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Persona 4: The Animation – “No one sees the real me” Episode 9 Recap

by on December 1, 2011

“Local pop star, Rise Kujikawa moves to Inaba to escape the pressures of fame. With fame being a common thread amongst those linked to the murders, Yu and the gang suspect there is a very strong chance that she might be the next target.”

The superstar Rise Kujikawa takes a break from her career and moves into Inaba with her grandmother. While going shopping for her grandmother at Junes Rise meets Yu, who returns the cell phone she dropped earlier.  The next day, Yu and the group decide to meet and discuss killer’s motives and next potential target. They come to the conclusion that Rise Kujikawa could be next, as she’s famous and recently appeared on Inaba’s news. During the next viewing of the Midnight Channel, the TV screen shows a almost perfect image of Rise, revealing she is in fact the next to be targeted. 

When the next school day ends, Yosuke decides to take Yu and Kanji over to the tofu shop to meet Rise for the investigation, but he mainly just wants to meet her. The group warns her that she might be targeted and killed, to which she responds that the girl on the Midnight Channel can’t be her due to what she was wearing.  Before Yu can respond, the group is interrupted by Detective Dojima and his partner Adachi. After the group quickly leaves the Tofu Shop, Dojima realizes that Yu beat him to telling Rise she could be targeted and suddenly ends up confused on why a high school student would even know much about the current murder cases. 

The group decides tail Rise to see if the killer will show himself, only to be caught by Adachi. The detective had been sent to keep a eye on Yu and his friends to assess their involvement in the murder cases. The group then sees a man stalking Rise, and comes to the conclusion that he could be the killer. The group decides to tackle him, but it turns out that the man is really just another of Rise’s extremely nerdy fans.  He’s arrested by Adachi, who is very proud of himself for arresting somebody in a cool detective fashion.  Meanwhile, Yu takes Rise away to the local Inaba lake so the supposed killer won’t reach her. Rise finds a magazine of herself and begins to rip out the pages as she explains that “Risette” (her pop star name) doesn’t actually exist. 

Yu cheers her up by taking the paper from the magazine and folding it into an origami animal and Rise follows suit. The next day, Yu helps Rise escape from the news media and her many fans by using a secret escape route on the other side of the school. On the way to the tofu shop (which is blocked by more news media), Rise runs into her former manager who explains to her that he found a new superstar who will take her place and walks off. Rise begins to cry. Yu asks her calmly if she isn’t actually deceiving herself about what she truly wants. Rise screams at Yu and tells him that he is just like everybody else and dashes away. During the next rainy night, Yu watches the midnight channel and sees Rise’s shadow hosting her own TV show.

What happens when you fuse pop star drama with Persona? You get something oddly creative. This episode introduces Rise Kujikawa, a big pop star who runs away from her fame. I liked the introduction of a character that comes with a different kind of emotional baggage than those previously introduced. We learn that she is deeply depressed because she has to hide behind her superstar alter ego, and so no one really knows who she is. Everything about Rise throughout this episode worked and she effectively communicated her pain through her conversations with Yu at the lake and school. 

In this episode, they not only effectively integrated the character events from the game, but they also added a little extra by creating some well-written scenes between characters that never took place in the source material. I particularly loved the one scene involving Yu and Rise at the lake, when she rips up her magazine photos. Additionally, while they write Yu as this silent, tall protagonist, they also include some more endearing personality traits, such as when Yu folds one of Rise’s magazine pages into a origami bird and tries to cheer her up. Many characters that fall into Yu’s character-type end up being uninteresting, but they’ve thankfully managed to avoid that in this series.

On another note, I really liked Dojima’s discovery of Yu’s involvement in the murder case. This makes you wonder what will occur between them as the plot becomes more involved. We’re introduced to Dojima’s partner, Adachi, who is your typical goofball detective. We now have more characters involved in this mysterious plot line and this episode only is a hint at some much larger plot twists coming up.

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