Persona 4: The Animation

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Persona 4: The Animation
P4A promo.jpg
Promotional artwork for the first Persona 4: The Animation television series featuring Yu Narukami (foreground), Yosuke Hanamura (left), Chie Satonaka (right), and Yukiko Amagi (background).
ペルソナ4
(Perusona 4)
Genre Fantasy, Mystery, Supernatural[1]
Anime television series
Directed by Seiji Kishi
Written by Yūko Kakihara, Mitsutaka Hirota, Jun Kumagai
Music by Shōji Meguro
Studio AIC ASTA
Licensed by
Network MBS, TBS, CBC, Animax
English network
Original run October 7, 2011 (2011-10-07)March 30, 2012 (2012-03-30)
Episodes 25 + 1 OVA (List of episodes)
Anime film
Persona 4: The Animation
-The Factor of Hope-
Directed by Seiji Kishi
Written by Yūko Kakihara, Mitsutaka Hirota, Jun Kumagai
Music by Shōji Meguro
Studio AIC ASTA
Released June 9, 2012 (2012-06-09)
Runtime 86 minutes
Anime television series
Persona 4: The Golden Animation
Directed by Seiji Kishi
Tomohisa Taguchi
Written by Jun Kumagai
Music by Shōji Meguro
Tetsuya Kobayashi
Studio A-1 Pictures
Licensed by
Network MBS, TBS, CBC, BS-TBS
Original run July 11, 2014 (2014-07-11) – ongoing
Episodes 12 (List of episodes)
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Persona 4: The Animation (ペルソナ4 Perusona Fō?, stylized as "P4 Persona4 the ANIMATION") is a television anime series based on Atlus' PlayStation 2 video game, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4.[2] The story revolves around Yu Narukami, a young teenager who moves to the town of Inaba, where a mysterious string of murders is taking place. Upon discovering a distorted TV World and acquiring a mysterious power known as "Persona", Yu and his friends decide to investigate the murders and save others from being killed.

The first series, produced by AIC ASTA and directed by Seiji Kishi, aired in Japan between October 2011 and March 2012 on MBS, TBS, CBC, and Animax, with an original video animation episode released in August 2012. A condensed film adaptation, Persona 4: The Animation -The Factor of Hope-, was released in Japanese theaters in June 2012. The series was licensed by Sentai Filmworks in North America and by Kazé and Manga Entertainment in the United Kingdom. Critical reception to the anime series has been generally positive as it has been considered a faithful adaptation of the video game despite criticism to the pacing and animation issues. A second adaptation based on the game's PlayStation Vita port, titled Persona 4: The Golden Animation, began airing in Japan from July 10, 2014. Unlike the first series, this adaptation is being produced by A-1 Pictures and is licensed in North America by Aniplex of America.

Plot[edit]

The story follows Yu Narukami, a quiet teenager who moves to Inaba to live with his uncle and cousin for a year due to his parents working abroad. After looking into a rumor about a mysterious 'Midnight Channel' that appears on televisions during rainy days, Yu and his new friends, Yosuke Hanamura and Chie Satonaka, discover a strange world hidden inside the television, inhabited by strange monsters known as Shadows and a curious bear-like creature named Teddie. It is here that Yu awakens a mysterious power known as 'Persona', which allows him to fight against the Shadows. Yu and his friends soon discover that this TV World is related to a mysterious string of murders, in which dead bodies appear during foggy days. With the Midnight Channel warning them of potential victims, Yu and his friends, along with Teddie, form an investigation team dedicated to rescuing people who are thrown into the TV before they fall prey to the Shadows and finding the culprit behind the incidents. As the story progresses, the team rescue various people who become their new allies after overcoming their own Shadows and gaining Personas of their own, including Chie's best friend, Yukiko Amagi, delinquent Kanji Tatsumi, idol Rise Kujikawa, and young detective Naoto Shirogane. Together, Yu and his companions face up against the threat of the Shadows whilst also making the best of their youthful school life.

Persona 4: The Golden Animation expands on the series with additional scenarios adapted from the Golden version of the game, in which Yu encounters Marie, a girl from the mysterious Velvet Room who is seeking to regain her memory.

Cast and characters[edit]

Production and release[edit]

Promotional artwork for 2014's Persona 4: The Golden Animation with Yu Narukami and the new character Marie.

