The Bodyconians are one of the more peculiar demon types from Shin Megami Tensei and Shin Megami Tensei II, as they seem to represent more than what they’re leading on. They also appear inextricably tied to the era they originated from. Zombie women in short, one-piece dresses who dance crazy? If it seems dated, it’s because it definitely is–precisely dated, in fact.
To get to the bottom of what the Bodyconians represent, we need to return back to the late 80s, in the years preceding the burst of the Japanese economic bubble. Around this time, French fashion house Hervé Leger introduced a new type of revealing dress, dubbed the “bodycon,” short for “body-conscious.” Indeed, this is the very skin-tight dress worn by Kaneko’s Bodyconians, who derive their names from it. The provocative nature of the bodycon and its wearers garnered enough attention during this period that the Bodyconians would actually first appear in 1990′s Megami Tensei II:
But there’s more to the Bodyconian lifestyle than just a dress. On May 15, 1991, Tokyo’s nightlife was hit with a seismic shock: the opening of Juliana’s Tokyo, a discotheque in the city’s Minato ward. Replete with all the laser lights and smoky atmosphere you’d expect from a quality dance club, Juliana’s played non-stop, DJ-hosted dance music, like this mix, which begins with the truly evocative song “Yum Yum” (warning: hilariously explicit lyrics). By all accounts, crowds flocked to the club–and so did the bodyconians, many of whom were normal “office ladies” by day, who danced free of inhibitions in their transformative dresses by night. (One particularly notable Juliana’s patron is Kumiko Araki, pictured above.) Particularly iconic of Juliana’s bodyconians was augmenting their style with feather fans and boas, two accessories also seen on Kaneko’s SMTII Bodyconian.
Unfortunately for the bodyconians, Juliana’s time on the Tokyo stage was short: the club played its last set on August 31, 1994. This video purports to be from Juliana’s last day. However, Juliana’s revivals seem to happen on a regular basis, attended by some of the original bodyconians. Similar to SMT’s own Bodyconians, the instinctual desire to dance until daybreak must be difficult to abandon.
So we’ve got some very interesting things to note about our boy Akira; AKA Joker, AKA Leader, AKA P5 Protag or whatever the heck else you call him. Charlie Tunoku the 2nd. Heavyweight champion of being constantly forced to sleep by some overly self-confident kitty.
Akira’s parents are divorced.
He has mostly lived with his mother on the countryside instead of with his father.
He is the reincarnation of Devil Summoner protagonist Raidou Kuzunoha the XIV.
He was born approximately around the same time as Raidou’s death.
He is the son of Jyuji Hijiri; an occult journalist who happens to be the reincarnation of SMT2 protagonist Aleph, a powerful messiah who once defeated God himself.
Due to very spoilery reasons relating to Persona 5, it’s very fitting for Akira to be the child of someone like Aleph.
His relationship with his parents is relatively healthy. There is no bad blood going on between him and them.
He has a part-time gig as the babysitter for the son of Yu Narukami and Trucy Wright; Yuseph Narukami.
He is friendly towards his father, but bears some sort of estranged bond with him. Jyoji likes to heavily focus on his work and barely finds time to spend with his own son.
Whoever Akira hooks up with is likely the reincarnation of Susato Mikotoba; Ryuunosuke Naruhodou’s co-investigator and assistant, and Raidou Kuzunoha’s respective beloved.
Various images of my Shin Megami Tensei collection as it’s grown over the past 2 years up until today. I’ve spent over 1000 bucks on this what’s money idk. I just threw everything off my desk so i could have a nice place to take a decent pic for the top one. Only thing not actually pictured is my SMT IV poster (it’s holding down the SMT2 poster while rolled up in one pic). Still haven’t gotten frames and I probably won’t scan the SMT2 poster so y'all will have to deal with the messed up one hehhhhhh.
Devil Summoner interview! I was bored so here you go, another interview with Kaneko about some Devil Summoner design details, favourite girls and Lucifer and gyudon.
Born on the 20th of September in Showa 39, Kazuma Kaneko was in charge of both the world setting and character design for Megami Tensei 2 and Shin Megami Tensei and coordinated to a certain extent Majin Tensei and Last Bible. This time, together with an even stronger staff, his position for Shin Megami Tensei Devil Summoner was closer to that of director and he will talk about the usual objective, “creating characters that everyone will remember”.