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Persona 4 the ANIMATION – 16 »« Persona 4 the ANIMATION – 14

Persona 4 the ANIMATION – 15

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「The Long-Awaited School Trip」

Sadly, the Investigation Team’s school trip to Gekkoukan High School and Tatsumi Port Island may be the closest we’ll ever get to seeing an animated version of Persona 3 (no, Persona –trinity soul- doesn’t count). That said, this episode was one of the strongest of the series so far and much of it was due to its fanservice – and not your typical kind either. I’m impressed with the showrunners’ creativity in including a variety of fanservice so that every viewer would find something that appeals to them.

Before I get to all the great material in this episode, there is a tiny smidgen of disappointment I’d like to address which can also be seen as a minor criticism of the series as a whole. In the opening of each episode, Margaret explains the significance of the new social bond that Yuu made in the previous episode, but other than naming the specific Arcana that the bond is associated with, she never goes into any further detail. For viewers who have not yet played any Persona games, this is a lost opportunity both to explore the meanings and symbolism behind each Major Arcana, and to delve into some of the Jungian psychology from which Persona 4 draws a lot of its inspiration. Instead, all that is shown to viewers can seem like a purely arbitrary relationship between a social bond and the Arcana that it is associated with – thus depriving each character’s issues some of its impact and symbolism.

All seriousness aside, this was definitely one of the funniest episodes yet – and that’s saying a lot given how humorous the past several episodes have been. The beginning of the Investigation Team’s trip really didn’t foreshadow how fun it would end up, and I am especially glad that this adaptation is faithful only where it counts the most. Can you imagine if the entirety of Mr. Edogawa’s Japanese mythology lecture by the Gekkoukan High School’s nurse wasn’t left on the cutting room floor? Instead, the showrunners focused on what they knew fans would most want to see: fanservice of all kinds, especially when it involved material from Persona 3.

Nostalgia was in full effect as I tried finding as many references to Persona 3 that I could, starting with the OP music of 「Burn My Dread」by Kawamura Yumi. Each time another one my favorite tunes from P3 played in the background of this episode elicited a smile on my face. Seeing Gekkoukan High School, Hagakure Ramen, and Fushimi Chihiro (Maeda Ai) was quite a treat as well, even if it was a little bittersweet knowing that in all likelihood this would be the only time I will be able to see them in an anime. The fact that this episode delivered on all counts in regards to Persona 3 fanservice left me very impressed with the series’ showrunners because only die-hard fans of the game would have put in all these details.

There really was fanservice for every type of fan too, not just for fans of Persona 3. To start off, we have several male fantasies combined into a single scene: our three main heroines sprawled out in a giggling mess on top of a rotating waterbed. The only thing missing would be some revealing evening wear, but that would be a bit too predictable for this series. For female fans, this scene is reversed, except there’s actually skin being revealed by Kuma’s open bathrobe. For fans who are as confused as Kanji is, we have plenty of screen time for both Naoto and Yuu, with the latter of the two having his breakout episode for his portrayal of “The Most Interesting Man in the World”™. Nothing Yuu ever says sounds pervy to the girls, and even if he didn’t unbutton his shirt, I bet Chie, Yukiko, and Rise still wouldn’t be able to keep their hands off of him. Chie x Yuu ‘shippers were probably not as happy that her relationship with him that seemed to develop so nicely, eventually took a backseat to Yukiko and Rise’s drunken antics. Just look at him though, and try to resist his charm and confidence. Impossible, I tell you.

I now firmly believe that every good comedy series needs two key scenes: one where most of the main characters get drunk, and one scene where they play the King’s Game. I’m not saying that I condone underage drinking, which is why I really liked the ambiguity (and to be honest, the cop out) that everyone was only “drunk off the atmosphere”. Combine the effects of alcohol with the King’s Game and you have a surefire way to jumpstart a romance, or in Yuu’s case, a harem. I think what really sold me on the necessity of these scenes was hearing the drunken voices of Koshimizu Ami and Kugimiya Rie, who have convinced me that I need to hear all of my favorite seiyuu when they’re “drunk”.

