All Gundam enthusiasts know his name. This amazing Japanese mecha designer was born in 1963, and has been part of the mechanical designs for the famed Gundam anime series since the 80’s. Those majestic robots (called Gundam) in their intimidating armor and complex mix of mechanical weapons, all geared up for war—yes, he made them.
Besides the fact that his designs are completely unique, anatomically proportional and anatomically correct, his concepts of these war giants are, in a sense,“realistic”. His giant machines do not have any magical powers or some supernatural glittery antics. They have limited supplies, they run out of fuel (yes, most of them run on fuel), they run out of energy, they get beaten up, and the steel or shells that they have get torn, pretty much like real life machines.
First Big Steps
Katoki began his rise to fame with his designs for the classic graphic novel “Gundam Sentinel”. After that, he continued working on the Gundam 0083 OVA (original video animation) series, for which he designed the giant Dendrobium that a Gundam uses as transport, weapon carrier and attack ship. After these, his next big step was designing the robots for “V Gundam”, where he was assigned as the main mechanical designer. Soon after, he designed all the villain robots on “G Gundam”.
Katoki also made variations (or more like reincarnations) of the Gundam Wing series. He took the final versions seen on the movie “Gundam Wing Endless Waltz” and gave them new colors and armaments. Some parts were removed, and some were added. The idea was to return the designs to their earlier types, so the bodies were new; but the overall designs and colors resemble the originals from the series.
With the popularity of this anime especially among mecha enthusiasts, Gundam scale models began to come out of the market, much to the delight of the robot-loving public. Gundam kit collectors of today know that the boxes with the designation “Ver.Ka” (or Version Katoki) mean business. These versions of the kits are, of course, a bit expensive, but we all know internally that every Ver.Ka kit is worth every penny.
After releasing the latest designs on Gundam Unicorn, Katoki finished a revamped version of the famous (and now classic) Nu Gundam, which every avid fan of the franchise waited in line for.
Here are some of his concept designs and the Ver.Ka kits:
RX 78-2 Ver.Ka
Heavy Arms Ver.Ka
Unicorn Banshee Ver.Ka
Gundam Unicorn Ver.Ka
Sinanju Stein Ver.Ka