Tokyo Ghoul Wallpaper: Tragedy

Sui Ishida, Tokyo Ghoul, Ken Kaneki, Minitokyo, Contest Entry Wallpaper
Sui Ishida Mangaka Tokyo Ghoul Series Ken Kaneki Character Minitokyo Source Contest Entry Source

2560x1440 Wallpaper

Artist Comment

Hello, this time I’m going to write a short essay. (Yes, I apologize in advance.)

This was my entry for the 2nd round of MT Knockout 2014, where the theme was "looking forward, looking back". When I read about the theme I immediately thought of this scan. It needed a little editing to literally make the characters look forward and back but since it’s also the same character twice, I had a feeling it’s a perfect image to show his evolution.

So, the character’s name is Ken Kaneki. He went through some horrible events in his life thanks to which his hair turned from black to white (among other things). If you’re interested in reading the manga but aren’t very fond of extremely tragic stories, please reconsider. *mysterious creepy voice* You’ve been warned…

In my wall, Kaneki’s black-haired self from the beginning of the story is "looking forward" into the future, and his more developed white-haired self is "looking back" into the past. At least that was my initial and not-that-complex idea. I’m like 99% sure about who wrote the super long critique and holy church grounds, you were thinking about the theme in such details! It made me reflect on my own thoughts and I’m now not sure myself whether my own idea was good or bad because I can now fell the “present” part there, too.

In regard to the vector – it’s only partly a vector. I still prefer to draw shorter or overly curved lines with brushes and only use vectors for the longer ones to make them smoother. And as the above-mentioned judge correctly observed - yes, I stroke vector lines instead of filling them. It’s closer to my favorite technique (drawing/painting with brushes) so I guess my problem is being unable to give up the brushes entirely and mixing them with vectors as well. On the other hand, I used vectors almost exclusively for shadowing and to be honest, at first I did try to use more gradients but the result always became too pixelated after some color and light adjustments, so after I pasted the character on the BG, I actually painted over like all of the gradients to get rid of the pixelation and in the end, always covered them entirely with more or less one color shade only. (“The artist has done really well on making sure there are no technical errors like bleeds and pixelations.” <---- You seem to have an extremely good eye, dear judge.) Pixelation was my worst enemy in this wall. I did everything I could to avoid it. And to both my anger and amusement, only the kagune (the red tentacles) always stayed pretty clean despite the fact they’re bright red. Thanks to the texture, I suppose. -_____- I’m so sorry. I’m still lame at this sort of thing when it comes to using lighting effects. D:

At first, I had no idea what kind of BG I want to have in the wall. I was considering a dark night sky with a huge moon but believe me or not, I decided for a wallpaper toned in a lot of orange and red just because I wanted to reserve dark blue sky and a pale moon for a different character… After all, Kaneki’s kagune is red and I said to myself that a nice sunset will fit its bright red color. Plus, the manga/anime takes place in Tokyo so I went for a BG depicting a city. I’m really happy that it turned out so “pro” and that the elements blend together. I was worried, for example, that I placed too many individual clouds there or that the flying leaves were too much. The buildings in the BG are originally from here and here. I just re-painted/vectored some parts to make them less pixelated again. The clouds are from here, if I remember correctly. (They are used in some other official art images as well and I remember searching for them through Google, too.) I added some fading stars in the upper right corner. Don’t know if it helps fill the empty space much.

Yes, yes, the Dutch angle. Valuna commented on my previous wall and said I should have used the Dutch angle. I said I would in my next wall and I didn’t even mean this one but I still managed to keep my word lol. Somehow, I couldn’t imagine Kaneki from that scan not being rotated by 45° degrees; I thought he would not draw enough attention the way he was in the scan.

I know I was also asking about ghosting in the contest thread because I wanted to make the white-haired Kaneki (okay, “shiro Kaneki”) seem more like an illusion, but in the end, I decided not to go for it. I like the wall better when both Kanekis are fully visible. I actually added the kagune on shiro Kaneki’s back because it became a part of him, he accepted it as a part of his ghoul self, and I just wanted it there to emphasize how much he changed even though not everyone might understand that.

It’s similar with the title. I guess it needs some explanation. The wall is called “Tragedy” simply because the manga is one huge tragedy. If you read it, you’ll find out Kaneki’s foreshadowing it almost at the very beginning, saying that if he were a protagonist of a story, that story would certainly be a tragedy.

“Then there is the thing that who made this wallpaper should start putting more time and effort in those outlines and colouring. This really gives away the creator, but it is definitely one of the artist's better works.” <---- Well, I guess I’ll have to try to experiment some more. Zix observed as well that my walls my easily recognizable. *sobs*

That's it! Congratulations if you read till the end! I bow down to you for your patience.

Please don't repost anywhere.
Reblog here on tumblr. Thanks.

