Midnight Channel: The Musical (which was known as Persona 4 Musical before the name was changed) is a fan-made musical adaptation of the video game Persona 4, and was started by brother-and-sister duo of Gina and Jake Smith in late 2012. Much like the original game, a nameless high school student moves to a small, peaceful town named Inaba for a year. Soon after he arrives, though, a series of murders and kidnappings begin, and it quickly falls to the character and an ever-increasing band of friends to stop the culprit by saving his or her victims from the TV World, where monsters called Shadows kill those trapped for too long.
Much of the musical was completed, including the script and a vast majority of the songs in the show. Many of these tracks were put onto the project's Tumblr, and a read-through of the first two of acts of script were recorded and shared online (which can be found here). The musical itself remained a close adaptation of the game; however, due to the limitations of compressing a 100+ hour game into a three-hour stage performance, as well as to make it more accessible to people who have not played the games before, several major changes were made to the plot.
Unfortunately, plans for theatre performances were halted when Atlus issued a cease and desist order on January 28th, 2014, and they were forced to take all work related to Midnight Channel: The Musical down. This was likely because Persona 4 already had two stage productions in Japan, with an official musical for Persona 3 running at the time. The musical's songs have since been reuploaded to this location.
Midnight Channel: The Musical contains examples of:
- Adaptation Distillation: A given, considering how long the game itself is. Notable changes include removing combat, eliminating Social Links, and skipping over Mitsuo's dungeon as well as most of the comedic segments.
- Bad Girl Song: Shadow Rise's song, "Idols Gone Wild", seems to be this on the surface, but it's more about Rise's identity and self-worth, as well as her fears of being liked for how she looks and acts rather than who she really is.Shadow Rise: So take me to the club, 'cause Risette likes to party!/Watch me take it off, 'cause Risette doesn't care!/Just as long as they love me, everybody loves me,/It doesn't matter if I'm really there...
- Crowd Song: Everyone in Inaba joins in for "Small Town Blues".
- Dark Is Not Evil: Izanami. In her Villain Song, "Prove To Me", Izanami notes how well the main charcter has done, but reminds him that for all their talent he is only human, granted his power by her, and invites the team to prove to her. Right? Wrong? She doesn't care, she just wants to see their conviction to their goal. Even better is that it brings together the Shadow leitmotif and the Protagonist's leitmotif, is sung by a warm soprano, and plays in a relatively major if somewhat melancholy tone.
- Prove me right, prove me wrong,Just prove to me.
- Dark Reprise: Quite a few of them are in the musical.
- "More Than the Tough Times" gets a heart-breaking reprise when Nanako dies.
- "Shadow" Nametame also sings a reprise of "To Save You" when he appears on the Midnight Channel.
- Teddie also gets in on the action with a sad rendition of his part in "This World Meets That".
- Ameno-Saigiri reprises "Empty Inside" with "Black and White".
- "Something", which is sung by Dojima over arresting his former partner can be considered one for both "We Got Nothin'", even though it deals with the murders of two women, or the rather more cheery (even if it was cut), "I Got Something". Interestingly, "Something" is a solo, while "I Got Something" and "We Got Nothin'" are both duets.
- Death Song: The reprise of "More Than the Tough Times", sung by Nanako as she lies dying in her hospital bed.
- Demonic Possession: As discussed above in Pragmatic Adaptation, Shadows now possess their hosts instead of appearing outside them.
- Distracted by the Sexy: During "Idols Gone Wild", the guys become so enamored with Shadow Rise that they start providing backup vocals to her singing.
- Downer Ending: Not to the musical, but to the project itself. Things were looking up until that C&D came...
- Flat "What": The main character's response when Naoto labels him as a suspect in "Putting it Out There".
- Foreshadowing: Izanami's voice can be heard singing under Shadow Teddie's and Adachi/Ameno-Saigiri's.
- "I Am" Song: Every single Shadow has their own song, which acts as the musical's version of the game's breaking speeches.
- Leitmotif: A large number of them, some from the game and others entirely original, show up throughout the play to announce specific concepts.
- "Reach Out to the Truth" from the game is featured many a time (in fact, it's the first tune heard in the musical) to symbolize the characters... well, reaching out for the truth.
- Every Shadow song will have the lines "I am a Shadow and I am the true self/And I'm you and you're me" towards the end.
- There is a "Despair" tune that usually pops up when talking about the murders. Shadow Yosuke and Adachi are prominent users of it.
- "Corridor" also appears a lot, but it's not limited to Izanami. It's used to deliver blunt statements of the truth.
- The iconic "Aria of the Soul" plays whenever Igor and the Velvet Room make an appearance.
- No Name Given: The main character is addressed as "partner", "Sensei", "leader-man", and a host of other titles... but never by his name.
- Pragmatic Adaptation: A few tweaks were made to the game. Shadows, instead of appearing as an evil doppleganger of the person, now possess their host instead (indicated by a change in lighting). Igor now combines his old role with Marie's as a character meant to guide Hope, Despair, and Emptiness to perform their roles in Izanami's test, but ends up favoring Hope and gives the main character his support.
- Shout-Out: The musical makes several references to Persona 4 Golden, including several cameos by Marie and mention of the ski trip.
- Small Town Boredom: Pretty much the entire point of "Small Town Blues", which is also titled "Everything's Boring in Inaba".
- Shadow Yosuke still sings about this in "Semantics".
- Suddenly Speaking: The main character in "Captain, Oh Captain", after which he gets a solo number as he calls out the team for their willingness to throw Namatame into the TV without hearing Nametame out first.
- Tarot Motifs: It IS based off of Persona, after all. Igor gives a short explanation about what each Arcana is soon before the appropriate Shadow is explored.
- Villain Song: Every main villain has one, but Adachi's "Bitches and Whores" deserves special mention.
- The Voiceless: The main character is very much this trope. Until the second half of the musical, that is. After he speaks up in "Captain, Oh Captain", he goes on to have a prominent speaking and singing role until the end of the musical.Rise: How can he be so quiet?/How can he lead in silence?