Legendary Final Fantasy artist Isamu Kamikokuryo discusses his work in Archipel interview

Lightning in a Bottle

When the discussion of beautiful video games is raised, very rarely does the conversation go long without someone mentioning Square Enix’s iconic RPG franchise Final Fantasy. And with good cause, as the decades-long adventure franchise has offered fans some of the most beautiful and memorable characters and vistas in the artistic media of video games.

Among the many people responsible for these indelible heroes, villains, and worlds is artist Isamu Kamikokuryo, who plied his tried at Square Enix for almost 20 years. In this time, Kamikokuryo worked as a lead artist and artistic director in a slew of Final Fantasy titles, beginning with 2001’s Final Fantasy X, through 2017’s Final Fantasy XV. Kamikokuryo would then leave Square Enix in 2017 to go freelance, and has since worked with Nintendo on titles such as this year’s Paper Mario: The Origami King.

Documentary producer Archipel Caravan has chosen to spotlight Kamikokuryo for the latest episode of its ongoing video series, which focuses on some of the legendary artists, musicians, and designers that have used their skills to create some of the most wonderful and incredible experiences in gaming.

This new episode is the longest in the series to date – running nearly 45 minutes – but offers a contemplative look at Kamikokuryo, his life, work, and inspirations. It’s a really gorgeous piece too, featuring fascinating locations and a very personal atmosphere, as we step inside the mind of one of the most complex and talented artists the industry has ever seen.

You can find the full series of Archipel’s documentaries over on its official YouTube channel. Previous episodes feature profiles on Danganronpa‘s Kazutaka Kodaka, Resident Evil’s Shinji Mikami, Yakuza’s Toshihiro Nagoshi, and a live performance by Panzer Dragoon composer Saori Kobayashi.

Chris Moyse
Senior Editor - Chris has been playing video games since the 1980s. Former Saturday Night Slam Master. Graduated from Galaxy High with honors.