We’re slowly but surely seeing more light shed on the rather mysterious, yet highly anticipated Persona 5. In an interview for the March issue of Persona Magazine, Chief Director Katsura Hashino revealed some character and setting details, though in true Persona fashion, most of the details remain shrouded in mystery.
There seems to be major emphasis on creating an experience that is distinct from previous entries in the franchise. Dungeon and level design will be ‘very different when compared to previous titles,’ and the Social Link system will return in a modified form. This time around, the story will take place in Tokyo, marking the first time a real-world location has been used in the Persona franchise. Shin Megami Tensei series veterans may note that this is a common theme in the overarching series, but the Persona sub-series has previously tried to distance itself from reality by using fictional locales. The overarching theme this time around is that of social constraints, and breaking free from the mundane to truly be free. Coupled with the ‘phantom thief’ theme, the aim is to create a contemporary drama with traditional Persona elements.
Four major characters were also detailed, with the direct extract of their profiles below:
About Ryuji Sakamoto: He’s one to say “let’s change this world!” and pull the protagonist. It’s because of Ryuji that the protagonist begins his life as a phantom thief. He may be defiant, but he’s a nice guy. For this reason, voice actor Mamoru Miyano is a good fit. His Persona “Captain Kidd” is a good fit with Ryuji’s setting and episode.
About Ann Takamaki: She’s a quarter-American girl who returned to Japan, and while she may be popular, she doesn’t have any friends, and is a character that looks like she may stand out among her peers, but she’s actually isolated and lonely. Once she joins the party, she’ll take on the role of the life of the party. Her Persona, “Carmen,” has a femme-fatale side to her, and due to a certain incident, they join the protagonist and Ryuji to take on the other world. That said, she’s a character that will have an impact on the fate of the main characters.
About Morgana: Morgana is similar to Persona 4’s Teddie, and will help in the navigation of the other world. Morgana has been working in the phantom thief business since before due to certain reasons, and will raise the protagonist and friends as proper phantom thieves. Morgana takes the appearance of a regular cat in the real world, but Hashino will keep the reason for that as a surprise for now. Morgana’s Persona “Zorro” is actually his/her admired form. Since Morgana is little and is often called out with “hey, cat,” the Persona shows an ideal macho form.
About Yusuke Kitagawa: An eccentric character, but you might sense a different charm from him than you’d get from his illustration appearance. He’s a talented artist, and is an honor student in art.
Persona 5 is due for release on both PS3 and PS4 this summer for Japanese audiences, with a Western release set to take place at an unspecified point later this year.