I love fanart. Drawn with passion and creativity, fanart brings out the best in people and the characters they draw. I recently attended Wizard World, my biggest convention to date— and it was absolutely incredible! Surrounded by cosplay and fanart, I couldn’t help but grin the entire time. I was particularly excited and proud whenever I recognized an obscure video game cosplay.
Fanart takes on countless styles and genres — one of my favorite genres is college fanart. College is where young adults figure out their identities and find friends they’ll cherish throughout their life. With equal levels of maturity and childhood innocence, college fanart depicts characters in a warm, pleasant light. And a lot of those characters look incredible thanks to cute outfits and hip fashion.
Not all these pictures are directly college fanart, but they capture the feel of college. They portray game characters as young adults, all of whom behave the way I’d expect a college student to behave. Some pictures actually portray high school characters, but they remind me of my college experience. Regardless, the characters always look incredible. I’m always boggled by how many talented artists there are on the internet. I hope you enjoy their college fanart as much as I do!
25 Who Knew Link Could Sing?
What better way to celebrate Friday night than drinks, snacks, and karaoke? Everyone in this friend group’s clearly having a good time—except for Meta Knight, perhaps. I wonder why’s he pinned to the wall. Maybe he enraged his friends with his Infinite Dimensional Cape.
Meta Knight’s not the only one causing trouble, though. Link and Falco may have to go to the washroom, since Link just knocked over his umpeeth drink. Even though the glass is clearly about to break, the moment doesn’t feel tense at all. Amaterasu 121 made the scene too lighthearted for consequences. Besides, Link only smashed the glass cause he’s really into karaoke! A little accident won’t ruin the mood—although the damage costs might.
I think it’s hilarious that Link—the only character here who’s never spoken—is singing. I’m glad Falco isn’t too proud to join in. He even let Link wrap an arm around his shoulders! I also love Kirby. The countless chopsticks in his mouth indicate that he’s once again eaten way too much food, which he looks very happy about. Too bad he didn’t finish off the Mr. Saturn snacks—those little guys freak me out.
24 The New Girl
This is my absolute favorite fanart of Daisy! Her outfit feels casual, professional, fashionable, and—above all—cool. The baseball bat and pet Chain Chomp should be scary, yet Daisy’s smile and casual stance make her seem incredibly friendly. Just don’t get on her bad side!
Ge-B has made similar school fanart of Peach and Rosalina. I recommend checking those out here! Personally, this is my favorite of Ge-B’s pieces. Daisy embodies so many different college characteristics that she feels wonderfully unique. Ge-B could have easily made her tomboyish with the bat, yet she feels far too complex for labels like that. Her bag could be a purse of personal belongings, a pack for schoolbooks, a bag of sporting equipment—or all the above!
While Ge-B makes Daisy a complicated character, Nintendo does the exact opposite. Apart from her first appearance in Super Mario Land, Daisy’s only appeared in sports games. I appreciate that Nintendo expanded Peach’s role in games like Paper Mario; I wish they would do the same for Daisy. As she is, Daisy feels more like a lazy attempt to diversify the Mario cast and give Luigi a love interest. Next year marks Daisy’s 30-year anniversary: hopefully Nintendo will make 2019 the “Year of Daisy” just as they made 2013 the “Year of Luigi.”
23 A Quiet Sweetheart
One reason I love Breath of the Wild is because it turned Link’s quiet behavior into a real personality! The other Legend of Zelda games make Link a silent, relatively emotionless hero so you can reflect your own words and emotions onto him (except Wind Waker—Link has a lot of personality and things to say in Wind Waker). He’s a blank canvas so players can turn him into their own personalized character.
In Breath of the Wild, Link’s silent but emotional. He follows orders with unquestioning loyalty, worries for Zelda, and fights with anger. I felt like I could actually relate to him, particularly in his scenes with Zelda.
AngeliqueSkyBlue caught my attention for the same reason. Link and Zelda look like quiet, shy students, but their actions speak volumes. I love how Link handing Zelda a flower is partially suave but primarily adorable and sweet. Zelda’s reaction is even more adorable. She’s blushing but not overly embarrassed; instead, she just looks incredibly happy. If these two aren’t already dating, they need to change that immediately. They’re too perfect together to not be dating!
