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

This episode was… annoying. In fact, I didn’t enjoy it at all, and I can only hope that the next people that the male lead runs into will be better.

I have no idea why this show suddenly decided that it wanted to be a high school romance for one episode. I mean, that is a really tricky genre to get right: it’s overcrowded and the competition there is huge, and this wasn’t really the best type of execution. I can see how the story of this episode would have worked on paper. Heck, the protagonist here actually got himself a girlfriend, though completely platonic. That already brings him further than 90% of all other male leads. But the delivery of this episode was just bland.

Also, I know that the people from AIC aren’t the best animators, but at least have them try to put a bit of believable emotions into its characters. I mean, there are more studios that have acting problems, for example Madhouse, but at least they try to actually emote their characters, even though they lack the budget for it. Aside from a picture, the male lead in this episode only showed two emotions: bland neutral and badly animated bland embarrassed. It just… did not work. The gimmick of this show is that this guy’s personality grows based on these game-like traits. I’m not seeing that.

There are a lot of these teenaged high school shows that start off promising… only to devolve into badly told stories that don’t go anywhere. Especially the past winter season left me a bad impression with series like this, and this episode was really starting to show the first hints of the likes of Kore wa Zombie, Dragon Crisis and Yumekui Merry. Please let it get better instead of dabbling on in mediocrity like this! The past winter season was bad enough, and I don’t want to lose even more patience than I already have.
Rating: – (Disappointing)

15 Responses

  1. Suzushina Yuriko says:

    Basically, the premise is that the more bonds you make and strengthen with people, the more powerful Personas you can get. These are “Social Links” that can be made with anyone Yuu gets close to and are represented by tarot cards that reflect their situation.

    I didn’t like how they completely crammed two social links into one episode. Their bonds are supposed to gradually strengthen over time but this just feels rushed.

    I never really liked Ai, so naturally it goes without saying that I didn’t like this episode very much. I love the Strength arcana (Kou and Daisuke) but it seems like the real problems with Kou’s family were completely ignored here and Daisuke was shoved into the background as a side character.

    The ending shows all of the Social Links Yuu has currently made and will make in the future. I really hope the future Social Links aren’t as crammed as this one was, because there are some truly interesting stories in there.

  2. Starry says:

    It’s an unfortunate side effect from having to cram in about 20 something social links in the game. Obviously they can’t slowly develop them like how they game did because of time constraints. I would have preferred them to skim over social links in favor of advancing the story, so that the plot moves forward at a more natural pace.

    The best enjoyment I got out of this episode was seeing the main cast actually interact more with social link characters, in the game most of them never even met each other. Which I suppose shows that this anime was made more towards fans of the game then newcomers.

  3. DmonHiro says:

    I understand your feelings, but this actually WAS how it felt going from the battle sections to the high-school sections in the game felt to me.

  4. LMekko says:

    I liked Ai in the game and I LOVED this episode, thought it was hilarious. And yeah, the game is about switching between dungeons of shadows and demons to just going to school, forming social links and taking tests. Annoying as hell tests.

  5. Shippu says:

    I totaly agree with LMekko. Most people said the episode was rushed and all, but I though it was just fine. I mean they got 26 episode to stuff 21 socials link plus the murder plot and the dugeon. It can’t be helped if they have to cut some scenes and events.

  6. Dalx says:

    waiting for my fansub to get this on so I haven’t seen this chapter. Something you say makes me wonder. Platonic? kinda strange for the broken girl that’s Ai.

    The main “gimmick” of the Persona games are the RPG/Dating Sim fusion that let’s you develop by conversation your friendship with the cast and the more you do it the more you get into the dark matters of their personality until you make them accept themselves at the end of their S. Link.

    I expect it to be rushed but the ending of the Moon S Link, for you not to comment about it then it makes me wonder where it left off.

    For the Hero, well, they’re almost taking at face value the running joke of the emotionless hero because, you see, he also was a mime in the game. His characterization is also as a complety deadpan guy as they mention so it makes sense for him to be pokerfacing at everything. (besides, I find it funny)

  7. dspX says:

    I don’t know if you red it already, but there are some rumours around the Persona4 staff

    Translated to english:

    Original text in japanese:

    I don’t know if the information is proved, but it can be a possible reason for the disappointment until now.

  8. kazid33 says:

    This chapeter was, very good, Hilarious, I could laugth a lot whit it, I dont see the disapointment here really. But Each one has his tastes.

  9. meow says:

    I don’t know if you red it already, but there are some rumours around the Persona4 staff

    Hm. Makes me uneasy. I finished Persona 3 and enjoyed it a lot but never played Persona 4. (I was waiting for a PSP port.) I’m okay with the anime so far though and am looking forward to more development.

    I have no idea why this show suddenly decided that it wanted to be a high school romance for one episode.

