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Persona 4: The Animation – “We are friends, aren’t we?” Episode 3 Recap

by on November 18, 2011

Chie begins to worry about Yukiko who recently was vaguely shown on the Midnight Channel the previous night. Yu, Yosuke, and Chie then decide to check the next showing of the Midnight Channel to see if anything happens. The worst possible outcome occurs, when they tune in for it only to find out that Yukiko was thrown inside the TV and her shadow is hosting her own TV show about finding a prince. The group must race to save Yukiko inside the TV world before she is killed.”

Chie begins to grow concerned for Yukiko when she vaguely appears on a showing of the Midnight Channel and hasn’t been at school. To Chie’s relief though, Yukiko was stuck helping out at her family’s inn during school hours due to the inn’s busy season. Yu and the group check the next Midnight Channel to see if anything changes. During that night, Yu and Yosuke are shocked to see Yukiko on the Midnight Channel, where she is the host of a unscripted show called “Princess Yukiko’s Hunt for Her Prince on a White Horse”. Meanwhile, Chie is shocked to find out that Yukiko has gone missing. The next day, Yosuke decides to bring fake weapons to Junes to show Yu so they can use them in their upcoming battles. However, he and Yu get arrested due to a police officer believing the weapons were real and the fact that there is a killer at large currently.

Yu and Yosuke get cleared at the police station, following which they find Chie who tells them of Yukiko vanishing.  The trio come to a conclusion that she was thrown inside the TV. The group ventures into the TV world to find Yukiko before she gets killed by the shadows. As Chie runs on ahead inside the mysterious castle that Yukiko went inside during her show, she is suddenly confronted by her own shadow which is a representation of her jealously of Yukiko (in terms of beauty and guys liking her). The shadow of Chie also reveals that she only uses Yukiko because she is always so defenseless and it makes her feel so much better when she gets to look stronger than her.  Chie screams at her shadow saying there is no way they can be the same, which causes it to become stronger and transform into a dominatrix. Yu and Yosuke jump into battle and remind Chie that it’s her loving friendship with Yukiko that truly matters. Chie’s Shadow proves to be more of a match for the both of them even with her understanding resolve.  But, thanks to the power of his wild card ability and befriending Yosuke, Yu is able to gain another new Persona in the Magician arcana named “Pyro Jack” who easily defeats Chie’s Shadow with it’s burning flames. Chie faces her shadow and accepts that it’s another part of herself, which allows the shadow to transform into her Persona named “Tomoe” of the Chariot Arcana.

The group runs out of strength and heads back to rest knowing they will rescue Yukiko before the next foggy night, which is the only time when the victims who get thrown can get killed by the shadows due to them becoming restless. Afterwards Chie thanks Yu for saving her and shows him a picture of her dog, which she and Yukiko found when they were kids, as a symbolization of how she considers him to be a great friend. Thanks to this and the power of the Wild Card, Yu and Chie create a bond between them that gives Yu the power to summon a chariot arcana Persona.

In this episode, the writers added extra scenes to increase the amount of emotional impact from Yosuke’s resolve and his regret over Saki. Here in “We are friends, aren’t we?”, we get flashbacks that were never in the Persona 4 game that turned out very well. The flashbacks involved how Chie and Yukiko first met as kids and how their bond first started. To be honest, I never cared much for Chie in the game because I didn’t get that much of an impact out of how the game performed her development. But this adaption enhances the emotional impact with the use of flashbacks and unique writing to the point where I was able to really feel the emotions going on in this episode. I can’t stress it enough how enjoyable it is to watch the writers handle the characters effectively and make them all feel important.

The best part of this episode was when they introduced the game’s concept of Yu summoning different Persona with his own personal ability called “The Wild Card”. This ability allows him to gain a new Persona of a different arcana when he befriends specific people and forms “social links” within himself.

With this ability placed into the show, you can’t help but to wonder what Persona will Yu gain in the next coming episodes when he befriends even more people.

I am starting to realize one flaw with this series which gives it an awkward feel. In the game, some scenes are played a few days after one another making it nicely paced and not rushed. But here in the anime when it goes through its main storyline, it becomes really just one important scene after another which makes the pacing feel a bit rushed. One moment they’ll be at school after a single quick sentence of explanation, and then suddenly appear at Junes without any transition or explanation.  Regardless, we are given more development that continues to impress. I have a strong feeling this series could surpass the quality of the game if it continues on this course.

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