Dragon Ball has a hardcore fanbase, and rightfully so. This franchise has been running since 1989! So to no one’s surprise, it has been incorporated into tons of media and artwork. But no one has probably tried to depict the Dragon ball in Japanese Ukiyo-e art, that is until Justin Chen showed up.
Justin Chien, an artist, recently shared some pieces on Twitter that depicted some of the Dragon Ball Z heavyweights in Ukiyo-e Japanese art style. It is a fantastic treat to see Super Saiyan Goku and Perfect Cell in this classic, stylized format. Any of these pieces are worthy of being framed and hung at home.
From the 17th to the 19th centuries, Japan’s Ukiyo-e art style was extremely trendy. Artists used it to create woodblock prints, and paintings of historical moments, such as kabuki actors and other important events.
Dragon Ball Z carries many of the same elements in traditional works. Chien brings classic scenes from the series to life, including Super Saiyan Goku fighting Frieza, Perfect Cell losing to Super Saiyan 2 Teen Gohan, and Super Saiyan3 Goku facing Super Buu.
The villains have a face that looks like an oni. They have large fangs sticking out of their mouths and longer tongues. Although this may be quite different from what the villains look like, it works well and makes the effect even more powerful.
The dramatic poses of the fighters capture critical moments in the story. Spectacular backdrops include clouds, fire, lightning, and other elements to add to the drama. Chien meticulously planned these scenes, as you can see in Gohan’s left arm hanging to the side while his dominant arm fires a Kamehameha beam at Cell.
It feels that classic fighting games and pop culture characters depicted completely differently are the most beautiful. Sometimes it isn’t easy to make characters we love and work in other styles. This is an excellent achievement by Chien. On their Twitter page, you can find more Ukiyoe-e pieces featuring One Piece and Demon Slayer.
Also read about 18 Proofs That Japan Is Full Of Surprises