ARTIST PROFILE: Mari Shimazaki

A prolific character illustrator in the game industry, Mari Shimazaki is best known for designing gaming’s toughest witch — Bayonetta! Yet while Bayonetta is certainly the most famous of the characters Shimazaki has designed, she is hardly the only one.

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Bayonetta character concepts

Before giving life to Bayonetta, Shimazaki served as a character designer for God Hand and as the lead character designer for Okami, two beloved Capcom titles for the PlayStation 2 that maintain a hardcore fan following to this day.

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Okami character concepts

Shimazaki’s artistic talents don’t end with characters, either; she has been known to design costumes, too! Shimazaki’s most notable costume design work can be seen in Bandai Namco Entertainment’s Soulcalibur fighting game series, where she designed Leixia’s primary costume as well as Ivy’s and Tira’s alternate costume in Soulcalibur V and the “Rabbit Football” and “SC Woman” custom costumes in Soulcalibur: Lost Swords. Since spearheading Bayonetta’s sharp new look in the recent Wii U title Bayonetta 2, Shimazaki has gone on to design the new fighter Josie in the newly-released Tekken 7.

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SoulCalibur – Ivy alt costume design

Only time will tell where Shimazaki goes from here, but you can check out her incredible designs for yourself in many of UDON’s art books, including The Eyes of Bayonetta, Okami: Official Design Works, and Soulcalibur: New Legends of Project Soul!