12 Days of Christmas #12: Persona 4 The Animation

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah and if none of the above, Happy Holidays! Now, it might have made more sense to include that in my previous post since it was published after 12 AM, but this is the post that is meant to be published on Christmas, so, this is the post that will wish you happiness, or something!

Time to unleash your true inner self.


Yosh, let’s see if we can get this published on time.
Yay, we published with about 19 minutes to spare! Christmas is Saved!
Now, as a quick note, I would like to disclaim that I have not played Shin Megami Tensei Persona 4, I have however played Shin Megami Tensei Devil Survivor, but that’s not relevant (although some of the demons like candle jack fellow are identical).

On to Persona 4. I am really enjoying Persona 4. The glorious animation, the excellent OST (again, what’s with 2011 and greatmusic?), especially the opening, the fun characters and great visual direction have all made Persona 4 a blast. I don’t think that Persona 4 will be remembered for many years like Madoka might be, but it still gained a lot of love this season.

Now, fans of the game often say stuff like “Oh, Persona is a horrible anime, the only reason it’s doing well is because the game is so good”. In other words, the game is sooo awesome, even a shitty anime based of off  it is pretty good. I disagree. I think the anime nails quite a few of the basics down pretty well, and it’s not just the writing that is carrying it forward, though I will admit the writing and more specifically the characters are a huge part of why Persona 4 is so good.

I just realized that Persona 4 will be re-released on the PS-Vita. This might just make me want to get a Vita. ♥

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT

Deciding a most memorable moment for Persona is kind of difficult The anime has been a consistent performer, with each episode being pretty much just as memorable as the previous. So, it might be better to think that the most memorable moment is only the most by a very, very small margin.

KANJI TATSUMI’s SHADOW LIFE — Episode 7

Do come in

Now, the most important thing to realize about this particular episode, and its treatment of Kanji’s supposed orientation is memorable in part because it was interesting, but also because of the community’s reactions.

The discussion involved no girls, just disgruntled, gender neutral otaku.

Up until this point, most people liked Persona 4, but this episode sort of made a rift. On one half, you got the “LOLZ, SO FUNNY!” group, and on the other side, “THIS EPISODE WAS DEMEANING TO GAY PEOPLE! group. Of course, there were probably a good deal of people who just said “Meh, just another Persona episode” and they went of, got smashed and broke some windows, but no one cares about them, so, I will ignore them.

Well, to be honest, both groups are kind of spewing the truth, or rather the episode could be viewed from either perspective.

On the one hand, I found Kenji’s shadows gay antics really, really funny. I say this because well, I am a big fan of flamboyant/fabulous things. Characters displaying those traits always turn me on. I hope no one finds this offensive, but I  haven’t met any gay folk in person, and if I do meet someone, I kind of hope that they are the stereotypical fabulous kind of gay. I mean, sure it would be nice to meet a normal gay person, but that would be boring! LIFE SHOULD BE EXCITING LIKE COMBINING BAKING SODA AND VINEGAR EXCITING! Though I will say that if the normal gay person is someone cool/badass like Kenji, I won’t mind their lack of flamboyance whatsoever!

How Fabulous~

Yes, and I am the Muffin-Man.

I think the biggest problem people had though was the reactions of the other characters to Kenji’s confused orientation. Narukami and Yosuke took up the stereotypical Japanese “YOU ARE GAY, STAY AWAY FROM ME!” attitude on occasion, this upset people a great deal. People were apparently even more upset because the game did not have stuff like this. The game apparently, strongly urged you to be yourself, which the anime started of doing, but people felt that the anime did not do enough of it.

Then the other half simply said: “Well, they are male high school students living in homophobic Japan”, what the hell do you expect?

As I was watching this episode and the camping one (Episode 8), I made note of the attitude towards Kenji. I did not mind it so much per say, but my intuition pretty much said: “Oh boy, this is going to cause a shitstorm somewhere”. For good or for bad, the shitstorm caused was not that big, but it was there nonetheless.

