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File:P4a 8559.jpg

The Sky's The Limit

So I'm stuck here for a whole year?
Yu Narukami

Announced on April 11, 2011 (incidentally, the beginning date of the story) for the Fall 2011 anime season, Persona 4 the Animation follows Ordinary High School Student Yu Narukami, who has moved from the big city to the tiny rural town of Inaba to live with his uncle and cousin for one year. Shortly after he arrives, a string of unusual murders begins, with the victims hung from high places. Together with his new friends, he must unravel the mystery of the murders and the Urban Legend of the "Midnight Channel."

Both of the game's character designers (Kazuma Kaneko and Shigenori Soejima, Shadow/Persona designer and human designer, respectively), the game's soundtrack composer (Shoji Meguro), and the majority of the main Japanese voice cast (Daisuke Namikawa, Showtaro Morikubo, Yui Horie, Ami Koshimizu, Tomokazu Seki, Rie Kugimiya, Kappei Yamaguchi, Romi Paku, Unsho Ishizuka, Akemi Kanda, Mitsuaki Madono) are on board. It is not yet known if the original English voice cast will be returning, though it has been confirmed an English dub in the works.

Please note Persona 4: The Animation is an animated adaptation of the Eastern RPG Persona 4 and follows roughly the same plot as the game, so beware of spoilers for the game on this page, and vice versa.

In addition to those from the main page, Persona 4: The Animation provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Izanagi. In the game Izanagi's just a cool-looking Persona with low-tier stat growth/elemental affinities/skills that most players will have gotten rid of by the second dungeon; but in the anime he comes off as the biggest badass of the entire bunch, regularly being the go to Persona when Yu needs to wipe out a particularly dangerous Shadow.
    • Beelzebub is a good and late game persona but he's far from the best. When Yu fuses him in the fight against shadow Naoto, it uses Megidolaon and turns the entire dungeon into a smoking crater. Then later in the anime, when Namatame takes control of Yu, he summons various persona to fight the rest of the gang. They don't mind much, until suddenly Beelzebub is summoned. Rise looked about ready to shit bricks after scanning him and realizing it was the same guy Yu used to beat Naoto.
    • Adachi certainly became one of these in episodes 24 and 25. He went from being a simple battle to being able to defy gravity, teleport and create clones of himself. Heck, he even has the reaper on his side! Not to mention that he royally schools Yu in the first part of their Mirror Match, even managing to bring him to his knees.
    • Rise's Personas get a moment of badass in Episode 25. Note that in the game proper, Himiko and Kanzeon have no attacks and are glorified Mission Control. In the anime, Himiko and later Kanzeon join the other Personas in directly attacking Ameno-Sagiri.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • By cutting out nearly all of the dungeon-crawling, the anime has more time to focus on the characters' backstories.
      • For example, the third episode shows the start of Chie and Yukiko's friendship, something that was only mentioned in passing in the game.
      • Episode 9 shows Rise letting her manager knowing she's done being an idol and even lets us hear one of her songs (in lieu of an Opening).
      • Episode 10 expands the scenes right before the Shadow Rise fight, especially when she splits into seven and each clone drops rather brutal verbal bullying on the real one.
      • Also of note is episode 12, which gives considerable Character Development to Yu/The Main Character, something he lacked in the game proper due to being pretty much a vessel for the player.
      • Episode 15 expands on the King's Game by having Yu get in on the crazy hijinks, whereas he usually responds to player choices in the game proper (See What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome? below). The girls get in on it, too. After Chie is forced to sit on Yu's lap, Yukiko and then Rise decide to "show her how it's done." Yosuke demands that Yu stops hogging them all, to which Yu pushes up his glasses and responds "It's because I'm... the king."
    • Certain relationships are also made more important in the anime than in the game. Naoto and Nanako, for example (see Big Brother Instinct below). Kanji and Naoto also get a lot more Ship Tease.
    • Additionally, the killer is hinted at much more obviously in the anime. Take for example the fact that in the anime the cop Naoto was fighting with was Adachi, rather than some random, unnamed officer.
    • Naoto is also given an early Red Herring status (see Red Herring below).
  • Adrenaline Makeover: The protagonist after he gets his Persona. He lets his uniform jacket hang open and even smiles.
  • The Anime of the Game
  • And the Adventure Continues...: Despite the series' supposed end with Episode 25 (The battle against Adachi and Ameno-Sagiri), the final episode/s will be released when the full DVD set gets released this upcoming August. Events confirmed are the final battle against Izanami and the bonus fight against Margaret.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • What was once a throwaway line in the game about cabbage became Adachi's signature item thanks to the fandom. And that meme became immortalized in the animated adaptation.
    • Also, the line "Bitches and Whores", a line misattributed to Adachi courtesy of a fan edit to a Persona 4 Hentai doujinshi is now actually said by him in a plot centric piece of dialogue in Episode 24.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Played for Laughs in the Hot Springs Episode.

