Warm flesh, hard metal: Terra’s bionic women

I came across Katsuya Terada’s work by pure accident, when I haphazardly discovered that the apartment where I’d been staying in Tokyo was directly underneath Mandarake – a multi-story manga and anime shopping mecca. While shambling disoriented from all the STUFF, through Mandarake’s hallways, I saw a glossy image of a girl staring from beneath a helmet intersected with pipes, tubing and other such hardware. As “WANT” scrolled across my brain-monitors, I was already inside pointing at the display and paying a ridiculously low $40. It was a hard cover edition of his art book “Cover Girls” and I was enthralled.

 As I later found out, Terada, also known as Terra, has been around for quite some time working on big projects like Blood: The Last Vampire and Virtua Fighter 2, but it’s still his cover girls that I love most. He renders these women with a sense of humor, young and fierce in spite of their partial nudity. Even the most vacant gaze seems to glimmer. They’re geared up, ready for battle, and remind me of Tank Girl a little. The costuming is a huge highlight; there is so much, often gritty, detail that goes into the armor and headdresses to counterbalance all that exposed flesh! It’s this costuming that really plays with the imagination and engages the viewers, inviting them to create their own backstories for all these characters.




8 Responses to “Warm flesh, hard metal: Terra’s bionic women”

  1. James Shearhart Says:

    That’s some damn beautiful stuff….

  2. E. Black Says:

    Terra’s work is gorgeous.

  3. Ashbet Says:

    They’re *amazing* . . . eeeee!!! (And, yes, I see the Jamie Hewlett influence/flavor, too — I think it’s some of the expressions.)


  4. Jerem Morrow Says:

    Digging ze Brom und Travis Charest flavors as well.

  5. Adam Rice Says:

    Is it just me, or do some of his women look like Zoe?

  6. paul blume Says:

    …and if you think those are something, have a look at his version of the Monkey King. Breathtaking.

  7. lucylle Says:

    Very nice! It looks like a perfect cross between Brom’s technique and Sky doll‘s concepts.

  8. Paul Komoda Says:

    I’m so happy to see this!
    I’ve loved Terada’s work ever since I came across his illustrations in the excellent book, Creature Core by his friend, Yasushi Nirasawa( another favorite of mine).
    It also should be noted that Terra can really sculpt as well.
    Some years ago I had seen a beautiful sculpture he had done of the aforementioned Monkey King in an issue of Hobby Japan Ex.