Jed Henry’s video game samurai: Edo pop for gamer nerds


Ever wanted some artwork you could hang on your wall that would please both art connoisseurs and video game fanatics alike? Jed Henry has you covered. On his tumblr, he’s released three pieces of art rendering classic video game characters in ukiyo-e style, reimagining their most recognizable traits as the accoutrement of great samurai warriors.

To wit, Samus’ blaster is a severed dragon head tied to her arm:

Samus Aran from Metroid in ukiyo-e (Japanese wood-cutting) style

The other two characters he’s done so far are Link and Megaman, both of which are incredible. Can’t wait to see what’s next. He’s evidently planning a kickstarter in August, to which I’ll almost certainly donate what I can. I would love the hell out of large bamboo scroll versions of these.

Comments

  1. says

    The illustrations are very skillful. If anything is out of place with traditional ukiyo-e style, it would have to be the color balance. Typically, the level of contrast is very narrow and the colors are quite subdued. These are rather vibrant by comparison.

    sarshelyam asked: I realize that you’ve already addressed the blonde hair on Link, but would you also consider using the Japanese names, or Kanji for the title cards? Everything is perfect, but I can’t help but feel slightly jarred by the English.

    I laugh involuntarily at this request. Sorry, but the Western names are the real names. They were intentionally chosen to have a foreign and exotic sound for the Japanese audience. This has been a common and stable trend since at least the NES-era.

    The most you could do is substitute the katakana, which is not any truer or more accurate. All it does is (slightly inaccurately, thanks to differences in the syllabary) inscribe the name phonetically.

    Inventing any kanji for the characters is basically just deceiving the audience, much as some tattoo artists have to ignorant westerners making requests.

  2. MovableBookLady says

    I posted the Illo of Link on Bullshido.net, a forum for martial artists, a number of whom are also gamers.

  3. says

    kagerato: I suspect he could probably filter them to desaturate appropriately, as it appears he used something like Illustrator or some other vector-based program to use them. At least, it looks that way to me. As for the Romaji names, well that may be true but Megaman is actually called Rockman in Japan.

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