OP2: 「sky’s the limit」 by 平田志穂子 (Hirata Shihoko)
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「The Contractor’s key」
It’s refreshing to see a main character who is the strong and silent type. Whether it’s awakening to a Persona, finding out a classmate has been murdered, or discovering there’s nothing inside Kuma’s costume, it doesn’t matter because nothing fazes Yuu Narukami. Maybe that’s why he was chosen to fulfill a contract and receive a key to the Velvet Room. In any case, with his unique “wild card” ability and the Fool arcana, Yuu really is a “jack of all trades” and it’ll be fun tracking his status attribute increases from week to week too.
Like I mentioned in the series introduction, I’m more interested in watching the characters and their stories fully animated than in the fight scenes for this adaptation. I really believe that everyone will find a Social Link story that they can relate to or at the very least sympathize with. With this episode serving as an introduction to Yousuke’s storyline, it looks like the character development won’t take a backseat to the action and fighting. We all know someone like him who acts like a comedic foil most of the time, but underneath Yousuke has his demons just like everyone else in Inaba. Poor guy, first he finds out his crush is murdered and then he has to find out what she really thought of him too! At least he’s rewarded for the strength to face his true self with his very own Magician Persona, the Disco Ninja Frog/Deadmau5, I mean Jiraiya.
Sure, with all these Social Links it can be easy to forget that the Persona games are still role playing games at heart featuring plenty of action. It was a bit weird to see Izanagi flying around and fighting Shadow Yousuke in the first “boss” fight without much direct involvement from Yuu, so I’m hoping we’ll see some more action from the characters themselves (not just their Personas) and maybe see some weapons, named attacks, and character-Persona interactions. At least we know Yuu can land a punch, even if it was the wrong guy! Thank goodness he didn’t bring a golf club to fight with because that would’ve been dangerous.
I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of all the little references and homages to the game. The more relaxed pacing in the second episode allowed for a more subtle incorporation of various game elements, and so far AIC ASTA has done a commendable job of balancing these elements and not making me think I’m just watching someone play Persona. The background music was more muted and didn’t feel tacked on anymore, and I never thought I would have been so happy to see transition scenes of characters walking in the rain! With less time dedicated to setting up the plot and mystery, this episode was even more faithful to the minor details and events in the game. The humor that I enjoyed so much was given its time to shine, often courtesy of the lovely Chie (I’d gladly buy her a beefsteak or a Rainy Day Beef Bowl any time). We also were treated to a bit more of Yukiko’s aloof personality (although, who can feel sorry for a guy without any pupils) and more importantly, her dressed up in a kimono on TV. Thankfully I won’t have to wait long for more because it looks from the preview that we’ll get the full introduction to her story, as well as Chie’s in the next episode.
ED2: 「Beauty of Destiny」 by 平田志穂子 (Hirata Shihoko) feat. Lotus Juice
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