OK, so there are some issues with the character design in Dragon’s Crown. Jason has written about this, people are divided about it, and many in both camps have very valid reasons for their respective cases.
I don’t want to talk about that today. Not for Fine Art. Here, I want to talk about the art of the man behind the game that doesn’t involve giant women with tiny heads. Or at least, not as much.
In some ways it’s a little sad that the first time many people are hearing the name “George Kamitani” this week is because of the issues some are having with Dragon’s Crown’s characters, because the man is also responsible for some of the finest artwork the medium of video games has ever seen.
Yes, some of it can be a bit much. Some of it, like his annual “fan art” pieces, are even NSFW (I’ve included one of the tamer versions at the bottom of this post). But on the whole, his work has a vibrancy and pop that is a welcome palette cleanser from most other dev’s more realistic palettes.
The founder of Japanese studio, and also the outfit’s lead artist, he’s the man to thank if you’ve ever played a game like Odin Sphere or Muramasa and thought, holy shit, this is so beautiful I wish I could scoop it into a bowl and eat it.
Like other Japanese artists working at smaller developers, Kamitani also has the luxury of seeing his artwork literally come to life in Vanillaware’s games: from the character sprites to the lush backgrounds, his art is able to make the leap to the screen almost entirely unchanged.
This means, unlike just about any other artist I ever feature here, I get to include screenshots here alongside more traditional art.
Other games Kamitani has worked on include Grand Knights History and GrimGrimoire.
Fine Art is a celebration of the work of video game artists, showcasing the best of both their professional and personal portfolios.