Ammy engaged in combat with evil, to bring light, life and beauty back into the world; herself however, inescapably drawn into the brutality, baseness and perils of direct battle.
Like the “Divine Retribution” post, but also showing the physical and emotional wounds, as well as the wrenching of the soul that facing evil can inflict. There is no beauty in combat, as necessary (or unnecessary) as it may be at times – it is only horror.
One can stand in awe of such combat’s spectacle, but hope to never be pulled in.
The following paintings and drawings show immediate danger, blood being drawn, weapons clashing, faces twisting and anguish.
Click on a picture to see it pop up in a “lightbox”. All fanarts posted are my personal favourites. (Featured art: Battle of Ninetails – by SinCelticus)
What a dramatic scene – Ammy throwing herself against false god Ninetails (a demon sarcastically pretending to be a god), both snarling fiercely, fire and lighting close by and claws readying to strike.
This scene makes me think that there’s an overwhelmingly “personal” element to the battle, otherwise Ammy would be smashing into Ninetails with her Divine Instrument (weapon) – in this case the Divine Retribution reflector, hovering behind her back.
Perhaps it’s a cliché, but hand-to-hand (paw-to-paw) combat in favour of using readily available weapons is usually a sign of a very personal or even final to-the-death fight – in this case, it was both:
I don’t want to spoil the story for those who haven’t played the game, but the battle with Ninetails would probably be the most personal one for Ammy. Ninetails has not only committed very cruel and murderous acts, but done everything she could, to mock and insult Ammy over it.
Even Ninetails’ very appearance is an act of mockery, which you’ll discover as the story progresses.
With that in mind, this painting depicts the most personal and perhaps even the most revenge-thirsty battle-moment in all of Ōkami’s fanart that I’ve seen by now (thousands of drawings and paintings). Usually Ammy’s fights with demons were a matter of course, getting down to business and getting the work done, but this was the first time she seemed genuinely p***** off!
Lord of Ryoshima Coast – by ShadowStar150
The battle continues… Ammy clearly holding a grudge against Ninetails, who is giving Ammy an intense death glare – a confrontation of two powerful forces, about to get more violent and finishing with only one survivor. Ninetails’ mockery continues even further as she draws her weapon, the Nine Strike sword – a demonic perversion of the Seven Strike Glaive that Ammy can wield.
Ammy’s Seven Strike Glaive is based on an important Japanese cultural artifact that’s over a thousand years old – you can see more in my “Ammy and Clover Studio” post.
I’ll continue the very personal and violent Ammy VS. Ninetails theme in a future blog post – it’s going to take a lot more fanart to adequately show just how big this grudge really is.
Let’s continue looking at some of Ammy’s other battles.
Rise and Shine – by Blackunia
Demonic Tube Foxes with blood-stained lips, biting into Ammy and draining her powers – it’s certainly easy to feel alone, when faced with so many enemies. These wiley creatures are a nasty and tough, and need to be fought aggressively so they don’t get an advantage.
Ōkami’s Tube Foxes happen to be based on the mythical Japanese “Kuda-gitsune”. They are small creatures that can grant their wielder/master great power, but they are generally unreliable, selfish and untrustworthy; easily turning against their master on a whim.
In this fanart, Ammy is using the “Exorcism Beads” weapon against the Tube Foxes, trying to smash into them, but that fox with the nasty blood-stained grin on its face is jumping over the beads – just barely escaping a neutering it seems… Do try again, Ammy!
Ammy Fights Crimson Helm – by GunnerRomantic
Well, I suppose facing one very big enemy can be just as bad as confronting many smaller ones. This particular demon is “Crimson Helm” – a grotesque combination of a powerful rotting ox demon (an Ushi-oni) and one of Orochi’s heads; the head which breathes fire (seen below).
The “Reflector/Weapon” floating above Ammy’s back is called the “Infinity Judge” and one of the coolest-looking weapons in this video game, in my opinion.
