Review : Persona 4 The Animation

"Bonds of people is the true power." Persona 4 The Animation is one of the best video games I've had the chance to play and its also the best "game-to-anime-adaptation" I've ever seen. Those who have played the game are the ones best-placed to be able to fully appreciate the anime series, but new fans will also find it as a very good anime, Thanks to Aniplex for doing a commendable job with the existing game material!


The story is pretty typical for what you would find in most JRPGs these days, but one of the unique things about the Persona franchise has been the blend between the dating sim styled day-to-day activities and the RPG combat. Now for the actual story-line, The story is about a series of mysterious murders occurring in the tranquil town of Inaba. Whenever there's fog after heavy rain, someone dies. Also, there are rumors about a certain channel on television only airing at midnight named "Mayonaka TV", where one can see his other self on TV. After hearing about the recent murders, the protagonist Yuu Narukami and his friends are determined to find the culprit behind the murders and solve the mystery of the TV Channel. They later realize that the person which appears on TV at midnight is the next one to die, and the protagonist also discovers that TVs are a gateway to another world infested with monsters called "shadows"!


The characters were the real meat of the anime as almost every character manages to be interesting and believable no matter the circumstances. After all, this show is all about the characters coming to grip with parts of their personalities that they don't wish to recognize. Our MC, Yuu Narukami is one of the oddest characters in any work of fiction ever. This is largely because he isn't really a character. As in the game you control him, so you decide his actions. But, The anime has no such viewer interactivity. So, As you never know his past or the motivations that drive him, all his actions seem random and inexplicable. And as he is often silent, this makes Yuu a total wild card in his own story; You never know what he is going to do in any situation. But, while all this may seem like a constant stream of negative criticism, Yuu's no-backstory status really makes him incredibly interesting to watch! As he is kind of like a time bomb you know is set to go off any minute. Everything he does or says is a total surprise. And, to be fair, by the end of the series, enough has happened that he does become a character in his own right based actions we have seen in the anime.

Animation and Sound

The animation and artwork of the anime were really amazing. The liberal use of yellow really fitted the mood that the series was going for. Also, the bright and well animated OP's were some of the best I've seen in an anime. The animation was also very well done and looked fine but it wasn't anything worth writing home about. The only issue I had was with the art style and the use of orange on character's faces to imitate shadows. Often, this made the characters look like they all have 5 o'clock shadows or very painful-looking sunburns over their mouths and cheeks.

For the sound, this anime has some of the best music in an anime that I've ever heard. All of the songs were either lifted from Persona 4 The Game or had been written specifically for the anime. Also, fans of Persona 3's music will be in for a treat during an episode where the characters visit a Gekkoukan High School. All the VA's were also amazing. But, I really have to say this regarding the voice of Kuma - They could not have picked a more obnoxious voice for this mascot character!


Aside from the horribly homophobic scenes, I really enjoyed Persona 4 The Animation. It was a great detective story and held its own even without game-play to fall back on! I loved the exploration of the darker sides of people's personalities and found Yuu's lack of character compelling in its strangeness. But, the only problem I had with the overall story as part of the Persona franchise was that Yuu never really pursued any of the potential love interests! Though he did seem to end up with one of the girls by the virtue of never turning her down.

Overall, Persona 4 The Animation had decent animation with faithful character designs to the original. The mystery from the game was also transferred over very well, keeping one hooked as it's pulls an unexpected surprising twist to those who never played the game or finished playing it. So as a fan of the game, I was really satisfied with the results, The Persona 4 anime is as good as it gets, as a video-game based anime is concerned. I'm personally very happy that how faithful it was to the game, but new viewers are going to need to brush up on the game to fully enjoy the anime as a fan like I have.



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