And finally, the Persona 4 episode all true fans have been waiting for: the one without Personas! I have to admit, I was pretty skeptical that they would cover a lot of the extraneous material from the game, mainly the Social Link characters. I figured they would just be cameos, rather than having a whole episode without actually advancing the plot. While this normally would be a blasphemous waste of time, since it’s Persona, there technically is a benefit, although it still falls under the “new Persona of the week!” category.
Episode 5 introduces us to Ichijou Kou (Ono Daisuke), his buddy Nagase Daisuke (no idea), the basketball team, and the aloof student manager Ebihara Ai (Itoo Kanae). It would be pretty boring if they devoted an entire episode to a single SLink character, but interweaving the stories for 2 characters worked out quite well, especially considering how these two specific characters interacted in the game anyhow. Breaking away from the “dungeon/boss of the week” mold is quite refreshing, and you get to explore the characters’ personalities more in non-tense situations, something that you have the entire Persona 4 game to experience, but I’m glad they’re using anime episodes to flesh them out too. With this, I think we almost absolutely need 24 episodes to complete the series, since some of the later dungeons have enough plot content to take up multiple episodes.