Persona 4: The Animation Complete Series Review
Shin Megami Tensei franchise has spawned many sequels and spinoffs that have captured many Japanese RPG fan enthusiasts in the USA. One such series from the franchise is the Persona series. Persona 4 is the fourth game of the series and is one of the most beloved titles in the lineup. In fact, Persona 4 branched out from its console homestead into the form of an anime called, Persona 4: The Animation. Does the anime adaptation hold up to the game’s allure?
Persona 4: The Animation, in my opinion, is the best anime adaptation of a videogame/RPG that I have seen. The anime is exactly the same as the game, but with a twist. The silent protagonist, which RPG fans control in the game, becomes his own character that has a name and a personality. The main character’s name in the anime is Yu Narukami and fans of the series, as well as new to the franchise, watch Yu’s journey to a small town become infested with murder and crime. Persona 4: The Animation portrays the story by focusing on key events that causes viewers to ponder about how the murders occurred and who is behind them all.
Over time, Yu helps to rescue some of the victims that become kidnapped and he forms bonds with not only his new friends, but with Personas as well. Personas are demons that are summoned through cards, reflecting upon the user’s true self. Fans of this 26 episode series will enjoy the character development as the show forges ahead all the way to the final showdown.
The animation for the show uses CGI and hand drawings to emphasize on the series vibrant colors and shading. The animation at first glance is a little different from other shows, regarding its production value, but as the episodes get closer to the end fans see a change in more detailed artwork with the characters as the characters have evolved.
Music in the anime is 100% to the original game soundtrack on the PlayStation 2. Hearing the guitar and techo beats from Shoji Meguro’s composition adds a nice touch to the anime that makes it feel more like the game than just an anime adaptation.
In regards to the audio track, Sentai Filmworks released Persona 4: The Animation in different formats: Blu-Ray and DVD release. However, fans who like Blu-Ray may be disappointed as the Blu-Ray version of the anime only has the English Dub Track. The Dub Track is fantastic as the company managed to acquire the original voice actors/actresses back to reprise their roles in the show, but the DVD version is the only one with both dual audio languages of Japanese and English tracks. I am not sure why Sentai Filmworks decided to have the DVD release be the only one to have both languages, but the higher priced Blu-Ray version suffers from this as fans would be buying one language. The marketing strategy behind placing the dual audio language on the DVD release is peculiar; however, fans have options to pick either format.
Persona 4: The Animation is split into two volumes. The two volumes contain 13 episodes a piece, expanding over three discs per volume. The downside to the release is the price for the two volumes, but that is the price one pays for products that are licensed from overseas. Overall, the anime adaptation to the game is identical to the game and newcomers as well as veterans to the series will be happy with the layout and presentation of the show’s hilarious and intense themes.