Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors Character Design Remarks & Kinu Nishimura Comments
The following comments were taken from the Extreme Escape: 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors & Good People Die Official Artworks artbook from SoftBank. The first two sections for each entry are written in an unspecified third-person voice; the third consists of commentary direct from Kinu Nishimura herself.
There was a project to translate this commentary on a Tumblr page that linked to scans of the artbook; that page is now gone, and the project was in a half-finished state the last time I checked before it went down. My apologies if I'm stepping on anyone's toes or issuing a redundant document here.
An extremely unremarkable college student, he is the only one of the nine to use his true name. An average young man living in an apartment in the city, a sudden visit by Zero lands him in the Nonary Game. Personalitywise, he has a strong sense of justice and is the softhearted type; in elementary school, he even had the guts to confront some middle-schoolers who were picking on some animals. He unexpectedly reunites aboard the ship with his close childhood friend June, and they keep each others' spirits up as they challenge the riddles Zero has set.
He gives the impression of being an extremely run-of-the-mill young man with unremarkable style: a casual hoodie with a down vest and sneakers. It's a fresh-faced look typical for his age. However, when he was kidnapped by Zero and locked in a cabin, his face is like a dead man's, drained of life and vitality. He has a slim build, but he has a side to him that won't run away from a fight, and he has a surprising athletic side. He also has a soft spot for women, such as when he cheers up Clover when Snake goes missing.
[Note: Do an image search for Mizobata; he really is a dead ringer for in-game Junpei, particularly around the eyes. 999 was released in 2009 in Japan, in case you need a time frame.]
A female college student who is Junpei's childhood friend. Nice and neat and modest, but a bit clumsy and prone to blurting out ridiculous things. Sweet and gentle, she continues to speak and act in a forthright manner among her increasingly-jumpy colleagues. For some reason, during the Nonary Game, she occasionally comes down with a fever and collapses. "June"* is a code name given to her by Junpei due to her bracelet number, 6; her real name is "Akane."
[Note: Akane's code name in Japanese is "Murasaki." As you've doubtlessly heard, the original Japanese code names incorporate elements of Japanese numbers; Junpei chose "Murasaki" for Akane in part because the "mu" recalls the Japanese counter for "six," "muttsu." Also, "murasaki" means "purple" in Japanese, while "akane" is a type of red, etc. etc.]
Her long hair and simple dress give the impression of a mild-mannered girl. She's beautiful, but she's rather subdued & modest for a modern female college student. She seems to be a late bloomer when it comes to romance - as she herself said, the number of men she's dated is "18 times 0." She's physically slender and gives the impression of being frail - the type of woman men unconsciously want to protect. However, she has a core of steel. Her BWH measurements are a secret.
A self-righteous young man who takes his sweet time and acts when he wants. He is apparently the same age as Junpei and Akane, or perhaps a bit older. Utterly lacking in a spirit of cooperation, he prefers to act alone. He has a cunning side and for some reason takes actions to disrupt the harmony of the group. He pretends to be devil-may-care in both looks and attitude, but he occasionally betrays flashes of unexpectedly sharp insight.
He's quite fashionable. His hair is silver, and it seems he gives considerable attention to its styling. He seems to be particular about his shoes, afraid that they will be stained by blood from the corpse. Given his attitude, he appears to be the typical modern young man concerned only with his appearance, but that is merely an act for the benefit of those around him... Incidentally, he was really shivering when he was locked in the galley freezer because of his outfit - that tank top and those thin pants.
A girl who just graduated from high school. She is Snake's sister, and she relies utterly on her older brother. She has a cheerful personality, but when it comes to her brother, she is deadly serious and has a dangerous side that will stop at nothing. She comes across as a bit childish for her age. Of the nine participants, she and her brother were the only ones who were shut up in their cabin as a pair. Sometimes when she's excited, she'll literally jump for joy - but she also has an emotionally-unstable side that will burst into tears at the drop of a hat. In particular, when Snake goes missing, she loses all affect and barely speaks.
Her style consists of a loose-fitting jacket with a school uniform necktie and matching miniskirt. Her hands are always half-hidden in her sleeves. As one might gather from her clothing, she has a very infantile personality. The boa legwarmers on her lower legs make her look even more adorable. Her hair is in pigtails. Perhaps the earmuffs she's always wearing symbolize her rejection of the outside world? Every time she jumps up, her pigtails bob up and down, and she seems so childishly cute.
[Note: A "kogal" (or "kogyaru") is someone whose personal style is based on Japanese schoolgirl uniforms but with alterations such as shorter skirts and baggy socks. Clover's legwarmers and the jewel stickers beneath her eyes are apparently typical of this style of fashion. The word was coined in the 1990s.
Clover's older brother; a young man who comes across as an intellectual. He has lost the use of his eyes, but his hearing and other senses are sharp. He alone among the group has received a letter from Zero, in Braille. There also seems to be another part of his body besides his eyes that differs from that of other humans... Together with his sister, he was forced to participate in an experiment nine years ago; when the other members began to fight amongst themselves, he lifted the group's spirits and assumed a leadership role. In this game as well, he helps the group progress at times with his sharp observations. He also seems to be quite learned, as exhibited by the vast array of knowledge he demonstrates in the library.
A young man with graceful features and a delicate build, befitting Junpei's first impression of him as a "sleeping prince."* His outfit is indeed suited to a prince - a military-style jacket with a necktie & slacks. He seems to be prefer neat, form-fitting clothing, such as his smart leather shoes. When he is taken by Zero, he is put in a robe that serves only to accentuate his slender build even further.
