Persona 4 the Golden Animation –6 See? I Told You Yu!
Time skipping, and protagonist shifting can be a risk, but I think the insights into who Adachi is are a vital component of making this show more than just a comedic teen eye-candy festival, which is how it began.
The murders are introduced to the plot in a grimly off-putting way that underscores Adachi’s callous indifference and sets him up as a solid counter-piece to Narukami, Marie and Teddie, who are thematically linked as main protagonists. Bored and full of contempt for everyone, Adachi chafes at the kindness of others, refuses to actually connect with people and seeks to destroy the things that irritate him. A perspective that orients everything around the self lead to Adachi’s sentiment, “Why help someone? They could betray you, so it’s better to do nothing.” This flies in the face of the main cast’s sentiments which lead them to reach out to others and help them. The vulnerability and lost position of weakness from which characters like Marie and Teddy start, cause them to be humble and empathetic. Their friends help them to accomplish good things and direct themselves to be a positive force in the world, however small. Adachi sees himself as a big fish in a little pond and that arrogance is what allows him to lash out at his inferiors. I don’t think every episode needs to be like this, but the tone was consistent with the rest of Persona 4, while authentically presenting Adachi as a sick creep. The inclusion of the scene where Adachi is distressed over Nanako getting hurt, is an interesting touch, which I see as meant to humanize him after the jarring scene of him pushing Saki into the TV. It doesn’t belie his self-centered destructive attitude or what he did, but he isn’t a flat soulless monster.
This episode gets a 4 out of 5 for telling a compelling, cohesive story, despite shifting direction, thanks to the emotional context which threads this darker, weightier content to the quiz shows and skin shots.