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Anime / Persona 4: The Golden Animation
aka: Persona 4 Golden The Animation

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

Persona 4: The Golden 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 Play Station 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 Plus. 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. Which means, when Marie disappears to become part of Izanami, the story loses its entire focus...
    • Adachi also gets expanded upon, where in game he is a NPC who gets a Social Link in Golden (besides 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:
    • At least in the start, Yu is very much this due to having maxed his stats in the previous anime, if the chart indicating his powers is anything to go by.
    • Following in the footsteps of the first anime, Adachi goes from a fairly easy boss to stalemating 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.
    • Likewise, Kaguya, the Persona acquired after completing the Aeon Social Link, is used to defeat Izanami instead of Izanagi-no-Okami.
  • 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.
    • Another minor case with Yu who is a little more sure of himself in the start due to being somewhat aware of how to progress the story and fight Shadows as per New Game Plus.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: Originally, Yu ended the first anime single with admirers. Yu and Marie pretty much the central couple in this anime with the epilogue having Marie confessing to Yu which happens when the player romances her. Kanji and Naoto are relegated to Ship Tease but Yu being freed up makes their relationship more fleshed out.
  • 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.
    • Lampshaded further late in the series, when it reverts back to the ORIGINAL series abruptly... because Marie erased herself, and the very reason it IS an alternate continuity...
  • 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 Plus. This is actually stylized as a New Game Plus.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A Bloody Mess: An unfortunately-timed encounter with Chie, Yukiko, Rise and Ai at the same time leads to everyone getting knocked out while covered in tomato juice, leading a paranoid Naoto to then believe that her suspicions that everyone was planning to kill each other were true.
  • Butt-Monkey: Yes, this is technically a New Game Plus, 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.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Once Episode 6 rolls around. It focuses on Adachi, and takes a darker turn as it shows his actions leading up to Yu's arrival and after, including murders.
  • 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".
    • The scene where Yu confronts Adachi to shift the Jester Arcana to the Hunger Arcana is combined with Adachi's boss fight.
    • Likewise, the battle against Izanami-no-Okami is combined with Marie's reveal of her true identity.
  • Continuity Cameo:
    • The first episode's opening sequence features several appearances by several secondary Social Links and supporting characters, many of whom don't otherwise appear in the series. Some are more obvious than others.
      • Kou and Daisuke are seen hanging out with Yosuke at Junes, while Yumi, Eri and Yuuta can be seen eating at other tables.
      • Ayane and Hisano are seen along the riverbank during the wide shot of Chie and Yukiko walking together.
      • Saki and Naoki get an entire shot to themselves, with Sayoko visible in the background shopping at their family's store and Mitsuo walking into the frame right at the end.
      • Ai is seen scolding Adachi before he calls Dojima.
      • Aika is seen feeding the fox while the Dojimas drive by the shrine to pick up Yu.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • A butterfly is seen in the credits, referencing Philemon, the original boss of the Velvet Room.
    • 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.
    • Episode 8. The original opening sequence of Persona 4 The Animation returns, since Marie erased herself, and the reason it's Persona 4 Golden, in Episode 7. Also, the credits lose the memory map images and the Investigation Team vanish.
    • Taps is played in Episode 8 when the boys remember their previous hot spring incident.
    • 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. Episode 7 has a reverse example, in that Marie removes herself from the life of all the Investigation Team... which means Yu suddenly has no love interest at all...
  • Demonic Possession: Or Divine, in this case. In episode 12, Izanami reveals herself by forcibly taking control of Marie, making her brown eyes shift into her characteristic red and levitating her a few feet off the ground.
  • Demoted to Extra: The Investigation Team, Dojima Family, Igor and Margaret do not play a major role at all in the series and are only there to help Marie to learn the importance of bond. It's only after Marie's disappearance that the Investigation Team and Margaret's role increase. Igor on the other hand only appears quoting his usual Catchphrase. Justified as Igor's voice actor had already passed away and his lines are recycled voice clips.
  • Downer Ending:
    • The "Thank you Mr Accomplice" OVA is an adaptation of the Accomplice Ending, so of course. Yu destroys the evidence incriminating Adachi for his benefit, and Adachi responds with an Evil Laugh and declaring he'll keep tabs on Yu and hold this over his head forever. Yu ends up leaving town without the case being solved and the fog never lifting. The Bad Guy Wins all around...
    • Episode 7. Marie's gone. And, when the following episode begins, It's confirmed, for now, to be permanent...
  • Evolving Credits: The last scene in the credits is slowly filled by the new memories made by the team and Marie.
    • Which briefly turns into devolving credits after Episode 7.
  • 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. His only line is his "Welcome To The Velvet Room..." introductory line.
    • This gets to a hilarious conclusion in Episode 9 when Margaret misses her cue due to emulating Marie, and the music just dies out, Igor glaring at her.
  • 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.
  • Graceful Loser: As before, Izanami, though in a different context and nonverbal this time. Even after forging Izanagi-no-Okami Yu can't bring himself to strike Izanami down because he keeps seeing Marie's face on her. This necessitates a different approach: Yu and Marie approach her together, and summon Kaguya to help them. Marie gives Izanami a speech about how the truth will save humanity rather than harm them and, alongside a Cooldown Hug from Kaguya, convinces her to believe in mankind again and rejoin with her. At this, Izanami's One-Winged Angel form dissolves into sparks of light; finally, Marie hugs her in her more humanoid form as she dissolves into her.
