I think it’s a bit too faithful to the game. The opening casino scene was greatly abbreviated, but it did still retain the exact same video game-style design. I don’t know why, they should have made him swing from actual chandeliers and crap. Much of the dialog is lifted directly from the game as well, I believe. Sometimes it works (the Persona summoning scene at the end was awesome), sometimes the effect is less than stellar.
It tried to capture the amazing style from the game but I don’t think it really gets there. It’s just repeating the same things that happened in the game. You have to change things up a bit for anime. For example, the first time he arrives at a town, it has his subway map expand like it does in the game. I guess it’s fanservice for those who have played the game, but I don’t think it adds much. I’d prefer that both the game and the anime would stand strong on their own.
But, hey, I still liked it a lot. The start of the episode felt a bit weak, but the ending scene perfectly captured the sense of the game. And it’s good that they’ve got the main character being a total badass down pat, because that’s one of the biggest points of appeal. They’ve also done great at establishing this initial villain as a dick, which is also key. A lot of it will come down to the choices of what to cut. I remember the last persona anime had a sequence of episodes in the middle which covered pretty much every social link in depth. I hope they can work the social links in in a way that doesn’t lead to one episode per social link, which got old fast.
I’m excited for the rest!