AngeliqueSkyBlue has a lot of great artwork, including more Zelda pieces! Check out their work here.
22 Liara Makes A Great Pillow
Liara and Shepard have always been a good match, but they’ve never been this cute! I love how marceline2174 adapts the couple to a college setting: they look a bit younger, their outfits are modern and fashionable, and they’re surrounded by endless books! The setting definitely fits Liara, the most notorious intelligence-collector in the galaxy. It’s adorable that Shepard tries to tag along, but of course, she can’t endure as much info as Liara.
In the Mass Effect games, Liara spends all her life studying the Protheans. In the From Ashes DLC, she meets Javik—a cryogenically preserved Prothean—and asks him endless questions about his race. So it makes sense that half her books have to do with Javik and the Protheans.
Perhaps Liara even wrote some of these books.
If you play through Mass Effect 3 a certain way, Liara and Javik become friends and agree to co-author a book titled Journeys with a Prothean. Maybe Liara went on to write even more books about Javik and his race.
marceline2174 draws a lot of amazing Mass Effect fanart, particularly of female Shepard and Liara. If you enjoy this picture, you should check out more of their work here!
21 Halloween In Guardia
I’ve always loved the characters of Chrono Trigger and their outfits. Their outfits reflect their varied, intricate personalities — and these Halloween outfits do the same thing! AmyGuardia wonderfully portrays Crono, Lucca, and Marle, the three playable characters who actually live in the same neighborhood (thanks to time travel, the other characters live in completely different eras).
Now it’s time for them to trick-or-treat around that neighborhood! I love that even though they’re young adults, they go all out with their costumes. I adore Lucca’s and Marle’s excitement. Like in the game, they’re mature and serious when they need to be, but they know how to have fun. Crono, of course, is caught off guard by the whole situation. He’s an awesome warrior, but he always seemed nervous when it came to social interactions. I imagine that’s why he doesn’t talk much.
I enjoy pictures with just these three characters, but I’m so curious how AmyGuardia would have handled the other characters. I imagine Robo, Ayla, and Frog would all be incredibly adorable. None would understand the concept of Halloween, but they would pull it off—and I’m sure Robo would quickly fall in love with the holiday. I doubt Magus would enjoy Halloween. The others would probably force him into a costume, and he’d look like Grumpy Cat the whole time.
20 Bowser, King Of The Jocks
This is clearly a high school picture, but I just had to include it. I love it too much. The artist, Usodabada, uses a simple setting and cartoonish style to make incredibly entertaining characters. Bowser’s the typical jock bully, with not a care in the world as he flirts with Peach. Usodabada wonderfully combines Bowser’s spike rings with an unbuttoned high school jacket.
Above all, I love how ridiculous Bowser looks in a high school.
His large body takes up nearly all of the hallway. If he wasn’t slouching, his horns would probably touch the ceiling.
I love that Peach is completely oblivious while Mario’s unbelievably outraged. His glasses and book imply geekiness, but he ain’t afraid to show Bowser what’s what. With that graceless power stance, I suspect Mario’ll be jumping on Bowser’s head any moment now.
Donkey Kong chills in the background; he’s obviously too cool to hang out with these kids. With bare feet and a cigarette, I suspect DK was banned from campus but snuck in any way.
I’m so proud of Yoshi for running for president. That charming, outgoing dinosaur deserves a leadership role. I’m probably biased, though; Yoshi is my favorite Nintendo character, after all.
19 This Is My Favorite Clique On The Citadel
Shepard’s always been a great commander on the battlefield — apparently, that carried over to school. I love this picture because the characters embody very different personalities and school tropes but fit perfectly together. They look like a mismatched group, yet their differences complement each other (not unlike the teams in the Mass Effect games).
I’m a little disappointed KibaPandaRo included Kai Leng instead of Kaidan or James. I appreciate that the villain is friendly and quirky in a school setting, but I’d rather see all the good guys drawn together.
Speaking of missing members, can you spot Legion?
Legion’s hanging out in the bottom-right corner in Mordin’s bag. I didn’t notice the robot until someone pointed it out in the comments. When asked why Legion is so tiny, KibaPandaRo responded that Legion is basically Mordin’s and Tali’s school project.
