April 2018 Update: Persona 5 Took Over My Life
I spent over 100 hours last month playing Persona 5 and I regret nothing.
This was actually my first time completing a Persona game. I bought Persona 4 years ago but found the opening parts of the game too slow to hold my attention. It was kind of a shame because I could totally see the Persona series being my kind of thing. I watched the anime series back when it was a thing and genuinely liked the story and characters.
Fortunately, Persona 5 improved on everything that made Persona 4 a grind for me. The story got to the point quick, and the Thieves’ Guild feature prevented me from feeling too overwhelmed by choices when I was outside the dungeons. There were other little improvements to the gameplay, too, like dungeons with puzzles and personality, and the social links that improved your options in battle.
For those who are curious, I romanced Makoto in my playthrough because I heard a lot of people saying that she was the best girl. I regret this, since she wasn’t my favourite girl in the end. I liked Futaba the best, but I didn’t want to romance her either because that felt weird.
If I had to pick a girl to romance in Persona 5, it would be Kawakami, the teacher.
My favourite character overall, though, was Goro Akechi. I wish the game allowed me to romance him. But I suppose that would be against the theme of the game, which is “social justice for all except for the gays”.
Besides Persona 5, I was occupied by birthdays this month. First was Sakura Kinomoto’s birthday on April 1, but the bigger event was my birthday on the 18th. I turned 24; on one hand I feel like I’m getting old, but on the other hand I’m still a greenhorn.
For my birthday, I went on an overnight trip to Chichibu, the area in Saitama where Anohana and The Anthem of the Heart were set. I thought this would be fitting after I went to all that effort to translate Mari Okada’s biography, given that over half the book is set in Chichibu where Okada grew up. Ironically, Chichibu gets a boost in tourism thanks to Okada’s works, even though she spent a great deal of time in her biography complaining about the place, even calling it a “cage of green”.
As for me, I liked Chichibu, even if it is not a place I would want to stay long-term. Despite its rustic air, it’s not even really that disconnected from the big city in Tokyo, since there is a rapid train that takes you straight to Ikebukuro in an hour-and-a-half. I can see why an anime staff would want to set their show here if they wanted to capture a country town while spending the minimal amount of time/money on location scouting.
More than anything, though, the natural surroundings in Chichibu are just really nice to look at when you’re on a day trip. I didn’t go on an anime pilgrimage but I had a nice time at Hitsujiyama Park, shown in the photos above.
I don’t have much else to say in this month’s update, so I will just leave the list of articles I worked on here:
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