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Video Game / Persona 4: Dancing All Night

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Couldn't help but move,
The threads of fate had spun us
Into each other's lives by chance
All this energy's got us inspired now,
We couldn't stop it; just set it free and...
Dance!, performed by Lotus Juice and Shihoko Hirata

Persona 4: Dancing All Night is a 2015 Spin-Off Rhythm Game based on Persona 4 for the PlayStation Vita.

The plot takes place a month after the extended epilogue of Persona 4 Golden and is chronologically the final game to feature the Investigation Team. Rise "Risette" Kujikawa, back in showbiz after her year-long hiatus, requests her friends to act as her backup dancers at the "Love Meets Bonds Festival", a music event sponsored by Rise's agency, and personally trains them for this purpose. Everything goes well until rumors spread that if you watch a particular video on the festival's website at exactly midnight, you'll be pulled to the "other side." Sure enough, the J-Pop Idol Group of Rise's Friendly Rival Kanami Mashita goes missing shortly thereafter in a manner eerily similar to the rumor. Fearing the worst, Rise begs her friends from the Investigation Team to help her solve the case.


Gameplay shares a few elements with the Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA series of games, as the development team for Dancing All Night had assistance from Project DIVA developers, however, much unlike Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth and its strong similarities to Etrian Odyssey, Persona 4 Dancing All Night stands on its own as a game for the most part. With a User Interface very different from that of Project Diva and a greater focus on choreographed dances than music-video-style visuals, Persona 4 Dancing All Night brings its very own flavor to the table: All dances were choreographed and danced by professional dancers, tailored to the characters' personalities and animated using very fluid Motion Capture.

The songs are mostly remixes from Persona 4 and Persona 4 Golden, along with a couple original tracks and songs from Arena and Q . You can play as any of the Investigation Team members plus Kanami, Nanako, and Margaret, along with a few others as DLC in a free play mode, though Margaret and the DLC characters do not make a playable appearance in story mode. Every character is limited to being the Main Dancer in the 2-4 songs choreographed for them (Margaret and the DLC characters are limited to only one song), albeit most characters can also be unlocked as "Social Link Fever Partners" who temporarily join other characters in their dances.


Two sequels were announced on August 2, 2017, Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight and Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight, releasing Spring 2018 for the Play Station Vita and PlayStation 4. PS4 owners will also be able to download Dancing All Night when the two games release.

Previews: Teaser, Trailer 1, Trailer 2 (English version)

This page contains spoilers from Persona 4. You Have Been Warned!

Provides Examples Of:

