If it's crap ... We'll tell you
I love video games. One particular game I really had fun with was Persona 4 for PS2, so when I heard that it would become an anime with only 26 episodes, I was a little concerned about if this would succeed or not, regardles I gave it a chance and am now here to give my inerpretation on this video game to anime adaption. If you have beaten the game, then you will know how this will go, which I did. But regardless, here is my review for the japanese version of Persona 4.
If you have played the game, then you already know what is going on. But for those who don't here goes: Normally in the game, you get to make up the name of the protagonist, but in this the protagonist is already given a name, Yu Narukami. He goes to Inaba to stay with his uncle, Dojima and his daughter Nanako for a year as his parents are at work. While at school, he learns about a mysterious TV channel called the Midnight Channel which is said to have mysterious properties. With his new, but disbelieving friends, Yu and company discover that the Midnight Channel is a portal to another world inside the TV and is inhabited by creatures known as shadows. They soon gain the abilty to fight in this world using "Personas", magical manifestations of their personalities. At the same time, murders occur in Inaba, which the characters conclude have connections to the Midnight Channel. They then resolve to discover who is the murderer and stop this person's rampage. The tale is a very well put together mystery tale with great and clever twists and comes to a nice conclusion.
In the game, the protagonist had to interact with characters to bond with them and that would help increase the power of his persona. As this is an anime, I was concerned that they would just cop out with the social links, as they're called in the game, or just skip over it entirely. I am happy to say that this is not the case, at least not a whole lot. The anime actually takes the time to flesh out the social interactions that Yu has with people; his friends, Dojima and Nanako, the old lady, the fox and more. These are pretty well paced and fleshed out enough to where I didn't feel like it was a cheap cop out. They didn't get all of them, but hey, they only had 26 episodes to go with for a 40+ hour game, so I'll take what I can get, which is not bad. Yu starts off as a bland character with little to no emotion, but as the series goes on and he increases his social links, he changes and matures as a character. His social interactions change who he is and give him more depth. He comes off bland at the start, but give it time, he improves.
The animation is really good. It has a modern feel while still sticking true to the tone the game set up. As a fan of the english dub of the game, which I am not ashamed to admit, it was hard for me to get used to the japanese version, but it was good especially with most of the cast reprising their roles from the game. The music is done by the same composer as the game and is still a great treat to listen to, each song fits with what is going on. Many of the episodes have different opening and ending songs and I liked most, but not all of them. The songs were tolerable. Still, P4A has a great soundtrack that lives up to the Persona name.
I am a huge fan of the game and wondered if this anime could live up to the great atmosphere the game created and I can safely say that it does in many important ways, Yu evolves as well as the others, the series looks and sounds like the game which has a great atmosphere and has a good ending. If you played the game to it's fullest, you will find problems with this, but as an anime, this works very well. If you do have problems, do know that there is a rumor that an OVA with "you know what" may air soon, which should hopefully lay off a certain concern. Still, this is a very enjoyable anime with some good development and a great plot with good twists.
Persona 4 The Animation: First Class!!!
Interesting. Also, Sentai Filmworks is dubbing this with the original cast of Persona 4 for the dubbing, they just have to make a great script so that it can work properly for each character.
Last year this was on alot of peoples top five lists (particularly on MAL) many were just waiting for it to finish its run...and now you've pretty much confirmed all the things i heard about it.
My only issue with the animation is a minor gripe.
But it's a perfect series, like the game it's based on.