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Thank Goodness, The Burning Mystery Of Bayonetta 2's New Haircut Is Finally Explained

Posted by Darren Calvert

"I think her shorter hair gives her a generally more masculine look."

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?

[via platinumgames.com]

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User Comments (36)

Genesaur

#1

Genesaur said:

I love her new look, but certainly not for that reason. If anything, I think she looks more feminine than she did in the original Bayonetta.

Lovely piece of concept art on display, there. Reminds me that I still need to get the Eyes of Bayonetta art book.

Also... "sleak"?

CaviarMeths

#2

CaviarMeths said:

It's always interesting to see how much thought and expression goes into character design.

I prefer her design this time around. I like blue over red, and I think the weird ponytail thing sticking straight up and making her 8 inches taller in the first game was... well, weird.

King_Johobo

#3

King_Johobo said:

Bayonetta has a hair stylist? But..but she's a witch lol she looks great! so much involved in character designs. Can't wait for October :)

ultimate321

#5

ultimate321 said:

Odd because with short hair she looks sexier and more like a woman than a couped up librarian.

outburst

#6

outburst said:

@CaviarMeths

I agree with the pony tail judging by gameplay videos I've watched. She looks way better now. I'm really glad Nintendo included the original game as I've no intention in buying Bayo2 without playing the first one.

AJWolfTill

#7

AJWolfTill said:

I'd say the hair change is more feminine to feminist than masculine. It's a great look.

WanderingPB

#8

WanderingPB said:

I like the long hair in the original and the short hair in the sequel…hmmmm yup that about covers it on my end LOL!!!

siavm

#9

siavm said:

If you played the first game you know that her hair is not short. It appears short but the clothes she wears is her hair so it does not matter to me. I like the look though. Definitely looks less like palin.

rjejr

#10

rjejr said:

I had 2 theories on the hair change -

Most obvious: in the first game she doesn't wear any clothes, it's all hair, and when she attacks w/ it she's naked, so Nitnedo didnt 'want a naked woman fighting on their console so they made her hair short to tell everybody - "look, she's wearing clothes now".

Second: I thought it would be explained in game as having to do w/ the storyline of the 1st game - which I'll avoid here as a spoiler - and her change in life after that game ended.

I think somebody in game will comment on it - Platinum is quirky like that - and she can tell us herself whats what.

RantingThespian

#12

RantingThespian said:

Since I never played the first one, the characters' looks haven't been a big decision for me to buy it (I'm buying it because it just looks really good).

However, comparing the two Bayonettas, I like the shorter hair version.

Nicolai

#13

Nicolai said:

@rjejr The problem with the first theory is that the first bayonetta is now on Wii U as well, so Nintendo is featuring her old look anyway.

rjejr

#14

rjejr said:

@Nicolai - "The problem with the first theory"

When they first showed the game at E3 2012 nobody was talking about the 1st game being ported, that's a relatively new development. So it is possible that when they decided to make B2 for the Wii U Platinum took the nakedness into account. They must have been working on this game for at least 2 years now.

And well, it was just my initial gut reaction theory.

vamkar

#16

vamkar said:

In a woman, I prefer long hair... but this girl have amazing curves... so... thats even better.

Shambo

#18

Shambo said:

@sinalefa Indeed, they swapped more or less, yet I like both of 'em better now. I have action figures of both from the first game, here's hoping they make new ones from the second game too!

Genesaur

#19

Genesaur said:

@rjejr Um, except she still becomes more naked as she attacks in Bayonetta 2, so I'm not at all sure how you got that idea.

rjejr

#20

rjejr said:

@Genesaur - "except she still becomes more naked as she attacks in Bayonetta 2"

Really, I didn't know that. I know she has a revealing outfit under her cape wing stuff that I thought she attacked w/ but I don't recall seeing her naked. I've seen her in videos where most of her outfit goes away leaving what looks like a 1 piece bathing suit but that's as much skin as I've seen. Guess I should start paying more attention ;-)

spyro202

#21

spyro202 said:

I just LOVE the new look! I always had a thing for short-haired glasses girls... Sooooooooo yeah! It's a must buy for me. It's still for the gameplay but her new look is a bonus for me! :)

Retro_on_theGo

#23

Retro_on_theGo said:

Definitely prefer Bayonetta's old design but this one is not bad at all. They did a great job of keeping her look fresh even if I think they didn't need to. I prefer my curvy design though.

ModestFan93

#24

ModestFan93 said:

@rjejr In the Treehouse videos when Bayonetta's attack she straight up becomes naked as her clothes disappear.

Always wondered why this was the case. I wholly agree that she looks a strikingly more masculine yet still feminine. I suppose a feminine looking masculine?

Leu10antFalcon

#25

Leu10antFalcon said:

I truly love Bayonetta's short hair look. IMHO, she reminds me of Anne Hathaway with a lovely British accent. Cover art, in game... she's one ultra hot and attractive witch.

mamp

#26

mamp said:

I thought Red was more suited for Bayonetta but blue looks pretty good.

theBluntKnight

#27

theBluntKnight said:

@rjejr hang on if nintendo has a bee in their bonnet over Bayonetta being naked when she fights (fantastic mental image btw) then what is going to happen with the first game that is included with Bayo 2? Will it be unnecessarily censored or will it just have graphical upgrades here and there and a bit of bonus content if we're lucky ?????????????????????

rjejr

#28

rjejr said:

@theBluntKnight - Maybe that's why Nintendo put all those extra costumes in the game, to cover up her nakedness. :-) Though to be honest I haven't seen enough of the B1 videos to see if her Metroid bounty hunter costume goes away when she attacks or if she stays covered up. Now I'm curious.

Melkac

#29

Melkac said:

@rjejr Nintendo had little to do with the development of Bayonetta 2...not to mention Kamiya isn't the kind of person that would let them make such a change just for the sake of being more "family friendly". You certainly sound like you're spreading the truth, even though...yeah, you're kind of wrong.

Melkac

#30

Melkac said:

@rjejr Nintendo had little to do with the development of Bayonetta 2...not to mention Kamiya isn't the kind of person that would let them make such a change just for the sake of being more "family friendly".

BoobooMama

#32

BoobooMama said:

I like how a lot of thought was put it into the character designs, not just because "it looks cool".

rjejr

#34

rjejr said:

@Melkac - "the kind of person that would let them"

In my head, a year ago after watching the 2012 E3 unveiling, my initial reaction to her lack of long hair covering her body was that the people making the game had decided to give her clothes - on their own - before making the overture to Nintendo b/c they are aware of Nitneod's "family friendly" persona. I never really analysed it beyond that intial reaction so there are bound to be holes, but I never thought Nitneod pressured anybody, it was a decision more out of respect for Nitnedo and Iwata that the decision would have been made before approaching Ntinedo w/ the idea of putting B2 on the Wi U.

MeloMan

#35

MeloMan said:

Interesting to know how much goes into a game some times... looks like they went through A LOT of painstaking brainstorming to arrive at the final product. All I can say is, "thanks guys", and "I plan to support". :)

Henmii

#36

Henmii said:

I am not a "short hair" lover, though I have to admit it really suits her.

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