Anime Review: Persona 4: The Animation (2013)
Director: Seiji Kishi
Distributor: Aniplex USA formerly Sentai Filmworks
Released: May 6, 2014
Runtime: 670 minutes
Availability: On DVD and Blu-Ray, buy on Amazon or RightStufAnime
Streaming: Hulu and HiDive
A Murder Mystery in a Small Town:
Yu Narukami is from the city of Kyoto, he has to move to the small town of Inaba while his parents are busy working overseas. He becomes embroiled in a supernatural murder mystery when he discovers the Midnight Channel where people appear on rainy nights and die shortly after they do. Will Yu Narukami and his new friends be able to use the mysterious power of supernatural beings known as Persona to solve the mystery?
I really enjoyed this anime; it’s just so much Fun!
I love Persona 4: The Animation. It’s a very well done anime and keeps you guessing if you haven’t played the PlayStation 2 game or the revamped PlayStation Via version, Persona 4: The Golden.
I love how the mystery is set up and the supernatural element is a nice addition. While it’s not like Death Note, it’s still an interesting premise that will appeal to people who enjoy the genre even if you haven’t played the game.
The writing is fantastic and it was clearly written by fans of the Persona 4 game, and they also picked all the funny and snarky answers you can choose. The writing in the anime is great and
I love the Humor in this Anime; it’s so funny and makes me laugh!
Persona 4: The Animation has its share of humor, and it does know how to time it’s comedy perfectly. It makes jokes that I find to be hilarious and they know how to make the humor work, and also bring a lot o the game’s humor over to the anime.
Midnight Channel Kanji had me laughing hysterically, it was just too funny, especially since Troy Baker did such a good job, but I’ll talk more about the voice acting later.
All the actors give excellent performances that are comedy gold.
English (Reviwed) (Hidive.com, behind paywall)
English (Hulu, HiDive.com)
The Voice Cast from Persona 4: The Golden Come Back and Have Way too much Fun!
ADR director Kristi Reed of Bang-Zoom Entertainment went out of their way to reunite most of the original Persona 4 game cast, along with the members that were recast for Persona 4: Golden on the PlayStation Vita.
Johnny Yong Bosch is great as Yu Narukami. He has played the role before but he didn’t say much because he was playing the silent protagonist. But in the anime, he is able to be expressive and lively and give his character a personality. He was perfect and I loved him in this anime.
Yuri Lowenthal did such a great job as Yosuke Hanamura. He reprised his role from the game and he gave an outstanding performance, being both serious and humorous throughout the anime.
Erin Fitzgerald is good as Chie Satonaka. She’s not the first voice of Chie, her first voice actress Tracey Rooney. She’s still good, but sometimes I feel she’s trying too hard.
Amanda Winn Lee does a great job as Yukiko Amagi. She was great as Yukiko and I enjoyed her work in this role.
Troy Baker voiced Kanji Tatsumi in the game and he was fantastic and funny and just terrific. He was replaced midway through the anime because he went on honeymoon and you can’t voice act while you’re on a honeymoon so Matthew Mercer replaced him midway through the anime as Kanji.
Matthew Mercer is also excellent as Kanji and you wouldn’t know the difference between him and Troy Baker unless you follow English dubbing anime industry.
Laura Bailey is also excellent as Rise Kujikawa. She did such a good job portraying all the different aspects of her character and she is fantastic in this role.
Sam Regal does a good job as Teddy/Kuma in Japanese. He’s hilarious and funny and he performed this role so well. He was an excellent voice actor and I prefer him in humorous roles compared to serious ones, like Shirou in Fate/Stay Night (2006). Humorous characters seem to fit Sam Regal more than serious roles.
Mary Elizabeth McGlynn is also great as Naoto Shirogane. Her original voice actress is uncredited and didn’t reprise her role in the anime, but Mary Elizabeth McGlynn is so good voice acting for Naoto and she did a fantastic job.
Karen Strassman is adorable as Nanako Dojima. She made Nanako a very sweet and likable character. She was also an excellent choice for Nanako.
