[Interview] Geralt turned BISHOUJO!? Introducing the all new The Witcher BISHOUJO series.
Appearing as a pleasant surprise, it was announced that The Witcher would be the newest addition to the BISHOUJO series. After opening pre-orders for the first character, Geralt, the highly requested Ciri was announced at Anime Expo 2023 and is now open for pre-orders. Today we are here for an interview with the product planner about the series’ features and highlights, as well as new information on The Witcher BISHOUJO series! Q1. The Witcher is joining the BISHOUJO series! The BISHOUJO series is a product line from Kotobukiya that launched in 2009, with illustrator Shunya Yamashita in charge of all the concept illustrations. This series was launched with the concept of reimagining popular characters from around the world from a Japanese perspective and transforming them into unique “BISHOUJO” style statues. At that time, it wasn’t as popular as it is now to enjoy international works just as they are, so I’ve heard that fans both in Japan and overseas were surprised by the stylization into a Japanese design. So far we have introduced more than 200 different BISHOUJO statues to the world, and are approaching our 15 th anniversary next year! ▽ For details, check out the official page of the BISHOUJO series. Q2. Why did you choose characters from The Witcher to reimagine into BISHOUJO? The BISHOUJO series lays focus on the international market, but to my surprise, it had never featured a series from the highly popular, classic fantasy genre. I simply started to think how cool it would be to create the details and textures such as the thick, heavy leather and armor with our latest technology. This is not limited to The Witcher, but fan art with creative reimagination and redesigns of characters is very popular among fans overseas, including countless beautiful female versions of Geralt! The words “bishoujo transformation” may seem like something “Japanese,” but this time we wanted to turn the spotlight onto the international scene and would love for people to get to know it more! Q3. Geralt is originally a male character. Is there anything you do differently in the “bishoujo transformation” with a character that is originally female? Geralt is a legendary witcher that is, as you said, originally a male character, so we wanted to make sure her physique was well built. We also considered the character’s age and made the statue to have a calm atmosphere. Q4. From a product planner point of view, was there anything you asked for when commissioning Shunya Yamashita for the illustration? We definitely wanted to include the “fantasy world with swords and magic” motif, and asked for a pose where she can be seen casting Igni. On top of that, we also wanted a pose that would look good when displayed together with Ciri. Q5. Is the design from Shunya Yamashita just one illustration? We usually ask for illustrations of the back as well when the design is created from scratch. We were provided with thorough information on the designs of armor and weapons for these characters, so this time we only needed an illustration from one angle. The pose turned out really well and even looks good from angles that are different from that of the illustration. Q6. Geralt is created with super fine details, such as the textures of the outfit and the designs of her swords. What parts of the statue did you focus on most and/or would like users to see up close? Each of the leather parts are textured differently. There are many kinds of leather, so we checked the official designs very closely and adjusted the statue accordingly. The sword on her back is very large. Posing the character as if she were going to pull out the sword was great to show a cool scene, but made it difficult to adjust it to the features of the sword. Q7. Do you have any stories from the sculpting phase? Yoshiki Fujimoto was in charge of the sculpts of both Geralt and Ciri. Both statues have many various kinds of equipment. Each item is arranged carefully and proportionately into the sculpt while considering aspects such as their materials and thicknesses, how they would fit to the body, or alternatively how they may float or hang away from the body or other parts. I can’t imagine the time and effort that was put into this process. We also made sure that Geralt’s face wouldn’t come out too cute. I was surprised at how such small changes of detail make a huge difference, bringing out that dignified look. I'd really like people to look closely at parts like her brow and cheekbones! They have a very different feel compared to previous BISHOUJO statues. I'd like to thank Fujimoto-san here again for his hard work and millimeter-level adjustments. Q8. Pre-orders are currently open for the second character, Ciri. What can we look forward to? You may be surprised, but the illustrations and sculpts of Geralt and Ciri both started at the same time! Ciri has just as many items as Geralt, and we made careful adjustments to ensure we retain the feel and atmosphere of her in-game. The statue is currently