Persona -trinity soul- (Anime Preview)

Starting this month (February 2008), NEWTYPE USA will conclude its publication. I know this is old news but it’s new news to me. Yeah, shocking. I know. Its publisher ADV released a press statement that the change is part of the rebranding exercise on NEWTYPE USA because the magazine itself is licensed from Japan’s original NEWTYPE magazine. NEWTYPE USA is confirmed to be replaced by a magazine with the same format named PiQ magazine. You can read all about it here, here and here.

Persona has to be the anime to watch this season after we have been disappointed by many of the lost hopes we initially anticipated in the early of the season. What’s more, Persona -trinity soul- is a game-based anime, giving the advantage of the hype to many of its PS2 gaming fans. We do know that anime is a different entity from video games. Face it, even Devil May Cry was such a flop for an anime despite of the high impacting game title. I just don’t want to be disappointed by the failures of many game-based anime titles before. However with Koyasu Takehito and Sawashiro Miyuki among the voice cast, there can’t be any flaw expected from this anime, right? Besides these two also lend their voice talent for the original Persona game, which I suppose give the story some homey feeling to it. Again this anime is produced by Aniplex though is animated by a relative new studio A-1 Pictures, which is a subsidiary of Aniplex itself, I guess the animation would not be greatly affected. Also with Ishii Yuriko who have experience in animation development for anime titles such as Blood+, GITS: SAC Solid State Society, Ouran High School Host Club, and Darker Than Black together with a music maestro Iwasaki Taku, you know that you can’t go wrong with this anime. Wouldn’t it?

Persona -trinity soul-
Persona -trinity soul-

Brothers Kanzato Shin dan Kanzato Jun are moving back from Tokyo to their eldest brother’s place at Ayanagi city, a port city. Their brother Ryou who happens to be the chief police of the Ayanagi city, however did not welcome the brothers’ return as he was not there to pick them up from the airport. Instead the two went to his house by themselves since it is their family house. They have been staying with their aunt in Tokyo ever since the death of the their parents. But now that their aunt is occupied with a boyfriend, Shin and Jun decided to move back to Ayanagi with Ryou while rekindling old memories. One particular past is that Jun had a twin sister back then but she then died of an unknown cause. As for the moment, Ryou is busy as he is leading an investigation on the recent occurrence of paranormal activities, simply known as the Reverse. What is more disturbing is that the targets are high school students and what normally happens to them is that their dead bodies appeared to be turned from the inside out, which is why those cases are referred as Reverse. Another occurrence is that there are also victims who appears to have lost their life conscious. To simplify things, the victims appeared to be like the walking dead. Rather than taking charge of the investigation, Ryou seems to be covering up the truth behind all the unusual incident happening in the city. Knowing Ryou’s intention, two detectives – Itou Kunio and Narasaki Tomohiro – decided to let the matter left in the dark and made their own private investigation on the cases. In actuality, the whole paranormal activity is kept discreet by Ryou because he himself possesses a certain power to summon a fighting mirage out of his body known as the Persona. And Ryou is working for another secretive agency responsible to cover up the whole situation.

Persona -trinity soul-
Kanzato Ryou

Persona -trinity soul-
Kanzato Shin

Persona -trinity soul-
Kanzato Jun

Persona -trinity soul-
Nikaidou Eiko

Persona -trinity soul-
Narasaki Tomohiro and Itou Kunio

But he is not the only one with that ability. It appears that there are other people possessing Persona took advantage of their ability to suck out other unsuspecting people’s Persona to increase their own power. So Ryou confronts one of those fellows as he tries to save another high school girl from being sucked out of her Persona and it turns out that Ryou’s Persona is much stronger. Defeated, the person had to make his retreat. After spending the night outside, Shin and Jun slept by the door of his family house while waiting for Ryou to come back. Once he did, he acted cold towards them as if he is not welcoming them back to his place. Shin was not happy with Ryou’s treatment despite they have not seen each other for the past 10 years. So he decided to take a walk outside to find a fortune teller whom he and Jun met earlier before reaching back to their house. However the fortune teller is not there and Shin suspected that their encounter was just a dream. He eventually made his way to a construction site where he finds a man, somewhat looks like an addict. It turns out that the man, Yuuji Kimoto is the same person Ryou was fighting with earlier. Yuuji tried to pop some pills to relieve his pain but it was too late. His Persona began to move out of his body without his control and the Persona began to attack for Shin. However unbeknownst to Shin, he too have his own fighting Persona as his Persona comes out of his body and destroyed the Yuuji’s Persona. He suddenly lost his mind and began to laugh by himself. Then his comrades came to check him out. Shin instinctively made the run for it as Yuuji’s lady companion began to go after him.

Persona -trinity soul-
Persona feeding on another Persona.

Persona -trinity soul-
Hand fights are always better.

