Now, I’ve played 3/4 of Persona 4, so I do have some knowledge of the game. I actually did enjoy the first episode. Had some gripes, but from the way I’ve heard some people carrying on, it sounds like the first episode is an nonredeemable mess. Oddly enough, it seemed pretty enjoyable to me. I have no idea what the Persona 4 fans are mad about. I already know the obvious, that the game has to be cut down and presented in a different way, so maybe my expectations happen to be different.
Oh yes, the quality animators of Persona 4 are boycotting? Maybe the quality animators of Umineko need work.
Gripes. My main gripe is with the animation, mainly the animation with the first half of the episode. It was unbelievably bad. It did improve by the second half of the episode, so I’m hoping that these bad animations moments won’t be too frequent. It’s hard for me to talk about this realistically with boycotting animators though.
My other gripe was that the dialogue was word from word from the game until Yu goes to school, and as I’ve started the game two times this summer, it was a bit boring for me, and I was worried that this was what the whole series was going to be like. As soon as the anime started to do it’s own thing, I felt reassured.
I didn’t mind the beginning events of the series being rushed. Personally, I always thought the first couple hours of Persona 4 were a little dull, and I think the right call was made to cut it short, and rush through to the interesting things.
When the episode finally got off script is when it really started to work for me. For one, Chie was given more dialouge, more to do, and really shone as a character. She always felt flat to me in Persona 4, but came alive in the first episode. I adored Chie in a way I never had before.
I liked how all the various side characters were introduced. It wasn’t anything special, but it worked, with the non-intrusive casual way characters came and went. If you have a large cast, this is how you do, not make a big fanfare every time someone one appeared on screen.
The inclusions from the game with how the day passed and the eyecatch was nice. A little jarring at first, but once I got use to it, it really worked.
I even enjoyed the ending scene. I thought it was pretty cool, with Yu kicking ass. There have been comments about Yu’s lack of character, but I think they’ve got it wrong. He’s just a playboy going for the mysterious and unreachable attitude. After all, there was that striptease and wink he did for Yousuke. I assume he did it for Yousuke, and not Chie, as Chie, because Chie was unconscious, and you know those playboy types, a conquest is a conquest. (Note that I am not being serious here, and you will probably not understand what the hell I’m talking about without knowledge from the game. Hint: The protag in my Persona 4 game is named Sexy Beast)