Kio Shimoku Twitter Highlights January 2023

In amazing news for people who run blogs called Ogiue Maniax, Kio actually retweeted one of my blog posts this month! He also drew a bunch of Year of the Rabbit bunny girl art and went to an Animage exhibit at the Ghibli Museum.

Kio’s 2022 included the end of Hashikko Ensemble at the beginning of the year, which resulted in him taking it fairly easily for the remainder. In the morning, he’d wake up and notice no dark circles under his eyes. But because he’s been doing stuff like practicing ero manga, he’s itching to get back into things.

Kio asks if it’s okay to draw “bunnies” (for the New Year), and then follows up with drawings of people in bunny outfits.

Unnamed bunny girl. (I wonder if she has any connection to the “ero manga” practice Kio’s been putting in.)

Not-Ohno from Spotted Flower. Not-Saki is saying, “Uh, mom with two kids.”

Mimi-sensei from Hashikko Ensemble.

Jin from Hashikko Ensemble.

Kio says that the Year of the Rabbit is cruel (This looks like a reference to all the bunny girl art).

Kio was into the Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere anime, but wasn’t interested in the original light novels at first. However, a few years ago he bought all of them and became a fan.

Someone replies that the books look intimidating even without opening them, to which Kio agrees. (Note that the Horizon novels get very lengthy, with my some exceeding 1,000 pages in Japanese.)

Something that appeals to Kio about Horizon is that it’s a world without any knowledge of its own history—an idea that has always appealed to him. He recalls the author being a huge history buff too, to the point that he read history books every day prior to starting Horizon. It’s something Kio wants to try but has never done.

He’s also done Horizon art for a comic anthology book, but nothing beyond that.

Kio wishes there was more Horizon anime, and his favorite character is Kimi. He admits to liking “cheat characters” as a rule.

Kio realizes that Spotted Flower Volume 6 has been announced.

Kio excitedly decided to go to a Ghibli Museum exhibit on Animage magazine from 1978 to the 1980s. 

Painting his The Five Star Stories model kit using the Citadel Colour system. Replies congratulates him for finishing, and he says Citadel is great for small details like this.

An inconsistency in terms of left and right armor. The KOG looks like it’s gonna be a pain to build as a result of such warping.

Kio getting overwhelmed with nostalgia seeing the Animage Ghibli Museum exhibit, pointing out that these are exactly the magazine issues he remembers from that time. (The Nausicaa manga started in Animage and the time Kio got into drawing because of Miyazaki, per his interview with Luis Cammy.)

A comparison between the initial paint job on the Empress vs. now.

Kio (and Rakuen magazine) retweeting one of my blog posts!!! “Hmm? Oh, what’s this?” Except he’s making a pun based on oya (parent) and oya (oh?) because it’s about Not-Keiko from Spotted Flower being a mom.

It might be obvious, but I’m very happy that this happened.

Kio bought the March 2023 issue of Weekly Model Graphix, which has a cover drawn by the manga artist Kusada. Kio mentions to Kusada that the magazine definitely stood out in the store.

After seeing a demonstration of how 3D graphics can be used to create background and reference images in manga, Kio laments that he’s gonna have to learn 3D if he wants to keep drawing alone.

Someone in the replies points out that Clip Studio Paint has 3D reference objects as part of the program, and Kio thanks him while saying that he’s only just started using ko it.

​​https://twitter.com/kioshimoku1/status/1619329291694768132

Kio talks about how great it would have been to be able to use 3DCG models for Genshiken, and for anything involving Tokyo Big Sight (the venue for Comic Market). That said, Kio has collected tons of reference photos of Big Sight, so he can draw the place relatively easily. 

Some fans talk about how they love Kio’s analog background work (with one person calling it his bathroom reading material as a compliment), and Kio thanks them for their compliments. Kio does enjoy drawing analog backgrounds, and he used to be able to draw Genshiken backgrounds from memory (but not anymore).

After reading a tweet from an anatomy account, Kio has to fix a drawing to make a stomach crease go above the belly button.

Kio’s tortoise! In the first photo, it just leapt.

Kio Shimoku Twitter Highlights December 2022

Kio reveals his love of soccer/football and pays tribute to Mizuki Ichiro in this month’s tweets.

“This is what makes soccer interesting!” (Japan beat Spain in the 2022 World Cup on December to advance out of the group stage.)

Kio declares that he won’t buy any new model kits until he gets through these The Five Star Stories kits. Some of them are actually 20 years old. 

