Tag Archives: doujinshi

Doujinshi Review: Touhou Pocket War Evolution Illustration Book

20 Jun

東方ポケット戦争EVO IllustrationBook (Touhou Poketto Sensou EVO Illustration Book) is essentially a small (22 pages) full color artbook release for the doujin game created by 未完童話 (Mikan Douwa). The book features character profile illustrations by the game’s 3 illustrators; Riv (who is my primary reason for this purchase), Ninsei and Maetaku.

Both the front and back cover are rather cute and colorful. You can see the CG’ed version of the front cover here on Riv’s Pixiv!

The artwork styles on the back cover differ enough that I suspect it was a joint effort between the artists. I believe they are done by Ninsei (top), Maetaku (middle) and Riv (bottom), respectively.

The first page is simply a textless version of the cover, so I didn’t bother to photograph it. The next 20 pages are character illustrations. Pic spam inc!

There is a clear difference between the characters who are illustrated by different artists. It’s obvious to me which ones are not by Riv, but due to the lack of an art gallery on behalf of Ninsei, it’s difficult for me to tell the difference between him (her?) and Maetaku. I suspect, however, that Ninsei’s works are the ones with the soft-edge style of coloring and Maetaku’s have the hard-edge coloring (not counting the ones by Riv, of course.)

Page 22 has no illustrations, so again, I didn’t photograph it. However, it gives artist information and links to their websites, which I’ve provided in the intial paragraph via links for each artist’s name.

I purchased this book without knowing much about its contents or the fact that it contained work by artists other than Riv, but I don’t really regret it. Riv is one of my favorite artists right now, so I’ll take any of her work I can get! (Still, I’m hoping to get my hands on more publications similar to Yumeiro Mangekyou or Hanakotoba.)

I’d like to apologize for the vagueness of this review, as my Touhou knowledge is minimal and I had a very difficult time finding information on the artists other than Riv. Regardless, I wanted to take some snapshots of this book in case anyone was wondering what’s inside and if it’s worth their dollars to pick up a copy. As far as I’m concerned, any way for someone to get a sneak peek at a hard to find doujin is worth taking the time to share.

I got my copy of this book from doujin_store on eBay. His prices are rather steep, but I guarantee the quality of his service and products are absolutely out of this world. Sometimes it’s cheaper to buy from him than to import via deputy services, so it’s always good to compare prices when you buy. (Also take note that the pricing of his doujin is based heavily on popularity and rarity. When one copy of a doujinshi sells and he has multiple copies, he will list the next copy at a higher price than the last one. It is usually a $10 markup.) Nonetheless, I can’t recommend him enough!

Other Stuff:

Touhou Pocket War Evolution on Toranoana

Official Demo Movie @ YouTube

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Doujinshi Review: BENIGYOKUZUI Remix by Carnelian

2 Mar

Carnelian has released a couple of “remix” doujinshi so far, and this particular one is the first, released in the summer of 2008. BENIGYOKUZUI 再録集 (Sairokushuu, which means “remix”) contains various illustrations and comics from previous Benigyokuzui releases, but unlike the more recent BENIGYOKUZUI Remix 20-21-22, it isn’t a very thick book. It is about average doujin size at 36 pages. As far as I can tell, it contains images from Benigyokuzui volumes 17 through 19.

Cover

The Cover image is a sexy bunny girl.

You dropped your pen.

Page 1: Sexy office lady!

Pages 2 & 3

The image on the right I recognized as the cover of Benigyokuzui 17.

Pages 4 & 5

The Devil May Cry art on the right has previously appeared in Ura-Benigyokuzui vol. 2 Full Color, which I reviewed earlier…

Some lovely maidens...

The Aquarian Age image on the left (as well as just about any elf drawing by her) is one of my personal favorite Carnelian illustrations!

Pages 8 & 9

Touka and Seika of Fairy Factory make their cameo on the right; a lovely girl with cherries and blonde ringlets on the left.

Miku!

I was most excited for the Hatsune Miku illustration, which I believe was used for a pillow cover. Previously, I’d only been able to see a small resolution of said image on Carnelian’s blog.

