Persona 4: The Animation – 05 – 06 Impressions
Episode 5 and 6
Take A Hand Full of Fluff and Toss It in the Air
These couple of episode have definitely broken away from the repetitive structure of the first 4 episodes with the focus shifting back to the “human” world.
The question that I find myself asking is that whilst the episodes are different, what are they meant to do for the series?
That’s one way to describe Yu =_=”
In case you were wondering what happened with last week’s review, I haven’t forgotten about this series so don’t worry. I might not do regular updates on the series but I will try my best to at least continue to blog it as it goes on.
Disclaimer: I had just marathoned this couple of episodes so my view on the individual episodes might be a tad affected by the lack of lag time.
These couple of episodes were a bit different and filled with character building scenes than actual plot progression material so I am not sure if I would have as much to talk about as usual. One thing to mention is that the background music no longer stands out like a sore thumb and that is always a good thing for this series.
This episode was pretty fluffy and I don’t really get the point of it from an anime perspective. However, if I saw it as a game then it makes sense as a character/personality building episode.
Yu finally gets to integrate himself into school life and makes new friends in this episode whilst aiding others along the way. It is nice to see that he is starting to form a slightly more talkative personality but he still suffers from the poster dumbfounded look whenever he is unsure of what to do. Sadly, his character flaws and lack of personality becomes apparent since this episode places such a huge focus on him. Under normal circumstances, I would say that the episode would be boring. However, since this series is mainly being carried by the supporting characters instead of the main character at this point, it means that these characters have a slightly more interesting personality than usual. As such, the episode did turn out to be an fun and easy episode to watch.
The lack of plot development in this episode was also very apparent and I am not seeing the point of taking a break from the main story just to introduce the “school life” side of Yu. I personally think that whilst this would have been good in the game, it wouldn’t have made a difference if the episode had simply left it out. Since people are saying that the speed of the shows are fast due to the amount of material that the game provides, I think that wasting an episode is a real pity. This is of course coming from the expectations that Ebihara and Ichijo’s character won’t be playing a huge role in this series. I could be wrong about it and if they do hold some importance then I guess the episode is justified.
As I had said, the episode had build on Yu’s school life, home life, love life and essentially all aspects of his life… The conclusion? Yu leads a pretty boring existence. =P For a such a fluffy episode it didn’t have too many comedic or memorable moments (although not due to lack of trying, just that it had merely not come across as comedic as I think the animators thought it would), but I did manage to get some entertainment out of Yu’s predicament. I just think that the fact that he went along with everything definitely proves that the guy needs to develop a personality at an ever faster rate than this.
Overall, the lack of Persona’s in the episode was a breath of fresh air that was welcomed.
Episode Rating: 6/10
Similar to episode 5, this episode once again takes a break from the Persona’s and is filled with what seems like more fluff.
The difference is that we are finally getting back into the actual mystery and the group is back to playing detectives as a 4 man band instead of 3. It was nice to see how the group dynamics would work and for that reason the episode did manage to achieve something.
The downside of the episode? It didn’t seem to lead to anywhere except for eluding to the fact that the cop might be a suspicious character due to the ominous background music and the look that Yu had gave him. XP Also, the team’s detective and sluthing efforts had held too much of a resemblance to children detective clubs that you see in family movies. Since they are all amateurs, it would have been impossible to expect them to act with professionalism, so I guess they did the best that they could. My gripe with it is that the execution could have been a bit more polished with them not acting so childish and foolish in their approach to the situation. To me, this just reflects the type of characters that are in the show and that doesn’t paint a too impressive sight.
Then we have the character Tatsumi Kanji, I wonder how his character will play into all of this and wonder if they will simply brush his character off. I would assume that this would lead to something bigger since we didn’t get any resolution to the situation and Yu did mention something about continuing their observation on Tatsumi as it might not be a dead end.
I know that I had complained about their little detective club that they had going on, but it was nice to see that something good had come out of it – new information was gathered in this episode with the new conclusion that Yamano is the main connection to all the murders. I can’t wait to see more plot development on that front and I hope it would be soon.
Also, the beef bowl incident in the episode had me chuckling. Sure, it was something that could have been spotted a mile away, but it did it’s job in making me laugh so that’s a plus for me. =)
If I were to take a look at the series thus far, I would have to say that I wish that there were a way to integrate the focus on the outside world with the tv world so that they would balance out. Having too much of a focus on either is starting to seem like an issue as it either turns into a repetitive situation or the show is forced to add “fluff” scenes that don’t really do much for the series’ plot.
Episode Rating: 6.5/10
It is quite obvious that this series is starting to turn out to be a pretty solid 6 – 6.5 show for a person like me who have not played the game. I still believe that if I were to see it without knowing anything about RPGs or without any prior knowledge of it being a game, I would find these couple of episodes to be odd and out of place. As an anime series the show is definitely very problematic due to the adaptation style, but since it is supposedly targeted at the gaming crowd, I can’t say much about it as I am not the targeted audience anyway. If the aim of the series was not to attract and introduce a new crowd to the game then perhaps everything is justifiable. I honestly feel that the judgement on the show would depend on the main purpose of the series since we would have to see if it has done it’s job on that front. As an anime compared to every other anime? Well, you know my take on it.
After taking into account the source material, I still feel that the
last previous episode (ep 5) could have been removed and it wouldn’t have been too much of an issue.
All I am hoping for now is for more plot progress and for things to turn interesting with the plot deepening and becoming more complex. The idea of the cops being part of the situation would definitely be a nice twist if it were true, and the spooky fact of the room having Yamano’s scarf did intrigue me. I am now simply curious as to what that room is really meant to be. (Don’t give me spoilers folks! =P)
Sorry for the late impressions and I hope this short-ish post of the last couple of episodes won’t put you off. =)
As usual, it would be good to hear comments from you guys on what you think of the show or the impression. =P