「It’s cliché, but so what?」
We have a pretty dense episode this week–so dense, in fact, that we had to cut out the OP. Good thing we still had time for Marie’s bad emo poetry; I don’t know what I’d have without it.
The reason why we’re so pressed for time this week is because we’re finally reached the first climax of our narrative–at least the first one we’ve had on screen. It’s time for our hero Yu to confront the villain Adachi, and in doing so produce more action in one episode that the previous six put together. It’s nothing too crazy but for those of you who have been in Persona withdrawal ever since the first hit in Episode 01 then hopefully the multiple summonings and flashy effects will tide you over for now. And if that’s not your thing there’s nothing like good old fisticuffs to beat some sense into your enemies. It’s a surprisingly more engaging watch than just Yu and Adachi throwing their Pokemon at each other; it’s more personal, emotional and I suppose just generally grittier. You can’t maximise testosterone without going head-to-head.
Of course, the clash between Yu and Adachi is not just physical; it’s also philosophical. Remember how last week I was wondering why they didn’t try to make Adachi more sympathetic? Apparently they were just saving it for this episode. That’s right, folks, it’s time for the flashback montage! Admittedly it doesn’t paint Adachi as much more than an asocial kid with ego issues but getting a glimpse of him before he turned into a homicidal maniac is still somewhat humanising. And I suppose he really is the underdog, of sorts, especially when paired against ubermensch Yu. And I suppose we did complete his Social Link. That’s worth something.
Speaking of people we’re supposed to sympathise with, this episode also marks the time for P4GA to cash in all those episodes it spent developing Marie because this episode gives her one last hurrah after triggering some awfully tall death flags. And while she’s certainly not dead or anything, here’s the test: what do you feel about her sudden disappearance? For that matter, how did her little pep talk in the middle go? What emotions does she elicit in you now that she’s gone? At the very least I don’t expect Marie to show up next week; it’d be interested to see the effect of her absence.
Reading the cards
So a lot has happened, sure, but at the same time a lot didn’t happen. While Adachi got a lot more attention than he did in the original anime, that other villain–remember Ameno-sagiri?–was disposed of with neither dialogue nor fanfare. Hopefully the last one will actually have some purpose other than giant pinata. At least she seems to actually have dialogue; that’s a good sign. Since she seems to be tied to Marie quite closely there’s only so much they can shaft her.
As for next week, it’s the Christmas episode. It should be noted that in Japan Christmas Eve does not have the same religious connotations as it may have in some Western cultures, and has kind of taken a flavour of its own as a lover’s occasion like Valentines. That is, it’s time for dates! And it seems that even without Marie around Yu is…quadruple booked? And this is without even counting the guys? It’s a good indication that we’re back to some lighter hijinks to mix up the mood a bit after our recent seriousness. I’m looking forward to complete comedy, but I’m always open to surprises.