Key CG and Official Art Discussion

Discussion topic for Key’s official artwork, including in-game CG’s and backgrounds, as well as promotional images. Basically anything that isn’t character design or fanart.

Be sure to include the image in question with a link (just put in the URL of the image). Or, use the <img> tag if you want more control over the size of the image. For example, the image above was created with the following code:

<a href="[IMAGE URL]"><img src="[IMAGE URL]" width="640" height="400"></a>

Try to focus specifically on the art and say more than whether you like it or not. Bring up specific details in the art! Consider composition (line, shape, negative space) and techniques used to get certain effects (like simulated depth of field or use of gradients). If you aren’t sure what to say, look at this list of topics in Art Criticism and Analysis. Also consider CG art in the context of the story it appears in.

Please mark CG’s from character routes with [spoiler] tags (CG’s for character introductions are fine), providing adequate context in parentheses.

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When I finished Koumura route like a week ago, this image really peaked my interest. It’s very simple, but it’s just perfect for the story. In the picture, we have Koumura centered and in focus while three unfocused kids are running in the foreground. The picture is also made with dimmed colours and the “flashback lines” so to say. The framing is what I like the most because it gives you different things to pay attention to. Do you look at Koumura because he is in focus? Do you look at the kids because they are in the foreground, have more vivid colouring and are placed according to the rule of thirds. That ambiguity of what’s the important part of the picture goes very well along with Koumura’s character of being the man behind the stage; he’s just silently watching, presumably, his grandchildren playing. Objectively, the picture would more impacting if we only focused on the bright kids, but we are able to see Koumura because we’ve gone through his route at this point. That just adds to the already big pile of things that makes this route cool as shit.


It’s interesting how they achieve that flashback effect. The graininess feels like pencil art or chalk art, but some parts of the coloring (especially the background) really feel like watercolor. There’s also the oval vignette around the frame, and the muted pastel colors. Not to mention the gradient on Koumura’s legs that separates him from the foreground. That whole scene seems to be awash with bright sunlight (coming from the top right of the frame).

Something else that strikes me about this is how little superfluous detail we have. It feels like a hazy memory, where you remember only what’s most important in stark detail, but forget everything else about that moment. The only thing worth remembering is the children, and so they leave out the surroundings and even whatever Koumura was sitting on. There’s no fear of negative space here, with so much of the frame either empty or filled with that muted yellow background.

Nice find!


I’m looking at this background from when Tomoya is staring at the ceiling, and I can’t make sense of it. What is this ceiling supposed to look like? Does it go at some crazy angle or something? In my mind most ceiling are built to be flat, but there’s clearly something going on here. The options I see are:

  • The ceiling is angled in a V-shape and they meet at the middle. You don’t really build ceilings like that though; it doesn’t make sense.
  • The ceiling is flat except towards along one edge where it goes at an angle, and Tomoya is laying below this edge. My parents’ house is built like this in places, but that seems strange for an apartment building.

Anyone seeing something I’m not?

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This is the one that makes most sense to me. I sometimes see this in a building without an attic. Though in an apartment… I guess if he’s on the top floor?

I guess, looking at the other BG, that is true. Like, the board going along the top of the window and the board along the ceiling go at different angles. That’s very easy to see as perspective though.

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I always loved this CG. The sky is beautiful, the shadow and lighting on Shizuru is beautiful, and Shizuru’s ponytails look so simple, but so beautiful.

EDIT - On other news, I cannot express how beautiful the Harmonia art is. The amount of time that was put into Harmonia for art is astonishing. Look at all those hair strands, different in sizes from width, to height ! It just goes to show how beautiful Key art actually is. Especially the Teepee CG. The amount of hair strands behind her, going in all different directions. It gives a sense of amusement to the viewers eyes.
For Shiona, the very fact that you can see her hair strands, even in Sprite mode, is very beautiful and amazing. Not to mention the eyes. THE EYES ARE BEAUTIFUL ! Something else I’d like to compliment on is the shading and shine on the hair. It gives a “polished” in the best way, feel to it.

Harmonia is definitely Key’s most visually appealing art to date. You can tell how much work was put into it to make it very detailed and very beautiful.


That last CG especially looks amazing, with that water effect. Hinoue worked on it; you can see how much her art has changed but still retains her style. Kind of neat, tbh. Looking forward to more Hinoue.

EDIT: Speaking of Hinoue, here’s a pretty Kagari wedding-ish picture!

(Source: Itaru Hinoue exhibit)


Creamy Kagarin is the best e.e
I’d actually love to see Kagari in a wedding dress. I think that would actually look beautiful.

Reminds me of the Komari CG that she did

Hinoue is great at these types of dresses and outfits. She should stick with doing it.


Maybe before this place closed down I should point this. With recent Steam UI update, the library now showing the game artwork but unfortunately some Key game still not have their ‘proper’ artwork

Compared to

Luckily that the client is generous enough to let us change the Artwork. Would anyone dump original game cover artwork for some that still not have proper artwork? or even better, creating ‘animated’ artwork for it?