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News: Full Size Heathawk on display

Posted on : 03-06-2010 | By : | In : News


The Niigata City Art Museum is holding a new exhibition showing off the work of one Kunio Okawara. Entitled the Mecha Design For 1/1 Mechanical Designer Kunio Okawara Exhibition it features, amongst many other things, a full scale heathawk (thoughtfully embedded in the gallery floor). The heathawk was the predominant melee weapon of choice for the initial Zeonic mobile suits in the original Gundam, which means it’s been sported in multiple games since. Both the MS-05B Zaku I and MS-06F Zaku II are suitably notable – though many other mecha, on both sides of the conflict, also sported the weapon. Being the classy chap he is, Okawara was actually present at the exhibition on May 29th signing autographs and most probably fighting off screaming groupies.

The exhibition is going on until the 1st July and only costs 700 yen for entry and, unfortunately, there’s no word on whether they’ll roll out a full scale SPT-LZ-00X Layzner cockpit anytime soon.


Comments (11)

And they don’t hint about a live size Zaku or Layzner, then again, why should Bandai make more live size toys when they will all only ended up in trash pile?

Okawara maybe one of the respected pioneer in real robots genre but his current works are getting way too obsolete in today’s mecha design trend. Particularly his MSV-R redesign works.

Well…if not for Okawara, there might not be “today’s mecha design trend”.

And frankly, I still dig his stuff, even if it isn’t as sleek as today’s designs. Also, it’s just refreshing to see an artist get his due via a gallery showing such as this. The man has played a crucial role in anime design for around forty years, and even if it is not as hip as today’s works, it’s still important in the scheme of things.

But that’s just me….

I really like a lot of the classic Okawara stuff, even more than the Katoki redesigns. Having everything sleek and looking very machined is a great style that is used to great effect, but Okawara’s stuff still speaks to me the most–his mecha feel less like factory-built goods, and more like military machines. The venerable Zaku II has a lot of Super Robot veneer left on it, but the details he added to it makes it look like those details are, or were, functional for some purpose at some point during the machine’s design.

Okawara’s style belongs to the 70s old school style which are more 2D and childish than Katoki’s 3D detailed feel for realism. Today’s trend has changed and we shouldn’t stuck back in the past.

I disagree–if it wasn’t for Okawara’s “2D and childish” designs, we might not have the realism of Katoki. And the design of the Scopedog is still one of the most realistic mech designs ever, with only the Tactical Armor from GASARAKI coming close.

No one is saying we should be stuck back in the past–but we need to remember it and be aware of it, especially when it comes to creative types whose works back in the past paved the way for the modern creators and their works. Dismissing the past, not remembering the history–that’s just dumb. Yes, you should not be stuck in the past, but you shouldn’t kick it to the bloody curve just to embrace the hot new thing that probably isn’t worth it.

But that’s just me…..

This is the designfag in me speaking, but from what I read in Design History, The Art Noveau movement in the near end of the 1800s (Around 1896 IIRC) had the EXACT same mindset that codename:v had. That the past should be torn down and discarded so that new things can be made.

Needless to say, the movement didn’t last long by the time the 1900s came along and became passe’.

Indeed! Without Okawara, mecha design wouldn’t be were it is today (Katoki included).

What you said.

It’s amazing…and a bit troubling…that one can be that dismissive of Okawara’s work. He set a new standard that influenced many of today’s top mecha designers, from Izabuchi to Katoki and countless others.

What is with the mindset of those who feel that the past can be jettisoned like so much trash?

It’s also worth noting that Okawara worked on a lot of very different series over the years, producing both some of the most Super of Super Robots, and the most Real of the Real Robots. Even if you don’t like his work, you still have to appreciate the breadth of his talent in entirely different genres–it’s hard for his work to stand out, because his work is so prevalent that others’ work is usually based upon his, but despite this handicap he is always able to produce something different when the series demands such.

Working on both VOTOMS and GaoGaiGar, two series on opposite sides of the spectrum, is no small feat.

tbh, I’d rather see a Dragonar cockpit.
Although the shift lever would probably wear out if everyone passing by tried to recreate the opening sequence…

Disregard codename:v, he is a famous mecha troll.

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