Vanillaware is a game developer founded in 2002 by artist George Kamitani, who previously worked at Capcom and Atlus. The company was established as Puraguru until 2004, when it rebranded as Vanillaware.
Vanillaware's games are renowned for their extremely detailed 2D artwork. The company frequently works together with Basiscape for the soundtracks — in fact, thus far, every single released OST for a Vanillaware game has been effectively a vehicle for the newer artists of Basiscape.
Games by Vanillaware:
- Princess Crown (while part of Atlus)
- Fantasy Earth: The Ring of Dominion
- Odin Sphere
- Muramasa: The Demon Blade
- Grand Knights History
- Dragon's Crown
- 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
Vanillaware and George Kamitani use the following tropes:
- Author Appeal: George Kamitani's art style tends to always encompass the following:
- Amazonian Beauty: There are musclebound characters of both genders, but females are frequently given this treatment in addition to the muscle. This also usually includes said characters having an emphasis on their legs and butts as opposed to any other area, but sometimes includes Boobs of Steel on rare occasion. Examples include Gwendolyn, Raijin, and the Amazon.
- Buxom Is Better: Some of the more powerful characters (generally magic-oriented) tend to have equally powerful assets. Examples include Velvet, Queen Elfaria, Odettenote , Kongiku and almost all the female mooks in Muramasa, and the Sorceress.
- Cute Monster Girls: Any female monsters will almost always fall into this category, along with any of the other Author Appeal tropes listed here. Examples include Kongiku and Yuzuhura, who are kitsune, the mermaids and snow women from the same game, and the harpies and vampires in Dragon's Crown.
- Game Gourmet: There's as much detail put into food as there is everything else. It's recommended not to be particularly hungry when playing a game that has a lot of food focus, such as Muramasa: The Demon Blade.
- Top-Heavy Guy: In order to emphasize strength in the male characters, they tend to be drawn with huge meaty torsos placed atop small legs. Odin, the adult Oni enemies, the Knight, and the Dwarf? All examples of beefy guys.
- Doing It for the Art: It takes a ton of work to produce 2D graphics lavish enough to strain a contemporary game system. This is in fact George Kamitani's modus operandi, exemplified by both Dragon's Crown and its artbook. If the preface in the artbook is anything to go by, Dragon's Crown is George Kamitani's love letter to gaming as a whole.
- Medieval European Fantasy: The setting for most of the games they've produced. 13 Sentinels marks the first time they've broken away from the "old era" fantasy setting to produce something that takes place in modern times.
- Oddball in the Series: Vanillaware's catalog consists of RPGs, action RPGs and...a game where you take care of anthropomorphic animal girls in a zoo.
- Scenery Porn: To the point where many promotional images are the raw artwork for the backgrounds.
- Spiritual Successor: Princess Crown —> Odin Sphere —> Muramasa. In fact, during development, the games were respectively referred to as Princess Crown 2 and Princess Crown 3. Dragon's Crown is instead a successor to Dungeons & Dragons: Tower Of Doom.