Megami Tensei - Persona

Megami Tensei - Persona

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Updated Oct 23, 2012 at 06:03PM EDT by Alokp.

Added Feb 06, 2012 at 04:41PM EST by Alokp.

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About (Megami Tensei)

Megami Tensei (女神転生, lit. “Goddess Reincarnation”), commonly abbreviated as MegaTen (メガテン), is a large Japanese role-playing game franchise from the video game company Atlus. The franchise is notorious for having stories that deal with controversial subjects like sexuality and religion (particularly demons and folklore), along with allowing players a wide range of morally ambiguous choices as they play through various storylines.

While not too different from other games that allow players to freely choose how they want their character to develop morally, the tie in with religion and dieties common in Megaten games sometimes causes controversy. Another topic this franchise was famous for was the belief that Persona 3’s method for summoning Personas would encourage suicide because of the “Evoker”, a gun-shaped tool that would activate the summon when the user shot themselves with it.

Typically the combat system in the games revolve around using demons, angels, or ancient gods to come to your aid. They’ll either fight alongside you or allow you to use their abilities to fight other demons in battle.

About (Persona)

While the Megami Tensei franchise is very large and has several popular games, by far the most popular series is the spin-off series known as Persona (ペルソナ) which began receiving a lot of attention with the release of Persona 3 and Persona 4.

The first game for the Persona series was released in 1996 under the name Revelations: Persona. It wasn’t until the second game, Persona II: Innocent Sin for Playstation, that the series was recognized as its own franchise.

With the release of Persona 3 and Persona 4 for PS2, the series began to garner a lot of attention both in Japan as well as outside of Japan. Localized releases from Atlus USA drew the attention of Western audiences with the release of Persona 3 (2007) and Persona 3 FES (2008).

Since then, the dedicated fanbase of Persona only continued to grow larger. In Fall 2011, Persona 4 received its own 26 episode anime series produced by Anime International Company Inc. With the growing interest in the Persona series, games 1-3 have been ported to the Playstation Portable and a port for Persona 4 is planned for the Playstation Vita. A fighting game named Persona 4 Ultimate in Mayonaka Arena (created as a cooperative work between Atlus and Arc System Works) hit Japanese arcades on March 1st, 2012. The game is scheduled to be one of the main games in the large-scale Japanese fighting game tournament, Super Battle Opera 2012. [5]

Story

Though the stories in all of the games differ, typically the setting for the series takes place in Japanese high school. The player is given control of the main character and is allowed to make different decisions that will affect the outcome of the story. Along the way, you also make friends that help you out with your adventure.

Persona 3 and Persona 4 are known for the Social Link feature that allows you to build relationships with not only your party members, but various other NPCs ranging from your classmates to shady businessmen who like to hang out late at night. Each Social Link is associated with a major tarot card arcana. Successfully completing a Social Link comes with various bonuses such as unlocking stronger Personas or giving bonus experience when you fuse a monster of a certain Arcana.

On top of that, the games also feature a dungeon crawling feature. Later games offer a fusion system that allows you to customize the Persona that you use in battle.

Memes

Hiimdaisy Persona 4 Comics


August 1st, 2009 a Livejournal user who was popular for posting funny fan comics posted a strip called “The Big Long Persona 4 Comic”[1] which was a parody of the story of Persona 4. This comic gained a lot of popularity around the internet and became popular for reaction images and avatars for Persona fans.

hiimdaisy did a total of three releases and one half-release before declaring that the series was on infinite hiatus so she could work on her own original series. The last entry for it was posted April 3rd, 2011.[2]

April 3rd 2010, Youtube user StrawberryCreme26 posted a fandubbed version of the series. The series was well received by fans and helped to further the popularity of the comics. When hiimdaisy’s comics ended, the series also ended when hiimdaisy’s comics ended and a final video was posted March 27th, 2011.[3] However, due to a large number of fans who insisted that the series continue, a troll video was posted to definitively answer that it would not.

