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Persona 4: The Animation – “I Want to Know the Truth” Episode 17 Recap

by on February 8, 2012

The battle with Shadow Naoto continues with Yu and the gang stuck in a tight corner against her weapons, which can cause people to age quickly. Meanwhile, Naoto’s inner feelings are revealed.

While the girls use Teddie as a shield against Shadow Naoto’s aging ray, Yu and Kanji go on the offensive. Yu counterattacks Shadow Naoto with Arahabaki of the hermit arcana, Abaddon of the tower arcana, and Mot of the death arcana. Sadly, Yu’s skills of switching Persona doesn’t work out as he planned and he gets hit by the aging ray. With only half of the investigation team still remaining, Shadow Naoto begins to shout out her feelings about her difficulty of making friends and that society will only accept her as a great detective if she was a man. After hearing Shadow Naoto’s words, Kanji begins to counterattack and shouts back that he also had difficulty making friends, but he doesn’t care anymore.  Teddie realizes that he can use Kintoki-Douji’s energy shower ability to restore their ages. Yu turns back to normal and swiftly fuses four Persona into Beelzebub of the devil arcana. Beelzebub easily overpowers Shadow Naoto and releases a massive amount of energy that destroys the entire base. Outside, Naoto accepts her shadow and realizes she should have never ignored her inner feelings.  Her shadow then transforms into the Persona named “Sukuna-Hikona” of the fortune arcana.  She then warns the investigation team that the true killer is definitely still out there and passes out.

Yu returns home to find detective Adachi visiting, who begins to tell him about how Naoto has finally been found. Dojima suddenly then gets suspicious of Yu’s expression of not being very surprised of Naoto’s reappearance. Adachi tells Dojima to simply leave Yu alone and that the case is probably not over. Before Adachi can reveal more about the case, Dojima cuts him off and warns Yu to keep studying like a normal boy. One month later, Naoto returns to school and reveals to the group about how she was kidnapped. She describes that she answered her door bell, was grabbed from behind, shoved into a sack, and thrown into the TV quickly by what it seemed to be a male. Naoto then concludes that Mitsuo Kubo was in fact a copy cat killer, because he did not use the TV world to kill Mr.Morooka and simply bashed him on the head. Naoto then requests if she can join the investigation team, which Yu happily accepts.  Naoto then offers to help Teddie discover who he is by having him get x-rays, while everyone else gets physicals. After going through the physicals, it turns out that the x-rays reveal nothing. 

As Teddie begins to mess around with the physical results, Kanji sits down with Yu and tells him that Naoto has really inspired him to be himself, help others, and he realizes that Yu is his best friend.  The day after, Yu runs into Naoto at school after she gets another love letter from a girl, where she explains to Yu that she wishes she would start getting letters for actual cases. Yu then asks her if she would take his case, in which he takes her to the Aiya diner to help him defeat the rainy day Nikudon meal. Elsewhere, a mysterious figure types in “STOP HELPING PEOPLE” on a computer.

Persona 4:The Animation continues to show that it can put carry a lot of material in a single episode and still keep the quality on par with the original content. This episode covers the battle with Shadow Naoto all the way up to the mysterious figure typing in the words “Stop helping people”.  

The fighting was excellent. I loved how we got to see different status effects from the video game being used for humor, such as Shadow Naoto’s “aging ray”.  While Yu, Teddie, and Yosuke transforming into old men was very funny, I personally loved how Yu summoned new Persona and showed all the great combat aspects of them.  The big finale of the battle with Yu summoning Beezlebub was exciting and I didn’t expect Shadow Naoto’s base to explode (as that never happened in the game). 

More great notes is that we got to learn a lot of different things about the killer. We not only learn that Mitsuo Kubo was a copy cat killer that was selfishly seeking attention, but that the true killer is easily ringing door bells and capturing whoever he pleases.

“I want to know the truth” does have some low points. All of these events going on split the attention between character development of Naoto and Kanji. I think it would have been much better if the focus was on Naoto. She only just joined the team and this show doesn’t have that many episodes left to fully flesh her out as a character. To make matters worse, Kanji’s development wasn’t even handled that well. His character growth came out of nowhere and felt awkward.  I admire the writers for trying to make sure that each character gets their share of time on screen, but it felt like they were trying to cram in one character’s development at the expense of another’s. Kanji’s motivation throughout the episode was stated, but they were unable to convey the impact.

This episode was enjoyable because the action was top notch and we got at least some further characterization of Naoto. But, I feel like the writers should have avoided interrupting the flow of that story line, which is much more compelling, with that of Kanji.  Naoto is a very enjoyable character in the game and I hate to see precious screen time wasted on other characters who had their moments already.

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