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Persona 4 the ANIMATION – 05

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「Would you love me?」

While waiting for Yukiko to recuperate before the team resumes the investigation, Yuu is finally able to enjoy high school life and make more friends with issues social links. I was definitely looking forward to a break from all the Persona awakenings to see how the various social links were going to be adapted, but I wasn’t expecting two characters’ entire stories and a whole week of events to be packed into one episode. As a result, the episode felt somewhat rushed, but at least it served as a good introduction into the breadth of issues that Yuu will have to deal with from the friends who confide in him.

Back at school the day after rescuing Yukiko, it was pretty amusing to see Yousuke as the only one who complained about being tired after the group’s adventures in the Mayonaka TV dungeons while Yuu remained stoic as usual. Yousuke has the right idea though, once finals are over, there’s nothing quite like taking advantage of the massage chairs at the mall. Seeing that Yuu’s toughness doesn’t come from being in any of the athletic clubs (and probably also realizing that he’s a fairly tall guy), Chie decides to have him join the basketball club where he meets the captain of the basketball team, Ichijou Kou (Ono Daisuke), and their team manager, Ebihara Ai (Itou Kanae), who could not have been any more different.

Despite his best Ichimaru Gin impression, Ichijou is actually a genuinely great guy who really doesn’t have very many issues, aside from a rather clichéd one: he is the heir of a rich and powerful family who partakes in a frowned upon hobby. Forced to give up basketball, all he wants is to win his last game so he can confess to Chie. It’s a shame that Ichijou’s story couldn’t have been developed more because in the video game, a recent discovery about his family gives his story a unique twist and the soccer club’s Nagase Daisuke (Sugita Tomokazu) isn’t relegated to a mere background character. Despite losing by thirty points with a minute left, I thought it was hilarious that Ichijou still managed to make his final shots appear dramatic. Wonder why they didn’t make the score closer for added tension? Yousuke just standing around and Yuu’s porous defense didn’t help the team’s competitiveness either.

Ebihara, the team manager, is the complete opposite of Ichijou, which is probably why she’s attracted to him. From the moment I saw Ai forcing herself onto an unwilling Yuu in the flashforward (which turned out to be a red herring), I knew this girl was trouble. Turns out, she’s the textbook definition of CRAZY. She doesn’t manage the team at all, plays hooky and drags Yuu with her to the mall, leads him on, hides in crates, and forces him to be her boyfriend after being “rejected” by Ichijou, among other outlandish behaviors. The most ridiculous thing about Ai is the ultimatum that she gives to him: go along with her or she’ll kill herself. If anyone ever gives you that line, it’s a good idea to run and never look back…unless, you’re Narukami Yuu, one of the smoothest and nicest guys ever. Sure he might be a little whipped, but he did hang up on her – only to call her back right after.

Fortunately, Ebihara’s craziness is good for one thing – my favorite part of the show so far, this week’s “action” scene. Forced to be co-managers with Chie, tensions between the two of them erupt into an epic catfight, the likes of which I have never seen in anime before. The slapping was superbly animated and perfect for GIF making too! I have to admit, part of me would rather see these girls duke it out every episode rather than watching the Persona and Shadow battles, and I think Yousuke and Yuu would agree, seeing neither of them stepped into stop the fight. All in all, it was great seeing the game’s humor make its way into the social links. Since it’s looking like next week’s episode introduces Tatsumi Kanji instead of venturing back into Mayonaka TV, I hope that it will be a chance to renew the focus on the main plot.

Random musings and observations with unlisted:

  • Yuu has the perfect poker face, for example, his “I see” face looks exactly like all of his other expressions.
  • Who’s the waitress at Chinese Diner Aiya, could she be an anime-original character?
  • Yuu’s ringtone for Ai was “Zigeunerweisen Sarasate,” the Game Over song for Catherine (another Atlus game).
  • Even though the basketball team talked about Ai’s body, we never really saw what they were talking about.
  •  

    Preview

    Persona 4 the ANIMATION   05   Preview 01 Persona 4 the ANIMATION   05   Preview 02 Persona 4 the ANIMATION   05   Preview 03
    November 4, 2011 at 3:39 am
    67 comments »
    • November 4, 2011 at 3:40 amunlisted

      Really liked the reference to Catherine. Both Ai and Catherine are pretty crazy.

