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P-Vock's Music Box: School Days

Hello and welcome to P-Vock's Music Box, the blog where I give you a delightful tune from my music box to help prep you for the weekend. It's September, and school is back in session. Well, not for me, but for the people actually trying to make something of their lives it is. So let's finally cover one of my favourite franchises that just so happens to be about living a totally normal school life and nothing more😉, the Persona series.

The Persona series is famous for many things, like great characters, fantastic writing, striking visuals, and of course, great music. This is made apparent whenever you first turn on one of the titles and are greeted by an absolutely stellar intro movie. So for this week, I'm going to give you two absolute phenomenal intro cutscenes (and the full songs at the end of the column for if you're interested). Let's start with my personal favourite opening to any game ever, and what I would probably say is the very best.

CW: This first video features intense visuals and artistic representations of mortality and death. It should also be noted that while it is not at all what is happening, one visual could be initially seen as suicide. It is not at all what is happening, and that is made apparent in the game and story of Persona 3, but I felt a quick warning was in order just to be safe.

What can I say? I think this tells you literally everything you need to know about Persona 3. It's dark, intense, and damn it hits hard. This is it, the best opening cinematic ever. The visuals are striking and interesting enough to give you an idea of what to expect without spoiling anything (or does it?). The song that accompanies it, titled Burn My Dread, is an absolute banger. Not to mention, that damn bass drop hits like the force of being shot! I love Persona 3 so much, and I knew I would love it as soon as I watched this cinematic and had it perpetually burned into my head for years to come. I rewatch this constantly and it hits me every single time.

Okay so now let's change gears and get something a little less, deathy. Time for the Persona 4 opening. Persona 4 has your ragtag band of high schoolers solving the mystery of a serial killer in a small town (what? I said less deathy, not devoid of deathy). While that is the basic setup of the plot, the themes of Persona 4 are much more about finding your true inner self. That is made incredibly apparant with the opening cinematic, which is accompanied by another absolute bop.

This game is the most jovial murder mystery ever, and this intro is outstanding. Persona 4 uses CRT televisions as a motif (which were the standard when the game was initially released in 2008) brilliantly to echo the false selves people put on for other people, which is the basis of the characters and their struggles beyond the murder mystery. The music accompanying it, titled Pursuing My True Self, is also something I have enjoyed many times throughout the years, and I still want to scream "WE'RE ALL TRAPPED IN A MAZE OF RELATIONSHIPS" every time I hear it.

If these openings can tell you anything about the Persona series beyond the fact that it absolutely rules, it is very clearly not subtle with its themes and messaging within each entry. They also tell you that the series has some beyond incredible music. I don't think there is a Persona game with an OST I would call anything less than stellar, major love of mine going to Persona 5 Royal and Persona 3 FES. I guarantee I'll come back with more Persona tunes in the future because hot damn these beats are just fire. I'm fighting every urge to not just list like fifty tracks I love from this series.

I should probably stop before I just ramble on about this series for the billionth time because I've certainly done that before. I hope your weekend is as excellent as these iconic tracks, and I'll see you next week with another suggestion from my Music Box.

P.S. Here are full versions of the songs if you're interested. I also picked videos with lyrics because why not

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