Tuesday, September 30, 2008


The producer asked me to join the project, and I thought it would give me excuses to draw girls with nice curves and nice bottoms. Did I say that their wardrobe resembles underwear…?

So recently admitted director and character designer, Kazuhiro Takamura—who helms the new Gonzo anime series, Strike Witches—in an interview we did together last month.
Natch. Check out the show's overt iconography, and you'll probably agree.

Shimada also designed the somewhat techno-curvy “Mecha Musume” toy series for toy manufacturer Konami, which have been dubbed anything from mecha-shojo by otaku in Japan, to “moe anthropomorphisms” on Wikipedia. The picture that accompanies this piece was snapped at a recent Tokyo toy show, where the Strike Witches figurines were showcased to rather enticing effect.

Think shapely female figures whose bodies have been integrated with bits and pieces of real-life airplanes, tanks, and other military hardware, most of it retro in nature, and harking back to World War 2. And that's just the start.

14-year-old Yoshika Miyafuji, whose late father designed the Striker Units, is a sergeant in the central outfit, the 501st. Her legs are modeled after the Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter plane. Then there’s fellow sergeant, Lynette Bishop, whose Striker Unit is based on the famous British Spitfire fighter, Minna-Dietlinde Wilcke, who has the German Messerschmitt Bf-109G Striker Unit, and Charlotte E. Yaeger—who bears the American touch with legs attributed to the P-51D Mustang.

By the way, if some of these character names are also familiar, that’s because they’re based on famous real-life ace pilots from WW2.

Takamura’s favorite character is Bishop, the surrogate English rose with the Spitfire legs. “Lynne’s a very kind-hearted girl who has large breasts,” the director espouses. “Who wouldn’t like a character like that?”

The rest of this interview will pop up in the next issue of Anime Insider magazine.

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