The Worst Plan- Persona 4 The Golden Animation 2 Review

Persona 4 the Golden Animation –02 The Perfect Plan

 

This episode is not awful. It also isn’t good. It is a crystallization of my complaints and worries stated in the previous review. The original anime started out as slowly paced, but with the same engaging air of mystery, as the game. The introductions to the characters was engaging and watching the arc of the Fools coming together and making a stand against the murders unfold was entertaining. The numbing speed and Hardcore Action (TM) of Narukami’s god-mode fist use of Izanagi at the end of this series’ premiere episode appears to have been a portend of the series’ pacing over all.

This second episode jumps one month in the timeline and adds Kanji to the team without context. In this alleged new game+ scenario, I don’t know what will be different in the show. Who are Yukiko and Chie really? Why does Narumaki continue to spend time with Yosuke? When did Kanji become their friend? Does he just know the two of them or everyone? There are even more questions than that, and I don’t think the gags and eye candy are enough to keep more discerning viewers around. A new viewer may be even more lost and I am at this point. I am almost certain that I would not continue to watch this show if I were a new viewer and I briefly considered stopping now, but I would really like to give the show another chance as a long-time fan of Persona 4.

The twist on the idea of setting up time to spend days with friends (with which only players of the game would actually be familiar) was comical and watching Narukami try to juggle all the events and make it back to Nanako on time was entertaining. The babe hunt was tiring, but it was funny to see these idiotic boys sitting on their bikes failing so hard. I was happy to see Marie not being pure fan-service, but interestingly enough she is spreading that role to the other girls in the show, which is irritating. Way to go team, reminding us that girls need guys to validate them! My final issue to raise regarding the portrayal of women in the show is that of Hanako Ohtani’s appearance and the extra dig the show gets in at the obese. Yosuke is terrified that this completely undesirable fellow student mistakenly believes that he is interested in her. She is almost framed visually as a kaiju and her destruction of Yosuke’s bike is both unrealistic and a display of rotten low-hanging comedy fruit that would have been better left to fall to the ground.

Why should I keep watching this show? Why should you? I don’t know what in this show is engaging and has hooks to keep my attention. The characters are shallow. The murders are not important. The slice of life focus is interesting and it almost seems like some compelling developments might happen with Marie, but the lack of balance and superficiality does nothing to serve these potentially promising elements.

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2 thoughts on “The Worst Plan- Persona 4 The Golden Animation 2 Review

  1. You keep talking about not knowing what’s going on and that clearly tells me you’re going into this thinking this series is something it is not. This is tailored for people who have already watched the first anime, or people who only played the original PS2 game. This is not and never was going to be a retelling of the main murder mystery story that has already been told. This is basically a season 2. Hell, you want to pick apart the frames in the opening with Saki’s corpse being there, but you skipped the part in the beginning with the TVs flickering between showing “Persona 4 the Animation” and the gold overlay version showing “Persona 4 the Golden Animation”. As for why none of this happened in the first go around with the first anime that will be explained by the end.

    I can totally see you flipping your opinion about Hanako if she was a fedora/trenchcoat wearing fat guy hitting on the girls instead of a girl hitting on the guys.

    Also what about Chie’s character eliminates the possibility of her liking striking poses and trying on clothes with her friends? Liking meat? Liking Bruce Lee? Being able to beat the shit out of guys? Just because she always thought Yukiko was the more girly and pretty of the two of them and was jealous of her didn’t mean she never went shopping with her like this.

    • I don’t know where the information is that this season is for the veterans, but I know that a referential or derivative work is stronger if it doesn’t depend on prior knowledge. I’m all for seeing a different side of the story, but I’m not interested the horny teenager angle.

      The flickering screen tells me there was a previous work and this is something different, but not much more than that. I don’t think it reasonably implies how different things will be. I’d be fine if this was like one of the Evangelion alternate universes where this is no Eva piloting or Angel fights, but this comes so close to looking like a re-telling that I thought it would be much closer than it is shaping up to be.

      Fedora and or trenchcoat? I don’t get it. Visual code for creeper? The guys in this episode are approaching the aggressively unwanted advance-maker you seem to be describing. Hanako was responding to being hit on (in her mind) by Yosuke. There’s no reason for such heavy-handed treatment. The joke between her and Kanji was far better than this, but both are really tacked on and superfluous.

      Chie is a bold person. I can’t remember her ever being diminutive even when she was vulnerable she never went Moe. Sure she can go shopping with her friends and dress up, but I think the creative team had her behaving out of character. Yosuke might ask her to strike a moe pose and she would kick him. If I’m supposed to be bringing prior knowledge to this viewing of the show, I will continue to point out inconsistencies in the characters.

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