10 Thoughts in 10 Hours: Emma Plays “Persona 5”

1. This intro though

I remember watching the first version of this intro my senior year of high school when I was working in the Writing Center. I proceeded to force my friend Isabel to watch it too, and then I watched it like five more times until I actually had to stop because I had a student to tutor.

It’s just as good as I remember. Maybe better, because I remembered seeing it, and then I remembered that I finally had the actual game and I may have clutched my chest a bit. I did. I definitely did.

2. Did I just talk?!?! Out loud?!?!

I mean, they technically “speak” but not out loud. Most of the lines for the protagonist (Bellamy, in my playthrough. And we’re Changelings cuz I thought it was kinda punny) are still not voice-acted because that would be a lot of voice acting. But he says a ton of things during battle and sometimes talks during cutscenes. Which is so disorienting. I always assumed the protagonist communicated through really expressive eye contact and his signature hand-waggle alone. My entire conception of this series has been shattered.

3. If you’re not going to let me be a girl, at least let me date a dude

Just look at that killer fashion sense

Okay, I kinda get why it would be hard to have both genders. You’re a Japanese high schooler, and sometimes there’s situations where entire scenes would have to be rewritten to acknowledge that. And there are A LOT of scenes in this game. So, whatever. I mean, Persona 3 Portable managed it, but WHATEVER. I won’t even bring up the idea that Atlus should maybe make a Persona where you can only play as a female instead. But come on, let me date a guy. I’m basically playing this as myself anyway since Bellamy is pretty much a blank slate. And honestly, if I dyed my hair black, got some emo bangs, and wore my glasses…would not look that different from this guy.

Again, sort of get it. Being gay in Japan has a whole host of issues. But these are teenagers who use an app to break into people’s mind palaces and steal their heart treasures. So this seems like the place to do it. And Persona 4 had a character (Kanji) who struggled with his sexuality. So I feel like this should be a logical inclusion at this point in history. Although this game has been in development forever, so maybe it has an excuse for being behind the times, particularly when it treats so many other controversial issues with respect. Oh well.

4. Wow, I’ve been staring at this menu for ten minutes


This actually happened to me multiple times. It’s not like I hadn’t seen these menus before (I talked about it in our last side-quest), but it’s so much cooler seeing them in motion and how each screen melds into the next. It’s so fun just to flip between everything, both in the main menu and in all the shops. Even your phone is so cool.

This habit of mine has taken up way too much of my play time.

5. This prison uniform is making my butt look big


Clearly, I cannot work a jumpsuit. My butt looks so much flatter in my eye-popping plaid school uniform pants.

6. Well, this is getting dark fast


Is every single adult in this game physically abusive? I mean, the first Palace, the second Palace, Ryuji’s asshole father. A girl jumps off the roof of the school within the first few hours. Ann is being blackmailed into dating a teacher. Even I, Bellamy, am here for criminal charges after protecting a girl from being sexually assaulted. Just because the would-be assaulter was rich and important. I mean WOW. There is some dark stuff here for a game with a talking cat. But they don’t feel trivialized at most points (despite some slightly uncomfortable dialogue at some points, but it’s kind of high school stupidity caused uncomfortable dialogue).

Either way, Persona games have always been dark. This one feels like it just got darker faster is all.

7. For being a criminal, I’m not much of a rebel



I can’t even walk down an up escalator. Some rabblerouser I am.

8. Too many things. Must do all the things


Friends, burgers, batting cages, bathhouse, studying, making lockpicks, exploring Palaces, part-time job, shopping, brewing coffee, and that’s just the friggin’ tip of the iceberg. I’m p. sure I failed my first round of exams. Even though I got all the questions right and I even studied. My Knowledge level would just NOT go up. Well, that all with change! As soon as I befriend the gun-shop owner. And make some more lockpicks. Whatever. PHANTOM THIEVES DON’T NEED NO LEARNING!

9. Is nobody going to call me out on this cat?

Do people think I just meow periodically?

I wish Atlus would just let me take screenshots, because I would have a running series of “how is this person not noticing this cat peeking out of my bag.” There would be a lot of pictures to share. Morgana is not exactly subtle in the real world, however good of a Phantom Thief he (she?) is in the Metaverse.

10. I have not been playing that long. What time is it? Oh god

Now, excuse me. I have some phantom-thievery to do.

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