Shigenori Soejima is the artistic visionary behind some of Atlus’ most significant franchises. His mature and distinct art style has been applied to showcase the fight against corruption with the Phantom Thieves in Persona five and capture the overt sexuality of a enjoy triangle gone terribly incorrect in Catherine. And that is only a modest sample of his perform. To celebrate his efforts, Atlus lately held a significant showcase exhibit devoted to Soejima’s Persona five and Catherine designs at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, CA. With each games finding re-released in the close to future through Persona five Royal and Catherine: Complete Physique, it was a wonderful look at two of Soejima’s most memorable contributions. We had been on hand at the occasion to not only show you what was on show but also interview Soejima about his profession and future projects. Right here are some of the most exciting revelations.
He Believed Director Katsura Hashino Was Playing A Joke On Him With Catherine…
Designing for Catherine permitted Soejima to step out of his comfort zone and attempt some thing new, and he’s quick to note how diverse it was for him versus operating on Persona where he largely depicted Japanese higher college students. “Catherine was sort of a challenge to myself to attempt to fully switch gears and make some thing new,” Soejima says. “The 1st most important distinction is certainly Catherine’s a lot far more sensual and sexual, and so that design and style was unquestionably a departure from the Persona series.”
Catherine’s playful and seductive character design and style is what Soejima considers his “most difficult project.” It was so far from something he had completed just before that he wasn’t even certain what to assume when Hashino and the team presented their vision to him. “When they 1st approached me to design and style her, I seriously believed they had been pulling my leg,” Soejima says laughing. “Hashino knows I like to draw characters and design and style them in a fashionable sort of way, so I know that he just wanted me to do some thing I had under no circumstances seriously completed just before. ”
He Feels The Stress To Preserve Raising The “Fashionable” Bar
For a lot of, Persona and the word fashionable go hand-in-hand at this point, and Soejima thinks it is wonderful so a lot of persons assume so. In his opinion, it took a when to get there. “When I appear back at like perhaps Persona three, I do not really feel that it is that fashionable,” he says. “We did introduce some graphic components into it, but it is not at that fashionable level that we really feel like absolutely everyone is speaking about.”
Soejima discussed how fans’ higher expectations became a driving force for the group and credits it for Persona five evolving to the level of style it did. “Right after that, operating on Persona four and five, there was far more of a time gap involving these titles, and just hearing absolutely everyone saying that it is so fashionable, sort of place stress on the group,” he recalls. “I assume just continuing to hear the voice of fans and that feedback and then the group responding to that and attempting to just do our very best and 1-up that stylishness is what has produced the Persona series what it is these days.”
When Building Styles A lot Is Left Up To His Imagination
Each Persona character has its personal distinct style and character, but just how considerably of that is set in stone just before Soejima creates his styles? Apparently not normally all that considerably – the visuals typically come 1st. “There are unquestionably characters exactly where there are currently specific precise traits that I need to have to design and style for, and that is correct far more for the side characters,” he explains. “But for the most important characters, in the case of Persona five for the Phantom Thieves, I really began building the visuals ideal when the director was saying that, ‘I’d like this story to center on these youngsters that are thieves.’ That was quite considerably all the info that I had to go off of to commence designing, and so the visuals sort of came 1st. Then I would speak amongst the writer, the director, and the designer to come up with a cool visual that tends to make sense for what is catchy for this form of group, and sort of mold the character and character collectively.”
New Character Kasumi Was Inspired By A Classic Manga Archetype
For Persona five Royal, Soejima had to bring himself back into the planet of the Phantom Thieves, when also adding some new life to it. “It really is normally a challenge to really bring in new components to some thing that is currently loved by fans,” he says. “With Kasumi in certain, we wanted an individual outdoors of the Phantom Thieves, [who is] viewing the scenario from a entire diverse point of view. We also [wanted to] bring her close in standing to 1 of the most important characters, sort of in the protagonist way, exactly where fans will be in a position to see the story from a brand-new point of view and [have] a new character.”
As to how he came up with Kasumi’s design, Soejima looked to the manga he study expanding up for inspiration. “I seriously wanted to make just a straight-forward heroine form of character,” he explains. “This could possibly be a small bit diverse in the West, but in Japan, the manga I grew up reading, the most important [female] characters normally had a ponytail, and their club activity was gymnastics. I seriously wanted to just shoot for that – that female protagonist archetype. Possibly in the States or in the West, it’d be [comparable to] a cheerleader form of girl. With most of the characters in Persona five, we seriously design and style them to have sort of a twist, sort of make them exceptional and diverse from what the common character archetypes could possibly be like, but with Kasumi, we wanted to just go straight for that heroine form of girl.”
The Upcoming Project Re Fantasy Is As opposed to Something He’s Ever Worked On
Hashino is as soon as once more encouraging Soejima to step outdoors of his comfort zone. This time it is for a new IP called Project Re Fantasy. We have not heard considerably about the game outdoors it is a fantasy RPG and presently in improvement. So far it appears ambitious, and when we took the opportunity to ask Soejima far more about his knowledge operating on it, he echoed that sentiment. “This is fully diverse from what I’ve worked on [previously],” he stated. “I’ve normally loved fantasy, but as soon as I began operating on it, it became, ‘Well, what precisely is fantasy and how can we bring a meaningful fantasy game into this planet? What can we bring to this sort of genre and game?’ There is a lot of trial and error and considering about this entire genre and how to [create] the design and I really feel like we are lastly at a location exactly where we have a path and are moving forward with it. Hopefully, we’ll have some thing to show absolutely everyone in the not so distant future. We’re generating some thing only we can bring to the table – a pretty exceptional design and style. [It’s] some thing for fans to appear forward to.”
For far more on Shigenori Soejima, you can verify out this interview we did a couple of years back, exactly where he dishes about his inventive method and which Persona characters are his favourite.