Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thoughts: Persona 4: The Animation episode 1

Chie is the one who should be sorry.
If the title of this blog (which should be Amagi Inn, unless I changed it again) is not apparent enough, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 is one of my all-time favorite games. Subsequently the anime adaptation was essentially the only show I was looking forward to for the fall, anything involving ponies notwithstanding. Still, I will admit that my expectations for the show were not very high. Part of Persona 4's beauty is the way the player defines the main character and story, and having it spelled out in a "canon" way felt somewhat bothersome. On the other hand I'm apparently in the minority for choosing Yukiko over Rise, so maybe I was just preemptively fanboying out. Anyway, onto the thoughts!

The first episode neatly condenses the game's opening sequence. Of particular note is the choice to use quite a few assets from the game itself. The background music is directly from the game's catchy soundtrack, including a nice use of Reach Out to the Truth during the episode's sole battle. Also used is the game's calendar to keep track of what day it is in the story. While this is a clever idea, I can't help but think that it clashes due to the fact that the anime has already rearranged and condensed a few events. In this case, the protagonist Yu (also know as Seta if you went by the manga) discovers his persona the first day he enters the TV World. I'm not complaining. If there was anything about Persona 4 that needed to be fixed, it was it's overly long opening act. However it does feel off, but at the same time it makes the plot feel somewhat refreshing.

Personally, I believe that the biggest challenge with making a direct adaptation of a game is keeping the content fresh for the die-hard fans who have played the game several times. Granted some people will want the source material to be followed to a T, but other fans will grow tired if the animation just turns out to be the game without requiring player input. Thankfully I fall into the latter category, so I think I will find enjoyment in Persona 4: The Animation. That is until anyone who isn't Yukiko is made canon love interest and I lose a bet I made.

(By the way, I'm trying to write on a regular basis, so any constructive criticism helps. Thanks!)

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