Anime: Persona 4 Golden: The Animation

"Even familiar landscapes will reveal a different kind of beauty if you change your point of view."
Margaret

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.
  • The Ace: Yu quite clearly enjoys the perks that come with New Game+. Sadly this does not help when dealing with Kusumi-no-Okami and Izanami.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • 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.
    • Magatsu-Izanagi itself undergoes a severe case of this. In the actual P4 Golden game, although it's unquestionably better than vanilla Izanagi, that mostly has to do with the fact Magatsu-Izanagi is the prize for maxing out one of the two Golden-unique Social Links, whereas Izanagi stops learning any new techniques after level 5. Here? It defeats 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 much earlier 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.
  • Anime of the Game: The second adaptation of Persona 4 (the first being Persona 4: The Animation), and first of Persona 4 Golden.
  • 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. She's also prominently featured on promotional material, and has new/expanded scenes with Yu that never occurred in the game.
  • Ascended Meme: A running gag for the previous series is that Yu was obviously on a New Game+. This is actually stylized as a New Game+.
  • Awesomeness Is Volatile: In the first episode, a few shadows get destroyed by the sheer awesomeness of Izanagi's first summoning.
  • Badass Arm-Fold: Seem's like Yu's now taking cues from TTGL, because the first time he summons Izanagi it appears in this pose, complete with a Sword Plant and Glowing Eyes of Doom. Hell, the Battle Aura alone was powerful enough to take out a few shadows.
  • Bad Santa: A tv character named "Thunder Cross"
  • Beach Episode: Episode 3 has the Investigation Team going to the Beach. Hijinks ensue.
  • Big Damn Hero: Parodied. At the beginning of episode 4, Yu is seen driving through the midnight channel on his scooter, arriving just in time to help his friends in battle. Cut to him and Yosuke at the gas station, where Yosuke tells him that it's a dumb idea.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • "Pamasonic" for Panasonic and "Atashi Beer" for "Asahi Beer". The latter has the same standard trademark as Asahi Breweries.
    • In the 12th episode, the TV is clearly of the "Sany" (Sony) brand.
  • Butt Monkey: Yes, this is technically a New Game+, but Yu still isn't immune to getting into all sorts of embarrassing situations.
  • Call Forward: Yu defeats Kusumi-no-Okami the same way he would eventually (or already had?) defeat Izanami: by throwing away his glasses and summoning Izanagi-no-Okami.
  • 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 Personasnote , ending with a Cross Counter between Izanagi and its evil counterpart. Just when it seems like they're both too exhausted to keep fighting, Yu resorts to using his bare hands to beat the crap out of the other guy. DAMN!
  • Compressed Adaptation:
    • The series focuses solely on the scenes exclusive to Golden, leaving the main murder plot Out of Focus. The other dungeons (such as those of the Investigation Team) 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".
  • Continuity Nod:
    • 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.
    • The end credits of Episode 10 mimics the Game Over scene from the game.
    • In Episode 11, at one point, Yu gets to use a katana, just like he does in the game.
  • Cooldown Hug: How Marie deals with Izanami. Given that they're one and the same person, this results in her being absorbed by Marie.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Ameno-sagiri, went from being the fake final boss to being dispatched with a single slice.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: As far as the anime's concerned, Marie is Yu's canon Love Interest. A not unexpected event, seeing as how Marie is the Implied Love Interest in the game and this anime is a Compressed Adaptation.
  • Downer Ending: The "Thank you Mr Accomplice" OVA is basically this.
  • 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.
  • Fake Shemp: This adaptation uses every excuse possible not to use Igor, down to the fact Margaret has virtually all the dialogue. This is since the writers couldn't write him out, due to his long-running role as the host of the Velvet Room, even though his voice actor had passed away.
  • 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. Subverted later on when the team fights Kusumi-no-Okami.
  • 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.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Like the previous P4 anime, the anime assumes most of the viewers have already played the game, and shows big reveals with much less fanfare, including showing Teddie's human form in the opening, Ameno-Sagiri making a cameo in Episode 4, Adachi's killings shown before Nanako gets thrown into the TV, and Izanami making named cameos in some episodes. The Investigation Team's dungeons and personal crises are also skipped, since they've been largely addressed in the previous series.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Yu during quiz show likes to look at the camera and pose while Teddie gives his description.
    • At the beginning of the episode, the viewer visits the Velvet Room. However, it's empty, except for a piece of paper, which Marie runs in and picks up just too late to stop it being read out.
      • One of them is part of Marie's memory map. She's outright furious.
    • When Marie erases herself, the series reverts to the previous adaptation's opening, and Igor and Margaret are in the cold opening. Both the cold opening and new opening prominently featured Marie... who no longer exists...
  • Lighter and Softer: While the murder mystery still happens, this adaptation focuses more on the Slice of Life aspects that come with the game.
    • Cerebus Syndrome: Then Episode 6 rolls around that focuses on Adachi, and the gloves come off.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Pointed out by Marie when she keeps referring to Chie and Yukiko as Green and Red, respectively.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: The songs used for Adachi called "A Little" and "A Downfall" are much longer than what is heard in the episodes.
  • Master Swordsman: Narukami during the final part of the final battle.
  • Meet Cute: Yu's meeting of Marie is shown to be more of a meet cute, with his note being blown onto her boot.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: New Game+ or not, this is still Yu we're talking about.
  • Mysterious Waif: The mysterious new character Marie becomes the main focus of the overall plot in this adaptation.
  • Mythology Gag: Nanako accidentally makes a Slime from the Shin Megami Tensei series after taking advice from Chie, Yukiko and Rise on how to make chocolate.
  • 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 
    • 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 stitched 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.
  • Playboy Bunny: Rise dons this outfit during episode 4 as part of the Quiz show. So does Kanji.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Definitely the trope that drives the events of episode 8.
  • Ship Teasing: Yu and Marie, full stop.
    • Kanji and Naoto, too. Mostly subtle hints here and there, but episode 9 is full of it.
  • Skyward Scream: Yu does this in the OVA after he realizes he has betrayed everyone.
  • Slice of Life: The series focuses on a lot of the new content added to The Golden, with the main Murder Mystery plotline being secondary.
  • Supporting Protagonist: Yu, in comparison to the first series, is this. It's Marie who's having the more developed character arc.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In accordance with the above New Game+ entry, as this video shows, Yu and Izanagi went from taking down a single shadow to nuking down a planet's worth of them.
  • Updated Re-release: It's an anime based on the Updated Re-release of Persona 4, making it something of an Updated Re-release of Persona 4 The Animation.
    • Which is lampshade hung in Episode 8.
  • Villain Episode:
    • Episode 6 "I told you Yu" focuses on the Serial Killer Adachi.
    • The OVA "Thank You Mr. Accomplice" focuses on the Accomplice Ending with Yu and Adachi.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 8. Marie just erased everything that happened with her, or, effectively, everything in the previous 7 episodes...
  • What If?: The OVA shows what happens if Yu sides with Adachi.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Yu's friend Kou dresses up as a surprisingly convincing version of Rise Kujikawa in order to draw a crowd of Risette fans away in episode 5.
    • Oh yes, and, of course, Teddie.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Before the Mood Whiplash, episode 8 inflicts this on Naoto. Believing herself to be taking part in a horrific mystery tale (rather than a lighthearted slice-of-life story), she hilariously misinterprets a series of unfortunate coincidences which ends up with her completely humiliating herself by mistaking a surprise Christmas party for an attempt to murder her.