「Catch Me If You Can」

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When bears turn into boys, eat popsicles? This week’s episode was all about surprises and persevering through them, and even though I already knew most of the forthcoming revelations, this adaptation added enough of its own touches to keep things interesting. Having watched several previous shows that Kishi Seiji has helmed (Angel Beats and Kami-sama Dolls), I’ve come to appreciate the director’s knack for making the most out of the characters he’s given and adapting them so that they are both even more interesting, compelling, and probably most important of all, funny. Many of Persona 4’s characters already begin with these traits, but I’d say his influence on their animated versions is still undeniable. A couple of examples that stand out are Kuma, Chie, and Mitsuo – Kuma is even more awesome than in the game, Chie was never this cute, and Mitsuo was nowhere this creepy either.

Does it still count as a trap when the character in question is a bear? If so, I’m nominating Kuma for the Best Trap of 2012 (as a continuing show, it’s not eligible for 2011). For an episode that was presumably about Mitsuo and his proclamation that he is the killer, Kuma easily trumped him with his own revelation – there is a bishounen boy inside the suit! Yukiko and Chie know a bishie when they see one too and saw it fit to give him an outfit to match. I’m just glad that I get to hear more of Kuma’s endlessly quotable lines outside of Mayonaka TV, although seeing his costume (or parts of his costume) in real world settings will probably never get old either. This is one surprise that no one saw coming, but I’m sure no one minds one bit either (except maybe Yousuke and his wallet).

Incorporating Aiya’s rainy day beef bowl and including the Investigation Team in the challenge was a brilliant move by the director. In the video game, Yuu was the only one who took the challenge and it was never really made clearly visible on how big the bowl actually was, so seeing it in all of its glory was quite the sight to behold. A bowl like that must be at least twice the size of Yuu’s head! Hearing him describe the attributes needed to finish the bowl made it all the more daunting too. If Yuu’s not quite cut out for competitive eating yet, he might still have a future as a comedian though. His timing with the reference to the beef bowl during the Team’s pep talk just cannot be taught.

Remember that weird student who asked Yukiko out way back in episode two and showed up again in a cameo appearance in episode nine? Nothing, not even having already played the game, could prepare me for how disturbing of a character Mitsuo is in this adaptation. He is much worse than the textbook stereotype of the ultimate otaku. Sure, Mitsuo plays 8-bit games in pure darkness and has walls adorned with posters of Risette, but he’s also a creepy stalker as can be attested by the numerous photos of Yukiko in his possession. He later adds a picture of Kanji to his collection, which coincidentally makes up half of the victims. That’s not even close to the worst thing about him though. Mitsuo’s defining trait would have to be his mental instability. A grown high school student, he picks fights with everything and everyone, from garbage bags, to six year old girls.

That’s right, Nanako is minding her own business and enjoying her favorite place in the world, and right when she is about to grab some food, Mitsuo swoops in from out of nowhere and grabs the last two packages. Not content to just leave with his ill-gotten prize and with ruining Nanako’s precious opinion of Junes, he proceeds to try and grab her, only to be thwarted by Yuu – at least, that’s what I thought Mitsuo was trying to do, because the mind of a creeper is too hard for me to comprehend. Bravo, Kishi Seiji, you almost made me punch my screen in hatred for a character, something the game never made me do. Mitsuo doesn’t learn his lesson either, later on grabbing Yukiko at school. I found this scene to be unsettling, but actually not because of Mitsuo’s actions. You would think that by now, Yuu would immediately recognize Mitsuo and step in to protect Yukiko, but instead Yuu just stands back and Kanji is the one who has to drive Mitsuo off. Maybe his popped collar was blocking his view earlier in Junes?

After learning so much about Mitsuo, it came as no surprise that he would admit online to being the one who committed all the murders and turn himself in. The evidence was beginning to stack up, and his personality and activities are suspicious as well. There are still many unanswered questions though. If Mitsuo turned himself in, why does he appear on Mayonaka TV? Will Margaret’s subtle flirting with Yuu be explored further? Will there be another trap or another surprise waiting for us? Even though I already know most of the answers, I’m still excited to see more of what this adaptation has in store and see its own spin, its own take on the story, and I think you should be too. After all, it’s not about the destination. It’s all about the journey. And lemonade and popsicles.

* Full length images: 09, 10, 16, 25, 26, 27, 29



  1. Thanks for the review Verdant ! Always appreciate it.

    Hmmm… let’s see:
    Show Spoiler ▼

    That’s about it. Wow, they made Mitsuo even creepier…

  2. Chie “I will never go on a groupe date cafe with you” …. Yeah yeah…
    I think I already know wich “chair” Narukami will choose during the cultural week….

