Dimension Girl

The story of Dimension Girl Coneru = Hyperspace (or in Japanese, 亜空間こねる⚡️次元少女 Akūkan Coneru Jigen Shōjo) began with her first posts on her Twitter account, on January 10th, 2019, along with the words: "Now connecting..."

In the days and months that followed, those who discovered this curious new presence on Twitter would learn through still images and GIF animations, that Coneru was a "multiverse lifeform girl" fond of interdimensional travel who intended to enjoy sightseeing on planet Earth. She was hoping to find a "soft life form" to "incarnate," but due to a mistake by the Dimension Trip Inc. travel agency, she ended up instead in the body of Socrates, a buff combat android.

Reproduced with permission from © HYPERSPACE (@Dimension_Mind)

Overwhelmed by Coneru's immense energy, Socrates broke down but was repaired by Dr. Otsukimi. Conerates (the tandem entity of Coneru and Socrates) stays at Dr. Otsukimi's place in Shinjuku, Tokyo, where the Hate Fruits Company has terrorized the city, causing almost all of its inhabitants to evacuate.

One day, Shinjuku mayor Konjikino Match, a former pro-wrestler with a matchmaker side to her, sends them a request to take down the Hate Fruits Company.

In a special ring built by the Mayor, Conerates faces off against the Hate Fruits Company's own battleroid, Plato, who is incarnated by another Dimension Girl called Hyper Sword. In the first round, Conerates is defeated by the powerful Plato...And that is the story thus far.

Interspersing this narrative on the Twitter account are panels and GIF animations either showing Coneru in her various moments of interdimensional travel, discovering the planets of our Solar System (incidentally, one of her hobbies is turning planets into hair ornaments)...

...or making reference to Japanese pop culture such as games and anime, as well as popular snacks and candy.

Combining a compelling story unfolding in real-time, appealing graphics and character design with a cute and pop feel mixed with nostalgia, Dimension Girl Coneru = Hyperspace's Twitter account continues to gain followers, both within and outside Japanese borders.

We reached out to HYPERSPACE, the character designer of Dimension Girl (as well as Metro Mew, another project more focused on music), to find out more.

Interview with HYPERSPACE

Prologue: The premise of HYPERSPACE

HYPERSPACE: What is a character? Rather than being "made from scratch by a creator," I see characters as inhabitants of infinite dimensions and space-time (multiverse) who cannot be seen from our world. From my point of view, what is known as "character design" in this world is channeling one's sensibilities into a key to access the multiverse and then "using technology to visualize such observed entities with a high level of precision."

Understanding dimensions

Ben K: So, then, is HYPERSPACE the name for the creator of Coneru = Hyperspace Dimension Girl and Metro Mew, or do you also exist in the same narrative space as they do?

HYPERSPACE: I exist in a separate dimension from Coneru = Hyperspace Dimension Girl and Metro Mew. As I wrote in my Twitter profile, HYPERSPACE is a creator living in this dimension. My role is to visualize their form and appearance and project them into this world.

Ben K: On Dimension Girl's Twitter account, there was a Tweet in which it looked like she recognized Metro Mew's existence. So, do Dimension Girl and Metro Mew inhabit the same narrative space? If they do, is it possible they may collaborate in some way in the future?

HYPERSPACE: Actually, it wasn't Hyperspace = Coneru but the Dimension Trip Inc. travel agency which recognized her existence. I don't know if they live in the same dimension or recognize each other, but it is possible that they may cross paths one day.

Ben K: Dimension Girl's story is very appealing. Was it complete from the beginning?

HYPERSPACE: I knew what would happen up to the point where they get involved in the events that happen in Shinjuku, but as for the story after that, I'll learn as I continue to observe their behavior. Right now, it looks like Socrates is feeling dejected after losing to Plato.

Dimension Girl and the multiverse of manga and anime

Ben K: We see Dimension Girl playing with a Game Boy and other nostalgic elements like Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball are also in the mix.

At the same time, in the typography and the graphic animation effects, for example, there also seem to be novel aspects. Could you tell us what was your concept for the character design?

HYPERSPACE: Before I even began looking for Hyperspace = Coneru, she suddenly appeared in my mind, so there is no design concept. I simply visualized her as she was when I observed her. (By contrast, when it comes to Metro Mew, I feel it's more like I was actively searching for a character matching the keywords "space, music, and girl")

If you consider manga and anime as a kind of multiverse, the closer one is to childhood, the more one can dive deeper into that dimension and retain strong impressions of it. That's why, even when they grow up, people tend to access the multiverse in the vicinity of that dimension. Personally, I was influenced by the character designs of Dragon Ball and the color palette of Sailor Moon, so perhaps that's why I was naturally able to meet Dimension Girl who inhabits a multiverse close to them.

I studied graphic design in college, so I am particular about the graphics I use in the presentation of Dimension Girl and Metro Mew.

Ben K: Looking at Dimension Girl's Twitter account, at one point, posts containing English text began appearing. Was this your intention from the beginning?

HYPERSPACE: Since there were many reactions from non-Japanese accounts or written in English, I tried to respond by posting translated versions. Each Twitter post has experimental elements, so going forward, I think I'd like to continue making various changes to the way I provide logs like these.

When I posted "The story of Dimension Girl in 2 minutes," I was shocked to receive replies from many followers saying: "I didn't know there was a back story, to begin with." I feel there's a limit to what I can do by only presenting Dimension Girl Hyperspace = Coneru through fragmented posts on Twitter. I need to find another method so I can present them more three-dimensionally.

