「Let it OUT! Let it GO!」

You remember that, last week, the Investigation Team was in deep trouble. This week: they’re not! Hurray!

Frankly, I wasn’t actually sure what happened this episode. Before, I was of the opinion that P4GA was actually doing rather well with pacing, that while they skipped a lot of material or had filler here and there in general it seemed like the staff knew what they were doing. For this episode? Not so sure. The mood whiplash was so violent that I think it left a mark. Bear with me a bit while we go through the episode and try to iron out what exactly went on in it.

Somebody who has played Golden will need to clear it up for me, because I’m not actually sure what the conflict of our overarching plot is anymore. Last week, we had Yu struggling against curse-god Marie and, surprisingly, losing. This week, it turns out…he didn’t? We have some bus metaphor (I think it’s a metaphor) and after that Yu is actually completely fine thanks in part to the magic of Margaret-ex-machina. What did the Persona-erasing trick of Marie’s do last week? Seemed pretty handy, but we’ll never know its secrets because we never see it again. Another thing I wasn’t sure of: the angel-feather symbolism. Aren’t we embroiled in Shinto mythology here? What does it mean? I have no idea.

It was in this state of general confusion that I suddenly realised that our conflict was gone. Not resolved, just gone. Like it had given us the slip while nobody was looking. Last week Marie was full on, ‘I want to die!’ and this week she’s quickly ‘no I didn’t!’ because she lost the stubbornness contest against Yu. Self-sacrifice is a noble idea and all, but there’s no dignity in it if she relents so easily and devolves immediately into just a damsel in distress. What was the point of the entire hike? Or all the exposition about the fog inside you? Apparently nothing, and the Investigation Team knows it. They all get their shiny Persona upgrades (even Yu busts out Izanami-no-Okami) not because they resolve their central internal conflict but because…Marie. Yeah, something like that. In fact, the only real conflict we had left, really, was Yu vs bamboo. Poor bamboo! It wasn’t even in his way!

Everything after Yu puts down the shrubbery like a boss, though, was quite a mood-shift. I actually liked the musical number we had as the dungeon disintegrated (because beating the boss always triggers the self-destruct). Shame. It was a nice dungeon, too. While we’re talking about shames, I hope nobody owned that cabin. All these meddling kids have been messing around in it and they broke the antique TV. Bah. And their snowball fights on your lawn, just to bully Yosuke. Heads up, Investigation Team: it’s not friendship if the relationship is based on abuse. I guess it was a good opportunity for Marie to show off the god powers she has outside the TV too, like snow-based telekinesis, Railgun impressions, and not feeling cold in that outfit. Also the last minute fan-service. See how much we had to do here? And that’s not even including the Valentines Day event, where I suppose Marie wins by default. Actually, wait—she loses to Nanako who stole a march on her. But everybody loses to Nanako. It’s not a real fight. Just like the first half of this episode.

 

Reading the cards
Normally in the penultimate episode I’d made a big deal about making predictions for the finale, calibrating our expectations, and generally doing something holistic in preparations. For P4GA, I think I’ll give that a pass. On one hand, we already know what’s going to go down. That big showdown with the real Big Bad, right? We saw that in the first season, or we played the game. I would have been fully prepared for it last week. After Episode 11, I’m not so sure. Episode 11s are supposed to ramp up to the climax. Start to pull all the subplots together into the main plot for that big cathartic resolution. We didn’t get that here. In fact, I’m sort of deflated now. I’m not sure what to expect anymore, sure, but I don’t find myself caring as much as I hoped I would. Would it be better if I didn’t know beforehand about Izanami? Or would the confusion make is worse? Feel free to give me our opinions in the comments.

What we do know is that Marie story is now largely resolved. The OP is back to blue instead of grey now and is sung by the HanaKana herself (squeal?). So Izanami, Big and Bad though she is, is more of a bonus round. Well, Marie’s still going to be intimately involved there. How will that change things? My guess: insignificantly in the grand scheme. Your guess may very reasonably be different. What we should agree on is that it better be pretty damn epic. P4GA needs to pull out the big guns next week to recoup the ground lost this week. Let’s hope that’s what happens.

