The work of Shigenori Soejima, the Japanese video game artist responsible for most of the characters in the Persona series, makes me happy. His characters are so bursting with personality and life I can’t help but want to get to know them. Every page of Udon Publishing’s newly-released English version of Shigenori Soejima & P-Studio Art Unit Art Works 2 and the re-release of the first Art Works volume is filled with joy.
Up until today, it was hard to find Shigenori Soejima Art Works (2004-2010) for under $150. The English version of the book, with its 160 pages of art from Persona 3, Persona 4, Stella Deus, and more, has been out-of-print for ages, making it a hot commodity for art book collectors. Well, now it’s back, just as beautiful as ever and available at a much more reasonable thirty bucks and change. Along with all of the gorgeous art, some of which isn’t of Persona 3's android buddy Aigis, there’s an extensive interview with the artist in the back of the book, offering insight into the mind of the man behind all of these pretty things.
Shigenori Soejima & P-Studio Art Unit Art Works 2 (2010-2017), available today for the first time in English, spans eight years of Soejima and company’s work on the Persona series, with a focus on Persona 5 and spin-offs and side stories like Persona Q, Persona 4 Arena, and the various Persona dancing games I love so much. Catherine gets a lot of love as well, being one of the only non-Persona games Soejima worked on during the period. The cover piece, featuring Persona 5's Futaba Sakura, is one of my favourite Soejima pieces. It makes me want to hang the book on my wall.
Shigenori Soejima & P-Studio Art Unit Art Works 2 is 210 pages, including another insightful interview. Together the two volumes cover 16 years of the artist’s gorgeous work. Plus they fill my slowly-growing art book shelf with happiness. I like happiness.