  • A-Cup Angst: Upon viewing the pre-festival special featuring members of Kanamin Kitchen, Rise reacts to the figure of the well-endowed Kanami by saying that she "totally got a boob job."
  • All Part of the Show: A variation. The entire audience at the LMB festival never questioned the really supernatural events and was convinced that it was just really special stage effects.
  • All Your Powers Combined:
    • The audio of Izanagi-no-Okami's solo is a mixture of all the instrumentals created by the Investigation Team's Personas.
    • Yu's final dance during the climax of the last boss fight is a quick mishmash of his friends' moves in a rapid-fire sequence.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: Many of the stages count, even the LMB stage, especially when the REAL thing gets transported to the other world.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Averted with Teddie in dialogue sequences, the writing on his jacket does indeed adjust itself depending on where he's facing.
  • And the Adventure Continues: At the game's end, Margaret assures the player that the members of the Investigation Team will continue to grow as people and help others in need.
  • Art Shift: Some of the character portraits count as this. A person with a good eye can tell how the color palette can look off when looking down from the face to the body. Yu is a very special case, as he was redrawn entirely once more and sports thicker outlines than his team does.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Kanami Mashita was mentioned during Rise's Social Link (The Lovers) in Persona 4. She has her own idol group now, Kanamin Kitchen. Not to mention the Tritagonist.
    • Yu's cousin Nanako, the Justice Social Link in P4, is now a playable character, as well as a major character in the plot.
    • Minoru Inoue, Rise's manager, made a handful of appearances in P4, and only in Rise's social link, but here, he's a recurring character.
  • Ascended Meme: The Lotus Juice remix of "Backside of the TV" has lyrics referencing the catchy note  opening of Persona 3's main battle theme.
  • Asshole Victim: For a brief moment, the audience at the LMB festival acts like this regarding the disappearance of Kanamin Kitchen's backup dancers. It makes Kanami lose her cool, feeding her spiral to madness.
    • Later on, even after being transported to the other world without realizing it, they don't think at all about the phony Shadow Kanami and start doubting aloud if Kanami is even worth it. Luckily, some other fans manage to sway the unruly ones to cheer for her.
  • Assimilation Plot: A limited-scale version of this occurs in the Story Mode.
  • Author Existence Failure: In-Universe, the song "Calystegia" suffered from this, until it was picked up by Kanamin Kitchen.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: While the Investigation Team is dancing, the Personas have been armed with musical instruments to play when summoned.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Mystic's Way provides an 800% increase in the amount of money earned from a dance, at the cost of making notes invisible.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Employed by both Rise and Chie's new costumes.
  • Becoming the Mask: Discussed, several characters believe that this is the only way for a stage performer to be happy. The Investigation Team repeatedly object.
  • Belly Dancer: Rise's new "Dancer Armor".
  • Bookends:
    • Series-wide — "Pursuing My True Self" appears in the openings of the beginning and ending of the Persona 4 series.
    • Yu uses his Izanagi-no-Okami to defeat the Big Bad, the only other time he does this is against the series' first antagonist, Izanami.
  • Brainwashing: Being caught in the Midnight Stage's song and ribbons causes one to lose their individuality and being forced into becoming what the Shadows will them to be.
  • Brick Joke: After taking Elizabeth out on a date to a nightclub back in Persona 3: FES, she expresses a desire to turn the Velvet Room into one. The Velvet Room takes the appearance of a club for this game.
  • Brown Note: The pain-inducing song the Eerie Voice uses to entice Shadows. It's revealed to be the song Calystegia being played backwards as to reverse its power to convey bonds and turn it into forcing bonds into others.
  • Call-Back:
    • When the girls are talking about preparing a meal again, Kanji talks about not having his insurance card, which was mentioned during Christmas the previous year.
    • In the epilogue, the Investigation Team complains that the weather has become hotter ever since Yu left and that "someone is doing it on purpose". Now, who is the weather girl again?
  • The Cameo: Hatsune Miku in her Project DIVA iteration makes a non-canon appearance, complete with a costume designed by the Persona character designer.
  • Canon Name: Besides Arena and the anime, this game also firmly establishes "Yu Narukami" as the name of Persona 4's protagonist.
  • Color-Coded Characters: In addition to the Investigation Team retaining their colors from the original RPG, Kanamin Kitchen and Ochimizu enact this trope as well, with yellow for Kanami, pink for Sumomo, blue for Tomoe, white for Tamami, black for Nozomi and green for Ochimizu.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Parts of "Pursuing My True Self", the original PS2 game's theme, are mixed into Dancing All Night's theme song, "Dance!"
    • Besides Lotus Juice of Persona 3 fame returning to serve as this game's announcer, the lyrics in his remix of "Backside of the TV" references several other songs from the franchise he's performed on: the first credits theme of Persona 4: The Animation, "Beauty of Destiny", ("Believe in beauty of destiny, it's fire"), "Burn My Dread", and the famous opening lines of "Mass Destruction" from Persona 3 ("Spitfire, burn these dreads, b-b-b-baby").
