By now you’ve probably seen the new look for everyone’s favourite modern witch, Bayonetta. But did you ever wonder why she had such a drastic haircut for the Wii U exclusive sequel Bayonetta 2? Thankfully Mari Shimazaki — freelance designer over at Platinum Games — is at hand to give the inside scoop on the behind the scenes character design process in this handy blog post.
Like all fashion conscious witches in the public eye, Bayonetta likes to keep her look fresh. What better way than a trip to her hair stylist? In discussions with Hashimoto and Kamiya, it was decided that Bayonetta was in the mood for something short this time and a more "masculine" look to her appearance (yes, you read that right):
She’s still wearing black, and I think her shorter hair gives her a generally more masculine look. While her design in the last game focused on curves, this time we see more straight lines. All of her accessories follow this, except her glasses, which I gave a slightly softer design.
There was some debate about where to show skin. Once we decided her new cape would come around to the front, we closed the front of her suit off to let the cape stand out. In exchange, we opened up a lot in back.
As water is a big theme of the second game, Hashimoto requested to make her key color blue. This turned out to be a lot more difficult than I thought it would be.
Blue doesn’t have the sharp quality of red, her previous key color. As it’s relatively easy on the eyes, making it stand out among all the other textures and colors in the game is a huge headache. On top of that, I had to balance it with black and silver (these colors were also decided right off the bat), which also is not easy. Ever since we decided Bayonetta should wear a sleak, black outfit, it’s always been a nightmare trying to have her properly stand out.
So that is the riddle of Bayonetta’s radical haircut explained, but what about the colour of her guns?
With her guns, finding a good balance of color took a lot of brainstorming. Accenting blue too strongly or giving it too much space didn’t fit Bayonetta’s look. We arrived at the final design by giving them a more striking shade of blue, adding some gold to match her chestpiece, and spreading a silver luster across each gun.
We’ve given Bayonetta’s new guns some antique charms to match her new look. I drew flower cameos that I felt matched the respective gun’s color, and emotion connected to that color.
Taking a step back and looking at how Bayonetta’s design turned out, I realize we went in a direction completely opposite from the last game. That also makes me think Bayonetta’s new look is possible because of her previous one, and will stand out because of that contrast.
I think she gives off a different impression than before, but still owns the name Bayonetta.
That's that covered, then. But what about Bayonetta's former rival, Jeanne the Umbra Witch? Surely she wouldn’t allow herself to be upstaged? This time she’s gone for a more causal biker look:
Jeanne is one of Kamiya’s favorite characters, so most anything Hashimoto and I said would get shot down instantly. I just drew biker suit after biker suit until one was approved. There were actually a few more he liked, but they all maintained a relative simplicity similar to her final approved outfit.
I didn’t intend to accentuate this part of her in my concept art, but Kamiya said Jeanne looks flatter than ever. He was happy about it too, so that’s fine I guess.
Thinking of how she would look side by side with Bayonetta, we decided to give her long hair. I wish I was a witch and could just summon my hair into any hairstyle I wanted.
And her firearms? Well this time she’s adorned them with cute Three Musketeers plushes, because why not, right?
Jeanne still uses her All 4 One’s in Bayonetta 2. Her charms, though, I decided to update with a personal touch. For the last game, I based her charms off each respective gun’s name, but this time I used the name of the whole set as the motif and made Three Musketeers plushes. I borrowed the color scheme from the Three Musketeers Anime.
If I gave these charms to Bayonetta, I feel it’d be a little too much altogether, but I think they add the perfect pinch of sugar to Jeanne’s design. Personally, I’m happy with how they turned out.
Bayonetta 2 (along with bonus original Bayonetta) is currently slated for an October launch. Have these new character designs tempted you to click the preorder button?