OP Sequence

OP: 「Pursuing My True Self」 by 平田志穂子 (Hirata Shihoko)
Watch the OP!: Streaming ▼

「You’re myself, I’m yourself」

If you had any doubts that the anime adaptation of Persona 4 would stay faithful to its source, rest assured because for better or for worse, it looks like this show has the potential to be one of the more faithful video game adaptations — at least judging from this first episode. Whenever games are adapted onto other media, it’s inevitable that things will be lost in the translation, but so far it seems that director Kishi Seiji (Angel Beats, Kamisama Dolls) is determined to buck this trend, using as many aspects from the game as possible. While I’m sure that Persona game fans will enjoy looking for and appreciate all the references, it may also seem daunting for viewers who are unfamiliar with the Persona game, but that’s what we’re here for!

Distilling an 80+ hour long game into a 2-cours series is still tough no matter how you slice it, so to say this episode doesn’t skip a beat is probably an understatement. Certain events had to be reworked chronologically or removed altogether to make it work, but some of the more important scenes were thankfully untouched for the most part, such as the cold open where Igor (Tanonaka Isamu) and Margaret (Ohara Sayaka) introduce themselves to the main character Narukami Yuu (Namikawa Daisuke) in the Velvet Room. This brought back a lot of nostalgia since it was almost exactly how the game started as well, although it would have been nice to see an explanation for the Tarot cards shown for some plot foreshadowing since the upright Tower represents a terrible catastrophe in the immediate future, and the upright Moon representing “hesitation” and “mystery”.

Overall, I’d say the first episode did its job well in laying the groundwork to the larger mystery in Inaba and with introducing key plot points such as the strange murder, Midnight Television, and the awakening of Yuu’s Persona Izanagi, but the pacing was a bit too fast even for someone who already knows the story. Transition scenes found in the game would have helped, but they were probably cut in the interest of time. I also enjoyed finding all the references that only people who have played Persona would notice, such as background music, the calendar day changes, Yuu’s attribute screen eyecatch, and the emotion “icons”. The action scene at the end with Izanagi facing off with the Lying Hableries had me reaching for my controller to cast “Zio” from the get go. For the most part, I was a fan of the animation with its bold, crisp outlines and vivid colors, and while there were moments that lacked some detail, the action scene was a treat to watch and I felt generally it stayed true to the art style of the game. Hopefully AIC can keep meeting or exceeding the bar they’ve set with this initial fight scene’s animation.

Besides the action, one of the main themes of the Persona series are the social links that the protagonist forms with the other characters. With so much plot exposition in this first episode, there wasn’t much room for character development, but I’m hoping we’ll see more of the stories involving his classmates such as the spunky Satonaka Chie (Horie Yui), reserved Amagi Yukiko (Koshimizu Ami), broseph Hanamura Yousuke (Morikubo Shoutarou), and also his relatives Doujima Ryoutarou (Ishizuka Unshou), a detective with the local police, and cousin Nanako (Kanda Akemi), along with the mysterious yet lovable Kuma (Yamaguchi Kappei). PROTIP: Horie Yui and Koshimizu Ami make these two girls the best thing since sliced bread. With such a large cast of characters and more yet to be introduced, AIC will be hard-pressed to fit every social link story in but I’m hoping that at least the most memorable ones will be included. Admittedly, I was most worried about how Yuu’s character would be portrayed in this adaptation, seeing as he was the one I played as in the game, but I definitely breathed a sigh of relief when I saw that he retained his quiet nature.

For viewers who haven’t played the game, Persona 4’s first episode might be a bit overwhelming with its fast pacing and little references, but I think that the show so far has stayed largely faithful to the source material. I can safely recommend staying tuned in because this show really has something for everyone: action, comedy, drama, mystery, and even romance. If you only had time to watch one show a week, what more could you ask for?

* This week’s OP, 「Pursuing My True Self」 is actually the game’s OP, while the proper OP, 「sky’s the limit」 was used as the ED in place of 「Beauty of Destiny」. Next week should see the proper OP and ED sequences.