I should probably make a blog post about Ōkami’s weapons in the future – something to add to my big to-do list for this fansite!
Versus Orochi – by Rashuu
Ammy using her “Snarling Beast” Reflector (shield) to protect herself from demon Orochi’s flaming breath. Each of Orochi’s eight heads has a particular attack – some spewing poison or destructive lightning, and in this case, spewing fire. Each attack will require a different counter-attack for the most effective defense.
As difficult and lonely a mission as Ammy has, I must say she does have some excellent taste in weapons. I wonder… when you’ve got massive flaming Glaives, Reflectors and other cool weapons at your command… are you truly alone?
Hmm, well maybe. I suppose it’s a bit like sleeping alone with a really shiny and expensive gun underneath your pillow. Although in Ammy’s case, it would probably be a solid-gold Minigun.
Pretty hardcore, that wolfy.
Even on a lonely mission, it’s the constructive hopes, thoughts and prayers of those one is fighting for, that will populate ones’ journey. It’s a higher level of consciousness that combines, to form a positive, united and unstoppable force of light and goodness.
When every distraction fails and falls away, the remaining goodness will shine with unimpeded clarity and strength.
I don’t want to spoil Ōkami’s ending, but you’ll know what I mean when you see it.
Amatesaru Ōkami – by Hikari151
That’s probably the most defiant stance I’ve seen Ammy make, in all of the fanart I’ve come across. If Ammy’s not careful, she’s going to be so busy being super-defiant, that she’ll end up getting squashed by that demon-spider’s freaky hand.
Or maybe Ammy’s just being super-cool, by dodging and then returning the attack at the very last moment to wow the audience – such showmanship!
Sun and Ice – by SunnyAmaterasu
Ammy very close to being skewered by owl-demon Lechku’s demonic and razor-sharp talons – better use that “Fleetfoot” attack-dodging technique you’ve hopefully learned in “Onigiri-Sensei’s” dōjō, Ammy! (For those who don’t know – Ammy can learn new martial arts techniques by visiting dōjōs.)
There’s a certain trend that I’ve noticed after looking at thousands of Ōkami fanart drawings and paintings, and that is the many artists revealing their innermost emotions, desires and support for a good and powerful being, to help counter the bad. There’s a lot of beautiful and personal fanart that will show Ammy as an otherworldly but also accessible, good and powerful entity.
However, there’s perhaps a less obvious trend as well, and that is the very low number of fanarts depicting Ammy and Shiranui’s enemies – especially Lechku and Nechku (also an owl-demon)!
I believe that the main reason for Lechku and Nechku not being very popular in fanart, isn’t because of any deficiencies they may have as an enemy – they are quite an impressive enemy in a multitude of ways, such as purely design-wise or in the way they fight and how they drove the story along.
The most likely reason in my opinion for Lechku and Nechku not being very popular, is because of their diabolical acts against Shiranui and an innocent child, but also the unfolding desperation surrounding the battle against them.
It’s the kind of battle where a lot of fates intertwine, but also unravel in confronting ways – the blood of a good friend will be shed.
Shiranui’s Bloody End – by BrittleBear
Does this fanart give away what will happen in the video game? Like a lot of grand adventures (such as life itself), the adventure in Ōkami will take a darker turn as the road to fulfilment winds along.
Life isn’t meant to be perfect, and nor are various outcomes within Ōkami’s story. If there weren’t bad in the world, how would we know just how important it is to strive for good?
The Price of Mortality; Oki with Shiranui – by DarkNature5000
In Japanese Shinto belief, the gods do have varying powers (and also character flaws) beyond those of everyday people, but the gods are also mortal. Even the most powerful Japanese goddess who rules all gods, in this case Amaterasu’s wolf-incarnation called Shiranui, is also mortal.
Nevertheless, this is not the scene of Shiranui’s death – one doesn’t become the ruler of all gods without having some extra energy reserves. However, it is at this point in Ōkami’s story, where the illusions and self-lies of certain characters crumble in the face of brutal and harsh reality. Any fun, games and irresponsible behaviour is now over – the truth becomes too serious to ignore.
