I know, I know, you’re all tired of someone who knows nothing about Gundam, talking about Gundam’s all through Mecha March. I promise this is the last post, and probably the most unexpected of the bunch. Japanese musicians aren’t strangers to Gundam, as I’ve talked about before here.
However, friends and fans of Dir en Grey, Gundam into Gunpla might not know that Kaoru and Toshiya have had three custom collaborations for Gunpla models. Two of Toshiya’s custom models, the 2015 and 2018 models, only recently being put on sale officially!
To me, this seems pretty unreal that two musicians from my favorite band of all time, have had such an opportunity. I feel like I’ve said this every single Mecha March post I’ve done this year, but seriously; being able to collaborate with Gundam, a franchise I’d argue is one of the biggest in Japan, is a pretty big deal.
I think at some point in 2016, I had heard that Kaoru and Toshiya had gotten a Gunpla collaboration opportunity. I kinda laughed it off as some weird coincidence. Back then I was still in college, and my understanding of how huge Gundam is, was limited. I told my then Gundam-obsessed friend, and original serial Gundam fan, my host dad, and got a pretty serious verbal beat down. It wasn’t just coincidence. Celebrities that get chosen to do custom Gunpla, have to be pretty serious fans of the franchise. You’ll notice they don’t just hand the opportunity to the it-girl or it-boy of the year.
Especially since to my limited research, Kaoru and Toshiya are among the more regular celebrity custom Gunpla collaborators. They have been invited to create custom Gunpla in 2015, 2016 and then 2018. Having three collaborations under their belt, it’s incredibly impressive and I couldn’t resist writing a little bit about their accomplishments this month.
Before we get to the gallery showing the fully customized models, I have to give a major thank you to tumblr user YRIDENERGYRIDENERGY . They were instrumental in me being able to gather information, and photos of the models. Their photos are used in the 2015 post, and both Toshiya and Kaoru’s 2018 images. The specific posts which they were taken from will be linked below the slide shows, with additional credits from other sources. I also highly recommend clicking the links to get more details about models and personal experiences in the posts.
(Long story short, none of these images are my own, and will be linked to the appropriate posts from which they were taken.)
Dir en Grey, Kaoru and Toshiya Custom Gunpla from 2015. The shorter all-black model is Kaoru’s. The model holding a bass is Toshiya’s.
Dir en Grey, Kaoru and Toshiya Custom Gunpla from 2016. The rotund gold model GB-Z, is Kaoru’s. The gunsmith grey model, Naked ZEONG, is Toshiya’s.
Dir en Grey, Toshiya Custom Gunpla 2018.
Dir en Grey, Kaoru Custom Gunpla 2018.
I would give more my thoughts on each customization, but I feel a bit under-informed to say much more then I think they’re badass. Of course they’re badass; Kaoru and Toshiya customized them!
I thought it would be a neat little shake-up from the anime-focused aspects of Mecha March, and it gives me the chance to show off Dir en Grey’s Otaku side. If you’re curious about Dir en Grey, you can check out their album “Vestige of Scratches”, which photographed with the 2018 Gunpla.
With that, my contributions to Mecha March has finished! I hope you found my posts entertaining. I’ve really been digging other blogger’s posts about Mecha March, so again check out Scott and Lita, linked earlier to get your non-Gundam fill.