* Full-length images: 31, 34.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「sky’s the limit」 by 平田志穂子 (Hirata Shihoko)
Watch the ED!: Streaming ▼

Preview

124 Comments

  1. IMO, I think the first ep was awesome. As a P4’s player, I love the references in this episode. Everything was like a fanboy’s dream come true. From the background music to the calendar and character’s stat, they’re like candies to the little boy that is me.

    Some may complaint about the fast pacing but I enjoy the pace. Think about it, if they keep the pace of game then we would have to wait until at least ep 4 for some action. I still remember how the game took me more than few hours just to make the first save.

    I hope they keep it up for later episode. I can’t wait until they introduce Kanji’s Dungeon =))

    gespentRed
  2. Me likey the references. Especially the calendar, attribute screen, and close up when he cast Zio. However, the background music seems to be a little awkward.

    Can’t wait to see more!

    kwwk87
  3. The persona awakening scene is really epic. I also like the calender and close up shot when using Persona. The animation quality is nice too. Now, I can’t wait for Rise to appear…
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Serapita
  4. I felt somehow weird that the MC talked but I agree that it was good that he retained his quiet nature from the game… but i had quite the hard time associating the emotions he displayed during the episode and that of the game haha^.^

    ^.^Great review btw>>> Keep them rollin’>.> Your Knowledge increased.

    reia
  5. Besides the pacing being a little fast and messy, I love how this is trying to stay faithful to the game. I also love the fact they’re using the same music from the game, especially “Reach Out To The Truth”, which was used when Narukami summoned Izanagi. I hope this series continues to stay true to the game.

    Gekokujou
    1. It’s cheaper to use than creating new music and think about the nostalgia. I mean, who could get tired of music made by Shoji Meguro meant to be played on a loop?! 😀

      unlisted
    2. Unfortunately, the creators just put music for the sake of putting music. There are scenes where the music feels out of place, and there are scenes where a soundtrack was needed

      Alec
  6. wah the grinding session have been replace by having to wait for a week for the next ep T.T.
    Guess it is going to be a pick your poisopn kinda thing. Gotta wonder tho, when is P4 the golden for PSV coming out.
    The anime has me wanting for more in any case. Still Have my P4 game but my PS3 cant read PS2 discs ;_;. would be something if the game will be remastered into HD and be released on PSN :3

    DXHK
  7. I was surprised and very happy to hear Pursuing My True Self play at the start. Probably the only way to start this series off; much like putting the P4 disc in my PS2 for the first time.

    It was fun catching all the references (Calendar!) and realizing that, even watching the episode raw, I knew what they were talking about. And of course, they had to end the episode with at least Izanagi’s appearance.

    It’s understandable why they would rush a lot of the introductory material; this isn’t a Let’s Play of P4, let alone a max Social Link playthrough, which would take a very long time indeed. The major plotline needs to move quickly, and the Social Links that will be featured may only be limited to the Investigation (ie. the main/playable characters) and possibly those from the highschool. The other ones like the tutoring, daycare and hospital jobs will probably be given a few screenshots in a given episode.

    Here’s to hoping this will be a faithful AND well-executed adaptation. Maybe we’ll get some more pleasant surprises along the way.

    Shinmarizu
    1. If you have a powerful enough computer you should just install the emulator and use your Persona 4 disc. I wouldn’t play that thing on my PS2 any longer after playing it at 2x native resolution (1280×960) for so long. It’s just so much more crisp on a PC.

      unlisted
  8. I haven’t played the game so I don’t get the references but this looks interesting. I am however struggling to get over the strange redness the characters have in the lower part of the face. What the hell is that? It stands out so much for me that I’m having trouble watching anything else on the screen…

    Crom
  9. Another strong first episode. The background music was funny cause I could easily tell they were trying to work in some game music but it was nice since I can sort of imagine how the show would play out in game form. I thought the pacing was fine. I haven’t played the games yet but for someone new to the franchise I can say I’m looking forward to the next episode. Let’s see if it lives up to the games reputation 😀

    Saya
  10. Anyone think that Yu’s unbuttoning of his uniform after summoning Izanagi to be an awesome touch? I also like how they made Izanagi awesome considering its the WORST PERSONA IN THE GAME.

