Created: 01-04-2002
Last update: 01-04-2002


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The many faces of Berg Katze

In BOTP, "Zoltar" (as BK was renamed) was said to be a shapeshifter; much the same could be said for BK in female form, who looks so different each time she appears that in BOTP she was passed off as four different women (Mala, S-9 who was called "Mala" again in ep 70, Hana the nightclub singer, and a nameless reporter, at least I don't recall her name). And that's without the two eps that didn't make it into translation. This was rather frustrating when I tried to make a KiSS doll of the character (which is still not finished; coding problems led me into the odyssey of Understanding FKiSS, and it ended up forgotten in a directory) and found that the base doll, which had been modelled on agent S-9 (or, BK in the Gezora eps) looked increasingly wrong as the outfits changed.

After a bit of sketching, I found that the female form (henceforth abbreviated "FBK") had roughly four faces: the long, oval face one might expect to see under the mask, with large, frightening eyes (taken from Amano's character design, see the Gatch scans in the Archive); an older, more square-jawed "dowager duchess" look in the Gezora eps and ep 70 (the only episode which consistently maintained a style from earlier episodes, and which contains the best-drawn, IMO, FKB face shot of the whole series); the "fashion model" look of ep 46, and the "oh I dunno, let's draw an Evil Woman" look of eps 88 and 102, which can further be divided up into respectively the triangular style and the round style, both of which have nothing "Katze" about them, not even in the absurdly large and supposedly intense eyes. Perhaps uncoincidentally, unlike the earlier FBKs who displayed their gender-neutral nature (and remarkable leg length) by wearing trousers, the generic Evil Women wear skirts, don't show much leg and seem to have shrunk to a more conventional length.

Starting with an ep that didn't appear in BOTP: this is the first appearance of Katze out of costume. The face may be false, but it looks very much like what's visible under the mask: long chin, wide mouth, pink lipstick. The only difference is the shorter nose.

Next, and in the same style, is Monorail Mala (aka the Hostess from Hell) who reminds me of a praying mantis, looks as if she ought to have fangs, and does a downright Dracula when she whirls off her cape to reveal her Galactor captain's uniform. As BK, this was supposed to be Anderson's secretary, which would be credible if she'd claimed she was also his bodyguard. (Click here for the animated gif.)

More regal, less vampirical, and possibly the closest resemblance to the male form, again excepting the nose: agent S-9, who adds a little age to the character.

Not so much the female Galactor captain as Katze incognito: a much sexier (note the elegantly styled hair) and more youthful version, retaining the powerful jaws and hypnotic eyes, but not quite with the same edge as the earlier looks.

Here is where (IMO) things start to go wrong. Big hungry eyes: check. Asymmetrical hair (not really a requirement, though): check. Hollow cheeks: well, sortof, and the curiously depressed eyebrow shape is also there. But for the rest, the picture looks... flat.

This is downright terible. Round cheeks. Arched eyebrows. Chubby nose, almost receding chin. The pointedness of the profile (seen through a blur of rain) does nothing to relieve the blandness of the picture.

Seen all that? Well, after much gazing at the screen, I drew six, er, mug shots, which I think capture each different style. (Eps 88 and 102 didn't show much and what they did show was inconsistent, so I had to do a bit of guessing there.)

Mug shot 1 (eps 29, 31):
Maybe not quite dreamy enough, and I have the feeling the jaws are too big, but the eyes are exactly as happily insane as they should be.

Mug shot 2 (eps 32, 33, 70):
This look certainly does come closest to the male form: I used the same chin shape for both!

Mug shot 3 (ep 46):
This is where all the square stuff turns to round. Round eyes, round jaws, rounded lips - in the series, the profile doesn't even have a proper jawline!

Mug shot 4 (ep 88):
The round eyes have stayed, but the face has gone triangular. This FBK looks slightly ghostly, and acts that way, drifting into and out of Hume's apartment without a word (okay, she teases the Ninja team a bit when in disguise).

Mug shot 5 (ep 102):
The face has plumped out to match the eyes. Not that there's anything wrong with the face as such - while I was drawing it, I though it was rather lovely - but it just isn't Katze.

Mug shot 6 (ep 102):
I keep trying... The male form, as shown exactly once. I'm afraid the one on the left looks a bit like Ken, but the profile is spot on... It has to be... I'll never know as the unmasked Katze wasn't shown in profile... (sob)

Lastly, some early attempts to capture the face behind the mask: cutouts from the sketch for the KiSS base doll and two drawings of an unmasked Katze, the second one (the whole pic showed him backing into a corner) not very happy about it...

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