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Persona 4 the ANIMATION – 21

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「DON’T SAVE ANYONE ANYMORE」

Yuu has more lines in this episode more than he did in all twenty previous episodes combined. At least it feels like he does!

Don’t get me wrong, I think Yuu’s been a terrific and memorable main character. Hands down, he’s been by far the best harem king in recent memory and remains calm and collected in almost every situation, as the leader of the Investigation Team should. Up until now though, we’ve never seen some other personality traits of great leaders – most notably a passion and intensity that inspires others to take up their cause, and spurring controversy (and blog comments) on the way as well. Even the normally demure Naoto was more agitated than Yuu ever was, when she expressed her regrets in not caring about his safety. What does her newfound intensity do for her? It makes her even more endearing.

It’s not like personalities like Yuu’s never have the potential for a hot-blooded drive and passion – I just thought he’d never show it. He’s handled almost every past crisis with aplomb, so what reason did we have to suspect that he would act any differently come next crisis? The man doesn’t even appear to have a shadow as far as we know either. Like we’ve seen in countless characters though, all it takes is a powerful emotional trigger, most often a tragedy befalling a loved one, to flip the switch and turn a wallflower into a torrent of emotion. For Yuu, this fateful trigger was sweet and innocent Nanako’s abduction – and as much as it unsettles me when bad things happen to good people, seeing the changes it brought forth in Yuu softened the blow a bit. He is now a man of action and agency, and I find that much more respectable than a man who is merely calm and reactionary.

His uncle on the other hand, has the personality of the typical hard-boiled detective – albeit a pretty terrible one who either didn’t read the threatening letter sent to Yuu, or just chose to ignore its contents and left Nanako home alone. I thought that having lived together for almost a year now, he would also have softened up on Yuu, gave him the benefit of the doubt (especially with such a threatening note) – but it seems that the familial relationship and trust between the two only runs in one direction. That is, until their shared anguish brought them closer together. Some people might think that the use of tragedy to strengthen a relationship is too clichéd, but I don’t mind because from my experience, it’s the most realistic catalyst there is – and the most easily identifiable. Misery loves company, and misery also breeds company. Seeing the guys and girls of the Investigation Team united in their cause, despite being separated across the harsh and unforgiving walls of the police detention room, was probably the most powerful image in this series yet that they are a team in every sense of the word, and a force to be taken seriously.

As for the revelation that Namatame Taro is the culprit responsible for the abductions in Inaba, I can’t say I was all that surprised since he was after all, the man whom the first victim had an affair with – but I do think that his use of a delivery van with a large TV in the back was a very clever twist, one that might have gone unnoticed if Yuu hadn’t seen Namatame make his delivery to Nanako. His motives, however, leave much to be desired since he seems to be under the impression that he is saving each victim rather than trying to kill them, contrary to everyone’s beliefs about the case so far. Could this merely be a case of a misguided religious fanatic? Or is there more to this story – a Shadow story? (Pardon my pun). Guess we’ll have to wait and see if Yuu’s new Bead Ring and stylish spectacles will keep him safe when he enters Heaven, Nanako’s dungeon.

 

Preview

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March 3, 2012 at 3:44 pm
33 comments »
  • March 3, 2012 at 3:48 pm0927123

    Please be a good end, please be a good ending!! :’(

    • March 3, 2012 at 4:48 pmFaye

      Is it bad that part of me wants to see them go through with a bad ending? It’d be great if Yuu would then wake up and it’d have actually been a nightmare.

      • March 3, 2012 at 7:43 pmThrudgelmir

        Well…(MASSIVE P4 SPOILERS BELOW! DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT PLAYED THE GAME)
        Show Spoiler ▼

        So, who is ready for Show Spoiler ▼

        next week?

      • March 3, 2012 at 8:48 pmHenDarou

        I certainly hope they’ll go for the true ending. Well, I think it’s highly improbable that they wouldn’t.

        Looking forward to seeing Show Spoiler ▼

      • March 3, 2012 at 10:17 pmzeno

        this is actually in response to HenDarou’s post:

        If this season has 26 episodes in total, I can’t imagine it ending with the true ending. Although, you’re right. The animation would feel somewhat unfinished to me if they didn’t.

        Persona 4 OVA?

      • March 4, 2012 at 8:51 amHenDarou

        @zeno: I do think it’s possible, although the true ending feels long, it actually isn’t all that long, since it kind of goes from major event to major event without any “filler” in between.

      • March 4, 2012 at 10:12 amzeno

        @HenDarou:

        hm.. yeah, you’re right. the game makes it feel long.
        Show Spoiler ▼

      • March 4, 2012 at 12:07 pmverdant

        Personally, I’m hoping for 30+ episodes so that we get Show Spoiler ▼

        One can hope, right?

      • March 4, 2012 at 12:31 pm0927123

        I’m gonna read all your spoilers after the series ends. Must. RESIST.

      • March 4, 2012 at 4:17 pmThe Moondoggie

        @0927123

        But then, it won’t be a spoiler anymore… Unless you haven’t played the game.

  • March 3, 2012 at 3:54 pmLitho

    Nanakooooooo!!!! :’(

  • March 3, 2012 at 4:07 pmChaos Raiden

    Things starting to get serious. Hope this anime series will follow the True Ending route in the game.

