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About BOX=ART

BOX=ART is a site dedicated to the history of video game box art/ cover art and the artists responsible for them.

Box arts are profiled from a variety of angles using high quality scans and with the intention of acknowledging the men and women who have played such a major role in shaping our gaming experiences.

Not only for video game enthusiasts, BOX=ART is for all who enjoy quality artwork.



BOX=ART artist

 >Toshaki “Shinkiro” Mori

His art has adorned some of the highest profile video games since the early 90’s and his style has developed into one of the most recognisable in the industry.



Toshiaki Mori better known as Shinkiro stands tall alongside SENSEI, Kinu and Dai-Chan as one of Capcom’s elite in-house artists, but he had not always drawn Ryu and co…



Born in 1962, Shinkiro would study technical drawing after being inspired by America Marvel artist Frank Frazetta.  For many years he free-lanced as an illustrator working on commercial product magazines whilst dabbling in cartooning.  


He would join SNK’s design department in 1990 amidst the dawn of the Neo Geo, where he would work alongside the company’s founder/ producer Eikichi Kawasaki.  


His first box art design would be for ASO II: Last Guardian, 1991 (Alpha Mission II) and he would finish that busy year with further cover arts for games; Sengoku, Robo Army and Eightman amongst others.  


These early box arts would be created using traditional mediums such as oils, gouache and spray paint, before he made the transition to digital artwork using Macs and paint package Photoshop in the mid-90’s.


Interestingly an interview from around 2001 has him state that his favourite personal cover art is Ghost Pilots (1991).  Its a wonderfully charming artwork with an interesting colour pallet and a cool title (complete with Grim Reaper), although it does lack what makes a Shinkiro cover art so great: characters.

Looking at his box arts from 1991 you could be forgiven for thinking they were done by another artist.  Comparing Sengoku, Ghost Pilots, Robo Army and ASO II the difference in style, technique and the mediums used is diverse, ranging from anime (Robo Army) to traditional 80’s sci-fi (ASO II).  


The only box art instinctive of the art style to come would be in Sengoku with its unmistakeably heavy shading, chiselled jaw lines and confident look to its characters. This box art would also start a trend for the artist whereby he juxtaposed characters: the background ones coloured in distinctly darker bluish hues. Check out Art of Fighting, Fatal Fury Special, King of Fighters ’97 and Psi-Ops for further examples.  


You can also see the influence that N. C. Wyeth, one of his favourite artists, has had on these box arts when you study his character posture and shadowing.


Artistically we move into more familiar territory the following year with two of SNK’s first big series,  Art of Fighting, and Fatal Fury and again in 1993 with Samurai Showdown and the delightfully camp 3 Count Bout.  


All would have the characteristics detailed above and would exemplify a common complaint made about Shinkiro’s art: that his faces whether masculine or feminine all looked samey.


By 1998 box arts for Metal Slug X and King of Fighters ’98 completed his transition to digital art.  He would do well in maintaining his style after the jump to digital.  


His lines would become cleaner, box arts more cluttered and washed in garish background colours but style of content would remain largely unchanged.






Posted - 15/9/13, by Adam Gidney


SNK in 2000 would fold (later becoming SNK  Playmore) and Shinkiro would be quickly snapped up by rival Capcom.  His box arts for them would start to look more realistic with Biohazard: Gun Survivor 4, Dead Rising and Glass Rose, but he would still create more stylised works with Tatsunoko vs Capcom, Ultimate Ghosts ‘n Goblins and Final Fight One (albeit all three are directed towards a younger/ retro audience).  


He would also produce works for Marvel with the Unlimited Spiderman comics and UDON’s Street Fighter comics.


Still going strong with his latest box art, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, Shinkiro is arguably one of great Japanese illustrators of his generation.  

1991

>ASO II: Last Guardian (JP) Neo Geo AES.

>Burning Fight (JP/ NA) Neo Geo AES, Neo Geo CD.

>Eightman (JP/ NA) Neo Geo AES.

>Fatal Fury (JP) Neo Geo AES, Super Famicom.

>Ghost Pilots (JP) Neo Geo AES, Neo Geo CD.

>Robo Army (JP) Neo Geo AES, Neo Geo CD.

>Sengoku (JP) Neo Geo AES.

1992

>Art of Fighting (worldwide) Genesis, Mega Drive, Neo Geo AES, Neo Geo CD,   SNES, Super Famicom.

>Fatal Fury 2 (NA) Neo Geo AES, Neo Geo CD.

>Mutation Nation (JP/ NA) Neo Geo AES, Neo Geo CD.

1993

>3 Count Bout (JP/ NA) Neo Geo AES.

>Fatal Fury Special (JP/ NA) Neo Geo AES, Neo Geo CD, Sega CD, Super   Famicom, X68000.

>Samurai Shodown (worldwide) Game Gear, Genesis, Mega Drive, Neo Geo   AES, Neo Geo CD, SNES.

>Sengoku (JP) Neo Geo CD, Mega CD.

1994

>Art of fighting 2 (JP/ NA) Neo Geo AES, Neo Geo CD, Super Famicom.

