Persona 4 the ANIMATION – 19
「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.