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Persona 4 the ANIMATION – 19 »« Persona 4 the ANIMATION – 17

Persona 4 the ANIMATION – 18

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「Anniversary to Become a Family」

Every father would be more than lucky to have Nanako as their daughter, but Doujima takes her for granted – spending all his time chasing a person who got away at the expense of the one who stayed. She is one of the most mature and independent young daughters in all the anime, similar to the likes of Rin (from Usagi Drop). I’m not sure how many people would actually agree with me on this, but I much prefer watching characters like Nanako and Rin rather than Hina (from Papa no Iu Koto wo Kikinasai!). There’s more depth to the characters beyond being just cute.

Starting off with Margaret putting the moves on Yuu (yet again), I had actually thought that this would be another lighthearted episode. She even said (and I’m quoting verbatim), “Yuu Narukami x Margaret,” leading me to believe that we’d finally see an episode about their relationship, but the hit-and-run scene that followed signaled that this was going to be one of the most serious episodes in tone, so far in this series.

Throughout the series, Nanako has consistently behaved like a daughter who is more mature than other children her age, but none of her family has voiced their appreciation of her maturity, much less expressed their love for her. I found it striking how much more mature she appeared to be in comparison to Doujima – it was almost as if she was taking the death of her mother even better than he was, who couldn’t even bear to have any pictures of Chisato displayed. Despite her stoicism, I could tell that she was starving for love, or at the very least, being told that she is loved – which made Yuu’s silence even more unbearable. Seriously, your adorable cousin just told you that she loves you, so the least you could do is return her words.

Kuma wouldn’t have hesitated if someone told him that they loved him; that bear can charm the socks off all the ladies, no matter their age. I think he’s also one who appreciates how mature Nanako is. How many other girls do you know whom you could go to for advice and to tell your problems? It’s especially sad that Doujima has all these issues with losing his wife to a hit-and-run driver who has never been caught, yet he never confides in someone who shares his pain. Their whole father-daughter relationship is just heartbreaking to watch. Perhaps the moment that most characterizes their relationship is when Doujima admits that Yuu knows his daughter even better than he does.

With the recent hit-and-run reminding Doujima of his late wife, I can understand why he’s so distracted by work. Having a partner like Adachi who can’t even remember who sent the police a letter doesn’t exactly help either. Doujima’s stubborn drive to protect Inaba and his daughter all stem from his inability to find the person responsible for his wife’s death, which is honorable purpose, but it’s also clearly taken a heavy toll on him and others around him. Nanako doesn’t even acknowledge Doujima as her real father, and it was very surprising that Yuu said nothing to dispel that notion either. I expected him to comfort her, not let her wallow in her doubts.

What comes to mind for Doujima’s situation is the age old maxim, “take care of yourself, before taking care of others.” He showed little concern over Nanako’s health issues, instead brushing it off like it was a common occurrence and leaving it for Yuu to deal with. As mature as Nanako is and as well as she has handled everything, overhearing the truth about her mother’s death and being ignored by her father when she needed him the most was the last straw for her. Fortunately, the fear of losing his daughter in addition to his wife snapped Doujima out of his doldrums – I can understand that he’d be scared of Nanako being the victim of another hit-and-run, but it was also implied that he was afraid she would commit suicide in order to meet her mother again, an implication I found harder to believe.

Even though we’ve seen a lot of episodes in anime about family, Nanako and Doujima’s reconciliation was a welcome sight all the same. This is due in large part to how relatable familial situations are, which makes eliciting emotional responses even easier. If I take anything away from this episode, it’s an even larger appreciation for just how mature of a person Nanako is, especially considering the fact that even when she’s in pain or when she’s lonely, she still thinks and cares about others too. I think we can all learn something from her example.

* Full-length images: 09, 29, 35

 

ED5 Sequence

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ED5:「ほんとのきもち」 (Honto no Kimochi) by 川村ゆみ (Hirata Shihoko)
Watch the 5th ED!: Streaming ▼

Preview

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February 11, 2012 at 9:13 pm
37 comments »
  • February 11, 2012 at 9:21 pmTari

    All the image links in the written text are linking back to this blog post at the moment, rather than any images.

    I’m still impressed the P4 anime has been translated as well as it has been from one medium to another.

    • February 11, 2012 at 9:26 pmverdant

      Thanks for the catch!

  • February 11, 2012 at 9:22 pmfirecow

    So they are going to animate the cultural festival next week since I thought they only have a few episodes left remaining.

