Recently, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) gave Persona 5 a “Mature 17+” title. The ESRB rating summary notes that the game features imagery of violence, sex, and even mentions illegal drugs. This summary seems fair if previous Persona entry ratings are viewed. Here’s what we know so far about Persona 5.
Persona 5 ESRB
According to the ESRB entry for Persona 5, the Atlus game is rated as a “Mature 17+” title. Persona 5’s protagonists are mostly Japanese high school teenagers, and its story mostly targets young people as they deal with problems in society. At best, players around the protagonist’s age bracket aren’t recommended to play this game, but may still see it otherwise. Below is the full rating summary of the ESRB:
This is a role-playing game in which players assume the role of a high-school student who enters an alternate world and uses special powers to change the hearts of people in the real world. As players explore themed areas of the “Metaverse,” they engage in turn-based combat against fantastical creatures (e.g., demons, evil spirits, shadow creatures). Characters use blades, pipes, firearms, and Personas (i.e., creatures that enable magical attacks) to defeat enemies; battles are highlighted by light effects, impact sounds, and cries of pain. Some cutscenes depict characters ripping masks off their faces as blood sprays. One cutscene depicts a man shooting another character in the head at close range; blood is shown pooling on the floor and splattering the victim’s clothes. Several female monsters/Personas are depicted with exposed breasts, and a handful of creatures have phallic-shaped heads, torsos, or appendages. Various Personas (e.g., Succubus, Incubus) have sexual characteristics that are described in text (e.g., “They visit sleeping men/women and have sexual intercourse with them”); dialogue also includes sexual references (e.g., “Apparently he’s been forcing young idols and other girls to have sex with him to move up in the ranks”). Drug smuggling for the mafia is briefly discussed during a side quest (e.g., “Like illegal drugs…? Maybe they made Iida smuggle drugs for them.”). The words “f**k,” “sh*t,” and “a*shole” appear in the dialogue.
Imagery of Sex in Persona Series
Despite involving characters that are technically below legal age, the protagonists will often encounter adult imagery or even summon Personas that are not fit for children. In Persona 3, players had to shoot themselves with the pistol-shaped Evokers to use their Persona. Meanwhile, one of the bosses in Persona 4 is a stylized naked female pole dancer. Additionally, the Mara Persona, a straight-up phallus on a chariot, has appeared in most Persona entries. Obviously, Persona 5 is automatically a mature title if it has such elements.
Persona 5 also has its fair share of sexual imagery. In the game’s promotional trailers and reveals, Anne Takamaki is seen in a bikini. Meanwhile, some Persona designs include women in skimpy clothes, humanoids without pants but no genitals, and an outright phallic Persona.
As seen in the game’s trailers, the main protagonist is seen fairly beat up in an interrogation room. Additionally, the main protagonist group are made up of modern Phantom Thieves who are often chased by the police in the game. The reasons for the protagonist’s “justified stealing” will make sense as the story progresses.
Persona 5 Release Date
The Persona 5 english release was supposed to be released on February 14. However, Atlus announced an English voice localization and a Japanese voice patch and delayed the game’s release to April. Players will have to wait for at least two months to see the North American release for this game.
Currently, Persona 5 is already out in Japan, and Atlus urged fans to refrain from publicly posting spoilers to not ruin the experience for others. Stay updated with more Persona 5 news here on The BitBag.