I love that in this fanart, “Renegade” feels more like a fashion statement than a behavior. Shepard certainly looks serious and cool enough to be a Renegade, but —based on the cheery, charismatic people around him— I suspect Shepard’s not as cold-hearted as a typical Renegade.
KibaPandaRo also made a similar piece featuring female Shepard along with the female Mass Effect teammates. It’s wonderful! You can find that and other amazing work here.
18 The World's Greatest Selfie
Can we agree that being part of this group would be absolutely amazing? The fashion, charm, chaos, and unforgiving geekiness are almost too much for my heart to handle. Luigi dominates the frame with a massive smile, while Toad’s incredibly chill. Samus and Bowser similarly draw the viewer’s eye thanks to their bright colors and visible happiness. I adore Samus’s and Bowser’s outfits. I love how Bowser seems really cool with his sunglasses and Hawaiian shirt, but not the bad kind of cool. He’s cool and quirky, and he wouldn’t miss spending time with this ragtag group for the world.
Meanwhile, Kirby and Donkey Kong are having way too much fun playing with their food.
Based on Link’s expression, I suspect Donkey Kong stole his rolls by gracelessly stabbing them. Yet somehow Kirby tops that by shamelessly sucking up his plate. Mario looks exasperated yet calm, as if he’s used to this. In fact, Kirby might have accidentally taken Mario’s rolls…
digiserrano made an absolute masterpiece with excellent colors and outfits, delicious-looking food, and a variety of personalities, but I enjoy the atmosphere the most. I love just how crazy and loving this group is. They look like one of the best, most closely-knit friend groups I’ve ever seen.
17 Inklings Like Ink But Not Rain
I’ve always thought Callie and Marie are adorable, but they’re especially adorable in GomiGomiPomi’s fanart! GomiGomiPomi has been making Splatoon artwork for a long time, but it never gets old. They place the Squid Sisters (who are actually cousins) in a variety of wonderful, creative scenarios, including Halloween parties, sports games, and more!
I struggled between a few of GomiGomiPomi’s posts before I finally chose this one. This is actually only part of a larger picture, but I think it perfectly encapsulates the essence of GomiGomiPomi’s style. I love how well their sweatshirts fit the rest of their regular outfit. They look like everyday people and actually remind me of some of my college friends.
In case you hadn’t figured it out, Callie turned into a squid to fit in Marie’s hood. I appreciate that GomiGomiPomi skips the transformation and instead focuses on the character’s emotions. I particularly love Marie’s expressions. Her concern for Callie is heartwarming, and she expresses love rather than annoyance when Callie hides in her hood. Perhaps that changes when Callie yanks her toward seaweed fries, but I doubt it.
If you enjoyed this picture and Splatoon fanart in general, you should definitely visit GomiGomiPomi’s page here! You won’t be disappointed.
16 Students Of The Triforce
I admire this fanart because the artist, domcelliniartblog, does so much with so little. Ganondorf, Zelda, and Link stand in a blank background, with only a single line distinguishing the floor from the wall. Yet the characters’ outfits and behaviors so perfectly fit a college or high school atmosphere that I can almost see the lockers, students, and classrooms around them. I imagine they’ve run into each other in a hallway, bringing out old rivalries and friendly dynamics in an instant.
This piece wonderfully plops these medieval, fantastical characters into a modern setting. I love how domcellini took Breath of the Wild’s weapon mechanic (where pretty much anything you see can be used as a weapon) and applied it to school. Link can’t carry a sword, but he can certainly improvise!
I wonder why Ganondorf’s left hand is bandaged?
Perhaps Ganondorf and Link had a skirmish earlier. From all appearances, Link’s used to fighting for Zelda’s love whenever she expresses kindness toward Ganondorf. Link looks ready to fight yet also bored, like he’s upset that Zelda’s smiling at Ganondorf but more upset that it’s happening again. Hopefully, someday Link and Ganondorf will learn to be friends—although it looks like that won’t happen anytime soon.
15 Supersonic Love
This awesome fanart is actually a single page in an extensive comic called “College Life.” Completely illustrated and written by GottaGoBlast, the comic begins with Sonic’s first day of college. He excitedly enters his room, ready to meet his roommate—who turns out to be Shadow! They start out with their typical, intense rivalry, but they gradually develop feelings toward each other and become the cutest couple at the university.
