HakuBaikou.com fan art

2007 RK Fan Art Contest Awards
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Thank you everyone for another wonderful year. I admit I was a little worried at first, since there weren't too many entries early on. But toward the end, the entries were coming in like crazy. I'm so glad the RK fandom is alive and well. ^_^

As always, the judges and I had a tough time since there were so many great entries. I always feel a bit of guilt for not being able to award some of my personal favorites. I'm sure the other judges feel similarly. That tends to happen when you vote by panel.

There really were a great number of fantastic pictures. There are some technically wonderful pieces that didn't receive an award, although we definitely found them very impressive. Same goes for some really ambitious, obviously time-consuming pics, and some pieces with really cool ideas that may not have fit neatly with the contest theme but were quite original nonetheless.

As most of you know, this contest isn't just about who draws the best. It's always been about... Well, I link to the judges' criteria every year (see below) and that's about all I can say for the process. Each judge is a very different person, and each judge ranks the criteria in a different order. It keeps the process interesting.

Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy all the entries, whether they win an official award or not. There is so much wonderful art to see. And I must say, I've been watching some of you for years, and I can see the improvement in your art from year to year. It has been a pleasure and a privilege for me to watch you grow artistically. Many of you have come such a long way! I've enjoyed seeing artwork from veterans and newbies alike this year. Congrats to you all for a job well done.

Enough with my rambling. Now, onto the awards!


Note: To view banners at their proper size, right-click on them and select "view image". I decided to go with just one image for the banners this year partly because I didn't want to use Watsuki's images which are copyrighted, and partly to save a bit of time.


Please feel free to post your award anywhere you like. You can hotlink them from my site if you need to do so. If you're not sure of the code for posting them, e-mail me, and I'll let you know. :)

To those who received monetary awards: Congrats! I will contact you regarding prizes next week.


As always, if you have any questions, comments, complaints, or concerns about the judging or award results, please feel free to e-mail me. Please DO NOT contact the artist who received the award. Thanks!

judging criteria ::: prizes ::: contest home



Eiko Makimachi

Rest a little now

Judges' comments:

  • Eiko has been entering every year, and she gets better each time! This was technically well-handled, particularly with the line weights and the coloring. Plus I like that she chose to do something other than the "slash/burn" Battousai concept that a lot of folks tend to lean towards.
  • I really loved this artist's choice in showing the symbolic cutting of the hair here. It's often associated with change, with a new start on life. And it's such a wonderful moment in the RK timeline. Nicely done.


Erika M.R.

As the Sun Sets

Judges' comments:

  • The attention to details , particularly the foliage is really commendable. I don't want to presume what the artist was thinking, but I can imagine this is a scene set shortly after Misao and Aoshi are reacquainted and he realizes she's not a child anymore. (Or does he? ^_^ )
  • Love the textures in this. The subtle colors really evoke a wonderful mood. And I really enjoy seeing Ruroken art that's done in such a distinctively different style from canon images.


Yelizavyeta Alsona

No Longer My Burden to Bear

Judges' comments:

  • I was very impressed with this entry. This was one of the more unique interpretations of the Passages theme for me. It works on many levels. You've got the end of an era, the end of a chapter in Kenshin's life, plus a passing of duties from predecessor to successor. Kenshin handing off his hitokiri duties to Shishio is a moment rarely seen in fanart. Great job on this.


Jade Lightning-Wolf

Many Miles to Go

Judges' comments:

  • The artist took a bit of a risk in depicting mostly a landscape with a tiny little figure in the distance. But I think the choice was a really effective one. With Tomoe's grave in the foreground and Kenshin so far back, it seems like he's already wandered quite a distance. But then when you read the title, "Many Miles to Go", you see that he's really just begun. This was a unique way to show the start of a long journey.



Snow, Memories and the Scent
of Hakubaikou

Judges' comments:

  • Beautiful colors and a wonderfully soft, wintry feel to this pic. I like the dreamy quality. I like that Kenshin's eyes are closed, and you know that Tomoe really isn't there. It's also technically quite impressive, especially when one considers that the artist is under 14 years old.