being painted with continuous focus on expressions of textures as we did with Geralt, so please look forward to it! Q9. Finally, can you give a comment to fans of The Witcher? “Geralt reimagined into a beautiful woman!?” I know many of you were very surprised to see this happening. Although in a female statue, we are working on developing the statue with great respect to The Witcher series. We hope it will be there by your side as you enjoy the games! The first in the lineup, THE WITCHER BISHOUJO GERALT, and the second, THE WITCHER BISHOUJO CIRI, are currently open for pre-orders! Statues of Geralt and Ciri introduced in the interview are currently available for pre-order! The pre-order deadline for Geralt is Sept. 19 (Fri)! The deadline for Ciri is Oct. 3 (Tues)! *This deadline is for retailers in Japan, and for those residing outside of Japan, some retailers may open their pre-orders past this deadline. There is no guarantee she will be available after we’re sold out of initial production, so if you want to make sure you get yours, don’t forget to pre-order before the deadline! GERALT and CIRI statues are available for order and purchase at the Kotobukiya online shop and your local retailer! Please check our shop list for a full list of local retailers. https://www.kotobukiya.co.jp/en/international-retailers/ ■THE WITCHER BISHOUJO GERALT http://bit.ly/GeraltBishoujo ■THE WITCHER BISHOUJO CIRI http://bit.ly/CiriBishoujo Final Thoughts We asked quite a number of questions to the product planner of The Witcher BISHOUJO series. What did you think? Thoughts behind the first steps into the fantasy genre, the amount of focus and work put into each and every detail side by side with the sculptor, are all things that you can only read here! The Witcher BISHOUJO and the BISHOUJO series as a whole will always be working hard to bring you all kinds of products and content. Please look forward to future updates! © 2023 CD PROJEKT S.A. All rights reserved. CD PROJEKT, the CD PROJEKT logo, The Witcher, and The Witcher Logo, Geralt, and Geralt of Rivia are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of CD PROJEKT S.A. in the US and/or other countries. The Witcher game is set in the universe created by Andrzej Sapkowski in his series of books.
[Interview] From robots to BISHOUJO! Discovering the unique charms of the TRANSFORMERS BISHOUJO series.
Discovering the unique charms of the TRANSFORMERS BISHOUJO series! An Interview with the Product Planner The first in the new TRANSFORMERS BISHOUJO series, OPTIMUS PRIME , was released in January 2023. Now that pre-orders have started for BUMBLEBEE , the third addition to the series, we decided to sit down with the product planner and talk about what makes the series so special, and where it is expected to go in the future. Q1. Can you start by telling TRANSFORMERS fans what the BISHOUJO series is all about? The BISHOUJO series is a product line from Kotobukiya that launched in 2009, with illustrator Shunya Yamashita in charge of all the concept illustrations. So far we have introduced more than 100 different BISHOUJO statues to the world! This series was launched with the concept of reimagining popular characters from around the world from a Japanese perspective and transforming them into unique “BISHOUJO” style statues. At that time, it wasn’t as popular in Japan as it is now to enjoy international works as they were released; I’ve heard that fans both in Japan and overseas were surprised by the stylization into a Japanese design. ▽For details, check out the official page of the BISHOUJO series. Q2. So what inspired you to turn THE TRANSFORMERS robots into BISHOUJO characters? The fact that I, the product planner, like THE TRANSFORMERS is a big influence, but we’ve had a connection with Hasbro since we did the MY LITTLE PONY BISHOUJO series, and Hasbro themselves also suggested it. △ The MY LITTLE PONY BISHOUJO series that served as part of the inspiration for the TRANSFORMERS BISHOUJO seris. Q3. In the process of turning a robot into a human character, are there any points that you pay special attention to? The posing and the clothing are the key points we focus on when trying to capture the original character’s essence. We take care to make sure we get this right, because if the original and unique qualities of the character are removed by the BISHOUJO style, then it becomes pointless. On top of that, we try to design the outfit so that it wouldn’t feel out of place if it really existed. We try not to make things too fantasy-like. When planning, the foundation for the design is the silhouette and color scheme—traits that allow the characters to be identified even when squinting. (I encourage everyone to try squinting when looking at TRANSFORMERS BISHOUJO characters.) Q4. It can be very difficult to express a character’s personality and details as a BISHOUJO character; what sorts of techniques do you use to bring that out? This is a feature of THE TRANSFORMERS itself, but I think it’s cool how AUTOBOTS transform into working vehicles and DECEPTICONS transform into weapons (of course, there