You might have seen “To-Fu Oyako” somewhere. It is one of the main characters of “Devilrobots”, a creative unit based in Tokyo. Devilrobots actively participates in many conferences and reactions from audiences to their character are pretty good. Their first DVD was released this January. You will be able to feel their spirits in this DVD.
Please introduce yourself.
Devilrobots is a creative unit established by Shinichiro Kitai (Art Director), Kenji Saito (Creative Director) and Seikou Kato in 1997. It became a limited company in 2000 and Yoshizo Yoshimura (Creative Director) and Takeshi Ikegami (Designer) joined us. We are based in Tokyo and specialised for creating graphics, characters, illustrations, moving images, web sites, music, and planning, designing and producing wears and goods.
Our catch phrase for the year 2003 is “Enter a New Phase of Devilrobots”.
We had many chances to see your characters last year. To-Fu Oyako was used in a TV advertisement of a car company. How was last year for you if you look back?
Our main character “To-Fu Oyako” got to be widely known by the public in 2002. “To-Fu Oyako” rapidly grew up by going through the exhibition tour in NY, Paris and at “Canon Digital Gallery” in Makuhari, Japan in 2001. After this tour, it was released as a figure from “Medicom Toy”. The 4th series has just been released this January and about 20 types of “To-Fu Kubrick” are available so far.
Last year, To-Fu Oyako was broadcasted on “CS Fuji 721” as a animatied TV series (12 stories broadcasted : 1 story was 6 minutes long.) It will be released in DVD within this year. Moreover, a book called “To-Fu 34/102” was released from Fuso Publishing Inc.. Kubrick is attached to this book and you can know everything about To-Fu Oyako in this book.
We took part in “IdN Fresh Conference” organised by Hong Kong’s design magazine “IdN”, which we are in charge of a serial comic of “To-Fu Oyako”. We visited Singapore and Hong Kong for the conferences and we think we could made Devilrobots splash last year.
I heard that your unique performance received many good reactions from the audiences in “Fresh Conference Singapore” and “My Favourite Conference”. I think going to overseas events is a good chance to refresh your mind. Do you enjoy participating in this sort of event?
No matter it were held abroad or in Japan, we make it important to take part in events and conferences. So, we agree to an offer very willingly.
Going abroad is a great occasion to present what Devilrobots is for people who do not know us at all. Getting to know a variety of people, exchanging opinions and having a drink together… It is a very inspirational time that we can’t feel in Japan and this is great fun for us as well. These sorts of experiences influence our works and ideas in various ways.
It must be very exciting to see many creators from the world in the events. Can you tell us an episode you remember the best?
It was the closing part of “My Favourite Conference” in Hong Kong. We were having fun by drawing graffities on our faces with pens but we had a spree too much. We got a sofa of a nightclub to be dirty and staff there were very upset.
I would like to know about your DVD “Evil Gold”. What contents are in this DVD?
Our first DVD “Evil Gold” is divided into 26 contents “A to Z” with the concept “all about Devilrobots”. For example, “Alien” appears in the content “A”.
New short movies, such as evirob, Cracle & Craze, Erotan, Vibe-kun are the main features in this DVD, but the masterpiece Devil Style, the past jingles and the exhibition world tour are featured as well. It is a dictionary about Devilrobots. Or it can be described that this DVD is a motion festival of Devilrobots with black jokes, humorous things and cuties.
The first limited edition, which was sold at HMV in advance of other stores in December 2002, had a Special Kubrick Key Chain. Thankfully, almost all 2000 golden packages were sold out. The one, which was released on the 24th of January, is “standard edition” of the same DVD.
What is a recommended point(s) in this DVD?
It must be the point that you can watch almost all our moving images, which we have been making since 2000, in this one DVD. I recommend you watch your favourite content again and again. It is also a nice idea to show the DVD to your best friends. If you have got the limited edition, playing with Kubrick must be great fun as well. There is a bit of erotic content called Erotan (it sings songs) and my friend said to me “I watched Erotan too much, so that Erotan’s songs stick strongly in my head.” I think this is another way to enjoy the DVD.
What triggers you to make a new character?
It is when I am drawing a rough sketch. It is usually just before I go to bed and I draw something on the backside of used papers with a pencil. I scan my favourite kids (characters) afterwards and they become new characters.
We have to think about many characters when we prepare for a presentation. Even if clients do not like some of them, they will be in our character stock. So they still have a chance to debut next time.
What, who and where do you get inspiration from?
Everything I see with my eyes and hear with my ears. When I go to a bookstore, I have a look at various magazines and books. In a CD shop, I listen to samples of the latest songs as well as checking sleeve designs.
Please tell us your original brand “Evirob“. What is the concept of this brand?
Our desire “we want to wear clothes we design” pushed us to establish “Evirob”. It was summer in 2001 when this brand started.
The concept of “Evirob” is the weird icons and messages that creep into daily life… They will become “another standard” in a usually life before we are aware.
The name of the brand “Evirob” is taken from “Devilrobots”.
We produce T-shirts, wears and goods such as a lighter every season, but we also made the figure series by collaborating with “Medicom Toy Co.” and we had the serial comic of evirob in a fashion magazine “Get On!” in 2002. Everob’s “weird” world is expanding.
What does “designing” mean for Devilrobots?
It is a wonderful job.
Please tell us your future plan.
We are going to participate in the event called “Gamehotel” in Paris on the 30th of January. In May, we go to New Zealand to be at “design survival camp6”. Also, it has been confirmed that “Goldboys”, which is the image character of “Evil Gold”, will be used as the image character for “Tsutaya Online” from March. “Evil Gold” will appear in posters, pamphlets and web.
Address : 4-28 Murakami Bld. 2F Suido-cho Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Tel : +81-3-3267-7336
Translation and Text: Sachiko Kurashina
Devilrobots DVD – Evil Gold is available at Shift Factory.