Sunday, February 22, 2009

Final Fantasy VII + Gipi

This week's challenge:

Final Fantasy VII is the first RPG that I had ever played, and still one of the most memorable. Chances are if you were once (or still are) a fan of video games and/or anime, manga, etc., you have heard of FFVII. In fact, in all likelihood you have played it, become obsessed with it, dressed as the characters, and created a web-shrine devoted to even the most obscure of its parts. 

I'm not sure what it is about this game that gave it such a hold on its fans, but its impact is undeniable. For my part, I had never played a game before FFVII that had such developed characters. The internal struggle of protagonist Cloud is arguably of equal importance to the immense external struggles the game's cast is thrown into. 
Gipi, born Gianni Picanotti, is a well-known Italian cartoonist and illustrator. I discovered him completely by accident at my local comic shop and instantly fell in love. Gipi's understanding and portrayal of the subtleties of body language are incredible. His style maintains a roughness and energy often found in an artist's sketchbook. There is so much life in his's such a joy to see! 

Compare Gipi's studies with his finished product and you'll see that the latter retains all of the wonderful exploration and movement of the former. This combined with the fact that you can see a bit of his own face in the faces of his characters help to create an incredibly personal look to Gipi's comics.

I think this style will be a perfect fit for Cloud and his ilk.


Katrina said...

FFVII was Square's best work short of Chrono Trigger, and you can see it in all the numbered FF games since--every single one of them incorporates FFVII elements but falls short of the original. Some of them are great games, but they don't have quite the impact. Part of it was simply the breadth of the story--FFVII was the first FF game for the Playstation, and with multiple disks and the option of FMVs (as polygonal as they were), the game was seventy hours of breathtaking experience (most games up to that point had been thirty hours or so); and it's really hard to replicate that sort of thing in anyone's heart.

Note the prevalence of FFVII sequels/prequels, and the consistent appearance of FFVII characters in things like Kingdom Hearts (the most recent version even has the kids from Advent Children in it!). It is legendary!

Carly Monardo said...

Absolutely!! In fact, I was having some difficulty just trying to find images of the original game! It's all Advent Children and Crisis Core now.

david bessent said...

wow, great job! and thanks for opening my eyes to Gianni Picanotti. I can't wait to see some of Gipi's books. Cheers!