    I really love how the anime tries to keep the aesthetic of the game, including the calendar and Yu’s social stats in the eyecatch (I found the latter amusing). As for those who complained about the pacing, yes its fast and disjointed, but you should be thankful. The game’s actual prologue was 3-4 hours of boring exposition and setup before it gets moving. At this rate we should be done with it next episode.

    fragb85
    1. Izanagi may be worst in-game, but Yuu will keep him around if the True Ending is to be animated/adapted.
      Show Spoiler ▼

      He’s awesome anyway – it’ll keep with the Japanese mythology bit that P4 was going for.
      As for Yuu unbuttoning his shirt.. well… see below.

      Shinmarizu
    2. Yeah, that was weird to me as well since in the game, he dresses like a “delinquent” the whole time…shirt untucked, jacket unbuttoned. Basically too cool for school.

      verdant
  11. Would it have been better if they used the BGM from the scene of Izanagi’s first appearance in-game (the track is called Awakening, link to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqJ13NZIW24) instead? Or both? It would have made for a better cliffhanger IMHO.
    That and the way Yuu unbuttoned his shirt was a bit discomforting for my tastes. Didn’t help that my sister was laughing and making jokes at that.

    Shinmarizu
  12. I’m enjoying the Persona Series. I think P4 the Animation is better than Trinity Soul, and the voice actors returns to reprise their roles. Sadly Miyuki Sawashiro didn’t do her role as Margaret, and the original VA of Igor passed away, but the new VAs project their voices really match.

    Those who played the game… might get a different view on watching this series. Also to note that the PSVita will have Persona 4 the Golden with Marie (VA: Kana Hanazawa) as the new character.

    Pursuing My True Self and Reach Out To The Truth, still the best. Together with the new Ending Song making this series a more promising thing to watch.

    lester
    1. “Sadly Miyuki Sawashiro didn’t do her role as Margaret, and the original VA of Igor passed away, but the new VAs project their voices really match.”

      I knew something was off with Margaret! *sheds tears*
      That and they grafted in-game clips of Tanokana Isamu into the episode, if I recall correctly.

      Wait, Kana as Marie? DAMN YOU ATLUS! It’s bad enough that I can’t play P4 in Japanese to begin with…

      Shinmarizu
      1. The new character, Marie, didn’t make an appearance in the first P4 Game. But if you searched Persona 4 the Golden, you’ll see her character design. Also looking at the very handheld console, it makes the graphics better than the console version, plus changable clothing for specific characters like in Persona 3 FES and P3P.

        lester
  13. You should’ve added that pic of Brotag with a huge smirk on his face after getting Izanagi. Man that was so badass.

    I like how his stats has been set to the lowest hinting that we’ll see it grow with his personality throughout the series. The music is awesome as expected. I nearly jumped off my seat when “Like a dream come true” kicks in, so much nostalgia.

    I can tell we’re both going to love this adaptation. Btw I like your blogging style too.

    Nhelraios
    1. It was so hard having to choose the caps. There were so many that belong up there lol. I was try to go for a distribution (I had 14 caps from just the first 5 minutes). I couldn’t make every cap have only a character. I know verdant wants a full length Yukiko. I guess we’ll have to wait for another badass smirk. Show Spoiler ▼

      unlisted
  14. 完璧!完璧! このアニメはとても好き。
    I like everything played in the anime but I didn’t expect the main character to smile and slightly change his attitude when he was fighting. Good anime adaptation for this first episode.

    And finally, I like the “PROTIP”. Good way in pointing things out for realization for the seiyuu.

