At MCM London Comic Con May 2015 we were lucky enough to get an interview with the Anime Guest of Honour, Hidetaka Tenjin. He has worked as an artist for Hellsing Ultimate, the Macross franchise and Gundam Evolve. Check out our chat with Hidetaka Tenjin down below.
How are you doing, how are you finding London?
Hidetaka Tenjin: It’s great! I love the architecture and the people walking around.
How did you first get into art?
Hidetaka Tenjin: I wanted to be all sorts of things. I wanted to be a pilot, I wanted to make robots, but in the end art is just where I settled.
You specify in mechanical, and sci-fi illustrations, how did you get to that point?
Hidetaka Tenjin: As a child I loved mecha, sci-fi, anything enormous, so I naturally started drawing those kind of things. I’m from the generation where we had Star Wars and Star Trek in the States, and those influence a sci-fi boom in Japanese anime as well.
I understand you majored in mechanical control systems. Did that inform your artwork?
Hidetaka Tenjin: Of course, I want to draw mecha that can actually move. Anime designs tend to be all over the place, but I like making them look like they could actually work in real life.
Some of your most popular work include the Macross franchise, Gundam and Hellsing Ultimate. Explain what you loved about all of these?
Hidetaka Tenjin: With Gundam it’s so huge and there’s so many people involved, especially with the box art for the model kits, there’s a huge tradition behind them. Being allowed to draw the box art for all of those was a big honour for me.
With Hellsing I was involved with the mecha design, and I really don’t like horror or gore. But it was set in London, and I did loads of research in to London and now I am here which is really great. Although I do feel that I need to apologise to the people of London for that kind of story.
Because Hellsing was obviously so different, what was the biggest challenge?
Hidetaka Tenjin: To be honest, it was part of my London research. It was really difficult to find out about the police in London. I tried to find out what the officers from Scotland Yard would wear, what shape the helmets were, what jackets they would have. It was really difficult to find that information online. Although yesterday I actually saw real life police officers for the first time. It was very exciting.
You do cover, and box art, explain how you feel creating them?
Hidetaka Tenjin: It’s really good fun, because it’s like drawing my own art.
Are there any games, anime or manga that you really enjoy?
Hidetaka Tenjin: Sidonia, Knights of Sidonia, and I am looking really forward to the new Star Wars.
What’s next for you in the future?
Hidetaka Tenjin: My next interview (laughs). Just kidding, I am working on the new Macross TV series right now. Also I am continuing to draw the box art for the series Star Wars model kit for Bandai that looks like it’s going to carry on for a while.