Interview with Mr. Shinji Aramaki, the Director of Space Pirate Captain Harlock

Hot Toys is very happy to be able to have an interview session with Mr. Shinji Aramaki, the Director of the Space Pirate Captain Harlock 3D CG movie, and asks him about the conception of the character in the movie and his opinion on Hot Toys’ 1/6th scale Captain Harlock Collectible Figure.

Mr. Aramaki is also famous for his Director‘s work on Appleseed and Appleseed Ex Machina, both of which are very popular Japanese animated Sci-Fi action films, as well as his incredible designs for powered exoskeletons and mecha.

Without further ado, here is Hot Toys’ interview with Mr. Shinji Aramaki. Please enjoy!

Hot Toys (HT): How did Hot Toys come to realize this Harlock figure based on your latest movie?

Shinji Aramaki (S.A.): I think it was around 2009, I simply discussed the possibility with Franck, the CEO of Hot Toys Japan, hoping they would consider developing a Harlock figure based on the 3D CG Harlock movie that Toei Animation greenlighted at that time. I had collaborated with Hot Toys previously on Appleseed Ex Machina, and really enjoyed their work. Needless to say, as a Hot Toys fan myself, I badly wanted to see what Hot Toys could do on my version of Harlock! (laughs)

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HT: Your new Harlock movie features a very realistic Captain Harlock. What are the things you need to be especially mindful of when deciding on his character design?

S.A.: You may not believe it, but I actually always had Hot Toys in mind. I really wanted to come up with a character design that would be both appealing to Hot Toys, and at the same time make a great figure. On Appleseed Ex Machina, Hot Toys had proved me how detailed they could be. So for Harlock, I was very careful to come up with a character design that’s hyper-detailed so that Hot Toys could hopefully come up with an amazing realization.

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HT: So what did you think of the Harlock figure’s prototype that Hot Toys came up with?

S.A.: Since I had Hot Toys in mind from the very start of the character design, the figure itself was kind of exactly what I had imagined, as if I had just ordered it. However, the figure’s head really blew me away… The hair details, his sad expression, his vivid scar, and especially his realistic eyes showing the character’s courage and determination, everything was there! Seriously, I could stare at this figure for hours. A truly exciting rendition!

You could even say this figure goes way beyond the original 3D CG design. The reason is that as detailed as 3D CG may be, in the end it is only rendered in two dimensions when being seen on screen. This figure is a true three dimensional work. This is why I am so happy to see my work in “true 3D” thanks to Hot Toys. Do you really need to take back this prototype, or can I bring it back home right away? (laughs)

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HT: You were especially careful to be faithful to the original design by Mr. Leiji Matsumoto when upgraded the Harlock character to 3D CG, correct?

S.A.: Yes, for me what was important was to keep the inner strength of the character alive. I believe this is the most important part of the original Harlock character as designed by Mr. Leiji Matsumoto. So I was especially careful about respecting the strong essence of this unique character. At the same time, my job was to upgrade the design to a realistic one, and make it in full 3D CG. Thankfully, I was assisted by a very talented creative team, and this is why the end design was so naturally smooth.

I am happy to see that the Hot Toys figure followed the same pattern, it really respects the character, matching its strong presence, while being faithful to my realistic upgrade.

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HT: Is there any other character you would like Hot Toys to take a shoot at?

S.A.: I would love to see Kei from Harlock being done by Hot Toys. I am also working on this new 3D CG animation movie for 2014, and hope that Hot Toys gets on board. Still a secret, but for this movie too I have designed the characters having Hot Toys’ figures in mind! (laughs)

It is almost like I make movies so that Hot Toys can make collectibles of them…

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HT: Any message for your fans?

S.A.: Trust me, you will want this figure if you see it in person! The pictures can’t do enough justice to the product, so please definitely check the final figure as it is definitely worth it. I hope that we can all share the same enjoyment I had experienced with this great figure. And please do not forget to check my Harlock movie in theaters or in BluRay and DVD!

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