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Persona 4 Golden Anime Based on New Game Plus, Puts Question Mark Above My Head

Posted on Monday, July 28 @ 14:30:00 PST by

Everything about the new Persona 4 Golden animation is weird. Maybe that's what makes it special, but both Alex Osborn and I are still waiting for the series to grab us like the original Persona 4 animation.

Yes, if you didn't already know already, the fantastic Persona 4 already received a 25-episode anime adaptation that aired between 2011-12 and recounted the events of the original game on PS2. Simply as an anime series, not just one based off a video game, I recommend watching it mainly if you don't intend to sink in 40+ hours into the game and want to know what the story is about. To continue the brief history lesson, the Persona 4 phenomenon then grew into the fighting game sequel Persona 4 Arena (which will be getting another remake with the Ultimax subtitle), the gorgeous Golden remake on Vita, and now of course the Persona 4 Golden animation. Whew!

What's most interesting about this re-adaptation (re-sequel? pre-sequel? se-prequel?) is that it's based off a New Game Plus walkthrough; apart from the initial episode, the animation fully expects that you've been through all this before. The story moves extremely fast or is cut-out entirely, moving sometimes months at a time. The protagonist Yu Narukami comes with full personal stats, or maxed-out Courage, Discipline, Understanding, etc., so some cut-scenes have him snicker (as if knows what's about to happen) or make him out to be much more badass. Indeed, the first battle inside the TV has Yu summon Izanagi already equipped with ridiculous demon powers (ostensibly carried over from the original playthrough).

Only three episodes have been posted so far, all available for free on Hulu, and it feels like they're all hijinks. Much of the action revolves around the Velvet Room assistant Marle, the new social link available from Golden, but the series is essentially fan service. Do you want to the whole gang go shopping at the mall? Here it is! Want them to have a crazy day at the beach? We have that!

Given that this series will only run for 12 episodes, far shorter than the original run, it can feel like every episode is moving at lightning speed. I hope that they show at least some part of the main mystery plot soon, because a large part of the fascination behind this animation is seeing just how much the story can change with a maxed-out Yu. The original run had an extra episode in OVA form that revealed the True Ending from Persona 4, so maybe this will be folded into the core series of Golden.

I'll update these impressions if there's an episode that completely blows me away; regardless, I'll share my thoughts on the entire series once it's over.

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