    • Adachi's dance routine begins with him walking onto the stage with his arms spread, like his intro to his boss fight in the original Persona 4. One of his moves involves him thrusting his arm forward while pointing sideways, which he originally did, albeit with a revolver instead of pointing, as his idle animation in said boss fight and his weak jab in Ultimax.
    • Adachi's dance routine, when viewed closely, is pretty much his entire character arc. From his arrival in Inaba where he seems lost and uncomfortable, then his gaining power and confidence, having fun with his "game", to his inner thoughts and his defeat, and finally (if one attains Fever Time) his relationship with Yu and the effect he had on Adachi in his Social Link - Yu offers a hand but Adachi slaps it away.
    • The instruments used by the Persona at the end of each level are the same type of instruments played by the individual Investigation Team members (for all except Teddie, Rise, Naoto and Izanagi-no-Okami.) in Persona 4 Golden, during Rise's show at Junes.
    • What Rise says in the last huddle for LMB performance is word to word recreation of the huddle the Investigation Team had to psyche themselves up in their Junes concert. Chie even says, "We just need to say, 'We are', right?" just like how Rise instructed them that time.
      Rise: Be thankful for your fans, your friends, and yourself! This is a full-blown, one-time-only performance! Now who's ready!?
      Everyone: We are!
    • Considering the epilogue takes place during the summer of 2012, the Investigation Team now has the outfits they wear during the extended epilogue of Golden.
  • Creator Breakdown: In-Universe, that suffered by Yuko Osada is what kicks off the game's plot.
  • Crossover: Several tracks from this game, notably Pursuing My True Self and Time to Make History eventually found it's way into Sega's maimai ORANGE PLUS machines.
  • Design Student's Orgasm: The Persona 4 franchise as a whole has a thing with this trope, but Dancing All Night's "Lyrics Videos" advertisement takes the cake. Especially the opening theme "DANCE!" and "Heaven".
  • Disappears into Light: Upon being freed the shadows disappear into bright light as they go back to where they came from.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: With the help of the members of Kanamin Kitchen, Rise is able to take the fight to the Big Bad by transforming Himiko into a massive, flamboyant stage capable of traversing dimensions.
  • Flower Motifs: The song "Calystegia" is a reference to the flower "Morning Glory", a weed that grows in ribbon-like vines. This is plot-relevant.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Yosuke's sporting a pair in his new look.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Inverted. The Midnight Stage makes both Personas and bullets disappear from the air before either has a chance to hurt any shadow. It's noted that any kind of "violence" would get cancelled no matter what, with only the ribbons capable of doing harm (and no more than knocking the team back), and thus they are forced to improvise and dance to defeat their enemies.
  • Four Is Death: Kanji's swapped his skull shirt for one that simply says "1+3"... in other words, trading one death motif for another.
  • Gaiden Game: Incredibly unrelated to the main plot of Persona 4.
  • Genre Shift: From RPG to fighting game, to a slightly different RPG, to dancing game.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Averted. Although his appearance is considered non-canon anyway, Adachi's only dance partner is Yu, who is likely enough to do so and it still be in character.
  • Got Me Doing It: Nanako starts adopting some of Kanami's Verbal Tics after spending some time with her.
  • Gratuitous English:
    • Half of the trailer is in very excited, very accented English. They kept it for when they announced its localization, because they knew people would love it, and the reception from the Japanese trailer was really good. The announcer is not in the final game.
      Announcer: Unbelievable! Could you imagine the step?! He's genius!
    • Present in-game in the story-relevant song "Calystegia", which is downright littered with misused English phrases. Might be intentional, seeing how the idol who wrote the song, Yuko Osada, is said to have lacked actual talent.
  • Harder Than Hard: All Night difficulty, which is unlockable, features considerably more notes and more difficult note patterns than even Hard mode.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The "song" that plays on the Midnight Stage is a distorted, vaguely musical drone of creepy sounds, meant to rob away the individuality of everyone exposed to it.
  • Hotter and Sexier: The female members of the Investigation Team (and Kanji) have switched to more revealing outfits.
    • Rise wears a revealing concert "uniform", compete with Absolute Cleavage and Bare Your Midriff.
    • Chie opens up her signature green jacket and wears a Bare Your Midriff tanktop.
    • Yukiko switches her Proper Tights with a Skirt for a grade D Zettai Ryouiki look.
    • Naoto has stopped binding her chest and undone the first few buttons on her dress shirt.
    • Kanji's taken off his jacket and switched to a tight, sleeveless shirt.
    • Kanami Mashita is an in-universe example; in real life her hair is red, she wears thick prescription glasses and dresses in slogan T-shirts and track suits. On stage her agency makes her wear blonde wigs, prescription color contacts and a dress that makes her chest downright pop out off her torso.
  • Idol Singer: The game focuses quite a bit on idols, with the Story Mode being about Rise's Friendly Rival Kanami and her group Kanamin Kitchen being kidnapped. Of course, it also shows some of the darker aspects of the industry and how they take their toll on its performers.
  • Instant Expert: Nanako delights the Dance Instructor after she manages to utterly dominate a complex dance routine that not even Kanami got right for two weeks and a half.
