Anime Reviews: Persona 4 The Animation Episode 2 – The Contractor’s Key

Introduction
The stakes are raised, as a second murder hits close to home. Yosuke tries to figure out the connection between the murders and the TV world. Unaware that he will end up having to face his true self.

Plot Summary
The episode opens with the velvet room again, before switching to showing another dead body hanging from a pole.

Hey kid…

Yu, Chie, and Yosuke are shown the way out of the TV world by Teddy. Once back in Junes they notice a poster for the singer, whose husband cheated with the previous murder victim. They wonder if the room they saw in the TV world had anything to do with the murder.

The next day they go back to school, where Yukiko is asked out by a completely normal looking school boy, who has an understandable reaction to when she rejects his advances to go out with him.

Nothing ominous about this.

Chie teases Yukiko about her tactlessness when rejecting guys, ignoring the fact that the most recent was obviously stalker material. Yosuke tries to get a hold of Saki, but is unsuccessful before the students are called into an assembly.

Once there, the principle breaks the news to them that Saki’s body was found hanging from a pole the same as the previous victim. Yosuke tells Chie and Yu about how he saw Saki on the midnight channel, and they speculate that perhaps the people that appear on the TV are connected to the murders.

Yosuke decides to go into the TV again, to find out anything he can about the murder. Yu goes with him, while Chie stays behind with the end of the rope the two are attached to. Once they jump into the TV the ropes break, leaving Chie wondering if she’ll ever see the two of them again.

Nothing strange here.

Yosuke and Yu meet Teddy again, who acuses them of throwing people into the TV. Yosuke gets annoyed at Teddy’s accusations, and tries to take his costume off. Only to discover that Teddy isn’t wearing a costume at all. He’s completely empty.

Teddy decides that they are not the ones throwing people into the TV, and decides to help them find out who is behind the murders. They come to a copy of the shopping district, and Yosuke starts hearing the voices of the people living there. One of those voices is Saki, whose true feelings are revealed to them. Turns out she didn’t like Yosuke much, and found him annoying.

Perish the thought.

Yosuke is confronted by his shadow self, and after Yosuke rejects him, the shadow turns into a giant frog monster. Yu summons Izanagi, and fights against Yosuke’s inner self. Several other shadows start to gather to the place.

Yu launches an attack, hitting Yosuke. Yosuke is forced to face his inner feelings, and accept them as a part of him. Once he does that his shadow self turns into his Persona, Jiraiya.

Shut up, Asshole.

They make their way back to the store, where a distraught Chie berates them for making her worry. After calming her down the group swears to catch the culprit.

My Opinion
I really like the idea of the characters having to face themselves. The idea has a lot of mileage that could be taken advantage of. The only downside is that the issue is resolved in a single episode. Though this happens just as fast in the game, I find that in the anime format they could get more out of it, since there is no gameplay the story is interrupting.

The story focuses a lot on Yosuke as a person, while putting in a good dose of action. All the important plot points are introduced directly in the episode, in a way that is more reminiscent of western TV shows, where each episode is a self contained story. This serves the show well, as it allows all new viewers a complete story early on to hook them into the overall narrative of the show.

This is a good follow up to the first episode, it takes what has been established, and shows off more of what the series has to offer. It adds some humor, such as when Yu punches Yosuke during the fight, on accident. His deadpan response to hitting the wrong guy is promising for his character.

Besides switching when the characters get their Persona, in the game the main character discovers his just before Yosuke does. This serves the story well, and allows two good episodes, with their own climaxes, to be wrung from the story.

The fight is translated well from the game to the anime. One of my main concerns was that the fights would drag out, but very little focus is put on them, which I feel serves the story well. The characters are such a big part of the original story that it’s only right that the anime focuses on them over the fights.

Also, before anyone starts complaining about Persona 4 ripping Jiraiya off from Naruto, keep in mind that Kishimoto took Jiraiya, Tsunade, and Orochimaru from an old Japanese fairy tale. So really the character is fair game.

If you liked my review, Watch the Episode Here!

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