 Nanako: Teddie-chan, Onii-chan...are you perverts?


  • As Long as There Is Evil: Ameno-Sagiri comments that he is a manifestation of the collective unconscious of humanity. As long as there are people who want him, he will reappear again.
  • Attractive Bent Gender: Naoto, who has at least one male and at least one (albeit off screen) female character crushing on her. Teddie is also an example, winning the cross dressing pageant by a landslide.
  • The Bechdel Test: It passes, having featured numerous conversations between Yukiko and Chie.
  • Bifauxnen: Naoto.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Most of the group has its moments, but there are two main examples.
    • Yu is the bigger example. He may be irreverent and a little cuckoo, but he really loves Nanako, taking up the mantle of her older brother with ease and frequently having her around when he's hanging out with friends. The depth of feeling between the two is especially evident in episode 22.
    • Naoto is a subversion, because she is a girl. The first time we see Naoto's true colors is when Nanako is upset about her "case," dressed up in her Detective Loveline costume. Naoto picks up Nanako's abandoned magnifying glass, hands it back to her and encourages her not to give up by telling her that a detective should see the case through until it's over. When they visit the Amagi Inn and most of the others want to stay up in the baths, Naoto goes to sleep with Nanako, and the two share a bed.
  • Big Damn Movie: With Persona 4 The Animation - Factor Of Hope, a 90-minute movie including never-before seen footage and the events of the final episode.
  • Bokukko: Naoto.
  • Book Ends: The first thing Yu kills is one of the shadows attacking the group in Episode 1 - he does so by plunging Izanagi's sword through the shadow's head. In the final (25th) episode - in the fight against Adachi and his Persona Magatsu Izanagi? Yu's Izanagi plunges his sword straight through Magatsu Izanagi's head. The scenes even look exactly the same.
  • Breather Episode:
    • Episode 5 is definitely this; bringing the plot to a halt after the Shadow Yukiko battle to focus on the Strength and Moon Social Links.
    • Episodes 13 and 14 focus on the summer break and Yu's Social Links right after Mitsuo's capture.
    • Episode 19 is also a breather, focused entirely on the cultural festival and coming right after a comparably tense episode dealing with Nanako's feelings about her mother's death.
    • Episode 20 as well, which focuses on the Investigation Team's night at the Amagi Inn. Episode 21 is Nanako's kidnapping, and the first time we see the usually lighthearted Yu completely lose his shit.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Episode 6; The delivery scene.
    • After seeing Shadow Yukiko on the Midnight Channel, Yu states that he wished he recorded it. By episode 10, this has turned into a running gag. This includes Yu rapidly hitting the record button while Rise is "showing her stuff", and then immediately trying to view it after the Midnight Channel ends. Unfortunately for Yu, it doesn't turn out as planned.
  • Bungled Suicide: Happens in episode 25 when Yu defeats Adachi, who promptly turns his own gun on himself and pulls the trigger before Yu can stop him. He's found to be alive after Ameno-Sagiri is defeated though.
  • Butt Monkey: The guys for some episodes, with Yosuke taking the brunt of it.
  • Canon Name: Although the protagonist has no official name in the game, he is named Yu Narukami both in this anime and in the fighting game sequel.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • Played for laughs in the 15th episode, when a drunk Yukiko and Rise tell Naoto all about the Personas, but the latter flatly refuses to believe it.
    • Played seriously in episode 21 when Yu is being interrogated at police station by his uncle. Again, he explains about Personas, but Dojima just doesn't believe him.
  • Cat Fight: Ai and Chie get into one in episode 5.
  • Censor Steam: Episode 20 makes liberal use of this in the Hot Springs scenes.
  • The Character Died with Him: Subverted. Igor's role is diminished because of the death of his seiyuu, but his archived dialogue from the game is still used to keep the character in the anime.
  • Clark Kenting: Subverted; Rise puts on fake glasses to try and disguise herself, but people still recognize her immediately.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: The two Macho Camp flunky Shadows alongside Kanji's Shadow really enjoy getting hit.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: When the Investigation teams visits Gekkoukan High in episode 15, all the background music changes to Persona 3 tracks.
  • Continuity Nod: Although the anime is much abbreviated, attentive viewers can note specific bits from the games that are still present.
    • Though he no longer draws attention to or explains it, Igor repeats the Tarot reading he did in the beginning of the game during the very first
    • Video Game Interface Elements are featured during transitions, fight scenes and the mid-episode Eye Catches.
    • Various Social Link characters are present in the background of scenes they have no involvement in.
    • Yu has a habit of folding multiple origami cranes in his free time.
    • Many scenes that were changed or added to the anime still borrow directly from other events featured or mentioned during the game.
      • A flashback detailing Chie and Yukiko's first meeting in episode 3.
      • Yukiko's pet bird in episode 4, hinted at during the opening cinematic of the game.
      • Adachi coming back from shopping at Junes with nothing but cabbage in episode 7.
      • Rise's decision to quit being an idol in episode 9.
    • Personas and Shadows demonstrate abilities related to ones they have in the game.
      • Chie's shadow has her Persona Tomoe's weaknesses in episode 3.
      • Ara Mitama and Pyro Jack are strong against physical and fire attacks respectively in episode 4.
      • Shadow Kanji's flunkies have the same immunities as they did in the game in episode 7. Also, Yamata-no-Orochi is fused with the same Arcana combination that would be used in the game (Magician x Priestess = Moon).
