Thursday, 10 November 2011

Persona 4: The Animation - Episode 5

Yukiko might have been rescued from death at the hands of her own alter-ego, but there's still a criminal at large as we hit episode five of Persona 4: The Animation.  Given that Yukiko is still recovering from her trauma however, there's some time to kill before Narukami and friends have to return to the serious business of getting to the bottom of what's going on.

Essentially, that means that we've reached the part in the original Persona 4 game where you start finding out about clubs, Social Links and other stuff to make your life in battle easier - a point which effectively counts as filler when dropped into it's anime format.  With discussion of clubs at the forefront of discussions, Narukami finds himself rather reluctantly co-opted into the school's basketball club (he should, of course, have joined the soccer club) - a ragtag and under-subscribed assortment of individuals headed up by team manager Ai Ebihara.

Never mind sports however, this episode is really all about love, with aforementioned manager Ebihara having a crush on club member Ichigo, who in turn (quite rightly) has a thing for Satonaka.  Distraught upon learning this, Ebihara instead drags the ever good-natured Narukami along as her "temporary boyfriend" without so much as a thought for his own feelings or well-being - a fact which, coupled with Chie's presence, causes quite a stir when the club finally manages to arrange a basketball match.

Given that it has no real impact upon this anime adaptation, there isn't really a lot to say about this particular episode as it goes about demonstrating perhaps the most pressing problem with bringing a video game across to this format - how do you handle the "grind" of preparing for battle and levelling up your character?  Thankfully, this instalment is at least light-hearted and kind of fun, but that doesn't really cover up the fact that it's all a bit cliché as it leaves us waiting for a return to the important mystery and action aspects of the show in its next episode.  Fingers crossed we don't have too many episodes like this one deigning to fill the gap between major plot arcs.

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