I love this particular page because GottaGoBlast captures Sonic’s wit and nicely sets it in a romantic setting. Shadow’s as grouchy as ever, but you can tell he’s not actually upset. He wouldn’t have carried Sonic the whole way if he didn’t really want to. I’ve always loved how Sonic’s and Shadow’s relationship felt like an intense but friendly competition, so I totally get how that rivalry could blossom into love. Their different yet similar personalities fit together perfectly.
I adore the characters’ modern looks. Sonic’s perfectly laidback, while Shadow looks casually professional. GottaGoBlast gives them a variety of cool outfits, including killer Halloween costumes. The other characters in the comic also look great, particularly Rouge. You should check out the rest of the comic—as well as other awesome fanart—here!
14 Friends For Life
Final Fantasy VII is one of the darkest games out there, don’t the characters deserve a happy ending? In this case, Shinigami Rukia gave them a happy alternate universe! Without a world-ending conflict to stop, they have plenty of time to mess around and be ordinary young adults.
All these characters are so adorable—where do I even start? Tifa’s boisterous laugh and Aerith’s pleasant, childlike smile fit so perfectly. Zack and Cloud scream “cool” with their untucked shirts, wristbands, crumpled ties—and, of course, their beautiful pink hair ribbons. Cloud’s emotionless like always, yet that makes the ribbons even cuter. He almost looks annoyed, but not quite. At least he’s not trying to remove the ribbons.
I would love to be part of this group.
I’ve always loved Tifa and Aerith – this picture only reaffirms that they’re amazing people. Even though Cloud has the emotions of a brick, he and Zack look like they’d be great friends, too. Whether they’re knocking over chairs or tying hair ribbons, these characters know how to have a good time. Hopefully, they’re good students, too. Zack and Tifa might not be able to keep quiet for a whole class. And considering how angsty and rebellious Cloud can be, I have a feeling the teachers aren’t his greatest fans…
13 I Didn't Know Junkrat Could Sing
I wonder if this is an alternate universe of Overwatch, or if this is just what the characters do in their free time. They all have fairly dark backgrounds thanks to the Omnic Crisis and the brutal societies and corporations that emerged afterward. So they have a lot to talk about, and I’m sure their quirks and passion would lead to quick friendships.
D.Va and Lúcio actually already know each other in the Overwatch world.
Well, they know of each other. They love each other’s work: D.Va bought Lúcio’s album, and Lúcio watches D.Va’s gaming channel. When they interact in-game, they each want the other’s autograph.
Junkrat sadly has no interactions with D.Va or Lúcio. He actually only interacts with a few people, and those interactions are usually hostile. After all, he’s generally an aggressive, rude pyromaniac. But if these three left the fighting behind and hung out, I’d like to think that Lúcio and D.Va would have a positive influence on him. In this piece by 人肉, Junkrat’s already contributing his quirky craziness with terrible, possibly drunk singing. That would annoy some people, but D.Va and Lúcio love it! They appreciate the enthusiasm. Whether they’re fighting together or sharing a drink, I’m sure these three will always have each other’s backs.
12 Sleepy Morning Class
Skyward Sword forever changed the nature of the biggest Legend of Zelda pairing ever made: Link and Zelda, aka Zelink. In previous games, the two characters never knew each other before the game’s events. When they did meet, they developed an unbreakable but purely platonic bond—unless, of course, you ship them and imagine that they start romancing each other soon after the game’s ending.
In Skyward Sword, Zelda and Link have known each other for all time. They grew up together in Skyloft, making them childhood friends. But Zelda clearly wants more than that—she makes obvious advances toward Link, and at the game’s end he happily accepts an invitation to live with her. That’s the closest Zelda’s ever gotten to a romantic “they lived happily ever after.”
Link and Zelda attend the same school in Skyward Sword, but we never see them in the classroom. Alderion-Al gives us a wonderful glimpse into their school life. Link’s notorious for sleeping in, so of course, he’s asleep in class! Zelda normally berates him, but today she’s happy to join him. But above all, Link and Zelda just seem happy to be with each other. They’re adorable, and I seriously believe they’ll live happily ever after.
11 Determination Diner
Undertale instantly became a cult classic thanks to its self-conscious style and intricate world. Fans love the charming characters and how they react when the dark parts of this demented world come to life. With surprise deaths, terrifying antagonists, and moral questions addressed to both the protagonist and the player, Undertale is an emotional rollercoaster.
