Planetarium plagiarized?

I was really surprised when I found out that one of my favorite songs, プラネタリウム (Planetarium), from the 花より男子 (Hana Yori Dango) soundtrack by 大塚 愛 (Ai Otsuka) was accused of being plagiarized. More to add to my surprise was that it was accused of being ripped off from another of my favorites, 素敵だね (Suteki da ne) – the theme song from the Final Fantasy X game developed by Square Enix, sung by 中野 律紀 (Nakano Ritsuki – more commonly known as Rikki).

The two songs have very similar melodies and lyrics. The videos also share similarities. Although it is not clear if this was intentional, though I seriously doubt after watching both the music videos that it could be unintentional, it is commonly believed that Ai Otsuka used this song as a homage to Rikki.

Here is Ai Otsuka’s Planetarium video being compared with Rikki’s video

Consollection

Consollection features a great gallery of video-console, from Pong to the Wii. A nice overview of original designs and packagings, also available as printed book. I love how the site’s homepage is designed like a typology study.

Final Fantasy XIII Package art released!

The highly anticipated Final Fantasy XIII by Square Enix will be released on the 9th of March, 2010 in Europe and in the U.S.

According to the announcement of Yoshinori Kitase, the producer of Final Fantasy XIII (also the producer of other games in the series), the Square Enix team has worked with high definition for the first time.

Here are the package design, both for PlayStation 3 and Xbox.

Final Fantasy game covers

I came across a site called Cover Browser while searching for album covers for my illustration class (the idea was to make my Jack and Jill project like it was a set of albums because one of my assistants thought my illustrations looked like an album he knew, but it didn’t really worked out), and I loved the site because it is quite an archive for books, comics, games and much more. So here are some of the covers of the Final Fantasy (which is developed by Square Enix, where my dream job is) games, and I guess if you’ve read my post about Yoshitaka Amano, you’d be able to understand his visual work and maybe a bit of his work from these covers.

VIII-2

Yoshitaka Amano

Yoshitaka Amano is one of my favorite artists. I first knew him from “The Sandman: The Dream Hunters“, his collaboration work with Neil Gaiman, and knew about him making the character designs for Square Enix‘s Final Fantasy series, but I recently just noticed (way to knowing the name of a person but not being able to link both works -_-) that he was the person that made the both of them and  I discovered he also made artwork in very different fields, like stained glass, and theater design. Here are the links to his English and Japanese websites. He recently had an exhibition in San Francisco, Super Frog Gallery.

“Born in Shizuoka City, Japan, Amano started working for Tatsunoko Productions, where he worked on character development for such popular animated television series as Gatchaman (G-Force), The Adventures of Hutch, the Honeybee and The Time Bokan series.

After he left Tatsunoko Productions in 1982, he started working as a freelance illustrator and expanded his career to gain worldwide recognition for his visual concept design for the popular game Final Fantasy.

His works both in illustration and computer game design, such as “Vampire Hunter D”, “Guin Saga”, “Final Fantasy”, “Front Mission” etc., became legendary in the industry. His fine art oriented works have been shown in galleries and art fairs all over the world in recent years.

In 1997, Amano’s first gallery exhibition THINK LIKE AMANO was held in New York City and his career as a contemporary artist took international route followed by concept design for the first philharmonic production of 3D/2D animated short film 1001 Nights which debuted at the Los Angeles Philharmonic April Concert, solo exhibition at Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival, Exhibition THINK LIKE AMANO at Uenonomori Museum of Art in Tokyo, and solo exhibition HERO at Angel Orensanz Foundation in New York City (1999).

In, 2000 THE SANDMAN: The Dream Hunters was nominated for Hugo Award and won Eisner Award.”

You should really, really click this image and view the 7-panel artwork.