Fern’s Simple Design sparked one challenge that independent artists face in this saturated world of illustrators is creating an original character that can carve out a space among the audience. Some artists achieve this, yielding results such as official merchandise like figures and even cosplays.
However, many stumble in the creation of their characters due to uncertainty about what kind of visual to adopt. A Twitter post sparked a discussion among otakus, noticing the tremendous success of Fern in “Sousou no Frieren,” revealing that characters don’t need complicated or saturated visuals.
Sousou no Frieren: Fern’s Simple Design Ignites Fan Debate
Fern’s design is genuinely simple; she wears common clothing and lacks any extravagant details in her appearance. At most, she wears accessories given to her as gifts by Frieren or Stark. Overall, she’s simply a girl with her long purple hair.
This post sparked a discussion among fans, pointing out that many famous animes feature protagonists with quite simple designs. Take, for example, the protagonists of four Shonen animes: Goku from Dragon Ball, Luffy from One Piece, Ichigo from Bleach, and Naruto.
Let’s look at some opinions.
“Simple designs are great.”
“If you’re unsure about your characters’ design, it’s a sign that you can improve in creating them.”
“Honestly, as someone struggling to create my own characters, this is quite reassuring to see. I haven’t watched the series, but I see it literally everywhere. Why do people like it so much? Is it just because of the long hair and big chest, or is she genuinely an interesting character?”
“It’s not about her appearance but how she acts.”
“Sometimes, a simple design is as good as a complex one! I know because I have many OCs on both sides, but you’re right haha.”
“Yet you can’t find a single character that confuses with her. The face shape, the author’s design, and the clothes are important. Don’t confuse simple with generic. They are fundamentally different.”
“It’s good that designs don’t need to be too complicated to be effective. However, keep in mind that Fern is a war orphan raised by a priest and now lives a life of hardships with few belongings. She was designed to be simple; it’s part of her character.”
“Almost as if good writing and characterization are more important than exaggerated visual design elements.”
“Yes, but she’s in an anime with a story, and that shows her personality. She’s not well-liked for her design in the first place.”
“After all, good character design is not just about appearance but also about how their personality is loved, like Frieren and Fern.”
“Frieren’s designs aren’t good as a niche. There’s beauty in simplicity. I really can’t stand the visual vomit that is the current design trend. It’s a desperate attempt to stand out, and that’s why it’s so prevalent in Vtubers and mobile games, especially (oversaturated markets).”
“Recent super-stylized designs (like those in Fire Emblem: Engage) don’t seem like an attempt to stand out but rather an effort to make fan art of the characters hostile and obscene.”
“Simple design >>>>> attention-seeking design.”
What’s your opinion on character design? What do you think about Fern’s simple design?
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