Persona 4 Episode 1: Success and Failure in Familiarity

Posted by Turambar (6675 posts) -

Adaptations are tricky things to get right.  Cross-medium adaptations are even more difficult.  Like others before it, Persona 4 wades its way through trying to capitalize on the source.  And like others before it, the results are mixed, though I'd say it succeeds more than it fails thus far.

Both in visual and audio, the episode strives for familiarity.  Tracks from Persona 4's OST are inserted properly through out the episode with the OP theme being the opening track for the game in full.  Visually, things like the above calender and the persona summoning eye catch are seen, certain to bring much delight to fans of the game.  The usage of the status growth screen as the episode eye-catch is particularly interesting.  One can only speculate, but perhaps they will let it develop just as it did in game, hinting at possible S.link based plot points in up coming episodes as it reaches the proper number of courage points to down the curry.
 Max Knowledge First
As I said previously though, its attempt at familiarity is both success and failure, and I don't just mean how the MC's name is not "Charlie Tunoku".  Certain scenes simply do not translate from game to anime all too well, the most obvious being the initial entry into the television world.  The televised version simply felt rushed and Yosuke's urine antics leading to the falling into the TV, instead of delivering a good laugh as it did in game, had me raising an eye brow at in annoyance at how absurd and poor that scene felt.
 BUFU
The MC's silent protagonist retreatment also bears mentioning.  One can count the lines of dialogue he has in the episode on your fingers and toes.  While that is not bad unto itself, his incredibly reserved, shy, and passive personality is simply not the type of character he presented himself as in game, regardless of player decisions.  Things do get a bit more lively and heated during the combat scene (and I don't just mean when he starts stripping) as he utters a few emotion filled lines, and one can only hope his personality does not remain so blank.
 Delicious Jacket Unbuttoning
Familiarity is a double edged sword, and perhaps Persona 4 will wield it well.  The first episode was far more good than bad despite my criticisms, and one can only hope it keeps going that way.
#1 Posted by Turambar (6675 posts) -

Adaptations are tricky things to get right.  Cross-medium adaptations are even more difficult.  Like others before it, Persona 4 wades its way through trying to capitalize on the source.  And like others before it, the results are mixed, though I'd say it succeeds more than it fails thus far.

Both in visual and audio, the episode strives for familiarity.  Tracks from Persona 4's OST are inserted properly through out the episode with the OP theme being the opening track for the game in full.  Visually, things like the above calender and the persona summoning eye catch are seen, certain to bring much delight to fans of the game.  The usage of the status growth screen as the episode eye-catch is particularly interesting.  One can only speculate, but perhaps they will let it develop just as it did in game, hinting at possible S.link based plot points in up coming episodes as it reaches the proper number of courage points to down the curry.
 Max Knowledge First
As I said previously though, its attempt at familiarity is both success and failure, and I don't just mean how the MC's name is not "Charlie Tunoku".  Certain scenes simply do not translate from game to anime all too well, the most obvious being the initial entry into the television world.  The televised version simply felt rushed and Yosuke's urine antics leading to the falling into the TV, instead of delivering a good laugh as it did in game, had me raising an eye brow at in annoyance at how absurd and poor that scene felt.
 BUFU
The MC's silent protagonist retreatment also bears mentioning.  One can count the lines of dialogue he has in the episode on your fingers and toes.  While that is not bad unto itself, his incredibly reserved, shy, and passive personality is simply not the type of character he presented himself as in game, regardless of player decisions.  Things do get a bit more lively and heated during the combat scene (and I don't just mean when he starts stripping) as he utters a few emotion filled lines, and one can only hope his personality does not remain so blank.
 Delicious Jacket Unbuttoning
Familiarity is a double edged sword, and perhaps Persona 4 will wield it well.  The first episode was far more good than bad despite my criticisms, and one can only hope it keeps going that way.
#2 Posted by Devoid (429 posts) -

His personality in the anime will probably develop along with the status screen they use. It'd make the most sense, right?

At least, I hope that's what they're going for.

