Kio’s tweets this month feature lots of his preliminary sketches for Hashikko Ensemble! It’s worth a look if you want to see how the characters began.
All the drawings used for the cover of Hashikko Ensemble, Volume 8!
Kio comments on the passing of Fujiko Fujio (A), remembering a Ninja Hattori-kun story he loved where Hattori moved next door and turned the house into a ninja mansion.
The pet tortoise at an active time.
Kio recommends that B the Jin fan go see Oedo Coraliers, a chorus/gee club Kio previously worked with.
The artist Shigisawa Kaya is feeling conflicted about waiting for things to calm down but that never being the case. Kio comments that he’s finally gotten around to checking things off his bucket list, but it’s after 28 years as a manga artist.
Kio has always felt that preparing salads is a pain even though it’s good to eat more vegetables, but then realizes that he basically makes salads for his tortoise every day.
Kio went to the library for the first time in a long while. The drawing of Kozue talks about the feeling of getting an author’s new work, only to realize that it’s already five volumes long and also finished. He then recalls borrowing tons of books from the library as a kid and reading through all of them before going back for more, but looking back wonders how in the world he managed to make the time to do that.
Kio comments that it’s the season for haramaki (stomach bands), and jokingly states that this year’s Fanta vintage is good.
A drawing for Afternoon that didn’t end up in any of the collected volumes of Hashikko Ensemble.
Kio began sharing some preliminary character design drawings for Hashikko Ensemble. Akira is described as having a contrast between his timid personality and his newly acquired bass voice.
Jin’s initial background had him singing since he was five years old, and that he can even sing soprano.
Kousei the baritone was always intended to have a heavy backstory.
Shion was a more serious character, though had the quality of being made to learn piano by her mother, as well as having poor grades.
It’s interesting that some of the character designs changed significantly. Also, a few of these drawings were actually used in the teaser for Kio’s “new manga” back before the series began.
The student work uniforms.
Mimi-sensei, mostly unchanged. A capable person despite how she might appear, though lacking in experience.
Probably the biggest departure of all: A male character named Koizumi Yuusuke who would eventually morph into Akira’s neighbor and childhood friend, Himari. Described as an idiot who thinks he’s smart.
Kio mentions that people might ask “That’s it?!” when seeing how few planning drawings he does, but that’s just how he works. He mentions that he did have to design all the students in Class 1-5 afterwards, and that’s where Kanon, Kozue, and Shinji came from.
Kio elaborates on the point above that he tries to get a solid idea of how the characters will be in the roughs, and by the time he’s inking, he more or less knows how they’ll be. Someone asks if this was the same process he used for Genshiken characters, and he says yes. Kio also says that he feels the drawings feel the best in that rough stage and he wants to keep that feel, but that the designs inevitably change over the course of serialization.
An even earlier Shion sketch. Apparently “not owning a smartphone” was in there from the start.
A Chinese-speaking individual thanks Kio for all his work, to which Kio thanks them. Also, the person is clearly an Ogiue fan, and therefore a superior human being.
The rough versions of those early Hashikko Ensemble designs. Kio is asked how he came up with the names for Akira and Jin, to which he replies, “Intuition.”
To come up with various students and teachers, Kio gathered image references online and then started doing sketches based on them.
More sketches to better solidify the designs.