Persona 4 The Animation – Episode 8

Expression +++ (Pimp Skills Level Up!)

This episode played out the game almost perfectly, and was a joy to watch. It’s a series of shorts in-between those rainy days that captured the “school-life” days of the cast. Thankfully, the segment from the episode preview from the 7th episode (featuring Kanji) is actually pretty short. Oh, and Nanako appears to make you feel guilty again. XD

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9 thoughts on “Persona 4 The Animation – Episode 8

  1. Didn’t like this review, it’s as bad as hearing a homophobe complaining about a yaoi inclined anime. He saw a some “gay-bashing”, mind you that it was fully snarky comments in my mind, and became enraged by the mere notion of the protagonist being uncomfortable with the prospect of being hit on by a fellow guy. In my mind it was obvious that Yu was not being serious about what he said in episode 7 about abandoning the mission. If he was, he wouldn’t have convinced Kanji to accept his shadow self. This episode continued what I saw as the joke, something the the reviewer hated from the first place. That’s fine, he really hates homophobia, the problem I have with the reviewer is that, in contrast to the previous episode, this had very, VERY little to do with Kanji’s orientation, it was only a small bit and yet he spent the entire review ranting about the LAST episode and the tiny portion of from this episode. He didn’t really highlight any other scene, not the the team passing around ideas about who the murderer might be, not the very large bit about Yukiko and Chie’s disastrous and even deadly mystery food X, not the rather hilarious bit with King Moron upchucking into the same river the three guy’s were in, more hints towards a romantic relationship being developed between Yukiko and Yu or Kanji’s rejection by the incredibly obese tent-mate of Yukiko and Chie. Instead he merely ranted about his hatred of homophobia and male chauvenism, which I too dislike, but I wouldn’t ruin a review that could possibly turn people away just because I can’t get over a small area of a show I like. This is unprofessional, anything but a true review.

    Now, supposedly this reviewer is a huge fan of persona, he has played the game three times so he should know the story and events like the back of his hand, right? Then why is it he forgot aspects that completely balance out what he ranted about in the game. “Forcing” an uncomfortable Chie and Yukiko into swimsuits makes Yosuke into a pervert and a chauvenist apparently and the protag in a total asshole for not stopping him. Well for a total die hard fan of Persona 4, he should know that the girl’s get their own slice of revenge later on in the series by making the boys dress up in something they aren’t comfortable with either and even worse for the boys, its in front of a much larger audience. It balances out completely if not going more towards the girls side later on so why rant about chauvinism? In my mind? Yosuke is a simple virgin teen-aged boy who is delighted by the idea of seeing two attractive classmates of his in bathing suits. And in the real world and in certain anime, perhaps not as enthusiastically, girl’s two enjoy seeing a guy’s in a bathing suit too. Yosuke didn’t force them into it, they agreed to it, perhaps not full heartedly but if they were completely against it they wouldn’t have done it and “paid” Yosuke back for mystery food x in another way at a different time.

    And back to Kanj and Yu, the protagonist is also a teen-aged boy, and after having gone all the way through Kanji’s dungeon to save him and experiencing what he did inside, it would be understandable that he would be a bit uncomfortable sleeping in the same tent with Kanji. What the reviewer, who again is a “huge” fan of persona 4, and had multiple play through with the game fails to remember is that the shadow is the TRUE self and Kanji accepted his TRUE self. He may not in fact be gay, however he accepted that part of himself which also contained the possibility of homosexuality. Yu was there the entire time so sleeping in the same tent as a person who accepted that possibility may be uncomfortable, and when you are asleep is when you are most vulnerable. But again, in my mind this part with Yu was completely played for a joke and you can see Yu conversing with Kanji normally about Yu’s “hip” swim trunks moments later. From my personal view on the subject of homosexuality, I am fine with people who have their own taste’s in people, I am straight but to each their own. However if I am in a situation where I am being repeatedly hit on by a gay person whom I have shown no interest in and they continue to pursue the subject, you can bet your ass I would be pissed off too, but I would be pissed off even if it were a girl. Kanji’s shadow, flirted with Yu and Yosuke constantly in episode 7, I would be annoyed as well after going through that much persistence. Kanji accepted his shadow which was his true self and his shadow with out a doubt showed it was flamboyantly gay so they have reason to believe that Kanji also desire to do that. It may have been rude and not entirely fair to Kanji but the two other boys had at least a small bit of justification for how they acted.

