Well we got the final (mostly) episode of Persona 4. I have to say it definitely delivered on the action you’d expect from the final episode and it was good to see the cast face off against Adachi. Things moved really fast after that battle, but the preview at the end kind of explained why for us.

I have to say the way they handled Adachi’s fight was pretty clever. Having those fakes hanging out with a Reaper allowed for the group argument against him without making the fight against the real one complicated. After all the real one is using a kind of Izanagi and it would have just been weird to have everyone piling onto that enemy. Instead get to spread everyone out into what are pretty much boss fights. A Reaper in the game is tough for a full party so having pairs of characters each take one on is asking a lot.

I’m glad we got the full version of Adachi’s views clashing with Yu’s group. The idea of turning everyone into shadows because it will be easier for them. There are certainly a lot of people who turn a blind eye to things that they don’t like or aspects of others they don’t want to confront. Having fog fill the world and turn everyone into shadows would make it so they had a perfectly good reason for not facing things. It was easier in the game since there were signs from people that they were getting more detached from the world and the issues of those around them. As shadows people wouldn’t have to hold anything back and in the fog no one could really see them anyways so there would be less reason to restrain oneself. Of course it’s a pretty insane idea to change everyone into shadows and mess up the world. Besides the characters themselves proved that they can change and face themselves. Instead of running away they faced their own darkness and became stronger for it.

Adachi is one messed up guy. Joining the police simply so he could legally carry a gun. Of course I’m sure there are those types all over. People who join organizations like the police or army for the sake of authority and being able to use those kinds of weapons. Though they should be a very small minority. Adachi did his schooling and in the end was shoved into a small town like Inaba. Maybe they realized he didn’t really have the commitment to being part of the police or perhaps he didn’t have enough talent. Like Naoto said he cut himself off from society and naturally it became tough to live in it. He viewed everyone around him as an idiot and didn’t truly reach out to anyone. Of course the shadows responded to him because he shares their values. He’d prefer living in a fog than actually dealing with people. He may have been through what he felt were tough times, but in the end that doesn’t give him the right to kill people. Two lives were lost because of him and many more could have been loss with his urging of Namatame. In the end Adachi caused his own fall. If he had left things alone he probably would have gotten away with it all.

The fights were fairly good considering they had to spread everyone out like that. Of course at the core it was Izanagi vs Izanagi in a pretty brutal affair. I did like that Chie’s persona got to use it’s god hand attack which was one of my favorites. Nothing like dropping a glowing fist of death on your opponent XD.

Quite the surprise to have another boss show up like that. In the end Adachi didn’t create the situation of the two worlds merging together. It was all the fault…of a gigantic eyeball! I’m sure that flashback might have been hard to place, but it was what was inside of Kuma’s shadow back then. Makes sense that at the core of a shadow’s….shadow there would be something like that. Though clearly it got pretty damn big over time. The one behind the fog leaking out was Ameno-sagiri, who really felt that his actions were justified. It wasn’t some plot on his part, but the desires of people which called to him. Even though he really appared from out of nowhere his effect has been visible throughout the series. This guy has been leaking out the fog that has made the world in the TV such a tough place to navigate. There was no choice but to go head to head with this guy before things became irreversible. In the end he was the best floating eye enemy I’ve seen since Lord of the Rings. Maybe even better since this guy could actually fight.

The guy really could talk like a supreme being. He’s the one who not only created all the fog, but gave the characters the power to enter the TV. Well at least the main group outside of Yu. They were thrown in and then given the power to enter the TV at will. Overcoming their shadows must have proved that they were able to brave the TV world. Probably means that Mitsuo won’t be a problem in prison since he was thrown in and didn’t overcome his shadow.

And finally we get an idea about what the Midnight Channel is. A window from which people can see what they desire. People had those who had become famous on their minds and so they appeared on the TV. It wasn’t a plot by Adachi or anything, but a response from the people. They wanted to know more about those who had become famous and thus they appeared. The more people wanted to focus on those false images of people on the TV the less they focused on their own reality. That desire for fakes helped to expand that world even further.

It’s only thanks to the characters having fought so hard that Ameno-sagiri chose to show himself. In a sense he could have remained hidden and continued the merging of the worlds without the characters being able to do anything. But their ability to master their shadows and continue to fight caught his interest. It’s a difference from those in the world who in their hearts wish for a world of fog. Between those two different viewpoints he had to decide which is the right path to take. Clearly Ameno-sagiri takes his role as Shepard to humanity seriously. So he decided to take on Yu’s group to see if their view of humanity is the one that should be followed or whether the majority choice should be chosen. Kind of funny how the heroes in this case are fighting for a minority view and stopping Ameno-sagiri meant choosing their own path.

