Megami Magazine 2011-01

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Megami 01.11 scan P32.jpg

Source: Megami, January 2011. Translation: [1].

December 4, 2010

Pre-broadcast interview with original character designer Ume Aoki from Megami Magazine Vol.128 regarding character designs in Puella Magi Madoka Magica with a bit of interesting aspect of herself.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica, a currently hyped original series from gathering creative creators; since all main heroines are now present, we've asked Ume Aoki, the character designer and manga artist, to talk about character designs.

Ume Aoki Exclusive Interview!

How did you become in charge of character designs?

Producer Atsuhiro Iwakami was looking for a candidate that could be interesting when working together with the scriptwriter, Gen Urobuchi. So he approached me.

What’s your impression of Urobuchi-san’s scripts?

Since I wasn’t given all scripts at once, each one that was sent over always thrilled me into wondering how will the story would continue. The part that influenced me the most is a daily life portion of the story. Things like conversation on the way to school or chat inside a classroom. I keep them in mind when designing characters.

Did director Shinbo have any special demand regarding character designs?

It’s been a long time, I can’t remember…. (Sweat) Concretely, there’s not much of it. I was free to design in any way I wanted.

How did you design the magical girl’s costumes?

Since the magical girl costumes are also combat costumes, I don’t see the need for them to be in uniform. This also includes colors, where I asked Urobuchi-san for color image for each character, and designed them accordingly.

By the way, do you have any nostalgia of magical girl series?

In those days, my brother would be the one to take control of the TV remote. Thanks to him watching only boy’s shows, I ended up not having any nostalgia of magical girl series…. Strictly speaking, there was a coloring book I got when I was kid. There was a magical girl illustration inside, which I liked it very much. I can’t remember who she was, though…. (Laughs)

The last question: please tell us about the main features of this show.

It is an anime where middle school girls are trying their best in their own way. Please heartly watch over these young girl’s feelings and look forward to each week’s broadcast.

Madoka Magica: January 2011 Ume Aoki Character Designs

Source: Megami, January 2011. Translation: [2].

“What… What if? If you were told that magic would make any of your wishes come true, what would you do?” - Madoka Kaname

An average eighth-grader, the kind you could find anywhere. Even her bow-wielding magical girl form projects an air of kind friendliness. Her choker bears an impressively-sized red gem.

  • Ms. Aoki’s Design Check!: I drew her keeping in mind that, as the main character, she needs to be average, but also an exceptionally good girl. Hence her puffy, high-placed twin tails. The design and color of her ribbons took a lot of work, but in the end calmed down to something simple.
  • Magical girl outfit: Madoka was drawn to be the very image of a magical girl. I added almost fairytale-ish hints, so hopefully female viewers will be charmed by her as well. (Aoki) Full of tiny frills, with ribbons arranged at the neck, waist, and on the shoes. It’s perfectly “cute”, and seemingly unsuited for combat, but…
  • School uniform: Designed to convey the classy image of a private girls’ school, while not being -too- normal. Its distinguishing point is the small hole at the nape of the neck. (Aoki)
  • Of the heroines shown here, Madoka has the most childish body. Her legs are clad in pure, virginal white over-knee socks.

“You should just stay Madoka Kaname. Just like you have been until now. Forever.” - Homura Akemi

A smart, graceful, athletically-talented girl. Cool if not chilly, her personality can even be seen in her posture. Her weapon appears to be a bow, the same as Madoka?

  • Ms. Aoki’s Design Check: A blunt girl. I tried to let this shine through her design. Her distinguishing point is her silky long hair.
  • Magical girl outfit: Homura was designed with her personality and combat style in mind. I found her fascinating right away. (Aoki)
  • The sharp lines of her upper back and jacket evoke her personality. Overall rather monochromatic. Her black tights have a diamond pattern.
  • School uniform: She wears black tights in uniform too, leaving her overall feel just like in her magical girl outfit. She gives off the air of a silent beauty.

“I don’t wanna look bad in front of people who’re gonna be my juniors!” - Mami Tomoe

A ninth-grader who attends Madoka’s school. A kind senior to Madoka, she’s the helpful, sisterly type. However, the gun she wields contrasts with that image.

  • Ms. Aoki’s Design Check: Her twisty, curly hair and floral hairpin make her seem like a big sister. Also, I gave her pretty big boobs. {tl note: Never change, Ume-tentei.}
  • Magical girl outfit: Mami’s design was definitely centered around her image as a gunner. The second thing that stands out are her breasts. (Aoki)
  • Her bustier and boots give her a Western flavor which her cap accentuates.
  • School uniform: Her style stands out even in uniform. Just as Ms. Aoki says, her breasts are the largest of the four. She wears pure white tights.

“Hey, Mami… Am I allowed to wish for something for someone else instead?” - Sayaka Miki

Madoka’s classmate and good friend. Energetic and lively, which is perhaps why her sword is the only melee weapon among the four.

  • Ms. Aoki’s Design Check!: Her personality is so boyish that I had to be careful not to make her look too boyish too. So I gave her hair a diagonal line in back, to straddle the line between short and medium length.
  • Magical girl outfit: Sayaka’s outfit is the closest to combat gear. Since her sword is a melee weapon, I paid attention to that while designing her clothes. (Aoki)
  • Her outfit features diagonal-cut skirt and shoulderless top for ease of movement. Add a cape, and she’s a picturesque swordswoman.
  • School uniform: Her figure is flat and plain, but her chest is bigger than Madoka’s. Her hairbow is a stitched design. Below, she wears simple navy-blue high socks.

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