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Persona 4 The Animation Complete Collection Blu-Ray (anime review)

Title: Persona 4: The Animation Complete Collection on Blu-ray

Director: Seiji Kishi

Studio: AIC ASTA & Animplex

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks / Section 23

U. S. Release Date: October 10th, 2017

Format: Blu-ray, 12 episodes, 305 minutes

Genre: Game Derivative, Murder Mystery, Action / Adventure. Fantasy

Overall Personal Grade: B

Similar Titles: Persona Trinity Soul

Synopsis:

When Yu Narakami moves to the county form Tokyo he thinks his life will be dull and boring. Yu is about to find out that dull and boring are the furthest things from what he will find in the sleepy town of Inaba. Shortly after Yu arrives he begins to make friends and is told of a strange show that only comes on at midnight on rainy nights. It is called the Midnight Channel and is believes to show you who your true love is, but in reality it is showing who is going to be the next person to die.

Shortly after all the weirdness starts Yu discovers that he can enter the TV, so with his new friends they head to the local Mega Store, Junes, to find a TV large enough for them to enter. Yu and his two friends Yosuke Hanamura and Chie Satonaka journey off to the new world inside the TV. What they find is estrange place that is full of dark shadow creatures. They also manage to meet a new friend who is a strange looking bear, Teddy, that appears to be a hollow costly outfit. It doesn’t take long for them to run into a group of Show Monster and Yu discovers he has the power to control a fighter, or Persona. This large warrior takes on these shadows and does exactly what Yu tells him. Once they are all destroyed Teddy shows them how they can go home.

Now that they are intrigued about new world they discovered it becomes evident that it has something to do with the murders and they start on a journey to discover who the killer is. Along the way they gain new friends and also discover that they all have their own Persona. The only thing left is to sort out the mystery, can they do it?

Commentary:

It is never easy to create an anime based on a game without it becoming a long cut scene. Much of Person 4 felt just like that. The plot line seemed to carry the series well enough, but the involvement and character development lost its way somewhere midway though. In watching Persona 4 I thought back to Persona Trinity Soul which stood on its own and provided everything you needed for a solid series. I would have like to see the writing in Persona 4 to be as strong as it was in Trinity Soul.

I guess that the thing that stands out for me is the fact that P4 is not a game and forces the viewer to take more of a passive role. When ever that is required there better be some connection between the viewer and the characters on the screen. Persona 4 barely makes that connection and often looses it when the real mystery is in play.

Overall Grade: B

Persona 4 The Animation is a slick well crafted production that manages to be a solid cousin to the game. As an anime it falls short of the key elements needed to make a good anime even better. Weak characters, minor disconnects in the plot and a lackluster dramatic excuse for a reason to exists leaves me flat.

For all of the Persona 4 game fans this release is a must own, but for the rest of us it is a “maybe see”! It all depends on how curious you might be about the Persona franchise. If you want a solid anime, then seek out Persona Trinity Soul, if you want some light fun and action with a goofy Kuma then P4 is where it just might be at.

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