Fans make sexy drawings of various characters. From Peter Pan's Tinkerbell to Beauty and the Beast's Belle, they've done this for years.
But Disney's now hooked up with an honest-to-goodness erotic game illustrator, Aoi Nishimata, for an official collaboration. The end result, however, isn't sexy. But is it any good?
Nishimata is an in-house illustrator and character designer at bishojo ("beautiful girl") erotic game company Navel. Nishimata is best known for her work on 18-and-up adult games like Shuffle! and Really? Really!. These are popular games with all-ages versions, but make no mistake, the original versions of these games are adults only.
It is unusual for Disney to hand over one of its iconic characters to an illustrator who's made a career of designing beautiful young girls that get boned in games. Stranger things have happened, I guess, and actually, I think it's kind of cool that Disney's being so open minded and progressive. Good for Disney.
Nishimata spends more time designing character outfits than character. Her faces are blank defaults.
Remember, it was only a few years ago that the mainstream American media was freaking out about adults-only Japanese computer games.
My beef with Nishimata is that she's lazy when it comes to faces. All her characters look exactly the same. That's not true—she has about three or four faces she uses over and over again. And those faces look the same. Don't believe me? More here.
Some might say its her signature style. It is. Nishimata spends more time designing character outfits than character. Her faces are blank defaults. Perhaps that's my problem—that I want illustrations to draw me in through the character. Clothes and costumes are important, but so are facial features. I want the complete package. Sue me.
Westerners might argue that, well, all anime faces look the same. Okay, but Nishimata's really look the same. So Nishimata's Tinkerbell ends up just like any other character she's ever designed. Shame, because Disney's done such a terrific job of giving each of its princesses unique features.
If Disney is going to reach out to female character designer or illustrator who works in the erotic game industry, there are many more talented illustrators—illustrators able to design both clothes and characters.
The Tinkerbell drawing is the first of Disney's collaborations with Nishimata. According to the illustrator's blog, signed prints will be available at the theme parks in America for US$350 a pop. Unsigned prints are $US125. Expect more Disney princess from Nishimata. Expect them to look the same.
Culture Smash is a daily dose of things topical, interesting and sometimes even awesome—game related and beyond. (Top photo: Disney Illustration Aoi Nishimata)