      • Also, Nice Guy and Tough Guy causing Chie and Yukiko to get mad and making Yu and Yosuke collapse reference two abilities Shadow Kanji has in the game; Roar of Wrath (which inflicts Rage on female characters) and Forbidden Murmur (which inflicts Poison on male characters).
      • Shadow Mitsuo inflicts Fear status on Yu using Evil Touch.
      • During the battle with Shadow Naoto, when she turns Yosuke, Yu and Teddie into old people, she's actually using her Galgalim Eyes attack, which causes the Enervation status. The connection to the game is further established by having Kintoki-Douji use Energy Shower to reverse the effect - in the game, the skill Energy Shower cures the Enervation status effect.
      • Shadow Naoto also fights like she does in the game, by exploiting weaknesses. Yu keeps having to change Personas because she keeps preparing to use attacks that his current Persona is weak to (though thanks to Rise, Yu is one step ahead).
      • During the Shadow Naoto fight, Yu has Mot use Mudoon, which doesn't work. Naoto's Persona, Sukuna-Hikona, resists Dark attacks.
      • Kuni-no-Sagiri, in possession of Namatame, takes control of Yu. When he breaks free, he takes control of the entire party.
      • Kohryu is the Ultimate Persona of the Hierophant Arcana, attained by maxing out the Ryotaro Dojima Social Link. In the series, Dojima's spirit somehow assists Yu across worlds, allowing Yu to fuse Kohryu.
      • Sraosha using Mahamaon to exorcise the shadows that possessed Namatame, a Light-based One-Hit Kill that can instant kill regular enemies.
      • Chie finishes off the Reaper (at least, the one she and Yukiko are fighting) by having Tomoe use God Hand on it.
      • Ameno-Sagiri uses Nebula Oculus (complete with "charging" mode) to flatten Yu and the landscape surrounding him. Then he tries to attack Lucifer with a light-based beam attack... which Lucifer reflects right back at him. Lucifer learns Repel Light at level 96.
  • Continuity Porn: Just have a look at the Continuity Nod section above.
  • Cosplay: When she's invistigating Yu, Nanako cosplays as an in-universe fictional Magical Girl detective named Loveline. Apparently the cosplay's so good, some kids actually think that she is Loveline.
  • Credits Montage: The ending for the first episode.
  • Cringe Comedy:
    • The "Steamy Bathhouse" sequence in Episode 7, with Shadow Kanji and his flunkies' flamboyance cranked Up to Eleven.
    • Parts of Episode 8, as well. Bathed in Morooka's vomit much?
  • Curtains Match the Window: Almost everyone, except Aika Nakamura, who has aqua teal hair and brown eyes, Kanji Tatsumi who's blond with beady black eyes, and Teddie's human form, with blond hair and blue eyes.
  • Cutaway Gag: Twice in episode 11, both times when the team realizes they've left the head of Teddie's original body behind. Cue some kid crying at its white-eyed, soulless stare.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Episode 13 focuses on Nanako rather than Yu.
  • Death Glare: Several examples:
    • Naturally, Kanji has one of these by default.
    • Yu gives us an absolutely terrifying one in episode 23 when he nearly kills Namatame.
    • The entire Investigation Team, plus Dojima, in episode 24. (Yosuke, of all people, manages to pull this off quite well).
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Igor, due to his Japanese seiyuu having passed away. All of his lines in the animation are taken directly from his speaking parts in the game itself.
    • Also amongst the S-Links, since the Sun S-Link are two separate stories, they chose Ayane's S-Link and as a result, the only time we see Yumi is when she's silently annoyed at Kou hamming it up in the Culture Festival drama play.
  • Eleventh-Hour Superpower: In the TV series finale, during the battle with Ameno-Sagiri, Yosuke finds the strength of heart to evolve his Persona from Jiraiya into his Ultimate Persona Susanoo, which he uses to save Yu's life. The rest of Yu's friends then express their belief in him by doing the same, evolving into Suzuka-Gongen, Amaterasu, Rokuten-Maoh, Kanzeon, Kamui, and Yamato-Takeru to drive Ameno-Sagiri back and give Yu the opening he needed to fuse the Ultimate Persona of the Judgment Arcana, Lucifer.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Naoto gets a love letter from a girl after she returns to school after her kidnapping. It's also implied that she wins the pageant in large part because of the female vote.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Yu. Yosuke apparently has confusing feelings for him during Episode 19's group date.
  • Evolving Credits: One of the ending credits (first appearing in episode 2) involves a lot of falling, rotating tarot cards. Their faces are left blank until Yu earns the appropriate Arcana, however.
  • Eyecatch: Used to show Yu's character stat growth.
  • Face Palm: Yosuke does one when he's exasperated over Yu's drunk shenanigans.
  • Fake Buzz: In the club of episode 15, half the characters start acting as if they're drunk, even after it's confirmed that there's no alcohol served there. Carries over to the next day, where the ones who acted drunk don't seem to remember much of the previous day.
  • Fast-Forward Gag: Yu has one of these in episode 19 when explaining the importance of entering the school's beauty pageant to the girls.
  • Female Gaze:
  • Final Exam Finale: Episode 12 / the mid season finale, where the entire team needs to work together and Yu needs to unleash all the Arcana he's gathered except Star over the past 11 episodes to take down Shadow Mitsuo.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Yu pulls this trope on Yosuke during the fight with his Shadow. Yu claims that it was an accident, but turns it into a straight example with the lines he delivers after the punch.
  • Glasses Pull: Yu has enacted this trope at least twice now, seemingly for no other reason then to be a ham. Namely, during his attempt to catch the guardian, and during the anime's version of the "King's Game" event.
  • A Glitch in the Matrix: When Yu is dragged into Shadow Mitsuo's Lotus Eater Machine, he catches on that something is up when he tries to put his hand in the TV and it no longer works. With the deception revealed, Shadow Mitsuo reveals itself and starts giving him one hell of a Hannibal Lecture.
  • Gratuitous English: It continues the trend.

