Posted by psgels on 13 October 2011 with categories: Persona 4 The Animation



As for the shows I’m not going to blog:
– Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai is trying too hard. Both in being moe, and with the main character being a straight man.
– Maken-Ki is just stupid fanservice
– Mashiro-Iro Symphony… poor Manglobe. How deep you have fallen.

As for Persona, it won the contest, so I was guaranteed to blog this one. The worst case scenario has happened, however: it didn’t really have the best staff imaginable.

Now, for the record: I liked the first Persona anime, even though it had huge flaws. It was a good mystery story, with the big flaw that it kept using anti-climaxes over and over: every time you thought that an interesting cliff-hanger would finally spice things up, the next episode just continued like nothing happened. Now, this show will definitely not have this problem.

Seiji Kishi as a director lacks one major thing: subtlety. He likes to deliver things with bombast, which clashes rather with Persona, which apparently depends a lot on quiet moments. He’s more suited for fast-paced stories as Angel Beats and Kamisama Dolls, and his direction can really make those exciting and interesting. As for Yuuko Kakihara… well, let me just say that I never finished any of the series she wrote the series composition of: Sora no Otoshimono got repetitive really fast, Kamichama Karin was also a very uninspired mahou shoujo, and Jewel Pet Sunshine and Stitch were just dull kiddie shows. Her lack of experience on an actual well paced show really shows here, because the script is more busy with trying to cram the exciting bits into 24 episodes, rather than make the writing and pacing actually work. This is opposed to for example a series as Deadman Wonderland, which did cut a lot of exciting stuff, though the stuff that it didn’t cut was given the time and pacing to actually deliver.

And yeah, there’s the matter of the animators getting bullied by the animation directors. It’s just a rumour that originates from 4chan, so I’m not sure whether it is actually true or not, but if it is: AIC, you should be ashamed.

Now, it will be interesting to see whether this series is actually going to work or not, and I mean this in the overall build-up. This episode was a bit awkward, but it wasn’t bad. It rushed through the story of the pee guy, and left a lot of things for the viewers to assume (which isn’t always a problem, by the way) and it left way too little time for scenes to actually play out, but I got the gist of what it wanted to tell. Also a clever idea is the way the creators are using the main character and his personality charts in the eye catch. Both changed subtly compared to the opening episode.

However, please someone put that squeaky bear thing on a bus or something.
Rating: (Enjoyable)
OP: New visuals, and they look great.
ED: I have no idea why the ED is new, but this one too is pretty good. Addictive beat and simple but effective graphics.

14 Responses

  1. Dalx says:

    Well, not worst case (Still, it is kinda faithful even if it cuts all the exposition that is, well, almost 90% of the greatness of the series) but still I’m disapoint.

    I have to blame Yuuko Kakihara because the game wasn’t that subtle (well, iot has a layer of subtlety that is a spoiler to talk about), It mixes powerful scenes like the one with Yosuke and over the top gags like the pee event so Seiji Kishi isn’t out of his domain.

    As for the bear he’s somewhat remedied in the USA release that I can chalk it down to best. voice acting. ever. Instead of saying “kuma” he makes word puns (unbearable battle, Sensei-tional advantage, bearsona)

  2. c160 says:

    I know I’m one of the very few people who liked the trinity soul anime as well. That one(even if its non canon) set the mood early on,even with all the cliches,weird pacing and uncomfy cameo.This one like you said, just cut out everything but the exciting parts. And it’s not the strength of this game really. Most of the ideas behind the “exciting parts” or any of the good parts in the game really,are not really all that new, but the execution was what made it really good and likeable. Now that the execution is like this… Well..

  3. Anca says:

    Try having that bear make the commentary to every single random battle – and there are a lot of them. “Sensei, three enemies left kuma!” “Sensei, fire attacks don’t work kuma!” “Senseeeeeeeeeeeei, Yosuke is down, can you please heaaaaaaal him kuma?”

    And it’s not a rumor. 4chan linked to a Japanese blog, and I think the news might have hit ANN too by now. Three or four animators quit. What strikes me is that episode 2 still looks better than the first.

    And yeah, I agree with Dalx: Persona 4 stopped being subtle after the introduction. The hints here and there scattered around the setting won’t make it into the anime anyway (and if they do, don’t they have better things to waste screen time on?).

    I liked Trinity Soul too. I think the fans of the game were angry because they called it “Persona 3″ when it had nothing to do with Persona, and invented arbitrary rules like ‘adults can’t summon their Persona’.

  4. Suzushina Yuriko says:

    I’d appreciate if you didn’t call Yosuke the “pee guy”. :/ He’s actually quite a strong and smart character, one of my favorites in the game.

    Each character, although seemingly stereotypes at first, has their own issues that make them into fully developed characters. These issues and their personality also correspond with the meaning of the Tarot cards they’ve been assigned to, and it’s amazing how much detail has been put into the symbolism of their characters.

    This episode was also pretty rushed, though not as bad as episode 1. People are supposed to collapse when their shadows go berserk, but it’s like they crammed everything in an episode to ignore that.

    Here’s the original Yosuke shadow scene in the game (and note that the English voice acting is really good, maybe even better than the Japanese voices). It starts right after the protagonist summons Izanagi for the first time. Compare the anime rushjob to this scene with all the buildup.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-2DHCTcLMM

    It seems like the director hasn’t learned from his pacing and mood mistakes in Angel Beats! I fear for the rest of the anime.