So it’s nice to see lighthearted fanart without all Undertale’s stressful, twisted evil. Fleshmaid does an incredible job portraying the children of Undertale as young adults. I particularly love Chara (top left) and Frisk (bottom left). Undertale purposefully made these characters androgynous, and Fleshmaid wonderfully continues that tradition.
I absolutely love the characters’ new outfits. Fleshmaid could have easily kept the striped shirts for all four characters, but the new outfits look awesome. Fleshmaid wisely carried over green to Chara and purple to Frisk; since those two characters are nearly identical, the colors help us distinguish them.
Chara and Asriel appear to be splitting a sundae, which is so adorable! Asriel always talked about their incredible bond as adoptive siblings, and this perfectly demonstrates that bond. I’ve split sundaes with my sibling more times than I can count.
I wonder if Frisk and Monster Kid are splitting that burger or if Monster Kid’s food is on its way. Although I’m not sure how Monster Kid would eat a burger without arms…
10 Childhood Sweethearts
Sora and Kairi have never been a more adorable couple. They’re great together in crazy, fate-of-the-world adventures, but they’re just teenagers—they deserve some peace and quiet. This piece by rev-rizeup, titled “Studying Together in the Quad,” shows how even studying isn’t so bad when you’re with the person you love.
I’m disappointed rev-rizeup used such a revealing camera angle. That’s an unfortunate side-effect of Kingdom Hearts: since the game gave Kairi a revealing outfit, so do a lot of artists. Square Enix has always had a problem with pandering using its female characters, even those that started out with perfectly appropriate outfits.
Otherwise, this picture demonstrates skill and the highlights of manipulating 3D character models to make artwork. Except for Sora’s pants. You might miss it at first glance, but Sora’s pants are twice as big as they should be. They look significantly two-dimensional, as if Sora’s waist has melded into the bench beneath him. I suspect rev-rizeup had some trouble Photoshopping Kairi’s school outfit onto Sora.
The obscured sign in the background appears to say “GIRLS.” Is that the girls’ dorm, or did Sora sneak into an all-girls school just to see Kairi? I wouldn’t put it past him.
9 Oh No You Didn't
If you think Sephiroth’s intimidating in Final Fantasy VII, just imagine if he was your teacher! The students in this fanart certainly don’t want to get on his bad side. I love just how mortified and desperate Zidane (left) is; even though he’s not in trouble, he fears for Bartz (middle) and any collateral damage Sephiroth may inflict on the other students. Whereas Squall (right) is scared but also annoyed that Bartz has the gall to fall asleep in class. I appreciate the blurred motion of Squall’s ruler: Squall’s hitting Bartz quickly and hard, yet he’s sleeping right through it.
I’m sure Sephiroth’s wrath will wake him quickly.
Perhaps Bartz fell asleep from the unrelatable material. Sephiroth points to a map of Final Fantasy VII—but he’s the only character from VII. No wonder Bartz lost interest: he doesn’t even come from that world! How’s he supposed to use that info in real life?
You may have also noticed the PlayStation Portable in Bartz’s desk. It’s a nice shout-out to the Dissidia Final Fantasy games (MissKainan also tagged the photo under “Dissidia”).
MissKainan has a lot of great artwork, including more Dissidia pictures and much more! Check out their fanart page here.
8 Group Picture!
Even though the artist, Minaya, labeled this piece as an 8th-grade shot, I think it captures the feel of a high school or college. The characters are silly but also mature; they’re geeky and proud. Those kinds of groups are hard to find in middle school.
Of all the school fanart out there with Fox and Falco, this is my favorite. Falco’s brash as always, but Fox seems to love it. Their dynamic feels just like the Star Fox games, where they tease each other but never show disrespect or animosity.
I guess Luigi’s as scared of girls as he is of ghosts.
Mario, on the other hand, is calm and easygoing as always. While Luigi’s shocked by the attractive girl in front of him, Mario and Peach laugh together at Kirby’s adorable distress. Poor Kirby; I feel so sorry for him. I’m not sure why he’s so upset. Perhaps he fell over? Regardless, I’m glad Toad’s there to give him a reassuring pat on the back.