Work in progress:
(doesn't show entirely everything since I've already deleted some files such as the one with Kaneki re-colored with the red-toned gradients)

More Tokyo Ghoul Wallpapers

Browse Tokyo Ghoul Gallery: Recent | Popular.

Browse Tokyo Ghoul Gallery: Recent | Popular.


  1. Alenas Retired Moderator Oct 06, 2014

    Yay for more Tokyo Ghoul walls! The manga is still way better than the anime.

    And lol yes, your walls are pretty recognizable by now. I could tell it was yours just by seeing the thumbnail. There's just something about the way you do those lines and scenic elements in them that just screams you. But, it's not necessarily a bad thing; you've developed your style and know what you want. Still, I agree that using shape layers instead of paths would add more diversity and dynamics to your linearts.

    As for the wall, I love the colors. I think this sunset theme and Tokyo in the background definitely look better than the initially intended moon/night setting. And those leaves were a nice touch, they add more movement to the whole scene. Having just two Kanekis there would make it all look a bit too static. And oh, what a tragedy his story is, indeed. The title is quite fitting. ;_;

    Congrats on passing to the next round and good luck in the final one! :)

  2. asura96 Oct 06, 2014

    What amazing work!
    But that kagune kind of makes the picture problematic, at least for me anyway...

  3. pandemonium91 Retired Moderator Oct 06, 2014

    Aw yiss, you submitted it in the gallery <3
    Echoing Alenas on this: your walls always come out looking very clean and there's something about the contrast that you use that makes them identifiable among others. I confess I'm very much a fan of this style.

    If you want to, you can look into Illustrator for achieving lineart of equal thickness and more flexibility around the tips. It sort of mimics the stroke look from PS but is somewhat easier to manage. Ain't nothing wrong with mixing vectoring and painting if you've got the end result clear in mind (i.e. mimicking a style using other techniques), it's ultimately up to you to decide how you want to translate your thoughts to the screen.

    As for the gradients becoming pixelated, I've found that it happens especially when the gradient occupies a large part of the image. PNG format deals with this better than JPG but using gradients on smaller shapes is still the best solution.

    As lovely as the vector is, though, gotta give mad props for the background. With the exception of the tree on the left (which is a bit blurry IMO, could be a result of different brush effects), everything looks so smooth that it's not hard to tell the building are made of glass/metal. Might seem strange to say this, but getting reflections right is tricky when you've got special lighting (from a source that's not direct daylight). The leaves in front aren't bad at all and, like Alenas already said, prevent this from looking too stiff.

    Good luck in round 3! :D

  4. Painter Oct 06, 2014

    Yep, girl, I love your works and this one opens the new branch of your wallpaper series, I guess (I mean, you make several walls of anime you're in fond with ^^). I like the whole scene, but agree with Pande's opinion about the tree to the left side. Also, I told you about colourful lineart: IMO colourful lineart fits your non'linearted BGs much better than black ones, but anyway your walls're great and it's up to you.
    Good luck in the 3rd round my dear! <3

  5. DragonBlood Oct 06, 2014

    Looks amazing! I haven't seen this anime yet but my niece was seeing it and she likes it a lot...she did tell me it was really strong. I did read all your text but I have no idea what is a dutch angle...sorry..
    congratulations my friend! :D

  6. KiyanaIkebana Oct 06, 2014

    I saw your wall and fall in love! <3 <3 <3
    Especially the background of the wallpaper is excellent!
    Congrats for this round and good luck for the last one! <3 Do your best!

  7. BurnedToast Oct 06, 2014

    aww yeah check dem skills

  8. Valuna Retired Moderator Oct 09, 2014

    What blows everyone away with this wallpaper is the background. You pulled it off to make it look like magical ponies. I haven't seen wallpapers like this for quite some time. Simple, fun and enjoyable with just one or two characters from an anime series. I think you've got all the feedback you needed. For the final round, it might be best to get your vector done properly...if you wanna win, that is :3

  9. happytail73 Oct 24, 2014

    Actually your style is very evident in all your walls, your vectors are simple, clean and nicely done coupled with scenic and nice backgrounds. I think that is your signature style and I must say that I really like it.

    The concept of this wall is very nice, it incorporates both the past and the present. But the best thing here is the background. I think it fits perfectly with the overall concept of the wall which makes everything fall into place. I also like the flying leaves and the angle choice is simply superb. I also notice tiny pixelations but I think could let it go since you work hard to avoid them.

    I wish you all the good luck for the next round. GO FIGHTOOO! ;)

  10. ChillinNetwork Jan 20, 2015

    This is amazing! Just finished the manga and anime and wanted some wallpaper. Very nice :3

  11. Monu-chan Moderator 43wk 2d ago

    How come I never faved this?
    *starts singing* Oshiete Oshiete yo sono shikumi wo, boku no naka ni dare ka iru no? :D

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