Topic: Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?  (Read 48425 times)

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Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?
« on: September 18, 2012, 04:33:25 pm »
As you know, ZUN's drawings tend to be a subject of ridicule, even among devoted fans.  I think most people are exaggerating his drawings too much.  It's really only Touhou 6 that has drawings of questionable quality.  The games after that aren't as bad as most people think they are, at least for some characters.  I even find the drawings for 1 to 5 pretty good, more so than 6.

What do you think?
« Last Edit: September 19, 2012, 04:16:50 am by game2011 »
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Re: Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2012, 04:44:44 pm »
I think most people says that for laughs.

Or because they expected/prefers generic moé drawings, and ZUN art is clearly the opposite of that.

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Re: Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2012, 05:03:41 pm »
I would suggest that his artwork actually started becoming adequate, in my opinion, around Imperishable Night. (I took a look at PCB again the other day, and actually, I would argue that his artwork wasn't very good then, either, along with ESoD.)

Or because they expected/prefers generic moé drawings, and ZUN art is clearly the opposite of that.

I think it's actually kind of obvious that ZUN is attempting to make his characters look cute and "moe," but they come out as poorly-drawn blobs (although, to a degree, he is getting better), which is off-putting to less-tolerant folk. I would say, "Suck it up!" to such people who might complain about his artwork, though, since at least his drawings are so bad that they can be used for a good laugh rather than haunt your subconscious with scream-yourself-wide-awake nightmares for eternity~ :V

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Re: Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2012, 05:20:57 pm »
I think it's actually kind of obvious that ZUN is attempting to make his characters look cute and "moe," but they come out as poorly-drawn blobs



What are you talking about? PCB Demo Sakuya is adorable.

I will never get tired of this screencap

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Re: Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2012, 05:24:43 pm »
(Image removed from quote.)

What are you talking about? PCB Demo Sakuya is adorable.

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Re: Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2012, 05:27:23 pm »
Let's be honest, the portraits in EoSD?

Those gave nightmares. Yukkuri-Sakuya still haunts me.

Then, from IN and further, it became better and better, up to UFO where they were really good, and now TD, where I'm surprisingly impressed by how great they look. And yeah, it's played for laughs, nobody actually thinks ZUN sucks for real. That guys programs the game, creates the pattern, thinks of everything in the game, writes the dialogue, makes the music...

He does ALL THAT and it completely ROCKS. Then the art comes into play and it's mediocre. (Or in TD's case, good). So in comparison, it's the most obvious flaw in Touhou; His art doesn't sucks, it's just mediocre while everything else is heavenly.

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Re: Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2012, 05:58:24 pm »
I think it's actually kind of obvious that ZUN is attempting to make his characters look cute and "moe," but they come out as poorly-drawn blobs (although, to a degree, he is getting better), which is off-putting to less-tolerant folk. I would say, "Suck it up!" to such people who might complain about his artwork, though, since at least his drawings are so bad that they can be used for a good laugh rather than haunt your subconscious with scream-yourself-wide-awake nightmares for eternity~ :V

I think I used the wrong term. Maybe "generic anime style" would be a better description. Like how alphes draws them:



which makes the characters seem tall, skinny and somewhat mature, while ZUN's art makes them childish, round and fluffy, like a beefed up version of puni plush.

Particullary, I really like his old art. The characters are simple and clean, and their expressions are fun, like Suwako's grin, Satori's uninterested, one-eyed look, and Mokou's stare/mocking. His art got a lot "better" in UFO and TD, but I fear that he's losing his unique charm.

« Last Edit: September 18, 2012, 06:08:32 pm by M M »

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Re: Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2012, 06:24:40 pm »
Someone on /r/touhou asked the other day about whether we liked ZUN's art. I'll copy my reply here-

Short answer: I like it,1but that doesn't mean I think it's always good
Caveat: I fully admit if I can't draw to save my life.

So why do I like it? Because it's got such a unique style. I mean, it seems like every anime-style artist in Japan can (and normally does) draw in the same way without much trouble... except for ZUN. So that makes his all the more fascinating. It's also interesting how much it changes - if I didn't know, I would never guess that each game's portraits were drawn by the same person.