Pages 12 & 13

The pointy-eared gal is from Carnelian’s full-color “Gin-iro no Shiina” comic published in “Comic RUSH!”. The miko on the left was used on her homepage for awhile.

2-Page Spread

The only 2-page spread in the book is this gothic lolita-styled illustration of a girl falling amidst black feathers.

The last color page.

The last colored page features a boy/girl(?!) with a sword and then the monochrome section begins, which is primarily a hentai comic which I didn’t photograph (sorry!).

It’s pretty excited to be able to own books that are a collection of Carnelian’s doujinshi. While this first remix book isn’t quite the must-have that Benigyokuzui Remix 20-21-22 is (make sure you check out Nattoli’s review of that one), it’s still pretty darn nice to have in my collection. (Especially since nobody seems to scan Carnelian’s Benigyokuzui doujins anymore!)

Doujinshi Review: “Yumeiro Mangekyou” by Riv/SOLOIST

20 Feb

Riv, a Taiwanese artist who goes by the circle name of SOLOIST, is one of my more current favorite artists. I couldn’t pass up the chance to get a book of colored illustrations, so I picked up Yumeiro Mangekyou (夢色万華鏡) or “Dream-colored Kaleidoscope”, which is a full color book of gorgeous Touhou art. I know very little about Touhou (despite being constantly exposed to artwork inspired by it) but that doesn’t make me like this publication any less!

Cover

Shiny! The title of the book is printed in metallic silver. The book actually opens at the “top” instead of the side. The images inside are presented in both horizontal and vertical formats.

Page #1

The first page has some opening text (not pictured here) in Chinese along with Japanese. This illustration is on the page to the left of it.

夢色万華鏡

The first two-page spread of many features the same gorgeous artwork used on the cover. You can peek at a CG version of it here on Riv’s Pixiv.

Making Music

The next couple of pages feature some really lovely music-themed illustrations. The image on the right is just stunning!

Vertical Spread #1

This is where the book switches over to some glorious vertical 2 page spreads!

Vertical Spread #2

This one’s a bit too loli for my taste, but it’s cute, nonetheless!

Vertical Spread #3

Nemuiiii ~3~

東風谷早苗

There was some funky scan-line action happening in this photograph, but the print is fine, I assure you. You can also see this one here on Riv’s Pixiv.

お嬢様と犬耳咲夜

Here’s where the book returns to horizontal spreads. (View on Pixiv.)

Happy Fun-Time!

A cheerful page-and-a-half spread along with some very cute chibi versions of the Touhou characters.

東方ポケット戦爭

We’re back to the single-page illustrations. I love Riv’s coloring style in this image especially. (View on Pixiv.)

東方ペロペロ

The second of the two “ecchi” images in this book. Take a look at the face on the lolipop! (View on Pixiv.)

天子と衣玖

Love the blue hair and red eyes; it’s very striking. (View on Pixiv.)

霊夢と桜

Everyone loves a good “miko in the water” illustration, right? (View on Pixiv.)

Index

There’s an index of all the colored images to sum it all up… and then a few pages of really nice monochrome art.

Monochrome #1

Monochrome #2

The "Endning"!

This book turned out to be a really pleasant surprise for me, since I only had a couple of pages as a reference for purchase and I hadn’t seen any scans anywhere yet. (I still haven’t, thus my choice to review it.) I’m very glad I chose to purchase it and I’ll definitely be getting more works by Riv in the future as they are released.

Doujinshi Review: Ura-Benigyokuzui VOL.2 Full Color by Carnelian

18 Jan

Carnelian’s “Ura-Benigyokuzui” doujinshi contain Carnelian’s illustrations of male characters. There are 3 volumes of Ura-Benigyokuzui that I know of, one of which is this one, that is in full color. You may find it somewhat confusing that “Vol. 2 full color” is a completely different doujinshi than “Vol. 2“. I’ve no idea of the reasoning behind it. If there exists a full color volume 1, I do not know anything about it. In case you’ve ever wondered, “BENIGYOKUZUI” or 紅玉髓 is the Chinese writing for “Carnelian”. The use of “Ura” in front of it denotes that is the opposite or underside of something. In this case, it refers to the illustrations being of boys rather than of girls.