    • February 12, 2012 at 7:07 pmBass.EXE

      Everything I’ve read has indicated this will be a 24 ep series, so they still have 6 episodes.

      • February 15, 2012 at 9:02 amStranger

        From what I’ve read, it’s 26 episodes O_O

  • February 11, 2012 at 9:24 pmsaka

    manly tears were shed for nanako..

    • February 12, 2012 at 5:25 amAiras

      Damn those ninjas peeling onions!!

  • February 11, 2012 at 9:26 pmfragb85

    Damn you Persona 4 for creating Nanako! Damn you for making such a sweet innocent loli that you just want to hug! Damn you for making her so moe she should be classified as a health hazard!

    Seriously though, I’m glad to for this episode because the Dojima family is one of my favorite side-stories of the game. It was nice to see an actual story that deals with single parent issues in anime.

  • February 11, 2012 at 9:31 pmlester

    They covered the Heirophant and Hermit Social Links. 7 episodes to go, if this is a 25-episode series, or more, and been wondering when will our heroes release their Ultimate Personas

    • February 11, 2012 at 10:19 pmThrudgelmir

      You mean Hierophant and Justice Social Links. Hermit is the fox we saw in episodes 13 and 14.

  • February 11, 2012 at 10:18 pmThrudgelmir

    One thing that struck me was how far they went out of their way to hide the face of Nanako’s mother. I was expecting the anime to actually give her some concrete identity outside of what little the original game gave her. I found that quite odd. That said, this episode was very well done. Props to the actors for pulling it off.

    Anyhew, next week is the episode a lot of people have been waiting for: the culture festival. In the words of a great poet, “My Body Is Ready”.

  • February 11, 2012 at 11:17 pmrpgman1

    Nanako is tough though, but keeping her in the dark about her mother’s death is painful for Doujima. She is just adorable though and seems to like Kuma though. Yu brought his family together and the picture of the 3 of them shows. Of course, he is supposed to receive Hierophant and Justice at this time as well since he got the mug and picture from his family. Everybody sympathizes for Nanako having to live without a mother while still being pure.

  • February 11, 2012 at 11:19 pmDa5id

    And then Nanako got a Persona!

    …a man can dream, can’t he.

  • February 11, 2012 at 11:25 pmrasone0104

    damn freaking Show Spoiler ▼

  • February 11, 2012 at 11:31 pmfrubam

    Nanako: But..but you like bad guys more important to you than I am, right? Right ?

    After hearing that line the FIRST time, I wanted to just run after Doijima and punch him right in the face >=0[! How can you NOT love Nanako? Hell, I bear-y much wanted to choke the damn bear talking about going on dates with her >=02!

    I agree with the Nanako/Rin to Hina comparison. Now Hina is def cute, but cute is just a fad that fades with time. Nanako and Rin are endearing, which stands the test of time and remain a pleasant memory for years to come =03.

  • February 11, 2012 at 11:56 pmBurnOut

    They really did well on the emotions this episode, Nanako’s tears were too much for me, couldn’t bare it. She’s always such a happy character.

    Next episode should be incredibly funny. My body is ready.

  • February 12, 2012 at 12:40 amdarkkodiak

    Holy crap, I never expected a whole episode on one of my favorite social links of the game. I’m glad that it was given a whole episode as I think it is the most emotional. Now for the next episode, all I got to say is “I’d hit it” lol.

    • February 12, 2012 at 2:32 amKaleRylan

      I agree, the Nanako and Doujima social links were great. I always felt that giving the main character a flawed, but ultimately very likable family was one of the keys that elevated this set of social links/people above persona 3′s. It just made it seem more like real life, which made all the craziness that was going on more distressing, especially with what’s coming for Nanako.

  • February 12, 2012 at 1:51 amHOURAISAN

    And as expected, Chisato falls victim to Faceless Dead Anime Mother Disease I and II: I being “conveniently out of frame” and II being “convenient lens flare”.

    It’s kind of tiring, to be frank – if they expect me to care about her, at least give us a smiling face or something, instead of an indistinct plot device of a character <.<

  • February 12, 2012 at 2:28 amneuroscientistx

    Nanako: I love you, Big Bro!

    *Off Screen*

    Yuu: I know.

  • February 12, 2012 at 3:10 amSnicket

    I was wondering if they were gonna address this in the anime. Since they seemed to be skimming over the material a bit more rapidly lately. I figured it would get over looked. Glad to see it wasn’t.

