If you've been following Dragon's Crown news you may have come across some sensationalist headlines by Kotaku writers:
Where the founder of Vanillaware, George Kamitani, is called a 'cheap to hire 14 year old boy'.
This news has even reached other Japanese developers like Hideki Kamiya of Platinum Games (who has had a previous altercation with Kotaku sensationalism):
...and it's reached George Kamitani himself! Here is the good natured response from his facebook page:
How lucky, Kotaku gets its very own George Kamitani artwork done just for them! Makes me jealous hahah!
Now, let's talk about the Art of Dragon's Crown!
I'm really anticipating this game and love every new reveal from the trailers, and I want to share my love of this game with y'all!:
To the left are actual Norse artifacts from Scandinavia. Thor's Hammer 'Mjolnir' is a motif used in many protective amulets. You can see it's a short hammer. It's actually a norse Blacksmith hammer. Vikings didn't actually use hammers for warfare, the mythology of Thor wielding one to smash monsters is just to show what a massive badass he is.
And this Dragon's Crown Dwarf carries on that Viking Blacksmith motif of Thor, tropes that are quite popular with dwarves in fantasy. You also see fictional depictions of the hammer in various 19th century works, such as:
So the Dragon's Crown Dwarf is very much an homage to Odin Sphere's General Brigan.
I really enjoy the artistry that Vanillaware puts into their games and you can really see it in Dragon's Crown. George Kamitani is both the artist and founder of Vanillaware, so the games they make really are the expressions of an artist who is doing what he wants to do. That is a very special thing in this era of lowest common denominator games. Dragon's Crown is a game made with real love.
Do you want to know why the Sorceress has large breasts?
First, let's take a look at previous Vanillaware game. In Odin Sphere, the Queen of the Underworld has very large breasts:
In Grim Grimoire, the professor of Necromancy Opalneria Rain and former Necromancy professor Lujie Piche (a ghost), are both the largest breasted women in the game:
... and in Dragon's Crown, the skeleton summoning sorceress is also well endowed:
What they all have in common, along with their large breasts is their mastery of Necromancy. All of these women of Vanillaware can raise the dead. Let me state the obvious, the functional purpose of breasts in mammals is to provide milk for offspring, they give life. George Kamitani uses this motif for his characters who give life to the dead.
Take a look at that Sorceress picture with the skeleton. Look at how tenderly she is holding the skull, pressed to her bosom as the skeleton is infused with life once more.
The Sorceress is making sure to support the skeleton's head properly, which is actual advice on how to hold a newborn baby
Have you ever seen a more motherly depiction of Necromancy? THAT is just part of the many things that make Dragon's Crown amazing.
George Kamitani is taking the traditional 'Fertility Goddess' motif of breasts, and applying it to necromancy. That is really cool. And to round that out, some images of ancient fertility goddesses:
A Yakshi, 1st century AD, India
Notice the emphasis on large breasts, to emphasize their power to give life. Now, let's look at how raising the dead is usually depicted in fantasy:
A man COMMANDING the dead to return to battle
Look at how Necromancers are usually depicted:
dried up old men
George Kamitani has done something very interesting with a very classic trope of fantasy, one dominated by ancient dried up old men that command, and he's turned it into the domain ofyoung women who nurture!
For these reasons and more, I love Vanillaware, George Kamitani's company. If you want to read more, check out my blog!
Where my brother and I have gone over the homages Kamitani makes from Renaissance Painters like Pieter Brugel...
To Disney Animation!
*I've gone and shown George Kamitani the art analysis of Dragon's Crown, and he approves: