Neku and Rindo took trend suggestions from the Three Sensible Monkeys in ‘The World Ends with You’


The World Ends with You was one of the vital trendy video games on the Nintendo DS when it was launched by Square Enix in 2007. It captured youth tradition and had flashy character designs with an emphasis on trend. The identical goes for its sequel, Neo: The World Ends with You, and while rather a lot has modified over the 14 years between the 2 video games, the sequel is simply as fashionable as ever.

We had the chance to sit down down and communicate with a number of folks concerned with Neo: The World Ends with You, together with producers Tetsuya Nomura and Tomohiko Yamashita, in addition to artists Gen Kobayashi and Miki Yamashita in regards to the character designs and the modern influences behind them.

“I do really feel that we did put extra emphasis on the truth that [Neo] takes place within the trendy period. So I used to be extra aware of attempting to verify the present trend developments for this title,” says Nomura. With every period there are trend developments which can be “in”, finally section out, after which come again round. With that in thoughts, he wasn’t as overly aware of the design or trend developments in Shibuya again then when he was engaged on the primary sport in comparison with the sequel.

Nomura seemed to social media for inspiration when designing characters, notably for the sport’s protagonist, Rindo Kanade, and his knee-length outer jacket. “There are plenty of trend influencers which can be very younger, of their teenagers, in Japan. So I used to be wanting round their social media accounts, attempting to take inspiration from them,” he explains. “There have been just a few that actually stood out to me. So I took these as reference and took bits and items from there to type of consolidate and provide you with [Rindo’s] design.”

NEO: The World Ends With You
NEO: The World Ends With You. Credit score: Sq. Enix

Rindo wears a hoodie with the in-game Jupiter of Monkey model field brand; him sporting the model was far more necessary than some other particular a part of the design itself. “With the outer jacket being a little bit bit extra flashy, we wished to make it possible for the hoodie was a little bit bit extra subdued and easy,” says Nomura.

Nomura’s normal coverage on the subject of designing is to include components which have a deeper which means behind them. Neku Sakuraba, the protagonist from the primary sport, additionally wears the Jupiter of Monkey model similar to Rindo. Nomura wished that widespread thread that they each liked that model.

Each protagonists are literally based mostly on the Japanese saying, “mizaru, kikazaru, iwazaru,” which interprets to “see not, hear not, and communicate not”. This saying could be extra generally often known as the Three Sensible Monkeys and the idea of “see no evil, hear no evil, communicate no evil.” With Neku, his signature characteristic was his large headphones. This idea was tied with “hear no evil”, whereas Rindo has his facemask, which performs into “communicate no evil.”

In a earlier interview, Nomura additionally mentioned that he seen masks being modern among the many youthful era. He defined additional right here, noting, “There actually was no various choice to a masks. That was one thing that actually labored with this background setting, which is why we ended up going on this course for his trend strategy.”

Neo: The World Ends With You
Neo: The World Ends With You. Credit score: Sq. Enix

Given this design philosophy, if there was a 3rd entry within the sequence, its protagonist might put on one thing that obscures sight, like a blindfold or perhaps even goggles. When requested about this, Nomura solely had this to say, “It looks as if followers have already picked up on it, and are already speculating. However who is aware of what’s going to occur?”

Almost about Rindo’s pals, they had been primarily designed by artists Kobayashi and Yamashita. Kobayashi was accountable for Tosai “Fret” Furesawa, Rindo’s finest pal. “I attempted to take heed to making him a polar reverse with Rindo,” he explains. “Like giving him wavy hair that’s totally different from what Rindo has.” The crew knew that there could be many scenes involving simply the 2 of them, so it made sense to offer them contrasting personalities and designs. Fret is a really happy-go-lucky and vibrant character in comparison with Rindo who’s extra chill however not as reclusive as Neku.

“I attempted to take hints from folks that really exist in actual life and use them as a reference, that’s one piece of recommendation that [Nomura] had given me,” says Kobayashi. He checked out well-known folks, notably male idols, that seemed characteristically just like what he was aiming for with Fret. He picked and selected facets from totally different folks to create Fret.

A brand new woman named Nagi joins Rindo’s crew, and Yamashita dealt with her design. She says, “once I bought debriefing directions for her character, it mentioned that she is actually an ‘otaku woman’”. Yamashita wished to deliver that persona trait to the forefront of Nagi’s design. Specifically, Nagi wears one thing known as an “Ita bag”, the place you possibly can place badges of characters or folks that you simply’re a fan of. By giving Nagi this trend piece, Yamashita felt like Nagi’s “otaku woman” attribute actually shone by.

Sho Minamimoto was an antagonist from the primary sport, however returns and joins Rindo as nicely. Nomura was the one who initially designed Minamimoto again in 2007. Nevertheless, this time round, he delegated Minamimoto’s up to date design to Kobayashi. The one directions that Nomura gave him was from the character to put on some type of hoodie and an extended coat.

But it surely was Yamashita who ended up finalizing Minamimoto’s design. On prime of Nomura’s directions, she was additionally requested to offer the character pants which can be 70% in size, simply above his ankles. “With that, I attempted to include an total silhouette that was very The World Ends with You-esque, one thing that may match him and look cool,” she explains.

NEO: The World Ends With You is out now on PC, Nintendo Switch and PS4



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