[Translation] Persona Official Magazine #2018 Interviews – P5A Part 5/7

A translation a day keeps the procrastination at bay (yeah right)

Persona Magazine 2018 Interview Navigation
P3D/P5D (Kazuhisa Wada, Nobuyoshi Miwa, Ryota Kozuka)
P3D/P5D Artwork (Shigenori Soejima, Akane Kabayashi, Azusa Shimada)
P5A Part 1 (Masashi Ishihama, Shin’ichi Inotsume, Jun Fukuyama)
P5A Part 2 (Mamoru Miyano)
P5A Part 3 (Nana Mizuki)
P5A Part 4 (Ikue Otani)
P5A Part 5 (Kazuki Adachi) (You are here)
P5A Part 6 (Lyn)
P5A Part 7 (Shoji Meguro)

Kazuki Adachi – P5A General Producer
Aniplex producer. He was involved with many Persona anime adaptations, such as P3 and P4.

Q: P5 got its anime adaptation fairly quickly. Were you already thinking about it before the game released?

Adachi: It was Atlus that got the project rolling, and they told us the gist of what it would be like. I remember feeling really excited when I heard about it–I could tell that it was going to be interesting. On the anime production side, we really wanted to do something to go along with the game’s release, so we made the OVA “The Day Breakers”. From there, we continued onto P5A, albeit not with the exact same staff.

Q: When did P5A really move into production?

Adachi: We thought about doing it right after the game released, but it actually ended up being about a month later. Inotsume-san (Shin’ichi Inotsume, P5A Series Composition) and the others decided that we should play the game first and then reassemble *laughs*. We all knew the story already, but without playing the game, I don’t think we would’ve been able to identify the parts that grab the players the most. The game released in September, and we got together in around November to discuss our thoughts and how we should handle things.

Q: What was it like playing the game?

Adachi: It was fun as an evolution of previous Persona games, but during my first playthrough, all I could think was “How many episodes can we fit this into?” *laughs* I was laying out the anime composition while playing.

Q: Looks like you have a work addiction *laughs*. When watching the first two episodes, I felt that it was moving at a fast pace while still hitting the important points. I guess it’s thanks to the way you played the game *laughs*.

Adachi: Barring exceptional circumstances, we wanted to have the protagonist’s persona awakening at the end of Episode 1 no matter what, so we set that as a fixed point and then struggled to fit what we could into the rest of the episode. However, there were many things that needed to be explained at the beginning, so to be honest, I did think that the pace was a bit too fast.

Q: I heard that for the game, they remade the section from Kamoshida’s palace until the formation of the Phantom Thieves several times in order to perfect it. Were you also careful with its presentation in the anime?

Adachi: Of course. The characters will go on to change the hearts of many villains after this, but I think Kamoshida’s palace is the one that takes the most time. As I said just now, there are a lot of things that have to be explained, and we have to show the emotions that the characters are going through leading up to the formation of the Phantom Thieves. It wouldn’t make sense for characters who just met each other to say “Let’s be Phantom Thieves together!” without going through considerable drama first. So, contrary to what you’d expect, I think the fast pace slows down after the Phantom Thieves of Hearts is formed.

Q: Was it difficult to plan out the story?

Adachi: Inotsume-san wrote the script for “The Day Breakers” and had read the game’s story while it was still in development, so that wasn’t an issue. You have to be very knowledgeable about the material in order to do series composition, so Inotsume-san was extremely reliable in that department.

Q: This time, (Masashi) Ishihama was selected as director. How did that come about?

Adachi: To put it simply, when we were deciding who would direct P5A, A-1 Pictures recommended him. I’d worked with him a little bit before, but I knew that he’d been doing amazing work for A-1, especially in image processing. So when his name came up, my first reaction was “Will he really do it for us?”

Q: He’s a pretty accomplished veteran in the industry, right? He’s worked on openings for various works.

Adachi: He didn’t come to mind until he was recommended to us, but the moment I heard his name, I thought he’d be a good fit for Persona. P5 is praised for its visuals, and I knew that Ishihama-san would definitely be able to apply those aesthetics to the anime.

Q: There are some things that only work in game form. How did you factor them into the anime?

Adachi: Indeed. If we solely followed the game and didn’t make any decisions of our own, we might be able to get 100 points, but never 120. We wanted to keep the appeal of the original work while also giving it more appeal as an anime. It would be absurd to think we could surpass the original work, but of course Ishihama-san should be aware of that.

Q: There are people who are watching P5A after coming from P4A, without knowing anything about the games.

Adachi: Yes, that’s why it’s important to have them watch Episode 1 first. We went through trial and error to figure out how we could get people who didn’t know anything about the original game to watch the first episode. And if they did watch the first episode, we needed to make them want to continue watching. So, we took an aggressive approach by streaming the first 6 minutes online.

Q: Several episodes have aired now. What were the reactions like?

Adachi: It’s been very well-received; not just the first episode, but the first five or so now. I feel that those who’ve watched up until the formation of the Phantom Thieves of Hearts will continue watching until the end.

Q: What is the purpose of the official app, Persona O.A.?

Adachi: The gist is that it was a promotional app that would link game fans and anime fans together. By playing it, they’d spend more time thinking about P5A on a daily basis. As I said earlier, what’s important for promoting the anime is how people find out about P5A and how we can keep their interest. We thought that in this day and age, it would be important to be able to experience P5A from your smartphone.

Q: True, people spend a lot of time on their phones in everyday life.

Adachi: That said, it wouldn’t be any different from the official website if all we did was provide news updates. So with the help of Atlus, we set it up so that people would want to log in every day.

Q: Will future anime-related information be posted there too?

Adachi: Right now it’s focusing on P5A, but it’s the official app for the Persona series as a whole, so I think you’ll be seeing more news on Atlus games there in the future. It’s a worthwhile app for everyone who loves the franchise.

Q: The first Blu-ray/DVD volume will be released on June 27th. What are its highlights?

Adachi: First off, it comes with the opening and ending theme CD. I really urge you to buy it and listen to the full versions of the songs. They’ll grow on you, and it’s not the kind of music you typically hear in anime openings. It will also come with a first-priority lottery ticket for a special event with the full cast of the Phantom Thieves.

Q: Lastly, what should we look forward to in P5A’s upcoming developments?

Adachi: The first half centers around the Phantom Thieves increasing their ranks and changing the hearts of villains. They catch the attention of detective Akechi, and find themselves being targeted by the police or some sort of organization. In a way, this is where it really begins. There’s more to it than just the Phantom Thieves’s activities–look out for the suspenseful developments as well.

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