Best Interpretation of Theme


The inevitable journey

Judges' comments:

  • What better interpretation of the theme of "passages" can there be than the passage from this life to the afterlife? No one has ever thought of portraying this before. Interesting to note that Kenshin looks relatively at peace with himself on this journey. A unique idea that's well-executed.


Most Dramatic



Judges' comments:

  • Very elegant and beautiful, and I really like the mood of this piece. So dark and sombre. And you only see hints of things, outlines of silhouettes. Very fitting for the hitokiri period of Kenshin's life.
  • This is a really well put together work that does a lot with a very economical color scheme.


Most Creative


Always along with me

Judges' comments:

  • A very unique style. I like that Kenshin's present self is guilt-ridden while his past self is cold and expressionless. I also like how the artist makes the bottom half feel quite dark and brooding even though it's got the same color pallette and design as the top. Very cool.
  • I find this piece to be visually interesting ,also reminiscent of minhwato cards.


Most Action-Packed



Judges' comments:

  • Kenshin is literally leaping off the page at the viewer in this one. The use of color and light is spectacular. With those menacing eyes and the two swords flying out next to Kenshin's flowing sleeves, you can almost imagine the battle scene below.


People's Choice Award



Judges' comments:

  • A lovely piece of work. Dark, brooding, and wonderfully mysterious. It's a fitting style for Kenshin's younger self. Very deserving of the People's Choice Award!





a new day

Judges' comments:

  • The emotion that comes across in this picture is great.
  • I really love this elegant and clean style. The soft colors are beautifully done. The textures are marvelous, especially on Kaoru's kimono. And it's really nice to see a picture involving Tomoe's ghost that is actually happy and peaceful in mood. The title of the image is quite appropriate.
  • This artwork is gorgeous with a wonderful mood. I like the poses with Tomoe giving a lingering touch as Kaoru leads Kenshin into a new, happier life. I like the idea of a pleasant, hopeful passage as opposed to one filled with pain. Nicely done!



Rinoa Tilmitt

Running and Slashing

Judges' comments:

  • I'm a fan of the style and coloring. There's a lot of fluidity in here and just a lot of detailed little quirky touches that are indicative of the artist's style. I also appreciate the careful attention to lighting. This would be among my top choices for style.
  • Wow. Just wow. This is just lovely.... This is, by far, the most beautiful piece in the contest.
  • What a unique style! There's so much motion in this piece. And it's interesting to see the hitokiri's violence associated with such brilliant colors. It's an intriguing combination.




Blood and Poppies

Judges' comments:

  • Very striking... another genuinely effective use of implied violence. It would have scored higher if I knew what it meant, really, but my unfamiliarity with some of the Kenshin side stories acts against me here. ^^ This vote is purely based on the technical level of skill here and the evocative quality of this stand-alone image.
  • Aoshi is not among my favorite RK characters. And yet I was stunned when I saw this. The intense expression on his face is quite arresting. There's a bit more heat to his anger compared to the coldness we see later on. And the poppies are intriguing. Poppies have been associated as symbols of death, blood, and remembrance. And, perhaps a bit of foreshadowing here, they're associated with Megumi later in the RK timeline. This is wonderful. A personal favorite.
  • This is a very well-executed and artistic entry. Despite the red splashes and subtle green poppies, when I look at this piece I see predominantly shades of gray–except for those blue eyes. Because they stand out so much from all the shades of gray, they really draw the viewer in–a great touch. Combined with the motion conveyed by the swirling scarf and the splashes of red, it does a good job of summarizing the personality of Aoshi.




The First Scar

Judges' comments:

  • Wow... I was a bit put off at first being no fan of bleeding images, but then I was caught by the expression and the mood. This really did capture that moment of transition when Kenshin starts that hard journey from soulless assassin to human being. The execution is good, consistent and polished- while retaining a painterly feel. It really earned it's high score.
  • This is a beautifully colored work, with an interesting perspective shot. With the lighting it makes Kenshin ghostly and a bit intimidating. One of my favorites of the Kenshin submissions.
  • I really love the mood of this piece. The low angle, stark colors, and the rain... They all contribute to a feeling of coldness and ruthlessness. I like how the background is part of the character here. And Kenshin's expression is fantastic. Something about the tilt of his head and the way he's looking slightly downward makes him quite scary... but then there's a hint of shock there that's intriguing. A really beautifully rendered piece.