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BOX=ART is a site dedicated to the history of video game box art/ cover art and the artists responsible for them.

Box arts are profiled from a variety of angles using high quality scans and with the intention of acknowledging the men and women who have played such a major role in shaping our gaming experiences.

Not only for video game enthusiasts, BOX=ART is for all who enjoy quality artwork.

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 >Katsuya Terada

BOX=ART checks out Katsuya Terada whose art style has inspired illustrators the world over, with a universal appeal that would break down the boundaries of his native Japan and bring international acclaim.  


By the early 90’s he would be in demand for his characterisation producing classic box arts such as Maten Densetsu: Senritsu no Ooparts (1995), The legend of Bishin (1993) and Prince of Persia (1992) all for the Super Famicom.  His highest profile box art of this period though would probably be Sega’s Virtua Fighter Remix in 1995.     

As was common with Japanese box artists he was credited many illustrative novel cover arts.  He also has had a long history working within film and anime, providing costume production and monster design for live action Japanese “Godzilla” monster movies.  

The self-proclaimed “Rakuga King”, meaning doodler, has built up a following through his copious amounts of sketchings.  He asserts that this attitude to daily sketching is more a philosophy than a style of drawing and has a demand upon the artist requiring constant sketching wherever they may be.  

Favouring pencil drawn art, Katsuya would start his box art career in the late 80’s as the illustrator for the Detective Saburo Jinguji series (1987).  It would showcase a style of character art that he would use throughout his career, whereby people are drawn having a slight ill, grotesque look to them with heavy shading and off-skin colours.  

The series would be a main stay for the artist who’d provide all the box arts and character art up until the latest episode for the 3DS.  This longevity of almost thiry years makes Katsuya duration with the series somewhat unique within the industry.

Virtua Fighter Remix published by Sega in 1995.  Possibly the artist’s highest profile box art.  It would only see a Japanese release, the West somehow preferring blocky character models instead of fine art.

The Legend of Bishin published by Magifact in 1993

Detective Saburou Jinuuji: While the Light Remains published by Data East in 1999.  The artist has been the key illustrator for pretty much all of the Detective series games.  His sultry, smokey style of art suiting the film noir perfectly.

“Even though he says his illustrations always start with a basis in Manga, what sets them apart and makes them internationally appealing is the inspiration drawn from foreign artists. 

It would be the anime movie Blood: The Last Vampire (2000), in which Katsuya provided character designs, that would bring mainstream attention to his art in the States, and led him to illustrate Marvel’s Wolverine and Iron Man comics. 

Even though he says his illustrations always start with a basis in Manga, what sets them apart and makes them internationally appealing is the inspiration drawn from foreign artists. 

As with many Japanese artists of his generation, French illustrator Jean Giraud and his publicised works in comic book: Métal Hurlant had a profound influence, and Katsuya’s style and composition plays heavy homage.

Blue Almanac published by Kondansh Ltd in 1991.


Sol Divide published by Atlus in 1998.

Posted - 17/10/13, by Adam Gidney

The look of Métal Hurlant’s fantastical and dystopian characters can be clearly seen in box arts for The legend of Bishin and Sol Divide (1998) and his later work on the Wizardry series (the latter looking like something UK illustrator Simon Bisley could have drawn).  

This European influence has given his characters a softened western look to them and a distint lack of the effeminate and explosive appearance usually seen in Manga.  He would of course also still find inspiration closer to home, crediting artists such as Raw Lai Range Defined (stable artist for Koei) and Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira). 

With such international artistic appeal in place it is unfortunate that so few of of his box arts have made it overseas, with a couple of Wizardry games and a Jake Hunter from the 00’s being the only examples.  This though has been down to the fact that so few of the games he’s worked on have been published abroad.

With various books of his sketches available and a recent exhibition in Kyoto, Katsuya Terada is an artist evidently still very much in love with his medium and very much in demand. 

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>Detective Saburou Jinguuji: While the Light Remains (JP) PlayStation.


>Busin: Wizardry Alternative (JP) PlayStation 2.

>Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land (NA) PlayStation 2.


>Detective Saburou Jinguuji: Innocent Black (JP) PlayStation 2.


>Busin 0: Wizardry Alternative NEO (JP) PlayStation 2.


>Detective Saburou Jinguuji: Kind of Blue (JP) PlayStation 2.


>Detective Saburou Jinguuji: The Girl with the White Shadow (JP) Game   Boy Advance.


>Detective Saburou Jinguuji: The Ancient Memories (JP/ NA) NDS.


>Detective Saburou Jinguuji: The Abiding Spirit (JP) NDS.


>Detective Saburou Jinguuji: Ashes and Diamonds (JP) PSP.

>Detective Saburou Jinguuji: The Withheld Truth (JP) NDS.

>Jake Hunter Detective Story: Memories of the Past (NA) NDS.


>Detective Saburou Jinguuji: Red Butterfly (JP) NDS.


>Detective Saburou Jinguuji: Rondo of Revenge (JP) 3DS.

>Naoyuki Kato

>Simon Bisley


>Detective Saburou Jinguuji: The Shinjuku Central Park Murder Case (JP)   Famicom Disk System.


>Detective Saburou Jinguuji: Yokohama Port Serial Murder Mystery (JP)   Famicom.

>Detective Saburou Jinguuji: A Dangerous Duo Part 1 (JP) Famicom Disk   System.


>Detective Saburou Jinguuji: A Dangerous Duo Part 2 (JP) Famicom Disk   System.


>Blue Almanac (JP) Mega Drive.

>Detective Saburou Jinguuji: Let Time Pass By (JP) Famicom.


>Prince of Persia (JP) Super Famicom.


>The Legend of Bishin (JP) Super Famicom.


>Maten Densetsu: Senritsu no Ooparts (JP) Super Famicom.

>Virtua Fighter Remix (JP) Saturn.


>Detective Saburou Jinguuji: The Unfinished Reportage (JP) PlayStation,   Saturn.


>Detective Saburou Jinguuji: At the End of the Dream (JP) PlayStation,   Saturn.

>Sol Divide (JP) PlayStation, Saturn.

If you like Katsuya’s art you’ll love…

>Jean Giraud

>Jun Suemi

Related BOX=ART pages.

Katsuya Terada box art catalogue.

Sources and further reading.







Busin: Wizardry Alternative| 2001| Atlus. Detective Saburou Jinguuji: Yokohama Port Serial Murder Mystery| 1988| Data East Corp. Prince of Persia| 1992| Riverhillsoft.

Japan gallery page

Japanese box art page| BOX=ART 90's gallery page| BOX=ART

90’s gallery page

Mega Drive box art page| BOX=ART

Mega Drive series page

Categories: Fantasy| Japanese artist