5 years of Persona 5: A celebration of the game that changed my life…

Hey, Gamers! If you don’t like the kinds of posts where I gush about Persona 5… skip this one. It was originally going to be an open letter to Atlus thanking them for creating the game that changed my life, but I think I’d get too emotional and personal so I’m skipping that and just talking about Persona 5 and how my life has changed because of it in my normal blog style.

Josh always said that I was like Makoto, to the point where he is yet to romance anyone else

I haven’t been playing Persona 5 for 5 years. It was released in Japan on the 15th of September 2016, and I had no interest in Japan so didn’t know any Japanese. I don’t think I had watched any anime back then. I was very sick (mentally), and was just starting my A-Levels. Ah, it was a time before Joshua. Seems like another lifetime, now. But as I said, I was very sick, self-harming in any way I could think of that other people wouldn’t notice, I dyed my hair with actual bleach because I wanted to be like Harley Quinn… yeah, like, cleaning bleach. It was a bad time.

I don’t know if I’ve said this on here, but when I met Joshua, I was in another (very bad, very toxic) relationship. Joshua quickly became my best friend. We just… clicked. Eventually, I fell in love with him. I didn’t want to. I swore to myself that I wouldn’t, that it was just platonic love that I was feeling. I spent a good few days hating him because I loved him. Why am I telling you this? Well, if you’ve been here for a while, you’ll see a pattern, because that’s exactly how it happened with Persona 5, too (I’ve literally just realised this as I’m writing… I’ll have to tell Josh about this cool coincidence!).

I really did not want to like Persona 5. When I eventually started playing it (and it took months), I hated that I was enjoying it. I cannot express how much I did not want to like this game. It wasn’t because I had another favourite game (although I was playing The Witcher 3 beforehand). It was because Joshua (my partner, in case you haven’t realised) spent so much time playing it that he forgot to do his chores. Petty, I know, but it was frustrating and we had only just started living by ourselves and I was overwhelmed with all of the responsibility and he wasn’t helping. He was just on the game all day, he started skipping his classes to play it, and I just blamed it all on the game (turns out he just didn’t enjoy his classes, but he’s chill with everything now).

Joshua is very persistent when he wants something. He just doesn’t know how to let things go. So when he decided that I would like Persona 5, that was it. I was going to like Persona 5. Obviously, I did not agree with this. Eventually, though, I wanted to play DDLC and was too much of a baby to do it by myself, so we traded goods. He would sit with me through DDLC, and I would try Persona 5 for one hour. If I didn’t like it, that was fine…

The friendship – the family – of the PT showed me what real friendship was. As an autistic person (recently diagnosed), I’ve struggled with understanding this. Persona 5 helped me.

I loved it by the opening cutscene.

It was like playing Persona 5 flicked a switch inside of me. I was suddenly so much more open to trying anything regarding games (whereas before I was pretty picky), my sense of justice skyrocketed, I became more confidant in my stances and more passionate about the things I loved. I’m not going to talk much about the story itself in this post as I want it to be about the game as a whole, but there’s so much to talk about there…

Suddenly, everything around me was Persona 5 related. I started watching anime and reading manga to gain more experience of Japanese culture, I started trying to learn Japanese (through Duolingo, which I do not recommend), I played it so much and I couldn’t seem to get enough. Heck, my mother even made me a Persona 5 themed birthday cake for my 20th because it was the only thing I was interested in. I started learning about the history of Japan through podcasts, found Tik Toks from either people who were Japanese or living in Japan and I watched them religiously.

My whole life changed. I cannot express that enough. Sure, I was passionate about things before. Harry Potter was my thing for years (to the point where I am now struggling to explain to people that although I still like it, it’s not to the same extent as I’ve lost so much respect for the creator of the universe and that was a big thing drawing me to it). I said at the start of this post that I tried to dye my hair with bleach to be more like Harley Quinn. But with Persona 5, it was different.

I’ve talked pretty openly about trauma (which, if things go right, will be the focal point of the next post) on here. I am riddled with it. I always used to say that Harry Potter ‘saved me’ by giving me escapism in one of the darkest parts of my childhood. I claimed Harley Quinn was a huge reason I got out of an emotionally abusive relationship (because if she could get out of an abusive relationship, why couldn’t I?). So, what was it for Persona 5?

I don’t really have much to say about this image, apart from the fact that I took this screenshot because it was funny and I am yet to stop using it in every day conversations. I use it on most of my blogs, too. It’s like it’s a part of me now…

Nothing. I guess the argument could be made that it helped me come to terms with growing up. But, not really. I did that myself. Persona 5 didn’t provide the same level of escapism as the latter two – and my many other previous obsessions – seemed to provide. So, I have no answer on why my brain is like this. I don’t know why this is my favourite thing (to the same extent as the other stuff). The other things gave me something, helped me heal through my trauma through escapism. I think, if anything, Persona 5 grounded me.

Persona 5 is the reason this blog exists because it’s the game that started my passion for gaming as a medium. And I don’t know if you know this, but this blog is a huge part of my life. The love and support shown by the readers of this blog drive me, and the fact that we’ve established a little community of some sort… as someone who didn’t have peer support growing up, this is all crazy to me. And it’s all because of Persona 5.

My first plat. My pride and joy. I know the Royal plat is significantly easier, but it was – and still is – something I’m proud of because there was once a time when I thought all plats were unachievable.

So, that’s it for this post, Gamers! The closer we get to all of the reveals for the 25th anniversary, the more I think it will be Persona 6. What do you hope it is? Is there something you don’t want it to be? Let me know in the comments below! Has Persona 5 changed your life? Tell me all about it! Don’t forget, you can follow me on my socials (they should all be linked), and you can check me (and Josh) out on Twitch at 2nerds_1game (I think it’s linked on my homepage!). See you next post, Gamers!

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