      • November 5, 2011 at 10:15 amPride

        Yeah I was surprised he even caught that. Nice job Verdant

    • November 4, 2011 at 3:50 amLectro Volpi

      Misleading image sequence:

      http://randomc.net/image/Persona%204%20the%20ANIMATION/Persona%204%20the%20ANIMATION%20-%2005%20-%20Large%2011.jpg

      http://randomc.net/image/Persona%204%20the%20ANIMATION/Persona%204%20the%20ANIMATION%20-%2005%20-%20Large%2012.jpg

      This is right now my favourite episode. Nothing happened, but Yu being Hen-pecked and a really good catfight made it memorable.

      Itou Kanae did a great job.

    • November 4, 2011 at 3:53 amHrmmmm

      This was a nice change of pace. It only made me want to see the next ep so much more.

      Dat Preview…

    • November 4, 2011 at 4:06 amfragb85

      This is the first episode that dissapointed me. Ai’s social link was a little rushed, but at least the context of her problems are still there. Kou’s link is all wrong though, since they failed to address his family issues. The Two S.Links maxed in a week seems a little absurd, but I guess the anime is short on air time. Also they skipped the best part of the rooftop scene!

      On the plus side Ai and Chie CATFIGHT! That’s hawt.

    • November 4, 2011 at 4:06 amRakkyo

      Kanji’s introduction will be badass.
      Kanji’s dungeon will be…. yeah nevermind, forget what i said.

      • November 5, 2011 at 6:10 amSuppa Tenko

        More FABULOUS than Star Driver?

      • November 5, 2011 at 8:55 pmSerapita

        His galaxy will shine for sure…

    • November 4, 2011 at 4:14 amfragb85

      Oh and about the question for the waitress, it is a new minor character for the anime. Her name is Nakamura Aika. She’s already appeared several times in the background.

      What’s she doing there? I have no idea.

      • November 4, 2011 at 5:11 amsaka

        she looks like metis…

        maybe she’s a new character for persona 4 golden ?

        • November 4, 2011 at 7:25 amRyougaZell

          The new character for Golden is called Show Spoiler ▼

    • November 4, 2011 at 4:14 amlester

      It’s all about Kanji in the next episode. Also Yuu will have other Social Links besides the Investigation Team.

      Wondering how Margaret interact with the Protagonist in the Empress Social Link.

    • November 4, 2011 at 4:19 amNhelraios

      Must be an anime original character.Could it be that she’s a new social link?

      Damn cant wait for Kanji..Show Spoiler ▼

      • November 4, 2011 at 7:26 amRyougaZell

        Maybe Aika will indeed be an SL since Show Spoiler ▼

        • November 4, 2011 at 7:43 pmNhelraios

          I can see that happening Show Spoiler ▼

      • November 5, 2011 at 9:53 pmlester

        It’s kinda out of character or perspective that Margaret will have some requests for our Protagonist and do a Social Link with her. So they might fill in with Aika, and if the fox is there Yuu will have some animal intuition to understand his motivations.

    • November 4, 2011 at 5:11 amrasone0104

      yes bath house coming soon Xd

    • November 4, 2011 at 5:13 amJack

      Anyone want to spoil the extra game info about Ichijou Kou’s family secret?

      • November 4, 2011 at 5:15 amsaka

        Show Spoiler ▼

        is my spoiler tag working ?

      • November 4, 2011 at 5:46 amfragb85

        You can see his whole Social Link in Youtube. They really did cut out a lot of content. But its mostly just a side-story anyway.

    • November 4, 2011 at 5:38 amZmil

      Nakamura Aika is blue hair girl,,you notice her at the back of classroom in the PS2 game,,,

      • November 4, 2011 at 7:27 amRyougaZell

        Screenshot please.

    • November 4, 2011 at 5:42 amAndrew

      Anyone notice the ringtone for Yu is Love is Over

      • November 4, 2011 at 6:00 amShinmarizu

        I hope enough Atlus fanboys noticed that. The moment I heard that musuc, I was rolling on the floor.

        • November 4, 2011 at 7:28 amRyougaZell

          Yeah. It was hilarious. Specially with the doomed expression Souji (Yuu) had.

        • November 4, 2011 at 9:14 amGuthrie

          I THOUGHT that song was familiar but it just didn’t click until I read this, and I immediately laughed. It was so utterly appropriate, too! I’m shocked I didn’t immediately get it after all the times I heard that goddamned song, I tell you what.