Kio finally tries the word balloon tool in Clip Studio Paint. He thinks he’s slowly coming to understand it.

Kio got out his disk copier to make a copy of the 2018 World Cup games he recorded. He’s also impressed by Croatia’s hard-fought win in overtime over Japan. Kio wishes he could have seen Japan in Top 8, though.

Kio compares Croatia’s momentum in the World Cup to a steamroller that crushes every other country’s dreams.

Kio is building one of his The Five Star Stories/GothicMade kits, and shows the parts. When asked if it’s the Kaiserin, Kio answers that it’s the Empress.

Kio also bought paints just for it.

The assembled Empress, before painting.

Someone asks where he got a certain kit he showed back in January 2022, but Kio responds that it was a present from a reader and no longer available for purchase.

Kio responds to someone who has the same Empress kit from an old Wonder Festival, and how the knees make it hard to pose standing. However, someone else shows what they’ve managed to pull off, which impresses Kio. He also agrees with someone who finds that the way the pieces are arranged in the box is similar to Tamiya’s motorcycle model kits.

Food from the store that prepares it for Kio’s pet tortoise.

The age of the model kit shows in a bit of deterioration.

The tortoise eats! There’s a video too!

Kio pays his respects to legendary anime singer Mizuki Ichiro.

Kio talks to the store that gave him his tortoise food, and mentions how quickly his pet ate through it all.

He can’t find his Vallejo primer.

Still having trouble with the Empress’s legs. Also, there are some extra parts whose purpose he’s unsure of. 

Fully assembled without any paint or modifications.

Not a Kio tweet, but note that there are special web chapters of Spotted Flower out this month! They feature debut of Not-Sasahara’s sister, Not-Keiko.

In response to the Rakuen account saying, “We want to see you do this from the bottom of our hearts!” Kio writes, “This is editorial saying this to a manga artist.”

Kio was thinking about the career of Lionel Messi after Argentina’s 2022 World Cup victory all throughout lunch. He remembers a young Messi moving to Spain, contrasts with Maradona, how that World Cup trophy eluded him, and how we can finally call him history’s greatest footballer. (If it isn’t clear by now, Kio is definitely a fan of soccer/football).

As a follower points out, Kio wrote about Messi (written “Messhi” in Japanese) while eating a meal (meshi).

Kio discovered that he had a spray can of primer after all. He found it in a cardboard box.

More tortoise chow from the same company as before.

Tortoise activity area.

Kio mentions that he has a kit for the Engage from The Five Star Stories on the way.

Kio enjoyed the final episode of Bocchi the Rock!

The tortoise is enjoying the heat lamp, but seems to be sleeping even more than usual.

Kio tried to lightly brush the primer he sprayed, but brushing and spraying are just inherently different.

Kio wants to get better at both building plastic models and drawing ero manga, but doesn’t feel that he’s made much progress on either.

The Empress kit with the base coat fully painted.

He also bought these special glasses for plastic model building.

Using a Citadel Colour set with a brownish shade color.

Kio Shimoku Twitter Highlights November 2022

In contrast to last month, Kio Shimoku tweeted up a storm in November. The big topics: Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise, drawing characters playing baseball, and…sketching out manuscripts for pornographic manga?!

Kio announcing that Chapter 41 of Spotted Flower is out. He mentions that the way the image is cropped unintentionally makes it look more improper than it actually is.

Kio finally got the chance to see the theatrical version of Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise (which had recently been playing again on the big screen). He didn’t even know about it back when it first released, though he’s seen the TV-broadcast version tens of times. In fact, he’s seen it on TV so much that seeing the scenes cut from that version added back in felt kind of weird. The full theatrical version adds a lot of nuance to places missing from the TV version, but Kio still has an affinity for that one, and he thinks they did a good job with the edits. He talks about how nowadays, it’s unusual for people to want to watch cut versions, but he still loves it nevertheless. He doesn’t have the TV version, and Wikipedia doesn’t even mention it at all. Kio wonders if anyone actually remembers it.

A follower also talks about the cut TV version of Castle of Cagliostro, which Kio also has a recollection of. Others chime in that they have seen Royal Space Force on TV, including one person who remembers Anno Hideaki providing commentary on it for an airing on the program Friday Roadshow (which airs movies on TV). Someone else chimes in that they can remember Anno explaining a few things. Namely, how good the scene is where Marty says 「誰かが必要としているからここにいられると思っている」[If anyone can provide a translation with proper context, that’d be a big help], and how the TV version uses monoaural sound, so it couldn’t replicate everything, like the way the sound changes as they go up into space. 

