Hajime Katoki Designs (Discuss & Share Images)

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Post by Annon Kaies Zi » Mon May 28, 2007 5:28 pm

Deus EpS Machina wrote:As for the Ver Ka. line...i hate it when people credit the design to him when in reality all he has done is change a few line placements. Okawara may not be the greatest at drawing lineart (lets face it, he sucks at it) but having Katoki or BEE-CRAFT redo the lineart and then having people call it their's and credit it to them instead of him is shear idiocy. All they did was fix the lineart, they didnt add or subtract anything in the initial design.
Not sure if you consider this an exception (because I do see where you're coming from), but the RX-78-2 (for example) is NOT just a fix of the old line art. There are many differences between Okawara's RX-78-2 and Katoki's RX-78-2. Maybe line art doesn't bring it out all the way, but it's very apparent in some images and with the models (for instance, the RX-78-2 Gundam Master Grade Ver. Ka). Again, you may consider this design in particular to be an exception, but many other redesigns of his are like this. They aren't alway big differences, but many subtle differences that add up to make the suit quite difference looking.

In my opinion, I think Katoki's designs and redesigns don't necessarily look more detailed, but they look more...workable? I guess that's the best word for it. They look more plausible from a mechanical point of view.
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Post by Aegis » Mon May 28, 2007 5:56 pm

Katoki basically designs and redesigns mobile suits with an engineer's hand, thus when you really do look at his line art and compare it to, say, Okie's stuff, you'll find his work has a far better grasp in certain details like perception and foreshortening, proportions, little details like added panel lines and labels, etc. Thus, with many of the redesigns in themselves, most people will not really pick up on the differences unless you examine them more closely.

RX-78-2 was definitely one of the more distinct redesigns. Afterall, while it still retains its basic appearance, it's also been overhauled with a more mechanical look. Given Okie's original 70's look, the redesign is much more pronounced than, say, his redesign of the Mk. II.

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Post by CyborgZeta » Mon May 28, 2007 6:30 pm

I always liked Katoki's designs. His designs always strike me as having that look that makes a mech look more mechanical than say, Okawara's stuff. Some of my favourite designs of his:

Wing Zero Custom - As someone mentioned earlier in this thread, Katoki took the original Wing Zero and made it look even better. He gave it a "unique" look, which I think made it really stand out.

RX-78-2 Redesign - Worked around Okawara's original design and made it look more like a machine/robot would.

Huckebein Mk. III - I can't really describe this one other than that I love it. It looks like a real robot, and the colors match it well.
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Post by Deus EpS Machina » Mon May 28, 2007 7:09 pm

I dont credit Katoki's redesign of the RX-78 as anything substantial in the way you guys are; just give him kudos for redoing the lines, modernizing it. Just randomly going through 70s mechanime OPs...MSG's OP showed Gundam to look perfect and as mechanical as Katoki's.

In the case of Gundam itself, i have to blame Okawara's inability to draw good lineart with 'correct' proportions. Thats all. It has the mecanical look and details Katoki's does with the exception of a few lines and details. If you look at the anime itself, you see the wonky 70s style animation that stretches metal surfaces and bends them, etc leading to hilarious images. But the OP, where stuff matters a bit more and where the animators tend to work more carefully, Gundam looks like a real robot.

I will say this, Katoki's linearts do add more detail in terms of panel lines, thats it. For example, Gundam had lineart and in-anime shots that showed it to have armour that was largely one massive plate shaped into a torso, arms, legs, etc. Katoki's stuff at least adds segments so we know of hatches and separate armour plates.
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Post by Haros_Pet_Kat » Mon May 28, 2007 8:41 pm

I feel like an evil villain of n00bdom for liking Katoki's designs, but for a different reason than people describe. I like the shape of some of his designs, meaning that I absolutely love his Victory series even though they don't have extreme detail. For mecha that do have detail, it's still the shape and proportions that get to me, although the detailing adds some robustness to it.
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Post by Ryujin » Tue May 29, 2007 12:25 am

I generally find the majority of Katoki's work aesthetically pleasing because he brings an industrial designer's illustrative bag of tricks & standards into what's generally the province of artists (and believe me, technical illustrations use a different approach to the subject). As for favorites, I'd say the V & V2 Gundams for their more rounded/streamlined design (it's generally what you'd expect with the continuing evolution of MS design in UC), the various designs he created for G Gundam, and the non-Gundam designs in G Wing.

