Scott Clay
Persona 5 Director Gives Insight on Characters and Themes
Students by day, thieves by night!
02.06.15 - 3:30 PM

In wake of the new gameplay trailer, Persona 5 director and producer Katsura Hashino took to the official website and Famitsu to give out a few more details on the highly anticipated squeal.

An excerpt from next week's Famitsu, featuring an interview with Hashino, gives us insight on one of Persona 5's main themes. This theme is centered on a darker side of society, where people feel stuck and want to break free from the everyday rules that govern them, but are short on the will or courage needed to do so. In the interview, Hashino mentions that if Persona 5 can give people a little courage to keep going in their day-to-day lives, to face things head on and do something with themselves, then they'll have done their jobs.

The full Famitsu article will also touch on the main characters who seem to be inspired by brazen fictional thieves such as Lupin III. Hashino states that these types of characters have been portrayed a lot in films and books, but they are not covered so well in games. They want the players to empathize with the characters despite what they might get themselves into, and will do all they can to make sure that they do.

The full interview will go into more details next week, but Hashino also took to the official Persona website in the meantime to leave a message for all eager fans of the game. A translation of the message is below:

"Good evening, everyone. This is Hashino from the Persona Team. It's been a long time coming, but we've finally started showing you some proper footage from Persona 5. What do you make of it so far? The trailer hasn't been put out yet as I write this, so, to be honest, I'm actually feeling a little on edge about how people will react to it. If we get people to stand up and take notice, especially in terms of the overt thievery and what we’re paying homage to, then we’re on the right track. As long as there’s something that gets everyone even just a little existing, I’ll be content.

In a nutshell, if I were trying to explain what this game is trying to evoke, I'd say it's like if you took something like a picaresque novel and then threw in, for lack of a better word, realistic, down to earth "academy juveniles." In previous Persona games, the stories revolved around pretty traditional heroes going after villains that most anyone one would be loath to associate themselves with; they pursued the bad guys for the sake of justice, essentially. This time around, though, the protagonists of Persona 5 themselves are on the run for doing what they think is right after something happens completely out of the blue. That mixture of thrills and not-so-larger-than-life cast of characters is what composes the idea of "academy juveniles" for us. We think that these characters that are going to be a little rougher around the edges than those who have come before them in the series, coupled with the strides we've made in visual and sound design we can pull off something really special here.

Even more so than before, I feel like we're pouring our hearts into this game. As an Atlus game, we try to make games that stand out amongst the crowd, but put in another light, individuality of that sort isn't always a blessing per se. It can mean diverging from what's normal, break from the rules, project the image of trouble, especially when applied to people. But to us, individuality in people isn’t purely good or bad; rather it's something that has the power to change how people think and act when they’re touched by it. We might live in a world that's less than accommodating to a lot of us and hard to live in. But so long as people don’t give up on reaching out to one another, the individuality that shines both at the individual level and from groups as a whole can help us break through that feeling of oppression and feel free. This is a game we really want to walk the walk and we hope from the bottom of our hearts that it'll leave a mark on people after it’s all said and done.

We want to put out the best game we can, so we’re counting on you to keep supporting us as we bring this thing to life! (Make sure to tell us everything you have to say on Twitter, your blogs, wherever!) Thanks!"

Persona 5 will be coming to the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. There's no set release date, but it should be this year.


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