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Posted on: January 20, 2012 9:31 pm by small image

 

What is truth? Is it absolute or subjective? Should we embrace or fear it? Persona 4 is a game that asks the players these questions and throws them into an adventure where they might just find the answer.


 

The anime/manga/game/play follows the story of a young man (called Yu Narukami in the anime, so let’s go with that) that is sent to live in the small country town of Inaba with his uncle. Shortly after arriving, a series of bizarre murders begins, where the cause of death is unknown. All the while, a rumor begins spreading around town that a special channel airs at midnight on rainy nights that lets people see their future lover. When Yu’s new friends tell him to try it out, he learns that he can actually step inside the TV and enter a world very different, yet strangely connected to his own. Being the only ones who can stop the murderer and save the victims, Yu and his friends struggle to solve the case amid a humanity that just doesn’t want to learn the truth.

At the center of this story are the characters, the most important of which is the protagonist himself. Although guided by the player’s choices in the game, Yu is an equally clear and honest character in the anime. DoubleJump’s Persona 4 Strategy Guide best explains it:

“While most people hide most of their personality behind layers of deception and self-denial, you seem to have nothing to hide. Your actions are straightforward and your words always reveal your purpose perfectly. […] It could be argued this means that you don’t really have an identity at all, but it also means you possess limitless possibility within you.”

Other than Yu there is Yosuke Hanamura (pictured first to the left, second row), and Chie Satonaka (pictured middle, second row). Yosuke is a city boy who found himself isolated and alone once he arrived in Inaba. Chie, one of the first people Yu befriends upon starting school, is an upbeat tomboy who feels jealousy over her friend Yukiko’s talents and charms. There are many more vastly different characters, but learning about them is all part of the fun.

Speaking of fun, the game is most enjoyable when characters are interacting with each other. The story is top-notch, but what really steals the show are the characters. They are all so different and have a great chemistry between that really steal the show. The intense scenes at the beginning or the climactic final battle are great, but it’s scenes where the Investigation Team is all together that are the most memorable.

I recommend that you give the series a try; it’s touching, funny, and interesting. Even if you didn’t like it and stopped after a few episodes, at least you can proudly say you were a part of the Seekers of Truth.