Brotagonist


Even prior to the anime series release, the main character from Persona 4 was well received by fans. In contrast to the Persona 3 MC which had some pretty funny choices (such as telling as telling your classmate to buy running shoes for his cousin that can’t walk), the Persona 4 protagonist was seen as a much nicer character and thus dubbed “Brotagonist” (a portmanteau of Bro and Protagonist).[4]

When Persona 4 the Animation was released, the rather unusual but hilarious depiction of the main character furthered his popularity to the point where the “swag” factor of Brotagonist became a common topic of Persona 4 threads on /a/. Naturally, this phenomena came with several macros and reaction images.

There is also a popular “Ask ‘x’ Blog” featuring Brotagonist.[6]

It should also be noted that in the Japanese fandom, the main character’s of Persona 4 was given the nickname “Bancho” (番長) due to the appearance of both the main character and Izanagi. This was nodded to in the game Persona 4 The Ultimate in Mayonaka Arena when the main character’s was given the title of “Sis-con Bancho of Steel” (鋼のシスコン番長).

Bitches and Whores

See entry


The famous line of “Bitches and Whores” is the most well known meme spawned from the Persona series. Originating from the Persona 4 hentai doujin Sperma 4, this phrase has become iconic for the character Tohru Adachi who is characteristically misogynistic. This phrase along with terms like “3DPD” frequently appear in misogyny threads that pop up on /a/ from time to time. It’s popularity has spread far enough outside of /a/ and the Persona fandom that many internet users are unaware of its origins.

Adachi himself is a very popular character, particularly on 4chan, and his affinity for cabbage has become a running joke in the fandom. This joke was acknowledged in the Persona 4 anime during a scene where Adachi was being scolded by Dojima and decided to comfort himself by petting a cabbage while crying.

Minor Memes

  • Marin Karin
  • English Voice Acting
  • Persona Eyes

Marin Karin


In Persona 3 and Persona 3 FES, the player was only allowed to control the main character while the rest of the party was controlled by the computer. While you could order your party members to prioritize different actions, the AI was known to be rather stupid. This increased the difficulty of both games by a lot since it was common for poorly timed actions of your party members to result in player death.

The most common example of this complaint was the character Mitsuru Kirijo. She was a character who specialized in ice magic and healing support. However, very early on in the game she learns a spell called Marin Karin. The spell inflicted “Charm” status on one enemy, but had a high tendency to miss.

Mitsuru would cast this spell frequently, even in situations where one would need her to do more important things like heal or finish off the enemy. Other common complaints are late in the game where Yukari learns Wind Break (spell that disables immunities to wind magic) and late game where Mitsuru learns Ice Break (disables immunities to ice magic).

Because of this, even though many players like Mitsuru as a character, she was often left out of parties due to an increased chance of being killed by poor AI choices. This gripe became so common that Marin Karin became symbolic for Mitsuru. This was fixed in Persona 3 Portable where the player was allowed to manually control all party members.

Interestingly enough, she still has this spell as part of her moveset in Persona 4 Ultimate in Mayonaka Arena.

English Voice Acting


The English dub voice acting, while positively received by fans, had its share of off moments. Due to the potential hilarity of some lines, some users went as far to create remixes for these lines. In particular, “I NEED UR HALP and Fuuka’s English voice struck fans as most memorable.

Persona Eyes


In Persona 3 and 4, when one summons a Persona, at times a cut in of the character showing only their eyes will appear on screen. While not very different from art cut-ins often shown in other Japanese games, these images from Persona became very popular to parody on both Deviantart and Pixiv.

Search Interest

External References

[1]Livejournal – hiimdaisy

[2]Livejournal – hiimdaisy

[3]Youtube – [Persona 4] Hiimdaisy Comic Dub

[4]Urban Dictionary – Brotagonist

[5]Shoryuken – Tougeki Super Battle Opera 2012

[6]Tumblr – A faint bond is forming between you and your tumblr

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