Interview with Predaking's Designer: Akitaka Mika!
Sunday, July 25th, 2004 9:46pm CDTCategory: Site News
Posted by: Professor Smooth Views: 19,183
Q: How did you get started in the anime industry?
AM: Before I knew it, I was just in. My first job was working at Sunrise. Square came to Sunrise asking to design a game called CRUISE CHASER BLASTY for the NEC PC.
A lot of fans may not know this, and I am not credited for it, but I did a lot of designs for TRANSFORMER toys. I was a toy designer at Takara and Bandai.
Q: Really? Which ones did you design?
AM: I did a lot of designs that were never implemented. One of the ones I did that got used was Predaking.
Q: I remember that one. That was the one with the bull, lion, mountain lion, rhino, and eagle that turned into one big robot, right?
AM: Exactly. You know how there's a lion head on his chest? Well, in Japan at the same time as Predaking came out, there was a robot toy called Dartanius with a lion head on its chest that was manufactured by Bandai. When Predaking came out, Bandai said, "You stole our idea" and Takara got sued. So Bandai was looking for the designer and after they found me, they took me into their offices and offered me a job. I worked at Bandai for about a year.
I got the job at Bandai because the sales of Predaking, especially in America, were very high. As a result of these phenomenal sales, Bandai was looking for the designer. While at Bandai, I worked on some other robot toys, including Machine Robo.
As for Transformers, Predaking was the only one I did that made it to an actual product. When the movie was being worked on and even after, I kept submitting designs, but none were ever acted upon. I came up with this one idea that was a skyscraper that transformed into a battle platform and then into a robot. They actually made a prototype of that one and it was this large (he gestures to the size of the table we were sitting at). So not surprisingly, they didn't make it because of cost concerns.
In the toy industry, you draw about a hundred designs, and out of those only one or two ever get picked to be used. It's a very rough business. So when comparing that kind of work to working on YUNA, where I can decide everything, working on my own is fun and easy.
The rest of the interview can be read here .