    • November 4, 2011 at 6:10 amx

      Rushed episode, as if the anime so far wasn’t rushed enough as it is. Still, it is watchable. For someone who never played the game and don’t intend to pick it up, this was somewhat fun.

    • November 4, 2011 at 6:21 amAex

      And mixed feelings ensue. Overall, not a bad episode IMHO. For someone that’s played the game, this episode probably only felt a little rushed, but if someone was going in unspoiled this episode might’ve been borderline bad. It remains to be seen how this episode figures into things, as I’m hoping there will be more to these two social links since they really only reached like lvl 6 or 7 out of 10. Can’t say I’ll be disappointed if they never focus on Kou or Ai again, just hope they don’t disappear completely with this half-resolution. Would set kinda an underwhelming precedent for future S. Links not in the Investigation Team, and I want my Justice, Empress, and Hermit S. Links done right!! Wonder who they’re gonna pick for Sun…

      Well, at least they held of to the end of the month to bring back Yukiko like they were supposed to.

    • November 4, 2011 at 6:23 amkingboo

      They could’ve easily dragged this onto 2 episodes, but whatever, they like the whole rushing thing (still thinking how they can fit 24-26 episodes)

      Oh well, still was a fun ep I guess. Next week is Kanji’s arc, how many episodes you guys think it’ll get?

      Oh and,Catfight = win. Yu = still fun to watch.

    • November 4, 2011 at 6:47 amreia

      Kou was so cute when he told the MC that he liked Chie^.^
      I’m not the only one who liked that scene, right?

      But I dunno, Kou’s backstory seemed way too rushed that it made it seem like he is a wishy-washy type kinda guy. One moment, he decide to quit basketball because of his family.
      The next moment, he decided not to because said that he still loves basketball.
      It was also way too rushed for Ai’s story, even though I’m happy that the context is still there. But makes it seems like she is loose on giving up her life and isn’t serious about relationships.
      ‘I’ll kill myself if you get any closer!’
      ‘Until I can nab another guy, I want you to love me. Otherwise I’ll kill myself.’

      But at least I know what actually happened in the game, so I can follow it through.
      But I can imagine some people won’t be able to catch on.

      My favourite scene at the roof top was soo rushed too(;.;)
      But I still love:
      ‘My tofu..’ *sounded sad*
      My Japanese is still very poor, but what exactly did she say when she said ‘My tofu..’
      It somehow sounded like owayu or okayu…
      though okayu is rice porridge…
      Yukiko still sounds cute for that line!! I’m happy!
      Chie is constantly cute for all the episodes..
      MC was cute at certain parts of this ep!!
      eg.. coughing at Kou’s revelation
      Kou’s blushing face..
      ah! too much cuteness! ^.^

      virtual cookie to andrew for saying and spotting that!!
      ‘Love is Over’ and ‘エビ’ as Ebihara Ai’s contact on his phone made my day!!!^.^

    • November 4, 2011 at 7:28 amYosuke D.H

      :’( There is haven’t Yosuke Photo

    • November 4, 2011 at 7:30 amRyougaZell

      Despite the episode being a bit ‘rushed’ I loved that Yosuke and Chie got to interact with Souji’s (Yuu’s) Social Links. It was really hilarious how Yosuke ended up playing (at losing the ball everytime) and how Chie got in a bit**-slap showdown with Ai.

      Love is over :D

      • November 4, 2011 at 7:31 amRyougaZell

        BTW… Souji (Yuu) is easing a cheat code!! His stats are way too high and he finishes Social Links in two weeks? Is this new game plus :P?

        • November 4, 2011 at 10:37 pmRyugan

          its obvius a game+ that explains pyro jack in the yukiko dungeon, game aside i love the phone scene

    • November 4, 2011 at 7:36 amYosuke D.H

      OWH THERE IS 4 YOSUKE PHOTO

    • November 4, 2011 at 8:36 amRamen

      Umm…. what I don’t get is since when did Yu manage to level up both the strength and moon social links to like lvl 7 within a day? Also I’m sure you need like lvl 3 courage to even ask out Ai…
      Damn… I wish it was this easy to get Ai… Was hoping Yu would take the pimp route… Still hoping for his Banchou route and goes with Show Spoiler ▼

      Love the catherine reference. I guess i should replay that game again on hard…

    • November 4, 2011 at 8:45 amRamen

      Ugh… Also forgot that they rushed Ai to the point that she was portrayed as a hooker for those who haven’t played the game…
      She’s actually completely different in the game; also i believe ideal for those who don’t want to initiate a romance with any of the heroines.
      @fragb85
      I agree that was one of the best. They better not try to skip over mystery food X and the omlette rice scenes.

