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ARCANADEA Blog: Introducing ARCANADEA, a Plastic Model Kit Series by Kotobukiya!

Hello everyone and thank you for visiting our blog. My name is Shohei Chiba, and I am in charge of planning and producing our new series, ARCANADEA. In product blogs and at hobby events, many folks refer to me as “Ba-chi,” so please feel free to call me by that name! My new project Arcanadea was announced at Wonder Festival 2020 Winter. I regret that I can’t say much about it at this point, but I would like to share a little bit about how this project came about, and what we have planned for the future. And while this is just a blog post, I would also like to share a few words from a special guest, so I hope you’ll take the time to read through to the end. Now let’s get started by showing you our first key image! As the Japanese text in the graphic explains, Arcanadea is a new fantasy-themed character plastic model kit series! In this blog entry, I’d like to tell you a little bit about how this project first started, and its overall theme. These days I’m working on plastic models of characters, but before I joined the Planning Team, I was a CAD sculptor for plastic models as a member of the Sculpting Team, and primarily helped design licensed robot-related products. After that, I helped with sculpts for the Frame Arms Girl series (hereafter “FA Girl”), and when the anime project launched, I worked on checking the show’s visuals at the production studio as well as working to promote the show. So, from sculpting, anime production, to planning and development, I’ve been involved in the character plastic model industry for at least five years. I think I probably have the broadest experience among those in the Planning Team. Among these experiences, the most important for me was the Frame Arms Girl anime. Up to that point, plastic models were just something you built, painted according to the package or illustration, and then displayed in your favorite pose. However, when the anime aired, I felt a change in the community and its culture. Not only did we have users that were plastic model fans already, but we now had fans that would pick up the hobby for the first time after gaining interest through the anime. In addition to social media, we have had many opportunities to see our fans’ creations at events and Niconico live streams. Many would send us incredibly creative pictures of their characters blending into their daily lives; photos of their characters in interesting locations they visited, cute clothes or rooms they made for their characters… We even saw a photo of FA Girl models at the Arc de Triomphe in France. Some fans made special cases to bring their creations to events, and a few even came to visit us with characters peeking out of their shirt pockets. I could clearly see that the users were enjoying the series not just as a product or a work, but also as a character, as a partner of their own. This turned into the main catalyst for this project: To create something where users could feel a strong “connection” or “bond” between themselves and their characters; something they could become more deeply immersed in. And that is what led us to the theme for this project: Will you engage with me? When one thinks of the word “engage, ” something that comes quickly to mind is an engagement ring, or in other words, a marriage engagement or contract with your partner, right? Note how the title logo for Arcanadea also includes the rings that one might associate with this theme of engagement. Of course, this word has other meanings as well! It can mean “to draw in,” “to become involved in,” and in military terms, “to fight against” or “to battle.” So just like the word “engage” itself, we want to develop this series to contain these various elements. By “drawing in” as many users as possible and for them to find captivating characters to “contract” with—whether it be to fight together or to develop a bond—we hope to make this series enjoyable in a variety of ways and become a part of our users’ lives. To launch this series, we will start with plastic models, but of course, our aspiration is to create something big enough to grow into other genres as well! While I’m a bit hesitant to say this myself, with this new Arcanadea series, we are planning on creating a world and setting on a vast scale! The main character designer who will be building this new world with us is necömi , a prolific designer of VTubers (virtual YouTubers) and illustrator for light novels, mobile games, and more! Twitter: https://twitter.com/necomi_info Tumblr: https://necomiinfo.tumblr.com/ We have received a comment from necömi, which we would like to share with you below: Hello, my name is necömi and I am an illustrator!   I usually work on character design and illustrations, but this was my first time working on a plastic model project and to be honest, there were many parts that I found difficult.   However, it was a lot of fun to develop my concepts while actually handling and playing with Kotobukiya’s plastic models, and I think I was able to create designs that are both fun and expandable!   I look forward to creating characters who will be great partners for everyone who plays with them, and I hope you look forward to meeting them!   necömi   This is the first time that we’ve worked together, and we are getting along great as many of our outside interests are also very similar. I will often make some wild or ambitious requests, but necömi always happily accepts and creates fascinating characters one after another at an unbelievable pace! In addition to the character shown in the key graphic, we’ve already come up with many other fascinating characters, and I look forward to sharing them with everyone soon! Since this was the first entry, I focused on the background and theme of the project, but in the next post I would like to talk about the project’s fantasy genre as well. Thanks for reading this post. I’ll wrap it up here today, and I hope everyone is really looking forward to our new series Arcanadea!   Ba-chi © KOTOBUKIYA

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