Sunday, 1 April 2012

Persona 4: The Animation - Episode 25 (Completed)

It's always a little worrying when you hear news of an OVA "True End" episode before you've finished watching a series proper itself, but anyhow, here we are at the TV finale of Persona 4's animated outing.

Narukami and company might have finally tracked down and outed the individual responsible for starting the string of murders and disappearances around Yasoinaba, but the culprit in question is hardly repentant for what he's done - far from it in fact, he seems to be welcoming the merger of reality and the world of Shadows in the hope that the latter will take hold and bring forth what he sees a more suitable place for himself give his apathy towards the real world which he's fed up of.  There are, however, still signs that this isn't entirely the case, as a refusal to pull the trigger and kill Narukami exhibits, and ultimately its the strength of will of our heroes which turns things around and puts paid to their final opponent.

At least, that's the end of the line for their final human opponent, as they soon face an ever graver concern in the form of Ameno-sagiri, the being who created the world beyond the television and the Midnight Channel within it, even going as far as to suggest that he allowed select individuals to enter this world by his own will.  That said, the being in question claims to simply be the will of mankind, who seek to escape reality at every corner by creating their own false worlds to enjoy and worship.  He may have a point, but he has reckoned without the strengths of the bonds between our group of heroes - when push comes to shove and Narukami's life is in danger of being extinguished, their reaction is sufficient to win the day, sealing this mysterious world before it collides with reality - for now, at least.

So Persona 4: The Animation comes to an end (well, kind of) in a hugely satisfying and well-produced finale which worked perfectly to tie up the series and bring us a happy ending to proceedings.  Despite its early mis-steps, which were thankfully quickly cleared up, watching Persona 4 has been a terrific experience from my perspective of someone who hasn't played the original game beyond a few hours after starting to watch the series.  It's rare to find a series that manages to make its story elements which could be regarded as "filler" so consistently entertaining, and at times these comedic side-stories threatened to eclipse the main thrust of the series itself - thankfully, when it came to the crunch the show's "proper" story-telling was similarly impactful, with its only disappointments coming courtesy of some cop-outs and odd decisions from the source material rather than anything this adaptation specifically got wrong.  With a UK release on the horizon, I'll genuinely be looking forward to watching Persona 4: The Animation again in the future, and as an example in how to adapt a video game to anime well this must surely be one of the strongest reference cases out there.  It's a job incredibly well done for the most part, and I hope that its "True End" bonus episode does nothing to spoil that.


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