Love Shack/Shot Through the Heart
Rise’s Shadow dungeon resembles a garish strip club; and her Shadow sure knows how to work the pole. It also sports multiple clones, each representing different facets of Rise’s superidol personality, something which aptly reflects the expected refraction of her publicly projected (and also her self-) image that comes with being a performer.
When Rise refuses to accept her other selves, her Shadow transforms into a rainbow-colored humanoid entity with the ability to analyze each of their individual Personae’s attributes and retaliate with a diversified spectrum beam attack (although any way you look at it, it’s rainbow-colored) tailored to their weaknesses. To make matters worse, it can strike from a distance, attacking multiple targets if not all of them simultaneously.
Though they try to take preemptive action to bring it down quickly, their attacks are repelled and the entire team suffers critical damage. The Shadow redoubles its attack, intending to annihilate everyone along with their Personae in one final blast, when Kuma steps in and intervenes.
Fortunately, he is immune to the Shadow’s scan abilities and deflects the blast eating the full brunt of the beam as he forces it back on the Shadow, causing its cannon mechanism to misfire and explode. Though Kuma is exhausted, the effort saves everyone and incapacitates the Shadow for Rise to properly acknowledge it as a part of herself. Having come to terms with her struggle over her personal identity, Rise receives her Persona.
Shadow of the Beast
Easy, right? A little too easy apparently. Kuma’s Shadow suddenly materializes, an overgrown behemoth of a bear that dwarfs even Kanji’s Persona. Kuma’s Shadow’s true form is even bigger and seems to subscribe to some sort of radical hypermodern nihilism, dismissing any concept of a true self as meaningless. As it spouts metaphysical rhetoric to the confusion of everyone, it begins swallowing Kuma and everything else into the gaping void where its face should be. Kuma is pulled into a vast nothingness, much like the theoretical Dirac Sea; and, after challenging the Shadow’s claims that any search for truth and identity is inherently futile, asserts his self-worth and his desire to continue living to find his own meaning. Meanwhile, Rise and Yu coordinate their efforts from the outside to help defeat the Shadow. Escaping, Kuma also gains his Persona.
Back at the tofuya, Rise tells Yu she is glad she came to Inaba because she finally feels she’s found a place to belong. With that, she plans to stay and help with their investigation.
The epilogue reveals the killer has struck again, killing his latest victim since Konishi Saki.
Going My Way
Two Persona battles this week. Without knowing details about the flow of events in the game, I can only feel this episode felt rather rushed. We’re already on episode 10 with only two scheduled episodes remaining, and junior detective-in-training Naoto has yet to officially join the team, let alone “join the cool kids’ club.” I’m curious as to whether there will be a continuation to follow or if AIC will rush to wrap things up as, at this point, Yu and company still don’t have the slightest clue as to the killer’s identity. Waiting and watching while monitoring appearances on the Midnight Channel will only go so far without any concrete information to go on. If only they had the cooperation of someone with the investigative ability and insightful powers of deduction to come up with a solid lead, they could stand a better chance of cracking the case. But where would they ever possibly find someone like that…?
As evidenced in the opening scenes, where he doesn’t even pause to pick his jaw up off the floor, Yu is quite taken with Rise. With the way she latches on to his arm at the end, cooing with delight it’s pretty clear she likes him as well. It seems along with leveling his normal attributes, Yu has been secretly racking up some major stat bonuses towards Charm and Charisma. Not bad for a guy who doesn’t believe in smiling, the lucky bastard.