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[Guest Post] Artbook Review: BRAVELY DEFAULT Design Works ~ The Art of Bravely 2010 – 2013

15 Mar

Hello everyone! This is Anne from Chic Pixel, and Lady Riven has graciously invited me to come share one of my recent pickups here on Plastic Pleasures. I don’t have nearly as many swoon-worthy doujinshi and artbooks as Plastic Pleasures’ lovely hostess, so that makes my recent acquisition of the BRAVELY DEFAULT Design Works THE ART OF BRAVELY 2010-2013 book all the more exciting!

The Art of Bravely Default

At a whopping 255 pages, this book is practically a phonebook of gorgeous illustrations, sketches, and other Bravely Default-related content. Part of me wishes it had a hard cover, but the soft cover does keep the weight down, making it more portable and, ultimately, less expensive to import.

Before I go inside the book, be warned that everything hereafter can and probably will contain spoilers. Enemies, environments, job costumes… if you want to discover all of that for yourself, please bookmark this article and come back after you’ve finished the game! I’ve tried to leave out stuff that goes into major spoiler territory, but what I consider no big deal may be something you’d prefer not to see, so don’t say I didn’t warn you! Also, it should probably go without saying since this is a massive book, I will not be sharing pictures of everything. Instead, I’ve decided to show of some of the previously unreleased and lesser-known illustrations in the book since you can see the official promo art anywhere!

The Art of Bravely Default

Rather than being dedicated to a specific game, the book features content from the whole Bravely Default series, including the browser game Praying Brage and the very thematically and visually similar Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light. Continue reading

Doujinshi News: Introducing Sekai Project

28 Feb

Sekai Project is run by a small team of dedicated fans whose goal is to bring independent Japanese publications to a wider audience. This includes doujinshi, visual novels, music and more. As someone who is passionate about all of the above, I find their project really exciting. Getting ahold of doujinshi items can be a real challenge. Many shops, such as Toranoana, do not cater to overseas customers, and have gone so far as to block well-known deputy services from ordering products from them on your behalf.


Sekai Project had a lot of success with their first Kickstarter, which aimed to localize doujinshi artist Lunatic Joker’s “Moe Headphones Design Guidebook 2013”. The book features information about many types of popular headphones, along with illustrations of anime girls wearing them to coincide with their descriptions. The Kickstarter bonuses included a range of shikishi (or “sketch boards”), postcards, digital downloads, an omake book and even a B1 sized tapestry that will feature a variation of one of the book’s illustrations (voted upon by backers!) Even if you missed out on the Kickstarter, you can still pre-order a copy of the book and the tapestry via their backerkit website. They’ve also raffled off some awesome goods like a pair of aëdle’s VK-1 Classic Edition headphones featured in “Moe Headphones”, and a copy of the Narcissu Visual Fanbook. If you want to find out when a new contest is starting up, make sure you follow Sekai Project on twitter, Facebook or G+!

Moe Headphones by Lunatic Joker

In addition to the Moe Headphones Kickstarter, Sekai Project has put 3 different visual novels up on Steam Greenlight. Despite some backlash from Western gamers (who’ve made no attempt to understand the appeal of visual novels), the Greenlight campaigns have been successful thus far. These games include WORLD END ECONOMiCA, Narcissu 1st & 2nd, and most recently, Koenchu! -The Tale of the Voice Actress-.


I had a talk with Raymond Qian of Sekai Project to find out a little bit more about what they’ve been working on and what we can look forward to from them in the future. Read on! Continue reading

Artbook Review: Nitro+ CHiRAL Official Works DRAMAtical Murder

9 Feb

DRAMAtical Murder (aka – DMMd or ドラマダ) is a gritty cyberpunk visual novel by Nitro+ CHiRAL, the BL division of Nitro+. Even before playing, I found myself intrigued by the artwork and story that I’d seen and read about. Nitro+ are masters of visual storytelling, and once I’d started playing, I wasn’t disappointed one bit.

“Nitro+  CHiRAL Official Works – DRAMAtical Murder” is an artbook that was originally released in a special set for Comic Market 82, and can’t be purchased from a normal book retailer like the visual fan book published by Cool-B. It took me awhile to track down a copy, but it was worth the hunt!


While not technically a doujinshi, it has traits of a doujinshi art book. It’s exclusively sold through Nitro+, and is fairly slim. It’s a shame that it’s difficult to get, because the content is outstanding.


For what it’s worth, I tend to shy away from buying visual fan books. They consist primarily of a game’s event CGs and character profiles. That’s not to say I wouldn’t buy DRAMAtical Murder’s VFB, but this book is generally more of what I’m looking for; text-free aside from captions, and strict focus on the art.


ほにゃらら (Honya Lala) drew all of the illustrations and event CGs for DRAMAtical Murder. Here’s some of her work for the official game package and a few different promotional images done for Comiket 80 and 81.


These detailed illustrations of four of the major characters were done for B’s-LOG, a popular Japanese magazine that focuses exclusively on Boy’s Love games. Continue reading

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