Persona 4 Golden: The Animation is the second animated adaptation of the Japanese RPG Persona 4. This adaptation specifically focuses on new material added in Persona 4's Updated Re-release for PlayStation Vita, Persona 4: Golden.The show is produced by A-1 Pictures, one of the studios that created the animated cutscenes of the original game. It began airing on MBS and TBS starting July 10, 2014.Previews: Trailer 1
This work contains examples of:
A Day in the Limelight: The 6th episode shows off how Adachi eventually was assigned to the Inaba Police Station in Yasoinaba.
While Marie was just one of around two dozen Social Links in the game (albeit, also acting as the focus of a short arc after maxing it out (on top of being an aspect of Izanami)), in this adaptation she becomes the focus of the story. This includes having new scenes with Yu that never occurred in the game.
Adachi also gets expanded upon, where in game he is a NPC who gets Social Link in Golden (aside of him being the killer), he gets an entire episode focusing on him, notably showing him before the two murders. He has an entire monologue within as well, and if you watch this episode in order alongside the original animation's episodes as well, you'll find out that in Episode 22, he was lying to the Investigation Team to get them intentionally riled up. (Adachi made sexual advances, not Namatame, on both Yamano and Saki.) He just didn't expect the team to continue investigating after he said it.
Adaptational Badass: Following in the footsteps of the first anime, Adachi goes from a fairly easy boss to defeating every single Persona Yu summons against him, including Helel, with Magatsu Izanagi only vanishing from a suicide attack by Yu's Izanagi. Then, once Yu obtains Magatsu Izanagi from completing Adachi's social link, it proceeds to defeat Ameno-Sagiri in a single strike.
Adaptation Personality Change: A minor case with Adachi. In the game, the first murder was an accident (as he admitted to just wanting to scare Yamano). In this adaptation he becomes aware of his powers very quickly and uses them to punish Yamano instead.
Alternate Continuity: Though covering the same basic story of Yu Narukami's time in Inaba, events play out differently in Golden than they do in Persona 4: The Animation. The biggest of these changes is Yu befriending Marie, who was never featured in the first anime, on his first day in town.
Also lampshaded in the opening scene of episode 1 by Margaret.
Margaret: Even familiar landscapes will reveal a different kind of beauty if you change your point of view.
Art Shift: This production was run by A-1, who animated some of the cutscenes for the Persona 4 game. As such, it's art style is closer to the original game than Aniplex's Persona 4: The Animation.
Ascended Extra: While Marie was a fairly prominent Social Link in the original Golden (especially if you managed to max it and unlock her dungeon), she's promoted to the Deuteragonist in this adaptation, right behind Yu.
Is prominently featured on promotional material right beside the protagonist.
Has new scenes with Yu that never occurred in the game.
Bland-Name Product: "Pamasonic" for Panasonic and "Atashi Beer" for "Asahi Beer". The latter has the same standard trademark as Asahi Breweries.
Chekhov's Gun: The video camera that Marie uses to interview each member of the team also becomes the catalyst for everyone to start getting their memory of her back.
Combat Breakdown: Yu's fight with Adachi and Magatsu Izanagi turns pretty brutal. They both throw everything they've got at each other, and Yu goes through his entire roster of persona'snote the Ultimate Persona of each Arcana representing his friends in the Investigation Team (Mada, Futsunushi, Scathach, Odin, Ishtar, Norn and Helel) as well as Dojima and Nanako (Kohryu and Sraosha), ending with a Cross Counter between Izanagi and it's evil counterpart. Just when it seems like they're both too exhausted to keep fighting, Yu charges at Adachi, slugs 'em in the face, get's slugged back, tries to tackle the Serial killer, messes up and gets thrown onto a table (shattering it), gets back up before Adachi can shoot him, headbutts him, then pins the guy to the ground and starts beating his face to a pulp! DAMN!
The series focuses solely on the scenes exclusive to Golden, leaving the main murder plot Out of Focus. Yukiko and Kanji's dungeons are also timeskipped over.
The anime also has no qualms on combining certain events together to save time. For example, one of Marie's Social Link events (one where she, Yukiko and Chie go shopping with you) happens during "Operation Up, Close and Personal".
The Episode 1 commercial break has art of the Investigation team in Persona 3 Gekkoukan High uniforms.
Marie's use of the electric guitar in the 5th episode has an electrical rendition of "Aria of the Soul" theme song.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Ameno sagiri, went from being the fake final boss to being dispatched with a single slice.
Evolving Credits: The last scene in the credits is slowly filled by the new memories made by the team and Marie.
Eye Catch: During these, the anime shows a picture what showcases certain costumes you can acquire in the game. Episode 4 specifically has Teddie in a cheerleader outfit.
Fanservice: Being the Beach Episode, Episode 3 naturally features this. Of both genders, too, as there is Marie, who's dressed in a black bikini that's emphasizes her ample cleavage, and Kanji, who wears a tiny speedo and appears in a few action shots that show off his muscular physique.
For Want of a Nail: Because Yu manages to curb-stomp Ameno-Sagiri, his friends didn't get to evolve their personas in that fight.
In Spite of a Nail: Yu's more outgoing and savvy this time around, but this doesn't help him avoid Izanami's "push" or prevent the murders.
Mysterious Waif: The mysterious new character Marie becomes the main focus of the overall plot in this adaptation.
New Game+: Invoked. Yu is far more knowledgeable / charismatic / courageous / understanding / diligent than he was in the first anime adaptation and the game itself, referencing the "replay the story while keeping all your stats" from the original Persona 4 video game.
Margaret lampshades this being Yu's second time through in the opening scene of the first episode, stating he's "seeing a familiar landscape from a different viewpoint".
Yu greets the gas station attendant on his first day in town, instead of the other way around (as in the original). He also greets the gas station attendant with a handshake, actively seeking out the "push" that awakens his TV-entering powers.
Yu is far more outgoing with both Nanako and Dojima as soon as he gets to town.
Yu reacts to Morooka's bullying on his first day in a way that isn't even possible in the game.note A close comparison is how in Persona 4: The Animation, he takes what is the equivalent to the first response (abide by Morooka and just say your name) whereas here he takes what is close to the last response (call Morooka aJerk Ass outright).
Yu walks directly into the TV World instead of accidentally getting pushed in by Yosuke and Chie freaking out. (They instead try to hold Yu back.)
Yu takes out thousands of shadows single-handedly in the first episode, using high level skills like Maziodyne, Null Physical, Vorpal Blade, and Myriad Arrows.
Most anime would say, "On the next episode..." or, "Coming soon!..." The Persona 4 Golden Animation says, "Next Memories".
The opening credits each week actually show Yu with a fully maxed out Social Qualities board behind him at one point.
The opening theme is called "Next Chance To Move On".
The anime only focusing on new content and breezing through battles can be seen almost as a Speed Run. Interestingly, all of the events from the original animation can be stiched with this animation as well with no problems since they occur on different but ordered dates.
Izanagi evolving into Izanagi no Okami before the battle with izanami. Something that's only possible with a new game plus.
Out of Focus: The Investigation Team have become more of a supporting cast in favor of focusing on Marie.