How to make money like Aoi Nishimata

Well, since people complain that I focus on artists that are too generic, I’m putting out a focus on Aoi Nishimata.

I’ve just read a review to top all reviews which has convinced me fully that I will never play Shuffle, especially Shuffle Essence+. And while I can’t say anything about the story (since I never played it), I agree fully with everything that he wrote about the game art.

If you haven’t realized the problems yet go here and ctrl+f “middle of nowhere”.

Now, my question is: why do artists like this still make money?

Let’s face it, Aoi Nishiata makes money. On top of the stuff she does for Naval she also does drawings for rice, curry, strawberries, batteries, water bottles, star wars,  etc etc. And with all that, I can’t understand why people would pay money for her drawings. This isn’t like Naru Nano with me gradually losing interest in her art until I’m pretty much sick of it and how cheap it’s gotten. This isn’t like Tony Taka with me getting annoyed at every single picture he draws because it’s all fanservice.

No, this is like Itaru Hinoue with me wondering how such an artist has managed to keep herself alive by drawing.

I mean, just look at this picture. Her neck is bending at an impossible angle, her chest is so messed up I can’t even describe it (it’s only possible if the girl is actually flat and she put on an over sized bra crocked), she has no hips, the fabric is folding without folds, her fingers are shaped from play-dough, her legs are disconnected from her body AND the wrong shape, the ribbons must be made from a fabric that defies physics, and the shadows are impossible. On top of that we have the fact that everything she draws is square, and she hasn’t drawn anything that moves, EVER.

Ah, I’ve figured it out! If you want to make money from drawings, you only have to follow 3 simple steps.

Step 1: Draw a whole bunch of straight lines, preferably, make every single line in the hair parallel.

Step 2: Connect the lines, and don’t worry about the laws of physics! Remember, your characters are wearing clothing made of physics string (weightless) which has been enforced with carbon for extra stiffness, they will, I repeat, they WILL look like pieces of cardboard stuck to the characters, but that won’t matter, because your characters will have perfectly straight and unconnected limbs for bodies anyway!

Step 3: Rinse and repeat, again and again and again and again and again.

Oh, and don’t forget, all the characters you draw can use telekinesis! That means that you don’t have to worry about their hands when they are holding something! You can just put in some fingers wherever you like, and their telekinesis will stop the object from falling to the ground~

Se those chopsticks? Totally floating.  But this is good, because girls like that are MOE and MOE sells for shitloads of money.

I mean, just LOOK at that! It’s perfectly FINE for you to ignore the fact  there’s no way in hell such a scene can be possible. As long as you remember that no one gives a damn about physics (like water refracting light) and everyone has telekinesis, you can make MOE pictures all day long and get paid for it!

Oh, and by the way, THIS is a better picture of girls with fireworks (still has some flaws, but they aren’t painful). But somehow an obviously better artist isn’t getting as much attention or making as much money.

And for some reason artists that are actually creative and don’t make any money from their drawings. This above picture is drawn by a friend of mine, achouzi (阿抽子). Of course, as far as I know she’s never made a single cent from her art.

Because THIS is the stuff that makes money. Because THIS is the stuff that the internet loves. Because THIS is the stuff that is popular. That’s right. Moe sells, and sex sells, even if the girl has misplaced boobs when she’s having sex.

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37 thoughts on “How to make money like Aoi Nishimata

  1. Wow, what an accurate review!
    I’ve always disliked Aoi Nishimata’s artwork, though I’ve never nitpicked it before. And the Moshimo Ashita ga Harenaba artwork is definitely better in terms of, er, physics.
    I hadn’t considered how straight line based Aoi’s drawings were, by the way, but they certainly are.

    The physics defying food CG also features an arm bend that is impossible, unless you have double jointed elbows.

    And I think it’s pretty rude of that one person to call your posts too generic.

      • Oh my, all of them? That’s what my last blog was, until I gave it up and started over. I think I got through 30 or 40 before getting exhausted by it. I’ll do what I can!

      • Well, once a series gets popular yeah, then the editors start trying to dictate where things go. But usually by that time they’ve already settled on a particular drawing style and merely refining it than testing things out, IMHO anyhows…

        But insofar as my knowledge of author/editors go, that’s hardly something limited to manga industry, so [shrug]

  2. I know about Aoi Nishimata’s generic-ness, but the CG errors and telepathy is hilarious! That girl with the water bottle… is her thumb long? Or does she even have a thumb?

