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OtapediaMasaki Asai (Hatsune Miku illustrator)

Masaki Asai (born January 7, 1973), commonly referred to as "Masaki Apsy", is a Japanese figure prototype specialist. He was born in Osaka prefecture and serves as the head of F-Face (plastica), a major amateur dealer at Wonder Festival. He specializes in selling self-designed models at an affordable cost, with many figurines being sold for less than 7,000 yen or being offered as bonus items for free.


Asai showed off a fully-movable garage kit using a color resin cast of the "Phantasy Star Online" character REDRIA at an event in 2006 and it proved immediately popular for its design, colors as well as its low cost.

Currently, he sends out various fully-movable figures to many hobby makers. The works range from robots to female figurines to deformed versions of popular characters. In addition, with the development of a unique general-purpose ball joint called Parabellum b3, there is continued interest for his works.

He is one of the most active in the Japanese model industry though there is a shortage of young prototype specialists, and he is very popular due to his warm personality. For instance, if there are any concerns with a figurine, such as reassembly, fixing broken parts, or repainting, he will often perform these on-site at events such as Wonder Festival.
Besides running his own blog, he is very active on Twitter. Whenever he is not tweeting about restaurants he's eaten at, he is willing to regularly assist amateur modelers with any issues they have with detailed instructions.

Asai also works as a part-time lecturer for the Osaka University of Arts, where he teaches character modeling courses.

Masaki and Hatsune Miku

In one of his earliest blog posts in 2009, Asai showed off a modified model that featured the figma figurine of Hatsune Miku. Her outfit was hand-painted in silver and it started his fascination with creating modified Hatsune Miku models for production.
Crypton Future Media noticed his outstanding attention to detail and requested that he design the package art for their upcoming Hatsune Miku Append software. His final piece shows Miku with her eyes closed facing upward while her hair vibrantly billows behind her. It was the first official artwork to show Miku without her trademark boots.
Her futuristic artwork drew a huge buzz and inspired many fans to create hundreds of pieces of artwork using the Hatsune Miku Append outfit. Within days of the software being released, she was trending on Twitter. Masaki was overjoyed by the overwhelming support from fans.

Other Works

Asai was the modeler for a new character in Kazuhiko Shimamoto's popular manga Gareki no Shou in 1994.
He served as prototype designs for Rei Ayanami and Asuka Shikinami Langley in the culture-defining series Neon Genesis Evangelion (2009). These figurines were released as bonus items for those who bought the limited-edition Neon Genesis Evangelion comics.
He has also released other bonus item figurines for such series as Koiwai Yotsuba, and Buster Machine, and in 2019, collaborated with huke (designer of Black Rock Shooter) to release chitocerium (チトセリウム) character VI-carbonia adamas.
Reviews for the figurine have been highly positive, with many fans stating that the package is splendid in design, to the point that it alone was worth the purchase. Others note that the figurine is incredibly detailed, with so many parts that it is almost impossible to believe it was so cheap compared to models of similar design.
Besides being primarily involved in the garage kit figurine business, Asai has continued his passion for illustration. He is one of figma' concept artists and has been directly involved with over a dozen different figurines, many of them becoming top sellers for the company.
Asai served as one of the designers for the popular anime series, Gundam 00, GRAVITY DAZE, Expelled from Paradise, and Captain Earth. He was involved with original mecha designs for the successful Super Robot Wars X game which was released in 2018 for the PS4 and PSVita and 2020 for Steam and the Nintendo Switch.


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