And so this is how they handled the second forms of everyone’s perona. I thought it was weird since they changed automatically when you ‘maxed out’ their social link. Instead using it in this final battle is actually a nice move. It shows how strong the bonds between everyone is. We didn’t get to see that much of them, but it was still good to see just how much of a step forward those new forms were. They really were on a completely other level compared to their earlier forms. I liked how Yosuke was the first one to step up. The series really has played up their friendship a few times. So the last Persona we see Yu summon…for now is Lucifer. He really doesn’t hold back XD.

In the end Ameno-sagiri wasn’t really evil. Because the group proved their strength and potential he chose to leave and lift the fog from both worlds. But there is always that danger of his return. If people give up on reality that kind of disaster could really happen next time. Everything wrapped up pretty well with Adachi as well. While he may have been fine facing the same end as Yamano and Saki, that’s not how things work for Yu’s group. Adachi is going to have to live and face the punishment for his actions. He got two people killed and will have to go away and pay for that.

Good to see Nanako wake up as well in this episode. Having the fog lift really did have some quick effects for her body. Without that substance around anymore she’ll be just fine. I really enjoyed the series giving us the ending music for the game. It just reminds me how well this series handled the music from the game and using it in the anime. They really understood how to play into the nostalgia.

Unfortunately with the time constraints really had to hurry to the very end. Couldn’t fit in Yu saying his individual goodbyes or walking around town. Just had to hurry along to his leaving Inaba and going back home at last. Of course with all the bonds he made it’s really a shame that he has to go back. Though since he never officially picked a girl I guess this means he really is going down the Nanako route XD? I mean we didn’t hear him turn down her proposal. While short it wasn’t a bad farewell. You could see how close everyone had become during this whole event and really the showing of bonds came during that final battle. It also might not just be a farewell for just Yu. Naoto may end up leaving again now that the case is solved. Rise could return from hiatus and restart her career as well. Also Kuma is heading back into the TV to protect it, although he can come back any time he wishes.

I curse you Persona anime! You can’t just tell me we’re going to get the true end in the Blu Ray! It’s going to take forever for that to come out. But guess I’ll just have to cover that one when the time comes. The preview made it look damn good though.

Final Thoughts:

So it has been a long run but we’ve, kind of reached the end of Persona 4. Somewhat tough to put a last thought on the series when it’s pretty much stated we’re getting another episode down the road. Well since I’m confident the true ending isn’t going to be horrible and derail the experience (I’m looking at you Mass Effect 3) it seems safe to just talk about the series overall.

I was a bit worried when the series was announced if only because translating an RPG into anime can be a hit and miss venture. But in this case I feel they did a really good job all things considered. I suppose one valid complaint of the series is related to the pacing. The first episode was really rushed so they could end it with Yu summoning Izanagi. The last episode had this too, going from the defeat of the enemy and racing right to the day Yu heads on home. Of course the last episode is probably related to the plans to put the true end in a bonus episode. I remember one episode where they literally stuffed several social links into one episode. There was a lot of material to cover in this game and they only had 25 (plus the bonus) to do it. I think at least they didn’t rush the wrong things that you couldn’t do without.

If there is one compliment I can give the series it is that they always kept the people who played the game in mind. They didn’t have to throw the calendar feature in or include so much of the game music. The fact that we start this series with the music from the opening of the game and end it with the ending music just says a lot about how they took the time to make people enjoy the series even more. It’s not like these features took anything away from those who haven’t played the game since the songs are frankly good and the features actually help with understanding the passage of time. Plus it was just a great touch to include some music from Persona 3 during the trip they made to the city where that game took place.

The music of Persona 4 was just great. I loved the music from the game and even the music that wasn’t in it. I’ll say the two OPs weren’t anything super special, but they weren’t bad either. They had some fun with it and really as long as they don’t detract from the series I’m happy. I did like the EDs and how they reflected the social links. It helped keep things in perspective and remind you how far everyone in the series has come.

It is a bit disappointing that they chose to resolve nothing in terms of Yu’s romances. I suppose they didn’t have much time to begin with so that was easy enough to remove. Still I would have liked to see any of the girls get that moment in the anime. Although it does still leave things open for the Nanako route XD.

