Remember a few weeks ago I didn't get my 5cm novel despite pre-ordering and waiting for a month? Well, I didn't exactly get nothing out of it. Just like I said I would back when I bought the P3 FES Fanbook, I had put in an order for the Persona Club P3 book too and managed to receive that so it wasn't all bad.
Now unlike the FES book, this doesn't concentrate on P3's story but on the characters and game concepts instead. Again, the book is produced by the Famitsu staff in collaboration with Atlus so you can consider it official material. Feel free to click on the images for a bigger version.
The book begins with 8 pages introducing the Persona games that have been created so far, a brief summary and the concepts behind them. Persona 3 was released seven years after the last game in the series with a complete new appearance and gameplay system.
The story is known as "The Butterfly Dream" written in chapter two of his book.
Following the few introductory pages are some detailed profiles of the SEES team, each with their Gekkoukan student card magnified next to them. The character descriptions doesn't hold back on spoilers at all so obviously, the author expects you to have played through the game already. There's a few pages of categorised fanart too which show different character traits. Interview columns at the sides show the other members talking about what they think about the current character. There's a total of 101 pages for the SEES members.
Basically the book has some very detailed run-down of the characters. Each character gets around eight to fourteen pages dedicated to them complete with some of the dialogue lines that highlight their personality the best. It's all presented very well. The fanart is quite a mix. Some good, some bad but I think I would have preferred more official artwork. The run-down then ends with a two page short story which is also very entertaining.
Ah yes, Meguro creates some of the best music just like this fanart says.
The Main Character's name is known as "Minato Arisato" in the game based Manga that is running just now but I'll just refer to him as MC.
His story is "The Catastrophe for Quiet Him" and talks about how everyone at school thinks he's too quiet. He himself thinks about it too and realises how whenever he is asked something, the only answers he comes up with are "Yes", "No", "Whatever". One late night after coming back from Tartarus, the MC was studying for English and his head was all muddled up. Aegis knocks on his door to ask him something and he says something to upset her. He can't remember what since it was late.
Next day while Junpei was talking to MC as usual, an angry Yukari walks over and demands to know what he said to Aegis. It turns out Aegis was worried about the MC's health since he was always working late nights balancing between school and those Tartarus runs. Yukari suggested she made a lunchbox for him so that he could get all the nutrients he needs. That was why Aegis dropped by to ask MC what he wanted to eat. His reply? "Whatever." Now Aegis hasn't turned up at school for the day. Everyone overhears and starts whispering, giving MC the cold stare. Even Junpei thinks he was mean.
However, while everyone was giving MC the cold shoulder for the rest of the afternoon, Aegis turned up to their surprise and was looking fine. She was preparing a lunchbox for MC. The four of them MC, Junpei, Yukari and Aegis go up to the roof for a bit of privacy. Looks like Yukari misunderstood because she couldn't find Aegis anywhere during the morning, not even in the kitchen. Aegis replies she had to go to another kitchen to prepare the lunchbox she wanted to make. The facilities and ingredients in the dorm kitchen wasn't enough. When she heard MC say "Whatever", the Japanese sounded like an Indonesian curry dish so that's what she made.
The MC tries it and Aegis looks on anxiously. Worriedly, she asks, "How does it taste?" Slowly, he replies, "It's delicious." Junpei and Yukari are speechless. He does have emotions and can say other things after all.
Yukari Takeba, the 17 year old girl who doesn't want to be as weak as her mother. She doesn't hang out with anyone special or boys around her age. It's not that she's not interested in a relationship. She just doesn't want her feminineness to be known. She has to stay strong.
Nice image composition. I remember there was a special name (in Japanese?) when you merge Anime characters with real life scenery. Can't remember what it was.
What has Yukari done to Junpei?! Poor guy but, hilarious! That one with the red background on the page to the right is just scary. Her short story was, "The Scary Story that Happened at School".
Some image composition for Junpei Iori. Not much fanart for him. His short story is "If We Meet in a Dream" and you can guess who the other person is in the dream.
Her cooking can't be that bad, right? Her short story is "Fuka Stampede".
