Anime of Tomorrow
Persona 4 The Animation (ongoing)
Impression – straightforward, yet philosophical
Autumn 2011 to winter 2012 (more info)
As good as the Persona 4 video game was, I wish its anime series would deviate more from the default script or fill in some more fine details that have thus far flown under the radar. Arguably, fans of the video game are going to be the primary fanbase of the anime, but if there are no surprises for us we’re not likely to give very good opinions to more casual viewers who may only have a passing interest. So the plot of Persona 4 is stuck in a weird catch-22 where it needs enough new material to keep the old fans interested but it also needs to stay true to the original story. In some ways, it’s suffering from some of the same problems as Fate/Zero. But it’s more than worth it to watch Persona 4 just for the killer music and sharp art style that is an intrinsic quality of Atlus. One of the things the anime does get right that is a perfect mirror of the video game is the pacing of events to match real dates and create a tangible passage of time. And while the story may have felt more natural in video game format, it’s still totally awesome. Its best points are a cast of varied, loveable characters, a good sense for spinning elaborate mysteries and an overarching theme of emphasizing the importance of the bonds we share with our friends. When you think about it like that, there’s not much else to be desired.