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Persona 4 the ANIMATION – 19

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「It’s School Festival Day! Time to Have Fun!」

Unspoken anime rule #62 – all series set in high school must have a festival day episode. Good thing too, because I think I just watched one of the most hilarious school festival episodes ever – courtesy of our Comedy Investigation Team.

Most shows dedicate an entire episode on a single event of the school festival, or they just do a quick run-through of the entire thing. We’re lucky if we ever see more than one event covered in-depth, so I was curious to see how the writers would be able to cram in the game’s three events into one episode. The Investigation Team’s school festival experience is one of the most hilarious events in the game, so I was afraid that some of the humor that made it so great would be inevitably lost with the show’s rushed pacing. I have never been happier to be proven wrong – the writers even somehow managed to fit in some relationship development between Yuu and Rise and add in the Sun Arcana social link too, Matsunaga Ayane (Endou Tomoka) – although I hoped it would be the girl from the drama club instead of one who looks like she’s ten.

The group date café, Miss Yasogami pageant, and the famous Yasogami High Cross-Dressing pageant – all of their depictions more than lived up to my expectations. I don’t think I laughed this hard even while playing the game. Yousuke may have been a forgettable character the past few episodes, but it’s all thanks to him that all these events came into being. Without his idea for the café, we would have never seen how cute and embarrassed Chie and Yukiko can be during a date, or perhaps more importantly, the potential romance (or is it a bromance?) between Yousuke and Yuu’s female alter-ego, Yuuka. For some reason, I kept getting Hidenori (from Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou) vibes from Daisuke too – who made the whole scene even better with the inclusion a straight man to Yousuke’s funny man routine.

It’s also thanks to Yousuke that all the girls were entered into the Miss Yasogami pageant. I’d volunteer to be the unlucky recipient of Chie’s “Galactic Punt” any day if that was the only price to pay – but also because I’m not sure I’d be ready with a 30-minute speech like Yuu’s or to play the “Make me a man!” card like Kanji did to a confused Naoto. However, I think I’d have to draw the line at Chie and Yukiko’s punishment of entering the guys into the cross-dressing pageant. Nonetheless, it was very admirable at how much of a good sport the guys were, especially Yuu. I’d also have a hard time picking a winner between Kanji’s Marilyn Monroe outfit and Yuu’s scary/confident shinai-wielding schoolgirl, but fortunately, I didn’t have to choose because Kuma’s cosplay as Alice was just too awesome. Who knew Naoto was that good at makeup?

As for the girls, it’s a good thing Kuma won the previous pageant so they would have to compete in their swimsuits. After how adorable our heroines were, their effect on the guys was the next best thing in this episode – from Yousuke’s calling Chie out on her favorite food, to Yuu thanking his creator for being so blessed to see Yukiko, and Kanji’s nosebleed at the sight of an extremely cute and shy Naoto, the laughs were almost too much for me to bear (pun intended). Probably the only thing that would have made the pageant better is if Margaret was a participant as well. With next week looking like more hijinks at Yukiko’s place, Persona 4 is surprisingly turning out to be one of funniest comedies I’ve seen in a while. Even if you don’t care for the Personas, the battles, or the social links, I’d recommend watching this show for the quality humor alone.

* Full-length images: 08, 10, 11, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30

 

Preview

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February 18, 2012 at 3:20 pm
35 comments »
  • February 18, 2012 at 3:34 pmLitho

    The more I watch this, the more I feel that all the parts with the monsters/personas/battles were redundant. The comedy and “slice of life” parts are much better. Though to be fair, the horror the mixed into this episode was pretty decent. Horror being Kanji in a dress. Yu Narukami continues to impress with his natural ability to pull off anything with a straight face. What a Poker God!!

  • February 18, 2012 at 3:42 pmChaos Raiden

    Awesome episode. Too bad we can’t exactly see Naoto in her swimsuit. She must look gorgeous on it.

    • February 18, 2012 at 8:13 pmKyzel

      The tease was pretty good… She won without having to really compete! Lol. Also. MANLY Monroe spotted! XD

  • February 18, 2012 at 3:47 pmKarmafan

    I’m guessing we will see Ayane again before this series is done?

  • February 18, 2012 at 3:51 pmVermillion

    I didn’t expect to get so much laugh outside the beauty pageant part. Boy, how wrong I was.

    And goddammit, I want to see that Naoto, HNNNNGGGHHHH…

  • February 18, 2012 at 4:23 pmRavons

    HHHNNNNNNNNNGGGG NAOTO-CHAN HHHHHHHHHHHHNNNNNNGGG

    /remindedofapaticularscenefromthegamethathappensaroundChristmas

    • February 18, 2012 at 5:45 pmVermillion

      /mfwwhenwemightnotgetthatsceneunlessYuromanceNaoto

      Goddammit, production staffs, I’m counting on you!!!

