Anime Vice News

Is Naoto Shirogane Missing from Persona 4?

Is our favorite androgynous-teen detective being removed from our hearts for the Persona 4 anime?

Is our favorite androgynous-teen detective being removed from our hearts for the Persona 4 anime?

Can the Investigation Team be the same without him...er. I mean her?
Can the Investigation Team be the same without him...er. I mean her?

The Persona 4 series has an unique place in the hearts of Whiskey Media users ever since Giant Bomb's Vinny and Jeff completed their extensive Endurance Run (155 episodes) of the entire ATLUSvideo game for the PS2. Hearing there's an anime in the works based on the Investigation Team seems to have everyone pretty excited, and the first episode is scheduled for some time in October. As other users and myself were working on trying to get the site ready for the big day. I came across a rather odd discrepancy that got my detective blood a boiling. It's well known that much of the original Japanese cast will be returning to reprise their roles. When I went looking through both the announced cast and the voice actors. I noticed someone of note missing. There was no sign of Naoto Shiroganeanywhere. My first thought was that because she doesn't appear until later in the series. They're just holding off on the announcement, but Naoto appeared in the series nearly the same time as Kanji Tatsumi. She also appeared before Rise Kujikawa. Both Kanji and Rise are listed in the cast. There seems to be no reason for her absence.

Naoto did appear in the manga adaptation, and I've checked both the trailers that have been released. They show all the team members and their Personas but her's. On the Japanese official P4 website, There are still five slots left for introducing characters, and there's no word on just how long they expect to run the anime for. It could be 12 or 60 episodes as far as we know. In the game, she was voiced by Romi Paku (famous for her roles of Edward Elric and Temari). I checked the Japanese wikipedia for all her 2011 anime roles, but there was no Persona 4. Her official website confirmed much of the list. If she's scheduled for the series. They're keeping it a secret. Though, there are only two months left until air time.

P4 Official Website cast list
P4 Official Website cast list

For clarity sake, Naoto didn't actually join the team until after Rise. There is a possibility that they are changing the story for her to not appear until later. Still, with everyone that has been shown so far in trailers. Can you really tell me that King Moron is more important to this series than Naoto? As a detective-character lover. I'm apprehensive about this development, but it could still get solved. If this isn't just a held back announcement, and she's really being removed from the story of Persona 4. Will any of you be disappointed the adorable sleuth wont be there?

Watch Episode 1 of the Giant Bomb Persona 4 Endurance Run: HERE

Persona 4: The Animation official website (Japanese)

-Kristoffer Remmell (FoxxFireArt) is a freelance graphic artist, writer, and over all mystery geek.- Follow for news updates: @ animevice / @ FoxxFireArt

Bigheart711on Aug. 11, 2011 at 1:15 p.m.
It would be really sad if Naoto were to be removed from the series. I loved her in the game. :(
asian_prideon Aug. 11, 2011 at 1:20 p.m.
Maybe they've already planned a second season that'll have her in it? :O
 
In short hell yeah I'll be disappointed if she's not there. She and Chie are my favorite girls in the game.
metalsnakezeroon Aug. 11, 2011 at 1:47 p.m.
If you go by how the game calender goes, Naoto really becomes part of the cast in September when she enters the TV world. It would be a bad idea for the studio to take her out when she plays a important part in the story.
BTW they did say how long the series will be, 2 season run which is 25 -26 episodes long so enough time cover everything.
Waleson Aug. 11, 2011 at 1:57 p.m.
Well, what may happen is that they will put her in the second season. If Rise and Kanji are in it, my guess is that the first season may end with Teddy finally gaining his Persona or the Investigation Team following Mitsuo Kubo as the killer before their lead goes cold since it was at that time in the game when they catch Kubo that Naoto gets ready to join the team via the Midnight Channel.   
 
Although a thought just hit me, Naoto DOES appear in the game before she becomes a party member. I remember she came on to investigate with the detectives in Inaba and approaches Kanji as she assumes he will go missing next. So there is a 90% chance she will appear, just not as the main cast. 
 
I wasn't aware though that there were slots on the website. My guess is that they are for Ryotaro, Nanako, Naoto, Adachi, and either Saki or Mayumi.
dscythe911on Aug. 11, 2011 at 2:05 p.m.
Of course I'll be disappointed. One of the main reason's I loved Persona 4 so much was because of Naoto. And since she's one of the most popular characters in the entire series it only makes sense that she be included in the anime. And with any luck she'll be the romantic interest for the protagonist.
obscurefanon Aug. 11, 2011 at 2:14 p.m.
I really hope they don't leave her out. I'm hoping she's just so late in the series they haven't drawn her episodes yet.
InfiniteGeasson Aug. 11, 2011 at 2:15 p.m.
I think she appears on the midnight channel sometime in September, so I  would think if she were going to be in the show she would appear on that date when the newest PV is released like the other characters. No need to panic just yet. It's also confirmed that the show will be somewhere between 24-26 episodes.
eldiaxon Aug. 11, 2011 at 2:54 p.m.
It would indeed be sad if Naoto doesn't make it in the anime, but somehow I feel they have no reason to remove Naoto. I think we're probably worrying over nothing and Naoto will appear later.
FoxxFireArt moderator on Aug. 11, 2011 at 6:53 p.m.

