Book Review: Persona 4: Official Design Works

Persona 4: Official Design Works
Shigenori Soejima

I really, really love art books.  I pick up quite a few them on numerous different genres.  This one, based on the Playstation 2 game Persona 4, has become one of my favorites.  Strangely enough it’s not just the fantastic art that makes me like this book, but it’s the words. 

Many art books tend to be on the light side when it comes to text.  Oftentimes you’ll just get a short description of the art, and the name of the artist responsible.  That’s not the case with this book though.  The lead artist / designer of the game is responsible for the text, and he sure delivers quite a bit.

Shigenori Soejima goes into some pretty extensive detail about his art and the inspirations behind them.  He points out lots of little details that I never even noticed, but in fact have lots of meaning.  It actually adds quite a bit to the experience of playing the game when you know the meanings behind things.  While the information provided in the book is great, art books are of course first about the art.

This book has tons of great pieces.  It is filled with concept art, as well as art used in the final game.  It covers all the characters, enemies, environments, and more.  There are also a few promotional pieces used for specific stores in Japan.  Going through this book has very much excited me for the coming re-release of Persona 4 on PS Vita in late November.  It will be fun to go through that game again after reading this.

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