I think it’s so funny that Samus still has her Arm Cannon! She’s friendly and beautiful, but she’s also a deadly bounty hunter. Don’t mess with her or she’ll destroy you.
Minaya’s drawn other pictures of this group, showing different sides of the same characters. I recommend checking them out here!
7 Javik Isn't Impressed
Most college fanart focuses on the characters, but this picture focuses nicely on the setting. Liara and Javik blend into the tables around them and seem small compared to the massive lights and rows of empty chairs. podbots includes excellent lighting and colors, giving the artwork an overall soft, smooth, warm feel.
I appreciate that even though the setting dominates the picture, Liara and Javik are given distinct emotions and postures that add mystery to the picture. What did Javik just say that made Liara so happy? Did Javik finally learn how to make a joke? Or is he as bitter and merciless as always?
podbots actually answers that question in the picture’s description.
In podbot’s description, Javik says: “This archive is too primitive, Asari, yet my biographies will dominate its prominent spot.” Typical Javik. Having come from an advanced, ancient civilization, Javik views other species as inferior and primitive. Perhaps their technology and practices aren’t as “advanced” as Javik’s, but that doesn’t mean they’re inferior. After all, they achieve victories and interstellar unity like Javik’s race never could. I hope that someday he’ll appreciate that and—instead of insulting everything around him—be honored to experience such different cultures. Until then, Liara’ll just have to keep laughing at his petty comments.
6 Dragon Age: Classes
These two characters look like the most casual, natural college students in the world. It’s hard to believe they’re normally deadly warriors. Morrigan wields powerful sorcery and Leliana assassinates with incredible finesse. With their colorful, cool outfits and charm, I’m sure they’re equally great students.
I appreciate that PandaleonSaa didn’t include the Warden in this picture. Since Morrigan and Leliana are the only female romanceable characters in Dragon Age: Origins, artists could easily be tempted into drawing them alongside a male Warden. Instead, PandaleonSaa wonderfully focused on these two characters.
Morrigan’s outfit might seem a tad much — if you haven’t played the Dragon Age games.
In this fanart, Morrigan’s bra is only slightly exposed. In Dragon Age, Morrigan only wears a few strings and a “shirt” that’s more like a thin scarf. I guess BioWare has a thing for women who wear pants but pretty much nothing else (see Jack from Mass Effect 2).
Regardless of their outfits in Dragon Age, Morrigan and Leliana look great here. PandaleonSaa nicely implements Morrigan’s dark colors, while Leliana wears uncharacteristically bright colors that emphasize her hair color. Both have a great sense of fashion; I bet the other students are always jealous when Leliana and Morrigan step in the room.
5 They Haven't Changed One Bit
The playable characters of Final Fantasy XIII are a ragtag bunch with abundant conflict, yet through their struggles, they become an incredibly close group. Particular characters get especially close and stick together as pairs. The same seems true in this school fanart, drawn by Lightning--Strikes. Serah and Snow flirt like always, with an uncomfortable Lightning watching. I’m a little surprised she isn’t rushing forward to separate them; maybe they’ve flirted so much that she’s given up and accepted her fate. Now Hope must care for the traumatized Lightning. Vanille’s overeager to try dangerous stunts, Fang watches with a rare, warm smile, and Sazh teaches with content seriousness.
All in all, the characters are exactly how they should be.
If you’ve played Final Fantasy XIII, you know this picture perfectly represents the characters. Nonetheless, I was pleasantly surprised to see Sazh in a teaching role. Even though he’s the clumsy comic-relief character, he’s also surprisingly bitter and wise. He definitely feels like the parent of the group, although Fang’s almost mature enough to be considered a parental figure. Then again, Sazh is the only genuine parent in the group…
I’m happy to see Chocolina, although I’m surprised she’s allowed in the classroom. Maybe Sazh sneaks her in every day in his hair.
4 Protecting Hyrule Is Exhausting!
Breath of the Wild’s Hyrule is incredibly dark, even before Ganon’s rise to power. As the prophesized savior of Hyrule, Zelda faces a lot of pressure, particularly from her disrespectful father. Her only moments of peace and happiness come with Link. Their relationship’s rocky at first, but they slowly develop respect and fondness for each other.