    Next weeks episode looks like it’s going to be the culture festival. With what appears to be most of the elements from the game intact. Though with that being said, lets hope other things will be left in. Including, Yuu’s most courageous tactical decision yet,…Show Spoiler ▼

    Fans of the game, will know exactly what i’m talking about.

    • February 12, 2012 at 5:26 amAiras

      He needed MAX Courage…. and we already have that!!! Go Go Go PERSONA!!!

    • February 12, 2012 at 12:36 pmKumakaori

      hehehe,
      Show Spoiler ▼

      ^^.

  • February 12, 2012 at 4:08 amJiCi

    I swear, I almost cried at the end, when Nanako and Dojima were near the lake.

    BTW, why don’t they show Chisato’s face ? I mean, really ? Couldn’t they ask Persona 4′s creator and tell him: “Hey ! For this episode, we plan on explaining the situation of Nanako’s family and we might need some images of her mother. While we know you didn’t show her in the game, could you show us via a drawing/sketch how you would have depicted her if she was present ? No one would really complain… since YOU would have drew her.”

    I don’t know… something like that…

    Anyway, thanks for the review Verdant !

  • February 12, 2012 at 6:25 amSerapita

    I’m not sure how many people would actually agree with me on this, but I much prefer watching characters like Nanako and Rin rather than Hina

    I actually prefer them both since they both have their pros. Nanako fill the story nicely while Hina is fun to watch and make you smile all the time.

    And school festival next time! Oh how I dread the …Show Spoiler ▼

  • February 12, 2012 at 7:26 amKarmafan

    I didn’t find it all that hard to believe that she “might” consider suicide so she can go and be with her mom. She is a great character and I agree with the comparison to Rin but she is also a little girl that misses her mom terribly. She needed her dad to fill Mom’s void and he wasn’t doing his job as a parent. So I could possibly see her trying to go and be with her mom, I’m just glad it all worked out in the end.

    Its been a while since the beginning of the series but what happened to Yuu’s parents? He lives with his cousin and uncle and the uncle kept telling Yuu it wasn’t his business and then the next minute asking Yuu to take care of Nanako.

  • February 12, 2012 at 8:10 amAxL

    Phew!!
    Show Spoiler ▼

    This was indeed very touching, seeing Dojima realize that he can’t lose anyone else in his family, and turning back and actually caring for Nanako.
    But Yuu. Best and worst stone faced person EVER!
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Thx for the review anyways!

  • February 12, 2012 at 8:25 amPockyG

    Anyone who does this to poor Nanako deserves a beating and a death sentence.

    • February 12, 2012 at 12:17 pmJHN

      Unless that will make Nanako even sadder, off course. ;)

  • February 12, 2012 at 9:24 amSylphs

    The only potential reason for why I think Doujima didn’t mention the reason for Chistato’s death to Nanako would be because of the fact that she was hit when she had been going to pick up Nanako from Preschool….I’m think that if he told Nanako more than her mother getting killed in a car accident, Nanako would partially blame herself for it…

    • February 12, 2012 at 1:05 pmShinmarizu

      That makes quite a bit of sense.

  • February 12, 2012 at 8:00 pm0927123

    ONIONS EVERYWHERE!!!

  • February 12, 2012 at 8:22 pmcalcilis

    is like clannad after story all over again!!!

    • February 12, 2012 at 8:23 pmcalcilis

      clannad after story episode 18 to be exact

  • February 12, 2012 at 8:36 pmhaseo0408

    For a moment there I wanted to beat the living hell out of Dojima, how could someone would rather spend his days in work than with his own daugther. Children need a continious manifestation of love in order to feel good, you can´t take for granted the fact they know they are loved, children lack the maturity to understand this concept. Danm it, I haven´t cry this hard for an anime since Clannad!.

  • February 15, 2012 at 11:12 amHag

    Can’t wait to see Show Spoiler ▼

  • February 15, 2012 at 4:55 pmRamen

    Dang, another great episode of Nanako moe. This tops off all the so called discussions of the rumored “imouto moe”. When I played the game I wasn’t as impacted, but seeing how Dojima acts in the anime, he’s a really horrible parent. No wonder Nanako broke down then. She’s had to deal with such an awful father for what like 4-3 years? (Not counting before Chisato’s death) Next episode greatest Show Spoiler ▼

    P.S. Does anyone know who Aika is? She’s been in almost every episode as the daughter of the owner of Aya’s, but I’ve never seen her in the game. Is she ann O.C? Her personality could really fit as a FeMC for p4 though the “…” is too much