Art of Anime in Games

by Jonathan Hand

Wikipedia describes Anime as a Japanese-disseminated animation style often characterized by colorful graphics, vibrant characters and fantastic themes.
If I asked you if you’ve ever watched anime, some of you would most likely say no. However if I told you some well known 90’s shows such as Dragonball Z, Pokemon and Sailor Moon as well as the masterful films by Studio Ghibli, were all anime and not what you would describe as ‘traditional’ cartoons you might be surprised. It’s hard to come by a person who hasn’t heard of at least one of these tv and film examples (and there are plenty more), but what about anime in games?Anime_01

Anime has had a presence in the games industry since the 80s and is a commonly used art style in JRPGs (Japanese Role-Playing Games), monster hunting adventures like Pokemon, fighters like Street Fighter and a long list of trading card games.

The anime style lends itself well to games. It amplifies the dramatic, eccentric nature of environments and characters with elaborate designs and saturated colours. This versatile, unique and much loved art style allows game designers and game artists to create spectacular and surreal landscapes as well as iconic characters like Pikachu, who has become a brand icon for Pokemon and a heavily copied design in both games and in merchandise.

Anime character designs in games, graphic novels and film connect strongly with many fans and regularly make an appearance in cosplay. Anime costumes are often vibrant, dramatic and tend to focus heavily on more outlandish and impractical designs, combined with spiked, eccentric hairstyles and oversized weapons and accessories. As technology continues to develop and materials become more accessible, we have seen more and more fantastic costumes. Many accurate down to the details in each piece of jewellery or the strands of hair.


For the lovers of anime or those only new to it, there is already a mountain of anime styled games to get through and doubtless there will be many more. Like all things there are the good ones and the bad ones but there will always be something for everyone.


Categories: Game Art

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