Lots of fanart for her. This is the disguise selection. That emotional painting of her on the right is scary.
I like this vectored blue one. Her story is, "The Human Heart and Aegis' Heart".
Mitsuru Kirijo, the 18 year old who wants to protect and share her father's burden.
Again, plenty of fanart for her, "Sexy & Cuteness".
Mitsuru x Akihiko. I think they make a good couple. There are people speculating they have a daughter in the upcoming Anime show "Persona Trinity Soul" that starts this Saturday. A few are saying they won't watch it if this is true.
Funny Manga to the bottom-centre. It's entitled "I can't wait until autumn". The MC is talking to Mitsuru in the corridor and she asks, "Are you going home now?" A box with the choices "Lets go home together" and "Goodbye" appears. You choose the first and Mitsuru goes, "What's wrong?! You don't have to shout out so loud..." Ah yes, you can't start asking her out until late December in the game unfortunately for Mitsuru fans. Can't blame him for shouting out so desperately, huh? ^^;
Her story is "Mitsuru Kirijo's Wrecklessness".
Akihiko Sanada the training maniac. Looking good here.
More fun fanart here. Both Junpei and Akihiko pointing the evokers to their heads. Junpei, "Do we really have to do this?!" Akihiko, "Of course! It feels great!"
His story is "The Impregnable Legend of Akihiko Sanada".
Shinjiro Aragaki, the "lonry rogue". Story, "Cooking Heaven and Eating in Hell".
Ken Amada's ready to kick butt here. Story is "Turning Ken Amada into a Kid".
Awww, cute little Aegis talking to Koromaru. Hey wait... Where's her eyeballs? She has no eyeballs! Story for Koromaru is "A Graceful Day for Koromaru".
Yes, Ryoji loves all girls! Well, at least these ones anyway.
Every character you can find in the game is covered in this book be it the school janitor, the old lady tender at the school's till, the teachers, Akihiko's female fans and the reporter that's always around. A total of 54 pages. Talk about comprehensive!
Strega characters didn't get much fanart besides Chidori.
By now, you'll probably have noticed there's a grey strip that runs along the bottom of each page throughout the book. It features the daily SEES Reports, made by the team members. Remember there's a computer in the dorm that's used to write a report? Well, I think that's where these come in and no, they're not the same as the entries in the Persona 3 FES Fanbook.
About the Game
Once you get to the last fifth of the book, there's 33 pages talking about the plot, settings and making of the game. You'll find most of the subjects here listed in the P3 FES book's glossary but the answers are a little more detailed here. Characters from the game have a discussion and they generally act like themselves too which gives you the odd laugh while reading. These are coupled with a number of Doujin Manga which you can find all over the internet.
The first discussion is between the Professor and Aegis. Aegis wonders why the Professor is still alive even though he jumped off the top of Tartarus. He answers that he's appearing as a presenter here so he's a slightly different character. He still tries to crack those terrible jokes. They then go into the details of Nyx, Shadows, Tartarus and the Kirijo experiment.
Nyx was a being composed of waves that impacted with planet Earth a long time ago when living things just started to appear. As a result of this impact pieces of the Earth broke off forming the moon and Nyx fused itself with the planet and these pieces. Before long the waves from Nyx became a threat to the lifeforms on Earth as it tried to wipe them out.
However, the lifeforms fought back with their will to live and because of this there was a sudden burst of evolution. Eventually, these lifeforms (now humans) had sealed away Nyx because of their thoughts of fearing death and not wanting to die but there was a price to all this. Their fast evolution meant humans ended up with a shorter lifespan and Nyx also became part of their sub-consciousness.
As humans continued through history and into the modern society, the seal began to weaken through war and weak wills to live. Of course, there were also the ones who lived fulfilling lives that helped offset this.
These are the parts of Nyx that has become a part of humans. As they are only a tiny fraction of Nyx they don't possess that much attack power and their only goal is to return to their original form. Even so, they are a crucial part of the human mind and without them, humans would not be able to carry out any actions thus, producing what is known in the game as "Apathy Syndrome".
