Artbook Review: The Legend of Zelda – Hyrule Historia

21 Aug

When it was announced that a 25th anniversary art book for The Legend of Zelda was being released, I was dead set on getting it. From the start, this book was highly sought after and it was sold out on Amazon.co.jp very quickly. I had a certain price limit in mind and I managed to acquire a copy from an eBay seller for a great price and free shipping.

I was on the fence about whether or not to review this because the book is incredibly text heavy. However, it was just recently announced that Dark Horse Comics would be translating this rare gem into English. I consequently decided that reviewing the Japanese version right now would be a great idea. Now you can all see what you have to look forward to!

Hyrule Historia dust jacket and obi strip.

ハイラル・ヒストリア ゼルダの伝説 大全: 任天堂公式ガイドブック or um, Hyrule Historia for short, is a hardcover 240 page Legend of Zelda guidebook released in December of 2011.

The book sans dust jacket.

The dust jacket itself is quite lovely, but the book itself is even more gorgeous underneath!

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Artbook Review: トウカセカイ Touka Sekai – Fuyuno Haruaki Illustrations

12 Aug

トウカセカイ (Touka Sekai) is the first artbook to be commercially released by ふゆの春秋 (Fuyuno Haruaki) of Techno Fuyuno. Released on June 30th, 2012, it is A4 size and 159 pages in length.

Cover

Ooh.. shiny…

The cover of this book caught my eye right away for obvious reasons… it is highly prismatic. It’s really gorgeous in person. Usually, when I see a cover like this on anything, the contents end up being not that great. In the case of Touka Sekai, you can definitely judge a book by its cover.

Inside of the front cover flap.

The first thing in the book is a fold-out poster of the artwork used on the cover. The photo of  the cover flap here gives you a great idea of how the prismatic effect on the cover looks in person.

I hope that’s lemonade.

Fuyuno-sensei’s style is very distinguishable. His trademark is loose, sketchy linework. This is particularly evident in the hair of the characters he draws. (It always appears to be somewhat wind-blown.)

Girls

Japan’s clear umbrellas are incredibly convenient for panty shots on a windy day, huh? Umbrella girl was drawn for E2 magazine and girl at the beach (right) can be found in freenote’s SUMMER GIRL, a digitally distributed illustration book!

More Girls

Fuyuno-sensei’s comment on the girl on the left is “This is Akihabara Mansei Bridge. Girl has iPhone3Gs. Her hobby is readng books. So she is waiting for iPad & iBooks !” (Source) She’s also in Techno Fuyuno’s 制服少女、私服 (Seifuku Shoujo, Shifuku) doujinshi, with commentary and a  matching rough sketch. The varied illustrations of girls on the right were published in Dengeki Bunko magazine.

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Artbook Review: Jewel – CARNELIAN ARTWORKS

9 Aug

Carnelian was the very first eroge/doujin artist I fell in love with, so I’m beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to review this new book. If you follow Carnelian’s work, you’ll know that until now, she never really had a real commercial artbook release. There’s been a fair share of visual books, along with Carnelian Collection and Carnelian Museum – Orbit Works, but the vast majority of the content has been event CGs from the various games she’s worked on. I’m very glad to say that Jewel is the book Carnelian fans have been waiting for.

Jewel follows the trend of having both a limited edition and regular edition. As far as Amazon.co.jp is concerned, I seem to remember the limited edition having actually sold out during the preorder period. I have not seen the regular edition in person, so I cannot say how similar they are. The limited edition, however, comes with a monochrome bonus book  of sketches and rough work called “Ore”. (Get it? Jewel and Ore? Yeah. Ok.) This is the edition I will be presenting.

Cover

Limited Edition Cover

The book jacket is printed on thick paper with a rough sort of texture, and the title, “Jewel” has a holographic foil embossing treatment.

Black & White Alice

There are tons of newer illustrations within, as well as older ones. Remember Carnelian’s hand-drawn color doujinshi “The Sanctuary Knocker”? The entire thing is actually inside of “Jewel”, along with some her full color BENIGYOKUZUI books from the past few years.

Kao no nai Tsuki

There is actually a refreshingly small amount of the same old game artwork we see from Carnelian in this book. Some of her best Kao no nai Tsuki illustrations are highlighted, and they’re well deserving of being presented alongside the other promotional pieces of art.