  15. I never played the game before but I find the pacing, albeit a little too fast, to be no problem. The first episode definitely looks better than the previous persona series which I couldn’t even finish because it was really boriiing.
    I guess I’ll be looking forward to this too every week 😀

    kgfj
    1. Yeah, the pacing was too fast imo, but they are going to release a Director’s Cut, which will add three extra minute, in the first DVD/Blu-ray so that will probably make it seem less rushed.

      riki
  16. Never played the game, the pacing seemed a bit fast. I don’t really mind, except that I don’t empathize with any of the characters at all. I mean, in this episode, I can’t understand any of the characters at all. The background art felt a little off at times. The last scene felt too abrupt and confusing. I’ll probably continue to watch for now, but this was a little disappointing after all the hype.

    x
  17. Way too fast paced, jumping from one scene to another. I understand they don’t have time to fit everything in, but I still think they could’ve done better. Sometimes, being too faithful can be a bad thing.

    daggeraxe
  18. lester: I am aware of P4: The Golden, just didn’t know whose voice Marie would have. I do own the NA release of P4 as well… I am just lamenting my inability to enjoy P4 with the original Japanese voice cast, is all.
    As much as I am curious about P4 The Golden and all its new stuff, I’m not sure how well I’d receive it when I get my hands on it. I did enjoy P3:FES and P3P, so here’s to hoping.
    That and the Guilty Gear / Blazblue meets P4 fighting game. Definitely getting that.

    Shinmarizu
  19. I think they saved their entire budget for the action scenes.
    All in all, I keep hearing complaints about weak animation. Yet the only weak bits I could find was the occasional quality moment.
    Personally, I liked the first episode and I found myself thinking of the persona 4 endurance run when I heard king moron speak

  20. I’ve just seen the episode, and it’s basically like putting the game on auto-play: it’s that faithful to the game.

    A few things were skipped though:
    – Yosuke crashing on a lamppost while riding his bike with an umbrella.
    – Yu, Chie and Yukiko meeting Mitsuo at the school’s gate.
    – Chie teasing Yu about if he finds Yukiko cute (before the crime scene).

    and a few things were altered:
    – I believe that Yosuke gets pushed on a desk’s corner by Chie instead of just getting tripped.
    – No monsters appear on your first trip inside the TV.
    – Teddie appears on their second visit.
    – Both Yu and Yosuke receive their glasses at the same time, during their second visit.
    – Chie is not present when Yu gets his Persona in the game.
    Then again, I can understand the compressed events… or else this series might last for 3 years or more. Either that… or they’re instead following the manga more closely than the game itself.

    and there are things that hasn’t changed at all:
    – Yu doesn’t talk much :p
    – The music… good lord it rocks !
    – Igor is still creepy as hell, if not creepier here.

    Aside from that, pretty good episode, thanks a lot for the review ! Of course, we might get some more boring parts later on, but if it stays faitful to the game, it would still be interesting to see. I’m itching to see the camping segment, especially with nose-bleeding Kanji.

    JiCi
    1. Chie was unconcious when Yuu/Souji/P4MC received his Persona here, so it works.
      Teddies does appear the first time… its thanks to him they are able to leave the Mayonaka TV

      RyougaZell
    2. I believe that Yosuke gets pushed on a desk’s corner by Chie instead of just getting tripped.

      In the game it was a kick in Yosuke’s nuts. Its one of my biggest disappointments in this adaptation. It would have been awesome to see Yosuke’s “Critical Hit in the Nads” animated.

      fragb85
    3. well they do nake some changes, the petrol guy suppose to be girl and during the first trip of tv land should be yusuke and mc ( main character) , now they have add chie and i can see why coz they rushing the plot due limited air time

      shinkirou
      1. You are also 100% wrong. IT WAS MEANT TO BE GUY. Don’t insult me, I have seen the true ending.

