「We are friends, aren’t we?」
For all the Chie fans out there, this was your episode. If you thought that she couldn’t get any cuter, just wait until you see the young Chie meeting Yukiko for the first time. With those hilarious facial expressions, it is no wonder that so many of her friends and classmates are unable to resist her charm. She even does a great impression of Edvard Munch’s The Scream!
After the occupants of the Velvet Room remind Yuu that his power grows with the strengthening of his social bonds, it made sense that this week would delve into the backstory of another one of his friends. I don’t mind this formula yet since the investigation into the murders has just begun and it allows us to learn more about the other members of the investigation team. The latest disappearance involving the Midnight Channel hits close to home once again with Yukiko the victim this time around. As her best friend, Chie had quite the emotional roller coaster ride as a result. Her entire personality was laid
bear bare this week, from her steely resolve to rescue Yukiko from the Midnight Channel to the hidden and suppressed parts that were brought to the surface by Shadow Chie. Having seen both the good and bad sides of Chie made me think that when you share your darkest secrets (sometimes unwillingly like in Chie’s case) and your friends stay by your side, you know those are your true friends. I’d probably think about sharing my secrets if I could get my own Chariot Arcana Persona like Tomoe Gozen too.
Aside from Chie, we learned more about some other characters as well. I definitely felt sorry for Nanako being left behind all the time by Dojima and now Yuu, but she seems to handle it rather well by watching quiz shows and doing laundry — although, come to think of it, those hobbies are a little unusual for kids her age. Some characters from the game had cameos in this episode, such as the Music Club’s Matsunagi Ayane and the Basketball Club’s Ichijou Kou and Nagase Daisuke. More importantly, Yuu’s increased stats in knowledge and understanding have somehow improved his sense of humor and personality too. He still may not be much of a speaker, but when he does have something to say it’s usually something insightful, a great one-liner, or both. For example, after seeing Yukiko’s show on the Midnight Channel, I bet Yuu just said what everyone was thinking. He still needs to become more expressive though so he doesn’t get arrested for possession of deadly weapons.
Thanks to the police, I didn’t get my wish to see the characters fighting with their own weapons, but the action in Yukiko’s Castle with their Personas was satisfying nonetheless. Yuu was finally able to use his wild card ability to summon Pyro Jack so I’m hoping we’ll be able to see a greater variety of Personas in future battles. The all-out attack sqeuence consisting of the Garu (wind) and Agi (fire) skills to defeat Shadow Chie was pretty neat to see, even if wasn’t possible in the game. I’m sure some of you have heard the rumors about various animation and production problems at AIC ASTA, but so far it seems that none of these concerns have materialized as the quality of each episode has stayed consistent, and even improving some. I’m hoping this trend continues so we can have a proper introduction to Yukiko and find out what that mysterious figure in the dark is up to.