Nanami Yume

POSTED BY DANNY CHOO On Wed 2011/02/23 09:32 JST in Mascot

One of the coolest things I come across in Japan are the construction and road works - so much cooler than the ones back in the UK. Over here, they got lights all over the place and workmen waiving mini lightsabers. Occasionally one will see monitors of somebody waving flags or even huge balloons which light up at night. Some construction work photos to gander at in this post.

Have been working lately on a a few character development projects with other companies and thought I'd work on another one of my own. Introducing Nanami Yume .

Nanami-chan is 16 years old and currently in the second year of high school. Shes honest, diligent and has a bubbly bright personality. Shes 153cm tall and her 3 size is B76cm W53cm H77cm. Birthday is 23rd Feb - today!

Nanami-chan will always feed pigeons (even in places where she is not supposed to) when she sees any with the breadcrumbs that she always carries around with her.
She loves swimming and joins the swimming activities after classes. She feels more comfortable wearing her school swimwear during her part time work too.
Nanami-chan has experience working in a bakery and at a maid cafe but as she's clumsy, she often caused trouble for customers like pouring boiling hot coffee in their face or accidentally tripping over and stabbing customers with a fork.
Because of this, no restaurants want to hire her for part time work which is why she ended up getting a part time job after school at a construction firm.
These days shes always dropping concrete blocks on her co-workers feet.

In Japan, construction sites would usually display a notice with an apology about them being an inconvenience. Along with the notice is usually an image of a man bowing in apology.
Nanami-chan was asked by her boss to be the image girl that would apologize to the public - here are some examples of the notices that will be put up at construction sites around Japan.

I worked with a most talented artist called Yuu on the character design - you may remember her work from the Puchi Mirai.

Nanami about to poke the eyes out of her colleges with the cones.

I named her "Nanami Yume" for a few reasons. "Yume" (pronounced yu-meh) means "Dream." Nanami has a dream and represents the image of a hard working person striving to realize their dreams. Dreams become a reality only when somebody takes steps to make things happen. Doing nothing leads to nothing but doing something will always lead to something - that something being a step to the realization of ones dream.

"Nanami" represents the ocean. I love looking at the open ocean - and Nanami likes to swim too ^^; The final reason is something I can mention in a few days - will update this paragraph and write why ^^;

I had an image of Nanami in my mind and I gave Yuu-san everything I wanted in bullet points. She then came back to me with a few rough sketches. I asked for a few ideas where Nanami was wearing some construction site type uniform trousers and this is one of them. Love the hard hat with the neko mimi.

I liked this idea - construction worker uniform with an apron ^^;

I liked the idea of Sukumizu (School Mizugi (the blue swimwear worn at schools)) combination.

If you are working with an illustrator, I would advise to ask for roughs at screen resolution (72dpi) and then final images at 600dpi which you can use for print and screen. Where possible, ask the illustrator to draw your characters in their birthday suit so that you can ask for different garment variations later which would be drawn on a different layer.
The face should be drawn on a separate layer too so that you can have various expressions. The FlameBurst Mirai was 600dpi at 5000px x 8000px and was good enough to make a 1/1 scale print without looking pixelated or blurry.

If you are handing work into a printers or importing into Illustrator, make sure to convert the image into CMYK first which you can do in Photoshop.

Starting to look Sailormoonish ^^

I then took all the elements that I liked and whipped up this design in Photoshop. Her delicate zone was a bit over exposed so we put a belt on her ^^;

Nanami is not going to be a mascot for the site (that's Mirai's job!) and I'll be looking forward to developing Nanami-chan into various up n coming roles ^o^

Update - looks like Nanami-chan is getting some coverage on the Japanese Internets ^o^

Adorable Nanami dance animation by the talented Kaizeru.

Pixel Nanami by artist Arayden from Singapore.

Hmmm. Maybe we should get Mirai to cosplay as Nanami ^o^