Shingeki no Kyojin is one of the most intense upcoming titles, and it certainly wouldn’t be so without artwork made to fit – character key visuals accent a style of realism, and take the pain to greater heights.
To meet the gristly atmosphere, the artwork takes after reality to quite a degree of precision. The proportions of each character are exact, and they’re detailed as well – although before delving into the more intricate facets, look below and note the general physical makeup of our protagonist in the first image. He stands with confidence, there’s a labyrinth of lines due to his complex getup – although consistent amongst these lines is the raw and rigid nature of them. From certain angles, there’s even some near-solid straight lines as seen with the sketch off to the right.
Moving an image down, the visage is drawn up to strict standards – the eyes rest half-way at the height of the head, a rule of the real world, believe it or not. The variance in line thickness is striking – areas more subject to darkness or shadow, such as the chin and just underneath the neck, are practically gouged with black.
The shape of the skull is definitely not that of a bubbly-headed anime character, it’s a sharpened oval – and also see how the visage responds and contracts all in accordance. The artist kept details minimal and meaningful in order to maximize the impact of the facial expressions. For instance, the hair is outlined but nothing more – and with it being a bleak shape, not overrun with line, it contrasts the visage to give it more attention, instead of competing against it.
These facts hold true with our heroine and side-kick character as well – just recognize that the heroine’s physical composition has a greater exploit on curves and inclined shapes.
The artwork isn’t just excellent, but it was designed to tell this story – it embodies the different elements which make Shingeki no Kyojin in order to deliver it all.