Take your pick: Rise, Rise or maybe Rise? Decisions, decisions…
|It’s good to know that when I have to really get serious with my textbooks, I have a tag team partner with a profound appreciation for strip clubs to back me up. “Back up, this episode is about a strip club?!” if that’s going through your head, dear reader, you really need to get in the habit of actually watching the episode before you start clicking away on Metanorn’s front page.|
|Since OC is busy with studying for exams this week and my exams are all done ohohoho, I’m on post summary duty once again~. Which is just as well since this week focuses on one of my favourite places in the TV world. Rise’s strip club. Don’t judge me xD.|
Following OC’s lead from last episode, I also will just write VELVET ROOM unless something significant happens. So continuing from last episode, Rise appears on the Midnight Television. What is she planning on doing? Stripping. Yu tries to tape this, but unfortunately after a call from Yosuke, he learns that it didn’t work. Inside the TV, Kuma is depressed since nobody visited him in a while and Rise is confirmed to be inside the TV. Kuma leads them to a strip club (yes, you read that right) and Kanji is given the gag glasses with the fake moustache to wear. Inside, the team makes it to a pole and suddenly 6 versions of Rise appear plus her Shadow.
Everyone gets their own Rise, no need to fight over a waifu!
Shadow Rise then starts to do a PG version of a pole dance, saying that she’ll show them her true self. This causes Yu to flashback to the conversation Yu had with Rise by the river. Shadow Rise stops dancing due to lack of reaction and the real Rise is shown. The team tries to help her, but Shadows block their way. The team fight Shadows for a bit (while Rise struggles with who the real her is), and Kanji finally gets his trademark shades and summons his Persona for the first time. However, they’re too late and Rise tells Shadow Rise that she’s not her.
Shadow Rise then turns into a Technicolor pole dancer with a satellite dish for a face and she begins scanning the Persona. This allows the Shadow to dodge all of their attacks and then target all of their weaknesses. As the team gets the crap kicked out of them, Kuma finally realises how useless he is. Just before the Shadow deals the final blow, Rise tells the Shadow to stop and suddenly Kuma starts glowing gold. Shadow Rise can’t read Kuma’s info and as Kuma runs towards the Shadow, it fires its pole-cannon thing. Kuma blocks the shot and everything explodes.
Ah, yes, of course! Strippers aren’t weak to zio, bufu, garu or agi…they’re weak to GETTING MAULED BY BEARS!
When Kuma comes to, he’s flattened out. Rise thanks Kuma for shielding her and Kuma says that he knows what it feels like not knowing who he really is. Rise accepts her Shadow and says that there’s no real her since Risette and every other side of her is just a part of who she is. Rise gets a Persona and passes out. Everyone agrees that they’re tired when they all suddenly hear a creepy ass voice. Turning around, suddenly Kuma has a Shadow and it looks like it wants to murder them all. Yu notices that something is NOT RIGHT about this Shadow and it starts tearing apart the strip club.
It starts going on about how looking for the truth is useless and tells the team that they’re all going to die there. As a vortex goes through the club, Rise tells Yu to hold Himiko (her Persona) down and she scans Kuma’s Shadow. Inside the Shadow’s black hole face of doom thing, Kuma finds his Shadow, who tells him that he’s going to disappear here. While the Shadow tries telling Kuma the truth behind his existence, Kuma says that he’s going to find the answers himself, even if it hurts him in the process. Rise then finds the weak point to the Shadow and Yu attacks it. Teddy is okay and tells his Shadow that he’s going to search for answers. Everyone says that they’ll help him as well and then Kuma gets his own Persona.
Izanagi and Yu both get to have some fun this episode…
Afterwards, Yu walks Rise home and she says that she’ll help find the killer as well. She also starts calling him Yu-senpai and then grabs on to his arm. Yu, you pimp, you. However, after the ED, the next month another body is shown hanging.
Strip tease encore:
I think I know which episode is Yosuke’s favourite…
“Don’t worry, shadow! I’ll solve my problem despite not changing what I’ve been doing at all” “…Eh, close enough.”
Trust me, you’ll still be useless even after you have your persona, Kuma.
At that moment, Yu looked up towards the beautiful skyline and thought “Damn. I’m GOOD.”
