OP3 Sequence

OP3: 「True Story」 by 釘宮理恵 (Kugimiya Rie)
Watch the 3rd OP!: Streaming ▼

「No one sees the real me」

Most celebrities aren’t allowed the simple luxury of being able to shape their public identities by themselves. They’re usually surrounded with a cadre of publicists and managers who meticulously plan every aspect of their public appearances, and while some might not mind and even welcome this influence, Kujikawa Rise (Kugimiya Rie) is not one of those people.

I haven’t watched iDOLM@STER so I don’t presume to know much about the life of idols, but after seeing her working hectic schedules lasting until 4am and appearing in commercials that make no sense, I can definitely understand why Rise wanted to retire and move to a safe and relaxing town like Inaba. Her real personality was never able to shine through in public because as far as I know, the public persona of an idol is whatever the management agency wants it to be. Denied the chance to be herself, in Rise’s mind, the only choices left to her were probably either taking a hiatus or getting a Twitter account.

I’m not sure if Rise is trying hard not to be noticed in Inaba, but I’m pretty sure that wearing hipster glasses in a sleepy town like Inaba is bound to get you even more attention, cute as they may be. Maybe even the wrong kind of attention too, like stalkers. Even though this scene wasn’t in the game, I wasn’t fooled into thinking that the stalker was an unknown Yasogami High student – it just had to be Yuu. Who else could be so eerily silent while shadowing a girl all over a large department store, just to return her phone? This brotag needs to level up his expression skills some more. At least he was witty enough to compliment Rise on her unusual taste in cell phone accessories.

Seeing the Investigation Team getting together again to discuss the murder case was a welcome sight, reminding us that there’s more to this show than just Persona awakenings. Ideally, these scenes would be found in at least every other episode, although I hope that future meetings will be better animated than this week’s. It was a bit creepy to see nothing move other than their mouths, at least we were still treated to some scenes of Chie’s luscious legs and Yukiko’s quirky humor. Sometimes it seems that the team spends more time eating Aiya’s bowls than actually investigating, but luckily they were still able to catch one of Rise’s otaku stalkers who later turned out not to be the killer. Yuu, on the other hand, proves yet again that he’s a smart cookie, able to take advantage of the situation and bust out his origami skills to impress Rise. With all of their shenanigans, it’s surprising that the Investigation Team’s actions have gone unnoticed this long before catching Ryoutarou’s eye. For those of you who haven’t played the game, I’m curious what you think of Adachi, the bumbling rookie cop.

These later episodes of Persona 4 have done a much better job of fleshing out the newly introduced characters by stretching the story over two episodes instead of cramming everything into one episode. I would say that in certain ways it’s even better than in the game because we’re no longer constrained to Yuu’s viewpoint. We’re able to see Rise when she was still Risette and are treated to her final performance as well. I’ve noticed that for some reason, which I can’t quite put my finger on, the anime versions of Rise and Chie have been cuter than what I had remembered from the game. I wasn’t the biggest Rise fan before, but seeing her in animated form has changed my mind. I thought Kugimiya Rie did a great job too, using a voice that is usually not heard from her and playing Rise with just the right blend of sadness and melancholy as well. For all those commenters who have been anxiously awaiting Rise’s arc, I hope this episode has exceeded your expectations and even if it hasn’t, as they say, the best is yet to come.

* Kanji calling out Yousuke’s wandering eyes was awesome.
* What kind of commercial is “Your Future”?
* Another line no guy wants to hear: “You’re just like everyone else!”
* Full-length images: 1, 12, 14, 15, 23, 25, 32



  1. Hi Verdant,

    Do you think that they’ll change Rise’s Shadow from the game? It seems from the “Next Scent,” that they may have done so with the multiple Rises. I know the Shadow Rise version from the game was a bit risque. What do you think?

    1. Yeah, I’m not sure if the multiple Rises hinted at will be Shadow Rise, but seeing as they’ve stayed true with the appearances of all the previous Shadows, I would hope that they’ll stay the course.

