While I was looking into information for yesterday’s post, I kept coming across posts about Bayonetta, because that’s what happens when you search for stuff about female game characters, basically. The one thing that struck me as interesting was that, while a lot of people point out, possibly correctly, that Bayonetta as a character was designed for making boners, not everyone feels that way, and some women actually quite like her as a character. It’s a really interesting debate if you have the time to sit down and sift through it.
What caught my eye, though, was the insistence by a lot of people, including the folks at Platinum Games, that Bayonetta was originally designed by a woman. That intrigued me, mostly because no one was actually naming her or anything, so I was curious as to exactly who the designer was, and what might have informed her decisions on designing the character.
Well, it didn’t take too long to figure it out: she was designed by Mari Shimazaki.
Mari actually breaks down the basic design philosophy for creating Bayonetta here, and it’s interesting to see what she has to say on the subject; while she implies there’s a much longer story there that she says she’ll tell eventually (and as near as I can tell never gets around to), the idea that it took a year to design the character amuses me. It also interests me that, of all of the elements that were put into the character, the only one that she mentions was probably done at the behest of the dudes on staff is the glasses, which is by far the thing people object to the least about the design.
There’s also an interesting post on the secondary costume design process for Bayonetta 2 right here, and I find it funny that Mari apparently made a bunch of different designs for everyone to pick from, and everyone picked something a bit sexualized, even Mari herself, who went for “schoolgirl costume”. I also turned up this post, about how Mari did a design for Goodsmile of Hatsune Miku for their racing figures they apparently make every year, and this design, which was made apparently all on her own, is pretty sexualized in its own right. They did indeed make a figure of it, so you can judge how it turned out all on your own.
I don’t really have an observation to make here; I just wanted to share this with everyone, and let you make your own conclusions.