    On a side note, I am pretty sure that Yukiko and Chie, didn’t get pissed and change to blood lust mode soley becasue of their opinion on Kanji’s orientation. I specifically remember one of the two shadow’s that accompanied Kanji’s shadow insulting the color of red Yukiko wore immediately after which she exploded and the other shadow seeming to approve of (what I can only expect to be, considering no words were spoken) Chie’s tomboyish appearance and she proceeded to explode. Both reasons were not because Kanji shadow was gay, it was because it their minds they were being personally insulted on their own tastes/choices. However the reviewer was so disgusted at what he perceived to be “homo-bashing” that completely ignored that fact and decided to push the topic at the girls including themselves in gay bashing.

    I have yet to see a truly satisfactory review. I was thoroughly disappointed by a reviewer who had never played the persona games and had no interest in even doing any research on the source material before reviewing the series, a review which could have turned away possible fans by bashing nearly every aspect of the series from the music to characters. But even so, despite being biased against the series, still tried to review it from the perspective of an outsider’s view, compared to original idea’s anime, of which, in my mind should not be compared as adaptions and original idea anime (Angel Beats as an example) due to the fact they have targetting differente audiences. However, despite all this, I found this review to be far, FAR worse due to the fact that the reviewer ranted about a previous episode for 3/5 of the review and proceeded to rant about a small section of this episode the rest of the review, ignoring all other aspects of either episode. A review musn’t be confused with an opinion. An opinion is someones own, personal view of a subject, completely biased as the way they see things. A review is meant to critique something in an unbiased way, based completely on facts. There were no facts included in this review. It was nothing more then a giant rant. I personally hope this reviewer improves himself for the next episode review if he chooses to continue. The other reviewer in fact has improved and become open minded, she is reading comments and learning about the source material as she goes on and while still being uninformed about a number of things about Persona 4, is attempting to do better which is something I can totally appreciate. So all in all, please do better next time ๐Ÿ™‚

    – DyneTyreal

    1. As it turns out it wasn’t infact the reviewer I was talking to, I made a mistake and saw the mass of text by Isohma and wrongly jumped to the conclusion of him being the reviewer. I am very sorry to the reviewer for this, however, your actual review should probably go a bit more in depth about the episode >.> Isohma, you are fully entitled to your opinion, and while I disagree with it almost completely, I do apologize for saying you may turn people off with what I thought was a “legit” review rather then a mere opinion. Again a sorry, that was a complete and total mistake on my part.

      – DyneTyreal.

      1. Ugh, good god, what is wrong with me today. I fully apologize to you as well Isohma, I seemed to have skimmed over the very first line of yours. That opinion was infact some one else’s who you copy and pasted from. A very large copy and paste but none the less I am fully in the wrong and again I apologize. I jumped to two conclusions =/

      2. /me pats. Things like this happens a lot, don’t stress yourself over it. ๐Ÿ˜€
        Especially more so if you’re fond of the game yourself. ^_^ Truth be told, I didn’t expect this (and the previous) episode to split up the persona community so much. I personally took it as an attempt at a comic-relief segment, seeing that the game had plenty of humorous segments as well.

        (I didn’t intend for the post to be a review either, just wanted something I can use to poke others to watch the anime. Ahaha~)

        I’ve made one complete (maxed s.links and all) run of the game myself, and really enjoyed the entire process – plot, development, characters and soundtrack. With that I can safely say that the game earns its merit from the splendid cast, and varied their backgrounds may be their harmony is what carried the game forward for me.

