ANIME MONDAY: Persona 4 The Animation – “It’s Not Empty At All” Review

Previously on Persona 4:

The kids homeroom teacher has been killed, with the supposed killer showing up on the Midnight Channel; the Investigation Team heads in the TV to close the case once and for all. Spoilers Ahead.

The Investigation Team heads inside the TV in order to capture Mitsuo Kubo (Kyle Hebert), the suspected killer of Mr. Morooka, as well as the other two victims in the case. Yu (Johnny Yong Bosch) & friends track him down to a video game like dungeon and take him down. However after the case is closed, and Yu sees that he and friends are drifting apart, not all is what it appears to be.

This episode focuses almost entirely on Yu, which is a good thing seeing as how depsite being the main character he hasn’t had much development in the series so far that didn’t rely on his friends. We get a glimpse of his fear of being alone as he starts to see the group of friends he made drift apart after the case. This a very noticeable shift from the game as the events didn’t happen but that is good since there Yu is a blank slate for the gamer rather than his own person. The way the group splinters is natural enough as the kids slowly stop seeing each other due to the case being over (the case being the only thing have to talk about when they do meet). Personally, these scenes kinda hurt me as I also kind of fear being alone, I think everyone does so that made these very relatable and JYB puts on a great performance.

The Team Vs. Mitsuo’s Shadow (Center)

One flaws of this episode however is Mitsuo, he doesn’t get much development in this episode as he did in the last one (if you can call it that). Last episode he is shown as a boy who was extremely unbalanced and wanted attention, which is why he committed the murders. He was even stalker to a degree as he tries on a few occasions to get Yukiko (Amanda Winn-Lee) to go away with him (which she reutinely denies and forgets his face each time he does it). He is empty inside, but doesn’t want to admit it which is why his shadow goes berserk (his shadow is a giant fetus that mentally controls blocks to create an armor of sorts…anime ladies & gentlemen). While Mitsuo doesn’t do too much of anything this episode, the action scenes are really well done as Yu uses a variety of different Perosnas to take down Mitsuo.

“It’s Not Empty At All” is a fitting conclusion to the 1st half of the series. While the battle may have been a bit rushed, there is a good amount of time dedicated to character development and drama. There are a few good action scenes and a nice resolution when all is said and done. Next week with the case closed, the kids decide to enjoy their summer vacation.