Ye Kugyuu fans far and wide, rejoice! Along with the other show this season featuring the Queen of Tsundere in the idol business, this week’s Persona 4 opens with a new OP: “True Self” by Kujikawa Rise (Kugimiya Rie). Goyukkuri douzo!
Touched by an Idol
Just before her most recent performance, Idol Kujikawa Rise “Risecchi” shocks her manager with the news she intends to quit. She trades the spotlight and her hordes of fans for Inaba, where her grandmother is the proprietor of a traditional tofu-ya. Far from everything that comes with the frenzied, fast-paced life of being a star, the tiny town seems the ideal place to sojourn in peace, quiet, and hopefully, relative anonymity. But considering her numerous, still-ongoing regular appearances in print and TV (Hooray, PR machine!), can she really relax with a murderer who ostensibly targets high-profile individuals still at large?
Despite the calm of small town life, simple trips to the shopping district are somewhat tricky as even in Inaba her celebrity is well-known. While shopping at Junes, a suspicious figure in a Yasogami High uniform follows her indoors and to a waiting elevator. Although Rise is startled, the pursuer turns out to be Yu, who followed Rise only to return her cell phone she dropped earlier. When he meets with Yosuke, Chie and the others, they raise the concern Rise is likely the killer’s next prime target, based on the theory the victims have all appeared on TV regardless of any connection to Amano’s murder. At night, a figure resembling Rise appears though the group debates whether it was actually her.
The guys decide to check out the tofu-ya and find Rise inside tending shop. Yosuke, losing all composure at seeing an idol in person, proves useless to the task at hand. Yu warns Rise about the Midnight Channel and the strange disappearances though she claims the person who appeared couldn’t have been her. Incidently, Yu’s uncle arrives on the scene on official police business. The curious presence of Yu and Yosuke with Kanji causes him to grow increasingly suspicious of their repeated run-ins, forcing the boys to make a quick exit. When the detective tries to warn Rise, he finds his nephew has already beaten him to the punch.
Knowing her conspicuous media presence makes her a prime target, the group decides to tail Rise out of concern whether the killer will attempt to move against her in the open. Aika-chan, again, provides delicious repast for the stake-out. Detective Adachi also “coincidentally” turns up. Surprisingly, it’s Yukiko rather than Chie who is most grieved at having to leave their uneaten food behind. They spot a suspicious character also following Rise, so they give chase when he tries to flee and tackle him to the ground. Adachi takes him into custody but the group is divided whether he is actually the killer since he appears to be only a fan. Meanwhile, Rise confides in Yu her frustrations the girl everyone obsesses over is just an image.
As Yu prepares to leave school the following day, he runs into the newly transferred Rise and helps her avoid the media presence but run into her manager Inoue who has tracked her to Inaba. Unfortunately, he has come to inform her her movie role has gone to another idol and he will be offering his services to her. Seeing her disappointment, Yu tries to help but she rebuffs him. The brief scene post-credits confirms everyone’s fears. Rise appears on the Midnight Channel, becoming the latest victim to disappear.
***MINNA-SAN, GORAN KUDASAI! THE FOLLOWING IS AN IMPORTANT PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE OFFICE OF THE MAYOR OF INABA AND INABA MUNICIPAL POLICE DEPARTMENT:
While the Nation of Japan does not at this time consider merely being an otaku to be a criminal offense, it is all but universally acknowledged the otaku presence in public is a blight on the common decency of society and disruptive of the tranquility of others’ lives. Recent legislature has been enacted which effectively makes the open display, use, distribution, sale, transfer, or any other engagement with or centered-around idol-obsessive and otaku-related symbols, behavior or paraphernalia legally tantamount to a misdemeanor. Any and all offenders may be arrested on sight without warning and punished to the fullest extent of the law including, but not limited to, a prison term and/or fined up to the entire gross value of their anime and limited-edition figurine collections. Certain cases may also warrant sustained, intensive rehabilitation programs in secure, isolated facilities to correct such dangerous, degenerate behavior. The otaku element must not go unwatched to protect the purity of our youth and maintain a morally-upstanding society.
And stalking is bad too, so don’t do that either.
To all the otaku scum in Inaba, fair warning:
Remember Yukiko’s creeper “friend” (Episode 2)? Apparently, he’s still hanging around. He is seen briefly on the street when the guys are visiting the tofu-ya. Something tells me he’s not as harmless as the poor sucker Adachi took back to the station.
Yu is a strange one: it’s been proven he has more game than Yosuke (ref. Episodes 5 and 6), but in certain instances he falls flat when it comes to certain social cues. By the time he and Rise reached the elevator, she was truly afraid. It may be just my opinion but it seems in that particular situation, one would call out immediately and make their presence known to the departing person to catch them as soon as possible rather than silently pursue them. While he won’t call out to a girl if he wants to return something she’s dropped/forgotten, he’ll make sure to say something witty in parting. To leave an impression, apparently. Well, one thing we do know, the guy is fond of making gifts of origami cranes. Showoff…
Aika-chan: How can a minor supporting character with the same line every time she appears be so endearing? Maybe it’s the blue hair.