Probably my single favorite portrait he's done is Sakuya in EoSD. Specifically, this one. I have never seen such a perfectly smug face. Doesn't change the fact that she also looks like a doofus, but it's just got such style to it. Satori also, for looking wonderfully disheveled.

As for improving, definitely. I particularly liked IN portraits for their "porcelain doll" look. And the art in UFO, while not flawless, shows that he's basically got down "normal anime style" at this point. Pretty interesting, then, that he then moved away from it in TD and other newer drawings.

(1)Except for MoF. MoF art (except Sanae, Aya and maybe Nitori) is just painful.

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Re: Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2012, 06:33:36 pm »
Yeah, SA was full of awesome. Mokou was my favorite in IN portrait wise. (But they were all good in general).

I'll never understand why people like Sakuya's portaits in EoSD. The expressions are good, no denying it, but her face... It was like a fat Yukkuri with creepy huge cheeks.

Fun fact: I used to love Hina's portraits and stuff. I later realized it was because I seem to have missed the infamous ''Hina Face''. Now she scares me xD

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Re: Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2012, 06:41:04 pm »
Aside from the hands being completely bizarre, I don't think his older stuff is much worse than the newer. They have a "sketchy" look to them, but I like that, and their expressions are usually pretty cute. (EoSD and PCB Marisa are by far the best ones imo.) Conversely, he still makes very strange looking characters in the newer games. In Ten Desires in particular, while some characters like Seiga and Miko look pretty good, Futo and Yoshika look awkward to me, and TD Reimu is the ugliest Reimu of them all.

I guess my main problem with his drawing is the lack of consistency. Some characters turn out well, while others just don't, and it doesn't seem to have much to do with how recent they are. His style has changed, yes, but the overall quality is the same to me, if not worse.

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Re: Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2012, 06:45:26 pm »
In EoSD, some faces were weird, if not creepy. Sakuya has this weird potato face, and Remilia looked like a 20 something years old. (Which lacks consistency)

I agree about Marisa though, in the new ones, she makes creepy faces xD MoF Marisa was probably the worst, with that creepy ''wink-rape'' face and ''Lol swag'' shrug. (That's how I call them, I'm sorry)

And I doubt Yoshika wasn't MEANT to look dumb. She's canonically retarded, so her driving a magical imaginary taxi is hilariously fitting.

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Re: Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2012, 06:49:32 pm »
I guess my main problem with his drawing is the lack of consistency. Some characters turn out well, while others just don't, and it doesn't seem to have much to do with how recent they are. His style has changed, yes, but the overall quality is the same to me, if not worse.

For example, Toyosatomimi having two right hands (even though ZUN should know better by now, considering how much he had technically improved by UFO)~

« Last Edit: September 18, 2012, 07:05:01 pm by BL2W »

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Re: Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2012, 06:56:05 pm »
Her outfit is more than just a frilly dress, her haircut is epic (DOG EARS FTW :V) and she's well proportionned. Something not many portraits have :/

Still, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, so I'm not trying to convince anyone ''TD is the best damn thing ever when it comes to portraits'' (Even though the life system enrages me to no freaking end)

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Re: Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2012, 07:03:03 pm »
Her outfit is more than just a frilly dress, her haircut is epic (DOG EARS FTW :V) and she's well proportionned. Something not many portraits have :/

Yes, I completely agree, but two right hands? Why would ZUN make such a basic mistake now when he's come so far? And this isn't just some 1st-level shmuck, either; it's the climactic battle against the final boss~! *facepalms*

Anyway, I love Ten Desires, and I'm not trying to argue the point; I'm just saying that it's so backward that it doesn't make any lick of sense why he would feel so comfortable overlooking it~ :V
« Last Edit: September 18, 2012, 07:06:18 pm by BL2W »

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Re: Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2012, 07:09:52 pm »
Oh yeah, I agree that it's a pretty ridiculous mistake xD I love TD too (EXCEPT THE LIFE SYSTEM ARGH) and I honestly never noticed she had two right hands before someone pointed it out. In fact, I thought ''Oh nice she's holding something, ZUN is pretty good at making hands holding stuff'' (something I can't do)

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Re: Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2012, 07:17:08 pm »
I think the main gripe comes from how most doujin groups have more than one member, and at least one good artist as well. ZUN's a one-man-team - it'd be kinda ludicrous to expect top-tier gameplay, top-tier graphics, and top-tier music all from the same person.


lol, lolibugeyes; but that's not the point...

