Persona 4: The Golden Animation (2014) (NTSC)

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Released 18-Nov-2015

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime TV Spots-Japanese PV and CM Collection (5:22)
More…-Textless Opening Song (1:31)
More…-Textless Closing Song (1:31)
Trailer-x 4 for other anime titles from Madman
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2014
Running Time 313:38 (Case: 325)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Seiji Kishi
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Daisuke Namikawa
Shotaro Morokubo
Kana Hanazawa
Yui Horie
Ami Koshimizu
Tomokazu Seki
Kappei Yamaguchi
Rie Kugimiya
Mitsuaki Madono
Case Amaray-Transparent-Dual
RPI ? Music Shoji Meguro
Tetsuya Kobayashi


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English (Burned In) Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Let’s put Persona 4: The Golden Animation (or P4GA) in context. Persona 4 is a role-playing video game, itself part of the wider franchise, which was released for PlayStation 2 in 2008. It has since spawned a manga, light novel, other linked games, an anime Persona 4: The Animation, a film release recap of the animation and a stage play. An enhanced remake of the game for PlayStation Vita, Persona 4: The Golden, was also released.

     Persona 4: The Golden Animation is a 12 episode anime which is not a stand-alone series but an additional group of episodes, based on Persona 4: The Golden, that are intended to be integrated into Persona 4: The Animation. As such the episodes are varied and there is no background information, explanation of Personas, character arcs or recap of the storyline. The same characters are here: Yu Narukami (voiced by Daisuke Namikawa) arrives at Inaba Railway Station after which there are episodes involving Yu and his friends, including Yosuke (Shotaro Morokubo), Chie (Yui Horie), Yukiko (Ami Koshimizu), Kanji (Tomokazu Seki), Kuma (Kappei Yamaguchi) and Rise (Rie Kugimiya).

     Episode 1 revisits the Midnight Channel before, (episodes 2-5) the group ride scooters to the beach, go shopping at the Mall, perform on stage and create a quiz show. The main additional focus on these episodes is Marie (Kana Hanazawa), a new character introduced in Persona 4: The Golden. She is a resident of the alternate Velvet Room without memories of who or what she is and she is being integrated to the Inaba world. Episodes 6-7 concern the arch villain Adachi (Mitsuaki Madono), and here you really need to know the story of the murders to make any sense of what is going on.

     The second disc of the set starts (episode 8) with a funny episode where Yu asks the girls, individually, out on Christmas Eve, his motives being very much misconstrued. Marie is absent as she is also from the next episode (episode 9) where the group go on a winter ski trip; memories of Marie have seemingly been wiped from their consciousness (and their photos) but as memories stir the group enter the other world and the Hollow Forest, where the true nature of Marie is revealed (episodes 10-12) and a happy conclusion is reached. The Bonus Episode “Thank you, Mr. Accomplice” (running time 16:18) provides a very different conclusion and fate for Adachi.

     Because P4GA is basically fragments to add to an already existing plot, the tone of the episodes is as diverse as the animation. There are light and funny episodes of the kids goofing around, such as the day at the beach or skiing, loud and colourful Persona fights, quite creepy episodes featuring Adachi and Yu, some saccharine episodes about friendship and some quite talky ones about truth, memory, humans and fog. The only strand that does run through the majority is to do with the loss of Marie’s memory, so in that sense there is a character arc with a reveal at the end. The colours, animation and detail of P4GA also vary greatly depending on which world we are in; some colours during the Persona fights are deep and vibrant, especially reds, in the town cherry blossoms are pink, delicate and pastel, while detail in the dungeons can be very indistinct and grainy or, alternatively, glary.

     There are some interesting episodes in P4GA but on the whole it is a disjointed effort that is mainly suitable for fans of the franchise. The series is presented on two DVDs; episodes 1-7 are on disc 1 while episodes 8-12, the bonus episode and the other minor extras are on disc 2.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     P4GA is presented in the original broadcast ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

     The colours, animation and detail of P4GA varies tremendously depending on which world we are in, whether it is a flashback or present, and the feeling of the animators! Colours can be vibrant, such as during the Persona fights, other times delicate and pastel. Detail can be crisp but in the dungeons it is indistinct and grainy or, alternatively, glary.

     Other than some aliasing I did not notice any marks or artefacts, except that the Bonus Episode showed obvious scratches, marks and shimmer in the end titles. Given that it was only produced in 2014 it is possible this is deliberate, but I cannot be sure.

     The burnt in English subtitles are in American English in a clear white font. I noticed no obvious errors.

    The layer changes are not noticeable.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Audio is the original Japanese in Dolby Digital 2.0 at 224 Kbps. There is no English dub.

     The audio is surround encoded so the rears do feature music, rain and ambient effects and the overall effect is quite good. I noticed some sub-woofer during Persona fights and it did provide some support for the music.

     The music by Shoji Meguro and Tetsuya Kobayashi was varied with a number of pop songs spread through the action, some of which sounded quite loud in the mix.

     This is anime so lip synchronisation is approximate.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Japanese PV and CM Collection (5:22)

     Nine trailers and TV spots for the series and the DVD / BD release.

Textless Opening Song (1:31)

     The main opening song without the credits.

Textless Closing Song (1:31)

     One closing song without the credits.

Trailers

     Trailers for Sword Art Online 2 Part 1 (1:24), Pet Girl of Sakurasou Complete Collection (1:41), Noragami Series Collection (1:23) and World Conquest Zvezda Series Collection (2:06).

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     As far as I can see on YesAsia and Amazon Persona 4: The Golden Animation on DVD is only available in a number of Japanese Region 2 DVDs with individual episodes. There is a US Region 1 Blu-ray in two parts, one with episodes 1-6, the other 7-12, in both a special edition and normal; these are quite expensive and do contain only the original Japanese language. For the complete set of episodes, our Region 4 NTSC release seems the only one available.

Summary

     Persona 4: The Golden Animation is an additional group of episodes that are intended to be integrated into Persona 4: The Animation. The episodes vary greatly in tone and animation style although many focus on Marie, a new character introduced in Persona 4: The Golden. This is one for the fans.

     The video varies but is good, the audio fine. The extras are minor.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Monday, February 22, 2016
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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