#3 Posted by Video_Game_King (36012 posts) -

I thought the piss joke was charming enough, at least for what it was doing I was more pissed about Teddie, snarf snarf. I'll just say that I thought it was pretty cool, and this is coming from somebody who doesn't know jack shit about Persona 4 (I'm only kinda learning why people like Chie so damn much).

Online
#4 Posted by Maajin (1052 posts) -

I like anime, I love Persona 4, I had high hopes, and I absolutely hated it. That's why you NEVER adapt something that literally from a media to another. The episode has no structure at all, it seemed so rushed to try and get some (terrible) action in it... And I totally agree with OP about Narukami's (lack of) character, it makes no sense why someone would ever befriend that guy.

And how desperate can they be? The whole time, the thing kept screaming "hey guys? remember this from the game? you like the game, right? hey, remember this song? hey! look, its the calendar!", it reminded me of the game footage inserted between shots in Uwe Boll's House of the Dead.

#5 Posted by Hailinel (23904 posts) -

@Maajin said:

I like anime, I love Persona 4, I had high hopes, and I absolutely hated it. That's why you NEVER adapt something that literally from a media to another. The episode has no structure at all, it seemed so rushed to try and get some (terrible) action in it... And I totally agree with OP about Narukami's (lack of) character, it makes no sense why someone would ever befriend that guy.

And how desperate can they be? The whole time, the thing kept screaming "hey guys? remember this from the game? you like the game, right? hey, remember this song? hey! look, its the calendar!", it reminded me of the game footage inserted between shots in Uwe Boll's House of the Dead.

That's just being hyperbolic, if you ask me.

The pacing of the episode was very quick, but I found every minute of it fun. And it didn't feel disjointed at all. The day separations made it very clear that time is passing between scenes, and given the span of time that's meant to be covered, and the way that little or nothing happened on certain days in the game anyway, it makes sense to me to do it this way. And as for the action, I don't see what was so terrible about it. Really.

And as for Narukami's character, he was always pretty quiet in the game, anyway, so I wasn't bothered by him at all.

Honestly, I'm not sure what some people were expecting. Frankly, the first episode exceeded my expectations.

Online
#6 Posted by RockinKemosabe (619 posts) -

The episode seemed to be a way to literal adaptation of the game. Besides I'm holding out for the episode where they fish, study, read a book, fold envelopes and that's it. Just like the Endurance Run occasionally.

#7 Posted by Hizang (8534 posts) -

Where is this being shown?

#8 Posted by ReyGitano (2467 posts) -

It doesn't look like they're doing any work to make the transition from how a story is told in a game to how it's told in something like a television series, instead just opting out to animating out every important scene from the game. I don't think people outside of Persona-land will enjoy it very much, but as someone who's played the game, I was just getting nerd joy by pointing to my screen is saying, "YES, I REMEMBER THIS"!

#9 Posted by Turambar (6675 posts) -
@Hizang said:
Where is this being shown?
I believe it is being simulcasted in NA on Hulu, and another service that I can't remember off the top of my head.  I used a fansub since it allows for easier screen caps.
#10 Posted by Turambar (6675 posts) -
@ReyGitano: There are minor details in the fan service that is delicious, and if you read my blogs on animevice, you know how I love the small stuff.  The reflection off Charlie's glasses for example is makes me feel quite fuzzy inside.
#11 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19308 posts) -
@ReyGitano said:

It doesn't look like they're doing any work to make the transition from how a story is told in a game to how it's told in something like a television series, instead just opting out to animating out every important scene from the game.

That's not true. They heavily modified the characters' first visit inside TV Land to make everything move at a faster pace.
#12 Posted by Hizang (8534 posts) -

@Turambar: Any UK showings?

#13 Posted by ReyGitano (2467 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ said:

@ReyGitano said:

It doesn't look like they're doing any work to make the transition from how a story is told in a game to how it's told in something like a television series, instead just opting out to animating out every important scene from the game.

That's not true. They heavily modified the characters' first visit inside TV Land to make everything move at a faster pace.