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A Handy Dandy Guide to Doujin Goods! 「同人グッズについて」

7 Aug
Doujin Goods

A pile of things I wish were mine. (Source)

C82 is coming up, so I decided to make a quick post that will hopefully be of use to some of you who want to buy doujinshi but need a little bit of help with the process of finding out what you want. If you’re looking at doujinshi or doujin goods, but you don’t know a whole lot of Japanese, there’s some terms you’ll want to know to make buying easier!

All Full Color オールフルカラー – Or simply Full Color フルカラー Means the book is printed entirely in color. Unless stated otherwise in this manner, doujinshi usually contain primarily black and white pages and a full color cover.

Clear Poster

A couple of Di Gi Charat clear posters. (Source)

Clear Poster クリアポスター – It’s a poster, but it’s clear! These are sturdy posters printed on translucent plastic. They look really great when you put them in front of a window and let the light shine through! It’s also really common to find クリア下敷き “Clear Shitajiki” which are pencil boards, but they’re essentially miniature clear posters!

Copy Books

A stack of copy hon by Studio UNILABO. (Source)

Copy Hon コーピー本 – “Copy Book”. This refers to a book that is photocopied and usually stapled or folded together. These are low-cost doujinshi (usually about 100 yen) that often contain comics or sketches. It can also be an orihon.

Dakimakura 抱き枕 – Means “hugging pillow”. This is what we call a “body pillow” in the United States.

A dakimakura cover of Holo from Spice and Wolf. (Source)

Dakimakura Cover 抱き枕カバー – This is the pillow case that goes over a dakimakura. They’re very popular items which are usually printed with an anime girl in a provocative “please be gentle with me” sort of pose. Generally, dakimakura covers are sold on their own and you are expected to purchase the cushion inside separately.

Doujinshi 同人誌 – If you’re reading this blog, you probably already know what a doujinshi is!

Kamibukuro

A typical kamibukuro with artwork by Tinkle. (Source: Rakuten)

Kamibukuro 紙袋 – “Paper Bag”. When you buy a set of doujin goods from an artist, it’ll usually come in a kamibukuro covered in bright illustrations. Some artists go all-out and provide bags made out of PVC with their sets rather than paper!

Muffler Towel

Muffler Towel (Source)

Muffler Towel マフラータオル- In Japan, “muffler” is a loan word for “scarf”. A muffler towel is a towel that is shaped like a scarf. You can wear it around your neck, or tie up your hair with it, or dry your back with it… I guess. I’ve never seen anything quite like it in the U.S. I think they look like really long bar mats!

Orihon 折本 – Literally, it means “folding book”. This is a handmade book, traditionally made from pieces of paper that have been put together and then folded accordian-style. These are often included as omake (bonus items) when you buy an artist’s special doujin goods set, and can contain things like extra sketches or comics. An orihon can by a copy book, and vice-versa.

Poster ポスター – You know what a poster is, right? ^^

Shinkan 新刊 – “New Publication” refers to doujinshi that are… well… newly published.  Artists usually feature a new book at each comiket if they can, as well as selling any extras of older books that they still have copies of.

Shiori しおり – Can also be written as 栞. It means “bookmark”. Sets of bookmarks are a common doujinshi item as they are useful and easy to make!

Shitajiki 下敷き – Also known as a “pencil board”, a shitajiki is a sheet of plastic that you put under a piece of paper while writing. Shitajiki are popular collector’s items among otaku!

Stick Posterスティックポスター – These character posters are tall and vertical like a stick, which is where they get their name. These are often sold in sets. Contrary to the sound of their description, they are not very large. (Average size is about 182 x 515 mm)

Puella Magi Madoka Magica cell phone straps. (Source)

Strap ストラップ – Also known as a “cell phone strap”, it refers to a strap that you attach to your phone or other handheld item with a loop attachment. It is usually made of rubber or PVC and has a charm of some kind of character mascot dangling from it.

Tapestry

A tapestry design by Tatekawa Mako for C82. (Source)

Tapestry タペストリー – This term is borrowed from English and refers to what we often refer to as a “Wall Scroll”, a large cloth wall hanging with an image printed on it.

uchiwa

Various uchiwa by Kimarin. (Source)

Uchiwa うちわ – A hand fan which is often given away as a promotional item. Doujin goods sets often come with these. They can be made of plastic or simply be a  shaped  piece of cardboard with a hole for your finger to go through.