        So viewers might not have liked how they portrayed Kanji (or Yu, for that matter) in the anime, but I believe that this is a necessary evil and that it’ll pay off towards the later episodes when (I’m certain) they animate the manly side of Kanji. ๐Ÿ˜€

        PS. I’m kind of glad to be blessed with two comments reflecting the polar opposite points of view in one page. Been a really fun learning process. Thanks for commenting~! ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. This is not mine, but i thought it was a good read, I didn’t see it that way at first:
    “Mind you, let me be blunt here: I fucking LOVE Persona 4. So much I commissioned our very own Matt Speroni to draw me high-quality P4 fanart. So much that Chie Satonaka is basically my soulmate. So much that I’ve played the game through three times; once playing the main character as if he was myself, then going for a ‘perfect’ playthrough, then playing the game a third freaking time because I enjoyed it so much that I HAD to play it again. Even achieving perfection already was insufficient to persuade me.

    I love Persona 4 and I’m getting that out of the way in advance because you don’t need to accuse me of hating P4 just because I hated the last two episodes. The fact that I love Persona 4 so damn much is basically the reason why these last episodes hurt so hard. It was like getting sucker-punched by your best friend, learning that your father betrayed you or getting dumped by the love of your life. P4’s like my favorite roleplaying game of the last five or six years, if not the last decade. Getting curb-stomped like this was unexpected.

    I even liked the first six episodes of the P4 anime. No, really! They were good!

    So let’s establish why I personally hated recent P4 Anime developments:

    * I kind of expected, and in fact would have encouraged, Yosuke to be a homophobic jerk because, let’s face it, he’s a homophobic jerk. He’s a lovable character, but in the game the fact that he is a homophobic jerk is clearly portrayed as a character flaw. The reactions of other characters to Yosuke’s behavior throughout the game clearly establishes that Yosuke is a tad immature and he blurts out stupid things and he often receives a legitimate comeuppance for his bursts of douchebaggery.

    That’s kind of the point with Yosuke: he’s a decent human being who nonetheless is a bit of an ass. And while the Protag basically scores with every woman in the city because he’s a nice, compassionate guy who cares about his friends and acts respectfully, Yosuke deliberately contrasts with the Protag and shows just how and why the Protag just might be so ‘successful’ in his dating life and why he and not Yosuke is the leader of the Investigation Team. With men like Yosuke as ‘competition,’ all Protag has to do is not be a chauvinistic, homophobic douche with the maturity of a third grader!

    So, the way I thought Episode Seven should have gone was the way my game’s playthrough essentially went: Yosuke says stupid homophobic shit, the Main Character and the girls scold Yosuke for being so self-centered when Kanji’s life is at risk, the Protag acts like the supportive, all-around awesome person he is (and the awesome person that the game and the anime portray him as and that the other characters believe him to be; that is important), Kanji accepts his shadow, everyone wins!

    So it was exceptionally disappointing when the Protag decided to join the Homophobia Train. And not just with one or two “You feel mild trepidation entering this dungeon with the wacky sauna theme…” messages that the game gave. Merely feeling fear upon entering a dungeon with shadows trying to kill you, even if that fear is exacerbated somewhat by some irrational and brazenly idiotic “What if the shadows are gay and try to rape me?” thought is one thing, but it’s what the Protag actually says when he opens his mouth that differentiates the game’s Protagonist from the anime’s douche.

    Game Protag hesitates but he never once indicates that he’s willing to abandon the mission outright (and effectively allow Kanji to quite possibly die due to his non-intervention) because he’s afraid of gay people. And while I don’t have the script of Episode Seven in front of me, some of the lines from Protag’s mouth were just disgustingly homophobic. It wasn’t ‘snarky,’ it was homophobic. There is a difference.

    But that pales in comparison to Protag’s single worst line (said in Episode Eight, we’ll get there,) and it also pales in comparison to…

    * The Protag and Yosuke expressing willingness, at a moment’s notice, to attack and attempt to kill Kanji’s shadow just because Kanji’s Shadow makes them feel uncomfortable because Kanji’s Shadow is totally gay and hitting on them.