As hilarious as these past few episodes have been, going back to more serious stories isn’t necessarily a bad thing if we’re going to be learning more about Naoto as the preview suggests. And if you do feel like the next couple episodes have lost a bit of their humor, take a page from Yuu’s book and pour yourself a nice drink like Ano Natsu’s Dynamite Drink and just enjoy the ride. I know I will.

* Persona 3’s setting was Gekkoukan High School and the surrounding areas, and it’s a game that I highly recommend as I think the story and setting is even better than Persona 4’s
* All fantasies in this post are pure conjecture, and do not represent the views of the writer or Random Curiosity
* That said, I’d like to hear Ishihara Kaori say “Maru!” while drunk
* Full-length images: 02, 05, 08, 31

 

ED4.5 Sequence

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ED4.5: 「The Way of Memories -キズナノチカラ-」 (The Way of Memories -Kizuna no Chikara-) by 平田志穂子 (Hirata Shihoko)
Watch the ED4.5: Streaming ▼

Preview

Persona 4 the ANIMATION   15   Preview 01 Persona 4 the ANIMATION   15   Preview 02 Persona 4 the ANIMATION   15   Preview 03
January 21, 2012 at 8:18 pm
48 comments »
  • January 21, 2012 at 8:25 pmrasone0104

    Loved all the background music…
    when burn my dread played i was like hell yeah.
    great episode nice fan service but
    i kinda wished they showed a cameo of the P3 chars
    or at least even just aegis(since shes in the vita arena game)

  • January 21, 2012 at 8:26 pm0927123

    Loved the P3 commercial cameo last week, more P3 cameo sure wouldn’t hurt!

    • January 21, 2012 at 9:24 pmriki

      Someone on 2ch posted a pic, which showed two guys that look like Nozomi (Moon SL) and Kenji (Magician SL) was at the ramen shop.

      • January 21, 2012 at 9:28 pmverdant

        Yeah, I thought I saw Kenji as well, but shouldn’t he have graduated already, seeing as he was in the same grade as the P3 Protag? Maybe he just likes wearing what looks like his school uniform around all the time, or maybe he got held back…

      • January 23, 2012 at 8:13 amRyougaZell

        That’s a bit of a stretch… but I guess it works. And knowing those two and their antics… they probably DID get held back.

  • January 21, 2012 at 8:29 pmsaka

    I WILL BURN MY BREAAAAAAAAD!!
    They even included in ‘Mass Destruction’, the battle theme for P3.

    Well at least we know that aigis, mitsuru & akihiko will make an appearance in the canon sequel P4:Ultimate in Mayonaka Arena.

  • January 21, 2012 at 8:36 pmMediafag

    SWAG: MC has it.

  • January 21, 2012 at 8:42 pmThrudgelmir

    And here I thought the anime would surprise us with a random cameo from the last character for P4U. And it didn’t happen. Bit of a missed opportunity there. Speaking of cameos, I do believe Kenji (the Magician S.Link for P3′s male MC) made a cameo in the ramen shop. Unless that was a coincidence.

    And next week is Show Spoiler ▼

    I am so looking forward to that.

  • January 21, 2012 at 8:45 pmzweikai

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • January 21, 2012 at 9:50 pmNhelraios

      I wonder how many got spoiled by that. Anyway, thanks for putting it in spoiler tag verdant.

  • January 21, 2012 at 8:46 pmAcerbus

    NaotoNaotoNaotoNaotoNaotoNaotoNaoto<3<3<3<3

    Next week can't come soon enough~

    As for this ep, I liked it a lot. Perfect levels of fanservice and comedy.

  • January 21, 2012 at 8:47 pmKyzel

    Yu was in pimp mode there. http://randomc.net/image/Persona%204%20the%20ANIMATION/Persona%204%20the%20ANIMATION%20-%2015%20-%20Large%2033.jpg Man, even with two girls on him already, his poker face never went away. XD That was a pretty great episode, and I agree. I do want to hear more seiyuus sounding drunk.