    • November 4, 2011 at 10:22 ambakakubi

      Can’t stop laughing after hearing the ring tone. Fits the situation he was in sooooooooooo perfectly ^_^ . Those who played catherine would know ;-D

      • November 4, 2011 at 11:05 amAlec

        Lol. I was like I know I heard that ring tone before. thanks for making me remember.

        Btw, Catherine is awesome (got the plat xD) and imo, Catherine getting animated would have been miles better compared to this. I just can’t find anything to like in the series. Ive only played P3, not p4.
        Anyways, when watching this anime, It feels like I’m watching someone else play the game. And it’s not good!

        • November 4, 2011 at 1:49 pmRyougaZell

          You probably never saw the Endurance Run then. Vinny and Jeff Hooh!!!

    • November 4, 2011 at 11:35 amTSouL

      Wonder if there is “___RBUCKS COFFEE” in Japan. Its also funny to see (from Mawaru Penguindrum) that the “Penguin Coffee” has the same color design too…

    • November 4, 2011 at 1:14 pmJiCi

      Thanks a lot for the review Verdant. Unfortunately, I can’t play “spot the differences”… because I have little to no memories of the Social Links events, so I can’t judge it.

      Can’t wait for next week though.

    • November 4, 2011 at 1:16 pmDuder

      I am thoroughly disappointed by the lack of ball-loving in this episode.

      • November 4, 2011 at 1:50 pmRyougaZell

        No more than Charlie Tunoku it seems.

    • November 4, 2011 at 1:23 pmTheVoid

      Kou’s story isn’t over yet. He hasn’t given anything to the Protag like Ai did.

    • November 4, 2011 at 1:42 pmshiki

      i’ve never watched or played the game before
      do i need to watch/play it before watching this? is there anything in the plot that’ll leave me clueless unless i’d played the game before?

      • November 5, 2011 at 7:11 amAex

        Not really. Episodes like this are only important for unlocking new Persona Arcana for Yuu to use and fleshing out his daily life(kinda), you could almost skip them if you aren’t looking for comedy and Yuu getting put into awkward positions. Anything important in the game is so far being pretty faithfully put into the anime as the team investigates the Midnight Channel and the murders.

    • November 4, 2011 at 2:55 pmZzz…

      Gah!!!

      Well so much for remaining faithful to the game. If this is the format they’re going to take care of npc social links then there’s really not much to look forward to.

      And I had such high hopes to…

      *sigh*

      • November 5, 2011 at 7:14 amAex

        Yeah cause that whole cool murder/mystery/persona thing that’ll be 3/4th of the show… nothing to see there.

    • November 4, 2011 at 6:42 pmtreizer

      “If anyone ever gives you that line, it’s a good idea to run and never look back…unless, you’re Narukami Yuu, one of the smoothest and nicest guys ever.”

      No, I would say the correct response would be to agree for the moment, get her to a safe place, then let the cops, the hospital, and her parents know so they can keep a watch on her so to prevent any suicide attempts. They would obviously look in to the matter. Put her on Suicide watch.

      Running away from the problem would leave someone with a feeling of guilt if the person did actually commit suicide. As the protagonist had already saved her once from jumping off the roof, he would now that she meant her threats and in caring of her wellbeing would not condemn her to die by just standing by and not agreeing momentarily.

      If the above quote was made in jest, then my advice is still withstanding as an opinion, and is not made to criticize either way.

      I didn’t really feel like it was rushed because I liked how it played out and if it ran too long it would subvert the focus. It gives us a taste of slice of life, before (hopefully) returning to the plot of the murders. I also hope MC doesn’t become too personified by these social links, as his aloof, deadpan snarker, and split second decisions make him different from other protagonists. He’s almost a heroic mime like other games, which I find interesting more than just the cliched anime protagonist.

      I am not very familiar with the game, so any connections I make to other games are not including this one’s style.

    • November 4, 2011 at 7:58 pmDa5id

      You know, I think I understand now why Yuu could get a Persona without having to face his own Shadow.

      It’s because his personality is SOOOOOO BLAND, he doesn’t even HAVE a Shadow to fight! The guy’s a robot!

