Nadia Highlights the Internet's Best ARMS Fanart

Nadia Highlights the Internet's Best ARMS Fanart

She manages to keep it G-rated, but by God it wasn't easy.

Though ARMS for the Nintendo Switch comes across as a game that's easy to win if you just hold a Joy-Con in each hand and shake them like maracas, it takes quite a bit of skill and finesse to master the title's spring-loaded fighters.

People are easily intimidated by fighting games, even ones as colorful and weird as ARMS. Couple that with the fact the Nintendo Switch is still hard to come by, and you've got a recipe for a title that's likely to become a curiosity for a niche of Nintendo Switch owners (practically a niche themselves).

Instant fanbase. Just add headcanon.

But despite its limits, ARMS is on track to become a fandom phenomenon – even amongst people who don't own a Switch, or simply have no plans to actually play the game. Much like Overwatch, ARMS' popularity as a fan property is driven in a big way by its characters. After all, you don't have to own a game to find more information about a favorite character within. All you need to do is look up some basic information, maybe watch a few YouTube videos, then let your favorite fan artists and fanfic writers fill in the story gaps. That's why Blizzard's Vice President sometimes steps up to answer questions about Overwatch characters' back stories, even though the game lacks a single-player story campaign.

It's not difficult to understand why ARMS' lineup garnered a fanbase almost as soon as the game was unveiled back in January. Like Overwatch, every fighter in ARMS has a distinct and charming design, and that's prompted a lot of fanart of the scrappy crew (especially Twintelle).

"Oh good. Tea."

Interestingly, unlike Overwatch, ARMS doesn't have a lot of fanfiction based around it. That may change, but ARMS fans are currently content to simply draw their favorites. Speaking personally, I'd have a hard time crafting even a semi-serious narrative around people with springy limbs. It can be done, but it'd mean having to come up with non-ridiculous synonyms for springs (not to mention the onomatopoeia that accompanies springs. All it takes is one "boing" to yank the reader out of the moment). Simply put, ARMS' characters are probably more fun to draw than to write.

The proof's in the product, and there's already tons of great ARMS fanart out there. Some of it is quick, fun sketches of characters in ridiculous situations, others are fully-rendered and highly-detailed character portraits. Here's a small selection of the good stuff.

I love the idea of Kid Cobra chilling out with some teeny cobras for company. Hopefully whatever he's looking at is age-appropriate, otherwise the snakes are going to have to tell his mom. "Miss Cobra, have you ever checked your son's browsing hissssstory?"

Sculptor Katharine Cheshire used phone cord to make the coiled arms on this custom Min Min Amiibo. Who says landline phones are useless in the age of cellphones?

If you rank ARMS' fighters by popularity, Min Min is definitely near the top (and fighting it out with Twintelle for total superiority). Here's the Noodle Queen rendered in pixels.

ARMS' Mechanica is a regular human girl who uses a personal mech to fight. She brings to mind a certain female pirate from the Mega Man Legends series who also uses a personal mech for her fighting needs. What? You need someone to draw you a picture? OK, done.

It's kind of hard not to love Helix, even though he's essentially a chewed-up wad of spearmint gum who was grown in a lab for the sole purpose of bashing people. Sheesh, imagine losing a fight to a Wacky Waving Inflatable Flailing Arm Tube Man. You'd never be able to look your mother in the face ever again.

It's a line-up of ARMS' leading ladies! Er, minus one. Protip: Look below.

Another pic of Mechanica – one that actually has Mechanica in it! An A+ subject pick for "Cutie Saturday."

Great, Helix deflated. This is why you're supposed to keep quiet while he's baking in the oven. Art by Scout.

Spring Man is supposed to be ARMS' leading [spring] man, but he doesn't get quiet as much fan love as the ladies of arms. That's not to say he doesn't have people rooting for him, of course (and shipping him with Ninjara). Here he is front-and-center in a piece by Paranair.

Aww, we love you too, dude. Art by Najacrew.

What a face. It'd be a shame if I had to bury my fist in it. This one's by Chelsea Crane.

Kasey the Golden drew Min Min to celebrate ARMS' release day. Man, I'm going to need, like, ten bowls of ramen by the time I'm done posting all this Min Min artwork. I've got a serious craving.

Artist CreamForCheese brings us this intimate look at Spring Man struggling with his coif. Imagine having to maintain an elaborate hairstyle even though your spring-loaded arms are in danger of going off at any moment. In fact, I wonder if people who own titular ARMS are allowed near children, the elderly, and china shops. What a nerve-wracking world Nintendo's invented.

CreamForCheese also drew this lovely Twintelle. I mentioned that Twintelle is far and away the most popular ARMS character, but I guess you wouldn't believe it with how little she's appeared in this showcase. I'm going to level with you: Most Twintelle art is not work safe.

Lie down and take deep breaths until you recover from the shock. You'll be OK. Can I get you some juice?

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Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

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