Aramaki Shinji

Production Designer

Mr. Aramaki joined Artmic after working at Design Studio VAC. After Mospaeda, his first mechanical designing job, he has worked continuously as a mecha—designer and animation director. In BGC, he was also involved in supervising the settings. Currently as a freelancer he's in charge of the mecha—designs for the new series of Bubble.

More recently, Mr. Aramaki was the director of “Appleseed” a full CG featured Anime film, which is now getting tremendous attention as a milestone of full CG Anime.

I am proud of BGC since it was, in a way, the origin of a style of Anime which is popular these days.

When Matzuzaki Ken-ichi wrote the screenplay of the first episode of Bubblegum Crisis, we went all over it and chopped it up, saying “give me this part”. So, for storyboard, I was to do the beginning, Kakinuma-san was to do from the middle to the latter half, and Akiyama~san structured them all to flow together.

At the time I had things that I wanted to do; I especially wanted to do a SF [version] of Streets of Fire. So I did the storyboards to the part where the first boomers were thwarted, then, Kakinuma-san, who had just seen Aliens, made the battle scene toward the end. So it just didn’t come together at all, Akiyama-san had to go through much anguish to sew it all up.

Sono-yan (Mr. Sonoda) has always been doing the hardsuit designing, one day he suggested: “let's transmogrify Priss’s suit with the feminine body line into a motorcycle.” He did his best but it was way too feminine for the transformation to a bike. There was a toy design (A bike transforms into hardsuit) that never saw the light of day, which was not the one of Mospaeda. We decided to use the design as the basis of the Motosiave.

Later, when we made two live videos of the Knight Sabers, I was involved with video editing, so for the first time I crammed myself into the editing room, did revised editing, cutting to match sounds, and various kinds of work. I studies a lot about video effects and stuff, which became an opportunity to do CG. So, those live videos were special place in my memories of BGC.

Right now, I'm doing the new TV series. The character designer is changing. It took us 6 months, so the long-standing imagery of Sono-yan’s characters will be making a switch to new designs. Even now we have a tough time separating the new series from the old one. Traces of the transition struggle can sometimes be seen on our new designs. BGC was a trend-setting series, in terms of female character leads, with lots of mechanical design, and a realistic world view behind the story.

Although I was still inexperienced at that time, I put all my soul in it. At the very least, I am proud that BGC is, in a way, the origin of a type of popular Anime these days. It is interesting to see that we were painstakingly trying to capture and apply the essence of “cyberpunk,” just when that term “cyberpunk” was starting to be used.