Weekly Digest: 10/22/11 – Persona 4, Shakugan no Shana III

[Doki] Persona 4 The Animation - 03 (1280x720 h264 AAC) [D8F85526].mkv_snapshot_15.54_[2011.10.22_17.37.58] [Commie] Shakugan no Shana III - 03 [4BFF8E7D].mkv_snapshot_12.37_[2011.10.22_17.09.47] [Commie] Shakugan no Shana III - 03 [4BFF8E7D].mkv_snapshot_12.37_[2011.10.22_17.37.04]

Persona 4 – The Animation – 03

[Doki] Persona 4 The Animation - 03 (1280x720 h264 AAC) [D8F85526].mkv_snapshot_07.24_[2011.10.22_17.37.43] [Doki] Persona 4 The Animation - 03 (1280x720 h264 AAC) [D8F85526].mkv_snapshot_07.27_[2011.10.22_17.37.45] [Doki] Persona 4 The Animation - 03 (1280x720 h264 AAC) [D8F85526].mkv_snapshot_21.35_[2011.10.22_17.38.09]

To be honest, I’m just not getting much from Persona 4.  I’ve been following the comments here and elsewhere, and while the general trend has been mildly positive I can’t recall a single glowing post from someone who hasn’t played the game – it seems as if AIC are just starting to do a better job of giving the gamers what they were expecting.  For me, I see mediocre animation, relatively uninteresting characters and a lot of unexplained events that feel as if they’re supposed to be more involving than they are.  The cast is highly professional and the core premise is interesting enough, but the final product seems supremely mundane to me.  Is it better than the premiere led me to fear it would be?  Yes – the pacing is better, and events are at least more coherent.  But I can’t escape the notion that I’m just not the target audience for this series.

Shakugan no Shana III (Final) – 03

[Commie] Shakugan no Shana III - 03 [4BFF8E7D].mkv_snapshot_01.05_[2011.10.22_16.59.19] [Commie] Shakugan no Shana III - 03 [4BFF8E7D].mkv_snapshot_16.41_[2011.10.22_17.38.54] [Commie] Shakugan no Shana III - 03 [4BFF8E7D].mkv_snapshot_18.29_[2011.10.22_17.37.12]

Three week is pretty early in the running for a recap episode.  But that’s not really doing this week’s “Shana” justice – I’d call it more of a reminiscence episode.  It was actually fairly involving seeing Yuuji in his original form making his way around town, with each spot calling up a new memory (and old footage) of the past.  Tanaka finds himself pulled back in again, as Satou naturally calls him to warn him about the Crimson Denizen he senses on the oncoming train.  With Tanaka and Yoshida at the Haridan, just about all the major pieces are in place for the story to go to the next level, with Shana and Yuuji meeting across two bridge towers at the end of the episode.  I don’t exactly know what’s happening year, but it’s clear that this Yuuji retains the memories of his old self – he’s somehow become a hybrid of his human/torch and Sairei no Hebi halves, with each capable of manifesting at any given moment.  Human boy, torch, mystes, Reiji Maigo, Sairei no Hebi – this guy has more identities than Frank Abagnale Jr.



  1. F

    Persona 4 is good, probably one of the best adaptions of a video game I've seen (only thing I'd rank close would be Super Robot Wars OG: The Inspector, and that was even less newbie friendly than this is), but it doesn't inspire much comment from me. Its just…exactly what a Persona 4 adaption should be.

    I can say that one reason events don't make a huge amount of sense is because they don't make much sense to the characters either. Eventually this will all get sorted out and be understandable, but right now the characters are as in the dark as we are. (Or for game players, as we were at this point in the game.)

    The main complaint I've seen is that its rushing things, but its more like the anime isn't going through all the massive amounts of dicking around available in the game. I think the show wants to get the core foursome established before digging into the weeds of the Social Links and whatnot.

    As for Shana, definitely one of the better "recap" episodes, and I definitely think it was warranted, it has been 3 years since Shana Second, and what, 5 years since the first season? Expecting everyone to be able to remember how things went, not to mention new viewers, would be a bit much.

    I really like how the episode ended at the same spot as the 4th episode of Shakugan no Shana S.

  2. t

    The characters in P4 also seem to be asking themselves "wtf is going on?" so as long as the characters are in the dark I'm fine with it because hopefully it'll mean they'll investigate and as they find out more the audience will find out more too.

  3. I'm sort of OK with not knowing WTF is going on, but my problem is that I don't really care WTF is going on. What can I say – this one just isn't grabbing me. I don't find the dialogue well-written, the characters seem very artificial and it's just not making much of an impression. That's me, can't speak for anyone else.

    totoun, just OOC have you played the game?

  4. t

    Oh right,now that's another story.
    I have never played a personna game before.

    I can't say I like it that much, I especialy agree with the characters seeming artificial.
    The inner conflicts are a nice concept but they're resolved in like 5 minutes so it feels like wasted otential to me.

  5. A

    @Guardian Enzo
    Even though I am someone who has played the game tons of times and loved it each time, I feel the same way as you. I mean, I guess I could technically appreciate it more due to knowing game references, but that's not exactly what I wanted out of the show. I wanted to feel like I could watch this without playing the game and maybe show it to people who wouldn't otherwise give Persona 4 much of a chance, but that's not the case unfortunately. It's not grabbing me either, and I know everything that's going on.

  6. Well, thanks for the input. I'm just curious if there are any non-Persona players who are liking the anime, because I don't think I've heard from them if there are.

  7. F

    I know a few who are. Its not topping their "best show of the season" lists or anything, but they are enjoying watching it.

  8. e

    @guardian enzo next week in shakugan no shana it yujji(silver) vs shana do you think after this battle the plot will start to move?

  9. M

    I haven't played the game either and I'm in the same boat as you. I don't like the way the inner conflicts are being handled. I mean, I know practically nothing about these characters and in the same scene we are told what their dark sides are and how they overcome/accept them. It doesn't help that episode 3 followed almost the exact same structure as ep 2, making it even more predictable.

    And then there is Yuu. He might not be whiny and indecisive but he's one of the blandest main characters ever conceived.

    Another thing bugging me is how everyone just seems to easily accept everything happening to/around them. They don't stop and wonder why there is some kind of parallel world accessible only through TV screens(!), why they are able to summon these monsters to fight for them, etc.

    I'm still enjoying the show but not nearly as much as I had expected.

    On a side note, I like the "weekly digest" format.

  10. Thanks, Murkel. That easy acceptance of such weirdness is one of the issues I have as well.

    I do like this digest thing, mainly as it makes my life a tiny bit more manageable.

  11. d

    @Guardian Enzo
    Thinking back on P4 the animation, I have to agree with you that if you didn't play the game you won't appreciate the anime as much because in the game you got to know the characters a lot more before they faced their dark side. So there is that bias. I'm starting to think that this anime is going to be something like FF: Advent Children, something made for the gaming fans. It is understandable that you don't feel like the target audience but I still encourage you to watch it as the anime is being really slow just like the game but without the bonus of fooling around in the game.

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