(An English version was posted on Feb. 3rd, 2021:)

"Diversity in configurations of body and mind"

Ben K: I'm sorry for injecting my own interpretation here, but seeing how you use the term 受肉 juniku (incarnation) and considering the story of Dimension Girl, a cute bishōjo-like entity who "end(s) up being transported to earth with the body of a buff android," I can't help but think of the current phenomenon in which some VR users choose to "incarnate" bishōjo avatars. (Incidentally, I have heard from such a user that it's hard to adjust their body language to their new avatar and it takes trial and error, which reminds me of Coneru and Socrates who "can never agree on a pose together.") The setting of the Dimension Girl story seems to me like it values diversity since it could suggest you can take on the identity you want regardless of your biological gender. It also presents a female protagonist asserting her agency and showing you can be cute and strong at the same time. Am I over-interpreting?

HYPERSPACE: That is a very astute question!

When it comes to Coneru-chan and Conerates (the Coneru-Socrates co-entity), their very existence arrived from another dimension, so it's not something I intended but there's no doubt in my mind that the changing global trends and values relating to "diversity in configurations of body and mind," as represented by things like the recently heightened awareness of LGBT identity and babiniku*, contributed to my chance encounter with them.

* babiniku バ美肉, short for bācharu bishōjo juniku バーチャル美少女受肉, refers to the phenomenon of avatars depicting bishōjo-style characters, used by content creators who are often (but not always) male.

(I may be going on a strange tangent here but) I have the impression that there are two distinct consciousnesses within me. They often don't agree with each other, so I can't say that they get along very well. While this causes me grief at times, the friction generated by this discordance creates energy, and I feel that this energy has driven me to various places and helped me meet all kinds of people. Whether it's in the mind or the body, I find situations in which there are discordances or inconsistencies within the same entity to be fascinating, and I see much potential in them. "Conflict and difference" serve to liven up a story, but perhaps the same is true when it occurs within a single entity.

Through the auspices of the Dimension Trip Inc. travel agency, Coneru-chan has ample experience living her life on many worlds and inhabiting many things, so when faced with the accident (bodily discordance) of being incarnated into Socrates, she quickly accepted it and now isn't bothered by it in the least. Although impulsive, Coneru's mental age is an order of magnitude older than ours, and her presence is like a light shining on the consciousness of Socrates who was only recently born but has already had a hard upbringing. In that sense, although she may not be the kind of character people easily empathize with, I think it would be wonderful if that light of hers could reach the inhabitants of this world, myself included.

Philosopher battleroids?

Ben K: There's Socrates and there's Plato in this story. Is there a particular reason why you named battle droids after Ancient Greek philosophers?

HYPERSPACE: Socrates' name came to me quite naturally, almost as if it had been decided upon from the beginning, and Plato's name simply followed after that. The themes of "What is consciousness?" and "What is God?" are at the root of the relationship between Coneru = Hyperspace the Dimension Girl and Socrates the android, so perhaps I was naturally inclined to borrow the names of philosophers.

A plan of action

Ben K: It's a very appealing story and followers are surely excited about the way it will develop. What was your intention in choosing to deploy the story gradually in real-time rather than presenting a completed story from the beginning?

HYPERSPACE: Well, part of my intention is that Conerates are a character with a very unusual appearance the likes of which hasn't been seen before, so visualizing them in a gradual manner and observing them as I share them on social media was the method which suited them the most...But there's also the fact that, unfortunately, HYPERSPACE is still an unknown creator without a sufficient track record yet, so that's the only method I had at my disposal.

There are many ways of presenting characters to this world, but I think having either "a significant budget" or "manga drawing skills" are prerequisites if you want the general public to recognize characters of the type of Coneru = Hyperspace or Conerates. And in order to acquire such a budget, you need "an interesting plan which has borne fruit" and then "a creator (sometimes several creators) with a track record and name recognition = credibility" in addition to that.

The cards I could play were limited. I didn't have a budget, manga drawing skills or a team of creators. All I had was the "seed of an interesting plan" called Dimension Girl and "3DCG skills." The reason I use Twitter is that it allows me to turn the very process of cultivating this project from seed to fruit into content, so I decided that this style would allow me to gradually gain followers and establish a track record of collaborations with other fields, while also establishing credibility for both the creator and the characters. By continuing such activities and following through until it becomes an "interesting plan which has borne fruit," I will then take the next concrete actions I need to obtain "a significant budget."

The future of Dimension Girl

Ben K: Your goods are currently all sold out. Will your fans be able to buy them again?

HYPERSPACE: I can't say exactly when, but they definitely will!

Ben K: You've made AR models and sold various goods so far. If you don't mind telling our readers, what do you have planned for the future?

HYPERSPACE: I'm gradually raising awareness of Dimension Girl through the fragmented information posted on Twitter, but I think the appeal of this character can be conveyed more powerfully and to a broader audience by putting her into a game.

A message for our readers

Ben K: Based on what one can see on Dimension Girl's Twitter account, there are many positive comments in English. To conclude our interview, do you have anything you'd like to say to our grape Japan readers?

HYPERSPACE: It seems that the number of reactions from outside Japan has increased recently, and I'm grateful for that. I sometimes see comments asking: "Is this a game?" and it's interesting to note that the majority of them are written in English. Dimension Girl is definitely a character with a strong visual appeal, so I'm really happy to see that she has crossed the language barrier and become known outside of Japan. I don't know if readers of grape Japan can be counted among her followers... but if there are, thank you for your continued support! Your responses always motivate me. I'd be happy if you'd continue following, retweeting, and liking her posts. I promise to turn this into a game that you'll be able to play!


By - Ben K.