These are just a few of the most commonly sold doujin items. Really, doujin goods can be anything that an artist has self-published. Things like mugs, CDs, PSP (Playstation Portable) skins, can badges and many other small items are sold among doujinshi goods. The more well-known the artist, the more likely they will invest in a really interesting doujin item to sell at comiket. Some even sell custom computer keyboards!

If there’s an item you see frequently that you’d like to see me add to this list, or something I got wrong, let me know in the comments or send me a tweet @ladyriven and I’ll edit this post accordingly. Happy shopping!

Disclaimer: None of the photographs in this post belong to me. They were all hunted down using google images, to use for educational purposes only. I’ve provided the source for each one in the caption. No copyright infringement is intended!

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!

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Pimp out your Starbucks Travel Mug with an 痛ンブラー

30 Mar

Many of you are familiar with 痛車 (itasha), the cars that are decked out with anime decals. While most folks aren’t quite “hardcore” enough to turn their car into an itasha, most any anime fan can easily get away with pimping out their travel mug. Thus we have the 痛ンブラー (itanburaa) which is a combination of 痛 (ita) and タンブラー (tumbler). There’s lots of doujin tumblers and even officially licensed tumblers that you can get ahold of, but you can actually just bypass all that and get yourself a really great custom artwork insert for your clear tumbler by checking out the 痛ンブラー and タンブラー tags on pixiv. (The former will yield more results, but it’s worth it to check out both!)

Starbucks Girl by Easycrew

Just in case you needed a reason to love Starbucks... (art by Easycrew)

I’ll get you started with some great designs I found while perusing the aforementioned tags!

Amazon.co.jp Box Design

12oz insert by King Kazuma

This faux Amazon.co.jp box design insert is by King Kazuma, who has quite a few really awesome tumbler designs, so you should check out his entire gallery. Among them are a fake Canon DSLR lens, some classy Starbucks designs, Burberry check pattern and a few really great Summer Wars inserts, to boot!

Summer Wars

12oz insert by King Kazuma

Looks pretty sweet, right?

NERV

by fallthing

I have to admit I’m pretty fond of this clever NERV design by fallthing. “M-2 Portable Drink Temperature Retainer”? Yes, please.

Starchild Coffee

by Marimo

Here’s one for the Ghost in the Shell fans; illustrated by Marimo.

Penguin's Coffee

12oz insert by Hiropon

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m a little bit obsessed with Mawaru Penguindrum right now. It probably helps that I’ve always loved penguins!

Starbucks Template

by Hazuki

Want to just design your own Starbucks logo? I’ll let you do that, too! This blank is by Hazuki.

If you can’t find what you want, it’s actually pretty easy to create your own insert. All you have to do is Google “Starbucks Tumbler Template” and you should be able to find a PSD or JPG file of whatever tumbler size you’re looking for. If you’re feeling lazy (and who can blame you if you haven’t had any coffee yet?), here’s an 8oz template, a 12oz template and a 16oz template that you can play around with. Doujin circle Chocolate Shop also has a tutorial on creating your tumbler here, and it includes a PSD template. (Psst, you can even get Choco’s own awesome tumbler designs here!)

Now that you’re armed and ready to go, whip up your own custom tumbler! When you’re done, I’d love to see photos of it, so feel free to post a comment with an image link or tweet me at @ladyriven! Have fun!

An Abundance of Goodies for Early 2012!

23 Feb

明けましておめでとうございます!Happy New Year! I realize I’m a little bit late on that. To put a long story short, I’ve been really busy since October 2011 and some of my hobbies have been set aside for more important matters. Nothing bad, though, because I now have a job helping to localize manga for Digital Manga Publishing. It’s fun, it’s exciting, and it’s a lot of work! That, coinciding with the holidays, caused me to sorely neglect my blog entries. In fact, I have a couple of books I photographed ages ago that I simply haven’t written reviews for yet. I hope you’re willing to forgive me, because in the meantime, I want to tell you about a lot of really cool stuff coming out this year!

Udon Releases Pixiv Almanac Vol. 1

Getting on to the fun stuff, in what is pretty much the best news ever of all time, Udon Entertainment has announced that they’re releasing the very first domestic book from Pixiv! It’s titled Pixiv Alamanac Volume 1, and the projected release date is April 11, 2012. The book will retail at $39.99, but of course you can pre-order off of Amazon for the significantly lower price of $25.24. (That price is subject to change, but with the pre-order price guarantee, you’ll get it for whatever the cheapest price is before release.)

