Square Enix veteran Tetsuya Nomura is known for creating RPG characters with, let’s say, more eccentric outfits than you’d see on the street or even in other video games. And as it turns out, he sometimes draws inspiration from his own wardrobe while designing in his ubiquitous, accessory-heavy style.
Speaking with Inverse ahead of next week’s launch of Neo: The World Ends With You—a sequel to the cult-hit Nintendo DS game—the longtime Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts dev was asked to pick a piece from the upcoming game to add to his real-world closet. Nomura, however, turned the question on its head by revealing that one of the series’ characters already dresses like him, not the other way around.
“In the Minamimoto design from the original The World Ends With You, everything—his hat, his boots, his pants, his outerwear—is based on something that I actually own,” Nomura said.
It should be noted that Nomura isn’t talking about a Lulu- or Sion Barzahd-style character here, as hilarious as that would be. Nope, like most of the series’ characters, Sho Minamimoto—an antagonist from the first game who joins the cast of playable protagonists in Neo: The World Ends With You—dresses quite reasonably (check the video above). He doesn’t even sport any superfluous buckles or straps, unless you count the belt that hangs loosely from his coat.
Much like its predecessor, Neo: The World Ends With You takes place in a bustling metropolis heavily inspired by Tokyo’s real-world Shibuya district. As this area is known for its overabundance of clothing stores, it would only make sense that the game’s characters, Minamimoto included, would be at least a little concerned with putting together trendy-looking outfits. (In fact, a key way you power-up your characters is by adorning their outfits with fashionable, ability-granting “pins.”) Who better to impart this wisdom than Square Enix’s resident drip god?
The World Ends With You serves as the perfect setting for someone like Nomura, who has long been considered one of the more fashion-conscious developers in the industry. His fondness for Japanese streetwear is reflected lovingly in both games. They say to write what you know, but Nomura designs what he knows, and these unique RPGs are all the better for it.
Neo: The World Ends With You launches on July 27 for PlayStation 4, Switch, and PC.
Correction (07/23/2021, 4:22 p.m. ET): Added missing information about the game’s release platforms.