Of course, it is also possible that everything is purely satire, that the anime is just mocking those who mock homosexuals, and those who stereotype them. Master Scamp felt this way, and I am sure other bloggers did as well.

Sorry, my explanation above is a bit of a mess. But, basically:

Persona 4 Episode 6 incited a little bit of debate with some people saying that the episode was made with satire or realism in mind, while others said that the episode was made by homophobic pricks.

So, this episode was most memorable because:

  • It sparked a discussion/made a mini rift and set up Kenji for more discussion/larger rifts.
  • IT WAS SUPER FUNNY, and probably meaningful deep down or something.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Kenji’s orientation is left a bit vague, he might not actually be gay, or he might be bi.

Yay for discovering your true self.

Other memorable moments

Rise and Teddy discovering their true selves —Episode 10

Hit that record button Narukami, or you know, you could just woe her and see her strip without the immoral implications.

Up until this point, Persona had been about accepting your inner selves, and basically being yourself. But, what if you don’t have one inner self? What if, you have multiple inner selves like Rise, or if you don’t even who you are, so you might not even have an inner self like Teddy?
What do you do then? Well, you do your best and move on, of course!

I like Rise. Sure, her character design has been played out before, but I still like her. She is, how do I say it, kind of mellow, tolerable and not really bad to be around. Characters fitting her background tend to be loud, spoilt, tsunderes, but she is neither of the above. Should I really like a character just because she doesn’t have the traits of sucky characters? I don’t know, but I like her anyway.

It’s always a bit frustrating to watch a character wrestle with his or her shadow.  “JUST HURRY AND ACCEPT THE DAMN SHADOW YOU STUPID PERSON, WHY MUST YOU SO STUBBORNLY REJECT YOUR INNER SELF!” I can’t even imagine what Narukami must feel every time he encounters another shadow. “Oh, great, just what I need. Another brat who doesn’t have the necessary self-analysing skills required to fix himself. Just great, now, stop standing there quivering like a door knob, go and freaking hug that shadow, make up and stuff so I can go home and play games with my cousin”.

I also liked Teddy’s raw determination and sheer badassery. I mean, the guy freaking walked straight, head on into an op beam thingy, and then he yelled at his shadow. Teddy wasn’t scared, unlike everyone else, no, Teddy was boss, ok, more like pure  boss, like only a true bear can be.

BEAR-SERK!

Such determination!

I would also like to mention that Rise Kujikawa x Yu Narukami is my favourite pair from Persona 4. I am shipping these two all the way to the Bahamas.  I mean, sure Chie Satonaka is pretty cool, and so is Yukiko Amagi, but Rise x Yu = BEST COUPLE!

Narukami, you lucky son of a gun.

I grant thee, the "Lord Reiseng Seal of Approved Relationship". Use it well.

Nanako Dojima

Not a moment per say, but it made me so sad to see a dejected Nanako. Every time her dad or Narukami told her they were busy and couldn’t stay home with her, she just quietly said Ok and turned on the tv. ::SNIFF:SNIFF:: So sad!

A happy Nanako is a good Nanako

The Delivery Girl

Seriously

Just the characters in general

Character Development -- literally?

You would think that characters doing such heroic things would feel unrealistic, but it doesn’t. On the contrary, the great character development/exposition has done a good job of making the characters not only likeable, but also believable. I like all of the characters in Persona 4, and that is a rare and well deserving accomplishment.

I love watching the characters just run around town doing group things like stalking others. Even just the scenes of them eating together and talking are most enjoyable.

I agree!

More Kenji because we love him~

, , ,

  1. #1 by v3 on December 26, 2011 - 11:40 pm

    Yu X Rise FTW!!!! ^_^ Wish Yu would end up with her!❤

    • #2 by Reiseng on December 27, 2011 - 5:28 pm

      YES! Someone agrees with me!
      Thanks for commenting by the way, and yeah, it would be nice if they ended up together, but it probably won’t happen given the un-romantic nature of the anime.😦

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