    The all Kuma’s head joke made me laugh so hard, priceless !!!

  3. *crickets chirping* What’s that? No more Hiimdasy quotes? Too bad.

    I’m glad they provided more screentime for Mitsuo, mostly just to establish what a creepy dude he was. He was kinda just there in the game. But now, he dared to lay a finger on Nanako. The bastard.

    Other than that it was mostly just exposition and laughs as usual. I liked the gag with Teddie’s head though. And of course the “Portal to the Meat Dimension”. Its those little things you enjoy from the game that keep me entertained. I could have used a little more screentime for Rise though.

  4. lmfao mitsuo is one hell of a creep, when he tried to touch nanako i wanted to kick him away and protect nanako, thanks god yu came to the rescue

    i wished there was more of naoto and rise this episode

  5. I like how Kashiwagi’s screenshot has her looking like she descended from heaven. The bitch is glowing, lol.

    It’s obvious Narukami needed his courage at 5, to protect Yukiko from Mitsuo. Plus, Yukiko is Chie’s waifu, Kanji practically saved Mitsuo from a falcon kick to the balls by Chie.

    Good episode, too much popped up collar and not much Rise/Naoto though.

    Hope I’m not the only one curious as to how the battle will look like for the next episode. Now that Rise’s in the party, will she be popping up in the corner? I’m also curious as to how she’ll be using Himiko while Shadows are attacking from all sides. If I had to guess, most likely will have one of the party members terminate shadows that go for her, or the show can go by magically not have shadows attack her. There’s also the possibility Himiko can actually use attacks – which would surprise the crap outta me, and be totally awesome, but really doubtful.

    1. Judging from last week’s final battle where she scanned the dark teddy while Yuu protected her, I’d say you’re right and that’s probably the battle plan. I’m more curious as to whether we’ll be able to hear her cute battle quotes. I didn’t play the Japanese version of the game and really wants to hear Kugimiya’s version of “The enemy’s weakness is darkness. It’s doomed~~~”.

      1. Yup.

        I played the Undub version earlier this year to hear the voices. Rie sounds really cute, especially when she says her “Level up!” line. Of course, some constant battle quotes can get a bit annoying, both Teddie and Rise did, especially when they would troll with an obvious weakpoint/strongpoint. Nevertheless, I preferred Rise’s cute lines than Teddie’s. I also can’t wait for her little puns.. “It’s weak to electricity! Zap em’!” and “Hey, it’s weak to fire! That’s hot!” – were always my favorites along with “it’s doomed” lol. Ohh Rise..

  6. No one touches Nanako except Yuu.
    No one can look so cool with popped collars except Yuu.
    No one separates Yuu’s midnight channel investigation harem.
    Not when he hasn’t max their social links.

  7. The scene with Yukiko asking Yuu to head off together invoked (see what I did there P3 fans) the same feelings I had playing the game, mainly the turning point of which girl to choose, Yukiko or Rise. I chose Rise of course.

  8. I haven’t watched the whole episode yet, but I wanted to check if they included the scene that caused me to dislike Chie so much, and they only partly did.
    To anyone who hasn’t played the game: that money Chie stole from Yosuke was from his private account that he had been saving up for his own motorcycle, and had been for a while, because it’s his dream. She KNEW about this and stole his money anyways, which could be forgiven, because it’s something friends do, right? No. She never pays him back, she never even APOLOGIZES for going behind his back. I, for one, was just disgusted by that scene in the game, even though they tried to play it off as comedic.
    They’re really pulling all the stops to make Chie likable in the anime. :/

    1. Oddly enough, I’ve always been fond of the theory that the reason Chie stole money from Yosuke’s motorcycle fund was to protect him and the other bystanders of Inaba; you saw towards the beginning how clumsy Yosuke could be on a bike; you really trust him on a motorcycle?

      1. While that is a really nice theory, I find it more hard to believe that Chie is the type of person to think something out to that extent. She appears much more simple-minded than that (not bad thing at all, considering Yosuke is the same way). She needed money, and Yosuke’s account was right there.

      2. You know, if Yosuke would kill everything & everyone if he got a motorcycle or a vechile of any kind.. Then everyone in Persona 4: The Golden would be dead.

        I think Yosuke got Chie back at the Cultural Festival, so I would think they’re both in the wrong when dealing with eachother.

      3. That’s what I meant. If he was so clumsy and not a very good driver, than everyone in P4G would be dead, which they are not. So obviously speaking, he isn’t so bad and the theory doesn’t quite work. If anything, Yosuke just has bad luck riding his bike..

