Saturday, August 9, 2014

Persona 3 The Movie: 1 Spring of Birth

CREDITS: 2013 Atlus, AIC ASTA, Aniplex
DIRECTOR: Noriaki Akitaya
WRITER: Jun Kumagai
MUSIC: Shōji Meguro
PRODUCERS: Akira Ishida, Megumi Toyoguchi, Kōsuke Toriumi, Rie Tanaka, Hikaru Midorikawa, Mamiko Noto, Kazuya Nakai, Isamu Tanonaka, Miyuki Sawashiro

Persona 4 games
Persona 3 Movie: 1 Spring of Rebirth
Persona 3 Games
Persona 3 Action Figures
Persona 3 Books and Manga Description:
"If I told you that there's more than 24 hours in a day, would you believe me?"

"The Dark Hour:" the time which exists between each day. During those hours, the town stands still, the people are transformed into mere objects, and countless monsters called "Shadows" run rampant through the town. Only the Personas, beings with special powers, are able to combat these creatures. Makoto Yuki, a transfer student at Gekkoukan High School, is suddenly awakened with the powers to control a Persona. Yuki is recruited to join other Persona summoners of his school in the "Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad." As they continue to investigate the situations surrounding the Dark Hours, they all come face to face with their shocking fate...

Running Time: 91 minutes

Better if you've played the game. >>> by skysenshi

I have to admit that of all the Persona games I've played, Persona 3 is what I liked least. I saw the game as a transition from the darkness of the first three titles in the series and into the fun lightheartedness of the fourth.

But if there's one thing you will remember from Persona 3, it will always be the supporting characters. For me, specifically, it would be sophisticated and intelligent Mitsuru Kirijo and the boxer Akihiko Sanada.

I had no love for the silent protagonist, Makoto Yuki, so I was very detached from him when I finished the game. Heck, I even forgot the game's ending. To this movie's credit, Makoto's development as a character could actually be felt. He starts off seeming like a sociopath but then gradually develops a personality as he interacts with the other characters.

The women, Mitsuru and Yukari Takeba, are as fierce as they had been portrayed in the game. And Akihiko...well, I wish I could see more of him. The problem I noticed while watching Spring of Birth was that the events flow too fast. I appreciated that it reminded me of many game scenarios that I had forgotten but there were also some really fun aspects of the game that weren't shown due to the limited time. I wish they had turned this into a series, like Persona 4: The Animation, but I can also see that they might have problems keeping it as accurate as possible.

As usual, I have no complaints about the music. Yay for Shōji Meguro! If there's one thing that's constant throughout the Persona games, it would always be my appreciation for their soundtracks. I'm glad to see that they're utilizing the music to its fullest in the movies as well.

The visuals are also beautiful! Without so many words, the film visually conveyed the darkness that surrounded Makoto's environment and Makoto himself.

I haven't seen the second movie and I'm wondering how they're going to pull off the entire story with just three installations. I hope they slow down the pace a bit. (Which was exactly the opposite of my complaint about Persona: Trinity Soul, a spin-off non-canon series based on Persona 3, but that's for another review.) I was also disappointed that Makoto was the protagonist, actually. Yes, he is the canon main character, but his female version, for me, had better gameplay and story experience. She has a personality, too, and it showed despite her silence. It would have been more interesting to have her as the protagonist.

I can't say much else, except that it's a good addition to your gameplay experience. Again, a rarity in movie/TV adaptations of video games. That's the thing, though. I felt that the Spring of Birth would be incoherent to someone who has not played the game. It's just too fast-paced and have little time for character development. So game first, movie after.

Individual Rating: Art 10; Story 7; Characters 10; Sounds 10

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