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