CoD Japanese Art Series: A Mangaka-Led Collection Inspired by MW II and Warzone 2.0
For Season 02, Call of Duty partnered with several mangaka, or manga artists, to create art inspired by Ashika Island, the new Operator Ronin, and all the new features to be released within the season. Check out their work and get some free high-resolution art and wallpapers in this exclusive feature.
Season 02 brings Call of Duty® Operators to the shores of Ashika Island, a new Call of Duty: WarzoneTM 2.0 map based in the Asia-Pacific region for Resurgence, Mini Royale, and DMZ infiltrations.It also saw the return of Japanese American Operator Ronin, a Path of the Ronin event based on the seven virtues of Bushido, and a variety of content inspired by Japanese culture.
More than ever before in our near-20-year history, Call of Duty is a global game. Alongside the work from our developers, this new season would not be possible without our colleagues in the Asia-Pacific region and without Activision’s Asia and Pacific Islander network, who were instrumental in making sure we authentically represented this culture within and outside of our game.
Through these awesome individuals, the Call of Duty franchise was able to partner with several famous mangaka, or manga artists, and illustrators based in Japan in order to create some truly spectacular illustrations, which we’re happy to share in wallpaper form for your PC or mobile device.
Let’s meet and find out more about the talent behind some of the awesome graphical art you saw during this season:
Above: the self-portrait of Rokuro Saito, as well as a draft of one of their final artworks.
With several notable works as a mangaka and illustrator across gaming and other media, Rokuro Saito was not sure if Call of Duty had the right number when they gave them the call.
When I was first contacted [by Call of Duty and asked], “Would you like to draw?” I was truly surprised when [they] asked, “Are you sure you want to do it with me?” also thought, “Are you sure you are asking the right person?” . . . I was so surprised. We knew that the Call of Duty series is one of the most popular games in the world, so we were really nervous. But it was a great honor, and we wanted to portray Japanese motifs and tough fighting women, so we gathered our courage and decided to accept the project.
I also appreciated the fact that the people at Activision were eager to supervise the rough and finished work even though they must have been busy, which was a great learning experience for me, and I am deeply grateful.
The Call of Duty series is a fascinating game with a realistic reality. I thought it was a very exciting project to hear that illustrators with various styles and personalities would express the world of Call of Duty through tribute illustrations. I myself am looking forward to seeing the works of the other artists.
I believe that Ronin, Nova, and Roze, who are the focus of this project, are popular Operators who have appeared in past series, but I expect that their new charms will be discovered through the individuality of the artists.
I am a manga artist, so I thought, “If Call of Duty were to be serialized as a Japanese manga work, what would the three of them look like?” . . . I think this approach is unique to this tribute illustration, and I hope you enjoy it.
Here is what Rokuro Saito had to say about the production process:
This time, the setting is the island of Ashika, whose landmark is a magnificent castle with a keep. Moreover, the Operators’ equipment also featured armor motifs and [was] red in the style of warlord warriors, so my work partner Sakamaguro and I consulted with each other and decided to boldly use red in the illustrations to express the world of the work. In the first illustration in particular, I thought that camouflage would match the flatness of Japanese-style painting, so I used red camouflage as an accent.
When I finally started drawing, the Nova and Roze firearms were a challenge! Living in Japan, pistols would only exist in games and movies, so I watched the game screens of Call of Duty and referred to them. . . . On the other hand, I am familiar with Japanese swords, as I have a replica of one myself, and I was able to finish the Ronin weapon without any difficulty.
Download Rokuro Saito’s work by clicking on each image here:
Above: a draft of one of Tatsumi’s final artworks.
An award-winning artist, Tatsumi contributed several pieces of art that showcase Ashika Island and Season 02’s new Operators and Skins.
Tatsumi had the following comments about their work:
“Thank you very much for the opportunity of asking me. I enjoyed drawing this illustration, weaving together the world of the game and my own favorite things.”
Download Tatsumi’s work by clicking on each image here:
Above: A work-in-progress draft of Kazuno Yuikawa’s final artworks.
An illustrator and manga artist, Kazuno Yuikawa had this to say about their involvement in our mangaka partnership:
“I have known the title of Call of Duty for a long time, so I am very honored to be involved in this project.”
Download Yuikawa’s work by clicking on each image here:
We once again thank and sincerely appreciate Rokuro Saito, Tatsumi, and Kazuno Yuikawa for partnering with the Call of Duty franchise.