Monday, October 2, 2023

Today's read...Persona 4 Arena by Atlus

I haven't been hitting many graphic novels in lately, and it's time to change that. Or at least, get another one in. I really don't know much about this one. It's the first volume in this new series, but if I understood correctly, this is a spin-off from another series, Persona 4 Arena (?). If you know all the details, please feel free to fill me in below in the comments.

Anyway, I'm all in for some action and great artwork...and I have a feeling this one might deliver.

by Atlus
Illustrated by Aiya Kyu
Udon Entertainment
Young Adult Fantasy / Graphic Novel
160 pages

The casts of PERSONA 3 and PERSONA 4 collide!

A dormant anti-shadow suppression weapon named Labrys has been stolen! Mitsuru Kirijo and Aigis begin investigating its whereabouts. Meanwhile Yu Narukami returns to Inaba to reunite with his friends, the Investigation Team. What he finds waiting for him there is a strange fighting tournament held inside the TV World!



Worlds collide in a deadly battle tournament, where friends are scarce and the circumstances are a mystery.

I had not read Persona 3 before picking up this one, which was a mistake. While I was able to pretty much figure this out and sink into the story, I found it so interesting that I wished I had read the other series first. So, I'm going to have to correct that mistake.

As to this read, it is exciting. It shifts locations and characters, mostly concentrating on two groups, Mitsurr Kirijo/Aigis and Yu Narukami/Investigation Team. The first scenes snag attention as the first of these groups investigates the theft of a secret weapon. The other group, as a sharp contrast, snuggles into a reunion after a longer split. When both are drawn into the TV World, everything which was settling gets thrown upside-down. I felt as lost as the characters as they tried to figure out what was happening and are faced with their first battles. As the last scenes of the book hit, it was terrible to be left to wait to see what happened next. So, this tale does draw in and keep tension high.

While the action is addicting and there is enough character depth to draw in (without hurting the pacing), it's the graphics which make every scene sit. These filled in the tale very nicely while building up the characters' emotions and quirks. They especially work well during the quicker pacing to keep the plot understandable and exciting. It was a nice balance through-out and one I plan to continue to follow... because I do wonder what happens next.


Anonymous said...

This is a Manga Adaptation of the Video Game Persona 4 Arena (PS3/360) which is a sequel to Persona 4 (PS2) and includes Persona 3 characters as well (also originally on PS2)

I'm actually surprised you didn't recognise the name considering how big Persona 5 became back in 2017 and over the past few years. If you truly want to get into the series you must play the games as the Anime/Manga adaptations have never truly covered everything the franchise has delivered throughout it's numbered installments, sequels and spin-offs.

The numbered entries are essentially all seperate (think numbered Final Fantasy games, these are JRPGs btw) and these Spin-Offs are only for the most hardcore of fans (the Arena games are 2D "Anime Fighters" by Arc System Works, known for Guilty Gear/BlazBlue etc.)

Persona 3 Portable (PSP - 2010) Persona 4 Golden (PSVita - 2013) and Persona 4 Royal (PS4 - 2020) are all now available on PS4/PS5/Xbox One/Xbox Series/Nintendo Switch and PC, with a Persona 3 Remake (P3 Reload) coming out on Feb. 2nd 2024 on all of those except Switch... There's no excuse to not play the games themselves at this point.

Tonja Drecker said...

Thank you so much! Our house tends to swing toward other game directions (Call of Duty, Final Fantasy, Grand Theft Auto, etc), so this one kind of swung under our radar (insanely impossible, right?)