    Let’s get a few things straight:
    At this stage of the storyline, Protag and Yosuke have seen and fought other shadow versions of characters before. They know that shadow versions of characters are absolutely harmless in their original state and remain harmless until the person in question denies them, at which point the shadows transform into a violent version that does in fact start to destroy things.

    …So, Yosuke and Protag know that the shadow must be ‘defeated’ by Kanji accepting Shadow Kanji as himself. Given that the shadows have never been permanently ‘defeated’ by the cast by any other means, attacking the pre-transformation form of Kanji’s shadow is counter-productive at best and could well end up in an outcome of Kanji’s death at worst.

    Remember, the strategy employed by the P4 characters at this point of the game was to attempt to convince the affected character to accept their shadow before the denial happened, therefore avoiding a fight outright. I’m reasonably certain that at no point in the game did the P4 cast attack the pre-transformation version of a Shadow, particularly when this version of the shadow did nothing to merit their anger except be gay.

    And let’s not forget that the only fault or foible of pre-transformation Shadow Kanji was that he was too gay for Yosuke and Protag to apparently handle. Shadow Kanji did not constitute a physical threat to the Persona 4 cast at this juncture. He did not physically attack them. He did not threaten to hurt or kill them.

    …He just was gay.
    And being gay, in and of itself, was totally enough to send Yosuke and Protag into a primordial rage.

    But even if we could stop there, I might have been okay with the episode. I mean, sure, lots of (heterosexual, privileged) high school guys who are otherwise decent people have no idea whatsoever how to handle the thought that another guy might think they’re smexy. Back in high school, I was one of those guys myself! And maybe there’s a message here that the P4 Anime would attempt to convey, like perhaps the Protag who was a perfectly compassionate, likable dude in the game would be portrayed very differently, as a flawed boy with significant moral shortcomings, in the anime.

    But then…

    * Chie and Yukiko join in and attack a pre-transformation version of Shadow Kanji who represents no physical threat to them just because he’s gay.

    I guess Chie sort of attempted an excuse of “It’s not because he’s gay, it’s because I’m impulsive and really annoyed at his monologue and I want to freeze things!” But it was particularly surprising (and disappointing) to see Yukiko Amagi, who is basically presented as a sweet, likable girl who’s thoughtful and considerate and not excessively prone to initiate violence suddenly decide that she too has had enough of Shadow Kanji.

    …because Shadow Kanji is ‘acting gay.’

    Shadow Chie was acting pretty sinister; why didn’t Yosuke and Protag beat the crap out of her when she talked her trash, before Chie’s denial and Shadow Chie’s transformation into Dominatrix Banana-Chick? Actually, that’s just the thing; Shadow Chie’s pre-transformation dialogue was arguably far more threatening and antagonistic than Shadow Kanji’s, because really, all Shadow Kanji does is flirt shamelessly and talk about how much he enjoys what constitutes his definition of a ‘good time.’

    The answer that the Anime posits to us is quite simple: Shadow Kanji was gay, and open about being gay, and willing to flirt openly and present his sexuality in a forthcoming manner around others, and that alone merited wanton violence against him. From everyone, male or female, ‘jerks’ and ‘compassionate heroes’ alike. The Protag is the chosen one, a symbol of tolerance, progression, heroism, the greatest hope the town of Inaba has, beloved by every woman, respected by man, and he totally wants you to know you better not flirt with him if you have a penis or he will fuck your shit. Chie and Yukiko weren’t even a position to feel personally threatened by Shadow Kanji’s idle flirtations and they still were so riled by Kanji’s **gayness** that physical violence was the preferred solution! Their only justification was one of brazen homophobia, unless you want to argue that they were ‘afraid’ they’d otherwise be subjected to something so torturous as ‘watching this guy talk about how much he enjoys hot saunas with other guys.’

    * Did I mention that all of this is occurring in the context of a moment when Kanji’s life is personally threatened? The kids don’t have the slightest clue of the intricate nature of the TV world they’re exploring; all they know is that they have a strict timetable to save Kanji in or he dies, and he needs to accept his Shadow or he’s at risk.
    …Oooh, I know! Let’s antagonize Kanji’s Shadow before it transforms and give Kanji more reasons to want to deny his affiliation with said Shadow because we literally care more about not having to listen to gay people flirt with us or our guy friends, than we value Kanji’s life!

