My Journey in to Persona 4 animation: Ep 7

Posted by metalsnakezero (2288 posts) -
All out attack, GO!

Nothing like a whole episode of the bad bad bathhouse to make my relaxing afternoon even better.

Its interesting to see where speeding up the pacing works well when its the point in the game involving grinding for EXP and moving up a floor or two. Here the episode goes from exposition of the gang confirming if Kanji is missing to their journey inside the TV mixing in some nice comedy that is fitting with the setting. At first I wasn't sure if the comedy they were going for in the bad bad bathhouse would work well since it can be a bit goofy but considering how the bad bad bathhouse is like the way it is, it works in its favor. However, its transition from a really funny moment to a more serious one, like where Kanji accepts himself, could had been a little smoother and would had like it to be more impacting as Yukiko's was but seeing Kanji punching his own shadow is a different type of impact. In the end, it was another put together episode with nice beats to it. But least forget about the now and look to the future, because the good damn camping trip is coming! Mystery food X, here we come!

Highlight

Just like the game, the girls get pissed
Teddie sonar, activate!
Kanji, slow down! Shouldn't you talk first?
#1 Posted by metalsnakezero (2288 posts) -
All out attack, GO!

Nothing like a whole episode of the bad bad bathhouse to make my relaxing afternoon even better.

Its interesting to see where speeding up the pacing works well when its the point in the game involving grinding for EXP and moving up a floor or two. Here the episode goes from exposition of the gang confirming if Kanji is missing to their journey inside the TV mixing in some nice comedy that is fitting with the setting. At first I wasn't sure if the comedy they were going for in the bad bad bathhouse would work well since it can be a bit goofy but considering how the bad bad bathhouse is like the way it is, it works in its favor. However, its transition from a really funny moment to a more serious one, like where Kanji accepts himself, could had been a little smoother and would had like it to be more impacting as Yukiko's was but seeing Kanji punching his own shadow is a different type of impact. In the end, it was another put together episode with nice beats to it. But least forget about the now and look to the future, because the good damn camping trip is coming! Mystery food X, here we come!

Highlight

Just like the game, the girls get pissed
Teddie sonar, activate!
Kanji, slow down! Shouldn't you talk first?
#2 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19308 posts) -

I was a bit disappointed by how Kanji's Shadow was handled in the end. There was a certain intensity to Yukiko accepting her inner self, while this episode lacked that. I'm okay with the comedy, even during the Shadow battle, but I would have liked Kanji accepting his Shadow to be handled as well as Yukiko's. I liked it when Kanji said "You're right... I love cute shit!" while rushing in to punch the boss, though.

#3 Posted by Hailinel (23944 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ said:

I was a bit disappointed by how Kanji's Shadow was handled in the end. There was a certain intensity to Yukiko accepting her inner self, while this episode lacked that. I'm okay with the comedy, even during the Shadow battle, but I would have liked Kanji accepting his Shadow to be handled as well as Yukiko's. I liked it when Kanji said "You're right... I love cute shit!" while rushing in to punch the boss, though.

I liked how it was handled. I don't really want the series to fall into the same trap that the game did, where each Shadow encounter and resolution was handled almost identically:

  1. "You're not me!"
  2. *Gets knocked out.*
  3. Party defeats Shadow.
  4. Rescued character wakes up and accepts their Shadow.

The TV series would have become just as formulaic if the nature of the drama in dealing with Yukiko's Shadow were to be repeated for all of the subsequent rescues. And well, Kanji is just a different character. He decked his Shadow in the game, too, and the reasoning for his acceptance was also largely the same.

Online
#4 Posted by metalsnakezero (2288 posts) -

@Hailinel: Thats true. I expect the same thing to happen with Rise's arc where it'll have a nice change from the game.

#5 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

I think it was handled fine, the other characters acting weirded out is pretty normal too. Kanji's shadow was just plain uncomfortable and over the top.

#6 Edited by FluxWaveZ (19308 posts) -
@Hailinel said: 

The TV series would have become just as formulaic if the nature of the drama in dealing with Yukiko's Shadow were to be repeated for all of the subsequent rescues. And well, Kanji is just a different character. He decked his Shadow in the game, too, and the reasoning for his acceptance was also largely the same.

