Dragon's Crown artist explains exaggerated art style
Dragon's Crown recently announced a release date of August 6, and along with it came a new trailer. But the video reignited a simmering undercurrent of talk about the character art, and in particular the way it portrays its female characters. It's come to a boil, to the point that artist George Kamitani has opened up about the art direction.
After reacting to criticism in a way that some deemed homophobic, Kamitani apologized and called the whole thing "a light-hearted joke." But that didn't quiet the general din around his bombastically-proportioned female characters. Kamitani has now written an e-mail to Kotaku explaining his motivations.
In the letter, he says he chose to exaggerate his character designs so they would stand out from the general fantasy motifs of Dungeons & Dragons and J.R.R. Tolkien. "I exaggerated the silhouettes of all the masculine features in the male characters, the feminine features in female characters, and the monster-like features in the monsters from many different angles until each had a unique feel to them," he said. "I apologize to those who were made uncomfortable by the art's appearance, and did not see the same light-hearted fantasy in my designs."
He also said he appreciates the critiques, and while he is not sure if he'll implement that feedback into future work, he did note that he will "definitely keep in mind that these opinions are out there and affect people on a personal level."
Finally, he ends with a note that asks users not to punish the game or Atlus for his joke. "It's okay if it was just me who was criticized, but it is not my intention to cause problems for Dragon’s Crown publisher (ATLUS) and all the other people who are involved in this project. From now on, I will limit myself about transmitting something personal out in the public."
It all sounds very reasonable when he talks about it. But then again...