So, according to Ohtaka’s concept art and notes that were bundled with the Magi S1 DVDs, Kouen ended up being based on Ohtaka’s original concept of Hakuryuu. According to an early concept art, Kouen was originally the leader of Kou’s version of the eight generals and probably a retainer of prototype Hakuryuu. This is only my speculation, but maybe later on when Ohtaka decided to make Hakuei the older sibling and Hakuryuu the younger, she scrapped the concept of Kou’s eight generals as well. Later on when her editor suggested that she adds a character from Kou who opposes Sinbad, the current Kouen ended up being a fusion of prototype Hakuryuu and her original concept of him as the leader of Kou’s eight generals. I think the story behind how Muu and Takeruhiko came to be could also be similar, since I can’t find an early concept art of them.
Since prototype Hakuryuu highly intrigues me, I’ve been thinking about what his background and possible role could have been and how similar they were to the current Kouen. We can gather from the concept art (and Kouen himself) that adult Hakuryuu was charismatic and maybe less troubled. We can also gather from his military look (link and link) that even in the early planning stages, Kou was at war and probably also embraced the one world ideal:
The eye scar that prototype Hakuryuu only had as an adult could indicate that the fire incident or something similar still happened and it was a major turning point in his life. Prototype Hakuryuu also didn’t have the beauty spot like Hakuei, which could mean that her having it back then was more of an artistic choice rather than it being part of some plot. It’s unknown whether prototype Hakuryuu’s opponent was male or female Sinbad. Finally, I noticed that while Kouen’s weapon of choice was a glaive and then a sword, it was the opposite for prototype Hakuryuu.
It’s been over a year since I last drew Madoka, and this time she has a friend! I’m planning on drawing the other main girls (Nagisa included because she is my daughter), and I’ll will be posting them in pairs much like these two.
For comparison, here is the last Madoka I drew (plus some other girls). I can definitely tell that I have been improving, but even then I still know I have a long way to go with my art still.