By: Anita C. Wang & Brian Gonzalez
Apollo is not the typical addition a band might normally be looking for but getting him was something of a collaboration between Satsuki the bands vocalist and the bands manager. Apollo joined the Visual Kei band during their recent concert at AnimeNext. He brings a new face to the band. Now you might even be more surprised to find out that Apollo is a cat that was created by Satsuki.
Satsuki’s love of cats helped Apollo go from paper to plush when Moon Stream’s manager asked seamstress Sarah Moulder to help out. Sarah who has had many year of experience in making costumes & plush animals created a plush of Apollo for Moon Stream. The manager liked Moulder’s work especially in creating a cat who specifically had facial features that were of a cat with a grumpy expression on its face. This cat in particular was inspired by but not to be confused with Grumpy Cat an internet sensation known for her facial expressions. In an interview with Samurai Beat Radio, Sarah was kind enough to answer some of our questions regarding the adorable plush feline.
Questions by Anita C. Wang
Anita Wang: Can you tell me about the process of turning Apollo into a plushie?
Sarah Moulder: I was at first presented with this image (link below but incase it doesn’t work its on the moon stream apollo page) and after a little back and forth to work out details I went to work on the pattern. Normally when developing a pattern I tend to work a little larger so if I need to adjust something I have more wiggle room. The first draft version and final version were actually done at the same time since there weren’t many changes needed outside of deciding between the 2 styles of whiskers I made and the slightly different head shape. Also although the original request was for a smaller plush, they (Satsuki, Tomo and their manager) liked the larger size and approved it. After Tomo gave it a once over, and we were talking about other details he continued to hold it and started to move it up and down and side to side when he realized the tails swung around as he did so.
AW: How did Apollo get his name?
SM: From my understanding its a play on the celestial theme that Moon Stream is partially named after. The theme stems from the 月 of 砂月 , the Kanji symbols for Satsuki also means or is related to the moon.
AW: Any plans on creating Moonstream into plushies?
SM: I tend to do plushes based off of animals or creatures, but actual people isn’t really a style I’ve tried at this point. It would be interesting to do so but, an fan made a plush of Tomo that is amazing, and I feel any version I tried to put together would pale in comparison.
Questions by Brian
Brian Gonzalez: Did Apollo actually make his debut during Anime Next?
SM: It wasn’t in the original planning but the prototype phase went so quickly and I had enough available materials that I was able to do a smaller batch in time for the con. AnimeNEXT is my home con so the timing ended up being extra great to have it debuted at.
BG: How many years of experience do you have in making plushies?
SM: I started making plushes in 2008 with really simple designs and over time through trial and error started creating more and more complex to where I now am somewhat comfortable patterning different items.
BG: How many Apollo Plushes were made specifically for Anime Next?
SM: There was one batch made in time for AnimeNEXT but not specifically for it. I know there were some leftovers that were sent out for Anime Expo. note: I’m not sure if its ok to share how many are available.
BG: What other experience do you have?
SM: Before getting into making plushes I was a cosplayer for 4 years, total of 9 at this point. Getting into plushes was a means to add items to sell in Artist Alley. Since then I have also dabbled into making character hoodies based off of anything from Bulbasaur to Bowser.
BG: Do you have a website?
SM: It does need an overhaul but my main website is StudioKitsu and I can also be found at Invader-Gir on deviant art and StudioKitsu on Tumblr and Etsy. I also have been doing this project called Traveling Octopus.
BG: Will Apollo be sold only at concerts or can he be purchased online?
SM: At the moment I believe they will be available at their shows.