The series is a direct sequel to the Persona 3 RPG that was released for PS2 -- I never played that, so I might have missed some subtle back-references while watching this series.
The three main characters of the series are the Kanzato brothers. The two youngest, Shin and Jun, return to Ayanagi City, to live with their elder brother Ryo in the house where they grew up. Their parents are dead: ten years ago, when there was a mass outbreak of Apathy Syndrome in the city, they were killed in the ensuing chaos. Ryo works as a police inspector, and he is not very enthusiastic about having his younger brothers return to the city. There's lots of stuff going on, and teenagers are showing up again suffering from the Apathy Syndrome. There are also people who have their bodies turned inside out (which is called 'a reversal') -- icky.
It turns out that some adolescents have the power to extract their 'Persona': monstrous beings that they can control and have fight in their stead. Each Persona has a unique special ability -- and a gang of youths has been going around absorbing the Persona of others: hence the Apathy Syndrome.
Ryo is in the thick of things: using special medicine, he has retained the ability to summon his Persona, and he uses that to fight the group on an equal footing. Of course, he can't reveal this to his colleagues or his brothers -- and he wants them out of the city out of fear they get caught up in everything.
And of course they do get caught up in it. It just so happens that their parents were part of the research group that investigated the Persona phenomenon. When one of their members started experimenting on his own daughter, the group disbanded because they didn't want to support such practices. However, of course they couldn't discuss these things with the press or with others -- which is why the Kanzato parents wrote and painted a storybook, about a 'Whale's feather'. It's all coded to mean something with respect to Persona...
And there's Jun's brain surgery ten years ago when part of the brain of his deceased twin sister was implanted in his brain to keep him alive (which makes for all sorts of interesting effects -- not in the least when dealing with their Persona), there's the mysterious girl who seems a very powerful Persona user and who always dissapear in a puff of whale feathers, there's the girl who turns out to be manipulated by the bad guys without even knowing it herself...
There's a lot of plot there, and every episode advances the plot -- even when it seems the brothers are in for a bit of 'downtime'. And the series offers a good mix between quiet scenes (sometimes with a lot of heart) and all-out no-holds-barred fighting as well.
Visually, the series is OK. The CGI Persona are quite something to look at, but the rest is adequate but not where most of the budget went... Voice acting is good, using a few voices that are well-known from other series. The music is servicable, and apparently there are lots of remixes from the game soundtrack to be heard all throughout the series.
But the main draw is really the plot. Whereas most shounen series that feature summonable monsters that fight instead of the character are often quite bland and stupid, Persona - Trinity Soul offers a really focussed plot in a paranoid and gripping atmosphere. The cathartic climax wraps it up all quite nicely too.
- Plot-driven story;
- There's always something interesting happening -- no downtime!
- At certain times, there's too little exposition to really understand what is going on -- perhaps if we had played the RPGs it would have made more to us.
All in all, a solid offering. I'll give it an 8.