    2. To be honest as much as I love Yousuke, he does sometimes deserves the things that happen to him but I found that scene in the game to be awful. I could understand Chie suggesting that he hold off on a motorcycle until he gets more practice in but stealing his money? I can’t believe a real friend would do that and at least not apologies or return the money either when it was from his own private stash! I also didn’t really care for how the game tried to play it off as comedy or earlier in the game when she kicked him in the balls for breaking her DVD AFTER he told her he would buy her a new one. I do like Chie but I have never liked pointless violence against characters especially when it’s suppose to be played off as comedy.
      Yes, Yousuke can occasionally be a dick, and he does need a good smack but there’s also times when I felt Chie’s violence towards him was unneeded and very unfunny. :/

    3. Honestly I think, Chie taking Yosuke’s money was nothing compared to Yousuke’s dickery throughout the entire game. And much like Chie, he never apologized for the shit he pulls. That’s the strange thing I found about Yosuke, his social link makes him pitiful and sympathetic, outside it I really wanted to kick him in the nuts at points in the game.

      Thankfully, Yosuke’s dickery was also downplayed in the anime. So far anyway.

  9. I’m not sure Mitsuo’s character was intended to be quite as extreme as this. But I guess it’s okay for the adaption to have some leeway with the cast from the game. Not that they weren’t already doing that with the others of course ;p

  10. Now this is going to sound very negative, but the quality of the anime is getting worst by the episode in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I love this series (I’ve never played the game). However in majority of the screenshots taken, something is definitely off with the character’s body. Whether it’s the eyes or the shape of the head or even the size of the characters (when Yuu and Yukiko were talking to that high school detective near the end of the episode for example). At least the close up shots of the characters still look amazing…

  11. What are you talking about? When life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade! Throw it back at life, why should you get lemonade. Get mad! Make combustible lemons and burn life’s house down!

    Suppa Tenko

      Cave Johnson
  12. It is always about the destination! Win or go home…

    When life give you lemons, you toss it back in the their faces and say, “I said I want burger and fries, damn it! Go back and do it right this time…”

    When life give you lemons, go find a person with some tequila and party. Hell ya!

    When life give you lemons, go hire some Mexicans who can make you some lemonade at half the salary and open shop. Welcome to America, amigos! Land of the Free and Home of Capitalism…Oh Yeah!

    1. When life give you lemons, well it means your life sucked. Yup, end of story.

      Finally when life give you lemons, you say “Thank You…” because the guy right after you just got a pile of shits. Your pile of lemons look pretty awesome right about now. O_o

  13. Freaking love all the game references in the anime. So awesome. Like the description of the giant beef bowl or Yuu’s response when asked about the test. Seriously, I love this show.

  14. Wow, this was a really good episode. It took every that made Mitsuo a good candidate for serial killer and turned it into one of the most creeping and unsetelingbehaviors I´ve seen. I personally dislike the kind characters like Mitsuo because it suggest to the public that all otakus are this crazy obssesed individuals destinesd to be social outcast and danger to the comunity. News for for all of you out there, WE´RE NOWHERE NEAR AS DAMAGED AS THIS LUNATIC AND IT´S UNFAIR TO JUDGE A PERSON FOR HIS HOBBIES, W´RE THE SAME AS YOU JUST WITH DIFFERENT INTERESTS. Sorry, I had that feeling in my chest for a very long time and seing Mitsuo again and crazier than ever made me snap.

  15. So, never played the game but few things seem a bit weird to me.

    Show Spoiler ▼

  16. dear god, I hate what they did with Mitsuo :/

    I always found him a sympathetic character in the game and Show Spoiler ▼

    The anime dumbs it all down so much, I’m more and more annoyed with their hamfisted approach to everything. :/ They’ve gone so far overboard in showing his creepiness, it just looks silly, like they didn’t know what to do to with the character so they’re doing everything they can to make him look despicable. “OH LOOK AT THIS GUYY ISN’T HE JUST SO CREEPY DON’T YOU JUST WANT TO HATE HIM? NO? WELL LOOOOOOOK HE’S TREATENING THE LOVABLE LITTLE GIIIIRL WHAT A CREEEEP HATE HIM HATE HIM HATE HIMMM“.

      1. ah, sorry if it came off that way! He’s mentally unstable alright, I just don’t like how they’re so in-your-face about it in the anime. The scene with Nanako was… a little bit too much, in my opinion.

  17. “Bravo, Kishi Seiji, you almost made me punch my screen in hatred for a character, something the game never made me do.”

    Actually, IMO, that scene was a bit forced. I mean, we already know Mitsuo is a complete and total creep, but that was scene just screamed “we want you to hate him”. It just seem a bit pointless. However, I felt the earlier scene, where he takes his anger out on a trash bag, was much more disturbing without them shoving “hate his guts” it in your face. Everything about that scene was done exceptionally well, and it made for quite the unsettling atmosphere.

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