Persona 4 Ep 2: Slowing Down
I think this episode slowed the pace down quite a bit, and that’s great news. Hopefully everyone now has a relatively clear sense of what the conflict is all about: someone’s throwing people into this midnight TV thingy, where all these shadows of negativity are lurking. Yosuke faced his own shadow, i.e. he realized that his shadow was a legitimate side of himself, and was able to defeat it (with help from Yu’s persona, of course).
Something in the visual aspect of this show bothers me, but I’m so ignorant of the production side of anime that I can’t even tell what it is! I mean, the art is pretty and the animation is fluid enough, but something just doesn’t click. Is it the art? The animation? An intersection of the two? Something else altogether? I just get this feeling that if they would throw more money at this show it could look 100 times better. I like how it looks, but it could look much better. Hmm…
I’m really happy that the anime is following through with the game’s focus on sexuality. It’s pretty obvious already that Yosuke and Yu are forming a bond, and that this bond can go all sorts of ways. One of the strengths of the game was its openness to all of these possibilities, and it does look like the anime will be faithful in this respect as well.
On the topic of faithfulness, it’s great that this episode managed to stick close to game events without being compelled to show absolutely everything that happened. Transitions were much more even and we weren’t left scratching our heads like in the first episode when stuff happened and we just didn’t know why…
On to the fights. I don’t like how much they’re relying on closeups. I much prefer “surveying” the battle from a larger distance. Anyway, as the number of combatants increase I think the animators will be forced to pull back the camera, as it were, and so I will be pleased. And I like to be pleased.
1) Paradoxically, the Kuma puns work better in English translation! In Japanese, the bear critter just adds the word “kuma” (=bear) at the end of every sentence. The English translators in the game worked on finding more intellectually stimulating puns, and subbers are following suit. Thus the English Kuma will say things like: “Bear with me” and “I’m beary tired”. Sure, it’s not rocket science but it’s still far superior to the Japanese treatment.
2) When Yosuke asks his shadow who he is, the shadow responds: “I am the shadow, the true I.” [The word “ware” can mean “self” as well, so this works better in the original] The Japanese is “Ware wa kage, shinnaru ware” (=我は影、真なる我). This is not Modern Japanese, it’s Classical. I’m currently studying the classical language so this is pretty awesome! Anyway, in modern Japanese one would say something like “Watashi wa kage, honto no watashi”.