Source: Gyakuten Saiban 3 official site (down)
Character design and I
The time before last I talked about Gyakuten Saiban 1 (Ace Attorney GBA), last time it was Gyakuten Saiban 2 (Ace Attorney 2 - Justice For All) so this time I wanted to talk about Gyakuten Saiban 3 (Ace Attorney 3 - Trials & Tribulations), but as there is little I’m allowed to tell you before the actual release, so I think I’ll talk about my work, character design, instead.
Character design is something I work together on with director Takumi. Mr. Takumi tells me about their personalities and backgrounds, and I add the visual aspect to that to create a design, but it basically never happens that we settle on the final design in one go (Even if I think the first take is great, the design also needs to fit with how Mr. Takumi imagines the character). So I have to draw a lot of ideas on paper.
I keep all kinds of ideas in my head and use them as my hands do their work. You can never have enough reference materials. So I buy a lot of art books and magazines. Those expenses are not something to underestimate. My wallet is becoming emptier and emptier…. But it is at these times, I remember what a certain stylish director told me when I had first joined the company.
Left: 3 years ago: Never cheap out on reference materials! They’ll make you stronger!
And once I remember what he said, I feel like I can take the hit. He himself might not remember he told me this, but to me, it was a very important lesson.
I have to buy books of all kinds of genres, so sometimes I feel embarrassed to carry the books to the cashier. Henshin hero books or children’s magazines, bishōjo anime art books…. I’m horrible at drawing girls. Perhaps not horrible, but I had never drawn them. I needed to see how professionals drew them, but it felt embarrassing getting those books.
Left: Secret Tale Of Her Birth
Middle: Art book of a magical girl anime.
Iwamoto: “Everyone is looking at me…”
But once I had crossed this enormous mountain, I felt I had reached a small form of enlightenment. I will buy anything if I see something I can absorb within me. I can gain something worth much more than the money I pay for it. Even if the clerk at the book store looks at me with a weird face, I’ll tell them (in my mind): “It’s for work! I’m making a living of this! Anything wrong with that!?”
Once I arrived at that thought, people started to look different at me. Or is it just my imagination?