Persona 4: The Animation - "The Contractor's key" Episode 2 Recap
After once again appearing in the Velvet room, Igor decides to give Yu what is called “The Contractor’s Key” which allows him to come and go of his own free will. Margaret tells Yu that he possesses the power of the Wild Card, which is a Persona power that relates to the number zero. This means he has a infinite amount of possibilities in using his Persona ability. After Yu wakes up, he defeats the shadows with the power of the Persona named Izanagi. The group decides to return to the location where they first entered the mysterious TV world. They end up meeting a mysterious bear again named “Teddie” who is completely suspicious of them. He easily summons a portal and forces them to return to their own world. The next day, the entire Yasogami High School is left speechless when they find out that Saki Konishi was found dead in the exact same way of Ms. Yamano. Yosuke begins to consider the idea that the Midnight channel showing Saki and the mysterious TV world might be connected, suggesting the idea that somebody actually threw Saki and Ms.Yamano inside the TV.
Yosuke decides they must head back into the TV world in order to find any clues while ignoring Chie who is completely against the idea. Yu and Yosuke go back inside the TV and end up meeting Teddie again who is convinced they are the ones throwing people inside his home. After a quick argument, Yu decides to help Teddie find the real culprit behind the killings as long as Teddie helps them. As they explore the mysterious world, they end up coming across a shadow version of Inaba’s shopping district, and Teddie shows them to the area where Saki was last sensed, which turns out to be her home, Konishi Liquors. Yosuke barges through the shadow version of the shop after hearing voices talking about Saki “shaming her family” by working at Junes, which is the industry putting her family out of
Yosuke also ends up hearing Saki’s true feelings of him and instead of ones of “love” like he thought of her, she simply thought of him as a “pain in the ass”, and that she was only nice to him because he was the son of the manager at Junes. Suddenly, a shadow version of Yosuke appears out of nowhere, who symbolizes his true inner regrets of boredom in the country side compared to the city where he once lived. Yosuke tries to disagree with the mysterious shadow and says he’s not him, but the shadow only laughs and ends up transforming into a frog like monster with loads of power due to Yosuke’s denial to reveal what is locked away in his heart. In truth, Yosuke has always wanted people to accept him for who he was (not just the manager of Junes’ son) and he thought Saki truly paid attention to him.
Yu decides to take matters into his own hands and sends out Izanagi to face the fierce shadow. Yu accidentally punches Yosuke during the battle and reminds him that it only matters that he himself liked Saki, not if Saki loved him back. This causes Yosuke to gain the courage to face who he is within. Yosuke’s shadow weakens and Izanagi finishes it off for good. Yosuke tells the remains of his shadow that they are both the same and part of each other. Yosuke’s shadow suddenly turns into a Persona named “Jiraiya” who belongs to the Magician Arcana. Yu and Yosuke leave the TV world and decide to tackle the case to find who is throwing people inside the TV and murdering them. Due to their strong bond as friends now, they end up suddenly forging a social link and Yu “somehow” (to be revealed soon) ends up gaining the power of the Magician Arcana.
In the episode recap of “You’re myself, I’m yourself” I mentioned that the series piled too many things into the first episode and that it might be a bit confusing to new viewers. Luckily, “The Contractors key”, starts itself on a pace to hook new watchers. This episode covers Saki’s murder all the way to the point when Yosuke gains his Persona. Immediately after watching, the first thing I thought to compliment is the amount of emotion and character development present. Yosuke’s resolve was much better done here in the anime, than in the game itself, which completely surprised me. In the game it was a very quick battle with not much divulged beyond Yosuke liking Saki and her strong, secret dislike of him for putting her family practically out of business. However, here in the animation, we get to see emotional impact. For example, during the battle with Yosuke’s shadow, it shows screens with past memories of people saying how much they dislike Yosuke and how annoying he is. Plus, it shows Saki’s false kindness to Yosuke when he tries talking to her. Adding these scenes in helps us relate to the characters and understand the amount pain they are going through.
The plot at this point is rather interesting. From this episode we learn that there is in fact a killer in Inaba who is literally throwing people inside the TV world to their deaths. This causes you to wonder who is doing this and what his or her motives are. We’re introduced to the concept of a shadow version of somebody manifesting when they are inside this mysterious TV world, how it causes them to face their deepest regrets and fears. I also enjoyed was how the fighting choreography was animated. The fighting so far that has been shown is very fierce and it only makes me more excited to see how they handle the upcoming bosses and fights from the game. The whole entire battle between Izanagi vs Yosuke’s shadow is a great example of this as they fought back and forth with the incredible animation rolling at the same time, giving a very powerful effect.
The only possible complaints I have at all with this episode is that I wish Yu had more of a presence since he is the main character, but I think that will be fixed by each episode that passes. I have to admit as well that the episode title should have been different since it’s based on the key that Yu receives at the beginning of this episode, but it holds no other significance until a later episode. This series is really turning into something worth watching and it can somehow still hook you in even though you might know what comes next because of the game.