But that just feels like a way to get through all the material in a fast enough pace. What I'm talking about is smoother transitions between scenes and more elegant ways to give information to the viewer instead of the immediate shifts and quick lines delivered in the anime.

#14 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19308 posts) -
@ReyGitano said: 

But that just feels like a way to get through all the material in a fast enough pace. What I'm talking about is smoother transitions between scenes and more elegant ways to give information to the viewer instead of the immediate shifts and quick lines delivered in the anime.

Ah, okay. I definitely agree with that.
#15 Edited by omegadude (44 posts) -

yeah probably not a good idea to put sources for the fansubs but there not hard to find but thats how i watched it due to it being in 720p as apposed to Hulu

#16 Posted by Hailinel (23904 posts) -

@ReyGitano said:

@FluxWaveZ said:

@ReyGitano said:

It doesn't look like they're doing any work to make the transition from how a story is told in a game to how it's told in something like a television series, instead just opting out to animating out every important scene from the game.

That's not true. They heavily modified the characters' first visit inside TV Land to make everything move at a faster pace.

But that just feels like a way to get through all the material in a fast enough pace. What I'm talking about is smoother transitions between scenes and more elegant ways to give information to the viewer instead of the immediate shifts and quick lines delivered in the anime.

And your suggested solution would be...?

The episode delivered all of the information that was required for the basic exposition. Here's Yu, a guy forced to live with his uncle and cousin in a podunk town for a year. Here are his classmates that befriend him and his asshole teacher. Here's the initial set-up for the mystery that will drive the series forward, the rumor about the Midnight Channel, and the start of adventures within the TV.

Online
#17 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19308 posts) -
@Hailinel said: 

And your suggested solution would be...?

The episode delivered all of the information that was required for the basic exposition. Here's Yu, a guy forced to live with his uncle and cousin in a podunk town for a year. Here are his classmates that befriend him and his asshole teacher. Here's the initial set-up for the mystery that will drive the series forward, the rumor about the Midnight Channel, and the start of adventures within the TV.

I'm kind of okay with it for a first episode as it's just basic exposition and it may even be because of the game's slow pace that I found this episode to be ridiculously fast paced, but I definitely don't want subsequent episodes jumping from scene to scene to scene as if they just want it to be over with. There's a lot of stuff to cover in only 25 episodes, but I wouldn't find the rush appealing to watch.
#18 Posted by Turambar (6675 posts) -
#19 Posted by Turambar (6675 posts) -
@Hailinel said:

@ReyGitano said:

@FluxWaveZ said:

@ReyGitano said:

It doesn't look like they're doing any work to make the transition from how a story is told in a game to how it's told in something like a television series, instead just opting out to animating out every important scene from the game.

That's not true. They heavily modified the characters' first visit inside TV Land to make everything move at a faster pace.

But that just feels like a way to get through all the material in a fast enough pace. What I'm talking about is smoother transitions between scenes and more elegant ways to give information to the viewer instead of the immediate shifts and quick lines delivered in the anime.

And your suggested solution would be...?

The episode delivered all of the information that was required for the basic exposition. Here's Yu, a guy forced to live with his uncle and cousin in a podunk town for a year. Here are his classmates that befriend him and his asshole teacher. Here's the initial set-up for the mystery that will drive the series forward, the rumor about the Midnight Channel, and the start of adventures within the TV.

There really isn't one.  Persona 4 does simply open incredibly slowly.  Remember, the opening to the game from Igor till PERSONA is about an hour and a half of cut scenes, give or take a few.  That simply doesn't work for an anime with a set number of episodes.  I'm not a fan of the quickened pace to be honest, but I think they're doing the best they can given the circumstances.
#20 Posted by Vexxan (4615 posts) -

Mjeh, it was decent. I was hoping for something more but yeah, all in all it felt a bit rushed.

Still, it's only the first episode...

