Persona 4 The Animation so far (episodes 1 & 2)

PER…SO…NA.

Persona 4 The Animation

It’s finally here!!! I’ve been waiting for a persona game adaptation since forever.  Although I wish they’d animate 3 first, since it’s probably easier to animate and insanely more epic, persona 4 adaptation is all fine with me.  I’m actually trying to forget Persona ~Trinity Soul~  was there to begin with, although, truth be told, I liked some of the characters there (mainly the girls).

As I’ve stated in another post, I’ve played persona 3 and 4 at least two times each.  That’s around 100+ hours of gaming for each (yes, I like to actually check the dialogue at least once, although I end up checking it a second time).  I could say a lot about the games but there’s little point in that.  Also, seeing as the anime is closely following the game (almost to a fault), extra information from the game will probably not be needed.

Anyway, I promised I’d blog this even if the world ended, so here it goes.

Story so far

Episode 1

Welcome to the Velvet Room.

The Velvet Room (as seen in episode 2 though xP )

Narukami Yu (The Fool) is transferring to the idyllic Inaba, a town in the countryside, due to family issues (parents end up working away, etc etc, you know, like almost every anime out there).  He’s going to be living in Yasoinaba along with his uncle, Doujima Ryoutarou (The Hierophant), and his niece, Ryoutarou’s daughter, Doujima Nanako (Justice).  The Doujimas pick Narukami from the train station and stop at a gas station on their way home.

The Handshake (seems harmless, no?)

After a hardshake with the friendly employee, Narukami seems to experience some nausea but shakes it off (yes, it’s important).  Finally at home, as Narukami remembers his last day at his old school, he ends up sleeping and has a dream about a foggy area and a silhouette saying, more or less, that if he wants to know the truth, he needs to catch it.  Leaving the small details aside, the next day starts with Narukami introducing himself to his classmates (under the ever watchful eye of teacher “Morokin” – or “King Moron”) and getting to know some of them, mainly Satonaka Chie (The Chariot) and Hanamura Yosuke (The Magician), although Amagi Yukiko (The Priestess) gets enough screenplay, mostly by being with Chie.  Narukami also learns about the Midnight Channel, a hidden channel only appearing in midnight during a rainy night, supposedly showing the people who watch it their soulmate.  The other event that day is Konishi Saki (a school senior) discovering the body of a news announcer (Yamano Mayumi) who allegedly had an affair with a city council member married to a popular enka singer.  The body was discovered hanging upside down from a TV antenna.  For the record, the police inspect the crime scene.  Ryoutarou is there, along with his assistant, Detective ADACHI (Adachi Touru), although Adachi doesn’t seem to be helping much, looking like a wimp and getting nauseous because of the corpse.

Other than that, Narukami, Chie and Yosuke end up eating in the Junes Megastore.  Back home, Ryoutarou ends up falling asleep on the couch, while Nanako and Narukami keep watching TV.  Narukami tries the Midnight Channel rumor and discovers that the channel exists.  Although blurry, he is able to discern a female figure that resembles Konishi Saki.  He also finds out that he can put his hand inside the TV screen.

Next day, Narukami, Chie and Yosukue and the others discuss the Midnight Channel broadcast and decide to check on it in one of Junes’ big TVs, eventually getting sucked inside the TV due to Narukami’s ability to pass through the TV screen.  Inside, they arrive at a place of incredibly dense fog.  A shadowy figure scares them off and they end up in a spooky room with torn posters and a noose hanging from the ceiling.  For Yosuke’s bladder needs, Chie exits the room and is greeted by Kuma (The Star).  Kuma is angry (and scared) with all the people coming in and wants them to go out.  He gives Narukami a pair of glasses that penetrate the fog and runs away just before Shadows appear.  The group tries to escape but is surrounded by the Shadows.  Chie faints and as the others try to defend, a voice pushes Narukami to unlock his potential, and his Persona, Izanagi, comes forth, eventually defeating the Shadows.

Yes, this is the good guy...

And that's the good guy's Persona

Episode 2

Long story short, Chie wakes up and Kuma kicks them out of the place using some TVs.  In the morning, a weird guy from a different school tries to hit on Yukiko, ends up getting shot down and runs away obviously pissed.  At shcool, the group learns that Konishi Saki was found dead in a way similar to the first body discovered.  Yosuke is rather devastated, as he had a crash on Konishi, and believes that the Midnight Channel has something to do with the series of recent deaths.  Narukami and Yosuke go back to the TV world, leaving Chie outside as an anchor should something happen, their anchor method proves totally ineffective though.  Kuma meets them inside (there’s nothing inside that suit!!!), gives Yosuke another pair of glasses and follows them, after Narukami agrees to help Kuma rid his world of nuisances.  The group follows some voices and ends up in a store where Yosuke has a breakdown after hearing Saki’s voice explaining how he’s annoying but she talks to him because he’s Junes’ manager’s son.  A Shadow Yosuke appears, claiming he’s a part of Yosuke and sharing Yosuke’s dark thoughts.  Yosuke denies everything, causing the Shadow to transform.  Yosuke eventually comes to realize that Shadow is a part of him as Narukami defeats it.  Finally, Yosuke accepts his darker self, enabling Shadow Yosuke to morph into Yosuke’s Persona and receiving the Magician Arcana.

