Never would we have thought that characters designed by AI programs jumped from rudimentary to ultra-advanced in the space of three years.

In 2015, an artificial intelligence program called Chainer was introduced to the world, which generated anime characters based on users’ inputs and helped artists come up with their own ideas. It was relatively basic and created content that looked like it was haphazardly drawn.

▼ Nevertheless, it was a first attempt to design an AI
that could create anime characters.

But it became the stepping stone for a more sophisticated program featured on a website called in 2017. While some of the characters still appeared warped and a little unpolished, the program was still leaps and bounds better than what Chainer could achieve.

▼ would in turn be the foundation of their next project.

It is now 2018, and the makers of have unleashed Crypko, the most sophisticated character generator AI program to date that will give even professional illustrators a run for their money.

Through the program, users can purchase special codes that are used to generate unique anime characters, called Crypko Cards, which then can be fused with others to create even more derivatives. These digital collectible cards can be bought, sold and even rented to users from a marketplace

▼ Combine two Crypko Cards to spawn more cute characters.

▼ A video shows a one-minute exploration of the Crypko database by AI.

What is perhaps the most astounding of all is the sheer quality of the drawings, as Crypko shows that artificial intelligence can easily match human professionals in the anime industry. In the space of three years, AI-generated anime characters have evolved so much that netizens are shocked by its implications:

“We don’t even need illustrators now.”
“It won’t be long before they automatically create 3-D models and have them sing and dance.”
“Aspiring illustrators and manga artists will be vomiting blood from their mouths while praising AI.”
“Seems there will be people using this program to sell
dojinshi at Comiket.”
“The future of illustrators seems murky at best.”

Judging from the improvements made in such a short span of time, who knows how much AI will have evolved after another five or ten years? While Crypko is currently only able to generate character faces, there may come a time when AI can design entire anime scenes within given parameters. Together with impressive AI-assisted animation, the anime world as we know it will eventually be changed forever.

Source: Twitter/@yoshiwo_konogi, Crypko via Hachima Kiko
Images: Crypko