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Here's a Trailer for Persona 3: The Movie

Atlus' classic role-playing game Persona 3 is getting an official anime movie adaptation -- here's a new trailer to enjoy.

News by Pete Davison, .

Persona 3 and 4 are some of Atlus' finest games.

Not only are these Shin Megami Tensei spinoffs both excellent role-playing games in their own right, but they're some of the few titles from the Atlus stable to have enjoyed some slightly more "mainstream" success than other titles from the troubled Japanese developer-publisher. While fans may endlessly argue about whether or not they're better than mainline MegaTen titles, the Persona series -- particularly in its latter incarnations -- has always managed to be a little more approachable than the more hardcore, unforgiving MegaTen games.

Apparently it's a lot more marketable, too. Persona 4 was the first to really capitalize on the series' sudden and apparent popularity in a high-profile manner, putting out a fighting game quasi-sequel, a Vita rerelease with a substantial amount of additional content and an anime series several years after the base game's original release. (There's also a free-to-play card battle game based on Persona 4 available in Japan, but the less said about that the better.) The fact that Persona 4 gained enough traction for this number of spinoffs -- notably, both inside and outside of Japan -- is all the more remarkable when you consider it came out in 2008 on the PlayStation 2, some two years after the PlayStation 3 had hit the market. Not bad for a game on a "dead" system.

Persona 3 Portable introduced a female protagonist to the series, but it seems she's non-canonical.

Persona 3 hasn't had quite so much attention lavished on it since its 2006 Japanese release, though it's still had a few spinoffs. Specifically, it saw an expanded version (known as "FES") with a new brutally difficult 20-hour epilogue scenario just under a year after its original release; a 26-episode anime series called "Trinity Soul" set ten years after the events of the game; and a PSP adaptation with the option to play as a female protagonist -- a first for the series. Japan also saw an official manga adaptation, and the Trinity Soul series made it over to America thanks to NIS America.

Now, though, the original Persona 3 story is getting an official movie adaptation, produced by prolific Japanese anime studio AIC. The original Japanese voice actors are reprising their roles from the game to lend it an air of authenticity, and, judging by the trailer you see below, the movie is either using the same anime footage from the original game's cutscenes or almost direct shot-for-shot recreations. The new parts also look remarkably true to the 3D polygonal settings of the original game.

Those who have played Persona 3 and 4 will know that, as games, they are both 100+ hour epics with a significant amount of narrative content. Persona 4's 26-episode anime series showed that it was very much possible to condense a lot of that story down to about 8.5 hours of animation, but some of you may be concerned at the prospect of condensing a complicated story down further to fit the length of a movie.

Fear not, though, because the upcoming Persona 3 movie, set to be released in Japan in November of this year, is only the first in a proposed series. Subtitled "Spring of Birth," further details -- such as how much of the game the movie covers -- are somewhat hard to come by at present, but we can likely assume each entry in the series will end at a significant plot point from the game's story. And if we stroke our chins and conjecture a little more, perhaps the "Spring" part of the title suggests that each movie will be loosely based around a calendar season. Persona 3 certainly starts in the springtime, so that would be in keeping with this theory, but this is, as noted, purely conjecture at present.

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Comments 4

  • Avatar for pjedavison #1 pjedavison 3 years ago
    @namander Persona fans will argue all day on whether 3 or 4 is better! They both have their merits and they have a fair amount in common, but they're both very distinct from one another. Persona 3 is certainly pretty dark, but so is Persona 4; the main distinguishing feature is the fact that P4 has a bit more of an intimate focus on its main characters and their own shadows, while P3 is a bit more about the overarching plot.

    That's something of a simplification, of course, but it's definitely worth playing both and seeing which you prefer. Or just watching the animations for both. :)
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  • Avatar for Stealth20k #2 Stealth20k 3 years ago
    @pjedavison I say persona 2 IS is the best
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  • Avatar for pjedavison #3 pjedavison 3 years ago
    @namander Oh gosh! You are brave taking on that many RPGs at once. I have trouble concentrating on more than one at a time. I just finished Time and Eternity (I carried on for the Platinum after I finished reviewing it for this here site, so I must have liked it!) and am back on Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory for the moment. I've been trying to juggle that with Atelier Rorona, which was going reasonably well until Time and Eternity came along.

    I have actually started P4 Golden, but feel I should play that when I can devote time to it without interruptions from other games. I adored P4 on PS2 and have been meaning to go back for ages -- I ended the game with disappointingly few Social Links maxed out -- so P4 Golden seems like a good opportunity to do that.
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  • Avatar for christopherhughes97 #4 christopherhughes97 3 years ago
    I'm kind of curious as to what the arguments for Persona 3 being the better game are. I've played P3: FES and the original P4 now and, though I liked them both, I think it's pretty clear that P4 is a straight upgrade in almost every department. It's less grindy, more thematically cohesive, social links are less "straightforward anime trope-y", player character isn't forced into the bizarrely anti-roleplay scenario of having to date every girl, and dungeons are more interesting, among other reasons. Not that I dislike P3, I just think the team did a really great job making a superior iteration on the same concept with P4.
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