  • 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.
  • Interquel: There are vague hints scattered that the story of the game is acting like a New Game Plus, but with that in mind, the anime mostly adapts the new story content that got added to Persona 4 Golden rather than faithfully retelling the story from beginning to end, making it something of a companion series to the original. At times, the series borders on being a Slice of Life series if not for the final few episodes.
  • 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 the 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...
    • The alternate ending where Yu helps Adachi has Yu visibly distressed and paranoid as if someone is watching him, and his scream to the sky is akin to him being mad at a player for taking a choice he would never do.
  • Lighter and Softer: While the murder mystery still happens, this adaptation focuses more on the Slice of Life aspects that come with the game.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Pointed out by Marie when she keeps referring to Chie and Yukiko as Green and Red, respectively, as she does in the game. Hilariously, she's seen almost exclusively in part or all of her Velvet Room 'uniform' until the very end of the series.
  • 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.
  • Medium Awareness: While Yu isn't actually aware that he's in what's basically a New Game Plus, several choices he makes early on are done with enough confidence and initiative on his part to reflect that he at least can better predict what to do in his unique situation without having to go through it first as if it's all familiar. The ending where he bails out Adachi also has him uncomfortable through the entire ordeal even before he makes the decision, and him yelling at the sky as one would do when pulling off a Rage Against the Heavens is pretty much him him damning whatever entity made him choose that path.
  • 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 Plus 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. Amusingly, the Slime is very visibly distressed and one can hear low pitched moan of pain from him.
  • New Game Plus: 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.
      • ...That is, until Marie erases them by mistake...
    • 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.
      • Which is lampshaded in Episode 8.
    • Izanagi evolving into Izanagi no Okami during the battle with Kusumi-no-Okami and before the battle with Izanami. Something that's only possible with a new game plus.
  • Not His Sled: Yu summons Izanagi-no-Okami against Izanami-no-Okami like usual... and loses, thanks to Izanami using Marie's face to make him lose focus. Marie then joins Yu in battle and the two summon Kaguya to defeat Izanami-no-Okami.
  • Out of Focus: The Investigation Team have become more of a supporting cast in favor of focusing on Marie.
    • ...who puts herself out of focus halfway through the series... then erases herself completely...
  • 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. The boys plan for a party on Christmas Eve but not wanting the girls to help less they want to have another incident with Mystery Food X, Yu simply asks them to come to his house on the appointed date which makes them think he is asking them out for a date. Naoto takes the confusion up to eleven when she thinks Yu and the other girls are planning to kill her and Kanji is already a victim. On the day itself, the other guys are unable to come over to help so Teddie tells Yu he is sending someone to help him. Yu thinks he means the other girls but it is actually Ai and the sports captains. One thing leads to another, the party is postponed to the next day.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Coming out 2 years after the conclusion of Persona 4: The Animation, with this new anime, A-1 Pictures opted to adapt the new story and side content that got added to Persona 4 Golden rather than retelling the entire story from scratch. This resulted in Marie getting promoted to Deuteragonist and added to the side story content she wasn't originally a part of in the game, to make her closer to the Investigation Team and provide a better emotional climax.
  • Pun: Rise posing for the camera and introducing herself as Rise-cheese in episode 4. A play on her Japanese stage name (Rise-chi) and the classic "Smile for the camera" line.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Yu and Marie, full stop, is the couple that get the most of the attention.
    • 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 Golden, with the main Murder Mystery plotline being secondary.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad:
    • Marie is pretty much the actual protagonist of this series, being the most focused character of the show and appearing in scenes that she doesn't appear in the game. In addition, the show also made her the canon love interest of Yu.
    • Following his Ascended Extra status in Golden, Adachi not only has two whole episodes dedicated to him, his fight with Yu being expanded to include more Personas than the two Izanagis. He's also the main focus of the Bad Ending OVA.
  • Supporting Protagonist: Yu, in comparison to the first series, is this. It's Marie who's having the more developed character arc.
  • Tempting Fate: As the gang prepare for their upcoming concert, Kou and Daisuke wish that they can help them in some way. On the day itself, they manage to help Rise to get to the concert, with Kou dressing up as Risette to lure her fans away. Kou complains to the others during the after party for making him crossdress and becomes even more embarrass after Chie compliments him.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In accordance with the above New Game Plus entry, as this video shows, Yu and Izanagi went from struggling against three Shadows to nuking down a planet's worth of them.
  • Unperson: In Episodes 8 and 9, it's revealed Marie had erased herself from the Investigation Team's memories, and they keep referring to some of the things they did with Marie, and pausing as they realise that something odd is happening, since a key person is missing from their recollections and noticing in their group photos the missing space Marie was meant to be in.
  • Updated Re-release: It's an anime based on the one 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.
    • Hilariously, Marie is the cause of a good few of the coincidences, because they keep remembering doing things for someone who doesn't exist!


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Persona 4 Golden The Animation


Yu Narukami and Izanagi

Yu summons a level 99 Izanagi to the tutorial level. The Shadows try to compensate with sheer numbers, to no avail.

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