【Illustrator】唖采弦二 / 輪くすさが (ASAI Genji/Rin KUSUSAGA)

Original illustration from website. Click to enlarge.

唖采弦二 (ASAI Genji), which is the alias of 輪くすさが (Rin KUSUSAGA), is a professional game CG designer and illustrator, and is best known for his official, ZUN-affiliated Touhou contributions, providing artwork for the 東方香霖堂 (Touhou Kourindou) ~ Curiosities of Lotus Asia stories, two official fanbooks (Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red and The Grimoire of Marisa), and for the Touhou Project Tribute Arts book cover, which was reviewed by icie at Pireze. In terms of commercial works, Asai Genji has worked on both Sword World 2.0 (character designs and guidebook cover illust.) and the now defunct Druaga Online -The Story of Aon- with friend 鴉丸忠次 (KARASUMA Chuuji, sometimes 真嶋杏次), and a few novels, such as the novel adaptation of Nitro+’s 刃鳴散らす (Hanachirasu) and the two ネザーワールド (Netherworld) novels by 東佐紀 (AZUMA Saki). In contrast to illustration, little is known about his/her works in CG design. Asai Genji was born on July 27th, 1974 with an O blood type, lives in Suginami, Tokyo, Japan, has an older sister, has a history of working as a programmer for 3 years, and loves Gradius, spiders, and 大江健三郎‘s (OUE Kenzaburou) works. He is also ZUN’s childhood friend.

Asai Genji’s illustrations are of the fantasy-realism style, with lots of detailed strands in the hair, plausible poses and hairstyles, and very accurate colouring and lighting, but accented by lack of facial details in noses and mouths, as well as large glassy eyes on his usually-female characters. Asai’s colouring style is the defining characterstic of his illustrations, which is usually oil painting-like. He uses many different levels of one colour for shading, giving gradual and realisitic shadows, which is most apparent in the hair. Asai also uses moderately illuminated spots and highlights to add extra shine and give off more of a fantasy feel, and he also blends a lot of colours together to make everything look smooth and natural. As well, he never uses solid pen outlines, and prefers instead to use pencil-like lines of varying thickness and pressure, making everything blend together more softly. Colour coordination is based mostly on muted shades of colour, but when he wants to, can coordinate many different colours coherently and exceptionally, and even meld an opposing colour into a single-colour dominated scheme. (In this case, the blue of the armour.)

As for CG design, Asai is quite good at rendering mecha, landscape, and skies. As with illustration, Asai also learnt 3D modeling mostly on his own.

Website: http://www20.big.or.jp/~a-fun/ (Last updated in 2006)
Asai Genji tag at moe.imouto: http://moe.imouto.org/wiki/show?title=asai_genji (Worksafe)
東方香霖堂 ~ Curiosities of Lotus Asia Video Mylist: http://www.nicovideo.jp/mylist/1973680 (Unofficial)
Asai Genji entry at NicoNicoPedia: http://dic.nicovideo.jp/a/唖采弦二 (Japanese)