By Hailinel 63 Comments
A lot of people on Giant Bomb are enthused and excited for the upcoming anime adaptation of Persona 4. From the looks of things so far, that anticipation has good reason, as members of the game's development team are involved in its production, and it by and large appears to be a much more faithful take on the game than Persona: Trinity Soul, the just plain terrible non-canonical anime sequel to Persona 3. But I'm not here to talk about that. Instead, I'm here to present you all with a bit of a history lesson, complete with some visual aids from the Interweb Youtubes.
As some of you probably already know, the Persona series is a spin-off of Atlus's Megami Tensei series. (The direction of the original Persona was largely influenced by the Super Famicom game Shin Megami Tensei: if....) But Megami Tensei didn't start as a game series. It began life as a novel entitled Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei, which was loosely adapted into a dungeon-crawler RPG for the Famicom. The novel was the first volume of a trilogy written by the author Aya Nishitani. However, Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei II is a production independent of the novels with an original story and characters. Then Shin Megami Tensei was produced for the Super Famicom without the Digital Devil Story name.
So what does this all have to do with the Persona 4 anime? In addition to the Famicom game, the original novel was also adapted into an anime and, though I have not read the novels (my Japanese is far too insufficient for that), it is my understanding that it is a fairly faithful adaptation of the source material. Anyone with more knowledge than me on this is free to correct me where I am wrong, however. That being said, I came across a series of Youtube videos of a fan translation of the anime, and I thought I'd go ahead and share them here. It's only four videos long (five if you count the credits) and will take less than an hour to watch from start to finish.
BUT BE WARNED. This anime is most certainly not safe for work and contains graphic violence as well as some...interesting sexual situations (though nothing pornographic). That being said, if you want to see the story behind the original game in the franchise, this is a good opportunity. But like I said, don't watch these at work. Or in class. Also, don't come complaining to me about the '80s anime music. That's going to come with the territory, given the era it was produced.
Or, for those that are screaming something about teal deer right now, NSFW:
That's right, ladies and gentlemen. Without the novel upon which this is based, Persona 4 would not exist. But before I bring this post to a close, here's some footage of the Super Famicom remake of the original game:
I myself have only one real question. Is Aya Nishitani receiving any sort of residuals for all of the Megami Tensei games that have been produced over the years? I'm curious to know how the legal working behind this series have turned out.