Exploring OSHI NO KO’s Art Design and Backgrounds with Kota Mizumoto

©Aka Akasaka x Mengo Yokoyari/Shueisha, “OSHI NO KO” Partners

TV anime series 【OSHI NO KO】continues to impress fans with its incredible animation and artstyle. Art Designer Kota Mizumoto briefly spoke with Anime Trending about some of the behind-the-scenes art style.


How did you join the production, and what were your thoughts on the manga?

Kota Mizumoto: I was given the opportunity to participate in this project through mycompany. I had previously read the manga before joining the production, and my first impression of the story was simply, “fascinating.” The pacing of the story was fluid, and I was able to read it easily. However, the content of the story itself was full of surprises, which allowed for continuous impactful moments. Since it incorporates various themes and story elements, I felt like it would be received well by people of many different backgrounds.

 

Can you provide our readers with a description of the art design role and its relation to the rest of the background design process?

My role regarding the art design process is to create the world. After meeting with the directors, we built the settings that the characters would live in. In recent years, the industry has increasingly used 3D in the creation of the world. Similar to other series,【OSHI NO KO】 mostly used 3D. In particular, 3D is utilized for the design of the interior and exterior of buildings.

Art design is the first step of the process for background and scenery design. It’s also one of the earliest processes in the overall anime production. The art design is then handed to sakuga, directors, background artists and so onto work off of. Usually, no colors are applied in art design. It is the background artists who then determine and add colors and textures to the design.

I think that art design is more like a draft necessary for the creation of the background.

OSHI NO KO
©Aka Akasaka x Mengo Yokoyari/Shueisha, “OSHI NO KO” Partners

Which location in the show was the trickiest to provide art designs for?

It would be Kichijouji Yoriko-sensei drawing studio in episode four.

A manga artist’s drawing studio is full of art supplies, such as tools and other things. Since each thing has its importance, it was difficult in deciding their respective placements and details. Different tools are used when it is analog or digital work. As a result, it was complicated to consider which character drew digitally and which one manually.

For Kichijouji Yoriko sensei’s drawing studio, since we received notes and references about actual things needed to draw manga or ones in manga authors’ house from 【OSHI NO KO】’s original author, we tried our best to reflect that as much as we can.

 

There are a lot of urban settings, but also unique settings such as the scene when Aqua was filming for the drama live action “Sweet Today.” It takes place in a run-down environment. Could you talk about how you worked on that to give that feeling it was a low-production show?

I was able to join the location scouting for the drama live action shooting scene in episode 3.

Since the location we visited has been used for actual dramas and movies, there were already lighting equipment there that could be used as reference. Because the shooting for “Sweet Today” was low cost and they had only one day to film it, we decided not to include any large or difficult equipment we saw. Even the monitors that the director looked at were kept at a minimum.

We also placed Kana Arima and her co-stars’ waiting area in the abandoned factoryand added a desk and metal folding chair. That’s what we devised. We purposefully kept it simple so that it looked easy to dismantle the site.

 

©Aka Akasaka x Mengo Yokoyari/Shueisha, “OSHI NO KO” Partners

Which piece of art design did you particularly enjoy working on or was the most memorable for you?

Ai’s apartment in episode one. In the anime, Ai moves apartments twice.

In the first apartment, the second apartment, and the last luxury apartment, they all show Ai’s changing popularity, income, and Aqua and Ruby’s growth. We also created all of Ai’s apartments to reflect her style, such as stylish accessories and trinkets decorating the place.

However, in comparison to her first apartment, the second apartment has a more calm atmosphere and is an indication to her growing maturity. Her last apartment was created with an idea of a successful celebrity’s house. It was fun to create these apartments where you can easily see the changes in Ai’s career, her personal life, and her children’s lives.

I hope that Ai, Aqua and Ruby’s growth were conveyed through the background art , since we also changed children’s furniture and chairs as they got older.

 

©Aka Akasaka x Mengo Yokoyari/Shueisha, “OSHI NO KO” Partners

What message would you like to leave viewers with?

Since 【OSHI NO KO】 is a fascinating work, in order for us to deliver a wonderful anime to its audiences and fans, as art designers we designed the background while thinking of how to make the most of character’s charm.

Backgrounds can often reveal a lot about the character’s personality and situation. I hope what was created will show a glimpse of the story and the character’s true self.

I am truly honored to be a part of such a wonderful work. We will do our best. I hope you all will enjoy it.


Special thanks to Kota Mizumoto and KADOKAWA for the opportunity. 【OSHI NO KO】 is now streaming on HiDive and other platforms. Yen Press is publishing the manga in English.

For additional information on 【OSHI NO KO】, check out the official EN Twitter account @oshinoko_global.

Leave a Comment!