  2. I love how Rise says she quits before promptly taking the stage. That’s professionalism right there folks.

    QUALITY on this episode aside, Rise’s introduction is much better than in the game. Yuu displays some smooth moves here, from returning Rise’s phone to the river scene. So Rise’s infatuation here has much beter context. Its good to see Yu keep his ladies man status like the game. I also like how Rise’s disappearance was done better here. The game was just face-palm worthy when the whole team abandoned her to chase the stalker.

  3. As someone who played the game, I really like how the anime went beyond the MC’s pov. I think doing the some of the social links before the persona awakenings is a better formula for the anime. Show Spoiler ▼

  4. next week on persona 4:
    oontz oontz oontz oontz oontz oontz oontz oontz oontz oontz

    the production team sure is pushing the noodle-delivery girl very hard. c’mon yuu, form a social link with her already.
    “You’ve become friends with Aiya.”
    “Aiya will now deliver noodles X2 faster for you.”

    1. Show Spoiler ▼

      Definitely waiting for that one with Aiya.
      Or maybe then she’d be able to deliver noodles even into the dungeons? O_o
      you know, to heal HP, fatigue and such 😀

  5. For those of you who haven’t played the game, I’m curious what you think of Adachi, the bumbling rookie cop.

    Just by reading this sentence, I got a bad feeling about the rookie that I probably shouldn’t have. Shit son. I hope I didn’t just come to the right conclusion.

    1. I was thinking EXACTLY the same thing. If that’s Verdant’s idea of being subtle, the poor boy needs practice. Unless he did it on purpose as misdirection, in which case he is a genius.

    2. I played the game, but even before I played the game, I accidentally spoiled myself even though I tried so hard not to because I ordered the artbook. The fact that Nanako doesn’t have all that many facial expressions in the game compared to other characters even though she’s a main support cast interests me. And a particular support character who got only half a page had plenty of facial expressions and half of them overly sinister was alarming…

      So all I can said is that I spoiled myself before the game itself spoiled me for the anime. It’s a chain spoiler man. Though dunno if anyone got to the secret last level, where you face off against you know who and understand you know what gave everyone their powers. I felt really threw off by that cause the ultra baddy behind it all didn’t even get a page in the artbook. (well, at least not in the form I’d recognize.)

      But just to throw it in the mix, I vote for anime changing the ending and giving everyone an Aizen plot-twist and make the kind Ryoutaro into Aizen Jr.

    3. Don’t worry too much. I won’t say what happens with Adachi, but this series is known for making side characters significant in various ways. Just knowing the names of one or two shouldn’t hurt all that much. Anyway, the person you really should be paying attention to is Nanako. No reason, just Nanako.

    4. Haven’t played the game, but the two cops remind of similar characters in Chaos;Head and we all know how that turned out. Not gonna say for sure but Adachi is sure suspicious.

  6. “You’re just like everyone else!”

    Geez Rise, why don’t just go for a groin attack instead? Those are lethal words to use on any man. Nice job pointing this out Verdant as these words really stuck out as I was watching this episode.

  7. Best episode.

    “Animated” Rise is extremely more likeable, even though I already loved her enough in the game. Glad they made the Rise/Yu SLink/Interactions earlier than just giving her a warning about being kidnap… Now, it’s a lot more “natural” to love Narukami, it also doesn’t make her look like so much of a flirt.

    “You’re just like everyone else!” – And that is why Narukami actually showed a bit of emotion.. He is definitely gonna prove her wrong.

    1. Cause “Everyone else” wouldnt risk their life to save you from some crazy shadowy TV world hah. That alone probably redeems him and caused Rise’s infatuation with him in the game.

    1. I’m sure he’s just happy to be able to flash it like that in such a way. I mean, c’mon, this is Inaba, it’s not like he gets to do stuff like this much.

      Show Spoiler ▼

  8. Thanks for the review Verdant, as always !

    Ok, what did they changed…
    Show Spoiler ▼

    That’s all I could find. There’s a lot of stuff that got altered, but it’s nothing major.