If their friendship works so well in a tense, dark world, imagine how fun they are in completely regular circumstances! IȻhigo Kurosaki feeds our imagination with Link and Zelda in the classroom. I’m sure Zelda’s overworked herself, as usual, leading to late-night studies and naps in the classroom.
Even though Link’s incredibly serious in Breath of the Wild, I like that IȻhigo Kurosaki makes him playful. Without the pressure of saving Hyrule, I think both Zelda and Link would be far more laidback and cheerful.
I love that Link genuinely studies until he notices Zelda asleep beside him. Without hesitation, he seizes the opportunity and takes some mischievous but harmless photos. Zelda’s embarrassed and upset, but I’m sure they’ll laugh about it later. If not, Link better watch out, or Zelda’ll knock that smug smile off his face. Perhaps pranking your Triforce-wielding friend isn’t the best idea in the world.
3 The Commute To School
I love this Kingdom Hearts picture because of its incredible use of space. The subway’s a brilliant idea for any piece of fanart, particularly Kingdom Hearts fanart. With so many characters, Kingdom Hearts stands on the brink of chaos. Yet the series handles its large cast well—and so does Mohanad05. The artist smartly packs the characters into a container that’s long but not wide. Because of this, the characters are perfectly spaced out. The picture wonderfully captures the feeling of being on a subway: there isn’t much space between seats, yet there’s enough space to avoid claustrophobia and overcrowding.
Mohand05 makes a bold move by focusing more on minor characters and antagonists than the protagonists of Kingdom Hearts. Roxas and Axel attract the most attention, but these two minor protagonists are surrounded by major villains. Sora and Kairi chat in the very back of the subway car. The only reason you’ll recognize them is because of their hair. Mohanad05 made Kairi’s hair a fiery red instead of its normal auburn color so she would stand out. Once your eye’s drawn to Kairi, you’ll probably recognize Sora next to her.
With so many characters and wonderful details (I’m always enthralled by the colors and facial expressions), it’s easy to lose yourself in this intricate artwork.
2 Nintendo Princesses
Obviously, merthurandbeatles designed this picture as a Disney-princess imitation, but it also works perfectly as school fanart. The whole scene reminds me of high school prom. The Nintendo princesses look incredible in their glamorous outfits—which aren’t actually very different from their regular outfits.
Only Zelda looks significantly different thanks to the flowers and laurel-like leaves lining her outfit. She also acquired a light-blue cape that closely resembles Rosalina’s blue dress. Rosalina in turn borrowed from Zelda’s outfit: her wand looks very much like one of Zelda’s yellow flowers. I love that they shared ideas; their outfits wonderfully complement each other. Who knows, perhaps they actually came to the dance as a couple and planned on wearing complementary colors.
I’m curious why Peach, Daisy, and Zelda have all struck the same pose. Does their pose have a particular meaning? I’m too uncultured to know these things. Regardless, it’s adorable that they’re imitating each other. Based on their casual demeanor, similar fashion, and joyous expressions, I assume these four are lifelong friends. Their friendship lights up the room as much as—if not more than—their bright colors and glorious outfits. Even if they go to different colleges after this night, I’m sure their friendship will never die.
1 Super House Bros.
Despite using children like Ness, Lucas, and Toon Link, Amaterasu 121 perfectly captures the college atmosphere. Like a lot of college households, this house embodies chaos yet is magically functional. Some of these characters are having a blast, while the others just want a little peace. Pit, Link, and Ganondorf clearly want sleep, while Fox eyes the group with casual alertness, as if saying: “You’re fine as long as you don’t touch my food.” Some characters are annoyed, but nobody seems particularly angry. That’s what makes this picture so adorable! You can tell this happens a lot, everyone’s used to it and won’t sacrifice their friendships over a little mayhem.
Amaterasu 121 frames the picture really well, leading the eye toward particular characters. As such, some people miss parts of the picture—including myself! I didn’t notice Kirby under the couch or the purple Pikmin carrying gasoline at the right edge of the frame until someone pointed them out in the comments.
I love that the Pokémon could be interpreted as either people or pets (or both) in this piece. Lucario looks like a curled-up cat, and Pikachu watches the scene as curiously as a dog. Yet I could definitely see people acting the same way. It’s hard to tell if Ivysaur’s grabbing Ness’s book to hand it back or read it himself.