Cross Stitch Pattern of the protagonist, Akira Kurusu or Ren Amamiya, and Goro Akechi from Persona 5. The art was drawn by Rokuro Saito for the Persona 5 Manga. Patrons can download the PDF and PNG files.
Grid Size: 150W x 116H
Design Area: 10.71″ x 8.29″ (150 x 116 stitches)
My Patron, MintyMirai, is a sentient cloud floating above the cold mountaintops. They are part of a whole sky of clouds compressing air into little spheres to bring to the peaks, and if they’ve done it right, snow sylphs will hatch.
The Persona style is kind of difficult to translate into cross stitch since the linework is so iconically crisp and detailed, I found that it doesn’t look quite like Persona when simplified down into pixel art. Still, it came out fantastic and it got me interested in Persona.
I must confess that the only Persona game I’ve played is the first dungeon of Persona Q, the 3DS spin off game that nobody played. Probably not the best starting point for the series so lets look at the anime instead.
I checked out a few episodes of Persona 5 The Animation. Apparently “The Animation” is the same on the Japanese box. It’s even in English still. I kind of half expected it to say “The Anime”, but no that would make too much sense SEO wise.
The show has some strong themes of disempowerment and self determination. Ren is only in control of his life when he’s Joker. In every other case, he’s being shunted around and told what to do by authority figures who never have his needs in mind. Even the mysterious app on his phone comes back after he deletes it. He is given no choice in who he lives with, what school he goes to, or even what classes he takes, and one step out of line will send him back to the same justice system that tortured him in the first scene.
Even awakening his Persona wasn’t entirely voluntary. He didn’t know what would happen and he was backed into a corner. That’s not consent. That’s giving in to desperation, grasping at his one remaining lifeline in a world just as nonsensical and cruel as the mindscapes around him.
It’s implied that Arsene is a separate entity that he makes a pact with, but also “the rebel soul that resides within you”, his other self. So this is either a fantastic take on codependency or possibly some severe disassociation, but either way I’m worried about him being “a different person when you wear that outfit”.
And remember, all of these scenes are framed as flashbacks, Ren confessing to the police after he’s been caught and tortured. Everything that happens is tainted by the knowledge that these intimate details are being drawn out of him as he’s being questioned. Nothing he says in voluntary and I feel greasy watching the show because I’m no better than another officer watching the recordings afterwards.
Which is wild.
I’m looking forward to the show exploring questions of what makes you you and why people accept or construct indefensible power structures.