Persona 4 03 – Rescue the Caged Bird

Persona 4 The Animation has the makings of a mainstream success. It’s tied in with a popular game franchise, it has a set of attractive and likable characters and the action scenes are quite satisfying.

There’s no real weakness in this show, but I can’t say I can find any real strengths either. Persona 4 isn’t quite there. This is particularly worrying because after Seiji Kishi’s Kamisama Dolls, I wouldn’t be surprised if Persona 4 ends up suffering the same lack of refinement and consistency.

The humor here is steadily improving though. Yuu’s stoic nature isn’t taken too seriously, he’s quiet but he has an odd sense of humor that comes with the emotionless delivery of his lines. The scene where he and Yosuke got arrested was kind of funny, I didn’t see that coming and compared to the usual over the top humor you can see in anime, this was a bit more understated which I liked.

What struck me here is the portrayal of Chie and Yukiko’s friendship because it’s pretty true because it’s something I’ve personally experienced. When friends have to stuck with you for such a long time, we tend to be over protective of them and it’s not unlikely that we use them to feed our own egos from time to time. The reason it’s so difficult for Chie to accept this is that her love for her friend Yukiko weighs more, she feels guilt about what she¬†subconsciously¬†does and we’ve seen the same thing through Yosuke. These shadows aren’t necessarily evil but denying them or their existence is what seems to cause the real danger.

Persona 4’s theme revolves around acceptance and those who refuse to accept their shadows are to be crushed by that very darkness.

Other than that, you’d think a show with this kind of focus on psychology and technology would give you a lot to talk about. But every time an episode of Person 4 ends, I just end up saying: “Huh? That’s it?” The stylish elements aren’t being utilized well enough either, which is a damn shame.

Well, the show is just starting to introduce the characters and their abilities so it’s probably too early to expect so much from this show. I do commend it for being entertaining. Shows like Mirai Nikki and Guilty Crown are usually defended for it’s nonsense because it’s meant to be entertaining but the way I see it, Persona 4 might have flaws but they don’t bog down the entertainment value of the series. Mirai Nikki and Guilty Crown’s flaws pretty much hinder me from enjoying the show, Persona 4’s shortcomings don’t. Okay, that’s it. I don’t really have much to add.

Except for Disco-Ninja-Mickey Mouse.

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2 Comments

  1. If I’d have to sum up my experience with Persona 4: The Animation I would say ‘Stylish, yes – but not cool.’ Persona 4 has a neat story to tell but so far it hasn’t offered me anything which would prompt me to call it a good show. I also have this nagging feeling of seeing too much of the game in this series and less of the anime it should be.

  2. Yeah, having played the game, it’s simply nostalgic watching the anime. I like that they added a few touches here and there (especially the MC’s humor), but it’s mainly rehashing the game’s plot. The whole show feels like deja vu, but with more animated sequences. They could really push the envelope with the game’s themes and ideas, but that wouldn’t be safe in regards to the fanbase. Oh well, it’s still a fun watch. Great post!

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