Persona 4 has had a lot going on since it’s debut on the PlayStation 2 a few years ago. While the main game has seen anime adaptations and more, its fighting game spin-off Persona 4 Arena also has a manga form in monthly Dengeki Maoh. In a recent interview with Dengeki, the Persona 4 Arena manga author, who goes by “Aiyakyuu” shares the latest.
Dengeki: Volume 2 of Persona 4 Arena has finally been released. What are your thoughts on the serialization thus far?
Aiyakyuu: Volume 2 came by in the blink of an eye. Volume 1 was released in May, and the amount of time it took to release Volume 2 was shorter. It’s already been about a year of serialization, and I’ve gotten used to it when compared to the beginning, so I think I started getting a hang of things.
Halfway through, there were some big problems regarding the schedule, and I had the assistants help me a lot, so I’m grateful the serialization continued smoothly. In volume 2, the stage is set at a school inside a TV, so everything is basically inside the school. I’ve gotten used to drawing it, and for this reason, it’s safe to say that it’s been easier lately.
After reading volume 2 again, I’ve noticed that there are many TVs (laughs).
That’s right (laughs). There aren’t too many manga that have so many TVs drawn in them. In the manga, there are plenty of TVs that don’t show anything but “static,” so I was wondering if some of the younger kids today might say “What’s static?”
The original game of Persona 4 Arena is a fighting game. On that note, do you ever play any fighters?
Before this job, I actually never played them much. My younger sister liked to play fighting games, so I’ve often watched her play them on the side. So, whenever I play Persona 4 Arena, I often have trouble inputting the commands to pull off special moves. However, Persona 4 Arena’s character animation is very beautiful, so it’s even fun to just watch.
Of all the characters that appear in Persona 4 Arena, who is your favorite?
Yosuke appears in the manga quite often, and he’s full of character, so drawing him is always fun; however, I’d say Yu Narukami is my favorite, and whenever I draw him, I catch myself thinking “Yu is so cool!” (laughs).
On the other hand, are there any characters you have difficulty drawing?
I love drawing Aigis, but it’s always tough to balance and have her look as close as possible to Shigenori Soejima’s original character design. I also need to be careful with Yosuke.
Now, who is your favorite out of all the Persona?
I think each and every Persona design is cool, but Konohana Sakuya who finally appears in chapter 11 of the manga is very pretty, and I like her. Even looking at a figurine of hers, is still amazing. Although it’s still a pain to draw her wings and other parts (laughs).
What type of scenes do you like drawing the most?
Since the original is a fighting game, drawing the battle scenes are definitely the most fun. Speaking of battle scenes, I had had a little trouble structuring the fight between Yu Narukami and Akihiko Sanada in chapter 10 of volume 2. Both characters wouldn’t easily lose to anyone (laughs).
We spoke of battle scenes earlier, but when it comes to manga with many action scenes, are there any parts where you have to be careful?
I pay close attention to make sure it’s easy to read, and has a nice tempo and flow. Having a good flow for the readers is ideal.
Volume 2’s cover shows Yosuke on the front!
For volume 2, it made me so happy to be able to draw a huge picture of Yosuke. I personally like to draw an energetic Yosuke, so I kind of overworked myself in that part (laughs). For the backside I drew the characters who fought a lot in volume 2—Aigis, Kanji , Chie, and Akihiko.
Finally, please share a message for our readers.
In volume 2, the actual battles have started, so it feels a lot more like Persona 4 Arena now. During the battle scenes, there are plenty of manga-original parts, so it’d bring me great pleasure if you guys enjoy that.
Thank you very much.