    It has to do with the setting of the story/game. From Persona 3, each of the many characters in the story represents one of the Major Arcana of the Tarot. This includes non-player side characters such as the school girl in this episode (The Moon?) and possibly the basketball club leader (Strength?). They are like side-quests that enable your main character to expand his/her stable (deck?) of Personas by linking multiple cards to form new and more powerful Personas with new abilities. I think this episode compiles together multiple events that should have happened over several days (combined with advancements in the main plot) so that the next episode can move on to the main plot. There’s a good chance we’ll never see this particular pair of characters again as their story has been brought to some kind of conclusion. Meanwhile, our protagonist should have access to at least a pair of new Personas in the next battle.

    Aside from a picture, the male lead in this episode only showed two emotions: bland neutral and badly animated bland embarrassed.

    One thing about Persona protagonists, they are made to be rather blank slates that players can project themselves into when they play the game. I think the game developers felt that if they gave the protagonist a richer personality, there would be some players who would dislike it or at least fail to identify with it enough to consider it their “avatar” in the game. The Persona games also give the player the ability to decide responses when interacting with other characters, and in a way, decide his personality for themselves, to some extent. Doesn’t work so well in an anime though, where the audience winds up looking at that avatar in the third person, rather than first person perspective.

    Hope that helped a bit.

  10. Chris says:

    It’s just one of those games that doesn’t translate well into anime. It has too many annoying characters that act too animey, but the fun gameplay and fresh style/music make up for it in the game. In the anime the cool factor can’t make up for too much.

  11. gecd says:

    and I thought this is the best episode

  12. Blue says:

    I kinda wish they’d skip the extra arcana storylines and use that time to even out the pacing of the main plot.

    But next episode has Kanji in it, right? I definitely hope they do his arc well.

  13. Dalx says:

    Now, having watched the chapter I have to agree with you in the bland delivery yet I want to make a remark that I belive you missed from this chapter.

    The love triangle thing was given too much focus (to make Kou appear more and grant the Strenght Arcana) and the suicidical Ai was palyed for a quick laugh instead of a demostration of her broken psyque and that’s what send everything in this chapter to the trash bin.

    Still, the “platonic” relationship was the savior of this chapter and I’ve found the Main Character Emoting more than the previous chapters but with negative feelings instead of the little smile of the past chapter. When Ai called him he was getting angry at her yet the feeling of “Don’t want to dissapoint her” made him cope with her.

    She’s a witch to the MC in the game, that was toned down a bit but still we can see how she idealised anyone who acted kindly to her; that’s because of her being bullied in the past as the Anime skimmed over.

    The interesting insight is that she read magazines to become more popular and what is put like a popular girl in mass media: the classic cold/tsundere girl. That way of acting in reality isolated her even more of the friends she craved for yet, Chie, the one who acted like a total “unpopular” tomboy, was more popular than her. That’s her gripe with Chie more than Kou’s love.

    I have played the game so I know a bit more of the characters but I’m trying to focus only in the anime. Also, I may be overanalizing things but that’s my way to see the media. Sorry for any broken english you find, not my first language.

  14. Surrily says:

    Here’s how to increase your enjoyment of Persona 4 : read the Persona comics by hiimdaisy (aka Peachifruit and now gigi? I guess)!cpZZ1QQtppZZ16

    There are some other great, non-Persona comics that she’s put on photobucket too, and she has her own original comic going right now at Anyway. Read those Persona comics, they’re really good at pointing out how ridiculous the characters’ actions are and just damn funny in general!

  15. Surrily says:

    Oh one more thing, this episode has a really good reference. Narukami’s ringtone when he’s being called by Ai is the game over music from Catherine and I think everyone who’s played Catherine would agree that it is very well timed and appropriate. They definitely have a sense for humour (though I think some of the VA’s fail pretty bad at comedic timing)

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 04:38 AM)
    @Bam: That berserk chapter isn’t in English its in Spanish =<
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 04:07 AM)
    Kaiser marathons a re-watch of star wars, makes list of pros and cons:
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 29. 2015 09:50 PM)
    @Aidan: well interestingly in the pilot “what doth life?” causes a file not found error, so it fitted perfectly.
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Nov 29. 2015 04:24 PM)
    @Bam, Nope. Never seen Xavier.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 29. 2015 03:25 AM)
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 10:22 PM)
    @Aidan: it does seem like you’ve actually seen Xavier, in which case I’m impressed. Didn’t think you had it in you.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 09:35 PM)
    Speaking of errors, can anybody else open Evil Genius Scanlations page? I keep getting a gateway error. I know there should be a new Berserk on there but some force is keeping it from me. This is messed up.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:38 PM)
    @Bam, Easy. 404 not found
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:45 AM)
    It takes a true magnificence to propose such a grand question as: What dot life?!
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:42 AM)
    @Kaiser: the show does vary in quality, but for the first season they generally crank up the insanity with every episode until a very remarkable season finale where Xavier faces his worst enemy.

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