    • January 21, 2012 at 10:39 pmMrTerrorist

      Hail to our mighty Pimp!

    • January 21, 2012 at 11:04 pmCain

      “Fill her up, on the rocks.”

      Haha the way he turned Kanji into his bartender was hilarious

    • January 21, 2012 at 11:24 pmNhelraios

      Yosuke’s jelly face, priceless.

    • January 25, 2012 at 5:28 pmLivingood

      Playa playa~

  • January 21, 2012 at 8:52 pmFallenrock

    I’m just saying, I havent played any of the Persona games but this ep truly had me rollin on the floor laughing; mostly due to Yuu’s superstar dart shot!
    I ‘persona’lly (see what i did there) loved every bit of this episode even though I didn’t get any of the references. Doesn’t take nostalgia to make a decent school trip ep in my book.

    • January 22, 2012 at 6:56 amAni_BEE

      I’m in the same boat as you.

      The finiest part that had me in stitches was watching Yu loose his cool (“The Most Interesting Man in the World”™ persona) from the very start. I had to pause it to get some composure back i was was missing the scene.

  • January 21, 2012 at 8:55 pmLitho

    The funniest thing about this show is always Margaret’s “Boss”
    The way he goes, “Yooookosou, wa ga Velvet Room-Uueh!!”… the “Uueh” cracks me up every time. We need more of him.

    • January 21, 2012 at 9:26 pmgecd

      but…but..
      he is in heaven now

      • January 23, 2012 at 8:15 amRyougaZell

        May he rest in peace.

  • January 21, 2012 at 9:05 pmMoeronic

    Yuu’s shaping up to be the best silent protagonist ever. It’s amazing how he actually takes advantage of his harem despite his emotionlessness, unlike some other protagonists.

    Also, is it just me or do anime characters never get drunk intentionally? It’s always either someone spiked their drink or they get fake drunk. Is it illegal to put underage drinking on Japanese TV or do the directors just not want to show it?

  • January 21, 2012 at 9:05 pmshinkirou

    i wish they will do p3 animated series , i kinda want to see arisato minato (MC p3) and ryoji (aka pharaoh/ tanatos)in action

  • January 21, 2012 at 9:06 pmNhelraios

    I suddenly had an urge to play P3P again after this ep. Love all those P3 soundtracks playing not to mentio n the gang visiting all the places in Port Island felt so nostalgic. Too bad there wasn’t any cameo of the S.E.E.S. members.

    Also that Dart scene out of nowhere was full of win.

    Next ep. Naoto!! <3

  • January 21, 2012 at 9:14 pmXziled

    i really dont care if its anime original or not, but i really want to see a cameo from at least one of the SEES members appearing in the P4 anime T.T

    it can be in the real world or the tv world, anything is fine…

  • January 21, 2012 at 9:16 pmTSouL

    Love how Yuu gets ‘revenge’ on Kuma for his girl theft last episode.

  • January 21, 2012 at 10:05 pmGekokujou

    We were one line short of this being the perfect episode: “I gotta pee!”

  • January 21, 2012 at 10:25 pmfragb85

    LIKE A BOSS!!!

    They sure cranked the funnies up really high. So much Persona 3 nostalgia too. Seeing the girls frolic in the Love Hotel was just beggin for the Yuri Goggles. They even added a Chie S.Link scene there somehow.

    The Club scene though was somehow made even more epic by having a drunk(?) Yuu with his shirt open and Mass Destruction playing in the background. Talk about cranking up the awesome. If I was a girl I would totally swoon for Yuu.

  • January 21, 2012 at 10:41 pmBaby Choo Choo

    Awwwwww Chie got left out. Don’t worry my love, there’s plenty of room for you in my arms…in the game because you’re the only girl for me…in the game.

  • January 21, 2012 at 11:18 pmCorn

    I liked the music that started as soon as Yuu started to unbutton his shirt XD

    Funniest episode so far!

    Also despite his rough looks Kanji is very adorable… well that’s what I think haha.

