Saturday, 24 December 2011

Persona 4: The Animation - Episode 12

It seems as though we have the killer in our grasp through the eyes of most people, with the decidedly odd Mitsuo handing himself in to the authorities.  Is he really the killer though?  Such questions are only reaffirmed as he becomes the latest person to make his appearance on the Midnight Channel.
  With a view to apprehending him as much as rescuing him in mind, our Persona-wielding team set off to find and take Mitsuo from the world beyond the television screen, finding themselves dumped into the video game world created by Mitsuo's Shadow in the process. 

While Teddie has enough vim and vigour to see off most of the challenges in their way alone (well, more or less), the others can concentrate on Mitsuo himself as they ponder whether they're at the cusp of catching the killer.  Is this really the end of the group's journey together?  It's this thought which drags Narukami into the mindset of their opponent's Shadow, as we're thrown into an alternate reality where the end of the murder investigation sees Narukami's new-found friends slowly but surely drifting away from him, leaving him isolated and powerless.  Luckily for him, he's rescued from this overwhelming ennui just in time to deal with the actual business before him of defeating this Shadow, something that only he can do with the plethora of Persona at his disposal.  So, the murderer has been plucked away back to the real world and confessed to all his crimes - is that the end of the story?  Of course not, we're only half-way through the series, silly.  Perhaps the biggest issue facing this episode of Persona 4: The Animation was how to depict Narukami's situation as brought about by Mitsuo's Shadow - it's a tough thing to depict at the best of times without either treating the audience as dumb or giving the game away too soon.  In all fairness to the series it didn't go down either of these routes, yet there was still something unsatisfactory about the sudden sideways leap taken by the episode which is never fully explained when it comes to an end.  Still, to make up for that we were granted possibly the slickest and most ambitious action scene the show has granted us yet, as well as some great little sprinklings of humour that has become as much (if not more) of a part of watching Persona 4 as the murder mystery element of the series itself.  Either way, I'm more than a little interested as to what this series is going to deal us next, and that's praise indeed given its stumbling start.

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