This week’s recommendations are going to be focused around games and anime that offer a truly unique and amazing visual experience. This is not about ‘good graphics’ it’s about that unique aesthetic that surpasses talk of quality and becomes art. I am not going to be concerned with story, with character development, with gameplay, or anything else… it’s just about those one of a kind, distinct visual experiences that we remember forever.
My first pick for this has to be Transistor. It’s environments have a ton of character, featuring a mixture of digital aesthetic and modern architecture and the character models – on all sides of the coin – are so distinct and unique that it’s just utterly fantastic. But most importantly, the way the visuals interact with the music is so effective.
No Game No Life (Anime)
NGNL is an anime about a world founded on games… and to make use of that, they’ve created an aesthetic that truly fits the bill. It looks very, well, animated. With an almost cell shaded feel and some of the best use of colour I’ve seen in an anime, No Game No Life is a treat to watch.
El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron (Game)
El Shaddai is a game from a few years back that never got the attention it deserved. It was an action game with a story loosely related to biblical themes and the most ridiculous aesthetic ever. Every single stage had its own distinct theme, its own distinct style… and they were all wacky and amazing. From a tron-themed futuristic world to a sort of pastel-ish water world… they’re all incredible.
Dramatical Murder (Anime)
I don’t often recommend shows that aren’t at least finished their first season… but when my wife and I were thinking of unique aesthetics we felt that lightbulb click over our head when we mentioned Dramatical Murder. This show has a very interesting colour palette, even among anime… and it intentionally feels dated. If you took a lot of these characters and imagery in this show and put them back in the 90s, it’d fit perfectly… the outfits, the appearances, the city design… it all just screams ’90’s’. Oh… and the main character looks like Megaman. No joke.
I hope you enjoy these recommendations. Have a good holiday, if you have it off, and a great week.