I’m always going to like how the series just made us face some topics that normally aren’t easy to delve into. It just reminded you that people aren’t always pretty and even between friends there are things that you can’t face easily. We had Yosuke’s slightly dark desire to find some sort of excitement in this murder investigation because he was so bored living in the countryside. Chie enjoying feeling superior to Yukiko and having her friend rely on her. Had Yukiko just wanting to run away and have someone save her without doing a thing for herself. Kanji was really confused and wanted someone to just accept him. He didn’t feel that girls would accept him or his hobbies so thought he should turn to guys instead, trying to match up his mental image of what a guy should be and who he was. Rise was lost and depressed because of her artificially created idol personality and feeling like the person she was in private wasn’t seen by anyone. Kuma of course was lost without memories of his true existence and really being completely hollow doesn’t exactly make for a good mental state. Finally Naoto had the dual issues of feeling like the police only saw her as a child and wouldn’t be accepted because of her gender. Of course can simplify it down to just wanting to be accepted. In the end they all had to literally face the dark feelings or negative thoughts they had ignored or convinced themselves wasn’t there. Overcoming that gave them all the power to continue fighting and help others.

I thought the fights were pretty well done. They had to find a way to deal with the fact that everyone was going to get involved in these fights. As a consequence Yukiko and Chie really became easy to ignore during the fights unless there was a comedy moment. About the only time they stood out was when they had to fight a Reaper by themselves. Rise’s ability was handled nicely and I like how it was able to help predict what was going to happen. The key to the battles of course was Yu and they did a good job with his ability. If they didn’t limit him somehow the amount of Personas would become insane. So outside of fusion they just gave him a persona per arcana and with the amount that exist in the series that was more than enough. He really was a one-man army with how he could just pick the perfect persona for a fight. The enemies were actually pretty nice. They each had their own style and really having them taunt their human selves made the fights more interesting.

Visually the series wasn’t bad. They did have some weak moments, but in the end I can’t think back and say it hurt the series. The effects with the Personas were good and really long as the Personas and shadows looked good the series was going to be alright.

I have to say the anime helped me get even more attached to Nanako’s character. They really made that girl cute and loveable. I liked the extra scenes they gave to her like the episode where she followed Yu around and investigated things. It all came together where for a short time she died. I’m telling you the rage at Namatame was easy to pick up from the characters. If I hadn’t seen that scene before I might have been tempted to throw him in. In the end she survived and lived to propose to Yu…yeah I’m still chuckling about that.

Now I have to say the way they handled Yu’s character was a big difference between this and the game. In the game he is a mostly silent protagonist who you choose responses for him to say. Here you have a real personality and get into his head. At times I did feel like he took things too lightly and made too many jokes. Mid-season I really thought his only purpose was to make puns. But near the end everything got serious and Yu did too. The Nanako death scene really brought out the best in him and he was able to face-off against Adachi. Overall I’m pretty happy with his character. It was a long road, but by the end he arrived where he needed to.

The question of villains really had some mixed results. In a sense everyone really was their own worst enemy. The shadows were the stars of the episodes. Namatame was kind of a tragic hero, in that he tried to do good, but it all went bad. Of course by the end he had almost lost it and fallen prey to a messiah complex, so not even sure I can call him that. Mitsuo was just a crazy and twisted kid. We saw enough of him to understand that at least. He wanted attention, wanted to be acknowledged, but was twisted enough to resort to murder in order to get it. Adachi of course was the star of the human villains. This guy was messed up. Of course they tried to bring some sympathetic characteristics, but I still hate the guy. He let his personal problems consume him, turned away from everyone, and then started killing people for amusement. Having him off in jail is the best thing possible for the future of that town.

In the end I’m really happy with Persona 4. Now I wish they would just air the remaining episode right now and not months later. But I’ll hope they make it some super 40 minute affair or multiple episodes since it deserves the best. Overall, I’m happy that Persona 4 gave me what I wanted to see overall. Sure we didn’t get Yu pairing up with anyone and the puns got old at times, but it was still Persona. The music was great, the action was good, and I was impressed with how fast social links could be gained. Of course this is a must watch for the fans of the game, but it should be the same for people who haven’t played it. This is a series that mixes together some school life, some mystery, action, and comedy. In the end the series was a success for the time they had. I’m ready to replay the game honestly after watching this series. Hope everyone enjoyed reading my views on this one.
Score: A

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An older member at 25, yet a new addition to Anime Evo. Recently graduating University and in the difficult point between school and a true career. Anime being a salvation and blogging a good way to put all those hours of writing essays to some use. Enjoys talking about series, yet not taking on so many that the quality dips. A Canadian who enjoys his anime and hearing what others think about the series he enjoys watching.

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