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Atlus Artist Shigenori Soejima Talks About His Work And Designing Catherine Characters



Archipel uploaded the latest of their video interview series with Japaense talents, and it features longtime Atlus illustrator and graphic designer Shigenori Soejima who talked Catherine and more of his work and inspiration.


Soejima starts out by talking about his first impressions in games was from fighters such as Street Fighter and Samurai Shodown, and he mostly drew characters that he liked. While Atlus worked on fighters in the past such as Power Instinct, Soejima says that he never got a chance to work on their fighters as he was in the Tokyo office while those were made in Osaka.


He then talks about the Megami Tensei series when he was younger and how he used to look at existing characters of manga and anime that he liked and would remember their features that he liked in certain characters, which he would pick to create his own characters.


However, Soejima explains that in recent years he’s been more inspired by celebrities and models in fashion magazines. He then talks about how Persona 4 showed deformed characters with 3D models and illustrations when characters needed rich expressions. Since he wanted to show them more uniformly, like a movie or anime, he decided to take on the challenge with Persona 5.


Next, he talks about Catherine, which already had puzzle mechanics from the start, and from there he joined when it was a matter of “how to make it a fun game.” According to Soejima, Catherine didn’t have the erotic touch to start, and there were ideas about making it a battlefield where characters would climb a hill.


Soejima had never drawn in an erotic-style prior to that, but it was Atlus’ Katsura Hashino, who directed and produced Catherine, who felt that it would result in something interesting and unexpected for Soejima to give it a go.


He was a bit anxious at first, and his earlier drawings were a bit subtle, but after starting over many times Soejima looked for something more real with a more carnal appeal going on. During the time of Catherine’s development, Soejima was about Vincent’s age, so he basically wondered what type of person he would be if he were real. This helped Soejima identify with Vincent.


From there, he made Catherine as an “ideal character” rather than an imaginary character. However, Katherine took a little longer for him to decide on a design, as he had to think about what kind of woman would be “scary” to a man while being gentle at the same time.


For Catherine: Full Body, Soejima was tasked with coming up with a third Catherine. Since the first two were opposites of each other, Soejima wondered what to do with a third one. Since Catherine had a hot feel and Katherine was more of a cool type, he decided on going with a cute character for the third one.


Catherine: Full Body releases in 2019 for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. Be sure to check out Archipel’s YouTube Channel for more interesting interviews with Japanese developers and other talents.

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