Persona 4: The Animation
is based on a game that already had its own share of nightmare fuel
, so of course, it has its own, and due not being limited to the game's animation models and facial expression, it manages to expand some things that were already terrifying.
- Episode 1: The silhouette of Yamano Mayumi's body hanging in the pole is chilling. Then we get treated to a close-shot to her face, upside-down, eyes rolled back and without pupils.
- Episode 3: Shadow Chie forces Chie to hear her own thoughts in what seems to be a dark void where she is surrounded by mask-like faces without eyes. There is a close up on one of them and Chie screamed at the horror she experienced.
- The animation manages to take Mitsuo's creepiness and ratchet it Up to Eleven. Not only does he have a more extreme reaction to Yukiko's rejection (to his request for a date), but we see that his room has (or is covered with) pictures of Rise and Yukiko hanging on the walls, and later a punching bag with a picture of Kanji on it after her chased off Mitsuo; hear his happy laughter when the police notice his murder of Morooka; watch him becoming more unhinged when he fails to pull Yukiko away from her friends in order to have a date with her; and can feel him completely cracking when people don't believe his claims that he is the killer. Oh and one other scene that shows just how screwed up he is is when he's walking outside and trips on a garbage bag. His response? Stomp heavily and angrily on it as if trying to beat it to death. The implications on the scene where he goes ballistic over Nanako reaching for the same grocery item he's after is more than chilling.
- Some of the close-ups to Shadow Naoto's eyes in the anime are nightmare inducing.
- Hell, Shadow Naoto in general is much more frightening here than in the game. In the game she's mostly comedic due to her mood swings and Large Ham tendencies. The anime took away both of those aspects, making her genuinely terrifying.
- While Mitsuo was indeed far more unsettling here than in the game, he's got nothing on Adachi. In the game, Adachi's admittedly chilling lines during and after The Reveal were somewhat ruined by his sprite's goofy facial expressions. Here though? He manages to be legitimately terrifying, his goofy smirk turning into an outright Slasher Smile, and whereas in the game his Motive Rant and Breaking Lecture both came off as more of angry whining, here he's completely calm as he tells Yu to just give in while Magatsu Izanagi is curbstomping him.
- Yu's Heroic Safe Mode moment in episode 23 is pretty unnerving, particularally his expression◊ when he nearly kills Namatame in retaliation for Nanako's apparent death.
- Unlike in the game, in the anime we actually see how Yamano and Saki died during Namatame's flashback. Their Shadow selves basically ate them.
- In a similar vein, we see Adachi put Yamano and Saki into the TV. He makes sexual advances on both of them before throwing them in with much force. After they're thrown in, he taunts them from the other side of the TV to get out.
- The part where Izanami absorbs your other party members with that scripted event in the game is a lot worse in the anime. The episode had started out with Yu going through a "Groundhog Day" Loop of the day before he left town, and when he gets suspicious about it, he confronts Izanami, who shows him the truth: she had already killed all of his friends, and he locked himself in the loop in order to relive that one happy day. Izanami doesn't just tell him this, she forces him to relive the moment, forcing down every one of his friends into the shadows as he begs for it to stop. What makes it even more terrifying is the moment right before the break: Izanami tells Yu that happiness can only be found in a world filled with fog. He turns to the camera, his eyes wide, and a smile on his face. Yu Narukami is completely and utterly broken.
- Even worse so, when the loop restarts again, Yu is now taking part in everything that happens during the day, almost as if he's sickly enjoying everything. The music also starts to become eerie, possibly hinting at Yu becoming insane, trapped in his own memories.