Friday, 18 November 2011

Persona 4: The Animation - Episode 7

Considering his demeanour and reputation as a delinquent, Kanji Tatsumi's appearance on the Midnight Channel was an... interesting announcement of his disappearance.  Still, regardless of any impressions left by the turn of his alter-ego, it's time to head back into the mysterious, foggy world inside the television once again.

First things first however, our quartet of heroes and heroines (now bolstered by Yukiko of course) need a lead as to where to find Tatsumi within this world, meaning a quick trip back to reality to find something suitable so that Teddie can pick up Kanji's scent.  That duly carried out (and giving us another hint as to Kanji's true nature in the process), our target is tracked down to a bath house which seems to have become the home for his Shadow.

Given what they find there in terms of Kanji's alter-ego, it's no surprise that the boys on the team aren't too keen to press on, but eventually they're left with no choice but to do so to face up to their toughest challenge yet, as this Shadow and its minions seem largely impervious to the attacks of their massed Persona while proving capable of providing a few "sneak attacks" of their own.  It's only some intervention from the Velvet Room and Narukami's wild card that finally opens up an opportunity to win the day before Kanji himself defeats his own Shadow and embraces his.... let's call it effeminate... side.

While I've enjoyed Persona 4: The Animation in broad terms thus far, this week's instalment took that enjoyment to a whole other level by being outright and utterly hilarious throughout.  Okay, maybe it's a bit cheap making jokes about Kanji's sexuality but hey, I come from a nation that brought the world Are You Being Served? so I'm more than comfortable laughing uncontrollably at such cheap gags and, more importantly, our team of rescuers reactions to the situation.  If you'd missed it over recent weeks (and it hasn't always been obvious to be fair), Persona 4 has now built a fantastic roster of regular characters who do a wonderful job of bouncing off one another in comedy terms here to make for an episode that really couldn't be any more entertaining if it wanted to.  Sure, this isn't exactly a comedy anime at its core, and there's even a serious undertone to this episode beneath all of its superb one-liners and snippets of dialogue, but it's great to see that the series isn't taking itself too seriously, and I feel like I haven't laughed this hard in weeks.  This might just be my favourite anime episode of the autumn season to date.

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