Shin Mazinger Impact Z! Tamashii Nations Official Site

Mazinger : Angel or Demon? The Designer Speaks... HOME > Designer's Notes
2/25/2009 (Wed.)
Hi! This is my first post on the Tamashii website. My name is Tsuyoshi Nonaka, and I work for Bandai's Boy's Toy Department. I am credited as the very important-sounding "Mazinger and Ro-Beast Designer" on the new "Shin Mazinger Impact Z!" series, but this is kind of unprecedented for me and it's a burden I am both nervous and excited about shouldering. As a trailblazer of sorts I'm looking forward to giving it my best shot.

In this section of the site, I'm going to share some behind-the-scenes stories about the mechanical designs of the series.

Glancing over the materials at hand I see that the project kicked off in January of 2006. It's hard to believe that was more than three years ago. At the time I was still assigned to the toy design company Plex. Upon learning of the decision to revitalize the Mazinger animated and Chogokin Tamashii series, I submitted a lot of idea sketches (in addition to all of my normal duties.)

I'll be able to talk about this in more detail someday, but the fact is that the series started off as something totally different. How much could we re-design Mazinger Z? Would Koji Kabuto make an appearance? How would we work in Great Mazinger and Getta Robo? These early days represented a period where our daydreams spiraled out of control.

Once Yasuhiro Imagawa came aboard as director and things officially started moving forward, we started to realize that it worked better as something closer to the original comic book version, and we started exploring the idea that perhaps Mazinger Z looked pretty much the same as he always had, but with all new attacks and weapons.
The design that Imagawa-san picked as representing most what he'd like to see was a Mazinger Z the late Ken Ishikawa had drawn for a short story called "The Legacy of the Mikene," which appeared in a comic book called "Super Robot Wars Comic Anthology."

I could see what he was getting at. The design was powerful and heavy-looking. Its face resembled the old animated version, but the body looked more like the original manga; all in all it was very nicely done. We had found our Mazinger Z. You can see the illustration I created based on it at right (Figure 1). Although a different person ended up drawing the final design of the animated version, it was decided to use my illustration as the basis for the Chogokin toy.
Mazinger: Angel or Demon? The Designer Speaks...
Figure 1
And that's how the latest Chogokin Tamashii, the GX-45 Mazinger Z, came to be. I re-drew all of my illustrations, including the Hover Pilder and Jet Scrander, with respect for Ishikawa's approach. (Figure 2, 3)
Mazinger: Angel or Demon? The Designer Speaks...
Figure 2
Mazinger: Angel or Demon? The Designer Speaks...
Figure 3
About those "all new attacks and weapons," they're still under wraps so I can't say anything just yet. I will share this: Takenobu Terada, producer of the Super Robot Wars game series, always said to me "Mazinger needs a full-screen clearing weapon of his own!" The time has come for his dream to become a reality.

To be continued...
Tsuyoshi Nonaka

PLEX International Design
Has played a leading role in the toy design of poplular Japanese live action series for kids such as "Metal Hero Series", "Super Sentai Series", and "Heisei Kamen Rider Series". Plex has been a driving force behind the design of the Chogokin series for adult collectors, creating the designs for Mazinger series products such as the Mazinger Angel series.

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