Here’s my Recap and Review of Episode 3 of Persona 5: The Animation.
The episode starts with Igor stating that, having gained his first comrade, Ren’s rehabilitation is going smoothly along with an infodump on the Palace and what those inside represent. Ren then tells Ryuuji, who is naturally skeptical about info he got in a dream before daydreaming himself about the cognitive Ann, at least until they get to school and Mishima is being bullied by Kamoshida while the girls cheer. The boys then do some detective work based on the clues they got in the Palace, but the other members of the volleyball team are covering for the asshole.
We then go to the girls, specifically Shiho and Ann, discussing how the rumors about Ren are getting embellished. Then Ann notices Shiho’s injuries and wants her to take it easy, but when Ryuuji comes up to ask her about the rumors involving the volleyball club she snips at him to not get her involved. Then we cut back to Sae who mentions that the school hiding the physical abuse led to something worse happening and asks how Ren was involved.
Once more in the past, we see Ann’s Confidant event play out with her being unable to concentrate on her modeling work only to then get a call from Kamoshida that leaves her severely depressed until she spots Ren. He takes her out for a drink to listen to her woes about how Kamoshida was trying to take advantage of her friendship with Shiho to get her in bed. So it comes as no surprise that, when she doesn’t answer his provocation, the asshole then calls Shiho into his office while licking his lips lecherously.
We then get a look at what happened after Ann pulled her away before. Morgana appeared to tell the boys that they can reform Kamoshida using his Palace, though doing so could kill him, which leaves them both hesitant. That was at least until Shiho attempted to kill her herself by jumping off the roof of the school.
At that point the guys corner Mishima, who was the messenger that led to this, and get the full story. Kamoshida was also the one who coerced Mishima into leaking Ren’s criminal record and he intended to get them all expelled. So any hesitation they had at this point about using his Palace vanish, but they accidentally drag Ann along for the ride without realizing it.
Morgana gives them details of how a Palace works once inside. The gist of it is that once they secure the route to the treasure room, they need to make his Treasure appear. In doing so, they can change his heart and make him confess his crimes.
When Ann ends up being caught, cognitive Kamoshida reveals that he had Shiho take her place in sating his desires. By which I mean he sexually assaulted her. At that point, Ann’s Persona awakes after she rips her mask off and she immediately kills her cognitive self before a battle begins.
The group then splits from the Palace. Since Ann has been to a Palace she can now understand Morgana, so she gets the full details about their plan from him. She’s naturally on-board with it, so as the episode ends and the credits roll, they put up the calling card announcing their intention to steal his heart.
This episode is establishes that Kamoshida is a complete and utterly irredeemable asshole. He’s so bad that the only way to get him to confess his crimes or change is to literally remove his twisted desires. You wouldn’t think that a Gym Teacher would have this kind of power and authority to make a bunch of teenagers miserable, but then you see the signs throughout the episode.
You see all the teachers who should notice these things playing dumb, shirking away from even seeing a student off to the hospital after she was driven to that point. You see the apathy of the students who know what’s happening but won’t say anything out of self-interest or fear. You see no one willing to stand up and so they have to take measures into their own hands.
Now the battle was lackluster, again, but the characterization is on-point once more. The games do show how much of a sleazeball Kamoshida is, but the anime adds to the gravity of it by showing the way he licks his lips and tries to cut down her shirt to get a look at Ann’s breasts. They make it perfectly clear that the line between his cognitive-self, where there are no filters or restraints in place, and his real self are so close that you probably wouldn’t be able to tell them apart if not for the glowing eyes and nudity.
I do like that they mixed Ann’s Confidant event into her meeting with Ren. It really adds to the weight of the situation for her. They also switch the order of Ann joining and securing the infiltration route for a more streamlined approach.
So next week should be when they get to the first theft and the aftermath, which I can’t wait for. Hopefully they don’t botch his boss battle.