 Bonds of people is the true power.

    • Look no further than the opening and ending songs! The opening especially has caused a lot of mondegreens.
    • One of Shadow Kanji's flunkies speaks nothing but Engrish.
  • Hannibal Lecture: Like in the game, the Shadows do this to their hosts, but Shadow Mitsuo gives a very bone-chilling one to Yu inside the Lotus Eater Machine:

 Shadow Mitsuo: You have no bonds. Friendship is an illusion. You are empty.

  • Heart Symbol: When Naoto tells the group she was scared, Kanji gets these floating around him.
  • Hidden Depths: A key part of the series is exploring various characters' hidden depths.
    • Yosuke seems like he hasn't got a care in the world, but he's really bored with everyone and everything in his life.
    • Chie is a tomboy and tries to be an ideal best friend and protector for Yukiko, but she's often jealous of Yukiko's looks and the attention Yukiko gets from boys.
    • Yukiko plays the part of the perfect daughter and future innkeeper, though she feels stifled by the fact that her path in life has already been decided for her.
    • Ai is a stereotypical Alpha Bitch on the surface, but underneath it all, she's a bundle of insecurities.
    • Kanji acts like a stereotypical punk/manly man, but he also loves cute things, is kind to children, loves his mother and enjoys sewing and knitting.
    • Rise, the ex-idol, doesn't know who the real Rise is, and is struggling to find herself in the midst of the identities that have been manufactured for her.
    • Teddie realizes the implications of the fact that despite his cuteness, he is empty inside.
    • Naoto plays the part of a mature young man, but is actually a young girl who is insecure about her age and gender because her chosen profession is one dominated by men.
    • Dojima has spent so much time dedicated to his work, he's never taken up the role of father the way he should have.
    • Nanako is a sweet young lady with abandonment issues brought on by the fact that her father never seems to have time for her.
    • Even Yu gets in on the act. Outwardly, he comes across as both The Stoic and The Ace with a really strange sense of humor (the audience isn't sure whether he's a Deadpan Snarker or Cloudcuckoolander; it's hard to tell). In episode 12 we find out that even he just wants to have friends, and is deeply afraid of being abandoned by the people he's close to.
  • Homoerotic Subtext:
    • Episode 12 seems to have a lot of this between Yu and Yosuke. Yosuke pulls Yu out of Mitsuo's Shadow's illusion, and they then look each other in the eye while in Jiraiya's arms. At the end of the episode, Yosuke calls Yu by his first name.
    • Episode 15 and the Love Hotel, Chie, Yukiko, and Rise in the rotating bed having giggle fits. Something similar happens when Teddie, Yosuke, and Kanji end up in a bed together, except in that case the only one laughing is Teddie.
    • Episode 19 has some tension between Yu and Yosuke during the group date. Yosuke says that he feels he was "about to cross a line that should never be crossed," and searches frantically for a drink.
    • Episode 25 had something similar to Episode 12. Yosuke shouts Yu's name while being the first to awaken to Susanoo-o and uses it to save Yu from Ameno-Sagiri.
  • Horrible Camping Trip: Episode 8. Especially horrible for poor Kanji.
  • Hot Springs Episode: Episode 20, when the group spends the night at the Amagi Inn.
  • I Always Wanted to Say That:
    • In the opening of the 6th episode, Igor is not in the Velvet Room so Margaret says "Welcome to the Velvet Room" in his place then invokes this trope.
    • Adachi, when he arrests Rise's stalker.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: They're called Scents and are titled in English.
  • Idol Singer: Risette.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun:
