PERSONA 4: the Animation #1 - - Special Review

Topic started by No_name_here on Sept. 20, 2012. Last post by No_name_here 2 years, 2 months ago.
Post by No_name_here (856 posts) See mini bio Level 11
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Goes to show how relative and insular hype can be. When Nick R. and FoxxFireArt were reviewing each episode of this show while it was coming hot out of Japan, the write-ups were getting some gangbusters attention. I didn’t know what the big deal was. Looking back, I realize now that it was most likely due to gamers from our former sister site coming over to check out this tie-in to their favorite game.

As I was also unfamiliar with that game, I didn’t see what the big deal… and I still don’t.

As I finally get around to watching this pilot episode - - still knowing as little about the franchise as I do - - I’ll hazard a guess that this series probably isn’t an adaptation. More likely, it’s a tie-in that expands the universe of the game in a fashion that’s actually signficant to the plot, instead of simply retreading what you’ve already played or offering a superflous “side story” that isn’t that relevant to cannon. I say that because the pilot doesn’t do all too great of a job of introducing its world, not its characters, and I figure any critiques regarding that will be on the order of asking why, say, THE ANIMATRIX didn’t do all the expository legwork that the first MATRIX already did. This is a series for the initiated.

Again, I don’t see what the big deal is. Aside from the boldly yellow color scheme, HALF LIFE-style opening and the way the characters have so confidently reclaimed denim suits for the fashion conscious, this doesn’t feel any more remarkable than your run-of-the-mill anime pilot. Perhaps greater brilliance awaits me later on, when the series “gets good” after episode five or six. Really, I’d rather go with the amsuing notion that a throng of gamers who wouldn’t touch this material if it was present like the rest of “that anime stuff” are gung ho about just because it's got a familiar, cult brand on it.

Watch this episode, "You're Myself, I'm Yourself” here and decide for yourself.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

Post by YotaruVegeta (612 posts) See mini bio Level 12

Noooo, it is an adaptation, and you've watched one episode of it. It's not a 1:1 mirror with the game, but that's partly from, well, you know, the anime crew wanting to go their own way, and partly because the game deals with so much more than a single season anime can.

You are right, though, that the primary audience is the fans. Maybe people who've never played a persona game would be better off watching Persona Trinity Soul, which has little to do with persona, but I don't really know of any fans of that show.

Post by Daniel_Newton (3,305 posts) See mini bio Level 20
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It's a direct adaptation of the game, as opposed to a side story or expansion, and it's very much aimed at fans of the game rather than people unfamiliar with the franchise. Like you guessed, it was a big deal to the Whiskey Media community because of the popular and lengthy Persona 4 Endurance Run on Giant Bomb.

I have yet to check it out myself so I can't give my own personal opinion on how run-of-the-mill or exceptional it is, but from what I've heard it's at least decent. I do remember some people getting a little riled up about some fairly typical (and relatively mild) fan service in one or two episodes, which was interesting if nothing else.

Post by metalsnakezero (680 posts) See mini bio Level 16

It is very much a adoption and it obvious by your response that it isn't you for right at the start. This is mainly due to the fact that the anime was made for fans of the series already and not newcomers. If you really want to know why P4 is so hyped it is because of the actions you take in the game, the colorful characters, smart plot, and surprising good gameplay. The anime series mostly has colorful characters and it does a smart job at turning game logic in to real logic.

Post by Rxanadu (83 posts) See mini bio Level 7

It should be noted that I came into this series well after watching the Endurance Run, knowing what happened in the story.

I can totally understand why a person who doesn't know much about the game story behind this - like yourself - would not like this. I, too, found the initial setup poor and rushed; it felt (as with most of the series) too much like a checklist of events that happened in a specific way and order in the game to get the uninitiated invested into the characters and world.

The story does give itself time to breath as well as get a little deeper into the other characters' backstories. However, I noticed many times where the writers crammed as much events from the game in each episode as they could, giving off that aforementioned checklist feeling.

I regret I cannot get into specifics at this time, as what I have to say would result in spoiling many events that occur throughout the series.

Post by Petiew (244 posts) See mini bio Level 14
It is an adaption, and like most adaptions it's aimed at fans of the original source material. The game can go from anywhere between 60 to 100+ hours. This is a 20 something episode adaption, there's just no way they can devote 3 hours (Or roughly 8 episodes) to explain everything in the opening the same manner as the game does.
The anime follows the basic story while adding some funny extras and fanservice for people who loved the game.
 
To be honest I got over-saturated with P4 and burned out on this around episode 20. However the anime is great for fans and accessible enough, although often ill-paced, for someone who has never really heard of it to still become interested.
Post by VanTesla (30 posts) See mini bio Level 10

Just to let you know the first two episodes are kinda dragged in my opinion, but pick up as it goes and become quite enjoyable and has some minor differences to the game. Also the main protagonist evolvves in his personality as he gains better relations and the deeds he does throught the show. I have to say in the end the main protagonist Yu becomes my favorite new character from the whole Persona series! :)

My only minor complaint is it feels rushed, could have had more episodes, and had a low budget in the animation department. I enjoy the japanese voice acting and reactions from Yu Narukami more than Johnny Yong Bosch take on him sadly and miss the original voice of Chie voice and feel the new actress take on Chie voice just does not seem to fit. Teddies new voice grew on me, but still miss the original.

Post by No_name_here (856 posts) See mini bio Level 11
Staff

@Daniel_Newton said:

It's a direct adaptation of the game, as opposed to a side story or expansion, and it's very much aimed at fans of the game rather than people unfamiliar with the franchise. Like you guessed, it was a big deal to the Whiskey Media community because of the popular and lengthy Persona 4 Endurance Run on Giant Bomb.

And now the riddle have been solved...

@Rxanadu said:

I can totally understand why a person who doesn't know much about the game story behind this - like yourself - would not like this. I, too, found the initial setup poor and rushed; it felt (as with most of the series) too much like a checklist of events that happened in a specific way and order in the game to get the uninitiated invested into the characters and world.

It at least holds more appeal than the similarly-inaccessible ADVENT CHILDREN. I'll give it that.

@Petiew said:

The game can go from anywhere between 60 to 100+ hours. This is a 20 something episode adaption, there's just no way they can devote 3 hours (Or roughly 8 episodes) to explain everything in the opening the same manner as the game does.

Yeah... tough to distill that down and take out the interactivity.

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