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Persona 4: The Animation — Collection Two Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: TV-14 (V)
  • Run Time: 365 Mins.
  • Discs: 2 (2 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Sentai Filmworks
  • Blu-ray Release Date: January 15, 2013
  • List Price: $59.98

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:4/5]

The habit anime publishers have of splitting up series into multiple “collections” can be both good and bad. On the one hand, given the often exorbitant prices charged for these productions, for true blue fans, it offers the opportunity to dive in a little at a time without blowing an entire month’s salary in one shot. Of course, one could always argue that the releases just shouldn’t be priced so high to begin with. On the other hand, splitting up the series into two, three, or more collections (Japanese releases often contain as little as two episodes a collection at insanely high prices in U.S. Dollars) can lead to someone unfamiliar with the series being lost, if that is how he or she is coming to it for the first time. Many publishers have, thankfully, begun offering free streams of many series, albeit in edited or censored versions, before they hit home video these days. Still, a lot of times, when something comes to my mailbox for review, it may very well be the first time I have come across a series. Such was the case with Persona 4. In Collection One, I found this series based on a role-playing video game a bit convoluted and ineffective as an anime series; it didn’t do much for me. I found the blend of video game affectations and character development to be a bit clumsy. To my surprise, this second half of the series, coming to Blu-ray in “Collection Two” from Sentai Filmworks, was much more entertaining. This is a strong argument for not breaking up a series into multiple collections.

The remaining episodes of Persona 4 the animation find Yu and the friends he rescued from the world of the “midnight channel” still hunting the mysterious killer who has resurfaced and is dragging people into the television yet again. Now, the young detective Naoto Shirogane believes that the killer must be someone close to the group and everyone is on edge, especially when Yu receives warning to stop saving people or someone dear to him will be next.

With a much stronger focus on the relationships between the characters and solving the mystery of the murders than on the video game style battles that took place in the first half of the series, episodes 13-26 are much easier to follow, have a better flow, and stronger sense of story. The animation in the series remains top notch as well and when the action does kick into high gear, it is superbly done. I have to revise my opinion on this series based on how it closes out with these remaining episodes. It started out weak, but ended with a bang.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

In the first collection of Persona 4, I took issue with some color banding that I spotted throughout the AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement. Although this second collection comes to disc with an AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement as well and, one would assume, was done at or around the same time, it seems to look slightly better to my eyes this time around. Thus I’ve bumped up my rating a tad as the digital animation still looks rather good overall with little else to take issue with. The colors are rich, detail is strong, and no problems with motion artifacts seem to occur.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Due to licensing, this still only has the English 2.0 dub in DTS-HD Master Audio  2.0 (48kHz/24-bit). There isn’t much to say about it other than it has clear dialogue, a good amount of dynamic range, and reasonable mid to low range extension given the absence of the LFE.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

Apart from director’s cuts of three of the episodes, there is nothing on offer besides the usual inclusions of clean opening and closing animations and additional Sentai Filmworks trailers.

  • Clean opening and closing animation
  • Sentai Filmworks Blu-ray Trailers
  • English Disc Credits
  • Director’s Cut of episodes 23, 24, and 25

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Recommended for fans of cool sci-fi action and video games, Persona 4 offers up some hip comedy, compelling characters, and strong animation.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B009Q6F5FE[/amazon-product]

Purchase Persona 4: The Animation — Collection Two at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

[amazon-product]B009Q6F5FE[/amazon-product]

Purchase Persona 4: The Animation — Collection Two at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]


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