are exceptions…). We’ve tried to preserve this concept in the BISHOUJO series. OPTIMUS PRIME and BUMBLEBEE are dressed in a way that practically announces that they are defenders of justice, heroes, and friendly. They come to the rescue almost in a casual way. In order to give MEGATRON a tough, military look, we put in several design details characteristic of military uniforms, such as a garrison cap, tie, and epaulets. Compared to the other two, BUMBLEBEE is younger and smaller, so we made her outfit more youthful. I like the new/retro fashion combination we did–a distinctive and modern hoodie coupled with the loose socks on her cute, rounded feet! Q5. So now that you’ve completed reimagining OPTIMUS PRIME, MEGATRON, and BUMBLEBEE into BISHOUJO characters, was there any character or points in the process that really stood out for you? Definitely OPTIMUS PRIME…! MEGATRON has the image of a soldier and gives off militaristic vibes—a speciality of Yamashita—so the concept came out pretty quickly. But I had a lot of trouble with OPTIMUS PRIME. I think we were able to finalize it thanks to Yamashita providing us with many ideas, plus we incorporated the opinions of TRANSFORMERS fans within the company. Personally, the most troubling part was trying to recreate the antenna’s feel with the “loose buns and slightly messy hair” concept. But as a result of that effort, this arrangement is one of my personal favorites! I think it’s a great hairstyle for OPTIMUS PRIME, who has a bit of a careless streak. Everyone on THE TRANSFORMERS development team also advised me to include a container of some kind in the design, and I think that it makes the character even more like OPTIMUS PRIME. Q6. What characters from THE TRANSFORMERS series would you like to see as a BISHOUJO statue in the future? Any ideas? Well, if we’re talking about the first generation, it would be SOUNDWAVE and SHOCKWAVE! If it was from a live-action film, BARRICADE and BLACKOUT are very appealing. I especially like the animated series, so it would be interesting to create a BISHOUJO with the stylized feeling of that animated series. I’d like to give it a try. Q7. Finally, could you offer a message to all the fans of THE TRANSFORMERS series? I expect that many of you may have learned about Kotobukiya’s BISHOUJO series from TRANSFORMERS BISHOUJO. The BISHOUJO series has enjoyed a long run, and will be celebrating its 15th anniversary next year. Up until now, we’ve put together many collaborations, involving wonderful or what we thought were overlooked properties that aimed to draw renewed attention to them by using BISHOUJO. I am thrilled and honored that we’ve been able to add THE TRANSFORMERS to this lineup. We will definitely be announcing new TRANSFORMERS BISHOUJO going forward, so we would be very grateful for your support! Pre-orders are open for TRANSFORMERS BUMBLEBEE BISHOUJO STATUE! Pre-orders are now open for BUMBLEBEE, which was mentioned in the interview above! The order deadline is March 28 (Tue) for retailers in Japan! For those residing outside of Japan, some retailers may open their pre-orders past this deadline. There is no guarantee she will be available after we’re sold out of initial production, so if you want to make sure you get yours, don’t forget to pre-order before the deadline! ▽ Click here for pre-orders! TRANSFORMERS BUMBLEBEE BISHOUJO STATUE https://www.baitme.com/preorder-kotobukiya-transformers-bumblebee-bishoujo-statue-yellow-ktsv344 And we have great news for fans who want to display OPTIMUS PRIME and MEGATRON together! OPTIMUS PRIME and MEGATRON statues are available for order and purchase at the Kotobukiya online shop and your local retailer! Please check our shop list for a full list of local retailers. https://en.kotobukiya.co.jp/shoplist/ TRANSFORMERS OPTIMUS PRIME BISHOUJO STATUE https://www.baitme.com/preorder-kotobukiya-transformers-optimus-prime-bishoujo-statue-red-ktsv330 TRANSFORMERS MEGATRON BISHOUJO STATUE https://www.baitme.com/preorder-kotobukiya-transformers-megatron-bishoujo-figure-purple-ktsv332 Both products will be unavailable as soon as pre-orders and sales stock run out. If you’re looking to display the entire series, order now before it’s too late! ▽ Interested in learning more about our BUMBLEBEE statue? Check our blog post with all the details! (Available in Japanese Only) https://www.kotobukiya.co.jp/kikakugai/kikakugai-303609/ Final Thoughts Were you able to pick up on the charm of and the attention to detail to the TRANSFORMERS BISHOUJO series? The TRANSFORMERS BISHOUJO series was born from a unique collaboration of the product planner and Kotobukiya’s in-house TRANSFORMERS fans. Shunya Yamashita’s brilliant illustrations have really brought the characters to life! We plan on continuing to bring you more of the BISHOUJO series, including, of course, TRANSFORMERS BISHOUJO. Be sure to stay tuned for future developments! TRANSFORMERS and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro and are used with permission. © 2023 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved. Licensed by Hasbro.