tehscarfdrilbur replied to your post:If isn’t obvious yet, I harbor a great dislike for…
I think it’s worth pointing out though that P4A focuses a lot on character degradation, like with Yosuke becoming bored in Inaba again and Aigis still having the self-concern of being ‘just a machine’. With Aki, that problem is the desire for power.
I see your point, but I still can’t wrap my mind around that fact. Would that mean that whatever character development they’ve had in their respective games was essentially moot? Something about that doesn’t rest well with me, in all honesty.
In any case, this is just a matter of personal opinion. Like how one person might like pepperoni on pizza, while others like it plain.
I have to respectfully disagree with you here, ds, because that aspect of P4U was actually the most deeply rooted in Jungian Psychology, and thus important to put in, in my opinion;
While according to Jung, a person can attain a state of “Enlightenment”, where they are so self-aware of the entirety of their personality, and not just the “ego”-facet of it that it puts them into a state of elation, this state is instable and can easily (and will in most cases) be lost temporarily if a person stops actively working on themselves and on improving. Since constantly trying to improve is a very, very exhausting thing, this is bound to happen sooner or later for most people, because, as the saying goes, all things that go up have to come down again (which, by the way, is also a really big thing for Jung and his concepts).
The game did a wonderful job at working with these concepts; while the IT, whose character development was so ridiculously tightly tied to the protagonist that it was bound to fall apart without him (Their Personas evolve with his Social Link Max, for crying out loud!), no longer have any brigger driving forces in their lives with Izanami out of the way, and thus the 5 remaining human members (minus Rise and Yu) all end up falling into old habits again due to their everyday rhythm returning, while Teddie ends up falling into a certain kind of monotony that he had never known before, which has a similar effect on him. (This can be briefly observed early in his story, but it’s not really the focus of it, since his story is more focused on Labrys and how he relates to her feelings.) Meanwhile Yosuke ends stuck in a rut because he can’t find anything to get excited over anymore in life, Yukiko falls victim to her old insecurities without anything there to prove to her that she’s still better than that, Chie ends up doubting her dream of becoming a police officer because she is questioning her reasons for wanting to be one (as well as her femininity if she actually does become one), Kanji is just… still stuck with his temper-issues and has trouble sorting them out, which causes him to doubt his resolve and Naoto feels all her old insecurities flooding back whenever she isn’t with her friends, on the other hand is forced to keep them out of her loop about her work-life a lot. which causes her to doubt her resolve was ever all that strong in the first place. This is NOT Character Regression, but actually unusually well written Character Development, because people are NOT straight, steady lines of progressions in Real Life, but they go back and forth, make progress and lose it again, learn and forget, go into states of elation and total clarity, only to have it become hazy again as soon as the energy subsides. We, as an audience are used to characters whose personalities progress in a straight line, which is actually an unnatural type of character progression, because, seriously, who has ever progressed like that and than stayed that way in real life? Be honest with yourself. The IT members’ state in P4U is completely realistic, because they lost their initial source of driving energy; the protagonist; and thus are without guidance to keep strengthening their resolve, similar to how SEES was in “The Answer”… Except that it was 10 times worse in The Answer, because Protag was frickin’ dead.
Talking about the SEES members, though, if you pay good attention to Aki, Mitsuru and Aigis in P4U, you’ll notice that they are actually far *less* regressed than any of the IT members, far more confident in their resolves and far less susceptible for the manipulation that they are put through. Unlike the IT members, none of them actually does fall victim to the illusions to the point of almost losing their Personas. This is partly thanks to the years they had to sufficiently strengthen their resolve already, partly thanks to “The Answer”, which acted to them as what P4U acted to the IT. Also, their Resolves were far stronger in the first place, since they were triggered by far stronger events than for the IT members. Instead of mere Social Link Max events, they had deaths and life-shattering revelations to deal with. This also explains why the SEES Personas never devolved a tier, even in The Answer, when he IT Members’ Personas did after Yu left. Another sign of how the IT is just much to dependent on Yu until P4U, and why being separated from each other (and thus, him) during that game might have actually been a really, really *good* thing for them.
As for Akihiko’s coat though, I don’t see that as related to his character development at all. He just wore it because he was hot and he doesn’t care how he looks when he’s beating up thugs in South Africa. That’s all. :’D
(Somebody made a joke that he can only dress well when Mitsuru picks out his clothes, and I am kinda tempted to agree…)
If you phrase it that way, I find it hard to come up with a good argument against it—at least with regard to the whole character development issue. I think I may have fallen into the trap of oversimplifying matters, which is a fatal mistake towards Persona games, I suppose. Thank you for expounding on the topic raised earlier. It clears up a lot of stuff, and I find your words enlightening. As such, I humbly stand corrected.
I will still stand by my dislike for Akihiko’s outfit in P4U, in any case. Ohoho.
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