Huh, that episode felt…weird. Very weird. It was kind of awkward how after taking one step into Rise’s dungeon that they ran into her shadow and got on with the boss fight. They could have at least had them fight their way to the final room, and saved Kuma’s fight for the next episode. Why the big rush? They should have plenty of time to cover everything. As a consequence, this episode felt rushed, and certain parts didn’t mesh well together. I couldn’t tell whether I was supposed to be laughing or gasping in shock when Kuma was facing his shadow. His reactions and high-pitched voice just turn any serious moment into a ridiculous one. It was a bit of a mood-killer.
The handling of Rise herself was also a bit disappointing. They could have gone the Kanji route and made it hilarious, but they didn’t. As you’ll see in a lovely video link provided by Karakuri later on, the game takes things to the extreme. They could have made it more serious, like they did with Yukiko, but they didn’t want to go that route either. It was a weird, lukewarm mix of gags and vague explanations of Rise’s personal issues. They hardly even explained what Rise’s actual problem was, seemingly content that they talked about her enough in the last episode to make up for it. It just felt immensely shallow, especially with them running into her without any prior lead-up. Usually you slowly get an idea what the shadow is insecure about, but there was no build in tension. You can’t just go from 0 to 100 and expect me to be totally into it.
What this episode did do well is the fighting. I know the animation isn’t the best, but the fights are always entertaining. It adds some extra spice that you don’t get from playing the game, such as having EVERYONE go through the dungeon (instead of just 3 teammates plus the main character) and little things like having to hold Rise’s persona down so she doesn’t fly away. Two battles in a row is tough, and they did a good job showing all the weakened persona barely being able to move let alone attack. That’s..probably how I went into Kuma’s fight in the game <_< *hates grinding*. Lastly, KANJI GOT A BADASS MOMENT! I think he even got a little theme song there, because I don’t remember that track from the game. It was awesome seeing him demolish all of those fat cop monsters, looking like a proper BAMF for the entire time. MORE OF THIS, LESS OF HOMOPHOBIC COMMENTS PLEASE.
I don’t know whether to be disappointed in Rise’s arc or not. Here I was expecting something extremely sexual and awkward since they did that with Kanji’s arc, but I guess not. Hell, they even downplayed it. A lot. Anyone who has not played the game and has no idea what I’m talking about needs to see THIS and then compare it to the anime. Yeah. I have no clue where they pulled the pole-cannon idea from. Normally I’d be okay with them doing that, but why is Kanji’s sexual orientation something to make a joke out of, but a strip club isn’t? Hell, isn’t making awkward sexual situations funny what harem anime is all about? If there do it there, they should be able to do it here (and if they can show a bathtub of lube in Kanji’s arc, they I’m sure they could have done more here). I guess I just feel bad for Kanji now since his episode was a complete joke and this could have totally been a joke, but it wasn’t. Though I guess it’s nice to have a serious arc for a change.
So while I’m somewhat unimpressed with Rise’s Shadow, HOLY SHIT KUMA’S SHADOW IS SCARY. I knew it was coming and that voice was still extremely creepy. Kuma’s Shadow made the situation serious again after all of the …er, ‘distracting’ stuff with Rise in the game, but here it was more of a ‘holy crap they’re all going to die. Where the hell did this come from?’ moment after a somewhat uninteresting battle. It’s always a shock when the most annoying and least useful character’s hidden self could probably murder them all in their sleep. Anyways, the bright side to this is that Kuma is now kind of useful. Maybe he’ll provide more than bear puns from now on.
From the ending of the episode here (Rise and Yu, not the dead body), it looks like the writers are trying to push for Yu x Rise…. I can live with that. But I wish they would go more into the character’s inner demons more. I really did like what they did with Yosuke and his Shadow where they had him really desperate and in denial. How they’re portraying the problems of the recent characters just hasn’t been as good. Chie’s was okay with the masks, but it seems like they’ve been less creative with how the Shadow events go. Though I’m not sure if Kuma’s conversation with his Shadow made sense or not. I don’t know if it was the subs or not, but what I got out of that conversation was “There are no answers. Give up.” “I’m going to look for answers. =D” …Yeah. On the bright side, there are a ton of awesome things coming up next.
Preview: And the culprit is…..?!