I'm playing the first game on my Vita. It's taking me a while, because I typically only play when I'm traveling, so there are long intervals between my play sessions that cause me to lose momentum. I do like the game, and figure I'll buy the sequels on the PS4 so that I won't lose momentum while playing those.
The school calendar absolutely gives the game a Persona feel (I played 4 on the Vita), but I don't mind it. I don't think I really understand the combat system, though; I have no idea how to arrangement of the quartz affects the characters' abilities. My favorite JRPG combat system is the one in Valkyria Chronicles, which combines turn-based with real-time combat.