“No, not crappy pictures of myself! Anything but that!”
|NAOTO AND KANJI! NAOTO AND KANJI! NAOTO AND KANJIIIIIII!!!!!!!! (We are sorry, no coherent message could be retrieved at this point and time. Please try again later.)|
|Well this episode was subbed much faster than the last one. Which is great because there’s no way I could have translated this without causing something to rupture in my brain. …Well, let’s move on.|
You know what? I’m going to be even lazier about the whole Velvet Room thing and only write VR instead. It’s not like anything plot important happens in there anyways. So Naoto appears on TV and tells the world (aka Japan) that he thinks that something is wrong with the last murder. He talks with the team about how all of the victims so far have been spotlighted on the media and then kidnapped before they died. He also figured that the same pattern happened with members of the team. At first he thought they were the murderers, but now he thinks they’re the only ones who can stop them. Also, King Moron doesn’t fit into this pattern since he died being hit as opposed to no known cause like the others and he never appeared on TV. He then brings up Yukiko’s drunken ramblings and says that this isn’t a game for him.
The next thing you know, Naoto appears on the Midnight Channel. The team is confused since they already caught the murderer, but after Naoto’s Shadow appears, they know that the mystery isn’t over just yet. However, they can’t locate him at all, so they go back to town and try to find out more about him. They also figure out that the kid who was arrested only killed King Moron/took the blame for the other murders and Naoto appeared on TV to draw the real murderer out. Yukiko also noticed that people in town have been acting strange lately, as if they’re afraid of something.
While asking random strangers on the street for info, Kanji gets a call saying that his mother is in the hospital. Luckily though, she only brought some kid there and wasn’t actually injured herself. Kanji shows his care by yelling angrily. After that, they talk to Aika and she tells them that Naoto was arguing with the police. From there, Yu figures out that Naoto was obsessive about the case and that he argued with how the police handled it. Plus they treated him like a kid. For reasons better explained in the game, this allows Rise to find where Naoto is.
Kanji: the manliest mama’s boy you will ever meet
After having a chat about how Naoto is running away from something, he appears on a series of screens with his Shadow cornered, upset, and acting like a child. As Naoto rejects his Shadow (having it turn badass in the process), DNA strands attack the team. Chie tries to tell Naoto to stop arguing with his Shadow, but Kanji says that he has to face it. Shadow Naoto goes on about how people only stop treating Naoto like a kid until he has to solve a case. …The Shadow also reveals that Naoto is actually Ness A TRAP a girl with a very masculine name and she only pretends to be male so the police would take her more seriously.
As Naoto rejects her Shadow, Kanji chooses this time to be a badass and punch through a solid metal door. Shadow Naoto becomes a flying robot and decides to start Naoto’s operation. Using magical rays or something, Shadow Naoto turns Yosuke old and makes every else flee in terror. Heaven forbid anyone else getting wrinkles.
Rise, didn’t you read the signs? No feeding the bears!
“Yu…what happened to me?” “Nothing, just know that you’re just not a member of my harem anymore.”
Not sure if reaching for food or trying to fondle something…
Yu misses the Midnight TV previews that involved a bit more nakedness.
Do you know how hard it was for us to write “he” instead of “she” while fully knowing Naoto’s sex the entire time? It’s so difficult knowing everything and having to just withhold information! Anyways, the first time Naoto’s sex was revealed in the game, I was pretty shocked. Her voice was more effeminate in the game, but I just assumed they were trying to stay true the Japanese voice-acting techniques of casting deep-voiced females for young boys. I was completely fooled. I was so caught up on trying to figure out just how much she had figured out and what her plans were that I ignored any of her personal issues. After I got a peek into Naoto’s mind via her shadow, all that changed. Naoto is probably my favourite Persona character along with Kanji because her problems are just so interesting and unique. It’s not often you get a look at in the introspective of a trap and why they felt the need to wear the mask of the opposite gender. It’s also nice that her issues with the detective force and being treated as a child was subtly hinted at all through the game and anime so that it didn’t feel like it came out of left field (kind of like Chie’s issues with protecting Yukiko). Giving 2 episodes to Naoto’s dungeon was the right thing to do, because this is not the type of subject you want to rush.