As for one thing looking like another...Hell, I dunno, maybe it's because that's what his employers tell him to do & pay him for.

With regards to creativity, you don't really judge it by a designer/illustrator's professional work, you judge it by the doodles in his sketchbooks. There's obviously a big difference when you're doing something for the sole purpose of paying the rent.

Okawara, for example, has shown his post-Gundam creativity in the past with his work on VOTOMS, Xabungle & Gaogaigar, to name a few. It's just that he's reputedly 'easy to work with'--in other words, he does what the director wants & willingly changes it on the director's whim.

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Post by Kuruni » Tue May 29, 2007 1:30 am

I remember he also design Aegis armor used by Hinata Natsumi in Keroro Gunso (the one that turn her into Mecha Musume but she must be in swiming suit to equip it).

Now I wonder if he also design other gear in KG as well.
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Post by J-Lead » Wed May 30, 2007 8:31 am

To be honest, I never really looked at Katoki as just a "mecha designer." I always looked at him as someone who can take any design, any design, and take the "cartoonishness" out of it. For that, I adore his work, especially since they give me a more mature feeling than Okies designs (and they make more attractive figures and models. :) ) That's not to say that he's better than okie in any sense, just that he has a different sort of talent that Okie doesn't have. (Hell, there are even people out there who improve on Katoki designs that improved on Okie's designs. G-system, for example, love to take Katoki designs and redesigns, and even okie designs, and play with them even further in order to make a very attractive, and expensive, model/conversion kit.)
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Post by codename:v » Wed May 30, 2007 8:49 am

I must admit that I'm a big Katoki fan. I remember what Katoki mentioned in his Gundam Fix collection about seeing mechas like Gundam or other MSs' in real life, which bring mecha lovers into a brand new imaginative horizon. Therefore, he would tend to imagine mechas as if they were real.

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Post by Dark Duel » Wed May 30, 2007 8:58 am

Another thing about Katoki's redesigns as compared to Okawara's originals is that he is much better about proportions.
This also applies to BEE-CRAFT, actually, but Katoki is far better than Okawara about drawing the mobile suit with proportions that approach those of the human body.

Compare, for example, Okawara's original Wing Gundam and Wing Zero to Katoki's redesigns: Okawara's has very large knees, and the actual leg, both the upper and lower part(in some cases, especially the latter) look proportionately too short. The Okawara redesign has sleeker legs with a smaller knee, resulting in a more slender, aesthetically pleasing design that is proportionately closer to those of a human leg.
And since I mentioned BEE-CRAFT, another excellent example is the original lineart for Strike Noir that was "cleaned up" by Okawara, as compared to the sleeker, better-proportioned BEE-CRAFT lineart that was in the Master Grade manual.

And then on the opposite side of the spectrum, he's done stuff like the Ex-S. So YAY Katoki.

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Post by codename:v » Wed May 30, 2007 2:10 pm

Okawara's designs are more traditionally animation based and that' his own style. Besides, before he designs real robots like Gundam, he designs super robots back in the 70s'. Let's not forget without Okawara, there would be no MSs' as we know today.

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Post by Aegis » Wed May 30, 2007 6:06 pm

Deus EpS Machina wrote:I dont credit Katoki's redesign of the RX-78 as anything substantial in the way you guys are; just give him kudos for redoing the lines, modernizing it. Just randomly going through 70s mechanime OPs...MSG's OP showed Gundam to look perfect and as mechanical as Katoki's.
*looks at the original intro*

Neater, yes... more mechanical, yes... but perfectly mechanical as Katoki's version? Still not there yet. Still has much of the 70's style look, even if it's still more detailed and full of joints as opposed to the old super robots.

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