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.