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Game Art: The art of Vanillaware
So far, I have only played one Vanillaware title, and that would be their latest game Dragon’s Crown. But I have long been a fan of the company’s art style, which first emerged several years ago in the Playstation 2 era with two games entitled Grim Grimoire and Odin Sphere.
Marked by luscious watercolors and exaggerated characters, all of Vanillaware’s games have a distinct in-house look that is largely thanks to George Kamitani, the company’s president and head artist. This look translates wonderfully into 2D, and Vanillaware’s made headlines more than once for being the saviors of the two dimensional space. Seriously, playing a Vanillaware game is like playing a painting.
The company’s also appeared in the news recently thanks to the fact that Mr. Kamitani really likes his boobs and butts. The images I’ve chosen here are pretty tame, but all you need to do is Google “Dragon’s Crown characters” to see that the Sorceress and Amazon, two of the game’s playable classes, have physiques that include a pair of explosively large breasts and an ass that looks like it could swallow up a small mountain.
Jason Schreier, a writer at gaming blog Kotaku, criticised the art style of Dragon’s Crown a few months ago in a now-infamous article entitled Game Developers Really Need To Stop Letting Teenage Boys Design Their Characters. A massive discussion on sexism and the portrayal of women in the gaming industry erupted from this one piece, and long story short, the whole thing got blown tremendously out of proportion. When the title was finally released, Kotaku themselves published a review stating that while the oversexualized women in Dragon’s Crown were possibly offensive, once you actually played the game and viewed all the graphics as a whole and in context, it was obvious that the zany Vanillaware art style portrayed everyone in a wildly exaggerated manner, and maybe things weren’t so bad after all.
Ultimately, whether you like the Vanillaware art style depends highly on your own subjective tastes. There’s no denying that George Kamitani is a man who likes to draw thick women with huge hips, and if that’s not your cup of tea, then so be it. But to call the man’s art style "alienating and gross in its depiction of women" always seemed a bit much to me, because frankly, if you want to see video game sexism, there is plenty of misogynistic and testosterone-fueled stuff out there that makes Vanillaware’s character designs seem absolutely angelic in comparison.
Artwork courtesy of Vanillaware
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" You’re the vanguard, and we are your Rear Guard "
Otsukaresamadeshitaaaa„„„, Finally DONE! After more than 10 hours I draw this pictures…. Hope you like it minna~~~ *take a rest This is my image about 171th episode, about The Vanguard, his Rear Guard and his Soulmate