Dan Woren is also wonderful as Igor, but he mainly just uses his recycled lines from the game because his seiyuu Isamu Tanonaka passed away while it was airing.
Johnny Yong Bosch is also excellent as Tohru Adachi, and yes, he talks to himself. He made his voice sound a little different so that we can distinguish between Tohru and Yu, but it’s still very odd to hear Johnny Yong Bosh talk to himself.
Overall, I love the English dub cast and if you enjoyed the game’s dub you’ll definitely want to watch the English dub of the anime. It’s one of my favorite dubs and I really loved it.
Will you watch Persona 4: The Animation?
The Music is Amazing!
Shoji Meguro is an amazing composer. The music is just fantastic and even the new tracks composed for the anime are just as good as the music from the game, but most of the music is straight from the game.
The openings are "Pursuing My True Self" by Shihoko Hirata (episode 1), “sky's the limit" by Shihoko Hirata (episodes 2-8, 10-12), "True Story" by Rie Kugimiya [as Rise Kujikawa] (episode 9), "key plus words" by Shihoko Hirata ft. Yumi Kawamura (eps 13-).
The endings are "sky's the limit" by Shihoko Hirata (episode 1), "Beauty of Destiny" by Shihoko Hirata feat. Lotus Juice, "Koi Suru Meitantei" (恋する名探偵; "A Great Detective in Love") by Yui Horie (episode 13), "The Way of Memories - Kizuna no Chikara" (The Way of Memories -キズナノチカラ-; "The Power of Bonds") by Shihoko Hirata (episodes 14-17,19-21,23), "Honto no Kimochi" (ほんとのきもち; "True Feelings") by Shihoko Hirata (episode 18), "Honto no Kimochi" (ほんとのきもち; "True Feelings") by Shihoko Hirata (episode 18).
All in all, the music is amazing and you’ll love it too.
The Animation is Good:
AIC A.S.T.A. animated Persona 4: The animation and even though some of the character designs look a little weird, the animation is definitely very good, whether it’s the action scenes or the humorous ones, the anime handles everything very well.
It’s still an excellent amine and the animation just makes it even better. I really like the art design and how they keep it pretty close to the game.
The Slow Pacing In some of the Middle Episodes Isn’t for Everyone:
The middle episodes do feel a little slow, and that does kind of bog down the story a little bit, but it’s not detrimental to the anime. I enjoy a lot of the episodes but some of the “summer vacation” episodes feel slower than some of the other episodes.
This anime does contain violence but it's the Persona's fighting each other, casting spells or slashing Shadows with swords. There is talk about murder because it's a murder mystery.
There is some profanity but not a lot.
There is some fanservice and talking about, "Lacy unmentionables" in a video.
I Love Persona 4: The Animation:
I love Persona 4: The Animation. Everything about the anime is just fantastic. From the story to the music, it’s one of those anime that is fun and exciting and yet it has a mature story to tell and doesn’t have to be “dark and edgy” to be a mature story. It does have its dark moments, but that’s not what makes the story mature.
It deals with a lot of adult subjects and makes you think about how you’d react when you’re in a situation where you have to confront your internal problems.
I enjoy this anime because of the mystery, the suspense, the humor and the characters. It’s one that I’m very happy to have in my collection and I really enjoy it a lot.
What Doesn't Work:
Good story, chsracters and world-building
Some slow pacing in the middle
Amazing English dub
Final Grade: A:
Persona 4: The Animation is a fantastic anime that is an excellent murder mystery with a supernatural twist that makes it different from a lot of other stories in the mystery genre.
I love everything from the animation to the music; it’s a must-have for anime fans. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys these kinds of stories and it’s one of my favorite anime.
I highly recommend it, especially if you enjoyed the game. It’s definitely a fun, entertaining, thought-provoking story with humor and an excellent mystery.
It’s one that definitely belongs in your anime collection. The license for Persona 4: The Animation expires October 2nd, 2018 so you might want to pick up the complete collection before they go out of print.
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