“I think I’m here only because somebody needs me.”

The saga continues: Watanabe Shigeru, the editor of the TV version of Royal Space Force actually replied to Kio! In a rare instance, we get to see Kio fanboying over someone. Watanabe mentions that while he’s an anime producer now, back then he was a mere tradesman. Kio asks if there’s a betamax version, but Watanabe says there isn’t, and the TV version was basically a “necessary evi.”

Watanabe also recalls that they had Okada Toshio and Yamaga Hiroyuki (also of Gainax fame) for the TV broadcast as well.

Someone else mentions that there’s a scene with the characters drinking milk that was included in the laserdisc release but according to Kio, it wasn’t in the theatrical re-release. Watanabe chimes in again and explains that this extra scene wasn’t shot on 35 millimeter so it didn’t look good when upscaled. However, it’s included with the blu-ray as an extra.

As a follow-up to last month’s trip to the batting center, Kio has been drawing Hashikko Ensemble characters playing baseball. There’s also some discussion about the characters and how 

As an aside, my friend Diogo Prado (and a Patreon member of Ogiue Maniax) got retweeted by Kio!

A fan apologizes for discovering Hashikko Ensemble too late, and asks if there’ll be a sequel (like Genshiken Nidaime). Kio says not to sweat it, and that everyone discovers works at their own timing.

Kio also went to see a new theatrical run of GOTHICMADE. Much of the story has also been told through the manga, but the last part of the film has still yet to be adapted. 

Someone replies to Kio’s preview of Spotted Flower Chapter 41 by saying the meme line, “But he’s a guy” from Stein’s;Gate. Kio replies “They’re both,” to which the replier apologizes. However, while the replier assumed he meant that Not-Kohsaka (depicted there dressed like Not-Hato) was nonbinary, what Kio meant was that both characters are guys.

(I guess this answers the gender identity of Not-Hato).

Kio reacts to the official Twitter account of Kumamoto Castle tweeting a saying popular among idol fans and the like: You’ll stan the ones you stan when you stan (the actual word being oshi). It’s basically saying you’ll know who’s your favorite because it’ll come out from you.

The batting center is a 30-minute walk for Kio, but that walk is a good way to sober up, apparently.

Kio went to see Royal Space Force in theaters again! This time, he noticed a sound similar to a baby crying that had never registered to him before while watching.

Kio and another talking about how they can’t stop humming the music from Royal Air Force

Kio’s reaction to a mecha from The Five Star Stories: “Oh? Whoaaa! Magnapalace!”

Kio mentions Ueda Masashi as one of the all-time greats of 4-panel manga, and writes about how even these simple characters could be portrayed as having unseen “adult” sides to them. He even used Ueda’s work as a basis for a scene between Not-Ohno and Not-Tanaka in Spotted Flower Volume 5.

Kio saw Shinkai Makoto’s new film, Suzume no Tojimari.

Sometimes, Kio sketches out ero manga manuscripts, but finds striking the right balance between elements difficult. Moreover, he feels that the order of priority is different for ero manga: Instead of paneling -> text ->  images, it’s the other way around. After all, you can’t tell if something is gonna be hot just from a barebones layout. (Note that Kio had previously praised ero manga artists for their talents—this seems to be a follow-up to the idea that it’s not that easy.)

When asked what he’s drawing, Kio says it’s new and original characters. He’s also entertaining the notion of quietly putting something on the adult website Fanza.

Related to the above tweets, Kio struggled with the most recent manuscript for Spotted Flower.

Kio went on vacation for a few days, taking a break from Twitter.

Kio watched the first half of the Japan vs. Germany World Cup 2022 match and went to sleep early assuming it was all over for Japan, only to wake up to headlines about the upset.

He planned to watch the second half once he got home, wondering if player Ito Junya went wild (which Kio later confirmed).

After retweeting a bunch of plastic-model-related tweets, Kio says he really wants to build plastic models, and remarks about the “big wave” of model-building hitting after all this time. Author Ikuhana Niiro encourages him to do so, to which Kio responds by wondering whether he should finally open all the cardboard boxes that hold his model kits.