    * Oh, it’s okay, because we all know that deep down inside Protag’s a really, truly nice guy who cares about Kanji and respects their friendship, he just likes to be ‘snarky’ (manifesting his snark in the form of wanton attacks in this particular instance, I suppose) to his buddies, right?

    Well, Episode Eight puts rest to any thought of that notion!
    Episode Eight takes place after the Protag and his buddies have presumably ‘accepted’ Kanji.
    …Only they’ve only accepted Kanji at day. At night, it’s another matter entirely!

    Protag’s line here is absolutely ludicrous to defend precisely because Yosuke acts far worse around women and the Protag does not call Yosuke out on it. Hell, in the very same episode, Yosuke brazenly advocates that Chie and Yukiko sleep in an integrated manner with he and Protag — he is advocating a sexually predatory outcome in a tent in the exact same manner that he and Protag accused Kanji of doing! And yet the Protag and the women will tolerate this, because it’s typical heterosexual male chauvinistic bullshittery.

    …And that’s probably actually the biggest problem about all of this. It isn’t just the homophobia, although the homophobia is very overt and very despicable and it very openly refutes the P4 game’s flawed yet positive approach of encouraging tolerance and diversity in friendships.

    …It’s that the characters respond so harshly to actions taken by ‘homosexual’ characters while tolerating and in fact encouraging the very same behavior from their heterosexual counterparts!
    Yosuke forcing Yukiko and Chie to wear swimsuits despite their discomfort at the notion is funny and typical guy hijinks, and Yosuke can be excused of that! Even Chie and Yukiko don’t aggressively call Yosuke out for being creepy. When Yosuke says “Hey Yukiko and Chie, why not sleep alongside us tonight?” The girls do not respond by badgering Yosuke for threatening to take their ‘chastity.

    So the message here is plain: Girls just have to tolerate this from heterosexual guys! Heterosexual guys can and will act like perverts who want to steal your sexual purity against your will and force you to dress up in scanty swimsuits, but you should just swallow your criticism and choose to remain his friend and accept the behavior as ‘typical.’ Even the Protag, by refusing to aggressively scold Yosuke when Yosuke acts legitimately creepy as fuck in drooling over Chie or Yukiko, is passively enabling Yosuke as his ‘friend’ to engage in this skeevy shit.

    …But when Kanji barely acts half as predatory as Yosuke and is just sitting silently in the middle of the guy’s tent, both Yosuke and Protag feel that their chastity is in serious danger! Not even because Kanji is gay and because Kanji, like Yosuke to the girls, has expressed a serious sexual interest in the Protag or Yosuke. The ‘real’ (non-Shadow) Kanji hasn’t flirted with Protag or Yosuke at all! They don’t even really definitively know whether Kanji is actually gay! And there’s far less evidence that Kanji is remotely interested in pursuing a relationship, and he’s certainly not forcing the Protag or Yosuke to waltz around in swimsuits for his personal enjoyment.

    …The anime says this: The mere possibility that your guy friend might be gay, even if he is utterly disinterested in you, is more threatening than a heterosexual guy’s overt and depraved sexual interest in women. There’s only reason why this could be: Because mere gayness in and of itself is a ‘threat!’

    * And the game sort of was imperfect too, but the crucial difference was, the game at least gave you incentives to roleplay the Protag as a decent human being who did not in fact support this worldview. Yosuke may have been condemned to his childish immaturity, but the Protag received rewards in the form of boosts to his social links with Chie and Yukiko by treating them respectfully during the swimsuit scene, and the Protag received rewards in the form of boosts to his social link with Kanji by treating Kanji compassionately, like a true friend, supporting Kanji’s presence in the tent, refuting privilege and refusing to indulge in homophobia. Even if you could choose to roleplay the Protag as a jerk, doing so felt out of character (how could the Protag acquire the sincere respect of Kanji and the women he interacts with regularly if he was a chauvinistic homophobe?)

