Amamiya Shouto [雨宮 祥兎]Amamiya Shouto is a cheerful and energetic youth from the neighbouring district of Harajuku, where he's well known for his cute and unique fashion. Twenty-eight days the third Reaper's Game ended, Shouto was taken by surprise by a group of Noise while visiting Shibuya. Narrowly saved by Neku, the two form a Pact to try to understand why the Noise are attacking Shibuya once again. Rumours around town say that this is the fourth Reaper's Game, known as the New Game Plus.
It is revealed later that Shouto has more up his sleeve than he lets on. As the events of the New Game wear on, it unfolds that Shouto is actually an agent sent by the Sheep Heavenly and Lapin Angelique clothing companies to study Neku in hopes of finding out what happened to the Composer on the 21st day.
In Stride Cross Battles, Shouto employs the wire and jack of his headphones to attack his enemies, damaging them to the beat of the music. Unlike the other characters, Shouto's attacks only fill up the star gauge when played to the music, so timing is key. If you can't listen to the music or don't have headphones, don't worry, a bar showing you when to tap will also be displayed.
Waaaaaaah, I don't even know where to start talking about this one. Subarashiki Kono Sekai ~It's a Wonderful World~ is one of my absolute favourite games (my friends all know I wouldn't stop gushing about it) on the Nintendo DS, so of course I was completely thrilled to hear that an English release was pending. Doing this contest was a joy and a pain, I had to do a LOT of things that I normally wouldn't have to get this done right. So here's a few finer details that I tried my best to incorporate, in order of when I did them:Sharp angles:
I'm used to drawing a lot of curves, and not a lot of pointy things like this, it was actually quite refreshing to do, I gotta try it more oftenBlack shadows:
Did I do them right? It was hard trying to decide where the black shadows go.Muted colours:
Since the idea behind the character was "cheerful Harajuku-style boy who fights with headphones", it took a lot of work to chose colours which complimented the drab tones the game itself had. I would've loved to use bright crazy colours instead thoughDark outline:
I added a second coat of inks afterwards, which accentuates pointed parts of the design like the original art.Bag logo:
I used the logo on the Lapin Angelique badge. He's really weaing things that are more more muted, like Sheep Heavenly or Natural Puppy, so I worked that into the storyGloves:
They're Rabbites from Secret of Mana/Seiken Densetsu! Considering the cross promoting with Famitsu, Dengeki, and FamiDora in the game, I expected some token Chocobo/Moogle goods or something. I guess there's the Shiva, Golem and Ifrit badges, but those kinda sucked. I had originally planned on giving him a Rabbite hat too, but the colours didn't mesh well.Sprite:
I spent a lot of time trying to get it scaled properly to the other sprites in the game, and using a similar palette. His eyes are a bit bigger than the sprites in the game, but that's generally how I draw mine.Background:
I referenced this from Dundas Square in Toronto (that's the Eaton's Centre in the background) [link]
; vaguely renamed just like they do in the game (104 = 109, AMX = HMV, etc.) The game takes place in Shibuya, but I felt I don't know Shibuya well enough to draw a background that was heavily influenced by the feeling of location, so I chose Eaton's. For the drawing style, I used the pieces given a bit, but mostly the "In front of AMX" and "Chidori Street" areas from the game for inspiration. Anyone who knows me in person (or has gone through my gallery, I guess) should recognize the "signs" I put on top of the East Centre XD.Noise:
Sorta cruel for him to have to fight bunnies, huh... Either way, I drew these Noise from scratch, a lil' bit before the actual entry on Noise came up, so I didn't make the connection with the bones; so apologies for the tattoo ears which don't really make sense.GUI:
I was too lazy to rip these from actual screenshots, so I ended up redrawing both the special bar and the HP metre from scratch. I tried to make them look as much like the real game as possible; next time I should get a magnifying glass instead of just staring at my DS till my eyes hurt though XD Name:
I wanted [兎] (rabbit) in the name, and struggled a bit to get kanji which suited my purposes. I had experimented with the name Toby [兎飛] but it felt too kitchy (the kanji would spell out "flying rabbit"). Next, I had used the name Amayo Akito [天洋 鏡兎], which I liked as a name and had fitting kanji, but I was afraid that people would say that I was ripping off Air Gear's Akito (which I'm not, that guy's name is [亜紀人]). I could've had [鏡兎] pronounced Kagato, I guess, but that isn't a very cute name at all. I ended up with Shouto because it manages to get [祥] in there, which contains [羊] ("sheep"), and on top of that means "lucky"; how cool is that? [雨宮] was chosen because I realized the rest of the characters had very normal family names, and I just happen to like the sound of "Amamiya".Story:
I wanted the story to fit the Harajuku theme, so I wrote the story with Shouto as an outsider. I don't quite remember how I came up with the idea of the fashion designers playing a large role in the story, but had I the time I would've liked to see a sort of champion for each fashion company pulling strings behind the game, just like Gatito's CAT being central to the storyline.Fighting style:
From the beginning, the idea behind Shouto (or Toby/Akito at the time, I guess) was that he would fight using the headphone wire like a whip, and the last attack of the normal attack sequence (pressing directions) would cause the wire to attach to the enemy followed by the cable "pulsing" like in the portrait. I thought the music game theme would fit what many previewers originally thought the game was like, when they reported a "DDR-like" fighting style for top screen. So the idea in general is to attack several times with arrows, then the last hit would start the music game, and if you do well, more points are added to your star gauge. I referenced the actual fighting a little bit from KoF's Whip. Sorry I didn't get the chance to actually animate this!Height comparison:
Those are some of the other characters from the game, I hope no one minds that I used their silhouettes. Shouto's a little bit shorter that everyone else, but that's on purpose. I couldn't get a sprite of Rhyme, I wonder how tall she stands.
I'll add more notes if I think of anything, and perhaps if I have time, even an animation test?
EDIT: SUPER SUPER special thanks to all my friends who helped out along the way, like Kevin, Dave, Tina, and especially Amy, who helped out lots and lots. Check her out!
EDIT2: O Hay, look whut she made! [link]