Sunday, October 4, 2009

Shoji Kawamori at Satelight



Found this video on youtube which shows an interview of Macross creator Shoji Kawamori as well as a tour of his office at Satelight

What's interesting to note in the interview is the explanation of Kawamori-sama on how he designed the VF-25 Messiah Valkyrie found in the Macross Frontier Anime. He first makes a rough sketch then uses toy Lego blocks to make an actual mecha model to work out the transformation kinks. Then once its done, takes a picture of the model then traces it on tracing paper to flesh out further the design of the Variable Fighter.

Mentioned also in the interview that he liked planes when he was young and would often go to air shows in order to get a chance to see and touch the planes up close. Asked if he wanted to become a pilot and he answered that he preferred to want to learn how to build them instead.

Also featured was the Aibo robotic dog that he made the body design for that surprisingly followed the head design of Alto Saotome's VF-25 Messiah.

The interviewers refer to Kawamori-sama as Kawamori-kantoku, the suffix meaning "director". Its quite honorific, given Kawamori-sama's status in the anime industry. In this post however, I refer to him with the suffix "-sama", which is more respectful than the common "-san" suffix. When I was working in Japan, I wasn't required but preferred to call my bosses by their honorific title, such as Kachou, for manager and Buchou for department head.

Given his penchant for using Lego blocks in his design of Variable Fighters for the Macross Franchise, maybe Kawamori-sama should be accorded Honorary Lego Certified Professional status by the company. Unless he already is that is... hehehe. According to Flickr, Kawamori-sama is quite the prolific Lego Designer.

Here's another great find at youtube, Shoji Kawamori interview by Doko Ga that happened around 2009. Here Kawamori-sama tells the story of himself. I won't spoil it for you so I suggest you go watch and be prepared to be further amazed by the man who is more popularly known as the co-creator and iconic mecha designer of the Macross series but whose talents and design works can be seen well beyond the Macross universe.