    • November 4, 2011 at 7:59 pmgespentRed

      Some might say it’s rushed but I prefer Moon SL this way. I mean even in-game, Moon SL wasn’t that fun. In fact, it’s one of my hated SL because it’s hard to complete ( without guide ) but they managed to make it look fun in the anime. That’s something I consider improvement.

      About the strength SL, I’m pretty sure that Yuu is just halfway there since Kou haven’t gave him the memento yet.

    • November 4, 2011 at 10:12 pmRyugan

      wow finnally Ai my favorite Slink in the game i hope it gets a good persona from that, maybe they will be another slinks related each one to another like dead and devil

    • November 4, 2011 at 10:37 pmYanDaMan263

      I thought this episode was pretty good despite rushed. They pretty much cut all the boring pointless stuff for Ai’s SL and cut to the chase. And theres only 24-26 episodes, if they can fit all SL into the season like this I have no complains.

      I guess Ai’s SL is “maxed” since she gave him a memento…does that mean Yuu will get an overpowered Persona like Sandalphon this early in the game, er anime? Nah….probably gona be some plain low level Moon Persona.

    • November 4, 2011 at 11:12 pmFlameStrike

      Hahaha, this episode was hilarious for me. I don’t have any knowledge of the game, but I was grinning like an idiot and laughing all throughout the episode. Nothing fazes Yuu Narukami… except a crazy suicidal posses girl controlling your everyday life! Also that epic cat fight was the most intense catfight I’ve ever seen in anime.

    • November 5, 2011 at 1:18 amKou

      In the store room scene Ebihara wasn’t hiding in a crate, it was a vaulting horse. You can see the padded top as he lifts it off the base. After 5 years of gymnastics (and sucking at it) I know a horse when I see one.

    • November 5, 2011 at 8:14 amZzz…

      @Alex

      In fact…yes.

      As a stalwart fan of the game I can say…of course this is only my opinion…

      That the MC’s growth through his interactions with the people around him to be far more interesting and important than the murder plot itself.

      In fact it is his growing maturity and understanding of the nature of humanity that makes the finale of the story meaningful.

      So rushing and glossing over these aspects is weakening the story as a whole.

    • November 5, 2011 at 9:13 amGeorge Bluth

      Never promise Ohana crazy a baby.

    • November 5, 2011 at 12:40 pmRyugan

      And now the question is………. Drama or Band???? start guessing

      • November 6, 2011 at 7:21 pmRyougaZell

        Ayane already appeared so I hope its her. Yumi is a character I, personally, can live without.

    • November 5, 2011 at 5:36 pmKumaKaori

      Wow, so SL’s get blitzed into one episode o3o??. hunh, not bad considering trying to stuff 9 months of game into 26 episodes is going to be freaking crazy. It may have some serious drawbacks if every side SL gets blitzed like this though :/.

    • November 5, 2011 at 8:41 pmInoriDisward

      Kanji appears next episode. I can hardly wait!!!

    • November 5, 2011 at 9:01 pmRelic

      Playing Catherine it cracked me up but I noticed Teddie on the bar counter, I had a good chuckle. Man I love allusions….TOO much. Great show. Narukami is so smooth he makes Keith Stone look like sand paper.

    • November 5, 2011 at 9:54 pmlester

      Weird is that five cards have been forged but the Priestess Arcana is not in the ending even they saved Yukiko. Will that be a Social Link related?

      • November 7, 2011 at 12:35 amgespentRed

        Priestess is Yukiko’s SL which only activate in Kanji’s stakeout. So you will have to wait til the next ep for it.

    • November 6, 2011 at 3:02 amboingman

      I don’t know anything about the game and to be honest, this episode apart from having inconsistent art & animation felt completely random and unnecessary to me. Those “sidecharacters” of the week didn’t interest me at all. Guess this is more of a nod to the game fans.

    • November 6, 2011 at 1:10 pmanna

      This episode looks really great!!! I’m glad Kou’s social link was chosen instead of Daisuke’s, though I like them both…I just think Kou is so cute when he talks about Chie…I wish they were canon. I liked Ai, but only towards the end of her social link.

      …As much as I want a crapload of Kanji screentime (fave P4 character), his dungeon/shadow is is the reason I was hesitant about an animated version of the game in the first place…I fear another shitstorm debate. I’m kind of afraid to ask, but Verdant, maybe you can encourage readers/posters to just comment on the episodes themselves and not…other issues? Thanks again for posting.