Character Image & Impression
Luke Fone Fabre - Shibuya Type with a 6 pack.
Fujishima: Luke is quite a deviant main character. [You mean] the 6 pack? There wasn't an order that I have to show his 6 pack specifically. (Laughs) Though the clothes [may make him] seem lazy, I think it was okay to have clothes that are outrageous since the setting was to have him wearing the most fashionable clothes of his time, so I said, "Why don't I try to let him show his abdomen?" (Laughs) Moreover, since the martial art-look will be gone if the overall feeling of laziness is gone from his clothes, it was needed to show that he could combat in the production. As much as Luke may have a street look, a lazy look and a Shibuya feel, he is also a main character. During the visual production, it must show that the character is both lazy and his strength as the main character. I still have anxiety till this day whether if this design is good enough though. (Laughs) Could there be players that think his 6 pack looks disgusting? That or wouldn't it be weird to hang like that? People can't really see he looks strong, can they? This pose is the result of the research from fashion books I bought which features boys who [look like they] hang out at Shibuya. (Laughs) At any rate, it is certain that Luke is a character that hasn't been challenged so far.
[Note: If I wasn't clear enough above, he's saying how the baggy pants make Luke looks lazy.]
Tear - A plain [sober] girl!?
Fujishima: Though only until now [that the final product] of Tear is a busty and intelligent person, the impression that I had of her at the beginning was “could she be a girl that is kinda plain [sober]?” There was a comment on her nuance like, “do pay attention since she is plain [sober],” that was written in the setting. [And] it has been dragging [me] for a long time. I think that the visual image of her covered by the long skirt and her legs hidden will show her plainness. But there is a problem with the allowed area of display ability for the polygons…… It was one of the most troublesome points for the characters in this title. Yet, compared to the difficult job of drawing the costume, the formation of her face, her hair and other parts were much easier. That is because Tear got through a certain amount of pandemonium and she overcame it. That is why she can be seen like an adult although she is 16. It is expected that those kind of experience are going to appear to be the atmosphere lingering around her. In contrary, if it [atmosphere] cannot be shown, then she wouldn’t be the real Tear at all.
[Note: The word "plain" is interchangable with the word "sober" in Japanese. Therefore, Fujishima is just trying to say that Tear is a sober person who wears clothes that aren't too extravagant and stylish like Luke. Coincide with the interview with Yoshidzumi, he mentions that Tear is highly aware that she is a soldier and she feels embarassing for showing her feminine side. Therefore, it was kinda hard on Fujishima to create a costume for Tear that is both "plain and sober".]
Jade - Glasses. 35.
Fujishima: This is the first character with glasses that I have ever drawn in the “Tales of” series. No, though it cannot be said that I didn’t put too much thought into the idea of glasses. (Laughs) Actually Jade too, had a considerable rough going. The reason of that is the explanation of Jade’s age. Including the figure and atmosphere, how do I go about drawing someone that can give off a presence of 35? I thought that, “He’s 35, shouldn’t he be a middle age man?” Though I have made numerous changes to Jade in order for him to look like what he is now, to me “it’s probably the limit” on the looks of a 35. Moreover, it wasn’t a specification to give Jade long hair. Though if I gave him short hair, it feels as though his character won’t stand out, that’s why it was changed to long hair. I made the right decision after all. I think he will become a character in his 30s with a certain meaning of depth.
Anise Tatlin - The problems with her doll.
Fujishima: I can’t talk about Anise without talking about the stuffed animal which she rode on. (Laughs) That said, I was able to draw Anise [excluding Tokunaga] immediately without any problems after reading a few lines of description about her. But the problem is this stuffed animal of hers. It was a hardship where I go, “How should I do this so that it can be seen?” (Laughs) Well, then, what should I do? In the beginning I made it [Tokunaga] attached to her chest, but if that’s the case, then it wouldn’t be visible [as it is now] in the game. Even looking at Anise again, I can’t remember anything but the hard work it took to make this stuffed animal. Other than that, rather than saying it is possible to create it without getting involved, it is also possible to say that it is a character that needs to be compromised in a certain way.
Guy Cecil - Enter the Pirate!
Fujishima: Guy is a character that I have a deep impression of. One of his points being that he looks like a pirate. (Laughs) While I was drawing Guy, I often watch the Pirates of the Caribbean DVD and I liked the floating [loose] clothes that the pirates wear. I was inspired by it, so I said, “I want to make his sleeves puffy!”, and I tried to put this design on Guy; but it wasn’t really that puffy at all. (Laughs) His costume took quite a while because he is a character that uses the “Iai” style techniques, yet he isn’t a samurai; when I wanted to complete his looks, I tried to draw many different swords and light clothing but they turned out to be unsatisfactory. Although I think he looks refreshing, a design that doesn’t leave an impression is unpalatable, so the pointy end of his jacket and other things you see right now is the result of considerable amounts of trial and error. Could it be that effect which makes Guy seem to have a considerable high amounts of popularity? Maybe it’s the fact that his helpful elder brother style is working off.
[Note: Iai is the art of drawing one’s sword, cutting down one’s opponent and then sheathing the sword in one smooth motion.]
Natalia Luzu Kimuelasca Lanvaldea - She’s an adventurer all right
Fujishima: Natalia is a princess, but after I received the settings from BNG and touched on the fact that “she’s an adventurer all right”, she became a very difficult character which I don’t know how to show her adventurer side. Her face and her hairstyle also had the same problem, and to put it into words, I guess it could be said that, “although I didn’t remove or add anything to her princess’ presence, is this how adventurers should be?” (Laughs) I wonder if I balanced it well by giving her a messy opening on her garments and her shoulders to make her look like a princess, as well as a pair of long boots that makes her look refreshing as an adventurer? I think it was kinda sad because it took awhile before she makes an appearance in the game, and that makes her lost her moment a bit.
Van Grants - Oda Nobunaga
Fujishima: Van might’ve been one of the characters [that I created] with hardship this time. Since I was told of a character like Oda Nobunaga, which I think in its own way shows its strength. Specifically, we tried to put the goatee on him. It wasted considerable amount of time between unsettling opinions, “Should I give him goatee or shouldn’t I?” Moreover, how should I put it? I think that I wasn’t able to fully portray his Kabuki style decoration on his costume and his body. Van exists after a tremendous amount of hardship, doesn’t he? That’s why I want to take Nobunaga’s extreme and the boldness that exceeds the imagination of an ordinary person into his profoundness. For example, I think this heavy sword with a sense of weight also has a different feeling of existence. Could it be his dynamic that we’re feeling? Speaking of which, I have the drawing of Oda Nobunaga that is often seen in history textbooks, but just to make sure, that was a lie. (Laughs)
[Note: The last line he said is to make sure the fans don’t mistake Van as an exact copy of Oda Nobunaga even though it’s based off him.]
[Note 2: Kabuki is a Japanese classic play.]
Asch - Different person with the same face
Fujishima: Because Asch is said to be Luke’s original, that’s why their faces are the same by default. But it is necessary to see that he is a different person. It should not be too revealing [that he’s the original] either, which means I must do a good job of drawing “different person with the same face”. When you see a different person, his hair style and his expressions will obviously be the point [of difference]. “Though he’s the original, he is oppressed, I could understand why he is [standing] crooked”, that is what I thought when I was drawing Asch. (Laughs) I think it will be great if he is much more popular. (Laughs)