    • In episode 9, Yukiko calls Chie's Persona a "Chie pet." As if that single pun wasn't enough for her, she then goes off on a short tangent about Tomoe--Chie's persona is Tomoe, Chie is moe.
    • Episode 15 has one that gets Lost in Translation. Teddie and Yukiko laugh at a pun on Kanji's name, "ii kanji," which means "good feeling/s." The subbers settle for using the pun that was used in the game, "Great Kanjecture." For bonus points, the latter isn't just lame--it doesn't make a lot of sense.
  • Innocent Swearing: In episode 20, Nanako happily announces to the group that Margaret, the fortune teller at the cultural festival, told her that Yu was a "gigolo."
  • Insane Troll Logic: Kuma's response to how the main villain rationalizes his actions.
  • In Vino Veritas: Subverted. No vino, plenty of veritas.
  • Japanese Delinquents:
    • Kanji is designed as this. Dyed blond hair? Check. Frequently rolls r's to convey rage? Check. Scar on forehead? Check. Wears uniform inappropriately? Check. Foul-mouthed? Check.
    • Izanagi is also modeled after a stereotypical Japanese gang leader.
  • Large Ham: A few of the characters get to indulge in some hamminess, but the crown goes to Yu. The cross-dressing pageant is just one example of Yu seriously hamming it up.
  • Late Arrival Spoiler:
    • The anime assumes most of the viewers have already played the game, and because of this, certain scenes are played with much less fanfare (Teddie revealing his human body was a big deal in the game, in the anime he just popped his head off and things continued from there). They also put less effort into hiding things (Naoto was harder to figure out in the Japanese game than in the anime).
    • Averted with the revelation of Adachi being the killer. The episode before the revelation ended in a cliffhanger towards his identity. Then, episode 24 starts with multiple scenes that try to avoid revealing his, and when it's finally time to let the viewers know, it has tremendous buildup.
  • Lotus Eater Machine: Shadow Mitsuo pulls this on Yu in episode 12, and we get to see first-hand what being hit with Evil Touch and suffering from Fear status really means.
  • Love Dodecahedron:
    • In episode 5, we have Ai dating Yu to make Ichijou jealous, since he's actually in love with Chie, who Yosuke tries to hook up with Yu because he thinks she likes him, incorrectly. Though Chie's reactions in later episodes when Yu compliments her suggest Yosuke might not have been wrong.
    • And of course, we also get the complications from Yu being a love interest for basically any readily present female Social Link.
  • Love Hotel: In episode 15, complete with funky lights and a rotating bed that all of the room's residents have to share. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Lower Deck Episode: Episode 13 gets Nanako's perspective on Yu's summer vacation.
  • Male Gaze:
    • Chie gets quite a few closeups of her thighs in Episode 2.
    • Episode 8 has the camera pan up over Yukiko and Chie's bodies after they change into their bathing suits.
    • In Episode 9 they literally switch into Yosuke's point of view while both he and Yu momentarily gaze at Chie's thighs (Apparently Yu likes them, but Yosuke doesn't). Episode 15 also has a closeup of her backside as she's about to sit in Yu's lap.
    • In episode 9, when Rise bends over to get some ganmodoki for the guys, Yosuke stares at her ass. That he does like. Oh, and he openly gapes at her chest.
  • Manly Tears: Both Yosuke and Yu indulge in these in episode 23.
  • Meaningful Background Event: In the background of episode 6, Nanako leaves a Television show playing while the conversation with Yu and Dojima is going on. The words are fully intelligible, and it's very obviously reminiscent of Naoto's show on the Midnight Channel, much later on.

