The second in A-1 Pictures’ four-part movie adaptation of hit video game Persona 3, the puntastically-titled Midsummer Knight’s Dream continues the story of the Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad and their battle against the sinister Shadows – and it’s apparent from the outset that protagonist Yuki is no longer the detached loner of the first film.
Thanks to a beach visit, there’s even a fair sprinkling of fanservice early on. However, the lighter mood is actually something of a boon in a series where angst and despair is never far beneath the surface. And it’s while trying to chat up the local bathing belles – thanks Edwardian era, you can have your phrase back now – that Yuki first runs into Aigis, the Shadow-hunting robot girl who became the game’s breakout character.
She’s soon joined by precocious 11-year-old Ken and persona-summoning pooch Koromaru, which means we’ve now been introduced to all of Persona 3’s Scooby Gang. This spotlight on new characters does mean that other members of the party such as Junpei and Fuuka barely get a word in edgeways, but the addition of lovable battle android Aigis more than makes up for it.
As well as new allies, Midsummer Knight’s Dream supplies a new set of antagonists for Yuki in the shape of Strega, a trio of Persona-using assassins-for-hire. It’s an encounter with the group that prompts our taciturn hero to ask himself a difficult question: having at last found a place where he belongs, does Yuki really want to defeat the Shadows and see everything return to normal?
With all the scene-setting out of the way thanks to debut film Spring of Birth, series director Tomohisa Taguchi really gets the story rolling in Midsummer Knight’s Dream. Now the main cast’s finally assembled, we’re crossing our fingers that third movie Falling Down can maintain the momentum.
RELEASE: Out Now (DVD, DVD/Blu-ray Combi), 16 April 2018 (Standard Blu-ray)
FROM: All The Anime
PRICE (RRP): £19.99 (DVD), £24.99 (Blu-ray) £34.99 (Blu-ray + DVD CE)
AGE RATING: 15