Anyone with a passing interest in Japanese history will know Oda Nobunaga, the infamous warlord of the sixteenth century. A brutal daimyo, he’s known as one of the three unifiers of Japan. He himself was fond of western styled fashion and is often depicted wearing high collars and western styled armor. He was also a major proponent for the usage of firearms.
In Nanako’s entry I kind of had to dance around why I specifically chose to make her Persona to be the daughter of Nobunaga–in truth, I came up with Dojima’s first. In the world of Persona 4 Dojima kind of comes across as the “ruler” of the protagonist’s world, so this Persona seems less like how Dojima sees himself but rather how those close to him see him.
I’m also kind of cheating as Kanji’s two awakened Personas (Rokuten Maoh and Takeji Zaiten) are actually technically based on Nobunaga (they’re both nicknames he had), but I figured I could get away with it as this isn’t actually an “awakened” Persona, perhaps Dojima’s second rank Persona would evolve into something else to give Kanji room (just hypothetically, I don’t plan on designing awakened Personas).
But getting to the Persona’s design–the obvious origin comes from Shadow Dojima’s car wreckage. I took that in the obvious direction–he’s sort of a combination of a Transformer, a shogun, and Samus from Metroid. So he’s made of car parts, or rather mostly things that look like car parts–actual car parts are pretty dry looking and difficult to draw, but I think the general effect came through the design anyway. The gun arms could be seen as a callback to Nobunaga’s usage of firearms in warfare. I also really like the visuals of bullet belts. The flower symbol on his belt is the symbol of the Oda clan, and is the same as seen on Nanako’s Persona, Tokuhime.
The design didn’t change much from my original sketches even all the way back when I first came up with him (again, I actually came up with this design before Nanako’s). So it’s been a long time coming.
Dojima himself of course needs a standard issue handgun. He’s gotta do this shit by the book. I had given him normal glasses at first but he just didn’t look right. The sunglasses ended up being much cooler looking.