Persona -trinity soul-
Ryou’s Persona

Persona -trinity soul-
Shin’s Persona

Just like Yuuji, she also have a Persona. She uses her Persona to attack Shin but again without Shin controlling, his Persona comes out to defend Shin from the charging Persona. The whole commotion wakes up the whole neighbourhood and the lady decided to make a leave. Even Shin made his escape when he began to float and fly away with his Persona. Back to Yuuji, he recovered from the earlier fight after taking some pills and his comrade made a call to report the situation to his superior. The man refers Ryou’s Persona as a Natural. The lady returned to them and told them that Shin’s Persona is the Special A type. Not wanting to compromise their identity, the man who appears to be their leader, wants Shin to be captured. The next morning, Shin and Jun prepare themselves to go to school when Ryou conveyed his intention to them. He wants both Shin and Jun to leave the city as soon as possible. Let me put this in Ryou’s perspective. Shin and Jun are unaware of the whole incident that is happening now. Though Shin did made his encounter to the incident last night, Shin did not disclose this to anyone and Ryou does not want to put both of younger brothers in harm’s way. Shin could believe what he is hearing. Shin turns up to school though he was sleeping most of the time in class and that made quite an introduction of him to the class. In his class, he get to know with a few of his classmates – Kayano Megumi, Sakakiba Takurou, and Morimoto Kanaru. It was at the school where Shin get to know about the shadow pulling technique. Students turn to shadow pulling as a form of stress reliever and to an extent, some sort of addiction. Takurou came up to Shin and ask him to do shadow pulling on him as a tryout. Shin was worried about the risk and foremost do not know anything about shadow pulling. So Takurou offered to teach him how to do it.

Persona -trinity soul-
Another Persona fight

Persona -trinity soul-
I-don’t-know-her-name’s Persona

Persona -trinity soul-
Kayano Megumi

Persona -trinity soul-
Sakakiba Takurou

Persona -trinity soul-
Morimoto Kanaru

Shadow pulling is nothing more than summoning Persona out of the body and this was the case with Takurou when his Persona was brought out with the help from Shin. However because of this, Shin’s Persona too had come out, probably on instinct to protect the host. If that is the case, then Shin is no stranger in shadow pulling because he had already done that. Takurou was on his way back when he stumbled on Kanaru who is waiting for him. She requested him to do shadow pulling on her, which he agrees to. Then Megumi showed up to them and not wanting to be caught in the act, he faked his meeting with Kanaru as a dinner date. Megumi decided to tag along and asked Shin out to join them as well. After having dinner together, they hit the karaoke parlour and that is where Megumi saw the guy whom she had a fight with. She chose to ignore him and his friends, and spent her time singing in the karaoke box. She eventually hits the restroom and Kanaru accompanied her. Inside the restroom, she knew about Kanaru’s obsession with shadow pulling and advised her to stop doing it again as it is dangerous. So they left the restroom to return to their karaoke box when all of the sudden she felt sleepy. She eventually slipped out of her consciousness and Kanaru had to carry her. That is when the guy whom Megumi tried to avoid earlier, showed up to them and asked them if they wanted to do shadow pulling. The guy and his thugs began to force themselves on the girls and they went on to Megumi first. At this point, I’m not sure if they are attempting shadow pulling or intended to rape Megumi because it looks more like the latter.

Persona -trinity soul-
Takurou’s Persona

Persona -trinity soul-
Jamming in the karaoke box.

Persona -trinity soul-
I don’t know who he is but I can tell he’s a troublemaker.

Good show. Looks promising. The first two episodes doesn’t seem too convincing though but I’m hopeful that the story would take off better on episode 3 onwards. I like the fact that the story is given the edge of being mysterious. You must understand. This Persona anime is an adaptation to the PS3 RPG Persona 3 and slated as the sequel for the game’s storyline, which dated for 10 years later. As for the characters, there is nothing peculiar about Shin and Ryou. We now know what they are capable of. However I am keen on Jun whom I suspect to have a multiple personalities disorder. Or probably there is some supernatural explanation behind it since that is the nature of the story. The voice acting is excellent, just as expected though I have troubles to swallow on the fact that Sawashiro Miyuki is doing the voice for Jun and it sounds unmistakably female. Either way, I’m holding on the multiple personalities theory here and I bet that female voice might be needed in the episodes to come. CG works are not bad and the animation is nothing horrible. Character design though is not of my liking but overall, Persona -trinity soul- comes off a good start. Nonetheless having many episodes to catch up and I would not to repeat this again but I have to as to explain my situation that I seriously don’t have that much time to review three animes at once.

1 Response to “Persona -trinity soul- (Anime Preview)”

  1. 1 Chronos
    23 May 2008 at 3:50 am

    This is the best anime series I’ve ever seen! The personas are friggin cool :P, and the story is great.

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