Well time again for another wonderful review from everyone’s 7 favorite reviewer. This time I’m throwing down with a series I have a very personal love for, Persona and in this case Persona 4 the animation something I find near and dear to my heart, and for that reason I’m applying two scores to this one series. The true score for the series in and of itself unrelated to its father product Persona 4 the game and the second score, or fan score that is based around if you have played the game. (Note the star score will reflect how it is by itself aka the true score)
Persona is a series that is very familiar to whiskey media brought to most of our attention by either Persona 3 if you’re old like me or by the ever popular persona 4 endurance run done by Giant bombs wonderful Jeff and Vinny. So I might be just regurgitating things we already know when I explain what persona is. A series that is entirely based on the fundamentals of social psychology and the morals of social contracts that define much of morality in Japan, it even dives in the nature of mans obsession with illusions, but that’s getting ahead of myself. So how does it express this allegory? With teenagers fighting with “Personas” (Summon able creatures based on the mentality of the user) against Shadows (distractions and illusions) by going into the TV world with their teddies bear side kick, why you ask? Cuz someone keeps trying to kill people with the TV world and they need to keep up their social life all while the game stays fresh and with a new visual esthetic and theme with ever new game while keeping some of the old school RPG in it. In a game it works fantastically but what about in this animation?
Well for me and my base of knowledge the whole animation seemed fantastic, it kept the visual flare and the esthetic style, matched the fun and bright feel of 4 while remaining heavy and dark where its suppose to, streamlined and simple is how it explains the story leaving nothing except (something at the end only perfectionist managed to get) out. Small to big everything is there for a persona 4 veteran to find fantastic and fun, the references are great and their presentations hilarious, for once in a long while I laughed out loud during an anime something even the best “comedy” anime failed miserably. This makes persona to someone that watched it one of the most fantastic and best additions to your persona library of memories. Hell some good action bits and the addition of one new fun flat faced character is nice to the mix. Feels laughs and some decent action leaves persona 4 to be one of the best Anime’s I’ve seen in a long while, EXCEPT
Except what? Well simply if you did not play or watch someone play persona that wonderful humor and established relationships all fall apart and become just a bit too disjointed and confusing to be meaningful who are these people he’s friends with? Why is this fox awesome? Why does the main character have multiple personas? What is fusing? These questions are obvious to anyone that has played the game but to someone just exposed themselves to this world it seems rather plot hole filled and not super meaningful like it was in the 100 hour + story. It does some stuff to stream line naturally and for what it loses in meaning it doesn’t in terms of visual identity and nicely done subtle commentary on media as a whole, but the strange tie that persona games have with your heart earned with 100+ hours simply can’t be replaced by a series of short sweet and while funny not that sensible a package.
What does this all mean for Persona 4 the animation? It means that the persona series continues to be one of the best something only 100 hours can foster in someone, which can make that attachment so meaningful it’s worth the watch to absorb it again, that’s what this anime was for. It knows it’s purpose and doesn’t cater to much to people it’s not for in the first place, and in my oh so humble opinion that’s exactly what it should be earning for those with the persona background a 4.5 s-links our of 5, however, I can’t give that score because as a personal rule and anime should, unless it’s a established sequel, stand on its own, and in this form it can only manage to gain a still not bad 3.5 bear suits out of 5. With that said I cann’t recommend to anime PS2 owners enough persona 4, if you don’t have it watch the fantastic endurance run on whiskey medias very own giant bomb. It is by far one of my top 5 games of all time.