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Article: Special Interview with Akemi Takada

Special Interview with Akemi Takada
Akemi Takada

Special Interview with Akemi Takada

An exhibition celebrating the 40th anniversary of Izumi Matsumoto's comic series "Kimagure Orange Road" will be held at Yurakucho Marui from April 26th (Friday) to May 12th (Sunday), 2024, and at Namba Marui from June 15th (Saturday) to June 30th (Sunday).

We had a chance to talk with Akemi Takada, the character designer for "Kimagure Orange Road."

 

Below is an excerpt from our interview:

 

Could you tell us about the theme of the key visuals you created for this exhibition?

Previously, the illustrations I did for jackets were more like fashion illustrations, showing characters in different outfits. This time, though, I focused more on the character's emotions and drew a scene that's really significant for Kyosuke, with his favorite girl. It's a moment that stuck with him, and I wanted it to feel more dynamic than just a fashion illustration. The key visual shows Madoka looking back at him as she walks into the sea, with waves crashing around her. I purposely didn’t include any specific details like islands or palm trees in the background—it’s just the sea and Madoka.



Were there any specific locations that inspired you?

Takada: I love the sea and visit often, so I just pictured the sea from my memories, not any particular place. That is the color of the ocean where the sand is brightly colored. It's not the Sea of Japan or Shonan, it's the ocean that makes me feel like a southern island, like Okinawa.

The lighting and time of day in the visual are also quite striking. Can you tell us more about that choice?

Takada: I’ve drawn a lot of pictures set around midday, from about 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., so this time I wanted to capture a different time. It’s not quite dusk, but just a bit before. I looked up photos of different seas online and used the colors that felt right.

What’s your favorite part about this piece?

Takada: I really like the expression on her face. I put out three rough sketches on X timeline of social media, asking people which one they liked best: one that looked a bit tough, one that looked soft, and one with a melancholy look. The melancholic one was the most popular by far. Based on that, I chose the final pose.

We initially thought the first pose would be chosen. However, other staff members at EDITION88 told me that most men chose number three.

Takada: Yes, there was a bit of a gender difference, which was interesting (laughs).

 

88Graph of this illustration will be sold at the exhibition and in the online store.

Release date:

  •  Exhibition venue: April 26
  •  EDITION88 Online Store
    ・English website (edition88.com):May 2

    ・Japanese website (edition-88.com) : April 26

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