 

Full-length images: 17.

 

ED2.11 Sequence

ED2.11: 「Dazzling Smile」 by 花澤香菜 (Hanazawa Kana)

Preview

21 Comments

      1. Seeing that they’re rewards from a certain someone’s requests in the game, it’s not surprising they’re that daring. Also for some reason Rise’s outfit reminds me of Madoka Magica. It must be because of all the pink.

        Zhinvu
  1. This was one of my favorite reasons for Marie’s addition in the game. Rise is usually the more aggressive one in pursuing Yu and her playful personality can sometimes annoy the others, so it was fun seeing someone who can get Rise all riled up this time.

    Zhinvu
  2. Well Passerby, here’s your explanation:
    In P4G, the boss battle with Marie results in a mandatory death much like the battle with Izanami at the end of the game. But then Yu comes back through the power of his bond with Marie and defeats her. As soon as they escape the dungeon, the game cuts to the bath scene animation. After that, the anime jumps to the P4G Valentine’s Day event, where Yu would be able to date the girl of his choice, AND/OR Marie. If you double date anyone other than Marie, your dates will all leave you, except Marie. The Nanako scene appears automatically after.

    GBiv
      1. That’s not actually all correct.

        There is no actual ingame consequences for dating multiple girls in P4G. No reversed links, change in the ending, or the like. Just a couple of extra scenes where the girls are sad, and makes the player feel like crap. Then completely forgotten. Though it is somewhat made up with a rather funny scene before that where Brotagonist’s swag is lampshaded.

        If anything, an RPG completionist would be encouraged to do multiple girlfriends on their first play-through so they can get most of the costumes that are exclusive to the links so they can carry it over to New Game+. Naoto’s Schoolgirl costume for example, can only be gotten on her Christmas Date event.

        fragb85
      2. One of the purposes of playing games for me is to have fun. Seeing crying girls is not exactly my definition of fun and while it is temporary, I have heard people who decided to not mess around simply to avoid those scenes on Valentine’s day.

        KF
    1. Not exactly. In game you fight Marie, then she talks about how the fog is inside her and all. You come up with the idea to just destroy the fog and save Marie, Marie agrees to try. She transforms to Kusumi-no-Okami, you beat her. Everyone thinks she died, but she was just unconcious (yay). Everyone escapes, tv breaks, Marie explains that was never a tv it was just a portal to the hollow forest. Snowball fight (boys vs girls), bath scene, then Valentines day.

      Shin
  3. As a fan of the Persona series, im mildly disappointed at how they adapted P4G. I understand that it cant be helped cutting out so much content, but those were the contents that I looked forward to…. oh well. Beggars cant be choosers

    Ginobi47
  4. 9:12 – A certain Imagine Breaker user’s trademark line. LOL.

    I know this is not a phrase unique to one character only one can make it sound awesome when followed up with a punch to the face.

    Izzard
  5. Wait a second…

    Did they voluntarily omit the kiss to avoid backlash… or didn’t they just care? FYI, the Valentine scene with Marie in-game ends with a shrinking black screen/fade-out with Marie about to kiss Yu, on the lips, for real. To be honest, considering how close Yu managed to get to her and how he’s related to the Velvet Room, like Marie was, I’d say that this pairing isn’t as “wrong” as some people claim. That’s like saying that Kanji x Naoto or even Teddie x Labrys (P4 Arena) aren’t obvious pairings. You’ll have to keep dreaming about your Chie x Yukiko pairing, but that’s beside the point. Also about Teddie, in Arena, he seems genuinely friendlier and closer to Labrys than any of the P4 cast that meets up with her.

    On another note… the chocolate… Don’t the girls have Internet on their cell phones to look up edible receipes? You’d think that they would crack a cook book at this point. I’m aware of the joke BTW, but still… Nanako’s a child… who mustn’t be traumatized…

    JiCi
    1. Teddie x Labrys (P4 Arena)

      Personaly, I enjoyed the Yosuke x Labrys shiptease a lot more then the Teddy bits… :p
      anyway… I agree with you completely, there is nothing “wrong” about it.

      Kyral

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