Unfinished Business: Persona 4 - The Animation
Released independently as a DVD-exclusive episode, "True End" finally does the source material some justice with fresh changes and some emotional involvement.
Episode Title: "True End"
Format: 1 OVA (30 minutes)
Air Date: 8/22/2012
Summary: On the day before Yu leaves Inaba to return to Tokyo, he realizes that there's still something left undone--something that just feels off. Because of a letter sent to him by Adachi, Yu and his friends realize the fact that the Midnight Channel's status as a rumor had to originate from someone, and so they set out to find the perpetrator, only to find that they may be in over their heads. With the greatest trial of his life ahead of him, Yu sets out to uncover the truth hidden in the fog of lies once and for all.
The Good: Covers the True Ending material in a very effective manner; solid visuals; Margaret finally does something!!
The Bad: Still a bit rushed
The Ugly: I really feel bad for Yosuke's tongue
"Unfinished Business" will be yet another series of Hubs. This time, it will be short reviews focusing on episodes, OVAs, movies, or specials added onto titles I've already reviewed. In this case, it's the belated 26th episode of P4A. We all know how dreadfully disappointed I was in P4A, but now that the final episode is out, what did I think of it? Well, to put it bluntly, it's a whole hell of a lot better than the rest of the series.
"True End," also called "No One is Alone" by its title card, is basically a microcosm of everything P4A did right (sticking to the story, very effective thematic changes, and great music) while eschewing much of what it did horribly wrong. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that this episode delivered the game's True Ending material in a very powerful way, evoking some real emotion out of me. That's quite a 180.
While P4A's artwork has always been solid, its animation has often left much to be desired. Luckily, this final episode seems to have had a bump in its budget, because it looks great. Sure, the action sequences are still a little stilted, but that's more the fault of the storyboard director than the animators.
Another large improvement over the rest of the series: Margaret finally does something that affects the story! She's actually pretty damn important this time! Like, the story could not go on without her! Ahh, it feels good to finally see her do something. And to be fair, she does take on a role that goes beyond the original game here, so that's always refreshing.
However, like the rest of the series, "True End" is still, sadly, very rushed. Chances are, if you've never played the game, this episode will puzzle the crap out of you. Everything happens so quickly that it's almost in "blink and you'll miss it" territory. I am happy to report, however, that this is my only grievance with this episode.
If you stuck it out with P4A and lost faith that the 26th episode would be any good, you've got nothing to fear: It's actually probably the best episode in the series. And if you were actually a huge fan of P4A, then "True End" will absolutely make your day.
Episode Score: 8 out of 10.
Series' Total Score: Still going with 5.5 out of 10. However much of an improvement this episode may be, it's still not perfect.