Nintendo announced Fire Emblem Engage earlier today and reactions to its new hero with the Icee-colored hair are rolling in. Some are fine with it. Others hate it. What’s indisputable is that it looks like the design for a modern-day VTuber. Like and subscribe please. Uwu.
We don’t know the hero’s name, and Nintendo hasn’t officially revealed the female version in action yet, but the initial art for both sure looks right at home on a Twitch stream overlay. Some fans focused on the main art which looks distinct from the more regal medieval designs of the series’ past. Others took the character portrait and slapped it right on top of one of Twitch’s most played games:
It turns out our hero evoking the likes of Ironmouse and other top VTubers isn’t entirely by accident. One of the artists for the game has in fact designed the virtual anime avatars in the past. Illustrator Mika Pikazo, best known for her work on the light novel series Apocalypse Witch, took credit on Twitter.
Pikazo also helped design VTubers Hakos Baelz, Kaguya Luna, and Pinky Pop Hepburn. But she’s perhaps best known as the artist behind the Fate/Grand Order mobile game character Sei Shounagon. It’s there that the resemblance to the new Fire Emblem Engage heroes is clearest.
Some fans of her work have been extremely supportive, while even a few who love the art style are skeptical of how it translates into a 3D game. Meanwhile many in the Fire Emblem community are simply hung up on the red and blue hair combo.
There have also been plenty of toothpaste jokes. For some, the new FE protagonists look like a box of Crest or Colgate.
Like them or not, it’s fair to say the Fire Emblem team knew exactly what they were getting for the new Engage designs when they commissioned Pikazo. And as more than one fan has pointed out, players rebelled against previous protagonist art styles as well. Fans will have just a few months to warm up to it, if they ever do. Engage release in January.