Atlus USA’s livestream for Persona 5 went ahead yesterday and, well, there’s some good news and some bad news. Getting the bad out of the way first, it was announced during the stream that the game’s western release date has been set back. Where before it was February 14th, 2017, now the US and Europe can expect it on April 4th. But the trade-off is we are definitely getting the Japanese voice track DLC that Atlus had been “looking into” since June.
So, at no extra cost, we’ll at least get the game as a dual-language release when it does arrive. In fact, it’s the decision to include the Japanese language feature that’s set it back. Atlus explained that the dual audio puts extra strain on quality assurance and localisation. As they want to give Persona 5 their “gold standard in localisation”, they’re even going back to the studio to record previously unvoiced lines.
While we’re getting used to the idea of waiting a few weeks longer than we first thought, Atlus released a new English trailer for the game. As the Phantom Thieves wait to steal our hearts, the protagonist is passing the time getting to know his new schoolmates, eating some burgers, then exercising them off to maintain his thief’s figure.
It might seem we’ll still be a long time yearning for this now-delayed Valentine’s gift, but last month Atlus eased our impatience by revealing the game’s dub cast. Keeping in mind that this addition to the franchise features an all-new cast, the developers decided to take the opportunity to bring some fresh voice acting talent on board.
And so, Persona 5 stars:
Xander Mobus as the protagonist
Cassandra Morris (Sword Art Online‘s Leafa/Suguha Kirigaya) as Morgana
Max Mittelman (One Punch Man‘s Saitama) as Ryuji Sakamoto
Erika Harlacher (Love Live!‘s Erina Todo) as Ann Takamaki
Matthew Mercer (Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works‘ Kiritsugu Emiya) as Yusuke Kitagawa
Cherami Leigh (Fairy Tail‘s Lucy Heartfilia) as Makoto Niijima
Erica Lindbeck (Your lie in April‘s Kaori Miyazono) as Futaba Sakura
Xanthe Huynh (Yuki Yuna Is a Hero‘s Yuki Yuna) as Haru Okumura
Robbie Daymond (Sailor Moon Crystal‘s Mamoru Chiba/Tuxedo Mask) as Goro Akechi
The game’s project leader and recording supervisor Yu Namba commented on Atlus’ casting choices:
We at Atlus U.S.A. take pride in the quality and care we put into casting and dubbing for our games, and Persona 5 is no exception. This is a completely new cast of characters, so we started with a blank slate in bringing life to them with our stellar cast of voice actors. It’s hard saying goodbye to the cast of previous Persona games, but we hope to bring an entirely new tone with a new set of actors for this game.
Atlus also posted a video introducing us to the protagonist, as well as PR manager John Hardin’s discussion with Mobus about his role.
In Japan, Persona 5 arrived on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 in September. Ghost in the Shell studio Production I.G produced the animation sequences for the game, and Atlus previously released its full opening animation. The game’s story description was revealed as follows:
Persona 5 is a game about the internal and external conflicts of a group of troubled high school students – the protagonist and a collection of compatriots he meets in the game’s story – who live dual lives as Phantom Thieves. They have the typically ordinary day-to-day of a Tokyo high schooler: attending class, after-school activities, and part-time jobs. But they also undertake fantastical adventures by using otherworldly powers to enter the hearts of people. Their power comes from the Persona, the Jungian concept of the “self”; the game’s heroes realize that society forces people to wear masks to protect their inner vulnerabilities, and by literally ripping off their protective mask and confronting their inner selves do the heroes awaken their inner power, and using it to help those in need. Ultimately, the group of Phantom Thieves seeks to change their day-to-day world to match their perception and see through the masks modern society wears.
The A-1 Pictures-animated TV special, Persona 5 the Animation -The Day Breakers-, aired in September just before the game’s Japanese release. It recounts the prologue story of the young thief organisation which is central to the RPG’s plot, and can be viewed on Crunchyroll who streamed the special as it premiered.