        Show Spoiler ▼

        fragb85
      2. bro, i guess u ARE MISSING A POINT HERE, my first is point is saying the different between game and anime, PLS TAKE NOTE !! i understand the fact that u are saying because u are referring to anime, and second thing there not spoiler is mention the only ting mention is gay attend , for god sake so dont simple accused ppl, dont tell me that the gender of that person consider as spoiler, Pls!!!
        Show Spoiler ▼

        shinkirou
  21. Like I said, you don’t have much choice when you do an adaptation of a 80+ hours game into a 26eps anime. I’m happy with what they offered and I really enjoy it. It’s just like with SRW OG: Inspector, it’s good as long as it retains the spirit of the game.

    gespentRed
  22. I adored all the little video game adds here and there! The calendar, the music, the status and the close in to the face for a critical hit ha. They definitely did their research and I’m glad cause it paid off. While I think the pace needs to be slowed down quite a bit for us to actually enjoy the comedy sections, I can understand why though. What I disliked, was Yuu. I swear he had more character in the game without a voice then he does in the anime with a voice. It’s like he just sits there and makes moaning sounds. Whats the point of giving him a voice if he’s not going to, you know, say something meaningful. But oh well.

    Izanagi’s summoning was sexy as hell though!God!

    Rin-kun
  23. I wish Yuu would talk more ;A; But oh well, if it’s for faithfulness to the game then so be it.
    How come Yuu is so good from the start?
    He just whispered pe-ru-so-na and wham! expert! O_o

    80 hour game ‘w’ I almost want to start playing it coz I can’t wait to know what happens next. This one episode was not enough.

  24. The FIRST EPISODE!!!! I was right, some of the people here were also doubting whether the anime would follow the game format or whatnot. But we were definitely wrong. I was amused to see the calendar, MC stat screen and the critical hit close-up, and the game’s music too! Epic episode, can’t say anything more XD

    Although I noticed that Yu got his Persona a bit early. In the game he got it when he fought Yosuke’s shadow. Oh well, I don’t really mind the alternates, as long as it is heavily referenced from the game, I’m glad~ Plus, the animation is crisp and amazing. For a first episode, it’s a bit shocking on my part.

    I never played the game itself but I know the story of P4 so I can really say it’s unexpectedly awesome /o/ (And also not expecting Yu to smile just before the credits roll. I nearly fainted. XD)

  25. Yeah… unless this is 24 episodes, I seriously doubt they’ll show any Social Links aside from the main group, Nanako, and Ryotaro. Even then there’s no way they’ll show them all getting to 10, that’d be a series in itself. They’ll probably do the first one for everyone important, then pick the two most important steps, and then (hopefully) the last one, so they’ll get to 10, so it’ll just go like “1, 3, 7, 10” XD

    Anyways, a bit rushed, but a good adaptation so far!

    Aex
      1. Its not ‘2 season’ its ‘2 cour’ A cour is 12 episodes… so 2 cour would be 25.

        The trailers showed some of the social link classmates. They’ll probably just… ‘be there’

        RyougaZell
  26. Oh my God, I can´t belive it, They actually made the very first episode almost completely faithfull to the game!. I played and finished the Persona 3, Persona 3 FES and Persona 4 games a while ago but after seem all the references and style of animation I found myself not only surprise but also pleased.

    The game itself is really long so I don´t think all the Social Links will be explored but the studio has to develop some of yhem or the story it´s not to make any sense. This adaptation has give new hopes for video games adaptations, especially after the bitter taste that Persona Trinity Soul left me.

    haseo0408
  27. Perfect adaptation except for one thing… the silent protagonist. I swear to god the MC spoke more in the game(yes, just the lines which you get to choose as the player) than the anime. It just really comes across as being awkward.

    I do like Kuma here though, Kuma.

    baubo
  28. I want to say that I was extremely bother by how Yuu had his jacket all buttoned up, but I honestly can’t remember if it was like that in the beginning of the game.
    But I like how the more badass he became, the more he unbuttoned his jacket.
    That smile at the end was priceless XD
    “Guess what, Brosuke? I am more sexy than you~”

    DrunkenVeggie
  29. To me, Persona 4 was disappointing. Not that I expected anything from it, for I know that most of the time, game adaptations never usually amount to anything good. Lol I don’t even feel like watching the subbed version anymore if it comes out.

    I’m just hoping the rest of the episodes are good

    I didn’t play P4 — just P3. But It felt like I was watching somebody else play the game when I watched P4 animation. It just doesn’t feel right.