  Mr. Experiment: Thanks for tuning in, all you curious kiddos! With the body of an adult and the heart of a child, lovely whiskers and gentlemanly ways, I'm Mr. Experiment! [...] In this corner let's try to solve mysteries found in your everyday lives!

  • Mood Whiplash: Episode 22. It starts with Nanako having to be rescued from the TV world before getting sent to hospital and just when things are looking up, Yu gets called to the hospital, and the episode ends with Nanako flatlining.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Yu's ringtone for when Ai calls him is Zigeunerweisen, also known as the Game Over theme from Catherine, and his inner monologue after she calls plays out exactly like one of Vincent's.
    • The OP Song for the episode when the gang goes to Tatsumi Port Island is none other than Burn my Dread.
    • The "King's Game" background music is none other than the battle theme from Persona 3, Mass Destruction.
    • Heck! That entire episode is filled with background music from Persona 3
    • In the final TV episode, Ameno-Sagiri threatens to bring order to the world by transforming everyone into Shadows) He's defeated when Yu summons the demonic form of Lucifer, who has historically represented Chaos and opposed Law throughout the Shin Megami Tensei franchise.
  • Never My Fault: The girls in episode 20 continue to insist that the guys are perverts because they walked in on them at the hotsprings. They conveniently choose to ignore that Yukiko was the one who caused the mix up in the first place. Even worse, when the boys try and go into the other of the two hot springs because the girls are in the first one, it turns out that the girls have switched. The boys get blamed again. The mistake is pointed out to the girls by the boys and they still won't apologize.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands:
    • Yu tends to gain a new ability, such as Persona Change or Fusion, whenever a boss turns out to be too much to handle.
    • Teddie conveniently recalling that Kintoki-Douji can cast Energy Shower, which (just as conveniently) cures Enervation ("old" status).
  • Nosebleed: Kanji gets one of these in episode 8, and again in episode 19 during the beauty pageant.
  • Not Drawn to Scale: Teddie and Naoto get this the worst. Walking out of the Textile Shop in episode 6, Naoto is just taller than Yu's shoulder in one shot and barely shorter than his shoulder height in the next. When Naoto and Kanji are talking outside, in one shot the top of his head reaches just below Kanji's chest. In a few seconds, Naoto only seems to reach Kanji's waist. Later on in the episode, he is shown as up to Kanji's shoulder. Episode 21 has Naoto looking slightly taller than, slightly shorter than and the same height as Adachi.
  • No Theme Tune: Episodes 23 and 24 open with just the title cards, no theme song. Epsiode 25 also forgoes the theme tune, instead showing the title card just as Adachi is presumed to have shot Yu in the head.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: In an effort to condense a 90+ hour game into 26 half-hour episodes, the anime seems to be showing no class time and cutting out the vast majority of the dungeon crawling--basically showing condensed versions of the dungeon plots and then skipping straight to the boss battles. It seems that they will also be showing the very sidestory-ish Social Link plots, however. Similarly, the team no longer uses weapons, since it's a whole lot harder to convince viewers that the investigation team has been sneaking swords and chairs into Junes under their clothes when everything is being fully animated.
  • Precision F-Strike: The name of the penultimate episode - "The World is Full of Shit."
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Igor's role is severely reduced because his voice actor passed away and they're only using his archived dialogue from the game.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Applies to Yu and Adachi, who are the Blue and Red Oni, respectively. When they meet face to face in Magatsu Inaba, Adachi gradually has Villainous Breakdown while Yu calmly tells him to Shut UP, Hannibal. Also, Adachi's Magatsu Izanagi is primarily red in contrast to Yu's Izanagi and its blue aura. It could also apply in the game, but it applies more here due to the fact that Yu has a personality here.
  • Red Herring: Like in the game, the in-universe version is Mitsuo. For the audience, we also get Naoto as a bit of a Red Herring early on. When Yu first sees him eerie music plays and the shot fixates on his eyes during a tense sideways glance. That's not to mention that he spends time with Kanji, right before Kanji disappears. The Spoiler Opening ruins the latter example, though.
  • Running Gag:
    • Yu and his attempts to tape the Midnight Channel programs.
    • Aika making deliveries/working in increasing unlikely places. Not only does she work at Aiya, make a delivery in the middle of a chase scene, and bring food to the protagonists on top of a mountain in the middle of the school camping trip, but she also has a job at a noodle shop at Tatsumi Port Island and at the Amagi Inn. They try to explain away the job at Tatsumi Port Island, but by the Amagi Inn episode, the writers stopped caring.
  • Scenery Censor: In addition to Censor Steam, episode 20 uses this to hide the girls' lady bits from the audience. There are many, many conveniently positioned arms. At one point, a washtub held at a funny angle is used to hide Naoto's entire upper half.