    Oh gawd (last pic), you don’t even need to be a CG critic to see the fail. Does Aoi Nishimata even have “eyes” to see correctly?

  3. Well, it’s good that you came to the right conclusion: that cute things are what sell in a moe-centric market, and that technique isn’t what’s most important. And above all, that actual skill and creativity pales in importance compared to marketability.

    I recognize you were being facetious in coming to those conclusions, but it’s still true. And I recognize the technical flaws on so many levels, but still bought Essence+ in part because the character designs are cute and the story is still fun even if deeply flawed. And enjoyment is still what it’s all about for me at the end of the day; no one needs to justify it.

    • Actually, I was being mostly serious with the last bit. But yeah, I’ve spend too much money on games that had problems too, and I think that I have the same opinion of the anime as you do for the game.

      • Well, yeah; it’d be more accurate to say that I was the one being a bit facetious by spinning your conclusions in a totally different way than you intended. I guess, at the end of the day, I just don’t see why a popular artist’s shortcomings justify so much derision. She doesn’t have the best art, but she does have among the most marketable character designs. Good for her for finding success.

  4. This is a good read.

    Continuing with what relentless said, the ability to design appealing characters is really what sells in eroge since the average consumer isn’t qualified to analyze from an artist’s perspective. Of course, looking at some of the samples you have here, it’s a miracle that Shuffle is as popular as it is… and yet, I can’t deny that the characters still look great at first glance.

    I don’t think moe is the issue here since the less memorable moe designs get less attention than the creative ones, but the lack of technical detail is appalling. The real problem is that the issue will never be solved unless the major artists start receiving serious criticism to the point that it damages their reputation with their fans. The average eroge consumer might not be an art critic, but everyone who spends their money on anything cares about the quality of the product, to some degree.

    • I think it’s kind of like nostalgia. For instance, most people who fell in love and cried for Kanon will furiously defend Itaru Hinoue’s art, no matter how many other people trash it. The most influential artists in Japan right now are those who started working on attention-grabbing series years ago, and they won’t change as long as they’re still within their generation. Kinda like how sometimes social reform just won’t happen until the older generation dies off.

      • Good point. Still, I think the biggest issue here is the technical flaws, not the style. You said you’re not a fan of her art, but like Omo said below, a lot of people (myself included) enjoy her designs from a stylistic point of view. The styles will change from generation to generation, but nothing is stopping an artist from working on their technical weaknesses.

    • Unfortunately, I don’t like her designs either. I’m STILL trying to burn away the images of the uniforms she drew from my brain (particularly the one Asuka wears in oretachi ni tsubasa wa nai, that’s just awful).

  5. I’m not really critical of art, ever. Except, well, maybe for stuff like the last episodes of White Album season 1…but that’s just common sense. Not sure what I could say about the industry and art in a broader, philosophical sense though.

  6. Nishimata’s art looks pretty to me so I like it. It’s like flowers. A certain rose may not be perfectly formed, but I think it’s still pretty regardless. Therefore, I enjoy looking at it. I think of her art the same way, whether technical flaws are present or not. Same thing goes for Hinoue’s art.

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  8. Telepathy? More like telekinesis, perhaps.

    But yeah, this article did make me realize how bad some CGs can be. Even worse, from Shuffle, a series I love.

    And then there’s the current trend of putting Nishimata’s art onto different merchandise… makes me kinda wish Suzuhira was still around…

  9. While I don’t like Aoi Nishimata’s style either, I can relax in that her characters:

    1. Don’t have boobs 100x the size of their heads.

    2. Have modest bust/waist/hip ratios. “Hourglass figure” shouldn’t be taken to the extreme. D:

    Although, I don’t think I can relax after seeing that last picture, that neck is going to give me nightmares.

  10. scary… especially the gif same face file, i was horrifyingly shocked.

    there goes my dream to work for an H-game company for some money in the future…

    welll, i never played an H-game anyway, but sounded like a good way to make money. now it just sounds horrible after seeing the quality.

  11. I enjoyed this read. I was going to say that the art probably sells due to “base content” which is what you stated as nostalgia. Name brand seems to have a ridiculously huge effect.

    After you pointed out the flaws, looking at the picture again does indeed look extremely distorted. It looks like to me that when people look at pictures, you look at the face first. It did not appear that you pointed any particular flaws with the face itself. It seems like with this effect, as absurd as the rest of the proportions and strange angles with even more strange physics and shifting are, if most of the attention was on the face it is entirely possible to not notice the flaw in the first place. What the picture is conveying is also simple and immediate, so the actual visual can be bypassed.

