Following the release of various character key visuals throughout the week for the Kaiju No. 8 television anime series, fans have been left feeling more disappointed and worried than excited. The series, which is set to be an adaptation of author and illustrator Naoya Matsumoto’s original manga of the same name, seems to be abandoning the mangaka's trademark artstyle.
The character visuals portray the animation quality to be so bad that many fans are comparing the Kaiju No. 8 character key visuals to Fortnite skins. In any case, it’s clear that what should’ve been a celebratory week of teases and release information for the upcoming series has turned into a major problem regarding Production I.G.’s animation practices.
Kaiju No. 8 key visuals have fans writing off anime adaptation before the first episode airs
The character key visuals for Kaiju No. 8 were released via the anime’s official Twitter account throughout the week, highlighting the series’ central cast of characters. Among the key visuals featured were protagonist Kafka Hibino in both human and Kaiju form, Kafka’s childhood friend Mina Ashiro, best friend Leno Ichikawa, and comrade Kikoru Shinomiya.
This quinquevirate serves as the series’ most central cast of characters, with Kafka being the series’ protagonist around whom everyone else revolves. Kafka is also the only character in the series who has both a human and Kaiju form. This makes Production I.G.’s failure on both fronts of Kafka’s character design even more upsetting.
However, Kafka’s designs are far from the only Kaiju No. 8 character key visuals to be disappointing to eager fans. The difference in quality between the characters’ appearances in the manga series and in Production I.G.’s key visuals is largely different, as mentioned in an above-mentioned tweets. One of the predominant complaints of fans is how “round” the characters look relative to their manga appearances.
The animation style shown in the character key visuals also seemingly lacks the nuances each character had in their expression and facial design. For example, Mina Ashiro and Leno Ichikawa have similar facial structures and features in the key visuals. In the manga, however, the two look distinctly different from one another, both when being expressive and when not being expressive.
However, Kikoru Shinomiya’s design may be the worst of the Kaiju No. 8 character key visuals released so far. She looks nothing like her manga counterpart, with the lack of overall quality in art and detail. As fans are pointing out, the characters look more like skins lifted from Fortnite than expressive anime characters meant to appear as lifelike as possible.
Overall, the entire release process for these key visuals has been a wholly negative experience for the anime series’ promotion and reception by fans. Many are judging the anime’s quality before the first full-length trailer is even released, with some fans going as far as to say they are swearing off the anime adaptation completely. In any case, this was a misfire for Production I.G. and the entire adaptation team.