  • School Festival: Episode 19, complete with a cheesy play, beauty pageant, cross-dressing pageant and a "Group Date Cafe."
  • Scooby Stack:
    • Once while Chie and Yosuke spy on Kanji and Naoto in episode 6.
    • Again in episode 8 while the rest of the group watches Kanji and Hanako.
    • In episode 9, Yosuke and Kanji while they're staking out the tofu shop.
  • Sequel Hook: At the very end of the TV series, Igor presents Yu with the Orb of Sight, forged from the strength of his bonds and which can dispel falsehoods. The late introduction of this element hints that there's one plot line left dangling...
  • Ship Tease:
    • Episode 2 has Chie and Yosuke share a hug. She then knees him in the groin.
    • Chie's acting disapproving of Ai and Yu's relationship cues Yosuke to ship them in episode 5. Naturally, Yu/Chie fans like this one, too.
    • Episode 8 has Yukiko and Narukami hiding in one sleeping bag together and Chie and Yosuke in another. When the time comes for actual sleep, they switch it up and Yosuke and Yu and Yukiko and Chie sleep next to each other. When Yu says good night to Yukiko and turns around to go to sleep, he and Yosuke are spooning (though they apparently don't do this for the entire night).
    • Pretty much most scenes with those 4 in it, or Naoto and Kanji are some form of shiptease. The studio sure knew the fanbase well.
    • Episodes 9 and 10 have a lot of moments that would make Narukami/Rise fans Squee with joy, including a rather nice moment by the riverbank.
    • Episode 15 features some between Yu and Chie; they share a personal moment on a alone on a park bench as the sun sets, with some blushing on Chie's part. Yu and all of the other girls get this, too (except, of course, Naoto, still presumed to be a boy). King's Game, yo. The King's Game also gives us a rather (ahem) interesting Teddie/Kanji moment, if you're into that sort of thing. Kanji/Naoto gets teased as well. Kanji blushes when he looks at Naoto across the train station. He does the same again when they're all out "drinking" and Teddie is embarrassing him.
    • Episode 17 gives a healthy boost to the Naoto/Kanji ship by showing that he's still attracted to her. He even gets some floating hearts when talking to the group at Junes. (See Heart Symbol above)
    • Episode 22 has the first major tease of Yu/Naoto, a fan favorite. Naoto talks about being happy to be seen as valuable for something other than detective skills. Naoto then blushes, and rushes off and heads in the wrong direction, forgetting it's still the middle of the school day.
  • Shout-Out: When Yu commanded Chie to sit on his lap he was channeling a certain memetic manga.
  • Shipper on Deck: Yosuke tries to be this for Yu/Chie.
  • Shut UP, Hannibal:
    • Yu does an absolutely awesome nonverbal version to Shadow Mitsuo in episode 12.
    • In the final confrontation with Adachi in the game, the party delivers one to their foe as a group, and this person all but brushes it off. But in the final TV episode, where they've been split up, every group of party members delivers its own rebuttal to Adachi separately, wearing him down. By the time we get back to Yu and he delivers his own Shut UP, Hannibal, Adachi completely loses it.
  • Skinship Grope: In Episode 20, the rest of the girls grope Naoto in the hot springs while admiring her soft hair and skin.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: In episode 21, the first chords of the soft, mellow ending theme start playing while Dojima is laying injured in the street, begging Yu to save his daughter, "his only reason for living." Even more jarring in that only moments ago we saw Yu, whose video game counterpart was a Heroic Mime, have his first true (however brief) emotional breakdown of the series. It is then averted for effect in Episode 22. The credits play with no animation or music after the end-of-episode scent, setting episode 23 up to look very, very bleak.
  • Spoiler Opening: Just like in the game, the opening gives away many of the kidnapping victims, as well as the identities of the full investigation team. If one hasn't played the game, the script and direction of the anime is clearly intended to make a Red Herring out of Naoto (see above), but simply watching the credits pretty much tells you she's a good guy all along.
  • Spurned Into Suicide: Almost played straight (and for lulz) by Ai Ebihara in episode 5. After she overhears that Kou doesn't care for her romantically and likes Chie better, Ai is so distraught that she runs off crying to the roof of the school and prepares to climb over the fence and jump over the edge. Luckily, Yu gives chase and manages to talk her out of it.
  • Stat-O-Vision: How Rise's support role is represented in the anime, via Himiko's "visor." It displays the traditional game interface, including enemy HP, skills, stats, and what they (or Yu's Personas) are planning to do next.
  • The Stinger: They tend to show whatever Yu sees on the Midnight Channel.
    • Also, The TV run of the anime ended with Igor handing Yu an "Orb of Foresight," hinting that things aren't quite over yet.
  • Surprisingly Good English:
    • While at first, most of the episode titles were in pretty good English, the winning streak ended with Episode 18 with the awkward sounding "Anniversary To Become a Family."
    • Averted with the bit of Gratuitous English in the ending credits ("Bonds of people is the true power"). The same goes for the theme songs.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Kanji in Episode 8:

 "I didn't sleep with anyone or anything!"