    And while there are certainly artists who draw with lower physics flaws, Nishimata’s drawings are very easy to identify due to Navel and Shuffle. Heck, my favourite bishoujo character was drawn by her, and even then, when I was rating the character design output, it wasn’t very high at all. Now that I see the straight line strangeness, among other oddities, it makes more sense now. If a consumer wants more pictures of a favourite character and the only real form of drawings that exist of the character primarily lie in Nishimata drawings, then an artbook that contains said character is plausible to purchase, regardless of technical flaws. The name brand already tells you you’re guaranteed to get what you’re looking for.

    It’s possible that while your point is clear, even if the physics flaws are consistent in many CG, if a consumer was playing Shuffle and enjoyed it, to me it seems like most of the time during the game, one would see the regular day to day images which probably have fewer physics flaws because the girls aren’t carrying items on their hands. Some could say Shuffle is actually a mediocre game if you fully analyzed it, but it’s probably a fact that many had fun playing it. Therefore the flaws are tolerable. If the game wasn’t played, it was very much possible to have seen the anime, and have enjoyed that too.

    At first glance non-artist-wise, the pictures don’t seem too unusual. After looking again with your analysis, the same pictures look extremely distorted. And when purchasing stuff like artbooks, it looks like the first two things one would see is the first glance, and usually he or she would also know the artist. I don’t think the artbooks are filled with items like chopsticks, fireworks, or water bottles. Given the second picture as a good example though, yes it would seem there’s a multitude of flaws of the character design itself even if you remove the item problem that causes gravity distortion or limbs crossing which disconnect other limbs.

    The fireworks comparison to kusukusu’s (the artist of the other game CG) drawing was reasonable, though if Nishimata drew Kaede using a similar pose, all the flaws pointed out almost wouldn’t occur because you wouldn’t have arms crossing, preventing some shifted/distorted limbs, and the impossible fireworks physics would be reduced if the index finger and thumb were drawn similarly. (On a random note, the right arm of the taller girl on kusukusu’s drawing appears … double jointed. It looks like the right arm has a left hand come to think of it …)

    Flaws will exist, though certainly it is nice and surprising to know it’s actually quite numerous in this post.

    Now I am wondering, do you have examples of distorted art of known artists on certain cover books? Usually the cover is what people see, so even if the contents inside have distorted proportions, unless you’re already aware of it, if the cover has minimal flaws (or is just really appealing I suppose), it would probably outweigh prevention of purchase if the consumer likes the artist/drawing/character-on-the-cover/whatever-else.

    It can be very easy to identify the art style of certain artists, though pinpointing the technical flaw is far less immediate. This gap of identification probably reduces the purchasing situation of “oh my, the technical flaws I spot on this cover is so bad it prevents me from wanting to purchase this artbook”. [I don’t have a good example on when someone did not buy an artbook due to technical flaw itself.]
    On the other hand the impulse to buy an artbook is far easier because the art catches the visual attention. Even if one knows there are technical flaws within the book, it probably doesn’t usually reduce the chances of buying the book by that much if the consumer had an eye on it in the first place, or likes something about the book that outweighs the flaw. Tolerance for flaws can be quite high it seems, especially when you like the base content.

    • Okay, firstly, let me just say that’s probably the longest comment anyone has ever posted on anything I’ve ever written. (WOW).

      I did point out flaws on the face: everything is square and all the faces look the same. But I didn’t think things like crocked eyes, odd shines, and things like that were important enough.

      I have to agree with you on the whole label thing, because it holds true for most people. But I buy artbooks that are artist based instead of series based, so I didn’t really consider that.

      I never said that Shuffle was a bad game, only that I’ve watched the anime, liked the anime, and has made the decision to not play the game.

      I have to disagree with your point on the items. Even if something isn’t drawn every single time doesn’t mean that it’s any less annoying when it’s actually drawn. And every person notices different things “at first glance”, in my eyes they’re distorted from the very beginning.

      Thanks for pointing out the 2 left hands, I thought it was interesting (probably wouldn’t have noticed it if you hadn’t pointed it out).

      Actually, most artbooks that I can remember has pretty nice covers, and the only really odd looking one would be Murakami Suigun’s Lily White (that cover was ODD). I have made some really bad buys, being tricked by the cover art (I can remember clearly this one Tony book that had a FANTASTIC cover but really awful contents…)

      I can’t pinpoint an exact example of a person not buying an artbook because of a technical flaw either, but most of the time, the flaws will register in your brain now as a flaw, but simply something that’s “off”. If the cover feels disharmonious, the buyer will often pass it by, without realizing why.