  • Last-Name Basis: Dojima only refers to Kanami by her last name, Mashita, similar to how he refers to almost everyone outside of his family. He also gets referred to by his last name for the most part, and Kanami even gets confused for a moment when Nanako is referred to as "Dojima-san."
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: In order to save Kanamin Kitchen as fast as possible, the Investigation Team splits up to take two separate paths. Seniors Yu, Yosuke, Chie, and Yukiko take one route, sophomores Rise, Kanji, Naoto plus Teddie go another.
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • Compared to Persona 4, this applies to the Free Dance Mode and its Go-Karting with Bowser vibe, but zigzagged, and ultimately downplayed in the Story Mode.
      • On one hand, literally, the first thing you see is Yuko Osada's on-screen suicide and the plot might just qualify for the darkest in any of the Persona spin-offs released so far, dealing with topic such as corruption in the entertainment business, loss of individuality, deep trauma, depression, sexual exploitation of women in the media, the effect of fan backlash on celebrities' self-image and broken dreams. Further, Apathy Syndrome returns as a plot point.
      • However, all of the main characters from the previous games are in a better position to help others, having overcome, or come to terms with, their personal dramas that started the story of Persona 4 proper. Their mission in saving Kanamin Kitchen and others is also more straightforward, where they have a better idea of the culprit. Furthermore, there is less violence overall which resulted in a more relaxed age rating. While the above suicide in the prologue is nightmarish, that is the only death shown - compared to the main story having at least 3 canon deaths (and possibly more if you screw up the playthrough) - and everyone else here returns home safely for the epilogue with a high and confident note.
    • The above trope also applies to the Persona 3 series, both to the main story and to Dancing In Moonlight.
      • The equivalent game from Persona 3 clearly takes place during the main story, instead of after the main plot's resolution like the formernote ...although the characters don't seem to show their angst any more than the Persona 4 cast. Conversely, Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight explicitly takes place after the climax of the game it is based onnote , and shows that the characters, while in much better places than they were before, are still growing, and occasionally struggling with who they are, though not nearly to the extent of the main game.
      • The Apathy Syndrome shown in this game is disturbing, but this is treated as a relatively minor incident compared to Persona 3 (or even Persona 4 proper's fog of lies), as the effects here are more short-lived and localised, solved in a more straightforward manner, and is not tied with The End of the World as We Know It like the same syndrome in Persona 3 was.
  • Made a Slave: The Shadows seen in the game have been forcibly made to dance against their will, which the Investigation Team notice aren't like the typical shadows and have been forced to partake in the game's events, just like them.
  • Magic Dance: Dancing is the key power in the Midnight Stage. It allows anyone to express their inner emotions and influence others to a supernatural degree. The Eerie Voice uses its song to make the Shadows dance, compelling victims to be ensnared in the Eternal Bond like them. Fortunately the Team learns early on they can fight fire with fire.
  • Manipulative Editing: An in-universe example: The Eerie Voice's favorite tactic in convincing the Kanamin Kitchen girls to give up and join their bond is through playing select quotes from fans as "proof" that the girls should discard their individualities; since that is what "all" of their fans want. However, it's soon apparent that the Voice is just reusing the same four people over and over again, who themselves are not described in any positive terms (The fans quoted are referred to as Frivolous, Cynical, Timid, and Sleazy Voices). And sure enough, when the Voice tries to do this to Kanami using the real-life LMB audience instead of their cherry-picked sample, the negative opinions are all drowned out by the overwhelming majority of the fans who do believe in Kanami.
  • Mental Fusion: The Big Bad attempts to permanently achieve this with the Shadows on the Midnight Stage and their unwitting victims. They see this as a form of Happy Place.
  • Money for Nothing: By using "The Mystic's Way", "Omnotepotent Orb", and all the other possible items at the same time, the player can get through specialist on even the highest difficulty by mashing scratch and two of the buttons, netting up between 140 and 200K in cash in only a couple of minutes, thus easily getting more than one needs to buy everything else.
  • Mood Whiplash: The individual character trailers for the Investigation Team contrast and compliment the energetic dancing with each of its members talking about what they learned about themselves and sometimes doling out sobering, but practical, life advice.
    • The entire Story Mode is like that; You go from fluffy scenes about Nanako and Kanami bonding to horrible revelations about the agency's dark past and terrible implications about the victims of the Midnight Stage rumours.
    • Adachi's dance is mostly him manically mocking the dance moves of the Investigation Team, but it and the accompanying song become rather melancholic towards the end.
  • Mythology Gag: The audience hype meter is represented by a set of colored press turn icons from the SNES Shin Megami Tensei games.
