So an actual full year of the L5R LCG has come and gone, and it was an eventful one. The LCG and the organized play saw many changes, we got an unusual amount of content for an FFG LCG, and the RPG released. So to be a bit cheesy and because I thought it would be interesting, I went through all the LCG releases for the year and I am going to list my top 5 favorite new pieces of art from them. I won’t be doing a “worst 5” and I also didn’t have time to get ahold of the RPG books so nothing new from there will be included. Finally, this isn’t a “best” just simply my favorite pieces of the year. Without further ado let’s get to the list.
#5 – Iuchi Shahai by Le Vuong from All and Nothing
Those familiar with Shahi from the old lore recall she was a major player in the Bloodspeaker shenanigans of those days. I really like this one as its much calmer than Vuong’s other pieces for the game, see any of the Clan Champion images. I love the use of space and lack of a detailed background really driving home the feeling of loneliness. It may not be like the Shahais of the past but Ramon Perez has a hard style to copy.
#4 – Alibi Artist by Jake Murray from Underhand of the Emperor
When I looked through all the pieces for this past year I found myself really being turned off to any of the Scorpion based pieces. Then I happened upon this piece and it really stuck out to me. I love the use of shadows and perspective. I don’t have too much to say on this besides that, just with all the other Scorpion art not really wowing me this one really stuck out.
#3 – Heroic Resolve by Eli Ring from The Ebb and Flow
This one also ticks my ‘neat perspective’ box. On top of that, the colors in this struck me as the opposite of what you would expect for a battlefield. The theme of surviving one’s war wounds is more often related to the Crab clan so it’s refreshing to see it represented by another clan. A similar piece, Fight On by Cassandre Bolan, was on my list but got kinda edged out by this due to the similar subject.
#2 – Hurricane Punch by Pavel Kolomeyets from Breath of the Kami
As a long time fan of martial arts movies, any image depicting monks doing crazy monk things shoots right up my list. And this image shows just that, with a monk unleashing a superhuman flurry of blows upon his foe. The entire image is reminiscent of the scene from the 2008 film Ip Man wherein Donnie Yen’s character takes down the students of General Miura with a series of lightning-quick blows. If this is what can be expected of crazy monk things, then I am excited for what the future holds.
Honorable Mention – Kuni Yori by Maerel Hibadita from Tainted Lands
What would an end of year countdown be without an honorable mention? Yori had always been a favorite character of mine and I love the Witchhunter face paint designs (I actually have scraps of an article I tried to make talking about them). I feel this piece properly captures the feeling of the original Yori image created by Anson Maddocks all the way back in Imperial Edition.
#1 – Press of Battle by Calvin Chua from Tainted Lands
Those who know me know that my favorite artist in the history of L5R is the one simply known as Beet. I feel his work captured the essence of the game so well. His style was also really great at capturing moments of action. Where a lot of artists will have this still frame look his pieces would instead go for a long-exposure style, really helping to put you in the moment. Calvin Chua’s style is capturing that same feeling for me and he is quickly shooting up my list of favorite L5R artists. It was hard for me to pick just one of his for this list but the close up of this scene just really added to it and secured its top spot on this list. I am very excited to see what the coming year has in store for Calvin. I know he has some works in the new RPG books and I hope to get my hands on those soon.
I know for a few of these choices I didn’t have much to say but that’s just how art works sometimes. When you see a piece that you really enjoy you can’t always find the exact words why. I do hope you all enjoyed this article. I thought it would be something short and fun to do. Gave you some insight into particular things I enjoy within the world of L5R art. As well as being an article I could probably manage to get done within the month I started it, as I am sure most of you can tell I didn’t pump out as much content in the past year as I would have liked. I will make a separate post to talk about that and the plans for the future.