      I can’t understand why someone would buy an artbook because they like the story and not because they like the art. I’ve never done a thing like that, and I don’t think I ever will either.

  12. Haha. Are you an artist? I wanna SEE YOU try any better and get away with it. 😛 Quick, draw us something good “oh artist of the century”! (Which in actually, you have no place to be talking about good art IF you can’t draw yourself) Another wanna-be miserable idiot out for attention….What else is new.

    • Can you draw? If what you’re saying is actually true, you have no right to talk about good art if you can’t draw. Another wanna-be miserable idiot out for attention….What else is new.

  13. I don’t worship Aoi Nishimata’s art, but I’m an artist myself, and I have an appreciation for her art. And don’t hate on Tony Taka. That is Bizarre talent no matter how “fanservicy” it is. Itaru Hinoue is a very good artist, and I love her color schemes she uses. From an artist’s point of view, I appreciate all of the art they draw (especially Tony Taka’s, His shit is crazy good) they are all unique in there own way. I’ve been drawing for 9 years now, and I can say Aoi Nishimata, Itaru Hinoue AND Tony Taka all shaped my art into what it is today. And do you think I’m HALF as good as they are? I’m definitely not making bucks like they are, and you guys aren’t either. I generally HATE this thread, and I think because of how negative you are, (face it black and white) your worthless life probably isn’t going anywhere compared to how far these people’s lives are going. In order to appreciate art, you can’t judge it. You people epically fail at understanding that simple concept.

    • …sigh…
      I don’t hate Tony Taka. But, I don’t really like fanservicy art in general.While some of his stuff makes me go “WOW”, but most of the time I just go “oh, another naked girl, whatever”. He draws what he likes, and that’s perfectly fine. What I like doesn’t have to be what he likes or what you like.
      As for Itaru Hinoue…she’s not what it seems like. The majority of her art works aren’t colored by herself, but rather the CG team at Key. Yes, some of the art that comes from Key’s games are fantastic. But, it would look considerably different if Itaru Hinoue was the only one drawing.

      I don’t care about exactly who appreciate them. I never said they aren’t unique. Everybody’s unique. All these artists influenced me too, everything that you’ve ever seen in your entire life influences you. I don’t care if you think you’re worse than them. You’re judging your own drawings, which is something that you said a person can’t do if they want to appreciate it. I’m interested in seeing them though, since I draw too. Also, just because you think your own life is worthless and that you aren’t making money doesn’t mean you can say that about everybody else.

  14. So your merely turning what I said around on me? Pfft, Yeah whatever you say. (Like it matters) Anyways, what else is to be expected? Nothing. (I guess :S) Oh yeah and I was judging MY OWN artwork, because I’m not too keen on, “Judging SOMEONE ELSE’S” artwork, when I don’t really have the place. I took a glance at your artwork, and it seems like your work is CP generated as well. (Except for drawing it on paper) It’s very good but…That’s kinda called hypocrisy. So I wouldn’t really be talking. (Literally, my work is traditionally done) Unless your really good with a pen and/or pencil, (If that IS the case and it is NOT CP generated) I need to take lessons from you. I wasn’t looking for a fight, and I know it sounds like I’m an asshole. I’m just strong in what I believe in, and sometimes I don’t know when to keep my mouth shut. I got myself into some trouble TOO many times, but hey, at least I’m not being hated on for what I believe in. I believe that Aoi Nishimata and the others artists that are in this blog are brilliant in what they do, but I also think, as an artist yourself shouldn’t you be open-minded and non-judgmental of other’s artwork? I know I didn’t like it when someone made negative comments on my work, or “playfully made fun of” it. I didn’t say anything about your artwork, because I know my work isn’t perfect. I think everyone should think this way, but that’s what I believe in. Again, I didn’t mean to sound like an asshole.

  15. If you just glance at the art, Nishimata’s CGs aren’t too bad, but that picture of Misuzu is abso-fucking-lutely terrible.

    Something’s wrong with her neck. And shoulders. And boobs. And ribbon. And proportioning. And fuckin’ everything!

  16. Although I am a huge fan of Aoi Nishimata’s style and artworks, I definitely think you are raising some very interesting and well-supported points here. ^_*

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