This episode was made even better by giving Kanji such a prominent role. Not just because I’m biased and love him to pieces, but because his issues and Naoto’s are perfectly complementary. Kanji is afraid to show people his more feminine side because people judge him for it, so he had to force himself to act increasingly manly to live up the “macho” standards set by society. Naoto hated being looked down upon as both a child and a frail women, so she tried to emulate an air of both maturity and masculinity to combat this. It’s a sad fact, but women still aren’t treated as equals compared to men – and Persona tackles this issue head on with Naoto and Kanji. Why should they both have to act more manly in order to be accepted? Why is it still not acceptable for a man to sew and a girl to be cool and smart? Don’t even get me started on uneven salaries, rights to vote in other countries and violence against women. But feminist tangents aside, Naoto and Kanji are struggling with very similar issues with how society wants them to be and how they try to change themselves just to fit in and not get walked on. I think it’s because Kanji understands this so well (and because he likes her, of course) that he’s so intent on saving her and letting her overcome her own trauma. He gets it.
Having Kanji and Naoto combined in one episode was great, even if Kanji’s social link was rushed and didn’t even bother to explain why he acts like a dick and yells all the time. He has a good reason! However, I’ll let it slide since most of the social links thus far for the main characters have been pretty shallow. I guess since they get a whole dungeon dedicated to them, they don’t have time to have Yu date them all. I mean..uh…get to know them all. I still hope he hugs Yosuke though…BUT I DIGRESS. I loved Kanji and Naoto taking centre stage, but I didn’t like the drawn out conversations. One of the weaknesses in the game is how often your eyes are abused with walls of text as everyone tries to figure out how the case is going and who Naoto is. There’s only so long you can watch people talk before you get bored. That is, unless you’re watching Nisemonogatari where SHAFT has the focus of an ADHD child and changes the angle and art style and object of focus every couple of seconds. Once all the talking was over with though, Kanji and Naoto got their time to shine.
Okay, so it’s out. Naoto is actually female. If you go back to the episode she first appeared, I tried my hardest to keep the gender for her ambiguous, but eventually gave up since I thought someone would catch on if I were too vague. Though I vaguely recall Shadow Naoto’s speech being better explained in the game (or maybe it was just the subs). Here they just made it sound like “They treat you like a child. Also, you are a trap.” “No! That isn’t true!” instead of “They treat you like a child and because Japan/the police/society is extremely sexist, you are forced to be a trap so that they will take you seriously.” “No! That isn’t true!” Either way, Romi Paku does an amazing job at being able to do really convincing male and female voices. Seriously. …Though it’s probably obvious that she would be able to do a female voice well.
I liked the dungeon/Shadow setting interpretation they did this time. Maybe it’s because a high tech secret base has more to work with than a strip club (without raising the age rating for this), but they really had fun with the setting this time around. …Or maybe it’s because I wasn’t paying attention to the game because I don’t remember a moving platform or random saw arms at all. I also liked how they had Naoto simultaneously appear on a whole bunch of TV screens at once. Just like with Yosuke’s Shadow episode, I guess I just think that effect is cool. If I ever become some sort of evil leader or work under one or something, I’m totally going to coordinate something like that just because I think it looks cool xD. Moving on, it’s probably a good thing that Naoto’s base in the anime wasn’t as big as it was in the game. I totally thought the characters weren’t going to make it to Naoto on time, but I guess it was just through the door.
They included part of Kanji’s Social Link in here and he looked like a giant tsundere jerk minus the dere in it. I mean, I know that he’s just yelling to show that he cares and people have played the game most likely know, but to anyone else, he probably just looks like a whiney annoying teenager with rage issues. Kanji isn’t like that though! Show the rest of his Link! All they’ve done is just had him take out his frustrations on others… Though Chie’s Persona hasn’t levelled up yet. …Does this mean that there’s more to come? I hope so. I love the team’s Social Links to pieces.
Preview: The battle against Super Fighting Trap Robot Naoto continues. Maybe Yosuke can beat it up with a walker.