Pixiv Alamanac Cover

Pixiv Almanac Vol. 1

How many artist profile images to you recognize on the cover? Sayori, Nardack, Cuteg and quite a few other popular names make their appearance!

Udon’s track record with imported Japanese artbooks is pretty rad at this point, as they’ve released high quality English-language editions of a lot of other great books lately, including but not limited to Ar Tonelico Visual Book, Shigenori Soejima Artworks, Tony’s Artworks from Shining World, the incredible Okami Official Complete Works and even the Atelier Series: Official Chronicle. Udon’s done a fabulous job localizing every one of these books and I fully expect them to do just as well with our first Pixiv artbook. Kudos!

Otome Time! Aksys Releases Hakuoki in the United States

In other unbearably awesome news for the U.S., Aksys Games has released 薄桜鬼 “Hakuoki – Demon of the Fleeting Blossom” in English, just in time for Valentine’s Day. An otome game coming to the United States is BIG news. I’m hoping this bodes well for the future of visual novels in the U.S., because I really enjoy them. I believe it’s a misconception that Americans just can’t appreciate visual novels the way Japanese do, and I’m grateful for every company that gives them a chance here on a “major” platform such as the PSP.

Hakuoki

Hakuoki Limited Edition

To sweeten the deal, there’s a limited edition of Hakuoki that comes with a little artbook and a soundtrack CD. (I picked up this one, because I’m sucker for that kind of packaged deal.) If you have any passing interest in visual novels and you own a PSP, definitely give “Hakuoki” a try. So far, there’s nothing about it that leads me to think that only females can enjoy it (although otome games are certainly marketed towards a female audience.) The game has a rich story, along with great dialogue and fantastic artwork by Kazuki Yone. You can get the Limited Edition with artbook & CD here, and the regular edition is available here.

Fantastic New Figures at Winter Wonder Festival 2012

An event that PVC figure collectors very much look forward to is Wonder Festival, the Winter version of which was just held on February 12th, 2012.  For a huge review of what was showcased at the most recent WonFes, I recommend hopping over to Neko Magic’s Wonder Showcase, where you can oogle at the abundance of upcoming figures, organized by the companies that manufacture them.

Snow Miku Nendoroid 2012

Snow Miku 2012 - Photo from Mika-tan's Blog

One thing I always look forward to is the release of a new Snow Miku Nendoroid. Each year, a slightly different Snow Miku is designed with different parts or accessories, along with another fun novelty item. 2011’s Snow Miku came with an ice cube tray for making Miku-shaped ice cubes. She also went from being a regular Nendoroid in 2010, to a Super-Movable type Nendoroid in 2011. The Snow Miku Nendoroid for 2012 comes wearing a fluffy coat and a light up stage. For full details and lots of great pics, check out Mika-tan’s blog entry on this special new Nendoroid!

Momohime

Momohime by Alter

While I could write a novel on all of the WonFes figures I’m currently drooling over, I just want to point out that the incredibly popular Momohime figure by Alter is going to be re-released this year, along with a brand new 1/8 scale release of the busty fox-lady Kongiku from Oboro Muramasa! This figure is very highly sought after, and while she’ll have a higher retail price this time around, I’m sure this re-release will be anticipated by a lot of collectors. While I don’t plan to buy her for myself personally, she’s one of a very small number of figures my boyfriend reaaaally wants, so I will be helping to make sure he gets her this time around!

At last, a new Tinkle artbook that everyone can get their hands on!

The last item I want to mention is the brand new artbook by Tinkle, which will be released in March 2012. In following the trend of their first two artbook titles (Tsukiyono Chakai and Byakuya Chakai), the third book is titled 密夜茶会 or “Mitsuya Chakai”. The first Tinkle artbook has long been out of print and the second was purely a doujinshi release, so a wide release of a new book of Tinkle’s illustrations is sure to be a hit.

Tinkle

Tinkle Illustrations 3 - Mitsuya Chakai

The book can be reserved now at Amazon Japan or Toranoana, for the retail price of 3,990円. (About 49.89 USD) Expect to pay a lot along with the shipping or deputy fees in order to get this book, but be aware that if it’s anything like it’s predecessors, every penny will be worth it. Tinkle’s 2nd artbook (Byakuya Chakai) remains one of the most worthy (and expensive) additions to my collection to this day.