For those who don’t yet know – the person holding Shiranui’s head is earthbound warrior Oki, and he’s on the side of good and didn’t inflict those wounds.
Labyrinth of Torment – by BossTurp
Well, I’ve already mentioned the demonically-possessed(-toilet)-paper prayer slip (named Tobi) in my “Divine Retribution” blog post. Here you can see a clue to just how aptly named the “Labyrinth of Torment” really is (found at the “Oni Island” game level) – those spikes throughout the labyrinth come out from behind the walls, and can badly hurt Ammy.
Of course, there’s more than just “boring old” spikes – there are also sheer drops (into spikes), flames, lasers, lightning, drowning traps, crushing traps and lots of other horrible things. Personally, I’d probably stop at the sight of the first spike and get someone more heroic to go through. Yikes.
Roasted – by BossTurp
This fanart shows a “Divine Brush” (miracle) technique called “Inferno” that Ammy can use to set fire to things – in this case, drawing a line from a source of fire to a demon enemy, will carry the fire towards the demon and roast it down to a pile of flower-fertiliser.
Pretty handy if you don’t like demons, but love flowers (like Ammy does).
Don’t Give Up – by RyuUkuringo
Failure is only certain when you give up – always remember that!
Here, we see Ammy badly battered physically and emotionally, from many serious and confronting battles with demons, her ink (divine powers) seeping from her tail.
However, anyone that has made it this far, is going to find a lot of remaining strength when looking for it.
The fanart’s title“Don’t Give Up” reminds me of the words “Try Everything” that were “preached” in a recent and quite warped children/family movie from a major movie studio. In a way, “try everything” appears to be a deliberate perversion of “don’t give up” – “try everything” sounds inspirational on the surface but carries a negative undercurrent.
The reason why I say that, is because the commonly spoken phrase “don’t give up”, are positive and empathetic words of encouragement when someone who is generally a good person, is feeling defeated and faces a challenge. For example, a challenge against something that is unjust or difficult, but worth mastering for a personal and/or greater good. One usually doesn’t say “don’t give up” to a person who is trying to hurt others or destroy something, but isn’t very successful at it – that would be a pretty warped thing to do.
So, then there’s the morally ambiguous “try everything” – imagine someone feeling defeated and facing a challenge, and instead of “don’t give up”, that person gets the words “try everything” into their mind… Try what exactly? Instead of honestly trying to earn money for a living, try stealing it? Instead of sticking to positive and constructive moral principals proven over many centuries, try abandoning them? Instead of trying to do good, start doing evil?
When someone is feeling down and defeated, that person is more susceptible to negative influence – there are plenty of people in this world who will take damaging advantage of that. Taking the above fanart as an example – if Ammy (a powerful goddess on the side of good) had gotten it into her head to “try everything” at this point, that would by definition allow for abandoning good and positive principles, to try and defeat an evil enemy.
Only good can truly defeat evil – abandoning good will allow the new void in ones’ heart to be filled with darkness. It almost sounds like “try everything” is something that a demon might be whispering into Ammy’s ear at this point, to try and corrupt her.
Anyway, back on topic:
Ammy and Yami – by LED_Cat
And here we see Ammy facing pure evil – the final boss enemy of Ōkami, called Yami. The mechanical claw isn’t the actual enemy – merely a (robotic, artificial and unnatural) tool of destruction used by the pure-evil creature encapsulated within the claw’s palm.
Who will win? Well, we already know who will win, but the battle will be the fiercest and harshest of all.
Now, let’s move on from this subject – the next blog post will be filled with only happy and fun Ōkami fanart. I hope to see you then!
Until that time and beyond, I wish for you the best for the new year ahead – undoubtedly there will be many new challenges, but we have already all come too far, only to now give in to fear and darkness!
Do you have suggestions, would like to recommend some art or submit your own? Then feel free to get in touch or just leave comments, below: