It’s not a game, it’s not a phantom; it’s an official PERSONA 5 anime premiere date, right before your eyes! “Phans” of the popular PERSONA 5 game can now rejoice as the Phantom Thieves will star in their own anime on April 7th, 2018.

After the initial July 2017 announcement about the anime, a livestream in Japan finally revealed the show’s premiere date on Wednesday, February 28th. According to Persona Central, the anime is set to air in April on a number of Japanese channels, such as Tokyo MX, at 12:30 AM (JST).

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Yuki Iwai co-hosted the program’s first livestream with Jun Fukuyama, the voice of the anime’s protagonist. The stream teased some gameplay footage for the PERSONA 5: DANCING STAR NIGHT rhythm game that launches in Japan this May. They also teased the new PERSONA O.A. smartphone app, but whether this app will make it overseas is currently unknown. Finally, a new visual for the character Makoto Nijima was also featured:

Makoto studies hard in the school library, surrounded by a pile of books.
Studying hard as always! | Image: Anime News Network

Stealing Your Heart: The Story of the Phantom Thieves

For the uninitiated, the PERSONA 5 anime is an adaptation of a video game of the same name. PERSONA 5 is the fifth installment in the spin-off series of Atlus’s SHIN MEGAMI TENSEI games. There are three other anime adaptations of the PERSONA series, as well as the PERSONA 5 THE ANIMATION: THE DAY BREAKERS promotional episode.

In each PERSONA game, the main characters fight enemies with a Persona, a manifestation of each character’s personality that grants them amazing powers. The cast of PERSONA 5 summons theirs by ripping off their masks. Each Persona represents their inner spirit rebelling against the injustices of society. The PERSONA 5 protagonist can summon multiple Personas to fight against Shadows, or Personas that went rogue. Because of this wild card ability, his friends give him the codename “Joker.”

Joker, Skul, and Fox lean against the van in their Phantom Thief gear.
Cover image for the DAY BREAKERS anime | Image: Aniplex

After saving a woman from harassment, the perpetrator sues Joker for shoving him. Convicted for the crime of being a good person, the court sends him to live in Tokyo for a year on probation. He finds friends in classmates who have also been wronged by society and together they form the Phantom Thieves. Joker and his friends fight Shadows in an alternate dimension called the Metaverse. Created by the collective subconscious of society, this alternate dimension contains Palaces. When the negative thoughts of corrupt people become distorted they manifest as Palaces, where their Shadow selves reside. With Joker as their leader, the Phantom Thieves change society by first changing the individual. They enter Palaces to change the hearts of corrupt adults who then confess their crimes, bringing themselves to justice.

Name Controversy and Expectations for the PERSONA 5 Anime

The DAY BREAKERS short has been available on Crunchyroll since September 2016. Though it was just a taste of what’s to come, the short received an overwhelmingly positive response. Fans are eager to see how the full story of the Phantom Thieves translates as a series. But there is some controversy over a change to the spring 2018 PERSONA 5 anime. Many fans know the main character as Akira Kurusu. The new PERSONA 5 anime, however, named the protagonist Ren Amamiya and not everyone is happy with this change.

This visual for the PERSONA 5 anime features the protagonist as he stands in a crowded crosswalk.
Ren stands in the middle of a Tokyo street | Image: P5 official site

But a little name change isn’t about to stop the PERSONA 5 anime hype train. Fans of the series (myself included) have been jittering with excitement since the trailer dropped in December 2017. Since the announcement early Wednesday morning, social media has been buzzing about the official April 7th, 2018 release date. Expectations are high for the PERSONA 5 anime adaptation, but judging from the teasers we won’t be disappointed.

Featured image courtesy of Amazon

One Comment

  1. keenkaneki

    March 1, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    Sooo excited


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