Doujinshi Review: “The Contract” by Lavender-Ice

3 Sep

“The Contract” is another Madoka themed doujinshi, this time by Lavender-Ice and a group of other English speaking artists on deviant Art. I don’t normally purchase doujinshi through people on deviant art and it is usually because they sell out long before I even discover they’re available. In this case, I discovered “The Contract” during its pre-order period and was thus able to get myself a copy.

Book and Stickers

Book and Stickers

All pre-orders of “The Contract” came with the buyer’s choice of 3 stickers. I chose my favorite 3 characters from the series; Kyuubey, Mami and Homura.

Madoka & Mami

Madoka & Mami

The majority of the illustrations in this book are by Lavender-Ice. She’s started the book off with a number of pages dedicated to each individual character.

Printing Close-Up

Printing Close-Up

One of my main concerns with doujinshi printed outside of Asia is the quality of printing. I don’t expect it to be on par as self-publishing seems to be a much bigger deal in other countries. The printing in this book isn’t the greatest (something to consider should you choose to use the printing service that I will mention later) in that is has that “this was printed by an inkjet” look to it, with a bit of screening and fuzziness. I would say it’s about the same quality as if it were printed in a magazine.

Sayaka & Kyouko

Sayaka & Kyouko

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Doujinshi Review: “if ~ to the world which is kind to all ~” by Yuugen

1 Sep

A c80 release from Yuugen (of the doujinshi circle Caslton), “if” is exclusively a Madoka Magica themed full-color illustration doujinshi of the utmost quality. My decision to purchase this book was based solely on the fact that it includes my absolute favorite piece of Madoka fanart thus far. To my delight, the rest of the content is on par with the beauty of this illustration.

"if" cover - Homura and Madoka

The cover image, which wraps around to the back, can also be viewed at Yuugen’s pixiv as a photoset. Clearly, Homura is giving Madoka a good talking to on the matter of whether or not she should become a magical girl.

Intro Page

Page 1 is a colorful collage which previews all of Yuugen’s artwork therein. I’m actually pretty impressed by the graphic design here.

Homura

We are greeted reluctantly by an angry Homura with guns. Of course she is presented in a way which allows easy pantsu viewing access.

Sayaka and Kyouko

Next is a sweeping image of Sayaka and Kyouko flying over the city. Notice that Kyouko can’t even put her Pocky down long enough to go into battle. I suppose it’s a good thing anime girls can’t get fat.

Pillow Talk

It seems as though Homura and Madoka are having a girl’s slumber party here. Oh, if only their lives were so quaint.

My personal favorite...

This is the illustration that drove me to purchase this doujinshi. The tears flying out of Madoka’s eyes as she reaches for Homura’s hand, Kyouko using Kyuubey as a hang-glider and Mami worrying about flashing her pantsu all contribute to an image that brings out the more adorable side of the series. (Of course, if this was all the show consisted of, it wouldn’t be the brilliant series that it is!) I strongly encourage you to check out the digital version of this illustration here, as my photo clearly does not do it the justice it deserves.

Cover Illustration

Once again we’re presented with the cover illustration; this time without any text. Make sure you check out the digital version of this one as well.

Sexy Mami

No Madoka doujinshi would be complete without some busty Mami fanservice. The illustration is actually done so that her foot in the foreground appears out of focus, so that’s not part of my camera trickery. Those blue popsicles that are so popular in Japan are actually flavored like ramune soda. They’ve become a Japanese trademark of scenes depicting hot summer days!

Guest Illustrations

There’s a filler page or two (not pictured) and then two guest illustrations. The bad-ass Homura is by Shirabi (digital version) and the bundle of chibi characters is by Noro (digital version). Shirabi’s Homura is probably my 2nd favorite illustration in the whole book!

4-Koma

Throw in a couple more filler pages and there’s a few more pages full of 4-Koma (4 panel comic strips) before the end of the book. I only photographed these pages for example. There’s more of ’em!

Credits

There’s another collage type page where Yuugen mashed all of his drawings together into one image, and at last we’re presented with this credit page which I sort of feel obligated to photograph just because.

Once in awhile I spend a lot of money on a doujinshi that ends up being mediocre and I’m kicking myself for a long time afterwards. I like to think that by reviewing the books I buy that I can help others to avoid the same dilemma and also discover awesome new artists. This particular book is one I am so pleased with that it makes up for some of my lesser quality purchases and reminds me just why I buy doujinshi in the first place. If you love Madoka and are a doujin collector, I certainly consider “if” a must-get.

p.s. – The actual title on the book cover is “if ~ to a world whitch is kind to all ~”, but I’ve corrected the spelling error in my review title. If you’re doing a search for the book, it may be to your benefit to consider typing in the misspelling.