>King of Fighters ‘94 (worldwide) Neo Geo AES, Neo Geo CD, Windows.

>Samurai Shodown II (worldwide) Neo Geo AES, Neo Geo CD, Windows.

1995

>Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory (JP/ NA) Neo Geo AES, Neo Geo CD.

>King of Fighters ‘95 (EU/ JP) Neo Geo CD, Saturn.

>King of Fighters ‘95 (EU/ JP) Neo Geo AES.

1996

>Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory (JP) Saturn.

>King of Fighters ‘95 (EU/ NA) PlayStation.

>King of Fighters ‘95 (JP) PlayStation.

>King of Fighters ‘96 (JP/ NA) Neo Geo AES, Neo Geo CD, Saturn.

>Real Bout Fatal Fury (worldwide) Neo Geo AES, Neo Geo CD, PlayStation,   Saturn.

1997

>King of Fighters ‘96 (JP) PlayStation.

>King of Fighters ‘97 (JP/ NA) Neo Geo AES.

>King of Fighters ‘97 (JP/ NA) Neo Geo CD.

>Real Bout Fatal Fury Special (JP/ NA) Neo Geo AES, Neo Geo CD, Saturn.

1998

>King of Fighters ‘97 (JP) PlayStation.

>King of Fighters ‘97 (JP) Saturn.

>King of Fighters ‘98: The Slugfest (JP/ NA) Neo Geo AES.

>King of Fighters ‘98: The Slugfest (JP/ NA) Neo Geo CD.

>Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers (JP/ NA) Neo Geo AES, Neo Geo   CD.

>The Last Blade (JP/ NA) Neo Geo AES, Neo Geo CD.


If you like Shinkiro’s art you’ll love…

>Kinu Nishimura.

>SENSEI.




Sources and further reading.


>http://neogeo.freeplaytech.com/svc/interview/interview03/interview03.htm

>http://urban-muse.com/blog/Urban-Muse-Shinkiro-Retrospective/

>http://www.gpara.com/contents/creator/bn_166.htm  

>http://snk.wikia.com/wiki/Shinkiro

                                         





                                          




Related BOX=ART pages.


Shinkiro box art catalogue.

1999

>King of Fighters ‘98: The Slugfest (JP) PlayStation.

>Metal Slug X (worldwide) Neo Geo AES, PlayStation.

>King of Fighters : Dream Match 1999 (JP/ NA) Dreamcast.

>King of Fighters ‘99: Millennium Battle (JP/ NA) Neo Geo AES.

>King of Fighters ‘99: Millennium Battle (JP/ NA) Neo Geo CD.

2000

>King of Fighters ‘99: Millennium Battle (JP) PlayStation.

>Metal Slug 3 (worldwide) Neo Geo AES, PlayStation 2, Xbox.

2001

>Capcom vs. SNK 2 EO (NA) Gamecube, PlayStation 2, Xbox.

>Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium (EU/ JP) Dreamcast, PlayStation   2.

>Final Fight One (worldwide) Game Boy Advance.

>King of Fighters ‘99: Millennium Battle (NA) PlayStation.

2002

>Capcom vs. SNK 2 EO (EU) Gamecube, Xbox.

>Dinostalker (EU/ JP) PlayStation 2.

>Dinostalker (NA) PlayStation 2.

>Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts (worldwide) Game Boy Advance.

2003

>Biohazard: Gun Survivor 4 (JP/ NA) PlayStation 2.

2004

>Capcom Fighting Evolution (JP) PlayStation 2, Xbox.

>Glass Rose (worldwide) PlayStation 2.

>Psi-Ops (JP) PlayStation 2.

2006

>Dead Rising (worldwide) Xbox 360.

>Resident Evil: Deadly Silence (JP) NDS.

>Ultimate Ghosts ‘n Goblins (worldwide) PSP.

2008

>Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Cross  Generation of Heroes (JP) Wii.

2009

>Dead Rising: Chop till you Drop (worldwide) Wii.

2010

>Dead Rising 2 (worldwide) PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows.

>Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars (worldwide) Wii.

2011

>Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (worldwide) PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Vita.






























>Haruhiko Mikimoto.  






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Ghost Pilots| 1991| SNK| The artists debut box art and his personal favourite.

Ultimate Ghosts ‘n Goblins| 2006| Capcom.

Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory| 1993| SNK.

fatal-fury-3-NEOCD-big.jpg

Capcom vs. SNK 2 EO| 2002| Capcom.

Art of Fighting| 1992| SNK.

Robo Army| 1991| SNK| An early box art with a distinct anime look to it, a style of art that would not last with the artist. Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars| 2010| Capcom. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3| 2011| Capcom.

Biohazard: Deadly Silence| 2006| Capcom.

Categories: Capcom| Japanese artist.

Japan gallery page

Japanese box art page| BOX=ART

Street Fighter series page

Street Fighter series box art page| BOX=ART Tatsunoko vs Capcom box art review page| BOX=ART

Tatsuno ko vs Capcom review page

00's gallery page| BOX=ART

00’s gallery page