@Wales:

This is the list of characters in the text form that they are also showing on the P4 official website. I thought about adding this in the article, but felt it would of been crowded.

Translation

CharacterVoice Actor
Yu NarukamiDaisuke Namikawa
Yosuke HanamuraShowtaro Morikubo
Chie SatonakaYuri Horie
Yukiko AmagiAmi Koshimizu
Kanji TatsumiTomokazu Seki
Rise KujikawaRei Kugimiya
Teddy (Kuma)Kappei Yamaguchi
Ryotaro DojimaUnsho Ishizuka
Nanako DojimaAkemi Kanda
Tohru AdachiMitsuaki Madono

This would fill up three of those five slots.

@InfiniteGeass:

I'm not sure where a lot of people are getting this information about the seasons. I haven't been able to find anything confirmable. They haven't even released the date for the first episode. It sounds as if it could be true. I just don't like putting simple rumor in articles. Not unless I can find something to strongly support it.

I had considered the idea they are just holding off on her, but it just seems weird. Anyone who is a fan knows about her. It's not as if they are worried about spoilers. They already show Kanji and Rise's Personas. What difference would one more make? Maybe they are waiting for September to release one more trailer with her in it. I can't remember the date she was thrown in.

Waleson Aug. 11, 2011 at 7:25 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt: 
It's actually cool that you found that since it helps to narrow down who will be in it, granted we already knew that Nanako, Ryotaro, and Adachi were going to be in it based on trailers. As well as it helps strengthen the idea that Naoto will be in it in my view since out of all the characters that exist in Persona, who would go in the two remaining slots? You only put characters crucial to the plot in them and not for nothing, characters like Kou Ichijo and Kinshiro Morooka are not on the hierarchy.  
 
I still think my theory is credible. Naoto became a party member relatively later in the game than you normally would get party members. Ergo, she will appear as the detective who knows who will disappear next and give the Investigation Team clues. Maybe how it will work for the anime is that after they catch Kubo and think its all over, the season cliffhanger will be the Team seeing Naoto on the midnight channel, building it up for a second season. 
PenguinDuston Aug. 12, 2011 at 6:07 a.m.
I read over on Anime News Network that Naoto's debut will be in PV#13 and will be released on September 15th.  I believe PV#11 was the last trailer to come out and it debuted 2 weeks ago.
 
I don't think this series will be limited to just 12 or 13 episodes but will likely fun closer to the 24-26 range. 
Waleson Aug. 12, 2011 at 6:36 a.m.
@PenguinDust: 
 
Do you have a link to this information you are telling us? I went to go on ANN to confirm what you are saying and the site has been down for a bit. 
selfconfessedcynicon Aug. 12, 2011 at 8:51 a.m.

Naoto was definitely my favorite of the female cast. If anything, she was the only non-useless one of the entire investigation team (except Charlie, of course - and yes. Charlie.) She was also written quite well, and her S-Link was fun - actually had some interactivity other than WANNA PRETEND TO GET WITH THIS GIRL Y/N.

At the risk of seeming creepy, I'll stop there - but I assume my point is made. Would suck if she didn't make it in.

Oh, and her gift at the end of the game is adorable. >_> ...what?

damswedonon Aug. 12, 2011 at 12:05 p.m.

Foxx shut up Morooka is the illest damn dawg in Persona 4 and we all know he is going to have a 6 episode arc where he smacks my bitch up.

But really this is kinda weird.

ZombiePieon Aug. 12, 2011 at 12:53 p.m.

Naoto was introduced late in the game, or maybe it was due to the voice acting being slightly tricky for her.

Turambaron Aug. 12, 2011 at 2:44 p.m.
@ZombiePie said:

Naoto was introduced late in the game, or maybe it was due to the voice acting being slightly tricky for her.

Not quite true.  Remember, she was already present for the Kanji case, albeit, as still a supporting cast at the time.
AzHPon Aug. 12, 2011 at 2:49 p.m.

@Wales: @ZombiePie: The character trailers have been released according to the game timeline (which takes place in 2011), every time someone gets thrown into the TV their trailer goes up. So Naoto's trailer will go up September 15th at midnight when she first appears on the Midnight Channel.

silnon Aug. 12, 2011 at 3:24 p.m.
Pretty much gonna echo what people have already said.  She doesn't show up until September, and all of the PVs coming out on or about the days MC saw them on the Midnight Channel.  Expect to see her like clockwork when the calendar matches up, just like every other character we've seen so far.
TehFlanon Aug. 12, 2011 at 4:36 p.m.
Her part on the investigation team is actually being replaced by Funky Student.
FoxxFireArt moderator on Aug. 12, 2011 at 5:37 p.m.

@TehFlan:

I'm actually looking forward to seeing if Funky Student will appear at all.

@AzHP:

I hope that's the truth of it all. I can understand why they would want to hold off on the character trailer. That just doesn't explain why her own website doesn't list her participation in the her credits for this year. Not unless she has some deal to hold off her role until the character trailer is released. That just seems a bit over the top.

Dig Deeper into Persona 4

Persona 4 is a manga spin-off of the Shin Megami Tensei series. People are going missing in the rural-town of Inaba. A team of high school students discover a world within the TV that is linked to the murders.

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