This was one of my most sought after doujinshi for 3 reasons:
1. It’s Carnelian’s work.
2. It is in color.
3. It’s GUYS!

Not that I don’t love Carnelian’s gorgeous girl illustrations. It’s just that I’m a girl and I like boys. It happens, okay?

Onto the photographs!

Ura-Benigyokuzui

The cover is a shounen ai illustration of Gundam SEED characters, and is my favorite image in the book.

Inside the front cover.

The first page is monochrome. I’m guessing this is also Gundam SEED fanart.

With a ZOOM LAYER!

The cover image is so hot, it’s also the first color image in the book… and the second. Gratuitous zoom layer: ON!

Are those Jelly Bellies?!

The next page is some guys with jelly beans. It reminds me of Kyou Kara Maoh!

Cloud and Zack

If nothing else, I would have purchased this book for the opportunity to see a drawing of Cloud by Carnelian. I’ve always been a Cloud fan. I don’t particularly care either way for the Cloud x Zack pairing though. I liked him with Aerith. ;p

REBORN!

The next page is Katekyo Hitman Reborn! fanart. If you really like this one, the premier self-titled doujinshi “Chrysoprase” is full of these guys. (Chrysoprase is a doujinshi circle consisting of Carnelian and Amamiya Polan.)

BL Novel Illustration

The next page’s illustration (and character design sketches) were done for the cover of a BL novel entitled 社交界艶戯. It seems to be out of print, but you can still get it used.

Devil May Cry

Fanart for “Devil May Cry”, which I’ve never played. Hey, there’s that zoom layer again!

Messiah

Takuto from “Messiah”, looking beautiful as ever, and forlorn because his face is stuck in the book binding. Poor Takuto.

Trick or Treat

The last page is a Halloween themed sketch. I think that these are original characters.

URA-Ura-Benigyokuzui

The End!

This book was particularly difficult to photograph. I had to hold the book open with one hand and photograph it with the other. ^^; I ended up taking the photos so that you don’t see any of my hand that is holding the book open, but you also don’t see any of the page margins which have writing on them. Each page says “CARNELIAN” on it somewhere as well as an image description. At least you know what’s inside now, right?

Doujinshi Review: “Recipe” by Carnelian

15 Jan

Carnelian’s original doujinshi “Recipe” is a colorful collection of dessert-themed fairies or sprites. Each sprite is presented in the form of a colored sketch and a fully CG’ed super-deformed version of them swimming among the culinary treat of her choice. The cover is printed on sturdy textured paper and the pages on the inside are thick and glossy.

"recipe" cover

The cover girl herself is nameless, as far as I know, although you may have seen her before on the front of Carnelian’s 2008 calendar. You can view Carnelian’s CG of this image on Pixiv, too.

Inside the front cover.

The first page of the doujinshi introduces each of the characters in chibi form on a light purple checkered pattern.

Anne

The first food fairy is Anne. In her chibi portrait, she is sitting among dumplings and traditional Japanese wagashi. (和菓子) (View on Pixiv.)

Sugar

The second girl is named “Sugar”, and she is most appropriately the fairy of sugary sweet doughnuts! Notice that she has cute little glazed doughnuts in her hair. XD (View on Pixiv.)

Ginger

Ginger is knocking on the door of a rather delicious looking gingerbread house, complete with gingerbread cookies and… almond pocky! She looks rather like Kogami Akira from Lucky Star. She even has the ahoge. o_O (View on Pixiv.)

Limone

Limone is the mascot for Jelly desserts. Bill Cosby would be proud. She must be sitting in a glass of mint jelly because her chibi form appears to be holding mint leaves. (View on Pixiv.)

Chocolat

No list of desserts would be complete without Chocolate! Miss “Chocolat” presents to you here a luxurious box of truffles and chocolate-dipped fruits. (View on Pixiv.)