    Alec
    1. Yeh it was a bit disappointing. Not the worst pilot episode I’ve seen but no where near the best.

      It felt more like a throwback to the gamers than a real anime episode. Ah well, here’s to hoping it gets better.

      Hrmmm
  30. Nice adaption, the storyboard must be tough but I enjoyed how it played out for the interest of time, squeezing in foreshadowing moments and correct introductions this episode would have been tough to transition to a great wrap up. Still curious how social links will be taken care of better give Yuu a flowchart!

    bluance
  31. Comment for episode 1, I wonder who’s the bad guy lol. The one eye ball thing only want to lick Chie to show its affection like a dog but our protagonist mercilessly blow them up to pieces, with an evil smirk to boot. He really looks like the bad guy more than the licking ball just looking at this episode alone :P.

    aiueo123
  32. I can’t wait to watch this, I’ve been waiting eagerly since July, IIRC. I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed your recap, it’s probably the only one I’ll be reading this season. ^^

    YamCakey
  33. I think I used up all my luck when I purchased Persona 3 Portable and Persona 1 on the PSN for 2 for the price of one a while back: My internet was shut down for nearly TWO weeks, and I had to go through my life without watching any new anime. Now I’m back up and running, and I’m downloading the episodes I missed right now.

    This should easily be on my priority anime, since I’m a huge Persona gamer and I’m nearly finished playing P3P(though I’ll be playing it again after I beat it).

    Karis
  34. I really like this episode and despite having only ever played persona 3 on the psp it still had a sort of familiar feel to it. I can watch and not left completely clueless. TBH I never did finish the game. I think I was about 4 or 5 hours into the game. Unfortunate I had my psp stolen with the game in it. This does however makes me remember events I’d rather forget.

    Kou
  35. I’m sorry but I didn’t see it as a quiet nature. I saw it as being bland. Most of Yuu’s dialog can be removed without losing anything. I’ll admit there was a nice change at the end. I still have to wonder about the animation, it is entirely possible to do sharper work than this. Hope the next two up the bar a bit.

    Grant
  36. I never heard of the Persona series before except up till 3 months ago. Will I be overwhelmed by the lack of knowledge of the series or will they give noobies like me some understanding along the way?

    SilentCid
    1. You should play it before watching this anime. Honestly P4 has one of the BEST stories ever in a RPG, and it would be a shame to spoil it all from this anime adaptation.

      P4 was one of the few games back in the days that got me hooked from start to finish because of the story. Not many games do that to me.

      YanDaMan263
  37. I personally like the “normal” (for lack of a better word…maybe “vanilla” is a better description) personality of the main character. It’s a nice change of pace from all the overly emotional / idiotic / perverted / hot-blooded main characters from other anime.

    paulrenzo
  38. I wished Yuu would be more badass (like talking back to Morooka) but the stats shown in the eyecatch made sense, he’s still not badass enough xD. The pace was a little too fast at the end. I was fine with removing the tutorial boss battle but the rest was a little too rushed. Anyway, this already looks better than Trinity Soul so I can’t wait for the rest.

    haitechan
  39. For me this episode is great for three reasons, since I didn’t have any chance at all to play P4, this is too faithful for me as a former Persona game player since P1, have all the antics when I played P3 in PSP, since I dislike PS2/PS3. I might purchase PSV if P4:Golden is released.

    I hope the MC gets the loli girl from this episode social link to 10, I’m curious what would happen if he does.

    QB
  40. Not really sure how I feel about this…guess I’ll give it another episode. I’ve never played the game, but watching this felt like watching someone else playing a game.

    Yukie
  41. As much as I got a kick out of seeing the little references to the game’s aesthetic and UI, I really hope we don’t see that every episode. We’re watching a show not a game, and they shouldn’t be pelting us with references that paint the fourth wall every transition. In my opinion, of course.

    Bakazuki
  42. Ohhhhhhhhh yea~!! I have played the game …

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Show Spoiler ▼

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