    Choosing the ‘I-am-a-decent-human-being’ options subsequently flow naturally. Yukiko and Chie and Naoto and Kanji and Nanako and Dojima repeatedly reinforce the notion that Protag is a great guy; and more often than not, choosing the ‘snarky’ options results in penalties to your P4 gameplay experience in the form of stalling social links. An ideal playthrough requires you to consider your friends’ feelings and act respectfully and not be intolerant.

    But P4: The Anime is tying to have its cake and eat it, too; it’s simultaneously attempting to give you a snarky Protag who repeatedly chooses the “hysterical” (note that I don’t think they’re often very funny) dialogue options, yet also gives you a Protag who, by the Anime’s own admission, has above-average Stats in all fields of personal growth by Episode Eight and who’s Maxing social links with relative ease. The dynamic of P4 that once punished a homophobic, chauvinistic, asshole of a player is gone, and instead there’s a huge fundamental disconnect: The anime characters are still acting like Protag is the sweetest, coolest, most benevolent, likable, tolerant human being they know, utterly demanding their fealty and accruing their affections, but the Protag is increasingly acting just as big a jerk as Yosuke is.

    The plentiful evidence that the game provided you that the Protag was a decent person in watching his social links gradually accrue over extended periods of time and effort is gone; what’s left is a homophobic jokester who tolerates Yosuke’s chauvinism and who’s petty and insecure and yet still beloved. At this point, the Protag is in desperate need of the same kind of abuse given to Yosuke on a regular basis. But even when Yukiko and Chie dared toss the Protag into the river with Yosuke, it’s still heavily implied that they’re totally crushing on him, just as it’s still heavily implied that Kanji thinks the Protag is an incredible friend (except, well, not at night, lest his chastity be threatened) and just as Naoki can apparently be swayed from hating the Protag and Yosuke to totally being good bros in the course of a single goddamn conversation.

    …So it’s not just the homophobia that bothers me, although it’s bothersome enough. It’s that the homophobia is in plain contradiction of the halo the P4 anime team is still painting around the Protag, and that in painting that angelic halo around the Protag, the animators are saying this: The Protag is an ideal high school student; all you high school students watching the P4 Anime should want to be just like him, because he’s going to get all the girls and earn the respect of all the guys and he’s a role model. Oh, and by the way, he totally hates gay people, and you should, too. They make him feel awkward and uncomfortable and fearful for his chastity just in the mere act of being themselves. And, it is totally acceptable for heterosexual men to treat their gay friends with this degree of innate suspicion. (By the way, despite the fact that gay people can’t do this to you, it’s totally cool for you or your heterosexual friends to go even further then this when pursuing women. They just have to accept your inherent lustful state.)”

    1. …Wow, nice to see a comment from the other end of the spectrum of agreement. I decided to look up the source, and it’s credited to Solid Snake of nuklearforums.

      Many parts make sense though, especially with Yu who’s supposed to be focused on making good choices to score with them. Likely decreased because “we” aren’t there to be his conscience. Lol.

      But seeing as his expression has been improving (so he’s no longer “expected” to be expressionless) and how he looks when he says the things many don’t like to hear, I get the feeling he’s not being serious. Also, for scenes that can get him pushed into the water, he probably wouldn’t have agreed with Yosuke – because the gamer behind the screen wouldn’t allow him to – so perhaps the producers also wished to show the outcome the players didn’t get to see.

      Oh well, I believe it’s the end of that arc already, so we likely wouldn’t see much more of Kanji-bashing, and I’m just looking forward to the Lover’s Arcana next. ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. I thought the tent thing with Kanji was very hurtful. I feel very sad for Kanji. That scene was not funny. i hope people can see how hurtful (not funny) it was. Could you imagine if that happened to you or your friend?

    1. Episode 7 might’ve been overkill, but if this didn’t happen it wouldn’t have progressed to where the 4 of them shared a tent. That heading to the girl’s tent bit is Kanji’s own idea though. But hey, at the end they do set it straight for Kanji’s preference. ๐Ÿ™‚

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