Takamichi Irie clearly is a fan of Star Wars and its minor characters and creatures. Remember the Nexu from Attack of the Clones? I didn't at first. I theorize that Taka's inspiration for building the Nexu has to do with the fact that this ferocious space cat nearly devoured actress Natalie Portman (whom Taka has proclaimed his fondness of on numerous occasions.)
Pay particular attention to the Nexu's head. The intricate teeth assembly is clearly held together by either magic or a rubber band (my money's on magic) and the regular lever handles are used for the eyes. You can see more shots of Taka's Nexu here.