Persona 4: The Animation – 02

[Commie] Persona 4 - 02 [CAFCB598].mkv_snapshot_00.28_[2011.10.14_15.37.36] [Commie] Persona 4 - 02 [CAFCB598].mkv_snapshot_02.55_[2011.10.14_15.39.38] [Commie] Persona 4 - 02 [CAFCB598].mkv_snapshot_03.43_[2011.10.14_15.40.27]

It’s been a tough week for Persona and AIC behind the scenes, but ironically thing got measurably better for them on-screen.

If you haven’t been following the news, there’s all kinds of rumors flying around about AIC, the studio where this series is being produced.  The animation director quit, reportedly because he hadn’t been paid, and said the studio was enforcing “slave labor” conditions.  The second episode was leaked online before airing, supposedly as an act of revenge by one of the staff.  Several other animators have been anonymously quoted as saying the second and third episodes were reportedly  sabotaged by angry animators.  In short, it hasn’t been pretty.

The funny thing is, I found things generally better this week.  Frankly, the premiere was pretty much a total mess as far as I was concerned.  I felt the pacing was better this week, with things moving a lot at a more manageable rate, though there was still no exposition to speak of.  The show looked better to me as well, funnily enough.  I still don’t find the humor effective but more Kuma was a good thing, as he’s pretty funny without actually trying to do anything.  The plot developments weren’t especially scary or creeping, but they inched closer to being interesting at least, and that’s a step.

Basically, the best thing about the series for me so far is seeing Horie Yui and Kappei Yamaguchi cutting up as Chie and Kuma respectively.  These are two pros who can take somewhat flat material and inject it with some life.  We even saw a tiny bit of personality from Narukami, though he’s still Rushmore-like in his impassiveness.  I realize that at least to some extent this is an intentional characterization, but it does make him somewhat harder to care about.  Everyone else in the cast has pretty much been a NPC/prop at this stage.

It feels to me as if Kishi Seiji and AIC have pretty much decided to make this series for fans of the game, and not worry much about anime-only viewers.  There just isn’t any real attempt to explain why things are happening or to provide any context to them, or to help us get to know the characters.  Basically, the tone seems to be “you already know all this anyway”, or at least that’s how it feels to me as an anime-only viewer.  I need to have a reason to care about any of this because I haven’t played the game, and what Kishi-sensei has given me so far just isn’t enough.  It’s mildly interesting with the potential to become more so, so I’ll give it another ep or two at least, but right now Persona 4 is in that ever-growing pile of fall shows that may or may not stay in my blogging schedule.

[Commie] Persona 4 - 02 [CAFCB598].mkv_snapshot_14.32_[2011.10.14_15.51.26] [Commie] Persona 4 - 02 [CAFCB598].mkv_snapshot_16.17_[2011.10.14_15.53.11] [Commie] Persona 4 - 02 [CAFCB598].mkv_snapshot_17.36_[2011.10.14_15.54.30]
[Commie] Persona 4 - 02 [CAFCB598].mkv_snapshot_18.21_[2011.10.14_15.55.16] [Commie] Persona 4 - 02 [CAFCB598].mkv_snapshot_19.59_[2011.10.14_15.56.53] [Commie] Persona 4 - 02 [CAFCB598].mkv_snapshot_20.33_[2011.10.14_15.57.27]


  1. F

    There just isn’t any real attempt to explain why things are happening or to provide any context to them

    Err…thats how it is in the game too.

    We know exactly as much as Yuu and his friends know, which is precisely nothing.

  2. U

    Judging by the current pace, you will get the initial idea about the context on episode 4 or 5. Next week won't be any more clarifying.

    Ironically, this episode was an improvement over the first one and it certainly gives me hope that they show will become more and more polished each week, despite the rumors.

  3. t

    Whoah the rumor mill has gone crazy…

    A few Key animators have quit,no animation directors.
    It might also (sadly) happen more than we think,it's just that normaly the animators don't go ranting about it on twitter.
    The streaming incident is also completely unrelated,someone at french licencor Kaze made a mistake and made it available too early on their website.
    And since AIC isn't shaft if there's been some kind of incident they're still probably weeks ahead on the airing schedule so it wouldn't be felt right away.

    Now as for the episode,it was ok,it's just that the bear thing gets on my nerves,reminds me of one of those companions you'll find on sentei shows like bioman.
    This just feels an anime by director Kichi-san , the fast pace and being thrown right into he action without much explenation are things that happened in angel beats and Kami sama dolls as well.
    Kami sama dolls got better as it went on,I hope the same will happen here.

  4. D

    As a fan of the game, I was looking for an objective post from someone who had not played the games because I had a sneaking suspicion that the Persona 4 animation as is right now isn't standing on it's own.

    I really think the fundamental problem is one of pacing here. The game had just enough extra scenes with the characters to actually start to care about them. Thrown straight into the mystery/confusion aspects without that additional layer makes it more difficult, I think.

    With so many characters stories to introduce and cover (21 social links to be exact, each with 9 or 10 'stages' each), I understand why they are moving so fast, but I ultimately think it's hurting the show.

    I think the game references are nice, but that they should really focus less on emulating the game and worry more about getting the pacing right and having the audience empathize more with the characters.

    I just wasn't feeling it with Yosuke and his shadow as I did in the game, so something's gone wrong somewhere.

  5. Thanks, Delwack. What you're hearing from me is just straight-up reaction as someone who only knows the myhtos from the largely unrelated (and underwhelming) Persona 3.

    One benefit of having very esoteric tastes is that I can talk about shows like Gundam, HunterX and Persona as a relative virgin…

  6. d

    @ Guardian Enzo
    The blogging that you have done for this anime has for me, shown the difficulty of adapting a silent protagonist in a game to an anime. What I mean is that in the game, the MC has little to no background or personality in P4 because that game focus more on his interactions with other people. It's like the MC is not a MC but a device for you to see other people and their development. As for the not knowing what is going on, I blame the pacing because they did leave out information that I found crucial to understanding what's in store. For example, the velvet room scenes should have been longer, I'd venture that Igor's explanation of the cards and the MC's powers would have helped filled in those information gaps that you are missing. I can see where you are in the character development section but in the game, focus on character development doesn't start until the gang is form and these initial episodes are just getting that out of the way. Unfortunately that effected the pacing as it is still too fast for my taste. It's great hearing from someone who has not experience the game as I already played and beat the game so I know what's up.

  7. It all makes sense, darkkodiak, but that leaves viewers like me in a tough spot…

  8. d

    @dark: you mean like Chrono Trigger?

  9. d

    yup, and any game with a silent protagonist.

Leave a Comment