Game & Anime, General

Unveiling HYPER JAPAN’s Futuristic Nacchan: A Journey into Japan’s Neon-Inspired World! 

At HYPER JAPAN, we’re always on the lookout for fresh inspiration to bring our beloved mascot, Nacchan, to life in new and exciting ways. This year, we’re thrilled to introduce you to our latest creation, inspired by the futuristic vibes of Japan’s retro neon aesthetic.

Illustrated by the incredibly talented Inko Ai Takita, this year’s Nacchan is a visual masterpiece that captures the essence of Futuristic Japan. But how did we arrive at this stunning design? Let’s dive into the inspiration behind our 2024 Nacchan and the creative process that brought it to life. 

Inspired by Futuristic Japan 

With Japan’s words of the year for 2023 reflecting the nation’s fascination with advanced technologies, it was only natural for us to embrace the theme of ‘Futuristic Japan’ for our beloved mascot. We wanted Nacchan to embody the spirit of progress and innovation that defines modern-day Japan, while still retaining the playful charm that makes Nacchan so beloved by fans. 

Bringing Nacchan to Life 

Under the skilled hand of Inko Ai Takita, Nacchan’s transformation into a futuristic icon was nothing short of magical. The vibrant colours and dynamic composition perfectly capture the energy of Japan’s bustling streets, while still maintaining Nacchan’s signature charm and personality. One of the unique elements we incorporated is the Japanese sound word “ドォーーン” (pronounced as “doon”), meaning “BOOM.” Incorporating manga sound effects that mimic the sounds of actions, objects, or feelings, adds depth and expression to visual and written works, such as in this case Robot Nacchan flying into the sky with the movement of an explosion.  

In addition to the theme itself, we also made some adjustments to the illustration to better fit the atmosphere of our event. As the HYPER JAPAN Festival is a day event, we consciously decided to brighten the background colour, moving away from the original dark nighttime visual. This decision not only enhances the visibility of the illustration but also adds a sense of energy and vibrancy that perfectly complements the Futuristic Japan theme and the summer matsuri atmosphere at HYPER JAPAN Festival.  

Keep an eye out for Nacchan as you explore the event – you never know where our playful mascot might pop up! 

Interview with Inko Ai Takita

How did you incorporate the themes of Futuristic Japan and Japanese neon aesthetic into your design for Nacchan? 

I went on searching in my brain what futuristic-themed anime series I have watched and loved and crystallised all of what I found into visual ideas. Gundam, computer games, Akihabara, and so on… It was a fun ride, and I’m so happy how it turned out. 

What do you hope people feel when they see Nacchan at HYPER JAPAN? 

I do hope people will get mesmerised by her new appearance as a Robot-Nacchan! Also, I hope they can identify many, many fun bits and bobs scattered around her. 

What are the important things to remember when drawing Nacchan? 

The most important thing to remember about her while creating her visual, is Nacchan is having a great time. No matter if she’s in virtual space, or a retro town scenery, or even a futuristic outer space! 

Inko Ai Takita – Biography 

Inko is a UK-based Japanese manga artist. Her aesthetic features fun and dark crossovers of modern & traditional Eastern and Western cultures, which comes from her studies at Kyoto Zokei University of Art & Design in Japan, and Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design in the UK before she kicked off her career as a manga artist. She also joins various art projects, gives talks at museums, and delivers manga workshops.  

Her clients include Kyoto Newspaper, Transport For London, British Museum, V&A Museum, Sony Entertainment Japan, and Guardian children’s books.  

Recent publications:  

  • Magic: The Gathering Kamigawa: A Visual Novel (YRS TRULY, 2022) 
  • Lady Murasaki’s Tale of Genji: The Manga Edition (Tuttle, 2022) 
  • Learn Clip Studio Paint 3rd Edition (Packt, 2021) 
  • Manga Yokai Stories (Tuttle, 2020) 
  • Tam O’Shanter (Cranachan Publishing, 2019) 

Visit her Instagram for more info @inko_dokotei, Twitter @yokkoishoichi and website