Watch, Dungeon-Crawl, and Dance with Persona Again

Given the status of the franchise, it was only a matter of time before Atlus announced the next slew of Persona spinoffs.

That’s shown by how previous Persona spinoffs outsold other sequels and original properties released by Atlus in Japan. Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth sold nearly as well (see #22) as Shin Megami Tensei IV (see #30), and much better than any Etrian Odyssey games, while sales for Persona 4: Dancing All Night and the Persona 4 Arena titles were also superlative. But it was last year’s release of Persona 5 that showed how formidable of a powerhouse the franchise is for the company, which shipped around 550,000 in Japan, and western sales were similarly great. A media blitz similar to what Persona 4 received was looming, and Atlus figured now was the time to start revving up the engines.

Despite the recent announcements made during the Persona Super Live P-Sound Bomb!!!! music concert earlier today (in America’s time zone), this blitz started Sunday with the announcement of Persona 5: The Animation. Persona 5 is following in the footsteps of its predecessor in getting a TV series, though the full episode count has yet to be confirmed. It was given a teaser trailer which showed animated scenes from the Persona 5 art book’s cover showcasing each playable character, and confirmed a vague “2018” start date. It looked nice, but there’s no way the series’ animation will be on par with that. Instead, it should at least match prologue episode Persona 5: The Animation — The Day Breakers in style, which released shortly before the game nearly a year ago.

We also knew these announcements were coming thanks to movement that occurred late last week. Atlus registered a series of Persona-related domains earlier this year, but the one manifested on Atlus’ servers Thursday. The one appeared shortly afterward. Combine that info with composer Shoji Meguro’s tease from April that announcements would be made at the concert, and these were bound to happen.

The first game announced was Persona Q2 for 3DS, a sequel for the aforementioned Shadow of the Labyrinth. Unfortunately, no details were given outside the console choice, and how the logo contains the top hat from the Persona 5’s, complete with the “Take Your Heart” tagline. Persona 5’s cast will be involved, but there’s no way to tell whether it will feature returning characters from Persona 3 and 4 yet. The game should follow in the footsteps of its predecessor in being a Persona-style take on the Etrian Odyssey series, a first-person dungeon crawler with chibified characters. The Persona 5 cast was already drawn in this style in artwork from the official art book, which perhaps hinted at this title’s existence.

There’s some upset over the console choice, though, from those who wanted this on Switch instead of 3DS. While it’s clear the former will take over for the latter in due time, some publishers would rather still make games for a system with a larger install base. Those who thought games like the recently-released (in Japan) Raidant Historia: Perfect Chronology and the upcoming Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux would end Atlus’ support for the system were a bit mistaken. Interestingly, Atlus didn’t give any kind of release timeframe, but they hopefully won’t keep us waiting too long.

Meanwhile, the Persona Dance URL was vaguer than the PQ one because Atlus announced two new Persona dancing games, which shows how successful DAN was. First was Persona 3: Dancing Moon Night, a spinoff featuring the Persona 3 cast. The trailer includes a slither of a new song performed by Yumi Kawamura and Lotus Juice, and shows the protagonist (Makoto Yuki), Aigis, Yukari, and Junpei dancing to it. Given the presence of certain characters, the story will apparently take place during the game instead of this being a sequel to the other spinoffs. It’s due for a release in spring 2018 for PS4 and Vita.

The other dancing title was Persona 5: Dancing Star Night, whose trailer featured the protagonist, Ann, Ryuji, and Makoto dancing to an original song performed by Lyn Inaizumi, though it features cues from Persona 5’s songs. There’s no way to tell whether it will take place during or after the game from the trailer, but the characters noticeably aren’t dancing in their thief outfits, though they’ll undoubtedly be included. This title will also release in spring 2018, for PS4 and Vita meaning it will arrive soon after the Persona 3 iteration. They may be getting a little heavy-handed with this franchise.

Details for both games were scant, and Atlus didn’t say when they’ll give more; but they fulfilled their purpose in showing something nice to those who attended the concert and watched it via the paid livestream. The localization prospects for these titles are good, as Persona 5’s sales showed how the brand is only getting stronger in western territories. That also goes for PQ2, despite how it will be a very late 3DS title. There’s a good chance more of these games will be shown at Tokyo Game Show in mid-September.

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