  5. h.n.elly says:

    I have bad news about the bear thing…um…just smile and “bear” it? He’s actually better here then the video game.

    Though I like him, he also is annoying at times to me.

  6. Starry says:

    Unfortunately, an anime doesn’t have the time to draw out scenes like the video game did. That’s not to excuse the director completely however. The animator rumors are true, they came from both Japanese blogs and the animators twitter pages.

    Anyway, you should take the time to watch a walkthrough of the actual game after the anime finishes, so you can get the complete experience.

  7. mango says:

    Screw you. Teddie is the best =P He’s more bear-able than most people are.

  8. Addictd says:

    Better than the first episode by a lot, but still lacking something…

  9. Akari Mizunashi says:

    Please just play the game instead of watching this garbage; this is just painful to sit through as a lover of P4. I would seriously consider buying you a copy and shipping it to you for free, just so that you don’t have to subject yourself to such a horrible rendition of a great thing.

  10. betawatcher says:

    I got used to Teddie’s voice quite quickly, when I played P4 (it was an undub version :P), so I wouldn’t mind it here.

    The animation’s kinda almost a waste then, it’s so pretty but the pacing’s kinda off…

  11. psgels psgels says:

    Suzushina Yuriko: I’m sorry, but regardless of how he is in the game, this is the anime, and his version here has struck me as a hyperactive idiot who can’t control his bladder. It’s the result of the pacing issues of this show, yeah, but do note that I have not played the game.

  12. m says:

    This actually wasn’t that bad. It pretty much boiled down the core of what’s important without being too confusing. I still have the lingering feeling that if one hasn’t played the game that it might not become immersed in the experience, but the pacing didn’t worry me as much as the first episode’s.

    IIRC they did tone down the inner dickishness of Brosuke’s shadow. I’m curious if that portends anything for future events.

    Brosuke is something of a comic relief/side-kick character. As I wrote before, they will mix in humor to lighten up what is otherwise a macabre setting. Contrary to what some people wrote in response to the first episode, the story of Persona 4 pretty much fit an anime formula already–just a long one. If you see him as the protagonist’s side-kick in a teen mystery/action anime, then I don’t think his personality should be a big problem. If you set your expectations elsewhere, then I think that you won’t like most of the character interactions. Everyone’s a little larger than life in Persona 4.

    The OP was pretty good, if a bit spoilerific.

  13. Rintarou says:

    The rumor isn’t from 4chab it’s from Arai Jun, an animator who worked with AIC on Persona who posted about the working conditions on his twitter.

  14. Yerocha says:

    Yeah, Teddie’s voice and mannerisms can sometimes be a little much to bear.

    I liked this episode, and the shadow fight went a lot better than I would have expected. Having the backdrop fold away was kind of odd, though.

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  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:47 AM)
    I remember that same guy, during end of eva, pausing it over and over during that scene where asuka dies with all of those fast moving clips too.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:39 AM)
    I remember catching it also when I was young with a friend and we looked back on a fanservice scene with shinji and rei and he mentioned “You know if you think about it that scene is damn disturbing when you think she’s a clone of/modelled after you know who…”
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:36 AM)
    Before Eva, when I was 11 or so my image of a mech anime was Nadesico…then it was eva and then I was like…Whoah…whoah God halp! =O
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:34 AM)
    I suppose credit where I feel it due, the angel designs are excellent and I remember getting the shock of my life when shinji’s eva went nuts and then there was a bit with Bardiel infect Toji’s unit. I remember at least Masatos boyfriend being a likeable character.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:31 AM)
    I don’t think anyone was prepared for Eva, whether they liked the show or not, at 11 I can remember being horrified by end of eva and the series original ending as well as having my first moment of “Feck…theres a first…an anime that did something that scrambled my mind, I actually feel kind of thick now, this show is smarter than I am”.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:27 AM)
    It really wouldn’t have been that hard to put a satisfying ending to the original series, wrap up the threads nicely and put a pretty ribbon on the package to finish it off. But Anno and friends took a risk and went against the tide and end up becoming the trope-namer for the Gainax Endings. That took balls and made things unexpected and fresh, cuz god knows that ,good guys win the day ‘is tired and boring.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:26 AM)
    Requiem for a dream. I remember the guy who recommended that film saying to me “Even someone such as yourself who finds it hard to find/has high standards an emotionally investing film will get something out of requiem for a dream”
  • Bam
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:17 AM)
    @Emma: leaving a bad taste is pretty much the point of Eva, just as getting bummed out by Requiem For a Dream is the naturally intended effect. I don’t mind that you don’t enjoy Eva all that much Emma, l actually appreciate it over dishonest admiration. Just keep in mind that Eva deserves it’s special place in anime.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 01:32 AM)
    But Eva just left a bad taste in my mouth as a whole, I understand that Bam you are very passinette about it and thats fine, I wasn’t aiming to provoke. I just feel that its frustrating that like alot of certain anime, that I am not allowed to dislike it or have reason to.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 01:32 AM)
    If anything at least I found Ikuhara’s symbolism while obvious at least in utena and straightforward was at least visually interesting to look at.
    I love every David Lynch film and again I thought Lain was exceptional.

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