is a pet project I've been mulling on for... hm. Several years now? I say mulling on and not working on as tangible progress towards some concrete end product remains virtually nonexistent. In making this thread, I hope to rectify that.

Essentially, Persona M takes a Persona-type scenario and injects it into the Grand Unified Mario Universe. To clarify:
  • In the Persona series, supernatural shenanigans threaten the safety of the world, and the only way to prevent the unraveling of causality is to make close friends with a cadre of malcontents. The protagonist's social life and the emotional wellbeing of their friends and associates are as mechanically important as their RPG combat stats. ...I'm probably overstating it, but still.

  • The Grand Unified Mario Universe is a theoretical entity wherein every piece of Mario media, game or otherwise, is taken as some degree of True. That is, SMB3 is canonically a stageplay, but the GUMU takes it to be a reenactment of historical events. The accuracy of that stageplay as acknowledged by the GUMU is not necessarily fixed, however; it's only as true as it needs to be, and may be expanded upon as necessary.

This project has three core tenets:
1. Perform a character study of the Mario cast,
2. Critique the Persona series' inability to deliver on its promises, and
3. Create as many dumb fractalescent jokepuns as possible.

Each of these will be expanded upon in their own posts. Until then, check out this [cool playlist] that tries to capture the essence of what I aim to create.
At this time, it represents the bulk of Actual Work that's gone into this thought exercise. You may notice it's near-all Mario themes; this is a deliberate attempt to showcase the breadth of genres and styles the Mario series contains.

Feel free to ask me any questions you may have, offer suggestions to the playlist, posit Cool Thoughts, or do any other whatever, either here or through PMs.

Thank you so much for to reading my post! Enjoy yerselves, an' all that.
Ooooooooooooooooh yes I don't even persona but I'm here for this
As someone with an interest in the shin megami tensei series, you have my interest. Quite curious indeed.
Quiet. Good for an unusual opinion. Doesn't talk much.
I remember hearing about this a bit back, and you've definitely got me curious! Looking forward to more of this cool weird thing. :3
Tenet the First: Persona M as Character Study of the Mario Cast

Any good critique comes from a place of love, and I love the Mario cast. Part of the goal here is to expand upon their characters and break the status quo that exists in the Mario universe, but in doing so, also showcase what a great cast Mario and crew are.

One of the major themes Persona M tries to explore is anxiety, and how to overcome it. The supernatural threat endangering the world is a force that amplifies, feeds upon, and takes form from the fear-and-desire melange of those it comes into contact with. Self-destructive behaviors magically magnified into corrupted facsimiles of the terrified and their terrors, or entire fantastical realms dedicated to a reciprocal cycle of terror and destruction.

Those with strong souls who can come to understand and control their fears can turn this corrupting force to their advantage. For those familiar with the Persona series, this is how personas, shadows and the demonic forces in between manifest. I'll go into all this more in-depth at a later time, though; this post is about people, not plot.

To the point: This character study is one of the fears that keep the characters locked in their stagnant roles. Peach's compliance and complacency with being kidnapped, Bowser's inability to give up on whatever he sees in Peach, Mario's overwhelming drive to right all wrongs-- all these things implied by everything that happens in Mario canon, but never addressed.

(Credit where it's due; Odyssey and even Kingdom Battle were big steps to rectify that, intentionally or not. But I digress.)

All that said, before we can really dive into this character study, we must first establish the anxieties, corruptions, coping mechanisms, and recoveries each character might have, and, of course, which characters to actually study. Each will have their own post in time, but for now: an incomplete selection of the most interesting entities Mario has on offer.
  • Mario
  • Luigi
  • Wario
  • Waluigi

  • Peach
  • Daisy
  • Pauline
  • Rosalina

  • Bowser
  • Junior
  • Kam
  • The Koopalings

  • Toadsworth
  • E. Gadd
  • King Boo

  • The Mushroom Kingdom
  • The Koopa Kingdom
  • The Metro Kingdom
  • Sarasaland
  • Isle Delfino
And yeah, those last ones aren't individuals, but it's hard to deny that the kingdoms themselves have a character all their own. The Mushroom Kingdom, for example, continually suffers the loss of its princess... yet, when we see Toad Town and the Kingdom as an entity unto itself, Peach's absence seems barely felt. Life goes on, and all that.

The psychological complexes formed by society as a whole are just as worth investigation as any held by any one hero, villain, damsel or otherwise. Persona likes to dip into those, too, though we'll get into just how "well" Persona does that in the next big post.

(hint: poorly)
Tenet the Second: Persona M as Critique of the Thematic Failures of the Persona Series

Any good critique comes from a place of love, and I love Persona! It's a JRPG whose stories revolve around the struggles of being a teen in Japan, and deal with matters of alienation, trauma, friendship, and identity. I love all the kids we get to know, I want them to be safe and happy and I wish, really wish, that the game devs wanted that too.

See, the Persona series is either a victim of developers with very low introspection, developers that expect their consumers to have high introspection, or both. Here's what I mean:

In Persona 5, the most recent installment, every player-aligned character is a victim of abuse, and every villain, major or minor, is one of their abusers. The player gets to know each of their allies intimately as a key component of gameplay, and help them through emotionally turbulent times of their lives. Meanwhile, the villains' crimes range the gamut from direct physical and emotional violence, to sexual assault, fraud, blackmail, and murder.

So, naturally, one of the main messages of the game is: sympathize with victims and condemn abusers...

...unless the abuse has comedic value.

for Persona 5Show
And then we have the gay and genderqueer and trans characters wherein one half get walked back to HeteronormalcyTM and the other half feel like they're there on accident because of how otherwise garbage at subtext Persona is.

This is a series explicitly about True Selves and The Acceptance Thereof, mind you.

I'm angry and bitter and I can do better.

Fact Seagull < Spite! It Gets the Job Done