    P.S. You guys actually thumb me down for that kind of post ??? Seriously… it’s nothing offensive or idiotic. I’m just pointing out the differences between the anime and the game, that’s all. Furthermore, I now put everything inside spoiler tags, so if you haven’t played the game, which you SHOULD if you still have a working PS2, especially since it’s a game that came out in 2008, don’t reveal my comment. Yes, it might be nitpicking, but come on, it’s a funny thing to do… and it’s a nice way to check if the anime is faithful to the game or not, which so far they are at like 85%.

  9. With all those random commercials it would’ve been pretty cool to have some sort of commercial with a cameo for President Tanaka and his shopping show. Since it was in persona 3 and carried over to persona 4. Well, there are plenty of chances for more references. Like when they take a trip to a certian place….

  10. LOVED this episode. Very nice adaptation, and really nice how they worked in part of her S. Link. Plus like everyone’s been saying, it showed Yuu’s magnetism at its finest 😛 It was always a bit awkward how Rise was just all over Yuu right after her rescue for apparently no reason in the game, but now we have some nice building so it’ll be so much better. Despite that emotional outburst at the end (which was perfectly fair) she’s practically fallen for him already, so she’s done once he comes to rescue her 😛 I still doubt there will be an actual romance for Yuu, but Rise just became chief contender!

    It’ll be interesting to see what they do with next episode’s ending. If my guess is right, it’ll be quite the unbearable cliffhanger!

  11. another non-loli, non-cat Rie Character… that is always a welcome change 🙂
    for some reason I fell for Risa already… guess when Yuu had better specs, he can also make the girl that he interact with more appealing?

    Poor Yuu with the “you are just like any other guy”… worst breakup line ever!!!

    and what strike me is the white shadow covering the rookie police’s pic… and the suspicious uncle senior police… they seems to know more than they are let on. Without playing the game, it is hard to pick up anymore hint from here though 🙁

    can’t wait for next week… where we see how Yuu and his team rescue Risa
    thanks for the post, Verdant!!

    1. Its not surprising they know stuff. They been investigating the murders since day 1 after all. If a bunch of high school kids can draw some connection/similarities between the victims, how can a senior detective not?

  12. At first I was like “All right! It’s Rise!”

    But then I was like “Oh, They got Rie doing her voice…ugh.”

    Still, in the end her delivery isn’t quite her usual so it’s alright, I guess.

    However once they resolve her persona issue she’s gonna turn into every other Kugamiya character ever so I’m not looking forward to any of that.

    Guess this is it for me for this show.

    1. I was surprised that Rie could do a voice that doesn’t sound like a five year old girl, and then I hit up her myanimelist page.

      Some of these are really surprising, especially Kagura and Karin. Never though that she out of all people would be picked to play tomgirls.

  13. I’ve noticed that for some reason, which I can’t quite put my finger on, the anime versions of Rise and Chie have been cuter than what I had remembered from the game.

    Well… the in-game character models are very low-resolution, like you see how bad they are if you’re too close to them. If you’re referring to the portraits, that applies as well, because they can’t express every emotion with just a still image. That goes for every character. Case in point: in the previous episode, Yukiko and Chie look really embarrassed in their swimsuits… but in-game, it doesn’t look like much because the portaits lack some details.

    However, by comparing the anime cutscenes from the game with the entire episodes so far, I can’t really tell the difference; both look great and of the same quality.

  14. I never played any of the persona games, but from the storyline, I think the killer might be a shadow than a human at work…

    Did any notice that Yu never fought shadow Yu?

    Maybe his shadow is the one behind all the murders…Then again, that guy he first met at the gas station when he enter town was awfully suspicious.

    As for the rookie cop, won’t be awesome if he was the true killer. You can’t have a better twist than that.

    1. Shadow Yuu did in fact appear. Its Izanagi.

      The game explains this better, but Shadows are manifestations of repressed emotions and dark desires. Accepting ones shadow turns it into a Persona. Why did Izanagi manifest instantly? Because the game implies that the Protagonist has no social or psychological problems whatsoever. Its a pretty lame handwave, but that’s literally to only explanation given.

      1. Actually, I’m more inclined to think it’s due to the protagonist’s arcana: The Fool. In the tarot, the Fool represents both emptiness and limitless potential, the beginning of a journey.

