JRR.com was able to sit down with designer & illustrator of h.NAOTO’s Hangry&Angry brand at PMX 2008.

Please tell us a little about where your inspiration began for the designs of the Hangry&Angry characters.

Gashicon: It started off when I was given the topic by h.NAOTO himself to do Gothic & Lolita and Punk designs and I wanted to create characters based off of that kind of image.

We know that the characters H&A are from outer space and that they came for peace, but could you give a bit of a description of their personalities?

Gashicon: Someone with a punk image is seen as someone very tough and someone with a Lolita image is very demure. I wanted to switch the two with these characters, so when you see Hangry, she has an exterior image of a punk, but she is very timid, and then there is Angry, who has the exterior of a Lolita but internally she is very aggressive.

Oh yes! I’ve seen on your website that Hangry gets her head cut off by Angry. How about the names, can you tell us where they came from and what they individually represent?

Gashicon: H from Hangry, comes from h.NAOTO and she is always hungry, but the way you romanize it in Japanese, its spelled with the Japanese syllable, ‘ha’ and that’s why it’s not spelled h-u-n-g-r-y.

Is there a particular reason why they are cats?

Gashicon: There are other characters that are animals too, but I chose them to be cats because I feel like they are most similar to me and they tend to do things their own way and that’s what I like about them.

Let’s talk about your other characters, we would like to know a little more about them, such as the two bunnies that are featured on your website.

Gashicon: The two bunnies are from an alternate fashion line called Candy and Purin. Candy and Purin used be connected at the leg, but they became separated. When bunnies are lonely, they die and the one that only had one leg, Purin, had died. Candy was really longing for Purin to return that she was able to revive her spirit, but then Candy got multiple personalities, so she would be able to bring in Purin’s personality, but Purin is very pessimistic and has a very negative view of the world so when that overcame her personality, there was another personality that she got that is called Puttsun Purin, or "Pissed off" Purin.

Tell us about personality and how it affects your designs

Gashicon: I feel that both of the personalities of Hangry and Angry are within myself, and I have my moments when I feel weak or I feel strong just like them.

Do you have a common focus in designing? If you do, can you tell us what that is?

Gashicon: I don’t really have one, but I concentrate on the world and atmosphere that the characters are living in

We know that you liked h.NAOTO before becoming a designer, but how is it that you decided to become a part of it?

Gashicon: Ahh yes, I would buy a lot of their products. I thought the designs were really cool, so that’s what made me decide.

Was it like a regular application process?

Gashicon: When I applied to work for the company, I submitted the work I had from school up until work I had from a graphics company that I worked for. Once I joined the the h.NAOTO company, I didn’t start out in fashion designing, but just graphic designs.

We’ve heard that you’ve been drawing for most of your life, but did you always want to be a designer, could you tell us about what you wanted to be when you were younger?

Gashicon: At first, I wanted to be a manga artist, but then in high school, I became interested in graphic design.

Since you mentioned that you wanted to be a manga artist, will you ever put forth that dream? We know that you have comics of H&A in the Cure magazines, but would you ever consider expanding outside of that with those characters?

Gashicon: Ooooh (laughs). If I’m able to, I would like to eventually put them into an actual manga with volumes.

When you come up with your clothing designs, when you draw the croquis, do you use people or the H&A characters?

Gashicon: The are two designs that I make, I first draw the clothing on the H&A characters and since I can’t do fashion designs per se, I take my designs to the fashion department so they can make the real version.

Concerning H&A Future, that is something you are in collaboration with designer head, Hirooka Naoto, can you tell us the significance of this line and how it differs from the original H&A line?

Gashicon: The original H&A are living in the present, and H&A Future are from the future, and because something bad is going to jeopardize the peace of the world in the present, they call their future selves to come and save the world.

Since you are more in tune with dressing in punk style, and you even mentioned in your fan panel earlier today that you prefer Hangry, do you also bear a resemblance in personality with Hangry?

Gashicon: Yes, very much so. (laughs).

So how you feel about H&A brand and h.NAOTO being very popular in the States? Over the past couple of years there has been an evolution with fashion, and now h.NAOTO is very huge.

Gashicon: I’m very happy. I’d like to know why it is so popular.

The characters are very cute and Jrock fans seem to really be into this type of fashion. So how do you feel about being here in L.A.? Is there anything in particular that you would like to do while you’re here?

Gashicon: I’m really happy to be here, especially since it’s my first time traveling overseas.

Would you like to come back?

Gashicon: I’d definitely like to come back. (laughs)

Maybe when you come back, you’ll have more time to see everything.

Gashicon: Yes, really. (laughs)

Since the Cure shop has a lot of H&A clothes being sold there, have you been able to stop by there?

Gashicon: No, I haven’t. I won’t be able to go because I have to be here at con all of today and tomorrow.

Maybe next time when you come here. Where are some other places you would like to visit in America?

Gashicon: New York

To see the fashion?

Gashicon: Yeah, I want to see it.

Fashion week is very big in New York.

Gashicon: Ahh yes, I watched it online.

One day, would you like to be a designer in NY Fashion Week?

Gashicon: Eeeh? Can I?

I think you’ll be able to do it.

Gashicon: (laughs) I’ll take over it.

(laughs) Just H&A or all of h.NAOTO?

Gashicon: Wouldn’t it be everybody? (laughs)

So how do you feel about being able to participate in a fashion show with designers such as Angelic Pretty and Takuya Angel? They both have very different styles from H&A with Angelic Pretty having sweet lolita fashion and Takuya Angel having cyber goth fashion.

Gashicon: (laughs) I haven’t met them yet! But I am really interested in them, so I’m looking forward to it.

What sort of advice would you give to an aspiring fashion designer or fashion illustrator?

Gashicon: Ahh yes, for designers I don’t really know because they are different since I’m an illustrator. But this could apply to both: you can do anything you put your mind to, if you believe in those words, you’ll be able to do anything. As for me, when I first created these characters, those words were what I had in mind, and it’s not enough to just write it down because you have to be able to communicate your ideas and know exactly what you want. Also, you can’t do everything on your own, so you have to be able to work well with others.

Interview by: Reiko

Edited by: Ali W.