  • March 3, 2012 at 4:24 pmAex

    I LOVED what they did with Yuu this episode. This was the one part of the game where I thought the “silent protagonist” really took away from the story, so I’m glad to see a more desperate Yuu pounding on doors and acting more recklessly, especially when he was ready to dive right through Namatame’s TV. It just fits. Naoto was a really nice counter too, which fits her well. She understood his actions, but she can still to keep her calm. The scene with her hand on the detention room door was really touching.

    Now to jump in next week and kick some ass! XD

    • March 3, 2012 at 4:52 pmLitho

      But now the team have lost their calm-collected-silent helmsman!! We need someone to fill the void.

      I strongly suggest they recruit the ramen girl. :P

  • March 3, 2012 at 4:34 pmLuxor

    Mmmm this side of Persona 4 and Yuu made me like the show more. Before, I always imagined this as some sort of Pokemon plot that resolved everything at the end of each episode, but the continuity and tension are nice to have. I’m not saying the story is episodic, but I always had the feeling that things were resolved one way or another too quickly and with little consequence until now.

  • March 3, 2012 at 4:57 pmBurnOut

    Notice how this episode was drawn much more “dark” than the others. Really loved everything about this episode besides the derpy-like faces made for the 4 girls during the whole Yu is locked up thing..

  • March 3, 2012 at 5:00 pmFaye

    The way Yuu was freaking out was simply heartbreaking, and the viewer definitely felt it. Besides the comedic aspect, I’d say that another thing this anime has done right is giving P4′s protag a believable personality that we can genuinely feel for.

    Putting this under a spoiler tag just in case – Show Spoiler ▼

  • March 3, 2012 at 5:58 pmfragb85

    Episode in a nutshell: NANAKOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

    I remember this part in the game when I really felt invested. By this point I was already subjected to Nanako’s diabetic-inducing Social Link and got attached to her. So when she was taken I really felt worried about what might happen to her. I always thought Brotagonist was unusually calm during these events, so its nice that the Anime gave us a player proxy with Yuu by show him freaking out.

  • March 3, 2012 at 6:25 pmNhelraios

    FOR THOSE WHO’VE PLAYED THE GAME ONLY:
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Show Spoiler ▼

    • March 3, 2012 at 10:00 pmzeno

      in short, i disagree. Show Spoiler ▼

      but yes, tissues next week…

  • March 3, 2012 at 6:28 pmsaka

    when even the king of poker face panics, shit’s gonna get real.
    i wonder why yuu doesn’t want bring Dojima into the TV at Junes, that’ll make Dojima believe him. we might even have Dojima getting to face his shadow self.

    side note: the bead ring that yuu took from nanako’s letter grants him Angelic Grace, aka double evasion to agi/bufu/zio/garu type magic.

    time to proceed to the Heaven dungeon, it has one of the nicest bgm.

  • March 3, 2012 at 6:48 pmrpgman1

    It was surprising to see Yuu getting frustrated compared to Naoto who still remains calm after Nanako got kidnapped by Namatame. Maxing out 3 of his stats show that he is more emotional now instead of being calm and deadpan. Of course, Nanako being kidnapped unites the Investigation Team as they enter what appears to be Heaven and it should have the soundtrack from P4 as well. Yuu still has yet to summon personae from Wheel of Fortune, Hierophant, Justice, Sun, and Star. We already know he can summon Beelzebub, the strongest in Devil Arcana. Adachi is getting really suspicious lately and this episode shows the bumbling cop letting the gang go to find Nanako and Namatame.

  • March 3, 2012 at 6:59 pmZmil

    the most emotional episode…Nanako…..!!

  • March 3, 2012 at 8:56 pmAxL

    Show Spoiler ▼

  • March 3, 2012 at 9:57 pmD-LaN

    Sh*t got pretty real this time.

  • March 3, 2012 at 10:39 pmThe Moondoggie

    If the producer played the game and made the anime by the route he went, let’s all pray he used a walkthrough.

  • March 4, 2012 at 1:18 amYanDaMan

    Does this anime ends at 24 or 26? I think theres enough screentime to do the good ending with 26. It might be rushed if its only 24, assuming episode 22 has the team clearing Nanako’s dungeon in 1 episode, you got only 2 left to wrap up the rest.

    • March 4, 2012 at 2:50 amD-LaN

      Its certain tht the snow skiing scene will not be included.. T.T

  • March 4, 2012 at 3:04 amTipQ

    Pretty sure this has 26 episodes, ideally they need 27/28 to do the true end as well

  • March 4, 2012 at 5:23 amJiCi

    Ah yes, the Naro Namatame arc…

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Regardless of the differences between game and anime, the tension is still present. I actually didn’t like that part in the game because it was so heavy to bear. Dude, some insane guy wants to KILL a child.

    Here’s my predictions up to the last episode, assuming there are 26 episodes total and 5 are remaining:
    Show Spoiler ▼

    I gotta say, they really stayed close to the source material. Really enjoyed that anime to the end. Thanks again with the review Verdant.

  • March 9, 2012 at 6:12 pmDa5id

    Wow, the ending song really takes you out of a sense of urgency.

    • March 9, 2012 at 6:26 pmAiron

      lol, thought the same exact thing XD
      really surprised they didn’t add a new ED

  • March 9, 2012 at 7:07 pmDa5id

    NNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO