「Let’s go get it! Get Pumped!」


“Live a Live.”

In this week’s episode of K-ON Macross whatever Persona 4 the Golden, the plot is once again on temporary hiatus as the Investigation Team engages in the quintessential experience of rose-coloured youth. No, nobody gets arrested. Rather they start a band. Doesn’t every teenager dream of being a rockstar at some point? Especially when exams loom? Well, Yu is already naturally a rockstar but the rest of team need to get groupies the hard way: actually learn an instrument. Or at least pretend they know how to play one for 23 minutes.

Like everything else that happens in P4GA this little subplot intimately involves Marie. Apparently Marie is already fluent in guitar but only when it comes to one tune. Presumably because it’s stuck in her head after hours of fusing. Persona fans know the feeling, I’m sure. In any case Marie’s character has done a 180 since her epiphany moment last episode and now she’s eager to experience all sorts of things. In fact, she’s in such a rush to do so that she’s actually coming to self-harm. Frankly it’s a bit of a mood dissonance to see her put in so much determination into something which, in the grand scheme of things, matters very little. It’s like she’s a terminal patient with only a year left to enjoy life.

Moving on. Despite the somewhat serious amounts of potential drama, what with the threat of Yosuke being deported and all that, the episode itself does not really take itself too seriously. There’s even a Scooby Doo moment, for crying out loud (however disappointingly lacking in Yakety Sax it may be). That, and liberal amounts of vibraslap action. Yes, the vibraslap, which ranks somewhere above the triangle and below the cowbell in terms of instruments you’re supposed to laugh at. I suppose this was a good direction choice because there seems to be neither the will nor the animation budget to make the concert a big climatic moment of the series. This kind of plot is by now an old cliché, and looked prettier in 2006 than it does now. The concert is nice but certainly not the point; the point, I suppose, was to impart an Aesop about perseverance, believing in friends, festina lente, all that good jazz.

Speaking of taking things slowly and the plot, it hasn’t actually been abandoned completely this episode. In fact it’s pushing along quite steadily, even if we usually don’t get to see it. Adachi in particular is coming into prominence, what with hints at an Adachi Social Link that had been developed in the background and rather targeted foreshadowing. And, of course, the preview is all him.


Reading the cards.

I never thought I’d say this, but we may be reaching a point of Marie saturation. Nay, Marie overdose.

I can appreciate the strong focus on Marie–as noted in previous episodes–because Marie is the New Big Thing in Golden. Sure, write her into scenes. That’s a good strategy that makes use of the anime’s status as an adaptation. But when doing so one must also be careful that this new character does not end up upstaging everybody else. This week’s episode is a good example: all that fuss about Rise putting on a show was actually about Marie putting on a show, with everyone else as support. There is a real risk of Marie turning into some sort of Mary Sue character because everything is revolving around her. Of course, this is not actually true–we know that the rest of Persona 4 is playing itself out off-screen–but that’s what the audience sees every week because we’re either only delving into Marie-related activities or writing her into non-Marie ones. Sure, it may not be the intended effect, but it’s the actual effect. No matter what the Bard may say, you can have too much of a good thing.

Thankfully, the previews for next week show no sign of Marie at all, which is a small miracle in and of itself. She’ll still no doubt show up–again, that’s fine–but hopefully they’ll make more time for all the other important things that could be going on. The key is not have Marie be the only important thing. Everything in moderation. We’re quite a ways through the original P4 material (we may very well be into November by the next episode) but we still have a full seven episodes left. Adachi may very well have an episode devoted entirely to him next week. It’s not a bad bet.




  1. This and previous ep were kinda dull compared to the hilarious 2nd and 3rd eps. They really need to visit a bar and get drunk on cola again. I wanna see Yu Narukami do his “okawari straight, okawari rock” thing again!!

      1. The animation did struggle a bit this episode. Animating people playing instruments in detail is hard, because you need to coordinate fingers with music and all sorts of finicky things. Even Kanji on percussion had problems syncing with the music.

  2. They might as well have renamed this “Persona 4: Marie takes over the show”

    I mean I seriously love character interactions in the original series: Chie and Yosuke, Kanji and Naoto, Kanji, Yosuke and Teddie and oh god the list goes on. But they’re all shoved to the side and Marie’s getting wayyy too much attention.
    I get that they’re not redo-ing the whole solve the mystery and find the killer thing but why remove so much of the substance the original series has to offer?

