「We’ll all meet at the AMAGIYA Hotel」

Until Hanasaku Iroha’s second season comes to fruition, I guess I have to make do with watching Ohana Yukiko come full circle and finally accept how much her family inn means to her – which combined with Yuu and the boys’ hijinks and hilarity, make this episode of Persona 4 golden (excuse my terrible pun).

After both Chie and Rise’s ships inched ever closer to the safe embrace of Yuu’s harbor, my hopes were high that Yukiko would catch up and then surpass them in this episode, especially after she asked him and Nanako to stay the night at her place. However, visions of my favorite heroine finally taking her rightful place by her gigolo’s Yuu’s side were dashed by Kuma’s hard of hearing, Rise’s meddling, and a desperate Investigation Team looking for something to fill the emptiness left in the wake of the school festival. As evidenced by their half-hearted arm raise, neither Yukiko or Yuu were too excited by the notion of having this many “third wheels” getting in the way of what could have been a wonderful night together.

Karmic payback for ruining Yukiko’s plan may have come at everyone’s expense, but for us, it gave plenty of laughs (and fanservice). It was especially hilarious – and rewarding in a way – to see the homophobic Yousuke finally learn the value of good bear hug, courtesy of Ohtani and Kashiwagi’s wailing, but the best of all were the antics of the group as a whole. You can’t have a good onsen episode without the characters showing some skin, and this time, the characters weren’t just polygons or static drawings either. Ah, the wonders of animation. While the classic “guys walking in on girls at the onsen” has been well tread before, I didn’t mind one bit because I think this is the most we’ve ever seen of Naoto‘s feminine side – which leads me to my next point.

I think one mark of a good adaptation is when the characters are just as well-developed and memorable as the original, and while this might not apply to all the characters so far because of episode time restraints, the writers have done a brilliant job in at least making Naoto even more adorable than what I remembered from the original game itself. Now if only the writers could have added in more of the story behind Yukiko choosing a future career at the Amagiya Inn instead of glossing over it like they did with Rise’s motivations behind returning to her career as an idol.

What the writers have excelled at is their take on the game’s comedic situations, which have been top-notch as of late. Knowing what to leave in and what to take out is always a daunting and potentially controversial task (just like taking screencaps!), but overall I think they’ve done a great job with keeping the funniest material and then adding their own unique twists on them. I especially like how the normally happy-go-lucky and calm duo of Yuu and Kuma were so devastated when Nanako asked them if they were perverts – for guys like us, there really is nothing worse than losing the respect of your adorable (and impressionable) young relatives. Even though Yuu kept the warning letter hidden from the group so that they could enjoy their fun night at the inn, it looks like he can’t keep it from them forever as we head back into the investigation in the next episode. Hopefully, the writers can learn from what they’ve done well with the comedy, and apply it to other aspects of this adaptation as well. Or they could give us more Naoto – I’d be okay with that too.

* Full-length images: 01, 08, 10, 31, 34




  1. The truth about Naoto’s chest X3
    oh come on dont give me those eyes I’m sure everyone who played the game wanted to find out about those clinical results and in this ep we got to see it. X3

  2. Enjoyed this episode for its comedic moments, which are closely tied to the game. Poor Yuu being called a gigolo from Nanako and then a pervert. That ghastly wailing sure scared the men and looks like Kanji and Kuma take the brunt from Ohtani and Kashiwagi (monsters indeed).

  3. Nanako used “learned new word”(Gigolo) and “innocent stare”! It’s super effective! LOL and Margaret pwning Igor. I love P4 being comedic and funny than the drama and action scenes. Yu’s “Let’s gather our courage and stand our ground!” line, reminded me of Araragi’s lesson with Hachikuji. Great episode, thanks for the write up, Verdant.

  4. Yuu the ultimate gigolo. sort of 2 maxed stats to become the godly gigolo.
    so right now kanji, rise & yukiko has reached max social link i guess.

    they even used the shadow boss music for the Ohtani and Kashiwagi part.


  5. Naoto is so cute XD She is becoming one of my favorite character as each episode goes by.

    I do hope the story will move forward after this. Even though it’s cute and funny I think they focused too much on their daily lives. Time to go into the TV and do more Personas 😀

  6. That hotspring scene… I don’t have enough blood!!

    Margaret never fails to make her presence known. I loved how Yuu was worried the second he heard “fortune-teller” from Nanako XD She’s just jealous he doesn’t spend more time in the Velvet Room 😛 That song was also pretty awesome… and a little touchy for those in the know.

    Was really happy with what they did with Yukiko’s S.Link here. Wasn’t sure at first when Yuu didn’t really get involved, but the ending fixed it. Yukiko’s giggle-fits are cute 🙂 Not at cute as Naoto, but still cute!

  7. thanks for the post, verdant 🙂
    I really like the episode… Yuu and the guys were great… but for some reason, I feel like Yuu from time to time become more God like than human (due to his awesome stat, of course) 🙂
    I don’t mind the comedy… but I really wish they could do more story oriented episodes… but heck, more Naoto is always good!
    ps. Did Margret and Elizabeth really sing that song together in the game?

  8. Noriko and Kashiwagi: The elite mooks boss battle tht got interrupted.
    Poor guys, the girls the one who use the wrong bath….
    This really is one of the best in 2012 so far. And this is coming from a guy who only get interested in SMT cuz of this anime.

    Last but not least,
    Its finally Naoto turn for fanservice.

  9. As someone who hasn’t played the game i enjoyed this episode because the comedy was much better than last week. The animation still sucks, but at least this show is good at something pretty well. But can we please get to the mysteries, now with only 5 episodes to go?

    When Nanako was saying “G-G..” i was thinking “Gigolo?” and damn I can’t believe I was right! Dojima, be a dad! LOL at Margaret singing, pretty good and Igor’s reaction = not amused. Narukami is still a fun character to watch, deadpan humor at its finest.

  10. Of course Yuu is a gigolo. EVERYONE wants him. His swag makes the girls panties wet and gives the guys odd feelings. Admit it straight guys, you find Yuu attractive. But do not be afraid, it only means you are human.

  11. This episode tuned out better then i thought. They managed to cram most of the gangs hijinks from this section of the game and even add a new ones. Even adding in Yukiko’s S.link, to finish things off.

    Yuu should have took one for the team and ‘distracted’ Kashiwagi, with his new found power. lol

    Show Spoiler ▼

  12. Thanks for the review Verdant, as always !

    That episode was dead on, even funnier than the in-game version. Speaking of which, they didn’t changed much here:
    Show Spoiler ▼

    (Nitpicky ? Possibly…. but it’s fun to do, so… and it’s a good way to monitor how well they follow the source material)

    Next week is gonna be harsh… really harsh…

    Thanks again Verdant !

  13. I don’t get why people keep hoping there’s going to be a canon-ship. The style of the game allowed the player to choose a path… the anime staff can’t just go and follow one. The series will end with no definite ship… hence the gigolo joke.

  14. I’m pretty mad at how Rise’s social link was done and then seeing how decent and well informed they made Yukiko’s. Yukiko’s S.Link in my honest opinion doesn’t quite live up to one of the best of the group, and Rise’s is actually pretty deep and a bit more complicated to understand completely(which is why people seem to only think the simplest of her and don’t’ go further in-depth to her character.) I guess there’s always the game to help people understand more of her. On another Rise topic, love how she resembles Chun-Li this episode, she even has quite the stance during the bucket scene haha.

    In any case, nice episode, better than the festival. The Naoto and Nanako scene was epic.


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