Magazine Review: Monthly Anime Style #1 with Taiga Petit Nendoroid

14 Jun

Monthly Anime Style is the reincarnation of “Anime Style” magazine. One of the things that makes the new “Monthly Anime Style” so exciting is the fact that each issue will come with a Petit Nendoroid of a character from the anime featured in that issue. I’ll admit the #1 reason I picked up this magazine was because I recently viewed and fell madly in love with Toradora and I had to have the Taiga Nendoroid. As it turns out, Monthly Anime Style is a pretty awesome magazine if you are curious about the inner-workings of the animation industry.

Cover

Cover featuring Toradora!

This particular issue’s main feature is “Toradora!”. Also included are articles on Heart Catch Pretty Cure, Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt and 放浪息子 (Hourou Musuko).

Nendoroid Box

Taiga's Box

The box that the Nendoroid comes in is the same dimensions as the magazine. It seems unnecessarily large, but it keeps the magazine from getting bent when stacked. Anything that keeps the book in top condition is a good thing, if you ask me!

Taiga Puchi Nendoroid

While the lighting in my photo brings out some paint imperfections, the Nendoroid is just as lovely and high quality as I’ve come to expect from Good Smile Company. This is, of course, Taiga in her outfit from the final episode epilogue of Toradora. It is most certainly one of the most memorable scenes in anime! I’m beyond delighted to have such a cute and affordable little version of her.

Toradora!

The introduction to the extensive Toradora article features one of my personal favorite pieces of official Toradora artwork. There’s a fantastic cleaned-up, high-res version of this artwork available here on imouto.org, which I offer because my photograph didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped.

Screenshots Galore!

There’s a few pages of text and screenshots to start out with, the first one featuring the many moods of Taiga. (Tsun tsun and dere dere!)

Colorful Production Artwork

I really love the pages of genga (original production drawings) in particular. Some people might not find these too interesting, but I think they’re fascinating. I am a big fan of animation and in the past I collected animation cels before they were phased out. One of the few types of production art not done on the computer nowadays are these beautiful hand-drawn genga.

The Famous Kiss Scene!

Here we have pencil drawings of Toradora’s precious kiss scene. Seeing production art like this makes you realize the effort and delicacy with which these extremely important scenes are constructed. These scenes are normally drawn by what’s known as the “key” animator, who sets the standard of how each character should be drawn and animated.

Makoto Shinkai!

I was pretty excited that this magazine also included a section on the animation of Makoto Shinkai.

Shinkai's Settings

Shinkai manages to bring out the magic hidden in normal everyday settings. He is a master in his usage of color and light. In addition to this 2-page spread of settings, there’s quite a few gorgeous screenshots from his newest work 星を追う子ども (Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo). Unfortunately, my photos couldn’t do them justice, so they are not included here.

Hourou Musuko

Hourou Musuko has a truly unique animation style that mimics the art of the manga. Presented in its relating article are examples of the animation before and after applying this watercolor-like effect.

Panty & Stocking Manga

The end of the magazine includes a section on the Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt animation. Screenshots are accompanied by character model sheets as well a handful of pages of manga. This manga has the heavily stylized drawing of the animation as well as its trademark usage of foul English interjections. The artist has introduction of the color pink along with black and white to pack extra punch and make the comic feel that much more zany.

Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo

I took a picture of the back of the magazine because it has a big advertisement for Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo and that’s awesome. You can also consider it my apology for not taking any good photographs of the Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo screenshots in the Makoto Shinkai article. If anything, consider that another incentive to pick this magazine up! (As if you needed one in addition to the Taiga Nendoroid.)

I found this magazine’s content to be a pleasant surprise. I’m pretty used to animation magazines such as Newtype covering all of the good artwork with words and generally being too text-heavy. While there’s a lot going on in the articles, you can still enjoy this magazine quite a bit while only looking at the images. And with every single issue planning to include a puchi Nendoroid, “Monthly Anime Style” is a potential must-get for animation fans and figure collectors.

You can still get this issue at J-List for a limited time!

(As a heads up, issue #2 will be coming with a positively adorable Nadia!)

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