In the initial Persona 4 game the main player-controlled character is known simply as the Protagonist while in the anime adaptation he was given the name Yu Narukami.[16] In an interview with the game director Katsura Hashino, he drew attention to the way in which the Protagonist remains silent and emotionless throughout the game. This left the player to discern what emotions the character should have shown at any particular point. Hashino elaborated on this particular character trait becoming an obstacle for Persona 4: The Animation's director Seiji Kishi since the character would undoubtedly have to speak and show some level of emotion. In the same interview Kishi admitted the difficulty of the silent Protagonist's transition into the anime without destroying what Hashino had already established.[16]

The television anime adaptation of the game, produced by AIC ASTA and directed by Seiji Kishi, aired for 25 episodes on MBS between October 6, 2011 and March 29, 2012.[17] The series features most of the returning cast from the video game, whilst voice recordings for Igor were taken from the game as his actor, Isamu Tanonaka, passed away in January 2010.[17][18] Aniplex released the series on DVD and Blu-ray Disc between November 23, 2011 and August 22, 2012, with the first volume containing a director's cut of the first episode and a bonus CD single.[19] An additional 26th episode, featuring the story's true ending, was included in the 10th BD/DVD volume released on August 22, 2013.[20] Sentai Filmworks licensed the series in North America, simulcasting it on Anime Network as it aired and releasing the series on DVD and Blu-ray in two collective volumes on September 18, 2012 and January 15, 2013 respectively.[21][22][23] Like the Japanese version, the English dub retains many of the original voice actors from the English version of the game.[24] Kazé and Manga Entertainment released the series in the United Kingdom in three BD/DVD combi boxsets released between December 24, 2012 and July 22, 2013. Due to licensing issues, the North American BD releases omit the Japanese audio track, though it is still present on DVD releases, as well as all UK releases.[25] A film recap of the series, titled Persona 4: The Animation -The Factor of Hope-, was released in Japanese theaters on June 9, 2012, featuring a condensed version of the story and new scenes of animation.[26]

On May 1, 2014, Atlus announced that a second television anime adaptation titled Persona 4: The Golden Animation, is being produced by A-1 Pictures. The series began airing on MBS' Animeism programming block from July 10, 2014.[27][28] Based on the PlayStation Vita port of the game, Persona 4 Golden, the series focuses on new scenarios not featured in the previous series, largely revolving around Yu's encounter with the game's new character, Marie. The series is directed by Tomohisa Taguchi with Kishi serving as chief director, and features the returning cast from the previous games and anime.[29] Aniplex of America has licensed the series in North America, simulcasting the series on Crunchyroll, Hulu, and Daisuki, as well as their own Aniplex Channel, as it airs.[30] The fourth BD/DVD volume, which will be released on December 10, 2014, will include an OVA episode depicting an alternate ending.[31]

Music[edit]

The series' songs and music were composed Shoji Meguro, who had previously worked on the original game. Additionally, Tetsuya Kobayashi contributes to the soundtrack for The Golden Animation.

The first series, Persona 4: The Animation, used several pieces of theme music; five opening themes and five ending themes. The two main opening themes are "sky's the limit" by Shihoko Hirata, used for the first twelve episodes, and "key plus words" by Hirata and Yumi Kawamura, used for episodes thirteen onwards. The original broadcast version of the first episode uses "Pursuing My True Self" by Hirata, originally recorded for the video game. The opening themes for episodes 9 and 15 respectively are "True Story" by Rie Kugimiya (as Rise Kujikawa) and "Burn My Dread" by Kawamura, originally used in the Persona 3 video game. The two main ending themes are "Beauty of Destiny" by Hirata featuring Lotus Juice, used for the first twelve episodes, and "The Way of Memories (Kizuna no Chikara)" (The Way of Memories -キズナノチカラ-, "The Way of Memories (The Power of Bonds)") by Hirata, used between episodes 14 and 23. The ending themes for episodes 14 and 18 respectively are "Koisuru Meitantei" (恋する名探偵, "The Love Detective") by Yui Horie (as show-within-a-show fictional character Loveline) and "Honto no Kimochi" (ほんとのきもち, "True Feelings") by Hirata. The ending theme for episode 25, the "True End" OVA, and the film is "Never More" by Hirata, originally recorded for the video game.

For Persona 4: The Golden Animation, the main opening and ending themes respectively are "Next Chance to Move On" and "Dazzling Smile", both performed by Hirata. The opening theme for the first episode is "Shadow World" by Hirata, originally recorded for the video game, while "key plus words" is reused for episode eight.

Soundtrack CDs[edit]

All music composed by Shōji Meguro.

Reception[edit]

The anime series has generally received positive critical response by publications for anime, manga and other media. Blu-ray's Jeffrey Kauffman was initially sceptical about the plot until the revelation of the supernatural and wondered how appealing would be the case's outcome.[32] A reviewer from T.H.E.M. Anime Reviews noted that while the pacing and the animation often had issues "Persona 4: The Animation is about as good an adaptation of the video game as you could hope for".[33] Consistent praise was given to the characterization of the silent protagonist from the video game which involved being a deadpan snarker as well as his development across the series that made him a more fleshed character.[33][34][35]

Critical reaction to the second anime series has been mixed with critics finding it would appeal only to fans of the original series. They have also agreed Marie lacks the appeal of the other major recurring characters who are more popular within the fandom.[36][37]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Isamu Tanonaka died prior to the production of the television series. Igor's dialogue is instead taken from the voice clips that Tanonaka originally recorded for the video game.

