How Metal Gear Rising Nearly Didn’t Have One Of Its Main Illustrators

By Ishaan . December 30, 2012 . 12:00pm

Kenichirou Yoshimura, a former designer at PlatinumGames, was on his way out of the company. He was switching from being a full-time Platinum employee to going freelance, and his official date of resignation was just three days away. However, instead of leaving as planned, Yoshimura ended up working on Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.


“Three days before I was about to leave Platinum to go freelance, without much left to do, I strolled over to the nearby Rising team to see if they needed any help,” Yoshimura recalls in a development blog post. He didn’t like what he saw.


He continues: “Then I saw their designs—the art style could not have been further from the Metal Gear universe. Immediately, I slammed my fist on the director’s table. ‘You cannot put this in a Metal Gear game!’ I told him. Before I knew it, my last three days at Platinum turned into over half a year.”


Yoshimura, as it would turn out, was a Metal Gear fan and an admirer of series illustrator, Yoji Shinkawa, and his work. Like other fans, Yoshimura collects Shinkawa’s art books. Once he joined the Rising team, his first assignment was to design Raiden’s rival, Sam. This is the design he came up with, with the last set of illustrations representing the final design:



You can check out Yoshimura’s full blog post about his experience designing Sam and a whole lot more concept art at the PlatinumGames blog.


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  • Now I’m curious to know what kind of art style they had planned for this game before.

    • z_merquise

      You can check Shinkawa’s concept artwork and storyboard for pre-Platinum MG Rising here:

      • Kris

        Man, that’s awesome. I’m excited for Revengeance, but I can’t help but wonder where the story would have gone with Kojipro alone (not that the game would have come out, but still).

      • Göran Isacson

        Wow. I do wonder if they kept the Cyborg Mother in the game, she looks like a really cool concept… but then again, she would probably have been displayed by now if that was the case.

  • z_merquise

    I guess slamming your fist on the table with your boss at front would give you more work.

    Good thing that he’s able to work in this game, especially that he’s a fan of Yoji Shinkawa. Also, having your favorite artist doing a sketch of a character you designed/created is a great honor.

    I wonder if there’s an artbook of this.

    • DanteJones

      Desk slamming is always appropriate!

      Also, I hope there’s an artbook, the sketches above look crazily awesome.

  • Visa Vang

    Y’know. Why does Sam (Rising) looked like Sam (Vanquish) so much? Am I missing something here?

  • Suzaku

    The artwork he did for Sam really does look an awful lot like Shinkawa’s concept art for MGS4. I’m glad that he was around to take control over their design work and ensure that everything looked appropriate.

  • nyobzoo

    I would like to see the art before he took over

  • z_merquise

    I’ve been checking Yoshimura’s artwork in Pixiv before and I gotta say that he’s pretty good. Sad to see that’s he no longer working at Platinum but at least he was able to get to work in MG Rising before he went freelance. Best of luck to him.

    For anyone interested, here’s his Pixiv page:

  • OatMatadoQuatro

    I wanna see Yoshimura doing a drawing of Raiden.

  • Solomon_Kano

    I’m glad he stayed on, this is pretty great.

  • i love the respect these guys have for each other. seriously the amount of passion from Kenichirou is heart warming and as a huge MGS fan i must say that i do respect him a lot. i just seem to be getting more and more hype for this game

  • Alos88

    Did he end up staying, or did he leave after the project?

    • colorblindnightmare

      If there’s any indication of his previous intentions, this will probably be his last work with plat.

  • colorblindnightmare

    His work here is sweet, It’s so metal gear that it practically bleeds it. Glad he did this before he left. I wish you the best of luck Yoshimura san

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