#21 Posted by supermike6 (3540 posts) -

I have no way of looking at an objective standpoint, since I've played and am very familiar with the game. That means that I can fill in the blanks myself, and so I didn't really notice anything particularly missing since I wasn't looking for it. From that perspective, I really liked it; I liked how they treated the characters, I thought the action sequence looked cool, and it was interesting to hear the Japanese cast for the first time (Japanese Chie is so much better).

#22 Posted by ReyGitano (2467 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

And your suggested solution would be...?

The episode delivered all of the information that was required for the basic exposition. Here's Yu, a guy forced to live with his uncle and cousin in a podunk town for a year. Here are his classmates that befriend him and his asshole teacher. Here's the initial set-up for the mystery that will drive the series forward, the rumor about the Midnight Channel, and the start of adventures within the TV.

Just like game reviewers aren't saying they could have done better themselves when they give a game a bad score, I'm not saying I have a solution to the problem, I'm just saying that if have some of my friends who like anime sit down and watch it, I doubt they'll think very highly of it compared to other shows out there. Your summary also delivered all the information that was required for a basic exposition, but that doesn't mean that it was delivered in the best possible way.

I will say that I think one of the reasons why players are immediately invested in Persona is because YOU are Charlie. This is your new school, your new friends, and your creepy Teddy Bear creature. I'm not sure that people as viewers will have the same impact without that strong connection to cause them to immediately care.

But I never thought that they would put the effort into making this a great anime, instead it'll serve as a reminder to me that Persona 4 was awesome.

#23 Posted by Hailinel (23904 posts) -

@ReyGitano: You can't say for sure how people would like it until they watch it. Saying they might not like it is akin to saying that they might like it.

Online
#24 Posted by ReyGitano (2467 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@ReyGitano: You can't say for sure how people would like it until they watch it. Saying they might not like it is akin to saying that they might like it.

No, but there's very little we can say for sure; even so entire businesses are built around making assumptions about whether people will like a product or not, so here I find myself making those assumptions.

#25 Posted by ShiftyMagician (2129 posts) -

Although I would have liked some higher quality animation in there (just didn't like every moment where camera pannings felt a tad too fast or when certain scenes were given the camera blur treatment), the first episode was fine for me personally. I'll be curious how they handle the story pacing after a few episodes, but so far I am not disappointed by it at all. Also as someone who has played the game a bit, I found it hilarious that they actually put up the stats web. Completely unneccesary but gave me a chuckle. Also didn't expect to hear the catchy game tunes to be actually used in the episode, which was a nice touch for me.

I really want to know if there will be English dubs for this and if it will be most if not all of the voice actors from the game that do this.

#26 Posted by Turambar (6675 posts) -
@omegadude said:

yeah probably not a good idea to put sources for the fansubs but there not hard to find but thats how i watched it due to it being in 720p as apposed to Hulu

Some things are simply not subtitled as well on Hulu, like the translation for that status screen eye-catch.  But legit streaming is definitely getting there, slowly but surely. 
#27 Posted by el_tajij (708 posts) -

FInally found this on youtube (being a UK'er). Very mixed feelings, however, I feel as a pilot episode it did pretty well. I feel like that episode was presented to a boardroom somewhere that was like 'Hey guys - see, all this stuff CAN work in anime-form' so they'd get funding for the rest of the series.

I would say, first: anyone who watched this and wasn't a Persona 4 fan would not get much from it, second: I'm struggling to enjoy the Japanese voiceovers. Part of the reason I loved Persona 4 was the voice acting was just so well delivered, if they do a english dub I'd be totally on board with this show. Art-wise, it looks amazing and EXACTLY how i'd imagine everyone to look through the course of the game. Props to Chie, because she looks totally awesome in this. She was drawn really well.

I'm very excited to see more and so I feel this first episode was definitely a success.

@Turambar: I totally agree about the Main character thing, I always got the feeling from the game that the MC is this super-charming, very assertive guy (which is why everyone likes you) but he just seemed like a bit of an uninterested and unappreciative jerk in this. I hope they develop him more! Like you say, maybe that will come with the status increases...

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