Doujinshi Review: Chromatic Gate – Xenoseries Full-color Illustration Anthology

27 Jan

Front Cover

“Chromatic Gate” is an A4-sized, 94 page full-color collection of illustrations released in May of 2012 to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Xenosaga episode 1. The book features art of characters from all of the “Xeno” titles, including Xenogears, Xenosaga and Xenoblade, by 44 different artists.


Xenosaga cast by Otonagi

The book’s first illustration of course features Xenosaga, and is by Otonagi, whose pixiv you can see here.


Maria by Aogoma (Xenogears)

The lovely Maria Balthasar from Xenogears is presented in muted watercolours by Aogoma. You might notice the clever use of lace in the bottom right re-creates the symbolic “X”!


KOS-MOS ver. 1 by Hiza Kozou (Xenosaga)

This vibrant depiction of KOS-MOS by Hiza Kozou can also be viewed on pixiv!


Margie and Bart by Sumeragi Mikan (Xenogears)

Skipping ahead a whole bunch of pages, we have Sumeragi Mikan‘s adorable shoujo-esque drawing of Margie and Bart. She is also on pixiv.


Fiora (Xenoblade)

This Xenoblade contribution is by SAVE&MENU, who has both a Tumblr and a pixiv account that you can browse.


Xenoblade cast by Sekigawa

The gang’s all here in Sekigawa‘s colorful depiction of the main cast of Xenoblade.


KOS-MOS by Daikichi (Xenosaga)

Daikichi‘s awesome KOS-MOS bears quite a bit of resemblance to choco’s original character designs, although with a less youthful appearance. He’s got a nice high res version of this picture on his pixiv.


Bart and Fei by Natsumeu (Xenogears)

Natsumeu‘s perfectly illustrated Bart and Fei is one of my personal favorites in Chromatic Gate. Sadly, there’s no full size digital version of this one available, but she does have this digital preview image on pixiv.


The Xenoblade cast by Harusame Nasusu

Harusame Nasusu‘s group shot of the characters of Xenoblade is done in a colorful, super-deformed art style.


KOS-MOS by FUU (Xenosaga)

I love FUU’s lineless vector-styled KOS-MOS. If you check out his website, you’ll see that his primary passion seems to be photography of anything of an industrial nature. I believe that has really lent itself to the technical skill shown here.


Shulk by Mebu (Xenoblade)

Mebu appears to be a pretty huge fan of the Xeno-series, with a website that is completely chock full of Xenogears and Xenoblade fan art. Definitely worth taking a look at!


Xenoblade cast by beco

beco‘s group pic of the Xenoblade cast is nothing short of completely badass. He’s also got a bunch of other great Xenoblade art on his pixiv, to boot.


Xenogears cast by Yukitomo

This great Xenogears piece was done by Yukitomo, who is also the one responsible for organizing the whole Chromatic Gate project. There’s something very classic-looking about this illustration to me; I think it’s the hand inked line-work.


Fei and Elly by Utsuno Rei (Xenogears)

Another of my favorites is Utsuno Rei’s Fei and Elly illustration. I adore any picture of these two together, and this one is superbly done. She’s got bunches more Xenogears fan art on her website, too.


Billy and Primera by Fizzbuzz (Xenogears)

Billy Lee Black and his little sister Primera are quite elegantly depicted here by talented fantasy artist Fizzbuzz.


Uzuki Shion and KOS-MOS by Tama (Xenosaga)

Tama‘s breathtaking Shion and KOS-MOS is the last of my “fave 3” in the book. Pretty much all of her work is this mind-numbingly awesome, so definitely give her pixiv a look!


List of Artists + URLs

As with most anthologies, the end of the book has a page with the names and URLs of every contributing artist. Again, this is very handy for finding new talents to follow!


FUU’s artist commentary

On the page opposite each illustration, there is a blank white square.  Under the blank square is a rectangular area where each  artist was able to write a short comment and insert a smaller doodle to accompany their full-page artwork.

This particular design decision gives me the impression that they weren’t really sure how they wanted to lay the book out, and inserted it this way as an afterthought. I think it would have made more sense to just put all of the full page illustrations side-by-side, and then group all of the half-page artist comments at the end.

Bart and Margie by Sukure

Bart and Margie by Sukure

While I did not photograph Sukure‘s full-sized illustration, I did want to share her really cute doodle of Bart and Margie!


Elly by Hato

A great little Elly accompanies Hato‘s commentary. Definitely check out her website; she has tons more Xenogears fan art!

Back Cover

Back Cover

I took more photos of this book than I usually do for doujinshi, because I’m such a huge sucker for anything Xenogears. With 44 artists featured over 94 pages, I couldn’t realistically take pictures of the entire book. While it doesn’t appear to be in stock anymore (I got my copy from Alice Books), you might be able to dig one up somewhere like Mandarake or Yahoo Japan Auctions. If you’re a big Xeno fan like me, it’s certainly worth looking around for; especially considering how few and far between Xenogears art in particular tends to be.

Relevant links:
Official Website
Contributing Artists

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