P-Studio Art Unit Interview About the Persona Series Character Design Process at Atlus


The Future of the P-Studio Art Unit

As no one is overly self-conscious about their roles within the Art Unit, this becomes difficult to ask: what are each of your future prospects, from here on?

Oribe: Do we have any for the Art Unit?

Kabayashi: I don’t believe so.

Shimada: …(shakes her head).

Of course not. (laughs)

Oribe: (laughs) The P-Studio Art Unit is in charge of the art and design of the Persona series, so our vision has not changed. We will continue to create material for the fans to enjoy. The Art Unit will remain as it is, and what prospects we have are our own.

If that’s so, may we hear them?

Shimada: I now see that my seniors have come to this interview prepared with their particular work and their contributions, while I have little in comparison. So for starters, I want to work in the Art Unit more, until I can gain something that I can call my own, because until now, I’ve only been focused on clearing the hurdles before me.

Thank you very much. Oribe-san, your face has become indiscernible. (laughs)

Oribe: I have a lot on my mind. Shimada-san here says that I have “strong points”, even though I believe myself to be an ordinary person, with no such things. There are things that I would criticize in my own artwork.

Like what?

Oribe: I’m speaking as a woman, but I concern myself with how much I’m allowed to depict the female form, or, to put it bluntly, fetishizing material. Especially in regard to the male fans.

Kabayashi: Well, Soejima-san doesn’t draw them. His art remains neutral.

Soejima: I don’t draw those, so I think the preferences between the four of us are average. As a rule, we draw while keeping our fans in mind, instead of simply pursuing our personal interests. I believe we won’t have any problems as long as we draw what the players will enjoy.

Your remarks may save many creators out there. Given this reassuring message, what do you think, Oribe-san?

Oribe: I want to be able to hone my skills at a steady pace; nothing outrageous. Also, while it would take a fair bit of struggling, I want to make Atlus to become more popular worldwide. I want to carry that aspiration, at least from an artistic perspective.

Kabayashi: I want Atlus to grow in popularity, as well. Maybe I should endeavor to put Atlus in a fixed position, where its games are recognizable by non-players, and for them to be discussed even outside the gaming community. That’s how large I envision it, in a sense. There are ways to get there, I’m sure, but I also like the idea of reaching a major status inadvertently.

Oribe: Now that’s too much! (laughs)

Kabayashi: But you said the same things! (laughs)

You get along very well. (laughs) So, to wrap things up, would you tell us how the Art Unit will proceed from here on, Soejima-san?

Soejima: I have included the Art Unit for this book to show its readers the current system by which our art is made. I hope we were able to show how work happens here, even if just a little bit. It would be wonderful to observe other staff members like this in the future.

May we take each of your final comments?

Oribe: We’ll leave it to you, Kabayashi-san. (laughs)

Kabayashi: Me?! Er… We’re very happy to have our work collected for an artbook… what else? (laughs)

Oribe: No, not like that. (laughs) We want to have our own artbooks next time, don’t we? (laughs)

Shimada: I’ll work to get my own book, featuring improved art of the designs and the characters [the players] love!

Oribe: See, Shimada-san said it right. (laughs) You just want to release an artbook earlier than I do, don’t you, Kabayashi-san?

Kabayashi: I’ll secretly write that as my wish for Tanabata.

Oribe: Don’t! (laughs)

That’s quite ambitious, to a treacherous degree. (laughs)

Oribe: In conclusion! We will continue to make art, especially of the characters and settings that you all love!

Shimada: We hope you enjoy this book, as well as all future releases from Atlus.

Kabayashi: We thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Oribe: Thank you for reading this interview until the end. We pray for your continued support!

(December 20, 2017)