Half-mecha, half-magical girl, and entirely awesome.

Mizu Minamo (@32_Archangel) is an idol and actress, and you’d be correct in assuming that among her tweets you can find photos of her visiting picturesque places, enjoying sweets, and wearing cute accessories. For example, here she is talking about her love of flower-motif hairpins.

However, Minamo shared some even eye-catching floral fashion a while back when she incorporated actual sakura cherry blossom petals into an outfit. She didn’t model the look herself, though, and instead entrusted that role to a very reliable friend: the ASW-G-08 Gundam Barbatos, from Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans.

That’s because Minamo isn’t just an idol and actress, but a Gunpla (Gundam plastic model) enthusiast too! As dedicated Gunpla builders already know, the instructions that come included with the kits are fine for making a basic facsimilia of the anime franchise’s various giant robots, but the real fun comes from adding your own artistic flair and making your mobile suit truly one of a kind. In Minamo’s case, she does that by adding a whole bunch of cuteness to the mecha, creating what she calls, quite accurately, “kawaii Gunpla.”

▼ Minamo poses with one of her creations near the life-size Unicorn Gundam Statue in Tokyo.

While cuteness and mechs might seem as compatible as oil and water, Minamo makes the combination work in a surprisingly harmonious way, with neither the cute nor cool factors feeling like afterthoughts. Many of her kawaii Gunpla draw from another branch of anime aesthetics with a rich history by incorporating magical girl costume elements. Her latest work, for example, the “Fantasy Strike,” gives Mobile Suit Gundam SEED’s Strike Gundam a frilly skirt and a large flowing ribbon bow on its back.

▼ “In the name of the Earth Alliance, I will punish you!”

Minamo’s penchant for adding flowing cloth to her Gunpla also brings to mind fantasy-setting mecha series such as Vision of Escaflowne and Aura Battler Dunbine, by giving the robots’ appearance an atmosphere of opulent knightly plate armor.

The Fantasy Strike is currently on display at the Gundam Base Tokyo showroom/specialty store at the Diver City shopping center in Tokyo’s Odaiba district, and with the brand-new Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury anime TV series set to debut in the fall, hopefully we’ll get to see Minamo’s take on the newest member of the Gundam family tree before long.

Related: Mizu Minamo Twitter, Instagram
Source: Twitter/@32_Archangel

Top image: Twitter/@32_Archangel
Insert images: Twitter/@32_Archangel (1, 2, 3)
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s always happy to talk about Escaflowne.