        In the game, this is shown by how the protagonist is kind of a blank slate but you can develop him through different social links with a wide variety of characters. In each s.link, he plays a different role, for example, he’s a friend to Yosuke, a ‘big bro’ to Nanako, a teacher to the tower s.link, a ‘polite young man’ to the death s.link and so on. His social links show all the different facets and aspects of his personality and that, in turn, is reflected in his ability to call upon different persona of all the various arcana.

        However, this also could imply that the protagonist’s persona aren’t *wholly* him in the same way the other characters are with their persona. The protagonist’s persona are different aspects of him but they’re only parts, not a whole. This makes sense considering Show Spoiler ▼

        Basically, what that all of this means is that the protagonist’s status as the Fool gives him a measure of protection against his shadow from manifesting because his personality can’t be pinned down to a single source.

        Sorry about all the pseudo-intellectual fanboy lecture; I just really enjoy all the symbolism in the game and couldn’t resist the temptation to talk about it.

  15. ^_^. When I played the game, I found I struck a chord with Rise’s character. I’m glad she’s here, and I wish Kugimi’ had more roles where she wasn’t the highest pitched tsundere loli you’ve ever heard -__-. *sigh*

  16. How the hell could the rookie cop be the killer? He’s too darn stupid to plan enough to kill anyone. And there’s no way he could catch Kanji off guard, esp since Kanji was getting tired of just about anyone who bothered him. My money is on the guy classmate who tried to approach Yuki. Definitely one of those creepy otaku types. That creepy guy probably tried to approach the announcer and Saki(and eventually Yuki), but was turned down, so he got revenge.

    I’m also agreeing with that gas station dude idea. He sure fled the scene real quick when Dojima popped up. That sounds like more of a possibly than that cop.

  17. Nice combo attack by Yosuke, Kanji, and Chie! I like Rise’s character, can’t wait to see her Persona

    I also haven’t played the games, but I like chaos’s theory above. I find it weird that Yu just has all this power handed to him. I wonder how powerful his shadow would be…

  18. I loved a lot of things about this episode, but oddly enough the humor was one aspect that shone through to me the most.

    When Yuu made Rise an origami crane and she clumsily copied him, only for him to place another teeny tiny crane on her palm, that scene just blew me away; cuteness overload.

    Rise’s story was also interesting and touching, and even from an idol’s standpoint, she came off to me as relatable. Feeling like you have little or no say in your life is something I think a lot of people can empathize with, so now I’m very excited to see her Shadow.

  19. I’m not the only one who caught the Persona -Trinity Soul- reference, right?
    When the scene showed Rise in Chief Policewoman costume, and Adachi proposes that since Rise is in town, she could be the Chief-for-the-day!
    I was sooo happy, I was jumping in joy for 10 minutes. My sister said that I would look like I’m insane if I did it in public.

    I want to imagine Kakorin, Mekorin, Risette together.
    Though I get the feeling Risette is going to win over the audience far more easier than they did. I’m just saying.

  20. OMG! This episode man, full of Rise goodness! I wasn’t this awestruck when I saw her game counterpart. They certainly did better here.

    So from what I recall, next ep should beShow Spoiler ▼

    As for Adachi, he sure loves cabbages lol.

  21. I love Rise´s arc, it´s a blast the way her personality interact with the other girls, specially later in the game and besides, a character voiced by Rie Kugimiya is always a winner in my books.

  22. I’ve definitely been waiting for Rise’s arrival in the series. I really did like her character in the game and have been enjoying seeing her in this anime form. Agree it’s nice that we aren’t limited to just Narukami’s view. Seeing Rise’s last performance and getting a better understanding as to why she wanted to quit.

    The idea that she couldn’t express her true self would be a tough thing. Plus it’s not like the manufactured personality they gave her was something she’d rather be like. A lot of hard work and loss of identity.

    But yeah love how Rise has been handled so far. Making her really likable and Kugimiya Rie has done a great job with her.

  23. Wow! Rise was really sold in this anime adaptation, even the opening “Sky’s the Limit” which I love so much was even replaced by a dedication to her, much like shaga in ben-to.

    Great JOB on this episode, never could have imagined this on the game.

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