Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Guess who's churning out some amazing Journey fanart?

Now, you may not have heard (because I somehow completely neglected to blog about it), but I completely and utterly loved Journey. In fact, it's the first game I've given a 5 out of 5 score over at VGW!

One thing I've found really intriguing about Journey is how positively it's been received in Japan. A quick search for Kaze no Tabibito (the game's Japanese title, literally "People of the Wind," often shortened to Kazebito) on Google brings all sorts of discussion and fanart for the download-only title. I'm not aware how popular thatgamecompany's previous games were in the land of the rising sun, but download-only titles generally never really gain a very high following due to the fact that Japan just hasn't jumped on the online gaming bandwagon in the same way the rest of the world has.  

Journey, however, appears (at least from a fan standpoint) to be changing that. There's been a huge surge of fanworks for Journey from Japan in the recent weeks. Isn't that fabulous? Now prepare to feast your eyes on some of the raddest Journey fanart around:

The above artist does the funniest illustrations! These selections are actually from a long strip of various images, and I highly recommend taking a look at the rest of them. You also need to take a look at the artist's awesome Journey-themed Twitter page, even if you can't understand Japanese. Too cute!


People who have played the game are probably wondering who on earth that bigger wanderer with the black robes is. Unless I'm missing something huge, he does not appear in the game anywhere, and is a product of fan imagination. What's interesting about him is how popular he's become, with various artists all over the internet depicting him as a sort of fatherly figure for the two, smaller wanderers. I don't know about you, but I get a huge kick out of the above picture.

Update: Apparently the black and red wanderer is actually based on the game's initial art from a series of prototypes released early on in the game's development. The more you know!

 I love how creative the fans are being with making new designs or imagining new scenarios for the wanderers. Did you see the Christmas-themed wanderer at the top left of the above image? Adorable!

Of course, I'm not discounting the amazing Journey fanart out there by artists who do not hail from Japan. I woudn't have enough space to post all of the great work I've seen, even if I wanted to! But I think it's worth highlighting how this title has really taken off in Japan. I hope we see much more love for download-only games in the future. But before I end this post, here's one of my favorite pieces by a western artist (just so you all don't think I'm playing favorite too much):

Have any Journey fanart you'd like to share? Feel free to do so in the comments!


Alois Wittwer said...

Everything looks so beautiful! I wish I could draw!

I find it interesting that Journey was so well received in Japan. I wonder how they've advertised it. I'm curious to see what was done to get everyone so interested in it, or whether it was simply word of mouth.

apricotsushi said...

Alois – I know what you mean! Whenever I see really great art I feel like I want to go grab a pencil in paper, but unfortunately I know it always ends badly.

Yeah, I'm not sure what it was about Journey that made it so successful. Clearly the character designs were very appealing – I wonder if that spawned a lot of the interest?

Bryan Ochalla said...

Awesome! I really wish I had a PS3 so I could play this game. Maybe sometime soon. In the meantime, I'll just have to rely on these awesome pieces of fanart, I guess :)

apricotsushi said...

Bryan – They're great, aren't they? Every day I'm finding more great fanart for Journey. I don't really feel like I want to play through it again anytime soon (I've played it twice and watched Shaun play through once), but looking at all the beautiful fanart continues to remind me what a great experience it was.

I'm not going to say "oh, you HAVE to get a PS3!" because I know there are things like money and priorities in the world, but I will say that if and when you do get one, this game should definitely be on your "must play" list!

Bryan Ochalla said...

Oh, I can understand not wanting to play through it again after you've played through it two or three times already, Anne.

As for me getting a PS3: I'm sure I will sooner or later. I'm just not sure if it'll happen this year or next. I'd really like to wait for it to come down in price again before I do that, to tell you the truth.

After I pick one up, though, you can bet that I'll buy a copy of this game -- and quite a few others, I'm sure :)