Persona 4: The Animation (2011–2012)

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Yu Narukami has moved from Tokyo to Inaba to stay with his uncle and cousin, while his parents are away on business. However, after a murder shakes up the sleepy town, things get even more ... See full summary »

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Series cast summary:
Daisuke Namikawa ...
 Yu Narukami (12 episodes, 2011)
Shotaro Morikubo ...
 Yosuke Hanamura (12 episodes, 2011)
Yui Horie ...
 Chie Satonaka (12 episodes, 2011)
Ami Koshimizu ...
 Yukiko Amagi (12 episodes, 2011)
 Yosuke Hanamura (12 episodes, 2011)
Erin Fitzgerald ...
 Chie Satonaka (12 episodes, 2011)
Amanda Winn Lee ...
 Yukiko Amagi (12 episodes, 2011)
Michelle Ann Dunphy ...
 Margaret (12 episodes, 2011)
Erika Harlacher ...
 Additional Voices (12 episodes, 2011)
Amanda Kay ...
 Additional Voices (12 episodes, 2011)
J.C. Miller ...
 Additional Voices (12 episodes, 2011)
Sayaka Ohara ...
 Margaret (12 episodes, 2011)
Victor Sgroi ...
 Additional Voices (12 episodes, 2011)
Bobby Thong ...
 Additional Voices (12 episodes, 2011)
Shinya Takahashi ...
 Additional Voices (11 episodes, 2011)
Akemi Kanda ...
 Nanako Dojima (10 episodes, 2011)
Isamu Tanonaka ...
 Igor (10 episodes, 2011)
Kappei Yamaguchi ...
 Kuma / ... (9 episodes, 2011)
 Teddie (8 episodes, 2011)
 Kanji Tatsumi (7 episodes, 2011)
Hiroki Goto ...
 Additional Voices (7 episodes, 2011)
Unshô Ishizuka ...
 Ryotaro Dojima (7 episodes, 2011)
Tomokazu Seki ...
 Kanji Tatsumi (7 episodes, 2011)
 Yu Narukami (6 episodes, 2011)
Mitsuaki Madono ...
 Tohru Adachi (6 episodes, 2011)
 Nanako Dojima (5 episodes, 2011)
Natsumi Takamori ...
 Additional Voices (5 episodes, 2011)
Aoi Yuki ...
 Aika Nakamura (5 episodes, 2011)


Yu Narukami has moved from Tokyo to Inaba to stay with his uncle and cousin, while his parents are away on business. However, after a murder shakes up the sleepy town, things get even more crazy when he discovers the mysterious "Midnight Channel," and that he has the even more mysterious ability to enter TVs. Accompanied by his disbelieving friends, Yu discovers another world inside the TVs, that seems to be connected with the murder. They also discover the ability to summon 'Persona', their 'other selves', whose power they can use to fight the shadows that inhabit the TV world. The murders, the Midnight Channel, the world inside the TV, and Persona. Yu and his friends fight to figure out how they're connected, and to solve the case before it's too late. Written by Lovebunny

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User Reviews

Reach out to the truth - of how amazing this anime is
2 August 2013 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

The story is a transfer student by the name of Yu Narukami arrives in a small rural town where he stays with his uncle and cousin. As he arrives there he befriends multiple, colourful personalities like Yosuke Hanamura, Chie Satonaka and Yukiko Agami. In their foggy town a series of mysterious murders occur and an urban myth about a mysterious "Midnight Channel" that comes on in rainy nights. Later on they discover that they can somehow enter the TVs into a strange world ravaged by "shadows" that they fight using "other selves" otherwise know as Personas. This strange world is also home to shadows that are sinister versions of our characters based on their repressed fantasies that they have to confront and overcome their issues. They discover that the murders, the fog, the midnight channel, the TV world and the Personas are all connected. With that in mind they scramble to solve the mystery behind the murders, meeting new friends with more colourful characters like Rise, Teddie, Kanji & Naoto along the way and forging unbreakable bonds with them.

This story will sound strange to "normal people" but it's essentially what you'd expect from an anime and truthfully all aspects of the story fit together nicely and provides lots of possibility for action, comedy, mystery and character development.

The animation and art style is breathtaking; it's vivid, colourful and very inviting. Despite taking place in a contemporary setting, each character is distinguished and identifiable with their color palettes, animated facial expressions and hairstyles. The action is also quite good, there's a lot of energy and it's exhilarating. Though I have to say a lot of the Personas in our heroes' arsenals aren't very well designed as a lot of them feel generic and/or randomly designed. Given that's they're gained after defeating their alter egos I was thinking that the designs would reflect their respective owners.

The setting of a small town is perfect for the story it's trying to tell. The Persona series is notable for taking place in the modern world we know whereas most RPGs take place in a fantasy setting of some sort. This is pretty risky as when you think about it, a lot of RPGs and popular anime take place in a fantasy world whether it's the Grand Line from One Piece or Gintama's alternate reality Earth where aliens immigrated. Though Persona 4 the animation does include an alternate reality inside a TV where they gain the abilities of Personas through bonds, surprisingly it subverts this by having much of the focus be on the characters solving the mystery of the murders while developing their relationships in the small town they live in.

The glue that holds everything together are the characters. Holy hell are they awesome, every single protagonist is likable. A lot of them are introduced at first as stereotypes; Hanamura is the goofball, Chie is the plucky tomboy, Yukiko is the shy sweetheart, Kanji the brute with a soft side and so forth. But they're far deeper characters than that. That's the brilliance of them, they're introduced to feel familiar to viewers (much like how RPG characters are to players) yet there's room for a lot of development. Yu Narukami is the main character who's stoic and reserved, but he has a big heart and will defend his family and friends till the end. To be honest, I initially didn't like him in the first few episodes as I felt he was very bland, especially next to the rest of the characters. But as the anime went on, he became the most developed and 3 dimensional character in the series with the bonds he forms with his family and friends is expanded upon while he himself grows as person as he juggles his family, friends, mission and commitments. It's very genuine and heartwarming.

And that's exactly why the series is so great, because the character's bonds is so genuine, everything else is more meaningful because it effects them so much while they effect their environment around them. As a result, you yourself end up forming a bond with them, when they're happy, you're happy, when they're sad, you're sad. Due to this the theme of people's bonds as an irresistible is very strong and enhances the narrative. They perfectly compliment all aspects of the show and it wouldn't be the same without them.

This is one of those stories that's mainly fueled by emotion much like most Disney and Miyazaki films. It's not based necessarily on what's logical, but based on what your emotions want to see. You don't really find yourself questioning why a world inside the TV exists where people's repressed fantasy is reality or how there are these mech thingies called Personas given to you by two people in an undisclosed location known as the "Velvet Room". You just go along with that as you're too swept up in what the characters are going through.

Of course I highly recommend this anime. As someone who watches shows like Full Metal Alchemist, Death Note and Trigun, I think Persona 4 the Animation definitely holds up against these anime and may even surpass them in my book. The story, the setting, the mystery and adventure is a classic and you just can't help but fall in love with the characters; they're familiar enough to relate to from the get go but are much deeper characters than that. Persona 4 the Animation is simply a gem, it's underrated and definitely deserves more attention.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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