As you can guess from the explanation about Nyx, these Shadows remain sealed deep within each human being until he or she loses the will to live. When this happens, they are brought into the Dark Hour because the Shadow has overpowered them. From an outsider's point of view, it will appear as if these Shadows are an outside force, devouring the humans and turning them into Apathy Syndrome victims. The Shadows don't really eat humans.
In the case of Natsuki, the girl who bullied Fuka, she heard her Shadow's voice because she was living her life without remembering that she could die from her actions. However, once she entered the Dark Hour, she faced death and built up the will to live again and thus managed to escape Apathy Syndrome.
By defeating Shadows, they will return to their owner and thus "healing" any Apathy Syndrome victims. It should be noted victims will experience some difficulty with their memory and thinking abilities if the Shadows have left their mind for prolonged periods of time.
Shadows attack Persona users because they know the team is there to stop Nyx from reviving.
Some Official Manga
Official Manga on the top-right here by Motoi who done the illustrations in the P3 FES Fanbook.
P3 has been given a rating of twelve years or older by CERO, largely due to the reason of Yukari's love / horror shower scene. Junpei can't believe there was such a scene sounding disappointed that he missed it. Yukari apologises for the scene. The MC comforts Junpei saying it was nothing. He saw it live after all and it wasn't arousing at all. In fact, he got slapped when he tried to speak. It was more of a turn off... Yukari kicks him where the sun doesn't shine. The MC shouts out angrily and she explains there was a fly. Junpei is scared with his teeth chattering. Ouch!
Igor, Elizabeth, Personas and the Velvet Room
Next Igor and Elizabeth talks about the power of Persona, how they are summoned, the concept in P3, the design, how they balanced the arcanas and where did the names came from.
Personas, like Shadows, live in the unconsciousness of humans. Although Evokers that take the form of guns (and don't shoot out bullets!) are used by the SEES members, they are really not essential for summoning Personas. The Evokers are more like devices to ensure the stability of the summoning process.
The most essential factor is the fear a Persona user feels when they put the gun shaped Evoker to their heads to pull the trigger. Usually when humans are in fear, they will awaken a certain part of their unconsciousness. Thus during that instant of fear, the Persona users go beyond the boundary of their consciousness, unlocking what dwells within their unconsciousness and summoning their sleeping Personas. You might not have noticed it but when the Evokers are "fired", you can hear the sound of a lock being opened.
The pair also goes onto talk about why there are so many doors in the Velvet Room and who they really are. Igor says they lead to the minds of those who have the qualities of being able to enter the room. Igor's name came from the movie "Frankenstein" as you may have guessed while Elizabeth's name came from the movie's sequel.
After a selection of the Personas are introduced, the SEES gang talks about the world setting such as the Iwatodai Dormitory and how it doesn't seem to have a place where they can take a shower or a bath, Gekkoukan High's design etc. This is one big campus!
Interesting enough, the design of Tartarus was influenced by famous paintings done by Holland artist Maurits Escher and Italian artist Giorgio de Chirico. Its seven sections are named and modelled after the Seven Earths in Judaism namely Thebel, Arqa, Yabbashah, Tziah, Harabah and Adamah. There's quite a variation of the names so if you want to learn more, just look up the "Seven Earths". Thebel (or Tevel) was the one that resembled our planet Earth the closest and that is why when you run through the first block of Tartarus, it's like running through a darker version of the Gekkoukan High corridors.
I was expecting a lot of game script in this book after reading the reviews on Amazon but, there wasn't quite a much as I was expecting. Sure, GameFAQs has the entire English script up and I would probably find the Japanese version somewhere if I looked around but, it's not the same as having an actual book complete with screenshots and artwork from the game.
Ignoring the "Engrish" and a few typos, the SEES Reports, detailed character profiles and making off "Q & A" sessions makes "Persona Club P3" a worthwhile purchase. Basically everything the Persona 3 FES Fanbook was missing. The collection of fanart shows just how much players liked the game. If they merged the two books together, they would have one hell of a book for P3 fans that's for sure. And even better if they made it hardback! It would be an almost five hundred page book!