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Hirofumi Ichikawa

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Ichikawa

Years of clean living doing freelance work for Takara can have you looking like this.

Hirofumi Ichikawa (市川裕文 Ichikawa Hirofumi) is a noted Japanese Transformers fan who has made the jump to working on the brand in an official capacity for Takara.

As a fan, he wrote numerous fan-comics and magazines (called doujinshi in Japan), mainly focusing on introducing Japanese fans to the Hasbro/American version of Transformers and the concepts and characters within. Among them was a very indignant magazine decrying the "funny" dub of Beast Wars that was presented in Japan, as it had removed much of the "serious sci-fi" edge that had made the show immensely popular with the English-speaking fanbase. But perhaps his most well known pre-official work is Transformers Chronicles, a sort of "bridge" story for his take on the lead-up to Generation 2. This book was translated to English, but has long since sold through its short run.

Ichikawa has a definite preference for the Western take of Transformers, enjoying its more sci-fi-oriented and older-aimed feel, though he eschews the more metaphysical/mystical aspects of the fiction, especially Primus.


Writer/Illustrator

Ichikawa has penned several pieces of Transformers fiction for Takara, including the entirety of the DVD-pack-in comic "Linkage" that came with the Micron Legend (the Japanese name for Armada) DVDs, doing both the script and artwork. He also writes the bios for almost all of the e-Hobby exclusive toys like Sunstorm and Road Rage and other collector-aimed toys such as Pepsi Convoy, as well as the entirety of the regular Binaltech fiction (He had no input on the Binaltech Asterisk or Kiss Players fictions, however). He also has done many of the box-front illustrations for Transformers Collection toy reissues, among them Tracks and Smokescreen, which were used for Hasbro's Commemorative Series reissues of those toys as well.

With the release of the "Beast Wars Reborn" anniversary set, Ichikawa is both writing and illustrating a special story to accompany it, published in Figure King magazine.

Ichikawa's art style is heavily toy-based; his Transformers almost always have the toy's proportions and detailing down exactly (not approximations or "influenced" altered cartoon models), the only changes made are there to make them more "realistic" by adding in joints for motion that the toys may lack. These joints are always very realistic in terms of mechanical detailing of the pistons and rotating joints necessary for real-life machines, similar to the mechanical detailing artist EJ Su employs. His style can best be summed up as "if the toys were real robots". It's worth noting that Ichikawa was drawing toy-based artwork long before it got "popular" with the explosion of Dreamwave onto the fandom.

Toy Designer

With the beginning of Energon, Ichikawa was given the job of "mech design", taking the engineering designs of many toys and finalizing the aesthetic details, sculpts, etc. The toys he has worked on include...

Energon

Cybertron

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