To be fair, ZUN has improved since EoSD and before. I think a lot of the criticism his artwork is getting is something that stuck from the earlier days. Even so, ZUN doesn't compare to a doujin artist who specializes in being an artist. Personally I'd love to see more artwork like in GFW; that looked on par with what you'd expect from a game like this. But ZUN's stuff works too; his sprites are damned good IMO and that's really the bulk of the game.


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Re: Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2012, 08:51:48 pm »
I think the main gripe comes from how most doujin groups have more than one member, and at least one good artist as well. ZUN's a one-man-team - it'd be kinda ludicrous to expect top-tier gameplay, top-tier graphics, and top-tier music all from the same person.

Yeah, his music is heavenly, the gameplay is great, the sprites are fantastic, the dialogues are witty, the characters are nice, the danmaku patterns are bedazzling... Seriously, if anyone expects more from a single man, he's freaking insane :V

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Re: Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?
« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2012, 09:43:05 pm »

BUT I LOVE HIS ART UNIRONICALLY

it is pretty unique o <o) his style has this character that fits with the carefree nature of the games imo


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Re: Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?
« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2012, 10:23:05 pm »
ZUN art es best art huehuehue
Oh um wrong thread

For someone that's supposedly in a state of perpetual drunkenness, they're pretty good.
Although the music is (obviously) better.

Makes me wonder how his work would differ if he was sober...not that the world is ready for such a thing.

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Re: Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?
« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2012, 10:32:31 pm »
Makes me wonder how his work would differ if he was sober...not that the world is ready for such a thing.

Reimu: Oh hi Marisa.

Marisa: Hey Reimu.

Reimu: ...

Marisa: ...

Reimu: Why isn't there some sort of weird incident happening?

Marisa: Dunno.

Reimu: ...

Marisa: ...

Reimu: Hey wanna have some really kinky sex involving tentacles?

Marisa, suddenly dressed as a schoolgirl: I'M DEFENSELESS, SO I'LL WALK IN THIS RANDOM DARK ALLEY :D

So basically it would become like every other japanese thing ever :V

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Re: Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?
« Reply #20 on: September 18, 2012, 10:44:11 pm »
If Touhou didn't have ZUNart then Touhou wouldn't have half the fan following, and may have died down by now.

A lot of the fan following comes from people wanting to make better art of the characters, and put their own spin on it. I doubt that the artistic community would have picked up on Touhou anywhere near as much if ZUN's art was... you know... good.

Not that he's not improved, but the bad art has done the... benefit... to the community.

A MASSIVE part of Touhou fandom is fan addittions, and fan-art if no exception. And people are not scared away from drawing fanart for Touhou because ZUN's early art is SO BAD.


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Re: Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?
« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2012, 10:44:28 pm »
Reimu: ...

Marisa: ...

Reimu: Hey wanna have some really kinky sex involving tentacles?

Marisa, suddenly dressed as a schoolgirl: I'M DEFENSELESS, SO I'LL WALK IN THIS RANDOM DARK ALLEY :D

So basically it would become like every other japanese thing ever :V

I lol'd heartily this day. Very, very heartily.

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Re: Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?
« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2012, 10:51:11 pm »
I lol'd heartily this day. Very, very heartily.

Yay! :* I was afraid someone would have been really offended xD

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Re: Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?
« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2012, 10:52:44 pm »
(Image removed from quote.)
lol, lolibugeyes; but that's not the point...

Oh hey, another eXceed fan! My evening is made.

I honestly think this question is unanswerable. It's a matter of taste. I understand why people roll their eyes at ZUN's pipe legs and six-fingered-hands, but I also understand those who love his drawings for their special charm, and because they're his.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2012, 10:55:52 pm by Tengukami »

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Re: Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?
« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2012, 11:00:40 pm »
Reimu: Oh hi Marisa.

Marisa: Hey Reimu.

Reimu: ...

Marisa: ...

Reimu: Why isn't there some sort of weird incident happening?

Marisa: Dunno.

Reimu: ...

Marisa: ...

Reimu: Hey wanna have some really kinky sex involving tentacles?

