There are many reasons why Japanese anime is popular overseas. One reason is the precision of the designs used in anime. Compared to other countries’ anime, Japanese anime is drawn very precisely. This is of course due to the great efforts of animators. However, those with a specialty in design play an integral part as well. Especially when it comes to mechanical designs, they aren’t just simply drawn precisely, many designs also have individuality. This is what makes a mechanical designer truly great.
The leading man in this field is Kunio Okawara, who has been active in the industry for many years. He is a veteran designer who has been in charge of the mecha designs on a great number of anime series including Mobile Suit Gundam, Time Bokan, and Brave. Even though he will turn 66 this year, he is not slowing down. This year, he is in charge of the mecha designs for the robot anime Valvrave the Liberator.
A contest paying tribute to Okawara’s more than 30 years of influential work will be held on Mar. 23. The contest is called “Super Kunio Okawara Model Contest”. The contest, sponsored by model maker Volks, will be an all out battle to see who can make the best looking robot model using one of Okawara’s past works. Awards, including the Top Quality Award, Gold Award, Silver Award, Bronze Award, and Special Award, will be given out, along with a gift certificate, to the the best looking models. Since the number of mecha Okawara has created is astronomical, there will no doubt be many participants.