Perhaps that's true, but not necessarily given the inherent differences between each of the characters' Shadows. Chie's and Yosuke's weren't handled in the same manner as Yukiko's, but  Yukiko's was definitely my favorite because of all of the flashbacks and symbolism that fleshed out her background that weren't entirely addressed in the game. Kanji's didn't have that and most of that Shadow encounter was just Narukami and the gang battling and failing until he fused Personas. Then, Kanji just said similar stuff to what he said in the game to accept his Shadow and that was that. In Yukiko's, most of her Shadow encounter wasn't actually comprised of battling, but scenes to demonstrate why exactly her Shadow was the way it is. I liked that, and I don't really want  the Shadow battles to be 80% action and 20% psychological like it was with Kanji's, especially since the victims remain conscious during those encounters in the anime.
#7 Posted by Vexxan (4616 posts) -

Great episode, loved all the comedy in it. 

#8 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11488 posts) -

I found this episode to be kind of hilarious, but thought that the resolution with Kanji's shadow was a little abrupt. Then again, I guess I prefer it to the gigantic anvil of symbolism that was Yukiko's boss battle. Because, yo man, BIRDCAGES.

Camping Trip is next episode. They're already a third through the endurance run.

#9 Posted by Rudeboy217 (1766 posts) -

I really liked how Yu and Yosuke were groped by the huge men.

#10 Edited by TooWalrus (13139 posts) -

I LOVE CUTE SHIT!!

Best episode yet- has there been any word on who they got to do the English dub?

#11 Posted by ch3burashka (5017 posts) -

@Sooty said:

I think it was handled fine, the other characters acting weirded out is pretty normal too. Kanji's shadow was just plain uncomfortable and over the top.

That's my main issue with both the series and the game - you say it's "uncomfortable", but I say it doesn't have to be. Throughout, they have to deal with people's hidden feelings, such as jealousy and selfishness and a need for attention and a need for identity, but it's only sexuality that they treat like the plague. Granted, they're "only" in high school (10th or 11th?) but they should be mature enough to deal with sexual identity, and even then, his Shadow wasn't really about sexuality, it was about acceptance, with the "sexual wrapper" being a test of acceptance. In the game, only Yosuke got weirded out, which is fine, but when the whole team is so outwardly homophobic it felt wrong.

#12 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

@CH3BURASHKA said:

@Sooty said:

I think it was handled fine, the other characters acting weirded out is pretty normal too. Kanji's shadow was just plain uncomfortable and over the top.

That's my main issue with both the series and the game - you say it's "uncomfortable", but I say it doesn't have to be. Throughout, they have to deal with people's hidden feelings, such as jealousy and selfishness and a need for attention and a need for identity, but it's only sexuality that they treat like the plague. Granted, they're "only" in high school (10th or 11th?) but they should be mature enough to deal with sexual identity, and even then, his Shadow wasn't really about sexuality, it was about acceptance, with the "sexual wrapper" being a test of acceptance. In the game, only Yosuke got weirded out, which is fine, but when the whole team is so outwardly homophobic it felt wrong.

Kanji's shadow is just extremely over the top and uncomfortable, I could see how it would make people feel very awkward of all ages, especially when it's of somebody that is so different otherwise.

If it was just about being unsure of his sexuality then it wouldn't really be a big deal, it's just how his shadow acts that makes it weird, not the topic at hand.

#13 Edited by mutha3 (4985 posts) -

I thought the way they handled Kanji struggling with his sexuality was incredibly embarrassing(well I say "handle", but really, I should say "made shitty gay jokes about"), and wasn't nearly as tactful as it was in the game. Episode was funny, but I feel bad for laughing at it given the subject matter.

#14 Posted by Rehtayne (127 posts) -

I would like to think that it's us, the audience, who is being far more sensitive to Kanji's sexuality than the Investigation Team itself.

It is my interpretation that each character's shadow is not a representative of the entire set of hidden feelings that said character might have. Rather it's a particularly repressed aspect of their conscious personified to a radical degree. Kanji's Shadow, to me, is not a representation of his homosexuality, but rather the internal conflict of sexuality that Kanji refused to resolve prior to this point. Both the game and the anime refuse to state whether or not Kanji is a homosexual because he has yet to figure it out himself.

That said, it's not Kanji's sexuality that is making the Investigation Team uncomfortable (though it likely contributed to it). Rather, it's the atmosphere of the Bathhouse created by Kanji's emotions, which Yosuke aptly described as "haywire." It's the truth of Kanji's personality, being shown to them against the wills of all parties involved. Their preconceived notions of Kanji's identity of an angry, ruthless punk being a near opposite of his actual personality, a conflict hinted at throughout the episode. Two particular scenes that come to mind to support this are when the group learns the truth behind the stuffed rabbit, and during Naoto's conversation with the team before they go back into the TV. Furthermore, it's supported by the fact that Teddie acts perfectly normal during the entire episode, regardless of the group's hesitation. It can easily be explained by the fact that Teddie has no prior knowledge of Kanji as a person at all.

