The legend Shinji Mikami has done interview with Gamasutra and it is really quite interesting and worth a read.
Interestingly, the design of the main character and art was inspired from the Casshern Anime though it looks shockingly the Casshern live action film. We doubled up some youtube after the jump for you to draw a comparison. Mikami stated:
“I do think the visuals lean more towards a Western style, but the original inspiration was from Casshern, a Japanese animated show, and a lot of the game’s taste comes from that.”
The title has a Japanese flavor that caters strongly to the West. I think Platinum Games have taken the anime influence and extended nicely with a Western gun-slinging slant:
Mikami also spoke about the trials of crafting a third person title where animations and enemy sight lines are both equally important:
“From a development standpoint, FPSes are easy as pie to make…In third-person, though, the player’s viewpoint is different from where the character’s bullets or whatever are coming from…It’s never something you can pull off perfectly, because there’s a physical difference in the locations of the two points, you know? With Gears, they show the track of your bullets rather than where the actual bullets are hitting. I think that’s a really clever solution, but I want Vanquish to show the actual bullets themselves onscreen. That’s led to a lot of headaches. The fact that there’s no online in this game is the one thing that makes it possible.”