Artists post: Naru Nanao

To celebrate the creation of Canvas3, I give you a little post on Naru Nanao.

Later edit: Well, it’s 2 years too late for this, but I want to note that Naru Nano DID NOT participate in the creation of Canvas3. Her only contribution to the series was limited to some design in Canvas2. I made the mistake of thinking that Natsuki Tanihara’s illustrations (such as the image above) were drawn by Naru Nanao, and I’m sorry to anyone I misled. Some of the illustrations below were actually drawn by Kokonobi. Again, sorry ’bout that, but they look REALLY similiar.

Naru Nanao is one of the most popular artists out there, and anyone can easily find her artwork. She mainly does character design, but didn’t get popular until the release of Da Capo, where she did the design of Nemu, Sakura, and Kotori. Even though it was her rise to fame, she left the project due to clashes with the producers and never worked on the series again (though she later worked with Circus, the game company, on a game called Sakura, Yuki Tsuki Hana, which I’m really looking forward to as the translation group promised a complete patch before new years).

Naru Nano seems to only do female character design, though I can tell from her doujins that she had a lot of practice at sketching and a really solid foundation. Her way of coloring is cool and fresh, with light and slightly dark colors dominating her pictures. Her main way of coloring is with the computer, and she maintains a good balance between sharp cell colors and soft light. She has a very signature look in her eyes, though some could argue that her eyes look TOO alike.

Because she is a freelance artist, she had worked on many VNs by different companies, though her characters all carry a different feeling in each game. For instance, I felt that the characters in Ef a tale of memories were very cold and static, while that characters in Canvas2 felt warm and very likeable.

Her list of works include a lot of doujins, an art book called rainbow colored ice cream, the character designs in the anime Sola, and the many VNs (an English list can be found wikipedia and here‘s a Japaneses list with come pictures):

I think that her art style really evolved over the years. Below is a really early picture by her.

V.S. A picture which was drawn after a while, but before she got good at coloring

V.S. A picture from one of her more recent doujins. Notice how much better the lizard looks.

Here’s a small gallery of her art

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5 thoughts on “Artists post: Naru Nanao

  1. Ah, Naru Nanao, one of my favorite artists.

    This is my first time hearing about a third Canvas game, though so far, none of the characters really jump out at me. Still will look forward to it though.

  2. @Shavelle: I agree with you, they do look a bit, well, average. But I do like them better than what Naru nanao did for canvas2. (elise is one of my least favorite characters by her)
    @blissmo: yes, I feel bad by looking at them, and I must share the pain lol. (in actuality, I’m crying at the fact that I’ll probably never get that good………)

  3. Pingback: The one (s) that changed my mind « Calamitous Intent

  4. You do know that it’s called Ef – a fairy tale of the two right? Ef a tale of memories is the anime.

    To be honest I found the her drawings for the Ef game to be superb but thats just my opinion

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