Now I might be completely off the mark, but to discover the truth and just how wrong you are in such a dramatic fashion, in combination with other factors such as having to endure it with people you have just recently considered friends, it makes sense that the Investigation Team responded in such an awkward manner.

#15 Posted by Hailinel (23944 posts) -

@mutha3 said:

I thought the way they handled Kanji struggling with his sexuality was incredibly embarrassing(well I say "handle", but really, I should say "made shitty gay jokes about"), and wasn't nearly as tactful as it was in the game. Episode was funny, but I feel bad for laughing at it given the subject matter.

They weren't making fun of Kanji's sexuality, though. The nature of a Shadow is that it's only part of a whole, and not representative of the full extent of a personality. They're also, by nature, very extreme in their depictions of what sliver of a person that they represent. That's why Kanji's Shadow behaves like a sex-crazed fruit, Chie's Shadow takes the form of a dominatrix, and Rise's Shadow is...well, you get the idea. Whether or not Kanji is gay, his Shadow and the dungeon itself aren't truly representative of who he is; it's like meeting a caricature of Kanji, which would naturally give anyone that knew the actual Kanji pause, at the very least. And no one outright states that they're uncomfortable because Kanji is gay. The guys are made uncomfortable by the atmosphere, while the girls end up with their own reasons to become infuriated. Hell, that moment where Chie and Yukiko go into the berserker rage reminded me a lot of the fury status effect from the game.

Actually, the humor is more or less derived from two things; how ridiculous Shadow Kanji is (along with his two bros), and the characters' reactions to the situation that they're in. At no point do they make light of the fact that Kanji, or rather, the actual, whole Kanji, may in fact be gay.

Online
#16 Posted by MooseyMcMan (10536 posts) -

The show is crazy, and it's only getting crazier.

I love it.

#17 Posted by Zomgfruitbunnies (752 posts) -

I LOVE WOMEN.

#18 Posted by Video_Game_King (36068 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

  1. "You're not me!"
  2. *Gets knocked out.*
  3. Party defeats Shadow.
  4. Rescued character wakes up and accepts their Shadow.

Isn't that kinda close to how it's handled in the anime? Just replace "gets knocked out" with "party tries to beat Shadow, but fucks up". (Also, given the masochism of the gay giant things, can you beat them in-game with a couple of Phoenix Downs :P?)

#19 Posted by Hailinel (23944 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@Hailinel said:

  1. "You're not me!"
  2. *Gets knocked out.*
  3. Party defeats Shadow.
  4. Rescued character wakes up and accepts their Shadow.

Isn't that kinda close to how it's handled in the anime? Just replace "gets knocked out" with "party tries to beat Shadow, but fucks up". (Also, given the masochism of the gay giant things, can you beat them in-game with a couple of Phoenix Downs :P?)

You're being superficial.

Online
#20 Posted by Video_Game_King (36068 posts) -

@Hailinel:

Not entirely. I've been reluctant to develop any sort of opinions on this (partly because negative criticisms will garner lots of yelling, partly because I haven't watched enough anime to get a feel for what works in it, partly because "yea, this is pretty good" is a bland piece of crap of an opinion, a few other reasons, etc.), but one thing I've been noticing is that the Persona fights have been kinda formulaic. The shadow comes in, reveals some unwanted part of their personality, the character in question freaks out (or is generally rendered unable to fight), and the other characters have to fight the shadow until the character du jour learns to accept their dark side. Also, there may or may not be a new Persona.

#21 Posted by Hailinel (23944 posts) -

@Video_Game_King: Well, of course there's a pattern. The game followed a pattern. But the anime breaks from that pattern in the specifics of the encounters.

Online
#22 Posted by Dunchad (473 posts) -

Definitely the best episode so far. I really like the direction they're taking Yu - his sense of humour is just right (taping the Midnight Channel and offering it to Yusuke and being frustrated by the lack of a camera when the girls fall down on the nuru gel).

And the fusion bit was awesome. I didn't think we would get to see any fusions and would be limited to a specific persona within each Arcana - the way they handled it here was really nice and it made Yu look like a badass.

#23 Posted by bbrcher (67 posts) -

@mutha3: Same here, I actually didn't laugh and was tempted to skip forward... was good overall though.

The little backtrack to the "shadow in the rain/fog" might have been a little too subtle/short for someone who doesn't know the story to grasp.

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