      • February 19, 2012 at 2:05 amRavons

        YesyesItotallyforgottomentionthatbutstill.

        HHHNNNNNNGGG.

  • February 18, 2012 at 4:49 pmJiCi

    Thanks for the review Verdant !

    I laughed so hard at that episode. Ok, what did that changed… ? (BTW, I’m doing this for fun.)
    Show Spoiler ▼

    That’s all I could spot… I’m not sure about the second popstar stuff though…

    Anyway, thanks again Verdant, you’re doing great !

    • February 18, 2012 at 6:01 pmBurnOut

      Picture was in game(just not shown), it was part of Rise’s social link though. Yu could probably make ishtar now, which would be bitchin’.

  • February 18, 2012 at 4:52 pmSylphs

    Anyone else notice the gag glasses in the OP?

  • February 18, 2012 at 4:58 pmAcerbus

    *Snnerk*.

    I’m disappointed too, they went with Ayane while Yumi gets like, a 2 second cameo but I can understand the choice. Yumi’s issues would be harder to fit in to this arc and later, especially since the serious stuff will be hitting the fan soon.

    Btw, anyone else….

    Show Spoiler ▼

    • February 18, 2012 at 4:58 pmAcerbus

      *Fun, not fub.

  • February 18, 2012 at 5:01 pmDa5id

    Is that…is that Kanji as Marilyn Monroe?

  • February 18, 2012 at 6:05 pmBurnOut

    The pageant scenes satisfied my Rise and Naoto crave.
    Next episode should be good, the start of serious business.

  • February 18, 2012 at 6:44 pmFaye

    I completely agree with you about the humor, Verdant. I find myself bursting out laughing during nearly every episode of P4A.

    This episode had all the right cameos (even Yumi, grumbling to herself over Kou’s hammy performance!), fanservice (Naoto-channn~), and pacing. The way Yu simply told Rise to go shopping and interrupted Ayane at her club was impressive. His extreme confidence is quite the source of hilarity, from the 30-minute speech to his girl voice to his dressing as girl. I mean, I know it’s been gone over before but damn he is quite the pimp and the only one who seems to genuinely take notice is Ai. I think the anime just makes it more obvious. I love it!

    I guess if there was anything that disappointed me a little it was that Yosuke’s reaction to being forced to crossdress on stage differed from the game. I suppose that if we got this scene in exchange, it’s alright. Also, they could totally have done more with crossdressing!Yu, but it was still a very satisfying episode all in all :)

  • February 18, 2012 at 6:47 pmstaticology

    Yes…. my favorite character has arrived…
    Glorious Fem!Kanji!

  • February 18, 2012 at 7:27 pmfragb85

    This part of the game always bugged me. Why didn’t Brotagonist win the crossdressing pageant!? He’s clearly the hot stuff that no gender can resist!

    It’s a good thing that they threw Kanji a bone though by seeing moe Naoto because he deserves it. Not to mention Youske absolutely deserves Chie’s galactic punt for being a douche. Also, f*** yeah for more YuuxRise moments *waves Rise flag*

    I’m a little disappointed that Ayane was chosen though, her Social Link was boring. Yumi barely got more than a cameo too.

  • February 18, 2012 at 7:33 pmMiles

    Did anyone else notice Yumi (The Drama Club Sun Arcana) when the drama club was up on stage?

  • February 18, 2012 at 7:40 pmsaka

    even margaret came to join the school festival. The Long Nose Fortune >_< Igor must be sad.
    and yuu the pimp still thinking about the King's Game, he'll most likely like arcana chance.
    she's the last social link left, i suppose, after ayane's sun link.
    naoto is just HNNNNNNNNNNNG. Kanji has every right for his nosebleed!
    also does this means that Rise's social link is now maxed? Since yuu gets the signed autograph (with teddie's face blocked out)

    next episode… it's time for more laughs again at the hot springs, before things get serious.

    • February 18, 2012 at 7:47 pmDa5id

      Yeah, about that…

      What exactly is the deal with Igor, Margaret and the Velvet Room? We’ve seen who I assume is Yuu visit the place every episode, even mid battle. Is the concept behind that explained later on?

      • February 18, 2012 at 7:58 pmAex

        I’ll just throw this in spoilers for safety sake Show Spoiler ▼

      • February 18, 2012 at 8:02 pmfragb85

        In the Persona game series the Velvet Room is where the protagonists gathers, catalogs and fuses his/her persona. Igor is pretty much the “adviser” of sorts. Its highly implied that only those with the Wild Card (like Yuu) can see and enter it barring some exceptional circumstances.

