CREATOR SPOTLIGHT! An Interview with Kei Nanameda - The Lead Artist of the Death end re;Quest™ Series!

CREATOR SPOTLIGHT! An Interview with Kei Nanameda - The Lead Artist of the Death end re;Quest™ Series!

14th Jul 2020

Game: Death end re;Quest™ 2 
Release Date:
August 25, 2020 (NA)
August 28, 2020 (EU)
Platform: PlayStation®4 and Steam®
ESRB: M for Mature

Death end re;Quest™ 2 launches next month in August for the West and we hope everyone is as excited as we are for this next installment of the Death end re;Quest series.

The Death end re;Quest series would not be what it is without the hard work of its creators. We're excited to present the second of three interviews featuring the creators of Death end re;Quest and the second installment, Death end re;Quest 2

Fans can read the first interview with the series Producer and CEO of Compile Heart, Norihisa Kochiwa here!

Today's interview features Kei Nanameda, the Lead Artist of the Death end re;Quest series! Check out his interview and see his drawing process with some exclusive rough sketches below!

Kei Nanameda (self portrait)

Team Iffy: When you first heard about a sequel, did you already have possible character designs in mind?

Mr. Nanameda: Each playable character is paired with a Buggy inspired by some kind of insect. For Mai, we went with a snail motif. There’s something intriguing to me about the swirl one might find on a snail’s body, so put more consideration into a bug’s overall appearance factoring into the design.

Team Iffy: Death end re;Quest 2 introduces new creatures known as Dark Shadows that lurk in the night. Could you give us some insight on how Dark Shadows were originally described to you and what influences inspired their final look?

Mr. Nanameda: At first, that Shadow Matter was described to me as “a very tall shadow,” and it had to be ominous enough to convey fear, one that might inspire a player to run rather than tackle the monster head-on to avoid being murdered. I was provided with few concrete visual details, so I let the fear of dread guide the overall design.

Dark Shadow

Team Iffy: The first installment has more of a techno-fantasy aesthetic, while the second is more rooted in horror. Were your designs influenced by any specific horror movies?

Mr. Nanameda: I took a lot of influence from the Silent Hill series, both in tone and in creature design. Because I was in charge of character design mainly, I didn’t have much involvement with the monster designs, but I DID oversee some of the designs and provided input to make sure everything fit within the world.

In terms of the illustrations, I gathered several horror movie posters to reference the color scheme and contrasts.

Team Iffy: World’s Odyssey, the setting in Death end re;Quest, is a defunct virtual MMORPG filled with literal bugs. The sequel takes place in Le Choara, a small town which lies on a mountainous hillside where a women’s dormitory resides. Does the change of venue alter the way you draw characters in Le Choara, or are there a lot of similarities between both World’s Odyssey and Le Choara?

Mr. Nanameda: Le Choara is something entirely different from World’s Odyssey, but because this game takes place in the same world as “real world” in the first Death end, I took inspiration from the real world counterparts in that game. In this installment, however, without the MMMORPG to play with, we had to be sure to balance the fantasy and realistic elements.

World's Odyssey - Death end re;Quest

Le Choara - Death end re; Quest 2

Team Iffy: Do you have any strong emotional attachment to any of the characters in Death end re;Quest 2? Any least favorite or hated characters?

Mr. Nanameda: The world in which Death end re;Quest 2 takes place is unforgiving and scary, so Rottie was a breath of fresh air. Her character brightens the mood whenever she enters the scene. As far as characters I hate, it’s hard to say I hated any of them, except for maybe Mai’s father...

Team Iffy: The juxtaposition of horror and kawaii elements defines much of the Death end re;Quest universe. Was it difficult to strike a balance between the two in your illustrations?

Mr. Nanameda: I personally didn’t find it challenging because I love dark fantasy, and I had gotten requests in the past to combine dark and cute elements with character designs. I love how it’s sort of a sour but sweet thing, attractive designs with a touch of darkness to show depth and contrast.

Team Iffy: It must have been exciting to work with Makoto Kedouin, the writer of Corpse Party, a second time. How does his writing influence your illustrations?

Mr. Nanameda: Whenever I designed characters or event scenes, I made sure to read Mr. Kedouin’s notes and script over and over, so his words played a large part in how the final product came out. I would say his influence is the root of all of the character designs.

Art Process (Nanameda Kei):

01. Structure Sketch

02. Rough Sketch

03. Color

04. Final Image

That wraps up the second of the three Creator Spotlights! Stay tuned for the final interview launching on July 28 with the Death end re;Quest series' Scenario Writer, Makoto Kedouin!

Don't forget that you can now wishlist the Death end re;Quest 2 Limited Edition and Standard Edition at our online store! Preorder date will be announced soon.

Death end re;Quest 2 Limited Edition ($99.99):

Death end re;Quest 2 Standard Edition ($49.99):