  • Sweet on Polly Oliver: Kanji's sweet on Naoto.
  • Synchronization: The characters feel the pain their Personas feel.
  • Take Our Word for It: Yu's apparently so persuasive and eloquent that he manages to give a speech just over 30 minutes long about why the girls should participate in the beauty pageant. It actually convinces them to go ahead with it, too. Too bad we don't get to hear any of it.
  • The Teaser: Every episode opens with a short meeting with Igor and/or Margaret in the Velvet Room, except for three episodes - in one episode Velvet Room is empty with message from Igor apologizing they couldn't be present, in second to last Teddie is in it and last one doesn't start with it at all.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: It is the dead of night. All hope seems lost. Yu is alone, beaten but not defeated. All his efforts have been in vain, and it seems nothing he can do will help him overcome. But then he stands, determination burning in his heart. He rallies his strength and summons the original game's battle Theme Tune, "Reach Out To The Truth," and he faces out, he holds out, he casts his fishing line and finally catches the Guardian.
  • Technology Marches On: In the game, the cell phones used by the Investigation Team look rather dated by 2011 (Incidentally, when the story is set) terms, so the anime gives them smart phones. It's only a matter of time before this takes effect again, however.
  • The Glasses Come Off: All members of the Investigation team (sans Teddie) do this at the end of the 3rd opening.
  • The Resolution Will Not Be Televised: The TV broadcast only covers up to the "Good Ending," which deals with the confrontation with Adachi and the battle with Ameno-Sagiri. The production team has announced, however, that the storyline leading to the "True Ending" will be released as a separate Blu-ray OAV.
  • Title: the Adaptation
  • Tranquil Fury: Yu. Episode 23.
  • Unmoving Plaid: School uniforms and, occasionally, Naoto's pants.
  • Urban Fantasy
  • Useless Useful Spell: Yu tries to use Mot to cast Mudoon on Shadow Naoto. It spectacularly fails to do anything of note. Bosses in the game are immune to Light and Dark attacks, since they're instant kills.
  • Verbal Tic: Kuma/Teddie's constant use of 'Kuma' (his name) in his sentences.
  • Video Game Interface Elements:
    • The game's calendar and personality stats.
    • The second opening has the Enemy Advantage screen.
    • When the viewer gets to see what Rise sees when she's under Himiko's visor, the screen is tinted and the same strength/weakness chart from the game is in one corner.
    • We also see the characters suffer from various ailments, such as Enervation and Fear.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Adachi goes fucking nuts when the team delivers their Shut UP, Hannibal speeches.
  • Wham! Episode: Episode 21.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?:
    • Yu fishing in episode 14. See Theme Music Power-Up above.
    • Yu catching the King's Chopstick/throwing the dart in episode 15. The battle theme from Persona 3 plays as the last button on his shirt falls open, and the a battle animation flashes across the screen when he reveals his command.
    • Yu commanding the other boys to hold the line while the girls chuck washtubs at their heads in episode 20.
    • Episode 23 has Yu finishing the Rainy Day Special, complete with dramatic music.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: When Teddie covers the girls from Shadow Naoto's Galgalim Eyes, and his fur is subsequently aged rotten, the girls all squeal in disgust and abandon him to his fate, prompting this reaction from him.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Naoto.
  • Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: It's subtle and briefly seen, but this is Ameno-sagiri's reaction to Lucifer's summoning.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Either these or You Are Not Alone tend to be delivered just as one of the heroes has met their shadow and is experiencing the disillusionment, denial and/or anger that comes with facing their true inner selves.
    • In episode 2, when Yosuke faces his shadow, Yu reminds him that even though part of the reason he's inside the television is because he's bored with his life, he still really did love Saki.
    • Likewise, in episode 3 Yu snaps Chie to her senses by reminding her that even though her shadow is the embodiment of her secret jealousy toward Yukiko and secret desire to keep her best friend dependent on her so that she can feel superior, she is still Yukiko's friend.
    • Yukiko's shadow is manifested from the fear that she can't control her own destiny. She feels worthless because she always looks to others, specifically Chie, to rescue her. Episode 4 has Chie telling Yukiko that she can soar if she wants to.
  • You Are Not Alone: Both Kanji and Naoto get these in their dungeons. Kanji, when Yu lets him know that he likes cute things, too, and Naoto when Kanji tells her she isn't the only one who has trouble making friends.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Look no further than Rise, who wears thigh highs with her uniform.