References[edit]

General
  • "Story" (in Japanese). P4A. Retrieved November 29, 2011. 
Specific
  1. ^ "Persona 4: The Animation - Sentai Filmworks". Sentai Filmworks. Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Staff & Cast" (in Japanese). P4a.jp. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  3. ^ "ペルソナ4アニメーション 公式サイト". P4a.jp. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  4. ^ "ペルソナ4アニメーション 公式サイト". P4a.jp. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  5. ^ "ペルソナ4アニメーション 公式サイト". P4a.jp. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  6. ^ "ペルソナ4アニメーション 公式サイト". P4a.jp. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  7. ^ "ペルソナ4アニメーション 公式サイト". P4a.jp. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  8. ^ "ペルソナ4アニメーション 公式サイト". P4a.jp. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  9. ^ "ペルソナ4アニメーション 公式サイト". P4a.jp. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  10. ^ "ペルソナ4アニメーション 公式サイト". P4a.jp. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  11. ^ "ペルソナ4アニメーション 公式サイト". P4a.jp. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  12. ^ "ペルソナ4アニメーション 公式サイト". P4a.jp. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  13. ^ "ペルソナ4アニメーション 公式サイト". P4a.jp. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  14. ^ "ペルソナ4アニメーション 公式サイト". P4a.jp. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  15. ^ "ペルソナ4アニメーション 公式サイト". P4a.jp. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  16. ^ a b "原作ゲーム「ペルソナ4」橋野 桂ディレクター、TVアニメ「ペルソナ4」岸 誠二監督 [第2回] [Special Interview - Original game "Persona 4" Katsura Hashino director, TV anime "Persona 4" director Seiji Kishi [2nd]]" (in Japanese). Index Corporation. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  17. ^ a b "Anime Persona 4 began broadcasting in October 2011". Famitsu. May 18, 2011. Retrieved July 21, 2011. 
  18. ^ "News: Persona 4 RPG Gets TV Anime by AIC ASTA". Anime News Network. April 11, 2011. Retrieved July 21, 2011. 
  19. ^ "Blu-ray & DVD" (in Japanese). P4a. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  20. ^ "日本語タイトル: ペルソナ4 10 [完全限定生産] [Blu-ray]/ アニメ (Persona 4 10 [Limited Release] [Blu-ray] )". CD Japan. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  21. ^ "Anime Network Details "Persona 4" Simulcast Plans". Crunchy Roll. 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2013-09-10. 
  22. ^ "Sentai Filmworks Licenses Persona 4: The Animation". Anime News Network. 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  23. ^ "Section23 Film Announces September Slate". Inside AX. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Sentai Filmworks Adds Kids on the Slope, Mysterious Girlfriend X". April 7, 2012. Retrieved April 8, 2012. 
  25. ^ "Sentai Filmworks' Persona 4 BD Release Will Omit Japanese Audio Track - News". Anime News Network. 2012-07-31. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  26. ^ "Persona 4 Anime Compiled Into 90-Minute Film with New Cuts - News". Anime News Network. 2012-05-27. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  27. ^ "Persona 4: The Golden Animation's Promo Video, Story Unveiled - News". Anime News Network. 2014-05-02. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  28. ^ Luster, Joseph (May 2, 2014). ""Persona 4 Golden" Anime to Air in Japan This July". Crunchyroll. Retrieved May 3, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Persona 4 Golden Gets TV Anime by A-1 Pictures in July". Anime News Network. May 2, 2014. Retrieved May 3, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Aniplex USA To Stream Aldnoah.Zero, Persona 4: The Golden Animation". Anime News Network. 2014-06-25. 
  31. ^ http://www.animenewsnetwork.co.uk/news/2014-08-30/4th-persona-4-the-golden-animation-blu-ray-dvd-comes-with-new-episode/.78194
  32. ^ Kaufmann, Jeffrey (September 15, 2012). "Persona 4 the Animation: Collection 1 Blu-ray". Blu-Ray.com. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  33. ^ a b Jones, Tim. "Persona 4: The Animation". T.H.E.M. Anime Reviews. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  34. ^ Lawrence, Briana (September 17, 2012). "Persona 4 the Animation Part One Blu-ray Anime Review". The Fandom Post. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  35. ^ Eisenbeis, Richard (April 12, 2012). "I Watched the Persona 4 Anime Without Ever Playing The Game". Kotaku. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  36. ^ "Persona 4 the Golden Animation Episodes 1-7". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 30, 2014. 
  37. ^ "ANIME REVIEW: Persona 4 the Golden Animation - Eps. 1-3". UK Anime Network. Retrieved August 30, 2014. 

External links[edit]