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


Their Work Histories

Would the three of you in the Art Unit tell us which games you’ve worked on?

Oribe: I was working with Soejima-san as soon as I entered the company, and was tasked with the 2D art. My first job were the characters’ dialogue sprites for Persona 4. Then I did the lineart and coloring for the sprites and shops for Persona 3 Portable, while becoming an assistant to Soejima-san. After that, I was involved in games outside P-Studio, like Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor, Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, and Trauma Team, and I did a little work for Catherine. Finally, I worked on Persona 5 (P5). I’ve had a long career, and a list of games I helped with.

You started with sprites, but what kind of work are you doing now?

Oribe: I’m in charge of the package art, the characters’ full-view art, the battle cut-ins for P5, and the materials that characters use in-game.

Soejima: Didn’t you work on Persona 4 Arena, Arena Ultimax (P4AU), and Persona 4: Dancing All Night (P4D) as well?

Oribe: Oh, I did! I worked on those games, too! Wow, I’ve been working hard… but if it got out that I forgot, I’d get scolded. (laughs)

We’ll make sure to write that down. (laughs) Kabayashi-san, if you would go next.

Kabayashi: I first worked on Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, but since I entered the company as a 3D designer, I did the dungeons. I continued with 3D for two more years, despite wanting to take on 2D… specifically, the characters. I brought this up with my boss all the time. And when they finally said, “Why don’t you try it for a while?” I got to doing it.

Was it a smooth transition into the Art Unit?

Kabayashi: The timing was just never good, and I wasn’t able to transfer to the Art Unit until my fourth year. I worked on P4AU, P4D  and I’m currently tied to Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight (P3D) and Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight (P5D).

So your request to draw was permitted.

Kabayashi: After asking over and over. (laughs)

And finally, Shimada-san.

Shimada: I joined in April 2016, so I guess I’m last. (laughs) I entered the company right after graduating, and I was assigned to the Art Unit. My first assignment was the lineart and coloring for the Confidants’ full-view illustrations.

Who was the first character that you drew?

Shimada: The teacher, Kawakami. The Art Unit held a bit of a contest to see how detailed we could design clothes, and I worked very hard on Kawakami-sensei’s denim skirt. (laughs) After P5, I designed the full-view art and packaging art for P3D and P5D.

Are you all going to be involved in Persona Q2?

Soejima: It’s related to the Persona series, so I don’t see why they shouldn’t be. And because Shimada-san mentioned the art contest, I’ll say that I was once told, “Soejima, these drawings are so detailed, they’re amazing!” I was dejected, because it wasn’t my art. (laughs)