With the fun (or hardships in Narukami's case) of the summer over, it's back to school for a new term as we hit episode fifteen of Persona 4: The Animation. Not only that, we also get a new transfer student to ponder, with young assistant detective Naoto Shirogane joining the school to suggest his increased prominence within the series moving forward.
Still, if going back to school is normally a thing of anguish, there's no such worries here as the first activity upon their return is the school's field trip to give the students a dose of excitement before they've even started. That said, this isn't so much your typical school trip but rather a "cultural exchange" with another school in the rather fancy Tatsumi Port area, making for an impressive yet ultimately dull first day for all and sundry. Things only really begin to get interesting once evening draws in, and the students find themselves housed in a rather "interesting" hotel while the gang find themselves with an unexpected visitor in the form of Teddie.
With the second day of their trip to themselves, it's time to go out and explore, although the group soon get split up before Narukami runs into Chie rather bravely (and impressively) fending off some would-be muggers picking on a poor young local. The resulting conversation between the two of them signifies an increasing closeness in their relationship - a thought interrupted by news that Rise has managed to find a club for the group to hang out in. Cue lots of drinking (but it's not alcohol, honest!), proof that Yuu is the king of cool no matter what his state of sobriety and an ultimately rather weak King's Game in that very anime-esque way we're all used to.
Aside from bringing Naoto into the fold, and despite being part of the original game I believe, it's probably fair to say that this is effectively more filler for the series as it edges ever-so slowly back towards some more serious fare. Thankfully, if there's one thing Persona 4 has managed ably it's presenting less important aspects of its adaptation complete with a shed-load of entertainment, something which the series manages again here with great use of Narukami's staid character and with plenty of funny and laugh out loud moments to keep things ticking over. In a way, I almost prefer this side of Persona 4 to its murder-mystery aspects - then again, I'm just about ready to return to something a little more meaty after the fun and frolics of recent weeks.