The Divide of Time, Space, and Imagination: A Look At the Concept of Nostalgic Merchandise

A few days ago, when I wrote about the direction giant robot designs have taken over the years, I received a comment pointing out to me the “Master Grade RX-78-2 Gundam 2.0,” which was a new model kit version of the iconic original Gundam, only designed to more closely resemble the mobile suit as it appeared in anime. When compared to previous RX-78-2 model kits, this means less details, different proportions, and a more “cartoonish” look overall.

Interested in how hobbyists took to this version of the classic Gundam, I looked at reviews of the kit. Any time its aesthetics were criticized, it was largely because the model was not as detailed as they liked. Being “anime accurate” was not a positive trait, and they would point out other kits, notably the “One Year War” version with a higher level of grittiness and detail, as a preferred alternative. In response to all this, I made my own comment, which was to point out that these fans appeared to be saying, “I don’t want the RX-78-2 to resemble the robot in the show, I want it to resemble the robot in my imagination!”

Then today, I saw the Toy Fair 2010 GI Joe toys. These action figures were designed based on the 80s version of GI Joe, the 3 inch figures instead of the giant doll-like ones. The only thing is, they are much more detailed and gritty than the 80s toys they were based on! It was also made clear that these toys are there partially for GI Joe collectors, adult men who look back fondly on their childhood toys, and I think it is all the more apparent that, like the One Year War RX-78-2, these GI Joes are trying to fill the gap between the actual toy and the collectors’ memories of what the toys were like as children, memories fueled by the power of childhood imagination. And there, in the attempts to make up for the loss of childhood creativity and thinking with skilled craftsmanship, lies the foundation of the nostalgic toy.

That is not to say of course that adults are incapable of having strong imaginations. Fiction as a whole would be incredibly boring if that were the case. Nor am I lumping everyone in as wanting more “realism” in their toys, as the original commenter I referred to above was all in favor of more toys like the MG RX-78-2 2.0. Instead, the issue is simply that the mind of an adult is simply different from the mind of a child. I am reminded of this fact whenever I look at drawings from my childhood and compare them to what I have done as an adult or even as a teenager.

When I previously touched on the subject of childhood imagination as it applies to animation, I talked about how children tend to ignore significant errors in animation and make up for these deficiencies through their imagination. But now when looking at a similar topic, that of toys and model kits, I realize that it’s not just a matter of childhood imagination “filling in the gaps,” but that childhood imagination, unlike adult imagination, cares little about “structure.”

If you look at the Soul of Chogokin series of toys, you will find everything I’ve been talking about, with its more solid and realistic redesigns of classic mecha targeted towards adult buyers, but if you want to really see what I mean by adults caring about structure, take a look not at the Soul of Chogokin line, but the original-style Chogokin toys, or rather, reviews of them by collectors. You will find that the way the reviewers talk about the features of the toy, about what is good and what is bad, is almost inevitably a very “adult-minded” way of looking at the toy, giving words to topics such as “points of articulation” and what-not. Even when referring to the nostalgia factor this happens, whether the topic is Chogokin, Jumbo Machinders, or Generation 1 Transformers.

It’s common knowledge among collectors, but the first generation of Mobile Suit Gundam toys, resembling the “neat gadgets”-style Chogokin toys that preceded it, were a marketing failure, as the toys did not really match up with what was on the screen. It really wasn’t until the concept of the giant robot “model kit” revolutionized giant robot figures that Gundam merchandise became the monster that it still is today, and people claim that this has to do with the fact that the audience for Gundam was skewing older than giant robot shows had in the past. I may be jumping the gun here, but what it looks like to me is that the older audience of younger and older teens were looking for more structure and accuracy in their toys, and that is what they got. As soon as Gundam hit that older demographic, I believe the Chogokin-style toys were dealt a serious blow, even putting aside the shoddy designs and inaccuracies of the original toyline. I think that the attitudes towards the 2.0 MG RX-78-2 are actually an extension of this over time and international waters.

Actually, more than even Chogokin reviews, if you really, really want to see the difference between child and adult mindsets and creativity, take a look at the webcomic Axe Cop. Promoted as being written by a 5 year old and drawn by his 29 year old brother, the artist admits to the story not being truly written by his significantly younger sibling, but that he asks the young child questions about the setting and events that occur, and then builds a story around it. The adult adds structure to the boundless imagination of the child, structure that is necessary to keep it all together, even if it doesn’t make sense entirely.

The child’s imagination says, “This is what happens.”

The adult’s imagination asks, “Why?”

But when it comes to reality, the child and adult’s responses reverse.