Anime Expo 2005
Anime Expo - Ugetsu Hakua Focus Panel

by Wendi Hamilton,
Hosted by: Greg Ayres

Ugetsu Hakua has made quite an impact with his conceptual designs for the characters of Burst Angel, as well as quite an impact on MC Greg Ayers, a self-proclaimed fanboy who couldn't wait to start asking Hakua questions. Much like Range Murata, Hakua started as an illustrator. Working on an anime was different experience, as he was used to working alone, while animation is a group effort. He feels it's nice to be able to go between the two, as that way, if he becomes bored with one, he can switch to the other.

Hakua revealed that Jo is his favorite character from Burst Angel, even though he admitted he thought he was not supposed to like the main character. She was also the character he had the most trouble drawing. He likes women who compete and fight with pride, his characters do not have bent backs or bad posture, perhaps, he mused, their showing of skin is tied to their sense of pride. The animators would scold him for his very active designs, which were hard to animate, but Hakua enjoys the movement of objects in the air. There was a lot of freedom given in creating the designs; there were very few restrictions, possibly because of his stubbornness. Big influences on the design were from gun games and westerns staring Clint Eastwood.

Flamboyant, his illustration book, will be half Burst Angel, with the other half showcasing game and novel projects. The book is full of energy and momentum, lots of the color red is used to convey this. Besides Flamboyant, he was also involved with Robot, as he knew the editor and Range Murata told him he would be involved with it.

Before he became a professional, he did attend an art type college where he studied industrial design. As a child he drew a great deal, and is self-taught. The base drawings are done in pen and ink and are scanned into the computer and are digitally colored. He originally used watercolors, but rarely makes use of them now.

In his closing statements, Mr. Hakua said he'd like to come back again after having come up with a new show to display for everyone!

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