Spooky Shadow Yosuke! Tremble, World!

Awwww, Shadow Yosuke is happy xP

Narukami and Yosuke exit the TV world, and get scolded by Chie.  Back at home, Ryoutarou is late again and Narukami helps Nanako with the dishes.  The episode ends with the Midnight Channel showing a female figure running between two series of horse statues.

Thoughts

I like the designs… I liked how it actually feels like the game with the game day transitions and how closely it follows the game.  I absolutely love how the first episode used the game’s OP for its OP.  The soundtrack (besides the second OP and the two EDs) is directly from the game, which is more than I had hoped for, although thinking about it, they’d be stupid NOT to use it, wonderful music most of the time, lower budget, music readily available, it’s a win-win situation.  The issue some people might have with it is the transitions.  It does feel it’s moving a bit fast at times, although, having played the game, I feel at home there.  Another issue I have was the whole Yosuke – Dark Yosuke encounter.  It does basically follow the game, although I found the particular progression and dialogues rather weak.  I suppose they don’t want (or maybe should) tweak the game script, but it could use some fixes here and there.  Last issue I have so far is… It’s going to be a short anime, isn’t it… I was hoping for a 24-26 episode anime but I doubt they’ll use all the side characters and stuff.  They’ll probably focus on the main group only, that’s basically dropping a third to half the game, from where I’m standing but I suppose it’d be hard using all these, seemingly unrelated side characters in the anime (the other Social Links).  I hope they’ll use as much of the game as they can.

Last but not least, the voice actors from the game as also voice the anime characters (at least the main characters, from what I can tell).  That’s nice since Horie Yui is an excellent Chie.  That’s not very nice cause Kugimiya Rie is voicing Rise, which I thought was epic fail.  It’s one of the few times the english dub is better by a mile.  Then again, I’m not at ALL fond of Kugimiya Rie and her tsundere lolis so maybe I was a bit preoccupied, who knows, I still don’t like her as Rise.  Rise is one of my favorite characters in Persona 4, thus my gripe.  No, Rise hasn’t appeared in the anime yet, unfortunate though that is.  The other is Nanako.  Nanako rules.  Nanako for President.  Nanako for Goddess, etc etc etc.

Overall I’m rather pleased.  The existence of a **TRUE** Persona anime is reason enough for celebration.  I’m looking forward to the next episode, although much of the fun isn’t there since I know the story firsthand already but meh, if anything, I’ll enjoy watching Nanako and Rise, along with the epic persona 4 soundtrack.  I can hardly wait for Nanako’s “Heaven” theme.

NANAKOOOOOOOOOOOOO o(^o^)o

That’s all for now.

PS Minor Persona Arcana Trivia :  Some names have Arcana names in parentheses next to them.   That’s the Major Arcana associated with the character, these associations called Social Links in the game.  Maximizing a Social Link (ie getting really intimate with the person of that Social Link) allows the player to unlock the most powerful persona of the associated Arcana.   Also, each persona in the game is categorized under one of them.

PS2 Igor, Margaret, Limousine, and the Velvet Room.  Igor and Margaret are mysterious characters leaving in a space called the Velvet Room.  The Velvet Room takes various shapes, depending on the individual guest and the general situation.  The guest, signs a contract to take responsibility for his actions no matter the outcome and is given access to the Velvet Room.  The reason is mostly unknown other than Igor following some agents of fate, ones that have before them unlimited possibilities (and stuff like that).  In the game, Igor helps the player fuse personas into new ones, and offers quests and guidance.  The Velvet Room itself lies beyond space and time.  Other than that, the whole Velvet Room thing is a mystery, offering little info other than cryptic semi-information.  The Velvet Room has appeared so far in the beginning of both episodes.

PS3 I am back, mwahahahaha! Yes, my Anime Spring 2011 Impressions ended up… eh… unfinished… But no matter, I’m back again.  I’ll try to get the Fall 2011 Impressions ready once I watch all the stuff I want.  But Persona’s gonna get blogged cause it’s epic, mwahahahahaha.

Over and out ^-^

I so cool >o<

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