[Note: In the Japanese version, Junpei's description of Snake plays on a couple of the Japanese names for Sleeping Beauty, "Nemureru Mori no Bijo" ("Sleeping Beauty of the Forest") and "Nemuri-Hime" ("The Sleeping Princess"). He reflects that "rather than a Sleeping Beauty of the Forest, he might have been a Sleeping Prince of the Forest."]
A woman who speaks her mind with no reservations. She apparently worked for a security software company, and she puts those skills to use in the Nonary Game to crack the password in the laboratory. She also seems to have a head for math and uses that knowledge on occasion to support Junpei. She has a selfish disposition, and her self-centered nature often sparks fights. Seven calls her "old lady," and they frequently bicker. She also has a sneaky side that shows itself in her "proposal" to Junpei & June and her attempts to outwit the others. Despite this, she ultimately attempts to save everyone at the cost of her own life. She also seems to love and cherish her twin daughters very much. In fact, Lotus's daughters were also participants in the experiment nine years ago, about which she unexpectedly learns the truth from Seven in the course of this game.
She comes off as an exhibitionist dancer - a flashy woman with ostentatious accessories. Junpei gives her the nickname of "Dancer." A woman in her prime, she has a fairly smart and glamorous sense of style. Perhaps out of confidence, she wears bizarrely scanty clothing, which lead Seven to jeer indignantly, "Nobody wants to hafta look at a chick who looks like a half-naked raisin."* Though she is supposed to have given birth to twin daughters, it goes without saying that it hasn't affected the shape of her body at all.
[Note: Seven's line in the original Japanese, at least the part quoted, is a bit less colorfully-worded: "Babaa no hadaka wa mitaku nai," or, "I don't want to look at some naked old lady!"]
A man rough in word and deed, he doesn't get along with Lotus and constantly argues with her. He seems to have lost all his memories of the time before he was brought to the ship. Up until the game's middle stages, cold sweat occasionally appears on his brow, and he will be pained by his loss of memory. However, he regains bits and pieces of his memory as he participates in the Nonary Game, recalling everything in its final stages. Seven is actually a detective; nine years ago, he came to this ship following a lead on a kidnapping case involving seven children.
A massive man built like a rock - tall, with a rather forceful look. His style is typical middle-aged uncle: overalls with a track jacket and knit cap. Occasionally, he'll take off his knit cap and clutch it as he grapples with his missing memory. He appears to pride himself on his strength; he'll approach puzzles with brute force, trying to force something open or break something. The chiseled physique one would expect from of a detective is one of his charms (?).
A middle-aged man in his prime who never loses his cool and is the most level-headed of the nine. He is a fatherly presence, trustworthy and dignified; at times, he assumes a leadership role. When one of the group has to sacrifice themselves, he promptly nominates himself. He is, perhaps, the very image of a gentleman.
[Note: I have to remark at this point that these character profiles are frequently wrong in depicting characters as inhabiting their expected roles and that one the great strengths of the cast is how often they do defy cliches. You would expect the older, imposing man to adopt a leadership position, but he doesn't. You would expect the brat to disrupt the group selfishly, but he urges cooperation and getting down to business. You'd expect a hulking powerhouse to be all brawn, no brain, but he's very often the smartest man in the room.]
His attire is tasteful and understated: a loose turtleneck in black, something resembling a trenchcoat, and work boots. His subdued sartorial sense suits his age. He's tall, and what one might call a rather cool older man - his style evokes a middle-aged executive on the weekend.
THE NINTH MAN
A middle-aged man who acts suspiciously and has no cool. His cowardly nature is his downfall; desperate to save himself, he takes the reckless action of forcing his way into a door alone. It is eventually revealed that he was a central figure in the experiment nine years ago. Fearing his true identity would be betrayed, a certain individual killed the ninth man to silence him - but this was also the will of Zero. One might call him a target of Zero's vengeful plan.
An older male character with a twitchy demeanor and a sullen, craven attitude. His hair is disheveled like a bird's nest. He sports an unexpectedly stylish look: a vest with skinny pants and work boots. He's completely color-coordinated: his socks are even purple to match his shirt. But his fashion is a casuality of the early game - blown up with the rest of him...
Let's take a look at the other characters outside the main cast who appear in the game. You'll encounter some of them only in certain branches of the plot, but they all have connections to the heart of the game.
The body in the Captain's Quarters in captain's clothing with a "0" bracelet on his arm. He seems to be closely connected to Cradle Pharmaceuticals...
These children were kidnapped nine years ago for an experiment by Cradle Pharmaceuticals. All but one were rescued, but due to pressure from Cradle, the case was suppressed. As a demonstration of morphogenetic field theory, almost all of them are believed to be siblings.
When the Titanic sank, a mummy of a queen of ancient Egypt was also rescued. The queen remained so beautiful that it look as if she were still alive. By some miracle, though the inside of her sarcophagus was frozen over despite being room temperature. She therefore was dubbed "Alice," from "All-Ice." It is said that that very Alice is hidden aboard this ship...
Lotus's Daughter Nona
Lotus's daughter Nona was a participant in the experiment nine years ago, though she apparently has never herself spoken as to what sort of experiment it was. Lotus could ask nothing and, though she investigated, never found the truth. Could it be mere coincidence that Nona's mother would be taken aboard the same ship nine years later?...
Translated by R. Capowski, RACapowski@sceneryrecalled.com, 3/23/2020. 999 is property of Chunsoft & Aksys; this translation is not officially-sanctioned.