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Unfinished Business: Persona 4 - The Animation (Again)

Updated on July 16, 2014

While the idea of a recap for the Persona 4 anime is welcome, adding nothing new and only reusing footage is not how you go about it.

Title: Persona 4 -The Factor of Hope-
Format: 1 movie (86 minutes)
Air Date: 6/9/2012

Summary: After the defeat of Ameno-sagiri, Yu and his friends have brought the serial murder case plaguing Inaba to an end--at least, so it seems. As the spring semester looms ever closer, Yu looks back on the events that have transpired, only to find that the true culprit is still at large. Using the clues of his past experiences, the Seekers of Justice band together to bring the incident to its conclusion once and for all.

The Good: It's well put-together; shows "True End" in its entirety
The Bad: Completely unnecessary for fans; completely baffling to newcomers
The Ugly: It exists

This will be short, sweet, and merciful: This movie sucks. I shouldn't have to explain why, considering it's just a recap film featuring clips from the TV series simply cobbled together, but I suppose that's what I'm being paid (ever-so-slowly) for.

First of all, to the movie's credit, at least it was put together well enough. The film starts off with the battle against Ameno-sagiri, and during the course of what would be the game's finale, we get flashbacks and recaps of the story up until now, and they are presented in a logical and understandable order. And, if nothing else, the decision to play the Episode 26 OVA in its entirety during the film's climax was a pretty good decision. At least you can count on about 25 minutes of worthwhile material to be present here.

But really, that's where my nice words about this movie end. Aside from the crime of merely existing, the worst sin committed by the film is that it's completely and totally unnecessary for fans of the video game and the TV series. We get absolutely nothing new here (except for, maybe, a minute of new animation at the very end, but who really cares?), and it's just reusing animation from the TV show to make a quick buck, which is about the laziest thing you could possibly do.

And don't even try to claim that this is for newcomers to the series. Because it clearly is not. We never get even a single explanation for who anyone is, what they're doing, or what motivates them. As far as I know, I don't think Kanji and Naoto's names are spoken even once in the film, so there's two major characters that newbies won't even be able to identify by name (instead forced to rely on "guy with bleached hair" and "androgynous person with detective hat"). Also, I mentioned earlier that the film begins with the Ameno-sagiri chapter of the story, which is about as newbie-unfriendly a place to start a movie as I can possibly think of.

So, if the movie wasn't intended for fans (who get nothing), and it wasn't intended for newcomers (who get no information or background), then who was this trash even made for? Index, I guess, because they shoehorn a half-baked teaser for the upcoming Persona 3 film at the tail-end of the film. Hey guys, if you really wanted to get people excited for Persona 3, then why not, you know, make a short film or trailer featuring material from it?! I don't even know anymore. I ran out of words.

Just don't bother with this movie. If you already know what Persona 4 is all about, this is a waste of your time. If you've never played or seen Persona 4, this is a waste of your time. Regardless of where you stand, this movie is a waste of your time.

Film Score: 3 out of 10. -The Factor of Hope- is useless by every definition of the word, and no one should have to subject themselves to this pointlessness.
Series' Total Score: 5 out of 10. Good job, there, movie. You single-handedly made the anime adaptation of my favorite video game of all time even worse somehow. I hope you're proud of yourself.

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