Marisa, suddenly dressed as a schoolgirl: I'M DEFENSELESS, SO I'LL WALK IN THIS RANDOM DARK ALLEY :D

So basically it would become like every other japanese thing ever :V

This must not be allowed to happen!!
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Re: Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?
« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2012, 11:02:38 pm »
This must not be allowed to happen!!

I agree, seeing Marisa as anything less than a badass witch with a smug attitude is blasphemy!

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Re: Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?
« Reply #26 on: September 18, 2012, 11:18:26 pm »
He's a musical genius who creates STGs with a pretty decent plot, for an STG, by himself. Even if his art isn't that great, he makes up for it with pretty much everything else. To be honest, aside from the characters faces/expressions, I think they're "ok", but I'm no art critic. I can hardly draw a dog, never mind a human... youkai... creature... YAMABIKO. Fan art is also generally amazing, when it's done "the right way"... Danbooru.jpg *shudder*

Besides, ZUN's art has certainly improved over the years. Like everyone is saying, EoSD art is... EoSD art. Even PCB wasn't exactly great. Who needs drawing skills when you can create Great Voice "Charged Yahoo!"? (I love the gimmick of Kyouko's spellcards...). It's like Tengukami said though, his art has a certain charm to it. You just can't really hate it.
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Re: Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?
« Reply #27 on: September 18, 2012, 11:26:40 pm »
Who needs drawing skills when you can create Great Voice "Charged Yahoo!"? (I love the gimmick of Kyouko's spellcards...).

Yeah, ZUN is incredible, that's no surprise, but when you stop for a moment and think about it, he thought up and made all those spellcards and gimmicks that we see in the games. It's just incredible, at least to me. And the best part is that every game has a new gimmick.

EoSD: Time Stop (Though everything was remade, that's a unique thing no other game has)
PCB: Youmu's bullet time
MoF: Err...
SA: Satori's first spellcard that is affected by your movements, pretty much everything with Koishi in it.
UFO: Brofists, anchors, curvy lasers in great quantity.
TD: Kyouko's reflection, Yoshika's eating habit, Seiga's double-teaming, Miko's last spellcard.

I wouldn't have thought of half the things he did. ZUN is amazing. I seriously can't wait for Touhou 14 and see what other fancy things he did. (Plus awesome music :D)

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Re: Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?
« Reply #28 on: September 18, 2012, 11:50:15 pm »
I think that's a good point, if the subject here is ZUN's art. Do backgrounds and stage design concepts not also count as "art"? If so, ZUN has done some incredible things with the medium.

This video is my favorite example: Imperishable Night, 6A, Boss fight with Eirin. This stage is, from an artistic point of view, a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Leaving aside gameplay, it is aesthetically pleasing on any difficulty - the suddenly shifting backgrounds, which include the iconic moon landing photo, are jarring and also play to the game's theme of the moon. At the same time, the bullet patterns themselves represent elements of Eirin as a character - namely, chemistry in particular and science in general. Her spellcard concepts refer to and reflect things like genetics ("Genealogy of the Sky-Born"), the British mathematician John Horton Conway ("Game of Life"), and the Apollo 13 mission ("Apollo 13"), not just in their names and descriptions but in the patterns themselves.

This is an artistic choice on ZUN's part. It does not affect gameplay to design your bullet patterns after personality traits of the boss; it's something ZUN chose to do for purely aesthetic reasons, to better convey the concepts behind his character and the game itself - and that is a decision an artist makes.

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Re: Are people exaggerating ZUN's drawings?
« Reply #29 on: September 19, 2012, 12:05:52 am »
Yeah, ZUN is incredible, that's no surprise, but when you stop for a moment and think about it, he thought up and made all those spellcards and gimmicks that we see in the games. It's just incredible, at least to me. And the best part is that every game has a new gimmick.

EoSD: Time Stop (Though everything was remade, that's a unique thing no other game has)
PCB: Youmu's bullet time
MoF: Err...
SA: Satori's first spellcard that is affected by your movements, pretty much everything with Koishi in it.
UFO: Brofists, anchors, curvy lasers in great quantity.
TD: Kyouko's reflection, Yoshika's eating habit, Seiga's double-teaming, Miko's last spellcard.

I wouldn't have thought of half the things he did. ZUN is amazing. I seriously can't wait for Touhou 14 and see what other fancy things he did. (Plus awesome music :D)

What about IN?


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