Persona 4 The Animation Episode One – Or, There’s the Game…

The first minute of this episode was a surreal bit of nostalgia. To clarify, I’ve never played Persona 4—I avoided it because I never managed to beat Persona 3, even though for years I considered it my favorite video game. That aside, I have the Persona 3 OST and love it, and the Velvet Room BGM, “Want To Be Close,” has apparently remained the same across both games and, now, the show. It was interesting to suddenly hear that song in an anime, and while I don’t know the Persona 4 soundtrack, it nonetheless felt familiar since it carries the same distinct vibe courtesy of composer Meguro Shoji.

Anyway, about the show—I don’t need to have played the game to know that the show is reaching around its own ass to pay it tribute (like using the game’s own soundtrack). Some of the scenes look like the animation was made to imitate exactly what happened at the same moment in the game. The most obvious visual call-back is when Narukami uses a spell:

Visual call-backs and references are awesome (especially for fans of the game I’m sure), but the trouble I have with this adaption is that it lacks its own personality. Episode One was written and paced very awkwardly, and most of the animation didn’t stand out at all. It seems like the show is more concerned with presenting a trimmed-fat transliteration of the game material than it is with being a good anime series. If I’d played the game, I might be happy with that, though. After all, I dropped the Persona 3 anime precisely because it had little to do with the game (and it was just boring).

Of course, I could be totally wrong, because I haven’t played the game. Maybe the shortcomings of the anime have nothing to do with its being an adaption. Either way, I felt this was a rather weak opening episode.

(I probably would’ve loved it if the fight had opened with “BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY B-BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY!”)

8 thoughts on “Persona 4 The Animation Episode One – Or, There’s the Game…

  1. Way too fast, and unnecessarily so in some ways. Like they could simply cut out little details and be done with it, but instead they insist on showing the guy in the trashcan and not even explaining how he got there.

    Maybe it’s only episode 1…maybe ep. 2 will slow down and explain things..

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  3. I agree with your post so far ! Yesterday I talked with my best friend about the first episode and I said something like:

    “The good:
    – It seems to be very different !
    – Great artstyle (at least for me)
    – The plot is very promising so far
    – Igor ! XD
    – Interesting directing and monster-design
    – Speaking of directing: These eye-catchers with these infos about spells ( am I right ???) and the timeline can be annoying, but they also add a lot to the feeling of this show

    The bad:
    – Annoying slapstick humour. This is not a bad thing per se, but it just does not match with the very mature presentation and so on
    – The characters feel very superficial so far. I know, it’s harsh to say that after one episode, but you can see the game background. The characters act more like game characters than believeable humans”

    My friend as a true Persona fan was totally upset about the bad points I mentioned and explained to me that the adaption was supposed to be that way, I don’t know. I hope the anime won’t include horrible plot-holes you often see in game adaptions, but I am optimistic :)

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  5. “Reach Out to The Truth” is Persona 4’s battle theme, and from the very close approach the show is taking to adapting the source material we’ll definitely be hearing it a bundle. On the one hand it certainly is a lot better than Trinity Soul, the last A-1 attempt at a Persona anime, but Trinity Soul didn’t exactly set the bar high either (the Cain/Abel/Seth setup of the three main protagonists was an interesting concept but the execution was just a hash).

    Also, I’ve Persona 4 to be a much more “approachable” game in comparison to the prior game; the pacing of scripted events versus unscripted time is better; and most friends I’ve had certainly found it a lot easier to get into and finish. Both the games are great, but Persona 3 has more of it’s plot developments loaded at the very start and at the very end, while P4 sprinkles them through a little more evenly. It’s worth a shot even if you didn’t finish Persona 3, as it’s mostly the thematic motifs and gameplay elements that carry over.

  6. Pingback: Persona 4 The Animation Episode One – Or, There’s the Game… | The Top Animes

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