Rejected characters and designs from various Pop'n Music games

Pop'n Music 1~2

"The character in the upper right is a prototype for Pretty and is based on a character that appeared in a purikura machine called "PuriPuri tel Sticker". What genre was the jack-o-lantern character supposed to appear in?"
"The frog twins also have a bit of a backstory. They are characters from a purikura machine called "PuriPuri Canvas". These characters have been rejected, approved and almost decided on, rejected again, and so on."
"A skateboarding snowman, a fruit character, and many other unique characters. I think the donkey with the guitar would have had the folk or country genre."
"Since the enka genre was rejected for the first Pop'n Music game, the character in the lower left was inevitably rejected. Apparently the character was based off the general manager of the division."
"The chicken with the spiked bracelet looks like he could have been used for a racing-themed song. The author says that the chicken and the devil are his favourites!"
"The characters here are almost the same as their final designs. The only major difference is that Shollkee doesn't have his keytar. Judy and Mary's piercings were also decided upon at this point."

"These three designs are MZD's prototypes. It seems that a male version of Mimi was considered at first. The god of Pop'n Music being a spirit from a lamp was also considered at one point."
"These are prototypes of Koko, Rie-chan, and Sugi-kun. There were also many other clothing designs for Rie-chan."
"These are some more rejected characters designed by MZD. They each have a name: Merry Lou (top left), Fat Boy (top right), Vig (bottom left), and Prince E (bottom right). Fat Boy would make his debut later in Pop'n Stage."
"None of the characters here had a specific genre in mind. There's a girl who looks like she is singing and a cute boy swordsman. I hear that the ninja with "nazo (secret)" written next to him will be making his game debut soon."
"The name of the girl in the Chinese dress in the lower left is "Ao Dai Onee-san". The panda with the microphone and the roller-skating idol are also very cool."
"The girl in the lower right was an idea for the magical girl genre. shio, the designer, says the frog character is her favourite of these ones."

Source: Pop'n Music Character Visual Guide

Source: bearzooka on tumblr
[1] [2]

Pop'n Music 3~4

"Palette, with her squirrel tail, was scrapped and her clothing design was instead used for Ling Ling. Marron was created around the same time as Dia. Miki (originally made by P-CAT) and Yuka were early designs a character for the magical girl genre."
"Tina was designed to be the character for Newcomer but was later scrapped in favour of Kate. TOM was an early version of the character for Mondo but was later changed to Cyber. Jhony and Bikky were the original characters for Soundtrack but were rejected and replaced by P-1&P-2."
"Anytime a nun character was suggested, it was always turned down but eventually saw the light of day in Pop'n Music 6. Kebin is a character I drew because I wanted to create a boy character. Dinos was supposed to be a relative of Dino."
"Koon, Lucky, Yumi, and Ben were all concepts for a character for Punk. It was a difficult character to design but eventually Donna was created and chosen for the genre. The character in the lower right is Donna's prototype."
"The rejected designs for Pop'n Music 4 feature a lot of female characters. These designs feature various types of clothing like exercise wear, bondage pants, and even nun habits (nun dresses). The girl in the top right was going to be the character for the karaoke genre, while the girl on the bottom left was for the Okinawa genre."

Source: Pop'n Music Character Visual Guide

Pop'n Music 5

"Let's begin with outfit concepts for existing characters. In #1, Nyami's bangs were changed to a side-part and as much as we wanted it to work, it just wasn't Nyami. In #2, Dino is wearing some fancy clothes and in #3, MZD has "絵夢絶怒帝茂御畏"* written on the sleeve. Rie-chan's hair variations are fun, too!"

* Translation note: I don't know what this means so just pretend like it says something really cool :]

"These were all character concepts drawn without any thought as to what their genre would be. The name of the nurse in #6 is Army Nurse and #7 is Sexy Cat. The masked man in #9 was rejected at this point but he returned in Pop'n Music 6 as Otoko Man! Sexy Cowgirl (10) and Wolf Boy (11) did not get a chance to appear."

"These designs were more new character concepts. The chicken in the cook's hand in #12 is actually the boy's mentor. The name of the girl in #14 is Patty, and #15 is Sebastian, another concept for Neo GS's character. The wiggly rabbit in #16 inspired the designs on Mimi and Nyami's shirts. #17 and #18 are the original designs for Tamako and Mr. KK respectively. #19 was another idea for a character for French Pop."

"These last designs were characters made by Inuchiyo. #3 is an unused design for Dia and #6 was Karen's original idea. Bambi and Baby in #5 was designed with the idea of a moving four-legged character but was rejected. #4 was a concept for Punk, #7 was for a stomping song, and #8 was going to be for Parapara."

Source: Pop'n Music Character Visual Guide


"Here’s two more botsu ぼつ (rejected) characters from Pop'n Music! One is named Crystal, and the other named セイシュン-ing (Seishun-ing). Interestingly enough, these two both have their back-panel artwork completed, giving us an idea of what their respective song genre could have been. I wasn’t able to find additional information for Crystal unfortunately. However, I do know that Seishun-ing would’ve been apart of a team of five other detectives, all whom were subsequently cancelled from Pop'n Music 5 as well."

"Here’s two more rejected ぼつ (botsu) characters who were set to appear in the official console release of Pop'n Music 5! The characters are next to labels detailing the song genre’s they would have appeared in, with the top left Japanese reading アイドル • ポップ (meaning Idol Pop), and the top right reading “Circuit.” The official release of the game carried a song titled “Drivin’ High” that also featured the song genre “Circuit.” One could then assume the top right botsu character was replaced by the Pop'n Music character Hayata. Hayata also carries a similar racing theme, further lending proof to this theory. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to link the top left botsu character to any of Pop'n Music 5’s official song releases."

Source: bearzooka on tumblr
[1] [2] [3]

Pop'n Stage

Source: bearzooka on tumblr
[1] [2]

Pop'n Music 18 せんごく列伝/Pop'n Music 19 TUNE STREET

Source: Yuke Yuke Pop'n Illustration Book

Early Pop'n Art by Inuchiyo


"~Excavating the Attic: Extra Edition~
What's this? They're ones that I had trouble with😅"

"~Excavating the Attic: Extra Edition~
I flipped over a picture of a normal front-facing drawing, and was surprised to find that I drew the back too! I had completely forgotten about it!"

"A mixture of public and private drawings. These old pictures are strangely embarrassing😳 You can tell I lacked confidence in my early art.
The angel in the upper left is the prototype of Poet. She was supposed to be a mischievous cupid, but the Parquets song we received was so pure and lovely that I instantly changed the design! It turned out to be the right choice."


"For some reason, there are a few characters here and there where certain items from their original designs have been removed... Part 1"



"For some reason, there are a few characters here and there where certain items from their original designs have been removed... Part 2
I don't even remember why I included a cat in the first place🐱"


"Finally going through my things in my parents' attic
These papers show the creation of a CD jacket. First, I receive a design proposal, and after a brief discussion with the other designers, I draw a rough sketch, have it reviewed, and color in the rough draft. The designers put it all together in a stylish way, and now it's a product!"

"Once again, I see that Sugi is being dangerous, driving with one hand and not looking at the road! Be safe and don't imitate him😅"