As I’ve mentioned in one of those Tagged posts, I’m a fan of JRPGs. My journey into the world of Shin Megami Tensei games began with Persona 3 a few years ago. It was really good, in my opinion. You’re a new student at Gekkoukan High School in the fictional Japanese city of Tatsumi Port Island, and things called Shadows are trying to end the world through a disease called Apathy Syndrome (just like it sounds, it causes severe apathy in the afflicted), and the only ones who can save everything is you and your friends. It’s School Sim meets Dungeon Crawler, with gameplay divided between the normal world and an otherworldly dungeon.
Persona 4 is similar in style, but is set in a rural town instead of the big city. As the main character, your family has left you in the care of your uncle and cousin for a year in Inaba. You start your new school, make new friends, and solve the local serial murder/kidnapping mystery. Shadows still want to end you, but for different reasons this time around. (Why do the gods always want to kill off mankind in Japanese RPGS?)
Anyway, P3 had a few extra things, like P3: FES (a playable epilogue following the events of the main game), P3 Portable (Persona 3 on the PSP, and you can play the regular game or the game as a female protagonist), and a manga series. P4 got a manga and an anime adaptation.
And, can I take a moment to gush over the anime? I mean, for a visual-novel/action game, Atlus did a very good job. The nameless MC is christened Yu Narukami for the anime (he was Souji Seta in the manga) and the art is superb. Despite having played the game, and seen all three possible endings, I went in to the anime like I’ve gone into any other anime I’ve seen: pumped. The fact that I’m a fan of the Persona games already probably helps, too. ^_^
As I’ve said, I played the game, and know when what happens and where and with who. However, knowing the plot beforehand did not detract from my enjoyment of the anime. It was actually really fun seeing how they set up events like all the social links (what you need in order to get increasingly powerful summon-monsters in the game), and the fanservice was hilarious at times. Especially the school trip when the main cast all go out to Club Escapade and play King’s Game. That had me dying. XD
But, knowing when what plot events happen made me a bit emotional tonight, when I watched episodes 21, 22, and 23. It was (for those familiar with the game) Nanako’s dungeon, the Kunino-Sagiri fight (which was really well done and very dramatic, loved it!), and the…aftermath of Nanako’s dungeon. If you know the game, you know what I’m talking about, and I don’t want to spoil it for those that don’t. Needless to say, the end of episode 21 had me tearing up, 22 and 23 had me in tears. You’d think knowing the game would prepare you for what you know is coming, but that tugged the heartstrings man. Played them like a fiddle, it was wonderful. I’m two episodes away from being done with the Persona 4 anime, and can’t wait till I can get to them. Hope you check out the anime yourselves, I recommend it. I equally recommend playing the Persona games. Maybe you’ll love them as much as I do.