Cream

Cream

Our final dessert girl is “Cream”. Standing with a candle atop a cake with chocolate snowflakes and cream puff snowmen, this illustration is somewhat Christmas-themed. (View on Pixiv.)

 Recipe

Recipe Girl

Once again our pastry chef is showcased, without the sprites shown on the cover. Just in case you missed anything, there’s a handy ZOOM LAYER version of the picture as well. It’s kind of a filler, but I’m not complaining!

Chibi backs!

Chibi backs!

The last of the colored pages shows the back of the chibi image you saw inside the front cover. Cute! It’s followed by the introduction to the monochrome section, which is printed in chocolate brown.

Monochrome Intro

Monochrome Section

The monochrome section starts off with the sketch of the cover girl and an introduction that I can’t read (sorry. :p)

Monochrome Pages

Sketches of the Girls

For the sake of not becoming too redundant, I compiled the photos of the sketch section into one image.

The back!

The end!

There you have it. I hope you’ll forgive the quality of my photographs. I use a point and shoot with bad lighting, but the important thing is that now you know what this doujinshi contains! After waiting a couple of years to find scans of this book with no luck whatsoever, I finally gave in and bought it, and I’m certainly glad that I did so.

What the Heck is a “Circle Cut”?!

13 Jan

In my long history of browsing Japanese art sites, it never occurred to me to figure out what exactly those little black and white rectangular banners are that you often see posted are for. I figured they had something to do with self-advertising, but I was never completely sure of their purpose. I decided to look through a few on Pixiv and noticed they all shared the same tag of サークルカット (or “circle cut”). “Circle” refers to the doujinshi circle and “cut”, I assume, refers to it being a clipping or cut-out.

Aoi Nanase's C77 Circle Cut

With a little bit of Googling I discovered that circle cuts are used for advertising oneself and one’s doujinshi circle in the catalog for Comic Market. When an artist applies to sell doujinshi or other goods at Comiket, they must also submit a black and white or greyscale circle cut as a sort of banner ad. These are arranged in alphabetical order by circle name and are side by side in rows. A full page of circle cuts is pretty fun to look at!

There’s a few different templates for making circle cuts. The most common one has a small blank “checkbox” in the upper left and to the right of it a box to put your circle name. The large portion below is where you put a piece of artwork and some text announcing your new doujinshi to be sold at the convention, or simply the URL of your website. Circle cuts need to be in black and white or greyscale for printing in the catalog. Many artists design them in Photoshop but some also draw them by hand. The hand-drawn ones often look amateurish, but they have a certain charm to them. This is the typical circle cut template:

Comic Market Template

Exciting, huh? You can acquire this, along with various other circle cut templates here. Then you can use this guide to create your own, even if it is just for fun. ;)

After I figured out what a circle cut was, I went on a hunt for some that I felt were particularly lovely. Here are a few examples!

Coffee Kizoku's c77 Circle Cut

Coffee Kizoku (Royal Mountain) had one of my favorites. I am completely biased towards it because I love coffee, but I think it’s a really adorable image. Make sure you check it out full size!

Chimaroni?'s c77 Circle Cut

Chimaroni?‘s bold image of Horo on this circle cut certainly stood out to me right away! Again, I am biased because Horo is one of my favorite characters, but I think this circle cut is fantastic because it really catches your eye. (That’s exactly what you want when you’re advertising yourself, after all!)

Chisato Naruse's COMITIA90 Circle Cut

Screentones work well for circle cuts due to the black and white limitation, as you will see here in Chisato Naruse‘s advertisement for COMITIA90. You’ll notice that this particular cut is of different dimensions than one made for a Comic Market catalog.

A Full Color Circle Cut by Sayori

Artists will often post full color circle cuts on their websites. This one is by Sayori of NEKO WORKs. Don’t you wish the Comiket Catalog could be printed in full color? It’d be like a tiny artbook!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this somewhat trivial entry on the world of circle cuts. If you’d like to see thousands of circle cuts “in action”, do a Google search for a Comiket CD ROM catalog, as there’s plenty of torrents and direct downloads of them to go around. It’s fun to look at, even if you can’t actually attend a Comic Market in person.

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