Artbook Review: Tinkle Illustrations – 密夜茶会 (Mitsuya Chakai)

2 Apr

It’s not too often that I get as excited about an artbook release as I was about Tinkle’s 密夜茶会 “Mitsuya Chakai”.  This illustration collection is a pretty massive tome at A4 size and 232 pages. A commercially released artbook is a very welcome change after their 1st book went out of print and their 2nd was a very sought after doujinshi publication. (Which also happens to be one of my personal favorites.) Mitsuya Chakai is an absolutely must-have if you love Tinkle.

Mitsuya Chakai

Mitsuya Chakai

The cover illustration is brand new, and features a girl with a teddy bear, tea and a lot of honey.

Honey

Cover Ink Close-Up

Tinkle’s gone all-out with the ink treatment on the front cover. The titled is printed with gold foil leafing and the tea and honey are printed so that they look like actual tea and honey, with a bit of glitter added for sparkle.

Binding

It’s huuuuuuge!

Hopefully, this will give you an idea of just how thick this book is! It’s totally worth it for ¥3,990!

Fold-Out 1

Fold-Out Part 1

Fold-Out 2

Fold-Out Part 2

The book begins with this massive 4-page spread that waxes poetic in Japanese on the backside and in lovely Engrish on the front side.

Girl with Owl

Girl with Owl

There’s a number of 2-page spreads in the first section, which consists of Tinkle’s original artworks.

Striped Stockings

Striped Stockings and Candy!

Striped Stockings 2

More Striped Stockings and Candy

I won’t lie. This book has a bunch of repeated images. In this case, you have the full sized illustration on one side and a close-up of detail on the other. I appreciate being able to see the details in Tinkle’s work, because that’s what they’re so great at, but I wonder why they chose to do this over more illustrations? Considering how large this book is, though, I wouldn’t say it detracts any from the value.

2 Girls

2 Girls 1 Spread

These two are another case of repeat image, though I haven’t photographed the 2nd. They have this two-page spread, followed by another two-page spread on the next page, which is the same illustration except they have their eyes closed. I guess that’s one way to take up pages!

Blossom Colors

Blossom Colors

If you’re like me and you can’t be bothered to purchase all of Tinkle’s individual doujinshi, you’re in luck because a great deal of their doujinshi illustrations are in this book. The leftmost image is from “Blossom Colors Celeste”.

Frilly Black Dress

Frilly Black Dress

This illustration from the “Bianco El Dorado” doujinshi is one of my personal favorites!

Pink & Blue

Pink & Blue

Cherry Blossoms and Champagne

Cherry Blossoms and Champagne

Tea?

Tea?

The “Another Work” section features mainly individual illustrations done for book covers, Dengeki Moeoh pin-ups, dakimakura (tons of them!) and other such things. This particular section probably has the most infrequently seen artworks in it.

Fancy Stuff

Fancy Stuff

Catgirls

Catgirls

Character Designs

Character Designs

These are more examples of the sorts of work in the “Another Work” section, which I realize isn’t terribly specific. These are more common images I’ve seen floating around the internet. I’m quite fond of the two catgirls!

Tsukiyo no Fromage

Tsukiyo no Fromage

Miscellany?

Even more catgirls.

The next section is Tinkle’s comic works. “Tsukiyo no Fromage” and “Ro-kyu-bu” are the two comics that I am aware of. I think I made it through like 3 pages of Ro-kyu-bu before deciding it was pure loli fan-service and giving up on it. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tsukiyo no Fromage is the same thing. :p Different strokes for different folks, I guess!

So much pink.

So much pink.

Loli Megane Swimsuit Overload

Loli Megane Swimsuit Overload

The second to last section is illustrations for light novels, so it likely contains some lesser seen images. I’ve seen a couple of these pop up in Dengeki Moeoh as well, usually in those special “Art of..” sections. Otherwise, they don’t get printed much outside of on the actual book covers.

Old School Tinkle

Old School Tinkle, kinda.

Since Tinkle’s 1st two illustration books are long out of print, they’ve been so kind as to include some of their very best illustrations from those publications in the book’s final section. (Including the Byakuya Chakai cover illustration, which is another of my all-time favorites!) The above two illustrations are also from “Byakuya Chakai” (the 2nd artbook).

Image Information

Image Information

The back of the book has an index that gives the titles of the illustrations along with where they were originally printed. You can see which doujinshi specific images came from here and all that good stuff.

Normally, I don’t take this many photos for one review, but I’m often reviewing short doujins and this book is monstrously huge. Despite its two minor drawbacks (lack of new illustrations specifically for the book and a number of repeated images), it’s definitely worth every cent. A lot of places are charging out the nose for this book, so getting it from Amazon.co.jp isn’t TOO terrible, even with the atrocious shipping rate. Expect to pay at least 2x yen price no matter what if you don’t live in Japan (unless you’re doing some kind of bulk order).

Now go get this book and be amazed.

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