I was really disappointed how slow this one started. I was really wondering what the heck they were thinking, but it does pick up the pace soon.
For reference, Persona 2 Eternal Punishment had about 40 minutes of walking around talking to people before you got your personas and were dumped into the starter dungeon.
Persona 3, in comparison, had you in a fight about 15-20 minutes after you started playing the game. But, part of the set up of Persona 3 was that you, the new guy in town, meets up with a group of people who are already persona users, engaged in fighting demons.