Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!
Cirno Ice Fairy Appreciation Day! As noted in this post, the centerpiece of the Ice Fairy Festival event is a post here on the main blog. Well, this one is extra special as it features the first wave of Powerpuff Musume ’16 series of pics.
Announced and greenlit in Fall 2015, this series was a redux of a series of fanart pics I did years ago. In the original form, it featured past and present (as of 2004-2006) members of Morning Musume. In this form, current members are in the spotlight. Over the course of the first five months of 2016, the lineup for this series had been decided through a series of polls: first conducted by Google Forms with the tiebreakers being held over Twitter.
How does this relate to the 9th Gen? Well, as the most senior generation, they had their fates decided all through January. The final order was announced on February 10th with Mizuki’s outfit being announced the following week.
Sayashi Riho – Graduation dress
Due to Riho’s graduation having happened by the time the outfits were being decided (combined with the fact she’d already departed by the time the series began and said departure was announced days before the project was), her outfit became the dress she wore for her ceremony. Riho was also not featured during the entire voting process, due to her graduate status.
For references, I could’ve looked to an old photo I used to promote the event. However, I decided to go the extra mile and looked for Hello! Station footage of her graduation ceremony. As I primarily did this on the phone, this has left some of the details lost and I apologize for that. (This is the same deal with Kanon’s pic, only exacerbated for reasons explained in her section.)
I repeated the same segment over and over and over again — and it’s probably good that I listened to most of it, especially the part where they performed ENDLESS SKY because watching Weeping Musume 15 would probably get me choked up. Doing these first two images is going to set people (myself included) off to begin with!
Suzuki Kanon – Ai no Gundan
Suzuki Kanon and Ikuta Erina both garnered 1 vote during the main poll, which led to the tiebreaker poll that left Zukki victorious by 80% with 4 votes to Eripon’s 1. (Needless to say, I had a very good idea how much of a shock the graduation announcement was.)
As one of the top winners of the poll, Suzuki Kanon’s outfit was contested between two possible choices: Maji Desu ka Ska! and Ai no Gundan. By 75%, Ai no Gundan took the gold with 3 votes to Maji‘s 1. As such, Suzuki Kanon would don the gear befitting a soldier in Love’s Army.
The particular creation of this one caused me to say the following:
Why, you ask? Because looking for Zukki in her mostly black gear in that dark MV was almost like looking for a needle in a haystack! I’ve always sympathize, empathized with factions of her base crying from her being a backgirl and the sheer euphoria that was “Oh My Wish!”, but I truly got to understand where they were coming from. I had to do numerous double-takes and I have to fortune of being better able to recognize her already recognizable face and features.
(No, it’s not just because of the chub, though I will admit that I’m somewhat out of my comfort zone when I draw Zukki. One major source of shame I have with my tribute pic to her was that she ended up slightly more slender than I had wanted — and this is coming from someone who can count on one hand, including myself, how many close people I have who aren’t at least slightly plump. Despite my habit of drawing skinny ladies, I have love and appreciation for all body types and I can’t fathom the mentality of those fixated on weight… but enough ranting about body sizes. It’s near Sonic 06 levels of overtalked when it comes to Zukki or any other idol really. Besides, that’s not the focus here.)
Screencapping issues aside, this one was quite a delightful challenge to tackle. The sketch was done not long after finishing Riho while inking commenced later in the week, concluding on the 1st. For reasons that’ll be explained during Ikuta’s section, the coloring commenced the following week.
I don’t know if you’ll notice (you might once the process video comes out), but I slightly tweaked my coloring technique….
Ikuta Erina – Maji Desu ka Ska!
As mentioned, despite being a winner in the main poll, Ikuta Erina had gotten the short-end of the stick in the tiebreakers. She received 20% of the vote for oshi with one single vote and her chosen outfit, Maji Desu ka Ska!, also received one vote.
While I sketched this one on Friday, in light of increasing fatigue on my part, I took the weekend off to recharge. Since it was Labor Day weekend in addition to that, one can see some justification in it (especially in the above pictures where signs can be slightly apparent).
I will admit that the pose (which I chose to break the monotony of Zukki and Rihoriho’s pics) was difficult to get down, primarily because it was based on a screencap that only showed Eripon’s upper body. Yes, the bottom half is mostly derived from approximating on her pose from various references.
I tried out a new inking technique with this and Mizuki’s pic… which may be very noticeable because I forgot to resize it when I began to work on them proper and it was too ate when I realized it. Regardless, this allowed me to get this and Mizuki’s pic done on time (helped by the fact I worked on them somewhat simultaneously).
Fukumura Mizuki – Sukatto My Heart
As for Fukumura, her outfit’s history is laid out in the post announcing it:
In the main poll, Fukumura garnered 0 votes and thus had the last spot in her generation. (This also meant she couldn’t take part in the public Twitter votes.)
However, her costume was contested among the six A-sides who received a single vote. (The winners, Maji Desu ka Ska! and Ai no Gundan, were contested between Zukki and Eripon.) Sukatto My Heart won among the first four while both of the remaining two received an even amount of votes. This led to a final round between the three with Sukatto My Heart and Ima Sugu Tobikomu Yuuki each tying.
I had two choices: Hold another vote on Twitter or look to the 10th Gen poll (which had all the singles as choices and had received votes before I could take out the “duplicates”). I chose the latter to prevent further tie-ups, which had Sukatto in the lead with 4 votes (66.70%) at the time of this writing.
This led to Fukuhime’s costume being chosen as Sukatto My Heart.
This one was relatively easy, mostly because of the pose and the simplicity of the outfit. This might be my favorite of the quartet (even if Mizuki is the bottom of the barrel for many fans. …Am I the only one who likes her?), because this came out great despite the rush job. Plus, I had a lot of fun with the background. There’s also the fact that wonky face and minor flaws aside, this one is where I feel relatively satisfied with what I’ve done! (Okay, Zukki’s pic is also one I’m proud of — and that was sized properly.)
Despite the fact that this is the beginning of my “graduation tour” from doing Puffed art and the aforementioned disappointments and difficulties, I’ve had a fun time with these pieces.
The next phase is the 10th Gen, which may come coupled with the 11th Gen for convenience sake. That might take a while as there is a very real possibility that I will be busy with other projects this fall. Basement Babes announced its final issue (submissions end the 17th!), two Secret Santa events have been announced, a comic opened up guest page submissions, plus I have a personal project in the works that I really want to get to (and will be formally announced next month at the earliest).
Then there’s also the real possibility that I’ll have to organize a “memorial survey” for C-ute (for obvious reasons).
Cirno Ice Fairy Appreciation Day from M3!