much as Fuuka’s entrance, whereas Persona 3: The Film #2. Midsummer Knight’s Dream gave us the remainder of the S.E.E.S squad and villains.

Every movie was an hour and a half, give or take. I’m not sure if the plan was at all times 4 movies, however deep down, I really feel like including a bit extra time to every would assist clean the pacing and make them distinctive.


The Persona 3 movies are stable showings of the sport’s narrative. They keep true to the supply materials and add small but welcoming adjustments. That mentioned, condensing the story and translating its pacing issues to the display damage the movies, particularly the final two. As a fan of Persona 3 and its characters, it’s nice to see them as vigorous as they had been within the sport.

So, it begs the query: must you watch Persona 3: The Film and its sequels earlier than Persona 3 Reload? Personally, I’d keep away from them if Reload is your first. The sport appears to be like to right among the unique’s errors and the story flows a lot better with gameplay. In the event you’re a returning Persona 3 participant, the movies would assist refresh your reminiscence of the story and characters. Plus, it provides some enjoyable moments that followers will take pleasure in.

General, they act as mementos of the unique. Whether or not they’ll age effectively come Persona 3 Reload‘s launch stays to be seen. 

MichaelMProfilePic e1696454716276
Michael Murphy

Freelance Author – A lifelong gamer and author, as of 2023, Michael can now say he writes about video video games for a residing. He likes to write down concerning the latest AAA titles, RPGs, action-adventures, diversifications, and narrative-driven video games.

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