Anime Vice News

PERSONA 4: THE GOLDEN ANIMATION #1 -- Special Review

This finally makes sense to me?

We’re sampling the summer season’s selection! Check out our other pilot write-up’s –

PERSONA is always going to stand out for me because - - back when we were affiliated with a certain sister site - - it was this outlier brand that consistently kept pulling in an odd crossover readership. Users itchy to drop an “ANIME IS FOR JERKS!” meme at every opportunity would somehow get past their aversion to this stuff and float over here to read episode-by-episode write-up’s.

Evidently, the video game had that much cache. I can’t say, for sure. I never bothered to play it.

There’ve been a few iterations of this show, and I’ve unsuccessfully tried to get into the franchise through them on a couple occasions. Yeah, why did I go in if I was expecting not to understand? Well, certain brands are so big, I’d be remiss not to address them at least a little.

This one keeps the series’ puzzling tradition of using intro songs that sound more befitting to an 80’s sitcom. I suspect it’s an in-joke with the game. Either way, it’s a weird wire-cross: the theme song seeming to set me up for a missing CHARLES IN CHARGE season, while the show itself depicts a dark and mind-warping tech fantasy landscape. Maybe one of you more learned users could explain that to me?

Anyway, for what it’s worth, this is actually a lot more accessible than the previous #1’s. I’m sure there are plenty of clues to our lead’s troubled back-story which I’m missing out on. And the way his classmates just sort-of casually tag along on this adventure smells like there’s a pre-awareness for this whole ‘Midnight Channel’ gimmick in this world.

Nevertheless, the set-up was simple, clear and easy to get behind. It had a BEETLEJUICE-meets-VIDEODROME vibe that was quite appealing (thanks in no small part to the WAR HEADS style monsters), and more importantly, I could actually follow along (which is in stark contrast to the last pilot, believe me). This time, I’m engaged enough to at least be curious about all the allusions to past adventures. Again, would any of Vicers care to fill me in?

Watch "the Secret Door" and decide for yourself.

Wraithon July 23, 2014 at 2:33 p.m.
This show is pretty much for people who have already seen the previous show or played the original game. Also this show is in new game+ mode
Petiewon July 23, 2014 at 3:34 p.m.

The into song is only really puzzling to you because you've never played P4 before. The game does have dark and dramatic moments but is largely about goofy highschool times with your friends and the intro does kind of fit the tone of the series.

Golden is for people who are already fans of the franchise. Episode 2 skips all of the plot and dungeons and goes straight into comedic content. They don't introduce Kanji at all, but in episode 2 he's already hanging out with everyone. The show is more like a comedy/slice of life anime than a faithful recreation of the game. It's focussing on the new content so we'll be seeing the beach trip, Valentines day, the Ski trip, the group concert and so on with maybe a few more serious episodes focussed on the 2 new social links.

If you're not already a fan of Persona 4 I wouldn't recommend it, since they're skipping the story to focus on fanservice.

zeemod155on July 23, 2014 at 11:17 p.m.

All of the music used in the show came from the game, so in the intro I just immediately recognized and didn't think about what it sounded like for what it was supposed to be (didn't stand out but I played the game). The lead's back story is never really addressed in the game or ever made as a big thing. The only thing is that both his parents are traveling for a year so he's moving in with his uncle and cousin.

Also in the game (and prev anime) it felt like it took a more realistic period of time and story development for his classmates to be on board. But because they omit so much it comes of more so than it does.

Furthermore, this version of the anime was about the extended "Golden" edition of the game, which introduces the new character "Marie". As episode 2 has already shown this seems to just focus on all the new events/scenes/characters that P4 Golden added and cut out the stuff from from vanilla P4 (that the original focussed on), which is the most logical way to handle remaking the anime. Granted if you haven't watched the original anime you might be lost.

metalsnakezeroon July 24, 2014 at 10:59 a.m.

This Persona anime will focus on the story line of Maria and how she fits in with the story-line of Persona 4. It not going to be for people who want to know what the series is all about (They should be playing the game anyway) but for those who played and just want a nice spin on their favorite series.

Marshal Victoryon July 24, 2014 at 3:50 p.m.

@Wraith: I like that phrase the anime is in new game mode. That is just a perfect description.

YotaruVegetaon July 26, 2014 at 5:31 a.m.

To correct, there are a few iterations of the Persona universe. There is only one other Persona 4 anime.

The music? I mean, Yu Narukami is a new boy in the neighborhood. He doesn't live downstairs, but it's understood that he's there just to take good care of me (Nanako) like he's one of the family (because he actually is).

::AHEM::

Persona 4's music is always consistent, because they compose it with the same folk. It's been that way since at least Persona 3. As for the shift in the tone of the music, I think that is goes well with the even looser and sillier tone that this version of the P4 story is going for.

Nejianon July 30, 2014 at 11:08 a.m.

I remember when I started watching Persona 4, and I kind of felt the same way. The intro is odd and the set-up is a little quirky, but it was surprisingly easy to get into the world. The characters did seem to follow along with the midnight channel too easily, but after the third episode it kind of all made sense in its own weird way. Considering I had never had any experience with the franchise before, and the fact that most people keep saying you need to be familiar with it before-hand, I must be the odd one out. I'm sure I did miss some things because of not knowing anything about the story line before-hand; but I was still able to enjoy the show none the less :)

Dig Deeper into Persona 4: The Golden Animation

Alternate re-telling of Persona 4: The Animation, with the new events present from the Persona 4 Golden videogame.

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