TOM Interviews Female Plastic Modeler Tomoe Ogoshi [2/3]

While being a prominent figure in the world of plastic modelers, Tomoe Ogoshi is also widely active as a writer for plastic model magazines and an instructor of a plastic modeling class. We recently interviewed Ogoshi to talk all about the world of plastic models. If you haven’t read the first part of this interview, you can do so here:TOM Interviews Female Plastic Modeler Tomoe Ogoshi 1/3

We left off last time with Ogoshi explaining how series like Mobile Suit Gundam are partly responsible for the recent increase in female fans of plastic models.

TOM: As for the breadth of the current Gunpla movement, children and overseas fans know about it as well, right?
Ogoshi: I think there are many people who know of Gundam, but don’t know what Gunpla is. Also, scale plastic models are popular with children and those overseas, but character plastic models like Gunpla being hugely popular may be unique to Japan. About 30 years ago when Gunpla were first sold, character goods were seen as childish and viewed with disdain. However, once Gunpla caught on, there was a boom and plastic models of anime characters began being recognized as its own genre.

Even before the Gunpla boom, the character business existed with series like Ultraman and Kamen Rider. There are many finished products for these series, such as figures and toys, but the charm of Gunpla is that you build them from scratch. I think that this was the reason for creating a new character business.

TOM: The gap between figures and plastic models is becoming less and less, right?
Ogoshi: Recently among plastic models, there has been a movement toward producing items that are easy to create. For example, more and more, plastic model parts are coming already painted, so all someone has to do is assemble them to perfectly recreate the character. Also, plastic models that are targeted toward children now include parts that can be assembled simply by hand, without the use of pliers. Plastic models are evolving on a daily basis. However, in the last 10 years, the quality of figures has become surprisingly high. We are now in the age where you can own a high quality finished figure without having to spend an inordinate amount of time making it yourself. Regarding those in the plastic model industry, I think that they are challenged with conveying to the consumer the enjoyment of building a product from start to finish.

TOM: It sounds like they want to broaden the culture of building things.
Ogoshi: Even I have this mindset as a plastic model instructor. Of course, I like figures. However, the enjoyment of building a product is a charm that is unique to plastic models. This may be a small factor, but when you build and paint a plastic model with your own hands, it becomes unique to you, and no other in the world will be exactly like it. Spending the time and effort to make a plastic model also makes you appreciate it more and you get a large feeling of happiness and satisfaction knowing that you made it with your own hands. You can see the results of a plastic model by how much you put into it; even failure can be used as motivation for next time. The enjoyment of using your own imagination and free expression is probably its greatest charm.

Continue to Part 3

Photography provided by: Oizumi Shoten’s Gunpla Textbook: Build Skillfully Even for the First Time

This is a TokyoOtakuMode original article.

TOM Interviews Female Plastic Modeler Tomoe Ogoshi [2/3] 1
TOM Interviews Female Plastic Modeler Tomoe Ogoshi [2/3] 2
TOM Interviews Female Plastic Modeler Tomoe Ogoshi [2/3] 3
TOM Interviews Female Plastic Modeler Tomoe Ogoshi [2/3] 4

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