    I haven’t played Golden so I guess my disinterest in Marie makes sense. But yeah, definitely Marie OD. Tsundere’s are not my favorite type of character >.<

    1. I’m pretty sure this series is trying to nail the content that Golden added, which happens to be a lot of Marie content. Up until now, only the first episode was really part of the original game/anime and the actual plot of the series as a whole.
      Personally, I’m not surprised that this happened, because this has been made solely for viewers of the first anime season, or those who’ve played one of either versions of the game.
      And let’s be honest on that note; why rehash the story again just so it could add some scenes with Marie? Might as well watch the first season plus this one. (which might make more money too)

      1. Yeah I get what you’re saying and it makes sense. But I wish they’d balanced out the spotlight on the characters a little bit and given some more love to the others too. The people who haven’t played Golden might find Marie thrust into their faces and given too much importance. Given the lack of building up to her introduction like it would have happened in the game, this just feels too sudden.
        But again, your point stands. We’ll just have to deal with it.

      2. Proliferation of Marie is understandable and I will never suggest that her presence is irrelevant. Her appearances can definitely be justified within the grand scheme of the narrative. We must also consider, though, how the persistent focus on her affects the viewing experience of this anime as a whole. Referencing the game is well and good but in the end P4GA must stand on its own feet. And we would be selling it far too short if we considered it just a collection of animated scenes from the game.

        I suppose the problem isn’t the focus on Marie per se; the problem is the focus at the expense of everything else. Persona 4 has very diverse cast but most of the time they are relegated to comic relief duty. Yes, we know that they actually all have their own little stories. Yes, we know that there’s actually more to Persona 4 than Marie’s character development. But what we are presented with, what we actually see in this anime, is Persona 4 set to a very specific filter. It’s like looking at the world through coloured lenses; sure the Emerald City is cool and all but eventually you’re going to get sick of all that green.

        (As an example, ask yourself this: did Marie really have to sing this episode? It’s great service for Marie (and Hanakana) fans but her sudden ascension to vocalist does not actually add all that much. Again, I’m not begrudging Marie’s role (although the anime has not really come to explain why exactly she’s important). I just think it’s unhealthy to have any one character turn into a centre of gravity.)

      3. Surely, a transition from a story focusing on many characters to focusing on a single one is a haphazard one on its own. I’m not defending P4GA when it comes to this, I’m just considering the choice to have Marie get this much screen-time from A-1’s point of view. I think that similar amounts of development could’ve been condensed into fewer episodes, so that other episodes could focus on other topics entirely. Especially since the main reason for her appearance would connect to that anyway. I wouldn’t know who else would get the spotlight in those free spots, though. That aside, I can’t cast an argument against Passerby’s fine analysis.

      4. I’m pretty sure this series is trying to nail the content that Golden added, which happens to be a lot of Marie content.

        Its not really. There’s not much content on her on the game. You can actually count Marie’s presence in the game with one hand.
        1) Her Social Link
        2) Her Dungeon event
        3) The Valentines event (which actually applies to all P4’s love interests)
        Show Spoiler ▼

        That’s about it.

  3. Presumably because it’s stuck in her head after hours of fusing. Persona fans know the feeling, I’m sure.

    Funny thing is, P4G actually changed this because you actually choose what abilities to inherit after. Even more shocking you could arrange the skill set of your persona to make the skill choosing during the easier during battle. It’s actually stunning that it was only implemented now. Not even P3P had that.

    This episode is basically and adaptation of P4G’s concert event. And once again its written to have Marie written into it when she wasn’t present on the the game itself. In the game it was supposed to be a mini-concert with the characters bonding over the concert as well as very subtle foreshadowing because Namatame was in the aduience.

    Let me just say this, during the actual release of P4G, Marie was very divisive, her biggest critics said she was bad self-insert on the established story. I was pretty neutral on that, because I never thought her presence really affected the story all that much due to her minimal presence. Sadly I can’t really defend her here, because the narrative has become all about her. Her blatant shilling here isn’t really doing the pro-Marie camp any favors.

  4. You’re bringing up a pretty good point. I think I might get sick of Marie too if things continues this way but seems like the staff themselves are well aware of it since it looks like it’s Adachi time now, so in the end everything should turn out fine.

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