Persona 4: The Animation – 07

The more the gang learns about Tatsumi Kanji, the more they realize he isn’t the tough delinquent he appears to be. In the TV, Teddie’s nose leads them to a bathhouse where Kanji is holed up, but it’s a very threatening and uncomfortable place for Yu and Kosuke. Even with four personas, the shadow’s a tough cookie, protected by masochistic bodyguards who absorb physical and magical attack. Yu has to use the power of the velvet room to merge two personas, while Kanji himself brings down his own shadow. Kanji then joins the gang.

We can’t believe we’re saying this, but we actually missed Teddie and the TV world. We’re also glad they switched things up a bit. The gang has numbers and plenty of brute force, but Kanji’s shadow is a horse of a different color. He was like one of those RPG bosses who’s a tough nut to crack, because your usual tactics prove ineffective or even beneficial to the enemy. He takes everybody out of their comfort zone, even managing to get under the skin of the prim-and-proper Yukiko by insulting her outfit of all things (Yukiko was particularly fun to watch this week). Heck, even Yu flinches once or twice, which is a lot for him.

Another nice plot device (for lack of a better term) was the cute phone strap Kanji made by hand for a little kid. It’s a symbol of his love of “cutesy shit”, and his intense need to be accepted – even if it’s as a tough – brings him inner turmoil that boiled over this week. Seeing that strap made him step back from the shadow’s taunting and accept him as a part of his personality. He admits to being a pansy for lying to himself and creating the delinquent persona as a shell to hide behind. Finally, this episode still had plenty of comedy, but managed to balance it with the drama more than last week.

Rating: 3.5


3 thoughts on “Persona 4: The Animation – 07”

  1. I am frustrated that many people are saying that this episode was funny. Most people seem to be ignoring the fact the this episode could be very offensive to gay people, and the boys’ behavior is frequently excused as “normal teenage” behavior when they were really overreacting like small children. Is it too much to ask anyone to act maturely, especially when this situation involves life and death? The manga’s take on this part was much more serious. There were almost no gay jokes, except what was already in the game. The manga version did not have the boys whine about going home, they just kept on going without complaining, the manga version captured the original game’s seriousness by showing a young dark-haired Kanji being bullied for sewing/girl he liked cried/the other girls called him sissy in elementary school/he beat up another boy with a bloodstained chair in middle school and then became a delinquent with bleached hair. The shadow in the manga was also very angry and serious at the end, while the anime one is stupidly happy the entire time. Kanji’s shadow’s cry for acceptance came off across as serious as in the original game/while the anime version had him running in a way that would be a homophobe’s nightmare (happily looking as if he wanted to kiss someone).

    1. We’ve neither played the game nor read the manga, so we can’t compare them with how Kanji’s story was handled here. It would seem that the writers went in a different direction, perhaps in the face of resistance from the authors of the original material, if the differences are as stark as you say. FWIW, we’d have liked to see both a slightly more mature Kosuke and Yu in this situation along with a slightly less stereotypical shadow, and an overall darker mood.

  2. The next episode will be even more unfortunate, as in the preview: the main character is acting as homophobic as Yosuke towards Kanji (I thought you accepted me/Not at night). This situation will be played for laughs, and I fear that Kanji will be a chew toy. That is to say, he’ll be kicked out of his tent, kicked in the groin by Chie, and then he’ll be pushed into the river for nosebleeding at the girls. He will be abused! And his abuse will be played for laughs. I really like this character, and it sickens me to see him made fun of. If he is the only “gay” person in the group and he is abused for laughs, that would be so unfortunate.

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