(Warning: This post contains some major spoilers surrounding Persona 4’s characters)
In the recent years, there’s been a weird decision within the video game company, Atlus, in order to broaden their target demographic. Said changes, which is perhaps the most noticeable in this regard, seems stems from the fact that many of their latest releases seems to be more, for the lack of better word, “anime” compare to the previous ones, starting from the Persona 3.
I’m not just simply talking about the transformation of their artstyle, but also on the portrayal of their character, which seems lean more to anime tropes, and the subject of their narrative. Whether it was the difficulty and/or the morality of adult relationship in Catherine, or the theme of death and how it ties into our high school experience in Persona 3.
But amongst those releases, Persona 4 is perhaps the most releases who’s anime-ism are pretty frontal. The characters that makes up the investigation team surrounding our main protagonist are an unabashed stereotypes of high school anime in recent memory. We have the hapless best friend, the tomboy, the yamato nadeshiko, the delinquent, the idol, the detective/awkward girl, and the mascot.
After further introspection however, I’d argue how the tropey-ness of the character are actually the most purposeful changes because it serves the central conceit of Persona 4’s narrative and not just simply for the fact that its useful for demographic broadening.