Meet the asshole of the arc. You’ll hate him by the end.
Here’s my Recap and Review of Episode 2 of Persona 5: The Animation.
The episode starts with Arsene giving Ren the speech to claim his power, causing the music to skip for a bit as he uses Eiha to kill off the guards. Ryuji (I’m not pretending I don’t know his name for the recap) tackles Kamoshida, locks him in the cell, and then the both of them proceed to get back to the real world. Unfortunately, they’re both late and come to face with the real Kamoshida.
After a nifty opening (I mean, it’s slower than Wake Up but its still good) we cut back to Sae finding it hard to believe anything about the castle, while stating that Kamoshida did some shady stuff but there shouldn’t have been a connection between them at that point. So she wants to know what happened to make him the first target of the Phantom Thieves.
Then we get a look into his school life on his first day, leading up to Lunch on the rooftop where Ryuuji and Ren talk about the experience like a dream and rumors about Kamoshida. Ren then goes home and gets a warning that outside of the school there’s nowhere else he can go. Then he goes back into the Velvet Room where Igor tells him its time to begin his rehabilitation and that he gave him the Metaverse Navigator to help him escape the ruin that’s coming for him.
The next day Kamoshida decides to be a dick and pelt him with volleyballs, aiming one for his face when he notices Ren looking at Ann. Ren gives him a damn impressive glare that gets him to pick on someone else. Lunch comes around and one of Ryuji’s Confidant events play out to give some context to why he hates Kamoshida.
After this, it’s revealed from how the students are behaving that someone spilled the beans about Ren having a criminal record, though Kawakami states it wasn’t her who did so and advises him keep away from Ryuji. Ren doesn’t take the advice and because of that he learns that Kamoshida was probably the one who spilled the beans because he hates it when people defy him. So they decide to go to the castle to see if they can use something there to bust him.
While they head back to the castle, we get characterization from Ann and Shiho, her best friend who’s training to go to Nationals. Unfortunately, she’s training in Volleyball and that means she’s Kamoshida source of stress relief as we see when Ann blows him off. That’s when we’re introduced to a cat person named Morgana who gives them information for his freedom, and ends up being petted in a way that I could infer as being a dirty joke, but I’m too classy for that.
Anyway, they end up running into King Kamoshida, who is revealed to be the dark desires hidden within the real one, get more exposition on Ryuji’s past to where Kamoshida set him up to get the Track team disbanded because he hated competition and broke his leg. Ryuji decides enough is enough and ends up having his Shadow (that’s the whole yellow eye thing) tell him to man up, causing him to awaken his Persona, Captain Kidd.
Morgana also busts out his Persona, Zorro, to join in the fun with Arsene. Then we get an awful fight where they win, but we see a cognitive Ann that pretty much spells out what Kamoshida plans for her entail. Unfortunately, they have to retreat when he calls in more guards so they make their escape.
Back in the real world, we do another one of Ryuji’s Confidant events where he gets to know Ren’s story about his probation. He basically helped a woman who asked for it and the guy ended up getting hurt, so he was arrested and the woman left him to take the fall. Ryuji formally introduces himself at this point as the episode ends.
This episode is another one that had some fat trimmed, but also rearranged. Rather than introduce Morgana right off the bat during the first castle escape, they do so later on. And rather than having Mishima being victimized by Kamoshida upfront, they decide to have Ren being the one Kamoshida harasses during the volleyball period. And they give the reason for Ryuji’s hatred towards Kamoshida by showing his Confidant Event early.
I’ve been hearing that people state the episode feels rushed, but considering the source material is 100+ hours and they only have 24 episodes, I’m fine with the pace.
What I’m not fine with is the fact that the battle sucked. You had a three-on-three match and gave them some cheap effects like an 80s cartoon. And then they butchered the All-Out Attack. This offends me because, I’ve seen the Daybreakers OVA and know they can do better with the battles.
The episode also introduces a bunch of other future Phantom Thieves (not a spoiler, they’re in the opening), which is a benefit of being an anime adaptation that I’ll graciously receive. They also cameo a character from Persona 4: Dancing All Night, because that game hasn’t been milked to oblivion just yet. We know P3 and P5 are getting one soon enough.
Now, Kamoshida’s dickery getting a pass is because, as they’ve mentioned, he was a former Nationalist in the Olympics and that school has a prominent Volleyball team. It’s clearly gone to his head if he thinks he can abuse a student and get away with it, so you’re immediately ready to go out for blood with him. But, in real life, things like that happen and the fact that they do is one of the themes in Persona 5. To that end, I hope they don’t try to downplay what comes next.
To sum it up, the episode’s pacing was fine for me. They skipped out on the tutorial of traversing the Palace to get to Ryuji’s awakening and Morgana, which is understandable. The fight was a different story, it was a mess, and considering this is the first team battle in the series that’s a screw up you can’t overlook. Even the original Persona 4 anime and Persona 3 movie did better, and I’ve seen Daybreakers so I have seen it done better for this franchise.