Anime Synopsis – Persona 4: The Animation

Tuesday, 22 November 2011, 8:00 | Author : Ludovico
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Yu has just moved to the rural town of Inaba, to live with his detective uncle and young cousin for the next year. It’s a dull town without much going on, until a dead body shows up hanging from a television antennae. There’s lots of mysterious phenomena happening with the televisions in this town, including a late night broadcast predicting upcoming victims. Yu soon discovers an entire world within the TV, with strange monsters and clues to the murder. Now Yu and his new friends, class clown Yosuke and tomboy Chie, are on the case to prevent the killer from striking again.

This is where I show my bias. I’m a big RPG fan and Persona 4 is my all-time favorite RPG. Now, most games have a hard time transitioning properly to anime, but Persona was largely scripted like an anime in the first place, with a manga adaptation already released (and soon a play too!) so the transition should go much easier. Behind all the dungeon-exploring and monster-killing of the game, there’s a solid story here about identity issues and inner growth, with a reasonably compelling supernatural murder mystery and enjoyable characters (though whether the writers can properly handle the bi-curious Kanji is a big question). The major risk that the show takes is just being too accurate. Even in the first episode, it’s clear that Yu was a silent protagonist in the game, and has brought very little personality to the show. Additionally, the game has several side stories that really don’t add much to the main narrative and risk derailing the story (I really don’t need to watch an episode about Tower or Temperance). I expect Persona 4 will be a somewhat flawed product, but I enjoy the source material enough that I don’t have any hesitation in recommending it anyways.

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