  • January 22, 2012 at 12:01 amDragon Ninja

    Rie Kugimiya’s drunk voice has to be one of the funniest voices i’ve heard in a while. The way she had Rise say “KANNN-JI!” had me on the floor.

    The drunks stole this episode. Yu, Rise, Yukiko and Kuma were too much to handle, so hilarious. Next episode looks a bit rushed, Show Spoiler ▼

  • January 22, 2012 at 1:27 amYanDaMan

    Hahaha man this episode was great. Yuu going totally bishonen from the club atmosphere by unzipping his shirt and ordering people around, still with the poker face.

    Tells Chie to sit on his lap, still with the Poker face.

    Has Yukiko on his lap hugging him, still with the Poker face.

    Has Rise on his lap, still with the Poker face.

    This guy is too much.

  • January 22, 2012 at 3:11 amjackxu

    This episode definitely showed one of Chie’s cutest moments. I’m starting to like her more now over Yukiko.

  • January 22, 2012 at 4:06 amHenDarou

    Holy crap that was a nostalgia overload. Aside from that, loved Yuu’s deadpan-pimp-style and especially the dart-throw of mass destruction. :3

    Aside from that, the way it’s animated, I sure wonder how Naoto Show Spoiler ▼

    • January 22, 2012 at 4:11 amHenDarou

      Oh, and I wish there had been some more cameos. Would have loved to see even a few seconds of Aigis in her sundress or school uniform… COME ON, make a Persona 3 anime, already!

  • January 22, 2012 at 5:35 amJiCi

    Thanks for the review Verdant !

    I don’t remember laughing that much while watching an episode. They got it right from beginning to end.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    The lines were perfect, the humor was there, great episode all in all.

  • January 22, 2012 at 4:19 pmZhinvu

    The staff must have been having a blast making this episode. I was facepalming while laughing after seeing the stunts he pulled, especially in the bar. So is shirt unbuttoning gonna be Yuu’s signature move now? First in the TV world, now in Tatsumi Port. And yes it was a little tough paying attention to the episode since I also was constantly on the lookout for other cameos.

    “Sadly, the Investigation Team’s school trip to Gekkoukan High School and Tatsumi Port Island may be the closest we’ll ever get to seeing an animated version of Persona 3″

    My thoughts exactly.

  • January 22, 2012 at 4:30 pmThe Moondoggie

    Currently replaying P3 FES and when I watched this episode I started crying tears of awe. I mean, when we talk about which games made more impression on me in the SMT series, it would be the Persona games.

    God I want a crossover!… Of all the MCs of the SMT games!

    • January 23, 2012 at 8:20 amRyougaZell

      I’m still hoping for DLC Hitoshura and Raidou Kuzunoha for the P4: Ultimate Mayonaka Arena game.

  • January 23, 2012 at 1:28 amRay

    “Maru!” when drunk. Damn I want to hear that too

    • January 24, 2012 at 12:02 pmDusk

      Episode 2 of “Ano Natsu de Matteru” is as close as you will get to hearing a drunk Madoka’s voice.

      • January 24, 2012 at 10:56 pmD-LaN

        Aoi Yukki in it!? Must watch.

      • January 25, 2012 at 5:30 amDusk

        … Oh, haha. I get it.

  • January 25, 2012 at 1:36 amTori no uta

    That club scene was the greatest thing ever. Its been awhile since I’ve laughed so hard watching an anime.

  • January 25, 2012 at 6:09 amJasper

    Things I’ll never see in a P4 anime…a…Chie x Brosuke end…

  • January 26, 2012 at 6:06 amThundershock81

    On the rare moments when I wasnt either laughing my ass off at the awesome comedy in this show or squealing like a fan boy over all the P3 music and references (which btw is probably in the top 10 best games ever made) I came to realise one thing.

    Yu. Like a boss.

  • January 27, 2012 at 9:07 amDarth

    BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY~!

  • February 21, 2012 at 12:49 amAlejandro Ta

    Muchos Gracias for your article. Cool.