New Shin Megami Tensei Demons are Badass,
The awesome people over at Siliconera have just posted 5 new MegaTen demon designs that Atlus will be debuting in Shin Megami Tensei IV. If you’re a fan of the RPG series, then you know that its demons are the original Pokemon, so it’s always a huge event when new designs are introduced or old ones are updated.
First up is Asmodeus. Originating in the apocryphal Book of Tobit, the character is probably better known as the demon of lust according to Peter Binsfeld’s hierarchy or the 32nd spirit of the The Lesser Key of Solomon. Asmodeus has had many designs, but hasn’t shown up in a mainline SMT game for years. His new design (below) is quite a bit redder than his original (above), and was crafted by Yasushi Nirasawa, creature designer on Kamen Rider Kabuto and Kamen Rider Den-O.
Fellow Kamen Rider designer Tamotsu Shinohara also contributed to the demon roster with Kouga Saburou, “a legendary hero from the Suwa domain,” who has not been utilized within the franchise before. Similarly, Shinto god of agriculture Kuebiko is joining the fray for the first time, thanks to Persona 4: The Animation artist Kyouma Aki. Kuebiko is usually depicted as a scarecrow, but I have no problem with Aki’s depiction, which is awesome.
Finally, we have two redesigns. On the left we have the archangel Raphael, also known as “Israfel” in Islam. Keita Amemiya is responsible for his new look, as well as character designs in Capcom’s Onimusha series. The angel’s traditional design has been a pretty standard purple humanoid since the original games, so I am highly in favor of this move. In fact, I’d like to see all of the archangels get radical reinventions.
The other revealed redesign is Omoikane, another kami of wisdom from Shintoism. The poor thing has always had the same humorous look, which you’ve probably seen in the recent Persona titles. His decidedly scroll-themed makeover is the work of Yoshihiro Nishimura, who directed Tokyo Gore Police.
What do you think? I love all of these new looks, even if some of them strike me as more anime than classic Kazuma Kaneko illustrations. Many MegaTen demons are overdue for redesigns, so I’m looking forward to more reveals and additions to the sizable canon of creatures which can be fought, fused, and bargained with. You can read more of my theological blathering in my Top Ten Worst and Top Ten Best Megami Tensei demon/persona designs lists.
Shin Megami Tensei IV will arrive exclusively on 3DS sometime in 2013.