  • No-Sell: The Midnight Stage seems to have built-in natural laws that forbid physical violence of any kind, and violent acts are negated before they can accomplish anything, while the emotional effects of music and dancing are practically a fundamental force of their own, which makes a lot of sense when you realize that the Midnight Stage is based on the mythological origin behind the Kagura in Shinto. This prevents the Investigation Team from saving the kidnapped victims by force as they are used to, but it also keeps the Big Bad from curb-stomping the party once it goes full One-Winged Angel at the end.
  • Oddball in the Series: Yeah, Persona might be filled with awesome music, but it's not exactly known as a music game series. Even the fighting game seems normal compared to this.
  • Oh, Crap!: Yosuke's final line in Story Mode reflects this when he realizes the entire group is basically thrown in to dancing along with a song they've never heard before.
  • One-Winged Angel: After giving into the Eternal Bond, the members of Kanami Kitchen are transformed into Shadow-like creatures, becoming "the you everyone wants you to be".
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Everyone is really astounded how Teddie even got to design his gaudy dress for his bear outfit.
  • Plot Parallel: While the four Kanimin Kitchen girls are being rescued, each one of them is revealed to have insecurities that are causing events to unfold in a similar manner as the Investigation Team's Shadows. Specifically, Yosuke relates to Tamamin's being comic relief and Chie is angered by how her hard work isn't respected; Tomomin is burdened with the weight of responsibility as a leader, like Yukiko is to her family's inn—and her stage will definitely remind some players of Rise's Shadow; Kanji and Teddie, but most of all Naoto, all relate to Sumomin and Nozomin's being seen as children or as a male persona they've crafted, and unable to interact well with other people.
  • The Power of Rock: After completing each song, the Investigation Team members summon their Persona to finish off the Shadows with an instrumental solo:
    • Yu's Izanagi: Bass
    • Yosuke's Jiraiya: Electric guitar
    • Chie's Tomoe: Trumpet
    • Yukiko's Konohana Sakuya: Saxophone
    • Kanji's Take-Mikazuchi: Drum set
    • Rise's Himiko: Harp
    • Teddie's Kintoki-Douji: Turntables
    • Naoto's Sukuna-Hikona: Violin (using its Laser Blade as a bow)
    • Izanagi-no-Okami: A combination electric guitar/bass
  • Product Placement: The characters can wear DENON headphones as part of a cross-promotion between the company and Atlus. The headphones are available for purchase to the public.
  • Production Foreshadowing: Dataminers have found that, hidden in the game, is an unused velvet room uniform that is identical to the uniforms worn by Caroline and Justine from Persona 5.
  • Red String of Fate: Or in this case, a yellow ribbon called the Eternal Bond. This is the Eerie Voice's brainwashing tool and basic weapon.
  • Rhythm Game: Following the Genre Shift from RPG to fighting game, it's a shift to Rhythm Game.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: Most of the Investigation team is sporting some kind of small yellow scarf on their person with their new character designs, excluding Chie (who's wearing yellow wristbands) and Teddie (who wears a yellow cape when in human form).
  • Slave to PR: One of the big themes of the game is how people, especially stage performers, can easily become this. This led to Rise's brief retirement in the main game, as well as Yuko's suicide.
  • Spoiler Title: The last scene of Chapter 6 is titled "The witness was me." If there's any doubt as to who it's talking about, the chapter is from Kanami's POV.
  • Sudden Musical Ending: The apparent last game of the Persona 4 series, and they are going out dancing!
  • Take That!: The entire Story Mode is a Take That! at the Japanese Idol Singer industry, specifically their exploitation of the performers involved in it.
  • Telepathy: Rise is still able to use Himiko to communicate this way with the other members of the Investigation Team. She also uses this power to broadcast the music from her MP3 player to all of the characters and shadows, explaining where the music everyone is dancing to comes from.
  • Tempting Fate: During the extended Prologue scene, Naoto makes an off-comment about what it would be like if their Personas could actually convey their feelings to the audience. She effectively jinxed them all by accident.
  • Title Drop: The game's subtitle, Dancing All Night, appears multiple times in the dialogue.
  • Troll: Poor Nanako gets asked an embarrassing question by the LMB MC while on national television.
  • Unknown Rival: Sometime after this game, Margaret mentions in passing to her siblings how Yu managed to use dance to pacify a deity of the Sea of Souls. Elizabeth becomes jealous over this, claiming her guest could do better, and the Twins end up involving themselves wanting to prove theirs was better, leading to the SEES Operatives and Phantom Thieves ending up unwittingly pitted against each other in a Velvet Room ball across time and space. However, despite them wanting to prove whose guest is the best, they conveniently leave the very ones they're trying to prove better than out of it completely.
  • Wham Line: Dojima tells Kanami who witnessed Yuko's suicide.
    Dojima: It was a girl, ten years old at the time, who'd come to audition. Her name... was Kanami Mashita.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • During the final battle, despite having cheered the group on, Nanako doesn't accompany the group when dancing to the final song.
    • Dojima and Inoue don't even appear in the transported LMB stage despite having been there before it was transported.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Rise was the first character to show up in the first teaser trailer and is also featured on the limited edition box. She is also a big force in driving the story which makes sense given that she's an idol in a Rhythm Game.

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