  • February 18, 2012 at 7:50 pmAex

    Margret was too busy setting up for the festival to be in the Velvet Room… what? XD

    Loved what they did with Yuu for the festival; stoic comedy at its best! Yosuke actually makes a pretty good straight-man when the situation calls for it! Too bad he was a complete idiot for the rest of the episode.

    Really glad to see more Rise and Yuu moments, and I think we finished her S.Link. If they do the Christmas Date as anything more than a joke, I want Yuu to invite Rise. Unless we get some real romance developed between Yuu and Naoto, since personally, I still would’ve voted for Naoto in the pageant. Sweet, shy, and really cute? Yes please!!

  • February 18, 2012 at 9:14 pmAni_BEE

    Kuma… reminded me of the year we dressed up one of the guys in a girls salor outfit for halloween day. Image a group ofd 8 girls make sure everything fit right in the middle of the highschool hallway. he was convincing enough that guy’s in his classes wanted to know who the “NEW CHICK” was. Good times. lol

    • February 21, 2012 at 4:27 amZero

      Your friend has my sincere sympathies.

  • February 18, 2012 at 10:03 pmrpgman1

    Had to laugh at this episode as well. Yousuke receiving Chie’s Galactic Punt twice, Yuu taking the girls side and making Yousuke attracted to him, fortune-telling, some serious moments with Yu, Ayane, and Rise, crossdressing, and swimsuit competition. So Yuu did receive Hierophant and Justice.

  • February 18, 2012 at 11:13 pmlester

    The first I looked at Teddie dressed as Alice. His face is almost identical to Yukari Takeba from Persona 3.

    But for the record I like the game version of Teddie as Alice.

  • February 18, 2012 at 11:58 pmD-LaN

    OMG the HONF:

    Manly Monroe(eye stab)and Ohtani in swimsuit(belly punch).

    Disappointment: We still don’t know Naoto bust size.

    I starting to get the feel tht this show works better during the slice-of-life scene (the dungeon crawling is ok too, just bit boring) This show could win the best comedy of 2012 (so far)

    BTW, is tht Margaret the one in the Fortune Telling store? Is tht me or Yuu is cosplaying Saya frm Blood: TLV / Blood-C?

  • February 19, 2012 at 3:06 amSnicket

    I was a bit worried that they were going to cram the festival and the hot spring portion of the game into one episode. Glade to see i was wrong and it was broken into two episodes. Leaving ‘most’ of the festival hijinks intact. Though it would have been nice to see the confrontation Noriko and Hanako, had with the other girls get animated. Instead of the filler soccer scene. Though then there wouldn’t have been an opportunity to introduce the Sun Arcana. So i guess it was an ok trade. Though it would have been nice to get Yumi and not the loli. However, it wouldn’t have fit very well in this episode, so i guess Ayame was the better of the two.

  • February 19, 2012 at 5:54 amHenDarou

    Naot-HHHHNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGG!!! She didn’t even really compete but her “performance” was cuter than all the others. At least now we know that what she wore was a simple blue bikini… Now I count on the staff to make some kind of beach image with Naoto in all her swimsuit glory.

    Aside from that, I did make many of the same choices as Yu. I sat down on the girl’s side and my answer to the question of whether I signed myself up was “Damn straight!” (well, they did replace that with “Look at me!”, which was pretty funny, too). And honestly I would totally do the same in real life… Heck, even at the group date cafe I would have acted much the same toward Yosuke. Gotta love acting gay near homophobes! xD

  • February 19, 2012 at 8:03 amDDNB

    Mystery? Eff that.
    Action? Eff that.
    Fanservice and comedy with a MANLY ass BroMC?
    Sold sold sold.
    I know how they will top this episode, but I find it hard to SEE this being topped.

  • February 19, 2012 at 7:40 pmAnonymous

    Something tells me they’re gonna put in Yukiko’s social link next episode. I’m probably wrong though.

  • February 19, 2012 at 8:45 pmZhinvu

    Redudant to say but really a great episode because of the little tidbits the staff add/change. I remember in the game Chie and Yukiko wore the same swimsuits Yosuke brought during their cookout so it was great seeing them look so hot in those different ones. Kudos to the staff for giving at least a glimpse of what Naoto looked liked in a swimsuit, something you only imagine in the game. And actually I’m for a Kanji x Naoto pair-up.

  • February 19, 2012 at 9:01 pmRamen

    Oh god the Narukami Yu 30 min explanation of how girls should be portrayed was epic. Now “that” deserves a pimp arcana.
    That was the first time I’ve seen Naoto showing so much skin aside from later scenes. I really was hoping to see her in a full viewed swimsuit, but alas ATLUS wants to follow the story line as close as possible.
    Show Spoiler ▼